Premier Laser Systems Hires New Auditor

Premier Laser Systems Inc. said Tuesday it hired a new auditor to replace its former outside accountant, which resigned in a disagreement over the company's finances.

The Irvine-based maker of medical and dental lasers said the accounting firm Haskell & White LLP is now working on audits for Premier's fiscal years ended March 31, 1997, and March 31, 1998.

Premier also said it has "responded fully" to initial questions from the Nasdaq stock market, which has suspended trading of the company's stock because it does not have its completed financial results. New audited financial statements will be filed with Nasdaq "as soon as they are available," the company said.

Also Tuesday, Premier was named as the defendant in a shareholder lawsuit--the latest in a string of complaints filed against the company seeking class action status. The latest lawsuit was filed by the New York law firm Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross on behalf of purchasers of Premier common stock between Feb. 12 and April 14. It accuses the company of misleading investors and overstating earnings.

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