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                Friday, August 20, 1999, Vol. 1, No. 140


BALCOR EQUITY: Lawsuit Over Partnership Agreement Filed In Illinois
BAYER AG: Denies Negligence Caused Hep C Infections On Haemophiliacs
BEER WORLD: 3rd Cir. Tosses Rico, Reinstates Antitrust Claims
BOEING CO.: Oks Govt Access To Records; Employee Discrimination Suit
BOEING NORTH: Suit On Toxic Dumping Pending At Fd. Ct.; Neil Sues In LA

COPLEY PHARMACEUTICAL: Derivative Suit Pending In Massachusetts Sp. Ct.
COPLEY PHARMACEUTICAL: Massachusetts Ct. Accepts Plea For Defraud
COPLEY PHARMACEUTICAL: Set Up Albuterol Settlement Trust Fund
FEN-PHEN: Medical Expert For N.J. Drug Maker Admits Mistake Over Label
LOCKHEED MARTIN: Alleged of Racism; Vows To Probe Workers' Charges

LYCOS SECURITIES: Fd. Ct. In Boston Certifies Securities Class
METLIFE: Proposed Settlement In Multi-District Sales Litigation
MICRION CORP: Class For Securities Suit Certified In Massachusetts
MIT, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL: Suit On Experimental Treatment To Proceed
NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Suit In CA

NATIONAL STEEL: Announces Dismissal of Securities Lawsuit In Indiana
NET GAMBLING: First Citizens Bank And Visa Sued In San Francisco
NEW ERA: Bernstein Liebhard Announces Class Action Deadline Approaching
PROVIDIAN FINANCIAL: Federal Bank Regulators Review Sales Practices
ST BARNABAS: Sp. Ct. Upholds Shift Of Burden Of Proof On Defendants

STATE FARM: Used Inferior Car Parts; Insurance Consultant Testifies
UNITED WATER: Maybe Sued On Contaminated Water; N.J. Data Under Review
UNITED WATER: Vigorously Defending Suit In NY Over Water Releases
VERSANT CORP: Moves For Dismissal Of Securities Suit In California
WASTE MANAGEMENT: Cohen, Milstein Announces Expanded Class Period

WORLDPORT COMM: Keller Rohrback Announces Extension of Class Period


BALCOR EQUITY: Lawsuit Over Partnership Agreement Filed In Illinois
On May 7, 1999, a proposed class action complaint was filed and on May 13,
1999 was served on the defendants, Madison Partnership Liquidity Investors
XX, et al. vs. The Balcor Company, et al. (Circuit Court, Chancery
Division, Cook County, Illinois, Docket No. 99CH08972). The Partnership,
twenty-one additional limited partnerships which were sponsored by The
Balcor Company (together with the Partnership, the "Affiliated
Partnerships"), The Balcor Company, other affiliated entities and one
individual are named defendants in this action. Plaintiffs are entities
that initiated tender offers to purchase units and, in fact, purchased
units in eleven of the Affiliated Partnerships.

The complaint alleges breach of fiduciary duties and breach of contract
under the partnership agreements for each of the Affiliated Partnerships.
The complaint seeks the winding up of the affairs of the Affiliated
Partnerships, the establishment of a liquidating trust for each of the
Affiliated Partnerships until a resolution of all contingencies occurs,
the appointment of an independent trustee for each such liquidating trust
and the distribution of a portion of the cash reserves to limited
partners. The complaint also seeks compensatory damages, punitive and
exemplary damages, and costs and expenses in pursuing the litigation. On
July 14, 1999, the defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint. A
briefing schedule on this motion has not yet been set.

The defendants intend to vigorously contest this action. No class has been
certified as of this date. The Partnership believes it has meritorious
defenses to contest the claims. It is not determinable at this time how
the outcome of this action will impact the remaining cash reserves of the

BAYER AG: Denies Negligence Caused Hep C Infections On Haemophiliacs
Bayer AG denied negligence could have caused its blood products to infect
haemophiliacs with the hepatitis C virus, said Christine Senert, a company
spokesman. Bayer products 'have always conformed with standards of medical
science research,' she said. The German association of haemophiliacs
confirmed it is claiming compensation from the pharmaceutical industry,
which it says infected sufferers with hepatitis C by failing to carry out
sufficient controls on blood products in circulation in the United States.
(National Post (formerly The Financial Post) 8-17-1999)

BEER WORLD: 3rd Cir. Tosses Rico, Reinstates Antitrust Claims
A federal RICO and antitrust suit brought by "mom-and-pop" beer
distributors against a chain of supermarket-style beer distributorships,
which alleged that the Beer World stores engaged in illegal tactics to try
to establish a monopoly, was reinstated by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of
Appeals. The circuit court, however, affirmed the district court's
dismissal of plaintiffs' RICO claims. Callahan v. A.E.V. Inc. P. 4. (Civil
RICO Litigation Reporter July 1999)

BOEING CO.: Oks Govt Access To Records; Employee Discrimination Suit
Boeing Co. agreed to give the Labor Department access to its facilities
and records at sites in Seattle and Mesa, Ariz., to settle complaints that
it interfered with compliance reviews and investigations into claims of
discrimination, the department said. "In the interest of preserving our
ongoing relationship with the agency, we agreed to settle," said Larry
McCracken, a spokesman for the nation's second-largest defense contractor.
An administrative law judge in Washington, D.C., approved the settlement,
which will allow the Labor Department access to Boeing's commercial
aircraft plant in Seattle and its training site in Arizona.

The department's complaints arose from Boeing's refusal to allow the
government access to property and records at those sites and its
commercial aircraft and military space and defense plants in Wichita, Kan.
The Kansas complaint will be heard next month. In the Seattle case, the
department is looking into a class-action complaint of racial
discrimination filed by an employee there. In order to do business with
the government, companies must maintain and disclose records on compliance
with certain equal-opportunity employment laws. (Los Angeles Times

BOEING NORTH: Suit On Toxic Dumping Pending At Fd. Ct.; Neil Sues In LA
The lead singer for Motley Crue has sued Boeing North American Inc.
claiming that his daughter's death by cancer in 1995 was caused by
radioactive material dumped in the soil and ground water near his former
home near the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.

Vince Neil and his ex-wife, Sharise, bought a home in Chatsworth in 1991,
a few miles east of Boeing's Rocketdyne Division. Boeing acquired the
property in 1996 when it bought Rockwell International's aerospace and
defense businesses.

The suit claims that Boeing, Rockwell and Rocketdyne knowingly dumped
hazardous materials, such as plutonium and uranium, near the Neils' Summit
Ridge Circle residence southeast of Simi Valley.

Their 4-year-old daughter, Skylar, was diagnosed with a rare form of
cancer in April 1995 and died four months later. The suit claims that her
death came "as a direct result of the activities conducted by defendants."

One of Boeing's chief attorneys, Gary M. Black, said Tuesday that he had
not seen the suit and would not comment on its allegations. "We haven't
been served with a complaint yet," Black said. "We have no reason to think
the allegations in this complaint are any different from allegations in
other pending cases." Black concluded by saying: "There is no evidence
that there is any off-site contamination from the Santa Susana field lab
that is harmful to anyone in any way."

Neil's suit, which seeks unspecified damages, was filed in U.S. District
Court in Los Angeles late last week. It is the latest legal action brought
against Rocketdyne and its Seattle-based parent company for alleged harm
caused to neighbors and their property.

A class-action case is pending in federal court. It contends that decades
of nuclear research and rocket engine testing fouled the water, air and
soil surrounding the 2,700-acre field lab, and could compromise the health
of nearby residents.

Neil, who sold his house in 1994 and now lives in Beverly Hills, was
touring with his band in New Mexico and could not be reached for comment
Tuesday. His Beverly Hills attorney, David M. Cordrey, said the singer
only recently learned about toxic contamination at the Santa Susana Field
Laboratory after a Rocketdyne worker health study was released by UCLA
researchers in April. At about the same time, Cordrey said, Neil's ex-wife
received a notice to potential plaintiffs that was mailed in connection
with the class-action suit. "I think basically he just became aware of the
Rocketdyne alleged activities," said Jeff Albright, Neil's publicist. "I
don't think it's about money. I think it is about awareness. No dollar
amount can bring Skylar back."

Last month, state officials announced plans to remove 3,200 cubic yards of
contaminated soil from the Rocketdyne lab site.

Located in the hills between Simi Valley and Chatsworth, the lab was
opened in 1948 to design the nation's first rocket engines. It was later
used to develop model nuclear power reactors, although atomic research was
discontinued in 1989. (Los Angeles Times 8-18-1999)

COPLEY PHARMACEUTICAL: Derivative Suit Pending In Massachusetts Sp. Ct.
On September 2, 1998, the Company was served as a nominal defendant in a
shareholder derivative action against six of its nine current Directors.
The lawsuit, which was brought by Great Neck Capital Appreciation
Investment Partnership, the alleged owner of an unspecified number of
Company shares, is pending in Norfolk County, Massachusetts Superior
Court. On October 2, 1998, plaintiff filed a First Amended Shareholder
Derivative Complaint that named HCCP Acquisition Corporation, Hoechst
Corporation and Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft as additional defendants. The
amended complaint's allegations include claims of alleged breach of
fiduciary duty and alleged waste of corporate assets and seeks unspecified
money damages and injunctive relief. According to the amended complaint,
"Copley is named as a defendant herein solely in a derivative capacity.
This action is brought on its behalf, and no claims are asserted against
it." The Company is obligated to defend and indemnify the Director
defendants and has put its directors and officers insurance carrier on
notice of this claim. The Company has been served with motions to dismiss
the amended complaint filed by the other defendants; these motions remain
pending as of the date of this report.

On May 21, 1999, the Company was served with a complaint in a shareholder
derivative action pending in the New Castle County, Delaware Court of
Chancery entitled Parnes v. Hoechst Corp. The Company is named as a
nominal defendant; amongst the other defendants are five current directors
of the Company. The Complaint alleges various breaches of duty by Hoechst
Corp. and the named individual director defendants and seeks a number of
equitable remedies, including an accounting from Hoechst and the
appointment of a custodian or receiver. No monetary damages are sought.

The Company has $4.4 million of estimated recall related and legal
contingency reserves accrued at June 30, 1999. These reserves reflect the
Company's estimate of its exposure at June 30, 1999 in its various legal
proceedings described above. Actual settlement amounts may differ from
amounts estimated. In addition, the Company from time to time is subject
to claims arising in the ordinary course of business. While the outcome of
the claims cannot be predicted with certainty, management does not expect
these matters to have a material adverse effect on the results of
operations and financial condition of the Company.

COPLEY PHARMACEUTICAL: Massachusetts Ct. Accepts Plea For Defraud
On May 28, 1997, the Company announced that it had entered into a plea
agreement pursuant to which it agreed to waive indictment and plead guilty
to a one count Information charging a violation of Title 18, United States
Code, Section 371, a conspiracy to defraud the United States and one of
its agencies, the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"). The Information
alleged that Copley made changes in the manufacturing processes for four
drugs (only two of which, procainamide 500 mg tablets and potassium
chloride tablets, currently are being manufactured by the Company) without
proper notification to the FDA and signed false batch records with respect
to two of these drugs. As part of the plea agreement, the Company agreed
to pay a fine of $10.65 million, which has been paid in full. The plea was
accepted by the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts on June 19, 1997.

The plea agreement followed a nearly three-year investigation and grand
jury subpoenas from the United States Attorney's Office in Massachusetts
for documents focusing particularly on albuterol and Brompheril(R)
products, which were recalled by the Company in December 1993 and
September 1994, respectively, but extending beyond these products. The
Company complied with the subpoenas and cooperated with federal
authorities throughout the investigation. The investigation continues with
respect to individuals, some of whom are indemnified by the Company for
legal fees and related expenses.

Also on May 28, 1997 the Company announced that it had entered into an
agreement with the FDA providing for an independent audit of 20 of
Copley's ANDAs. The Company is cooperating fully with the FDA, and the
independent audit which commenced in July, 1997 has been substantially
completed. The FDA has agreed that during this audit it will continue to
review the Company's pending ANDAs, accept new ANDAs from the Company and,
where appropriate, approve Copley's ANDAs.

COPLEY PHARMACEUTICAL: Set Up Albuterol Settlement Trust Fund
In connection with the Company's December 1993 and January 1994 product
recall of albuterol sulfate inhalation solution, 0.5%, the Company has
been served with complaints in numerous lawsuits in federal and state
court, some of which are on behalf of numerous claimants. The plaintiffs
principally seek compensatory and punitive damages and allege that
injuries and deaths were caused by inhalation of allegedly contaminated
product manufactured and distributed by the Company.

The federal court lawsuits were consolidated in the United States District
Court for the District of Wyoming as a multi-district litigation for
pre-trial purposes under the caption In Re: Copley Pharmaceutical, Inc.
"Albuterol" Products Liability Litigation. The District Court certified a
partial class action for determination of liability only and commenced a
jury trial in June 1995.

In August 1995, prior to the conclusion of the jury trial, the Company
entered into a settlement agreement with the representative plaintiffs in
the class action lawsuit. The settlement calls for the Company to receive
a general release of all non-death claims in return for contributions by
the Company and its insurers of a minimum of $65 million and a maximum of
$130 million to settle all non-death claims relating to the Company's
manufacture, sale and recall of albuterol. An additional $20 million is
allocated under the terms of the settlement as an estimate of the cost of
settling claims by persons alleging wrongful death, which claims are
limited by the settlement to compensatory damages only and are subject to
non-binding negotiation and arbitration.

Within the Company's minimum and maximum contributions, the amount to be
paid by the Company is subject to the number and seriousness of individual
claims eventually filed. On November 15, 1995, the District Court entered
its Order giving final approval of the settlement. This Order has become
final and nonappealable.

The settlement agreement requires the $150 million maximum contribution to
be funded by a non-refundable $65 million cash deposit and issuance of
letters of credit for the remaining balance, to be held by the Albuterol
Settlement Trust Fund as security for potential future payments. The
Company negotiated agreements with its insurers pursuant to which the
Company and its insurers have agreed to pay defined percentages of
required settlement payments and related expenses. The minimum
contribution of $65 million to the class action settlement has been funded
by cash contributions from the Company ($7.35 million) and its insurers
($57.65 million). Most of the remaining balance of the $150 million
maximum contribution was secured either by a $21 million cash deposit made
pursuant to court order by the Company ($3.15 million) and one of its
insurers ($17.85 million) in a separate account (which also is available
to pay other litigation expenses, judgments and settlements) or by letters
of credit or other security totaling $64 million, $11.7 million of which
has been posted by the Company and $52.3 million of which has been
provided by the Company's insurers.

Approximately 6,650 proofs of claim have been filed with the Special
Master appointed by the Court to oversee the Albuterol Settlement Trust
Fund. The Special Master has approved approximately 5,240 class action
claims totaling approximately $75 million. No awards have been made to
approximately 1,000 rejected class action claims. Appeals from some of
these decisions of the Special Master are being taken to the Court. The
Court has ordered that no further claims may be submitted. (These figures
include approximately 850 clients of Jacoby & Meyers, representing nearly
all of that firm's clients who are not alleging a death caused by
albuterol, who agreed to be treated as if they were class members and
class counsel have agreed that these claimants will be paid out of the
Albuterol Settlement Trust Fund.)

In addition, the Company has reached settlement agreements with
approximately 200 class members alleging wrongful death; approximately 30
claims of class members alleging wrongful death remain unresolved.  COPLEY
For the six months ended June 30, 1999

The settlement also is subject to certain other contingencies and does not
cover certain individuals who previously opted out of the class action,
including 40 people who opted out and never filed suit, some of whom now
are barred from bringing suit by the statute of limitations. The Company
continues to be a defendant in lawsuits that were brought by or on behalf
of approximately three people who properly opted out of the class action
while the Company has settled with 81 litigants who had opted out. There
also are two active lawsuits brought by class members alleging wrongful
death who are pursuing litigation under the terms of the class action
settlement agreement.

FEN-PHEN: Medical Expert For N.J. Drug Maker Admits Mistake Over Label
A former top medical expert for a New Jersey-based drug maker admitted
Wednesday that for eight years the warning label for a popular diet drug
was "inaccurate or incorrect," but he said it still provided adequate
notice of a rare, but often fatal, side effect.

Throughout the early Nineties, Wyeth Laboratories, a subsidiary of
American Home Products, received dozens of reports of a lung disorder in
patients who had used fenfluramine, half of the fen-phen weight loss

Until 1996, however, the drug's label continued to list only four known
cases, according to Dr. Marc Deitch, a former senior vice president of
medical affairs at Wyeth.

"I'm not saying we shouldn't have changed the number. We should have,"
Deitch testified in Superior Court, as part of a massive class-action
lawsuit brought on behalf of an estimated 94,000 New Jersey residents who
took fenfluramine and a related drug, dexfenfluramine. "It was a mistake
and I'm taking responsibility for that," Deitch said.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs say Wyeth and Madison-based American Home
Products failed to disclose the potential risks of the two drugs because
sales and profits were skyrocketing.

Deitch refuted those allegations, insisting that the company never misled
doctors or federal regulators.

Both drugs were withdrawn from the market in September 1997 after the
companies consulted with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Fenfluramine was marketed under the name Pondimin. Dexfenfluramine was
sold as Redux.

While more than 4,000 individual claims have been filed against American
Home Products across the country, the New Jersey class action suit is
unusual because the plaintiffs are not seeking money. Instead, they want
the company to pay for long-term comprehensive monitoring that would
detect early signs of heart and lung problems.

The lawsuit is the first of its kind to reach trial in the United States.
Similar class action suits are pending in other states.

While fenfluramine had been on the market since the early Seventies, sales
remained sluggish until a 1992 study touted the effects of combining
fenfluramine with a second diet drug, phentermine. Though the use was
never approved by the FDA, doctors wrote millions of prescriptions for the
fen-phen cocktail.

The three plaintiffs named in the case, Lynn Vadino and Deneen Giantonnio,
both 35, and Karol DeBerardinis, 33, said they used either Pondimin or
Redux to shed weight. Although none were in court Tuesday, they are
expected to testify in the trial.

One point of contention is when the pharmaceutical company knew, or should
have known, of a possible link between the drugs and heart valve problems.
Deitch testified that he learned of a possible association only after the
drug maker was alerted by medical experts from the Mayo Clinic in February

But attorney Sol Weiss said the connection should have been made much
earlier based on dozens of reports of adverse effects from the drugs
received from Europe. (The Record (Bergen County, NJ) 8-18-1999)

LOCKHEED MARTIN: Alleged of Racism; Vows To Probe Workers' Charges
A spark of alleged racism brought a firestorm of attention when a group of
Lockheed Martin employees and metro civil rights leaders protested outside
the state's fourth-largest employer.

A handful of Lockheed Martin workers spoke out against what they say
amounts to years of racial discrimination at the hands of managers and
employees and unfair hiring practices within the company.

Lockheed Martin President Tom Burbage said he is disturbed by the
allegations and has launched a full-scale investigation. "Any time
employees raise issues, we do investigate," Burbage said at a news
conference a few hours after the rally. "This is an important issue to

The protest brought to a head a year's worth of Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission charges filed against Lockheed Martin and came on
the heels of an alleged racial incident over the weekend.

In the past year, 20 to 30 charges of discrimination have been filed with
the EEOC against Lockheed Martin, said lawyer Josie A. Alexander of the
Atlanta firm Alexander and Associates. Alexander represents some of the
employees who say they have been mistreated because of their skin color.

Joe Banks of Decatur, a 20-year union mechanic for Lockheed, said he has
repeatedly encountered discrimination at a company he said is still run by
" the good ol' boy system." On Saturday morning, Banks said, a co-worker
discovered a noose draped over Banks' work area and pointed it out to him.
"I said, 'Don't touch it. Leave it,'" he said. Banks said he wrote a
letter of complaint about the incident and that Lockheed Martin employees
came to his work area and took pictures of the noose.

Larry Gable, vice president of Aeronautical Machinists Local Lodge No.
709, said Banks is a union member. Gable said he didn't know anything
about the allegations of racism, but he said Banks normally would make
those charges through management because it wasn't a union contract issue.

Burbage said he had only just heard about the incident and was
investigating. Two years ago, when Banks filed a discrimination lawsuit
against the company --- a suit he later lost --- he said he received an
intimidating note from someone who appeared to be a member of the Ku Klux
Klan. "It said, 'You have been paid a social visit from the Ku Klux Klan;
don't let the next visit be a business call,' " Banks told a crowd of
about 25 protesters congregated just outside the Walker Street entrance to
Lockheed Martin. Since being appointed, Burbage said, he has gotten behind
a feedback campaign for employees and has heard from about 90 percent of
the work force.

Lockheed Martin employs more than 9,000 people, a little more than 16
percent of whom are minorities, officials said.

Burbage said that judging by the feedback he has received from employees,
he does not believe racial discrimination is a widespread problem. He also
debunked rumors of KKK activity at the plant. "It's offensive to me. We do
not tolerate that kind of activity. No one has brought that to me as an
issue," he said.

The company said 18 charges had been filed during the past year through
the EEOC against the company and were mostly related to discrimination.
"Historically, that is about the norm for a company our size," said
Lockheed spokesman Sam Grizzle.

EEOC officials would not confirm how many charges against the company had
been filed.

Participants at the rally, including members of Concerned Black Clergy,
the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the
Atlanta Labor Council and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, said they will go
forward with a class action lawsuit against Lockheed unless workplace
conditions change.

The Rev. Earl Moore, presiding economic coordinator of the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference, said a task force should be set up within
the company along with sensitivity programs to prevent racial
discrimination. Fair hiring practices also must begin, he said, for
employees who have not been appropriately promoted or received a raise.

Burbage said he invited protesters to tour the plant Tuesday but that the
offer was declined. Lockheed Martin and civil rights leaders have
scheduled to meet next week to discuss the discrimination charges.
(The Atlanta Journal and Constitution 8-18-1999)

LYCOS SECURITIES: Fd. Ct. In Boston Certifies Securities Class
A federal judge in Boston has consolidated 19 securities fraud suits
charging that Lycos Inc.'s CEO deceived investors about merger plans in
order to inflate the price of the internet company's stock, In re Lycos
Inc., No. 99-10394 (D MA, consolidation July 7, 1999).

Despite opposition from Lycos over the choice of lead plaintiffs, Judge
Edward Harrington certified the class and appointed lead counsel and
plaintiffs. The class action suits represent investors who purchased Lycos
stock between Jan. 8, 1999, and Feb. 9, 1999. Plaintiffs claim that
defendants Lycos and CEO Robert Davis deceived the investing public
regarding Lycos' business and the intrinsic value of its stock, causing
plaintiffs to purchase the stock at artificially inflated prices.

The complaints allege that as a result of comments made by CEO Davis at an
internet conference on Jan. 7, 1999, concerning potential acquisitions by
Lycos, the price of Lycos stock rose 28% on Jan. 8, closing at $91.75. On
Jan. 12, Davis sold 60,000 shares of stock at $101.57 per share. The
shares sold represented over 95% of his direct holdings in Lycos.

Public statements by Davis and press accounts in January stated that Lycos
was committed to remaining independent and that it was not considering
selling a portion of the business. Plaintiffs allege that Lycos was
engaged in merger discussions with USA Networks Inc. when Lycos issued
materially false or misleading public statements. On Feb. 9, Lycos
announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to merge with USA
Networks. The price of Lycos stock plummeted 25%, from $127.25 per share
to $94.25, allegedly in response to the announcement. On the following
day, the price dropped further, to $87.25.

A group of 10 plaintiffs later filed a motion for consolidation, for
appointment as lead plaintiffs and for approval of their designated law
firms as lead plaintiffs' counsel in April. The movants argued that their
designees should be appointed lead plaintiffs in accordance with the PSLRA
and that they satisfy the "lead plaintiff" requirements of the Securities
and Exchange Act. They claim that they have the largest financial interest
in the relief, as they collectively purchased over 434,000 shares of Lycos
common stock. They allege that they have suffered, in the aggregate,
estimated recoverable losses of over $11.3 million.

Defendants, in support of their limited opposition to plaintiffs' motion
to appoint lead plaintiffs, challenged the adequacy of four of the 10
individuals who were seeking appointment as lead plaintiffs. Defendants
argued that the four members do not have as large a dollar loss as the
other six members do. Defendants did not oppose consolidation of the
actions, approval of the proposed lead plaintiffs' choice of counsel or
the appointment of the other six lead plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs replied that the motion was unopposed by any competing class
member and defendants have no standing to challenge the appointment of the
lead plaintiff under these circumstances. Plaintiffs argued that the
appointment of a group of lead plaintiffs strengthens the prospects of
achieving a certified class in the case and that numerous courts have
appointed ten or more lead plaintiffs.

Judge Harrington issued an order on July 7 certifying the class and
approving the 10 lead plaintiffs. An amended complaint is due by Aug. 20.

The law firms of Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes & Lerach LLP and Abbey,
Gardy & Squitieri LLP of New York were appointed Lead Counsel. The law
firms of Moulton & Gans LLP and Berman, DeValerio & Pease LLP, both in
Boston, were appointed Liaison Counsel and Schiffrin & Barroway in Bala
Cynwyd, PA, was appointed as a member of the plaintiffs executive

Plaintiffs are represented by Norman Berman and Jeffrey Block of Berman,
DeValerio & Pease LLP and Stephen Moulton and Nancy Gans of Moulton &
Gans, both  in Boston; Steven Schulman, Samuel Rudman and Russell Gunyan
of Milberg, Weiss,  Bershad, Hynes & Lerach; Mark Gardy and James Notis of
Abbey, Gardy & Squitieri;  Fred Isquith, Neil Zola, Shane Rowley and Adam
Gonnelli of Wolf, Haldenstein,  Adler, Freeman & Herz; and Robert Harwood,
Samuel Rosen and Jonathan Schwartz of  Wechsler, Harwood, Halebian &
Feffer, all in New York; and Paul Scarlato and  Mark Goldman of Weinstein,
Kitchenoff, Scarlato & Goldman and Robert Frutkin of  Savett, Frutkin,
Podell & Ryan, both in Philadelphia.

Defendants are represented by Brian E. Pastuszenski and Deborah S.
Birnbach of Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault in Boston. Call  800-345-1101 for
copies of the parties' other pleadings on class certification.
(Corporate Officers and Directors Liability Litigation Reporter July 26,

METLIFE: Proposed Settlement In Multi-District Sales Litigation
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and lead attorneys for plaintiffs and
the class in a multi-district class-action lawsuit today announced a
proposed settlement of nationwide litigation involving alleged improper
sales practices in connection with individual life insurance policies and
annuity contracts and certificates issued by the company. The class-action
settlement, if approved by the court, covers approximately seven million
current and former policyholders and annuity contractholders who purchased
MetLife products between 1982 and 1997.

The multi-district litigation has been pending for over four years in U.S.
District Court in Pittsburgh. Representing the class are Milberg Weiss
Bershad Hynes & Lerach in New York City and Specter Specter Evans &
Manogue in Pittsburgh.

MetLife expects to mail information about the settlement to policy and
annuity owners beginning August 27. The settlement will be subject to
court approval, and a fairness hearing has been set for December 2, 1999.

The total value to policyholders of the proposed settlement is at least $
1.7 billion, based on analysis provided by actuarial experts retained by
the parties. "This settlement provides a fair resolution to issues that
have been the subject of protracted litigation and that have affected much
of our industry," said Robert H. Benmosche, chairman and chief executive
officer of MetLife. "It provides a benefit to our policyholders and also
establishes a fair process for claim evaluation of any policy or annuity
owners who believe they may have been harmed." Co-lead Counsel for the
Class, Melvyn I. Weiss, Esq., of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP,
commented, "This settlement is a tremendous result for the class after
four years of hard-fought litigation." Co-lead Counsel Howard A. Specter,
Esq., of Specter Specter Evans & Manogue, P.C., said that, "Everyone who
labored for the class in this litigation can be proud of the outcome."

The proposed settlement, similar to those entered into by other major life
insurance companies facing comparable allegations, is comprised of three
basic forms of relief.

The first is Death Benefits, which are available to all class members who
do not elect claim evaluation and would provide a cash payment if the
insured dies or the annuitant dies accidentally during the period the
benefit is in effect. This form of relief is automatic and does not
require class members to prove their case.

The second form of relief is Claim Evaluation, in which class members must
submit documentation to a neutral claim evaluator or arbitrator showing
that they have been harmed by actual misrepresentations. Successful
claimants will receive compensation based on the strength of their claims.

The third form is Deferred Acquisition Cost (DAC) Tax Relief, which is
available to owners of certain qualifying policies. This relief would be
similar to and in addition to the settlement death benefit.

For more information about the litigation or the proposed settlement, call
1-800-843-4790 or if you use TDD/TTY, 1-800-846-0798.

Contact Co-lead Counsel for Plaintiffs: Melvyn I. Weiss, Esq.,
212/594-5300 or David J. Manogue, Esq., 412/642-2300

MICRION CORP: Class For Securities Suit Certified In Massachusetts
The following is being issued by Shapiro Haber Urmy LLP: UNITED STATES



PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure and an Order of the United States District Court of the District
of Massachusetts dated March 10, 1998, the above captioned action has been
certified to proceed as a class action on behalf of:

All persons and entities who purchased the common stock of Micrion
Corporation during the period from April 26, 1996 through June 24, 1996,
inclusive (the "Class Period") and were damaged thereby (the "Class").
Excluded from the Class are the defendants, any affiliates, officers or
directors of Micrion, and any members of the immediate families of the
individual defendants.



                   Description Of The Litigation

This is a class action brought in the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts. The plaintiffs are Joshua Geffon, Edward R.
Jaslow, Irving Berger and Richard Anthony Philippon who represent a class
of persons and entities who purchased shares of Micrion stock. The
defendants in the action are Micrion Corporation; Nicholas P. Economou,
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director; David Hunter, Vice
President, Finance and Administration, Chief Financial Officer and
Director, and Robert K. McMenamin, Vice President of Sales.

In general, the Consolidated Complaint alleges that Micrion issued during
the Class Period a series of false and misleading statements concerning a
contract which it had for the purchase of its equipment for a new
application, including that it had booked an order in excess of $60
million and had a backlog of $72.9 million. The Consolidated Complaint
alleges that the price of Micrion stock was artificially inflated as a
result of the false and misleading statemerits issued by Micrion. The
Consolidated Complaint alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

On January 13, 1997, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint
for failure to state a claim which plaintiffs opposed. On April 30, 1997,
the Court denied defendants' motion to dismiss. Subsequent to the Court's
Order denying defendants' motion to dismiss, the parties commenced
conducting discovery. Discovery was completed on March 20, 1998. On June
1, 1998, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment which plaintiffs
opposed. On September 24, 1998, the Court issued a Memorandum and Order
denying without prejudice defendants' motion for summary judgment on the
record then before it.

                    Defendants Deny Any Liability

The defendants expressly deny all of the allegations of wrongdoing
asserted in the action and deny any liability whatsoever to any members of
the Class. By directing that this Notice be given, the Court is not
suggesting that the claims being asserted by the plaintiffs are
meritorious. The merits of plaintiffs' claims will be determined in the
due course of the proceedings. This Notice is provided only so that you
may decide what steps, if any, to take in relation to the pendency of this

                  Rights And Options Of Class Members

If you are a member of the Class, as defined above, you should understand
and carefully consider the following statements and choices:

You will be a member of the Class unless you request to be excluded. The
final judgment entered in this case will include, and will be binding
upon, all members of the Class who do not request exclusion, whether or
not the judgment is favorable to plaintiffs. YOU NEED NOT DO ANYTHING NOW

If you do not wish to be included as a member of the Class in this Action,
you may be excluded if you mail by first class mail a written request for
exclusion postmarked no later than October 4, 1999, addressed to: Shapiro
Haber Urmy LLP P.O. Box 4539 Boston, MA 02209

Your request for exclusion must set forth: (a) your name, address and
telephone number; (b) the number of shares and dates of each purchase and
sale of Micrion common stock during the Class Period; (c) the name(s) in
which such Micrion stock was registered and; (d) a signed statement that
"the undersigned hereby requests to be excluded from the Class." If your
exclusion request is timely received: (a) you will be excluded from the
Class; (b) you will not be allowed to share in a recovery, if any, in this
Action; and (c) you will not be precluded by this Action from prosecuting
your own claim.

If you do not request exclusion from the Class, you may enter an
appearance in the Action through counsel of your own choice, but you have
no obligation to do so. If you do enter an appearance through counsel, you
will bear the cost of such counsel's fees.

All members of the Class who do not request exclusion therefrom and do not
enter an appearance through counsel of their own choice will be
represented by plaintiffs' counsel. Counsel for the plaintiffs and the
Class are:

Shapiro Haber Urmy LLP Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP 75 State
Street One Pennsylvania Plaza Boston, MA 02109 New York, New York 10119
(617) 439-3939 (212) 594-5300 fax: (617) 439-0134 fax: (212) 868-1229
e-mail: shu@shulaw.com e-mail: rezek@hlc.com

Jay S. Cohen, Esq. Law Offices of Jay S. Cohen Gwynedd Office Park 768
North Bethlehem Pike Lower Gwynedd, PA 19002 (215) 619-0200 fax: (215)

                     Attorneys' Fees And Expenses

The attorneys' fees for plaintiffs and the Class are contingent on
success. The expenses that are incurred in the prosecution of the Action
for plaintiffs and the Class are being advanced by the attorneys for the
Class. If you remain a member of the Class, you will have no personal
liability for attorneys' fees and expenses in the event plaintiffs do not
prevail. If plaintiffs and the Class do prevail, recovery for the benefit
of the Class will be first subject to deductions for the expenses of
prosecuting the litigation and attorneys' fees as may be allowed by the

                          Change Of Address

If you move or change your address, you should immediately provide your
current address by fax or letter to:

Micrion Corp. Securities Litigation c/o David Berdon & Co. LLP, Notice
Administrator P.O. Box 4171 Grand Central Station New York, NY 10163
Telephone: 800-766-3330 Fax; 212-702-0138

If the Notice Administrator does not have your correct address, you might
not receive notice of important developments in this Class Action lawsuit,
and you might not receive your share of any money recovered by the Class.

                        Examination Of Papers

All of the above descriptions of allegations, responses and other matters
in this Class Action, are only summaries and do not include all important
matters relating to the Action. The pleadings and other papers filed in
this Action are public records and are available for inspection during
regular business hours at the Clerk's Office, United States District Court
for the District of Massachusetts, One Courthouse Way, Boston, MA 02210.
If you have any further questions with respect to this Class Action or
about this Notice, you may direct such questions to Shapiro Haber & Urmy
LLP and Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP.



MIT, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL: Suit On Experimental Treatment To Proceed
Thirty-eight years ago George Heinrich, who had been diagnosed with
incurable brain cancer, lay in an operating room underneath the nuclear
reactor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The treatment that
followed destroyed the tumor, but seared Heinrich's healthy brain tissue,
speeding his demise.

This week a federal judge prepared the way for a trial expected to begin
Sept. 13 in a class action lawsuit filed by Heinrich's widow against MIT
and Massachusetts General Hospital for using an experimental treatment
known as boron neutron control therapy.

The suit claims that doctors used Heinrich and as many as 200 others in
the 1950s and 1960s without informing them of the dangerous nature of the

US District Judge William G. Young rejected requests from MIT, Mass.
General, and Dr. William Sweet, the chief of neurosurgery who treated
Heinrich and who has since retired, to dismiss the case.

Young's ruling was not a total triumph for the plaintiffs. The judge
dismissed several claims against the defendants, including New York State
claims involving experiments at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long
Island, where Sweet also administered the treatment.

Young will consider requests for summary judgment before the case goes to
trial. (The Boston Globe 8-18-1999)

NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Suit In CA
The following was released by Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP:

A class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court
for the Central District of California by an investor of Housing Programs
Ltd. on behalf of the unitholders in HPL and seven other real estate
limited partnerships, against National Partnership Investments Corp., and
certain officers and directors of NAPICO, Alan I. Casden, Charles H.
Boxenbaum, Bruce E. Nelson, Henry C. Casden and National Partnership
Investment Associates I and II, HPL, and Real Estate Associates Limited I
through VII.

The lawsuit alleges that Defendants violated Section 14(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 14a-9
promulgated thereunder and breached their common law fiduciary duties to
Plaintiffs by circulating consent solicitations, proxy statements within
the meaning of the Exchange Act, Section 14(a) and Rule 14a-1, which were
materially false and misleading.

Within sixty (60) days of the date of this Notice, you may move the Court
to serve as lead Plaintiff of the Class, if you so choose. In order to
serve as lead Plaintiff, you must meet certain legal requirements. Contact
Lawrence P. Kolker, Esq. of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freemen & Herz LLP at
270 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016, by telephone at (800)
575-0735 (Lawrence P. Kolker, Esq.), via e-mail at Kolker@whafh.com or
visit website http://www.whafh.com
All e-mail correspondence should make reference to NAPICO.

NATIONAL STEEL: Announces Dismissal of Securities Lawsuit In Indiana
National Steel Corporation (NYSE: NS) announced that the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of Indiana entered an order granting the
defendants' motion to dismiss the previously announced lawsuit that
alleged violations of the federal securities laws. The complaint against
the Company, its majority stakeholder, NKK U.S.A. Corporation, Osamu
Sawaragi, the Company's former chairman and chief executive officer, and
another former officer of the Company was filed initially in May 1998. The
complaint was amended in April 1999 after defendants' motion to dismiss
the original complaint was granted with leave to amend.

The defendants' motion to dismiss the amended complaint was granted
without leave to amend. The plaintiff has the right to appeal the Court's
ruling. The complaint had sought class action status and generally related
to the Company's restatement of financial statements for certain prior
periods which was announced in October 1997.

NET GAMBLING: First Citizens Bank And Visa Sued In San Francisco
A Charlotte postal worker is suing First Citizens Bank and Visa for his
Internet gambling debts -- because he says it's illegal for the bank and
Visa to let their credit cards to be used for gambling online.

Mark Eisele lost $9,398 with Oasis Casino, which says it is licensed by
the Netherlands Antilles government, in bets he placed at various times
last year, and says he's paid his debt and credit card interest and fees
he racked up on the balance. Now he's seeking damages that include the
amount of his final debt and fees -- and he wants a judge to prohibit Visa
and the bank from collecting on anyone's Internet gambling debts.

Lawyers for Eisele filed the suit, which seeks class action status, in the
U.S. District Court in San Francisco, where Visa International is based.
First Citizens is headquartered in Raleigh.

Eisele doesn't dispute that he gambled online using his credit card, and
that he lost money. His suit claims Visa and First Citizens broke the law
because they entered into illegal contracts with Oasis to process the

"I'm not interested in money," said Eisele, a postal clerk, reached at
home Tuesday. "I'm interested in, believe it or not, John Q. Public
getting on the Net, attempting to gamble, and going through the steps I
did and getting to the same road I did. I want to alleviate that."

The suit claims Visa and First Citizens, which issued Eisele's credit
card, violate the federal Wire Act, which prohibits use of wire
communication services for some gambling.

"What (Eisele's) essentially saying is: `I have a contract that should be
void because it is a gaming contract,' " said Keelyn Friesen, attorney
with Zimmerman Reed in Minneapolis, one of the firms representing Eisele.
"All we're saying is, you can't collect on illegal debts generated from an
illegal contract."

A First Citizens spokeswoman would not comment on the suit. A Visa
spokesman said the Visa does not comment on pending litigation.

The legality of Internet gambling is murky. U.S. Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz.,
introduced a bill earlier this year that would ban most online gambling.
The bill is in the Senate.

NEW ERA: Bernstein Liebhard Announces Class Action Deadline Approaching
The following is an announcement by the law firm of Bernstein Liebhard &
Lifshitz, LLP:

Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP, announces that investors who purchased
or acquired New Era stock during the Class Period (October 29, 1998
through July 7, 1999, inclusive) have until September 7, 1999 to seek
status as a class representative. Contact Sandy Liebhard, Esq. or the New
Era Class Action Department at 1(800) 217-1522 or at newera@bernlieb.com
by e-mail. Those who inquire by e-mail are asked to provide their mailing
address and telephone number.

PROVIDIAN FINANCIAL: Federal Bank Regulators Review Sales Practices
Federal bank regulators have launched a review of consumer complaints
lodged against San Francisco's Providian Financial, potentially opening
another front in the credit card giant's legal problems, according to
people who have been contacted as part of the probe.

If the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency finds any violations of
law, regulators could order Providian, the nation's ninth-largest credit
card company, to halt improper practices, consumer law specialists said.

Providian spokesman Marc Loewenthal described the OCC review as routine,
"part of the normal regulatory process." He said it's no different than if
the agency had decided to look into the company's preparations for the
potential year 2000 computer problem.

The OCC began its review of Providian's marketing and collections
practices in June, sources said. That month, the OCC examined complaints
against Providian filed with the Better Business Bureau, said Pat Wallace,
who heads the bureau's Oakland office.

He said an OCC examiner spent more than a day poring over the bureau's
Providian file. "She asked me what types of complaints we had," Wallace
said. "What she seemed to be looking for was disclosure problems."

Nationwide, the Better Business Bureau has received nearly 900 complaints
about Providian in the past few years. Many allege that the company used
high-pressure methods to sell products such as credit protection or auto
club memberships.

The OCC review of Better Business Bureau complaints came shortly after
Comptroller of the Currency John Hawke, the agency's chief, denounced
"seamy . . . unfair and deceptive" tactics used by some lenders. His
remarks were made in a speech to an industry group in San Francisco.

Hawke delivered his broadside several weeks after the San Francisco
district attorney's office confirmed it was investigating Providian for
alleged consumer fraud and unfair business practices. That was followed by
a spate of federal and state lawsuits charging the card issuer with such
abuses as deceptive sales practices and fee-gouging.

The OCC never comments "on the specifics of an individual bank case," said
spokeswoman Janis Smith. At the same time, she noted, "Anytime we are made
aware that there is a third party that receives consumer information, we
do review it."

Providian has repeatedly said it considers its sales practices to be
legal. However, it also said it would review all sales materials to make
sure that terms are clear to consumers.

The company operates two banks that it uses to extend credit to
cardholders. The OCC has authority to look into possible violations of
state or federal law by nationally chartered banks. It also is responsible
for ensuring that lenders comply with laws requiring them to fully
disclose loan terms.

Consumer experts said it appears that the agency's review of Providian is
not part of the periodic examination process banks go through once every
year or two, but a special effort to gather information on the company's
marketing and collection practices. While it is not unusual for the OCC to
examine bank consumer practices, the review of Providian appears to be
particularly vigorous and focused, they said. "It's very heartening news
for consumers," said Linda Sherry, a credit card specialist with the San
Francisco advocacy group Consumer Action.

Separately, Providian said in its quarterly filing with the Securities and
Exchange Commission that it couldn't estimate the extent of its potential
liability in more than a dozen consumer and shareholder lawsuits seeking
class-action status in state and federal courts. "An informed assessment
of the ultimate outcome or potential liability associated with these
matters is not feasible at this time," the company said in its filing.
(The San Francisco Chronicle 8-18-1999)

ST BARNABAS: Sp. Ct. Upholds Shift Of Burden Of Proof On Defendants
Pursuant to Anderson v. Somberg, the entire burden of proof shifted to the
defendants in a medical malpractice case arising from the death of an
anesthetized patient during a hysteroscopy. Disapproving of Maciag v.
Strato Medical Corp.

Angela Chin died during a hysteroscopy at St. Barnabas Medical Center.
Chin was anesthetized, and all parties agreed that her death was caused by
the negligent use of a medical instrument. Specifically, the various tubes
of the Hystero-Flo Pump being used were connected improperly, resulting in
nitrogen entering Chin's bloodstream and causing a fatal air embolism.

Chin's husband and administrator sued the operating physician, Herbert
Goldfarb, and three nurses, Teresa Leib, Immacula Louis-Charles, and Nancy
Hofgesang, as well as St. Barnabas and the manufacturer of the Hystero-Flo
Pump, C.R. Bard, Inc. Bard received a directed verdict at the close of the

The other defendants presented conflicting evidence about who incorrectly
hooked up the pump. Goldfarb had removed the tubes shortly after Chin went
into cardiac arrest, so the exact configuration during the operation was

The judge submitted the case to the jury according to the principles of
Anderson v. Somberg, 67 N.J. 291 (1975). The Anderson court held that the
defendants in a case in which a blameless and unconscious patient suffered
an injury had the burden of proving that they were not at fault.
Accordingly, the trial court in Chin's case instructed the jury that the
entire burden of proof shifted to the defendants and that "there must be a
verdict against at least one defendant in this case because obviously
somebody did something wrong."

In addition, the judge told the jury that it could use its common
knowledge as laypersons to decide whether the nurses had breached their
duty of care to Chin. No expert testimony was presented on the applicable
standard of nursing care.

The jury awarded the plaintiff $ 2 million, apportioning 20 percent to
Goldfarb, 20 percent to Leib, 25 percent to Hofgesang, and 35 percent to
St. Barnabas. The jury found Louis-Charles not liable. Nevertheless, the
judge granted judgment notwithstanding the verdict to St. Barnabas and the
nurses and entered a judgment for the entire amount due against Goldfarb.
The judge explained that the case should not have been submitted under
Anderson or under the common-knowledge doctrine.

Goldfarb appealed. The Appellate Division reversed, holding that it had
been proper to instruct the jury on Anderson and the common-knowledge
doctrine. The hospital, the nurses, and the plaintiff petitioned for
certification. The Supreme Court granted certification and affirmed,
remanding for entry of judgment according to the verdict.

The Supreme Court indicated that the primary question concerned the
application of Anderson. Another question involved the doctrine of common
knowledge. The court began with Anderson.

The court explained that Anderson was a case in which a surgical
instrument broke and lodged in the plaintiff's spinal canal. The plaintiff
had been unconscious and could not be blamed. Therefore, someone had to
have been negligent, whether it was the doctor, the hospital, the
instrument's manufacturer, or the instrument's distributor. Accordingly,
the Anderson court held that the entire burden of proof shifted to the

Relying on Maciag v. Strato Medical Corp., 274 N.J. Super. 447 (App. Div.
1994), the defendants in this case argued that only the burden of
production shifted -- not the burden of persuasion. The Supreme Court
disagreed, disapproving of Maciag.

The Supreme Court pointed out that the Anderson principle originates in
the doctrine of alternative liability. The court in this case added that
the Anderson court "recognized the distinction between the burden of
production and the burden of persuasion and that the construct of burden
of proof embraces these related but distinct elements." Further, the
Anderson court "specifically addressed the insufficiency of a 'mere shift
in the burden of going forward' with the evidence."

The court in this case also observed that the Anderson court "acknowledged
and distinguished" the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, which "requires only
an explanatory rather than exculpatory account" from the defendants. In
contrast, in a case in which the plaintiff was unconscious and clearly was
not at fault, and in which all the possible defendants are in court,
Anderson established that each defendant not only must offer an
explanation but also must convince the jury that the defendant was not at

The Supreme Court in this case reaffirmed the Anderson principle and held
that "in a case such as this, the entire burden of proof shifts to the
defendants." The court noted that its "support of this principle has been
consistent and clear." Although Anderson applies "in a narrow set of
factual circumstances" -- those medical malpractice cases in which all the
potential defendants are before the court -- the court in this case
declared that the Anderson principle is "firm in its application to those
circumstances when they arise."

Next, the court in this case explained that Chin had to meet three
criteria to have Anderson apply. First, the plaintiff had to be entirely
blameless. Second, the injury had to indicate negligence by at least one
defendant. Third, all the potential defendants had to be before the court.
The Supreme Court stated that all three criteria were satisfied. It
rejected the contention that the directed verdict for Bard meant that not
all potentially responsible defendants were in court. The Supreme Court
pointed out that Bard was in court and that it met its burden of producing
exculpatory evidence. The Supreme Court noted that no other defendant
challenged the directed verdict.

Next, the Supreme Court rejected the defendants' criticism of the verdict.
The Supreme Court discerned "ample evidence" for the jury's verdict and
"inadequate support" for the JNOV.

Finally, the Supreme Court discussed the common-knowledge issue and
determined that the "trial court was right the first time," when it
allowed the jurors to rely on their common knowledge. The Supreme Court
pointed out that the defendants conceded at the trial that an incorrect
hook-up would be a "matter of common knowledge" and that "a jury can draw
the inference that there was professional negligence."

The Supreme Court declared that the case did not require expert testimony
on the professional standards of nursing care; instead, it turned on the
jury's findings about "who did what with the exhaust line." The Supreme
Court added that, as in "other common knowledge cases, the mistake was
obviously the result of negligence." In fact, nobody denied that the
"misconnection" resulted from at least one defendant's negligence. The
argument was over which defendant's negligence. The Supreme Court also
pointed out that the defendants could have presented expert testimony
about standards of care if they had thought it would be helpful.

A-11/12, July 28, 1999. By Handler, J. for a unanimous court. On
certification to the Appellate Division, 312 N.J. Super. 81 (1998). (25
pages). For appellants/cross-respondents: George J. Kenny (Connell, Foley
& Geiser; Ernest W. Schoellkopff on the brief). For
respondent/cross-appellant Estate of Chin: Harold A. Sherman (George W.
Conk of counsel). For respondent/crossrespondent Goldfarb: Melvin
Greenberg (Greenberg Dauber & Epstein). (New Jersey Lawyer 8-2-1999)

STATE FARM: Used Inferior Car Parts; Insurance Consultant Testifies
State Farm documents prove that the company promoted the use of
aftermarket repair parts on policyholders' cars despite reservations about
their quality, an insurance consultant testified.

"State Farm has for several years knowingly used inferior crash parts that
it knows are inferior," said Tim Ryles, a former Georgia insurance
commissioner hired by plaintiffs to study State Farm documents in a $ 2
billion class-action lawsuit against the insurance giant.

The lawsuit accuses State Farm of breach of contract, claiming its use of
aftermarket parts fails to restore cars to their pre-loss condition as
promised in the company's insurance policies. Such parts are modeled on
factory parts, but are made without the benefit of factory specifications
and often don't perform as well as the originals, the plaintiffs claim.

The lawsuit, which covers the potential claims of 5.5 million current and
former State Farm policyholders, also accuses the Bloomington, Ill.,
company of consumer fraud for failing to disclose problems with the parts.
The trial began Monday.

Ryles testified Tuesday that State Farm was sending customers brochures
touting the performance and cost savings of "Quality Replacement Parts"
even as high-level executives were circulating memos suggesting that those
same parts were inferior when compared to parts supplied by original
equipment manufacturers, called OEM parts.

"Quality and fit of non-OEM ... parts continue to present problems," said
an Oct. 15, 1993, internal memo presented as evidence Tuesday. The memo
cites poorly fitting bumper covers, plastic parts that "do not mirror OEM
quality for chroming and fit" and a model of an imitation truck hood
equipped with safety latches that will not hold. "This presents an obvious
safety problem," the memo said of the hoods.

In opening statements Monday, State Farm attorneys said that no evidence
showed that aftermarket parts pose any safety threat.

Ryles said the documents show a pattern in which State Farm officials
chose the lowest-priced part for their customers' cars without regard for

But State Farm spokesman Bill Sirola said the documents reflect the
company's leading-edge efforts to bring aftermarket parts up to the level
of factory parts, not an effort to conceal their flaws.

Tuesday's testimony was, at times, chaotic. At least three times, lawyers
representing the plaintiffs mistakenly showed jurors portions of documents
that had been ruled inadmissible by Judge John Speroni.
Speroni denied State Farm's request for a mistrial but sternly warned both
sides to carefully screen documents displayed to the jury.

State Farm is the nation's largest auto insurer, covering one of every
five autos on the road. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch 8-18-1999)

UNITED WATER: Maybe Sued On Contaminated Water; N.J. Data Under Review
United Water Toms River, a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Waterworks,
has been approached by counsel for several families in its franchise area
to notify them that counsel is considering filing a class action lawsuit
naming United Water Toms River as one of at least three defendants and
alleging personal injuries sustained as a result of contaminated water
being delivered to the potential plaintiffs. Counsel has reviewed testing
data accumulated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
and United Water Toms River which show that United Water Toms River has
delivered water to its customers in complete conformance with all
applicable federal and state water quality standards. Suit has not been

An agreement tolling the statute of limitations for at least eighteen
months has been signed with the potential plaintiffs and took effect
February 1998. A second agreement is being executed by the potential
parties; this agreement would extend the tolling period for an additional
eighteen months and take effect at the expiration of the first agreement.
United Water Toms River has also entered into a joint defense agreement
with other potential defendants, Ciba-Geigy and Union Carbide. This
agreement will allow the potential defendants to work together until all
disputes with the potential plaintiffs have been resolved.

UNITED WATER: Vigorously Defending Suit In NY Over Water Releases
On September 22, 1998, Ramapo Land Co., Inc. commenced a lawsuit against
United Water New York (UWNY), a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Water
Resources Inc., in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Rockland
County, seeking specific performance of certain provisions of a 1990 Water
Release Agreement between UWNY and Ramapo Land. The Water Release
Agreement allows UWNY to release water from Cranberry and Potake Lakes to
augment flows in the Ramapo River. The lawsuit alleges that UWNY has
failed to meet certain maintenance and repair obligations with respect to
Cranberry and Potake dams and that water releases have exceeded permitted
levels. Management is vigorously defending the litigation and is actively
pursuing settlement. If the lawsuit is not resolved successfully, UWNY's
water releases from Cranberry and Potake Lakes could be affected, which in
turn could impact UWNY's operation of the Ramapo Valley Well Field during
periods when the Ramapo River is at low flow. Management believes that the
resolution of this matter will not have a material adverse effect upon the
financial position or results of operations of the Company.

On January 22, 1998, the Pierson Lakes Homeowners Association, Inc. and
various individuals commenced a lawsuit against UWNY and Ramapo Land Co.,
Inc. in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Rockland County. This
litigation is related to the above-referenced lawsuit by Ramapo Land Co.,
Inc. against UWNY in connection with maintenance and repair obligations
and water releases from Cranberry and Potake Lakes.

The Pierson Lakes lawsuit seeks declaratory relief, injunctive relief and
money damages against UWNY and Ramapo Land Co. in amounts in excess of $25
million. In addition to claims relating to alleged failure to maintain the
dams and spillways, Plaintiffs claim that the water releases have damaged
the recreational and aesthetic value of the lakes, as well as their docks,
boats and other personal property. Management is vigorously defending this
action and is also pursuing settlement negotiations with the various
parties. Management believes that the resolution of this matter will not
have a material adverse effect upon the financial position or results of
operations of the Company.

United Water is not a party to any other litigation other than routine
litigation incidental to the business of United Water. The Company
believes that none of such litigation, either individually or in the
aggregate, is material to the business of United Water.

VERSANT CORP: Moves For Dismissal Of Securities Suit In California
The Company and certain of its present and former officers and directors
were named as defendants in four class action lawsuits filed in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California, filed on
January 26, 1998, February 5, 1998, March 11, 1998 and March 18, 1998,
respectively. On June 19, 1998, a Consolidated Amended Complaint was filed
in the above mentioned court, by the lead Plaintiff named by the court.

The amended complaint alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act, and Securities and Exchange Commission Rule
10b-5 promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act, in connection with
public statements about the Company's expected financial performance. The
complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages. The Company vigorously
denies the plaintiffs' claims and has moved to dismiss the allegations.
The Plaintiff has filed a response to the Company's motion to dismiss and
the Company has filed an opposition to Plaintiff's response. The motion to
dismiss was submitted to the court for consideration on November 13, 1998
and the court has not yet issued a decision. Securities litigation can be
expensive to defend, consume significant amounts of management time and
result in adverse judgments or settlements that could have a material
adverse effect on the Company's results of operations and financial

The selling shareholders of the Soft Mountain shares have demanded that
the Company repurchase for approximately $1.1 million the 245,586 shares
of the Company's common stock issued to them in conjunction with the
Company's purchase of all of Soft Mountain's shares. The demand alleges
that the Company has not registered the shares issued in the transaction
in a timely manner. The Company disputes the right of such shareholders to
receive such payment, however any potential settlement could result in the
payment of cash or the issuance of additional Versant stock. Settlement
discussions are ongoing. Arbitration or litigation may result if a
settlement cannot be reached. On April 9, 1999, the Company filed a Form
S-3 registration statement for shares of the Company's common stock issued
to the Soft Mountain shareholders and others. *The registration statement
became effective May 14, 1999.

                        Subsequent Events

In July 1999, the Company converted $3,846,551 of principal and interest
outstanding under the Note to Vertex (see Note 12 of the footnotes to the
consolidated financial statements, in the annual 10-KSB for December 31,
1998) into 902,946 shares of Series A Convertible Preferred Stock
(Preferred Stock). In addition, the Company issued 586,853 shares of
Preferred Stock to a Vertex affiliate and other investors in consideration
for $2,499,994. Each share of Preferred Stock is initially convertible
into two shares of Common Stock. Each share of Preferred Stock votes like
one share of Common Stock until converted.

In connection with the issuance of Preferred Stock, the Company issued
warrants to purchase 1,489,799 shares of the Company's Common Stock for
cash consideration of $73,357. The warrants have an exercise price of
$2.13 per share, are immediately exercisable and expire upon the earlier
of (i) July 11, 2004, (ii) an acquisition of the Company (whether by
merger, consolidation, tender offer or otherwise) in which the Company's
shareholders prior to the acquisition own less than a majority of the
surviving corporation, or the sale of all or substantially all of the
Company's assets, or (iii) 15 business days after the Company gives notice
to the holder that the Company's stock price has closed above $12.00 for
forty-five consecutive business days.

The Preferred Stock has a participating liquidation preference over the
Company's common stock initially equal to 150% of the full amount paid for
such stock, which preference increases by an additional 50% per year over
each of the 10 next two years, so long as the Preferred Stock is
outstanding. The Preferred Stock automatically converts into Common Stock
if the Company's common stock price exceeds $12.00 per share for
forty-five consecutive business days.

Neither the Preferred Stock nor the warrants have been registered under
the Securities Act of 1933, and may not be offered or sold in the United
States absent registration or an exemption from applicable registration
requirements. Holders of the Preferred Stock and warrants have certain
registration rights relating to the Common Stock issuable upon the
conversion of the Preferred Stock or exercise of the warrants. The Company
is obligated to file a registration statement on Form S-3 to register
these shares of Common Stock by October 10, 1999.

Upon conversion of the Note and issuance of the Preferred Stock, the
Company had net assets of $20.5 million, total liabilities of $13.1
million and total shareholders' equity of $7.4 million.

WASTE MANAGEMENT: Cohen, Milstein Announces Expanded Class Period
Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C., announced that it has filed a
class action in the United States District Court for the Southern District
of Texas on behalf of those who purchased or otherwise acquired Waste
Management, Inc. (NYSE:WMI) common stock during the period between October
8, 1998 and August 2, 1999.

The complaint alleges that defendants made false and misleading statements
about Waste Management's financial results, its cash flow from operations
and the successful integration of mergers and acquisitions. These
representations artificially inflated Waste Management's stock price to a
Class Period high of $ 60 and allowed Waste Management's officers and
directors to sell $ 1.3 million shares of their Waste Management stock,
for $ 74.3 million, at prices as high as $ 56.41 per share. On July 6,
1999, Waste Management admitted that revenues and earnings would be much
lower than previously represented. Waste Management's stock price
immediately dropped falling to as low as $ 32 on volume of 70.3 million
shares, the largest one day drop in the Company's history. Waste
Management later divulged that its results would be even worse than
admitted on July 6, 1999 and that it had restated its 1stQ 1999 results.
Upon these disclosures, Waste Management's stock price declined to as low
as $ 22-5/16 per share. Most of Waste Management's top officers, including
its CEO, president, COO, CFO and General Counsel, have either resigned or
been ousted.

Contact Steven J. Toll, Esq., Lori G. Feldman, Esq. or Matthew J. Ide,
Esq. of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C., 999 Third Ave., Suite
3600, Seattle, WA 98104, 888/240-1238 or 206/521-0080.
or Lori G. Feldman, 888/240-1238 or 206/521-0080 e-mail: lfeldman@cmht.com
or Matthew J. Ide, 888/240-1238 or 206/521-0080
e-mail: mide@cmht.com TICKERS: NYSE:WMI

WORLDPORT COMM: Keller Rohrback Announces Extension of Class Period
The following was released today by Keller Rohrback L.L.P.: A new
securities class action complaint is being filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on behalf of all
purchasers of WorldPort Communications, Inc. common stock (Nasdaq:WRDP)
which will extend the class period. The new class period includes
purchasers who purchased common stock between January 24, 1999, and June
28, 1999, inclusive.

The complaint will charge that the Company and certain of its officers and
directors violated the federal securities laws by making numerous false
and misleading statements about the Company and by failing to properly
disclose or seek shareholder approval regarding a transaction that
effectively transferred control of WRDP to Heico Companies, LLC.

If you purchased WorldPort Communications common stock, you may, not later
than 60 days from July 14, 1999, move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff
of the class. Shareholders should immediately return information packets,
including certification forms, received from Keller Rohrback's Shareholder
Department (fax: 206/623-3384). Shareholder certification forms must be
signed and dated. If you would like to serve as one of the lead plaintiffs
in this lawsuit, you must file the appropriate motion with the Court by
Sept. 10, 1999.

Contact Keller Rohrback L.L.P. (Lynn L. Sarko, Juli Farris, or Elizabeth
Leland, Esq.) toll free at 800/776-6044, or via email at
investor@kellerrohrback.com  (TICKERS: NASDAQ:WRDP)Those who inquire by
e-mail are asked to provide their mailing address and telephone number.


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by Bankruptcy
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Washington, DC.  Theresa Cheuk and Peter A. Chapman, editors.

Copyright 1999.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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