CAR_Public/040708.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Thursday, July 8, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 134


                            Headlines

ALLIANCE GAMING: Shareholders Lodge Securities Fraud Suits in NV
ALLOY INC.: Reaches Tentative Settlement For NY Securities Suit
BRINKER RESTAURANT: Faces Food Poisoning Lawsuit in N.D. IL
CERNER CORPORATION: MO Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Lawsuit
DUNCAN-WILLIAMS: Shareholders Launch Securities Fraud Suit in TN

eBAY INC.: Faces Sellers' Suit Over Billing System in CA Court
J.W. BARCLAY: SEC Bars, Fines Ex-Representative Guilty Of Fraud
LEHMAN BROTHERS: NY Judge Rejects Certification For Bias Lawsuit
MERIX CORPORATION: Shareholders Lodge Securities Lawsuits in OR
MORGAN STANLEY: Poised To Defend V. Sex Discrimination Charges

MOVING SOLUTIONS: Faces Civil Suit Over Defective Patient Lifts
RIVERS EDGE: Recalls 78T Hunting Tree Stands Due To Injury Risk
ROTHMAN'S BENSON: Smokers Launch Personal Injury Suit in Quebec
ROTHMAN'S BENSON: Quebec Health Council Commences Smokers' Suit
SHAW GROUP: Shareholders Lodge Securities Fraud Suits in E.D. LA

SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES: Settlement Hearing Set September 23, 2004
SYNOVIS LIFE: Stockholders Lodge Securities Fraud Lawsuits in MN
TEXAS: A.G. Abbott Shuts Down Rio Grande Immigrant Fraud Scheme
TIDEL TECHNOLOGIES: Reaches $3M Securities Settlement in S.D. TX
UNITED STATES: Senate Urged To Consider, Pass Class Action Bill

VICURON PHARMACEUTICALS: Shareholders File Fraud Lawsuits in PA
VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: NY Court Dismisses Claim in Securities Suit
WAL-MART STORES: Seeks Review of Sex Bias Lawsuit Certification
WELLMAN INC.: Justice Department Seeks Price Fixing Indictment
WILLIAMS COMPANIES: FERC Okays Settlement of CA Natural Gas Suit

WORLDCOM: Former CEO, 18 Executives Reach $51M Suit Settlement

                New Securities Fraud Cases

CARDINAL HEALTH: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. OH
COMMERCE BANCORP: Brodsky & Smith Files Securities Lawsuit in NJ
COMMERCE BANCORP: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NJ
INTRABIOTICS PHARMACEUTICALS: Charles Piven Lodges CA Fraud Suit
INTRABIOTICS PHARMACEUTICALS: Schatz & Nobel Files CA Fraud Suit

LEHMAN ABS: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
SHAW GROUP: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. LA
YUKOS OIL: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
YUKOS OIL: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
YUKOS OIL: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY


                            *********


ALLIANCE GAMING: Shareholders Lodge Securities Fraud Suits in NV
----------------------------------------------------------------
Alliance Gaming Corporation and certain of its officers and
directors face several securities class actions filed in the
United States District Court for the District of Nevada,
alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Alliance Gaming is a diversified, worldwide gaming company that
designs, manufactures and distributes gaming machines and
computerized monitoring systems for gaming machines.  The
complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
caused Alliance Gaming's shares to trade at artificially
inflated levels through the issuance of false and misleading
statements regarding the Company's business prospects, which:

     (1) allowed the Company to consummate stock-for-stock
         acquisitions with inflated stock valued at $16 million;

     (2) allowed certain defendants to sell $3.6 million worth
         of their own shares at artificially inflated prices;
         and

     (3) permitted Alliance Gaming to grow and benefit
         economically from the wrongful course of conduct.

As a result, the Company's shares traded at inflated prices,
topping $34 during the Class Period.

The complaint further alleges that On June 8, 2004, the Company
issued a press release updating the Company's guidance for
fiscal year 2004 to 'the range of $0.96 to $1.00 per share,
compared to the prior guidance of $1.04,' and for fiscal year
2005 to 'a range of $1.20 to $1.30' compared to prior guidance
of $1.40. On this news, the Company's shares plunged $5.24 to
close at $16.15 per share.  According to the complaint, the
defendants actively concealed from the public that:

     (i) the Company was experiencing massive problems/delays
         associated with the Company's Wide Area Progressive
         games in Nevada due to regulatory hold-ups;

    (ii) the Company was experiencing massive delays in its
         approval and deployment of New York VLT game revisions;

   (iii) the Company's margins were being slashed by increased
         costs associated with the Company's central and
         traditional determination products;

    (iv) the Company's acquisition of Sierra Design Group was
         suffering from massive integrative problems;

     (v) the Company was losing its competitive position and
         experiencing problems in its game unit (video product);
         and

    (vi) as a result of the above, defendants' forecasts for
         fiscal year 2004 of $1.04 and fiscal year 2005 of $1.40
         per share, were grossly inflated.

The first identified complaint is styled "Tyler, et al. v.
Alliance Gaming Corporation, et al."  The class period in the
suit is from January 15,2004 to June 7,2004.  The plaintiff
firms are:

     (1) Lerach Coughlin Stoia & Robbins LLP (San Francisco)
         Mail: 100 Pine Street, Suite 2600, San Francisco, CA,
         94111 Phone: 415-288-4545 Fax: 415-288-4534 or E-mail:
         info@lcsr.com;

     (2) Geller Rudman, PLLC Mail: 197 South Federal Highway,
         Suite 200, Boca Raton, FL, 33432 Phone: 561-750-3000
         Fax: 888-262-3131 E-mail: info@geller-rudman.com


ALLOY INC.: Reaches Tentative Settlement For NY Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Alloy, Inc. reached a tentative settlement for the putative
class action filed against it and certain of its directors in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York, entitled In Re Alloy, Inc. Securities Litigation, 03
CV 1597 (WHP).

The complaint purportedly was filed on behalf of persons
purchasing the Company's common stock between May 14, 1999 and
December 6, 2000 and alleges violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2)
and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (June 8,2004)
states.

The settlement, if approved by the court after notice to the
class members and a hearing, is in an amount that is covered by
Alloy's applicable directors and officers insurance policies.

Also on June 28, 2004, Alloy reached a tentative settlement in
the related derivative action entitled Yeung Chan v. Diamond, et
al., 03 Civ. 8494 (S.D.N.Y.) (WHP) that was filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York
against the then directors of Alloy in October, 2003.  That
tentative settlement does not require the Company to make any
payment except to the extent legal fees are awarded to
plaintiff's counsel by the court.


BRINKER RESTAURANT: Faces Food Poisoning Lawsuit in N.D. IL
-----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit was filed against Brinker Restaurant
Corporation, the owner of the Vernon Hills Chili's restaurant
where hundreds were sickened a year ago as a result of eating
contaminated food.

The complaint, which was filed in US District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois (Case number 04C 4462), seeks
punitive damages on behalf of named plaintiff David Straza, and
all other Chili's outbreak victims who ate food at or from the
restaurant between June 23 and June 30, 2003. According to the
complaint, "the number of possible class members could easily
exceed one-thousand" due to possible underreporting of cases by
people who got sick but did not contact the health department or
seek medical care.

The class action lawsuit was filed jointly by Marler Clark, LLP
and Salvi Schostok & Pritchard, PC. These two law firms
represent the largest number of persons injured in the Chili's
outbreak, and have already filed a total of seven lawsuits so
far, with several more planned in the coming weeks.

"This is an unusual lawsuit, but this is an unusual case," said
Denis Stearns, the partner at Marler Clark, LLP handling the
Chili's outbreak litigation. "Rather than seeking to punish the
company for its behavior on a case-by-case basis, in individual
lawsuits, this class-action will resolve the punitive damages
issue in one lawsuit, on behalf of everyone injured by what is
alleged to be Chili's conscious disregard of the public's
safety."

The complaint alleges that the "decision to remain open and
operate without hot water one day, and without any water the
following day, and to achieve sales and profits that would have
been lost had the restaurant closed, was an intentional,
knowing, likely financially motivated decision that put the
public safety at risk, and contributed to and exacerbated the
Chili's Salmonella outbreak."

"Since the Supreme Court has ruled there is a limit to the
amount of punitive damages a company can be forced to pay for
bad behavior, a number of federal courts have certified class
actions on the basis of there being a limited-fund," explained
Mark Senak, a partner with Salvi Schostok & Pritchard, PC.
"That's why we filed this lawsuit, so that all the people
injured in the outbreak can together hold Chili's responsible
for what it did."

For more details, contact Denis Stearns of Marler Clark, LLP by
Phone: 1-206-346-1888 or 1-800-884-9840 by Fax: 1-206-346-1898
by E-mail: dstearns@marlerclark.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.marlerclark.com/OR Mark Senak of Salvi Schostok &
Pritchard, PC by Mail: 181 West Madison, Suite 3800, Chicago, IL
60602 by Phone: (312) 372-1227 or (877) 372-1227 by Fax:
(312) 372-372 by E-mail: msenak@salvilaw.com or visit their Web
site: http://www.salvilaw.com/


CERNER CORPORATION: MO Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court of Kansas City, Missouri
granted Cerner Corporation's motion to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action filed against it, alleging it misled
investors about the health of the company in 2002 and 2003.  The
suit also named as defendants five of its officers.

Several lawsuits were filed after a decline in the Company's
stock price following the Company's announcement on April 3,
2003 that the Company would not meet revenue and earnings
estimates for the first quarter of 2003.  On August20, 2003, the
Court ordered that all of the lawsuits be consolidated under
Case No.03-CV-00296-DW and appointed Phil Crabtree as Lead
Plaintiff.  On December 1, 2003, the Lead Plaintiff filed a
Consolidated suit, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (June
1,2004) reports.

In general, the consolidated complaint alleges that, during a
class period commencing as of July 17, 2002 and ending April 2,
2003, the Company and individual named defendants misrepresented
or failed to disclose certain factors, which they allege
impacted the Company's business and anticipated revenue and
earnings, all allegedly in violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
thereunder.

On February 9, 2004, the Company and the individual defendants
filed a Motion to Dismiss the consolidated Complaint.  U.S.
District Judge Dean Whipple threw out the suit, saying that the
plaintiffs didn't detail the fraud alleged in the lawsuit.

"Conspicuously absent from these generalized allegations is the
name of a single customer Cerner lost to a competitor," Judge
Whipple said in his order, according to the Kansas City Star.
"Plaintiff also fails to even approximate the number of
customers Cerner lost to competition or the amount of revenue
Cerner lost as a result."


DUNCAN-WILLIAMS: Shareholders Launch Securities Fraud Suit in TN
----------------------------------------------------------------
Duncan-Williams, Inc. faces a securities class action filed in
the United States District Court for the Western District of
Tennessee on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock.
The class consists of individuals and entities that purchased
Capstone Series 2000 Municipal bonds from Duncan Williams.

The lawsuit alleges that Duncan Williams misrepresented and
failed to disclose material facts in connection with the sale of
Capstone bonds to plaintiffs and other purchasers. The lawsuit
further alleges that Duncan Williams failed to discharge
properly its duties as underwriter of the bond issue in
question.  The suit alleges that Duncan Williams' conduct
violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and SEC
Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, the Tennessee Securities Act,
and the common law of Tennessee.

The suit is styled "[Unknown Plaintiff], et al. v. Duncan-
Williams, et al."  Law Firm for the plaintiffs is
Falls & Veach, P.L.C. Mail: 3422 Woodmont Boulevard, Nashville,
TN, 37215 Phone: 615-242-1800


eBAY INC.: Faces Sellers' Suit Over Billing System in CA Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Fazio & Micheletti LLP initiated a class-action
lawsuit against eBay, Inc., on behalf of a proposed class
comprising all eBay sellers who had entered into an eBay User
Agreement as of January 2004, alleging that they failed to
address problems with a billing tool that overcharged
individuals selling items on its site, the ZDWire Plus reports.

Serving as class representatives are Robert Cerreta of Florida
and Nancy Spaulding of Ohio, both of whom have used eBay's
services extensively and who have experienced problems with
eBay's new billing system for several months.

The suit, filed in California Superior Court, contends that the
online auction host double-billed their user accounts after
launching a new payment processing system in February.

According to the complaint, Cerreta and Spaulding were charged
twice the amount they actually owed eBay for handling auctions
of goods they were selling. The eBay users assert that the funds
were then inappropriately drawn from bank accounts and credit
cards they had registered with the company. In addition, the two
customers said that eBay threatened to suspend their user
accounts over the disputed charges.

eBay representatives did not immediately return calls regarding
the lawsuit, but company executives have already apologized
publicly for the billing issue.

The billing problem was first aired in the company's own online
user forums. eBay's billing team eventually posted messages to
the discussion area, pledging to fix the issue and help
customers address any mistakes.

While neither Cerreta nor Spaulding was charged large amounts of
money as a result of the glitch--each was overcharged about $20-
-the customers maintain that eBay's payment system also rounds
up the dollar amounts it charges sellers without telling them it
does so. For instance, they said, eBay now rounds a bill of
$30.78 up to $30.80. Despite the fact that the system tacks on
only a few cents to each transaction, the customers said the
additional charges add up over time.

In the suit, Spaulding also said she was threatened with jail
when she attempted to protest outside the user conference, which
was held in New Orleans.

For more details, contact Jeffrey L. Fazio or Dina E. Micheletti
of Fazio & Micheletti LLP by Mail: 1900 South Norfolk Street,
Suite 350, San Mateo, CA 94403 by Phone: 650-577-2380 by Fax:
650-240-4420 by E-mail: jlf@fazmiclaw.com or dem@fazmiclaw.com
or visit their Web site: http://www.fazmiclaw.com/eBay.html


J.W. BARCLAY: SEC Bars, Fines Ex-Representative Guilty Of Fraud
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned Edgar B.
Alacan, a former registered representative of J.W. Barclay &
Co., Inc., a former broker-dealer, based on findings that Alacan
violated antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws
through unauthorized and unsuitable trading in customer accounts
during 1997 and 1998.

Mr. Alacan was barred from association with any broker or
dealer; ordered to cease and desist from committing or causing
any violation or future violation of the antifraud provisions he
was found to have violated; and ordered to pay a $110,000 civil
money penalty and to disgorge his illegal profits with interest.

The Commission found that Alacan defrauded a number of customers
over an extended period, causing significant losses. According
to the Commission, Alacan repeatedly put his interests ahead of
those of his customers, in contravention of the securities laws
and the obligations owed by a securities professional to his
customers.


LEHMAN BROTHERS: NY Judge Rejects Certification For Bias Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in New York ruled that Lehman
Bros. Holdings Inc., which was sued by investors for allegedly
issuing biased research reports about RealNetworks Inc., does
not have to defend the suit as a class action, the LA Times
reports.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff of Manhattan means
the case will not proceed as a group suit for all RealNetworks
investors but only for several named investors.  Judge Rakoff
said the investors' lawyers had failed to show that analyst
statements had a "measurable impact" on all investors in the
market.


MERIX CORPORATION: Shareholders Lodge Securities Lawsuits in OR
---------------------------------------------------------------
Merix Corporation (MERX) faces several securities class actions
filed in the United States District Court in Oregon, alleging
violations of federal securities laws on behalf of all
purchasers of its common stock between July 1, 2003 and May 13,
2004, inclusive.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The complaint alleges that
defendants failed to disclose or indicate the following:

     (1) that the Company over relied, in their financial
         projections, on the customers' future demand for
         premium-priced and reduced-lead-time products, which
         had previously accounted for 50% of the Company sales;

     (2) that the Company failed to adequately insulate itself
         from the softening demand, specifically with regard to
         supply needs of a major networking customer;

     (3) that the Company failed to appreciate the market
         conditions, which did not support the Company's
         aggressive growth; and

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

The complaint further alleges that on May 13, 2004, after the
close of the market, Merix revised guidance for the fourth
quarter of fiscal 2004, ending May 29, 2004. News of this
shocked the market. Shares of Merix fell $4.64 per share or
30.29 percent on May 14, 2004, to close at $10.68 per share.

The suit is styled " [Unknown Plaintiff], et al. v. Merix
Corporation, et al." and is pending in the United States
District Court for the District of Oregon.  Lawyers for the
plaintiffs are Geller Rudman, PLLC.  For more details, contact
the law firm by Mail: 197 South Federal Highway, Suite 200, Boca
Raton, FL, 33432 by Phone: 561-750-3000 by Fax: 888-262-3131 or
by E-mail: info@geller-rudman.com.


MORGAN STANLEY: Poised To Defend V. Sex Discrimination Charges
--------------------------------------------------------------
The sexual discrimination trial against Wall Street investment
firm Morgan Stanley will start next week before the United
States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the first time
such a case against a brokerage was brought to trial, Bulgarian
News Network reports.

The suit, filed on September 10,2001, alleges that the brokerage
denied women promotions, allowed sexual groping, office strip
shows and other forms of sexual harassment.  The suit, filed on
behalf of more than 300 women who have worked in the firm's
institutional equities division since 1995, focuses on salary
and promotion issues.  Jury selection in Manhattan federal court
is set to be completed on Wednesday with opening statements to
follow.  The case will likely last about three weeks.

The suit brings comparison with a case against Smith Barney that
was settled in 1997.  Smith Barney's male workers allegedly
harassed and intimidated women and engaged in fraternity-house
antics at what was known as the "Boom-Boom Room" at the firm's
Long Island, New York, branch.  Following that case, New York's
then attorney general held a public hearing on sexual
discrimination on Wall Street where women complained of groping,
co-workers exposing their penises and threats of physical
violence.

Discrimination lawyers say the suit shows the securities
industry, despite a flood of negative publicity, still lags in
the field of gender equality, the Bulgarian News Network
reports.  "Wall Street still believes that women are inferior,
that men are better, more competent ... more interested in
advancing their careers," said Linda Friedman, a Chicago lawyer
specializing in discrimination. "They have made strides, but
there is still an enormous amount of work to be done."

Morgan Stanley, one of the nation's largest securities firms,
could face tens of millions of dollars in damages if found
liable.   The firm denies wrongdoing and says it is committed to
providing a bias-free workplace.


MOVING SOLUTIONS: Faces Civil Suit Over Defective Patient Lifts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Federal authorities filed a civil lawsuit to seize approximately
26 Faaborg Patient Lifts, Models PL, VL and Solution/Nordic
Series, at Moving Solutions, Inc., in Downers Grove, Illinois,
because the lifts can break and pose a serious risk to patients.

Moving Solutions is the U.S. distributor of the lifts, which are
manufactured by Faaborg Rehab Technic Aps, of Denmark.  The
action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S.
Marshal's Service came just after the United States filed a
complaint Friday in Federal Court to seize and condemn the
allegedly faulty devices, which allegedly violate the Federal
Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United
States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, announced
today.

The patient lifts to be seized from Moving Solutions, located at
905-09 Ogden Ave., Downers Grove, are mechanical sling-like
devices used to lift and move patients from one place to
another, as from a bed to a wheelchair. Approximately 850 of
these patient lifts have been distributed to hospitals, nursing
homes and private homes throughout the United States.

According to the lawsuit and reports received by FDA, one
patient has died and another was seriously injured when the bolt
that supports the hanger bar and the patient sling broke,
dropping the patients. Moving Solutions allegedly failed to
report the patient death to the FDA.

"Moving Solutions" alleged failure to report the death
associated with use of the device and its failure to establish
procedures for implementing corrective actions for the faulty
patient lifts are serious violations of the law," said Dr.
Lester M. Crawford, Acting FDA Commissioner. "FDA's regulations
require that companies meet certain standards to ensure that the
finished product is safe and effective. Failure to comply with
these regulations puts patients in jeopardy."

The device allegedly fails as a result of excessive wear of the
main bolt, which secures the lift arm to the main frame of the
patient lift. If the bolt breaks, the lift arm falls, dropping
the patient and sometimes falling on top of the patient.

An FDA inspection of Moving Solutions Inc., revealed that, in
addition to distributing a product with a faulty bolt, the
company failed to report the patient death to the FDA, and
violated FDA's Quality System regulations by lacking procedures
to handle complaints, and failing to verify that servicing of
the product met specified requirements.

Moving Solutions notified user facilities of a problem with the
device in November 2001. In March 2004, the firm sent another
notice to customers about a continuing problem with the bolt on
the arm and included a plastic washer with their letter,
instructing facilities to insert the washer between the hanger
bar bolt and the sling spreader.

The FDA is continuing its investigation and is working with the
firm on corrective action. However, the agency is not assured
that the replacement of the washer and the bolt is adequate to
correct the problem.  The government is being represented by
Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Lorenzen.


RIVERS EDGE: Recalls 78T Hunting Tree Stands Due To Injury Risk
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rivers Edge/Ardisam, Inc., of Cumberland, Wisconsin is
cooperating with the United States Consumer Product Safety
Commission by voluntarily recalling about 78,000 Big Foot Series
and Lite Foot Series hunting tree stands.

Rivers Edge/Ardisam, Inc. has received three reports of
consumers falling when their stands detached. Two of these
consumers reportedly suffered serious injuries, including broken
bones. If the strap mounting bracket loosens or rotates, the
strap hook can release, causing the tree stand to detach from
the tree. If this occurs, the consumer could fall to the ground.

The recalled Big Foot and Lite Foot Series hunting tree stands
are "hang-on" stands that can be identified by a yellow warning
label affixed to the stand that reads: "Rivers Edge Hunting
Products." These tree stands have dual post seat uprights and a
gold-colored strap hook bracket. Only these model tree stands
with the gold-colored bracket are included in this recall.

The tree stands were made in the U.S.A. and sold at Hunting
stores and catalogs nationwide beginning in January 1998 for
between $60 and $120. The tree stands were manufactured from
January 1998 though July 2001.

Consumers should contact Rivers Edge/Ardisam, Inc. to receive
free replacement hardware for self-installation.

For more details contact Rivers Edge/Ardisam, Inc. by Phone:
(800) 204-7435 or visit their Web site: http://www.ardisam.com


ROTHMAN'S BENSON: Smokers Launch Personal Injury Suit in Quebec
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rothman's, Benson & Hedges Inc. continues to face the motion
filed in the Qu‚bec Superior Court in Canada seeking court
authorization to institute a class action against it, Imperial
Tobacco Canada Limited and JTI-Macdonald Corporation.

The claimants claim to represent a class consisting of all
persons residing in Qu‚bec who are or have been addicted to the
nicotine contained in cigarettes manufactured by the
respondents, as well as the legal heirs of the persons included
in the group but deceased.  In addition to seeking an order
certifying the action as a class action, the claimants are
seeking on behalf of themselves and each class member $5,000 in
exemplary damages and general damages to be assessed.


ROTHMAN'S BENSON: Quebec Health Council Commences Smokers' Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rothman's, Benson & Hedges Inc. faces a motion filed by the
Qu‚bec Council of Smoking and Health seeking court authorization
to institute a class action against it, Imperial Tobacco Canada
Limited and JTI-Macdonald Corporation on behalf of all persons
who have allegedly suffered certain diseases as a result
of smoking cigarettes manufactured by the respondents.

The claims are based on allegations of failure to warn,
addiction, nicotine manipulation, advertising directed at young
people, false advertising and inadequate warnings.  The claimant
is seeking unspecified general and exemplary damages and the
establishment of a fund with the object of limiting cigarette
consumption, supporting medical research into tobacco linked
illnesses and reimbursing the Province of Qu‚bec for certain
health care costs incurred by it in treating these illnesses.


SHAW GROUP: Shareholders Lodge Securities Fraud Suits in E.D. LA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Shaw Group, Inc. faces several securities class actions
filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Louisiana on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
securities from October 19,2000 to June 10,2004.

The complaint alleges that the company misrepresented its
financial outlook between the class period. During that period,
company insiders sold Shaw shares at inflated prices, the
complaint alleges, garnering proceeds in excess of $80 million.
The complaint alleges that the company also sold $490 million of
convertible zero coupon liquid option notes during that period.
The company's revenue and earnings were inflated, the complaint
says, because Shaw improperly established and drew on reserve
accounts set up in connection with the acquisition of Stone &
Webster Inc. and IT Group in 2002.

More specifically, the complaint alleges that such results were
not prepared or reported in accordance with Generally Accepted
Accounting Principles and deceived investors as to the Company's
true performance, thereby artificially inflating the price of
Shaw securities during the Class Period. Specifically, the
complaint alleges that the defendants artificially inflated the
Company's reported revenues and earnings by improperly
establishing and drawing on reserve accounts established in
connection with a series of large acquisitions, including the
acquisition of Stone & Webster Inc. in July 2000 and the
acquisition of The IT Group in May 2002.

The complaint further alleges that defendants prematurely
recognized revenue in violation of Shaw's own purported policies
and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and that
defendants failed to disclose the extent to which Shaw was
vulnerable to changes in power generation market conditions.

The complaint further alleges that the truth about the company's
performance emerged after the market closed on June 10, 2004
when Shaw announced that it had been notified by the SEC that
the SEC was conducting an inquiry that appeared to focus on the
Company's accounting for acquisitions. On this news, Shaw stock,
which had traded at a class period high of $62.37, fell 12.4%
from a closing price of $12.28 on June 10, 2004 to a closing
price of $10.75 on the next trading day (June 14, 2004) on more
than four times normal volume. During the class period, Company
insiders sold Shaw shares at prices artificially inflated by
defendants' materially false and misleading statements.

The suits are filed in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Louisiana, under docket number 04-CV-1685.
Plaintiff Law Firms are:

     (i) CHARLES J. PIVEN Mail: World Trade Center-Baltimore,401
         East Pratt Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD, 21202 Phone:
         410-332-0030 E-mail: pivenlaw@erols.com;

    (ii) MILBERG WEISS BERSHAD & SCHULMAN LLP Mail: One
         Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th Floor, New York, NY, 10119 by
         Phone: 212-594-5300 by Fax: 212-868-1229 by E-mail:
         info@milbergweiss.com

   (iii) GELLER RUDMAN, PLLC Mail: 197 South Federal Highway,
         Suite 200, Boca Raton, FL, 33432 Phone: 561-750-3000
         Fax: 888-262-3131 E-mail: info@geller-rudman.com


SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES: Settlement Hearing Set September 23, 2004
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
New York will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed $102
million settlement for the class action filed against Symbol
Technologies, Inc. (IN RE SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES, INC. Case No. 02-
CV-1383 (LDW) LITIGATION) on behalf of all persons or entities
who purchased or acquired the Company's common stock during the
period beginning on February 15, 2000 through and including
October 17, 2002.

A settlement fairness hearing is scheduled for September 23,
2004 at 11:00 a.m., before the Honorable Leonard D. Wexler in
the Long Island Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip,
New York, 11722.

For more details, contact In re Symbol Technologies, Inc.
Litigation c/o A.B. Data, Ltd. by Mail: P.O. Box 170500
Milwaukee, WI 53217-8041 or by Phone: (866) 893-1052 or visit
their Web site: http://www.symbolsettlement.com/OR Daniel L.
Berger, Esq. or Victoria O. Wilheim, Esq. of BERNSTEIN LITOWITZ
BERGER & GROSSMANN LLP by Mail: 1285 Avenue of the Americas, New
York, NY 10019 by Phone: (800) 380-8496 or visit their Web site:
http://www.blbglaw.comOR Jeffrey C. Block, Esq. or Michael T.
Matraia, Esq. of BERMAN DEVALERIO PEASE TABACCO BURT & PUCILLO
by Mail: One Liberty Square, Boston, MA 02109 by Phone:
(800) 516-9926 or visit their Web site: http://www.bermanesq.com


SYNOVIS LIFE: Stockholders Lodge Securities Fraud Lawsuits in MN
----------------------------------------------------------------
Synovis Life Technologies, Inc. and certain of its officers and
directors face several securities class actions filed in the
United States District Court in Minnesota, alleging violations
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The suit was filed on
behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock from October
16,2003 to May 18,2004.

Synovis is a diversified medical device company that develops,
manufacturers and markets products for the surgical and
interventional treatment of disease.  More specifically, the
complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
issued a series of materially false and misleading statements
about the Company's business and prospects which artificially
inflated the price of the Company's securities.  The true facts,
which were known by the defendants, but concealed from the
investing public, included:

     (1) the Company's surgical business was not on track for
         year-to-year growth but was actually declining;

     (2) the Company's Peri-Strips were actually losing market
         share to a competing device made by Gore-Medical;

     (3) even defendants' explanations for 'why' the Company's
         Peri-Strips sales fell short were grossly false and
         misleading, as defendants claimed that sales fell due
         to capacity constraints, i.e., the number of surgeons
         qualified to perform procedures had declined, taking
         sales down as well, which claim was false for several
         reasons, including that Peri-Strips are only used in
         25% of gastric by-pass procedures and therefore growth
         would track with market acceptance; and even if the
         number of gastric by-pass procedures did decline, the
         medical communities' conversion to the 'laproscopic'
         method (which uses S-12 Peri-Strips) from the 'open'
         method (which used 103 Peri-Strips), would have stemmed
         this decline in the Company's Peri-Strips sales;

     (4) the Company's 'interventional' side had little to zero
         growth prospects; and

     (5) as a result of the above, the Company's projections of
         fiscal 2004 EPS of $.56-$.60 and revenues of $75-$79
         million were false and misleading.

The complaint further alleges that on May 19, 2004, before the
market opened, Synovis drastically cut its guidance for fiscal
2004 in a press release which stated, in pertinent part: 'At the
halfway point of the year, we have fallen behind our own
expectations and have clearly not met the expectations of the
market .... while the interventional business showed significant
sequential improvement during the second quarter, it is not yet
back to fiscal 2003 levels.

In the surgical business, several factors affecting the gastric
bypass market evolved during the second quarter, constraining
recent Peri-Strips sales growth and near-term growth prospects
for Peri-Strips use in gastric bypass surgery. The magnitude of
the revenue shortfall in the interventional business, combined
with changes in the gastric bypass market, significantly reduce
the likelihood of the strong year-over-year growth we expected
in fiscal 2004.' On this news, Synovis stock fell from a close
of $14.65 on May 18, 2004 to a close of $9.25 on May 19, 2004,
for a single-day decline of more than 36% on very heavy trading
volume.

The first identified complaint is styled "Mabry, et al. v.
Synovis Life Technologies, Inc., et al."  The plaintiff firms
are:

     (i) Charles J. Piven Mail: World Trade Center-Baltimore,401
         East Pratt Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD, 21202 Phone:
         410-332-0030 E-mail: pivenlaw@erols.com;

    (ii) Lerach Coughlin Stoia & Robbins LLP (Los Angeles) Mail:
         355 S. Grand Avenue, Suite 4170, Los Angeles, CA, 90071
         Phone: 213-617-9007 by Fax: 213-617-9185 E-mail:
         info@lcsr.com;

   (iii) Lerach Coughlin Stoia & Robbins LLP (Philadelphia)
         Mail: 1845 Walnut St., Suite 945, Philadelphia, CA,
         19103 Phone: 215-988-9546 Fax: 215-988-9885 E-mail:
         info@lcsr.com;

    (iv) Lerach Coughlin Stoia & Robbins LLP (San Diego) Mail:
         401 B Street, Suite 1700, San Diego, CA, 92101 by
         Phone: 619-231-1058 by Fax: 619-231-7423 by E-mail:
         info@lcsr.com;

     (v) Lerach Coughlin Stoia & Robbins LLP (San Francisco)
         Mail: 100 Pine Street, Suite 2600, San Francisco, CA,
         94111 Phone: 415-288-4545 Fax: 415-288-4534 by E-mail:
         info@lcsr.com;

    (vi) Lerach Coughlin Stoia & Robbins LLP (Washington D.C.)
         Mail: 1100 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 730,
         Washington, DC, 20036 Phone: 202-822-6762 by Fax:
         202-828-8528 by E-mail: info@lcsr.com


TEXAS: A.G. Abbott Shuts Down Rio Grande Immigrant Fraud Scheme
---------------------------------------------------------------
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott successfully shut down a
long-running scam that defrauded numerous immigrants in the Rio
Grande Valley and obtained a court judgment of nearly $200,000
in penalties.

Martha Uresti, who operated Brownsville-based Uresti
Immigration/Notary Services, was ordered by a Cameron County
State District Court to pay fines and attorneys' fees for
illegally representing herself as a lawyer who could help
consumers process immigration cases before federal authorities.
Criminal charges remain pending.

"This is another victory in our mission to rid Texas of
unscrupulous individuals and businesses who attempt to amass
fortunes on the backs of hardworking immigrants," said Attorney
General Abbott in a statement.  "Scam artists like Ms. Uresti
exploit the dreams millions have for a better life in America,
charging thousands of dollars and providing little or nothing in
return."

Ms. Uresti sometimes charged in excess of $3,000 to individual
families, promising that she would obtain immigration benefits
for them, including work permits and permanent residency.
Often, she did little or no work to move a client's case
forward.

As part of her scheme, Ms. Uresti obtained a notary public
commission from the Texas Secretary of State and then used it to
present herself to Spanish-speaking clients as a "notario p.o."
a title used in Latin America for a highly experienced attorney
and a misrepresentation specifically forbidden by Texas law.
Though the Spanish and English terms are similar sounding,
notaries in Texas can provide immigration services only if they
hold a separate license to practice law.  Ms. Uresti does not
have such a license.

Attorney General Abbott filed a civil complaint against Ms.
Uresti in February and provided the Cameron County District
Attorney information on her activities.  Subsequently, she was
arrested by the Department of Public Safety in February of this
year; she was released on bond and her criminal case remains
pending.


TIDEL TECHNOLOGIES: Reaches $3M Securities Settlement in S.D. TX
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tidel Technologies, Inc. (Other OTC: ATMS) reached an agreement
in principle to settle the securities class action lawsuits that
have been consolidated under the caption George Lehocky v. Tidel
Technologies, Inc., James T. Rash, Mark K. Levenick, James L.
Britton III and Jerrell G. Clay; Civ. Act. No. H-01-3741 in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

The settlement is subject to a definitive agreement and court
approval. The shareholder class will receive a cash payment of
$3 million, which will be funded by Tidel's directors and
officers liability insurance, and a stock payment of two million
shares of Tidel common stock.

In the agreement, Tidel and the officers and directors named in
the lawsuits continue to deny any and all allegations of
wrongdoing, and they will receive a full release of all claims
asserted in the litigation.

"While we were prepared to mount a vigorous defense, management
concluded that settlement was in the best financial interest of
the Company," said James T. Rash, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer.


UNITED STATES: Senate Urged To Consider, Pass Class Action Bill
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Chamber of Commerce called upon the members of
the Senate to quickly consider and pass the Class Action
Fairness Act (S. 2062), a bill aimed at curbing class action
lawsuit abuse in state courts. Senate debate on the bill begins
today.

"It is possible to forge consensus on a moderate and reasonable
legal reform bill that protects consumers and is fair to
business," said Thomas J. Donohue, Chamber President and CEO.
"This common-sense legislation, which has broad, bipartisan
support, should be quickly passed by the Senate without
amendment."

The legislation would curb class action lawsuit abuse in state
courts by allowing greater scrutiny of settlements that provide
coupons or something else of little or no value to consumers,
but return millions in legal fees to class action attorneys. In
addition, the bill would stop the rampant practice of venue
shopping of large national class actions by allowing federal
courts to hear more national class action lawsuits involving
plaintiffs and defendants from multiple states.

Last November, a bipartisan group of Senators negotiated a
legislative compromise on class action lawsuit abuse. That
compromise ensures genuine local class action lawsuits remain in
state courts where they belong, and that legal fees in coupon
settlements be determined as a percentage of the actual coupons
redeemed or the number of hours the lawyers actually worked.

"Our country's employers and workers have waited long enough for
this legislation. This is a sensible bill that serves the best
interests of the American people, not trial lawyers seeking
jackpot justice," continued Donohue. "Passage of this bill this
year is the only responsible course of action for the Senate."

The mission of the Institute for Legal Reform is to make
America's legal system simpler, fairer and faster for everyone.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business
federation, representing more than three million businesses and
organizations of every size, sector and region.


VICURON PHARMACEUTICALS: Shareholders File Fraud Lawsuits in PA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Vicuron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. faces several securities class
actions filed in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of purchasers of the
Company's common stock from January 6,2003 to May 24,2004.

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 candidasis, 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.

The suit is filed in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania, under docket number 04-CV-
2627.  The plaintiffs' law firms are:

     (1) CHARLES J. PIVEN Mail: World Trade Center-Baltimore,401
         East Pratt Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD, 21202 Phone:
         410-332-0030 E-mail: pivenlaw@erols.com;

     (2) MURRAY FRANK & SAILER LLP Mail: 275 Madison Ave 34th
         Flr, New York, NY, 10016 by Phone: 212-682-1818 by Fax:
         212-682-1892 by E-mail: email@rabinlaw.com;

     (3) SCHATZ & NOBEL, PC Mail: 330 Main Street, Hartford, CT,
         06106 by Phone: 800-797-5499 by Fax: 860-493-6290 by E-
         mail: sn06106@AOL.com


VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: NY Court Dismisses Claim in Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York granted Vivendi Universal, S.A.'s motion to dismiss one
claim in the consolidated securities class action filed against
it, Chief Executive Officer Jean-Marie Messier and Guillame
Hannezo, styled "In re Vivendi Universal Securities Litigation
(Master File No. 02 CV 5571)."

The consolidated suit alleges violations of the Securities Act
of 1933 (the Securities Act) and the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 (the Exchange Act) against the Company, Mr. Messier and Mr.
Hannezo.  The 1933 Act allegations relate to allegedly false and
materially misleading statements or omissions in the
registration and proxy statements that were issued at the time
of the merger transactions involving Vivendi, S.A., Canal Plus,
S.A. ("Canal Plus") and The Seagram Company Limited ("Seagram").
Those false "statements" are primarily alleged to be violations
of French or US GAAP which caused the financial statements of
Vivendi Universal to be wrong.  The Exchange Act allegations
relate to allegedly false or materially misleading statements or
omissions in certain public statements of the Company, such as
press releases and financial statements, which purportedly
failed to disclose Vivendi Universal's true financial condition.

Plaintiffs seek damages from all three defendants in an
unspecified amount.  The alleged classes of plaintiffs pleaded
in the consolidated complaint include all purchasers of the
Company's American Depositary Shares (ADSs) and common stock
from October 30, 2000, to August 14, 2002, as well as all
holders of the common stock of Seagram that was exchanged for
Vivendi Universal stock in the merger transactions with Seagram
and Canal Plus, and those shareholders of Vivendi Universal or
Seagram who were entitled to vote on the merger transactions
(excluding certain specified holders).  The Court has not yet
certified those classes.

On November 6, 2003, the Court issued an Opinion and Order
granting defendants' motions to dismiss with respect to
plaintiffs' claims under Sections 11 and 12(a)(2) of the
Securities Act (on behalf of purchasers who acquired Vivendi
Universal ADSs pursuant to a registration statement on Form F-6
not alleged to be misleading by plaintiffs) and Section 14(a) of
the Exchange Act, but otherwise denying defendants' motions to
dismiss.  As part of its Opinion and Order, the Court gave
plaintiffs leave to re-plead their claim against Vivendi
Universal under Section 14(a) of the Exchange Act.

In November 2003, both plaintiffs and defendants filed motions
seeking reconsideration of certain aspects of the Court's
Opinion and Order.  A decision on those motions remains pending.
On November 24, 2003, plaintiffs served Vivendi Universal with
their First Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint,
containing their re-pleaded claim under Section 14(a) of the
Exchange Act.  On April 1, 2004, the Court granted Vivendi
Universal's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' Section 14(a) claim
and denied plaintiffs leave to re-plead.

On November 26, 2003, plaintiffs served defendants with their
First Request for the Production of Documents.  That First
Request sought production, inter alia, of Vivendi Universal's
previous document productions to the SEC and the French Autorit‚
des March‚s Financiers (the AMF, formerly, the Commission des
Op‚rations de Bourse) as well as documents produced or collected
in the context of the pending French proceedings involving the
French public prosecutor's office and the Association des Petits
Porteurs Actifs (APPAC).  On January 29, 2004, the Court issued
a decision denying in part, and granting in part, plaintiffs'
motion to compel production.  Pursuant to that decision, Vivendi
Universal is required to produce documents produced to or
collected by the SEC, AMF or in the APPAC proceedings only where
those documents are responsive to properly particularized
document requests served by plaintiffs seeking documents
properly relevant to claims or defenses at issue in the
securities class action litigation. Vivendi Universal is further
required to ask the SEC to produce the transcripts of the
depositions conducted by the SEC of current Vivendi Universal
employees, which it has done.

On January 16, 2004, plaintiffs served defendants with their
Second Request for the Production of Documents.  That request is
extremely broad in scope.  Following the Court's April 1, 2004,
decision on Vivendi Universal's motion to dismiss plaintiffs'
Section 14(a) claim, pretrial discovery (including document
production) has now commenced in the securities class action
litigation.


WAL-MART STORES: Seeks Review of Sex Bias Lawsuit Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. asked the United States Ninth District
Court of Appeals to review a lower court ruling granting class
certification to a sex discrimination class action filed against
them, Reuters reports.

The suit, styled "Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. No. C-01-2252
MJJ," The women charge that Wal-Mart, including its Sam's Club
division, systematically discriminates against its female hourly
and salaried employees across the nation by denying them
promotions and equal pay, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(June 24,2004) states.

In late June, United States District Judge Martin Jenkins
allowed some 1.6 million women who worked for the Company's U.S.
Stores since December 26,1998 to join the suit, making it the
largest private civil suit in history.

The world's largest retailer has denied discrimination and
argued the number of men in management reflected the higher
number of men who apply for those jobs.  The Bentonville,
Arkansas - based company faces dozens of lawsuits claiming
violations of work laws, but analysts think this one in
particular could prove costly.

The Wal-Mart request maintained that the case, if allowed to
proceed, would strip "both absent class members and Wal-Mart of
basic due process rights," The New York Times reports.  Lawyers
for the retailer argued that it the sex discrimination suit was
unfairly expanded to include as many as 1.6 million employees.
"We are not asking for special treatment," a Wal-Mart spokesman
said. "We just want to be subject to the same rules and laws as
everyone else."

The Company also released a handful of sworn statements from
employees who are women, attesting to their successful efforts
to be promoted to management positions.  The company's lawyers
also said that on a store-by-store measure "there is no
statistically significant evidence of discrimination at the vast
majority of its stores," which should have undermined any
finding of common discrimination among women employed by Wal-
Mart.

"Plaintiffs elected not to present a store-by-store analysis,
and instead used a statistical analysis that aggregated data on
a nationwide or regional basis," the Wal-Mart lawyers wrote in
their brief, according to the New York Times.  "This ruling's
necessary, and unlawful, consequence is that female employees
who have suffered no discrimination will presumptively be able
to claim back pay and punitive damages based on a class-wide
liability determination that ignores the actual facts."

Carolyn Short, a partner and employment-discrimination
specialist with the firm of Reed Smith in Philadelphia, told the
Times the arguments presented by Wal-Mart had merit.  "This is a
case that is monetarily driven, and there is too little
commonality among all the claims," she said.  "This court seems
to say that the discretionary power afforded local managers is
basically a policy in support of discrimination by the company,
and I think that's a huge leap and it cannot be applied in this
way."  She predicted that the appeals court would review the
decision.


WELLMAN INC.: Justice Department Seeks Price Fixing Indictment
--------------------------------------------------------------
As part of an ongoing investigation, the Department of Justice
seeking an indictment against Wellman Inc. (WLM) into
allegations of conspiracy to fix prices of polyester staple
fiber, the Dow Jones Business News reports.

The polyester products maker told Dow Jones Business News that
two of Wellman's employees may also be named as targets of the
investigation.  According to a letter received by Wellman,
lawyers from the Dallas field office of the Justice Department's
antitrust division are seeking to present an indictment to a
grand jury to charge Wellman in connection with the alleged
price-fixing scheme.

Wellman, along with other polyester makers, is facing a
purported class-action lawsuit as part of ongoing federal grand-
jury investigation into the pricing practices of the polyester
staple fiber industry. The company first received a subpoena in
connection with the probe in January 2001.

In November 2002, Wellman competitor KoSa pleaded guilty to
price-fixing charges.  However, Wellman told Dow Jones Business
News that it continues to categorically deny that it or any of
its employees engaged in price fixing.


WILLIAMS COMPANIES: FERC Okays Settlement of CA Natural Gas Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Williams Companies, Inc. (NYSE: WMB) said that action by the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) puts an end to
nearly all of the company's natural gas issues and power refund
liabilities related to California markets from May 2000 through
June 2001.

The FERC on July 2 approved Williams' Feb. 25 settlement with
three California utilities. At least one additional market
participant has stated that it will opt in to the settlement.
Certain market participants, collectively representing the
remaining 3 percent of Williams' refund obligation during the
period covered by the settlement, have until July 12 to opt in
to the settlement.

As a result of the settlement, Williams expects by July 26 to
receive approximately $108 million for power it sold during the
settlement period. That amount largely offsets the company's
recent repurchase of receivables it sold to a third party.
Williams' financial results already reflect the expected
earnings impact of the settlement.

The FERC's approval of the settlement also resolves the
Commission's investigations into physical and economic
withholding. It also resolves any claims by the settling parties
regarding those issues.

In a related action, Williams on July 2 received a final court
order approving a civil class action settlement. That settlement
was first entered into as a part of the company's November 2002
settlement with the states of California, Oregon and Washington.


WORLDCOM: Former CEO, 18 Executives Reach $51M Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers and 18 other ex-WorldCom
executives reached a $51m settlement in a lawsuit by employees
who lost billions of dollars when the telecoms group, now called
MCI, collapsed amid a huge accounting scandal, the Financial
Times reports.

Lawyers representing employees of WorldCom made the announcement
about the proposed settlement, which must still be approved by a
US District Court hearing the case.

The other defendants in the class-action suit brought by the law
firm of Keller Rohrback, LLP, included Bert Roberts, the former
WorldCom chairman and the estate of John Sidgmore, a former
vice-chairman, who died last year, as well as officials who
administered the employee benefit plan.

The employees sued WorldCom and the former officers in an
attempt to recover billions of dollars that were lost because
their 401(k) pension plan continued to hold 46m WorldCom shares
while the stock plunged ahead of the bankruptcy filing. WorldCom
shares dropped from $8.27 in March 2002 to 9 cents the day
before it filed for bankruptcy court protection in July 2002.

Under the terms of the tentative agreement, MCI would pay about
$19.5m as part of the settlement, according to the law firm
representing the employees. Mr Ebbers would pay as much as $4m,
depending on how much in loans he eventually repays to MCI.  If
approved, the agreement would leave Merrill Lynch Trust, the
trustee of WorldCom's 401K pension fund, as the only sole
defendant in the case.

For more details, contact Keller Rohrback L.L.P. by Mail: 1201
Third Avenue, 32nd Floor, Seattle, Washington 98101-3052 by
Phone: 206-623-1900 by Fax: 206-623-3384 by E-mail:
info@kellerrohrback.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.kellerrohrback.com/hmpage.htm


                New Securities Fraud Cases


CARDINAL HEALTH: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. OH
----------------------------------------------------------------
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 Cardinal
Health, Inc. (NYSE:CAH) between October 24, 2000 through June
30, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Ohio. 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.

No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact the law offices of 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


COMMERCE BANCORP: Brodsky & Smith Files Securities Lawsuit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Brodsky & Smith, LLC initiated a securities
class action lawsuit on behalf of shareholders who purchased the
common stock and other securities of Commerce Bancorp, Inc.
("Commerce" or the "Company") (NYSE:CBH), between June 1, 2002
and June 28, 2004 inclusive (the "Class Period"). The class
action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for
the District of New Jersey.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period,
thereby artificially inflating the price of Commerce securities.

No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact Evan J. Smith, Esq. of Brodsky &
Smith, LLC by Mail: Two Bala Plaza, Suite 602, Bala Cynwyd, PA
19004 by Phone: 877-LEGAL-90 or by E-mail:
clients@brodsky-smith.com


COMMERCE BANCORP: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------
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 Commerce
Bancorp (NYSE:CBH) between June 1, 2002 and June 28, 2004,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey against defendant Commerce and one or
more of its officers and/or directors.

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

No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact the law offices of 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


INTRABIOTICS PHARMACEUTICALS: Charles Piven Lodges CA Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
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 IntraBiotics
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:IBPI) between September 5, 2003
through June 22, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California. 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.

No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact the law offices of 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


INTRABIOTICS PHARMACEUTICALS: Schatz & Nobel Files CA Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C., initiated a lawsuit
seeking class action status in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of California on behalf of all persons
who purchased the publicly traded securities of IntraBiotics
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: IBPI) ("IntraBiotics") between
September 5, 2003 and June 22, 2004 inclusive (the "Class
Period"). Also included are all those who acquired IntraBiotics'
shares in its offerings on October 10, 2003 and May 5, 2004.
Present and former employees who purchased stock through
IntraBiotics' Retirement Savings Plans are also included.

The Complaint alleges that IntraBiotics, a biopharmaceutical
company, and certain of its officers and directors issued
materially false statements concerning the Company's drug
iseganan. Specifically, defendants failed to disclose:

     (1) that iseganan was not safe and well-tolerated at
         therapeutically relevant doses when administered to the
         oral cavity;

     (2) that the drug caused a higher rate of ventilator -
         associated pneumonia ("VAP") and mortality as compared
         to placebo;

     (3) that despite knowing and/or recklessly disregarding the
         aforementioned facts, the defendants nevertheless
         raised capital through offerings of its common stock in
         order to portray to the market that iseganan was a
         viable marketable product that was on the "fast track"
         to FDA approval; and

     (4) that as a result of the above, the defendants
         statements concerning iseganan were lacking in any
         reasonable basis.

On June 23, 2004, the Company announced that an independent data
monitoring committee recommended to IntraBiotics that it
discontinue its pivotal trial of iseganan for the prevention of
VAP based on an interim analysis of the data. On this news,
IntraBiotics fell $9.45 per share or 69%, to close at $4.23 per
share.

For more details, contact Schatz & Nobel by Phone:
(800) 797-5499 by E-mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit their Web
site: http://www.snlaw.net


LEHMAN ABS: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Brodsky & Smith, LLC initiated a securities
class action lawsuit on behalf of all purchasers of Corporate
Backed Trust Certificates, Verizon New York Debenture-Backed
Series 2004-1 ("Certificates") between January 5, 2004 and May
11, 2004 inclusive (the "Class Period"). The class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.

The suit named as defendants Lehman ABS Corp., U.S. Bank Trust
National Association, Corporate Backed Trust Certificates
Verizon New York Debenture-Backed Series 2004-1 Trust, Lehman
Brothers Inc., RBC Dain Rauscher And Banc Of America Securities
LLC, alleging violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities
Act of 1933.

The Complaint alleges that a January 2004 Prospectus was
materially misleading because it omitted to state material
information that defendants had an obligation to disclose.

No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact Marc L. Ackerman, Esq. or Evan J.
Smith, Esq. of Brodsky & Smith, LLC by Mail: Two Bala Plaza,
Suite 602, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 877-LEGAL-90 or by E-
mail: clients@brodsky-smith.com


SHAW GROUP: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. LA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Louisiana, on behalf of purchasers of the securities
for The Shaw Group, Inc. ("Shaw" or the "Company") (NYSE:SGR)
between October 19, 2000 and June 10, 2004, inclusive (the
"Class Period"), seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"), against defendants
Shaw, Tim Barfield Jr., J.M. Bernhard, Jr., Richard F. Gill and
Robert Belk.

Shaw describes itself as a provider of complete piping systems
and comprehensive engineering procurement and construction
services to the power industry. The complaint alleges that,
during the Class Period, defendants' publicly disseminated
results of Shaw's operations and financial condition contained
artificially inflated earnings and revenues, assets and income.
Such results were not prepared or reported in accordance with
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and deceived investors
as to the Company's true performance, thereby artificially
inflating the price of Shaw securities during the Class Period.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that the defendants
artificially inflated the Company's reported revenues and
earnings by improperly establishing and drawing on reserve
accounts established in connection with a series of large
acquisitions, including the acquisition of Stone & Webster Inc.
in July 2000 and the acquisition of The IT Group in May 2002.
The complaint further alleges that defendants prematurely
recognized revenue in violation of Shaw's own purported policies
and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and that
defendants failed to disclose the extent to which Shaw was
vulnerable to changes in power generation market conditions.

The truth emerged after the market closed on June 10, 2004 when
Shaw announced that it had been notified by the SEC that the SEC
was conducting an inquiry that appeared to focus on the
Company's accounting for acquisitions. On this news, Shaw stock,
which had traded at a class period high of $62.37, fell 12.4%
from a closing price of $12.28 on June 10, 2004 to a closing
price of $10.75 on the next trading day (June 14, 2004) on more
than four times normal volume. During the class period, Company
insiders sold Shaw shares at prices artificially inflated by
defendants' materially false and misleading statements, for
proceeds in excess of $80 million. Additionally, during the
Class Period, Shaw sold $490 million convertible zero coupon,
liquid yield option notes.

For more details, contact Aaron Brody, Esq. of Stull, Stull &
Brody by Mail: 6 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017 by Phone:
1-800-337-4983 by Fax: 212/490-2022 by E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com or
visit their Web site: http://www.ssbny.com


YUKOS OIL: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Brodsky & Smith, LLC initiated a securities
class action lawsuit on behalf of shareholders who purchased the
common stock and other securities of Yukos Oil Company ("Yukos
Oil" or the "Company") (Other OTC:YUKOF) (Pink Sheets:YUKOY),
between February 13, 2003 and October 25, 2003 inclusive (the
"Class Period"). The class action lawsuit was filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period,
thereby artificially inflating the price of Yukos Oil
securities.

No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact Marc L. Ackerman, Esq. or Evan J.
Smith, Esq. of Brodsky & Smith, LLC by Mail: Two Bala Plaza,
Suite 602, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 877-LEGAL-90 or by E-
mail: clients@brodsky-smith.com


YUKOS OIL: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Charles J. Piven, P.A. commenced a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired ADRs of Yukos Oil Company (Other
OTC:YUKOY; YUKOF) (Russia:YUKO.RTS) between February 13, 2003
and October 25, 2003, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York against defendant Yukos, one or
more of its officers and/or directors, and its accounting
advisors.

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.

No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact the law offices of 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


YUKOS OIL: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia & Robbins commenced a
class action in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers of the
securities of Yukos Oil Company ("Yukos") (Pink Sheets:YUKOF)
(Pink Sheets:YUKOY) (Russia:YUKO) between February 13, 2003 and
October 25, 2003 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Yukos, certain of its officers and
directors and its accounting advisors with violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Yukos is one of Russia's
leading vertically-integrated oil companies, and one of the
world's largest non-state owned oil companies.

The complaint alleges that defendants created a complex network
of shell companies to evade taxes on the production, refining
and sale of oil and oil products. These shell companies were
registered in territories with preferential tax treatment to
enable these companies to receive special tax exemptions in
order to minimize Yukos' tax liability. Since these shell
companies were not separate legal entities, as Yukos maintained
control over the operations of these companies, Yukos was
required to recognize the full amount of the receipts associated
with these transactions for its own tax purposes and was not
entitled to the preferential tax treatment these shell companies
were granted. Accordingly, Yukos' tax liability was materially
understated and its earnings were materially overstated in
violation of GAAP.

Defendants' scheme began to unravel in October 2003 when the
market learned that Russian authorities had arrested the
Company's largest shareholder and CEO, defendant Mikhail
Khodorkovsky, and had charged him with fraud, embezzlement and
evading taxes on hundreds of millions of dollars that was owed
to the government. At this time, the Russian authorities also
announced that they would pursue criminal prosecutions against
other senior Yukos officials. Ultimately, Yukos, which has been
audited by the Tax Ministry of Russia for its fiscal year 2000
tax returns, will be required to pay approximately $3.3 billion
for 2000 alone due to its understatement of its tax liability,
including interest and penalties. The Tax Ministry intends to
audit Yukos' books for 2001-2003 based upon the same charges.
Yukos could ultimately be expected to pay upwards of $10 billion
to the Tax Ministry for defendants' involvement in the illegal
tax evasion scheme.

As a result of the revelation of defendants' wrongdoing,
investors have suffered massive damages as the price of Yukos'
securities plummeted. Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on
behalf of purchasers of Yukos' securities during the Class
Period (the "Class"). The plaintiff is represented by Lerach
Coughlin Stoia & Robbins LLP, which has expertise in prosecuting
investor class actions and extensive experience in actions
involving financial fraud.

For more details, contact 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/yukos/



                            *********


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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Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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