CAR_Public/040402.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, April 2, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 66

                         Headlines

AMERICAN SPECTRUM: CA Courts Approves Investor Suit Settlement
BABIES `R' US: Recalls 900 Snail Push Toys Due To Choking Hazard
BIOPURE CORPORATION: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuits in MA Court
CALIFORNIA: SEC's Emergency Action Hearing Scheduled April 5
CANDIE'S INC.: SEC Settles Civil Injunctive Action V. Ex-Exec

CEDRIC KUSHNER: SEC Launches Complaint For Securities Violations
CUTTER & BUCK: WA Court Approves Settlement For Investor Suits
FLORIDA: Atty. General Reaches $5M Medicaid Fraud Pact With Firm
GRAPHIC PACKAGING: Shareholders File Suit Over Riverwood Merger
H&R BLOCK: Reaches Settlement For Refund Anticipation Loans Suit

H&R BLOCK: Finalizes, Fully Pays For IL Loans Lawsuit Settlement
H&R BLOCK: Asks Court To Dismiss Refund Anticipation Loan Suit
H&R BLOCK: AK Court Denies Motion To Remand Suit to State Court
H&R BLOCK: Customers Launch IL Suit Over "Peace of Mind" Program
KINGFISHER PUBLICATIONS: Recalls 5,000 Books For Choking Hazard

NCI BUILDING: Reaches Agreement To Settle TX Securities Lawsuit
ORACLE CORP: Oral Arguments on Fraud Suit Dismissal Upcoming   
OZARK TICKET: IN Court Issues Order, Fines For Securities Fraud
PFGI CAPITAL: OH Court Dismisses Most Of Securities Fraud Suit
QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Asks CO Court To Dismiss Securities Suit

QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: CO Court Yet To Rule on Lawsuit Dismissal
QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Discovery Starts in CalSTRS Fraud Lawsuit
QWEST CORPORATION: CO Court Yet To Rule on Motion To Remand Suit
RIVIERA HOLDINGS: Plaintiffs Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit in NV
RIVIERA HOLDINGS: Plaintiffs Dismiss NV Securities Fraud Lawsuit

SENECA FOODS: Recalls Beef Chili Due To Undeclared Allergens
SMITHFIELD FOODS: Appeals Court Upholds RICO Lawsuit Dismissal
SPECIALIST FIRMS: Reaches Settlement With SEC Over Trading Fraud
UNCOMMON MEDIA: SEC Issues Order For Public Proceedings, Hearing
WORLDWIDE RESTAURANT: Faces Two Lawsuits For CA E.coli Outbreak

                          Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Altria Lists Asbestos Contribution Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens Corning Carrying Out Bankruptcy Plan
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: United Industrial Segment Suffers Losses
ASBESTOS ALERT: BorgWarner Discloses Claims, Does Not Elaborate
ASBESTOS ALERT: California Water Sued For Asbestos-Related Death

ASBESTOS ALERT: Delphi Financial Reports Expenses From Claims
ASBESTOS ALERT: Fortune Brands Subsidiary Named In 160 Lawsuits
ASBESTOS ALERT: Great Lakes Involved in 260 Asbestos Lawsuits
ASBESTOS ALERT: Northern Trust's Reserve Hike Due To Exposure
ASBESTOS ALERT: Ohio Casualty's Net Income Affected By Claims

ASBESTOS ALERT: SAFECO Foresees Higher Asbestos Claims Payments
ASBESTOS ALERT: Tower Properties Named In Asbestos Related Suit
ASBESTOS ALERT: Watts Water Defending V. 115 Asbestos Lawsuits

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

CANADIAN SUPERIOR: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
DATATEC SYSTEMS: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Stock Lawsuit in NJ
ITT EDUCATIONAL: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in IN
SONUS NETWORKS: Zwerling Schachter Lodges Securities Suit in MA
UNIVERSAL HEALTH: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in PA


                            *********     


AMERICAN SPECTRUM: CA Courts Approves Investor Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Orange County Superior Court in California granted
preliminary approval of the settlement of the class action filed
against American Spectrum Realty, Inc. and:

     (1) CGS Real Estate Company, INc.,

     (2) William J. Carden,

     (3) John N. Galardi and

     (4) S-P Properties, Inc.

In October 2001, the Company acquired various properties in a
consolidation transaction.  Pursuant to the Consolidation,
subsidiaries of the Company merged with eight public limited
partnerships, acquired the assets and liabilities of two private
entities managed by CGS and its affiliates and acquired certain
assets and liabilities of CGS and its majority-owned affiliates.

Robert L. Lewis, Madison Liquidity Investors 103 LLC and Madison
Liquidity Investors 112 LLC filed the suit, purporting to
represent themselves and all others similarly situated.  
Plaintiffs' complaint in this action alleged claims against the
Company and others for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of
contract.  Plaintiffs' complaint challenged the consolidation,
although the consolidation was disclosed in a Prospectus/Consent
Solicitation filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
and was approved by a majority vote of the limited partners of
the partnerships.

Plaintiffs alleged that the approval was invalid and that the
Consolidation constituted a breach of fiduciary duty by each of
the defendants.  Plaintiffs further alleged that the
Consolidation constituted breach of the partnership agreements
governing the partnerships.  Plaintiffs' prayer for relief
sought:

     (i) an injunction prohibiting the defendants from
         commingling;

    (ii) imposition of a constructive trust providing for
         liquidation of the assets of the partnerships and a
         distribution of the assets to the former limited
         partners therein;

   (iii) a judicial declaration that the action may be
         maintained as a class action;

    (iv) monetary/compensatory damages;

     (v) plaintiffs' costs of suit, including attorneys',
         accountants' and expert fees; and

    (vi) a judicial order of dissolution of the partnerships and
         appointment of a liquidating trustee.

On March 15, 2002, the Court sustained the Company's demurrer to
plaintiffs' complaint and held that the complaint failed to
state a cause of action for either breach of fiduciary duty or
breach of contract against the Company.  The Court gave the
plaintiffs twenty days leave to amend.

Subsequently, plaintiffs filed and served a Second Amended
Complaint alleging claims against the Company for breach of
fiduciary duty, breach of contract, intentional interference
with prospective economic advantage, and intentional
interference with contractual relations.  On June 14, 2002, the
Court sustained the Company's demurrer on the grounds that
Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint failed to state a cause of
action against the Company for interference with contract or
interference with prospective economic advantage.  The Court
gave Plaintiffs twenty days leave to amend.

Subsequently, the plaintiffs filed and served a Third Amended
Complaint on the Company alleging claims against the Company for
breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, intentional
interference with prospective economic advantage, and
intentional interference with contractual relations.  On
September 6, 2002, the Court sustained the Company's demurrer on
the grounds that the Plaintiffs' Third Amended Compliant failed
to state a cause of action for either interference with contract
or interference with prospective economic advantage against the
Company.  The Court gave the Plaintiffs twenty days to amend.

On September 25, 2002, the plaintiffs filed and served a Fourth
Amended Complaint on the Company alleging claims against the
Company for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract,
intentional interference with prospective economic advantage,
and intentional interference with contractual relations.  The
plaintiffs' prayer for relief on its Fourth Amended Compliant
seeks an injunction prohibiting the defendants from commingling;
imposition of a constructive trust providing for liquidation of
the assets of the partnerships and a distribution of the assets
to the former limited partners therein; a judicial declaration
that the action may be maintained as a class action;
monetary/compensatory damages; plaintiffs' costs of suit,
including attorneys', accountants' and expert fees; and a
judicial order of dissolution of the partnerships and
appointment of a liquidating trustee.

On October 29, 2002, the Company responded by answer and
asserted general and specific affirmative defenses to the
allegations in the Fourth Amended Complaint.  On January10,
2003, plaintiffs filed and served a Notice of Motion and Motion
for Class Certification.  On January 31, 2003, the Company filed
an Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification.  On
March 7, 2003, the Court granted plaintiffs' Motion for Class
Certification but expressly reserved the right to visit the
issue of certification should rescission be chosen as a remedy
to determine whether it is still a viable procedure in the class
setting.

On October 16, 2003, counsel for the plaintiffs and counsel for
the defendants executed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding
the settlement in this matter.  By the terms of that Memorandum,
the defendants agreed to pay a total of $6,500,000 to settle
this action and all other claims known and unknown relating to
the facts set forth in the Fourth Amended Complaint.  Plaintiffs
have agreed to release such claims, pursuant to the Memorandum.
As this matter is a class action, the parties need to obtain
court approval to complete the settlement and to administer the
payment of the settlement amounts to the class members.  The
settlement is funded, in its entirety, by insurance coverage.

On January 14, 2004, the Court granted preliminary approval of
the settlement, directed notice to the Class, and set a fairness
hearing for March 23, 2004.


BABIES `R' US: Recalls 900 Snail Push Toys Due To Choking Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
Babies `R' US is cooperating with the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling about 900 Snail Push
Toys.  The screw securing the toy handle to the push toy could
detach, posing a choking hazard.  No injuries have been
reported.

The brightly colored push toy is made of wood. The snail has
moveable parts painted purple, green, yellow, or orange. The
wheels have three colored balls (yellow, green and red) attached
with string. The handle has a red ball on the end. The yellow
and blue tag attached to the toy at point of sale states
"Imaginarium Baby" and recommended for ages 1-3.

The toys were sold only at Babies "R" Us stores from July 2003
through November 2003 for about $8.00 each.  Consumers should
take the push toy away from small children immediately and
return it to Babies "R" Us for a full refund.

Consumers can call toll-free at (800) 804-5419 between 9 a.m.
and 4 p.m., ET Monday through Friday or visit the Website:
http://www.toysrusinc.com/productrecall.


BIOPURE CORPORATION: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuits in MA Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Biopure Corporation, its former Chief Executive Officer, its
Chief Technology Officer and its Chief Financial Officer were
named as defendants in a number of similar, purported class
action complaints, filed between December 30, 2003 and January
28, 2004 in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts (by alleged purchasers of the Company's common
stock.

The complaints claim that Biopure violated the federal
securities laws by publicly disseminating materially false and
misleading statements regarding the status of its biologic
license application pending with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration and of its trauma development program, resulting
in the artificial inflation of Biopure's common stock price
during the purported class period.  The complaints do not
specify the amount of alleged damages plaintiffs seek to
recover.  The complaints set forth varying class periods but
generally focus on March 2003 through December 24, 2003.

The defendants believe that the complaints are without merit.  


CALIFORNIA: SEC's Emergency Action Hearing Scheduled April 5
------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed an emergency action
on March 25 to halt a multi-million dollar, ongoing securities
fraud perpetrated by Colin Nathanson, 54, a resident of Coto De
Caza, California, and nine of his businesses, eight of which are
based in Orange County, California:

     (1) Nathanson Investment Trust,

     (2) Giant Golf Company,

     (3) Play Big Enterprises, Inc.,  

     (4) Starquest Management, Inc.,

     (5) Whitehawk Consulting Group, Inc.,

     (6) Leafhead Consultants, Inc.,

     (7) NetTel Consulting Corporation,  

     (8) Yrmac Consulting Services, Inc., and

     (9) Millennium Technical Group, Inc.  

Also, the Honorable Gary L. Taylor, United States District Judge
for the Central District of California, granted the relief that
the Commission sought, issuing orders freezing assets,
appointing a temporary receiver over any entity directly or
indirectly controlled by Mr. Nathanson, and other relief.
     
The Commission's complaint, filed on March 25 in federal court
in Orange County, alleges that since 2001, Nathanson and his
companies have raised $29.5 million from over 1800 investors
nationwide through four fraudulent investment schemes.  Mr.
Nathanson was continuing to raise funds from investors in at
least two of his schemes.  The first of Nathanson's schemes
involved selling securities in a golf equipment company he
controls, Giant Golf Co., which purportedly was preparing to
conduct an IPO.  The second scheme is an ongoing Ponzi scheme
involving several funds that would purportedly purchase air time
to air Giant Golf's infomercials.   

In the third scheme, according to the complaint, Mr. Nathanson
sold investment interests through the Nathanson Investment Trust
in a purported unnamed software company that he claimed would
soon be bought-out by a larger, unnamed, company.  Finally, the
complaint alleges that Nathanson sold securities in a company
known as Millennium Technical Group that Nathanson said would
exploit certain FCC licenses purchased in 1994.  

The Commission alleges that in these four schemes, the
defendants lied to investors regarding how they would use the
investor funds.  The complaint alleges that without the
investors' knowledge or consent, Nathanson commingled the
investors' monies, and used the commingled funds to operate both
the unprofitable defendant businesses and his other various
unprofitable businesses.
     
Additionally, the Commission's complaint alleges that since
February 2001, Nathanson used at least $1 million of investor
funds to support his extravagant lifestyle, including three
homes and payment of $346,500 in gambling-related debts.  
Finally, the Commission alleges that, in Ponzi-like fashion,
Nathanson has caused over $5 million of the $29.5 million raised
to be paid to certain investors either as purported "returns" on
their investments when, in fact, their investments were not
profitable, or as purported returns of their principal.
     
In its lawsuit, the Commission obtained an order freezing the
assets of Nathanson, Nathanson Investment Trust, Giant Golf,
Play Big, Starquest, Whitehawk, Leafhead, NetTel, Yrmac,
Millennium, and other Nathanson companies; preventing
destruction of documents; appointing a temporary receiver over
any entity directly or indirectly controlled by Nathanson; and
temporarily enjoining all of the defendants from future
violations of the securities registration and antifraud
provisions of the federal securities laws, Sections 5(a), 5(c)
and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  The
Commission also seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions, and
other relief, including disgorgement and civil penalties   
against all defendants.  A hearing on whether a preliminary
injunction should be issued against the defendants and whether a
permanent receiver should be appointed is scheduled for April 5,
2004, at 1:30 p.m.


CANDIE'S INC.: SEC Settles Civil Injunctive Action V. Ex-Exec
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission settled its civil
injunctive action against Gary H. Klein, the former Vice-
President of Finance and Principal Accounting Officer of
Candie's, Inc.  Mr. Klein is a resident of Harrison, New York.
     
Without admitting or denying the Commission's allegations, Mr.
Klein consented to the entry of a final judgment which
permanently enjoins him from violating the antifraud, issuer
reporting, and books and records provisions of the federal
securities laws.
     
The Commission filed its complaint on April 30, 2003.  In the
complaint, the Commission alleged that Candie's senior
management, including Mr. Klein, engaged in a fraudulent scheme
to inflate artificially Candie's financial results over two
fiscal years.  Mr. Klein helped to negotiate an agreement with a
barter company, and during fiscal years 1998 and 1999, Candie's
fraudulently recognized approximately $1.9 million in revenue
pursuant to the agreement.   

In addition, Mr. Klein improperly recorded a $1.6 million credit
against amounts owed to Candie's Asian sourcing agent during the
third quarter of fiscal year 1998, which had the effect of
decreasing expenses and therefore increased income by the same
amount.  Finally, Klein was aware that Candie's employed a "bill
and hold" practice, and that during fiscal years 1998 and 1999,
Candie's fraudulently recorded approximately $4.4 million in
revenue pursuant to the "bill and hold" and other irregular
shipping practices.
     
The final judgment, which the Honorable Richard M. Berman of the
Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York
entered on March 16, 2004, permanently enjoins Klein from
violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933
(Securities Act), Sections 10(b) and 13(b)(5) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act), and Rules 10b-5 and 13b2-1,
and from aiding and abetting violations of Sections 13(a),
13(b)(2)(A), and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act, and Rules 12b-
20, 13a-1, and 13a-13.  The judgment also orders Klein to pay
civil monetary penalties of  $75,000 and to pay disgorgement of
$39,375, representing the proceeds from his sales of Candie's
securities, plus prejudgment interest of $14,472.32.  Finally,
the final judgment permanently bars Klein from serving as an
officer or director of a public company.
     
On March 29, the Commission issued an Order Instituting
Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Rule 102(e) of the
Commission's Rules of Practice, Making Findings and Imposing
Remedial Sanctions against Klein. The Order was based on a final
judgment entered against Klein in the injunctive action "SEC v.
Lawrence O'Shaughnessy, et al., Civil Action No. 03 CV 3022
(RMB).  In this Order, which Klein consented to without
admitting or denying the findings, the Commission suspended
Klein from appearing or practicing as an accountant before the
Commission.  
     

CEDRIC KUSHNER: SEC Launches Complaint For Securities Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
against Cedric Kushner Promotions, Inc., its Chairman of the
Board, Chief Executive Officer, President and Founder Cedric
Kushner, its Principal Financial and Accounting Officer, James
DiLorenzo, and its former Executive Vice President and Secretary
and a current director, Steven Angel for violating the
antifraud, record-keeping, and reporting provisions of the
federal securities laws.  

As part of this action, the Commission alleges that Mr. Kushner
and Mr. DiLorenzo violated the certification requirements of the
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and Rule 13a-14 of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act).  According to the
Commission's complaint, on the evening of May 20, 2003, CKP
filed a Form 10-KSB for the year ended December 31, 2002, that
contained what purported to be unqualified independent auditor
reports authorized and issued by its former auditor, BDO
Seidman, LLP (BDO), and current auditor, Marcum & Kliegman LLP.  

However, the complaint charges, neither BDO nor Marcum had
actually provided those reports to CKP, and CKP instead filed
forged auditor reports.  Moreover, CKP filed its Form 10-KSB
without obtaining either independent auditor's consent.  The
complaint alleges that the financial statements included in the
May 20, 2003, filing contained material misstatements and
substantial errors, including a misstatement of total assets in
2002 by over 100%.
     
According to the complaint, despite their failure to obtain a
signed audit report and material errors in the Company's
financial statements, Mr. Kushner and Mr. DiLorenzo each
personally certified that the filing fairly and accurately
presented CKP's financial condition, in violation of Commission
rules adopted pursuant to Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act,
which require an issuer's principal executive and financial
officer to certify financial and other information contained in
the quarterly and annual reports.  Prior to certifying, the
complaint alleges, Mr. Kushner failed to read either the
Sarbanes-Oxley certification or the filing to which it was
attached, or to take any steps to ascertain whether the filing
was true and accurate.
     
On May 21, 2003, both BDO and Marcum wrote letters protesting
the forged auditor reports to CKP pursuant to Exchange Act
Section 10A.  On May 23, 2003, the Company filed a Form 8-K
containing the auditors' letters and simultaneously filed a Form
10-KSB/A removing the auditor reports, but including new
materially inaccurate financial statements.  The complaint
charges that Mr. DiLorenzo and Mr. Angel substantially
participated in the creation of both the May 20, 2003, and May
23, 2003, filings.

The complaint seeks an injunction against CKP based on its
violation of Sections 10(b), 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A), and 13(b)(2)(B)
of the Exchange Act, and Exchange Act Rules 10b-5, 12b-20 and
13a-1. The complaint also seeks an injunction, officer and
director bars, and civil monetary penalties against Mr. Kushner
and Mr. DiLorenzo based on their primary violations of Exchange
Act Section 10(b) and Exchange Act Rules 10b-5 and 13a-14, and
their aiding and abetting CKP's violations of Exchange Act
Sections 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B), and Exchange Act
Rules 12b-20 and 13a-1.   

The complaint further charges that Kushner is liable for CKP's
violations as a "control person" under Exchange Act Section
20(a).  Lastly, the complaint seeks an injunction, an officer
and director bar, and a civil penalty against Angel based on his
primary violations of Exchange Act Section 10(b) and Exchange
Act Rule 10b-5 or, in the alternative, based on his aiding and
abetting violations of Exchange Act Section 10(b) and Exchange
Act Rule 10b-5 by CKP, Mr. Kushner and Mr. DiLorenzo, and his
aiding and abetting violations of Exchange Act Sections 13(a),
13(b)(2)(A), 13(b)(2)(B), and Exchange Act Rules 12b-20 and 13a-
1 by CKP.   

The suit is styled "SEC v. Cedric Kushner Promotions, Inc.,
Cedric Kushner, James DiLorenzo and Steven Angel, Civil Action
No. 04 CV  2324."


CUTTER & BUCK: WA Court Approves Settlement For Investor Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Washington granted final approval to the settlement proposed by
Cutter & Buck, Inc. for the securities class actions and the
shareholder derivative suit filed against it and certain of its
former and current directors and officers.

Following the announcement in 2002 that the Company would
restate its historical financial results, the Company and
certain of its current and former directors and officers were
named defendants in three shareholder class actions filed in the
United States District Court for the Western District of
Washington alleging violations of federal securities laws

     (1) Steven Bourret v. Cutter & Buck, Inc., Harvey N. Jones
         and Stephen S. Lowber;

     (2) Stanley Sved v. Cutter & Buck, Inc. and Harvey N.
         Jones; and

     (3) Jason P. Hebert v. Cutter & Buck, Inc., Harvey N. Jones
         and Stephen S. Lowber.

The shareholder derivative suit was filed in the Superior Court
of the State of Washington, for King County, styled "Morris
Haimowitz Derivatively on behalf of Cutter & Buck, Inc. v.
Frances M. Conley, Michael S. Brownfield, Larry C. Mounger,
James C. Towne, Harvey N. Jones, Martin J. Marks, Stephen S.
Lowber and Cutter & Buck, Inc."

On September 12, 2003, the Company entered into a Stipulation
and Agreement of Settlement with the lead plaintiff in the
Securities Suits and the plaintiff in the Derivative Suit.  As
part of the settlement, the Derivative Suit was re-filed in the
United States District Court for the Western District of
Washington.  On December 2, 2003, the federal court granted
final approval of that settlement, and dismissed the Securities
Suits and the federal Derivative Suit.  The state Derivative
Suit was subsequently dismissed by order of the Superior Court
of the State of Washington, for King County, on December 10,
2003.


FLORIDA: Atty. General Reaches $5M Medicaid Fraud Pact With Firm
----------------------------------------------------------------
Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist announced in a press
release a $5 million Medicaid fraud settlement with EMSA Limited
Partnership, which contracts with government agencies for prison
health services.

According to state and federal law, Medicaid should not be
billed for inmate health care.  EMSA encouraged and directed
health care providers to illegally bill the state Medicaid
program for services to inmates.

"This type of corporate Medicaid fraud is deplorable and
increases the cost of health services for our most needy
citizens," said AG Crist.  "This $5 million payment should serve
as a warning to others that Medicaid fraud will not be tolerated
in Florida."

The company is paid a fixed annual fee for inmate medical
services.  They also bear the risk of loss if medical costs
exceed the fixed fee, and reap a profit if they can keep actual
costs below this amount.

Of the $5 million settlement, the Agency for Health Care
Administration (AHCA) will receive $2.7 million in reimbursement
for claims paid and $1.3 million to help fund Florida's Medicaid
program.  EMSA will also remit $1 million in penalties to the
Office of the Attorney General.

This is a part of a long-term investigation into the practices
of Medicaid payments for medical services provided to inmates.  
The process was to give Medicaid providers the Medicaid numbers
of inmates as they went outside the jail for medical services in
hospitals or to request pharmacies to bill Medicaid for drugs
administered while the patient was incarcerated, the press
release stated.  The settlement period covers December 1, 1998,
to March 31, 2004.  The company fully co-operated in the
investigation and remains duly qualified to do business in the
state of Florida.


GRAPHIC PACKAGING: Shareholders File Suit Over Riverwood Merger
---------------------------------------------------------------
Graphic Packaging Corporation faces three lawsuits filed in the
District Court for Jefferson County, Colorado relating to its
merger with and into Riverwood Acquisition Sub LLC, a wholly
owned subsidiary of Riverwood Holding, Inc., with Riverwood
Acquisition Sub LLC as the surviving entity.

On April 2, 2003, two separate lawsuits were filed against the
Company and its directors relating to the merger.  The
complaints were filed by Robert F. Smith and Harold Lightweis,
on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated.

Each of the two complaints alleges breach of fiduciary duties by
Graphic's directors to Graphic's public shareholders in
connection with the Merger and that the Company aided and
abetted the alleged breach.  The complaints also allege that the
Coors family stockholders negotiated the merger consideration
in their own interest and not in the interest of the public
stockholders.  The complaints seek an injunction against
consummation of the Merger, rescission of the Merger if it is
consummated, unspecified damages, costs and other relief
permitted by law and equity.  

These two lawsuits have been consolidated.  Mr. Smith and Mr.
Lightweis filed a motion asking to dismiss their claims as moot
and for an award of attorney's fees of $300,000 plus expenses.  
The Company has objected to the request for fees and expenses.

On July 3, 2003, a third lawsuit was filed in District Court of
Jefferson County in Colorado, on behalf of a purported class of
Graphic's stockholders against Graphic and its Graphic's
directors, alleging that Graphic's directors breached their
fiduciary duties to the stockholders of Graphic in connection
with the negotiation of the Merger and that Graphic and the
Company aided and abetted the alleged breach.  

The complaint alleges that the defendants negotiated the terms
of the Merger in their own interest and in the interest of
certain other insiders (including the Coors family
stockholders), to the detriment of the public stockholders.  

The complaint, which is captioned James A. Bederka, On behalf of
Himself and All Other Similarly Situated v. Riverwood Holding,
et al., seeks certain equitable relief, including an injunction
against the consummation of the Merger, rescission of the Merger
if it is consummated, rescission of the sale of August 15, 2000
of the convertible preferred stock which had been issued on
August 15, 2000 to the Grover C. Coors Trust (the "Trust"), and
injunction against the conversion of the convertible preferred
stock in connection with the Merger and costs.  

The Company filed motions asking to dismiss the lawsuit or to
bifurcate the claim to enjoin the Merger from the claim to
rescind issuance or enjoin the conversion of the preferred stock
and to either stay the claim relating to the preferred stock or
consolidate that claim with a lawsuit filed by Chinyun Kim.  

By order dated October 7, 2003, the court dismissed Graphic from
the Bederka lawsuit, leaving Graphic's directors and the Company
as defendants.  The court also refused to consolidate the
Bederka lawsuit with the Chinyun Kim lawsuit, but stayed all
discovery in the Bederka lawsuit relating to the sale of the
preferred stock.  The court has allowed the parties to proceed,
however, with disclosures and discovery relating to the Merger.


H&R BLOCK: Reaches Settlement For Refund Anticipation Loans Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
H&R Block, Inc. reached a settlement for the two class actions,
filed originally as one action in the District Court of Kleberg
County, Texas.  The suits are:

     (1) Ronnie and Nancy Haese, et al. v. H&R Block Inc., et
         al., Case No. CV96-4213,

     (2) Ronnie and Nancy Haese, et al. v. H&R Block Inc., et
         al., Case No. CV-99-314

On November 19, 2002, the Company announced that a settlement
had been reached pursuant to which the Company and its major
franchisee will issue coupons to class members that may be
redeemed over a five-consecutive-year period following final
approval of the settlement and once all appeals have been
exhausted.  

Each class member will receive a packet containing 15 coupons
under the settlement.  Three coupons will be redeemable each
year - one for a $20 rebate off tax services at Block offices,
one that may be redeemed for TaxCut Platinum tax preparation
software, and one that may be redeemed for Tax Planning Advisor,
a tax planning book.  The settlement also provides that
defendants will be responsible for the payment of court-approved
legal fees up to $49 million and expenses of class counsel up to
$900,000.

As a result of the settlement announcement, the Company recorded
a liability and pretax expense of $41.7 million during the
second quarter of fiscal year 2003, which represented, at that
time, the Company's best estimate of its share of the settlement
cost for plaintiff class attorneys' fees and expenses, tax
products and associated mailing expenses.  The Company recorded
an additional liability and pretax expense of $1.0 million
during the three months ended October 31, 2003, for a total
liability and pretax charge of $47.6 million through July 31,
2003.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2003 and prior to the
filing of the final settlement agreement with the court and any
motions for preliminary approval of the settlement and legal
fees and expenses of class counsel, the plaintiffs filed a
motion asking the Texas court to direct that $26 million of
awarded class counsel fees be paid to the plaintiff class
members.  The final settlement agreement was filed with the
District Court in March 2003 and preliminary approval of the
settlement agreement was granted by the court on March 31, 2003.
Notice of the settlement was sent to the class, a hearing on the
final approval of the settlement agreement was held on June 24,
2003, and the judge entered a final judgment on June 24, 2003
fully and finally approving the settlement agreement, finding it
fair, adequate and reasonable and that it protects the rights of
the class, is in the best interests of the settlement class and
meets all criteria required by Texas law.  As a part of the
final judgment, the court also:

     (1) dismissed with prejudice the claims of class members
         who obtained refund anticipation loans (RALs) in Texas
         during the period from 1992 through 1996;

     (2) granted defendants' Supplemental Motion for Summary
         Judgment as to class members who only obtained RALs
         from 1988 through 1991, and ordered that such
         defendants take nothing on their claims against the
         defendants;

     (3) granted defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration as to
         those members of the class who obtained a RAL for the
         first time from 1997 to 2002, and dismissed the claims
         of those class members without prejudice as to those
         members' rights to pursue those claims through binding
         arbitration;

     (4) vacated its January 30, 1998 Order pertaining to
         arbitration clauses and contacts with the class; and

     (5) withdrew its rulings as to fiduciary duty, breach or
         the nature of the breach thereof, and for forfeiture as
         reflected in the Court's November 6, 2002 letter.

In a separate Order dated June 24, 2003, the Court found that
the awarding of attorneys' and expenses was appropriate and
ordered that class counsel and objectors' class counsel be
awarded attorneys' fees in the amount of $49.0 million on
condition that, upon payment of the fees to class counsels'
trust account, class counsel shall pay $26.0 million of the
attorneys' fees to the class members pursuant to an approved
distribution plan.

The Order also provided that $100,000 from the award of
attorneys' fees be used to create a cy-pres fund pursuant to an
approved cy-pres plan and specified the manner in which the
remaining award of attorneys' fees was to be distributed among
the class counsel and objectors' class counsel.  There were no
appeals of such final judgment and Order relating to attorneys'
fees and expenses.  The Company paid the award of attorneys'
fees and expenses to class counsel on August 22, 2003.  In
addition to the $49.9 million liability that has already been
recorded and/or paid, the Company will reduce revenues
associated with tax preparation services as the coupons are
redeemed each year.  Coupons were distributed prior to the
2004 tax season.


H&R BLOCK: Finalizes, Fully Pays For IL Loans Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
H&R Block, Inc. has fully paid for the settlement of the class
action styled "Belinda Peterson, et al. v. H&R Block Tax
Services, Inc., Case No. 95CH2389," pending in the Circuit Court
of Cook County, Illinois.

A settlement was reached in April 2003 involving an estimated
maximum total amount of $295,000.  As a part of the settlement,
class members who submit a claim will receive $25 in cash, with
a guaranteed minimum total payout of $40,000 and a maximum total
payout of $55,000.  Class counsel will receive $220,000, the
named class representative will receive $5,000, and it is
expected that it will cost up to $15,000 to administer the
settlement.

Preliminary approval of the settlement was granted on June 12,
2003 and notices of the settlement and claim forms have been
sent to the class.  The settlement was approved and a judgment
entered after a final fairness hearing held in October 2003.  
The settlement was funded and attorneys' fees were paid in
December 2003.  Payments were mailed to class members in
February 2004.


H&R BLOCK: Asks Court To Dismiss Refund Anticipation Loan Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
H&R Block, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois to dismiss the refund anticipation
loans class action filed against it and other defendants, styled
"Lynne A. Carnegie, et al. v. Household International, Inc., H&R
Block, Inc., et al.," (formerly "Joel E. Zawikowski, et al. v.
Beneficial National Bank, H&R Block, Inc., Block Financial
Corporation, et al., Case No. 98 C 2178").

On April 15, 2003, the judge declined to approve a $25 million
settlement of this matter, finding that counsel for the
settlement plaintiffs had been inadequate representatives of the
plaintiff class and failed to sustain their burden of showing
that the settlement was fair.  The judge appointed new counsel
for the plaintiffs in May 2003 and named their client, Lynne
Carnegie, as lead plaintiff.  

The new counsel for the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint
and a motion for partial summary judgment during the quarter
ended July 31, 2003.  The defendants filed a motion to dismiss,
a brief in response to allegations in the plaintiffs' amended
complaint relating to class certification, and responses to
plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment.  Rulings on
these motions are pending, and extensive discovery is
proceeding.

In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2003, the Company recorded
a receivable in the amount of its $12.5 million share of the
settlement fund and recorded a reserve of $12.5 million
consistent with the existing settlement authority of the Board
of Directors.  The defendants requested the release of the
escrowed settlement fund and the Company's $12.5 million share
of such fund was received during the second quarter of fiscal
year 2004.  


H&R BLOCK: AK Court Denies Motion To Remand Suit to State Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Arkansas refused to remand the class action filed against H&R
Block, Inc., Beneficial National Bank, and other defendants,
styled "Abby Thomas, et al. v. Beneficial National Bank, H&R
Block, Inc., et al., Case No. 4:03-CV-00775 GTE" to state court.  

The suit was originally filed in the Circuit Court for Phillips
County, Arkansas on August 12, 2003, and was subsequently
removed to federal court.  It is a putative class action that
alleges, in connection with the refund anticipation loan (RAL)
program:

     (1) fraudulent misrepresentation,

     (2) fraudulent concealment,

     (3) dual agency,

     (4) breach of fiduciary duty,

     (5) violation of Arkansas Deceptive and Unconscionable
         Trade Practices Law,

     (6) violation of Arkansas' Secret Payments or Allowance of
         Rebates and Refunds Law,

     (7) unjust enrichment,

     (8) breach of contract and

     (9) deceit

The complaint requests that the court certify a nationwide class
of all persons who obtained a RAL from September 1987 through
December 1997, who do not have an arbitration provision in their
contract.  It also seeks a subclass of class members who are 60
years of age or older, or who are Disabled Persons under
Arkansas Statutes section 4-88-201.  Plaintiffs seek an
unspecified amount of damages, restitution, equitable relief,
attorneys' fees, and costs of court.  Defendants have moved to
dismiss and compel arbitration.

Plaintiffs thereafter filed an amended complaint and a motion to
remand the case to state court.  On December 8, 2003, the
federal court denied plaintiffs' motion to remand.  


H&R BLOCK: Customers Launch IL Suit Over "Peace of Mind" Program
----------------------------------------------------------------
H&R Block Tax Services, Inc. faces a class action filed in the
Circuit Court of Madison County, Illinois, styled "Lorie J.
Marshall, et al. v. H&R Block Tax Services, Inc., et al. Civil
Action 2002L000004."

The court granted plaintiffs' first amended motion for class
certification on August 27, 2003.  Plaintiffs' claims consist of
five counts relating to the defendants' Peace of Mind program
under which the applicable tax return preparation subsidiary
assumes liability for the cost of additional tax assessments
attributable to tax return preparation error.

The plaintiffs allege that defendants' sale of its Peace of Mind
guarantee constitutes statutory fraud by selling insurance
without a license, an unfair trade practice, by omission and by
"cramming" (i.e., charging customers for the guarantee even
though they did not request it and/or did not want it), and
constitutes a breach of fiduciary duty.

A hearing on the motion to certify both a nationwide plaintiff
class and a nationwide defendant class was held on August 14,
2003, and, on August 27, 2003, the court certified the following
plaintiff classes:

     (1) all persons who were charged a separate fee for Peace
         of Mind by H&R Block or a defendant H&R Block class
         member from January 1, 1997 to final judgment;

     (2) all persons who reside in certain class states and who
         were charged a separate fee for Peace of Mind by H&R
         Block, or a defendant H&R Block class member, and that
         was not licensed to sell insurance, from January 1,
         1997 to final judgment; and

     (3) all persons who had an unsolicited charge for Peace of
         Mind posted to their bills by H&R Block or a defendant
         H&R Block class member from January 1, 1997, to final
         judgment.

Among those excluded from the plaintiff classes are all persons
who received the Peace of Mind guarantee through an H&R Block
Premium office and all persons who reside in Texas and Alabama.
The court also certified a defendant class consisting of any
entity with the names H&R Block or HRB in its name, or otherwise
affiliated or associated with H&R Block Tax Services, Inc., and
which sold or sells the Peace of Mind product.

Defendants filed a motion asking the trial court to certify the
class certification issues for interlocutory appeal, which the
trial court denied.  Discovery is proceeding.

There are two other putative class actions pending against the
Company in Texas and Alabama that involve the Peace of Mind
guarantee.  The Texas case is being tried before the same judge
that presided over the "Haese" case and involves the same
attorneys for the plaintiffs as are involved in the "Marshall"
litigation in Illinois and substantially similar allegations.  
The Alabama case involves allegations of selling insurance
without a license in connection with the Peace of Mind program,
the erroneous preparation of income tax returns that subjected
plaintiffs to audits, failure to provide assistance in
responding to auditors' requests, failure to pay the penalties,
interest, and additional taxes under Block's standard guarantee
and Peace of Mind programs, unjust enrichment, and breach of
contract.  No classes have been certified in either of these two
cases.  

The Company believes the claims in these Peace of Mind actions
are without merit.  


KINGFISHER PUBLICATIONS: Recalls 5,000 Books For Choking Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Kingfisher Publications, PLC, a UK-based subsidiary of Houghton
Mifflin Company is cooperating with the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling about 5,000 My Easter
Basket Books.  A sponge "touch-and-feel" item inside the book
can detach or small pieces can be torn away, posing a choking
hazard to young children.  The firm has received one report of a
child who began to choke.  There have been no reports of
injuries.

The cardboard book has "My Easter Basket Book" printed on the
cover in pink letters over an Easter basket.  "First Holiday
Books" and "Touch & feel" also are written on the cover.  The
book includes photos of marshmallow candy, plush toys, lollipops
and candy typically found in Easter baskets.  The book
incorporates textured touch-and feel-surfaces.  "KINGFISHER" is
written on the book's spine and back cover.

Retailers nationwide sold the books from February 2004 through
March 2004 for about $8.

Consumers should take these books away from young children
immediately, and return the books to Kingfisher Publications
PLC, Customer Service, 181 Ballardvale St., Wilmington, MA 01887
for a refund and postage reimbursement.

For more details, contact Kingfisher by Phone: toll-free at
(800) 289-4371 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through
Friday, or by E-mail: trade_customer_service@hmco.com.


NCI BUILDING: Reaches Agreement To Settle TX Securities Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
NCI Building Systems, Inc. reached an agreement to settle the
consolidated class action filed against it and certain of its
officers as a result of its restatement of its financial results
for the last half of fiscal 1999, all of fiscal 2000 and the
first quarter of fiscal 2001.  The suit is pending filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

In the consolidated complaint the plaintiffs allege, among other
things, that during the financial periods that were restated the
Company:

     (1) made materially false and misleading statements about
         the status and effectiveness of a management
         information and accounting system used by the Company's
         components division and costs associated with that
         system,

     (2) failed to assure that the system maintained books and
         records accurately reflecting inventory levels and
         costs of goods sold,

     (3) failed to maintain internal controls on manual
         accounting entries made to certain inventory-related
         accounts in an effort to correct the data in the
         system,

     (4) otherwise engaged in improper accounting practices that
         overstated earnings, and

     (5) issued materially false and misleading financial
         statements.

The plaintiffs further allege that the individual defendants
traded in the Company's common stock while in possession of
material, non-public information regarding the foregoing.  The
plaintiffs in the consolidated complaint assert various claims
under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, and seek unspecified amounts of compensatory damages,
interest and costs, including legal fees.

On March 15, 2002, the Company filed a motion to dismiss
plaintiffs' consolidated complaint and a memorandum in support.  
The Company and the individual defendants deny the material
allegations in the complaint and intend to defend against them
vigorously.  In January 2004, the Company entered into an
agreement to settle the lawsuits, without admitting to any of
the allegations against the Company or its officers, and agreed
to pay $7.0 million for the dismissal of all claims, which is
within the Company's insurance coverage limits and has been
agreed to by the Company's insurance carriers.

The settlement has been preliminarily approved and is subject to
the final approval of the court.  


ORACLE CORP: Oral Arguments on Fraud Suit Dismissal Upcoming   
------------------------------------------------------------
Oral arguments on the appeal of the dismissal of the
consolidated securities class action filed against Oracle
Corporation, its chief executive officer, its chief financial
officer and a former executive vice president are set for April
12, 2004 in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California.

The consolidated amended complaint was brought on behalf of
purchasers of Company stock during the period from December 15,
2000 through March 1, 2001.  Plaintiffs alleged that the
defendants made false and misleading statements about the
Company's actual and expected financial performance and the
performance of certain of our applications products, while
certain individual defendants were selling Oracle stock, in
violation of Federal securities laws.  Plaintiffs further
alleged that certain individual defendants sold Oracle stock
while in possession of material non-public information.

On March 12, 2002, the court granted the Company and the
individual defendants' motion to dismiss the amended
consolidated complaint.  On April 10, 2002, plaintiffs filed a
first amended consolidated complaint and on September 11, 2002,
the court granted defendants' motion to dismiss that complaint.

On October 11, 2002, the plaintiffs filed another amended
complaint.  In this second amended complaint, the plaintiffs
added allegations that the defendants engaged in accounting
violations and made misstatements about the Company's financial
performance, beginning on December 14, 2000 through March 1,
2001.  On March 24, 2003, the Court dismissed the second amended
complaint with prejudice.  Plaintiffs appealed that dismissal
and, on August 11, 2003, filed their appellate brief in the
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Defendants
filed their response on October 8, 2003 and plaintiffs filed
their reply on November 26, 2003.  


OZARK TICKET: IN Court Issues Order, Fines For Securities Fraud
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Larry J. McKinney, Chief Judge, U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of Indiana, entered a final
judgment against Lee E. Larscheid and Ozark Ticket and Travel,
Inc., which:  

     (1) orders Mr. Larscheid and Ozark Ticket to pay, jointly
         and severally, disgorgement in the amount of
         $1,792,369.50 and prejudgment interest in the amount
         of $22,550;  

     (2) orders Mr. Larscheid and Ozark Ticket to each pay  
         civil penalties in the amount of $120,000; and,  

     (3) permanently enjoins them from future violations of
         Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of
         1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of
         1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.   

Both Mr. Larscheid and Ozark Ticket consented to the entry of
the final judgment without admitting or denying the allegations
contained in the Commission's November 10, 2003 complaint.

In its complaint, the Commission alleged that Mr. Larscheid,
Ozark Ticket, and ten individuals and entities offered and sold
securities, which were nominally structured as hotel timeshare
rental interests, in unregistered transactions as part of a
Ponzi scheme that defrauded at least 600 investors of over $28
million in 30 states.  On November 10, 2003, Chief Judge
McKinney issued a temporary restraining order, which froze the
Defendants' assets and temporarily restrained the Defendants
from violating the antifraud and registration provisions of the
federal securities laws.  

On November 20, 2003, the Honorable John D. Tinder, U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, issued
preliminary injunctions against each of the Defendants,  
continuing the asset freeze ordered by Chief Judge McKinney and
preliminary enjoined the Defendants from violating the antifraud
and registration provisions of the federal securities laws for
the pendency of this action.

This case is still pending against the remaining Defendants.  
The suit is styled "SEC v. Patrick Ballinger, Dennis R. Weaver,
Kosta S. Kovachev, Lee E. Larscheid, Benny G. Morris, Darin W.
Roberts, Linda M. Sears, Todd F. Walker, Branson City Limits,
Inc., Resort Hotels, Inc., Universal Financial Leasing, Inc.,
and Ozark Ticket and Travel, Inc., No. 1:03-cv-1659-LJM-WTL."


PFGI CAPITAL: OH Court Dismisses Most Of Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Ohio dismissed all but one claim in the securities class action
filed against PFGI Capital Corporation by shareholder Silverback
Master Ltd.  The suit also names as defendants:

     (1) Provident Financial Corporation,

     (2) Provident's President, Robert L. Hoverson and

     (3) Provident's Chief Financial Officer, Christopher J.
         Carey

The suit is allegedly filed, on behalf of all purchasers of
PRIDES in or traceable to a June 6, 2002 offering of those
securities registered with the Securities and Exchange
Commission and extending to March 5, 2003.  

This action is based upon circumstances involved in a
restatement of earnings announced by Provident on March 5, 2003.
It alleges violations of securities laws by the defendants in
Provident's financial disclosures during the period from March
30, 1998 through March 5, 2003 and in the June 2002 offering. It
seeks an unspecified amount of compensatory damages.

This action and other class actions have been consolidated
before Judge S. Arthur Spiegel of the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Ohio under the caption,
"Merzin v. Provident Financial Group, Inc., consolidated Civil
Action Master File No. C-1-03-165."

The Company and other Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the
Complaint on November 5, 2003.  The motion was granted on March
9, 2004 and the Court dismissed all claims except those relating
to the June 6, 2002 offering of 6,600,000 PRIDE securities.
However, the Court's order confined any later finding of damages
to $0.70 per PRIDE security.


QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Asks CO Court To Dismiss Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Qwest Communications International, Inc. asked the United States
District Court for the District of Colorado to dismiss the fifth
amended consolidated securities class actions filed against it,
alleging violations of the federal securities laws.

On August 21, 2002, plaintiffs in the consolidated securities
action filed their Fourth Consolidated Amended Class Action
Complaint, or the Fourth Consolidated Complaint, which
defendants moved to dismiss.  On January 13, 2004, the United
States District Court for the District of Colorado granted the
defendants' motions to dismiss in part and denied them in part.  
In that order, the court allowed plaintiffs to file a proposed
amended complaint seeking to remedy the pleading defects
addressed in the court's dismissal order and ordered that
discovery, which previously had been stayed during the pendency
of the motions to dismiss, proceed regarding the surviving
claims.

On February 6, 2004, plaintiffs filed a Fifth Consolidated
Amended Class Complaint, or the Fifth Consolidated Complaint.
The Fifth Consolidated Complaint attempts to expand the putative
class period previously alleged in the Fourth Consolidated
Complaint, seeks to restore the claims dismissed by the court,
including claims against certain individual defendants who were
dismissed as defendants by the court's dismissal order, and to
add additional individual defendants who have not been named as
defendants in plaintiffs' previous complaints.

The Fifth Consolidated Complaint also advances allegations
related to a number of matters and transactions that were not
pleaded in the earlier complaints.  The Fifth Consolidated
Complaint is purportedly brought on behalf of purchasers of
publicly traded securities of QCII between May 24, 1999 and July
28, 2002, and names as defendants the Company and:

     (1) its former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph
         P. Nacchio,

     (2) its former Chief Financial Officers, Robin R. Szeliga
         and Robert S. Woodruff,

     (3) other of its former officers and current directors and

     (4) Arthur Andersen LLP

The Fifth Consolidated Complaint alleges, among other things,
that during the putative class period, QCII and certain of the
individual defendants made materially false statements regarding
the results of QCII's operations in violation of section 10(b)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or the Exchange Act,
that certain of the individual defendants are liable as control
persons under section 20(a) of the Exchange Act and that certain
of the individual defendants sold some of their shares of QCII's
common stock in violation of section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.

The Fifth Consolidated Complaint further alleges that QCII and
certain other defendants violated section 11 of the Securities
Act by preparing and disseminating false registration statements
and prospectuses for the registration of QCII common stock to be
issued to U S WEST shareholders in connection with the Merger of
the two companies, and for the exchange of $3 billion of QCII's
notes pursuant to a registration statement dated January 17,
2001, $3.25 billion of QCII's notes pursuant to a registration
statement dated July 12, 2001, and $3.75 billion of QCII's notes
pursuant to a registration statement dated October 30, 2001.

Additionally, the Fifth Consolidated Complaint alleges that
certain of the individual defendants are liable as control
persons under section 15 of the Securities Act by reason of
their stock ownership, management positions and/or membership or
representation on the Company's Board of Directors.  The Fifth
Consolidated Complaint seeks unspecified compensatory damages
and other relief.  However, counsel for plaintiffs has indicated
that the purported class will seek damages in the tens of
billions of dollars.


QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: CO Court Yet To Rule on Lawsuit Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Colorado has yet to decide
on Qwest Communications International, Inc.'s motion to dismiss
the consolidated securities class action filed against it on
behalf of all participants and beneficiaries of the Qwest
Savings and Investment Plan and predecessor plans, or the Plan,
from March 7, 1999 until the present.

The amended complaint names as defendants, among others, the
Company and:   

     (1) several former and current directors,

     (2) officers and employees of QCII,

     (3) Qwest Asset Management,

     (4) the QCII Plan Design Committee,

     (5) the Plan Investment Committee, and

     (6) the Plan Administrative Committee of the pre-Merger
         QCII 401(k) Savings Plan

The consolidated action, which was brought under the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, alleges, among other
things, the defendants breached fiduciary duties to the Plan
members by allegedly:

     (i) excessively concentrating the Plan's assets invested in
         QCII's stock,

    (ii) requiring certain participants in the Plan to hold the
         matching contributions received from QCII in the Qwest
         Shares Fund,

   (iii) failing to disclose to the participants the alleged
         accounting improprieties that are the subject of the
         consolidated securities action,

    (iv) failing to investigate the prudence of investing in
         QCII's stock,

     (v) continuing to offer QCII's stock as an investment
         option under the Plan,

    (vi) failing to investigate the effect of the Merger on Plan
         assets and then failing to vote the Plan's shares
         against it,

   (vii) preventing plan participants from acquiring QCII's
         stock during certain periods, and

  (viii) as against some of the individual defendants,
         capitalizing on their private knowledge of QCII's
         financial condition to reap profits in stock sales.

Plaintiffs seek equitable and declaratory relief, along with
attorneys' fees and costs and restitution.  Plaintiffs moved for
class certification on January 15, 2003, and QCII has opposed
that motion, which is pending before the court.  Defendants
filed motions to dismiss on August 22, 2002.  Those motions are
also pending before the court.


QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Discovery Starts in CalSTRS Fraud Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is proceeding in the class action filed against Qwest
Communications International, Inc. by the California State
Teachers' Retirement System, (CalSTRS) in the Superior Court of
the State of California in and for the County of San Francisco.  
The suit also names as defendants certain of QCII's former
officers and certain of QCII's current directors and several
other defendants, including Arthur Andersen LLP and several
investment banks, in the Superior Court of the State of
California in and for the County of San Francisco.

CalSTRS alleged that the defendants engaged in fraudulent
conduct that caused CalSTRS to lose in excess of $150 million
invested in QCII's equity and debt securities.  The complaint
alleges, among other things, that defendants engaged in a scheme
to falsely inflate QCII's revenue and decrease its expenses so
that QCII would appear more successful than it actually was
during the period in which CalSTRS purchased and sold QCII
securities.  The complaint purported to state causes of action
against QCII for:

     (1) violation of California Corporations Code section 25400
         et seq. (securities laws);

     (2) violation of California Corporations Code section 17200
         et seq. (unfair competition);

     (3) fraud, deceit and concealment; and

     (4) breach of fiduciary duty

Among other requested relief, CalSTRS sought compensatory,
special and punitive damages, restitution, pre-judgment interest
and costs.  QCII and the individual defendants filed a demurrer,
seeking dismissal of all claims.  In response, CalSTRS
voluntarily dismissed the unfair competition claim but
maintained the balance of the complaint.  The court denied the
demurrer as to the California securities law and fraud claims,
but dismissed the breach of fiduciary duty claim against QCII
with leave to amend.  The court also dismissed the claims
against Robert S. Woodruff and Robin R. Szeliga on
jurisdictional grounds.

On July 25, 2003, plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint.  
The material allegations and the relief sought remain largely
the same, but plaintiff no longer alleges claims against Mr.
Woodruff and Ms. Szeliga following the court's dismissal of the
claims against them.  CalSTRS reasserted its claim against QCII
for breach of fiduciary duty as a claim of aiding and abetting
breach of fiduciary duty.  QCII filed a second demurrer to that
claim, and on November 17, 2003, the court dismissed that claim
without leave to amend.  


QWEST CORPORATION: CO Court Yet To Rule on Motion To Remand Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Colorado
has yet to rule on Qwest Corporation's motion to remand to state
court the class action filed against it, and:

     (1) Qwest Communications International, Inc. (QCII),

     (2) The Anschutz Family Investment Co.,

     (3) Philip Anschutz,

     (4) Joseph P. Nacchio and

     (5) Robin R. Szeliga

The suit was originally filed in the District Court for Boulder
County, Colorado on behalf of purchasers of QCII's stock between
June 28, 2000 and June 27, 2002 and owners of U S WEST stock on
June 28, 2000.  The complaint alleges, among other things, that
QCII and the individual defendants issued false and misleading
statements and engaged in improper accounting practices in order
to accomplish the Merger, to make QCII appear successful and to
inflate the value of QCII's stock.

The complaint asserts claims under Sections 11, 12, 15 and 17 of
the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act.
The complaint seeks unspecified monetary damages, disgorgement
of illegal gains and other relief.

On July 31, 2002, the defendants removed this state court action
to federal district court in Colorado.  The plaintiffs have
moved to remand the lawsuit back to state court.  Defendants
have opposed that motion, which is pending before the court.


RIVIERA HOLDINGS: Plaintiffs Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit in NV
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs agreed to dismiss with prejudice the class action
filed against Riviera Holdings Corporation in the Clark County,
Nevada District Court.  The suit also names as defendants
Company directors:

     (1) William L. Westerman,

     (2) Robert R. Barengo,

     (3) Jeffery A. Silver and

     (4) Paul A. Harvey

The named plaintiff was a shareholder of the Company.  In the
complaint, the plaintiff sought an order requiring the
individual defendants to take the following actions, among
others: cooperate with any individual who makes a bona fide
offer to acquire the Company, take steps that are calculated to
result in a buy-out or takeover of the Company at the highest
price, comply with their fiduciary duties, and reimburse the
plaintiff's class for damages, costs and disbursements related
to the lawsuit.  The complaint also sought to have all of the
Company's public shareholders, excluding the defendants,
certified as a class for purposes of the class action suit and
sought plaintiff to be the representative of the class.

On July 10, 2003, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the
Action on the grounds that the Action was filed without the
authorization of the plaintiff.  Prior to this motion to
dismiss being heard, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss the lawsuit
with prejudice.


RIVIERA HOLDINGS: Plaintiffs Dismiss NV Securities Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs dismissed the class action filed against Riviera
Holdings Corporation in the Clark County, Nevada District Court
(Case No. A467159) in the name of Paul Rosa against the Company
and Company directors:

     (1) William L. Westerman,

     (2) Robert R. Barengo,

     (3) Jeffrey A. Silver,

     (4) Paul A. Harvey and

     (5) Vincent L. DiVito

The named plaintiff in this action was a shareholder of the
Company and sought to have all of the Company's public
shareholders, excluding defendants and related shareholders,
certified as a class for purposes of the class action.  

On July 21, 2003, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the
Action on the grounds that the complaint failed to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted.  Prior to this motion to
dismiss being heard, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss the lawsuit
with prejudice and on October 10, 2003, a Stipulation and Order
for Dismissal was entered dismissing the action with prejudice.


SENECA FOODS: Recalls Beef Chili Due To Undeclared Allergens
------------------------------------------------------------
Seneca Foods Corporation, a Payette, Idaho, firm is voluntarily
recalling approximately 7,250 pounds of beef chili because of
undeclared allergens (wheat and soy), the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced
today.

The products being recalled are 6-pound, 12-ounce cans of
"CIMMARON, PREMIUM, BEEF CHILI WITH BEANS." Each can also bears
one of the following codes, "K3ED041" or "K3ED042." Under this
code is the number "73661."  The cans also bear the
establishment number "EST. 6166" inside the USDA mark of
inspection.  The chili was produced on November 4, 2003 and
shipped to restaurants and wholesale distributors in California,
Oregon and Washington.

Consumers who are allergic to wheat or lecithin should not eat
this product. FSIS has received no reports of allergic reactions
associated with consumption of this product. Anyone concerned
about an allergic reaction should contact a physician.  The
Company discovered the problem.

Media with questions about the recall should contact Phil Paras,
company chief financial officer, at (315) 926-8121. Consumers
may contact Vince Lammers, company vice president, at
(315) 926-3314.


SMITHFIELD FOODS: Appeals Court Upholds RICO Lawsuit Dismissal
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the
dismissal of the consolidated class action filed against
Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Joseph W. Luter III.

In March 2001, Eugene C. Anderson and other individuals filed
the suit in the United State District Court for the Middle
District of Florida, alleging violations of various law,
including the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(RICO), based on the Company's alleged failure to comply with
certain environmental laws.

On June 24, 2002, the District Court granted the Company's and
Mr. Luter's motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' second amended
complaint with prejudice and issued an order imposing monetary
sanctions against the plaintiffs' attorneys.  The plaintiffs
noted their appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh
Circuit on July 24, 2002.  On February 25, 2003, the Court of
Appeals dismissed the appeal of some but not all, of the
plaintiffs.  On September 17, 2003, the Court of Appeals
affirmed the dismissal of the amended complaint of the remaining
plaintiffs and reversed the order imposing monetary sanctions
against the plaintiffs' attorneys.  The plaintiffs did not
appeal the decision of the Court of Appeals and the period for
filing any such appeal has now passed.  


SPECIALIST FIRMS: Reaches Settlement With SEC Over Trading Fraud
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission issued administrative and
cease-and-desist Orders against five specialist firms, namely:  

     (1) Bear Wagner Specialists, LLC;

     (2) Fleet Specialist, Inc.;

     (3) LaBranche & Co. LLC;  

     (4) Spear, Leeds & Kellogg Specialists LLC; and

     (5) Van der Moolen Specialists USA, LLC.   

Each of the firms consented to the Orders without admitting or
denying the findings contained therein.  In the Orders, the
Commission finds that the specialist firms violated the federal
securities laws and NYSE rules through improper trading
practices.  The Orders collectively impose a total of
$241,823,257 in penalties and disgorgement, consisting of
$87,735,635 in civil money penalties and $154,087,622 in
disgorgement.  The Orders also censure the firms, impose orders
to cease and desist from future violations, and implement steps
to improve the firms' compliance procedures and systems.
     
The Orders find that, between 1999 and 2003, the five firms,
through particular transactions by certain of their registered
specialists, violated federal securities laws by executing
orders for their dealer accounts ahead of executable public
customer or "agency" orders.  Whether acting as brokers or
dealers, specialists are required to hold the public's interest
above their own and, as such, are prohibited from trading for
their dealers' accounts ahead of pre-existing customer buy or
sell orders that are executable against each other.  Each of the
five firms violated this basic obligation to match executable
public customer buy and sell orders and not to fill customer
orders through trades from the firm's own account when those
customer orders could be matched with other customer orders.  
Through this conduct, the firms disadvantaged customer orders,
which either received inferior prices or went unexecuted
altogether, and breached their duty to serve as agents to public
customer orders.  

The illegal conduct took on one of three forms.  The first is
called "interpositioning."  At times from January 1999 through
2003, certain specialists at the five firms bought stock for
their firm's dealer account from the customer sell order, and
then filled the customer buy order by selling from the dealer
account at a higher price - thus realizing a profit for the firm
dealer account.  Alternatively, the specialists sometimes sold
stock into the customer buy order, and then filled the customer
sell order by buying for the dealer account at a lower price.
       
In either case, those specialists participated on both sides of
trades, thereby capturing the spread between the purchase and
sale prices, disadvantaging the other parties to the
transaction.  Between 1999 and 2003, "interpositioning" by
specialists disadvantaged customers at the five firms in the
following amounts: $2,074,303 at Bear Wagner; $9,797,398 at
Fleet; $8,689,574 at LaBranche; $8,309,962 at Spear Leeds, and
$14,629,743 at Van der Moolen.
       
Moreover, in each of the five firms, the "interpositioning"
transactions were heavily concentrated in a few stocks traded by
a small number of specialists at each firm.  With certain
"interpositioning" transactions in six stocks at each firm,
certain individual specialists engaged in fraud by violating
their implied representations to public customers that they were
limiting dealer transactions to those "reasonably necessary to
maintain a fair and orderly market."  None of the specialist
firms had in place reasonable systems or procedures to monitor,
detect, or prevent those violations.
       
The second practice is called "trading ahead."  Specialists at
the five firms sometimes filled one agency order through a
proprietary trade for the firm's account - and thereby
improperly "traded ahead" of the other agency order.  As a
consequence, the customer order that was traded ahead of was
disadvantaged by being executed at a price that was inferior to
the price received by the dealer account.  Unlike
"interpositioning," the "trading ahead" violations did not
necessarily involve a second specialist proprietary trade into
the opposite, disadvantaged agency order.  From January 1999
through 2003, trading ahead by certain specialists at the five
firms resulted in customer disadvantage in the following
amounts: $8,085,348 at Bear Wagner, $26,969,830 at Fleet,
$30,969,236 at LaBranche, $19,430,004 at Spear Leeds, and
$19,209,087 at Van der Moolen.
       
The third practice is called "unexecuted limit orders."  
Sometimes, specialists at the five firms traded ahead of
executable limit orders - i.e., they improperly effected
proprietary trades with customer orders that they should have
paired with marketable limit orders.  Unlike the "trading ahead"
violations described above, in these instances, the
disadvantaged limit orders were never executed, but rather were
cancelled by the customer before receiving an execution.  
Between 1999 and 2003, trading ahead of unexecuted limit orders
disadvantaged customers in the following amounts: $565,252 at
Bear Wagner, $1,246,366 at Fleet, $1,987,630 at LaBranche,  
$1,036,106 at Spear Leeds, and $1,087,783 at Van der Moolen.
     
The Orders provide that in addition to paying disgorgement for
each of the three types of illegal trading, each firm is to pay
civil monetary penalties in the following amounts:  

     (i) Bear Wagner to pay $5,534,543,
     
    (ii) Fleet to pay $21,083,875,

   (iii) LaBranche to pay $21,872,320,

    (iv) Spear Leeds to pay $16,496,406 and

     (v) Van der Moolen to pay $22,748,491

This adds up to a total of $87,735,635 in penalties.  The Orders
provide that, pursuant to Section 308(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley
Act of 2002, the penalties are to be added to the disgorgement
payment to create a Distribution Fund for the benefit of injured
customers.  A fund administrator is to be appointed to
coordinate the return of funds to harmed customers.

In the Orders, the Commission finds that each of the five firms
willfully committed violations of Section 11(b) and Rule 11b-1
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Moreover, the
Commission finds that each of the five firms failed reasonably
to supervise certain of its specialists who, through certain
transactions in six stocks, committed willful violations of
Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder,
with a view toward preventing violations of the federal
securities laws within the meaning of Section 15(b)(4)(E) of the
Exchange Act.  The Orders order that:

     (a) pursuant to Section 21C of the Exchange Act, each firm  
         cease and desist from committing or causing any
         violations and any future violations of Section 11(b)
         of the Exchange Act and Rule 11b-1 thereunder;  

     (b) pursuant to Section 15(b)(4)(E) of the Exchange Act,
         each firm is censured;

     (c) each firm shall pay disgorgement in the amounts
         identified above;

     (d) each firm shall pay civil penalties in the amounts
         identified above;  

     (f) the disgorgement and the civil penalties be added to a  
         Fair Fund which shall be maintained in an interest-
         bearing account and shall be distributed pursuant to a
         distribution plan drawn up by an administrator to be
         chosen by the staff of the Commission and the NYSE; and  

     (6) each firm shall comply with a series of undertakings to
         improve compliance  procedures and systems.  


UNCOMMON MEDIA: SEC Issues Order For Public Proceedings, Hearing
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission issued an Order
Instituting Public Proceedings and Notice of Hearing Pursuant to
Section 12(j) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Order)
against Uncommon Media Group, Inc. (UMDA).  

UMDA, a Florida corporation with its principal place of business
in New York, New York, purportedly created and delivered
targeted marketing and advertising using multimedia technology,
software, and the Internet.  UMDA registered common stock with
the Commission.
     
The Order alleges that UMDA failed to file annual reports on
Form 10-KSB for the year ended December 31, 2002.  The Order
also alleges that UMDA failed to file quarterly reports on Form
10-QSB for the quarters ended: June 31, 2002; September 30,
2002; March 31, 2003; June 30, 2003; and September 30, 2003.
     
Based on the above, the Order seeks to determine what, if any,
remedial action is appropriate in the public interest against
UMDA pursuant to Section 12(j) of the Exchange Act.
     
A hearing will be scheduled before an administrative law judge
to determine whether the allegations contained in the Order are
true, to provide the Respondent an opportunity to dispute these
allegations, and to determine what remedial sanctions, if any,
are appropriate and in the public interest.  The Commission
directed that an administrative law judge issue an initial
decision in this matter within 120 days from the date of service
of the Order Instituting Proceedings.   


WORLDWIDE RESTAURANT: Faces Two Lawsuits For CA E.coli Outbreak
---------------------------------------------------------------
Worldwide Restaurant Concepts, Inc. faces two lawsuits related
to an outbreak of E. coli at certain of its Pat & Oscar's
restaurants.  

On October 7, 2003, the Company was notified by various health
department officials that Pat & Oscar's was the focal point of
an investigation into a potential outbreak of E.coli at certain
of its restaurants.  Approximately 42 cases of E.coli were
confirmed by the health department.

The Company was named as a defendant in two lawsuits filed by
patrons who allegedly became ill with E.coli from consuming
salad at a Pat & Oscar's restaurant in San Diego County Court in
California.  The lawsuits, one of which was filed as a class
action, also name Pat & Oscar's produce distributor, F.T.
Produce, Inc. (Family Tree) and Gold Coast Produce (Gold Coast),
the processor of lettuce supplied to Pat & Oscar's restaurants.

Family Tree's insurance company has accepted tender of the
Company's defense pursuant to an insurance certificate issued by
Family Tree's s insurance company naming the Company and Pat &
Oscar's as additional insureds.

The Company does not believe that the resolution of this case or
the claims of any other individuals who became ill as a result
of the alleged E.coli incident at Pat & Oscar's will have any
material impact on its financial position or results of
operations.


                          Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Altria Lists Asbestos Contribution Cases
-------------------------------------------------------------
Altria Group Inc. reported that its tobacco-related litigation
includes suits by former asbestos manufacturers seeking
contribution or reimbursement for amounts expended in connection
with the defense and payment of asbestos claims that were
allegedly caused in whole or in part by cigarette smoking.  Of
its asbestos contribution cases, the Company said, "The increase
in cases at February 13, 2004 compared to prior periods is due
primarily to new cases being filed in Maryland and to the
reclassification as individual cases of purported class actions
filed in Nevada, following the denials of plaintiffs' motions
for class certification."  

These cases, which have been brought on behalf of former
asbestos manufacturers and affiliated entities against Philip
Morris USA and other cigarette manufacturers, seek, among other
things, contribution or reimbursement for amounts expended in
connection with the defense and payment of asbestos claims that
were allegedly caused in whole or in part by cigarette smoking.  
The Company enumerated the following asbestos contribution
cases:

(1) Fibreboard Corporation, et al. v. The American Tobacco
Company, Inc., et al., Superior Court, Alameda County,
California, filed December 11, 1997.

(2) Owens Corning v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al.,
Circuit Court, Fayette County, Mississippi, filed
August 30, 1998. In July 2001, the court granted
defendants' motion for summary judgment dismissing the
claims of the asbestos company plaintiff, and plaintiff
has appealed.

(3) Combustion Engineering, Inc., et al. v. RJR Nabisco,
Inc., et al., Circuit Court, Jefferson County,
Mississippi, filed December 18, 2000 (not yet served).

(4) Gasket Holdings, et al. v. RJR Nabisco, Inc., et al.,
Circuit Court, Jefferson County, Mississippi, filed
December 18, 2000 (not yet served).

(5) Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation, et al. v. RJR
Nabisco, Inc., et al., Circuit Court, Jefferson County,
Mississippi, filed December 18, 2000.

(6) T&N, Ltd., et al. v. RJR Nabisco, Inc., et al., Circuit
Court, Jefferson County, Mississippi, filed December
18, 2000 (not yet served).  

(7) W.R. Grace & Co. Conn., et al. v. RJR Nabisco, Inc., et
al., Circuit Court, Jefferson County, Mississippi,
filed April 24, 2001.

In certain of the Company's smoking and health cases, plaintiffs
claim that cigarette smoking exacerbated the injuries caused by
their exposure to asbestos.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens Corning Carrying Out Bankruptcy Plan
----------------------------------------------------------------
A regulatory filing by Owens Corning states that a group of
Debtors, which includes Owens-Corning Fiberglas Technology Inc.,
Owens Corning HT Inc., Owens-Corning Overseas Holdings Inc. and
Owens Corning Remodeling Systems LLC, filed for relief under
Chapter 11 to address the growing demands on Owens Corning's
cash flow resulting from its multi-billion dollar asbestos
liability.  On January 17, 2003, the Debtors, together with the
Official Committee of Asbestos Claimants and the Legal
Representative for the class of future asbestos claimants, filed
a proposed joint plan of reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court.  The same proponents filed a proposed amended joint plan
of reorganization in the USBC on March 28, 2003, a proposed
second amended joint plan of reorganization in the USBC on May
23, 2003, a proposed third amended joint plan of reorganization
in the USBC on August 8, 2003, and a proposed fourth amended
joint plan of reorganization (as so amended through such fourth
amendment, the "Plan") in the USBC on October 24, 2003.  The
Plan is subject to confirmation by the Bankruptcy Court.  Owens
Corning believes that it is likely that the terms, conditions
and provisions of the Plan will be the subject of continuing
negotiations or litigation to resolve differences among the
creditor constituencies as to their treatment.  Accordingly,
Owens Corning is unable to predict at this time what the
treatment of creditors and equity holders of the respective
Debtors will ultimately be under any plan or plans of
reorganization finally confirmed.  The current Plan provides for
partial payment of all unsecured creditors' claims, in the form
of distributions of new common stock and notes of the
reorganized company, and cash.  Additional distributions from
potential insurance and other third-party claims may also be
paid to certain classes of unsecured creditors, but it is
expected that all classes of pre-petition unsecured creditors
will be impaired.  Therefore, the Plan also provides that the
existing common stock of Owens Corning will be cancelled, and
that current shareholders will receive no distribution or other
consideration in exchange for their shares. It is impossible to
predict at this time the terms and provisions of any plan or
plans of reorganization that may ultimately be confirmed, when a
plan or plans of reorganization will be confirmed, or the
treatment of creditors thereunder.

In late 2001, the asbestos-related Chapter 11 cases pending in
the District of Delaware (the Chapter 11 Cases of Owens Corning
and the cases of Armstrong World Industries Inc., W.R. Grace &
Co., Federal-Mogul Global Inc., and USG Corp.) were ordered
transferred to the U.S. District Court for the District of
Delaware before Judge Alfred M. Wolin to facilitate development
and implementation of a coordinated plan for management (the
"Administrative Consolidation").  The District Court has entered
an order referring the Chapter 11 Cases back to the USBC, where
they were previously pending, subject to its ongoing right to
withdraw such referral with respect to any proceedings or issues
(the applicable court from time to time responsible for any
particular aspect of the Chapter 11 Cases being hereinafter
referred to as the "Bankruptcy Court").  Owens Corning is unable
to predict what impact the Administrative Consolidation will
have on the timing, outcome or other aspects of the Chapter 11
Cases.  Two creditors' committees, one representing asbestos
claimants and the other representing unsecured creditors, have
been appointed as official committees in the Chapter 11 Cases.  
In addition, the Bankruptcy Court has appointed James J.
McMonagle as Legal Representative for the class of future
asbestos personal injury claimants against one or more of the
Debtors.  The two committees and the Legal Representative have
the right to be heard on all matters that come before the
Bankruptcy Court.

On January 17, 2003, the Debtors, together with the Official
Committee of Asbestos Claimants and the Legal Representative for
the class of future asbestos claimants, filed a proposed joint
plan of reorganization in the USBC.  The same proponents filed a
proposed amended joint plan of reorganization in the USBC on
March 28, 2003, a proposed second amended joint plan of
reorganization in the USBC on May 23, 2003, a proposed third
amended joint plan of reorganization in the USBC on August 8,
2003, and a proposed fourth amended joint plan of reorganization
(as so amended through such fourth amendment, the "Plan") in the
USBC on October 24, 2003.  The Plan is subject to confirmation
by the Bankruptcy Court.  Owens Corning believes that it is
likely that the terms, conditions and provisions of the Plan
will be the subject of continuing negotiations or litigation to
resolve differences among the creditor constituencies as to
their treatment.  Accordingly, Owens Corning is unable to
predict at this time what the treatment of creditors and equity
holders of the respective Debtors will ultimately be under any
plan or plans of reorganization finally confirmed. The current
Plan provides for partial payment of all unsecured creditors'
claims, in the form of distributions of new common stock and
notes of the reorganized company, and cash.  Additional
distributions from potential insurance and other third-party
claims may also be paid to certain classes of unsecured
creditors, but it is expected that all classes of pre-petition
unsecured creditors will be impaired.  Therefore, the Plan also
provides that the existing common stock of Owens Corning will be
cancelled, and that current shareholders will receive no
distribution or other consideration in exchange for their
shares.  It is impossible to predict at this time the terms and
provisions of any plan or plans of reorganization that may
ultimately be confirmed, when a plan or plans of reorganization
will be confirmed, or the treatment of creditors thereunder.

During 2003, the Company recorded a pretax income of $5,000,000
($3,000,000 after-tax) for asbestos-related insurance
recoveries.  During 2002, the Company recorded a pretax charge
of $2,351,000,000 ($2,351,000,000 after-tax) for asbestos
litigation claims.  During 2001, the Company recorded a pretax
income of $7,000,000 ($4,000,000 after-tax) for asbestos-related
insurance recoveries.  During 2000, the Company recorded a
pretax charge of $790,000,000 ($486,000,000 after-tax) for
asbestos litigation claims.

Owens Corning's strategy for managing the Chapter 11 process has
been to steadily advance its case while attempting to facilitate
a consensual Plan of Reorganization that all creditors would
support.  The Company believes that a Consensual Plan would
allow it to emerge from Chapter 11 earlier than the current
track while still maximizing the value of the Company's estate for all
creditors.  Unfortunately, it has been unable to reach a
Consensual Plan to date.  Absent a Consensual Plan, Owens
Corning continues to move forward with a Plan of Reorganization
that is co-sponsored by the Official Committee of Asbestos
Claimants and the Legal Representative for the class of future
asbestos claimants in its case.

Among the primary factors in 2003 that have prevented the
Company from reaching a Consensual Plan with its Creditors are

(1) proposed asbestos reform legislation (the "FAIR Act").  
The Company's non-asbestos creditors believe that this
legislation would reduce the asbestos liability owed by
the Company, and would therefore potentially increase
the recoveries of all other creditors.  2003 ended
without Congressional action on the FAIR Act, and as
long as it remains possible that the FAIR Act could be
enacted into law, it will likely remain a factor in the
negotiations among the Company's various creditor
groups.

(2) significant disagreement as to the value of the
Company's current and future asbestos liability.  Owens
Corning's Plan of Reorganization provides that the
liability for current and future asbestos personal
injury claims against Owens Corning and Fibreboard
would be determined by the Bankruptcy Court as part of
the confirmation hearing on the Plan. The Official
Committee of Asbestos Claimants and the Legal
Representative for the class of future asbestos
claimants have reserved the right to withdraw support
of the Plan if such liability is determined to be less
than $16,000,000 in the aggregate.  Owens Corning's
non-asbestos creditors have indicated that they believe
that the amount of such liability is significantly
lower than $16,000,000.  The determination of the value
of the aggregate asbestos liability could significantly
impact the relative recoveries of the parties.

On May 22, 2003, the United States Senate introduced proposed
legislation (S 1125, also known as the Fairness in Asbestos
Injury Resolution Act of 2003) that, if enacted into law, would
establish an administrative claims resolution structure through
which all asbestos personal injury claims would be channeled and
reviewed.  The FAIR Act would also establish a national trust
fund, funded through mandated contributions from defendant
companies, insurance companies and existing trusts, that would
be the source of compensation of all approved claims.  Under the
present terms of the FAIR Act, companies like Owens Corning and
Fibreboard, that have filed for bankruptcy but have not yet
emerged through a confirmed plan of reorganization, would be
included as participants in the resolution structure.  The fate
of the FAIR Act remains uncertain, and Owens Corning is unable
to make any prediction as to whether the FAIR Act will be
enacted or, if enacted, what its final form would be or what the
effect, if any, would be on Owens Corning and Fibreboard or
their plan or plans of reorganization.  The provisions of any
legislation ultimately enacted may have a material effect on the
amount of liability that Owens Corning and Fibreboard ultimately
have for asbestos-related claims, which could be more or less
than the amounts reserved for in Owens Corning's financial
statements.

There are around 2,900 claims, totaling an estimated
$1,500,000,000, associated with asbestos-related contribution,
indemnity, reimbursement, or subrogation claims.  Owens Corning
will address all asbestos-related personal injury and wrongful
death claims in the future as part of the Chapter 11 Cases.

Around 100 claims, totaling an estimated $700,000,000, allege
asbestos-related property damage.  Most of these claims were
submitted with insufficient documentation to assess their
validity.  Owens Corning expects to vigorously defend any
asserted asbestos-related property damage claims in the
Bankruptcy Court.  Based upon its historic experience in respect
of asbestos-related property damage claims, Owens Corning does
not anticipate significant liability from any such claims.

A asbestos bar date for filing proofs of claim against the
Debtors with respect to asbestos-related personal injury claims
and asbestos-related wrongful death claims (other than claims
for contribution, indemnity, reimbursement, or subrogation) has
not been set.  On April 11, 2003, the Official Committee of
Unsecured Creditors filed a motion seeking establishment of a
bar date for such asbestos-related claims.  On April 25, 2003,
the District Court entered an order withdrawing the reference of
the Chapter 11 Cases to the USBC with respect to such motion,
and staying all proceedings on such motion pending further order
of the District Court.  Around 3,100 proofs of claim alleging
asbestos-related personal injury and wrongful death (other than
claims for contribution, indemnity, reimbursement, or
subrogation) totaling an estimated $2,300,000,000, with respect
to asbestos-related personal injury or wrongful death were filed
with the Bankruptcy Court in response to the General Bar Date.  
Of these claims, Owens Corning has identified around 1,200,
totaling an estimated $500,000,000, as Objectionable Claims.  Of
the remaining claims, Owens Corning believes that a substantial
majority represents claimants that had previously asserted
asbestos-related claims against the Company.  Under the Plan all
asbestos-related personal injury and wrongful death claims will
be channeled to the Section 524(g) trust, subject to approval by
the Bankruptcy Court.

Income from operations increased to $267,000,000 for the year
ended December 31, 2003, from a loss from operations of
$2,313,000,000 in 2002.  The increase was primarily attributable
to the $2,356,000,000 provision for asbestos litigation claims
taken in the third quarter of 2002.  The Company's effective tax
rate for 2003 was about 56%, compared to 1% for 2002.  The 2003
rate reflects valuation reserves in connection with the
deductibility of certain Chapter 11 related reorganization
expenses.  The 2002 rate reflects valuation reserves in
connection with the Company's increase, in the third quarter of
2002, of its asbestos-related reserves through charges to income
of $1,381,000,000 for Owens Corning asbestos-related liabilities
and $975,000,000 for Fibreboard asbestos-related liabilities,
for an aggregate charge of $2,356,000,000.  In connection with
such charges, management evaluated the likelihood of allowable
tax deductions in light of the Company's financial position and
the Chapter 11 proceedings.  As the result of such assessment,
management determined that, as of September 30, 2002, a
valuation allowance was required for the full amount of the
increase in asbestos reserves.  As a result, no tax benefit was
recorded in connection with the third quarter 2002 asbestos-
related charges.  The balances as of December 31, 2003 and 2002
included $936,000,000 in both years for tax assets related to
charges for asbestos-related liabilities.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: United Industrial Segment Suffers Losses
-------------------------------------------------------------
United Industrial Corp. reported that in 2003, its energy
segment results continued to be negatively affected by the
ongoing defense of its asbestos claims.  The energy segment loss
from continuing operations before income taxes was $10,108,000
in 2002 compared to a profit of $3,042,000 in 2001.  The
decrease of $13,150,000 in 2002 was primarily due to an asbestos
litigation provision to cover the estimated liability through
2012 net of estimated probable insurance recoveries, of
$11,509,000, and $4,707,000 of expenses related to the closing
of the energy segment's foundry, partially offset by other
efficiencies in gross profit and selling and administrative
expenses.  

The asbestos litigation expense provision in 2003 was $717,000,
representing a decrease of $10,792,000 or 93.8% from $11,509,000
in 2002.  The asbestos litigation provision in 2003 relates
primarily to legal and other professional fees associated with
studies performed to evaluate the extent of potential asbestos
liability and related available insurance coverage.  The
asbestos litigation provision in 2002 was related to the accrual
of potential claims including defense costs reduced by expected
related insurance recoveries.

During 2003, income from continuing operations before income
taxes in the energy segment was $3,897,000 compared to a loss
from continuing operations before income tax benefit of
$10,108,000 in 2002.  The increase in 2003 was primarily due to
the provision recognized for asbestos litigation expenses and
the closing of Midwest in 2002.  

In 2003, the asbestos litigation expense, net of tax, was
$465,000.  In 2002, the asbestos litigation expense, net of tax,
was $7,330,000.
The Company and its Detroit Stoker subsidiary have been named as
defendants in asbestos-related personal injury litigation.  
Neither the Company nor Detroit Stoker fabricated, milled,
mined, manufactured or marketed asbestos, and neither the
Company nor Detroit Stoker made or sold insulation products or
other construction materials that have been identified as the
primary cause of asbestos-related disease in the vast majority
of claimants.  Rather, Detroit Stoker made several products,
some of the parts and components of which used asbestos-
containing material fabricated and provided by third parties.
Detroit Stoker stopped the use of asbestos-containing materials
in connection with its products in 1981.

The Company and Detroit Stoker have not gone to trial with
respect to any asbestos-related personal injury claims.

Cases involving the Company and Detroit Stoker typically name 80 to
120 defendants, although some cases have as few as 6 and as many
as 250 defendants.


ASBESTOS ALERT: BorgWarner Discloses Claims, Does Not Elaborate
---------------------------------------------------------------
BorgWarner Inc. reported that it is named as a defendant in
asbestos-related personal injury actions.  Management believes
that the Company's involvement is limited to claims that relate
to a few types of automotive friction products, manufactured
many years ago, that contained encapsulated asbestos.  The
Company aggressively defends against these lawsuits and has been
successful in obtaining dismissal of many cases without any
payment whatsoever or, in many cases for nominal or minimal
settlement payments.  The Company has significant insurance
coverage with solvent carriers and, to date, has not incurred
any out-of-pocket costs, other than immaterial administration
expenses, in connection with these lawsuits or any settlements
thereof.

Although it is impossible to predict the outcome of pending or
future claims, in light of the nature of the products, the
Company's experience in defending and resolving claims in the
past, its insurance coverage and existing reserves, management
does not believe that asbestos-related claims will have a
material adverse effect on the Company's liquidity, financial
condition or results of operations.


COMPANY PROFILE

BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE: BWA)
200 South Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-322-8500
Fax: 312-322-8599
http://www.bwauto.com/

Employees                  :          14,300
Revenue                    : $ 3,070,000,000.00
Net Income                 : $   174,900,000.00
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description: BorgWarner Inc. (formerly Borg-Warner Automotive)
is a leading maker of power train products for the world's major
automakers.  Its largest customers -- Ford, DaimlerChrysler, and
General Motors -- together account for more than 50% of sales.  
Its power train products include four-wheel-drive and all-wheel-
drive transfer cases (primarily for light trucks and sport
utility vehicles), as well as automatic transmission and timing
chain systems.  BorgWarner has 43 facilities in 14 countries.


ASBESTOS ALERT: California Water Sued For Asbestos-Related Death
----------------------------------------------------------------
In December 2001, California Water Service Group and several
other defendants were served with a lawsuit by the estate and
immediate family members of a deceased employee of a pipeline
construction contractor.  The contractor's employee had worked
on various Cal Water projects over a number of years.  The
plaintiffs allege that Cal Water and other defendants are
responsible for an asbestos-related disease that is claimed to
have caused the death of the contractor's employee.  The
complaint seeks damages in excess of $100,000, in addition to
unspecified punitive damages.  The Company has denied
responsibility in the case and intends to vigorously defend
itself against the claim.  Pursuant to an indemnity provision in
the contracts between the contractor and Cal Water, the
contractor has accepted liability for the claim against us and
is reimbursing the Company's defense costs.


COMPANY PROFILE

California Water Service Group (NYSE: CWT)
1720 North First Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Phone: 408-367-8200
Fax: 831-427-9185
http://www.calwater.com

Employees                  :             813
Revenue                    : $   217,100,000.00
Net Income                 : $    19,300,000.00
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description: California Water Service Group operates primarily
in one business segment, the supply and distribution of water
and providing water-related utility services.  The Company is
the sole owner of four operating subsidiaries: California Water
Service Company, New Mexico Water Service Company, Washington
Water Service Company and CWS Utility Services.  The Company's
business consists of the production, purchase, storage,
purification, distribution and sale of water for domestic,
industrial, public and irrigation uses, and for fire protection.  
The Company also provides water-related services under
agreements with municipalities and other private companies.  The
non-regulated services include full water system operation,
billing and meter reading services, and lease of communication
antenna sites.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Delphi Financial Reports Expenses From Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
Delphi Financial Group Inc. reported that its excess casualty
insurance consists of a discontinued excess umbrella liability
program, which entails exposure to excess of loss liability
claims from past years, including environmental and asbestos-
related claims.  Net incurred losses and loss adjustment
expenses relating to this program totaled $4,400,000 in 2003.


COMPANY PROFILE

Delphi Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: DFG)
1105 North Market Street
Suite 1230, P.O. Box 8985
Wilmington, DE 19899
Phone: 302-478-5142
Fax: 302-787-3944
http://www.delphifin.com

Employees                  :           1,045
Revenue                    : $   918,200,000.00
Net Income                 : $    98,900,000.00
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description: Delphi Financial Group Inc. is a holding company
whose subsidiaries provide integrated employee benefit services.  
The Company manages all aspects of employee absence to enhance
the productivity of its clients, and provides the related
insurance coverage, including long-term and short-term
disability, excess and primary workers' compensation, group life
and travel accident.  The Company's asset accumulation business
emphasizes fixed annuity products.  The Company offers its
products and services in all 50 states and the District of
Columbia.  Its two reportable segments are group employee
benefit products and asset accumulation products.  The Company's
principal subsidiaries are Reliance Standard Life Insurance
Company, Safety National Casualty Corporation and Matrix Absence
Management Inc.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Fortune Brands Subsidiary Named In 160 Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fortune Brands Inc. says that its subsidiary, Moen Incorporated,
has been named as a defendant in around 160 cases claiming
personal injury from asbestos.  All of these suits name multiple
defendants and, in most cases, in excess of 75 defendants are
named in addition to Moen.  

It is not possible to predict the outcome of the pending
litigation, and, as with any litigation, it is possible that
some of these actions could be decided unfavorably.  Management
believes it has meritorious defenses to these actions and that
these actions will not have a material adverse effect upon the
results of operations, cash flows or financial condition of the
Company.  These actions are being vigorously contested.  


COMPANY PROFILE

Fortune Brands Inc. (NYSE: FO)
300 Tower Parkway
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
Phone: 847-484-4400
Fax: 847-478-0073
http://www.fortunebrands.com

Employees                  :          30,988
Revenue                    : $ 6,210,000,000.00
Net Income                 : $   578,500,000.00
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description: Fortune Brands, Inc. is a holding company with
subsidiaries engaged in the manufacture, production and sale of
home products, spirits and wine, golf products and office
products.  Subsidiaries include Moen Inc., MasterBrand Cabinets
Inc., Master Lock Co. and Waterloo Industries Inc. Jim Beam
Brands Worldwide, Inc. is a holding company for subsidiaries in
the distilled spirits and wine business. Principal subsidiaries
include JBBCo., Future Brands and Jim Beam Brands Australia Pty.
Limited.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Great Lakes Involved in 260 Asbestos Lawsuits
-------------------------------------------------------------
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp. or its former subsidiary, NATCO
Limited Partnership, are named as defendants in around 260
lawsuits, the majority of which were filed between 1989 and
2000, and seven of which were filed in the last three years.  In
these lawsuits, the plaintiffs allege personal injury, primarily
fibrosis or asbestosis, from exposure to asbestos on the
Company's vessels.  The vast majority of these lawsuits have
been filed in the Northern District of Ohio and a few in the
Eastern District of Michigan.  These cases have been transferred
to the asbestos multi-district litigation pending in the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania.  

Plaintiffs in these cases have sought no discovery, and none of
these cases has been litigated to date as  to the Company.  
Management does not believe that these cases
will have a material adverse impact on the business.


COMPANY PROFILE

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp.
2122 York Road
Oak Brook, IL 60523
Phone: 630-574-3000
Fax: 630-574-2909
http://www.gldd.com

Description: Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp. applies its
dredging expertise to deepen and maintain waterways, shipping
channels, and ports; create and maintain beaches; excavate
harbors and build docks, terminals and piers; reclaim land;
restore aquatic and wetland habitats; excavate pipeline, cable
and tunnel trenches.  Great Lakes is a significant contractor
for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Additionally, the firm
performs many projects internationally, in Europe, Africa, the
Middle East, and Central and South America.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Northern Trust's Reserve Hike Due To Exposure
-------------------------------------------------------------
Northern Trust Corp. said in a regulatory filing that the higher
provision for credit losses in 2001 was associated primarily
with charge-offs taken on Enron-related credits and additional
provisions necessary on credits to clients with exposure to
asbestos claims.  Non-accrual loans at the end of 2003 include
$40,500,000 relating to two commercial clients with exposure to
such claims.

The increase in the specific loss component of the Company's
reserve from $21,100,000 in 2001 to $25,000,000 in 2002 was
primarily caused by several commercial loans that were impacted
by specific reserves required for two commercial clients that
have exposure to asbestos-related claims.


COMPANY PROFILE

Northern Trust Corp. (NasdaqNM: NTRS)
Fifty South La Salle Street
Chicago, IL 60675
Phone: 312-630-6000
Fax: 312-444-7843
http://www.ntrs.com

Employees                  :           8,056
Net Income                 : $   422,000,000.00
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description: Northern Trust Corp. owns all of the outstanding
capital stock, except directors' qualifying shares, of The
Northern Trust Company.  The Company also owns national bank
subsidiaries, a federal savings bank, a trust company and
various other non-bank subsidiaries, including an investment
management company owned through the Bank, a securities
brokerage firm, an international investment consulting firm and
a retirement services company.  Northern Trust organizes client
services around two client-focused principal business units,
Corporate and Institutional Services and Personal Financial
Services.  Two other business units provide services to the two
principal business units.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Ohio Casualty's Net Income Affected By Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
Ohio Casualty Corp. reported that its net income for 2001 was
negatively affected by prior accident year adverse development
in the Ohio Casualty Group's workers' compensation product line
and asbestos related claims.  

During 2001, loss and LAE reserves for prior accident years were
strengthened by $29,600,000 before tax for the workers'
compensation product line and $17,600,000 before tax for
asbestos related claims development in other product lines.

The Group has three categories of loss and LAE reserves that it
considers highly uncertain, and therefore, could have a material
impact on future financial results and financial position:  

(1) asbestos and environmental liability exposures,

(2) construction defect exposures, and

(3) excess capacity liability exposures.  

In recent years, asbestos and environmental liability claims
have expanded greatly in the insurance industry.  Historically,
the Group has written small commercial accounts and has not sold
policies with significant manufacturing liability coverages.  
Within the manufacturing category, the Group has concentrated on
the light manufacturers, which further limits exposure to
environmental claims.  Consequently, the Group believes it does
not have exposure to the primary defendants involved in major
asbestos litigation.  The Group's exposure to asbestos is
related to installers and distributors as opposed to the large
manufacturers.  In 2001, the Group increased asbestos reserves
because of the expansion of litigation to these types of
business.  The Group's exposure to environmental liability is
due to policies written prior to the introduction of the
absolute pollution endorsement in the mid-80's, and to the
underground storage tank leaks mostly from New Jersey
homeowners' policies in recent years.  The Group has limited
exposures to the national priority list, a list of known or
threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or
contaminants throughout the United States.  In 2003, the Group
increased losses and LAE by $16,000,000 for environmental claims
from prior accident years.  In 2002, the Group re-classified
about $5,000,000 of homeowners' reserves related to underground
storage tanks as environmental reserves.  For 2003, 2002 and
2001, respectively, the asbestos and environmental reserves,
excluding the impact of reinsurance, were $78,000,000,
$64,300,000 and $53,500,000.  Asbestos reserves were
$37,600,000, $35,900,000 and $31,800,000 for those respective
years.

Reserves for asbestos-related illnesses and toxic waste cleanup
claims cannot be estimated with traditional loss reserving
techniques.  In establishing liabilities for claims for
asbestos-related illnesses, management considers facts currently
known and the current state of the law and coverage litigation.  
However, given the expansion of coverage and liability by the
courts and the legislatures in the past and the possibilities of
similar interpretations in the future, there is uncertainty
regarding the extent of remediation.  Accordingly, additional
liability could develop.  Estimated asbestos and environmental
reserves are composed of case reserves, incurred but not
reported reserves and reserves for loss adjustment expense.  
Included in the loss and loss reserve tables above is an
increase in 2003 for losses and loss adjustment expense reserves
of $16.0 for environmental claims from prior accident years.  In
2002, the Corporation reclassified about $5.0 of homeowners'
reserves related to underground storage tanks as environmental
reserves.  For 2003, 2002 and 2001, respectively, total case,
incurred but not reported and loss adjustment expense reserves
were $78,000,000, $64,300,000 and $53,500,000, respectively.


COMPANY PROFILE

Ohio Casualty Corp. (NasdaqNM: OCAS)
9450 Seward Road
Fairfield, OH 45014
Phone: 513-603-2400
Fax: 513-682-5228
http://www.ocas.com

Employees                  :           2,669
Revenue                    : $ 1,670,000,000.00
Net Income                 : $    75,800,000.00
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description: Ohio Casualty Corp. is engaged in the property and
casualty insurance business through a group of six direct and
indirect subsidiaries, which are collectively known as the Ohio
Casualty Group.  The Group consists of The Ohio Casualty
Insurance Company, West American Insurance Company, Ohio
Security Insurance Company, American Fire and Casualty Company,
Avomark Insurance Company and Ohio Casualty of New Jersey, Inc.
(OCNJ).


ASBESTOS ALERT: SAFECO Foresees Higher Asbestos Claims Payments
---------------------------------------------------------------
SAFECO Corp. stated in a regulatory filing that it has
established distinct claims handling functions to address
complex claims, including asbestos.  Safeco Business Insurance
(SBI) has exposure to asbestos, environmental and other toxic
tort and construction defect losses and related expenses through
the general liability, commercial multi-peril and umbrella
coverage it provides.

SAFECO's asbestos liability exposure has the following asbestos
loss reserves breakout:  

(1) 70% relates to the runoff assumed reinsurance
operations of American States, which SAFECO acquired in
1997, and the Company's exposure to syndicates and
pools.

(2) 30% relates to SAFECO's direct exposure, included in
SBI Regular.   

Accordingly, SAFECO has established two separate, special claims
handling functions, one that specializes in asbestos claims
related to its runoff assumed reinsurance operations and one
that specializes in asbestos claims related to its direct
exposure.  

SAFECO's exposure through its runoff assumed reinsurance
operations is primarily reinsurance of excess coverage.  This
business also exposes us to syndicates and pools, which resulted
in increased asbestos payments in 2002.  Pools are groups of
insurers that enter into agreements to share exposure related to
specific insureds.  The Company's loss reserve estimates for
pools reflect the loss reserve estimates provided by the pools;
independent actuaries.  The loss experience of the Company's
runoff assumed reinsurance operations follows the general
industry trend.  SAFECO's direct exposure is primarily due to
smaller and more peripheral entities becoming defendants in
asbestos claims.   The Company's exposure to the major high-
profile asbestos defendants is limited, because its business
strategy resulted in the Company not writing direct coverage for
larger companies.  In addition, SAFECO does not have direct
exposure to businesses or claims that are the subject of
settlement agreements.   At year-end 2003, the Company's
unassigned IBNR was 38.6% of its loss reserves for asbestos
claims.  The Company categorizes its policyholders with active
asbestos claims in two groups according to their exposure,
consisting of:  

(1) Large Asbestos Accounts - policyholders with cumulative
loss payments exceeding $100,000 as of December 31,
2003  

(2) Small Asbestos Accounts - policyholders with cumulative
loss payments of less than $100,000 as of December 31,
2003

Estimating loss reserves for asbestos claims requires more
judgment than SAFECO's other lines of business, primarily
because past claim experience may not be representative of
future claims.  Some asbestos-related claims are subject to non-
product liability coverage rather than product liability
coverage.  Non-product liability coverage might not be subject
to policy aggregate limits.  That could result in higher
asbestos claims payments and related expenses.  SAFECO's loss
reserve estimates assume that emerging unfavorable industry
trends will increase its level of asbestos payments in the
runoff assumed reinsurance operations within the next two years.

SAFECO loss reserve estimates assume that the payments for its
direct asbestos exposure in 2003 will return to 2002 and prior
levels in the future. This assumption is based on:  

(1) The small number of accounts generating the 2003
payments. Ten accounts represent $6,700,000 or two-
thirds of the 2003 payments.

(2) The limited number of accounts SAFECO wrote of the
nature that generated the 2003 payments.

(3) Year-to-year volatility in claim and payment activity.   

SAFECO loss reserve estimates also assume that the severities of
future claims will remain relatively unchanged.  According to
the Company, charges affecting its results include $85,000,000
to strengthen its reserves for construction defect and asbestos
and environmental losses in 2001.

In 2002, the Company increased its estimates for Property &
Casualty prior years' loss and LAE reserves by $125,800,000.  
The Company made increases throughout the year as part of its
quarterly evaluations, based on emerging claim trends and
related loss data.  The increase included $24,400,000 for
asbestos claims.  Among the major factors driving the increases
in loss reserves was that asbestos claims, specifically losses
related to the Company's participation in pools and syndicates,
were higher than estimated.  In 2001, the insurance industry was
experiencing an expansion of asbestos claims to include smaller
and more peripheral firms as defendants.  In the first half of
2001, SAFECO experienced more claims than in prior years.  This
led the Company to expect a larger number of asbestos claims
affecting its runoff assumed reinsurance operations.


COMPANY PROFILE

SAFECO Corp. (NasdaqNM: SAFC)
SAFECO Plaza
Seattle, WA 98185
Phone: 206-545-5000
Fax: 206-545-5500
http://www.safeco.com

Employees                  :          11,200
Revenue                    : $ 7,360,000,000.00
Net Income                 : $   339,200,000.00
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description: SAFECO Corp., through its operating subsidiaries,
is engaged in the insurance industry and other financial
services-related businesses.  The Company's two principal
businesses are property and casualty insurance, including
surety; and life insurance and asset management.  The Company
manages its Property & Casualty business through four operating
segments: Safeco Personal Insurance (SPI), Safeco Business
Insurance (SBI), Surety and Property & Casualty Other (P&C
Other).  Life & Investments provides a broad range of products
and services that include individual and group insurance
products, annuity products, mutual funds and investment advisory
services.  These operations are comprised of the following
reportable segments that focus on different products, markets or
distribution channels: Retirement Services, Income Annuities,
Group, Individual, Asset Management and Life & Investments Other
(L&I Other).


ASBESTOS ALERT: Tower Properties Named In Asbestos Related Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tower Properties Co. reports that a former tenant of Commerce
Tower has pending a suit against the Company relating to
asbestos in that building.  The suit alleges fraud, gross
negligence, nuisance and breach of contract.  Plaintiff seeks to
represent a class for damages for alleged excessive rent,
property damage and medical monitoring.  The suit also seeks
punitive damages and an order requiring removal of the asbestos
in the building.  Plaintiff originally filed suit in June 2001,
then voluntarily dismissed that suit on May 30, 2003 and
immediately filed the current suit.  Monitoring performed in the
building has indicated that fibers are properly contained.

The Company believes the suit is without merit.  Thomas R.
Willard, president and CEO, said in a letter to shareholders
that the lawsuit has still not come to trial yet.  The Company
is not involved in any additional material pending litigation.


COMPANY PROFILE

Tower Properties Co. (OTC BB: TPOP)
911 Main St., Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64105-2009
Phone: 816-421-8255
http://www.towerproperties.com

Description: Tower Properties owns, develops, manages and
brokers a broad portfolio of commercial and residential
properties in Kansas and Missouri.  Founded as a subsidiary of
Commerce Bancshares, Tower Properties was spun off into a stand-
alone, public company in 1971.  Tower Properties has developed
over 1,500,000 square feet of office space in downtown Kansas
City and owns a strategic development parcel, Tower Place.  
Outside of downtown Kansas City, Tower Properties has made
several recent investments in a number of single- and multi-
tenant offices and industrial buildings in Johnson County,
Kansas and St. Louis, Missouri.  In addition to its office and
industrial buildings, Tower Properties has developed and sold
over 700 single-family residential lots and continues to hold
land for future single-family and multi-family development. The
company currently owns over 800 units of multi-family properties
in three complexes in suburban Kansas City.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Watts Water Defending V. 115 Asbestos Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Watts Water Technologies Inc. is a defendant in around 115
actions filed primarily, but not exclusively, in Mississippi and
New Jersey state courts alleging injury or death as a result of
exposure to asbestos.  These filings typically name multiple
defendants, and are filed on behalf of many plaintiffs.  They do
not identify any particular products of the Company as a source
of asbestos exposure.  

The Company has been dismissed from each case when the scheduled
trial date comes near.  Based on the facts currently known to
the Company, it does not believe that the ultimate outcome of
these claims will have a material adverse effect on its
liquidity, financial condition or results of operations.  


COMPANY PROFILE

Watts Water Technologies Inc. (NYSE: WTS)
815 Chestnut Street
North Andover, MA 01845
Phone: 978-688-1811
Fax: 978-794-1848
http://www.wattsind.com

Employees                  :           5,100
Net Income                 : $    36,500,000.00
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description: Watts Industries Inc. supplies products for use in
the water quality, water safety, water flow control and water
conservation markets in both North America and Europe.  The
Company's principal product lines include backflow preventers
for preventing contamination of potable water caused by reverse
flow within water supply lines and fire protection systems; flow
control valves, including ball valves, butterfly valves, gate
valves and globe valves; thermostatic mixing valves for
tempering water in commercial and residential applications;
water pressure regulators for both commercial and residential
uses; water supply and drainage products; temperature and
pressure relief valves for water heaters, boilers and associated
systems, and point-of-use water filtration and reverse osmosis
systems.  On May 9, 2002, the Company acquired Hunter
Innovations, which has developed a line of large backflow
prevention devices.


                 New Securities Fraud Cases


CANADIAN SUPERIOR: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Scott + Scott, LLC initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York on behalf of people who purchased the shares of Canadian
Superior Energy Inc. (AMEX: SNG); TSX: SNG.TO) during the period
between November 17, 2003 and March 11, 2004, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that Defendants Canadian Superior, Greg
Noval, and Michael Coolen violated the United States securities
laws (specifically, Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5) by issuing a number of
materially false and misleading statements.  The statements that
were made that are alleged to be false and misleading include
that some of the Company's oil/gas well operations located in
Nova Scotia, Canada were performing better than they actually
were and that sound financing for oil/gas exploration was
accurately reflected in public statements.

The complaint alleges that these positive statements, when made,
failed to disclose that Defendants knew that the Mariner \ I-85
well was not going to be able to produce commercial amounts of
oil/gas. Further, these positive, public statements, coupled
with the under-funded budget for testing and drilling at the
Mariner\ I-85--funding that was proclaimed sufficient in public
statements---resulted in artificially inflated prices of the
common stock.  These statements were materially false and
misleading when made and designed to inflate the value of the
Company's stock.

On March 11, 2004, the Company announced that it had halted
operations at the Mariner \ I-85 well and that it would not
continue these operations.  The market reacted strongly to this
news and Canadian Superior shares plunged 44.44%, or $1.44 per
share, to close at $1.80 per share on March 11, 2004.

For more details, contact Neil Rothstein by Mail: 108 Norwich
Avenue, Colchester, CT 06415 by Phone: 860/537-3818 by Fax:
860/537-4432 or visit the firm's Website: nrothstein@scott-
scott.com


DATATEC SYSTEMS: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Stock Lawsuit in NJ
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class
action lawsuit on behalf of all persons who acquired securities
of Datatec Systems, Inc. (NasdaqSC:DATCE) between June 26, 2003
and December 16, 2003, inclusive in the United States District
Court of New Jersey.  The suit names as defendants the Company
and:

     (1) Isaac Gaon,

     (2) Mark Hirschhorn, and

     (3) Raymond Koch

The Complaint charges that Datatec and certain officers and
directors violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by
issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the market
during the Class Period, thereby artificially inflating the
price of Datatec's securities.  Specifically, the Complaint
alleges that while CEO Isaac Gaon told investors that Datatec
was on track to earn $0.14 to $0.16 per share for fiscal 2004,
Datatec hid its true financial condition so that it could
maintain financing from IBM Credit.

On December 5, 2003, Datatec surprised investors with the news
that CEO Isaac Gaon had stepped down as Chairman and CEO. Then
on December 17, 2003, the Company revealed that it would suffer
a $10 million loss for the fiscal quarter ended October 31,
2003, and that Datatec's Audit Committee had hired outside
counsel to review Datatec's valuation of its long-term
contracts. IBM Credit has since refused to waive Datatec's non-
compliance with financial covenants. As a result, Datatec's
stock price fell substantially on large volume.

For more details, contact the Shareholder Relations Department
at Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP by Mail: 10 East 40th
Street, New York, New York 10016 by Phone: (800) 217-1522 or
(212) 779-1414 or by E-mail: DATCE@bernlieb.com.


ITT EDUCATIONAL: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in IN
---------------------------------------------------------------
Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
Indiana on behalf of all persons who purchased the publicly
traded securities of ITT Educational Services from October 17,
2002 through March 9, 2004 inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that defendants failed to disclose that
they had systematically falsified records relating to
enrollment, graduation and job placement rates to artificially
inflate ITT''s financial performance and that a substantial
portion of ITT''s revenues were secured by submitting false
statistics to the government to obtain federal grants and
financial aid. During the Class Period, insiders sold their
personally held shares for proceeds of over $14 million.

On February 25, 2004, ITT announced that it had been served with
search warrants and related grand jury subpoenas for
headquarters and several schools. On this news, shares of ITT
plummeted 33%, or $18.90 per share. On March 9, 2004, ITT
announced that it had been under investigation by the California
Attorney General since October 2002.

For more details, contact Nancy Kulesa by Phone: (800) 797-5499,
or by e-mail: sn06106@aol.com.  


SONUS NETWORKS: Zwerling Schachter Lodges Securities Suit in MA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP initiated a securities class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts, on behalf of all persons and entities
who purchased the common stock of Sonus Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq:
SONSE) between June 3, 2003 and February 11, 2004, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the investing community during the Class
Period thereby artificially inflating the price of Sonus common
stock.  

As alleged in the complaint, throughout the Class Period,
defendants issued numerous statements to the market concerning
the Company's financial results, which failed to disclosed
and/or misrepresented the following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that defendants had improperly and untimely recognized
         revenue on certain of the Company's customer
         transactions;

     (2) that defendants violated Generally Accepted Accounting
         Principles and the Company's own internal policies
         regarding the timing of revenue recognition; and

     (3) as a result of the foregoing, the Company's revenues,
         net income and earnings per share published during the
         Class Period were materially false and misleading.

On February 11, 2004, after the close of regular trading, Sonus
announced that the Company had identified certain issues,
practices and actions of its employees relating to both the
timing of revenue recognized and other financial statement
items, which may affect the Company's 2003 financial statements
and possibly financial statements for prior periods.  Prior to
disclosing these adverse facts, Sonus completed a $126.14
million public offering, and Sonus insiders sold approximately
$2 million of their personally held shares to the public.  On
February 12, 2004, when the market opened for trading, shares of
Sonus stock fell as low as $5.02 per share, a decline of $1.67
per share, or approximately 25%.

For more details, contact Shaye J. Fuchs, Esq. and
Jayne Nykolyn by Phone: 1-800-721-3900 or by E-mail:
sfuchs@zsz.com and jnykolyn@zsz.com.


UNIVERSAL HEALTH: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in PA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania on behalf of all persons who purchased the publicly
traded securities of Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) from
July 21, 2003 through February 27, 2004, inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that Defendants issued materially false
statements concerning the Company's business condition.
Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose that:

     (1) Universal was unable to compete effectively in two key
         markets;

     (2) Universal's market share had eroded;

     (3) poor case management had resulted in an increase of
         patient stays beyond the period reimbursable by
         Medicaid or Medicare; and

     (4) there was a pronounced increase in bad debt from
         uninsured patients.

On March 1, 2004, Universal withdrew its guidance for 2004 and
announced that earnings per diluted share for the quarter ended
March 31, 2004 could be as much as 25% lower than for the same
period in the prior year. On this news, Universal fell $9.05 or
17% to $44.88.

For more details, contact Nancy A. Kulesa by Phone:
(800) 797-5499 by E-mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.snlaw.net/


                            *********


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
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Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Roberto Amor, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick,
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Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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