CAR_Public/040705.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

               Monday, July 5, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 130

                          Headlines

AVON PRODUCTS: CA Appeals Court To Review Rulings V. Plaintiffs
ASCONI CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Seek FL Stock Suit Consolidation
BANK OF AMERICA: Agrees To Settle Enron Securities Suit in Texas
BLOOMING IMPORT: Recalls Dried Potato Due To Undeclared Sulfite
CONOCOPHILLIPS: CO Administrator To Open Settlement Office in FL

DELAWARE STATE: Nonunion Employees Commence Suit Over Union Fees
ECHO INC.: Recalls 540,000 Gas-Powered Tools Due to Fire Hazard
GOLDMAN SACHS: Reaches $2M Settlement in SEC Securities Lawsuit
JOHN SANFILIPPO: Recalls CA Mix Due To Salmonella Contamination
JOHNSON CITY: Families Lodge Race Discrimination Lawsuit in NY

METROCALL HOLDINGS: Shareholder Lodges Fiduciary Lawsuit in DE
MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Reaches $9.7M Antitrust Settlement in VT
MILLER & SCHROEDER: SEC Lodges Fraud Suit V. Traders in N.D. NY
MINIMED INC.: Fairness Hearing For Suit Settlement Set Aug. 2004
POZEN INC.: Class Period in NC Securities Fraud Lawsuit Extended

PROFESSIONAL TRANSPORTATION: GA Court Enters Judgment V. Ex-CFO
ST. PAUL TRAVELERS: Reaches $6.3M Settlement in Shareholder Suit
SUTTER HEALTH: Uninsured Patients Lodge Price Fixing Suit in CA
UNITED STATES: Lobbyist Scores Move To Block Class Action Bill
UNITED STATES: 13 Attorney Generals Criticize Class Action Bill

US TRADING: Recalls Products Because of Salmonella Contamination
VITAMIN MANUFACTURERS: Reaches $2M Settlement in CA Pricing Suit
WAL-MART STORES: Gibson, Dunn Recruited To Fight Sex-Bias Suit

                  New Security Fraud Cases

ALLIANCE GAMING: Wechsler Harwood Lodges Securities Suit in NV
BUSINESS OBJECTS: Cohen Milstein Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
DRUGSTORE.COM: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Suit in W.D WA
HANGER ORTHOPEDIC: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. NY
HANGER ORTHOPEDIC: Zwerling Schachter Lodges Stock Lawsuit in NY

HANGER ORTHOPEDIC: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in VA
HANGER ORTHOPEDIC: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. NY
MUTUAL BENEFITS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Fraud Suit in FL
NBTY INC.: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. NY
POZEN INC.: Goodkind Labaton Lodges Securities Suit in M.D. NC

UICI INC.: Cohen Milstein Lodges Securities Lawsuit in N.D. TX
VICURON PHARMACEUTICALS: Marc Henzel Launches PA Securities Suit



                        *********


AVON PRODUCTS: CA Appeals Court To Review Rulings V. Plaintiffs
---------------------------------------------------------------
The California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District
agreed to review a lower court ruling dismissing three
plaintiffs and several claims in a class action filed against
Avon Products, Inc.

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs contend that the Company
unfairly competes and artificially boosts its financial bottom
line by shipping unordered products to its sales
representatives, who are then coerced by Avon into accepting and
paying for such products even after they have been returned to
Avon for credit a series of practices known as "channel
stuffing."  Plaintiffs seek to represent a nationwide class of
current and former Avon sales representatives (commonly referred
to as "Avon Ladies") who, like themselves, were hurt by Avon's
"channel stuffing" practices.

In two rulings issued on March 16 and June 1, 2004, the Los
Angeles County Superior Court in California dismissed three of
the plaintiffs from the lawsuit, finding that they were not
proper class representatives.  The court also threw out the
plaintiffs' claims for fraudulent concealment, breach of
contract, and unfair competition, finding that the facts stated
in their complaint failed to support such claims.  Huron Maki &
Johnson, the firm representing the plaintiffs, promptly filed
petitions for review with the Court of Appeals, arguing that the
Superior Court's findings were erroneous and that its rulings
should be reversed.

Although the vast majority of such petitions are denied, the
Court of Appeals took the rare step in this instance of granting
review.  On June 24, 2004, after considering arguments made by
counsel for both sides, the Court of Appeals ordered the
Superior Court to either vacate its March 16 and June 1 rulings
and enter new rulings in favor of the plaintiffs, or convince
the Court of Appeals that it should not have to do so.

"We are extremely pleased by the Court of Appeals' order, as
well as by how quickly it was rendered," said Jeff Huron, lead
counsel for the plaintiffs. "The individuals involved in this
class action are ordinary women who joined Avon to help make
ends meet and quickly found themselves being forced to pay for
unwanted products. They face an enormous battle against Avon. We
believe that our discovery will show that Avon has a company-
wide practice of 'channel stuffing' and inflating the numbers of
its legitimate sales and representatives."

The complaint named plaintiffs Raven Blakemore, Robin Smith,
Lupe Lane, and Elda Garcia and detailed the numerous instances
of "channel stuffing" they experienced during their tenures as
Avon sales representatives.  According to Huron, the number of
such occurrences within the class (which has yet to be
certified) is overwhelming.  Huron estimates that the size of
the nationwide class numbers in the thousands and notes that
there is still time for other appropriate individuals to become
named plaintiffs.

For more details, contact Jeff Huron of Huron Maki & Johnson by
Mail: 1875 Century Park East, Suite 1000, Los Angeles, CA 90067
by Phone: (800)379-7223 or (310) 284-3400 by Fax: (310)772-0037
by E-mail: jhuron@huronlaw.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.huronlaw.com/


ASCONI CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Seek FL Stock Suit Consolidation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Law firms for the plaintiffs of the securities class actions
filed against Asconi Corporation filed motions for
consolidation, appointment of lead plaintiff and selection
approval of lead counsel for the suit in the United States
District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

On April 16, 2004, one of the Company's shareholders filed a
class action complaint, styled "Maureen E. Alfred et al vs.
Constantin Jitaru, Anatolie Sirbu and Asconi Corp, Case 04-CV-
534."  The suit alleges that the Company, along with Constantin
Jitaru, its President, CEO and Chairman of the Board, and
Anatolie Sirbu, its CFO, Treasurer and Secretary, violated
certain federal securities laws.

The complaint alleges, inter alia, that the defendants made
material misrepresentations and omissions of material facts
concerning the Company's business performance and financial
condition and failed to disclose certain related party
transactions, thereby overstating the Company's financial
condition during a period from May 2003 to March 2004.

The complaint specifically cites the Company's March 23, 2004
press release in which the Company disclosed that it would be
restating its financial statements for the fiscal quarters ended
June 30, 2003 and September 30, 2003.  The complaint alleges
violations of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder against all of the defendants, as well as
Section 20(a) violations against Mr. Jitaru and Mr. Sirbu.

Subsequent to the filing of the Alfred complaint, seven
additional complaints were filed, in the same court.  These
complaints contain allegations that are substantially similar in
nature to those in the Alfred complaint, except that while the
proposed Class Period in the Alfred complaint is from May 15,
2003 to March 23, 2004, the other complaints' proposed Class
Period is from June 11, 2001 to March 23, 2004.

The Company has been served with four of the lawsuits.  In the
cases where the Company has been served, the Company has filed
or will file stipulations with the Court seeking an extension of
its time to formally respond to the lawsuits by July 30, 2004.
On June 15, 2004 the law firms of Milberg Weiss Bershad &
Schulman LLP and Vianale & Vianale LLP, respectively, filed the
above motions. The Company served its responses to the Lead
Plaintiff Motions on June 28, 2004, and has filed its response
with the Court.


BANK OF AMERICA: Agrees To Settle Enron Securities Suit in Texas
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bank of America reached an agreement to settle class action
litigation brought on behalf of purchasers of Enron securities
that is pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Texas (Civil Action No. H-01-3624).

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, which is subject to
court approval, Bank of America will make a payment of
approximately $69 million to the settlement class in Newby v.
Enron Corp. et al, led by the Regents of the University of
California.  The class consists of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired securities issued by Enron during the period
from October 19, 1998 to November 27, 2001. Plaintiffs' attorney
fees will be paid from the settlement amount.

The bank believes it is in the best interests of the company to
resolve these claims and put this litigation behind it and focus
efforts on creating greater value for shareholders. Under the
settlement, Bank of America denied that it violated any law and
explained that it settled the matter solely to eliminate the
uncertainties, expense and distraction of further protracted
litigation.


BLOOMING IMPORT: Recalls Dried Potato Due To Undeclared Sulfite
---------------------------------------------------------------
Blooming Import Inc., 45 Bowne Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231, is
recalling DRIED POTATOE because it contains undeclared sulfites.
People who have severe sensitivity to sulfites run the risk of
serious or life-threatening reactions if they consume this
product.

The recalled DRIED POTATO, Product of China, was distributed in
uncoded 12 oz (340g) clear plastic bags nationwide.

The recall was initiated after routine sampling by New York
State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors
revealed the presence of undeclared sulfites in DRIED POTATO in
packages, which did not declare sulfites on the label. The
consumption of 10 milligrams of sulfites per serving has been
reported to elicit severe reactions in some asthmatics.
Anaphylactic shock could occur in certain sulfite sensitive
individuals upon ingesting 10 milligrams or more of sulfites.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this
problem.

Consumers who have purchased DRIED POTATO should return it to
the place of purchase.

For more details, contact Blooming Import Inc. by Phone:
1-800-680-3838.


CONOCOPHILLIPS: CO Administrator To Open Settlement Office in FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
The company administering the $70 million class-action
settlement with ConocoPhillips will open a Pensacola office to
answer questions and help residents fill out claim forms,
Pensacola News Journal reports.

"We've never had a permanent office before, but we just felt
that with the size and volume of the class members that it would
be best to have a site there to make sure people get the help
they need," Matthew Pohl, president of Colorado-based Class
Action Administration, told the News Journal.

The $70 million settlement resulted from a suit claiming that
toxins from the old Agrico Chemical Co., subsequently purchased
by Conoco, Inc., damaged nearby property and Bayou Texar.  The
settlement involves people who lived near Agrico or the bayou
anytime between 1957 and June 15, 2004.  So far, about 4,700
property owners have been identified.  Class members have until
September 13 to complete their application packets and mail them
back to qualify.

People who owned property in the area will need to take the
following documents to the Pensacola Class Action Assistance
Center:

     (1) Property deed showing when they purchased the property.

     (2) Latest property tax document from the county if they
         still own the property or a sales agreement if they've
         sold the property.

     (3) If filing for an estate of a deceased individual, that
         person's death certificate.

People who live or have lived in the area could also qualify for
medical screening.

For more details, contact The Pensacola Class Action Assistance
Center by Mail: 124A East Wright St., FL or by Phone: (866) 540-
4436 or visit their Web site:
http://www.pensacolaclassaction.com


DELAWARE STATE: Nonunion Employees Commence Suit Over Union Fees
----------------------------------------------------------------
Three Delaware State University employees filed a federal
lawsuit Tuesday against union officials and university officials
that claims union dues were illegally deducted from the
paychecks of nonunion employees, The News Journal reports.

James Perry, Randy Hodges and Mike Hudson, technical facilities
employees, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in
Wilmington with free legal aid from the National Right to Work
Legal Defense Foundation, a Virginia-based antiunion group.

The lawsuit names officials of the American Federation of State,
County and Municipal Employees Union locals 1007 and 1264 at
Delaware State University, officials of the statewide Council
81, which oversees the locals, and university President Allen
Sessoms and Vice President Ron Parr. "The union is supposed to
provide to employees an independent audit proving and
demonstrating that their dues are being spent for collective
bargaining," said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National
Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. "That procedure,
established by the Supreme Court, was not followed."

The suit also seeks class-action status and restitution for
Delaware public employees who pay service fees spent on non-
bargaining activities since June 2002.

Michael Begatto, director of Delaware Public Employees Council
81, said the lawsuit's premise was bogus. "Here we go again, the
hardest working union in the state being sued by the largest
anti-union organization in this country."

Perry, 52, a retired Army sergeant who oversees maintenance of
the university's vehicle equipment, said he instigated the suit
because he opposes the union. He is on the board of the Delaware
Right to Work Committee, which has lobbied the Legislature to
make Delaware a right-to-work state. Right-to-work laws prohibit
requiring people to join unions or pay them dues as a condition
of employment.

Although Perry doesn't have to be a union member, he must
subscribe to the collective bargaining agreement between the
university and the union.

Because Perry benefits from the agreement, he pays to the union
a biweekly "service fee." By law, that is not supposed to pay
for activities not associated with administering, negotiating
and enforcing the contract.


ECHO INC.: Recalls 540,000 Gas-Powered Tools Due to Fire Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Echo Inc., of Lake Zurich, Ill. is cooperating with the United
States Consumer Product Safety Commission by voluntarily
recalling About 540,000 Echo-brand gas-powered grass trimmers,
brush cutters, hedge clippers, power blowers and power edgers.

The fuel lines on these hand tools can develop an "alligator
surface" appearance which could develop into a condition that
will allow leakage of gasoline and fuel vapor, posing a fire
hazard to consumers. Echo has received three reports of fuel
leakage with no reported injuries or property damage.

The specific gas-powered tools involved are identified by
the model and serial numbers on the following chart. The model
number and serial number is written on the nameplate on each
product.

(Model, Description, Start S/N End S/N):

HC-150 Hedge Clipper 05036751 05076594
HC-150i Hedge Clipper 05003843 05005681
HC-151 Hedge Clipper 06005083 06007241
HCR-150 Hedge Clipper 05001362 05002577
HCR-151 Hedge Clipper 06001227 06001271
SHC-210 Hedge Clipper 05006409 05009843
SHC-211 Hedge Clipper 06001001 06001029
PB-200 Power Blower 05113414 05210165
PB-200 Power Blower 06015814 06028130
PE-200 Power Edger 05022289 05044753
PE-310 Power Edger 03001851 03003116
PE-311 Power Edger 02001085 02001266
PPF-210 Power Pruner 05009112 05014016
PPF-211 Power Pruner 06001278 06001423
ES-210 Shred/n/Vac 05037462 05061058
ES-211 Shred/n/Vac 06001999 06003588
GT-200i Trimmer 05020627 05030474
GT-200R Trimmer 05047380 05147265
GT-201i Trimmer 06001645 06001841
GT-201R Trimmer 06008111 06013438
SRM-210 Trimmer 05120420 05278091
SRM-210i Trimmer 05011856 05022111
SRM-210SB Trimmer 05008493 05016331
SRM-211 Trimmer 06009599 06016954
SRM-310 Trimmer 03005081 03008383
SRM-310S Trimmer 03001968 03003296
SRM-311 Trimmer 02003200 02003724
SRM-311S Trimmer 02001347 02001431
SRM-340 Trimmer 03001561 03002148
SRM-210U Brushcutter 05002961 05004671
SRM-211U Brushcutter 06001001 06001028
SRM-310U Brushcutter 03001782 03002571
SRM-311U Brushcutter 02001405 02001601
WP-1000 Water Pump 508419 510025

Made in the United States the gas-powered hand tools were sold
at Home Depot, home centers, hardware stores, and power
equipment dealers nationwide from February 2003 to May 2004 for
between $149 and $300.

Consumers should stop using the recalled tools immediately and
contact an Echo dealer for a free repair.

For more details, contact Echo, Inc. by Phone: (800) 254-4808
between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or
visit their Web site: http://www.echo-usa.com


GOLDMAN SACHS: Reaches $2M Settlement in SEC Securities Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission settled administrative
proceedings against Goldman, Sachs & Co. (Goldman) for violating
the federal securities laws in connection with certain public
offerings during 1999 and 2000 by making illegal offers of
securities by email to certain of its institutional customers,
for failing reasonably to supervise its employees and, in
connection with one public offering, making inappropriate
statements to the press.

Goldman simultaneously consented, without admitting or denying
the Commission's findings, to the issuance of a Commission order
(Order) finding that Goldman violated Sections 5(b) and (c) of
the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act). The Order also
directs Goldman to cease and desist from committing or causing
any violations, and any future violations, of these provisions
of Section 5 and imposes a civil penalty of $2,000,000.

According to the Order, Goldman violated Section 5(b) of the
Securities Act in connection with four international public
offerings for which the firm served as underwriter when certain
salespersons on Goldman's New York Asian Shares Sales Desk
(Desk) sent lengthy and detailed emails concerning the offerings
to numerous institutional customers during the "waiting period,"
the period after a registration statement is filed, but before
the Commission declares it to be effective. Section 5(b) of the
Securities Act prohibits the making of written offers of
securities (including by email) during the waiting period other
than by means of a statutory prospectus.  The Order finds that
the emails described above did not contain the information
required by the Securities Act for statutory prospectuses, and
therefore violated Section 5(b).

The Order also finds that in connection with one of these four
offerings, a global, multi-billion dollar initial public
offering by PetroChina Company Limited (PetroChina), Goldman
violated Section 5(c) of the Securities Act when, during the
"pre-filing period," the period before the registration
statement was filed, a senior Goldman representative spoke to
the press about PetroChina, and explained that the proceeds of
the offering would be used in China, and not in Sudan. Under
Section 5(c) of the Securities Act, during the pre-filing
period, issuers and their representatives, such as Goldman, are
prohibited from engaging in activities that could reasonably
have the effect of arousing investors' interest in the issuer's
securities. The Order finds that Goldman violated Section 5(c)
of the Securities Act when, under the circumstances of this
case, the senior Goldman representative spoke to the press on
Goldman's behalf.

Also, according to the Order, Goldman lacked an adequate system
for applying the firm's procedures relating to compliance with
Section 5 of the Securities Act to the Desk. The guidance and
training provided to the Desk by Goldman was confusing and
incomplete, which caused the members of the Desk to lack a clear
understanding of their obligations under Section 5 of the
Securities Act. Because the members of the Desk violated Section
5(b) of the Securities Act, and Goldman failed to have or to
follow procedures reasonably designed to detect or prevent such
violations, the Order finds that Goldman failed reasonably to
supervise its employees for purposes of Section 15(b)(4)(E) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.


JOHN SANFILIPPO: Recalls CA Mix Due To Salmonella Contamination
---------------------------------------------------------------
John B. Sanfilippo and Son, Inc. is conducting a voluntary
recall on its distribution of its California Mix products
packaged under the Evon's brand name in 11 oz. packages and
California Mix product packaged in 1 lb. 5 oz. unbranded clear
packages showing "Distributed by John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc."
on a sticker on the reverse side of the package due to the
possibility of contamination of Salmonella Enteritidis in the
almonds contained therein. The recalled Evon's California Mix
product bears a "BEST BY" date of 3-30-05-05S1, and the
unbranded California Mix product bears a "BEST BY" date of 01-
30-05-0552.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes
fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and
others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected
with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be
bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare
circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the
organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe
illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected
aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

John B Sanfilippo and Son, Inc. distributes these products in
Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan.

This recall is in follow-up to a voluntary recall announced in
mid-May by Paramount Farms of California of whole and diced raw
almonds based on over 20 possible cases of illnesses associated
with the almonds. The cases were reported in California,
Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Utah, New Mexico, Arkansas,
Tennessee, Massachusetts and Michigan. We are working with the
FDA to assure that all potentially contaminated almonds are
removed from the marketplace and that consumers are notified of
the recall.

The California Mix product should not be consumed but rather
returned to the store of purchase for a full refund.

For more details, contact John B. Sanfilippo and Son, Inc. by
Phone: (847)-593-2300, ext. 0 from 7:30 AM and 5:00 PM Central
Daylight Savings Time.


JOHNSON CITY: Families Lodge Race Discrimination Lawsuit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Several local families are suing the Johnson City Central School
District for allegedly discriminating against black students,
the Press & Sun-Bulletin reports.

The district "has perpetuated racially discriminatory policies
which have deprived black students of their right to a free,
appropriate public education," the leader of the Broome-Tioga
National Association for the Advanced of Colored People (NAACP),
Major Barnett, said in a statement announcing the legal action
Thursday.  The statement did not detail specific allegations
against the district.

Local attorney Ronald Benjamin is filing a class action on
behalf of minority students and their parents, Stanley Gluck,
branch secretary for the Broome-Tioga NAACP told the Press &
Sun-Bulletin.  Neither Mr. Gluck nor Mr. Benjamin would comment,
but the NAACP is planning a press conference to discuss the
action.

Former Johnson City school district multicultural coordinator
said she was surprised to hear about a lawsuit and didn't know
details, but said district officials in 1997 developed a plan
that provided increased multicultural training for teachers,
formed a student club called People Encouraging a Cooperative
Environment, and started a community task force to talk about
issues affecting students and the community.

At least one family complained to the NAACP about what they said
was unequal treatment between blacks and other students in
disciplinary proceedings in the Johnson City district, Barnett
said in the interview. The complaint surfaced after an argument
and pushing incident between a black student and white student
at a Johnson City school function during the past school year,
Barnett said.

In 1997, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil
Rights investigated complaints of a racially hostile environment
at the Johnson City High School, but later cleared the school of
all charges. The issue of race surfaced at the Johnson City High
School that year after racially charged fliers were distributed
and racial graffiti was found scrawled on lockers. School
officials that year developed a plan to promote racial and
cultural understanding at the high school.

In 1997, 10 percent of students in the JC school district were
non-white. By 2000, that number had climbed to 14 percent,
according to U.S. Census data.


METROCALL HOLDINGS: Shareholder Lodges Fiduciary Lawsuit in DE
--------------------------------------------------------------
Metrocall Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTOH) and the members of its
board of directors have been named, together with Arch Wireless,
Inc. and Wizards-Patriots Holdings, Inc., as defendants in a
purported shareholder class action complaint filed by Lyle
Green, a shareholder of Metrocall, challenging Metrocall's
proposed merger with Arch.

The proposed merger was announced on March 29, 2004, and
Wizards-Patriots Holdings, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Metrocall and a Delaware corporation, would become the new
holding company of Metrocall and Arch upon consummation of the
merger. The proposed merger is subject to several conditions,
including shareholder and regulatory approvals.

The complaint was filed in the Court of the Chancery of the
State of Delaware, New Castle County, on June 29, 2004. The
complaint alleges, among other things, that the Metrocall
directors violated their fiduciary duties to Metrocall
shareholders in connection with the proposed merger. In
addition, the complaint asserts that Arch and Wizards-Patriots
aided and abetted the Metrocall directors' alleged breach of
their fiduciary duties.


MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Reaches $9.7M Antitrust Settlement in VT
---------------------------------------------------------------
Microsoft Corporation reached a settlement for the consumer
fraud class action filed in the Superior Court for the County of
Windham, Vermont, the Company and law firms of Johnson &
Perkinson and Potter Stewart Law Offices, P.C., counsel for a
proposed class of Vermont consumers, jointly announced.

The settlement, which received preliminary approval on July 1,
2004 will make vouchers available to class members that may be
used to buy any manufacturer's desktop, laptop and tablet
computers; any software available for sale to the general public
and used with those computer products; and specified peripheral
devices for use with computers. The total amount of vouchers
issued will depend on the number of class members who claims
vouchers, and the maximum value of the vouchers that may be
issued to class members will be $9.7 million.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Microsoft will
provide one-half of the difference between $9.7 million and the
value of vouchers issued to class members to Vermont's public
schools in the form of vouchers that may be used by the schools
to purchase a broad range of hardware products, Microsoft(R) and
non-Microsoft software, and professional development services.
The vouchers will be made available to public schools in which
50 percent or more of the students are eligible for reduced-fee
or free meals under the National School Lunch Program or
distributed as determined by the judge presiding over the
settlement.

"We're pleased with the judge's decision, and think it's a great
settlement for the class and for needy Vermont schools," Jake
Perkinson, attorney for the plaintiffs said. "We're pleased that
the case now moves forward to final resolution."

Vermont Governor Jim Douglas expressed his support of the
court's adoption of the settlement proposed by the parties.
"This settlement will be a benefit to Vermont schools and the
children that attend them," Governor Douglas said. "Technology
is a wonderful tool for teachers and helps to improve student
learning by providing a well rounded curriculum. Using
technology also encourages students to be engaged and invested
in their work far beyond the walls of the classroom, and they
have fun while they're doing it."

"We're pleased by the opportunity to help schools all across
Vermont get the computers and software they need," said Brad
Smith, general counsel for Microsoft. "This settlement allows us
to focus on the future and building great software, and avoids
the cost and uncertainty of litigation."

Details of the settlement are set forth in a settlement
agreement filed in the Superior Court for the County of Windham,
Vermont. Under the settlement, consumers who, between March 31,
1995 and December 31, 2002, resided in Vermont and indirectly
purchased certain Microsoft operating system, productivity
suite, spreadsheet or word processing software for use in
Vermont and not for resale will be eligible to apply for the
vouchers.

For more details, contact Jake Perkinson of Johnson & Perkinson
by Mail: 1690 Williston Road, South Burlington, Vermont 05403 by
Phone: (802) 862-0030 or 1-888-256-0890 by Fax: (802) 862-0060
or visit their Web site: http://www.jpclasslaw.com/


MILLER & SCHROEDER: SEC Lodges Fraud Suit V. Traders in N.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on
June 29 against Robert A. Kasirer, Jerold V. Goldstein, Joel T.
Boehm, James E. Iverson and Victor P. Dhooge. The complaint
alleges that the Defendants, acting in concert, fraudulently
offered and sold over $131 million of municipal revenue bonds to
members of the public.

The Commission's complaint alleges the Defendants offered and
sold the bonds in question through a series of eleven offerings
underwritten by the now-defunct, Minnesota firm of Miller &
Schroeder Financial, Inc. (Miller & Schroeder). The complaint
alleges that the purported purpose of each bond offering was to
finance the development of a specified healthcare facility by
Heritage Housing Development, Inc., a company effectively
controlled by Defendant Kasirer (Heritage).  The complaint
alleges that the Defendants represented in offering documents
that the proceeds from each bond offering would be used to
finance one specific healthcare facility. The complaint alleges
that from the very beginning the costs of developing the
Heritage facilities, outstripped the proceeds from the
facilities' respective bond offering. The complaint alleges that
the Defendants covered the resulting cash shortfalls by
operating a type of Ponzi scheme, commingling bond proceeds and
diverting bond proceeds from more recent offerings to pay the
expenses of earlier projects. The complaint alleges that
beginning in February 2000, the Heritage facilities ran out of
money and defaulted on their obligations to bondholders.

The Commission's complaint also alleges that Defendants Kasirer
and Goldstein controlled Heritage and personally directed the
commingling and misapplication of bond proceeds and that
Defendants Iverson and Dhooge, representatives of Miller &
Schroeder, managed the underwriting of the various bond
offerings, despite their knowledge that bond proceeds were being
wrongfully commingled and diverted. The complaint alleges that
Defendant Boehm, an attorney who acted as counsel for Miller &
Schroeder in the bond offerings, issued favorable legal opinions
despite his knowledge that bond proceeds were being wrongfully
commingled and diverted.

The Commission seeks the entry of permanent injunctions,
disgorgement of any ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest
and civil penalties against Kasirer, Goldstein, Boehm, Iverson
and Dhooge.

The suit is styled "SEC v. Kasirer, et al., Civil Action No. 04
C 4340, USDC, ND IL."


MINIMED INC.: Fairness Hearing For Suit Settlement Set Aug. 2004
----------------------------------------------------------------
Final fairness hearing for the settlement of the consolidated
securities class action filed against MiniMed, Inc. and its
directors is set for August 10,2004 in the Superior Court of the
State of California for the County of Los Angeles.

The plaintiffs purport to represent a class of the Company's
stockholders asserting claims in connection with Medtronic,
Inc.'s acquisition of MiniMed, alleging violation of fiduciary
duties owed by MiniMed and its directors to the MiniMed
stockholders.  Among other things, the complaint sought
preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to prevent
completion of the acquisition.

In August 2001, the court denied the plaintiffs' request for
injunctive relief to prevent completion of the acquisition.
Plaintiffs have amended their complaint and the court has
granted plaintiffs' motion seeking certification of a class
action.  The class is defined as holders of record of MiniMed
common stock on July 16, 2001, excluding any such shareholders
who were also shareholders of a related company, MRG, on that
date.

The parties have agreed upon settlement in principle, subject to
the Court's approval.  A motion for preliminary approval was
granted on June 4, 2004.  Class members have until July 15, 2004
to object.


POZEN INC.: Class Period in NC Securities Fraud Lawsuit Extended
----------------------------------------------------------------
The class period in the class action lawsuit filed in the United
States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
on behalf of all securities purchasers of POZEN, Inc. (Nasdaq:
POZN) ("POZEN" or the "Company") has been extended to October
10, 2000 through May 28, 2004, the law offices of Schiffrin &
Barroway LLP, attorney for the plaintiffs announced.

The complaint charges POZEN, John R. Plachetka, Matthew E.
Czajkowski, and John R. Barnhardt with violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder. POZEN is a pharmaceutical
development company focused on developing a portfolio of drugs
for the global migraine market. The Company's lead product
candidates included MT 100, a proprietary formulation containing
metoclopramide hydrochloride and naproxen sodium; MT 300, a
proprietary formulation of dihydroergotamine mesylate in a pre-
filled syringe, and MT 400, which is being developed as a co-
active acute migraine therapy.

This action centers around the Company's false and misleading
statements concerning its migraine drugs MT 100 and MT 300. More
specifically, the Company failed to disclose the following
adverse facts:

     (1) that defendants knew or recklessly disregarded the fact
         that its drugs MT 100 and MT 300 were unsafe and
         ineffective;

     (2) that despite knowing these facts, the Company entered
         into various licensing agreements in order to book
         revenues and achieve positive cash flows;

     (3) that as a result of booking revenues and achieving
         positive cash flows, the defendants were able to
         manipulate the Company's stock price in order to attain
         large bonuses, which were tied to the Company's stock
         price, not the success of the Company's product
         pipeline;

     (4) with respect to the drug MT 300, defendants knew or
         recklessly disregarded the fact that the drug resulted
         in higher incidences of nausea and vomiting as compared
         to placebo in two Phase III trials and that the drug
         failed to show statistical superiority as compared with
         placebo with regard to controlling symptoms of
         migraines;

     (5) with respect to the drug MT 100, defendant knew or
         recklessly disregarded the fact that MT 100's chances
         of being approved by the FDA were less than 50% because
         of concerns about several primary end points,
         particularly pain response to migraines at two hours,
         lack of data showing consistent two-hour pain response
         and symptom relief, and worries about the drug's
         carcinogenicity; and

     (6) that MT 100 failed to show superiority to a placebo as
         measured by a two-hour response and two-hour symptom
         migraine relief.

The blow to the Company occurred on October 20, 2003, when POZEN
announced that it had received a not-approvable letter from the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") related to its New
Drug Application ("NDA") for MT 300. The letter was issued based
on the FDA's conclusion that while MT 300 achieved its primary
endpoint, it failed to achieve statistical significance versus
placebo for the relief at two hours of the secondary symptoms of
migraines (nausea, sensitivity to light, and sensitivity to
sound).

On news of this, shares of POZEN fell $5.83 per share, or 32.8
percent, to close at $11.94 per share on unusually high trading
volume on October 20, 2003.

The final blow to the Company's manipulative scheme occurred on
June 1, 2004. Then, POZEN announced that the FDA issued a not-
approvable letter on Friday, May 28, 2004 concerning the
Company's NDA for MT 100 for the acute treatment of migraines.
In the FDA letter, the FDA cited the apparent lack of
superiority of MT 100 over naproxen for sustained pain relief,
which was the primary endpoint for the two component studies.
Additionally, for the first time the FDA raised an approvability
issue concerning the risk of tardive dyskinesia ("TD") presented
by the use of metoclopramide, one of the components of MT 100.
In this regard, the FDA stated in their letter, "Given the
number of patients exposed to MT 100 for at least one year in
your database (about 300), the absence of any detected cases is
consistent with a true rate of TD of about 1%, an unacceptably
high risk in the absence of any demonstrated advantage of the
product." Further, the FDA mentioned that based on animal
studies, there may be a potential risk of carcinogenicity,
presumably due to metoclopramide.

News of this shocked the market. Shares of POZEN fell $3.69 per
share, or 37.2 percent, to close at $6.23 per share on unusually
high volume.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Stuart L.
Berman, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP by Mail: Three Bala
Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA  19004 by Phone:
1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706 or by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


PROFESSIONAL TRANSPORTATION: GA Court Enters Judgment V. Ex-CFO
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Clarence Cooper, U.S. District Judge for the
Northern District of Georgia, entered a Final Judgment as to
defendant Susan P. Dial (Dial), Chief Financial Officer of
Professional Transportation Group, Ltd., Inc. (Professional
Transportation), a trucking business headquartered in Marietta,
Georgia.

The judgment enjoined Dial from further violations of Section
17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b) and 13(b)(5)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5, 13b2-1
and 13b2-2 thereunder, and from aiding and abetting violations
of Sections 10(b), 13(a) and 13(b)(2)(A) of the Exchange Act and
Rules 10b-5, 12b-20, 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder. Dial consented
to the entry of the judgment without admitting or denying any of
the allegations of the Commission's complaint. Dial was also
ordered to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $35,000, and was
prohibited from acting as an officer or director of any issuer
that has a class of registered securities.

The complaint alleges that Dial and others engaged in a scheme
to inflate the company's net income by recording fictitious
sales revenue and recording receivables actually earned by
another trucking entity controlled by Professional
Transportation's majority shareholder. This scheme caused the
company to fraudulently report a net profit for each quarter of
1999, instead of a net loss and cumulative net profit of $1.4
million for the six months ended June 30, 2000, instead of a net
loss of $1.7 million.

The suit is styled "SEC v. Dennis A. Bakal, et al., USDC, NDGA,
Civil Action No. 1:03-CV-2909-CC."


ST. PAUL TRAVELERS: Reaches $6.3M Settlement in Shareholder Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
St. Paul Travelers Companies, Inc. agreed to pay $6.3 million to
settle class-actions by St. Paul shareholders who alleged their
company misled them about asbestos litigation, the Knight-Ridder
/ Tribune Business News reports.  A hearing has been set for
August 12 in U.S. District Court in St. Paul on the proposed
settlement of consolidated lawsuits filed in 2002.

The suits were filed against the Company, its chief executive,
Jay S. Fishman, and Thomas A. Bradley, the company's chief
financial officer at that time.  The suits alleged inadequate
disclosure about litigation involving Western MacArthur, an
asbestos products distributor. In June 2002, St. Paul announced
an agreement to settle with MacArthur for $975 million, plus
$12.5 million in fees and costs.

St. Paul, which has said it considered the suits "without
merit," admits no wrongdoing in the settlement.  St. Paul's
settlement with its shareholders would apply to people who
acquired shares of its common stock from Nov. 5, 2001, through
July 9, 2002. St. Paul and Travelers Property Casualty
Corporation merged in April of this year.


SUTTER HEALTH: Uninsured Patients Lodge Price Fixing Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sutter Health faces a class action brought by uninsured patient
plaintiffs with breaching its obligations to provide charitable
healthcare to uninsured patients in return for substantial tax
exemptions.  The suit is pending in the United States District
Court in San Francisco, California.

The complaint alleges Sutter charges uninsured patients unfair
and unreasonable prices that are far in excess of those charged
to its insured patients.  As set forth in the complaint,
plaintiff alleges that Sutter spent only 0.6% of its 2002
revenues on charity care -40% less than the California statewide
average for private hospital companies. In 2003, Sutter reported
total patient service revenues of $4.506 billion, and profits of
$465 million.

The lawsuit commencing in California against Sutter means that
nineteen uninsured patient class action lawsuits have been filed
since June 17 against nonprofit hospital systems and nonprofit
hospitals in twelve states.

The class action lawsuit brought against defendant Sutter
alleges, among other things that ". while Sutter gives private
insurance companies and governmental third party payors like
Medicare and Medicaid significant discounts from the gross or
"sticker" price listed in the Chargemasters, it charges its
uninsured patients 100% of the full sticker price. Upon
information and belief, the only patients who are required by
Sutter to pay the full, excessive Chargemaster rates are the
uninsured."

"In April and May of 2004, Health Access California a statewide
501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1987 and dedicated
to achieving quality, affordable health care for all
Californians and SEIU 250 the Health Care Workers Union issued
two related reports regarding Sutter's pricing practices. The
reports, entitled, Your Money or Your Health: Discriminatory
Pricing and Aggressive Debt Collection Practices by Sutter
Healthcare (April 2004) and Your Money or Your Health:
Discriminatory Pricing and Aggressive Debt Collection Practices
by Sutter Health in San Francisco (May 2004) (together,
hereinafter "Discriminatory Pricing Reports"), describe how
uninsured patients at Sutter's California Pacific Medical Center
were charged prices that were 300% higher than those charged to
insured patients, and how uninsured patients at Sutter Roseville
Medical Center were charged prices that were 150% higher than
those charged to insured patients," the suit stated.

"The "sticker" prices charged to the uninsured are unreasonable
and excessive. According to the Discriminatory Pricing Reports,
Sutter hospitals charged the uninsured four times the cost of
providing such services. The same reports reveal that Sutter's
"sticker" prices are, on average, higher than non-Sutter
hospitals, by as much as 80%. Accordingly, not only are the
uninsured being charged more than the insured at Sutter
hospitals, they are also being charged more than the average
charged to uninsured at non-Sutter hospitals."

"Additionally, Sutter regularly sends substantial numbers of
patients to collection when they are unable to pay. As Sutter
admits on its website, it has "standardized collection
practices." (http://www.sutterhealth.com/about/ab_ethics.html).
Other than a prohibition on wage garnishments, bench warrants
and property foreclosures, all other collection tactics are fair
game to Sutter. (Id.) As such, Sutter and/or Sutter affiliates
or subsidiaries working on Sutter's behalf, have used and
continue to use coercive, unfair and fraudulent collection
methods, including the institution of lawsuits, to collect the
improper sums charged, and have made negative credit reports
about patients who fail to pay the exorbitant charges. According
to the Discriminatory Pricing Reports, in 2003, Sutter sued
nearly 300 patients for collection in Sacramento, and since
2002, Sutter has sued 134 patients in San Francisco."

More class action lawsuits by uninsured plaintiffs are expected
to be filed against nonprofit hospitals systems and nonprofit
hospitals which have failed to meet their obligations to provide
charitable healthcare to their uninsured patients.

For more details, contact Richard Scruggs of The Scruggs Law
Firm, P.A. by Phone: (662) 281-1212 or Kelly M. Dermody of
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP by Phone: (415) 956-1000
or visit the litigation Web site: http://www.nfplitigation.com


UNITED STATES: Lobbyist Scores Move To Block Class Action Bill
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lobbyist group United for Jobs issued a warning to Americans
that Senators John McCain's (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman's (D-CT)
strategy to pass their "Climate Stewardship Act" as an amendment
to class action reform legislation could endanger that bill--
calling it a reckless endangerment of important legislation. The
Senate is expected to bring class action reform legislation up
for debate when they reconvene on July 6.

"The 'Climate Stewardship Act' is not only poisonous economic
policy, but now John McCain has made it the 'poison pill' of
badly-needed class action reform legislation," said Karen
Kerrigan, President of the Small Business Survival Committee and
a co-Chairman of United for Jobs.

Although the "Climate Stewardship Act" was defeated by the U.S.
Senate last October by a vote of 55-43, Senator McCain has vowed
to bring his legislation to a vote again this session. Some
proponents of class-action reform are worried that their bill,
which has the support of the Bush Administration and passed the
House last June by a vote of 253-170, will now be threatened by
McCain's amendment, since it is likely that the House would kill
the bill in Conference if it contained the job-killing climate
provision.

"Senators McCain and Lieberman will be hurting us twice with
their political maneuver. Their Climate Stewardship Act will
cause the loss of 600,000 jobs and increase electricity costs by
42%. Then, it threatens badly needed class-action reform by
insisting it be attached to what is generally viewed as popular
and must-pass legislation," Kerrigan said.

For more details, visit the group's Web site:
http://www.unitedforjobs2004.org


UNITED STATES: 13 Attorney Generals Criticize Class Action Bill
---------------------------------------------------------------
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and attorney generals
from 12 states criticized the Class Action Fairness Act, set to
come up for debate before the Senate on Tuesday, saying it would
limit the right of ordinary citizens to go after corporate
crooks in state courts, the Associated Press reports.

The Class Action Fairness Act of 2004 (S. 2062) seeks to move
class actions from state courts to federal courts and would
cover all types of suits, including securities litigations.  In
state courts, juries often find for the plaintiffs in large
award amounts as compared to federal courts where awards
typically are smaller, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(June 16,2004) story states.

Business groups in favor of the bill argue that bill would cut
back on frivolous suits and that it would prevent trail lawyers
from benefiting more than plaintiffs in many cases.  Consumer
and civil rights groups opposing the measure say the bill does
not do enough to protect consumers.

AG Spitzer and his counterparts wrote to Senate Republican
Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee and Senate Democratic Leader Tom
Daschle of South Dakota.  The letter said the bill would do more
harm than good, and that it would cause "a sweeping reordering
of our nation's system of justice."  The legislation would
"unduly limits the right of individuals to seek redress for
corporate wrongdoing in their state courts," and therefore
"impede efforts against egregious corporate wrongdoing," the
letter warned, according to AP.

AG Spitzer and W.A. Drew Edmondson, attorney general of the
state of Oklahoma signed the letter on behalf of attorneys
general from California, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Vermont, West
Virginia, and their own states of New York and Oklahoma.  Their
June 22 letter was circulated on Capitol Hill by opponents of
the class action bill.

Sen. Frist is also the bill's sponsor.  A spokeswoman for the
senator said he felt it was essential to move legislation
rewriting the rules on these lawsuits, "to protect consumers
from hidden costs," AP reports.  Sen. Frist said a week ago that
he believed the bill, which was blocked by senators last year,
now had the votes to pass as a result of compromises softening
some of its provisions.

In their letter, AG Spitzer and Edmondson said class action
lawsuits filed by citizens in state courts were an important
supplement to official efforts to enforce state consumer,
environmental, labor, public health and civil rights laws.
There was no need to sweep all these cases into federal court,
which were already overburdened, they argued.

"By transferring most state court class actions to an already
overburdened federal court system, this bill will delay, if not
deny, justice to substantial numbers of injured citizens," the
letter declared, AP reports.


US TRADING: Recalls Products Because of Salmonella Contamination
----------------------------------------------------------------
US Trading Co., of San Francisco, California is recalling
several nut products because they may be contaminated with
Salmonella.  The 999 Three Nine Brand products involved in the
recall are:

     (1) "999 Three Nine Brand black sesame seeds", Net Wt: 4oz.
         and 8oz.

     (2) "999 Three Nine Brand soya bean seeds", Net Wt: 16oz.

     (3) "999 Three Nine Brand peanuts w/skin", Net Wt: 14oz.

     (4) "999 Three Nine Brand peanuts without skin", Net Wt:
         14oz.

     (5) "999 Three Nine Brand black eye beans", Net Wt: 14oz.

     (6) "999 Three Nine Brand chili pod", Net Wt: 2oz.

     (7) "999 Three Nine Brand sweet rice", Net Wt: 32oz.

Salmonella is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes
fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and
others with weakened immune systems. Most cases resolve without
the need for medical attention. However, some persons infected
with Salmonella may experience fever, diarrhea (which may be
bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Consumers with
the above symptoms should consult their physician.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this
problem.

The contamination was identified when routine testing conducted
by the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) revealed
the presence of Salmonella in a sample of "999 Three Nine Brand"
white sesame seeds.

The recalled "999 Three Nine Brand" products were distributed in
retail stores throughout the state of California, Arizona,
Alaska, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  The products are marked with
"999 Three Nine Brand" across the front of the package and
labeled as being sold by Heng Packaging Trading Co. Product sold
after March 30, 2004 is being recalled.

Production and distribution of the product has been suspended
while CDHS, and the company continue their investigation as to
the source of the problem.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to cease
use and to return them to the place of purchase for a full
refund or dispose of it.

For more details, contact the US Trading Co. by Phone:
1-800-453-5502.


VITAMIN MANUFACTURERS: Reaches $2M Settlement in CA Pricing Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Two dozen dairies, egg producers and feed companies in San
Joaquin and Stanislaus counties got more than $2 million in
settlement money from a class action that alleged overcharges by
manufacturers of vitamins used in animal feed, the Knight-Ridder
/ Tribune Business News reports.

Settlements totaled $2,094,458.82, Stockton attorney James B.
Brown of the Stockton law firm Herum Crabtree Brown, told the
Tribune Business News.  The firm represented the 24 that got
settlement money.  Twenty-three were in San Joaquin County.
Brown initiated the suit on behalf of Gardner Rossi Co., a Ceres
animal-feed and agricultural-equipment company, in March 1999.
The case alleged that vitamin companies met in the United States
and Europe and secretly set prices, sales volumes and markets.

Any buyer of vitamin-fortified animal feed could have submitted
claims. That included feed mills and manufacturers, feed
distributors and users, such as dairies, cattle-feed lots, and
egg and poultry producers. Restaurants and grocery stores that
bought meat, eggs and milk produced from such feed also were
eligible.

More locals were hurt by overcharges but didn't file a claim,
which weren't complicated or difficult to fill out, Brown said.
It basically amounted to documented purchases dating back to
1992, he said. "Agriculture is not doing so well in this Valley
that it can afford to pass up recovery of money that it was
cheated out of for years by multinational corporations," Brown
said.

Settlements for the 24 ranged from $1,765.29 to $547,254.91. The
law firm declined to release names and settlement amounts.
Nationally, $26 million was claimed from a $42 million
settlement pot created in December 2001, Brown said.

In settling, the companies BASF Corp., Daiichi Pharmaceutical
Co., Eisai Inc., Aventis Animal Nutrition, Roche Vitamins and
Takeda Chemical Industries didn't admit wrongdoing.

For more details, contact James B. Brown of Herum Crabtree
Brown, Inc. by Mail: 2291 West March Lane, Suite B100, Stockton,
California 95207 (San Joaquin Co.) by Phone: 209-472-7700 by
Fax: 209-472-7986 by E-mail: info@herumcrabtree.com or visit
their Web site: http://herumcrabtree.com/


WAL-MART STORES: Gibson, Dunn Recruited To Fight Sex-Bias Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) has hired Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
to bulk up its legal team as it prepares to appeal a judge's
recent ruling making a sex-discrimination lawsuit a massive
class action, Thursday's Wall Street Journal reports.

The appeal carries high stakes for Wal-Mart, which could face a
lengthy court battle or a potential settlement that could total
billions of dollars. Last week, a federal judge in San Francisco
ruled that a 2001 lawsuit could apply to all women who have
worked for Wal-Mart since December 1998, potentially affecting
as many as 1.6 million current and former Wal-Mart employees.

Ted Boutrous of Gibson Dunn, a nationally prominent firm based
in Los Angeles, will be the lead lawyer on the appeal of the
class-action ruling. Wal-Mart is expected to argue that the case
is too unwieldy to be fairly tried as a class action.

In addition, because most pay and promotion decisions take place
at the store level, Wal-Mart is expected to argue that the class
size will mean stores managers won't be given an opportunity to
explain how they made individual compensation and promotion
decisions.

The Bentonville, Arkansas, retailing giant also is expected to
argue that the class was certified under laws intended to
provide injunctive relief, that is, to stop a particular
practice that results in discrimination. But the judge also
ruled that the class can seek monetary damages, which the
defense may argue doesn't apply to the situation.



                  New Security Fraud Cases


ALLIANCE GAMING: Wechsler Harwood Lodges Securities Suit in NV
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Wechsler Harwood LLP initiated a Federal
Securities fraud class action on behalf of persons or entities
who purchased or otherwise acquired the securities of Alliance
Gaming Corp. (NYSE:AGI) "Alliance" or the "Company") from
January 15, 2004 through June 7, 2004, inclusive (the "Class
Period").

The action, entitled Marzano v. Alliance Gaming Corp., et al.,
Case No. 04-CV-0905 (JCM), is pending in the United States
District Court for the District of Nevada and names as
defendants, the Company, its President, Chief Executive Officer,
and Director, Robert L. Miodunski, its Company's Chief Financial
Officer and Senior Vice President, Robert L. Saxton, its Senior
Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer, Steven Des Champs,
and its Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel,
Mark Lerner. A copy of the complaint can be obtained from the
Court or can be viewed on Wechsler Harwood web site at:
www.whesq.com.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder. More specifically, the complaint
alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants issued
numerous statements to the market concerning the Company's
financial condition thereby artificially inflating the price of
Alliance's shares. More specifically, the Complaint alleges that
the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented the following
material adverse facts which were known to defendants or
recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the Company was struggling to hold shares in key
         markets, driven by relatively weaker content and
         software platform weakness;

     (2) that the Company's yields on participation games were
         contracting due to the waning popularity of flagship
         games, which conversely resulted higher R&D expenses
         for the development of traditional and central
         determination products;

     (3) that the Company was suffering from slower deployment
         of Wide Area Progressive games in the Nevada market due
         to regulatory delays, languishing approval and
         deployment of new game revisions in the New York
         Lottery market, and substantial reductions in new game
         orders;

     (4) the Company was experiencing massive integration issues
         related to the Sierra Design Group acquisition; and

     (5) that, as a result of the foregoing, defendants lacked a
         reasonable basis for their positive statements about
         the Company and their earnings projections.

On June 8, 2004, Alliance announced revised earnings guidance
for fiscal year 2004 and 2005. News of this shocked the market.
Shares of Alliance fell $5.24 or 24.50 percent on June 8, 2004,
to close at $16.15.

For more details, contact Wechsler Harwood LLP by Mail: 488
Madison Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, New York 10022 by Phone:
(877) 935-7400


BUSINESS OBJECTS: Cohen Milstein Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. has
filed a lawsuit on behalf of its clients against Business
Objects S.A. (Nasdaq:BOBJ) ("Business Objects" or the "Company")
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period defendants
artificially inflated the price of Business Objects securities
by materially misrepresenting the financial condition of the
Company. According to the complaint,

     (1) the Company failed to successfully integrate Crystal
         Decisions, a software company acquired during the Class
         Period;

     (2) the Company was experiencing slower than projected
         revenue growth;

     (3) the Company had improperly recognized deferred revenues
         from a backlog of customer contracts, thereby
         materially inflating the Company's reported financial
         results; and

     (4) the demand for Business Objects' Enterprise 6 software
         was less than reported by the Company, and that the
         software was unstable and potentially incompatible with
         other of the Company's products.

On April 29, 2004, after the market closed, Business Objects
reported disappointing first-quarter 2004 results, including
earnings of $0.10 per diluted share, which was at the bottom of
the range previously forecast by defendants, and missed
analysts' consensus estimates of $0.15. Moreover, the Company
reported disappointing revenues of $217 million and provided
second-quarter 2004 guidance, which was well below analysts'
consensus estimates. In reaction to this news, the price of the
Company's American Depository Shares dropped $6.66, or 23.3%,
from their closing price on April 29, 2004, to close on April
30, 2004 at $21.92, on unusually high volume.

On May 4, 2004, Business Objects disclosed in its first-quarter
2004 report, filed with the SEC, that the SEC had commenced an
informal inquiry into the Company's "practices with respect to
backlog," or customers contracts that have not yet been
recognized on a company's balance sheet or income statement.
Analysts explained that the SEC inquiry related to the Company's
deferred revenue balance, which increased from $136 million in
the fourth quarter of 2003 to $165 million in the first quarter
of 2004 following its acquisition of Crystal Decisions.

For more details, contact Steven J. Toll, Esq. or Elena Tackas
of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. by Mail: 1100 New
York Avenue, N.W., Suite 500 West, Washington, D.C. 20005 by
Phone: (888) 240-0775 or (202) 408-4600 or by E-mail:
stoll@cmht.com or etackas@cmht.com


DRUGSTORE.COM: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Suit in W.D WA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia & Robbins LLP initiated a
class action in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Washington on behalf of purchasers of drugstore.com,
inc. ("drugstore.com") (NASDAQ:DSCM) publicly traded securities
during the period between January 14, 2004 and June 10, 2004
(the "Class Period").

The complaint charges drugstore.com and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. drugstore.com is an online provider of health, beauty,
wellness, personal care, vision and pharmacy solutions.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the
Company's business and prospects, causing drugstore.com
securities to trade at artificially inflated levels and allowing
the defendants to sell $4.7 million worth of their drugstore.com
stock. The true facts, which were known by each of the
defendants but concealed from the investing public during the
Class Period, were as follows:

     (1) the Company's gross margins were being negatively
         impacted due to its implementation of a free 3-day
         shipping promotion;

     (2) the integration of Vision Direct was eroding the
         Company's margins;

     (3) the Company's sales growth was being negatively
         impacted by cancellations resulting from expired
         prescriptions;

     (4) the Company was not on track to "break even" but rather
         incur massive losses; and

     (5) as a result of the foregoing, defendants lacked a
         reasonable basis for their positive statements about
         the Company and its earnings projections.

On June 11, 2004, drugstore.com's CEO defendant Kal Raman
shocked investors with his immediate resignation "to pursue
other opportunities." Simultaneously with the press release
announcing Raman's resignation, the Company, less than 45 days
after issuance of positive guidance on April 28, 2004, issued
another release lowering its expected revenue for the second
quarter and fiscal year 2004. On this news, drugstore.com's
stock plunged from its closing price of $4.91 on June 10, 2004
to a closing price of $3.06 on June 14, 2004, on volume of 3.8
million shares.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins of
Lerach Coughlin Stoia & Robbins LLP by Phone: 800-449-4900 by E-
mail: wsl@lcsr.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.lcsr.com/cases/drugstore/


HANGER ORTHOPEDIC: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Abbey Gardy, LLP commenced a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York on behalf of all purchasers of securities of Hanger
Orthopedic Group, Inc. (HGR) between July 29, 2003 and June 14,
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. The Complaint names as defendants Hanger
Orthopedic Group, Inc., Thomas F. Kirk, George E. McHenry and
Ivan R. Sable.  The complaint alleges that during the Class
Period, the Defendants perpetrated an illegal scheme to
artificially inflate Hanger's revenues and earnings by
defrauding the Medicaid and Medicare programs, the Veterans
Administration and private insurers through illegal billing
practices during the Class Period.

More specifically, the Complaint alleges that unbeknownst to
investors, Hanger improperly booked sales by filling out fake
prescriptions and adding items that were not prescribed for
existing patients in order to increase their bills to Medicare
and Medicaid.

On June 14, 2004, NBC News aired an investigative report in
which an employee of Hanger described the Company's fraudulent
billing practices. The following day, Hanger issued a news
release, which it admitted that the Company had initiated an
investigation into "billing irregularities." The market reacted
negatively to this news. The Company's shares had opened on June
14, 2004 at $15.75. They closed out the day at $14.41 and fell
to a closing price of $12.75 per share on June 15, 2004 on heavy
trading volume of 2.4 million shares for a two-day drop of 19%.

For more details, contact Susan Lee or Nancy Kaboolian, Esq. of
Abbey Gardy, LLP by Mail: 212 East 39th Street, New York, New
York 10016 by Phone: (212) 889-3700 or (800) 889-3701 (Toll
Free) or by E-mail: slee@abbeygardy.com


HANGER ORTHOPEDIC: Zwerling Schachter Lodges Stock Lawsuit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP initiated a securities class
action filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York, on behalf of all persons or entities who
purchased the securities of Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc. (NYSE:
HGR) between July 29, 2003 and June 14, 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 during the Class Period thereby artificially
inflating the price of Hanger Orthopedic securities.  During the
Class Period, the Company improperly booked sales thereby,
artificially inflating Hanger's revenues and earnings.

On June 14, 2004, an investigative report on WNBC television
charged that Hanger Orthopedic "may have improperly booked sales
by filling out fake prescriptions."  According to the report,
the Company recorded sales for patients that did not exist and
added items that were not prescribed to existing patients in
order to increase bills to Medicaid and Medicare.  The report
also said the Company submitted forged prescriptions using a
blank prescription pad.  The stock dropped to below $12 per
share on this disclosure.

On June 18, 2004, the Company issued a press release in which it
described "developments relating to previously described
allegations in the press concerning possible billing
improprieties."  The release also stated that "(o)n June 17,
2004, the Company received a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney's
Office for the Eastern District of New York requesting that the
Company produce documents relating to these allegations ...  The
SEC also has requested information from the Company relating to
the allegations."

For more details, contact Shaye J. Fuchs, Esq. or Willy Gonzalez
by Phone: 1-800-721- 3900 or by E-mail: sfuchs@zsz.com or
wgonzalez@zsz.com.


HANGER ORTHOPEDIC: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in VA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of Hanger
Orthopedic Group, Inc. (NYSE:HGR) between February 26, 2003 and
June 14, 2004, inclusive.

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, against
defendant Hanger and certain of its officers and directors.

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

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


HANGER ORTHOPEDIC: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Abbey Gardy, LLP initiated a securities class action filed in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York on behalf of all purchasers of securities of Hanger
Orthopedic Group, Inc. ("Hanger" or the "Company") (NYSE:HGR)
between July 29, 2003 and June 14, 2004, inclusive (the "Class
Period").

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. The Complaint names as defendants Hanger
Orthopedic Group, Inc., Thomas F. Kirk, George E. McHenry and
Ivan R. Sable.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, the
Defendants perpetrated an illegal scheme to artificially inflate
Hanger's revenues and earnings by defrauding the Medicaid and
Medicare programs, the Veterans Administration and private
insurers through illegal billing practices during the Class
Period.  More specifically, the Complaint alleges that
unbeknownst to investors, Hanger improperly booked sales by
filling out fake prescriptions and adding items that were not
prescribed for existing patients in order to increase their
bills to Medicare and Medicaid.

On June 14, 2004, NBC News aired an investigative report in
which an employee of Hanger described the Company's fraudulent
billing practices. The following day, Hanger issued a news
release, which it admitted that the Company had initiated an
investigation into "billing irregularities." The market reacted
negatively to this news. The Company's shares had opened on June
14, 2004 at $15.75. They closed out the day at $14.41 and fell
to a closing price of $12.75 per share on June 15, 2004 on heavy
trading volume of 2.4 million shares for a two-day drop of 19%.

For more details, contact Susan Lee or Nancy Kaboolian, Esq. by
Mail: Abbey Gardy, LLP, 212 East 39th Street, New York, New York
10016 by Phone: (212) 889-3700 or (800) 889-3701 (Toll Free) or
e-mail Susan Lee: slee@abbeygardy.com.


MUTUAL BENEFITS: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Fraud Suit in FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP initiated
a class action lawsuit in the Circuit Court of the Seventeenth
Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Florida on behalf of all
persons who purchased viatical or life settlement contracts or
otherwise invested through Mutual Benefits Corporation ("MBC" or
the "Company") including those investing in MBC through Viatical
Benefactors, LLC ("VBLLC") during the period from October 1,
1994 through May 3, 2004 ("Class Period").

The complaint charges defendants

     (1) MBC,

     (2) Viatical Benefactors, LLC ("VBLLC"),

     (3) Viatical Services, Inc. ("VSI"),

     (4) Kensington Management, Inc. ("Kensington"),

     (5) Rainy Consulting Corp. ("Rainy"),

     (6) Twin Groves Investments, Inc. ("Twin Groves"),

     (7) P.J.L. Consulting, Inc. ("P.J.L."),

     (8) SKS Consulting, Inc. ("SKS"),

     (9) Camden Consulting, Inc. ("Camden"),

    (10) Joel Steinger a/k/a Joel Steiner ("J. Steinger"),

    (11) Leslie Steinger a/k/a Leslie Steiner ("L. Steinger"),

    (13) Peter Lombardi ("Lombardi"),

    (14) Steven Steinger ("S. Steinger"),

    (15) Henry Fecker, III ("Fecker"),

    (16) Clark C. Mitchell ("Mitchell"),

    (17) Edgar Escobar ("Escobar"),

    (18) Anthony LaMarca ("LaMarca"),

    (19) A.M. Livoti, Jr., P.A. and A.M. Livoti, Jr.
         (collectively "Livoti"),

    (20) Citibank, N.A. ("Citibank, N.A."),

    (21) Union Planters, N.A. ("Union Planters"),

    (22) RBC Centura Bank ("RBC"), and

    (23) First Southern Bank ("First Southern") with violations
         of Florida law, including fraud, aiding and abetting
         fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and breach
         of contract.

The complaint alleges that since October 1, 1994, MBC has
operated as a viatical and life settlement provider, raising
money from investors to purchase viatical and life settlement
contracts. A viatical or life settlement contract involves the
sale of a life insurance policy by a terminally ill person or
senior citizen (known within the industry as a "viator") at a
price discounted from the face value of the policy. Investors
pay the premiums, and receive the face value of the life
insurance policy when the insured, or viator, dies. In turn, the
viator receives a portion of the proceeds of his life insurance
policy in a lump sum. On information and belief MBC has
allocated investor funds to approximately 9,559 life insurance
policies with an aggregate anticipated death benefit of
approximately $1.7 billion. MBC promised investors guaranteed,
fixed rates of return ranging from 12% to 72%, depending upon
the term of investment chosen by the investor. The life
expectancy of the viator, as determined by MBC, in turn,
determines the total rate of return.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that since October 1, 1994,
defendants have operated or aided and abetted a billion dollar
Ponzi scheme and defrauded at least 29,000 investors - many of
whom are retirees - by issuing a series of material and
misleading omissions and false statements, breaching escrow
agreements and breaching their fiduciary trust to investors. The
complaint alleges that defendants failed to disclose and
misrepresented the following material adverse facts which were
then known to defendants, or which they recklessly disregarded:
     (i) that new investor funds were diverted to cover
         shortfalls on the funds escrowed to cover life
         insurance premiums on policies assigned to earlier
         investors;

    (ii) that there were gross inaccuracies in, and
         manipulations of, the calculated life expectancies of
         viators;

   (iii) that insurance premium escrow accounts were commingled
         and deficient;

    (iv) the Steingers' civil disciplinary backgrounds as well
         as $26-plus million in "consulting fees" paid to the
         Steingers or to entities that the Steingers controlled
         were not disclosed to investors; and

     (v) that MBC does not require that its sales agents be
         licensed, and that several of MBC's sales agents have
         been the subjects of state cease-and-desist orders in
         connection with the MBC offering.

On May 5, 2004, the United States Securities & Exchange
Commission ("SEC") and federal marshals raided MBC's south
Florida offices, seized the company's records and shut down
MBC's operations.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman by Mail: One
Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl., New York, NY, 10119-0165 by Phone:
(800) 320-5081 or by Email: sfeerick@milbergweiss.com OR Maya
Saxena by Mail: 5355 Town Center Road, Suite 900, Boca Raton, FL
33486 by Phone: (561) 361-5000 by E-mail:
msaxena@milbergweiss.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.milbergweiss.com


NBTY INC.: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C.
initiated a securities class action on behalf of its client and
on behalf of purchasers of the securities of NBTY, Inc. (NYSE:
NTY) between April 22, 2004 and June 16, 2004, inclusive, in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York.

The Complaint charges NBTY and certain executive officers of
NBTY with violations of federal securities laws. Among other
things, the Complaint alleges that defendants' material
omissions and the dissemination of materially false and
misleading statements concerning NBTY's retail performance
caused NBTY's stock price to become artificially inflated,
inflicting damages on investors. NBTY is a manufacturer and
retailer of nutritional supplements in the United States and the
United Kingdom.

The Complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, defendants
misrepresented and/or failed to disclose that "record" results
announced on April 22, 2004, were the result of changes in the
Company's methods for promoting sales, rather than improvement
in the Company's actual sales performance. The Complaint further
alleges that as a result of these omissions or
misrepresentations, defendants' positive statements during the
Class Period concerning the Company's performance and prospects
lacked a reasonable basis.

The Complaint also alleges that two Company insiders also named
as defendants, Scott Rudolph, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer of NBTY, and Harvey Kamil, NBTY's President and Chief
Financial Officer, together sold approximately $20 million worth
of NBTY stock during the Class Period, thereby profiting from
the foregoing misrepresentations by selling their stock at
inflated prices.

On June 17, 2004, NBTY announced an earnings shortfall for the
two months ended May 31, 2004, citing a 12 % decline in sales in
one of its key brands, and disclosed that previously announced
sales increases were due to changes in the Company's sales
promotion methods. After these announcements, NBTY's stock price
fell from $36.50 to $26.99 on June 17, 2004.

For more details, contact Steven J. Toll, Esq. or Elena Takacs
by Mail: Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. 1100 New
York Avenue, N.W. West Tower - Suite 500 Washington, D.C. 20005
by Phone: (888) 240-0775 or (202) 408-4600 or by E-mail:
stoll@cmht.com or etakacs@cmht.com


POZEN INC.: Goodkind Labaton Lodges Securities Suit in M.D. NC
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP filed a
class action lawsuit on June 30, 2004 in the United States
District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, on
behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired publicly
traded securities of POZEN, Inc. ("POZEN" or the "Company")
(NASDAQ:POZN) between July 31, 2003 and May 28, 2004, inclusive,
(the "Class Period"). The lawsuit was filed against POZEN and
John R. Plachetka, Matthew E. Czajkowski and John R. Barnhardt
("Defendants").

The complaint alleges the Defendants violated Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. Specifically, the complaint alleges that
Defendants failed to disclose that Defendants knew or recklessly
disregarded the fact that MT-100 and MT-300, proprietary drug
formulations used to treat migraines, were unsafe and
ineffective. Despite allegedly knowing these facts, the Company
entered into various licensing agreements to book revenues, and
as a result of booking these revenues, Defendants were able to
allegedly inflate the Company's stock price and attain large
bonuses, which were tied to the stock price rather than the
Company's product pipeline. Additionally the complaint alleges
with respect to MT-300, Defendants knew or recklessly
disregarded that the drug formulation resulted in higher
incidences of nausea and vomiting as compared to a placebo and
failed to show statistical superiority with regard to
controlling the symptoms of migraines. Lastly with respect to
MT-100, the complaint alleges that Defendants knew the chances
of MT-100's being approved by the Food & Drug Administration
("FDA") were slim, as the drug failed to meet its primary
endpoint.

On June 1, 2004, the Company announced that it had received a
non-approvable letter from the FDA on May 28, 2004, concerning
the Company's New Drug Application ("NDA") for MT-100 for the
acute treatment of migraine. The letter cited the lack of
superiority of MT-100 over naproxen for sustained pain relief,
which was the primary endpoint for its two component studies.
This non-approvable letter, followed a non-approvable letter in
October 20, 2003, for the Company's MT-300 formulation, where it
did not achieve statistical significance versus placebo. In
response to the June 1, 2004 announcement, shares of POZEN
reacted negatively, falling $3.69 per share, or 37.2% to close
at $6.23 per share on very high volume.

For more details, contact Christopher Keller, Esq. of Goodkind
Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP by Phone: 800-321-0476 or visit
their Web site: http://www.glrs.com/get/?case=Pozen


UICI INC.: Cohen Milstein Lodges Securities Lawsuit in N.D. TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld, & Toll, P.L.L.C. has
filed a lawsuit on behalf of its client against UICI, Inc.
(NYSE:UCI) ("UICI" or the "Company") in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Texas. UICI provides
insurance, primarily health and life insurance, to niche
consumer and institutional markets. The Company also provides
certain financial and insurance related products and services
through its subsidiaries.

The complaint charges UICI and certain of its officers and
directors with violating the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and
Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of false
and misleading financial statements that caused the Company's
shares to trade at artificially inflated levels between January
17, 2000, and July 21, 2003 (the "Class Period"). While UICI's
stock was trading at these artificially high levels, the
Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Academic Management Services
Corp. ("AMS"), completed the sale of $335 million in auction
rate notes backed by federally- and privately-insured student
loans held in the AMS portfolio. In addition, corporate insiders
received millions of dollars in proceeds from the sale of their
UICI shares during the Class Period.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that, during the Class
Period, defendants issued materially false and misleading
financial statements that misrepresented the financial condition
of UICI because they failed to disclose or indicate that:

     (1) UICI lacked adequate internal accounting controls;

     (2) as a result of these inadequate accounting controls,
         the Company's financial results were artificially
         inflated;

     (3) certain statements made by defendants regarding UICI's
         financial results and prospects were lacking in any
         reasonable basis; and

     (4) the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, AMS, had
         insufficient collateral, a higher percentage of
         alternative loans than permitted by the loan
         eligibility provisions, and that AMS and its
         subsidiaries had deficiencies with respect to their
         reporting requirements.

According to the complaint, defendants' materially false and
misleading statements and material omissions caused investors to
purchase UICI shares at artificially inflated prices during the
Class Period and to be damaged thereby.

The complaint also alleges that the truth about the Company's
operations and its financial condition was not revealed to
investors until July 21, 2003, when UICI issued a press release
announcing the discovery of a shortfall in the type and amount
of collateral supporting two of the securitized student loan
financing facilities entered into by three special financing
subsidiaries of AMS. In addition, UICI revealed, at this time,
that all seven special financing subsidiaries of AMS and AMS may
have failed to comply with their respective reporting
obligations under the financing documents.

Following the release of this information, the price of UICI's
stock dropped significantly. The complaint seeks to recover
damages on behalf of all purchasers of UICI common stock during
the Class Period.

For more details, contact Steven J. Toll, Esq. or Robert Smits
of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. by Mail: 1100 New
York Avenue, N.W., West Tower - Suite 500, Washington, D.C.
20005 by Phone: (888) 240-0775 or (202) 408-4600 or by E-mail:
stoll@cmht.com or rsmits@cmht.com


VICURON PHARMACEUTICALS: Marc Henzel Launches PA Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania on behalf of purchasers of the
securities of Vicuron Pharmaceuticals Incorporated
(NasdaqNM:MICU) between January 6, 2003 and May 24, 2004,
inclusive (the "Class Period"). The action is for remedies under
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The Complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, defendants
artificially inflated the price of Vicuron stock by concealing
negative material information concerning both the safety and
efficacy of Anidulafungin, Vicuron's intravenous treatment of
fungal infections which is the subject of late-stage clinical
trials for the treatment of esophageal candidiasis, invasive
aspergillosis, and invasive candidiasis/candidemia. Defendants
concealed key adverse information regarding the development and
commercialization of Anidulafungin, which raised serious
concerns about the FDA's future approval of the drug.

The partial disclosure of the contents of an FDA letter, dated
Monday, May 24, 2004, detailing the failure of Vicuron to supply
data necessary to support its claim that Anidulafungin can be
used to treat esophageal candidiasis, caused Vicuron shares to
plummet $8.86 to $13.04, a loss of over 40% from the previous
trading day and a loss of over 45% from its Class Period high of
$23.90.

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel, Esq. by Mail: The Law
Offices of Marc S. Henzel, 273 Montgomery Ave, Suite 202 Bala
Cynwyd, PA 19004-2808, by Phone: (888) 643-6735 or (610) 660-
8000, by Fax: (610) 660-8080, by E-mail: Mhenzel182@aol.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182.


                            *********


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.

                            *********


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

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