CAR_Public/040903.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, September 3, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 175

                          Headlines

AVALONBAY COMMUNITIES: Plaintiffs Commence Amended Fraud Lawsuit
BOSTON BILLOWS: Recalls 8T Pillows Due To Suffocation Hazard
CALIFORNIA: ACLU Lodges Lawsuit Over Treatment of Pregnant Teens
CARNECO FOODS: Recalls Ground Beef Due To E. Coli Contamination
CENTENNIAL COMMUNICATIONS: LA Court Mulls Lawsuit Certification

CHEVRONTEXACO: Public Hearing Begins in Ecuador Pollution Suit
CONAGRA FOODS: Recalls Chicken Strips Containing Metal Pieces
CREE INC.: NC Judge Dismisses Shareholder Suit, Deemed Deficient
DANDEE FOODS: Recalls Sandwiches Due To Listeria Contamination
E.I. DUPONT: Lawyers in C8 Trial Given More Time For Depositions

ENRON BROADBAND: Ex-CFO Pays $3.2M To Settle SEC Fraud Complaint
HI-GRADE MEATS: Recalls Hot Dogs Due To Listeria Contamination
LOUDEYE CORPORATION: Asks NY Court To Approve Lawsuit Settlement
NESTLE PREPARED: Recalls Contaminated Imported Chicken Pot Pie
NEW JERSEY: PSE&G Settles Gas Suit, Installs Safety Enhancements

NTL INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
OHIO: State Court Verdict Could Grant Inmates Parole Hearings
OKLAHOMA: Department Ordered To Halt Sale of Indian Oil Lands
OPPENHEIMERFUNDS INC.: Investor Files NY Suit, Claims Secret Fee
ORACLE CORPORATION: Appeals Court Reinstates Shareholder's Suit

PENNSYLVANIA: University Wraps Up Legal Battle Over Gay Benefits
PHILIP MORRIS: Seeks Disqualification of IL Law Firm From Case
PIZZA HUT: Driver Files CA Suit Over Delivery Reimbursement Fees
QUANTUM FOODS: Recalls Frozen Beef Due To E. Coli Contamination
REGAL LAGER: Recalls 11.5T Attachments Due To Injury Hazard

STATE FARM: MN Attorney General Intervenes in Surcharge Lawsuit
STATION CASINOS: Reaches $5.2M Settlement For NV Surcharge Suit
STEVEN MADDEN: NY Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement
THERALINE INC.: Recalls 1T Pillows Due To Suffocation Hazard
WEIDER NUTRITION: Consumers Launch Health Products Lawsuit in NJ

UNITED STATES: Court Affirms Class Status in RICO Suit V. HMOs
ZEMCO INDUSTRIES: Recalls Cooked Ham For Listeria Contamination

                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Maritime Injury Suits Take a Different Turn
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Officials Decry TN School Renovation Cost
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: All First Choice Starts Asbestos Inspection
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Waseda U Hosting Global Asbestos Congress
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Medical Fraud Revelation Could Push Reforms

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio Asbestos Legislation Blocked by FELA
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wife of Dead Worker Sues Harland & Wolff
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WA Building Put On Hold Because of Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hospital Asbestos Blamed for Worker's Death
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Exposure Found in El Dorado Pets

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL County Settles Property Owners Lawsuit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NZ Panel To Appeal NZD100T Award To Welder
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ameren Corporation Deal Faces Setback
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Plainville CT Faces Costly Asbestos Removal
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Velosward Builders Fined for Unsafe Removal

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos-laden Pipe Uncovered in SOU
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Landfill Signboard Worries Ohio Residents
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Britannia Theatre Fire Exposes Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Australian Council Boycotts James Hardie
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W.R. Grace Shares Rise on Settlement Hopes

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Stops "Wet Removal" of Asbestos in MO
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: New UK Asbestos Regulations Takes Effect
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal Asbestos Trust Fund in The Works
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Probe Into Australian School Closure Urged
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Canada Blocks White Asbestos PIC Addition

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AFL League Refuses To Publish Asbestos Ad
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Zevon's Son Spokesperson for Asbestos Group
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NSW Premier Pressured to Reject Hardie Plan
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Removal Forces ANZ Bank To Close
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dutch Treaty Considered for Hardie Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Landfills Unwilling to Take Asbestos Debris
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: G-I Holdings, Others May Be Sued For Fraud
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Garlock Inc. Case Remanded in Kentucky
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Manville, Travelers Settle Direct Actions
ASBESTOS ALERT: Keystone Accused DC Health Official Of Extortion

ASBESTOS ALERT: Viad Corp. Preempted from Asbestos Claims
ASBESTOS ALERT: Asahi Glass Fined GBP3,000 for Asbestos Exposure


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

DECODE GENETICS: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY


                            *********


AVALONBAY COMMUNITIES: Plaintiffs Commence Amended Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed an amended class action against AvalonBay
Communities, Inc. in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in
California, styled "Julie E. Ko v. AvalonBay Communities, Inc.
and Does 1 through 100."

The suit purports to be brought on behalf of all of the
Company's former California residents who, during the four-year
period prior to the filing of the suit, paid a security deposit
to the Company for the rental of residential property in
California and had a portion of the deposit withheld by the
Company in excess of the damages actually sustained by the
Company.  The plaintiff seeks compensatory and statutory damages
in unspecified amounts as well as injunctive relief,
restitution, and an award of attorneys' fees, expenses and costs
of suit.


BOSTON BILLOWS: Recalls 8T Pillows Due To Suffocation Hazard
------------------------------------------------------------
Boston Billows Inc., of Nashua, New Hampshire is cooperating
with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission by
voluntarily recalling about 8,000 Boston Billows Nursing
Pillows.

If infants are placed on these pillows and left unattended,
there is a risk of suffocation. Infant pillows and cushions are
banned under the Federal law. Infant pillows have a flexible
fabric covering, are loosely filled with plastic beads, easily
flattened, intended for use by infants under 1 year old, and
capable of conforming to the body or face of an infant. No
incidents or injuries have been reported.

The "C"-shaped pillows are about 36-inches long, 10-inches wide
and 5-inches deep. There is a 100 percent cotton hypoallergenic
cover of various colors and prints over the white pillow. The
outer cover is removable. The whole pillow is washable. The
fabric tag on the pillow reads, "Boston Billows, Inc."

Manufactured in the U.S.A. with materials of American and
Filipino origins, the pillows were sold at hospitals and
independent specialty stores from February 2000 through December
2003 for between $34 and $38.

Consumers should stop using these pillows immediately and
contact the firm for information on receiving a refund.

Consumer Contact: Consumers can contact the Boston Billows Inc.
at (877) 274-4606 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through
Friday.


CALIFORNIA: ACLU Lodges Lawsuit Over Treatment of Pregnant Teens
----------------------------------------------------------------
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a federal
lawsuit seeking class action status in California on behalf of
teenagers who are pregnant or have children alleging violations
of the federal Title IX statute, which bars sex discrimination
in school; the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection and due
process clauses and protections guaranteed in the state
constitution, the Associated Press reports.

The suit claims that the Antelope Valley Union High School
District and Los Angeles County Office of Education have
violated federal and state law. The suit further claims teens
were denied support under the California School Age Families
Education Program, or Cal-SAFE, which provides that pregnant
girls and teen parents can receive support services such as
childcare and parenting skills classes and that the teens were
only provided such services if they agreed to leave their
regular schools to attend alternative education centers where
they worked independently with little or no instruction.

According to the suit, which seeks a court injunction to end the
alleged discrimination, the program they entered is "little more
than a study hall" and that the Cal-SAFE classroom at Antelope
Valley High School did not offer college preparatory, foreign
language or honors courses.

The ACLU sued on behalf of two teenagers, identified only as
Cecilia G., a 15-year-old student at Antelope Valley High School
who has a 1-year-old child, and Keyana M., 17. She is the mother
of a 9-month-old baby and is a special education high school
student in Los Angeles County.

Commenting on the suit, Nancy Solomon, senior staff attorney at
the California Women's Law Center said, "In California, about
60,000 teens give birth each year. Teen childbearing generally
leads to poor life outcomes for both mother and child.
Completing high school is the first step in breaking this cycle
and this lawsuit should be a wake-up call to school districts
that they cannot deny pregnant and parenting students their
rights without consequences."


CARNECO FOODS: Recalls Ground Beef Due To E. Coli Contamination
---------------------------------------------------------------
Carneco Foods, LLC, a Columbus, Nebraska, firm, is voluntarily
recalling approximately 497,000 pounds of frozen ground beef and
beef patties that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The recall was prompted by epidemiological evidence related to
illnesses linked to consumption of a product produced by this
establishment on June 21. FSIS continues to work with state and
federal partners on this investigation.

Products subject to recall include:

     (1) Six pound bags of "NORTHERN PLAINS BEEF SIRLOIN AND
         BEEF PATTIES, 85/15" with a packaging code 17304. The
         products subject to recall are also marked with "Best
         by 12/18/04."

     (2) Ten pound boxes of "NORTHERN PLAINS GOURMET BEEF
         PATTIES" with a packaging code 17304. The products
         subject to recall are also marked with "Best by
         12/18/04."

     (3) Eight and ten pound boxes and chubs of "FINE GROUND
         BEEF 91/09" marked with "Sell/Freeze By 07/10/04" or
         "SELL BY FREEZE BY 04 JUL 10."

     (4) Seven pound boxes of "SEASONED BEEF PATTIES
         (MISFORMED)" with a packaging code 17304. The products
         subject to recall are also marked with "Best by
         12/18/04."

All of the products subject to recall bear the establishment
number "EST. 245P" inside the USDA seal of inspection. The
products were produced on June 21, 2004 and were sent to retail
stores nationwide.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause
bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and
persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible
to foodborne illness.

Media and consumers with questions about the recall may contact
Division Vice President of Operations John Schaller at 402-603-
7936.  Media and consumers with questions about the recall may
contact Division Vice President of Operations John Schaller at
402-603-7936.

Consumers with other food safety questions can phone the toll-
free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHOTLINE. The
hotline is available in English and Spanish and can be reached
from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday.
Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.


CENTENNIAL COMMUNICATIONS: LA Court Mulls Lawsuit Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Louisiana State Court has yet to decide on class
certification for the lawsuit filed against Centennial
Communications Corporation, alleging breach of contract,
misrepresentation or unfair practice claims relating to its
billing practices, including rounding up of partial minutes of
use to full-minute increments, billing send to end, and billing
for unanswered and dropped calls.

The plaintiffs in these cases have not alleged any specific
monetary damages and are seeking certification as a class
action. The decision of the court with respect to certification
is still pending.


CHEVRONTEXACO: Public Hearing Begins in Ecuador Pollution Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Public hearings have started for a billion dollar class action
filed against US-based oil giant ChevronTexaco Corporation in
Ecuador court, over alleged environmental damage by its former
subsidiary Texaco Petroleum (TexPet) in upstream operations in
the Amazon jungle between 1972 and 1992, the US Water News
Online reports.

Ecuadorian judge Efrain Novillo started his visits of 122
polluted sites and listened to testimonies from people who live
in Joya De Los Sachas, a remote Amazon Jungle town.

"We have stomach pain, dizziness, skin rashes and we are
constantly sick," resident Elias Zurita said the public hearing.
He said he has lived 10 feet from a toxic pool since he was
eight.

88 people filed the suit on behalf of 30,000 poor jungle
settlers and Amazon Indians, charging the Company took advantage
of lax Ecuadorean environmental standards to cut costs in the
1970s and 1980s.  The Company allegedly dumped 18.5 billion
gallons of oily wastewater brought up by drilling into more than
600 open pits, instead of re-injecting it back underground, a
common practice in the developed world.

The suit asks the Company to pay for additional clean-up charges
in polluted towns and to provide medical care for people harmed
by pollution.  The plaintiffs estimate the costs could exceed $1
billion.  Ecuadorean law does not permit cash awards for class
action plaintiffs.

The Company has denied the charges, saying that it followed
environmental regulations and complied with a government cleanup
plan, capping the oily pits.  The Company has also has initiated
a lawsuit with an arbitration panel in New York against
Ecuador's state oil company Petroecuador.  The Company wants
Petroecuador to assume responsibility for the costs in that
case.  In a 1998 agreement, Petroecuador and the Ecuadorian
government released Texpet from any legal obligations after it
completed its share in the clean up work, an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (June 21, 2004) states.

"These inspections have no judicial value, whatsoever," oil
company lawyer Alfonso Callejas said, alleging that the
plaintiffs visited the sites ahead of the judge to influence the
hearings, the US Water News Online reports.

The first day of the public hearing drew about 100 residents,
lawyers, journalists and activists, including celebrity Bianca
Jagger.  "This is a circus," ChevronTexaco spokesman Christopher
Gides said after spotting six technicians, sent by the
plaintiffs, in white lab suits, protective gloves, goggles,
helmets and masks.


CONAGRA FOODS: Recalls Chicken Strips Containing Metal Pieces
-------------------------------------------------------------
ConAgra Foods, a Macon, Missouri, firm, is voluntarily recalling
approximately 85,600 pounds of frozen, fully cooked chicken
breast strips that may contain pieces of metal, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service
announced.

The products being recalled are:

     (1) 28 oz. packages of "NEW, Banquet, CHICKEN BREAST
         STRIPS, Breaded Chicken Breast Patties with Rib Meat,
         ORIGINAL."  Each product bears the "Best if used by"
         date of either "JUL 20 2005" or "JUL 27 2005." Each
         package bears the establishment code "P-107."

     (2) 28 oz. packages of "MADE WITH CHICKEN BREAST with Rib
         Meat, Banquet, CHICKEN BREAST STRIPS, ORIGINAL." Each
         product bears the "Best if used by" date of "JUL 20
         2005" or "JUL 21 2005." Each package bears the
         establishment code "P-107."

The products were packaged on July 20, 21 and 27, 2004, and were
distributed to retail stores nationwide.  The problem was
discovered after FSIS and the company received consumer
complaints. There have been no reports of injury.

Consumers with questions about the recall may contact company's
consumer information line at 1-800-414-7500. Media with
questions about the recall may contact Tania Graves, company
communications director, at (402) 595-6258.

Consumers with food safety questions can phone the toll-free
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at l-800-535-4555. The hotline is
available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m.
to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food
safety messages are available 24 hours a day.


CREE INC.: NC Judge Dismisses Shareholder Suit, Deemed Deficient
----------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Court Judge Frank W. Bullock Jr. of Greensboro,
North Carolina dismissed a shareholder lawsuit against Cree,
Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE), a manufacturer of light-emitting chips used
to illuminate mobile phones, car dashboards and other electronic
devices possibly concluding a protracted legal battle that cost
the company and its investors millions of dollars, the Raleigh
News reports.

In his ruling the judge wrote that the case against the Durham
semiconductor company is deficient and that he was giving the
investor group 45 days to file an amended complaint.

In June 2003, Eric Hunter, a Cree co-founder and brother of its
chairman, F. Neal Hunter, sued for $3.2 billion alleging that
Cree engaged in wrongdoing to help its books and boost its
stock. An inquiry by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
and 19 class-action suits by shareholders alleging fraud
followed soon after both of which plummeted Cree's shares.

Eventually, Eric Hunter settled his case in November, dropping
all claims with nothing coming of the SEC inquiry as well.

However, attorneys would later file the shareholder suits, which
were being combined into one case with the Louisiana Teachers'
Retirement System as lead plaintiff, as a revised complaint in
January.

According to Chuck Swoboda, Cree's chief executive, the judge
"essentially ruled that the last complaint was insufficient as a
matter of law. We previously have said we believe that the
plaintiff's claims are without merit, and we're pleased that the
court agreed."


DANDEE FOODS: Recalls Sandwiches Due To Listeria Contamination
--------------------------------------------------------------
Dandee Foods of Jacksonville, FL is recalling its 5.15 oz. "The
Club" sandwiches because they have the potential to be
contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can
cause serious and sometimes very fatal infections in young
children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened
immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms
such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea,
abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause
miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The recalled "The Club" sandwiches were distributed to
convenience stores in Florida and Georgia. The product is sealed
in a plastic wedge-shaped container and is marked with a "Sell
By" date of Sept. 03.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this
problem.

The potential for contamination was noted after routine micro
analysis testing by the Georgia Department of Agriculture
revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in one 5.1 oz.
The Club sandwich.

Consumers who have purchased this product are urged to return
them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with
questions may contact the company at 1-800-394-6258.


E.I. DUPONT: Lawyers in C8 Trial Given More Time For Depositions
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to recent court fillings, the trial in a class action
lawsuit, which accuses E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
(NYSE: DD) of poisoning the drinking water and air of Wood
County residents with harmful levels of C8 has been delayed for
another month, the Charleston Gazette reports.

An order from the Wood County Circuit Court states that jury
selection will now start on October 12 with opening arguments to
set begin on October 25 for the trial that had been originally
scheduled to begin on September 20, 2004.

A court spokesman stated that the delay was due to lawyers in
the case, who still needed time to complete additional
dispositions.

The class-action lawsuit was brought on behalf of thousands of
Wood County residents who live near one of the plants, who
allege that the company poisoned their air and drinking water
with harmful levels of C8, which is also known as
perfluorooctanoic acid, perfluorooctanoate, or PFOA.

Legal experts believe that the company could face fines up more
than $300 million for these toxics reporting and hazardous waste
handling violations.


ENRON BROADBAND: Ex-CFO Pays $3.2M To Settle SEC Fraud Complaint
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission settled civil fraud
charges filed against Kevin P. Hannon, former Chief Operating
Officer of Enron Broadband Services (EBS).  The complaint, filed
on May 1, 2003, in the U.S. District Court in Houston, charged
Hannon and other executives from EBS with fraud and insider
trading. Without admitting or denying the allegations in the
Commission's complaint, Hannon has agreed to be enjoined
permanently from violating Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5, and to be
barred permanently from acting as an officer or director of a
public company. The Commission settled its action in
coordination with the Justice Department's Enron Task Force,
which entered into a plea agreement with Hannon on related
criminal charges. In resolving the parallel civil and criminal
proceedings, Hannon has agreed to pay disgorgement and a civil
penalty totaling $3.2 million and to cooperate with the
government's continuing investigation.

As alleged in the Commission's complaint, Hannon and other EBS
executives engaged in a wide-ranging fraudulent scheme to, among
other things, inflate the value of Enron stock through a series
of false and misleading statements and the omission of material
information in such public statements about the technology,
financial condition, performance and value of EBS. The false and
misleading statements by Hannon and others were made in press
releases over a two-year period as well as in presentations and
statements made at Enron's annual analyst conferences in January
2000 and 2001. As a result of the false statements, Enron's
stock price was artificially inflated. Hannon then sold large
amounts of Enron stock at the inflated levels, at a time when he
knew that the statements were false and misleading and when he
was in possession of material non-public information concerning
the true status of EBS' technology and commercial success.

The Commission's investigation is continuing. The action is
titled, SEC v. Kevin P. Hannon, et al., Civil Action No. H-03-
0905 (Harmon) (S.D.Tx.) (LR-18862; AAE Rel. 2091).


HI-GRADE MEATS: Recalls Hot Dogs Due To Listeria Contamination
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hi-Grade Meats, a Salt Lake City, Utah, firm, voluntarily
recalled approximately 1,470 pounds of hot dogs that may be
contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
announced.

The products subject to recall are 10 lb. packages of "HI-GRADE
WIENERS, NONFAT DRY MILK ADDED." Each package bears case code
"00268" and the USDA establishment number "Est. 4133" inside the
USDA mark of inspection. In addition each package contains the
made on date "07/19/04."

The hot dogs were produced on July 16, 2004, and sent to a
wholesaler in Utah which further distributed them to convenience
stores in the state. The hot dogs were cooked and sold in the
stores.  The Company discovered the problem. FSIS has received
no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these
products.

The Company also voluntarily recalled an additional 3,890 pounds
of hot dogs that may be contaminated with Listeria
monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety
and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

The expanded recall includes additional products produced on
July 16, 2004, which are Hi-Grade Meats, Inc., 10-pound boxes
of:

     (1) "00425, HOT POLISH SAUSAGE, 5/LB - 5" - HOG CASING -
         BULK PAK"

     (2) "00333, BEEF FRANKS, 5/LB - 7" - SKINLESS - BULK PAK"

     (3) "00415, HOT POLISH SAUSAGE, 4/LB - 7" - SKINLESS - BULK
         PAK"

     (4) "00305, BEEF FRANKS, 4/LB - 7" - SKINLESS - BULK PAK"

     (5) "00480, BRATWURST, 5/LB - 5" - HOG CASING - BULK PAK"

     (6) "00263, FRANKS, 8/LB - 6" - SKINLESS - BULK PAK ALL
         MEAT"

Each of these products bear the "MADE ON" date of "07/19/04."

The original recall on August 3, 2004, included 10-pound
packages of "HI-GRADE WIENERS, NONFAT DRY MILK ADDED." Each
package bears case code "00268" and the USDA establishment
number "Est. 4133" inside the USDA mark of inspection. In
addition each package contains the "MADE ON" date of "07/19/04"
totaling 1,470 pounds.

FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with
consumption of these products.

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can
cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease.
Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. However, listeriosis
can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and
nausea. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths,
as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with
weak immune systems - infants, the frail or elderly and persons
with chronic disease, HIV infection or in chemotherapy.

Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Rick
Conde, company sales manager, at (801) 487-5818, ext. 12. Media
with questions about the recall may contact Randy Maxfield,
company vice president, at (801) 487-5818, ext. 11.

Consumers with food safety questions can phone the toll-free
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline
(1-888-674-6854). The hotline is available in English and
Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are
available 24 hours a day.


LOUDEYE CORPORATION: Asks NY Court To Approve Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Loudeye Corporation asked the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York to grant preliminary approval
to the consolidated securities class action filed against it,
certain of its former officers and directors and certain
underwriters who handled its March 200 initial public offering
of common stock.

In July and August 2001, four substantially similar class action
complaints were filed on behalf of a class of persons who
purchased the Company's common stock during the time period
beginning on March 15, 2000 and ending on December 6, 2000.  The
complaints together allege violations of the Securities Act of
1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, primarily based on
the allegation that there was undisclosed compensation received
by the Company's underwriters in connection with its initial
public offering and the allegation that the underwriters entered
into undisclosed arrangements with some investors that were
designed to distort and/or inflate the market price for the
Company's common stock in the aftermarket following the initial
public offering.

These actions have all been consolidated before the same judge
for pretrial purposes.  No specific amount of damages has been
claimed.  The Company and the individual defendants have
demanded to be indemnified by the underwriter defendants
pursuant to the underwriting agreement entered into at the time
of the initial public offering.  Presently, all claims against
the former officers have been withdrawn without prejudice.

In June 2003, a proposed settlement of this litigation was
structured between the plaintiffs, the issuer defendants, the
issuer officers and directors named as defendants, and the
issuers' insurance companies.  The proposed settlement provides
that the issuer defendants and related individual defendants
will be released from the litigation without any liability other
than certain expenses incurred to date in connection with the
litigation, the issuer defendants' insurers will guarantee $1.0
billion in recoveries by plaintiff class members, the issuer
defendants will assign certain claims against the underwriter
defendants to the plaintiff class members, and the issuer
defendants will have the opportunity to recover certain
litigation-related expenses if the plaintiffs recover more than
$5.0 billion from the underwriter defendants.

The Company's board of directors approved the proposed
settlement in August 2003.  On June 25, 2004, the plaintiffs
filed a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement with
the court, which was accompanied by a brief filed by the issuer
defendants in support of the plaintiffs' motion.  The court
requested that any objections to preliminary approval of the
settlement be submitted by July 14, 2004, and the underwriter
defendants formally objected to the settlement.  The plaintiffs
and issuer defendants separately filed replies to the
underwriter defendants' objections to the settlement on August
4, 2004.


NESTLE PREPARED: Recalls Contaminated Imported Chicken Pot Pie
--------------------------------------------------------------
Nestle Prepared Foods Company, a Solon, Ohio, importing firm, is
voluntarily recalling approximately 47,000 pounds of frozen
chicken pot pie imported form Canada that may contain small
pieces of plastic and glass, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.

The products subject to recall are 16 oz. packages of
"Stouffer's CHICKEN POT PIE." No other sizes or varieties of
Stouffer's brand products are affected by the recall. Each
package bears the code "445" inside the Canadian mark of
inspection. The packages bear the UPC code "13800-10635." Also
included on each label is the production code "4066VH,"followed
by a letter (A-Z).

The pot pie was produced on March 6 and distributed to retail
stores nationwide.

The recall was initiated after the company reported to FSIS that
it had received consumer complaints. Anyone concerned about an
injury from consumption of the products should contact a
physician.

Media with questions about the recall may contact Roz O'Hearn,
company media representative, at 440-264-5170. Consumers with
questions about the recall may contact the Nestle Consumer
Services hotline, at 800-447-1427.

Consumers with food safety questions can phone the toll-free
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline. The hotline is
available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m.
to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food
safety messages are available 24 hours a day.


NEW JERSEY: PSE&G Settles Gas Suit, Installs Safety Enhancements
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) agreed to
provide safety enhancements to about 2,800 gas meters as part of
a settlement of a class-action lawsuit alleging that exposed
natural gas lines near driveways are hazardous, The Philadelphia
Inquirer reports.

According to a work plan it filed with the state Board of Public
Utilities, PSE&G will install excess-flow valves or concrete
bollards, or relocate exposed meters installed three feet or
closer to a garage or driveway.

The issue arose in Mount Laurel in February 2003 when Patricia
Gallos, who was 71, pulled her Mercury Sable into her driveway
at 203 Carleton Lane in the Springwood Village section of
Larchmont. She hit a patch of black ice that caused her car to
skate into a gas meter attached to the near the garage door, a
gas pipe was then ruptured, and the resulting explosion and fire
leveled three townhouses, damaged 24 others, and knocked
knickknacks off shelves a quarter-mile away. No injuries were
reported.

A month later, attorneys Stephen P. DeNittis and Philip S. Fuoco
sued on behalf of resident George Barkers. The New Jersey State
League of Municipalities joined the suit in September, and Mount
Laurel joined in October.

The terms of the settlement calls for PSE&G to give the township
$10,000 for expenses and submit its own list of potentially
hazardous meters in addition to those they already identified.

According to PSE&G spokeswoman Karen Johnson, who was limited to
commenting only on the work plan, the project was expected to
take three years except in Mount Laurel, where it would be
finished by the end of October 2005.


NTL INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
NTL Inc. asked the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York to dismiss the consolidated securities
class action filed against it, NTL Europe, Inc and some of its
former officers, including Barclay Knapp, the Company's former
president and chief executive officer.

Several suits were initially filed, generally alleging that the
defendants failed to disclose NTL Europe's financial condition,
finances and future prospects accurately in press releases and
other communications with investors prior to filing its Chapter
11 case in federal court.

The defendants filed motions to dismiss the actions and, on
July 31, 2003, the court entered an order dismissing the
complaint in the individual action without prejudice to filing
an amended complaint and deferred its decision on the complaint
in the class action lawsuits.  On August 20, 2003, the plaintiff
in the individual action filed an amended complaint.


OHIO: State Court Verdict Could Grant Inmates Parole Hearings
-------------------------------------------------------------
According to assistant state public defender Charles Clovis,
Franklin County Common Pleas Judge David Cain's ruling that the
state parole board unjustly penalized some inmates convicted
under an old state law by holding them to newer guidelines,
could give thousands of inmates fair hearings, the Associated
Press reports.

Attorney Clovis, who filed the class action suit on behalf of
Ohio inmates, said the ruling could give them parole hearings,
resulting in their release or reduction of their prison time.

In his ruling the judge writes the state legislature created two
classes of convicts when it adopted the "truth in sentencing
law," which did away with parole for offenders convicted after
1996. He also states in his ruling that the Parole Authority has
since created what amounts to a separate and unequal system for
imprisoning inmates and ordered the Board to immediately hold
hearings for some. He even pointed out that "Some inmates are
serving two or three times the length of time they would be
serving for the same offenses, either under new laws or under
the old parole policies."

Judge Cain also citied that the 1998 guidelines of the Parole
Authority essentially created new sentences for inmates,
ignoring the sentencing limitations of the new law and the
sentences rendered by judges under the old law. Thus, according
to the judge, many inmates weren't eligible for parole when
their hearings came up.

The suit comes 17 months after the Ohio Supreme Court struck
down the Parole Authority's system of categorizing inmates
according to the crime for which they were indicted instead of
the crime for which they were convicted.


OKLAHOMA: Department Ordered To Halt Sale of Indian Oil Lands
-------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth has ordered the Interior
Department to temporarily halt its auction of Indian lands in
Oklahoma, some of which come with rights for oil drilling, the
Associated Press reports.

The judge issued the restraining order at the request of lawyers
in the multibillion-dollar class action lawsuit filed by
American Indians against the Interior Department.

According to Keith Harper, a lawyer for the Indians, "In no way
are we saying that individuals don't have the right to sell
their land. The problem is that it is not at all clear that they
have given knowing consent to the sale, or that they would get
fair market value."

The Department had planned to start opening bids for the 26
parcels of land totaling about 2,000 acres in the oil-rich
region around Anadarko, Oklahoma, which was once a hunting
ground for numerous tribes such as the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache,
Wichita and Caddo.

Interior Department spokesman, Dan DuBray, said the auction
involved Indians who had asked the department to sell their
lands, however with the restraining order being formally issued
all further sales of the land will be affected.

The class action suit was filed in 1996 on behalf of more than
300,000 Indians. It alleges that the government, for more than a
century, mismanaged or stole billions of dollars in oil, gas,
timber and grazing royalties that should have gone to the
Indians.

Judge Lamberth found in 1999 that the department had breached
its trust responsibility and must be held accountable for what
the Indians were owed.


OPPENHEIMERFUNDS INC.: Investor Files NY Suit, Claims Secret Fee
----------------------------------------------------------------
An investor initiated a lawsuit seeking class action status
against OppenheimerFunds Inc. alleging that the company dipped
into its funds' assets to pay brokers to push its products over
other mutual funds on behalf of those who purchased shares in
the funds between Aug. 31, 1999, and March 22, 2004, the Dow
Jones Newswire reports.

The suit, filed in Manhattan federal court by investor Stephen
R. Alexander, contends that OppenheimerFunds essentially forced
investors in about 50 funds to finance its own aggressive
marketing campaign.

According to Mr. Alexander OppenheimerFunds and its trustees
engaged in an "unlawful and deceitful course of conduct" to skim
monies from the funds to pay brokers, disguising the payments as
brokerage commissions. He further states that as a result of the
alleged payments, investors were induced to buy the funds by
brokers who had undisclosed conflicts of interest.

Aside from seeking class action status, the suit also seeks an
unspecified amount in compensatory and punitive damages.

A spokesman for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., which
owns OppenheimerFunds, said the company hasn't yet seen the suit
and couldn't comment on the allegations.


ORACLE CORPORATION: Appeals Court Reinstates Shareholder's Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A U.S. appeals court reinstated a shareholder's class action
lawsuit filed by against enterprise software giant Oracle
Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) and it's top executives, citing
suspicious insider stock sales, public boasting by executives
and overly rosy financial forecasts, the Associated Press
reports.

According to the three-judge panel CEO Larry Ellison's $900
million stock sale a month before the company announced
disappointing financial results was "suspicious." The panel also
cited the Oracle CEO's public boasts in 2000 that the company
was impervious to a sagging economy and succeeding rosy sales
forecasts that didn't pan out in early 2001 as reasons the
shareholder suit should continue.

A lower court judge who ruled that the shareholders had not
proven that Ellison and other Oracle officials knowingly lied
about the company's financial situation between Dec. 15, 2000
and March 1, 2001 earlier dismissed the complaint.

However, the appeals court said there's a chance that company
officials knew they were lying when they made those optimistic
comments, especially given the company's advanced internal
software, and that the shareholders should have their day in
court.

The original complaint alleges that between Dec. 15, 2000 and
March 1, 2001, the company's stock fell from $28.56 a share to
$16.87 on March 2, 2001. On March 1, 2001, the company announced
its quarterly earnings missed projections and that its sales
forecasts were off significantly.

Between, Jan. 22 and Jan. 31, 2001, Ellison sold 29 million
shares of Oracle stock, which he had acquired for 23 cents a
share and then sold it for between $30 and $32 a share for a
total of nearly $900 million, a sale whose timing according to
the appeals court was suspicious.

In a prepared statement, Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Lilienthal
stated that the company believes the allegations were totally
unsupported by any evidence.


PENNSYLVANIA: University Wraps Up Legal Battle Over Gay Benefits
----------------------------------------------------------------
In concluding an eight-year legal battle between gay and lesbian
workers and university administration, the University of
Pittsburgh has agreed to offer benefits to same-sex partners,
the 365Gay.com Newscenter reports.

So prolonged was the fight that in June 2004, the University, in
a bid to end the dispute called for a court to strike down the
city's non discrimination ordinance that protects gays. The
state-affiliated university argued that the City of Pittsburgh
did not have the authority to include sexual orientation
protection in its civil right ordinance since sexual orientation
was not covered by state civil rights protections. Had the
university won in court it would have meant all protections for
gays and lesbians throughout Pittsburgh would have been wiped-
out.

The protracted legal battle began in 1996 when employee Deborah
Henson filed a complaint with the Pittsburgh Commission on Human
Relations alleging that the school violated the city's 1990 gay-
rights law barring discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Six other employees later joined her in the pending class action
lawsuit. All were represented by the American Civil Liberties
Union (ACLU).

Commenting on the University's move to end the dispute, Witold
Walczak, litigation director for the ACLU said, "This is a
marvelous day not only for university employees but for the
school itself and human rights generally."


PHILIP MORRIS: Seeks Disqualification of IL Law Firm From Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
Philip Morris USA filed a motion to disqualify the Chicago law
firm of Power Rogers & Smith, who is one of the firms
representing smokers in a class action case pending before the
Illinois Supreme Court against the tobacco company because of a
conflict of interest, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The issue is over the firm's representation of Supreme Court
Justice Robert Thomas in a libel case filed in January against
the Kane County Chronicle. The conflict is likely to cause
Thomas to remove himself from the high-profile cigarette suit,
which is on appeal after a Downstate trial judge ordered Philip
Morris to pay $10.1 billion to Illinois smokers for deceiving
them about dangers of light cigarettes.

Philip Morris, who wants to keep the judge on the case argued in
a motion before the Supreme Court that the St. Louis firm,
Korein Tillery, brought in Power Rogers & Smith knowing that it
would result in Thomas' recusal. The company said the hiring
"gives rise to an appearance of impropriety."

Lawyers at Korein Tillery could not be reached for comment. But
according to Joseph Power Jr., a prominent personal injury
lawyer in Chicago, Philip Morris' legal maneuver strikes "below
the belt." He further adds, "They know they are going to be in
for a fight, and they don't like it. We have a very fine
appellate division. It's not unusual for firms going before the
Supreme Court to bring in lawyers with experience in appeals."

Korein Tillery has five days to respond to Philip Morris'
motion.


PIZZA HUT: Driver Files CA Suit Over Delivery Reimbursement Fees
----------------------------------------------------------------
Pizza Hut, Inc. faces an employee class action filed in the
Superior Court of the State of California in Los Angeles, on
behalf of its delivery drivers, the Pizza Marketplace reports.

Delivery driver Franklin Castillo filed the suit, charging the
Company with failing to reimburse him fully for work-related
auto expenses.  Mr. Castillo receives 50 cents per delivery run,
which he asserts is well below the actual cost he absorbs
operating his personal vehicle on behalf of Pizza Hut.  Mr.
Castillo seeks to represent a class of as many as 1,000 Pizza
Hut drivers working the chain's 270 California outlets.

Lawyers representing Castillo are confident the suit will be
given class certification.  They told the Pizza Marketplace that
California law requires employers to reimburse employees for all
expenses necessarily incurred in the direct discharge of their
responsibilities. Fifty cents per delivery doesn't cover that.

However, IRS media relations spokesperson John Lipold said by
phone from Washington, D.C., that he wasn't aware of any
government regulations for delivery-driver reimbursement, The
Pizza Marketplace reports.  The IRS has no power to set or
enforce reimbursement standards, he said.  All the agency can do
is set deductions drivers and operators are allowed to take on
their tax returns.

Pizza Hut officials call the complaint unfounded, noting that it
is common pizza industry practice to pay drivers 50 cents per
order.  Pizza Hut spokesperson Patty Sullivan said that since
the company pays drivers at its corporate stores (franchisees
are free to pay more if they choose) 50 cents per customer order
delivered - not 50 cents per run as stated in Castillo's
complaint - reimbursement per run could be $1 to $1.50. When
combined with minimum wage and tips, the total package is fair,
she told the Pizza Marketplace.


QUANTUM FOODS: Recalls Frozen Beef Due To E. Coli Contamination
---------------------------------------------------------------
Quantum Foods, a Bolingbrook, Illinois firm, is voluntarily
recalling approximately 406,000 pounds of frozen beef products
that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service
announced.

The products subject to recall were produced on June 23 and 24
and were distributed nationwide to restaurants, military
institutions and retail stores. Some products were also
distributed through door-to-door sales. Each box bears the
establishment code "EST. 213-D" inside the USDA seal of
inspection.

The recall was initiated after epidemiological case studies
conducted by public health officials concluded the recalled
product may be linked to four E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in
Colorado.

The products subject to recall include:

     (1) Packages of "B BAR Brand, 12 Quarter Pound 100% PURE
         BEEF PATTIES" bearing the product code 3084

     (2) 8-pound packages of "Hamburger Patties, 100% Pure
         Beef," bearing the product code 3060

     (3) 10-pound boxes of "100% PURE CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS,"
         bearing the product code 3012

     (4) 25-pound boxes of "85% LEAN GROUND BEEF PATTIES
         NAMP#1136," bearing the product code 3014

     (5) 25.60-pound boxes of "85% LEAN GROUND BEEF PATTIES
         NAMP#1136," bearing the product code 3016

     (6) 4.5 pound boxes of "OUR HOMESTYLE PURE CHOPPED BEEF
         STEAKS," bearing the product code 3021

     (7) 10-pound boxes of "90% LEAN GROUND BEEF PATTIES
         NAMP#1136," bearing the product code 3025

     (8) 40-pound boxes of "90% LEAN BULK PACK GROUND BEEF
         NAMP#136," bearing the product code 3035

     (9) 4.497-pound boxes of "PURE CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS,"
         bearing the product code 3036

    (10) 24-pound boxes of "CHOPPED BEEF PATTIES," bearing the
         product code 3042

    (11) 10-pound boxes of "CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS," bearing the
         product code 3062

    (12) 21-pound boxes of "CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS," bearing the
         product code 3068

    (13) 24-pound boxes of "PURE CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS
         TENDERFORM," bearing the product code 3079

    (14) 10-pound boxes of "85% LEAN BULK PACK GROUND BEEF
         NAMP#136," bearing the product code 3094

    (15) 26.25-pound boxes of "PURE CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS
         TENDERFORM," bearing the product code 3107.

    (16) 24-pound boxes of "SEASONED CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS CHOPPED
         AND FORMED," bearing the product code 3208

    (17) 10.125-pound boxes of "SALISBURY BEEF STEAKS," bearing
         the product code 3301

    (18) 10.13-pound boxes of "PLATTER BEEF PATTIES CHOPPED AND
         FORMED," bearing the product code 3416

    (19) 10-pound boxes of "PLATTER BEEF PATTIES CHOPPED AND
         FORMED," bearing the product code 3418

    (20) 10-pound boxes of "SALISBURY BEEF STEAKS," bearing the
         product code 3302

    (21) 24-pound boxes of "PLATTER BEEF PATTIES CHOPPED AND
         FORMED," bearing the product code 3318

    (22) 10-pound boxes of "PLATTER BEEF PATTIES," bearing the
         product code 3414

    (23) 17.1875-pound boxes of "USDA SELECT BEEF SIRLOIN
         STEAK," bearing the product code 5304

    (24) 20-pound boxes of "BEEF SIRLOIN BUTT STRIP STEAKS,"
         bearing the product code 5338

    (25) Boxes of "BEEF SIRLOIN BUTT STRIP STEAKS," bearing the
         product code 5342

    (26) 10-pound boxes of "BEEF SIRLOIN TRI TIP STEAKS,"
         bearing the product code 6352

    (27) Boxes of "BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK BOURBON BRAND," bearing
         the product code 9390

    (28) Boxes of "APPLEBEE'S FAJITA BRAND BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK,"
         bearing the product code 9394

    (29) Boxes of "APPLEBEE'S HOUSE SIRLOIN BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK,"
         bearing the product code 9399

    (30) Boxes of "APPLEBEE'S SUPER HOUSE SIRLOIN BEEF SIRLOIN
         STEAK," bearing the product number 5392

    (31) Boxes of 'BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK FOR STIR FRY," bearing the
         product code 5396

    (32) Boxes of "APPLEBEE'S HOUSE SIRLOIN BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK,"
         bearing the product code 5397

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause
bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and
persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible
to foodborne illness.

Generally, steaks are not considered a high-risk source of E.
coli O157: H7. However, some of the products subject to recall
were needle tenderized and that process may have transferred the
bacteria from the surface to the inside of the product.

Media and consumers with questions about the recall may contact
company Vice-President of Quality Assurance Craig O'Brien at
(630) 679-2384.

Consumers with food safety questions can phone the toll-free
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-
6854). The hotline is available in English and Spanish and can
be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through
Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a
day.


REGAL LAGER: Recalls 11.5T Attachments Due To Injury Hazard
-----------------------------------------------------------
Regal Lager Inc., of Kennesaw, Georgia is cooperating with the
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission by voluntarily
recalling about 11,500 Lascal "Buggy Board" stroller
attachments.

The Buggy Board's red connecting pins can break, causing the
board to partially detach from the stroller or carriage, posing
a fall hazard to the user. Regal Lager Inc. has received two
reports of the Buggy Board disengaging from a stroller or
carriage, resulting in falls to children. One minor injury was
reported.

The Lascal "Buggy Board" is a wheeled board that attaches to a
stroller or baby carriage, allowing an older child to stand on
the board and ride behind the stroller between the arms of a
parent or caregiver. The product comes in black, blue, red and
techno styles, and has the words "Buggy Board" printed on the
top center of the board, with the name "Lascal" molded into the
plastic on the bottom center of the board. Buggy Boards with
orange connecting pins are not included in the recall.

Manufactured in Sweden the stroller attachments were sold at
specialty retail stores, catalogs and internet sites from
January 2003 through July 2004 for about $88.

The manufacturer is providing free repair kits to consumers
consisting of orange replacement pins for these Buggy Boards.

Consumer Contact: Call Regal Lager Inc. at (877) 242-5676
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or log on to
the company's Web site: http://www.regallager.comOR Media
Contact: Luanne Whiting-Lager at (678) 819-5805 or
luanne@regallager.com


STATE FARM: MN Attorney General Intervenes in Surcharge Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
According to the Minnesota Attorney General's office, AG Mike
Hatch has filed to intervene on the side of the plaintiffs in a
class-action suit in Hennepin County seeking refunds from State
Farm Insurance Co. for an electrical-wiring surcharge, the
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

The surcharge was in effect from 1997 through November 2002,
when a moratorium was imposed through a Commerce Department
consent order, which allowed the company to file for a surcharge
if it can show data supporting its contention that older wiring
increased the company's fire losses. The surcharge applied to
houses with wiring 40 or more years old and would have been
implemented on October 15 for new policies and December 15 for
renewals. For a home with a $600 annual premium, a 6 percent
surcharge would add $36 a year.

In documents filed in Hennepin County District Court, the
attorney general seeks:

     (1) A declaratory judgment that an insurer may charge
         higher premiums based upon the age of a structural
         element such as wiring only to the extent that the
         element increases the insurer's risk of loss.

     (2) A judgment that declarations that have a range of up to
         30 percent in age-based discounts and surcharges are
         illegal unless the insurer can demonstrate that its
         risk of loss is commensurate as a result of the
         electrical system;

     (3) A ruling that pleadings in the case be unsealed, saying
         "sealing the record of State Farm's conduct is contrary
         to the public nature of this case."

Attorney General Hatch told Minneapolis Star Tribune that "we're
intervening to say what the plaintiff is doing here is right and
appropriate ... and that the plaintiffs in the class are
entitled to a refund."

According to Plaintiffs attorney Joe Snodgrass the total due is
$22 million for 172,828 policyholders who paid an average total
of $126 in surcharges.


STATION CASINOS: Reaches $5.2M Settlement For NV Surcharge Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
People who stayed at Station Casinos Inc. hotels over the past
several years recently began receiving coupons worth $3 and
$2.50 as part of a $5.2 million settlement of a proposed class
action lawsuit filed in May of 2003 over the hotel's surcharges,
the Las Vegas Sun reports.

According to the complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior
Court by customer Dov Plattner against Station Casinos and its
Palace Station hotel, the company failed to disclose the
collection of a $1 charge for telephone usage and an "energy
surcharge" of up to $3.50 per night. The complaint furthers
states that station has charged the extra fees since at least
April 1, 2001.

Station Casinos was one of many Las Vegas hotels that charged
guests extra for energy use in 2001 due to soaring energy costs
that plagued several western states at the time. By the end of
2001, Station had kept the surcharge while other hotels dropped
it, saying their energy costs had fallen and they wanted to
induce more travelers to Las Vegas after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mr. Plattner's Los Angeles-based attorney, Mitch Kalcheim told
the Las Vegas Sun that the Station Casinos settlement is set to
be approved at an October 22, 2004 hearing before a state court
judge in Los Angeles, according to attorneys for both Plattner
and Station. The coupons will be good only if the court approves
the settlement and are valid for 18 months after approval.

Aside from the coupons, Station also agreed to pay $550,000 in
attorneys' fees and expenses. The coupons have been distributed
to about 940,000 guests who paid to stay at any Station Casinos
hotels from April 1, 2001, through June 7, 2004, according to a
statement mailed with the coupons. Each of the coupons cannot be
redeemed for cash and must be used toward the purchase of a one-
night stay at a Station property.


STEVEN MADDEN: NY Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York granted final approval to the settlement of the
consolidated securities class action filed against Steven Madden
Ltd., Steven Madden personally, Rhonda J. Brown (the former
President and a former director of the Company) and Arvind
Dharia.

Eight suits were initially filed, namely:

     (1) Wilner v. Steven Madden, Ltd., et al., 00 CV 3676
         (filed June 21, 2000);

     (2) Connor v. Steven Madden, et al., 00 CV 3709 (filed June
         22, 2000);

     (3) Blumenthal v. Steven Madden, Ltd., et al., 00 CV 3709
         (filed June 23, 2000);

     (4) Curry v. Steven Madden, Ltd., et al., 00 CV 3766 (filed
         June 26, 2000);

     (5) Dempster v. Steven Madden Ltd., et al., 00 CV 3702
         (filed June 30, 2000);

     (6) Salafia v. Steven Madden, Ltd., et al., 00 CV 4289
         (filed July 24, 2000);

     (7) Fahey v. Steven Madden, Ltd., et al., 00 CV 4712 (filed
         August 11, 2000);

     (8) Process Engineering Services, Inc. v. Steven Madden,
         Ltd., et al., 00 CV 5002 (filed August 22, 2000)

By Order dated December 8, 2000, the Court consolidated these
eight actions, appointed Process Engineering, Inc., Michael
Fasci and Mark and Libby Adams as lead plaintiffs and approved
their selection of lead counsel, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (May 18,2004) reports.

A settlement of these actions was reached and the Court entered
a Final Order and Judgment pursuant to which the Court dismissed
these actions in accordance with the settlement agreement.


THERALINE INC.: Recalls 1T Pillows Due To Suffocation Hazard
------------------------------------------------------------
Theraline Inc., of Wendell, Massachusetts is cooperating with
the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission by
voluntarily recalling about 1,000 Big V Maternity and Nursing
Pillows.

If infants are placed on these pillows and left unattended,
there is a risk of suffocation. Infant pillows and cushions are
banned under the Federal law. Infant pillows have a flexible
fabric covering, are loosely filled with plastic beads, easily
flattened, intended for use by infants under 1 year old, and
capable of conforming to the body or face of an infant. No
incidents or injuries have been reported.

The pillows have a blue or peach-colored print fabric showing
yellow moons, hearts and stars, or tan and blue teddy bears. The
log-shaped pillows measure about 5-feet in length. "THERALINE,"
"THE BIG V" and "Finest Micropearl Filling" are written on a
fabric tag sewn on the pillow.

Manufactured in Germany the pillows were sold at all independent
specialty stores from June 2003 through May 2004 for about $60.

Consumers should stop using these pillows immediately and
contact the firm for information on receiving a refund.

Consumer Contact: Consumers can contact the Theraline Inc. at
(866) 843-7254 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through
Friday.


WEIDER NUTRITION: Consumers Launch Health Products Lawsuit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
Weider Nutrition International, Inc. faces a new class action
filed in New Jersey State Court over its sale of androstenedione
and other similar products, styled "Spitale et. al. v. Weider
Nutrition International, Inc."

In July and August 2002, the Company and numerous other dietary
supplement companies were named in purported class actions in
Florida state court, styled "Hannon et. al. v. Assorted Sports
Science, Inc. et. al.," and in Illinois state court, styled
"Mallory v. Weider Nutrition International, Inc."

Plaintiffs allege that androstenedione and other purportedly
similar products were sold by defendants in violation of certain
statutes and utilizing false and misleading claims and
advertising.

In February 2003, the Illinois court granted, without prejudice,
the Company's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.
The plaintiffs subsequently re-filed their lawsuit in April
2003.


UNITED STATES: Court Affirms Class Status in RICO Suit V. HMOs
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that
affirms class action certification in the landmark RICO case
filed to combat widespread and chronic abuses by some of the
largest for profit Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO).

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for
the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled that the defendants -
WellPoint Health Networks, UnitedHealth Group, Prudential
Insurance, PacifiCare Health Systems, Health Net and Humana -
must stand trial on charges of violating the federal
Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO.

In a detailed 70-page opinion, the three-judge panel composed of
judges Gerald B. Tjoflat, Stanley F. Birch and Alfred T. Goodwin
noted: "This trial is not about the managed care industry; it is
about whether several large HMOs conspired to systematically
underpay doctors. The issue is not whether managed care is
wrong, but whether particular managed care companies failed to
live up to their agreements. The plaintiffs are seeking nothing
more than the compensatory damages to which they are
contractually entitled, and the treble damages to which they are
statutorily entitled."

The panel went on to note: "More importantly, however, if their
fears are truly justified, the defendants can blame no one but
themselves. It would be unjust to allow corporations to engage
in rampant and systematic wrongdoing, and then allow them to
avoid a class action because the consequences of being held
accountable for their misdeeds would be financially ruinous. We
are courts of justice, and can give the defendants only that
which they deserve; if they wish special favors such as
protection from high -- though deserved -- verdicts, they must
turn to Congress."

"This is an unqualified and unprecedented victory for America's
hard working and heroic Physicians. Today's affirmation helps
set the stage for true healthcare reform," noted Archie Lamb,
lead counsel for the over 900,000 physician members of the
class.

"The HMOs have long claimed that the doctors who have made these
charges were basing their claims on isolated instances," Lamb
continued. "This affirmation of class action status once again
confirms that the doctors' charges against the HMOs of fraud and
racketeering are consistent around the nation."

The case is being heard in the United States District Court,
Southern District of Florida, Miami Division: MDL No. 1334;
Master File No. 00-1334-MD-Moreno.

For more details, visit http://www.hmocrisis.com


ZEMCO INDUSTRIES: Recalls Cooked Ham For Listeria Contamination
---------------------------------------------------------------
Zemco Industries, Inc., Division of Foodbrands America Inc., a
Buffalo, N.Y., firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 422
pounds of fully cooked ham that may be contaminated with
Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

The products subject to recall are bulk packages of "RUSSER,
Canadian Brand Maple Ham, Made in the USA, WATER ADDED." A sell
by date of "OCT. 25, 04" appears on each label. In addition, the
hams bear the establishment code "Est. 5222" inside the USDA
mark of inspection.

The hams were produced on July 27, 2004, and sent to stores in
Connecticut, New York and Ohio. The problem was discovered by
the company. FSIS has received no reports of illnesses
associated with consumption of these products.

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can
cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease.
Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. However, listeriosis
can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and
nausea. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths,
as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with
weak immune systems - infants, the frail or elderly and persons
with chronic disease, HIV infection or in chemotherapy.

Consumers with questions about the recall may contact the
company consumer toll-free hotline at (866) 658-0019. Media with
questions about the recall may contact Libby Lawson, company
media and consumer relations representative at (479) 290-3486.

Consumers with food safety questions can phone the toll-free
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline
(1-888-674-6854). The hotline is available in English and
Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are
available 24 hours a day.



                         Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Maritime Injury Suits Take a Different Turn
----------------------------------------------------------------
The maritime industry has long been confronted with claims
brought by its workers suffering from asbestos-related diseases.
Mariners, construction workers, maintenance technicians and
others brought claims against their employers seeking to recover
damages suffered as a result of various respiratory illnesses.

Spanning most of the last century, ships of the U.S. Navy, as
well as most merchant lines, were equipped with asbestos
products in their engine rooms and other compartments.  Vessel
operators face an added burden when defending asbestos claims.
The Jones Act, 46 USC App   688, a federal statute custom-made
to protect seamen from the dangers of life at sea, pretty much
makes maritime employers their workers' comprehensive medical
and disability insurers.

As a result, while workers exposed to asbestos in factories base
their claims on a product liability theory, maritime workers
have the added benefit of concurrently stating their claims in
federal court under the Jones Act. With an injured maritime
worker enjoying status as "ward of the admiralty", this industry
has always been particularly anxious about asbestos claims.

With most of the defendants bankrupt, plaintiffs have become
more expansive in their theories of liability and in deciding
whom to sue. Now it's not just the shipyard and asbestos
manufacturers defending a claim; it's also the makers of the air
conditioning units, hoisting equipment, and metal piping. Even
the manufacturers of respiratory masks and protective gloves are
named as defendants.

Like the new wave of defendants in most all other industries,
maritime newcomers should avoid becoming the next mainstay of
asbestos litigation. The well-organized asbestos plaintiffs bar
knows just who is doing what in defense of claims. Information
about how named defendants behave in litigation is evaluated,
disseminated, and used in subsequent determinations about who
gets sued.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Officials Decry TN School Renovation Cost
--------------------------------------------------------------
Chattanooga County Commission members expressed dismay that the
bill for a major renovation at Howard School of Academics and
Technology is US$1,101,716.77 higher than expected.

Gary Waters, school maintenance director, said several factors
were involved, including asbestos and other environmental
problems that were not anticipated.  The total construction bill
for the school is now US$15,164,136. Counting architectural fees
and other expenses it is US$16,725,739.

Commissioner Fred Skillern said that he and several other
commissioners had voted for a new school, but a majority and the
Howard community favored the renovation.

Commissioner Bill Hullander questioned the architect and
engineer on the project, saying, "You would think they would
know the codes." He said there was more asbestos found "as we
tore out walls and ceilings."

Commission members were given three pages of items that had to
be added above the base contract. Renovation work is set on
November.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: All First Choice Starts Asbestos Inspection
----------------------------------------------------------------
All First Choice Homes' domestic properties in Oldham, U.K. will
be inspected for asbestos to bring the organization into line
with health and safety laws.  The project was announced as part
of the organization's new health and safety policy. All its more
than 15,000 homes must be inspected for the material under laws
that came into force in 2002.

Health and Safety manager Mark Cooper said, "Surveys will be
done to Health and Safety Executive standards. If asbestos is
found in a good condition, it will be labeled up, reported and
left alone. If it is in a bad condition, we will remove it."

Mr. Cooper said resources were being allocated for specialists
to advise staff and residents on prevention.  Board members
raised concerns that the organization had not previously had a
formal health and safety policy. Mr. Cooper and chief executive
Hugh Broadbent reassured them that all staff members had
received the appropriate health and safety training.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Waseda U Hosting Global Asbestos Congress
--------------------------------------------------------------
Waseda University of Tokyo will hold three days of plenary
sessions, workshops and discussion groups from November 19 to
21, 2004. Leading international asbestos experts on a wide range
of issues will be participating.

As of August 1, 2004, twenty-eight countries have banned the use
of asbestos; they are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium,
Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Gabon,
Germany, Honduras, Kuwait, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,
Norway, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Slovenia, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom (including England,
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), and Uruguay.

To comply with European Union legislation, 9 more countries will
ban asbestos by the end of the 2004; they are Greece, Portugal,
Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta
and Slovakia.

As asbestos markets in developing countries continue to shrink,
consumption of white asbestos (chrysotile) is increasing
throughout Asia. For this reason, Asian trade unionists,
asbestos victims, community workers, public health campaigners,
medical experts and scientists, in collaboration with
international colleagues, are coordinating the first Global
Asbestos Congress to focus specifically on the emerging epidemic
of asbestos-related disease in Asia.

In April 2004, a series of meetings took place in the run-up to
the GAC 2004. The events were organized to raise awareness of
the conference amongst the public and target audiences.

During sessions in various cities in Japan, Dr. Barry Castleman
from the US and Laurie Kazan-Allen from the UK were given the
opportunity to discuss global asbestos issues and learn about
Japanese developments such as problems stemming from the
presence of deteriorating sprayed asbestos in local schools and
the status of asbestos litigation brought by injured employees
from the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka. The well-attended events
revealed the strong grass-root support that the GAC enjoys.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Medical Fraud Revelation Could Push Reforms
----------------------------------------------------------------
Doctors may be profiting from asbestos lawsuits by providing
false testimony, a new, underreported study published in the
latest issue of Academic Radiology stated.

In the study, an independent panel of doctors reviewed 492 chest
X-rays entered as evidence by trial lawyers in asbestos
lawsuits. The panel found that fewer than 5% of the X-rays
revealed possible asbestos-related lung damage.  However, the
doctors who were paid by trial lawyers to act as "expert"
witnesses in the asbestos lawsuits, the doctors who originally
read the X-rays, concluded that 96 percent showed asbestos-
related abnormalities.

The gross disparity in the findings of the panel of doctors who
conducted the independent study and the doctors who sold their
"expert" testimony to asbestos trial lawyers cannot be
attributed to mere differences in interpretation of the X-rays.
It can be concluded that some physicians are compromising ethics
and truth in order to profit from large payments for being
"expert witnesses," the study stated.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio Asbestos Legislation Blocked by FELA
--------------------------------------------------------------
An Ohio trial court has ruled that the state's recent asbestos
law creating minimum medical criteria requirements for all
asbestos claims should not apply to lawsuits brought under the
Federal Employers' Liability Act.

In an order issued on August 24, Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court
Judges Harry A. Hanna and Leo M. Spellacy held that the Ohio
statute, which was signed into law earlier this year, must be
subordinated to well-established federal law such as that which
is created under FELA.

"Simply put, it could not be clearer that states, Ohio included,
may not legislate in areas so dominated by existing federal
law," the judges wrote.

Defendants in the Ohio asbestos legislation had contended in a
brief filed in July that Ohio's recently enacted H.B. 292
governs disposition of all asbestos claims, including those
asserted under the FELA. The defendants argued that the cases,
which are set for trial in October, failed to meet minimum
medical criteria when filing their claims under the bill's new
requirements.

Responding to the brief, the FELA plaintiffs asserted that the
application of H.B. 292 is preempted by the long-standing
federal regulation of railroads embodied in the FELA and
Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act (BIA). Application of the Ohio
medical criteria bill to their claims would be in breach of the
U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause.

At issue in the instant cases, the judges said, is whether the
State of Ohio may add conditions to claims made by railroad
workers who allege that the equipment they were using was
defective and not in compliance with the regulations set forth
by the federal regulations adopted by the Interstate Commerce
Commission.

"Personal injuries resulting from a railroad's failure to comply
with the requirements established by the Commission are wholly
within the coverage of the BIA and the right of those plaintiffs
to bring suit is set forth in the FELA...states may not encroach
upon that right," the judges said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wife of Dead Worker Sues Harland & Wolff
-------------------------------------------------------------
A woman successfully sued her husband's former employer for the
mesothelioma she contracted by washing his asbestos-contaminated
clothes.

In Maguire v Harland & Wolff, Mrs. Maguire successfully sued the
defendant shipbuilders in negligence for the mesothelioma she
contracted through washing her husband's asbestos-contaminated
clothes. Her husband, during the early 1960s, was exposed to
significant quantities of asbestos while working for the
defendant company. According to Patrick Walsh, a partner at John
Pickering and Partners, "This is an important decision given the
earlier ruling in the factually similar case of Gunn v Wallsend
Slipway and Engineering Company."

Despite the fact that Mr. Maguire, like Mr. Gunn was working
with asbestos prior to 1965, he comments that, "Morland J
concluded that based on the documentation available at the time,
it should have been obvious to Harland & Wolff that Mrs. Maguire
was at risk of suffering damage to her health if asbestos dust
was being brought home on her husband's overalls: a completely
different conclusion to that of the Gunn case."

Before this decision, a claimant who wasn't an employee and was
exposed to asbestos dust from overalls prior to 1965 would have
had a case too difficult to prosecute. Mr. Walsh maintains that
employers could and should have realized that they were putting
at risk not only the health of employees in the premises
factories but also family members who were exposed to
contaminated clothes.

"The decision has implications for negligence in the sense that
although in practice you are not going to see many cases of
people who have developed asbestosis as the result of this type
of contamination, if there are any, this case will apply to
them." He confirms that the defendants are lodging an appeal
against the decision of the High Court. He is fairly confident
that his client will succeed in the Court of Appeal.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WA Building Put On Hold Because of Asbestos
----------------------------------------------------------------
Authorities put on hold the demolition of a 93-year-old building
until a plan for asbestos removal is properly laid out.

The Yakima Regional Clean Air Authority called for work to stop
earlier this summer after it was found out that asbestos was
illegally removed from a second-floor ceiling.

In April 2002, some city officials evacuated and condemned the
building at 514 S. Sixth St., Sunnyside, Yakima because its
south wall was bulging. The wall is currently being held by
metal braces. Downing Construction of Sunnyside began demolition
last June.

The construction crew had no training for proper removal of
asbestos and to make matters worse, they went ahead with the
task with no protective gear and lacking the necessary safety
measures.

Charlie Stansel, a compliance officer with the air authority
stated the air authority may issue fines, but he is not sure who
is to blame. They could hold the building owner Roy Anciso,
Downing Construction or Bob Hall Financial liable for the
illegal activity.

Sunnyside city attorney Mark Kunkler said Roy Anciso, the owner,
could face citations if the demolition work is not resumed by
September 10.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hospital Asbestos Blamed for Worker's Death
----------------------------------------------------------------
Vanda Johansson-Corcoran, a hospital cleaner, died after being
exposed to lethal amounts of asbestos, an inquest heard.  A
coroner ruled that the 60-year-old woman's death was caused by
years of being exposed to asbestos dust while cleaning a boiler
room at Airedale Hospital, Steeton.  She worked at the hospital
from 1978 to 1981, but was only diagnosed with the asbestos-
related cancer, mesothelioma, in August 2002.

A five-figure payout was awarded in a landmark High Court ruling
against West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority a month before
her death in October 2002. It was the first time a hospital
cleaner had won such a case.

Mrs. Johansson-Corcoran's husband David said after the hearing
that he still felt bitter towards the health authority because
his wife's legal case had been prolonged when the claim was
contested.

The health authority claimed that although asbestos was known to
exist within the structure, the levels were well within the
recommended safety limits. Mrs. Johansson-Corcoran's legal team
argued that the Government's recommended limits should not have
been used as a safety guide.

A spokeswoman for the National Health Service in West Yorkshire
said, "The advice to the NHS was that the level of asbestos at
Airedale General Hospital was extremely low and well below the
guidelines set by Her Majesty's Factories Inspectorate at that
time. "We had not believed that the NHS contributed in any way
to the illness. However, the courts found that we lacked duty of
care."

A spokesman for Airedale NHS Trust, said: "This case refers to
asbestos levels in the boiler room at Airedale General Hospital
more than 20 years ago. This asbestos was removed in 1990."

Company Profile:

West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority
Blenheim House, West One
Duncombe Street, Leeds
LS1 4PL
Phone: 0113 295 2000
Fax: 0113 295 2222
http://www.wysha.nhs.uk


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Exposure Found in El Dorado Pets
--------------------------------------------------------------
Greatly elevated levels of amphibole fibers, a highly toxic kind
of asbestos, were found in the lungs of several pets from
western El Dorado County. Fast-paced development has unearthed
the naturally occurring minerals and liberated its hazardous
fibers.

Though the sampling is small, environmental officials said the
results are provocative and bolster their plan to investigate
whether area residents are exposed. The findings will heighten
public attention to the potential hazard, stir more controversy
and provoke further questions from residents wanting to know
simply whether they are seriously at risk.

At the recent EPA forums, residents asked whether they endanger
their health by continuing to stay in El Dorado County. The
researchers responded that no categorical answer could be given
just yet. First, they would have to gain an understanding of the
potential risks, specifically the amount that actual residents
are breathing in during their everyday lives.

While pet studies don't directly correlate with those of humans,
these new findings help to determine what's been inhaled through
an examination of actual lung tissue.

Up to this time, scientists have yet to delineate between safe
and dangerous levels of exposure. Fiber dimensions and
concentrations, exposure frequencies and durations, smoking
history and other conditions all factor into the equation.
The government has long-established guidelines to protect
workers who may be exposed to asbestos-containing materials.
However, no reliable risk-assessment methods have been
established for the much less studied "environmental" exposures
of concern in areas where naturally occurring asbestos is
detected.

During a meeting held on the last week of August, they discussed
a series of air-testing scenarios planned this fall in El Dorado
Hills at Jackson and Silva Valley elementary schools and Rolling
Hills Middle School, the Community Center and the New York Creek
nature trail. School and county health officials oppose the
tests. They say the asbestos readings will be meaningless
because scientists do not know for sure what kinds and levels of
exposure lead to disease. EPA officials say the tests should
give residents a better idea - but not certainty - about their
exposure or risk of disease


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL County Settles Property Owners Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Pinellas County has settled its lawsuit against Maryann Lynch, a
St. Petersburg property owner, alleged to have hired homeless
people to remove asbestos from a building under renovation. The
County attorneys dismissed their lawsuit last July after Ms.
Lynch agreed to enter into a consent order with the county and
pay US$16,076 in penalties, said her lawyer, Jim Helinger.

In July 2003, the county cited Lynch for seven violations of
federal asbestos regulations. She was supposed to have hired an
undetermined number of homeless people who illegally removed
crumbling asbestos pipe insulation, insulation debris and
asbestos floor tiles without proper safety precautions.

The violations occurred in January 2003, five months after an
asbestos survey done for Ms. Lynch found it would cost US$11,935
to remove the carcinogenic material.  Lynch later paid that
amount to properly remove the remaining asbestos. She is
rehabilitating the 1916 building, which St. Petersburg condemned
as ``unfit/unsafe'' and later granted historic status, through a
stipulation agreement with the city.

That agreement sets an Aug. 31 deadline - the third and
supposedly last she will receive - to complete the project and
to obtain required inspections and a certificate of occupancy.
Mr. Helinger said that his client didn't commit the violations
knowingly and that it was something that just needed to get
resolved.

"It's substantial enough a penalty to make somebody remember
this the next time that it comes up, but not so substantial that
it's going to cripple someone,'' said Jewel White Cole, a senior
assistant county attorney.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NZ Panel To Appeal NZD100T Award To Welder
---------------------------------------------------------------
New Zealand's Accident Compensation Corporation will appeal
against a court decision in August, awarding NZD100,000 to the
estate of Ross Lehmann who died of asbestos-related lung cancer
on November 2003.

In 1960, Mr. Lehmann, a fitter and welder, helped install a new
boiler and asbestos-laden piping at the NZ Forest Products Plant
in Penrose. He got afflicted with the disease more than 40 years
later and died last November, four days after being offered an
independence allowance of NZD67.72 a week. No lump sum was
offered. Dawn Lehmann, the victim's wife, considered the ACC
decision as disgusting and unfair.

The Wellington District Court decision was the first lump-sum
award for asbestos victims diagnosed after April 1, 2002. ACC
wanted to pay lump-sums only to people suffering injury or
exposure after that date.

A spokesman for ACC said the corporation would seek
clarification of Judge Ongley's interpretation of the law. "ACC
and its independent legal advisers believe the law is drafted
appropriately and that the district court judge may have made an
error in law."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ameren Corporation Deal Faces Setback
----------------------------------------------------------
St. Louis-based Ameren Corp., an electric utilities company, is
threatening to stop its US$2.3-billion deal to acquire Illinois
Power Co. if state regulators don't approve a proposed annual
surcharge on Illinois Power's Downstate customers. This fee is
set to cover the costs of future asbestos liabilities.

Illinois Power Co. faces impending lawsuits from workers and
contractors at coal-fired power plants it used to own before
they were sold to Texas-based Dynegy Inc.

The Ameren spokesman said the fee "is a condition of the
acquisition." The Illinois Commerce Commission is expected to
deliberate on the acquisition within weeks.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Plainville CT Faces Costly Asbestos Removal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos removal has become an inconvenient, expensive and
unexpected nuisance for the residents of Plainville,
Connecticut. So far, the town has scheduled five asbestos
removal projects at three town buildings in 2004. The total
removal is estimated to cost over US$400,000.

One potential hazard arose in late March, when the asbestos-
containing floor tiles in the Plainville High School auditorium
had deteriorated to the point where they may pose a hazard to
students and staff. Although subsequent air quality tests found
no asbestos in the air, the superintendent ordered the
auditorium closed until the material could be removed.

As part of its US$21,700,000 expansion and renovation, Linden
Street School is scheduled to begin a US$155,500-abatement this
fall that will take place on long weekends and holidays during
the school year.

State officials estimate Connecticut annual spends between
US$35,000,000 to US$75,000,000 on asbestos abatement, however no
official figures are recorded, said Dave Hunt, department
spokesman. According to the Department of Public Health, there
were 3,945 reported asbestos abatement projects in 2003
statewide.

Despite these looming risks, residents should not be concerned
that living or attending school in Plainville can be hazardous
to their health or financial well-being due to any high amount
of asbestos in town.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Velosward Builders Fined for Unsafe Removal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Velosward Builders, a South Wales firm, has been fined GBD4,500
for failing to ensure the safe disposal of asbestos from a
school site under the Health and Safety at Work Act and an
additional GBD1,538.90 for prosecution costs.

As part of work at Upper Cliff House, on the NCH Headlands
School site in Penarth, the company had been contracted to
engage a specialist to get rid of an asbestos-clad boiler and
pipes. Only companies with a special asbestos-removal license
are able to carry out such work by law.

However, the removal and disposal was not carried out in
accordance with health and safety regulations. There were no
proper decontamination facilities on the site and no documents
to show that a proper air analysis of the site had been carried
out.

Brian Henry Riseborough, Velosward managing director, had
pleaded guilty to the offense at a previous hearing.
Nevertheless he disputed several points in the version of events
given by subcontractor Phillip Malcolm Robinson, who has also
been charged with two health and safety violations.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos-laden Pipe Uncovered in SOU
---------------------------------------------------------
While excavating for a new roadbed on Southern Oregon University
property, a subcontractor came across a pipe containing
tremolite, an asbestos mineral. The pipe required special
handling, said Dale Kuykendall of Emerick Construction Co.
Emerick is the contractor responsible for the university's
library enhancement project, and subcontracted the roadwork to
Trinity Excavation Inc.

It is uncertain whether Trinity employees recognized they were
dealing with asbestos, but a university employee trained to
recognize asbestos identified the pipe and later realized it was
missing. He questioned Trinity workers and only then discovered
it had been dumped with the dirt behind Science Works.

Department of Environmental Quality official Steve Coucher said
there should not be any danger to anyone in the area unless they
came in direct contact with the asbestos.

University officials said they became aware of the asbestos pipe
last August 23, and immediately put warning tape around the
dumpsite. The tape indicated protective gear and ventilators are
needed in the area.

"Everyone is exposed (to asbestos) on an ongoing basis; at any
given point in time an air sample will show asbestos fibers,"
said Mr. Coucher. "The idea is to minimize the amount and number
of times one's exposed."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Landfill Signboard Worries Ohio Residents
--------------------------------------------------------------
Signs went up recently warning of asbestos at the Bigfoot Run
Sanitary Landfill in Union Township, Cincinnati. Nearby
residents are alarmed and questions why those signs are only
just posted at the capped landfill.

According to Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman
Heather Lauer, landfills are required to post warning signs. She
however, does not also know why this sign was put up at Bigfoot
just recently.

"That landfill is capped and asbestos is most dangerous when it
is airborne," she said. "Certainly, it is still out there...
It's better to get it out of your basements, out of your
schools, out of municipal buildings and public places and into a
place where it is not going to be airborne."

The landfill had permission to accept asbestos waste until it
was closed and capped in 1999.

Bill Brausch, a concerned resident, said he wasn't surprised it
took so long to post a sign acknowledging the presence of such
material. He spoke of the community's ongoing efforts of
battling against a second landfill in their area.



ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Britannia Theatre Fire Exposes Asbestos
------------------------------------------------------------
Specialist inspectors had to be brought into Britannia Pier
after asbestos was discovered in the theater building during a
fire that ensued last August 27. Firefighters discovered
asbestos in the walls of the theater building and were concerned
about safety.

Graham Joy, spokesman for Norfolk Fire Service said, "It is
quite common to come across this sort of asbestos sheeting. We
did take precautions by wearing breathing apparatus and dust
masks when dealing with the aftermath of the fire." He said
staff had dealt with the fire admirably and no further emergency
training was needed.

John Harris, financial director for Family Amusements Ltd.,
which owns the pier, said the theater had been cleared by
inspectors and will be open for business soon thereafter.

An investigation into the cause of the fire was dropped after
footage failed to detect any suspicious activity at the Great
Yarmouth pier.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Australian Council Boycotts James Hardie
-------------------------------------------------------------
A boycott for all James Hardie products has been initiated by
the Bega Valley Shire Council to force the company to ensure
that full compensation is guaranteed to existing and future
victims of asbestos-related illnesses.

Upon the recommendation of Cr Keith Hughes, the Council made
this decision on the later part of August to support a community
campaign against James Hardie. Not only will the council stop
purchasing Hardie's products but it will also require building
contractors and their subcontractors undertaking works for the
council to be involved as well.

"By joining the consumer boycott, council will help to send a
clear message to James Hardie that it is in its financial
interests to compensate their victims," Cr Hughes said after the
meeting.

"Pressure on the hip pocket is needed to reinforce James
Hardie's ethical responsibility to the estimated 60,000
Australians who will die from diseases caused by exposure to the
company's asbestos products."

The executive committee of the Local Government Association of
NSW commended those member councils who took the initiative to
support the community campaign and resolved to use alternative
building and construction products.

It has encouraged all member councils to deal only with
companies "who behave in an ethically and socially responsible
way in the conduct of their business."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W.R. Grace Shares Rise on Settlement Hopes
----------------------------------------------------------------
As speculations proliferate that W.R. Grace is near to settling
some asbestos claims against it, the company's shares are noted
to be active lately.  Jefferies & Co. Chief Investment
Strategist Art Hogan said, "People certainly seem to think there
is good news on the horizon. The stock is acting like something
will happen."

The stock (GRA) fell 39 cents to close at US$7.81. Shares traded
as high as US$8.80 earlier in the session. The shares had
advanced 35 percent in the last five trading sessions, rising
more than 13 percent on Friday alone when 4.3 million shares
changed hands.

So far, the company has made no official comment. "It is very
difficult to ascertain just what is going on, but there has
definitely been a buzz about a possible settlement," Mr. Hogan
said.

In its second-quarter 2004 earnings report, released July 21,
the Company said that it is required to file a reorganization
proposal -- which would include plans to deal with its asbestos-
related liabilities -- with the court by Oct. 14, 2004.
For the second quarter, W.R. Grace reported net income of
US$21.3 million, or 32 cents per share, compared with US$6.5
million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier. Quarterly sales
rose to US$572.4 million from US$503.4 million.

W.R. Grace was forced to file for U.S. Bankruptcy Court
protection in April 2001.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Stops "Wet Removal" of Asbestos in MO
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Environmental Protection Agency has revoked permission for
St. Louis' Lambert Airport Authority in Missouri to use the "wet
removal" method of asbestos control when demolishing asbestos-
containing structures in the airport expansion project area.

The controversial wet method consists of spraying the structures
with a fire hose, then destroying the building with the asbestos
in place.  As this method may allow asbestos to become airborne,
this procedure is in conflict with the Clean Air Act and
government regulations requiring asbestos to be contained, hand-
removed, and bagged before a demolition can take place.

The EPA says that it was not aware of the unapproved use until
2003. Nonetheless, the agency had given its permission for the
airport authority to continue using the wet removal method. More
than 260 older homes and eight buildings near the Lambert
airport have been demolished. The airport authority tested only
29 of these homes for asbestos content before they were torn
down.

The current turnabout in EPA policy comes after media coverage,
internal agency outrage, and public protest against the wet
removal method. The EPA has also told officials in Fort Worth,
Texas, to halt plans to use the wet removal method to tear down
a hotel in that area.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: New UK Asbestos Regulations Takes Effect
-------------------------------------------------------------
The new regulation applies to all "non-domestic premises" namely
common sections of dwellings such as stairs, lifts, boiler
houses and garages. Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos at
Work Regulations 2002 takes effect beginning May 21, 2004. It is
aimed directly at asbestos lying unnoticed in the framework of
buildings.

The regulations serve as guidelines on the identification of the
dutyholder and list the obligations that come with the role. The
dutyholder must assess whether asbestos is present and must
prepare a risk assessment and a management plan that should be
properly documented.

To identify the dutyholder, it must be determined whether there
exists a contract or tenancy which imposes repair and
maintenance obligations. The dutyholder is the person whom the
obligation is imposed and could include architects, surveyors,
managing agents or builders. If no such contract exists, the
dutyholder is the one who has control or access of that part of
the premises. The assessment may be delegated to a competent
person.

The initial assessment includes a systematic and recorded search
of all the documentary information that can be obtained. This
consists of plans, builders' invoices and maintenance records.
Any material not accessible is presumed to contain asbestos
until analyzed. The risk assessment analyzes the possibility
that a person may be harmed and depends upon a number of
factors, particularly the type, location and condition of the
material, and the extent to which it might be disturbed by work
activities or maintenance.

The management plan includes the location of the asbestos or
suspected asbestos and specifies how the asbestos is to be
safely removed or, if it is to be left in place, the reasons for
the decision and how it is to be properly maintained or human
contact with it prevented. Additionally, this information and
the necessary emergency services must be made available to
everyone likely to disturb the asbestos.

The initial assessment and the plan will be reviewed every six
months, or immediately if either is suspected to be no longer
valid or if there has been a significant change in the premises.
Breach of the regulation and failure to cooperate with a
dutyholder are criminal offenses.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal Asbestos Trust Fund in The Works
-------------------------------------------------------------
Optimists in the reinsurance community are hoping that the U.S.
Senate will resume discussion on the bill and that a measure
will be passed within the year. This expectation arises while
agreement on a federal asbestos trust fund has eluded Congress.

There has been an exchange of new and amended proposals, though
the two sides of this issue -- business/insurers and labor/trial
lawyers -- are yet to agree on the amount of money that will be
going into such a trust.

The last proposal from Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle,
representing trial lawyers, is a US$141 billion trust with US$42
billion paid up front.

The last counter from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-
Tenn., on behalf of business/insurers, is US$140 billion, with
US$39 billion in upfront money, the Reinsurance Association of
America said. The industry has held to its position that it
wouldn't contribute more than US$46 billion.

"A privately funded trust is potentially such a huge win for our
country and people hurt by asbestos, who would then get certain
relief in a timely manner," said Glenn Pomeroy, vice president
and associate general counsel for state government affairs with
GE Employers Reinsurance Corp.

The stakeholders have gotten closer to agreeing on the issue of
medical criteria. This would make those who already have an
asbestos-related illness the first to collect, combating the
ongoing problem of people who fraudulently sue and get awards
that are draining money from defendant companies and insurers.

The current proposal would leave the decision about insurers'
allocation to a presidential commission, but Mr. Pomeroy said
the industry should agree on formula allocation beforehand so as
to keep control.

The stakeholders in this issue will be working to get trust-fund
negotiations up and running again as soon as Congress returns
from its summer break. Even if a compromise can be reached that
is acceptable to all stakeholders, there probably isn't enough
time to complete the work before Congress adjourns in October
for the fall elections, according to the RAA.

The bill pending in the Senate would create a federally
administered trust fund, paid for by businesses and their
insurers, that would compensate individuals with asbestos-
related illnesses and end further asbestos-related suits.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Probe Into Australian School Closure Urged
---------------------------------------------------------------
Charles Kennedy, a councilor for Milton of Campsie, has called
for an investigation to be carried out over the part-closure of
St. Ninian's High School due to asbestos. He believes "basic,
elementary errors" are to blame.

The asbestos was found in the week prior to the start of the new
term, when routine maintenance work was being carried out on the
Kirkintilloch School's Strathclyde Building. As a result of this
discovery, the council was forced to close the building, leaving
all S4, S5 and S6 St. Ninian's pupils with an extended summer
break.

The councilor said that certain checks and procedures should
have been followed before work was carried out on the vintage
building. He wants clarification on claims that asbestos may
have been disturbed during refurbishment before Christmas 2003.

The spokesperson for East Dunbartonshire Council said, "The
council, under the advice of its Health and Safety Officer, has
ensured that appropriate procedures have been followed
throughout. We have kept the Health and Safety Executive
notified of all progress and we would be willing to provide them
with any further details of the incident."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Canada Blocks White Asbestos PIC Addition
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lobbying led by the Canadian government and asbestos industry
bodies succeeded last November in blocking the addition of
chrysotile (white) asbestos to the list of Prior Informed
Consent substances.

The issue is back on the agenda at the first meeting of the
Conference of the Parties of the Rotterdam Convention, scheduled
in Geneva from September 20 to 24 of this year. The information
exchange procedures and trade controls detailed by this treaty
prevent the unwanted import of dangerous chemicals and enable
the world to monitor such activity.

The Canadian government has already started its preparations for
the meeting, and seems intent on yet again blocking the addition
of asbestos to the PIC list.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AFL League Refuses To Publish Asbestos Ad
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Australian Football League's match day magazine has refused
to publish an advertisement attacking James Hardie's treatment
of asbestos victims. It was deemed inappropriate due to its
political content.

The Australian Council of Trade Union and the Victorian Trades
Hall Council as part of a campaign for full compensation for all
victims of asbestos from James Hardie's products created the
advertisement.

It depicts an AFL Collingwood supporter, who is a victim of an
asbestos-related disease, attached to a respirator. "Fred has
supported his Magpies for 40 years, but he can't go to the footy
anymore - he is too sick," the advertisement says, alongside
four "facts" about James Hardie and asbestos and a demand to
"Make James Hardie Pay".

VTHC secretary Leigh Hubbard said the AFL's guidelines for
political advertising lacked transparency.

"They have for a long time refused blatant political
advertising, but this one is a bit different because it's about
asbestos victims and a company that a royal commission has shown
has done some heinous things," he said. "I would have thought
there was pretty good grounds to say this is a campaign that
should be supported by the AFL."

AFL spokesman Patrick Keane said the union movement had been
treated no differently than any other political organization.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Zevon's Son Spokesperson for Asbestos Group
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) announced
that Jordan Zevon, the son of music legend Warren Zevon, has
agreed to be the organization's national spokesperson. ADAO,
founded by asbestos victims and their families, works to unite
asbestos victims, and ensure their rights are fairly
represented. Jordan Zevon, who lost his father to mesothelioma
in September 2003, will help ADAO take its message to a new
level by speaking out for the rights of asbestos victims.

"My father died from mesothelioma, a cancer only caused from
asbestos, not as so often reported to be from a rock-n-roll
lifestyle he abandoned more than a decade prior to his
diagnosis. The deadly mineral has a name, asbestos, but it also
has a face in the patients, family and friends that it claims as
victims."

"We are honored to have Jordan Zevon as our national
spokesperson," said Linda Reinstein, Executive Director,
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.

ADAO seeks the right to medical research and treatments aimed at
early detection, prevention and a cure for asbestos related
diseases; the right to file suit based on the merits of our
individual asbestos related injustice; and the right to fair
compensation.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NSW Premier Pressured to Reject Hardie Plan
----------------------------------------------------------------
NSW Premier Bob Carr faces mounting pressure from his interstate
peers to refuse James Hardie's offer of more money for future
asbestos victims with the condition that they lose their right
to sue.

The NSW Government has primary responsibility for the Hardie
issue because the company's former asbestos subsidiaries are
registered in NSW.

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, the first premier who issued a
statement announcing his was "the first state" to reject
Hardie's offer, started the round of interventions.

South Australia's Premier, Mike Rann, said he rejected Hardie's
proposal for a NSW government tribunal to replace the common law
system.

Western Australia's Consumer and Employment Minister, John
Kobelke considers it unlikely that he would support a statutory
scheme proposed by the company.

Hardie says its proposals would greatly reduce legal fees, which
account for at least a quarter of the cost of dealing with
asbestos claims, an idea believed to interest Mr. Carr. The
company also wants to keep the rate of payouts, on average about
AUD250,000 for asbestos cancer victims, in line with the rate of
inflation.

Unions and asbestos disease support groups have mounted a
vigorous campaign opposing the plan, arguing it would put a cap
on payouts and restrict the ability of victims to pursue their
claims. They want Hardie to provide an unconditional guarantee
to pay all future claims for victims of its products, under the
legal system.

However, unions have pointed out that Hardie's asbestos building
products were used all over Australia, and any changes to the
law would probably require a national solution. Otherwise, if
NSW introduced a statutory scheme, asbestos disease victims
could still sue under common law in the other states, as many
now do.

The head of Melbourne University's Centre for Corporate Law,
Professor Ian Ramsay, said similar reforms in the past to
workers compensation and negligence injury had spread around the
country.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Removal Forces ANZ Bank To Close
--------------------------------------------------------------
The ANZ Bank, located in Sydney's central business district, is
compelled to close its NSW headquarters to have the building
undergo asbestos removal that could cost from AUD5 million to
AUD10 million and could take a few months.

Asbestos, used as a fire retardant, was found at the bank's 20-
storey building despite a refit 20 years ago to remove the
material. This residual asbestos had already been detected late
last year.

"There is no safety issue. We are monitoring the air. But the
effort to remove the asbestos has now been given impetus," said
ANZ spokesman Paul Edwards.

The bank had intended to move its staff from the premises in the
next few years but in light of this development, will bring
forward its relocation plans.

The NSW secretary of the Finance Sector Union, Geoff Derrick,
said, "We are very concerned that ANZ puts its staff first
before their property and business considerations. My concern is
that they have been complacent, since they have known about the
problem since last summer. There is no safe level of asbestos."

"We have been doing more work on the safe asbestos removal
program.and have done this under the guidance of asbestos
removal experts, occupational health and safety consultants and
medical experts," said ANZ head of people capital Shane Freeman.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dutch Treaty Considered for Hardie Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock will consider lodging a
formal request with the Netherlands government for a treaty that
could hasten claims by victims of James Hardie asbestos products
against its parent company in Amsterdam.

James Hardie reorganized its operations and moved its corporate
headquarters to the Netherlands in 2001, after setting up a
trust to meet its future asbestos liabilities. An inquiry
established in New South Wales has heard the trust was
underfunded by up to AUD2 billion.

Australia had failed in its attempt to establish a bilateral
judicial treaty in 1991. Thus, asbestos victims would have to
ask the Dutch Courts individually to uphold any judgment in
Australia.

Mr. Ruddock says inquiries were made with the Dutch in July and
August this year regarding Australia's intentions to restart the
treaty process. "That is a matter which the Dutch have told us
would require them to consult with other countries in the
European Community," he said.

He says the Federal Government prefers to examine the outcome of
the inquiry before deciding whether to proceed with a formal
treaty request to the Dutch.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Landfills Unwilling to Take Asbestos Debris
----------------------------------------------------------------
MacArthur Elementary School officials are dumbfounded on how to
deal with the asbestos debris from a newly started construction
project, as landfills are unwilling to take the contaminated
material.

Most landfills recycle construction debris due to overcrowding
but asbestos cannot be recycled because the toxins would be
released during the process. While the amount of asbestos found
is within legal limits for landfill disposal, local landfills
will not take it. At present, the city is pursuing the bill for
the recycling, but it is under investigation.

There also lies an issue with the payment. It is not clear as
yet who will be responsible between the city and the contractor
for disposing of the debris. It may possibly end up consuming a
huge part of the school project's US$800,000 contingency fund.

According to Gilbane Project Manager Jonathan Depina, the
potential cost could be well over US$100,000.

"We'll fight later about who has to pay for it," School
Department Business Manager David King said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: G-I Holdings, Others May Be Sued For Fraud
----------------------------------------------------------------
On June 8, 2004 the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of
New Jersey grant the Official Committee of Asbestos Claimants
leave to file an adversary proceeding challenging the 1994
Pushdown transaction on behalf of G-I Holdings Inc. asserting a
fraudulent conveyance claim against Building Materials
Corporation of America (BMCA), Bank of New York (BNY), and the
holders of BMCA's publicly-issued notes.  The Committee,
utilizing the standing of the NJDEP as an unsecured creditor,
may bring claims premised on constructive fraud.  However, any
proposed fraudulent conveyance action premised on constructive
fraud that is not dependent upon the claim of the New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) as an existing
unsecured creditor of G-I Holdings is time-barred because the
four-year statute of limitations expired in February of 1998,
almost three years before G-I Holdings filed for bankruptcy.

G-I Holdings is the successor-in-interest to GAF Corp., an
entity named in around 500,000 asbestos actions prior to merging
into G-I Holdings.  The Committee submits that as successor-in-
interest to GAF, G-I Holdings remains liable for about 150,000
asbestos lawsuits filed, but unresolved, as of the petition date
and for unknown numbers of asbestos claims that will be filed in
the future.

BMCA is an indirect subsidiary of G-I Holdings, and is also its
primary operating subsidiary and principal asset.
Significantly, BMCA is not a "debtor" in any bankruptcy
proceeding.  Established in 1994, BMCA received substantially
all the assets of GAF's roofing products business and expressly
assumed $204,000,000 of asbestos liability, with G-I Holdings
indemnifying BMCA against any additional asbestos liability.
Notwithstanding that BMCA claims to have never manufactured any
products containing asbestos, the Company has been named as an
additional defendant in more than 1,000 asbestos bodily injury
lawsuits against GAF since September 2000.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Garlock Inc. Case Remanded in Kentucky
------------------------------------------------------------
On July 30, 2004 the Court of Appeals of Kentucky vacated the
judgment of the Jefferson Circuit Court based on a jury verdict
in favor of Garlock Inc., which manufactures asbestos products.
Charles and Barbara Clephas filed a complaint in 1993 alleging
that Charles, a pipefitter, had contracted asbestos-related
diseases as a result of his occupational exposure to gaskets
manufactured by Garlock.  They challenge the ruling of the trial
court not to exclude the opinion testimony offered by Garlock's
two expert witnesses, Dr. Robert Sawyer and Donna Ringo.

The Court of Appeals held that the trial court abused its
discretion in its admission of the undisclosed medical and
causation opinions of Dr. Sawyer.  Because his opinions
seriously undermined the opinions expressed by the Clephases'
expert, the Court of Appeals ruled that the error was
sufficiently prejudicial to entitle the couple to a new trial.
The judgment of the Jefferson Circuit Court was vacated, and the
matter remanded for further proceedings.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Manville, Travelers Settle Direct Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
approved the Johns-Manville Corp. insurance settlement with The
Travelers Indemnity Co., Travelers Casualty and certain
affiliates.  Months of negotiations between Travelers and
plaintiffs prosecuting so-called direct action claims culminated
in the execution of settlement agreements which will fully and
finally resolve all of the Direct Action Claims and establish
funds totaling $440,000,000 in additional compensation for
asbestos victims.

Fundamentally, the story of asbestos health litigation is the
story of Johns-Manville.  Manville was intimately involved with
the mining, manufacture and distribution of asbestos from its
inception; according to most sources, from the 1920's until the
1970's Johns-Manville was both the largest manufacturer of
asbestos-containing products and the largest supplier of raw
asbestos in the United States.

Travelers Insurance Co. was the primary insurer for Johns-
Manville Corp. for each year from 1947 through 1976.  In
addition to providing 29 years of primary comprehensive general
liability coverage, Travelers issued over 425 other policies to
Manville, including but not limited to workers compensation
policies, boiler and machinery policies, employers' liability
policies, manufacturers and contractors liability policies,
owners and contractors protective liability policies, owners,
and landlords and tenants general liability policies.  Each of
those policies was made a part of the Insurance Settlement
Agreement.

The Court received testimony from David T. Austern, who, in
addition to serving as the President of Claims Resolution
Management Corp., has been the General Counsel of the Manville
Personal Injury Trust for 17 years and has represented the
Manville Trust in a variety of litigations.  A recognized expert
on the subject of Manville, the operation of the Manville Trust
and asbestos litigation, Mr. Austern has repeatedly testified
about asbestos-related issues before various courts and
Congressional committees and has lectured at 21 symposia or
seminars on the subject of asbestos claims.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Keystone Accused DC Health Official Of Extortion
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied
defendant Jeffrey Dewhite Edwards' motion for acquittal on July
12, 2004.  The defendant, a former asbestos inspector with the
D.C. Department of Health, was charged in a two-count indictment
with bribery, and extortion by threatened economic harm and
under color of official right.  At the defendant's trial, Carlos
Elizondo, who was a consultant to a Virginia company known as
Keystone Environmental Services LLC, testified in the
government's case-in-chief that in early 2003, the defendant
demanded and received $10,000 in connection with Keystone's
contract to remove asbestos from and demolish trash incinerators
at the Benning Road Solid Waste Transfer Station in Northeast
Washington, D.C.  Elizondo said that in exchange for the
$10,000, the defendant agreed not to recommend that Keystone be
barred from contracting with the District of Columbia,
guaranteed approval of Keystone's work permit, and ensured that
Keystone could do its job free from regulatory interference.

At the close of the government's case-in-chief, and at the close
of all the evidence in the case, the defendant moved for a
judgment of acquittal on both counts of the indictment.  The
motion was denied with respect to bribery.  Ruling was reserved
with respect to extortion.  Both charges were submitted to the
jury.


COMPANY PROFILE

Keystone Environmental Services LLC
5416 Oakwood Road
Alexandria, VA
Phone: 703-921-5040
http://www.keystoneenvironmental.com

Description: Keystone Environmental has a more than 20-year
history of providing customers state-of-the-art hazardous waste
identification, transportation and disposal services along with
site assessments, remediation services and environmental
consulting all conducted by highly-trained staff.  It combines
waste transportation with environmental consulting.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Viad Corp. Preempted from Asbestos Claims
----------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Ohio decided on July 28, 2004 to reject the
appeal of Forest L. Darby et al. on the grounds that the Federal
Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act (BIA) preempts state tort
claims against locomotive manufacturers asserting injury caused
by exposure to asbestos contained in railroad locomotives.  The
former railroad company employees moved to add 11 new party-
defendants, among them Viad Corp., Vapor Corp., and Baldwin-
Lima-Hamilton Inc. (BLH) on their claims for asbestos-related
injuries.  Viad, BLH's alleged successor-in-interest, filed a
memorandum in opposition to the motion.  The Court of Common
Pleas, Cuyahoga County, denied the motion.  On interlocutory
appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Darby, the appellant, along with multiple other plaintiffs,
filed a complaint in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
against nearly 60 named defendants and against additional
defendants identified only as "John Does 1-100, Manufacturers,
Sellers or Installers of Asbestos-Containing Products."  The
court of appeals affirmed the trial court's denial of leave to
amend the complaint to add the three new parties.  It concluded
that Darby's state-law claims against Viad, BLH, and Old Orchard
Industrial Corp. (purportedly the successor to Vapor) were
barred because "the BIA completely preempted state law on
requirements imposed upon locomotive parts, or materials used in
such parts."  The Supreme Court holds that Darby's claims
against locomotive manufacturers are wholly futile, and
therefore affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals in
refusing to allow the addition of Viad, Vapor, and BLH as new
party-defendants.


COMPANY PROFILE

Viad Corp. (NYSE: VVI)
Viad Tower, 1850 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85077
Phone: 602-207-4000
Fax: 602-207-5900
http://www.viad.com

Employees                  :           4,710
Revenue                    : $ 1,572,100,000.00
Net Income                 : $   113,900,000.00
Assets                     : $ 9,222,200,000.00
Liabilities                : $ 8,372,200,000.00
(As of December 31, 2003)

Description: Viad Corp., the result of a split from Dial Corp.,
offers convention and event services.  Its GES Exposition
Services provides convention services to trade associations,
management groups, and exhibitors.  Viad's Brewster Transport
offers travel services (Canadian tours) and its Glacier Park
division offers recreation services (mountain lodges).  In 2004
the company completed a spin off of its payment services,
Moneygram and Travelers Express, to form a new company,
MoneyGram International.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Asahi Glass Fined GBP3,000 for Asbestos Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asahi Glass Fluoropolymers UK (AGFP) was fined GBP3,000 and
ordered to pay GBP1,396 for exposing its workers to asbestos.
Asahi pleaded guilty at Fylde Coast Magistrates Court in
Fleetwood to a violation of Section 3(1) of the Health and
Safety at Work Act 1974.

The case was triggered by an incident that occurred last June 24
to 26 when ceiling tiles containing asbestos were removed during
the renovation work carried out by AGFP at its Lancashire
factory. Seven workers were exposed to asbestos during the
three-day period.

The company's managers suspected that the ceiling tiles might
contain asbestos but still allowed work to continue in the
contaminated area. An asbestos analyst subsequently confirmed
the presence of brown and white asbestos in the ceiling tiles.
The ceiling contractor did not have an asbestos license and its
employees were not trained in asbestos removal.

COMPANY PROFILE

AG Fluoropolymers UK Limited,
Hillhouse International,
PO Box 4, Thornton Cleveleys,
Lancashire, FY5 4QD, UK
Phone: + 44 (0) 1253 861963
Fax: + 44 (0) 1253 861950
http://www.fluoropolymers.uk.com

Description:

AG Fluoropolymers UK Limited manufactures PTFE resin, compounds
and lubricant powders and has overall responsibility for the
sale of Fluonr, ETFE, Fluonr LM-ETFE, Fluonr PFA, Fluonr Ultra
Pure PFA and Fluonr AflasT in Europe. Asahi Glass Fluoropolymers
UK Limited is located at Hillhouse International Site in
Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire, United Kingdom and is wholly
owned by Asahi Glass Company of Japan. Asahi Glass Company's
principal business interests are glass and chemical products and
it is one of the world's leading producers of fluorochemicals
and fluoropolymer materials.




                  New Securities Fraud Cases


DECODE GENETICS: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP ("Lerach Coughlin") initiated a class action in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of purchasers of deCODE genetics, Inc. ("deCODE")
(NASDAQ:DCGN) publicly traded securities during the period
between October 29, 2003 and August 26, 2004 (the "Class
Period").

The complaint charges deCODE and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. deCODE is a population genetics company developing drugs
and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-based diagnostics, based upon
its discoveries in the inherited causes of common diseases.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
caused deCODE's shares to trade at artificially inflated levels
through the issuance of false and misleading statements,
including by concealing its continuing internal control
problems. As a result of this inflation, deCODE was able to
complete a public offering of $150 million worth of convertible
notes in April 2004, raising net proceeds of $144 million. Then,
on August 26, 2004, deCODE filed a Form 8-K with the SEC in
which it disclosed the resignation of its outside accountant and
disclosed a "reportable condition" with respect to deCODE's
closing procedures. On this news, deCODE's stock collapsed to
$5.70 per share, 58% below the Class Period high of $13.80 per
share.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins of
Lerach Coughlin by Phone: 800-449-4900 or by E-mail:
wsl@lerachlaw.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/decode/



                            *********


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.

                            *********


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.   Glenn Ruel Seorin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
Resnick, Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 240/629-3300.

                  * * *  End of Transmission  * * *