CAR_Public/040316.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
              Tuesday, March 16, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 53

                          Headlines                            

ABORTION LITIGATION: Utah Woman Charged With Murdering Fetus
ALCOHOL LITIGATION: Exeter Couple Sues Brewers Over Ad Campaign
AMERICAN MEDICAL: To Settle Lawsuit Over Health Rates In Alabama
BRIDGESTONE/ FIRESTONE: Firm Gives 'State of Litigation' Report
BRIDGESTONE/ FIRESTONE: Steelex Tire Hearing Date Set March 17

CALIFORNIA: Marine Corps Jet Crash In S.D. Kills All 4 On Board
CALIFORNIA: Report Says Salmonella Outbreak Linked To LA Eatery
CHUBB CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Appeal Securities Suit Dismissal  
CLARUS CORP: Discovery Begins In Consolidated Amended Stock Suit
COLORADO: ADL of B'nai B'rith Reaches Pact In Defamation Case

COLORADO: Lawyer Argues 2nd Stock Suit V. Sandwich Co. Founders
DIRECTV: Faces Racketeering Lawsuit Over Campaign V. TV Piracy
DPL INC: OH Judge Cuts Lawyers' Fees In Utility Suit By $16.5M
DUANE READE INC: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal Of Securities Suit
DUANE READE INC: Reaches Proposed Settlement In Contract Lawsuit

DUANE READE INC: Faces Stock Suits In DE, NY Challenging Merger
E TRADE FINANCIAL CORP: Reaches Employee Suit Pact In CA Court
ENRON CORP: Ex-CFO's Wife Seeks Sentencing Delay In Fraud Case
ENTERGY CORPORATION: City Sides with Firm in Spat with Customers
ENTERGY CORPORATION: Motion to Bifurcate Proceedings Undecided

ENTERGY CORPORATION: Overpricing Suit Remanded to TX State Court
ENTERGY CORPORATION: Mandamus Petition Pending in TX High Court
ENTERGY CORPORATION: Overpricing Suit in LA Remains Undecided
ENTERGY CORPORATION: Louisiana Unit Trial Decision Pending
ENTERGY CORPORATION: TX Certification Hearing March 17

ENTERGY CORPORATION: Ruling on Motion for Certification Pending
ENTERGY CORPORATION: Labor Suit in MS Seeks $221M in Damages
ENTERGY CORPORATION: Dropped from S.D. NY Securities Lawsuit
EQUIFAX INC: Court Approves Settlement In FCRA Violations Suit
EXXON MOBIL: Judge Rejects New Trial Following $11.9B AL Verdict

HENRY SCHEIN: Successfully Argues De-certification of Texas Suit
HENRY SCHEIN: Hailed to New Jersey Court for Contract Breach
OBESITY LEGISLATION: Better 'Calorie List' Sought In Food Labels
GENERAL MOTORS: Recalls 93,572 Oldsmobile Auroras for Fire Risk
HOLOCAUST LITIGATION: Court Gets Nazi Pact Expenditure Proposals

ITALY: Lawmakers Seek Sweeping Changes In Wake Of Fraud Scandals  
MARTHA STEWART: Near Deal To Remain Part Of Company, Sources Say
NAACP: Criticizes Insurance Firms Over Alleged Work-Related Bias
NEW JERSEY: Bill Passed To Hold Professionals Liable for Ads
NEW YORK: Two Hurt By Falling Bricks At Hotel Near Times Square

PENNSYLVANIA: Man Arrested For Netting $800,000 In Retail Scheme
Q-WEST COMMUNICATIONS: Faces $9M Fine For Federal Law Violations
SAME-SEX MARRIAGES: Oregon AG Questions Legitimacy Of Unions
SOUTH CAROLINA: 3 Killed, Dozens Injured In Military Bus Mishap
SOUTH KOREA: Villagers Win Battle V. U.S. Bombing Exercises

WAL-MART: Hackensack Lawyer Files Suit Over Immigrants' Rights
WASHINGTON: Whatcom Foster Care Suit Set For Re-trial Sept. 13

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

99 CENTS ONLY: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in C.D. CA
ACTIVISION INC: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in CA
DEUTSCH BANK AG: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit in NY
EDWARD D. JONES: Cauley Geller Launches Securities Suit in MO
FLEETBOSTON: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in MA

FREEMONT FUNDS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in CA
JANUS CAPITAL: Charles Piven Launches Stock Fraud Suit in CO
PIMCO FUNDS: Cauley Geller Launches Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
ROYAL DUTCH/ SHELL: Scott + Scott Commences Securities NJ Suit
SIBEL SYSTEMS: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA

SPX CORP: Farugi & Farugi Commences Securities Suit in W.D. NC
SPX CORP: Charles Piven Files Securities Fraud Suit in W.D. NC

                         *********

ABORTION LITIGATION: Utah Woman Charged With Murdering Fetus
------------------------------------------------------------
According to court documents Thursday, Melissa Ann Rowland of
Salt Lake City, Utah, was charged by local police with murder
when she refused to have a Caesarean section even after she was
told by doctors that the twins she was carrying would likely die
unless she had the operation, the Associated Press reports.

The case could affect abortion rights and open the door to the
prosecution of mothers who smoke or don't follow their
obstetrician's diet, Marguerite Driessen, a law professor at
Brigham Young University, told the AP. "It's very troubling to
have somebody come in and say we're going to charge this mother
for murder because we don't like the choices she made," she
said.

Rowland was warned numerous times between Christmas and Jan. 9
that her unborn twins would likely die if she did not get
immediate medical treatment, the documents allege. When she
delivered them on Jan. 13, one survived and the other was
stillborn. The woman sought medical advice in December because
she hadn't felt the fetuses move, documents said. Regina Davis,
a nurse at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake, told police that during a
visit there, Rowland was recommended two hospitals to go to for
immediate care.

On Jan. 2, a doctor at LDS Hospital saw Rowland and recommended
she immediately undergo a C-section based on the results of an
ultrasound and the fetus' slowing heart rates. Rowland left
after signing a document stating that she understood that
leaving might result in death or brain injury to one or both
twins, the doctor told police. The same day, a nurse at Salt
Lake Regional Hospital saw Rowland, who allegedly told her she
had left LDS Hospital because the doctor wanted to cut her "from
breast bone to pubic bone," a procedure that would "ruin her
life." The nurse also told investigators that Rowland allegedly
said she would rather "lose one of her babies than be cut like
that."

Court documents did not list an address for Rowland, and she is
not listed in telephone books for the Salt Lake City area. It
could not immediately be determined whether she had an attorney.
LDS Hospital can't comment on the case because of medical
privacy issues and the pending court case, said spokesman Robert
Pexton.

The doctor who performed an autopsy found that the fetus died
two days before delivery and would have survived if Rowland had
undergone a C-section when urged to do so. It was not
immediately clear how far along Rowland was in her pregnancy.

She was charged in Salt Lake County with one first-degree felony
count of criminal homicide. Rowland was being held on $250,000
bail at the Salt Lake County jail, and was scheduled to appear
in court Tuesday. If convicted, she could be sentenced to
between five years and life in prison.


ALCOHOL LITIGATION: Exeter Couple Sues Brewers Over Ad Campaign
---------------------------------------------------------------
A Los Angeles law firm is suing two major brewers on behalf of
an Exeter couple whose 20-year-old daughter was killed in an
auto collision in which an underage drunken driver was involved,
The Visalia Times-Delta reports.

Lynne and Reed Goodwin are initial plaintiffs in the suit that
seeks to become a class action suit so additional plaintiffs
could be added. The suit claims the brewers - Anheuser-Busch and
Miller - use marketing ploys to lure minors to buy beer. The
suit seeks to compel them to stop marketing beer to minors and
to pay damages in the amount of all "purchases made by underage
drinkers."

The Goodwins' daughter, Casey, died of injuries received in an
auto collision in March 2003, on Highway 41 north of Kettleman
City in Kings County. A student at Cuesta College in San Luis
Obispo, she was on her way to Exeter for the weekend to
celebrate her mother's birthday. The driver of the other car,
who was 18, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of drunken
driving.

In a statement, Lynne Goodwin said the suit was filed after the
state Legislature defeated a bill that would have forced beer
and alcohol makers to fund alcohol recovery centers for teens.
The bill, titled Casey's Law, "failed after legislators were hit
with a take-no-prisoners campaign launched and financed by the
alcohol industry," Goodwin said.

The suit, filed in Los Angeles County by the Hagens Berman law
firm, claims Busch and Miller are violating California law by
promoting and facilitating underage drinking. It says they
market to minors alcoholic beverages known as "alcopops," such
as Doc Otis' Hard Lemon Malt Beverage, which is made by St.
Louis-based Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser-Busch Vice President
Francine Katz wouldn't comment on the lawsuit.


AMERICAN MEDICAL: To Settle Lawsuit Over Health Rates In Alabama
----------------------------------------------------------------
American Medical Security Group Inc. said it has reached an
agreement of understanding to certify and settle a class-action
lawsuit in Alabama concerning its rate-setting methods for
health insurance, BestWire Services reports.

The lawsuit, Gadson vs. American Medical Security, is pending in
the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Ala. The agreement is
expected to be presented for preliminary court approval in the
near future, American Medical Security said. Under the
settlement, all claims of participating class members would be
dismissed and the litigation terminated in exchange for
consideration from American Medical Security valued at about $9
million, the company said. The company didn't admit or imply
liability or wrongdoing by agreeing to the settlement, it said.

At issue in the lawsuit was a rating methodology the company
used. Although American Medical Security hasn't used the method
since 1999 in Alabama and 2002 in Georgia, it was lawful and
appropriate, the company said. Under the agreement, class
members would be entitled to a refund of 67% of the premiums
paid as a result of their individual health status being
considered when determining renewal premiums less the amount
they would have paid had a 10% durational factor been applied at
renewal in lieu of taking individual health status into account,
according to the settlement.

American Medical Security also will provide to eligible class
members premium credit vouchers of $10 a month for 24 months,
which adds up to a total value of $240 for each class member,
under the settlement. In addition, defendants will provide the
class members with one free call to the Nurse Healthline, valued
at $27.50 for each call, and injunctive relief.

American Medical Security said it believes it has adequate
reserves to cover the cost of the settlement, including related
attorney fees. The company expects a portion of the settlement
amount to be covered by insurance, although any potential
insurance recovery isn't reflected as an asset on the company's
balance sheet, American Medical Security said.


BRIDGESTONE/ FIRESTONE: Firm Gives 'State of Litigation' Report
---------------------------------------------------------------
In a wide ranging review and analysis of 20 months of litigation
for a national class action lawsuit brought against
Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. and Bridgestone Corporation, Inc. of
Japan for alleged defects in the Steeltex tire series,
plaintiffs' attorneys warned that the public is in danger
because of the refusal of the tire manufacturer and
"stonewalling" by a federal agency to repeated requests to
recall all of the Steeltex tires, Business Wire reports.

At a news conference held in the offices of Lisoni & Lisoni, a
Pasadena-based law firm which filed the lawsuit on August 13,
2002, Attorneys Joseph L. Lisoni (Lisoni) and Gail M. Lisoni
provided an overview of the lawsuit to date and outlined plans
for the next few weeks, which they termed a critical point in
the litigation process. The lawsuit alleges that Firestone's
Steeltex R4S, R4SII and A/T tires are defective in design and
have resulted in massive tread separations causing property
damage, deaths and injuries.

According to Lisoni, a "defining moment" in the litigation will
occur on March 17, when a hearing will be held in the Riverside
Branch of the California Superior Court on a motion to certify
the lawsuit as a national class action. He noted that the recent
recall of 490,000 Steeltex tires should only help to have the
certification motion granted. In the highly unlikely event the
certification is denied, Lisoni said he will immediately file a
"Writ of Administrative Mandamus" with the California Court of
Appeals. While a ruling is required in 15 days, Lisoni said that
the denial would terminate the "tolling agreement" he had with
Bridgestone Corporation and result in him turning the focus of
the litigation against the Japanese corporation, of which
Bridgestone/Firestone is a wholly-owned subsidiary. In January
2004, Lisoni granted Bridgestone Corporation's request to
extricate itself from the lawsuit on a temporary basis until it
was determined if the prosecution of its subsidiary was
satisfactory.

During the news conference, Lisoni continually emphasized that
the class action lawsuit was not as important as the need for
all Steeltex tires to be immediately recalled in the interests
of public safety. Lisoni announced that on April 2, he will
refile his petition to NHTSA to reopen its investigation of
Steeltex tires but this time limit it to those used on
ambulances. He reported that through its own investigation, his
firm has obtained signed affidavits of defects on Steeltex tires
from numerous ambulance companies in 33 states. With the
petition, the firm will provide NHTSA with these affidavits and
contact information for all known U.S. ambulance companies.

During the news conference, Lisoni touched on a variety of other
subjects relating to the litigation. He also reported that he
has re-petitioned the court on a motion to sanction
Bridgestone/Firestone for allegedly destroying tires turned in
by consumers because of damage. If true, this would violate a
court order that mandated they be preserved as evidence.

According to Lisoni, Bridgestone/Firestone must be extremely
worried about the impact of a national recall of its Steeltex
tires since he said his firm has received ongoing threats,
intimidation and harassment from attorneys for the defendants.
This included what he termed an unprecedented attempt to have
him and his partner, Gail Lisoni, sanctioned by the California
State Bar for violating its rules. If granted, it could have led
to disbarment. The State Bar has exonerated the firm from all
allegations brought against it.


BRIDGESTONE/ FIRESTONE: Steelex Tire Hearing Date Set March 17
--------------------------------------------------------------
A judge will hear arguments Wednesday on whether a valley man's
tire defect lawsuit against Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. will
become a national class action lawsuit, The Desert Sun reports.

The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of Roger Littell of
Cathedral City in August 2002, alleges defects in the design and
manufacture of the Steeltex tire series have led to tread
separations and caused collisions, injuries and deaths.
The tires the lawsuit targets are Steeltex R4S, R4SII and A/T
tires commonly used on vans and recreational vehicles.

If Pasadena attorney Joseph Lisoni's motion to certify the
lawsuit as a national class action is granted, the suit would
represent people nationwide who have experienced tread
separations in the Steeltex tires. If his motion isn't granted,
the judge's decision will be appealed, Lisoni said Friday.
Lisoni said a recent recall of some Steeltex tires should help
his case.

Bridgestone/Firestone announced in February it was recalling
Steeltex tires from a Canadian plant that were linked to several
collisions resulting in deaths and injuries. Although the
vehicles involved in the collisions had Steeltex tires on them,
it has not been determined the tires contributed to the
collisions and caused the deaths, said Dan MacDonald,
Bridgestone/Firestone spokesman.

But the collisions raised a red flag that there may be a trend
related to the tires, so Bridgestone/Firestone initiated a
voluntary safety campaign to replace about 317,000 tires -
including 297,000 in the United States - that came as the
original equipment on Ford Excursion SUVs, MacDonald said. Those
were the vehicles involved in the collisions, he said.

Lisoni contends all Steeltex tires should be recalled but
MacDonald said the National Highway Traffic and Safety
Administration evaluated the Steeltex tires and found no
evidence of defects. "The data does not justify taking action
against other Steeltex tires - they're performing well,"
MacDonald said. Lisoni said he also has re-petitioned the court
to sanction Bridgestone/Firestone for allegedly destroying tires
that are to be preserved as evidence.

MacDonald said the company has retained the tires it was
required to under a court order and only has destroyed those to
which the order doesn't apply.


CALIFORNIA: Marine Corps Jet Crash In S.D. Kills All 4 On Board
---------------------------------------------------------------
A UC-35 Marine Corps jet on a training mission crashed during an
attempted landing at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar,
killing all four people on board, the Associated Press reports.

The UC-35, a small jet typically used by general officers or
military VIPS, crashed Wednesday evening in brush about a half-
mile short of the runway. The aircraft carried two pilots and
two passengers, according to Capt. Shawn Turner, a Pentagon
spokesman. The crew members were returning from a training
mission intended to help them keep up their flying skills, Capt.
Michael J. Friel, a base spokesman, said at a news conference.
The 4 1/2-hour flight took them from San Diego to Grand
Junction, Colo., and back. "Both those pilots were very
experienced," Friel said.

The pilot was using the plane's instruments to navigate and was
making a radar-guided approach directed by ground controllers,
Friel said. No distress signals were received. The victims'
names were being withheld pending notification of relatives.
Military investigators were at the crash site Thursday, said
Sgt. Richard Kulleck, a spokesman at Miramar, the headquarters
of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. The weather service reported
light fog at the time of the crash but no major visibility
problems.

The most recent fatal crash at Miramar was in 1978, when an F-14
Tomcat fighter struck a pickup on Interstate 15 while on
approach for landing. One F-14 crew member was killed and the
two people in the truck were injured. In 1987, an F-14 crashed
on a training mission but there were no injuries.


CALIFORNIA: Report Says Salmonella Outbreak Linked To LA Eatery
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services on Thursday
warned patrons of a Manhattan Beach restaurant Thursday that an
outbreak of salmonella appears to have been traced to the
eatery, the Associated Press reports.

Health officials said it believes patrons who ate at The Kettle
restaurant on Highland Avenue between Feb. 25 and March 5 may
have become ill. The warning was issued so that those who may
have been exposed to the germ can take preventive measures to
protect family members or, in the case of food handlers, the
public. "The risk of transmission from this source is considered
slight, and we have not received notice of any secondary cases
resulting from this outbreak to date," said Dr. Laurene Mascola,
chief of the county's acute communicable disease control
program. "However, those who were already ill could still be
able to transmit the disease."

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. The
Salmonella germ passes from the feces of people or animals via
feces-contaminated hands or surfaces.

Health officials said the restaurant has been inspected and has
corrected problems that may have contributed to the outbreak,
which include equipment misuse. Jonathan Fielding of the county
health department told KCAL-TV a misused slicer may have spread
contaminants and an oven's thermometer "was not working properly
and it is possible that foods were not cooked sufficiently." He
said both problems were corrected and the eatery is now open.


CHUBB CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Appeal Securities Suit Dismissal  
--------------------------------------------------------------
An appeal is pending in the United States Court of Appeals for
The Third Circuit in regards the dismissal of a lawsuit brought
against the Company in the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey on August 31, 2000 by the California
Public Employees Retirement System, against defendants Chubb
Corporation, and the following:
   
     (1) Henry B. Schram,

     (2) Dean R. O'Hare, and

     (3) David B. Kelso,

     (4) Executive Risk Inc.,

     (5) Stephen J. Sills,

     (6) Robert H. Kullas, and

     (7) Robert V. Deutsch

The lawsuit alleges liability for certain misrepresentations and
omissions regarding, among other matters, disclosures made
between April 27, 1999 and October 15, 1999 relating to the
improved pricing in the Corporation's standard commercial
insurance business and relating to the offer of the
Corporation's securities to, and solicitation of votes from, the
former shareholders of Executive Risk Inc. in connection with
the Corporation's acquisition of Executive Risk Inc.


CLARUS CORP: Discovery Begins In Consolidated Amended Stock Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Currently in discovery in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Georgia is a consolidated amended
complaint brought against the Company and certain of its
directors and officers, on behalf of all purchasers of common
stock during the period beginning December 8, 1999 and ending on
October 25, 2000.

Generally the amended complaint alleges claims against the
Company and the other defendants for violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as
amended, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. Generally, it is
alleged that the defendants made material misrepresentations and
omissions in public filings made with the Securities and
Exchange Commission and in certain press releases and other
public statements. The amended complaint alleges that the market
price of the Company's common stock was artificially inflated
during the class periods.

The plaintiffs seek unspecified compensatory damages and costs,
expenses and other unspecified relief on behalf of the classes.


COLORADO: ADL of B'nai B'rith Reaches Pact In Defamation Case
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith has settled a bitter
1994 defamation case by paying $12.1 million to William and
Dorothy Quigley, a couple it accused of anti-Semitism, the
Associated Press reports. The Quigleys' won a jury verdict in
2000, but the case was appealed the U.S. Supreme Court. The high
court declined to hear the case.

The dispute began in 1994, when Mitchell and Candace Aronson
moved into a house near the Quigleys in Evergreen, just west of
Denver. The families clashed and the Aronsons claimed it was
because they were Jewish. The Aronsons sought help from the ADL
after the Aronsons' police scanner picked up the Quigleys'
conversation on a cordless telephone. They said they heard the
Quigleys discuss a campaign to drive them from the upscale
neighborhood with scare tactics, including putting pictures of
Holocaust ovens on their house and tossing lampshades and soap
on their lawn.

Based on recordings of those calls, they sued the Quigleys in
federal court, prosecutors charged the Quigleys with hate
crimes, and the ADL's regional director denounced the Quigleys
as anti-Semites. Authorities later discovered the recordings
were illegal under new federal wiretap restrictions. Criminal
and civil complaints filed by the Aronsons were eventually
dropped or dismissed and the Quigleys countersued the ADL.

In a statement, the ADL said it was disappointed the Supreme
Court declined to hear the case. The organization said it will
continue to fight "hatred, racism, bigotry, extremism, anti-
Semitism and threats to our democracy."


COLORADO: Lawyer Argues 2nd Stock Suit V. Sandwich Co. Founders
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jay Horowitz, who recently represented a group of large
shareholders in a class-action suit against Quiznos said
Thursday that Quiznos' founding family exploited the public
markets to expand its Denver sandwich company and then committed
massive fraud against public shareholders, Knight-Ridder/
Tribune Business News reports.

Horowitz made the allegations during a hearing in Denver
District Court. Denver District Judge Morris Hoffman will decide
in the next couple of weeks whether to let Horowitz lead another
class-action suit against the company and its founders, Quiznos'
chief executive Rick Schaden and his father, Dick Schaden.
Attorneys representing Quiznos and the Schadens deny the
allegations.

The fraud claims come in the midst of a series of complex
lawsuits in which shareholders allege they were ripped off when
the public company went private in 2001. In January, Judge
Robert McGahey ruled in one lawsuit that Quiznos' majority
owners acted in "bad faith" when they took the company private.
The stock was worth $32.50, not the $8.50 a share paid to
shareholders during the privatization, the judge said. Quiznos
plans to appeal that ruling.

Horowitz represented the large shareholders in that case. Now he
wants to represent a smaller group of stockholders who were
previously offered $12.90 a share to settle a class action
lawsuit regarding the privatization. One of those shareholders
is Ed Sebesta, a Houston businessman who bought 1,200 Quiznos
shares. He says the $12.90 settlement offer is unfair. Sebesta,
who was in court Thursday, says the New York lawyer representing
the smaller group of shareholders, Matthew Houston, will earn
$464,000 in legal fees without driving a hard bargain for the
best settlement.


DIRECTV: Faces Racketeering Lawsuit Over Campaign V. TV Piracy
--------------------------------------------------------------
A racketeering lawsuit filed last week in federal court accuses
DirecTV of using a national campaign against satellite TV piracy
to extort millions of dollars from consumers, the Associated
Press reports.

Duplicating complaints brought in California, the class action
fraud suit centers on letters sent by DirecTV to suspected
hackers whose names have showed up on credit-card receipts and
store records. The lawsuit says DirecTV and its former parent,
Hughes Electronics, have used the letters to intimidate people
into paying $3,500 each and more to avoid being sued for piracy
or signal theft. It says at least 10,000 people since mid-2002
have paid settlements and that many did so under duress.

DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said Thursday the lawsuit is
without merit and that the company has no intention of halting
the letters. Mercer declined to say how much DirecTV,
headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., has received in
settlements. But he said a "substantial number" of the people
who have contacted DirecTV after receiving the letters agreed to
payments. "Once they realize they have broken a federal law and
we are serious, more often than not they will settle with us,"
Mercer told the AP.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, is spearheaded by California
attorney Jeffrey Wilens on behalf of lead plaintiff Jon
McClelland of Golden, Colo. California judges have dismissed two
similar complaints initiated by Wilens in state and federal
courts. Wilens' firm, Lakeshore Law Center in Yorba Linda,
Calif., specializes in consumer fraud and debt collection
violations. Wilens said he is optimistic the California rulings
will be overturned and said he brought the Colorado litigation
"to avoid further delay."

Mercer said DirecTV has filed piracy suits against more than
20,000 defendants in the past two years, including more than 200
in Denver federal court. Many have been dismissed and none have
been brought to trial.


DPL INC: OH Judge Cuts Lawyers' Fees In Utility Suit By $16.5M
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers who negotiated a $145.5 million settlement with DPL Inc.
last year will get $16.5 million less in attorneys' fees than
they requested from U.S. District Judge Walter H. Rice, Knight-
Ridder/ Tribune Business News reports.

Rice has ruled that the plaintiffs' lawyers in six consolidated
class-action cases against DPL -- led by Cincinnati attorneys
Stanley Chesley and James Cummins -- did not expend enough time
and effort to warrant a 35 percent cut, or $38.5 million, of the
federal portion of the settlement. In his ruling, Rice concluded
that 20 percent, or $22 million, was more reasonable. Rice had
been considering the lawyers' fee request since a Dec. 22
hearing when he approved the rest of the settlement.
Chesley said Wednesday he doesn't plan to appeal Rice's ruling.
"The judge has the ultimate right to set the fees," Chesley
said. "We may ask for clarification on a couple of points, but
we respect his view." The attorneys' fees were the last
unresolved issue holding up payments to eligible shareholders.
Chesley said payouts should begin June 1.

DPL spokesman Reid Gearhart said Rice's decision "means that
more money will go to DPL shareholders. And the company is
obviously satisfied with that result." The total payment to
Chesley, Cummins and other plaintiffs' attorneys in the DPL
litigation is $34.4 million. Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge
Norbert A. Nadel in December approved $12.4 million in
attorneys' fees in the state cases before him.

The lawsuits accused managers and directors of Dayton Power and
Light Co.'s corporate parent of federal securities fraud, breach
of duty and self-dealing in connection with their handling of
the company's $1 billion investment portfolio. The lawsuits also
accused DPL's former independent auditor,
PricewaterhouseCoopers, of negligence in its financial oversight
of the company.


DUANE READE INC: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal Of Securities Suit
--------------------------- -----------------------------------
Plaintiff shareholders have filed a Notice Of Appeal in regards
the dismissal of a lawsuit brought against the Company and
several of its officers and directors, in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, on behalf
of shareholders who purchased DRI common stock between April 1,
2002 and July 24, 2002, inclusive, alleging violations of
federal securities laws.

The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading
statements during the class period. On December 1, 2003, the
district judge granted defendant's motion to dismiss the
plaintiff's action, with prejudice.

The Company believes that the plaintiff's actions are completely
baseless and wholly without merit.


DUANE READE INC: Reaches Proposed Settlement In Contract Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
In December 2003, the Company reached a proposed settlement with
Plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Federal Court for the Southern
District of New York against it, alleging violations of the Fair
Labor Standards Act as to a group of individuals who provided
delivery services on a contractual basis.

The judge in the action issued a partial summary judgment in
favor of a subclass of the plaintiffs and against the Company in
December 2002. The amount of attorney's fees owed to the
plaintiffs' attorneys remains an open issue in the case and the
Company plans to vigorously defend claims by these attorneys for
fees.


DUANE READE INC: Faces Stock Suits In DE, NY Challenging Merger
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Company is named as a defendant in six purported class
action complaints challenging the merger transaction that have
been filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware,
and three purported class action complaints that have been filed
in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Two of the New York Complaints have been dismissed without
prejudice. On January 28, 2004, the six Delaware actions were
consolidated. The Delaware and New York Complaints name certain
members of the Company's board of directors and executive
officers as defendants. Four of the Delaware Complaints name Oak
Hill as a defendant. One of the dismissed New York Complaints
named Oak Hill as a defendant.

The Delaware Complaints and the pending New York Complaint
allege, among other things, that the defendants purportedly
breached duties owed to stockholders in connection with the
merger transaction by allegedly failing to:

     (1) appropriately value Duane Reade as a merger candidate;

     (2) expose Duane Reade to the marketplace in an effort to
         obtain the best transaction reasonably available; and

     (3) adequately ensure that no conflicts of interest exist
         between defendants' own interests and their fiduciary
         obligation to maximize stockholder value.

Plaintiffs seek, among other things:

     (i) an order that the complaints are properly maintainable
         as a class action;

    (ii) a declaration that defendants have breached their
         fiduciary duties and other duties;

   (iii) injunctive relief;

    (iv) monetary damages;

     (v) attorneys' fees, costs and expenses; and

    (vi) such other and further relief as the court may deem
         just and proper.


E TRADE FINANCIAL CORP: Reaches Employee Suit Pact In CA Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
A proposed settlement has been reached in a putative class
action filed in the Superior Court of California, Orange County,
against the Company, over allegations that E TRADE Mortgage
misclassified certain classes of employees as exempt, rather
than as non-exempt employees. The lawsuit is styled: Lisa
Arroyo, et al., v. E TRADE Financial, et al.

The Company agreed to the settlement and established a reserve
under the terms of which the Company received an unconditional
general release from all participating class members and in
exchange paid a total of approximately $7.2 million (including
payroll taxes and withholdings).


ENRON CORP: Ex-CFO's Wife Seeks Sentencing Delay In Fraud Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
The wife of former Enron Corp. finance chief Andrew Fastow asked
Friday that her sentencing on a charge of filing a false tax
form be postponed until after the week of Passover, the
Associated Press reports.

Lea Fastow, 42, is scheduled to be sentenced April 7 after
pleading guilty Jan. 14 to filing a false tax form for helping
her husband hide ill-gotten income from the government. As part
of a joint plea bargain, he pleaded guilty the same day to two
counts of conspiracy, admitting to manipulating Enron's finances
while self-dealing through shady partnerships to enrich himself
at the company's expense. Passover week begins April 5. The
Fastows are Jewish. The request from her attorney, Mike
DeGeurin, is not opposed by prosecutors.

Andrew Fastow agreed to serve 10 years in prison and help
prosecutors pursue other cases. But Lea Fastow is not
cooperating with prosecutors, and she must wait until she is
sentenced to learn whether the judge will accept a plea deal
that calls for five months in prison and five months' home
confinement.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, U.S. District Judge David
Hittner is supposed to consider a 10- to 16-month prison
sentence for the tax crime, though he has discretion to depart
from that range. Hittner balked at the plea agreement that bound
him up front to five months behind bars and five months' home
confinement, and reserved a ruling to allow federal probation
authorities to finish a pre-sentencing investigation.


ENTERGY CORPORATION: City Sides with Firm in Spat with Customers
----------------------------------------------------------------
In April 1999, a group of ratepayers filed a complaint against
Entergy New Orleans, Entergy Corporation, Entergy Services, and
Entergy Power in state court in Orleans Parish purportedly on
behalf of all Entergy New Orleans ratepayers.  

The plaintiffs seek treble damages for alleged injuries arising
from the defendants' alleged violations of Louisiana's antitrust
laws in connection with certain costs passed on to ratepayers in
Entergy New Orleans' fuel adjustment filings with the City
Council.  In particular, plaintiffs allege that Entergy New
Orleans improperly included certain costs in the calculation of
fuel charges and that Entergy New Orleans imprudently purchased
high-cost fuel from other Entergy affiliates.  Plaintiffs allege
that Entergy New Orleans and the other defendant Entergy
companies conspired to make these purchases to the detriment of
Entergy New Orleans' ratepayers and to the benefit of Entergy's
shareholders, in violation of Louisiana's antitrust laws.  
Plaintiffs also seek to recover interest and attorneys' fees.  

Entergy filed exceptions to the plaintiffs' allegations,
asserting, among other things, that jurisdiction over these
issues rests with the City Council and FERC.  If necessary, at
the appropriate time, Entergy will also raise its defenses to
the antitrust claims.  The suit in state court has been stayed
by stipulation of the parties pending a decision by the City
Council.

Plaintiffs also filed this complaint with the City Council in
order to initiate a review by the City Council of the
plaintiffs' allegations and to force restitution to ratepayers
of all costs they allege were improperly and imprudently
included in the fuel adjustment filings.  Testimony was filed on
behalf of the plaintiffs in this proceeding asserting, among
other things, that Entergy New Orleans and other defendants have
engaged in fuel procurement and power purchasing practices and
included costs in Entergy New Orleans' fuel adjustment that
could have resulted in New Orleans customers being overcharged
by more than $100 million over a period of years.  

Hearings were held in February and March 2002.  In February
2004, the City Council approved a resolution that results in a
refund to customers of $11.3 million, including interest during
the months of June through September 2004.  The resolution
concludes, among other things, that the record does not support
an allegation that Entergy New Orleans' actions or inactions,
either alone or in concert with Entergy or any of its
affiliates, constituted a misrepresentation or a suppression of
the truth made in order to obtain an unjust advantage of Entergy
New Orleans, or to cause loss, inconvenience or harm to its
ratepayers.  The plaintiffs have appealed the City Council
resolution to the state court in Orleans Parish.

For more information, contact Entergy Corporation by Mail: 639
Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113 or by Phone: (504) 576-4000
or by Fax: (504) 576-4428


ENTERGY CORPORATION: Motion to Bifurcate Proceedings Undecided
--------------------------------------------------------------
In April 1998, a group of residential and business ratepayers
filed a complaint against Entergy New Orleans in state court in
Orleans Parish purportedly on behalf of all ratepayers in New
Orleans.  

The plaintiffs allege that Entergy New Orleans overcharged
ratepayers by at least $300 million since 1975 in violation of
limits on Entergy New Orleans' rate of return that the
plaintiffs allege were established by ordinances passed by the
Council in 1922.  The plaintiffs seek, among other things, (i) a
declaratory judgment that such franchise ordinances have been
violated; and (ii) a remand to the Council for the establishment
of the amount of overcharges plus interest.  

Entergy New Orleans believes the lawsuit is without merit.  
Entergy New Orleans has charged only those rates authorized by
the Council in accordance with applicable law.  In May 2000, a
court of appeal granted Entergy New Orleans' exception to
jurisdiction in the case and dismissed the proceeding.  The
Louisiana Supreme Court denied the plaintiff's request for a
writ of certiorari.  The plaintiffs then commenced a similar
proceeding before the Council.  

The plaintiffs and the advisors for the Council each filed their
first round of testimony in January 2002.  In their testimony,
the plaintiffs allege that Entergy New Orleans earned in excess
of the legally authorized rate of return during the period 1979
to 2000 and that Entergy New Orleans should be required to
refund between $240 million and $825 million to its ratepayers.  
In the testimony submitted by the Council advisors, the advisors
allege that Entergy New Orleans has not earned in excess of its
authorized rate of return for the period at issue and that no
refund is therefore warranted.  A hearing scheduled in June 2002
was canceled and the proceeding has been continued without a
proposed trial date.

In October 2002, plaintiffs moved to stay the entire regulatory
proceeding pending resolution of their appeal in state court of
the Council's denial of a motion in which they had sought to
force the Council to recuse itself and to have the Council
Advisors disqualified from representing the Council.  In their
motion to stay, plaintiffs also requested that the proceeding be
stayed until the final resolution of a separate lawsuit filed by
the Alliance for Affordable Energy against the Council seeking
to force the Council to join the proceeding as a party-litigant.

On January 24, 2003, a Louisiana State court judge dismissed
both the plaintiffs' appeal and the Alliance's separate lawsuit
on the ground that she did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate
the claims.  The plaintiffs appealed the ruling and in October
2003, the court of appeal affirmed the decision of the trial
court.  In November 2003, the plaintiffs filed a writ
application seeking relief at the Louisiana Supreme Court, which
was denied in February 2004.  

In December 2003, the Council Advisors filed a motion in the
Council proceedings to bifurcate the hearing in this matter,
such that the effect of the provision of the 1922 Ordinance in
setting lawful rates would be considered first.  Only if it is
determined that this provision establishes a limitation, would
the remaining issues be reached.  No ruling has yet been made
with respect to the motion to bifurcate.

For more information, contact Entergy Corporation by Mail: 639
Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113 or by Phone: (504) 576-4000
or by Fax: (504) 576-4428


ENTERGY CORPORATION: Overpricing Suit Remanded to TX State Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
In August 2003, a lawsuit was filed in the district court of
Chambers County, Texas by Texas residents on behalf of a
purported class apparently of the Texas retail customers of
Entergy Gulf States who were billed and paid for electric power
from January 1, 1994 to the present.   

The named defendants are Entergy Corporation, Entergy Services,
Entergy Power, Entergy Power Marketing Corp., Arkansas Electric
Cooperative Corporation and Entergy Arkansas.  Entergy Gulf
States is not a named defendant, but is alleged to be a co-
conspirator.  

Plaintiffs allege that the defendants implemented a "price
gouging accounting scheme" to sell to plaintiffs and similarly
situated utility customers higher priced power generated by the
defendants while rejecting and/or reselling to off-system
utilities, less expensive power offered and/or purchased from
off-system suppliers and/or generated by the Entergy system.  In
particular, plaintiffs allege that the defendants manipulated
and continue to manipulate the dispatch of generation so that
power is purchased from affiliated expensive resources instead
of buying cheaper off-system power.  Plaintiffs estimate that
customers in Texas were charged at least $57 million above
prevailing market prices for power.  Plaintiffs seek actual,
consequential and exemplary damages, costs and attorneys' fees,
and disgorgement of profits.  

In September 2003, the Entergy defendants removed the lawsuit to
the federal court in Galveston, and in October 2003, filed a
pleading seeking dismissal of the plaintiffs' claims.  In
October 2003, the plaintiffs filed a motion to remand the case
to state court.  In January 2004, the federal court determined
that it did not have jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
lawsuit, and remanded the case to the state district court in
Chambers County.  

"Management cannot predict the outcome of this litigation at
this time," Entergy Corporation said in a recent SEC disclosure.

For more information, contact Entergy Corporation by Mail: 639
Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113 or by Phone: (504) 576-4000
or by Fax: (504) 576-4428


ENTERGY CORPORATION: Mandamus Petition Pending in TX High Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
In February 2002, various plaintiffs, who claim to be customers
of Entergy Gulf States in Texas and further claim to be class
representatives for all other similarly situated customers,
filed a lawsuit against Entergy Gulf States and Entergy
Corporation in the district court of Jefferson County, Texas.  

The petition alleges that Entergy Corporation and Entergy Gulf
States violated the 1993 agreement entered by parties to the
Entergy-Gulf States Utilities merger docket in Texas by failing
to pass 100% of Texas retail non-fuel merger-related savings to
Entergy Gulf States' ratepayers in Texas beginning on January 1,
2002.  The petition alleges that the non-fuel merger-related
savings accrue at a rate of about $2 million per month.  The
petition seeks damages, exemplary damages, and attorney's fees
and costs, in addition to certification of the case as a class
action.  The district court has denied Entergy Gulf States' and
Entergy Corporation's motions to transfer venue and to dismiss
or abate on the basis of the PUCT's jurisdiction over this
matter.  

In September 2002, Entergy Gulf States and Entergy Corporation
sought mandamus relief at the Ninth District Court of Appeals,
which was denied.  After the Court of Appeals denied rehearing,
in January 2003, Entergy Corporation and Entergy Gulf States
filed a petition for mandamus relief at the Texas Supreme Court.  
The PUCT has filed an amicus brief concurring in Entergy Gulf
States' position that the matters at issue in the lawsuit fall
within the PUCT's exclusive jurisdiction.  The Texas Supreme
Court heard oral argument in November 2003.  

For more information, contact Entergy Corporation by Mail: 639
Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113 or by Phone: (504) 576-4000
or by Fax: (504) 576-4428


ENTERGY CORPORATION: Overpricing Suit in LA Remains Undecided
-------------------------------------------------------------
In May 1998, a group of ratepayers filed a complaint against
Entergy Louisiana and the LPSC in state court in East Baton
Rouge Parish purportedly on behalf of all Entergy Louisiana
ratepayers.  

The plaintiffs allege that the formula ratemaking plan
authorized by the LPSC has allowed Entergy Louisiana to earn
amounts in excess of a fair return.  The plaintiffs seek, among
other things, (i) a declaratory judgment that the formula
ratemaking plan is an improper ratemaking practice; and (ii) a
refund of the amounts allegedly charged in excess of proper
ratemaking practices.  

"This case has not been active, and abandonment issues are being
evaluated.  At this time, management cannot determine the amount
of damages being sought," Entergy Corporation said in its latest
SEC disclosure.

For more information, contact Entergy Corporation by Mail: 639
Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113 or by Phone: (504) 576-4000
or by Fax: (504) 576-4428


ENTERGY CORPORATION: Louisiana Unit Trial Decision Pending
----------------------------------------------------------
Residents located near the Murphy Oil Refinery in Meraux,
Louisiana filed several lawsuits in state court in St. Bernard
Parish, Louisiana against Murphy Oil, Entergy Louisiana, and
others for injuries they allegedly suffered as a result of an
explosion at the refinery in June 1995.  

The lawsuits were consolidated and a class of plaintiffs was
certified.  Plaintiffs alleged, among other things, that an
electrical fault at an Entergy Louisiana substation contributed
to causing the explosion.  Murphy Oil filed a cross-claim
against Entergy Louisiana based on the same allegation, in which
Murphy Oil seeks recovery of any damages it has paid to the
plaintiffs.  Claiborne P. Deming, who became a director of
Entergy Corporation in 2002, is the President and Chief
Executive Officer of Murphy Oil.

Murphy Oil and other defendants settled with the plaintiffs for
$8.8 million, but Entergy Louisiana did not participate in the
settlement.  Entergy Louisiana continues to defend itself in the
proceeding.  Entergy Louisiana also has insurance in place for
claims of this type.  A trial for the remaining parties in the
proceeding was held in September 2003 and a decision is pending.

For more information, contact Entergy Corporation by Mail: 639
Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113 or by Phone: (504) 576-4000
or by Fax: (504) 576-4428


ENTERGY CORPORATION: TX Certification Hearing March 17
------------------------------------------------------
In 1998, a group of property owners filed a class action suit
against Entergy Corporation, Entergy Gulf States, Entergy
Services and ETHC in state court in Jefferson County, Texas
purportedly on behalf of all property owners in each of the
states throughout the Entergy service area who have conveyed
easements to the defendants.  

The lawsuit alleged that Entergy installed fiber optic cable
across their property without obtaining appropriate easements.  
The plaintiffs sought actual damages for the use of the land and
a share of the profits made through use of the fiber optic
cables and punitive damages.  

The state court petition was voluntarily dismissed, and the
plaintiffs commenced a class action suit with the same claims in
the United States District Court in Beaumont, Texas.  Both sides
have filed motions for summary judgment, which were heard by the
court in late 2001.  In 2003, the district judge ruled that as a
matter of law, all of the Texas easements permit Entergy to
utilize the fiber for their own communications.  Further, the
Court ruled that approximately two-thirds of the Texas easements
allow Entergy to use the fiber for external or third party
communications.  

"Entergy believes that any damages suffered by the remaining
one-third plaintiff landowners are negligible and that there is
no basis for the claim seeking a share of profits," the company
said in a recent SEC disclosure.  "The Court has scheduled a
class certification hearing for March 17, 2004.  At this time,
management cannot determine the specific amount of damages being
sought."

For more information, contact Entergy Corporation by Mail: 639
Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113 or by Phone: (504) 576-4000
or by Fax: (504) 576-4428


ENTERGY CORPORATION: Ruling on Motion for Certification Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
Several property owners have filed a class action suit against
Entergy Louisiana, Entergy Services, ETHC, and Entergy
Technology Company in state court in St. James Parish, Louisiana
purportedly on behalf of all property owners in Louisiana who
have conveyed easements to the defendants.  

The lawsuit alleges that Entergy installed fiber optic cable
across their property without obtaining appropriate easements.  
The plaintiffs seek actual damages for the use of the land and a
share of the profits made through use of the fiber optic cables
and punitive damages.  Entergy removed the case to federal court
in New Orleans; however, the District Court remanded the case
back to state court.  Entergy is appealing this ruling.  

On December 23, 2003, the state court held a class certification
hearing.  In January 2004 the judge advised the parties that he
would certify a class, but, to date, he has not entered his
judgment.  Once the judgment is entered, Entergy will appeal the
decision.  

For more information, contact Entergy Corporation by Mail: 639
Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113 or by Phone: (504) 576-4000
or by Fax: (504) 576-4428


ENTERGY CORPORATION: Labor Suit in MS Seeks $221M in Damages
------------------------------------------------------------
Entergy Corporation and the domestic utility companies are
defendants in numerous lawsuits that have been filed by former
employees alleging that they were wrongfully terminated and/or
discriminated against on the basis of age, race, and/or sex.  

"Entergy Corporation and the domestic utility companies are
vigorously defending these suits and deny any liability to the
plaintiffs," the company said in a recent SEC filing.  "However,
no assurance can be given as to the outcome of these cases, and
at this time management cannot estimate the total amount of
damages sought."

Included in the employment litigation are two cases filed in
state court in Claiborne County, Mississippi in December 2002.  
The two cases were filed by former employees of Entergy
Operations who were based at Grand Gulf.  Entergy Operations and
Entergy employees are named as defendants.  The cases make
employment-related claims, and seek in total $53 million in
alleged actual damages and $168 million in punitive damages.  

"Entergy cannot predict the ultimate outcome of this
proceeding," the SEC document partly reads.

For more information, contact Entergy Corporation by Mail: 639
Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113 or by Phone: (504) 576-4000
or by Fax: (504) 576-4428


ENTERGY CORPORATION: Dropped from S.D. NY Securities Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------------
On August 18, 2003, Cornerstone Propane Partners, L.P. filed a
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York against 40 named defendants, including
Entergy-Koch Trading and Entergy Corporation.  

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a purported class of all
persons who purchased and/or sold natural gas futures and
options contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange
(NYMEX) between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2002 and who
suffered losses by reason of the defendants' alleged
manipulation of the natural gas market.  

The plaintiffs amended their complaint in January 2004 and did
not rename Entergy Corporation as a defendant.  Entergy
Corporation was dismissed as a defendant in the proceeding in
February 2004.  Entergy-Koch Trading remains a defendant in the
proceeding.

For more information, contact Entergy Corporation by Mail: 639
Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113 or by Phone: (504) 576-4000
or by Fax: (504) 576-4428


EQUIFAX INC: Court Approves Settlement In FCRA Violations Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
In January 2004, the United States District Court of South
Carolina approved the settlement of a lawsuit brought against
the Company in April 2001, alleging violations of FCRA laws
by failing to follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum
possible accuracy with respect to the reporting of accounts
included in a bankruptcy. The lawsuit is styled Franklin Clark
Public Utilities and Latanjala Denise Miller v. Equifax Inc. and
Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc.

All parties have now reached a settlement of all claims that
requires the Company to revise the manner of its account
reporting and to pay fees to plaintiffs' attorneys of up to
$5,000,000.


EXXON MOBIL: Judge Rejects New Trial Following $11.9B AL Verdict
----------------------------------------------------------------
Circuit Judge Tracy McCooey on Friday said she will not order a
new trial over a $11.9 billion verdict Alabama won against Exxon
Mobil, and scolded the oil company for not providing a document
she considered vital to the case, the Associated Press reports.

McCooey wrapped up a two-day hearing Friday on whether she
should throw out, reduce or uphold the verdict returned by a
Montgomery jury in November. She said she wouldn't order a new
trial and wouldn't override the verdict to rule in Exxon's
favor.

"I cannot tell you how irritated I am," McCooey told the
company's attorneys. All that's left for her to decide, she
said, is whether to reduce or uphold $11.8 billion the jury
awarded in punitive damages. She said she will rule by March 29.
The jury had decided that Exxon Mobil cheated the state out of
royalties due from natural gas wells drilled in state-owned
waters around Mobile Bay, and it awarded $63.6 million in
compensatory damages and $11.8 billion in punitive damages.

Exxon Mobil's attorneys argued that the verdict was excessive
and unconstitutional, while state attorneys said it was
justified based on what the state stood to lose over the life of
natural gas wells. In heated remarks during the hearing, the
judge said she needed to see the company's final natural gas
price forecast for 1993, the year production began along the
Alabama coast, but the company had not produced it during the
trial or since.

Exxon Mobil attorney Ernest Terry said the state's attorneys had
requested "economic analysis" about the wells, and the company
did not believe the gas price forecast fell into that category.
He said the company would supply the data next week. The judge
said it was a disservice to the company for her not to have the
best information available in looking at how much Exxon Mobil
stood to gain if the alleged underpayments went on for the life
of the natural gas wells. An accountant for the state, Saul
Solomon, had estimated the underpayment could total as much as
$930 million, but that was based on the company's 1989 natural
gas price forecast. Exxon's accountant, David Borden, put it at
no more than $58.5 million in present-day value. He said using
the 1989 information was faulty because natural gas prices
dropped between 1989 and 1993.

No matter what she decides, attorneys for both sides say it will
be appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court. This is the second
time the lawsuit has been through the court system. A Montgomery
jury issued a $3.5 billion verdict in 2000, but the Alabama
Supreme Court overturned it because jurors saw an internal legal
memo from the oil company.


HENRY SCHEIN: Successfully Argues De-certification of Texas Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Henry Schein, Inc. and one of its subsidiaries were named on
January 27, 1998 as defendants in a matter entitled "Shelly E.
Stromboe and Jeanne Taylor, on Behalf of Themselves and all
others Similarly Situated vs. Henry Schein, Inc., Easy Dental
Systems, Inc. and Dentisoft, Inc." Case No.98-00886.  The case
is pending in the District Court in Travis County, Texas.

The petition alleges, among other things, negligence, breach of
contract, fraud, and violations of certain Texas commercial
statutes involving the sale of certain practice management
software products sold prior to 1998 under the Easy Dental name.

In October 1999, the trial court, on motion, certified both a
Windows sub-class and a DOS sub-class to proceed as a class
action pursuant to Tex. R. Civ. P. 42.  It is estimated that
approximately 5,000 Windows customers and approximately 10,000
DOS customers were covered by the class action that was
certified by the trial court.

In November of 1999, the company filed an interlocutory appeal
of the trial court's determination to the Texas Court of Appeals
on the issue of whether this case was properly certified as a
class action.  On September 14, 2000, the Court of Appeals
affirmed the trial court's certification order.  On January 5,
2001, the company filed a Petition for Review in the Texas
Supreme Court asking the Court to find that it had "conflicts
Jurisdiction" to permit review of the trial court's
certification order.  The Texas Supreme Court heard oral
argument on February 6, 2002. On October 31, 2002, the Texas
Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case holding that it had
conflicts jurisdiction to review the decision of the Court of
Appeals and the finding that the trial court's certification of
the case as a class action was improper.  The Texas Supreme
Court further held that the judgment of the Court of Appeals,
which affirmed the class certification order, must be reversed
in its entirety.  

Upon reversal of the class certification order, the Texas
Supreme Court remanded the case to the trial court for further
proceedings consistent with its opinion.  On January 31, 2003,
counsel for the class filed a Motion for Rehearing with the
Texas Supreme Court seeking a reversal of the Supreme Court's
earlier opinion reversing the class certification order.  On May
8, 2003, the Texas Supreme Court denied the Motion for
Rehearing, letting stand its opinion dated October 31, 2002,
which decertified both sub-classes in their entirety.  

On August 29, 2003, class counsel filed amended papers seeking
certification of an amended Windows class and an amended DOS
class.  The only claim asserted for class certification by the
Windows class was for the alleged breach of the implied warranty
of merchantability.  The only claim asserted for class
certification by the DOS class were claims for alleged
violations of the Texas Unsolicited Goods Statute and the
Federal Unordered Merchandise Act.

Defendants filed motions for partial summary judgment as to the
claims asserted on behalf of the Windows Class and the DOS
Class.  A hearing on Defendants' Motions for Partial Summary
Judgment and Plaintiffs' Amended Motion to Certify a Class was
held on November 18-20, 2003.  By Order dated December 10, 2003,
the trial court (1)denied Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment on the Windows Class claims; (2) granted Defendants'
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on the DOS Class claims.  By
granting summary judgment on the claims asserted on behalf of
the DOS class, the DOS motion for class certification became
moot because certain class claims asserted by the named class
representatives for the DOS class were found to be without
merit.

By Order dated January 13, 2004, the trial court denied the
amended motion for class certification filed by the Windows
Class in its entirety.  The deadline for the Windows Class to
file an interlocutory appeal of the denial of the amended motion
for class certification was February 2, 2004.  No appeal was
filed on or before that date.  

"As a result of the favorable rulings obtained in the trial
court, only certain individual claims asserted on behalf of the
named plaintiffs remain pending in this case," the company
disclosed in a recent SEC filing.

For more information, contact Henry Schein, Inc. by Mail: 135
Duryea Rd, Melville NY 11747 or by Phone: (631) 842-5500 and
6867


HENRY SCHEIN: Hailed to New Jersey Court for Contract Breach
------------------------------------------------------------
In February 2002, Henry Schein, Inc. was served with a summons
and complaint in an action commenced in the Superior Court of
New Jersey, Law Division, Morris County, entitled "West Morris
Pediatrics, P.A. and Avenel-Iselin Medical Group, P.A.
vs. Henry Schein, Inc., doing business as Caligor," Case No.MRS-
L-421-02.

The plaintiffs' complaint purports to be on behalf of a
nationwide class, but there has been no court determination that
the case may proceed as a class action.  Plaintiffs seek to
represent a class of all physicians, hospitals and other
healthcare providers throughout New Jersey and across the United
States. This complaint, as amended in August 2002, alleges,
among other things, breach of oral contract, breach of implied
covenant of good faith and fair dealing, violation of the New
Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, unjust enrichment, conversion and
promissory estoppel relating to sales of a vaccine product in
the year 2001.

"We filed an answer in October 2002. Because the plaintiffs have
not specified damages, it is not possible to determine the range
of damages or other relief sought by the plaintiffs. We intend
to vigorously defend ourselves against this claim, as well as
all other claims, suits and complaints," the company said in
recent SEC disclosure.

For more information, contact Henry Schein, Inc. by Mail: 135
Duryea Rd, Melville NY 11747 or by Phone: (631) 842-5500 and
6867


OBESITY LEGISLATION: Better 'Calorie List' Sought In Food Labels
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. government asked food makers Friday to be more open
about how much they pack into drinks, chips and other products
Americans eat on the go, part of an effort to help consumers
count calories a little easier, the Associated Press reports.

To keep trim, "calories in must equal calories out - it's just
that simple," said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy
Thompson. But counting calories can be confusing, he said in
announcing some Food and Drug Administration recommendations
designed to help.

Among the recommendations:

     (1) Changing food labels to list calories in larger type,
         easier to see at a glance, and to list the percent of
         consumers' daily allotment of calories a serving of
         each food brings. In the 20-ounce soft-drink example,
         those 275 calories would be 14 percent of a typical
         person's daily allotment.

     (2) Making foods like chips and soft drinks, which most
         people eat all at once even though they contain two or
         more "servings," list the product's total calories. For
         example, 20-ounce soft drinks today are labeled as
         having 2 1/2 servings and 110 calories per serving,
         requiring consumers to compute total calorie
         consumption.

     (3) Urging all restaurants to list calories on menus.

Most of FDA's recommendations are voluntary, which lets business
off the hook at the expense of Americans' health, Michael
Jacobsen of the consumer advocacy Center for Science in the
Public Interest complained. "Relying on junk-food marketers'
self-policing is naive and one of the things that helped
Americans waddle into the obesity epidemic in the first place,"
he said.

The easiest-to-implement recommendation - listing total calories
for foods people eat all at once - marks a major shift for FDA,
said Alison Kretser of the Grocery Manufacturers of America, who
welcomed the new flexibility. In 2001, a company selling a
flavored "fitness water" marked its 24-ounce bottles as
containing a total of 30 calories, because buyers typically
drank the whole bottle. FDA ordered it to relabel the bottles as
containing three servings at 10 calories each.


GENERAL MOTORS: Recalls 93,572 Oldsmobile Auroras for Fire Risk
----------------------------------------------------------------
The federal government, in cooperation with the National Highway
Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) said Friday that General
Motors Corp. is recalling 93,572 Oldsmobile Aurora sedans
because fuel can leak into the engine and start a fire, the
Associated Press reports. The recall affects Auroras from the
1995-1997 model years.

The NHTSA said it has received 123 complaints about the problem.
In one case, a fire started while the vehicle was parked in a
garage attached to a home. The vehicle was destroyed and the
home was damaged, NHTSA said. The agency said the fuel is
leaking because the nylon tubing used in the fuel rail can
degrade and crack. Owners will be notified later this spring of
GM's plans to repair the vehicles.

NHTSA also said Friday that DaimlerChrysler AG is recalling
34,561 Pacifica sport utility vehicles and 14,621 Jeep Grand
Cherokees because their engines could stall without warning and
cause a crash. Vehicles from the 2004 model year are affected in
those recalls.


HOLOCAUST LITIGATION: Court Gets Nazi Pact Expenditure Proposals
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dozens of applications from around the world have streamed into
U.S. District Court in Brooklyn from groups hoping to receive
part of as much as $400 million earmarked for organizations
representing victims of the Nazi Holocaust, the Associated Press
reports.

Judge Edward R. Korman is sorting through proposals from more
than 70 groups who are competing for part of a $1.25 billion
settlement agreed to by Swiss banks in 1998 from a class-action
lawsuit over the management of accounts during the Nazi era, The
New York Times reported in Saturday editions.

Much of the money was set aside to reimburse accountholders from
that period or their heirs, former refugees and slave laborers,
or to assist impoverished Nazi victims living in the former
Soviet Union or elsewhere. But much of the money set aside to
repay the accountholders was likely to remain unclaimed, so
Korman began accepting proposals for what to do with the
balance, which may be as much as $400 million. The deadline for
the proposals was Jan. 30.

Some of the proposals include plans to establish a monument at
the Auschwitz concentration camp in southern Poland to Gypsies
who were killed there by the Nazis. Another would help Holocaust
victims continue their studies of Jewish texts. Korman has
scheduled a hearing in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on April
29 for people from all over the world to testify.


ITALY: Lawmakers Seek Sweeping Changes In Wake Of Fraud Scandals  
----------------------------------------------------------------
In a report on Parliament's Web site Friday, Italian lawmakers  
issued a damning assessment of the nation's regulatory system
that failed to spot massive frauds at two major companies,
Parmalat and Cirio, the Associated Press reports.

According to the report, the finance and industry committees
made recommendations likely to be included in a draft law that
the government hopes can rebuild consumer confidence following
bankruptcies at the food giants. "The recent financial scandals
have cracked citizens' trust in the ability of the system to
protect investors," said the report, which was issued after
hearing involving top names in Italian banking, including
Italy's central bank governor.

The fraud scandals at Parmalat and Cirio could happen because of
lack of proper checks both at top corporate levels, and at
Italy's stock market watchdog Consob and the Bank of Italy, the
nation's central bank, the report said. The lawmakers called for
"targeted and incisive reforms capable of relaunching the entire
financial and credit systems."

Among recommendations is the introduction of class action suits
to Italy, where the judicial system is being submerged with
lawsuits by thousands of investors who lost money investing in
Parmalat and Cirio bonds. Also proposed is strengthening
penalties for false accounting, which were watered down by a
reform in 2002, and giving stock market regulator Consob the
power to levy fines as well as enabling it to use Italy's
finance police to conduct searches. The report suggests giving
some of the Bank of Italy's banking antitrust powers to an
antitrust authority, and introducing a shorter term for the Bank
of Italy governor, who currently sits for life.

The central bank, which oversees bond issues, has come under
fire for not having sounded the alarm bell on Parmalat's debt
level. The bank has rejected the criticism, saying Parmalat's
debt was in line with its industrial activity.

The Parmalat scandal exploded Dec. 19 when the dairy giant
acknowledged that it didn't have ?3.95 billion euros (US$5
billion) it had claimed was in a Bank of America account. Soon
after, Parmalat went into bankruptcy protection. A year earlier
Cirio entered bankruptcy protection after defaulting on more
than ?1 billion (US$1.25 billion). Both scandals led to a series
of arrests, including those of Parmalat founder Calisto Tanzi
and former Cirio boss Sergio Cragnotti.


MARTHA STEWART: Near Deal To Remain Part Of Company, Sources Say
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to people familiar with the talks, Martha Stewart is
close to an agreement with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.
that would allow her to continue to play a role at the company
she founded despite her criminal conviction last week, Reuters
News reports.

Stewart, who built a media and consumer products empire on
lifestyle tips for gracious living, could face prison time after
she was found guilty of lying to investigators in connection
with a suspicious stock sale. While the outcome of talks between
lawyers for Stewart and the company of which she is the
controlling shareholder is uncertain, Stewart appears likely to
maintain a diminished though still important role, the sources
said. "She will end up continuing to play a creative role at the
company," a person familiar with the talks told Reuters News.
"She will not be an officer or a director, but she will be very
involved in the company."

The talks between Stewart and Omnimedia come amid doubts about
the direction and future of the company. Stewart, 62, was
convicted last Friday of conspiring with her former Merrill
Lynch stockbroker to hide the reason behind her sale of shares
in the biotech company ImClone Systems Inc. on Dec. 27,
2001. She was found guilty of one count of conspiracy, two
counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction
of agency proceedings.

Since her conviction, it has been unclear whether Stewart would
remain at Omnimedia despite holding 61 percent of its voting
stock. The company is expected to make an announcement about her
role in coming days, the people said. Talks, while well
advanced, could still collapse, they said.

Whether customers will stand behind the company's name-brand
products remains to be seen. Its most prominent client is
discount retailer Kmart Holdings Corp. Shares of Martha Stewart
Living rose 43 cents to $10.25 on the New York Stock Exchange on
Thursday. They have dropped 27 percent since March 4, the day
before the verdict.


NAACP: Criticizes Insurance Firms Over Alleged Work-Related Bias
----------------------------------------------------------------
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP) is gearing up for a class action lawsuit against
insurance companies in connection with the alleged denial of
black independent insurance agents the opportunity to write
policies issued by larger insurance companies, The Daily
Advertiser reports.

Vincent Alexander, an independent agent in Breaux Bridge and a
local NAACP official, wrote letters to at least two insurance
companies threatening to file a federal lawsuit against them if
they did not respond to written questions about their practices
and attend NAACP hearings to address alleged racially
discriminatory practices by insurance companies. Alexander's
letters say he has not received a response from the insurance
companies.


NEW JERSEY: Bill Passed To Hold Professionals Liable for Ads
------------------------------------------------------------
The Senate Commerce Committee has passed a bill that would amend
the Garden State's Consumer Fraud Act to hold doctors, lawyers
and other licensed professionals accountable for false or
misleading advertising, The Home News Tribune reports.

An Assembly committee has already taken a similar action,
clearing the way for votes in both houses of the Legislature.
A state Supreme Court case ruling last month said consumers
could not sue doctors for false claims made in advertisements
because the Consumer Fraud Act did not apply to "learned
professionals." The case stemmed from a class-action lawsuit
brought by patients of Dr. Joseph Dello Russo - a Bergenfield
eye specialist who performed laser eye surgery on sports
figures. His patients said his advertising convinced them that
licensed physicians would care for them and instead a doctor
whose license was suspended for multiple violations provided
them care.

Sen. Tom Kean Jr., R-Union, sponsor of the bill, said the
legislation tries to "overcome the interpretation of the court"
by expanding the act to licensed professionals. Under the bill,
any person who holds a professional or occupational license, a
certificate of registration or a certification issued or renewed
by a board, - such as accountants, architects, doctors, lawyers,
morticians, veterinarians and social workers - would be held
accountable for untrue advertisements.


NEW YORK: Two Hurt By Falling Bricks At Hotel Near Times Square
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fire department officials said that two people were injured on
Friday when part of the brick facade peeled off the 15th story
of a hotel in central New York, breaking windows below and
falling to the street, Reuters News reports.

Officials said the collapse happened in windy conditions shortly
before 9 a.m., during the morning rush hour, at the Days Inn
hotel near Times Square. "There was a loud bang and the building
shook," said Scott Stephenson, 33, who was on the 12th floor of
the hotel at the time. The elevators stopped working and then
firefighters began to fill the building, said Stephenson, who
was visiting from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Deputy fire chief
Thomas Jensen said two women inside the hotel were injured when
bricks fell into a second floor office at the rear of the hotel.
The injuries were minor, he said.

Two sections of brick wall peeled off the hotel, located on 8th
Avenue and West 48th Street. The cause was not immediately
known. No one was injured by the debris that fell on the
sidewalk, which was busy with tourists and people who work in
the area's theaters and other business.


PENNSYLVANIA: Man Arrested For Netting $800,000 In Retail Scheme
----------------------------------------------------------------
A one-time engineer was charged with amassing $800,000 over
three years by buying items around the country, doctoring the
receipts and then returning the merchandise at other shops for
more money, the Associated Press reports.

Jeffrey Hlinak, 52, also sometimes used fake Internet ads when
he purchased the original items to get lower prices from stores
offering price-match guarantees, federal prosecutors said.
"As benign as this appears in the overall criminal scheme, this
is something that transpired into something nationwide," U.S.
Attorney Thomas A. Marino of Pennsylvania's Middle District said
Thursday.

Authorities said Hlinak, whose last known address was Milford,
Conn., spent the past three years crisscrossing the country to
pursue the scheme, staying in cheap motels. He would buy an item
at a department store, buy numerous copies of the same product
at a discount store, doctor the department store receipts and
then collect higher-priced refunds on the discount items,
authorities said. The alleged scam unraveled when Hlinak, who
sometimes using the surname Hackett, tried to get a cash refund
for a $265 KitchenAid mixer at a Boscov's in Camp Hill in
December. The chain's fraud team had alerted stores to watch out
for returns by a Hlinak or Hackett.

In Hlinak's car, police said they found about 100 store
receipts, glue sticks and $2,860, along with new clothing,
jewelry and cameras; hotel and bank receipts; and a notice from
the Internal Revenue Service saying his 2001 income tax return
was overdue. Hlinak was charged with seven federal counts of
interstate travel to aid racketeering. Each count carries up to
five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Authorities said that
about $800,000 was found in his bank accounts and that he was
being investigated for possible money laundering.

Hlinak was arrested seven times between August 2000 and December
in spots including Georgia, North Carolina, Indiana,
Massachusetts and suburban Erie. In some cases, he skipped bond;
in others he served time and then repeated his crimes elsewhere,
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Zubrod said Friday. Hlinak was in
custody Friday. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.


Q-WEST COMMUNICATIONS: Faces $9M Fine For Federal Law Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday proposed
fining Qwest Communications International Inc. $9 million for
failing to disclose agreements it made with local telephone
companies to authorities in Minnesota and Arizona, the
Associated Press reports.

An FCC statement said the agency found that Qwest apparently
withheld 46 agreements from the two states, in violation of
federal law. Denver-based Qwest's secret agreements with select
competitors could have led to favorable terms that weren't
available to long-distance companies such as MCI and AT&T,
reducing competition in the local phone service market, the FCC
said. The FCC made no determination about the terms of the
agreements, focusing instead on the filing requirements.

Qwest, the major local phone service provider in 14 states -
including Minnesota - is required to provide equal network
access to competitors. Steve Davis, Qwest's senior vice
president for public policy, said the deals were made available
to other carriers through Qwest's Web site and through other
filings with state commissions. He said the agreements have
since expired or been terminated. Qwest has until the middle of
April to respond to the proposed fine. If the company appeals,
the FCC would make a determination to uphold the fine, reverse
it, or change it.


SAME-SEX MARRIAGES: Oregon AG Questions Legitimacy Of Unions
------------------------------------------------------------
The attorney general said Friday that banning gay marriage
probably violates Oregon's constitution, effectively placing the
issue in the hands of the state's highest court, the Associated
Press reports.

Hardy Myers' nonbinding written opinion also said current state
law forbids counties from issuing marriage licenses to gay
couples, as Multnomah County has been doing for about a week in
Portland. But the state will not try to compel the county to
stop, meaning Portland apparently is the only in the city in the
nation where gay couples can get married. The attorney general's
opinion is not binding on counties, and Gov. Ted Kulongoski said
at a news conference that the opinion is "fraught with warnings
to be careful" about drawing conclusions about any ruling by the
high court on the issue.

The gay marriage issue surfaced in Oregon about a week ago when
Multnomah County commissioners concluded that a legal review of
state law indicated the county could not deny marriage license
applications from gays. Since then, about 2,000 gay couples from
around the nation have flocked to Portland to be married. San
Francisco started gay marriages about a month ago, but the
California Supreme Court on Thursday ordered an immediate halt
to the ceremonies.

Kulongoski said he hoped Multnomah County would issue no further
licenses so there is a uniform practice across Oregon. But
counties will not be ordered to stop. Multnomah County
spokeswoman Stephanie Soden said the county will continue to
issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples while "looking into"
Myers' opinion.


SOUTH CAROLINA: 3 Killed, Dozens Injured In Military Bus Mishap
---------------------------------------------------------------
Authorities said that three sailors were killed and dozens more
were injured when a bus carrying Navy personnel to a wreath-
laying ceremony collided with a tractor-trailer Friday and
another bus veered off the highway, the Associated Press
reports.

About 100 people were aboard the two buses when the accident
happened around 8 a.m., said Sid Gaulden, a spokesman for the
state Department of Public Safety. Three sailors were killed,
and the driver of the tractor-trailer was seriously injured,
Gaulden said. Sixty sailors were taken to a hospital at Marine
Corps Air Station in Beaufort, Gaulden said. About 40 others
injured were taken to local hospitals. It was not immediately
clear whether other vehicles were involved in the accident. The
two buses were part of a convoy of four or five, Charleston
Naval Weapons Station spokeswoman Susan Piedfort said.

The convoy was traveling from the guided missile destroyer
William Pinckney in Charleston to Beaufort National Cemetery for
a wreath-laying ceremony honoring the destroyer's namesake,
Piedfort said. The ceremony was part of events leading up to the
upcoming formal commission of the destroyer. Another ceremony,
scheduled to take place on the ship itself, was canceled,
Piedfort said. The site of the crash is about 50 miles west of
Charleston. Pinckney, who is credited with saving the life of a
shipmate during a Japanese attack on the carrier Enterprise in
1942, died in 1975.


SOUTH KOREA: Villagers Win Battle V. U.S. Bombing Exercises
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court on Sunday upheld a lower court ruling that
ordered the South Korean government to compensate 14 villagers
who suffered from noise at a nearby U.S. military bombing range,
the Associated Press reports.

In April 2001, the Seoul District Civil Court held the
government responsible for mental damage caused by noise from
the bombing range, which is near the village of Maehyang-ri on
the west coast. The court ordered the government to pay 132
million won (US$112,800) to 14 villagers, just shy of the 140
million won (US$119,600) they had sought. The South Korean
government appealed, but an appeals court upheld the ruling in
2002.

Ending years of court battle, the Supreme Court ordered the
government on Sunday to pay up to 11 million won (US$9,400) to
each of the 14 plaintiffs, a court official said on condition of
anonymity. Following the district court ruling, 2,222 villagers
from Maehyang-ri filed a separate class action suit, seeking 20
million won (US$17,000) each in compensation. That suit is
pending. Under a legal code governing U.S. troops in South
Korea, the government and the U.S. military will discuss how to
split the compensation payment.

The onshore and offshore range, located 80 kilometers (50 miles)
southwest of Seoul, has been used exclusively by the U.S. Air
Force since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. Villagers said
they have suffered for decades from unbearable noise from almost
daily strafing and bombing exercises by U.S. planes based in
South Korea and elsewhere in the region. The U.S. military
stopped strafing exercises last year, but bombing exercises
continue. Villagers claim that nine people have died in
accidents linked to the range, including a pregnant woman killed
by shrapnel in 1967. About 37,000 U.S. troops are stationed in
South Korea, a legacy of the Korean War.


WAL-MART: Hackensack Lawyer Files Suit Over Immigrants' Rights
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hackensack lawyer Gilberto Garciafiled filed a suit in U.S.
District Court in Newark on behalf of Mexican immigrants,
alleging that Wal-Mart engaged in a criminal conspiracy to
trample their civil rights and defraud the U.S. Government,
Knight-Ridder/ Tribune Business News reports.

The suit was filed under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt
Organizations Act (RICO), which is more commonly used by federal
prosecutors against organized crime. The nine Mexicans, who live
in Red Bank, say in the suit that Wal-Mart and its cleaning
contractors deliberately hired undocumented immigrants to keep
store maintenance costs down. The companies required the workers
to put in long hours with no overtime, health benefits, vacation
or sick time, or tax deductions, the suit claims.

Garcia got involved in the Wal-Mart case by chance, he said: a
Hispanic television reporter who interviewed him about the raid
asked if he could help the nine Red Bank residents, who were
facing deportation. Touched by their plight, he said, he figured
he would give them immigration services, pro bono. But as their
story unfolded, he said, "I began to see a direct connection
between the contractor that employed them and Wal-Mart. And
there were plenty of labor violations." Within weeks, he filed
suit against Wal-Mart in state Superior Court in Freehold and
later teamed up with New York attorney James L. Linsey to file
the federal class action suit.

Wal-Mart said it had nothing to do with the practices that were
alleged. David P. Murray, a Washington-based attorney who
represents the company, said all hiring and employment issues
were the responsibility of the contractor.


WASHINGTON: Whatcom Foster Care Suit Set For Re-trial Sept. 13
--------------------------------------------------------------
A Whatcom County class-action lawsuit seeking widespread changes
in the state's foster care system is set for retrial Sept. 13
before Superior Court Judge David Nichols, who presided over the
case in 2001, The Bellingham Herald reports.

In 2002, Nichols ordered major changes in the way the state
handles children in foster homes. The state Supreme Court
overturned Nichols' ruling last year, saying he erred in the
jury instructions and in some testimony he allowed the jury to
hear.

Bellingham attorney Tim Farris first filed the lawsuit in 1998,
arguing that the state was harming its foster children by moving
them from home to home without adequate mental health services.
Jurors agreed, and Nichols issued an injunction ordering the
state to increase its number of foster homes, to provide mental
and physical health assessments and treatment, and to place
siblings together unless one is a danger to the other.

State officials won a stay of the order while the case was on
appeal.


                 New Securities Fraud Cases


99 CENTS ONLY: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in C.D. CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Central District of
California, on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of 99 Cents
Only Stores between April 20, 2000 and February 4, 2004,
inclusive, against defendant 99 Cents Only Stores and one or
more of its officers and/or directors.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, P.A., by Mail:
The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite
2525, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by
E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


ACTIVISION INC: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in CA
-------------------------------------------------------------
Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Central District of
California, on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of Activision,
Inc. between February 1, 2001 and December 17, 2002, inclusive,
against defendant Activision and one or more of its officers
and/or directors.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, P.A., by Mail:
The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite
2525, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by
E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


DEUTSCH BANK AG: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, on behalf of all purchasers of shares of
the Scudder Family of Mutual Funds which are managed by Deutsche
Bank AG during the period between January 22, 1999 and January
12, 2004, inclusive.

The Funds, and the symbols for the respective Funds named below,
are as follows:

     (1) Scudder 21st Century Growth Fund   (Sym: SCNAX, SCNBX,
         SCNCX)

     (2) Scudder Aggressive Growth Fund   (Sym: KGGAX, KGGBX,
         KGGCX)

     (3) Scudder Blue Chip Fund   (Sym: KBCAX, KBCBX, KBCCX)

     (4) Scudder Capital Growth Fund (Sym: SDGAX, SDGBX, SDGCX,
         SDGRX, SDGTX)

     (5) Scudder Dynamic Growth Fund   (Sym: KSCAX, KSCBX,
         KSCCX)

     (6) Scudder Flag Investors Communications Fund   (Sym:
         TISHX, FTEBX, FTICX, FLICX)

     (7) Scudder Global Biotechnology Fund   (Sym: DBBTX, DBBBX,
         DBBCX)

     (8) Scudder Gold & Precious Metals Fund   (Sym: SGDAX,
         SGDBX, SGDCX)

     (9) Scudder Growth Fund   (Sym: KGRAX, KGRBX, KGRCX)

    (10) Scudder Health Care Fund   Sym: SUHAX, SUHBX, SUHCX)

    (11) Scudder Large Company Growth Fund   (Sym: SGGAX, SGGBX,
         SGGCX, SCQRX)

    (12) Scudder Micro Cap Fund   (Sym: SMFAX, SMFBX, SMFCX,
         MGMCX, MMFSX)

    (13) Scudder Mid Cap Fund   (Sym: SMCAX, SMCBX, SMCCX,
         SMCRX, BTEAX, BTCAX)

    (14) Scudder Small Cap Fund   (Sym: SSDAX, SSDBX, SSDCX,
         SSDRX, BTSCX)

    (15) Scudder Strategic Growth Fund   (Sym: SCDAX, SCDBX,
         SCDCX, SCDIX)

    (16) Scudder Technology Fund   (Sym: KTCAX, KTCBX, KTCCX,
         KTCIX)

    (17) Scudder Technology Innovation Fund   (Sym: SRIAX,
         SRIBX, SRICX)

    (18) Scudder Top 50 US Fund   (Sym: FAUSX, FBUSX, FCUSX)

    (19) Scudder Contrarian Fund   (Sym: KDCAX, KDCBX, KDCCX,
         KDCRX)

    (20) Scudder-Dreman Financial Services Fund   (Sym: KDFAX,
         KDFBX, KDFCX)

    (21) Scudder-Dreman High Return Equity Fund   (Sym: KDHAX,
         KDHBX, KDHCX, KDHRX, KDHIX)

    (22) Scudder-Dreman Small Cap Value Fund (Sym: KDSAX, KDSBX,
         KDSCX, KDSRX, KDSIX)

    (23) Scudder Flag Investors Equity Partners Fund   (Sym:
         FLEPX, FEPBX, FEPCX, FLIPX)

    (24) Scudder Growth & Income Fund   (Sym: SUWAX, SUWBX,
         SUWCX, SUWRX, SUWIX)

    (25) Scudder Large Company Value Fund   (Sym: SDVAX, SDVBX,
         SDVCX)

    (26) Scudder-RREEF Real Estate Securities Fund (Sym: RRRAX,
         RRRBX, RRRCX, RRRSX, RRRRX)

    (27) Scudder Small Company Stock Fund   (Sym: SZCAX, SZCBX,
         SZCCX)

    (28) Scudder Small Company Value Fund   (Sym: SAAUX, SABUX,
         SACUX)

    (29) Scudder Tax Advantaged Dividend Fund   (Sym: SDDAX,
         SDDBX, SDDCX, SDDGX)

    (30) Scudder Flag Investors Value Builder Fund   (Sym:
         FLVBX, FVBBX, FVBCX, FLIVX)

    (31) Scudder Focus Value+Growth Fund   (Sym: KVGAX, KVGBX,
         KVGCX)

    (32) Scudder Lifecycle Mid Range Fund   (Sym: BTLRX)

    (33) Scudder Lifecycle Long Range Fund   (Sym: BTILX, BTAMX)

    (34) Scudder Lifecycle Short Range Fund   (Sym: BTSRX)

    (35) Scudder Pathway Conservative Portfolio (Sym: SUCAX,
         SUCBX, SUCCX)

    (36) Scudder Pathway Growth Portfolio (Sym: SUPAX, SUPBX,
         SUPCX)

    (37) Scudder Pathway Moderate Portfolio   (Sym: SPDAX,
         SPDBX, SPDCX)

    (38) Scudder Retirement Fund Series V  (Sym: KRFEX)

    (39) Scudder Retirement Fund Series VI   (Sym: KRFGX)

    (40) Scudder Retirement Fund Series VII   (Sym: KRFGX)

    (41) Scudder Target 2010 Fund   (Sym: KRFBX)

    (42) Scudder Target 2012 Fund   (Sym: KRFCX)

    (43) Scudder Target 2013 Fund   (Sym: KRFDX)

    (44) Scudder Total Return Fund   (Sym: KTRAX, KTRBX, KTRCX,
         KTRGX)

    (45) Scudder Emerging Markets Growth Fund   (Sym: SEKAX,
         SEKBX, SEKCX)

    (46) Scudder Emerging Markets Income Fund   (Sym: SZEAX,
         SZEBX, SZECX)

    (47) Scudder European Equity Fund (Sym: DBEAX, DBEBX, DBECX,
         MEUEX, MEUVX)

    (48) Scudder Global Fund   (Sym: SGQAX, SGQBX, SGQCX, SGQRX)

    (49) Scudder Global Bond Fund   (Sym: SZGAX, SZGBX, SZGCX)

    (50) Scudder Global Discovery Fund   (Sym: KGDAX, KGDBX,
         KGDCX)

    (51) Scudder Greater Europe Growth Fund   (Sym: SERAX,
         SERBX, SERCX)

    (52) Scudder International Fund   (Sym: SUIAX, SUIBX,
         SUICX)

    (53) Scudder International Equity Fund   (Sym: DBAIX, DBBIX,
         DBCIX, BEIIX, BEITX, BTEQX)

    (54) Scudder International Select Equity Fund (Sym: DBISX,
         DBIBX, DBICX, DBITX, MGINX, MGIVX, MGIPX)

    (55) Scudder Japanese Equity Fund   (Sym:  FJEAX, FJEBX,
         FJECX)

    (56) Scudder Latin America Fund   (Sym: SLANX, SLAOX, SLAPX)

    (57) Scudder New Europe Fund   (Sym: KNEAX, KNEBX, KNECX,
         KNEIX)

    (58) Scudder Pacific Opportunities Fund   (Sym: SPAOX,
         SBPOX, SPCCX)

    (59) Scudder Worldwide 2004 Fund   (Sym: KWIVX)

    (60) Scudder Fixed Income Fund   (Sym: SFXAX, SFXBX, SFXCX,
         SFXRF, MFINX, MFISX)

    (61) Scudder High Income Plus Fund (Sym: MGHYX, MGHVX,
         MGHPX)

    (62) Scudder High Income Fund   (Sym: KHYAX, KHYBX, KHYCX,
         KHYIX)

    (63) Scudder High Income Opportunity Fund   (Sym: SYOAX,
         SYOBX, SYOCX)

    (64) Scudder Income Fund   (Sym: SZIAX, SZIBX, SZICX)

    (65) Scudder PreservationPlus Fund   (Sym: BTPIX, BTPSX)

    (66) Scudder PreservationPlus Income Fund (Sym: PPIAX,
         PPLCX, DBPIX)

    (67) Scudder Short Term Bond Fund   (Sym: SZBAX, SZBBX,
         SZBCX

    (68) Scudder Short Duration Fund   (Sym: SDUAX, SDUBX,
         SDUCX, MGSFX)

    (69) Scudder Strategic Income Fund   (Sym: KSTAX, KSTBX,
         KSTCX)

    (70) Scudder US Government Securities Fund   (Sym: KUSAX,
         KUSBX, KUSCX)

    (71) Scudder California Tax-Free Income Fund   (Sym: KCTAX,
         KCTBX, KCTCX)

    (72) Scudder Florida Tax-Free Income Fund   (Sym: KFLAX,
         KFLBX, KFLCX)

    (73) Scudder High Yield Tax-Free Fund   (Sym: NOTAX,
         NOTBX, NOTCX, NOTIX)

    (74) Scudder Intermediate Tax/AMT Free Fund   (Sym: SZMAX,
         SZMBX, SZMCX)

    (75) Scudder Managed Municipal Bond Fund   (Sym: SMLAX,
         SMLBX, SMLCX, SMLIX)

    (76) Scudder Massachusetts Tax-Free Fund   (Sym: SQMAX,
         SQMBX, SQMCX)

    (77) Scudder Municipal Bond Fund   (Sym: MGMBX, MMBSX)

    (78) Scudder New York Tax-Free Income Fund   (Sym: KNTAX,
         KNTBX, KNTCX)

    (79) Scudder Short Term Municipal Bond Fund   (Sym: SRMAX,
         SRMBX, SRMCX, MGSMX, MSMSX)

    (80) Scudder EAFE r Equity Index Fund   (Sym: BTAEX, BTIEX)

    (81) Scudder Equity 500 Index Fund   (Sym: BTIIX)

    (82) Scudder S&P 500 Stock Fund   (Sym: KSAAX, KSABX, KSACX)

    (83) Scudder Select 500 Fund  (Sym: OUTDX, OUTBX, OUTBX,
         OUTRX

    (84) Scudder US Bond Index Fund (Sym: BTUSX )

    (85) Scudder Cash Reserves Fund

The complaint charges Deutsche Bank, Scudder Investments,
Deutsche Investment Management Americas Inc., Deutsche Asset
Management, Inc., the Fund Registrants, Scudder Funds, and the
Doe Defendants with violations of the Securities Act of 1933,
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, among other claims, and for
common law breach of fiduciary duties. The Complaint alleges
that during the Class Period the defendants engaged in illegal
and improper trading practices, in concert with certain
institutional traders, which caused financial injury to the
shareholders of the Scudder Mutual Funds.

According to the Complaint, the Defendants surreptitiously
permitted certain favored investors, including the Doe
Defendants, to illegally engage in "timing" of the Scudder
Mutual Funds whereby these favored investors were permitted to
conduct short-term, "in and out" trading of mutual fund shares,
despite explicit restrictions on such activity in the Scudder
Mutual Funds' prospectuses.

For more information, contact Samuel H. Rudman or David A.
Rosenfeld, Client Relations Department: Jackie Addison, Heather
Gann or Chandra West, by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR
72221-5438, by Phone: 1-888-551-9944 (toll free), Fax:
1-501-312-8505, or by E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com.


EDWARD D. JONES: Cauley Geller Launches Securities Suit in MO
-------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Missouri, on behalf of all who purchased or
otherwise acquired shares or ownership units of Lord Abbett &
Co., American Funds, Federated Investors, Inc., Goldman Sachs
Group Inc., Hartford Mutual Funds Inc., Putnam Investments
Family of Mutual Funds, and Van Kampen Investments Family of
Mutual Funds, during the period between January 25, 1999 and
January 9, 2004, inclusive, against Edward D. Jones & Co. L.P.,
and:

     (1) John W. Bachmann,

     (2) Douglas E. Hill,

     (3) Michael R. Holmes,

     (4) Richie L. Malone,

     (5) Steven Novik,

     (6) Darryl L. Pope, and

     (7) Robert Virgil Jr.

The lawsuit alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b 5 promulgated
thereunder. More specifically, the complaint alleges that
defendants failed to disclose and/or indicate, during the Class
Period, that:

     (i) Edward Jones brokers entered into "revenue sharing"
         agreements with seven Mutual Fund companies;

    (ii) Edward Jones exclusively trained its brokerage staff to
         sell the seven Mutual Funds that entered into "revenue
         sharing" agreements with Edward Jones;

   (iii) Edward Jones discouraged its brokers from contacting
         and selling other mutual funds where no "revenue
         sharing" agreement had been made with Edward Jones; and

    (iv) Edward Jones brokers and representatives received extra
         compensation when they sold any of the seven Mutual
         Funds to Class Members.

The full extent of defendants' fraudulent scheme was finally
revealed on January 9, 2004, when The Wall Street Journal
published an article that disclosed Edward Jones' scheme. More
specifically, the article stated that when training its brokers
in fund sales, Edward Jones gave them information almost
exclusively about the seven "preferred" Mutual Funds. Bonuses
for brokers depend in part on selling the preferred Mutual
Funds, and Edward Jones generally discouraged contact between
brokers and sales representatives from rival funds. But while
revenue sharing and related incentives were familiar to industry
insiders, Edward Jones did not tell customers about any of these
arrangements.

For more information, contact Samuel H. Rudman or David A.
Rosenfeld, Client Relations Department: Jackie Addison, Chandra
West, or Heather Gann, by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR
72221 5438, by Phone: 1 888 551 9944 (toll free), by Fax:
1-501 312-8505, or by E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com.


FLEETBOSTON: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in MA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, on behalf of all purchasers of shares of the
Columbia family of mutual funds which are operated by
FleetBoston Financial Corporation, Columbia Management Group,
Inc., Columbia Management Advisors, Inc. and Columbia Wanger
Asset Management, L.P. during the period between February 13,
1999 and January 14, 2004, inclusive.

The Funds, and the symbols for the respective Funds named below,
are as follows:

     (1) Columbia Acorn Fund  (Sym: LACAX, LACBX, LIACX, ACRNX)
    
     (2) Columbia Acorn Select  (Sym: LTFAX, LTFBX, LTFCX,
         ACTWX)
    
     (3) Columbia Acorn USA  (Sym: LAUAX, LAUBX, LAUCX, AUSAX)
    
     (4) Columbia Asset Allocation Fund  (Sym: LAAAX, LAABX,
         LAACX, GBAAX, GAAAX, GAATX)
    
     (5) Columbia Balanced Fund  (Sym: CBLAX, CBLBX, CBLCX,
         CBLDX, CBALX)
    
     (6) Columbia Common Stock Fund  (Sym: CMSAX, CMSBX, CCSCX,
         CMSDX, CMSTX)
   
     (7) Columbia Disciplined Value Fund  (Sym: LEVAX, LEVBX,
         LEVCX, GEVBX, GALEX, GEVTX)
    
     (8) Columbia Dividend Income Fund  (Sym: LBSAX, LBSBX,
         LBSCX, GEQBX, GEQAX, GSFTX)
    
     (9) Columbia Growth & Income Fund  (Sym: CFGAX, CFGBX,
         CFGDX, LGISX)
    
    (10) Columbia Growth Fund  (Sym: CGWAX, CGWBX, CGWCX, CGWDX,
         CGWGX, CLMBX)
    
    (11) Columbia Growth Stock Fund  (Sym: CGSAX, CGSBX, CGSCX,
         SRFSX)
    
    (12) Columbia Large Cap Core Fund  (Sym: LCCAX, LCCBX,
         LCCCX, GGRBX, SGIEX, SMGIX)
    
    (13) Columbia Large Cap Growth Fund  (Sym: LEGAX, LEGBX,
         LEGCX, GBEGX, GAEGX, GEGTX)
    
    (14) Columbia Large Company Index Fund  (Sym: LLIAX, LLIBX,
         LLICX, ILCIX)
    
    (15) Columbia Liberty Fund  (Sym: COLFX, CCFBX, CTCCX,
         CTCFX)
    
    (16) Columbia Mid Cap Growth Fund  (Sym: CBSAX, CBSBX,
         CMCCX, CBSDX, CBSGX, CBSTX, CLSPX)
    
    (17) Columbia Mid Cap Value Fund  (Sym: COLGX, COGBX, CSVCX,
         LSVSX)
    
    (18) Columbia Real Estate Equity Fund  (Sym: CREAX, CREBX,
         CRECX, CREDX, CREEX)
    
    (19) Columbia Small Cap Fund  (Sym: LSMAX, LSMBX, LSMCX,
         GBSMX, SSCEX, SMCEX)
    
    (20) Columbia Small Cap Growth Fund  (Sym: CMSCX)
    
    (21) Columbia Small Cap Value Fund  (Sym: CSMIX, CSSBX,
         CSSCX, CSCZX)
    
    (22) Columbia Small Company Equity Fund  (Sym: LSEAX, LSEBX,
         LSECX, GERBX, GASEX, GSETX)
    
    (23) Columbia Small Company Index Fund  (Sym: LBIAX, LBIBX,
         LBICX, ISCIX)
    
    (24) Columbia Strategic Investor Fund  (Sym: CSVAX, CSVBX,
         CSRCX, CSVDX, CSVFX)
    
    (25) Columbia Tax-Managed Aggressive Growth Fund  (Sym:
         LTMAX, LTAGX, LTACX, LTAZX)
    
    (26) Columbia Tax-Managed Growth Fund  (Sym: STMAX, CTMBX,
         CTMCX, LMGZX)
    
    (27) Columbia Tax-Managed Growth Fund II  (Sym: LTGAX,
         LTIIX, LTGCX, LTGZX)
    
    (28) Columbia Tax-Managed Value Fund  (Sym: SRVAX, CTMVX,
         LTVCX, LTMZX)
    
    (29) Columbia Technology Fund  (Sym: CTCAX, CTCBX, CTHCX,
         CTCDX, CMTFX)
    
    (30) Columbia Thermostat Fund  (Sym: CTFAX, CTFBX, CTFDX,
         COTZX)
    
    (31) Columbia Utilities Fund  (Sym: CUTLX, CUTBX, CUTFX,
         LUFZX)
    
    (32) Columbia Young Investor Fund  (Sym: LYIAX, LYIBX,
         LYICX, SRYIX)
    
    (33) Columbia Acorn International Fund  (Sym: LAIAX, LIABX,
         LAICX, ACINX)

    (34) Columbia Acorn International Select Fund (Sym: LAFAX,
         LFFBX, LFFCX, ACFFX)

    (35) Columbia Europe Fund  (Sym: NEUAX, LNEBX, LNECX, LNEZX)

    (36) Columbia European Thematic Equity Fund  (Sym: LSREX)

    (37) Columbia Global Equity Fund  (Sym: CGUAX, CGUBX, CGUCX)

    (38) Columbia Global Thematic Equity Fund  LSRGX
    
    (39) Columbia International Equity Fund  (Sym: LIEAX, LIEBX,
         LIECX, GBIEX, GAIEX, GIETX)
    
    (40) Columbia International Stock Fund  (Sym: CISAX, CISBX,
         CSKCX, CISDX, CMISX)
    
    (41) Columbia Newport Asia Pacific Fund  (Sym: NWAPX, LNABX,
         LNACX, LAPSX)
    
    (42) Columbia Newport Japan Opportunities Fund  (Sym: NJOAX,
         NJOBX, NJOCX, LNJZX)
    
    (43) Columbia Newport Greater China Fund  (Sym: NGCAX,
         NGCBX, NGCCX, LNGZX)
    
    (44) Columbia Newport Tiger Fund  (Sym: CNTAX, CNTBX, CNTDX,
         CNTTX, CNTZX)
    
    (45) Columbia Contrarian Income Fund  (Sym: CHINX, LCIBX,
         LCICX, LCIZX)
    
    (46) Columbia Corporate Bond Fund  (Sym: LBCAX, LBCBX,
         LBCCX, GCBTX)
    
    (47) Columbia Daily Income Company Fund  CDIXX
    
    (48) Columbia Federal Securities Fund  (Sym: CFSAX, CFSOX,
         CFSCX, LFSZX)
    
    (49) Columbia Fixed Income Securities Fund  (Sym: CFIAX,
         CFIBX, CISCX, CFIDX, CFISX)
    
    (50) Columbia Floating Rate Advantage Fund  (Sym: XSFRX,
         XSFBX, XLACX, XLAZX)
    
    (51) Columbia Floating Rate Fund  (Sym: XLFAX, XLSBX, XLFCX,
         XLFZX)
    
    (52) Columbia High Yield Fund  (Sym: CHGAX, CHGBX, CHDCX,
         CHGDX, CMHYX)

    (53) Columbia High Yield Opportunity Fund  (Sym: COLHX,
         COHBX, CHYCX, LHYZX)
    
    (54) Columbia Income Fund  (Sym: LIIAX, CIOBX, CIOCX, SRINX)

    (55) Columbia Intermediate Bond Fund  (Sym: LIBAX, LIBBX,
         LIBCX, SRBFX)
    
    (56) Columbia Intermediate Government Income Fund  (Sym:
         LIGAX, LIGBX, LIGCX, GGIBX, GALBX, GIBTX)
    
    (57) Columbia Money Market Fund  (Sym: CMMXX, CMBXX, CMCXX,
         LMZXX)
    
    (58) Columbia Quality Plus Bond Fund  (Sym: LQPAX, LQPBX,
         LQPCX, GBHQX, GAHQX, GHQTX)
    
    (59) Columbia Short Term Bond Fund  (Sym: CTBAX, CTBBX,
         CSHCX, CTBDX, CTBGX, CTBTX, CUGGX)
    
    (60) Columbia Strategic Income Fund  (Sym: COSIX, CLSBX,
         CLSCX, LSIZX)
    
    (61) Columbia US Treasury Index Fund  (Sym: LUTAX, LUTBX,
         LUTCX, IUTIX)
    
    (62) Columbia California Tax-Exempt Fund  (Sym: CLMPX,
         CCABX, CCAOX)
    
    (63) Columbia Connecticut Intermediate Municipal Bond (Sym:
         LCTAX, LCTBX, LCTCX, GCBBX, GCBAX, SCTEX )
    
    (64) Columbia Connecticut Tax-Exempt Fund  (Sym: COCTX,
         CCTBX, CCTCX)
    
    (65) Columbia Florida Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund  
         (Sym: LFIAX, LFIBX, LFICX, SFTEX )
    
    (66) Columbia High Yield Municipal Fund  (Sym: LHIAX, CHMBX,
         CHMCX, SRHMX )
    
    (67) Columbia Intermediate Tax-Exempt Bond Fund  (Sym:
         LITAX, LITBX, LITCX, GIMBX, GIMAX, SETMX)
    
    (68) Columbia Managed Municipals Fund  (Sym: LMMAX, LMMBX,
         LMMCX, SRMMX)
    
    (69) Columbia Massachusetts Intermediate Municipal Bond
         Fund (Sym: LMIAX, LMIBX, LMICX, GMBBX, GMBAX, SEMAX )
    
    (70) Columbia Massachusetts Tax-Exempt Fund  (Sym: COMAX,
         CMABX, COMCX )
    
    (71) Columbia Municipal Money Market Fund  (Sym: CXMXX,
         CMNXX, CMXXX, CMZXX)
    
    (72) Columbia National Municipal Bond Fund  (Sym: CNLAX,
         CNLBX, CNBCX, CNLDX, CLNMX)
    
    (73) Columbia New Jersey Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund  
         (Sym: LNIAX, LNIBX, LNICX, GNJBX, GNJAX, GNJTX )
    
    (74) Columbia New York Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund  
         (Sym: LNYAX, LNYBX, LNYCX, GBNYX, GANYX, GNYTX )
    
    (75) Columbia New York Tax-Exempt Fund  (Sym: COLNX, CNYBX,
         CNYCX)
    
    (76) Columbia Oregon Municipal Bond Fund  (Sym: COEAX,
         COEBX, CORCX, COEDX, CMBFX)
    
    (77) Columbia Pennsylvania Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund  
         (Sym: LPIAX, LPIBX, LPICX, GTPAX)
    
    (78) Columbia Rhode Island Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund  
         (Sym: LRIAX, LRIBX, LRICX, GRBBX, GRBAX, GRITX )
    
    (79) Columbia Tax-Exempt Fund  (Sym: COLTX, CTEBX, COLCX )
    
    (80) Columbia Tax-Exempt Insured Fund  (Sym: CEXIX, CEIBX,
         CEINX)

The complaint charges FleetBoston Financial Corporation,
Columbia Management Group, Inc., Columbia Management Advisors,
Inc., Columbia Wanger Asset Management, L.P., the Columbia
Funds, and the Doe Defendants with violations of the Securities
Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, among other
claims, and for common law breach of fiduciary duties.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period the
defendants engaged in illegal and improper trading practices, in
concert with certain institutional traders, which caused
financial injury to the shareholders of the Columbia Funds.
According to the Complaint, the Defendants surreptitiously
permitted certain favored investors, including the Doe
Defendants, to illegally engage in "timing" of the Columbia
Funds whereby these favored investors were permitted to conduct
short-term, "in and out" trading of mutual fund shares, despite
explicit restrictions on such activity in the Columbia Funds'
prospectuses.

For more information, contact Samuel H. Rudman or David A.
Rosenfeld, Client Relations Department: Chandra West, Jackie
Addison or Heather Gann, by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock,
AR 72221-5438, 1-888-551-9944 (toll free), Fax: 1-501-312-8505,
or by E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com.


FREEMONT FUNDS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class action lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, on behalf of all purchasers, redeemers and holders
of shares of the Fremont Family of Mutual Funds, which are
managed by Fremont Investment Advisors, Inc., from March 15,
1999 through March 1, 2004, inclusive.

    The following Fremont Funds are subject to this lawsuit:

     (1) Fremont Global Fund (Nasdaq: FMAFX)
     
     (2) Fremont International Growth Fund (Nasdaq: FIGFX)
     
     (3) Fremont Large Cap Value Fund (Formerly Fremont New Era
         Value Fund (Nasdaq: FNEVX)
     
     (4) Fremont Large Cap Growth Fund (Formerly Fremont New Era
         Growth Fund) (Nasdaq: FNEGX)
      
     (5) Fremont Structured Core Fund (Formerly Fremont Growth
         Fund) (Nasdaq: FEQFX)

     (6) Fremont U.S. Small Cap Fund (Nasdaq: FUSSX)
    
     (7) Fremont U.S. Micro-Cap Fund (Nasdaq: FUSMX)
     
     (8) Fremont Real Estate Securities Fund (Nasdaq: FREFX)
     
     (9) Fremont Bond Fund (Nasdaq: FBDFX)
     
    (10) Fremont California Intermediate Tax-Free Fund (Nasdaq:
         FCATX)
    
    (11) Fremont Money Market Fund (Nasdaq: FRMXX)

The complaint charges Fremont Investment Advisors, Inc., Fremont
Mutual Funds, Inc., Armstrong Shaw Associates, Inc., Delaware
International Advisers Ltd., Jarislowsky Fraser Limited, Kern
Capital Management LLC, Northstar Capital Management, Inc.,
TimesSquare Capital Management, Inc., Lend Lease Rosen Real
Estate Securities LLC, Quasar Distributors, LLC, and the Doe
Defendants with violations of the Securities Act of 1933, the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of
1940, and for common law breach of fiduciary duties.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period the
defendants engaged in illegal and improper trading practices, in
concert with certain institutional traders, which caused
financial injury to the shareholders of the Fremont Funds.
According to the Complaint, the Defendants surreptitiously
permitted certain favored investors, including the Doe
Defendants, to illegally engage in "timing" of the Fremont Funds
whereby these favored investors were permitted to conduct short-
term, "in and out" trading of mutual fund shares, despite
explicit restrictions on such activity in the Fremont Funds'
prospectuses.

For more information, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman,
by Mail: Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA  
19004, by Phone: 1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or 1-610-667-7706,
or by E-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com.


JANUS CAPITAL: Charles Piven Launches Stock Fraud Suit in CO
------------------------------------------------------------
Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the District of Colorado,
on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted, exchanged or
otherwise acquired the common stock of Janus Capital Group, Inc.
between January 30, 2001 and September 3, 2003, inclusive,
against defendant Janus and one or more of its officers and/or
directors.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, P.A., by Mail:  
The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite
2525, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by
E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


PIMCO FUNDS: Cauley Geller Launches Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
New Jersey, on behalf of all purchasers of shares of the PIMCO
Family of Mutual Funds which are managed by Allianz Dresdner
Asset Management of America L.P., PIMCO Advisors Distributors
LLC, Pacific Investment Management Company LLC, and PEA Capital
LLC during the period between February 23, 1999 and February 17,
2004, inclusive.

The Funds, and the symbols for the respective Funds named below,
are as follows:

     (1) PIMCO StocksPLUS Fund   (Nasdaq: PSPAX, PSPBX, PSPCX,
         PSPDX, PSTKX, PPLAX, PSPRX)

     (2) PIMCO StocksPLUS Total Return Fund   (Nasdaq: PTOAX,
         PTOBX, PSOCX, PSTDX, PSPTX)

     (3) PIMCO Short-Term Fund   (Nasdaq: PSHAX, PTSBX, PFTCX,
         PSHDX, PTSHX, PSFAX, PTSRX)

     (4) PIMCO Low Duration Fund   (Nasdaq: PTLAX, PTLBX, PTLCX,
         PLDDX, PTLDX, PLDAX, PLDRX)

     (5) PIMCO Short Duration Municipal Income Fund   (Nasdaq:
         PSDAX, PSDCX, PSDDX, PSDIX, PSDMX)

     (6) PIMCO Money Market Fund   (Nasdaq: PYAXX, PYCXX, PKCXX,
         PMIXX, PMAXX) PIMCO Total Return Fund   (Nasdaq: PTTAX,
         PTTBX, PTTCX, PTTDX, PTTRX, PTRAX, PTRRX)

     (7) PIMCO Long-Term U.S. Government Fund   (Nasdaq: PFGAX,
         PFGBX, PFGCX, PGOVX, PLGBX)

     (8) PIMCO GNMA Fund   (Nasdaq: PAGNX, PBGNX, PGCNX, PGDNX,
         PDMIX) PIMCO Total Return Mortgage Fund   (Nasdaq:
         PMRAX, PMRBX, PMRCX, PTMDX, PTRIX)

     (9) PIMCO Diversified Income Fund   (Nasdaq: PDVAX, PDVBX,
         PDICX, PDVDX, PDIIX)

    (10) PIMCO High Yield Fund   (Nasdaq: PHDAX, PHDBX, PHDCX,
         PHYDX, PHIYX, PHYAX, PHYRX)


    (11) PIMCO Global Bond II Fund   (Nasdaq: PAIIX, PBIIX,
         PCIIX, PGBIX) PIMCO Foreign Bond Fund   (Nasdaq: PFOAX,
         PFOBX, PFOCX, PFODX, PFORX, PFRAX, PFRRX)

    (12) PIMCO Emerging Markets Bond Fund   (Nasdaq: PAEMX,
         PBEMX, PEBCX, PEMDX, PEBIX,PEBAX)

    (13) PIMCO Municipal Bond Fund   (Nasdaq: PMLAX, PPMLBX,
         PMLCX, PMBDX, PFMIX, PMNAX)

    (14) PIMCO California Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund
         (Nasdaq: PCMBX, PCIDX, PCIMX)

    (15) PIMCO California Municipal Bond Fund   (Nasdaq: PCAAX,
         PCMDX, PICMX) PIMCO New York Municipal Bond Fund
         (Nasdaq: PNYAX, PNYDX)

    (16) PIMCO Real Return Fund   (Nasdaq: PRTNX, PRRBX, PRTCX,
         PRRDX, PRRIX, PARRX, PRRRX)

    (17) PIMCO Commodity Real Return Strategy Fund   (Nasdaq:
         PCRAX, PCRBX, PCRCX, PCRDX, PCRIX)

    (18) PIMCO All Asset Fund   (Nasdaq: PASAX, PASBX, PASCX,
         PASDX, PAAIX, PAALX)

    (19) PIMCO International StocksPLUS TR Strategy   (Nasdaq:
         PIPAX, PIPBX, PIPCX, PIPDX)

    (20) PIMCO Real Estate Real Return Strategy Fund   (Nasdaq:
         PETAX, PETBX, PETCX, PETDX)

    (21) PIMCO PEA Value Fund   (Nasdaq: PDLAX, PDLBX, PDLCX,
         PVLDX, PDLIX, PVLAX, PPVRX)

    (22) PIMCO PEA Growth and Income Fund (Nasdaq:
         PGRAX,PGRBX,PGNCX,PGIDX, PMEIX,PGOIX,PGRIX)

    (23) PIMCO PEA Renaissance Fund
        (Nasdaq:PQNAX,PQNBX,PQNCX,PREDX,PRNIX,PRAAX,PRNRX)

    (24) PIMCO PEA Growth Fund   (Nasdaq: PGWAX, PGFBX, PGWCX,
         PGRDX, PGFIX, PGFAX, PPGRX)

    (25) PIMCO PEA Target Fund   (Nasdaq: PTAAX, PTABX, PTACX,
         PTRDX, PFTIX, PTADX)

    (26) PIMCO PEA Opportunity Fund   (Nasdaq: POPAX, POOBX,
         POPCX, POFIX, POADX)

    (27) PIMCO PEA Innovation Fund   (Nasdaq: PIVAX, PIVBX,
         PIVCX, PIVZX, PIFIX, PIADX)

    (28) PIMCO NFJ Large-Cap Value Fund   (Nasdaq: PNBAX, PNBBX,
         PNBCX, PNBDX)

    (29) PIMCO NFJ Dividend Value Fund   (Nasdaq: PNEAX, PNEBX,
         PNECX, PEIDX, NFJEX, PNERX)

    (30) PIMCO NFJ Small-Cap Value Fund (Nasdaq:
         PCVAX,PCVBX,PCVCX,PNVDX,PSVIX, PVADX,PNVRX)

    (31) PIMCO CCM Capital Appreciation Fund (Nasdaq:
         PCFAX,PFCBX,PFCCX,PCADX,PAPIX,PICAS,PCARX)

    (32) PIMCO CCM Mid-Cap Fund   (Nasdaq:
         PFMAX,PFMBX,PFMCX,PMCDX,PMGIX,PMCGX,PMCRX)

    (33) PIMCO RCM Large-Cap Growth Fund (Nasdaq:
         RALGX,RBLGX,RCLGX,DLCNX, DRLCX,DLGAX,PLCRX)

    (34) PIMCO RCM Tax-Managed Growth Fund   (Nasdaq: PMWAX,
         PMWBX, PMWCX, DRTNX, DRTIX)

    (35) PIMCO RCM Mid-Cap Fund   (Nasdaq: RMDAX, RMDBX, RMDCX,
         DMCNX, DRMCX, PRMRX)

    (36) PIMCO RCM Global Small-Cap Fund   (Nasdaq: RGSAX,
         RGSBX, RGSCX, DGSNX, DGSCX)

    (37) PIMCO RCM International Growth Equity Fund   (Nasdaq:
         RIAGX, RBIGX, RCIGX, DIENX, DRIEX)

    (38) PIMCO RCM Global Healthcare Fund   (Nasdaq: RAGHX,
         RBGHX, RCGHX, DGHCX)

    (39) PIMCO RCM Biotechnology Fund   (Nasdaq: RABTX, RBBTX,
         RCBTX, DRBNX)

    (40) PIMCO RCM Global Technology Fund   (Nasdaq: RAGTX,
         RBGTX, RCGTX, DGTNX, DRGTX)

    (41) PIMCO Asset Allocation Fund   (Nasdaq: PALAX, PALBX,
         PALCX)

    (42) PIMCO NACM Value Fund   (Nasdaq: PVUAX, PVUBX, PVUCX,
         PVUDX)

    (43) PIMCO NACM Flex-Cap Fund   (Nasdaq: PNFAX, PNFBX,
         PNFCX, PNFDX)

    (44) PIMCO NACM Growth Fund   (Nasdaq: NGWAX, NGWBX, NGWCX,
         NGWDX)

    (45) PIMCO NACM International Fund   (Nasdaq: PILAX, PILBX,
         PILCX, PILDX, PILRX)

    (46) PIMCO NACM Pacific Rim Fund   (Nasdaq:  PPRAX, PPRBX,
         PPRCS, PPRDX, NAPRX)

The complaint charges Allianz Dresdner Asset Management of
America L.P., PIMCO Advisors Distributors LLC, Pacific
Investment Management Company LLC PEA Capital LLC, Pacific
Company LLC, Edward J. Stern, Canary Capital Partners, LLC,
Canary Investment Management, LLC, Canary Capital Partners,
Ltd., and the Doe Defendants with violations of the Securities
Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, among other
claims, and for common law breach of fiduciary duties.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period the
defendants engaged in illegal and improper trading practices, in
concert with certain institutional traders, which caused
financial injury to the shareholders of the PIMCO Funds.
According to the Complaint, the Defendants surreptitiously
permitted certain favored investors, including Canary and the
Doe Defendants, to illegally engage in "timing" of the PIMCO
Funds whereby these favored investors were permitted to conduct
short-term, "in and out" trading of mutual fund shares, despite
explicit restrictions on such activity in the PIMCO Funds'
prospectuses.

For more information, contact Samuel H. Rudman or David A.
Rosenfeld, Client Relations Department: Chandra West, Jackie
Addison or Heather Gann, by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock,
AR 72221-5438, by Phone: 1-888-551-9944 (toll free), Fax:
1-501-312-8505, or by E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com.


ROYAL DUTCH/ SHELL: Scott + Scott Commences Securities NJ Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Scott + Scott, LLC initiated a securities fraud action in the
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, on
behalf of purchasers or those who otherwise acquired the
securities, including the common stock traded in overseas
markets and the American Depository Receipts trading on the
NYSE, of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and/or The Shell
Transport and Trading Company, PLC between December 3, 1999 and
January 9, 2004, inclusive, seeking to pursue remedies under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, against defendants Royal Dutch,
Shell Transport, and:

     (1) Shell Petroleum N.V.,

     (2) the Shell Petroleum Limited,

     (3) Maarten van der Bergh,

     (4) Judy Boynton,

     (5) Malcolm Brinded,

     (6) S.L. Miller,

     (7) Harry J.M. Roels,

     (8) Paul D. Skinner,

     (9) M. Moody- Stuart,

    (10) Jeroen van der Veer, and

    (11) Philip R. Watts.

According to the complaint, defendants violated federal
securities laws (sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and
all amendments thereto) by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period.

The complaint alleges that defendants deliberately violated
accounting rules and guidelines relating to oil and gas reserves
which resulted in a material overstatement of oil and gas
reserves, the eventual disclosure of which damaged purchasers of
Royal Dutch and Shell Transport securities and negatively
impacted the investment community.

The complaint alleges that Royal Dutch and Shell Transport had
classified and reported, in SEC filings and other public
documents, certain reserves as "proved reserves" from a project
off the western coast of Australia called the Gorgon Joint
Venture (and other projects in Nigeria). In fact, without the
investors knowledge, the reserves did not meet SEC and industry
requirements necessary to be classified as "proved," and were
improperly reported as such in Royal Dutch's and Shell
Transport's financial reports. These reports were therefore
materially and artificially inflating a key measure of the
companies' financial position and competitive standing. As a
result of these material misrepresentations, Royal Dutch and
Shell Transport's true value in the marketplace was severely
overstated and misunderstood.

On January 9, 2004, Royal Dutch announced that it was going to
write-down its proved oil and gas reserves by 20%, or 3.9
billion barrels, from 19.5 billion barrels to 15.6 billion
barrels. The write-down: (a) cut Shell's reserve life from 13.4
years to 10.6 years; (b) increased its worldwide 5-year average
reserve replacement cost per barrel from $5.49 to $12.57 --
$7.06, or 128% greater than the industry average of $5.51; c
increased Shell's finding and development costs to $7.90 per
barrel -- well above the costs of its competitors; and (d)
reduced Shell's Appraised Net Worth downward by up to 7.1%, or
$9.6 billion. Following the announcement, Royal Dutch ADRs fell
7.87% from $52.76 to $48.61 on the NYSE and Royal Dutch ordinary
shares fell by 7.10% from the U.S. equivalent of $52.91 to
$49.15 on the Amsterdam exchange.

Shell Transport ADRs were down 6.96% from $44.81 to $41.69 on
the NYSE and Shell Transport ordinary shares were down 6.84% on
the London exchange from the U.S. equivalent of $7.36 to $6.86.
In addition, Moody's placed the AAA rating of Royal Dutch and
Shell Transport under review for possible downgrade because the
write-down materially and adversely affected the companies'
reserves-to-debt ratio.

Following the belated disclosure, most analysts and commentators
concluded that, because of the magnitude of the write-down and
the clear SEC and industry guidelines relating to reserve
classification, the reserve overstatements could not have been a
result of error or accident, but rather, that the reserves were
knowingly overstated to preserve the companies' credit rating
and to shore up their competitive position. The Royal Dutch/
Shell Group announced on March 3, 2004 that Defendant Watts had
stepped down from his positions at Shell and that he was being
replaced by Defendant van der Veer. Defendant Brinded has
assumed new roles at Shell and has offered himself up for
shareholder vote there; he has stepped down from certain
positions at Royal Dutch. Defendant Brinded has also assumed the
roles of displaced Royal Dutch Board Member Walter van de
Vijver.

For more information, contact Neil Rothstein, by Phone:
1-800-332-2259 or +1-619-233-4565, or by E-mail:
nrothsteinscott-scott.com.


SIBEL SYSTEMS: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of Siebel
Systems, Inc. between October 1, 2001 and July 17, 2002,
inclusive, against defendant Siebel Systems and one or more of
its officers and/or directors.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, P.A., by Mail:
The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite
2525, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by
E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


SPX CORP: Farugi & Farugi Commences Securities Suit in W.D. NC
--------------------------------------------------------------
Farugi & Farugi, LLP initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Western District of North
Carolina, on behalf of purchasers of the securities of SPX
Corporation between July 28, 2003 and February 26, 2004,
inclusive.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of federal
securities laws by, among other things, issuing a series of
materially false and misleading press releases concerning SPX's
projections of fiscal year 2003 earnings per share.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that SPX failed to disclose
that these results were only made possible through a last-minute
one-time gain resulting from a legal settlement, and were not
reflective of the deteriorating underlying business of the
Company. As a result, the price of the Company's common stock
were artificially inflated throughout the Class Period, allowing
Defendant and CEO John B. Blystone to sell over $41 million in
personally held SPX stock. On February 27, 2004, however,
following the release of the Company's 2003 Form 10-K detailing
SPX's one-time gain and true financial condition, SPX's stock
plummeted 21% on unusually high trading volume.

For more information, contact ANTHONY VOZZOLO, by Mail: 320 East
39th Street, New York, NY 10016, by Phone: (877) 247-4292 or
(212) 983-9330, or by E-mail: Avozzolo@faruqilaw.com.


SPX CORP: Charles Piven Files Securities Fraud Suit in W.D. NC
--------------------------------------------------------------
Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Western District of
North Carolina, on behalf of shareholders who purchased,
converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of
SPX Corporation between July 28, 2003 and February 26, 2004,
inclusive, against defendant SPX and one or more of its officers
and/or directors.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, P.A., by Mail:
The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite
2525, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by
E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


                            *********


A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Wednesday's edition of the Class Action Reporter. Submissions
via e-mail to carconf@beard.com are encouraged.

Each Friday's edition of the CAR includes a section featuring
news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
asbestos defendants that, according to independent researches,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.


                            *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.  Roberto Amor, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick,
Editors.

Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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