ATLANTA, Match 11, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Chitwood & Harley LLP, which serves as co-lead counsel for the Class, announces that the class action against Oxford Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:OHP) and its auditor, KPMG, has settled for a total of $300 Million in cash. Martin D. Chitwood, a member of plaintiffs' trial team who, along with Melvyn Weiss and Jay Eisenhofer, participated in the settlement negotiations, said: "This settlement, which is believed to be in the top four settlements reached in a securities class action since the passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "PSLRA"), represents a tremendous recovery for the Class. This case was bitterly fought, despite settlement talks for many years. The trial team prepared this case well for six years and defendants evidently knew it."

Alan Perry, a partner who devoted years to the litigation, noted that: "this case shows how the lead plaintiff mechanism allows institutional investors, including mutual funds like Chitwood & Harley's clients, the PBHG Funds, to take an active role and recover losses by their investors that they believe were caused by securities fraud."

The case was scheduled to go to trial this week in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Class, which consists of purchasers of common stock of Oxford, purchasers of call options and sellers of Oxford put options during the period between November 6, 1996 and December 9, 1997, reached an agreement in principle last week to settle the claims against Oxford Health Plans for $225 Million but remained on the path to trial against KPMG until KPMG finally agreed to the Class's demands on the eve of trial. Lead Plaintiffs for the Class included several PBHG Funds, institutional investors represented by Chitwood & Harley, the Public Employees' Retirement Association of Colorado, represented by Grant & Eisenhofer, and two individuals, represented by Milberg Weiss.

Oxford and its insurers are contributing $225 Million plus $10 Million from proceeds of a derivative action brought on behalf of Oxford against KPMG. In addition to the $10 Million to be paid to Oxford, which will benefit the Class, KPMG will pay $65 Million directly to the plaintiff Class.

Chitwood & Harley LLP has served as co-lead counsel in two of the top four securities class action settlements since the passage of the PSLRA. Only five months ago, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri approved a $490 million settlement in In re BankAmerica Securities Litigation, in which the firm served as co-lead counsel for the NationsBank classes. The BankAmerica settlement was the largest recovery in a securities class action last year and remains the second largest settlement in a post-PSLRA securities class action to date. When approving the settlement, the federal court in the BankAmerica litigation remarked that "throughout this litigation, class counsel ... have performed at exceptionally high levels, and all parties have been exceedingly well represented."

For more information about Chitwood & Harley, please visit our website at or contact Martin Chitwood or Lauren Antonino at 1-888-873-3999 (toll-free), by e-mail at or at 1230 Peachtree Street, Suite 2300, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

More information on this and other class actions can be found on the Class Action Newsline at

Chitwood & Harley
Martin D. Chitwood, Esq.
Lauren S. Antonino, Esq.
(888) 873-3999 or (404) 873-3900