CAR_Public/040416.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, April 16, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 75

                         Headlines

AMF BOWLING: Settlement Fairness Hearing Set June 28,2004 in NY
APOLLO GROUP: CA Court Preliminarily Approves Overtime Wage Suit
APOLLO GROUP: Discovery Proceeds in Overtime Wage Lawsuit in CA
BOEING CORPORATION: WA Gender Bias Suit Trial Starts May 17,2004
BROWN SHOE: Jury Orders Payment of $1M Damages in Property Suit

CANADA: Hip Surgery Patients Asked To Undergo Hep, HIV Testing
DIRECTV INC.: Awarded $51.5 Mil in Damages by CA Federal Jury
DOLLAR TREE: CA, AL Employees Commence Overtime Wage Lawsuits
ETHAN ALLEN: Voluntarily Recalls Bunk Beds Due To Injury Hazard
FAB INDUSTRIES: Faces Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawsuits in DE

HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Judge Rules V. Dismissing Scrushy Suit
INDONESIA: Disenfranchised Voters File Lawsuit V. KPU in Jakarta
LEVI STRAUSS: CA Court Consolidated Securities Fraud Lawsuits
MARVELL TECHNOLOGY: Committee Approves NY Stock Suit Settlement
MASTEC INC.: Shareholders Launch Suit For Securities Violations

NET PERCEPTIONS: Special Committee Approves NY Suit Settlement
NET PERCEPTIONS: MN Court Refuses Appeal of Stock Suit Dismissal
NIKKO AMERICA: Recalls 287,000 Toy Trucks For Fire, Burn Hazard
UNITED STATES: Homeland Security Asked For Data on Airline Firms
U.S. BANK: Critical Hearing in Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Set in CA

VIRGINIA: Leaders Speak Out V. Racial Profiling in Rapist Search
VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: SEC Issues, Settles Proceeding Against Ex-CAO
WASHINGTON: Workers Lodge Suit V. Yucca Mountain Site Developers

                       Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACE INA Exposures Ascribed to Brandywine
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ballantyne of Omaha Faces Two Pending Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Still Resolving Its Bankruptcy
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Ltd. Settling With Carriers
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: General Cable Battling 15,000 Cases In US

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Everest Re Focusing on McKinley Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GenCorp, Subsidiary Have 43 Pending Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: HPHC Involved In 43 Asbestos Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: M&F Arranges With Abex Inc. For Liabilities
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Markel May Offset Balances With Equitas

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reinhold Paying Off Its Keene Liabilities
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reunion Named In 23 Actions In GA And AL
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Royal & Sun Estimates Asbestos Provisions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Standard Motor To Answer For 3,300 Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: United National Has $5.5 Million For Claims

ASBESTOS ALERT: ACMAT Corp. Insured Against Employees' Claims
ASBESTOS ALERT: Champion Parts Named In Personal Injury Lawsuits
ASBESTOS ALERT: FiberMark Inc. Facing Asbestos Lawsuits In MS
ASBESTOS ALERT: NYMAGIC Inc. Reserves Affected by Liabilities
ASBESTOS ALERT: Wilson Brothers Sees Potential S Co. Liability

                   New Securities Fraud Cases    

CANADIAN IMPERIAL: Schiffrin & Barroway Files NY Securities Suit
CANADIAN SUPERIOR: Schoengold & Sporn Lodges Stock Lawsuit in NY
CHINA LIFE: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
EMCOR GROUP: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CT
EMCOR GROUP: Chitwood & Harley Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CT

MASTEC INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in FL
MCDONALD'S CORPORATION: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Stock Suit in IL
NDCHEALTH CORPORATION: Federman & Sherwood Lodges GA Stock Suit
NOKIA OYJ: Wechsler Harwood Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
QUOVADX INC.: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in CO Court

TITAN CORPORATION: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in CA
UNIVERSAL HEALTH: Federman & Sherwood Lodges PA Securities Suit
VASO ACTIVE: Shapiro Haber Lodges Securities Lawsuit in MA Court
VASO ACTIVE: Federman & Sherwood Files Securities Lawsuit in MA
VERDISYS INC.: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in S.D. TX


                          *********


AMF BOWLING: Settlement Fairness Hearing Set June 28,2004 in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The fairness hearing for the settlement of the securities class
action filed against AMF Bowling, Inc. is set for June 28,2004
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York.

The suit charges the Company with federal securities violations
on behalf of all persons who purchased the Company's (Pink
Sheets: AMBWQ.PK) common stock pursuant to the registration
statement for the November 1997 initial public offering (IPO)
before February 26,1999 and were damaged thereby.

Plaintiffs have achieved a proposed settlement with two
individuals who were named as Defendants in this case under the
federal securities laws.  This case was previously certified as
a class action.  The settlement amount is $8,000,000 in cash.  
The case continues against the remaining Defendants.

A hearing will be held before the Honorable P. Kevin Castel in
the United States Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, New York, New
York 10007, at 10:00 a.m., on June 28, 2004, to determine
whether the proposed settlement as to these two Defendants
should be approved by the Court as fair, reasonable, and
adequate; to consider the proposed plan of allocation; and to
consider the motion of Plaintiffs' Counsel for attorneys' fees
and reimbursement of expenses, including expenses of the Lead
Plaintiffs.

For more details, contact Lead Plaintiffs' Co-Lead Counsel: Law
Offices Bernard M. Gross, P.C., Deborah R. Gross, Esquire by
Mail: 1515 Locust Street, Second Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102
and by Phone: (215) 561-3600; or contact Berger & Montague,
P.C., Todd Collins, Esquire by Mail: 1622 Locust Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103, or by Phone: (215) 875-3000.


APOLLO GROUP: CA Court Preliminarily Approves Overtime Wage Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of the State of California for the County of
Solano preliminarily approved the settlement of the class action
complaint filed against Apollo Group, Inc., styled "Davis et.
al. v. Apollo Group, Inc. et. al., Case No. FCS018663."

Plaintiffs, one current and two former enrollment advisors with
University of Phoenix, filed this class action on behalf of
themselves and current and former enrollment advisors employed
by the Company in the State of California and seek certification
as a class, monetary damages in unspecified amounts, and
injunctive relief.  Plaintiffs allege that during their
employment, they and other enrollment advisors worked in excess
of 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week, and contend that the
Company failed to pay overtime.

In July 2003, the Court denied the plaintiffs' motion to certify
a class.  The parties nonetheless have negotiated a settlement
on a class-wide basis.  The settlement has received
preliminarily approval by the Court. Final approval by the Court
should occur in July 2004.


APOLLO GROUP: Discovery Proceeds in Overtime Wage Lawsuit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is proceeding in the class action filed against Apollo
Group, Inc. in the Superior Court of the State of California for
the County of Orange, captioned "Bryan Sanders et. al. v.
University of Phoenix, Inc. et. al., Case No. 03CC00430."

Plaintiff, a former academic advisor with University of Phoenix,
filed this class action on behalf of himself and current and
former academic advisors employed by the Company in the State of
California and seek certification as a class, monetary damages
in unspecified amounts, and injunctive relief.  Plaintiff
alleges that during his employment, he and other academic
advisors worked in excess of 8 hours per day or 40 hours per
week, and contend that the Company failed to pay overtime.

An initial status conference has occurred and the parties are
now in the process of discovery.  While the outcome of this
legal proceeding is currently not determinable, management does
not expect the results of this action will have a material
adverse effect on the Company's business, financial position,
results of operations, or cash flows, the Company stated in a
regulatory filing.


BOEING CORPORATION: WA Gender Bias Suit Trial Starts May 17,2004
----------------------------------------------------------------
The gender discrimination class action filed against Boeing
Corporation in the United States District Court in Washington is
set to go to trial on May 17,2004, the Seattle Times reports.

The suit, filed on behalf of 28,000 current and former female
employees, alleges the Company has systematically paid women
less than men and promoted women less than men.  The suit also
alleges that the Company did nothing to correct pay gaps between
men and women even after its own internal studies uncovered
evidence of large and widespread gender pay differences in the
1990s.  

The lawsuit covers women who worked at the Company at any time
from February 25, 1997, to the present.  Female executives and
female engineers are excluded because none of the 12 original
named plaintiffs in the suit worked in those job categories,
lead attorney for the plaintiffs Michael Helgren said, according
to the Times.

The Company has denied the charges saying that it has never had
companywide policies that fostered or condoned pay
discrimination against women and contends the suit lacks merit.  
"These claims do not reflect how we do business," Ken Mercer, a
Boeing spokesman, told the Times  "and we believe the
plaintiffs' lawyers are using broad brush strokes to unfairly
paint a negative perception of how the employees of our company
treat one another."

Arguing before Judge Marsha Pechman, Mr. Helgren said that the
Company saved hundreds of millions of dollars since the mid-
1990s by paying women less than men.  "It was very profitable
for (Boeing) executives to underpay women," Helgren said.

The Company has countered, saying that it has companywide
policies that specifically advise managers that salary
discrimination is not allowed.  Barbara Berish Brown, lawyer for
the Company, told Judge Pechman, "The fact that a few rogue
managers may not have followed it" is not evidence of uniform
discriminatory pay practices.

Judge Pechman ordered plaintiffs' attorneys to send written
notices to members of the class by early next week and also
ordered the plaintiffs' lawyers to create a Web site by next
week that can act as a clearinghouse of information pertaining
to the case.


BROWN SHOE: Jury Orders Payment of $1M Damages in Property Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The jury in the District court for the City and County of
Denver, Colorado ruled that Brown Shoe Co., Inc. was negligent
with regard to the operations of one of its subsidiaries'
facility in the Redfield site in Colorado.  

Plaintiffs, certain current and former residents living in an
area adjacent to the Redfield site, alleged claims for trespass,
nuisance, strict liability, unjust enrichment, negligence and
exemplary damages arising from the alleged release of solvents
that are contaminating the groundwater and indoor air in certain
areas adjacent to the site.

In December 2003, a jury returned a verdict finding us negligent
and awarding the class plaintiffs $1.0 million in damages.  The
Company recorded this award along with the estimated cost of
associated pretrial interest and the estimated costs of
sanctions imposed on the Company by the court resulting from
pretrial discovery disputes between the parties.  Several of
these matters are still pending before the court.


CANADA: Hip Surgery Patients Asked To Undergo Hep, HIV Testing
--------------------------------------------------------------
Nearly 1,150 hip-surgery patients in Quebec, Canada will undergo
testing for hepatitis and HIV after a commonly used surgical
tool was improperly sterilized at 12 hospitals, the provincial
Health Department said Tuesday, the Canadian Press reports.

In January, an employee at Montreal's Sacre-Coeur hospital
discovered that the instrument in question could be taken apart
and cleaned more thoroughly.  The Health Department was informed
of the situation on March 12, launching an investigation that
revealed similar problems at 12 other hospitals.

It is not known whether other hospitals will be added to the
recall list.  Earlier this week, the Montreal General and Sacre-
Coeur hospitals already announced they would contact nearly 250
patients who received hip replacements using the instruments.  
About 900 others were added to the list following a month-long
investigation by the province.

Last month, the government asked more than 1,100 people to be
tested for HIV and hepatitis after a woman who practiced
acupuncture illegally for 25 years failed to follow proper
cleaning techniques.  The Quebec cases followed a number of
similar health scares in Ontario that led to an audit of
hospital sterilization techniques in that province, the Canadian
Press reports.

Department spokeswoman Dominique Breton told the Canadian Press
the recall could be expanded as the province continues its
investigation into the handling of a metal reamer used during
hip-replacement surgery.  "About 40 hospitals use this tool,"
she said.  "Patients will receive all of the information and the
letters were sent out as of (Tuesday)."

She added that she couldn't confirm reports that the tool's
cleaning instructions failed to mention the device had to be
taken apart before sterilization.  "We are not trying to assign
blame," she said.  "We are concentrating right now on recalling
patients and maybe we'll find shortcomings as our investigation
continues."

Jean-Pierre Menard, a prominent malpractice lawyer, told the
Canadian Press the hospitals and the equipment manufacturer are
both responsible and could be sued.  "The manufacturer has a
duty to make their instructions sufficiently clear to ensure
their product can't hurt anyone," Mr. Menard told the Press.  He
received a number of calls from worried patients this week.  
"Hospitals also have an obligation to ensure their equipment
works properly."

Mr. Menard said he'll meet with patients before a decision is
made on whether to file a class action lawsuit.


DIRECTV INC.: Awarded $51.5 Mil in Damages by CA Federal Jury
-------------------------------------------------------------
DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of The DIRECTV Group, Inc. (NYSE:DTV),
announced today that a federal court jury returned a verdict
awarding DIRECTV $51.5 million in damages against Pegasus
Satellite Communications, Inc., as a result of Pegasus' breach
of a joint marketing contract between the two parties. The jury
rejected Pegasus' counterclaims.

The jury in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California found in favor of DIRECTV on its claims, that DIRECTV
had substantially performed its obligations under the joint
marketing agreement but that Pegasus had breached the contract.
The jury's $51.5 million damage award represents amounts unpaid
by Pegasus under the agreement. The court will separately
consider DIRECTV's request for pre-judgment interest in an
amount in excess of $11 million.

"We are extremely gratified by the verdict," said Dan Fawcett,
executive vice president, Legal and Business Affairs, DIRECTV,
Inc. "We believe the evidence in the case overwhelmingly showed
that Pegasus failed in its responsibility to fairly reimburse
DIRECTV for certain of the subscriber acquisition costs that
DIRECTV had incurred for Pegasus' benefit. Given the weight of
the evidence, we were not surprised by the verdict."

In January of this year, the same federal court ruled that a
proposed settlement agreement between DIRECTV and a Class
consisting of certain members of the National Rural
Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) was fair and granted final
approval of the class action settlement. Pegasus is not a party
to that settlement and neither the settlement nor this jury
verdict resolves the related pending litigation between DIRECTV
and Pegasus. DIRECTV moved to dismiss Pegasus' remaining claims,
and its motion is set for hearing on April 28, 2004.


DOLLAR TREE: CA, AL Employees Commence Overtime Wage Lawsuits
-------------------------------------------------------------
Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. faces several class actions filed by
its employees in California State Court and Alabama Federal
Court, alleging violations of overtime wage laws.

A salaried store manager and a former store manager filed a
suit, alleging that they should have been classified as non-
exempt employees and, therefore, should have received overtime
compensation.  The suits also request that the California state
court certify the case as a class action on behalf of all store
managers, assistant managers and merchandise managers in the
Company's California stores and request that the Alabama Federal
Court certify the case as a collective action under the Fair
Labor Standards Act on behalf of all salaried managers in all of
the Company's stores.

The newest suit was filed in California by a former store
manager who alleges that certain employees should have received
meal period breaks and paid rest periods.  As in the other
California lawsuit, he also alleges that he and other salaried
managers should have been classified as non-exempt employees
and, therefore, should have received overtime compensation.  The
suit also requests that the California state court certify the
case as a class action.


ETHAN ALLEN: Voluntarily Recalls Bunk Beds Due To Injury Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ethan Allen, Inc. is cooperating with the United States Consumer
Product Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling about 2,000
Bunk Beds.  A metal "j" hook on the guardrails can become
dislodged, allowing the guardrail to slide or move out of
position. This can allow the guardrail to detach from the bunk
bed or allow the occupant to roll off the top bunk.

Ethan Allen is aware of 22 incidents where a "j" hook became
dislodged.  Ethan Allen is not aware of any incidents or
injuries caused by a dislodged "j" hook.

The top bunk guardrails on Ethan Allen Ryan and P.J. Bunk Beds
have item numbers 35-5659-4, 36-5659-3 or 36-5659-4.  Item
numbers can be found on the inside of the bottom bunk headboard
or footboard.  The "j" hooks were incorporated into the
guardrails of bunk beds as a locking/unlocking device.  When
unlocked and out of position, the guardrail can be removed for
easy access to change bed linen.

Ethan Allen stores nationwide sold these beds from June 2003
through December 2003 for between $1,150 and $1,350.

Consumers should stop using the top bunk if a "j" hook has
become dislodged.  Ethan Allen is directly notifying consumers
who purchased these bunk beds about the recall and is providing
free repair kits.  Guardrails will be shipped to consumers with
these recalled bunk beds on or about May 20, 2004.

For more information, contact Ethan Allen by Phone:
(888) 339-9398 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through
Friday by E-mail: bunkbedinfo@ethanalleninc.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.ethanallen.com.


FAB INDUSTRIES: Faces Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawsuits in DE
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fab Industries, Inc. faces class actions filed in Delaware
Chancery Court, asserting claims against the Company and certain
of its officers and directors based on:

     (1) the management buy-out proposal at a price allegedly
         lower than the cash value and book value of the
         Company's shares and which was an allegedly interested
         transaction,

     (2) the amendment to Mr. Bitensky's employment contract,

     (3) the Company's failure to seek stockholder approval for
         the management buyout and the Company's failure to file
         a certificate of dissolution with the Delaware
         Secretary of State

The complaint alleges such actions constitute violations of
defendants' fiduciary duties, as well as the provisions of the
Delaware General Corporation Law.  The complaint does not seek a
specific amount of damages, and seeks to enjoin defendants from
effectuating the planned management buyout.

The company served an answer to the complainant on December 11,
2003.  The Company believes that each of the claims described
above is without merit.  Further, certain of the claims
described above have been rendered moot by the withdrawal of
preliminary offer by management-led buyout to acquire the
Company, the Company revealed in a disclosure to the Securities
and Exchange Commission.


HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Judge Rules V. Dismissing Scrushy Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
United States Magistrate Judge T. Michael Putnam recommended
against dismissing the 85-count fraud indictment against former
HealthSouth Corporation chief executive officer Richard Scrushy
for securities fraud, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Scrushy is charged with profiting millions from a scheme to
overstate the Birmingham, Alabama-based rehabilitation giant's
earnings.  Mr. Scrushy has pleaded innocent, his attorney
blaming fraud on his subordinates at the Company.  Trial is set
to commence on August 23,2004.

In their bid to dismiss the indictment, Mr. Scrushy's attorneys
claimed that prosecutors failed to screen grand jurors for bias.  
Judge Putnam ruled on the validity of the indictment, saying
that prosecutors and a judge took adequate steps to ensure that
no one with ties to the company or potential witnesses served on
the panel.  He recommended that the district judge presiding in
the case refuse to dismiss the indictment.  A hearing is set for
June 15 on more motions by Mr. Scrushy to throw out the case.

Prosecutors had no immediate comment on Putnam's decision, the
Associated Press reports.  In a statement, Scrushy attorney Abbe
Lowell said the defense was "gratified" that the judge had
checked for possible prejudice and agreed that prosecutors and
another judge sought an independent panel.

In a separate order, another court laid out rules for a partial
gag order, covering Web sites as well as public comments, and
warned that tougher restrictions were possible if the two sides
don't obey.

United States Federal Judge Karen O. Bowdre issued an order
limiting what the participants can say publicly.  No one can
discuss evidence that the two sides disclose to each other, she
ruled, and everyone was barred from discussing the "character,
credibility, reputation or criminal record" of any potential
witness.  

Judge Bowder also barred both sides from revealing anything that
will likely be inadmissible during the trial and said no one
other than Mr. Scrushy can comment on his guilt or innocence.  
The judge gave the defense and prosecution a week to make sure
their Internet sites comply and, in an order aimed at the
defense, said to delete any references to alleged misconduct by
prosecutors, AP reports.


INDONESIA: Disenfranchised Voters File Lawsuit V. KPU in Jakarta
----------------------------------------------------------------
Indonesia's General Elections Commission (KPU) faces a class
action filed in Central Jakarta district court by Indonesian
citizens who claim they were unable to exercise their voting
right last April 5 because the KPU failed to register them, Asia
Pulse reports.

A six-man group represents the disenfranchised voters and is
seeking Rp1 trillion in damages.  The plaintiffs are:

     (1) Zam Zam from Banda Aceh,

     (2) Jerry Rompah from Jakarta,

     (3) Dahtiar from Banjarmasin,

     (4) Alif Kamal from Makassar,

     (5) Abdul Hakim from Kupang, East Nusatenggara, and

     (6) Charles A.M. Imbir from Papua

The suit alleges that the plaintiffs tried hard to exercise
their right on the April 5 legislative elections.  However, on
the day itself, their voting rights remained unregistered so
that they could not take part of the polls.  "People's voting
rights should be registered," a spokesman for the advocacy team,
Carrel Ticualu, told Asia Pulse.

The suit charges the KPU with violating their human rights.  The
suit says KPUY should be held responsible for the voter's
registration process and the conduct of the general election as
specified in Law No 12, 2003 on general elections.  Ms. Carrel
said that by ignoring their request for voting rights, KPU had
violated Article 43 of Law No 39, 1999 on human rights.


LEVI STRAUSS: CA Court Consolidated Securities Fraud Lawsuits
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, San Jose Division consolidated two securities class
actions filed against Levi Strauss & Co. and certain of its
current and former officers.

On December 12, 2003, a putative bondholder class action styled
"Orens v. Levi Strauss & Co., et al., Case No. C-03-5605, RMW
(HRL)," was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
bonds in the period from January 10, 2001 to October 9, 2003.  

The suit makes claims under the federal securities laws,
including Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934, relating to the Company's SEC filings and other public
statements.  Specifically, the action alleges that certain of
the Company's financial statements and other public statements
during this period materially overstated its net income and
other financial results and were otherwise false and misleading,
and that its public disclosures omitted to state that it lacked
adequate internal controls such that the Company was unable to
ascertain its true financial condition.

Plaintiffs contend that such statements and omissions caused the
trading price of the Company's bonds to be artificially
inflated.  Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages as well as other
relief.

On February 20, 2004, a putative bondholder class action styled
"General Retirement System of the City of Detroit, et al. v.
Levi Strauss & Co., et al., Case No. C-04-00712, JW (EAI)," was
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California, San Jose Division, against the Company, its chief
executive officer, its former chief financial officer, its
directors and its underwriters in connection with its April 6,
2001 and June 16, 2003 registered bond offerings.

The action purports to be brought on behalf of purchasers of the
Company's bonds who made purchases pursuant or traceable to the
Company's prospectuses dated March 8, 2001 or April 28, 2003, or
who purchased the Company's bonds in the open market from
January 10, 2001 to October 9, 2003.  The action makes claims
under the federal securities laws, including Sections 11 and 15
of the Securities Act of 1933, and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, relating to the Company's
SEC filings and other public statements.

Specifically, the action alleges that certain of the Company's
financial statements and other public statements during this
period materially overstated our net income and other financial
results and were otherwise false and misleading, and that the
Company's public disclosures omitted to state that it made
reserve adjustments that plaintiffs allege were improper.  
Plaintiffs contend that these statements and omissions caused
the trading price of the Company's bonds to be artificially
inflated.  Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages as well as other
relief.

On March 29, 2004, the court issued an order consolidating the
above class actions, appointing a lead plaintiff and approving
the selection of lead counsel.  The consolidated action is
styled "In re Levi Strauss & Co., Securities Litigation,
Case No. C-03-05605 RMW."


MARVELL TECHNOLOGY: Committee Approves NY Stock Suit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
A special committee of Marvell Technology Group's Board of
Directors approved the settlement for the consolidated
securities class action field against the Company and two of its
officers, one of whom is also a director in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The consolidated suit alleges that the Company's underwriters
received "excessive" and undisclosed commissions and entered
into unlawful "tie-in" agreements with certain of their clients
in violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  Plaintiffs allege that the defendants violated various
provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.  Plaintiffs seek, among other items,
unspecified damages, pre-judgment interest and reimbursement of
attorneys' and experts' fees.

The suit has been consolidated with hundreds of other lawsuits
filed by plaintiffs against approximately 40 underwriters and
approximately 300 issuers across the United States.  Defendants
in the consolidated proceedings moved to dismiss the actions.  
In February 2003, the trial court issued its ruling on the
motions, granting the motions in part, and denying them in part.
Thus, the cases may proceed against the underwriters and the
Company as to alleged violations of section 11 of the Securities
Act of 1933 and section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  Claims against the individual officers have been
voluntarily dismissed with prejudice by agreement with
plaintiffs.

On June 26, 2003, the plaintiffs announced that a settlement
among plaintiffs, the issuer defendants and their directors and
officers, and their insurers has been structured, a part of
which provides that the insurers for all issuer defendants would
guarantee up to $1 billion to investors who are class members,
depending upon plaintiffs' success against non-settling parties.
The company's board of directors has approved the proposed
settlement, which will result in the plaintiffs' dismissing the
case against the Company and granting releases that extend to
all of its officers and directors.  The proposed settlement is
subject to definitive documentation and court approval.


MASTEC INC.: Shareholders Launch Suit For Securities Violations
---------------------------------------------------------------
MasTec, Inc., its chief executive officer and its chief
financial officer face a shareholder class action alleging that
they made materially false misstatements related to its
financial results, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

The suit, filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's stock
between May 13 and Monday, is related to the Company's delay in
filing its annual report in March.  Early this week, the Company
also announced a $39.7 million loss for 2003 and said it found
accounting issues that may lead to restatements, and that it was
replacing its chief financial officer, Donald Weinstein, who is
named as a defendant in the lawsuit along with Chief Executive
Austin Shanfelter.  As a result, the company's shares dropped
13% Tuesday to close at $8.39.

In a press release, Schiffrin & Barroway LLP, the Bala Cynwyd,
Pennsylvania, firm that filed the suit, charged the defendants
with artificially alleged in a press release Wednesday that
MasTec and the executives inflated financial results and used
improper accounting, among other claims.

A spokesman for Miami-based MasTec wasn't immediately available
to comment on the suit, Dow Jones states.


NET PERCEPTIONS: Special Committee Approves NY Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
A special committee of Net Perceptions, Inc.'s board of
directors approved the settlement for the consolidated
securities class action filed against the Company and:

    (1) FleetBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc., the lead
        underwriter of the Company's April 1999 initial public
        offering,

    (2) several other underwriters who participated in its
        initial public offering,

    (3) Steven J. Snyder, then president and chief executive
        officer, and

    (4) Thomas M. Donnelly, then chief financial officer

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York and has been assigned to the
judge who is also the pretrial coordinating judge for
substantially similar lawsuits involving more than 300 other
issuers.  An amended class action complaint, captioned "In re
Net Perceptions, Inc. Initial Public Offering Securities
Litigation, 01 Civ. 9675 (SAS), was filed on April 22, 2002,
expanding the basis for the action to include allegations
relating to the Company's March 2000 follow-on public offering
in addition to those relating to the Company's initial public
offering.

The amended complaint generally alleges that the defendants
violated federal securities laws by not disclosing certain
actions taken by the underwriter defendants in connection with
the Company's initial public offering and the Company's follow-
on public offering.  The amended complaint alleges specifically
that the underwriter defendants, with the Company's direct
participation and agreement and without disclosure thereof,
conspired to and did raise and increase their underwriters'
compensation and the market prices of the Company's common stock
following the Company's initial public offering and in the
Company's follow-on public offering by requiring their
customers, in exchange for receiving allocations of shares of
the Company's common stock sold in the Company's initial public
offering, to pay excessive commissions on transactions in other
securities, to purchase additional shares of the Company's
common stock in the initial public offering aftermarket at pre-
determined prices above the initial public offering price, and
to purchase shares of the Company's common stock in the
Company's follow-on public offering.

The amended complaint seeks unspecified monetary damages and
certification of a plaintiff class consisting of all persons who
acquired the Company's common stock between April 22, 1999 and
December 6, 2000.  The plaintiffs have since agreed to dismiss
the claims against Mr. Snyder and Mr. Donnelly without
prejudice, in return for their agreement to toll any statute of
limitations applicable to those claims; and those claims have
been dismissed without prejudice.

On July 15, 2002, all of the issuer defendants filed a joint
motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims in all of the related
cases.  On February 19, 2003, the Court ruled against the
Company on this motion.

A special committee of the Company's board of directors has
authorized the Company to negotiate a settlement of the pending
claims substantially consistent with a memorandum of
understanding negotiated among class plaintiffs, issuer
defendants and their insurers.  Any settlement would be subject
to approval by the Court.


NET PERCEPTIONS: MN Court Refuses Appeal of Stock Suit Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------
The District Court for the Fourth Judicial District of the State
of Minnesota, County of Hennepin refused to allow plaintiffs to
appeal the dismissal of a class action filed against Net
Perceptions, Inc., its current directors and other unnamed
defendants, styled "Don Blakstad, on Behalf of Himself and All
others Similarly Situated, vs. Net Perceptions, Inc., John F.
Kennedy, Ann L. Winblad, John T. Riedl and Does 1-25, inclusive,
File No. 03-17820."

The complaint alleged, among other things, that defendants
breached their fiduciary duties of loyalty, due care,
independence, good faith and fair dealing and sought to enjoin
the proposed liquidation of the Company and to recover
reasonable attorneys' and experts' fees.

On November 24, 2003, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the
lawsuit, and, by order dated March 8, 2004, the court dismissed
the plaintiff's complaint with prejudice.  By letter dated March
9, 2004, the plaintiff requested the court's permission to file
a motion to reconsider the decision dismissing the complaint
with prejudice.  On March 18, 2004, the court denied plaintiff's
request.  


NIKKO AMERICA: Recalls 287,000 Toy Trucks For Fire, Burn Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Nikko America, Inc. is cooperating with the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC) by voluntarily recalling about
287,000 radio-control toy trucks.  A problem with the circuit
board causes the toy truck to overheat, posing a fire and burn
hazard.

Nikko America has received five reports of the toy trucks
overheating, resulting in minor property damage caused by fire
and smoke.  No injuries have been reported.

The recalled toy trucks were manufactured from April 2003
through January 2004.  The trucks are 1/10 scale models
(approximately 18 inches in length) of the Chevy Avalanche
(model 100021A), the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (model 100022A and
100022B), the Hummer Wagon (model 100023A and 100023B) and the
Ford F150 (model 100024A and 100024B).  Model numbers can be
found on the body of the truck, along with the vehicle make and
model names.

Major toy and discount department stores nationwide sold the toy
trucks from July 2003 through February 2004 for about $60.

Consumers should stop using the toy trucks and contact Nikko
America for instructions on returning the product for a free
circuit board replacement.  For more details, contact Nikko
America by Phone: (866) 232-6013 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.nikkoamerica.com/recall.


UNITED STATES: Homeland Security Asked For Data on Airline Firms
----------------------------------------------------------------
Two United States Senators asked the Homeland Security
Department to identify the airline companies that gave passenger
information to the government, following American Airline's
disclosure last week that it provided data to the government,
the Associated Press reports.

In September, privacy advocates revealed that JetBlue Airways
turned over 5 million passenger records to a government defense
contractor, while Northwest Airlines later acknowledged it gave
passenger data to the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration.  Last week, American Airlines revealed it gave
the records at the request of the Transportation Security
Administration for use by four of its potential contractors.

Several class actions have been filed against the airlines, with
the disclosures raising fears over invasion of privacy.  A
passenger screening program called "Computer Assisted Passenger
Pre-screening System II," (CAPPS II), intended to keep potential
terrorists off flights, has faced huge criticism.

Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Joseph Lieberman asked Asa
Hutchinson, undersecretary for border and transportation
security, to explain why the department asked American for the
data, how it used the information and why federal privacy laws
were not broken.  Ms. Collins, R-Maine, heads the Senate
Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees the department;
Mr. Lieberman, D-Conn., is the committee's top Democrat.

Calls to Hutchinson's office were not immediately returned
Wednesday, AP reports.

The agency says it needs the passenger records to test CAPPS II.
Some critics say the project has the potential to violate the
privacy rights of many travelers.  The airline industry will not
voluntarily turn over passenger data such as name, address,
travel history, meal preference. The transportation agency says
that is delaying the screening project and that airlines may be
ordered to supply the information.


U.S. BANK: Critical Hearing in Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Set in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
A class action suit filed against U.S. Bank by William Akel of
Synapsis LLC will have a critical hearing on Friday, April 16,
2004, at 8:30 a.m. in Superior Court of the State of California,
County of Los Angeles, Judge Robert L. Hess presiding.

The cited damages have been estimated at over $1.5 billion and
affect over 10,000 customers of U.S. Bank. The class action suit
alleges, among other grievances, a) money had and received, b)
unjust enrichment, and c) unfair and unlawful business
practices.

Plaintiff Akel is a Certified Anti Money-Laundering Specialist
(CAMS), one of less than a thousand people world-wide that
specialize in the detection and prevention of international
money laundering. Mr. Akel, who had U.S. Bank and their counsel
as customers, has been in the forefront of technology and
security systems for banking, gaming, and security projects for
over 16 years, and has served for over 2 years as the Director
of CounterStrike.



VIRGINIA: Leaders Speak Out V. Racial Profiling in Rapist Search
----------------------------------------------------------------
Charlottesville, Virginia community leaders spoke out against
the police department's decision to collect DNA samples from  
hundreds of black men in their search for a serial rapist, the
Associated Press reports.

Speaking at a forum at the University of Virginia, city leaders,
academics and residents criticized the practice during a
presentation by city Police Chief Timothy J. Longo and other law
enforcement personnel, calling it a form of racial profiling.  

According to forensic evidence, the serial rapist is linked to
six attacks since February 1997, and could be responsible for up
to 12 more assaults.  Police have been questioning and testing
men for three reasons, Chief Longo said - tips from the public,
a potential suspect has a record of sex crimes or burglaries, or
a 911 call alerts authorities about a man who resembles the
drawing of the rapist.

The police chief said that as of Monday, 690 men have been
eliminated from the list of possible suspects and 10 have
refused to submit to a swab test, in which DNA is collected from
a potential suspect's cheek, the Associated Press reports.

"Because the suspect is black, every black man is a suspect,"
University of Virginia graduate student Steven Turner, who has
twice refused to be tested, asked Chief Longo, according to an
AP report. "What are we going to do about this as a community?"

Responding to a query from the audience if the police would
conduct widespread testing of white men if the rapist were
white, Chief Longo said, "Absolutely . I will do them all."  He
said he'd do the same if a criminal suspect were Asian or a
woman.

City officials insisted the investigation was not racial
profiling.  "We're looking for one person," Dave Chapman,
Charlottesville commonwealth's attorney, said, AP reports.
"We're not engaged in profiling."


VIVENDI UNIVERSAL: SEC Issues, Settles Proceeding Against Ex-CAO
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission issued an order
instituting and simultaneously settling public administrative
and cease-and-desist proceedings against John Luczycki, a
certified public accountant and the former Chief Accounting
Officer (CAO) and controller of Vivendi Universal, S.A.
(Vivendi).  

The Commission ordered that Mr. Luczycki cease-and-desist from
violating the antifraud and books and records provisions of the
federal securities laws, and that he be denied the privilege of
appearing or practicing before the Commission as an accountant,
with a right to apply for reinstatement after three years from
the date of the Order.
     
According to the Order, Mr. Luczycki, a resident of New York and
a licensed CPA, was Vivendi's CAO and controller from December
2000 to July 2002.  The Commission's Order found that Mr.
Luczycki, along with other Vivendi senior executives, made
improper adjustments that raised Vivendi's earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by approximately
$59 million during the second quarter of 2001 and by at least $7
million during the third quarter of 2001.  These adjustments, in
part, allowed Vivendi to meet earnings targets that it had
communicated to the market.
     
Additionally, Mr. Luczycki knew or was reckless in not knowing
that Vivendi failed to disclose a side agreement that Vivendi
entered into in February 2001 to purchase an additional $1.1
billion stake in Maroc Telecom, a telecommunications operator
based in Morocco.  Among other things, Vivendi failed to
disclose this commitment in a Form 6-K furnished to the
Commission on October 17, 2001 that contained an English
translation of Vivendi's periodic filing with the French
securities regulator for the six-month period ended June 30,
2001.
     
Mr. Luczycki participated in Vivendi's failure to disclose in a
timely manner all of the material facts about Vivendi's
investment in a fund that purchased a 2% stake in Elektrim
Telekomunikacja Sp. zo.o (Telco), a Polish telecommunications
company in which Vivendi already held a 49% stake.  Vivendi's
Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2001 omitted any
mention of Vivendi's investment in the fund, and created the
false and misleading impression that Vivendi maintained no more
than a 49% interest in Telco, whether directly or indirectly.

The Commission's Order finds that Mr. Luczycki willfully
violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and
Sections 10(b) and 13(b)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 (Exchange Act) and Rules 10b-5 and 13b2-1 thereunder, and
willfully aided and abetted and caused Vivendi's violations of
Sections 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act
and Rules 12b-20 and 13a-1 thereunder.   The Commission ordered
Luczycki, on his consent and without admitting or denying any of
the findings contained in the Order, to cease-and-desist from
committing or causing those violations.  

Further, the Commission's Order denies Mr. Luczycki the
privilege of appearing or practicing before the Commission as an
accountant, with a right to request reinstatement after three
years.  


WASHINGTON: Workers Lodge Suit V. Yucca Mountain Site Developers
----------------------------------------------------------------
Citing safety concerns, Gene Griego, a technician who worked at
the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository site in the
mid-1990s, has filed a class action lawsuit against the site's
developers. Among the counts, the suit charges Yucca developers
with wanton misconduct, gross negligence, and fraudulent
concealment. Plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive
damages, injunctive relief to ensure that all workers in and
visitors to the tunnels are provided with adequate personal
protection, and a court order for the developers to install,
operate, and maintain efficient dust removal systems to reduce
the toxic dust levels to recognized acceptable minimum levels.

Griego charges that the developers knowingly exposed Yucca
Mountain workers and visitors to highly carcinogenic hazards
without providing them with proper protection. Though
contractors knew the levels of toxic dust exceeded regulatory
limits, they are accused of deliberately doctoring field
readings of particulate levels in the Yucca tunnels to avoid the
added costs, schedule impacts, and inconvenience of providing
adequate respiratory protection and protective clothing.
Worksite workers and visitors may have exposed family members
and others to the poisonous dust by carrying it on their
clothing from the worksite into their homes. The dust can lead
to incurable silicosis, lung danger, autoimmune disorders,
increased risk of tuberculosis, and chronic renal disease among
other problems.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contractors
have had access to Yucca Mountain's volcanic rock that is laced
with silica, erionite, and mordenite -- all minerals that are
highly carcinogenic when airborne. This danger is only
heightened by the contractors' decision to dry drill instead of
using water or other precautions to minimize dust.

"The dust at the Yucca Mountain Project is so toxic that it
amounts to a deadly time bomb; exposure increases the risk of
latent and potentially fatal diseases that will manifest in up
to 20 years or more after inhalation," stated Mark Hutton a
Nevada attorney involved with the case.


                       Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACE INA Exposures Ascribed to Brandywine
-------------------------------------------------------------
ACE Ltd. said in a recent regulatory filing that although there
are some asbestos claims in ACE Westchester Specialty,
Brandywine Holdings Corporation (included in ACE USA's run-off
operations) contains substantially all of ACE INA's asbestos and
environmental pollution (A&E) exposures, as well as various run-
off insurance and reinsurance businesses.  ACE INA is the
international and domestic property and casualty (P&C)
businesses of CIGNA Corp., which ACE Ltd. acquired in 1999.

Through subsidiaries, ACE Ltd. (based in tax-friendly Bermuda)
sells P&C insurance and reinsurance in the US and about 50 other
countries.  ACE International -- which is subdivided into Asia
Pacific, Europe, Far East, and Latin America -- sells
property/casualty lines to personal and commercial clients.  ACE
Global Reinsurance, primarily through its Tempest Re unit,
provides catastrophe reinsurance to personal and commercial
clients.  Through ACE Global Markets, the firm owns four Lloyd's
of London managing agencies.  ACE USA provides US commercial and
casualty insurance.  Expanding its operations, the company has
also moved into health insurance.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ballantyne of Omaha Faces Two Pending Cases
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ballantyne of Omaha Inc. was a defendant in an asbestos-related
lawsuit at December 31, 2003 in a case in the Supreme Court of
the State of New York entitled Prager v. A.W. Chesterton
Company, et al., including Ballantyne.  During February 2004,
the Company settled the lawsuit.  The Company accrued for this
settlement in other accrued expenses in the consolidated
financial statements.

The Company is also a defendant in two other asbestos cases, one
entitled Bercu v. BICC Cables Corporation, et al., including
Ballantyne in the Supreme Court of the State of New York and the
other entitled Julia Crow, Individually and as Special
Administrator of the Estate of Thomas Smith, deceased v.
Ballantyne of Omaha, Inc. in Madison County, Illinois.  In both
cases, there are numerous defendants including Ballantyne.  At
this time, neither case has progressed to a stage where the
likely outcome can be determined nor the amount of damages, if
any.  An adverse resolution of these matters could have a
material effect on the financial position of the Company.  
Higher administrative costs relate to the settlement of one of
the Company's asbestos cases.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Still Resolving Its Bankruptcy
-------------------------------------------------------------
On December 31, 2003, Congoleum Corporation filed a voluntary
petition with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the
District of New Jersey (Case No. 03-51524) seeking relief under
Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, as a means to
resolve claims asserted against it related to the use of
asbestos in its products decades ago.  During 2003, Congoleum
obtained the asbestos personal injury claimant votes necessary
for approval of a proposed pre-packaged Chapter 11 plan of
reorganization and in January 2004 filed its pre-packaged plan
of reorganization and disclosure statement with the court.  The
Bankruptcy Court has not yet scheduled a hearing to consider
approval of the proposed plan.  Congoleum is also involved in
litigation with certain insurance carriers related to disputed
insurance coverage for asbestos related liabilities, and certain
insurance carriers have filed various objections to Congoleum's
plan of reorganization and related matters.

The asbestos product liability at December 31, 2003 and 2002
reflects the estimated cost to settle asbestos liabilities
through a pre-packaged plan of reorganization under Chapter 11.  
Actual liability pursuant to settlement agreements is in excess
of $491,000,000.

The Company recorded a charge of $3,700,000 during the fourth
quarter of 2003, included in selling, general, and
administrative expenses, to increase its recorded liability for
resolving asbestos-related claims.  The recorded liability at
December 31, 2003 represents the minimum estimated cost that the
Company will incur to resolve its asbestos-related liability
through the execution of the Company's proposed plan of
reorganization.  If the Company is not successful in obtaining
confirmation of its proposed plan of reorganization in a timely
manner, actual costs could be significantly higher. The proposed
plan also would require the Company to make an additional
contribution to the plan trust one year after confirmation of
the plan equal to 51% of any increase in the market value of the
Company's shares at that time over their value on June 6, 2003.  
No provision has been made for the cost of this possible
additional contribution, which could be material.  The Company
will adjust its recorded liability should its estimates change.

The loss from operations was $3,100,000 for the year ended
December 31, 2003 compared to a loss of $12,600,000 for the year
ended December 31, 2002, an improvement of $9,500,000.  This
smaller loss from operations was primarily due to the lower
asbestos-related charge, offset by lower gross margin dollars.

Selling, general and administrative expenses were $70,100,000
for the year ended December 31, 2002, which includes asbestos-
related costs of $17,300,000, as compared to $49,000,000 for the
year ended December 31, 2001, an increase of $21,200,000 or
43.2%.  As a percent of net sales, selling, general and
administrative expenses were 29.6% and 22.4% for the years ended
December 31, 2002 and 2001, respectively.  In addition to the
asbestos-related charge, significant investments in additional
displays and samples to support the DuraStone product line and
higher promotional support contributed to the increase.

The Company recorded a charge of $17,300,000 in the fourth
quarter of 2002, included in selling, general and administrative
expenses, to adjust its recorded liability for resolving
asbestos-related claims against it.  The recorded liability at
December 31, 2002 represented the then-minimum estimated cost
that the Company would incur to resolve its asbestos-related
liability through a plan of reorganization.

Loss from operations was $12,600,000 for the year ended December
31, 2002, compared to income of $4,100,000 for the year ended
December 31, 2001, a decrease of $16,700,000.  This change was
primarily due to the asbestos charge.

During 2003, the Company paid $5,300,000 in defense and
indemnity costs related to asbestos-related claims and
$13,500,000 in fees and expenses related to implementation of
its planned reorganization under Chapter 11 and litigation with
certain insurance companies.  Congoleum expects to spend a
further $9,800,000 at a minimum in fees, expenses, and trust
contributions in connection with obtaining confirmation of its
plan.  The Company also expects to recover $3,600,000 from the
Collateral Trust or its successor pursuant to terms of the
Claimant Agreement and related documents, which provide for the
trust to reimburse certain expenses of the Company.  Timing of
such recovery will depend on when the trust receives funds from
insurance settlements or other sources.

Expenditures related to asbestos liabilities and the Company's
reorganization plan were $18,800,000 in 2003, compared to
$3,400,000 in 2002, accounting for slightly more than half the
decrease.  The remainder of the decrease was primarily due to a
low level of manufacturing and shipment activity at the end of
2003, combined with creditors managing their pre-petition credit
exposure, and the Company prepaying certain expenses, prior to
its December 31, 2003 Chapter 11 filing.  These accounts are not
expected to remain at the unusually low levels experienced at
the end of 2003.  Capital expenditures in 2003 totaled
$4,600,000.  The Company is currently planning capital
expenditures of about $6,000,000 in 2004 and between $5,000,000
and $8,000,000 in 2005.

The Company's principal sources of capital are net cash provided
by operating activities and borrowings under its financing
agreement.  Although the Company did not generate cash from
operations in 2003, the Company anticipates that it will
generate cash from operations in 2004.  The Company believes
these sources will be adequate to fund working capital
requirements, debt service payments, planned capital
expenditures for the foreseeable future, and its current
estimates for costs to settle and resolve its asbestos
liabilities through its pre-packaged Chapter 11 plan of
reorganization.  The Company's inability to obtain confirmation
of the proposed plan in a timely manner would have a material
adverse effect on the Company's ability to fund its operating,
investing and financing requirements.

In light of its bankruptcy filing and proposed plan of
reorganization, the Company believes the most meaningful measure
of its probable loss due to asbestos litigation is the amount it
will have to contribute to the plan trust plus the costs to
effect the reorganization.  The Company estimates the minimum
remaining costs to complete the reorganization process to be
$9,800,000, which it has recorded as a current liability.  The
Company also expects to recover $3,600,000 from the Collateral
Trust or its successor pursuant to terms of the Claimant
Agreement and related documents, which provide for the trust to
reimburse certain expenses of the Company.  Timing of such
recovery will depend on when the trust receives funds from
insurance settlements or other sources.  The maximum amount of
the range of possible asbestos loss is limited to the going
concern or liquidation value of the Company, an amount which the
Company believes is substantially less than the minimum
estimated liability for the known claims against it.

Factors that could cause actual results to differ from the
Company's goals for resolving its asbestos liability through the
prepackaged plan of reorganization bankruptcy filing include

     (1) the future cost and timing of estimated asbestos
         liabilities and payments and availability of insurance
         coverage and reimbursement from insurance companies,
         which underwrote the applicable insurance policies for
         the Company for asbestos-related claims and other costs
         relating to the execution and implementation of any
         plan of reorganization pursued by the Company,

     (2) timely reaching agreement with other creditors, or
         classes of creditors, that exist or may emerge,

     (3) satisfaction of the conditions and obligations under
         the Company's outstanding debt instruments,

     (4) the response from time-to-time of the Company's and its
         controlling shareholder's, American Biltrite Inc.'s,
         lenders, customers, suppliers and other constituencies
         to the ongoing process arising from the Company's
         strategy to settle its asbestos liability,

     (5) the Company's ability to maintain debtor-in-possession
         financing sufficient to provide it with funding that
         may be needed during the pendency of its Chapter 11
         case and to obtain exit financing sufficient to provide
         it with funding that may be needed for its operations
         after emerging from the bankruptcy process, in each
         case, on reasonable terms,

     (6) timely obtaining sufficient creditor and court approval
         of any reorganization plan pursued by it,

     (7) developments in and the outcome of insurance coverage
         litigation pending in New Jersey State Court involving
         Congoleum, ABI, and certain insurers, and

     (8) compliance with the Bankruptcy Code, including section
         524(g).

In any event, if the Company is not successful in obtaining
sufficient creditor and court approval of its pre-packaged plan
of reorganization, such failure would have a material adverse
effect upon its business, results of operations and financial
condition.

In addition, there has been federal legislation proposed that,
if adopted, would establish a national trust to provide
compensation to victims of asbestos-related injuries and channel
all current and future asbestos-related personal injury claims
to that trust.  Due to the uncertainties involved with the
pending legislation, the Company does not know what effects any
such legislation, if adopted, may have upon its business,
results of operations or financial condition, or upon any plan
of reorganization it may decide to pursue.  To date, the Company
has expended significant amounts pursuant to resolving its
asbestos liability relating to its proposed prepackaged Chapter
11 plan of reorganization.  To the extent any federal
legislation is enacted, which does not credit the Company for
amounts paid by the Company pursuant to its plan of
reorganization or requires the Company to pay significant
amounts to any national trust or otherwise, such legislation
could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business,
results of operations and financial condition.  As a result of
the Company's significant liability and funding exposure for
asbestos claims, there can be no assurance that if it were to
incur any unforecasted or unexpected liability or disruption to
its business or operations it would be able to withstand that
liability or disruption and continue as an operating company.

Based on its pre-packaged bankruptcy strategy, the Company has
made provision in its financial statements for the minimum
amount of the range of estimates for its contribution and costs
to effect its plan to settle asbestos liabilities through a plan
trust established under Section 524(g).  The Company recorded a
charge of $17,300,000 in the fourth quarter of 2002 and an
additional $3,700,000 in the fourth quarter of 2003 to provide
for the estimated minimum costs of completing its
reorganization.  Actual amounts that will be contributed to the
plan trust and costs for pursuing and implementing the plan of
reorganization could be materially higher.

The Company has been served notice that it is one of many
defendants in around 22,000,000 pending lawsuits (including
workers' compensation cases) involving around 106,000,000
individuals as of December 31, 2003, alleging personal injury or
death from exposure to asbestos or asbestos-containing products.  
There were around 16,000,000 lawsuits at December 31, 2002 that
involved around 57,000,000 individuals.  Activity related to
asbestos claims was as follows:

                                   Year ended       Year ended
                                  Dec. 31, 2003    Dec. 31, 2002
                                --------------------------------
Beginning claims                      16,156            6,563
New claims                             6,246           10,472
Settlements                              (66)             (69)
Dismissals                              (450)            (810)
                                --------------------------------
Ending claims                         21,886           16,156

Nearly all asbestos-related claims that have been brought
against the Company to date allege that various diseases were
caused by exposure to asbestos-containing products, including
resilient sheet vinyl and tile manufactured by the Company (or,
in the workers' compensation cases, exposure to asbestos in the
course of employment with the Company).  

During the period that Congoleum produced asbestos-containing
products, the Company purchased primary and excess insurance
policies providing in excess of $1,000,000,000 coverage for
general and product liability claims.  Through August 2002,
substantially all asbestos-related claims and defense costs were
paid through primary insurance coverage.  In August 2002, the
Company received notice that its primary insurance coverage was
exhausted.  The exhaustion of limits by one of the primary
insurance companies was based on its contention that limits in
successive policies were not cumulative for asbestos claims and
that Congoleum was limited to only one policy limit for multiple
years of coverage.  Certain excess insurance carriers claimed
that the non-cumulation provisions of the primary policies were
not binding on them and that there remained an additional
$13,000,000 in indemnity coverage plus related defense costs
before their policies were implicated.  On April 10, 2003, the
New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in another case involving the
same non-cumulation provisions as in the Congoleum primary
policies (the "Spaulding Case") that the non-cumulation
provisions are invalid under New Jersey law and that the primary
policies provide coverage for the full amount of their annual
limits for all successive policies.  Although Congoleum is not a
party to this case, the decision in the Spaulding Case is likely
binding on Congoleum and its primary insurance companies.  Thus,
based on the Spaulding Case decision, the primary insurance
companies are obligated to provide the additional coverage
previously disputed by the excess carriers.  As of December 31,
2002, the Company had entered into additional settlement
agreements with asbestos claimants exceeding the amount of
previously disputed coverage.  While the excess carriers have
objected to the reasonableness of several of these settlements,
Congoleum believes that the primary insurance company will now
cover these settlements.  Notwithstanding that the primary
insurance company will likely pay these settlements, Congoleum
also believes that the excess carriers will continue to dispute
the reasonableness of the settlements and contend that their
policies still are not implicated and will dispute their
coverage for that and other various reasons in ongoing coverage
litigation and have also raised various objections to the
Company's planned reorganization strategy and negotiations.

The excess insurance carriers have objected to the global
settlement of the asbestos claims currently pending against
Congoleum ("Claimant Agreement") on the grounds that, among
other things, the negotiations leading to the settlement and the
Claimant Agreement violate provisions in their insurance
policies, including but not limited to the carriers' right to
associate in the defense of the asbestos cases, the duty of
Congoleum to cooperate with the carriers and the right of the
carriers to consent to any settlement, and also contend the
Claimant Agreement is not fair, reasonable or in good faith.  
Congoleum disputes the allegations and contentions of the excess
insurance carriers.  On Friday, November 7, 2003, the court
denied a motion for summary judgment by the excess insurance
carriers that the Claimant Agreement was not fair, reasonable or
in good faith, ruling that material facts concerning these
issues were in dispute.  Discovery continues in the coverage
litigation.

Given the actions of its excess insurance carriers, the Company
believes it likely that, pending settlement with or payment of
re-opened limits by the primary policies, it will have to
continue funding asbestos-related expenses for defense expense
and indemnity itself.  However, litigation by asbestos claimants
against the Company is stayed pursuant to the Company's
bankruptcy, and the Company does not anticipate its future
expenditures for defense and indemnity of asbestos related
claims, other than expenditures pursuant to its proposed (or an
alternative) plan of reorganization, will be significant.  The
following amounts were paid to defend and settle claims:

(in millions)                                Year Ended Dec. 31,
                                              2003         2002
                                              ----         ----
Indemnity costs paid by the Company's
      insurance carriers                      $0.0         $1.3

Indemnity costs paid by the Company            0.8          2.7

Defense costs paid by the Company              4.5          1.4

The amounts shown do not include non-cash settlements using
assignments of insurance proceeds, which amounted to
$477,000,000 in 2003 and $14,400,000 in 2002.

The Company's primary insurance carriers paid defense costs in
addition to the above amounts through August 2002.  Such amounts
were not reported to the Company by year of payment, and have
not been included in the table.

At December 31, 2003, there were no additional settlements
outstanding that the Company had agreed to fund other than
settlements pursuant to the Claimant Agreement.

The Company is seeking recovery from its insurance carriers of
the amounts it has paid for defense and indemnity, and intends
to seek recovery for any future payments of defense and
indemnity.  In light of the planned assignment of or grant of a
security interest in certain rights in and proceeds of its
applicable insurance to the Collateral Trust and the planned
reorganization, the Company does not anticipate recovering these
costs from the insurance companies.

Under the terms of the Claimant Agreement, the Company's claims
processing agent processed 79,630 claims meeting the
requirements of the Claimant Agreement with a settlement value
of $466,000,000.  In addition, pre-existing settlements
agreements and trial listed settlement agreements with claims
secured by the collateral trust total $25,000,000.

The Company's gross liability of $491,000,000 for these
settlements is substantially in excess of both the total assets
of the Company as well as the Company's previous estimates made
in prior periods of the maximum liability for both known and
unasserted claims.  The Company believes that it does not have
the necessary financial resources to litigate and/or fund
judgments and/or settlements of the asbestos claims in the
ordinary course of business.  Therefore, the Company believes
the most meaningful measure of its probable loss due to asbestos
litigation is the amount it will have to contribute to the Plan
Trust plus the costs to effect its reorganization under Chapter
11.  The Company estimates the minimum remaining amount of the
contributions and costs to be $9,800,000, which it has recorded
as a current liability.  During the fourth quarter of 2003, the
Company recorded a charge of $3,700,000 to increase its recorded
liability to the minimum estimated amount.  The maximum amount
of the range of possible asbestos-related losses is limited to
the going concern or liquidation value of the Company, an amount
which the Company believes is substantially less than the
minimum gross liability for the known claims against it.

The Company has not attempted to make an estimate of its
probable insurance recoveries given the accounting for its
estimate of future asbestos-related costs.  Substantially all
future insurance recoveries have been assigned to the Collateral
or Plan Trust.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Ltd. Settling With Carriers
---------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler Ltd. reported a net loss for the fourth quarter
2003 of $81,000,000, or $1.98 per diluted share, which included
a non-cash charge of $68,100,000 related to potential asbestos
liability.  The company received a somewhat larger number of
claims in 2003 than had been expected, which resulted in an
increase in the projected liability related to asbestos.  In
addition, the size of the company's insurance assets was reduced
due to the insolvency of a significant carrier in 2003.  The
company expects to reverse $15,000,000 of the $68,100,000 charge
in the first quarter of 2004 upon additional settlements with
insurance carriers.

The company currently projects that, even with the charge and
the reduced size of the insurance assets, the company will not
be required to fund asbestos liabilities from its cash flow for
at least six years.  The company plans to continue its strategy
of settling with insurance carriers by monetizing policies or
arranging coverage in place agreements.  This strategy is
designed to reduce cash payments from the company to cover
future asbestos liabilities.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: General Cable Battling 15,000 Cases In US
--------------------------------------------------------------
General Cable Industries Inc. reported that it is a defendant in
around 15,000 cases brought in various jurisdictions throughout
the United States.  About 5,000 of these cases have been brought
in federal court in Mississippi or other federal courts and then
been transferred to the MDL, but are on a different docket from
the MARDOC cases.  The vast majority of cases on this MDL docket
have been inactive for over four years.  Cases may only be
removed from this MDL proceeding via a petition filed by the
plaintiff indicating that the matter is ready for trial and
requesting it be returned to the originating federal district
court for trial.  Petitions usually only involve plaintiffs
suffering from terminal diseases allegedly caused by exposure to
asbestos-containing products.  To date, in cases which the
Company is a defendant, no plaintiff has requested return of any
action to the originating district court for trial.

With regard to the around 10,000 remaining cases, the Company
has aggressively defended these cases based upon either lack of
product identification as to General Cable manufactured
asbestos-containing product and/or lack of exposure to asbestos
dust from the use of a General Cable product.  In the last 10
years, the Company has had no cases proceed to verdict.  In many
of the cases, the Company was dismissed as a defendant before
trial for lack of product identification.

Plaintiffs have asserted monetary damage claims in 81 cases as
of the end of 2003.  In 65 of these cases, plaintiffs allege
only damages in excess of some dollar amount (about $77,000 per
plaintiff); there are no claims for specific dollar amounts
requested as to any defendant.  In 16 other cases pending in
state and federal district courts (outside the MDL), plaintiffs
seek about $41,000,000 in damages from each of around 110
defendants.  In addition, in each of 10 of these 16 cases, there
are claims of $43,000,000 in punitive damages from all of the
defendants.  However, almost all of the plaintiffs in these
cases allege non-malignant injuries.

Based on the Company's experience in this litigation, the
amounts pleaded in the complaints are not typically meaningful
as an indicator of the Company's potential liability. This is
because:

     (1) the amounts claimed usually bear no relation to the
         level of plaintiff's injury, if any;

     (2) complaints nearly always assert claims against multiple
         defendants (a typical complaint asserts claims against
         some 110 different defendants);

     (3) damages alleged are not attributed to individual
         defendants;

     (4) the defendants' share of liability may turn on the law
         of joint and several liability;

     (5) the amount of fault to be allocated to each defendant
         is different depending on each case;

     (6) many cases are filed against the Company, even though
         the plaintiff did not use any of its products, and
         ultimately are withdrawn or dismissed without any
         payment;

     (7) many cases are brought on behalf of plaintiffs who have
         not suffered any medical injuries, and ultimately are
         resolved without any payment to that plaintiff; and

     (8) with regard to claims for punitive damages, potential
         liability generally is related to the amount of
         potential exposure to asbestos from a defendant's
         products.

The Company's asbestos-containing products contained only a
minimal amount of fully encapsulated asbestos.  As of December
31, 2003, the Company had accrued on its balance sheet a
liability of $1,600,000 for asbestos-related claims.  This
amount represents the Company's best estimate in order to cover
resolution of future asbestos-related claims.

In January 1994, the Company entered into a settlement agreement
with certain principal primary insurers concerning liability for
the costs of defense, judgments and settlements, if any, in all
of the asbestos litigation described above.  Subject to the
terms and conditions of the settlement agreement, the insurers
are responsible for a substantial portion of the costs and
expenses incurred in the defense or resolution of this
litigation.  However, recently one of the insurers participating
in the settlement that was responsible for a significant portion
of the contribution under the settlement agreement has entered
into insurance liquidation proceedings.  As a result, the
contribution of the insurers has been reduced and the Company
may ultimately have to bear a larger portion of the costs
relating to these lawsuits.  Moreover, certain of the other
insurers may be financially unstable, and if one or more of
these insurers enter into insurance liquidation proceedings, the
Company will be required to pay a larger portion of the costs
incurred in connection with these cases.  Based on
the terms of the insurance settlement agreement; the relative
costs and expenses incurred in the disposition of past asbestos
cases; reserves established on the Company's books which are
believed to be reasonable; and defenses available to the Company
in the litigation, the Company believes that the resolution of
the present asbestos litigation will not have a material adverse
effect on its financial results, cash flows or financial
position.  However, since the outcome of litigation is
inherently uncertain, the Company cannot give absolute assurance
regarding the future resolution of the asbestos litigation.  
Liabilities incurred in connection with asbestos litigation are
not covered by the American Premier indemnification.

In addition, Company subsidiaries (e.g. General Cable Co.,
General Cable Corp., General Cable Industries LLC, General Cable
Management LLC, General Cable Technologies Corp., General Cable
Texas Operations LP, General Cable Overseas Holdings Inc.,
General Cable de Latinoamerica SA de CV, General Cable de Mexico
del Norte SA de CV, General Cable Canada Ltd., GENCA Corp., GK
Technologies Inc., Diversified Contractors Inc., Marathon
Manufacturing Holdings Inc., Marathon Steel Co., MLTC Co.) have
been named as defendants in lawsuits alleging exposure to
asbestos in products manufactured by the Company.  At December
31, 2003, there were around 15,000 non-maritime claims and
33,000 maritime asbestos claims outstanding.  During 2003, some
4,006 new non-maritime claims and 315 maritime claims were
filed; 20 non-maritime claims and no maritime claims were
dismissed, settled or otherwise disposed of in that period.  At
December 31, 2003 and 2002, General Cable had accrued about
$1,600,000 and $1,300,000, respectively, for these lawsuits.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Everest Re Focusing on McKinley Cases
----------------------------------------------------------
Everest Re Group Ltd. recently stated that it aims to be
actively engaged with every insured account posing significant
potential asbestos exposure to Mt. McKinley, f/k/a Gibraltar
Casualty Co., a Delaware insurance company and a direct
subsidiary of Everest Reinsurance Holdings Inc.  Such engagement
can take the form of pursuing a final settlement, negotiation,
litigation, or the monitoring of claim activity under Coverage
in Place (CIP) agreements.  CIP agreements generally condition
an insurer's payment upon the actual claim experience of the
insured and may have annual payment caps or other measures to
control the insurer's payments.  The Company's Mt. McKinley
operation is currently managing six CIP agreements, five of
which were executed prior to the acquisition of Mt. McKinley in
2000.  The Company's preference with respect to coverage
settlements is to execute settlements that call for a fixed
schedule of payments, because such settlements eliminate future
uncertainty.

The Company's claim staff has developed familiarity both with
the nature of the business written by its ceding companies and
the claims handling and reserving practices of those companies.  
This level of familiarity enhances the quality of the Company's
analysis of its exposure through those companies.  As a result,
the Company believes that it can identify those claims on which
it has unusual exposure, such as non-products asbestos claims,
for concentrated attention.  However, in setting reserves for
its reinsurance liabilities, the Company relies on claims data
supplied by its ceding companies and brokers.  This information
is not always timely or accurate and can impact the accuracy and
timeliness of ultimate loss projections.

Contributing to the increase in incurred losses and LAE in 2002
from 2001 was a 242.3% ($36,700,000) increase in the Bermuda
operation, principally reflecting reserve strengthening with
respect to Mt. McKinley asbestos exposures and increased premium
volume.  Increases were partially offset by a 5.3% ($17,500,000)
decrease in the Specialty Underwriting operation, principally
attributable to decreased catastrophe losses.  Incurred losses
and LAE for each operation were also impacted by variability
relating to changes in the level of premium volume and mix of
business by class and type.

With respect to both the Mt. McKinley and Everest Re operations,
the Company was not a member of the Asbestos Claims Facility
("Wellington") or the Center for Claims Resolution (CCR) claim
settlement facilities.  Insurers supporting those facilities
made broad commitments concerning the application of insurance
coverage to asbestos claims.  With respect to its direct
insurance exposures, the fact that the Company has not made
those commitments may allow it to resolve insurance exposure to
Wellington/CCR insureds more economically than if it had joined
these facilities.  With respect to its reinsurance exposures,
although the Company was not a signatory to the Wellington or
CCR facilities, it has, within the bounds of its reinsurance
contracts, generally supported ceding companies that were
signatories.  Because the insurers supporting these facilities
have generally paid their exposures more quickly than non-
signatory insurers, the Company believes that this has generally
meant that it has paid its reinsurance exposure more quickly
than it likely would have if it had not been subject to
Wellington/CCR payments.

Developments in 2003 and 2002 affecting asbestos exposures in
general and the Company's asbestos exposures in particular,
together with enhancements in the Company's claim management and
analytical processes, resulted in reserve strengthening.  These
developments and actions have increased the emphasis on asbestos
exposures as a separate component of the Company's A&E
exposures.  Despite the Company's approach of handling A&E
exposures on a combined basis, management believes additional
disclosure of the asbestos element of its A& E exposures is
appropriate.

The Company's net three-year survival ratio on its asbestos
exposures was 9.8 years for the period ended December 31, 2003.  
This three-year survival ratio when adjusted to exclude the
effect of the reinsurance ceded under the stop loss cover from
Prupac was 13.6 years, and when adjusted to exclude the CIP,
actively managed reserves, and the stop loss cession to Prupac
was 23.8 years.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GenCorp, Subsidiary Have 43 Pending Cases
--------------------------------------------------------------
GenCorp Inc. says that over the years, it and its subsidiary
Aerojet have from time to time been named as defendants in
lawsuits alleging personal injury or death due to exposure to
asbestos in building materials or in manufacturing operations.  
The majority have been filed in Madison County, Illinois and San
Francisco, California.  Since 1998, more than 80 of these
asbestos lawsuits have been resolved, with the majority being
dismissed and many being settled for less than $100,000 each.  
As of February 29, 2004, there were 43 asbestos cases pending,
including the Goede case, which is on appeal.

Legal and administrative fees for the asbestos cases for the
first quarter 2004 were about $600,000.  Legal and
administrative fees for the asbestos cases for 2003 and 2002
were about $1,400,000 and $700,000, respectively.  Fees for 2002
include costs associated with the litigation of the Goede et al.
v. A. W. Chesterton Inc. et al. matter.  However, aggregate
settlement costs and average settlement costs for 2002 do not
include the Goede matter, a case currently on appeal.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: HPHC Involved In 43 Asbestos Exposure Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Huntsman LLC reported in a regulatory filing that Huntsman
Polymers Holdings Corp. (HPHC) has been named as a "premises
defendant" in a number of asbestos exposure lawsuits.  These
suits often involve multiple plaintiffs and multiple defendants,
and, generally, the complaint in the action does not indicate
which plaintiffs are making claims against a specific defendant,
where the alleged injuries were incurred or what injuries each
plaintiff claims.  These facts must be learned through
discovery.  There are currently 43 asbestos exposure cases
pending against HPHC.  Among the cases currently pending,
management is aware of one claim of mesothelioma.  

HPHC does not have sufficient information at the present time to
estimate any liability in these cases.  Although HPHC cannot
provide specific assurances, based on its understanding of
similar cases, management believes that the Company's ultimate
liability in these cases will not be material to the Company's
financial position or results of operations.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: M&F Arranges With Abex Inc. For Liabilities
----------------------------------------------------------------
M & F Worldwide Inc. reported that in connection with the merger
on June 15, 1995 of Abex Inc. (currently known as Mafco
Consolidated, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Mafco Holdings)
and the related transfer to a subsidiary of Mafco Consolidated
of substantially all of Abex's consolidated assets and
liabilities (the remainder being retained by the Company), M & F
Worldwide, a subsidiary of Abex, Pneumo Abex and another
subsidiary of the Company entered into a Transfer Agreement.  
Under the Transfer Agreement, Pneumo Abex retained the assets
and liabilities relating to its Abex NWL Aerospace Division, as
well as certain contingent liabilities and the related assets,
including its historical insurance and indemnification
arrangements.  Abex transferred substantially all of its other
assets and liabilities to a subsidiary of Mafco Consolidated.  
The Transfer Agreement provides for appropriate transfer,
indemnification and tax sharing arrangements, in a manner
consistent with applicable law and existing contractual
arrangements.

The Transfer Agreement requires such subsidiary of Mafco
Consolidated to undertake certain administrative and funding
obligations with respect to certain categories of asbestos-
related claims and other liabilities, including environmental
claims, retained by Pneumo Abex.  The Company will be obligated
to make reimbursement for the amounts so funded only when
amounts are received by the Company under related
indemnification and insurance arrangements.  Such administrative
and funding obligations would be terminated as to these
categories of asbestos-related claims in the case of a
bankruptcy of Pneumo Abex or the Company or of certain other
events affecting the availability of coverage for such claims
from third-party indemnitors and insurers.  In the event of
certain kinds of disputes with Pneumo Abex's indemnitors
regarding their indemnities, the Transfer Agreement permits the
Company to require such subsidiary to fund 50% of the costs of
resolving the disputes.  The Transfer Agreement further provides
that Mafco Consolidated will indemnify the Company with respect
to all environmental matters associated with Abex's former
operations to the extent not paid by third-party indemnitors or
insurers, other than the operations relating to Aerospace, which
Pneumo Abex sold to Parker Hannifin Corp. in 1996.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Markel May Offset Balances With Equitas
------------------------------------------------------------
In a recent regulatory filing Markel Corporation made the
following statement: "At December 31, 2003, we did not have an
allowance for reinsurance bad debt related to Equitas.  To
evaluate if an allowance was necessary, we considered, among
other things, Equitas' published financial information, reports
from rating agencies and the possibility of offsetting balances
Equitas owes us with balances we owe Equitas.  We believe we
have the right to offset balances.  However, our ability to
offset balances could be subject to challenge and, if
successfully challenged, could result in adverse development."  

Equitas Ltd. has significant exposure to asbestos and
environmental losses.  As a result of financial uncertainty
created by this exposure, Equitas is not rated by any recognized
rating agencies.

The increase in prior years' incurred losses for the Other
segment was due to $55,000,000 of reserve increases for asbestos
and environmental disclosures, $20,000,000 of reserve increases
for discontinued programs at Markel International, $13,000,000
of allowances for potentially uncollectible reinsurance and
$6,400,000 of run off costs.   The Company completed its annual
review of asbestos and environmental loss reserves in both its
U.S. and international operations during the third quarter of
2003.  The 2003 reserve increase reflects a higher than expected
incidence of new claims and recent adverse appellate and
bankruptcy court decisions.  The need to increase reserves for
asbestos and environmental exposures in each of the last three
years demonstrates that these reserves are subject to
significant uncertainty due to potential loss severity and
frequency resulting from the uncertain and unfavorable legal
climate.  The prior years' reserve increases for discontinued
programs at Markel International were primarily due to higher
loss frequency than originally estimated and to the emergence of
coverage disputes with insureds.  

The $66,300,000 of prior years' reserve increases during 2002 in
the Other segment included $35,000,000 due to asbestos exposures
and related allowances for reinsurance bad debt.  These reserve
increases were related to business written prior to the addition
of pollution exclusions to insurance policies in 1986.  In 2002,
the Company completed its annual review of asbestos and
environmental loss reserves during the third quarter.  
Bankruptcies of asbestos defendants coupled with significant
increases in the number of claims from exposed, but not ill,
individuals have increased the insurance industry's asbestos
exposures.  As a result of the study and these unfavorable
litigation trends, the Company determined that it was
appropriate to increase reserves for asbestos exposures,
including reinsurance bad debt.

Late in 2001, the Company completed a comprehensive study of its
London operations asbestos exposures included in the other
segment.  The study involved London market asbestos exposure
experts and the Company's internal and external actuaries.  The
study was completed using a proprietary database, which
contained exposure information about asbestos claims submitted
since inception to the London market.  The Company's
participation on these risks was then calculated.  As a result
of this study, the Company increased 1986 and prior years'
asbestos reserves, including reinsurance bad debt, by
$30,000,000.  During 2001, the Company also increased loss
reserves for business written from 1997 to 2000 by $39,000,000
for Markel International's discontinued worldwide motor program.  
The Company discontinued the worldwide motor book of business
shortly after the purchase of Markel International due to the
program's poor administrative controls, including delegation of
underwriting and claims authority to brokers around the world,
and inadequate pricing.  Late in 2001, the Company obtained
information from brokers and performed broker audits in order to
reassess its potential exposure.  Upon completion of this
review, the Company determined that reserve strengthening was
required.

The Company believes the process of evaluating past experience,
adjusted for the effects of current developments and anticipated
trends, is an appropriate basis for predicting future events.  
Management currently believes the Company's gross and net
reserves, including the reserves for environmental and asbestos
exposures, are adequate.  There is no precise method, however,
for evaluating the impact of any significant factor on the
adequacy of reserves, and actual results will differ from
original estimates.

The Company's exposure to asbestos and environmental (A&E)
claims resulted from policies written by acquired insurance
operations before their acquisitions by the Company.  The
Company's exposure to A&E claims originated from umbrella,
excess, commercial general liability (CGL) insurance and
reinsurance assumed that was written on an occurrence basis from
the 1970s to mid-1980s.  Exposure also originated from claims-
made policies written by the Company that were designed to cover
environmental risks provided that all other terms and conditions
of the policy were met.

The 2003, 2002 and 2001 incurred losses were primarily due to
adverse development in asbestos-related reserves.  At December
31, 2003, asbestos-related reserves were $325,600,000 and
$182,800,000 on a gross and net basis, respectively.

The provision for reinsurance bad debts in 2002 was primarily
due to reinsurance bad debts included in the Company's
$35,000,000 of reserve increases for asbestos exposures and
additional reinsurance collection issues in the Other segment
during 2002.  The 2001 provision included anticipated bad debts
resulting from asbestos reserve strengthening in the London
Insurance Market segment and provided for both strengthened
reserves for financially weak reinsurers and collection disputes
with reinsurers.

The Company's asbestos and environmental loss reserves are also
included in Other.  As a result of an uncertain and increasingly
unfavorable legal climate, management is unable to estimate a
range of reasonably possible losses for asbestos and
environmental exposures.  Management believes that these loss
reserves are adequate, however adverse development is possible.

In 2003, the underwriting loss from Other included $94,400,000
of prior years' loss reserve increases on discontinued lines of
business primarily related to $55,000,000 of reserve increases
for asbestos and environmental exposures.  In 2002, Other
reserves were increased $66,300,000, of which $35,000,000 was
due to asbestos exposures and related allowances for reinsurance
bad debt.  The 2001 underwriting loss included $39,000,000 of
reserve strengthening in the worldwide motor program,
$30,000,000 of reserve increases for asbestos exposures and
related reinsurance bad debt, $15,000,000 of allowances for
financially weak reinsurers and collection disputes with
reinsurers and $14,400,000 of run off costs.

The Company completed its annual review of asbestos and
environmental loss reserves in both its U.S. and international
operations during the third quarter of 2003.  Bankruptcies of
asbestos defendants coupled with significant increases in the
number of claims from exposed, but not ill, individuals continue
to increase the insurance industry's asbestos exposures.  In
2003, the Company's increase in reserves for asbestos and
environmental exposures reflected a higher than expected
incidence of new claims and recent adverse appellate and
bankruptcy court decisions.  As a result of the study and these
unfavorable litigation trends, the Company determined that it
was appropriate to increase 1986 and prior years' loss reserves
$55,000,000 in 2003.  In 2002 and 2001, the Company also
increased 1986 and prior years' asbestos and environmental loss
reserves and related allowances for reinsurance bad debt
$35,000,000 and $30,000,000, respectively.  The need to increase
asbestos loss reserves each of the past three years demonstrates
that asbestos and environmental reserves are subject to
significant uncertainty due to potential loss severity and
frequency resulting from the uncertain and unfavorable legal
climate.  The Company seeks to establish appropriate reserve
levels for asbestos and environmental exposures; however, these
reserves could be subject to increases in the future.  The
Company has established asbestos and environmental reserves
without regard to the potential passage of asbestos reform
legislation.  These reserves are not discounted to present value
and are forecasted to pay out over the next 50 years.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reinhold Paying Off Its Keene Liabilities
--------------------------------------------------------------
Reinhold Industries Inc. stated that on December 3, 1993, its
predecessor Keene Corp. filed a voluntary petition for relief
under Chapter 11 of Title 11 of the United State Code in the
United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New
York, Case No. 93-B-46090 (SMB).  Keene's Chapter 11 filing came
as a direct result of tens of thousands of asbestos-related
lawsuits that named Keene as a party.  Reinhold did not file any
petitions for relief under the bankruptcy code and continued to
operate in the normal course of business.

Keene's asbestos-related liabilities stem entirely from its 1968
purchase of Baldwin-Ehret-Hill, Inc. (BEH), a manufacturer of
acoustical ceilings, ventilation systems, and thermal insulation
products.  Over the past 20 years, Keene spent over $530,000,000  
(around 75% of which has been in the form of insurance proceeds)
in connection with Asbestos-Related Claims asserted against
Keene, all stemming from Keene's ownership, for a period of
around five years, of BEH.

By the end of 1992, Keene had exhausted substantially all of its
insurance coverage for Asbestos-Related Personal Injury Claims
and by 1993, Keene had exhausted substantially all of its
insurance related to Asbestos In Building Claims.  Therefore,
Keene had to bear directly the costs of all Claims.

In May 1993, Keene filed a limited fund, mandatory settlement
action.  This Limited Fund Action sought a declaration that
Keene had only limited funds available to resolve the numerous
Asbestos-Related Claims against it, including Asbestos-Related
Claims that might be filed in the future.

In November 1993, Keene reached an agreement in principle with
the lawyers representing each subclass with respect to the
allocation of Keene's remaining assets.  However, on December 1,
1993, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a
decision dismissing the Limited Fund Action on the grounds of
lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

In light of this decision, on December 3, 1993, Keene filed its
voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11.  On March 28,
1995, Keene, the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors' and
the Legal Representative for Future Claimants entered into a
stipulation to file a consensual plan of reorganization that
would resolve Keene's Chapter 11 Case.  On March 11, 1996, the
Bankruptcy Court approved the Second Amended Disclosure
Statement regarding Keene's Fourth Amended Plan of
Reorganization for solicitation.

On June 12, 1996, the Bankruptcy Court and the U.S. District
Court held a confirmation hearing on Keene's Fourth Amended Plan
of Reorganization, as modified.  The U.S. District Court
confirmed the Plan by order entered on June 14, 1996.

On July 31, 1996, Keene's Fourth Amended Plan of Reorganization,
as modified, became effective.  On the Effective Date, Keene's
wholly owned subsidiary, Reinhold Industries Inc. was merged
into and with Keene, with Keene becoming the surviving entity.  
Pursuant to the merger, all the issued and outstanding capital
stock of Reinhold was canceled.  Keene, as the surviving
corporation of the merger, was renamed Reinhold.  On the
Effective Date, Reinhold issued 1,998,956 shares of Common
Stock, of which 1,020,000 shares of Class B Common Stock were
issued to the Trustees of a Creditors' Trust set up to
administer Keene's asbestos claims.  The remaining 978,956
shares, identified as Class A Common Stock, were issued to
Keene's former shareholders as of record date, June 30, 1996.  
All of Keene's previously outstanding Common Stock was canceled.

Management believes that in or about 1977, Keene Corp. sold to
the U.S. Department of Interior certain real property and
improvements now located within the Valley Forge Site.  Prior to
the sale, Keene operated a manufacturing facility on the real
property and may have used friable asbestos, the substance which
gives rise to the claim at the Valley Forge Site.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reunion Named In 23 Actions In GA And AL
-------------------------------------------------------------
During 2003, Reunion Industries was named as defendant in 32
actions in the state of Georgia and one action in the state of
Alabama.  Such actions claim that cylinders manufactured by the
Hanna division of Reunion Industries contained asbestos that
caused severe illness.  Since most of the plaintiffs' exposure
occurred prior to the purchase of the assets of this business by
Reunion's predecessor in 1980, and since there is no evidence
that asbestos was used in Hanna products after 1980, the
Company's position is that it has no liability in these suits.  
The plaintiffs' attorney has tentatively agreed to dismiss
Reunion from these suits, subject to his review of certain
information the Company has provided to him about its
predecessor and if Reunion will assist the plaintiffs in their
case against the pre-1980 owner of the business.  Reunion has
agreed to and is currently providing the requested assistance to
plaintiffs' attorney.

Since July 10, 2001, various legal actions, some involving
multiple plaintiffs, alleging personal injury/wrongful death
from asbestos exposure have been filed in multiple states,
including California, Oregon, Washington, New York and
Mississippi, against a large number of defendants, including
Oneida Rostone Corp. (ORC), pre-merger Reunion's Plastics
subsidiary and the Company's Plastics segment.  In October 2001,
Allen-Bradley Co., a former owner of the Rostone business of
ORC, accepted Reunion Industries' tender of its defense and
indemnification in the first such lawsuit filed, pursuant to a
contractual obligation to do so.  Subsequent to the acceptance
of the tender of defense and indemnification in the first
lawsuit, Allen-Bradley Co. has accepted the Company's tender of
defense and indemnification in a total of 101 separate actions,
all of which have been defended by Allen-Bradley Co.

The Company has been named in around 1,250 separate asbestos
suits filed since January 1, 2001 by three plaintiffs' law firms
in Wayne County, Michigan.  The claims allege that cranes from
the Company's crane manufacturing location in Alliance, OH were
present in various parts of McLouth and Great Lakes Steel Mills
in Wayne County, Michigan and that those cranes contained
asbestos to which plaintiffs were exposed over a 40-year span.  
Counsel for the Company has filed an answer to each complaint
denying liability by the Company and asserting all alternative
defenses permitted under the Court's Case Management Order.  
Counsel for the Company has successfully resolved 401 cases with
little or no cost to the Company.  The Company denies that it
manufactured any products containing asbestos or otherwise knew
or should have known that any component part manufacturers
provided products containing asbestos.  It has also denied that
component part manufacturers otherwise advised the Company that
component parts could be hazardous, or otherwise constitute a
health risk.  


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Royal & Sun Estimates Asbestos Provisions
--------------------------------------------------------------
Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group plc recently said that its
exposure to asbestos and environmental pollution is examined at
least triennially on the basis that it is a major class where
the risks and uncertainties inherent in the provisions are
greatest.  Regular and ad hoc detailed reviews are undertaken by
advisors who are able to draw upon their specialist expertise
and a broader knowledge of current industry trends in claims
development.

The estimation of the provisions for the ultimate cost of claims
for asbestos and environmental pollution is subject to a range
of uncertainties that are generally greater than those
encountered for other classes of business.  A significant issue
is the long delay in reporting losses since the onset of illness
and disability arising from exposure to harmful conditions may
only become apparent many years later.  For example, cases of
mesothelioma can have a latent period of up to 40 years.  There
may also be complex technical issues that give rise to delays in
notification arising from unresolved legal issues on policy
coverage and the identity of the insureds.  As a consequence,
traditional techniques for estimating claims provisions cannot
wholly be relied upon and the Group employs specialized
techniques to determine provisions using the extensive knowledge
of both internal asbestos and environmental pollution experts
and external legal and professional advisors.

In May 2003, there was a UK High Court ruling against the Group
in favor of Turner & Newell, an asbestos products manufacturer
in administration.  This ruling involved a unique situation and
the judgment covers just part of this complicated case,
following the court's earlier decision to split proceedings.  It
does not mean the end of what is likely to be a protracted
process.  The Group has been given leave to appeal on a number
of issues in the original judgment, which will be heard in 2004.

Senate Bill 1125, which would create the Fairness in Asbestos
Injury Resolution Act of 2003, is currently pending before the
United States Senate.  The proposed bill in its current form
would establish a privately financed trust fund to provide
payments to individuals with asbestos related illnesses and
would remove asbestos claims from the tort litigation system for
the duration of the fund.  The trust would be funded with
US$100B and would be financed by primary insurers, reinsurers
and industrial enterprises.  The proposed bill would establish
the US Court of Asbestos Claims as the sole forum for asbestos
claim resolution and would establish medical criteria to ensure
that only people who showed signs of asbestos related illnesses
would be entitled to payments from the trust.  If the bill
passes in its current form, the US insurance industry would be
responsible for funding a certain share of the trust fund
(estimated to be $52,000,000,000).  The industry would then have
the option of agreeing to an allocation of that amount among
individual insurers or, failing agreement, an allocation
commission would be established by the US federal government to
allocate responsibility for funding the insurance industry's
share among individual insurers.  The Group is not a member of
the core working group helping to develop the proposal, but has
been closely involved in discussions relating to the bill
through industry groups.

The technical provisions include GBP642,000,000 for asbestos in
the UK and US.  These provisions can be analyzed by where the
risks were written and by survival ratio.  Survival ratio is an
industry standard measure of a company's reserves expressing
recent year claims payments or notifications as a percentage of
liabilities.  The majority of business in this area is
employers' liability (EL) written through UK commercial regions
with a small amount of public and products liability.  The
underlying method for the estimation of asbestos requirements
for UK EL depends critically on establishing a distribution of
expected deaths from asbestos related disease, which is then
adjusted to allow for the delay between claim and death of
claimant.  Calibration of the resultant distribution to Group
experience of reported claims allows an estimate of future
numbers of claims against the Group to be produced.  Average
claim cost is monitored from claim notifications over time, and
from this data, after adjustment for inflation, a view is taken
of current average claims cost taking into account evidence of
trends etc.  The average costs observed will reflect the
proportion of claims cost being borne by the Group as a result
of current sharing agreements amongst insurers, which in turn
reflects the Group's proportion of claimant exposure periods.  
The IBNR provision is then estimated by applying the assumed
average claim cost and inflation to the numbers estimated for
each future year of claim registrations.

US asbestos exposure arises from a variety of sources including
London market "direct" business written through Marine
operations many years ago, inward reinsurance exposures also
written through London market and from participation in UK
aviation pools.  Estimation on all areas of exposure is
primarily based on a ground-up analysis of direct insureds or
cedents, reflecting the likelihood and timing of any breaches of
the different layers of exposure written by the Group, and
thereby the financial costs and cash flows involved.  The major
category is primary asbestos defendants who manufactured and
distributed asbestos products where most are expected to exhaust
the majority of available insurance coverage.  The peripheral
category is a newer group of defendants brought into litigation
due to bankruptcies in major defendant group.  Some may have
manufactured, distributed, or installed asbestos containing
products, but exposure is more limited.  Others owned or
operated premises where asbestos products were used, giving rise
to premises rather than products claims.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Standard Motor To Answer For 3,300 Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
In 1986, Standard Motor Products Inc. acquired a brake business,
which it subsequently sold in March 1998 and which is accounted
for as a discontinued operation in the consolidated financial
statements.  When the Company originally acquired this brake
business, it assumed future liabilities relating to any alleged
exposure to asbestos-containing products manufactured by the
seller of the acquired brake business.  In accordance with the
related purchase agreement, the Company agreed to assume the
liabilities for all new claims filed on or after September 1,
2001.  The Company's ultimate exposure will depend upon the
number of claims filed against it on or after September 1, 2001
and the amounts paid for indemnity and defense thereof.  

At December 31, 2001, around 100 cases were outstanding for
which the Company was responsible for any related liabilities.  
At December 31, 2002, the number of cases outstanding for which
the Company was responsible for related liabilities increased to
around 2,500, which include around 1,600 cases filed in December
2002 in Mississippi.  The Company believes that these
Mississippi cases filed against it were due in large part to
potential plaintiffs accelerating the filing of their claims
prior to the effective date of Mississippi's tort reform statute
in January 2003, which statute eliminated the ability of
plaintiffs to file consolidated cases.  At December 31, 2003,
around 3,300 cases were outstanding for which the Company was
responsible for any related liabilities.  Since inception in
September 2001, the amounts paid for settled claims are
$1,100,000.  The Company does not have insurance coverage for
the defense and indemnity costs associated with these claims.

The Company recorded a liability associated with future
settlements through 2052 and recorded an after tax charge of
$16,900,000 as a loss from a discontinued operation during the
third quarter of 2002 to reflect such liability.  The Company
recorded an after tax charge of $1,700,000 and $18,300,000 as a
loss from discontinued operations to account for potential costs
associated with its asbestos-related liability for the years
ended December 31, 2003 and 2002, respectively.  Loss from
discontinued operation in 2003 reflects $1,700,000 associated
with asbestos-related legal expenses.  

Based on information contained in the September 2002 actuarial
study performed by a leading actuarial firm with expertise in
assessing asbestos-related liabilities, which estimated an
undiscounted liability for settlement payments ranging from
$27,300,000 to $58,000,000, and all other available information
considered by the Company, it recorded an after tax charge of
$16,900,000 as a loss from discontinued operation during the
third quarter of 2002 to reflect such liability.  The Company
concluded that no amount within the range of settlement payments
was more likely than any other and, therefore, recorded the low
end of the range as the liability associated with future
settlement payments through 2052 in its consolidated financial
statements, in accordance with generally accepted accounting
principles.  Total legal expenses associated with asbestos
related matters totaled $900,000 in 2002.

As is the Company's accounting policy, the actuarial study was
updated as of August 31, 2003 using methodologies consistent
with the September 2002 study.  The updated study has estimated
an undiscounted liability for settlement payments, excluding
legal costs, ranging from $27,000,000 to $71,000,000 for the
period through 2052.  The Company continues to believe that no
amount within the range was a better estimate after the updated
study; therefore, no adjustment was recorded as our consolidated
balance sheet at September 30, 2003 reflects a total liability
of about $27,000,000.  Legal costs, which are expensed as
incurred, are estimated to range from $21,000,000 to $28,000,000
during the same period.  The Company plans on performing a
similar annual actuarial analysis during the third quarter of
each year for the foreseeable future.  Based on this analysis
and all other available information, the Company will reassess
the recorded liability, and if deemed necessary, record an
adjustment to the reserve, which will be reflected as a loss or
gain from discontinued operations.  Legal expenses associated
with asbestos-related matters are expensed as incurred and
recorded as a loss from discontinued operations in the statement
of operations.  Accrued asbestos liabilities were $10,430,000 as
of December 31, 2003 and $10,765,000 as of December 31, 2002.

Actuarial consultants with experience in assessing asbestos-
related liabilities completed a study in September 2002 to
estimate the Company's potential claim liability.  The
methodology used to project asbestos-related liabilities and
costs in the study considered

     (1) historical data available from publicly available
         studies;

     (2) an analysis of our recent claims history to estimate
         likely filing rates for the remainder of 2002 through
         2052;

     (3) an analysis of the Company's currently pending claims;
         and

     (4) an analysis of the Company's settlements to date in
         order to develop average settlement values.

Based upon all the information considered by the actuarial firm,
the actuarial study estimated an undiscounted liability for
settlement payments, excluding legal costs, ranging from
$27,300,000 to $58,000,000 for the period through 2052.  
Accordingly, based on the information contained in the actuarial
study and all other available information considered by the
Company, it recorded an after tax charge of $16,000,000 as a
loss from discontinued operation during the third quarter of
2002 to reflect such liability, excluding legal costs.  The
Company concluded that no amount within the range of settlement
payments was more likely than any other and, therefore, recorded
the low end of the range as the liability associated with future
settlement payments through 2052 in our consolidated financial
statements, in accordance with generally accepted accounting
principles.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: United National Has $5.5 Million For Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
In a recent filing, United National Group Ltd. made a statement
about trends which continued and accelerated in 2001 with the
property and casualty insurance industry experiencing a severe
dislocation as a result of an unprecedented impairment of
capital, causing a substantial contraction in industry
underwriting capacity.  The Company believes that this reduction
in capacity is a result of, among other things, the recording of
reserve charges resulting from substantial reserve deficiencies,
relating to asbestos, environmental and directors and officers
liability related claims and from poor underwriting in the late
1990s.

Although it believes its exposure to be limited, United National
has exposure to asbestos and environmental (A&E) claims.  The
Company's environmental exposure arises from the sale of general
liability and commercial multi-peril insurance.  Currently,
United National's policies continue to exclude classic
environmental contamination claims.  In some states the Company
is required, however, depending on the circumstances, to provide
coverage for such bodily injury claims as an individual's
exposure to a release of chemicals.  United National has also
issued policies that were intended to provide limited pollution
and environmental coverage.  These policies were specific to
certain types of products underwritten by the Company.  United
National receives a number of asbestos-related claims.  The
majority are declined based on well-established exclusions.  In
establishing the liability for unpaid losses and loss adjustment
expenses related to A&E exposures, management considers facts
currently known and the current state of the law and coverage
litigations.  Estimates of the liabilities are reviewed and
updated continually.

The liability for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses,
inclusive of A&E reserves, reflects the Company's best estimates
for future amounts needed to pay losses and related adjustment
expenses as of each of the balance sheet dates reflected in the
financial statements herein in accordance with GAAP.  As of
December 31, 2003, the Company had $5,500,000 of net loss
reserves for asbestos-related claims.  The Company attempts to
estimate the full impact of the A&E exposures by establishing
specific case reserves on all known losses.  In 2001 and prior
years, A&E claims were aggregated and reviewed with other lines
of business that have long periods of loss development.  In
2002, the Company identified that portion of its IBNR reserves
related to A&E.

Significant uncertainty remains as to the Company's ultimate
liability for asbestos-related claims due to such factors as the
long latency period between asbestos exposure and disease
manifestation and the resulting potential for involvement of
multiple policy periods for individual claims as well as the
increase in the volume of claims made by plaintiffs who claim
exposure but who have no symptoms of asbestos-related disease
and an increase in claims subject to coverages under general
liability policies that do not contain aggregate limits of
liability.  There is also the possibility of federal legislation
that would address the asbestos problem.

Liabilities are recognized for known claims (including the cost
of related litigation) when sufficient information has been
developed to indicate the involvement of a specific insurance
policy, and management can reasonably estimate its liability.  
In addition, liabilities have been established to cover
additional exposures on both known and unasserted claims.  
Developed case law and adequate claim history do not exist for
such claims, especially because significant uncertainty exists
about the outcome of coverage litigation and whether past claim
experience will be representative of future claim experience.  
In 2001 and prior years, environmental and asbestos claims were
aggregated and reviewed with other long-tailed lines of
business.  IBNR reserves were established in the aggregate for
these long-tailed lines.  Subsequent to 2001, asbestos and
environmental reserves were separately analyzed.  Included in
net unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses as of December
31, 2003 and 2002 were IBNR reserves of $6,400,000 and case
reserves of about $1,600,000 for known asbestos-related claims.


ASBESTOS ALERT: ACMAT Corp. Insured Against Employees' Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
ACMAT Corp. reported that in the mid 1970's, its construction
contracting operations became engaged in the removal of asbestos
in addition to its other contracting operations.  Since that
time, it has been engaged in hundreds of contracts involving the
removal of asbestos.  Claims by employees and non-employees
related to asbestos have been made against the Company from time
to time and are pending and there can be no assurance that
additional claims will not be made in the future.  The Company
does not believe that any significant exposure exists relating
to these claims.

The Company believes that it is fully covered by workers'
compensation insurance with respect to any claims by current and
former employees relating to asbestos operations.  The Company
currently obtains its workers' compensation insurance in those
states in which it performs work either from state insurance
funds or one of several insurance companies designated in
accordance with the Assigned Risk Pool.  The amount of workers'
compensation insurance maintained varies from state to state but
is generally greater than the maximum recovery limits
established by law and is not subject to any aggregate policy
limits.  In the past, the Company has received a number of
asbestos-related claims from employees, all of which have been
fully covered by its workers' compensation insurance.  The
Company believes that it is sufficiently insured with respect to
all future claims.

The Company has, together with many other defendants, been named
as a defendant in actions brought by injured or deceased
individuals or their representatives based on product liability
claims relating to materials containing asbestos.  No specific
claims for monetary damages are asserted in these actions.  
Although it is early in the litigation process, the Company does
not believe that its exposure in connection with these cases is
significant.

The Company's exposure to asbestos and environmental liability
claims is primarily limited to asbestos and environmental
liability insurance for contractors and consultants involved in
the remediation, removal, storage, treatment and/or disposal of
environmental and asbestos hazards.


COMPANY PROFILE

ACMAT Corp. (NasdaqNM: ACMTA)
233 Main Street, P.O. Box 2350
New Britain, CT 06050-2350
Phone: 860-229-9000
Fax: 860-229-1111

Employees                  :              25
Revenue                    : $    13,500,000.00
Net Income                 : $     1,500,000.00
(As of September 31, 2003)

Description: ACMAT Corp. provides specialized commercial
insurance and bonding coverage for contractors, architects,
engineers and other professionals in the construction and
environmental fields and other specialty insurance such as
products liability.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Champion Parts Named In Personal Injury Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
In 2003 and certain prior years, Champion Parts Inc. was one of
numerous defendants named in suits for personal injuries caused
by exposure to products containing asbestos.  The Company put
its insurance carriers on notice and its attorneys have filed
answers denying the allegations in the complaints.  The
Company's insurance carriers have agreed to defend the Company
under a reservation of rights.


COMPANY PROFILE

Champion Parts Inc. (OTC BB: CREB)
2005 West Avenue B
Hope, AR 71801
Phone: 870-777-8821
Fax: 870-777-8839
http://www.championparts.net

Employees                  :             471
Revenue                    : $    24,038,000.00
Net Income                 : $     1,130,000.00
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description: Champion Parts Inc. remanufactures and sells
replacement fuel system components (carburetors and diesel fuel
injection components), air conditioning compressors and
constant-velocity drive assemblies for a variety of makes and
models of domestic and foreign automobiles, trucks and marine
applications.  The Company also remanufactures and sells
replacement electrical and mechanical products for certain
passenger car, agricultural, marine and heavy-duty truck
original equipment applications.


ASBESTOS ALERT: FiberMark Inc. Facing Asbestos Lawsuits In MS
-------------------------------------------------------------
During 2003 several class action lawsuits regarding asbestos
were initiated in Mississippi, and have named FiberMark Inc.,
both individually and as successor in interest to Latex Fiber
Industries, Inc., as a plaintiff.  At this time, the list of
plaintiffs is very extensive and the Company does not believe
there will be any liability in connection with these lawsuits.  
However, in accordance with the purchase and sale agreement, the
former owner has agreed to indemnify FiberMark for any asbestos-
related claims.


COMPANY PROFILE

FiberMark Inc. (AMEX: FMK)
161 Wellington Road, P.O. Box 498
Brattleboro, VT 05302
Phone: 802-257-0365
Fax: 802-257-5900
http://www.fibermark.com

Employees                  :           1,853
Revenue                    : $    93,651,000.00
Net Income                 : $   102,937,000.00
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description: FiberMark Inc. is a producer of specialty fiber-
based materials meeting industrial and consumer needs worldwide,
with facilities in the United States and Europe.  Using its
versatile manufacturing capabilities, comprised of papermaking,
synthetic/non-woven web technology, saturating, coating and
other finishing processes, the Company generates products such
as filter media; base materials for specialty tapes, electrical
and graphic arts applications, wall covering and sandpaper, and
covering materials for office and school supplies, book
production/publishing, printing and premium packaging.  
FiberMark manufactures its engineered materials using various
fibers and raw materials, including wood pulp, recovered paper,
cotton, glass, rayon and other synthetic fibers, and typically
sells them in roll or sheet form.  In March 2004, the Company
announced the filing of voluntary petitions for the
reorganization under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.


ASBESTOS ALERT: NYMAGIC Inc. Reserves Affected by Liabilities
-------------------------------------------------------------
NYMAGIC Inc. stated in a recent regulatory filing that the
difficulty in estimating its reserves is increased because its
loss reserves include reserves for potential asbestos and
environmental liabilities.  Asbestos and environmental
liabilities are difficult to estimate for many reasons,
including the long waiting periods between exposure and
manifestation of any bodily injury or property damage,
difficulty in identifying the source of the asbestos or
environmental contamination, long reporting delays and
difficulty in properly allocating liability for the asbestos or
environmental damage.  Legal tactics and judicial and
legislative developments affecting the scope of insurers'
liability, which can be difficult to predict, also contribute to
uncertainties in estimating reserves for asbestos and
environmental liabilities.  The Company's insurance subsidiaries
are required to record an adequate level of reserves necessary
to provide for all known and unknown losses on insurance
business written.


COMPANY PROFILE

NYMAGIC Inc. (NYSE: NYM)
919 Third Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212-551-0600
Fax: 212-986-1310
http://www.nymagic.com

Employees                  :             112
Revenue                    : $   120,800,000.00
Net Income                 : $    17,100,000.00
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description: NYMAGIC Inc. is a holding company that owns and
operates insurance companies, risk-bearing entities and
insurance underwriters and managers.  These are New York Marine
and General Insurance Co., Gotham Insurance Co., MMO UK Ltd.,
MMO EU Ltd., Mutual Marine Office Inc. (MMO), Pacific Mutual
Marine Office Inc. (PMMO) and Mutual Marine Office of the
Midwest Inc.  The Company has specialized in underwriting ocean
marine, inland marine, aircraft and other liability insurance
through insurance pools managed by MMO, PMMO and Midwest.
NYMAGIC has ceased writing any new policies covering aircraft
risks subsequent to March 31, 2002.  In addition to managing the
insurance pools, the Company participates in the risks
underwritten for the pools through New York Marine and Gotham.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Wilson Brothers Sees Potential S Co. Liability
--------------------------------------------------------------
Wilson Brothers USA Inc. reported that two lawsuits have been
filed against S. Co., Inc.  Based on disclosure documents of the
Company, it appears that the Company owned all of the shares of
S Co., Inc. and discontinued its operations and liquidated its
assets in 1961.  The Company has been unable to locate any
records of actual ownership or disposition of the shares of S
Co., Inc. stock.  

S Co. Inc. was included as a defendant in the first lawsuit,
"Anthony Pellegrino v. A.C. and S., Inc. (Armstrong Contracting
& Supply), et al., including S. Co., Inc., F/K/A Scaife Company,
as successor in interest to Rockwell Spring & Axle Company's,
Timken Silent Automatic Division," in the second amended
complaint filed with respect thereto in the Supreme Court of the
State of New York, County of Orange, on December 10, 2003; and
was included as a defendant in the second lawusuit, "James P.
Petreikis & Jane L. Petreikis v. A.C.&S., et al., including S.
Co., Inc., as successor in interest to Timken-Detroit Axle
Company," in the second amended complaint filed with respect
thereto in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of
Onondaga, on January 13, 2003.  Both cases are multi-defendant
personal injury actions alleging damages in excess of
$10,000,000 due to alleged asbestos exposure.  Wilson Brothers
USA Inc. is not named in either litigation.  As of June 16,
2003, default judgment on the issue of liability was entered
against S. Co. in the Pellegrino litigation.  As of June 16,
2003, in the Petreikis litigation, plaintiff had given notice
that it will seek entry of default against S. Co.  No liability
has been recorded on the consolidated balance sheet at December
31, 2003, for either of these lawsuits.


COMPANY PROFILE

Wilson Brothers USA Inc. (OTC BB: WLBR)
24 Gadsden Street, Suite C
Charleston, SC 29401
Phone: 843-723-8684
http://www.wilsonbrothersusa.com

Employees                  :             230
Revenue                    : $    23,093,000.00
Net Income                 : $     2,544,000.00
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description: Wilson Brothers USA Inc. is a holding company whose
business is primarily conducted through its two 100% owned
subsidiaries, Houze Glass Corp. and Numo Manufacturing Inc.  
Houze Glass Corp., located in Point Marion, PA, specializes in
the decoration of glass and ceramic items.  Numo Manufacturing
Inc., located in Mesquite, TX, specializes in decorating
beverage holders, aprons, tote bags, mouse pads, bank bags, and
plastic sports bottles.  Products are distributed throughout the
United States through sales representatives.  All decorated
items are used in specialty advertising, souvenirs and retail
trade.

                   New Securities Fraud Cases    

CANADIAN IMPERIAL: Schiffrin & Barroway Files NY Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of purchasers of the securities
of the MFS family of mutual funds (the "MFS Mutual Funds"),
including, but not limited to MFS Capital Opportunities Fund
(Nasdaq: MCOFX), (Nasdaq: MCOBX), (Nasdaq: MCOCX), (Nasdaq:
MFCRX), (Nasdaq: MCOTX), (Nasdaq: EACOX), (Nasdaq: EBCOX),
(Nasdaq: ECCOX); MFS Core Growth Fund (Nasdaq: MFCAX), (Nasdaq:
MFCBX), (Nasdaq: MFCCX), (Nasdaq: MCFRX), (Nasdaq: MCRRX); MFS
Emerging Growth Fund (Nasdaq: MEGRX), (Nasdaq: MEGBX), (Nasdaq:
MFECX), (Nasdaq: MFERX), (Nasdaq: MEGRX), (Nasdaq: EAGRX),
(Nasdaq: EBEGX), (Nasdaq: ECEGX); and MFS Growth Opportunities
Fund (Nasdaq: MGOFX), (Nasdaq: MGOBX), between January 1, 2001
and September 30, 2003, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The following MFS Mutual Funds are subject to this lawsuit:
     
     (1) MFS Capital Opportunities Fund (Sym: MCOFX, MCOBX,
         MCOCX, MFCRX, MCOTX, EACOX, EBCOX, ECCOX, MCOIX)
    
     (2) MFS Core Growth Fund (Sym: MFCAX, MFCBX, MFCCX, MCFRX,
         MCRRX, MFCIX)
    
     (3) MFS Emerging Growth Fund (Sym: MEGRX, MEGBX, MFECX,
         MFERX, MEGRX, EAGRX, EBEGX, ECEGX, MFEGX, MFEIX)
    
     (4) MFS Growth Opportunities Fund (Sym: MGOFX, MGOBX
    
     (5) MFS Large Cap Growth Fund (Sym: MCGAX, MCGBX)
    
     (6) MFS Managed Sectors Fund (Sym: MMNSX, MSEBX, MMNCX)
    
     (7) MFS Mid Cap Growth Fund (Sym: OTCAX, OTCBX, OTCCX,
         MMCRX, MCPRX, EAMCX, EBCGX, ECGRX, OTCIX)
    
     (8) MFS New Discovery Fund (Sym: MNDAX, MNDBX, MNDCX,
         MFNRX, MNDRX, EANDX, EBNDX, ECNDX, MNDIX)
    
     (9) MFS New Endeavor Fund (Sym: MECAX, MECBX, MECCX, MNERX,
         MENRX, MECIX)
    
    (10) MFS Research Fund  (Sym: MFRFX, MFRBX, MFRCX, MFRRX,
         MSRRX, EARFX, EBRFX, ECRFX)
    
    (11) MFS Strategic Growth Fund (Sym: MFSGX, MSBGX, MFGCX,
         MSGRX, MSTRX, EASGX, EBSGX, ECSGX, MSGIX)
    
    (12) MFS Technology Fund (Sym: MTCAX, MTCBX, MTCCX, MTQRX,
         MTERX, MTCIX)
    
    (13) Massachusetts Investors Growth Stock (Sym: MIGFX,
         MIGBX, MIGDX, MIGRX, MIRGX, EISTX, EMIVX, EMICX, MGTIX)
    
    (14) MFS Mid Cap Value Fund (Sym: MVCAX, MCBVX, MVCCX,
         MMVRX, MCVRX, EACVX, EBCVX, ECCVX, MCVIX)
    
    (15) MFS Research Growth and Income Fund (Sym: MRGAX, MRGBX,
         MRGCX, MGIRX, RERX, MRGRX)
    
    (16) MFS Strategic Value Fund (Sym: MSVTX, MSVCX, MQSVX,
         MSVRX, MVSRX, EASVX, EBSVX, ECSVX, MSVLX, MISVX)
    
    (17) MFS Total Return Fund (Sym: MSFRX, MTRBX, MTRCX, MFTRX,
         MTRRX, EATRX, EBTRX, ECTRX, MTRIX)
    
    (18) MFS Union Standard Equity Fund (Sym: MUEAX, MUSBX,
         MUECX, MUSEX)
    
    (19) MFS Utilities Fund (Sym: MMUFX, MMUBX, MMUCX, MMURX,
         MURRX, MMUIX)
    
    (20) MFS Value Fund (Sym: MEIAX, MFEBX, MEICX, MFVRX, MVRRX,
         EAVLX, EBVLX, ECVLX, MEIIX)
    
    (21) Massachusetts Investors Trust (Sym: MITTX, MITBX,
         MITCX, MITRX, MIRTX, EAMTX, EBMTX, ECITX, MITIX)
    
    (22) MFS Aggressive Growth Allocation Fund (Sym: MAAGX,
         MBAGX, MCAGX, MAARX, MAWAX, EAGTX, EBAAX, ECAAX, MIAGX)
    
    (23) MFS Conservative Allocation Fund (Sym: MACFX, MACBX,
         MACVX, MACRX, MCARX, ECLAX, EBCAX, ECACX, MACIX)
    
    (24) MFS Growth Allocation Fund (Sym: MAGWX, MBGWX, MCGWX,
         MGARX, MGALX, EAGWX, EBGWX, ECGWX, MGWIX)

    (25) MFS Moderate Allocation Fund (Sym: MAMAX, MMABX, MMACX,
         MAMRX, MARRX, MAMDX, EBMDX, ECMAX, MMAIX)
    
    (26) MFS Bond Fund (Sym: MFBFX, MFBBX, MFBCX, MFBRX, MBRRX,
         EABDX, EBBDX, ECBDX, MBDIX)
    
    (27) MFS Emerging Markets Debt Fund (Sym: MEDAX, MEDBX,
         MEDCX, MEDIX)
    
    (28) MFS Government Limited Maturity Fund (Sym: MGLFX,
         MGLBX, MGLCX)
    
    (29) MFS Government Mortgage Fund (Sym: MGMTX, MGTBX, MGMIX)
    
    (30) MFS Government Securities Fund (Sym: MFGSX, MFGBX,
         MFGDX, MGSRX, MGVSX, EAGSX, EBGSX, ECGSX)
    
    (31) MFS High Income Fund (Sym: MHITX, MHIBX, MHICX, EAHIX,
         EMHBX, EMHCX, MHIIX, MHIRX)
    
    (32) MFS High Yield Opportunities Fund (Sym: MHOAX, MHOBX,
         MHOCX, MHOIX)
    
    (33) MFS Intermediate Investment Grade Bond Fund (Sym:
         MGBFX, MGBVX, MGBCX, MGBEX, MIBRX)
    
    (34) MFS Limited Maturity Fund (Sym: MQLFX, MQLBX, MQLCX,
         EALMX, EBLMX, ELDCX, MLDRX)
    
    (35) MFS Research Bond Fund (Sym: MRBFX, MRBBX, MRBCX,
         EARBX, EBRBX, ECRBX, MRBIX, MRBRX)
    
    (36) MFS Strategic Income Fund (Sym: MFIOX, MIOBX, MIOCX,
         MFIIX)
    
    (37) MFS Alabama Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MFALX, MBABX)
    
    (38) MFS Arkansas Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MFARX, MBARX)
    
    (39) MFS California Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MCFTX, MBCAX,
         MCCAX)
    
    (40) MFS Florida Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MFFLX, MBFLX)
    
    (41) MFS Georgia Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MMGAX, MBGAX)
    
    (42) MFS Maryland Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MFSMX, MBMDX)
    
    (43) MFS Massachusetts Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MFSSX,
         MBMAX)
    
    (44) MFS Mississippi Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MISSX, MBMSX)
    
    (45) MFS Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MMBFX, MMBBX)
    
    (46) MFS Municipal Limited Maturity Fund (Sym: MTLFX, MTLBX,
         MTLCX)
    
    (47) MFS New York Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MSNYX, MBNYX,
         MCNYX)
    
    (48) MFS North Carolina Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MSNCX,
         MBNCX, MCNCX)
    
    (49) MFS Pennsylvania Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MFPAX,
         MBPAX)
    
    (50) MFS South Carolina Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MFSCX,
         MBSCX)
    
    (51) MFS Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MSTNX, MBTNX)
    
    (52) MFS Virginia Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MSVAX, MBVAX,
         MVACX)
    
    (53) MFS West Virginia Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: MFWVX,
         MBWVX)
    
    (54) MFS Emerging Markets Equity Fund (Sym: MEMAX, MEMCX,
         MEMIX, MEMBX)
    
    (55) MFS Global Equity Fund (Sym: MWEFX, MWEBX, MWECX,
         MWEIX, MGERX)
    
    (56) MFS Global Growth Fund (Sym: MWOFX, MWOBX, MWOCX,
         MWOIX, MGLRX)
    
    (57) MFS Global Total Return Fund (Sym: MFWTX, MFWBX, MFWCX,
         MFWIX, MGRRX)
    
    (58) MFS International Growth Fund (Sym: MGRAX, MGRBX,
         MGRCX, MQGIX)

    (59) MFS International New Discovery Fund (Sym: MIDAX,
         MIDBX, MIDCX, EAIDX, EBIDX, ECIDX, MWNIX, MINRX)

    (60) MFS International Value Fund (Sym: MGIAX, MGIBX, MGICX,
         MINIX)
    
    (61) MFS Research International Fund (Sym: MRSAX, MRIBX,
         MRICX, EARSX, EBRIX, ECRIX, MRSIX, MRIRX)

The Complaint alleges that defendants, Canadian Imperial Bank
("CIBC"), Canadian Imperial Holdings, Inc. ("CIHI"), and Paul A.
Flynn ("Flynn") violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.

More specifically, this action concerns a fraudulent scheme and
course of action which was intended to and indeed did benefit
the defendants at the expense of the MFS Mutual Fund investors.
In connection therewith, defendants violated their fiduciary
duties to their customers in return for substantial fees and
other income for themselves and their affiliates.

From 2001 to 2003, defendant Flynn, while employed as a Managing
Director of Equity Investments at CIBC, substantially assisted
STC and the Hedge Funds in engaging in late trading and
deceptive market timing. Defendant Flynn knew or was reckless in
not knowing that the Hedge Funds were engaging in late trading
and deceptive market timing. Defendant Flynn arranged for the
Hedge Funds to receive financing from a CIBC affiliate, CIHI.
Defendant Flynn negotiated and structured swaps and loan
agreements that provided the Hedge Funds with leverage of at
least 3:1 to trade in mutual fund shares.

Defendant Flynn used his position at CIBC to arrange financing
for illegal late trading and deceptive market timing of mutual
funds by two hedge funds, Samaritan and Canary. The Hedge Funds'
trades were placed through Security Trust Company, N.A. ("STC"),
which disguised the hedge fund orders as being those of
retirement and pension plans when placing them with mutual
funds.

The effect of the disguise was to allow the Hedge Funds to
engage both in illegal late trading and in market timing of the
mutual funds, and to thwart them from enforcing their anti-
timing rules. Mutual funds that were illegally traded using
defendant Flynn's financing include MFS' Emerging Growth Fund
and Artisan International Fund.

Moreover, in furtherance of arranging CIBC's financing,
defendant Flynn wrote a memorandum explaining how the scheme
works. As to late trading, after noting that trades could be
submitted up until midnight, he wrote: "A pricing list is
prepared by the company and submitted to our clients who are
then able to run their timing models against actual closing
prices instead of the previous day before they submit trades.
Standard platforms require trades to be into [sic] before 4:00
p.m. submitted by specific account number and broker reference."
As to timing, the complaint quotes Flynn's memo in describing
how STC disguised the trades of the Hedge Funds (CIBC's clients)
"to reduce the chance that they would appear to be timing a
specific mutual fund."

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


CANADIAN SUPERIOR: Schoengold & Sporn Lodges Stock Lawsuit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Schoengold & Sporn, P.C. initiated a securities class action
against Canadian Superior Energy, Inc. (AMEX: SNG) and certain
key officers in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all purchasers of
Canadian Superior securities during the period between November
17, 2003 and March 11, 2004.

The Complaint alleges that Canadian Superior Energy, Inc., Greg
Noval and Michael Coolen violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations
about the Company's business, operating performance and
financial results, which failed to disclose and /or
misrepresented the following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that the defendants knew or were reckless in not
         knowing that the "Mariner/ I-85 well" was for all
         meaningful operating purposes dry;

     (2) that the costs associated with testing and drilling at
         the well were exceeding the projected costs;

     (3) that a significant gas reservoir to support a
         commercial project did not exist.

As a result of the foregoing, the defendants' positive
statements only served to artificially inflate the Company's
stock price.

On March 11, 2004, Canadian Superior shocked the market when it
announced that the Company had halted operations at the El Paso
Mariner / I-85 well located off the coast of Nova Scotia.
Following this announcement, Canadian Superior common stock
plummeted to $1.80 per share -- dropping 44.44%, or $1.44 -- on
extremely high trading volume.

For more details, contact Schoengold & Sporn by Phone:
(866) 348-7700 by E-mail: shareholderrelations@spornlaw.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.spornlaw.com.


CHINA LIFE: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Federman & Sherwood lodged a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York against China Life Insurance Company Limited (NYSE: LFC).
The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
including allegations of dramatically overstating revenues and
concealing China Life Insurance Company Limited's true
prospects.

The lawsuit further alleges that defendants violated Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5, thereby issuing a series of material misrepresentations
to the market. The class period is from December 22, 2003
through February 3, 2004.

For more details, contact William B. Federman by Mail: FEDERMAN
& SHERWOOD, 120 N. Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
by Phone: (405) 235-1560 by Fax: (405) 239-2112 or by E-mail:
wfederman@aol.com.


EMCOR GROUP: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CT
----------------------------------------------------------------
Federman & Sherwood lodges securities class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Connecticut against
EMCOR Group, Inc. (NYSE: EME).  The complaint alleges violations
of federal securities laws, including allegations of
dramatically overstating revenues and concealing EMCOR Group,
Inc.'s true prospects.

The lawsuit further alleges that defendants violated Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5, thereby issuing a series of material misrepresentations
to the market.  The class period is from April 9, 2003 through
October 2, 2003.

For more details, contact William B. Federman by Mail: FEDERMAN
& SHERWOOD, 120 N. Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
by Phone: (405) 235-1560 by Fax: (405) 239-2112 or by e-mail:
wfederman@aol.com


EMCOR GROUP: Chitwood & Harley Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CT
--------------------------------------------------------------
Chitwood & Harley initiated a securities class action on behalf
of purchasers of securities of EMCOR Group, Inc. (NYSE:EME)
between and including April 9, 2003 and October 2, 2003 in the
United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.  
The suit names as defendants the Company and the following
officers of the Company:

     (1) Frank MacInnis,

     (2) Leicle Chesser and

     (3) Mark Pompa

The Complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, Defendants
violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934, and Rule 10b- 5 promulgated thereunder, by issuing a
series of false and misleading statements regarding the
financial condition of EMCOR and the Company's ability to earn
profits in 2003.

The Complaint specifically alleges that, throughout the Class
Period, Defendants concealed from investors that, as a result of
a fundamental shift in EMCOR's business to less profitable
public sector and quasi-public sector construction, as well as
facilities management, the Company would not be able to meet its
earnings projections for 2003 absent a significant and
expeditious increase in private sector construction revenues in
the form of smaller, short-term projects generating revenues of
less than $250,000, which EMCOR is heavily dependent upon to
earn profits, and an immediate accretion to its contract backlog
in the form of larger, more profitable private sector
construction projects.

Throughout the Class Period, the Complaint alleges, Defendants
knew that EMCOR had no reasonable expectation of obtaining such
an increase in private sector business but, nevertheless,
continued to assure the investing public of its ability to earn
significant profits in 2003. On July 24, 2003, Defendants were
forced to admit that, for the second quarter of 2003, although
EMCOR had met its revenue expectations, it had performed
abysmally in terms of earnings and that full-year 2003 results
would fall short of expectations. In response to this news, the
price of the Company's common stock fell more than 17% in value
on unusually high trading volume.

Nevertheless, the Complaint pleads, Defendants continued to
offer materially false information to the investing public
regarding EMCOR's ability to earn profits in 2003 and sought to
diminish the importance of its poor earnings performance by
attributing that poor performance to exceptional circumstances
that would not be recurring in nature.

On October 2, 2003, Defendants again shocked the market by
slashing its earnings guidance for 2003 by approximately 50% of
the previously reduced earnings guidance provided on July 24,
2003. The market reacted swiftly to this devastating news --
with shares of EMCOR falling another 20% in value on unusually
high trading volume.

In a conference call on October 3, 2003, Defendants were forced
to admit that their prior earnings guidance had been predicated
upon a hope for improved private sector construction spending --
even though Defendants previously had assured the market during
the Class Period that their earnings guidance was not based upon
any such assumptions.

For more details, contact Nichole T. Browning by Phone:
1-888-873-3999, ext. 4873 (toll-free) by E-mail:
ntb@classlaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.classlaw.com(click on "EMCOR.")  


MASTEC INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in FL
--------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida on behalf of purchasers of the securities of MasTec,
Inc. (NYSE: MTZ) between May 13, 2003 and April 12, 2004,
inclusive.

The complaint charges MasTec, Austin Shanfelter, and Donald
Weinstein with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  The Complaint alleges that defendants made material
misstatements with respect to the Company's financial results.

More specifically, the Complaint alleges that defendants failed
to disclose and indicate the following:

     (1) that the Company was materially inflating its financial
         results;

     (2) that the Company was prematurely recognizing revenue on
         various contracts;

     (3) that the Company's practice of improperly recognizing
         revenue was in violation of Generally Accepted
         Accounting Principles (GAAP);

     (4) that the Company overstated its inventory;

     (5) that the Company failed to have adequate reserves for
         bad debts, inventory, cost overruns, and projected
         losses on certain projects; and

     (6) as a result, the Company's financial results were
         materially inflated at all relevant times.

The truth about the Company's inflated financial results began
to emerge on March 10, 2004, when MasTec announced that the
filing of its 10-K would be delayed past the March 15th
deadline. On news of this shares of MasTec fell $2.00 per share
or 16.75 percent on March 10, 2004 to close at $9.94 per share.
On March 18, 2004, MasTec further declined $2.31 per share, or
23 percent, to close at $7.75 per share when Standard & Poor's
Rating Services put the Company's BB credit rating on watch for
a downgrade.

Then on April 13, 2004, MasTec announced its 2003 operating
results and disclosed material problems that may result in a
restatement of its previously announced financial results. More
specifically, the Company announced a net loss of $39.7 million
($0.83 per share) on revenue of $873.9 million for the year.

Additionally, the Company disclosed that during its review and
analysis of the Company's annual results, MasTec's management
identified a number of matters that impacted current and prior-
period operating results. These included additional reserves for
bad debts and inventory, cost overruns and projected losses on
certain projects, valuation reserves for state deferred tax
assets, revenues recognized on various contracts, work in
progress and inventory overstatements at a Canadian subsidiary,
the closing of Brazilian operations, the accrual for certain
insurance reserves which was complicated by the receivership of
a prior insurance carrier, and other items. Defendants concluded
that these matters required a detailed analysis and evaluation
to determine the appropriate accounting treatment. Some of these
issues may require restatements of amounts previously reported.

News of this shocked the market. Shares of MasTec's stock price
dropped $1.50 per share, or 15.5 percent, on April 13, 2004 on
unusually large trading volumes.

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


MCDONALD'S CORPORATION: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Stock Suit in IL
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois on behalf of all persons who
purchased the publicly traded securities of McDonald's
Corporation (NYSE: MCD) from December 14, 2001 through January
22, 2003 inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that McDonald's and certain of its
officers and directors issued materially false and misleading
statements during the Class Period concerning McDonald's
business condition. Specifically, defendants failed to disclose
that hundreds of restaurants were underperforming and that
McDonald's had incurred hundreds of millions of dollars in
unrecorded asset impairment and other charges.

For more details, contact Schatz & Nobel by Phone:
(800) 797-5499, by E-mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.snlaw.net.  


NDCHEALTH CORPORATION: Federman & Sherwood Lodges GA Stock Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Federman & Sherwood lodges a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia against NDCHealth Corporation (NYSE: NDC).  The
complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
including allegations of dramatically overstating revenues and
concealing NDCHealth Corporation's true prospects.

The lawsuit further alleges that defendants violated Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5, thereby issuing a series of material misrepresentations
to the market. The class period is from October 1, 2003 through
March 31, 2004.

For more details, contact William B. Federman by Mail: FEDERMAN
& SHERWOOD, 120 N. Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
by Phone: (405) 235-1560 by Fax: (405) 239-2112 or by E-mail:
wfederman@aol.com.


NOKIA OYJ: Wechsler Harwood Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Wechsler Harwood LLP initiated a securities class action filed
on behalf of persons or entities who purchased or otherwise
acquired the securities of Nokia OYJ (Nokia Corp.) (NYSE:NOK)
between January 8, 2004 and April 6, 2004, both dates inclusive.

The action, entitled Chu v. Nokia Corp, et al., Case No. not yet
assigned, is pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York and names as defendants, the
company, its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jorma Ollila,
its President, Pekka Ala-Pietila, its Chief Financial Officer
and Vice President, Richard Simonson, and its Executive Vice
President and Chief Strategy Officer, Matti Alahuhta.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  More specifically, the complaint
alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants issued
numerous statements to the market concerning the Company's
financial results, which failed to disclose and/or
misrepresented the following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that the Company's market share for its handsets was
         eroding;

     (2) that this was due to its failure to introduce
         attractive handsets (a GSM clamshell model) in key
         middle-markets such as the United States, Asia, and
         Europe;

     (3) that sales of networking equipment were worse than
         expected due to market erosion of Nokia's products;

     (4) that the Company's new reorganization to four operating
         divisions did not energize the Company but rather
         reduced responsiveness to its business problems and
         caused the Company to experience operational
         effectiveness; and

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

On April 6, 2004, Nokia announced that its first quarter 2004
net sales would be below guidance. Nokia's net sales for the
first quarter 2004 were estimated to be EUR 6.6 billion,
representing a decline of 2% compared to the first quarter 2003
(vs. guidance of up 3-7%).

News of this shocked the market. Shares of Nokia on the NYSE
fell 18.6%, or $3.94 per share, to close at $17.21 per share,
down nearly 27% from their 52-week high of $23.52 per share in
early March 2004. Additionally, shares of Nokia on the Helsinki
exchange dropped 17.1% to 14.38 euros ($17.39).

For more details, contact Craig Lowther by Mail: 488 Madison
Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, New York 10022 by Phone:
(877) 935-7400 and by E-mail: clowther@whesq.com.


QUOVADX INC.: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in CO Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Federman & Sherwood lodged a securities class action in the
District of Colorado against Quovadx, Inc. (Nasdaq: QVDX).  he
complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
including allegations of dramatically overstating revenues and
concealing Quovadx, Inc.'s true prospects.  

The lawsuit further alleges that defendants violated Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5, thereby issuing a series of material misrepresentations
to the market.  The class period is from October 18, 2003
through March 15, 2004.

For more details, contact William B. Federman by Mail: FEDERMAN
& SHERWOOD, 120 N. Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
by Phone: (405) 235-1560 by Fax: (405) 239-2112 or by E-mail:
wfederman@aol.com


TITAN CORPORATION: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Federman & Sherwood lodges a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
California against The Titan Corporation (NYSE: TTN).

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
including allegations of dramatically overstating revenues and
concealing The Titan Corporation's true prospects.  The lawsuit
further alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5,
thereby issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the
market.  The class period is from July 24, 2003 through March
22, 2004.

For more details, contact William B. Federman by Mail: FEDERMAN
& SHERWOOD, 120 N. Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
by Phone: (405) 235-1560 by Fax: (405) 239-2112 or by e-mail:
wfederman@aol.com


UNIVERSAL HEALTH: Federman & Sherwood Lodges PA Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Federman & Sherwood filed a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania against Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE:
UHS).  The complaint alleges violations of federal securities
laws, including allegations of dramatically overstating revenues
and concealing Universal Health Services, Inc.'s true prospects.

The lawsuit further alleges that defendants violated Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5, thereby issuing a series of material misrepresentations
to the market. The class period is from July 21, 2003 through
February 27, 2004.

For more details, contact William B. Federman by Mail: FEDERMAN
& SHERWOOD, 120 N. Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
by Phone: 405-235-1560 by Fax: 405-239-2112 or by E-mail:
wfederman@aol.com


VASO ACTIVE: Shapiro Haber Lodges Securities Lawsuit in MA Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts against Vaso Active Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and two
of its officers on behalf of all persons who purchased common
stock of Vaso Active (NASDAQ: VAPH) during the period from
December 11, 2003 through March 31, 2004.

The complaint alleges that the defendants violated section 10(b)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("the Exchange Act"), and
Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and Section 20(a) of the
Exchange Act, made false and misleading statements regarding
certain of its products.

As alleged in the Complaint, Defendants materially
misrepresented that "independent" clinical trials confirmed that
its primary product was a "remarkably effective cure" for
athlete's foot.  On April 1, 2004, the SEC suspended trading in
Vaso Active stock because of questions regarding the accuracy of
assertions by defendants in press releases, its annual report,
its registration statement and public statements to investors
concerning, among other things, FDA approval of certain key
products, and the regulatory consequences of the future
application of its primary product.

Plaintiff alleges that defendants engaged in this fraudulent
scheme to deceive the investing public regarding Vaso Active'
business, operations, management and the intrinsic value of Vaso
Active common stock in order to allow the Company to complete a
stock offering worth over $8 million and a private placement
with an institutional investor for $7.5 million by causing
Plaintiff and other Class members to purchase Vaso Active common
stock at artificially inflated prices.

For more details, contact Ted Hess-Mahan, Esq. or Alyssa
Petroff, paralegal, by Mail: Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP, 75 State
Street, Boston, MA 02109, by Phone: (800) 287-8119 by Fax:
(617) 439-0134, or by E-mail: cases@shulaw.com.   


VASO ACTIVE: Federman & Sherwood Files Securities Lawsuit in MA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Federman & Sherwood lodges securities class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against
Vaso Active Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: VAPH).  The complaint
alleges violations of federal securities laws, including
allegations of dramatically overstating revenues and concealing
Vaso Active Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s true prospects.

The lawsuit further alleges that defendants violated Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5, thereby issuing a series of material misrepresentations
to the market. The class period is from December 11, 2003
through March 31, 2004.

For more details, contact William B. Federman by Mail: FEDERMAN
& SHERWOOD, 120 N. Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
by Phone: (405) 235-1560 by Fax: (405) 239-2112 or by E-mail:
wfederman@aol.com


VERDISYS INC.: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in S.D. TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
Federman & Sherwood lodged a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
against Verdisys, Inc.  The complaint alleges violations of
federal securities laws, including allegations of dramatically
overstating revenues and concealing Verdisys, Inc.'s true
prospects.

The lawsuit further alleges that defendants violated Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5, thereby issuing a series of material misrepresentations
to the market. The class period is from August 20, 2003 through
March 9, 2004.

For more details, contact William B. Federman by Mail: FEDERMAN
& SHERWOOD, 120 N. Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
by Phone: 405-235-1560 by Fax: 405-239-2112 or by E-mail:
wfederman@aol.com


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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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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 Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Roberto Amor, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick,
Editors.

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

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