CAR_Public/041022.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, October 22, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 210

                            Headlines

AIR TRANSAT: Report: Pilot Negligence Blamed For 2001 Emergency
AMERICAN FAMILY: Claim Adjusters Lodge Overtime Wage Suit in CO
AMYLIN PHARMACEUTICALS: Settlement Hearing Set December 30, 2004
BLUE BIRD: Recalls, Repairs 10 Motor Homes For Accident Hazard
BUSTIN INDUSTRIAL: Recalls 2152 Truck Ladders For Injury Hazard

C. KENNETH IMPORTS: Recalls Cookies Due To Undeclared Peanuts
CALIFORNIA: Appeals Court Says Animal Activists' Rights Violated
CHRIS ARLOTTA: Recalls 2,900 Mattress Pads Due To Burn Hazard
COLORADO: CBMS Suit Revived, Cites Seven People Having Trouble
CORPORATE AIRLINES: Plane Crashes in MO, Thirteen People Killed

DOLE FOOD: Former Employees Win Settlement, Amount Not Disclosed
FEDERAL-MOGUL: To Recall 612 Ball Joint Assemblies Due To Defect
GREAT ATLANTIC: Ontario Court OKs Settlement of Franchisee Suit
GREAT ATLANTIC: Deadline For Writ of Certiorari in Suit Expires
HOST MARRIOTT: Reaches Agreement To Settle IL Lawsuit For $2.5M

HUB INTERNATIONAL: Named As Defendant in Marsh & McLennan Suit
IC CORPORATION: Recalls 154 School Buses For Child Seats Defect
INKINE PHARMACEUTICAL: Settles PA Preemptive Rights Litigation
J.K. HARRIS: CA Couple Files Fraud Suit For Failure To Represent
KINDER MORGAN: Aspen Appeals Dismissal of CO Natural Gas Lawsuit

KPMG LLP: Agrees To Pay $10M To Settle SEC Securities Charges
LATTICE SEMICONDUCTOR: Goodkind Labaton Sets Plaintiff Deadline
MARSH & MCLENNAN: Suspends 4 Workers Connected To Spitzer Probe
MITSUBISHI FUSO: Recalls 2892 Trucks Due To Defect, Fire Hazard
MITSUBISHI FUSO: Recalls 2537 Trucks Due To Defect, Fire Hazard

ORGANON USA: Reaches Settlement of Remeron Antitrust Complaints
ORGANON USA: NJ A.G. Cox Joins Remeron Antitrust Settlement
ORGANON USA: ID A.G. Wasden Enters Remeron Settlement
PERFORMANCE MACHINE: Recalls Motorcycle Wheels For Crash Hazard
PHILIP MORRIS: IL High Court Sets Oral Arguments For November 10

RRK HOLDINGS: Pays $100T Fine For Failure To Report Saw's Hazard
SURE-LOK INC.: Recalls 125 Wheelchair Tie-Down Locks For Defect
TRINITY HEALTH: CEO Says Lawsuits By The Uninsured Solves Little
UNITED STATES: OptiCare Health Lodges Suit For Insurance Fraud
WANG GLOBALNET: Recalls Korean Crackers Due To Undeclared Eggs

WASHINGTON: New Panel Created To Reform Foster-Care System
ZIPPO MANUFACTURING: Recalls 101,557 Lighters Due To Injury Risk

                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Babcock & Wilcox Plan Wins Federal Approval
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Relief Trust Pays Out ZAR16.5M
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: More Victims to Sue Swiss Mining Companies
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: LGANT Calls for Study of Indigenous Threat
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AZ Agency Hosts Asbestos Control Seminars

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Widow Condemns Ireland's Waste Unit Plan
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Pleural Effusions, A Warning Sign of Cancer
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WA Island Residents Alarmed Over Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Firefighters Battle Blaze Amid Health Risks
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EC Approves Alimta for 2 Cancer Indications

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL Court of Appeal Rules for Asbestos Judge
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Irish Health Dept Probes 31 Schools in 2004
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US Govt Pushes Ghost Ship Recycling Deal
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hercules Inc. Drops Suit Against Insurers
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Firemen Face High Risk of Mesothelioma

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Farmers Alerted to Costly Work Violation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: New Drug Aids Mesothelioma Sufferers in AU
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W.R. Grace Seeks to Delay Reorganization
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Home Renovators Likely to Dump Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hopes Rise for Turner & Newall Pensioners

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Coroner Advises to Record Work History
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AMF Bowling Worldwide Sets Record Straight
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Health Chief Orders Building Site to Close
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie's Case Struggles as it Moves Forward
ASBESTOS ALERT: St. Luke's Hospital Reaches US$6,750 Settlement

ASBESTOS ALERT: Westfield Fined GBD4,700 for Disposal Violation
ASBESTOS ALERT: PA Family Files Suit V. 38 Companies for US$7.8M
ASBESTOS ALERT: Pensioner Launches GBD150T Compensation Battle
ASBESTOS ALERT: EDF Energy Awards Compensation to Victim's Widow
ASBESTOS ALERT: El Paso Disposal Fined US$82T for 41 Violations

ASBESTOS ALERT: Fire Officials Close WA Theater for Violations
ASBESTOS ALERT: Cancer Victim's Wife Sues UK Ministry of Defense
ASBESTOS ALERT: Balfour Beatty Faces Domestic Exposure Lawsuit

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

CONVERIUM HOLDING: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Suit in NY
HARTFORD FINANCIAL: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Stock Suit in CT
INTELLIGROUP INC.: Berman DeValerio Lodges Securities Suit in NJ
INTELLIGROUP INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Stock Suit in NJ


                            *********


AIR TRANSAT: Report: Pilot Negligence Blamed For 2001 Emergency
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pilot negligence is to blame for the near-disaster on Air
Transat flight 236 from Toronto to Lisbon, Portugal in 2001, a
Portuguese report states, the London Free Press reports.

The Airbus A-330 descended more than 9,000 meters without power
and glided to an engines-out emergency landing in Portugal's
mid-Atlantic Azores Islands on August 24,2001.  Glenn Grenier,
lawyer in a class action filed on behalf of 193 of the 292
passengers on the flight presented the report, which points to
Capt. Robert Piche and co-pilot Derk DeJager for failing to
control a fuel leak.

The report said the pilots failed to recognize the leak and
tried to correct from memory - rather than by following a
checklist - what they believed was a weight imbalance, during
which time they pumped tonnes of fuel overboard.  The report
also pointed to inadequate safety procedures, lapses in pilot
training and an engine that was improperly installed as
contributing to the near-disaster.

"That was negligence," said Mr. Grenier, of the Toronto law firm
Goodman and Carr, according to the London Free Press.  "Up to
the point in time when the engines flamed out, the pilots were
in error and they were negligent in the operation of the
aircraft."

The $30 million class action names as defendants Air Transat,
engine-maker Rolls-Royce and plane manufacturer Airbus.  The
plaintiffs say they suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and
a variety of fractures and soft-tissue injuries.

In a statement of defense, Air Transat said the injuries
suffered by passengers were minor, a claim disputed by Mr.
Grenier, the London Free Press reports.  "(If) there is a very
strong possibility that you're going to die or you're going to
be in the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of nowhere, that's going
to have a severe effect on you," he said.


AMERICAN FAMILY: Claim Adjusters Lodge Overtime Wage Suit in CO
---------------------------------------------------------------
Current and former vehicle property damage claim adjusters of
American Family Insurance ("AmFam") initiated a nationwide class
action lawsuit in federal district court in Denver charging the
Company with failure to pay overtime wages in violation of
federal and state labor laws. The case is entitled Baldozier et
al. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, No. 04-D-2174
CBS.

The Company employs more than 8,100 workers; the proposed class
includes hundreds of vehicle property damage claim adjusters in
17 states. The complaint charges that AmFam unlawfully
misclassifies its employees who process vehicle property damage
claims as "exempt" from certain state and federal labor laws in
order to deprive them of overtime pay.

"AmFam generated over $321 million in profit in 2003," stated
Lieff Cabraser partner James M. Finberg. "Much of these profits
are attributable to the long hours and weekends worked by claim
adjusters denied overtime pay."

"The lawsuit seeks to affirm the principle that insurance claims
representatives are entitled to protection under federal and
state overtime pay laws," said Thomas A. Warren of the Law
Office of Thomas A. Warren.

Steven G. Zieff of Rudy, Exelrod & Zieff, LLP, explained, "The
complaint charges that AmFam has instituted a policy of refusing
to pay overtime wages due to vehicle property damage claims
adjusters even though these adjusters have never been exempt
from overtime pay requirements under federal law and Department
of Labor regulations."

"Ironically, AmFam recruits employees by touting that it is
'committed to providing a positive work experience for all of
our employees,'" noted Robert F. Hill of Hill & Robbins, P.C.
"We believe the evidence will show that AmFam failed to comply
with its basic obligation to pay its employees fairly and in
accordance with the law."

For more details, contact Monica Barsetti of Lieff Cabraser by
E-mail: mbarsetti@lchb.com OR James M. Finberg of Lieff Cabraser
Heimann & Bernstein, LLP by Mail: 275 Battery Street, 30th
Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111 by Phone: 415-956-1000 OR Thomas
A. Warren of the Law Office of Thomas A. Warren by Mail: 2032-D
Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308 by Phone: 850-385-1551
OR Steven G. Zieff of Rudy, Exelrod & Zieff, LLP by Mail: 351
California Street, Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104 by Phone:
415-434-9800 OR visit
http://www.americanfamilyovertimelawsuit.com


AMYLIN PHARMACEUTICALS: Settlement Hearing Set December 30, 2004
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
California will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed
$2,100,000 settlement in the matter IN RE AMYLIN
PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. SECURITIES LITIGATION, Case No. CV-01-1455
LAB (WMc)(Southern District of California) on behalf of all
persons who purchased or acquired the Company's common stock
during the period from November 8, 1999, through July 25, 2001.

The hearing will be held on December 30, 2004, at 11:00 a.m.,
before the Honorable Larry A. Burns, in the United States
District Court, Southern District of California, located at 880
Front Street, San Diego, CA 92101.

For more details, contact Jordan L. Lurie or Vahn Alexander of
WEISS & YOURMAN by Mail: 10940 Wilshire Boulevard, 24th Floor,
Los Angeles, CA 90024 by Phone: (310) 208-2800 OR Amylin
Pharmaceuticals Securities Litigation c/o Berdon Claims
Administration LLC by Mail: P.O. Box 9014, Jericho, NY 11753-
8914 by Fax: (516) 931-0810 or visit their Web site:
http://www.berdonllp.com/claims


BLUE BIRD: Recalls, Repairs 10 Motor Homes For Accident Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
Blue Bird Body Company cooperated with the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily recalling
and repairing Blue Bird Wanderlodge motor homes, model 2005.

On certain 45' motor homes, an incorrect bussbar cable connector
was installed in the main power distribution box.  Under high
load conditions, arcing and shorting could occur which can
destroy the bussbar assembly and cause loss of power to the
engine.  Sudden engine shut-down and loss of the ability to move
the vehicle out of the roadway could result in a crash.

Dealers replaced the incorrect 150 AMP bussbar cable connector
with a 600 AMP bussbar cable connector.  All vehicles have been
repaired.  For more details, contact the NHTSA's auto safety
hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).


BUSTIN INDUSTRIAL: Recalls 2152 Truck Ladders For Injury Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bustin Industrial Products is cooperating with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by recalling
starting July 2004, 2152 aftermarket aluminum pullout truck
ladders, namely:

     (1) BUSTIN / POA-59

     (2) BUSTIN / POA-60

     (3) BUSTIN / POS-204

     (4) BUSTIN / TAP-200

     (5) BUSTIN / TRAILER LADDER

Weld breakage and eventual failure of the step can occur in the
truck ladder models TAP-200, POA-59 and POA-60.  Roll pins can
loosen and fall out in the truck ladder model POS-204.  These
ladders were manufactured before 2003.  Should the ladder fail
in any of these capacities, the person using the ladder can fall
possibly resulting in serious injury.

Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable
time should contact the Company by Phone: 800-933-5166.  The
Company will notify its customers and provide a free remedy.
For more details, also contact the NHTSA's auto safety hotline:
1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).


C. KENNETH IMPORTS: Recalls Cookies Due To Undeclared Peanuts
-------------------------------------------------------------
C. Kenneth Imports, 150 th St. & Exterior St., Bronx, New York
is recalling Kirin Combi Cookies in 7.62 oz. packages,
manufactured by Kirin Ltd., Korea, because they contain
undeclared peanuts. Consumers who are allergic to peanuts run
the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if
they consume this product.

The recalled Kirin Combi Cookies are 216g (7.62 oz.), 15
packages to a case. Package codes for products are 2005.3.26.
Approximately 64 cases were distributed in New York and New
Jersey Korean supermarkets.

The recall was initiated after routine sampling by New York
State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspector
revealed the presence of undeclared peanuts in Kirin Combi
Cookies in packages which was not declared as an ingredient on
the label. The consumption of peanuts by allergic individuals
has been reported to elicit severe reactions.

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

Consumers who are allergic to peanuts and have purchased Kirin
Combi Cookies are urged to return them to the place of purchase.
Consumers with questions may contact the company at
1-800-624-5639.


CALIFORNIA: Appeals Court Says Animal Activists' Rights Violated
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of
animal rights activists in the suit asserting that confining
them to small spaces while they were protesting circuses and
rodeos at the state-run Cow Palace in San Francisco, California
violated their constitutional free-speech rights, the Associated
Press reports.

The state set small "free expression zones" for the activists
over 200 feet from the entrance of the rodeos, saying it was
necessary to cordon protesters to assure the flow and safety of
vehicle and foot traffic.

Activist Alfredo Kuba filed the suit saying the zones prevented
them from expressing their protests.  A three-judge panel of the
United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously agreed
with him.

"Cordoning protesters off in a free expression zone the size of
a parking space, located over 200 feet from the entrance, far
from encouraging interaction with them, is more likely to give
the impression to passers-by that these are people to be
avoided," Judge Marsha S. Berzon wrote, according to AP.  The
court further said that the state's reason was unnecessary,
because few protesters show up at the Grand National Rodeo and
Stock Show, and the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Charles Getz, a lawyer with the California attorney general's
office who defended the law, said the office was considering an
appeal, AP reports.


CHRIS ARLOTTA: Recalls 2,900 Mattress Pads Due To Burn Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Arlotta Enterprises Ltd., of New York, N.Y. is cooperating
with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission by
voluntarily recalling about 2,900 Mattress Pads.

These mattress pads fail to meet the federal mandatory standard
for flammability under the Flammable Fabrics Act. They pose a
serious risk of burn injury or death to consumers if exposed to
smoldering or burning cigarettes.

The recalled mattress pads are natural colored, made of 100
percent cotton Chenille, and were sold in twin, full, queen,
king and California king. The Web and catalog retailers and the
mattress pads' model numbers, listed below, are identified on
the packaging:

Web Retailer = Style Numbers

The Vermont Country Store = 242637, 42638, 42639, 42640
Garnet Hill Inc. = 066-TW, 066-DB, 066-QN, 066-KG, 066-CK
GAIAM Inc. = 03-0144T, 03-0144F, 03-0144Q, 03-0144K, S5224
The Company Store = MA0501T, MA0501F, MA0501Q, MA0501K

Manufactured in India, mattress pads were sold at all web and
catalog retailers (listed above) nationwide from December 2003
through March 2004 for between $50 and $100.

Consumer should immediately stop using the product and contact
Chris Arlotta Enterprises Ltd. or the retailer for information
on how to obtain a refund plus cost of shipping.

Consumer Contact: For more information, contact Chris Arlotta
Enterprises Ltd. at (888) 779-0711 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET
Monday through Friday.


COLORADO: CBMS Suit Revived, Cites Seven People Having Trouble
--------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit requesting the shut-down of the $200 million Colorado
Benefits Management System (CBMS), the state's problematic
computerized benefits system designed to streamline the
application process for potential welfare recipients, was
recently revived, claiming poor people are still without the
food, medicine and other services needed to survive, the Rocky
Mountain News reports.

The class action lawsuit, previously reported in the September
2, 2004 issue of CAR Newsletter, now cites seven people who
can't get food stamps and Medicaid benefits, who lost child-care
assistance or who face homelessness because of the many delays
in the new CBMS.

According to legal observers, the lawsuit is similar to one
dismissed on September 28 by Denver District Judge John
Coughlin, who had ruled that the people in that case were
getting paid and so were unharmed. However at the time of his
ruling the judge warned that the state was not "out of the
woods" yet and thereby urged attorneys for the poor to bring
another suit naming people still being denied their claims.

Ed Kahn, the attorney who filed the case, said CBMS, which went
online on September 1, still isn't running at the speed of the
old system, and continues to create backlogs of cases that run
into the thousands or even tens of thousands. The system is also
blamed for causing people stress when they receive conflicting
notices of whether they are approved for the benefits. He is
asking the state to revert to the old system until such a time
that the CBMS can prove that people will get their proper
benefits.

Defendants named in the suit include Karen Reinertson, executive
director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and
Financing, and Marva Livingston Hammons, executive director of
the Colorado Department of Human Services.


CORPORATE AIRLINES: Plane Crashes in MO, Thirteen People Killed
---------------------------------------------------------------
A commuter plane crashed Tuesday while approaching an airport in
northeastern Missouri, killing thirteen of the 15 people on
board, officials said, according to the Associated Press.

The Jetstream 32 twin-engine turboprop, Corporate Airlines
Flight 5966 was on a regular route from St. Louis, Missouri when
it crashed shortly after 7:50 p.m., Elizabeth Isham Cory, a
spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Chicago,
told AP.  The plane crashed into woods four miles south of the
Kirksville Regional Airport.

According to the last communication from the airplane, it was on
a normal approach to the airport.  There was no mention of any
problems, Ms. Cory said.  Weather conditions at the time of the
crash were overcast with misting and some thunderstorms in the
area, according to an FAA weather observation system. It wasn't
immediately known if it was storming where the plane went down
or if weather was a factor.

Adair County Chief Deputy Larry Logston initially told AP that
at least two people on board the flight from St. Louis survived
and were being treated at a hospital, and five were missing.  Of
the 15 onboard, 13 were passengers and two were crewmembers.  He
added there were two known survivors - a man and a woman.  A
search for the missing five people later confirmed they were
dead.

The two survivors were being treated at Northeast Regional
Medical Center in Kirksville, according to Larry Rodgers, a
spokesman for the hospital, AP reports.  He said both were
stable, but had no information about the extent of their
injuries.  "As the physicians evaluate them, we should know
more," he said.

Corporate Airlines, based in Smyrna, Tenn., began operating in
1996 and is affiliated with American Airlines. As
AmericanConnection, Corporate provides 70 flights from 13 cities
in the Midwest to St. Louis and Nashville.

Doug Caldwell, Corporate Airlines' CEO, said the crash was the
airline's first fatal accident. The company has 250 employees
and flies 17 Jetstream 32s. The airline was trying to contact
the families of all the passengers Tuesday night, he said, AP
reports.

"On behalf of Corporate Airlines, I want to extend our deepest
sympathies to the family of the passengers of flight 5966,"
Caldwell said in a news release.  The statement also said the
airline could not speculate as to the cause of the crash.

There was no immediate comment from American Airlines, according
to AP.


DOLE FOOD: Former Employees Win Settlement, Amount Not Disclosed
----------------------------------------------------------------
As part of a class action settlement reached between Dole Food
Company, Inc. and the California Legal Rural Assistance
Foundation, former employees of the company who lost their full-
time jobs at one of its packinghouse and grape fields in 2000
and 2001 are set to share on an undisclosed amount of back pay,
the Vida en el Valle reports.  The settlement, which won
preliminary approval from U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger on
September 20, 2004, is scheduled for a January 24, 2005 final
approval hearing.

The class action lawsuit was filed by 10 former Dole workers who
claim that the world's largest producer of fresh fruits and
vegetables did not follow federal law in notifying them 60 days
in advance of a plant closure.

Operated by Dole Food Company, Dole Citrus and Dole Fresh Fruit
Co., the workers at Central Valley Citrus packing shed in Terra
Bella were told by management in July 2000 that it was being
shut down for repairs and would reopen as soon as possible.
However, in September 2000, the workers were told the plant was
shut down permanently and that they were being terminated.  In
February 2001, the Company also laid of all workers assigned to
their ranch operations in Mettler and Earlimart.

For more details, regarding the settlement, former Dole workers
who believe they may qualify are encouraged to call
(877) 800-7853.


FEDERAL-MOGUL: To Recall 612 Ball Joint Assemblies Due To Defect
----------------------------------------------------------------
Federal-Mogul Chassis Products is cooperating with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily
recalling 612 ball joint assemblies, model K9643, sold as
aftermarket equipment on 1987-1990 Honda Accord and 1988-1995
Honda Truck Odyssey Vehicles.

The subject parts have a low hardness allowing the ball joint
the potential to wear prematurely.  The recall only pertains to
aftermarket Federal-Mogul ball joint assemblies and has no
relation to any original equipment installed on Honda Accord or
Odyssey vehicles by Honda North America.  The Company has not
yet provided the NHTSA with a notification and remedy schedule.


GREAT ATLANTIC: Ontario Court OKs Settlement of Franchisee Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved the settlement of
the class action filed against The Great Atlantic & Pacific
Company of Canada Limited, styled "1176560 Ontario Limited,
1184883 Ontario Inc. and 1205427 Ontario Limited vs. The Great
Atlantic & Pacific Company of Canada Limited; Ontario Superior
Court of Justice, Court File No. 02 CV-227777CP."

Certain franchisees of the Company's Food Basics discount
grocery operations in Ontario, Canada filed the suit, as
representative plaintiffs for a purported class of approximately
70 current and former Canadian Food Basics franchisees.  The
lawsuit seeks unspecified damages in connection with A&P
Canada's alleged failure to distribute to the franchisees the
full amount of vendor allowances and/or rebates to which the
franchisees claim they are entitled under the operative
franchise agreements, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(August 3,2004) reports.

The settlement was approved by the Canadian court on October 4,
2004.  Under the terms of the settlement, A&P Canada will pay
approximately $32 million (pre-tax), representing payment for
damages as well the repurchase of the franchise shares.


GREAT ATLANTIC: Deadline For Writ of Certiorari in Suit Expires
---------------------------------------------------------------
The deadline for filing a writ of certiorari concerning the
dismissal of the securities class action filed against The Great
Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc. with the United States
Supreme Court has expired.

The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey and styled "In re The Great Atlantic &
Pacific Tea Company, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 02 CV 2674
(FSH)."  The suit alleged claims under Sections 10(b) (and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 arising out of the Company's July 5, 2002
filing of restated financial statements for fiscal 1999, fiscal
2000 and the first three quarters of fiscal 2001.  The complaint
sought unspecified money damages, costs and expenses, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (August 3,2004) reports.

On September 18,2003, the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey dismissed the suit.  The United States
Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal in
July 2004. The deadline by which plaintiffs could have filed
with the United States Supreme Court a petition seeking a writ
of certiorari challenging the Third Circuit's ruling expired in
early October 2004 without plaintiffs having made such a filing.


HOST MARRIOTT: Reaches Agreement To Settle IL Lawsuit For $2.5M
---------------------------------------------------------------
Host Mariott Corporation reached a preliminary agreement with
plaintiffs to settle for $2.5 million all claims in the matter
of "Joseph S. Roth et al v. MHOS Corporation et. al," a putative
class action lawsuit filed on October 5, 2000 in the Circuit
Court of Cook County, Illinois.

The parties subsequently executed a more formal settlement
agreement, which was approved by the Circuit Court at a
preliminary hearing on October 13, 2004.  A notice of the
proposed settlement will be sent to class members who will have
60 days to opt out of the class.  After the notice period ends,
the court will hold a final hearing on the settlement, which
should occur in early 2005.  Once final approval is received and
the time for a class member to appeal the final order has run,
funds would be distributed to class members.


HUB INTERNATIONAL: Named As Defendant in Marsh & McLennan Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hub International Limited (NYSE:HBG)(TSX:HBG) has been named in
a class action suit filed in New York on behalf of a client of a
Marsh & McLennan subsidiary against more than 30 different
brokers and insurance companies relating to the pricing and
placement of insurance.  The Chicago, Illinois-based Company is
in the process of reviewing the complaint.

The Company, a leading North American insurance brokerage,
provides a broad array of property and casualty, life and
health, employee benefits, investment and risk management
products and services through offices located in the United
States and Canada.


IC CORPORATION: Recalls 154 School Buses For Child Seats Defect
---------------------------------------------------------------
IC Corporation is cooperating with the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily recalling 154
school buses, namely:

     (1) AMTRAN / CE, model 2000-2002

     (2) AMTRAN / FE, model 2001-2004

     (3) AMTRAN / RE, model 2002

     (4) IC / CE, model 2003-2005

Certain CE, FE and RE school buses built with one or more CE
white 30-inch child restraint seats and manufactured between
March 25,1998 and August 24,2004 are included in the recall.
The seat cushion retention may not retain the seat in all
circumstances.  In the event of a sudden stop, the seat cushion
may tip forward and may become unattached, causing the passenger
to slide off the seat and/or be trapped by the seat cushion.
This action could possibly result in personal injury or death.

The Company will notify its customers and will repair the
cushion by adding a clip to the cushion tying it to the seat
frame.  The recall is expected to begin on October 2004.

Owners who take their vehicles to an authorized dealer on an
agreed upon service date and do not receive the free remedy
within a reasonable time should contact the Company's compliance
department by Phone: 1-800-843-5615, or contact the NHTSA's auto
safety hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).

INKINE PHARMACEUTICAL: Settles PA Preemptive Rights Litigation
--------------------------------------------------------------
InKine Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: INKP) entered into
an agreement with an undisclosed third-party who will fund its
settlement of damages and costs incurred in connection with the
class action lawsuit related to the denial of certain claimed
preemptive rights. In addition, the Company has entered into,
and filed with the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County,
a settlement agreement with the class of InKine shareholders in
the class action lawsuit. The Company and its insurance carriers
are not expected to bear any costs in connection with the
settlement arrangement.

"We are pleased with the structure and expeditious fashion for
which parties involved were able to reach an agreement," said
Leonard S. Jacob, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of InKine. "We
have received reimbursement from a third-party along the way and
have expected, based on the facts and circumstances of the
preemptive rights issue, that any additional costs incurred
would continue to be reimbursed by others," added Dr. Jacob.

The settlement is subject to a number of conditions, including
final court approval. At this time, there can be no assurance
that those conditions will be met and that the settlement will
receive final court approval.


J.K. HARRIS: CA Couple Files Fraud Suit For Failure To Represent
----------------------------------------------------------------
An Oakland couple initiated a potential class action lawsuit
against South Carolina firm, J.K. Harris, which bills itself as
a champion for taxpayers in trouble with the Internal Revenue
Service, The Argus Online reports.

Lily and Rene Guzman filed the suit in Alameda County Superior
Court, alleging the Company takes a fee from people, then leaves
them high and dry and at the mercy of IRS auditors.  The couple
themselves had paid Harris a $3,800 fee in June 2003 to
represent them in an IRS "offer and compromise" process
regarding a tax debt. According to the San Francisco law firm of
Hersh and Hersh, which represents the Guzmans in what they
believe has the potential to be a class action suit, if
taxpayers can demonstrate a tax is unfair, inequitable or
creates an economic hardship, the IRS may agree to a settlement.

The suit further alleges a Harris representative reportedly told
the couple that the firm would deal with the IRS and prevent
enforced collection, including levying of wages, or additional
debt penalties and that his firm promised to settle the Guzmans'
tax debts for a significantly lower amount than presently owed.

However, the South Carolina-based firm never made good on their
promises. Two months after entering into the agreement, the IRS
began sending the Guzmans notices of its intent to levy Lily
Guzman's wages.

The suit asks a judge to stop Harris from using "deceptive and
misleading" business practices and orders the firm to pay
restitution to Californians who paid fees to Harris and never
received services as promised.


KINDER MORGAN: Aspen Appeals Dismissal of CO Natural Gas Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The city of Aspen is appealing the dismissal of the class action
lawsuit against natural gas supplier Kinder Morgan with hopes of
establishing a legal principle, according to city attorney John
Worcester, the Aspen Times reports.

District Court Judge T. Peter Craven dismissed the suit last
month, ruling that a lawsuit regarding utility rate practices
properly belongs before the Colorado Public Utilities
Commission, not in district court.

The lawsuit claims that Kinder Morgan overcharges Western Slope
customers because the Company's rates don't adequately reflect
the loss of heating power in natural gas at higher elevations,
which is not anymore the basis for the appeal. Instead, the
city, according to John Worcester is appealing Craven's ruling
that the deceptive-trade claim as it relates to utility rates
belongs first before the PUC,

Mr. Worcester points out that the Colorado Consumer Protection
Act applies, separate and independent of anything they might
pursue at the PUC, which he thinks is an important legal
principle to establish.

As previously reported in the June 8, 2004 edition of the CAR
Newsletter, Aspen and the city of Glenwood Springs, which later
voluntarily dismissed its claims jointly filed the lawsuit
against Kinder Morgan, claiming the gas company has falsely
represented the quality and characteristics of the natural gas
it sells to Western Slope customers. They claimed the company
bills customers for gas based on its heating content at sea
level, though when natural gas expands at higher elevations,
each liter of gas has fewer molecules - and a reduced heating
content.

Kinder Morgan, who had sought dismissal of the lawsuit,
countered that it does take altitude into account when billing
customers on the Western Slope, taking an average of altitudes
and billing all mountain residents at a measure of 5,900 feet -
about 2,000 feet lower than the city of Aspen.

Attorneys with the nonprofit Colorado Consumer Legal Foundation
are pursuing the class action case on behalf of Aspen with the
financial backing of Aspen resident Jack Grynberg, president of
Grynberg Petroleum Co. in Denver.


KPMG LLP: Agrees To Pay $10M To Settle SEC Securities Charges
-------------------------------------------------------------
Prominent accounting firm KPMG LLP agreed to pay $10 million to
settle the United States Securities and Exchange Commission's
charges of improper conduct in its audit of the financial
statements of Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc., the
Associated Press reports.  According to the SEC, the settlement
is the largest payment ever made to the agency by an accounting
firm.

Gemstar-TV Guide reached a $10 million settlement in June with
the SEC.  The Los Angeles-based media company allegedly
overstated revenue from its highly touted interactive program
guide, which enables TV watchers to navigate through and select
programs, by $250 million from 1999 through 2002.  During the
relevant period, Gemstar licensed the technology to other
companies and sold advertising space on the guide.

Bryan E. Palbaum, a former KPMG partner, was barred from working
for publicly traded companies for three years, the SEC said,
according to AP.  John M. Wong, another former partner, and
Kenneth B. Janeski, a partner in KPMG's Los Angeles office, were
barred from working for publicly traded companies for one year.
David A. Hori, a manager in the Phoenix office, was barred from
working for publicly traded companies for 18 months.


LATTICE SEMICONDUCTOR: Goodkind Labaton Sets Plaintiff Deadline
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP reminds
investors that the deadline for purchasers of Lattice
Semiconductor Corp. ("Lattice" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:LSCC)
to move for lead plaintiff in this securities fraud class action
is rapidly approaching. The lawsuit was filed against Lattice
and Cyrus Y. Tsui and Stephen A. Skaggs, the Company's CEO and
CFO ("Defendants") on behalf of persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired publicly traded securities of Lattice between
April 22, 2003 and April 19, 2004, inclusive, (the "Class
Period"). The firm reminds investors that they must move to
serve as a lead plaintiff by filing a motion in the United
States District Court for the District of Oregan no later than
November 8, 2004.

The complaint alleges that Defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. Specifically, the complaint alleges that
in knowing or reckless disregard of the truth and/or as part of
their ongoing efforts to continue the illusion of Lattice's
growth in the semiconductor industry, Defendants issued and or
participated in the issuance of materially false and misleading
statements and financial information. More specifically, the
complaint alleges that during the Class Period Defendants:

     (1) materially understated its accounts payable balance;

     (2) overstated earnings by a material amount;

     (3) falsely represented that the Company's financial
         results during the Class Period had complied with
         Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP").

Beginning on January 22, 2004, Lattice began to issue press
releases indicating that it had potentially overstated its
deferred income account. Shares began to tumble in reaction to
the news, falling from $12.36 on January 22, 2004 to close at
$11.73 the following day. Shares traded as low as $10 the
following week. Then on March 18, 2004, Lattice issued a press
release indicating that it anticipated restating its first,
second and third quarters of its 2003 financial statements as it
had likely overstated the Company's Deferred Income Account, an
account that represents the Company's judgment as to the
potential gross margin on inventory held by the Company's
distributors. On March 24, 2004, Lattice finally released its
financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December
31, 2003. The restatement reduced 2003 revenue by approximately
7% over the nine-month period and increased the Company's net
loss by an additional $9 million. In its March 24, 2004 press
release the Company attributed the restatement to "inappropriate
accounting entries made, by an individual in the Company's
finance department and deficiencies in the design and operation
of internal accounting controls related to the deferred income
account." Shares of Lattice continued to sink, falling to $8.95
on April 19, 2004 when it finally amended its Form 10-Q,
representing a decline of approximately 27.5% since the
overstatement was first announced.

For more details, contact Christopher Keller, Esq. by Phone:
800-321-0476 or visit their Web site:
http://www.glrs.com/index.cfm/hurl/SectionID=3/GetGlobalID=23526
/CaseGlobalID=23741


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Suspends 4 Workers Connected To Spitzer Probe
---------------------------------------------------------------
Beleaguered insurance firm Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.
suspended four workers whose names have been connected with New
York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's lawsuit filed against the
Company over its insurance brokerage fee practices, the
Associated Press reports.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Company reportedly
suspended:

     (1) William Gilman, executive director of marketing at
         Marsh Global Broking and a managing director;

     (2) Greg Doherty, a senior vice president in the group's
         excess casualty division;

     (3) Edward McNenney, a brokerage executive, and

     (4) Samantha Gilman, Mr. Gilman's daughter

The paper said AG Spitzer's office was looking into their roles
in pressuring insurance companies to offer fake bids for
insurance policies.

Last week, AG Spitzer filed a civil suit against the Company and
other property and casualty insurers, including American
International Group Inc., ACE Ltd. and The Hartford Financial
Services Group Inc.  The suit, filed in State Supreme Court in
Manhattan, alleges that for years Marsh received special
payments from insurance companies that were above and beyond
normal sales commissions. These payments -- known as "contingent
commissions" -- were characterized as compensation for "market
services" but were, in fact, rewards for the business that Marsh
and its independent brokers steered and allocated to the
insurance companies, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(October 18,2004) states.

The investigation has widened to other states and an increasing
number of insurance companies have reported receiving subpoenas.
The attorney general has subpoenaed health insurers Coign
Corporation, based in Philadelphia and Etna, Inc., based in
Hartford, Connecticut, seeking more information about the
Company's compensation of insurance brokers.  New York-based
MetLife, Inc. and disability insurer UnumProvident Corporation
also announced that they had received additional subpoenas from
AG Spitzer's office, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(October 21,2004) states.

The Dutch-based ING Groep NV, one of the world's largest
insurers was the latest to announce receiving a subpoena from AG
Spitzer's office, AP reports.  "We've been asked to provide
information," ING spokeswoman Dailah Nihot said, adding Spitzer
requested "general" information. "We are fully cooperating with
the authorities," she said.

In addition to New York, regulators in two other states have
announced investigations.  Connecticut Attorney General Richard
Blumenthal's office on Tuesday issued at least 20 subpoenas to
insurance companies and brokers.  He said he's convinced bid-
rigging and other fraud is occurring in Connecticut, The
Hartford Courant reported.

"The focus of our investigation is bid-rigging and price-fixing
that essentially cripples competition and raises insurance costs
for corporate citizens and ordinary consumers," AG Blumenthal
said, according to AP.  He did not name the companies that are
being subpoenaed.

In California, Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has said he
will go to court to challenge hidden fees paid to brokers who
promote certain policies without telling customers they have a
financial incentive to do so, AP reports.  "In California,
that's illegal," Norman Williams, a spokesman for Garamendi,
said. "The commissioner does plan to seek some kind of civil
action to correct these practices."


MITSUBISHI FUSO: Recalls 2892 Trucks Due To Defect, Fire Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. is cooperating with the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by
voluntarily recalling 2892 trucks, namely:

     (1) MITSUBISHI FUSO / FM617, model 2000-2004

     (2) MITSUBISHI FUSO / FM61F, model 2005

     (3) MITSUBISHI FUSO / FM64F, model 2005

     (4) MITSUBISHI FUSO / FM657, model 2001-2004

      (5) MITSUBISHI FUSO / FM65F, model 2005

On certain trucks using an F060T or F070T front axle, the front
wheel hub outer bearing lock nut may have been improperly
tightened during assembly and an insufficient amount of grease
may have been applied to the outer bearing.  These conditions
could result in the outer bearing generating excessive heat
and/or breaking, causing the vehicle to become disabled.  The
excessive heat could cause a fire.

Dealers will inspect the inner and outer front wheel hub
bearings and replace any bearing with signs of damage.  The
manufacturer has not yet provided an owner notification
schedule.

For more information, contact the Company by Phone:
1-856-467-4500, or contact the NHTSA's auto safety hotline:
1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).


MITSUBISHI FUSO: Recalls 2537 Trucks Due To Defect, Fire Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. is cooperating with the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by voluntarily
recalling 2537 trucks, namely:

     (1) MITSUBISHI FUSO / FH210, model 2003-2004

     (2) MITSUBISHI FUSO / FH211, model 2003-2004

     (3) MITSUBISHI FUSO / FH617, model 2003

     (4) MITSUBISHI FUSO / FK617, model 2004

     (5) MITSUBISHI FUSO / FK61F, model 2005

Certain trucks equipped with an F040T Front Axle are include in
this recall.  The Front wheel hub outer bearing lock may have
been improperly tightened during assembly, and an insufficient
amount of grease may have been applied to the outer bearing.
These conditions could result in the outer bearing generating
excessive heat and/or breaking, causing the vehicle to become
disabled.  The excessive heat could cause a fire.

Dealers will inspect the inner and outer front wheel hub
bearings, and replace any bearing with signs of damage.  The
manufacturer has not yet provided an owner notification
schedule.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-856-467-4500
or contact the NHTSA's auto safety hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT
(1-888-327-4236).


ORGANON USA: Reaches Settlement of Remeron Antitrust Complaints
---------------------------------------------------------------
The attorneys general of several states (the States) submitted
to the the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, a
settlement agreement with Akzo Nobel, N.V., and its subsidiary,
Organon USA Inc. (collectively, Organon), resolving the States'
allegations that Organon violated the antitrust laws by engaging
in various anticompetitive acts relating to its anti-depressant
drug, Remeron, the United States Federal Trade Commission
announced in a statement.

The States' complaint alleges, among other things, that Organon
made a "fraudulent misrepresentation" to the FDA about the
claims of a patent listed on the FDA's Orange Book, so as to
delay by approximately eight months the introduction of generic
competition to Remeron. Under the settlement, Organon would pay
tens of millions of dollars in damages and become subject to
strong injunctive terms barring future anticompetitive conduct.

Federal Trade Commission staff conducted a parallel, nonpublic
investigation regarding Organon's conduct. The FTC staff's
investigatory record contains significant evidence indicating
that Organon may have violated Section 5 of the Federal Trade
Commission Act by knowingly making misleading statements to the
FDA in order to delay introduction of generic competition to
Remeron.

FTC staff closely coordinated their investigation with the
States. Working with the States, FTC staff took the lead in
developing and negotiating the injunctive terms that are
encompassed in the States' proposed settlement. In consideration
of the comprehensive, effective, and appropriate injunctive
terms contained in the States' proposed settlement, the FTC's
investigation into Organon's activities relating to Remeron has
been closed.

For more details, contact the FTC's Office of Public Affairs by
Phone: 202-326-2180 or visit the Website:
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/10/organon.htm


ORGANON USA: NJ A.G. Cox Joins Remeron Antitrust Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox publicly revealed the
completion of a proposed $36 million nationwide settlement for
consumers, state purchasers, and other end payors with drug
maker Organon USA Inc. and its parent company Akzo Nobel N.V.
over the antidepressant drug, Remeron. The funds will be awarded
due to a multi-state complaint against Organon USA Inc. and Akzo
Nobel N.V. for allegedly maintaining an illegal monopoly over
mirtazapine, the active ingredient of Remeron.

"The defendants in this case abused the regulatory scheme to
stifle competition and prevent consumers from having access to
low-cost generic equivalents of this drug. This lawsuit
represented a way for us to help lower prescription drug costs
for consumers," Cox said.

The states' complaint alleged that Organon unlawfully extended
its monopoly by improperly listing a new "combination therapy"
patent with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In addition,
the complaint alleged that Organon delayed listing the patent
with the FDA in another effort to hinder the availability of
lower-cost generic substitutes. This resulted in higher prices
to those who paid for the drug. With annual sales in excess of
$400 million at its peak, Remeron is Organon's top-selling drug.

Michigan consumers will be among consumers nationwide who can
submit claims for reimbursement. If the court approves the
settlement, the Attorneys General will implement a claims
administration process for consumers who purchased Remeron or
its generic equivalent between June 15, 2001 and the present.
Michigan will also be among states receiving monies for damages
incurred by certain governmental entities that purchased Remeron
or its generic equivalent. These monies will be allocated to
consumers, state entities such as Medicaid, and institutional
end payors, including the Michigan Public School Employees
Retirement System.

Preliminary settlement papers were filed in New Jersey federal.
Subject to court approval, Organon will pay monies that should
bring financial relief to state agencies and thousands of
consumers. A ten month state investigation, led by Texas, along
with Florida and Oregon, led to this settlement, which was
joined by every U.S. state and territory. The settlement
resolves claims brought by state Attorneys General, as well as a
private class action brought on behalf of a class of end payors.


ORGANON USA: ID A.G. Wasden Enters Remeron Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------
Idahoans and state agencies that paid for the prescription
antidepressant Remeron will be able to file a claim for a
refund, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced in a
statement.  Attorney General Wasden joined a proposed $36
million multi-state settlement with drug maker Organon USA, Inc.
and its parent company Akzo Nobel N.V.

The proposed settlement was filed in the United States District
Court in New Jersey and requires court approval.  Under the
settlement, Organon USA, Inc. and Akzo Nobel N.V. will
compensate consumers and state agencies who overpaid for Remeron
or its generic equivalent between June 15, 2001 and the present.

Approximately $10 million from the settlement will be allocated
to make refunds to consumers filing claims that purchased
Remeron.  In addition, state agencies in Idaho will receive
nearly $27,000 for the overcharges.  The process to file claims
will be announced following court approval of the settlement.

"I encourage consumers who have purchased Remeron between June
15, 2001 and the present, to retain their receipts and other
documentation so they can file their claims quickly and with
ease," Attorney General Wasden said.

Idaho joined all the state attorneys general in this settlement.
The settlement resolves allegations that Organon, USA, Inc. and
its parent company, Akzo Nobel N.V., acted in violation of state
and federal antitrust laws to prevent consumers from having
access to lower-priced generic equivalents of the drug.

"Idahoans paid a premium price for this necessary drug,"
Attorney General Wasden said.  "It is very important that they
be compensated for prescription overcharges caused by the
anticompetitive pricing practices of Organon and Akzo."

The lawsuit alleged that Organon unlawfully extended its
monopoly by improperly listing a new "combination therapy"
patent with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  In addition,
the lawsuit alleged that Organon delayed listing the patent with
the FDA in another effort to delay the availability of lower-
cost generic substitutes.  This resulted in higher prices to
those who paid for the drug.  With annual sales in excess of
$400 million at its peak, Remeron is Organon's top-selling drug.

Organon has also agreed to injunctive relief that will require
the company to make timely listing of patents and prohibits
Organon from submitting false or misleading listing information
to the FDA.

For more details, contact Bob Cooper by Phone: (208) 334-4112.


PERFORMANCE MACHINE: Recalls Motorcycle Wheels For Crash Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Performance Machine, Inc. is cooperating with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily
recalling 1545 rear motorcycle wheels, models:

     (1) Hooligan-style 16", 17", 18" diameter forged wheels
         (all widths), manufactured from January 31,2003 through
         June 6,2004; and

     (2) Vader-style 18" diameter forged wheels (all widths)
         manufactured from January 2 and September 14,2004

The affected wheels can develop a crack in the bakes of the
spoke(s), possibly affecting the durability of the wheel which
could result in wheel failure.  A crash could occur should the
wheel fail, possibly resulting in serious injuries or death.

The Company will notify its customers and replace the wheel with
a redesigned wheel of the same style and size free of charge.
The recall is expected to begin October 2004.  Owners who take
their motorcycles to an authorized dealer on an agreed upon
service date and do not receive the free remedy within a
reasonable time should contact the Company's customer service:
AT 1-800-479-4037, or contact the NHTSA's auto safety hotline:
1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).


PHILIP MORRIS: IL High Court Sets Oral Arguments For November 10
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Illinois Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in the
huge lawsuit over Philip Morris USA's marketing of "light"
cigarettes on November 10, 2004, the Associated Press reports.

Last year in what was seen by some as a highly bizarre move the
high court justices agreed to hear Philip Morris' appeal
themselves, allowing it to skip the appellate court level.

In March of 2003, Madison County Judge Nicholas Byron had ruled
that Philip Morris, a unit of Altria Group Inc., defrauded
consumers by suggesting that Marlboro Lights and Cambridge
Lights were less dangerous than regular cigarettes.

Philip Morris was immediately ordered to pay $7.1 billion in
compensatory damages and $3 billion in punitive damages, both of
which Philip Morris argues as arbitrary and excessive. They
argue that the lawsuit should never have been given class action
status. The cigarette maker points out that the warning labels
on its cigarettes mean that it did not mislead anyone about
their health effects. Furthermore, Philip Morris contends that
the term "lights" is meant to signal milder taste, not describe
the cigarettes' contents.

Filed on behalf of 1 million Illinois smokers, the class action
lawsuit was the first consumer-fraud trial in the nation to
focus on light cigarettes, which has come under intense scrutiny
due to the fact that several identical cases are stalled in the
court system pending the outcome of the Madison County case.


RRK HOLDINGS: Pays $100T Fine For Failure To Report Saw's Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
RRK Holdings Inc. (formerly known as Roto Zip Tool Corp.), of
Black Rock, Wisconsin, agreed to pay $100,000 to settle alleged
violations of federal reporting requirements by not informing
the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in a timely
manner about problems with the handle on its power spiral saws.

Between 1999 and October 2001, Roto Zip sold about 1.4 million
hand-held spiral saws under the Revolution, Rebel and Solaris
brand names. Some of these power tools had a loose fit between
the handle and body. In a number of instances, this caused the
handle to detach from the body of the saw while it was in use.
The falling saw caused lacerations and other injuries.

Between January 2001 and October 2001, the Company received at
least 235 reports of saws detaching from the handle. Between the
fall of 2000 and October 2001, Roto Zip received 20 reports of
injuries caused by the handle detaching while the saw was in
use. Several consumers received cuts requiring stitches to their
hands and leg, and one consumer allegedly received a serious
laceration that required surgery.

Between February and April of 2001, Roto Zip made design changes
to the saw to correct the problem with the loose fitting
handles. Consumers continued to report handle failures to the
company, yet the company failed to notify CPSC of the design
changes and consumer reports. In September 2001, after receiving
incident reports directly from consumers, CPSC conducted an
inspection of the company's headquarters. One month later, Roto
Zip filed a full report with the Commission.

In February 2002, CPSC and Roto Zip announced a recall of 1.9
million spiral saws. By this time, there were 360 reports of
handle failures. In August 2003, Roto Zip sold all of its assets
and ceased operations.

According to federal law, manufacturers, distributors, and
retailers are required to report to CPSC immediately (within 24
hours) after obtaining information which reasonably supports the
conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a
substantial risk of injury to the public, presents an
unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or violates a
federal safety standard.

In agreeing to settle the matter, RRK Holdings Inc. denies that
the spiral saws were defective and that it violated the
reporting requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Act.


SURE-LOK INC.: Recalls 125 Wheelchair Tie-Down Locks For Defect
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sure-Lok, Inc. is cooperating with the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily recalling 125
wheelchair tie-down securement assemblies P/N 8625-13 used on
certain mid bus school buses.

The sprocket teeth of the retractor assembly may be out of
alignment causing the load pawl not to fully seat in the
sprocket teeth.  In the event of a vehicle crash, the wheelchair
may not be adequately secured, possibly resulting in injuries to
the seat occupant and/or other passengers.

Once the bus owners have been identified, the Company will
notify MID bus' customers and replace the defective part free of
charge.  The recall began August 16,2004.  Owners who take their
buses to an authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and
do not receive the free remedy with a reasonable time should
contact the Company's customer service by Phone: 866-787-3565,
or contact the NHTSA's auto safety hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT
(1-888-327-4236).


TRINITY HEALTH: CEO Says Lawsuits By The Uninsured Solves Little
----------------------------------------------------------------
In a state-of-the-health-system speech during Trinity Health's
annual Fall Conference at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn hotel Judy
Pelham, CEO of the nation's fourth-largest Catholic health
system commented that suing nonprofit health systems for not
providing enough charity care is counterproductive to what
hospitals are trying to accomplish and not the way to get health
care for people without insurance, the Detroit Free Press
reports.

Mrs. Pelham, who is due to retire as CEO of Novi-based Trinity
Health System, described the current legal attacks against the
hospitals as a distraction in address the "real issue" at stake
-- there are more than 44 million Americans who do not have
health insurance.

In July, Michigan-based health systems William Beaumont
Hospitals and Trinity Health joined 38 other health systems
across the country being sued for failing to provide enough
charity care to poor and uninsured people to justify their tax-
exempt status.

The lawsuits accuse the nonprofit hospitals of failing to
provide government-required charity care to uninsured patients
in exchange for their exemption from taxes. Furthermore, the
suits accuse hospitals of using aggressive methods to collect
payment from the uninsured and of inappropriate arrangements
with for-profit businesses such as doctors groups.

According to the class action lawyers who are filing the suits,
there are currently more than 49 suits pending against 320
hospitals nationwide and more are likely to follow.

The Trinity Health CEO contends that a misdirected lawsuit is
not the answer to solving the problem of the uninsured, she
noted though that Trinity started revising its charity care
policy two years ago to "set minimum standards for charges to
the uninsured and underinsured and for collection activities on
a system-wide basis." The guidelines, according to Mrs. Pelham,
"are similar to standards being established by national and
state hospital associations."

In an interview with the Free Press after her speech, Pelham
said the country needs a national health policy -- not to be
confused with a national health system -- "that finds a way to
have everyone covered -- whether it be employee- or government-
based. Or both." And, she said, "we're not going to do that by
beating up on nonprofit health systems," through lawsuits.

Trinity Health, which was formed in 2000 by the merger of Mercy
Health Services in Farmington Hills and Holy Cross Health
System, based in South Bend, Indiana, is a $5-billion unit
consisting of 45 hospitals in seven states, more than 400
outpatient facilities, long-term care facilities, home health
offices and hospices, a consulting company and two Michigan-
based health plans. Trinity's metro Detroit hospitals include
St. Joseph Mercy of Macomb and Oakland counties, St. Mary Mercy
and St. Joseph Mercy Health System.

Though retiring, Mrs. Pelham, 59, was quick to point out that
she will stay involved in health care to the extent that she
plans to remain on the boards of some health-related companies
and stay active on the Rand Institute's advisory committee on
health information technology.


UNITED STATES: OptiCare Health Lodges Suit For Insurance Fraud
--------------------------------------------------------------
The 10 largest U.S. insurance brokers and four of the largest
commercial insurers have been named as defendants in a putative
policyholder class action accusing the companies of "a massive
scheme to manipulate the market for commercial insurance," The
BestWire Services reports.

Filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by medical equipment
maker OptiCare Health Systems Inc., the complaint details
allegations that both insurers and brokers used the contingent
commission structure of placement service agreements in a
conspiracy to deprive policyholders of "independent and unbiased
brokerage services, as well as free and open competition in the
market for insurance."

When originally filed in August, the suit, which seeks class
action status on behalf of clients and policyholders of the
defendant companies, named only top three brokers Marsh &
McLennan Cos., Aon Corp. and Willis Group Holdings Ltd., along
with various subsidiaries. But after New York Attorney General
Eliot Spitzer's announcement of civil charges accusing Marsh of
orchestrating a "bid-rigging" scheme that involved insurers
American International Group Inc., Ace Ltd., Hartford Financial
Services Group Inc. and Munich American Risk Partners -- an
affiliate of American Re-Insurance Co. and ultimately Munich
Reinsurance Co. -- an amended complaint was filed Oct. 19 naming
those insurers, seven additional brokers, and subsidiaries and
affiliates.

Marsh has since declared that it will cease accepting contingent
commissions, which provided the Company with $856 million of
revenue in 2003, while insurers AIG, Ace and UnumProvident Corp
all have announced that they will stop paying the commissions.

Representatives of Marsh, AIG, and Ace said their respective
companies don't comment on pending litigation. Representatives
of brokers U.S.I. Holdings Corp., Brown & Brown Inc., and Wells
Fargo subsidiary Acordia Inc. said their companies weren't aware
of the complaint and hadn't yet been served with the suit.

Attempts to reach the remaining defendants -- which include
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.; Hilb, Rogal & Hamilton Co.; BB&T
Corp.; and Hub International -- as well as plaintiff OptiCare,
weren't immediately successful.

Among the brokers named as defendants, only Marsh, Aon, Willis,
and Hub have publicly announced receiving subpoenas from
Spitzer's office.

According to the amended suit, the defendants breached their
duties to disclose the source, amount and material impact of
contingent fees -- fees paid by an insurance company to a broker
based on a share of the profits it earns on the clients the
broker places with that carrier -- to their insureds and
clients. The suit also accuses the companies of breach of the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and contends
that contingent fees create "economic incentives for defendants
to act contrary to their fiduciary duties."

If certified, the suit -- on which New York-based law firm
Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP is serving as lead counsel
-- would become the second complaint and the first federal case
concerning contingent commissions to be declared a class action.
In July, a 5-year-old suit alleging inadequate disclosure of
income by Aon was made a national class for current or former
clients of Aon Corp., Aon Group and Aon Services Group by Judge
Julia M. Nowicki of Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois
(BestWire, July 30, 2004).

In addition to the complaint against Marsh, Spitzer has obtained
guilty pleas from two AIG executives, each for one count of
scheming to defraud, and from one Ace executive, according to
Brad Maione, a spokesman for Spitzer's office. The AIG
executives -- Karen Radke, senior vice president of excess
casualty, and Jean-Baptist Pateossian, a manager in AIG's
national accounts unit -- are due in court Dec. 16 for a
sentencing hearing. Patricia Abrams, an assistant vice president
in Ace's excess casualty division, pleaded guilty to a
misdemeanor count of attempted restraint of trade and restraint
of competition.


WANG GLOBALNET: Recalls Korean Crackers Due To Undeclared Eggs
--------------------------------------------------------------
Wang Globalnet of Brooklyn, NY is recalling "Lotte/Margaret
Korean Crackers" because they may contain undeclared egg. People
who have allergies to eggs run the risk of serious or life-
threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

The recalled "Lotte/Margaret Korean Crackers" were distributed
nationwide to retail stores. The product is packaged in a 1.1-
pound cardboard box with a code of 20050513.

The recall was initiated after routine sampling by NYS
Agriculture and Markets food inspectors, and subsequent analysis
by department food laboratory personnel, revealed the presence
of eggs, which were not declared as an ingredient on the label.
The consumption of eggs by allergic individuals has been
reported to elicit severe reactions. Life threatening and
anaphylactic shock could occur in certain egg sensitive
individuals upon consumption of eggs and products containing
eggs.

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

Consumers who have purchased "Lotte/Margaret Korean Cracker" are
urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Consumers with questions may contact the Company at
718-821-5252.


WASHINGTON: New Panel Created To Reform Foster-Care System
----------------------------------------------------------
A five-member panel composed of national child-welfare experts
was recently picked to try to make comprehensive reforms in
Washington's foster-care system, the Seattle Times reports.

The panel, which will be headed by John Landsverk, a
psychologist and researcher in San Diego who has researched the
"multiple placement" of foster children, is responsible for
finding ways to reform a system that has struggled to provide
children stable homes and keep siblings together.

A direct result of a July settlement in a class-action lawsuit,
which alleged that foster children were being psychologically
scarred by outdated practices. Rather than go to trial this
fall, the State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)
agreed to a reform plan that is expected to cost up to $50
million.

The other members of the panel include, Jess McDonald, who was
involved with a similar court-ordered settlement while running
Illinois' child-welfare department, Jan McCarthy, of Georgetown
University, who is an expert on children's mental-health care,
Dorothy Roberts, a law professor at Northwestern University, who
has written extensively on the disproportionate numbers of
minority children in foster care and last but not the least
former state Sen. Jeanine Long, a Republican who chaired a
Senate committee on human services.

The panel is expected to convene within a month and to meet
three days per month for the next year with its first tasks
being focused on problems in the state's children's mental-care
system and services for troubled adolescents. Over the next
year, the panel is supposed to come up with specific benchmarks
for, among other things, how often caseworkers must make face-
to-face visits with foster children.

According to Casey Trupin, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the
class action lawsuit, foster children can no longer have
services that fall way below the professional standard and that
the changes to be made in the system is quite radical. He
further states that if the panel finds that DSHS is failing to
meet the benchmarks, the lawsuit can be reactivated and a judge
could order changes.


ZIPPO MANUFACTURING: Recalls 101,557 Lighters Due To Injury Risk
----------------------------------------------------------------
Zippo Manufacturing Company, of Bradford, Pennsylvania is
cooperating with the United States Consumer Product Safety
Commission by voluntarily recalling about 101,557 MPL, multi-
purpose utility lighter.

The utility lighters may spill fuel from the nozzle when first
used, causing a potential fire hazard through a secondary source
of ignition. There have been 27 reports that the butane fuel
spills out of the nozzle when first used. There have been no
reports that the product ignited or caused any injury. This
recall is being conducted to prevent the possibility of injury.

The Zippo MPL (Multi-Purpose Lighter) uses refillable butane
fuel, is child resistant, and measures 8 inches long and 1 inch
wide. The utility lighter is finished in black metal or silver
metal with a chrome nozzle. The black unit is packaged in a
blister pack with black and red graphics and the silver unit is
in a silver gift box. Only utility lighters with these date
codes are recalled: G03, H03, I03, ZH03. The date code is on the
black adjuster knob on the bottom of the lighter.

Manufactured in China, the Zippo Multi-Purpose Lighters were
sold at Lowes, Bed Bath & Beyond, select Yankee Candle stores,
Barbeque Galore, Harrington and Hammacher Schlemmer Catalog,
select Wal-Mart stores and other convenience, hardware and home,
hearth and patio stores from October 2003 to September 1, 2004.

Free replacement multi-purpose lighter when consumer sends to
the company the black adjuster knob from the bottom of the
lighter.

Consumers who own the Zippo MPL (Multi-Purpose Lighter) with
date codes G03, H03, I03, ZH03 should immediately stop using
this product and remove the black adjuster knob with the date
code. Pull the knob straight downward with your fingers or use
pliers to remove the knob. Keep the knob to be returned to Zippo
Manufacturing Company. Consumers should dispose of the lighter
in a manner that is in compliance with state or local
requirements. Do not incinerate or puncture the lighter. Do not
return this lighter to the store where purchased or to Zippo.

Consumer Contact: Consumers should visit www.zippomplrecall.com
or call Zippo toll-free at (888) 670-2940 between 9 a.m. and 9
p.m. ET Monday through Friday to get the address to which the
black adjuster knob must be sent.


                         Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Babcock & Wilcox Plan Wins Federal Approval
----------------------------------------------------------------
McDermott International Inc.'s Babcock & Wilcox unit won
approval by a federal bankruptcy judge in New Orleans of its
plan to emerge from bankruptcy. The plan would put assets worth
about US$1.75 billion into a trust to pay more than 222,000
asbestos-injury claims.

Babcock & Wilcox, one of the world's largest makers of steam
generators, used asbestos to insulate boilers until the mid-
1970s. The trust follows a model established in the bankruptcy
of Johns-Manville Corp., which paid workers more than US$2.7
billion in a settlement that became part of U.S. bankruptcy law.

Under the proposal, all shares of Babcock & Wilcox, with an
estimated worth of US$400 million to US$500 million, and
insurance rights valued at as much as US$1.15 billion would be
put into a trust for asbestos-injury claimants.

Judge Brown's action moves Babcock & Wilcox closer to ending its
stay in bankruptcy after four years and eight months. The plan
is subject to approval of a U.S. district judge.

New Orleans-based McDermott will contribute 4.8 million shares
and a US$92 million note as part of a related settlement. The
company doesn't have a target date to exit bankruptcy because of
potential appeals by creditors, McDermott spokesman Jay Roueche
said. McDermott supports a national asbestos trust that would
make such trusts by individual companies unnecessary.

"We believe a legislative solution is clearly superior to a
litigious system," Mr. Roueche said. The company has written off
its investment in Babcock & Wilcox, he said.

Some asbestos victims who qualify for payment will get anywhere
from US$10,000 to US$90,000, depending on the severity of their
illness, court papers show. Some insurance companies that issued
polices to the company, including Travelers Insurance Co. and
American International Group Inc., have agreed to pay into the
trust. Other insurance companies fought the plan and the extent
of their liability will be dealt with in a separate legal
proceeding, according to Judge Brown's ruling.

Babcock & Wilcox filed for bankruptcy in February 2000, citing
the expense of asbestos-injury lawsuits. The company and its
insurers spent more than US$1.6 billion to resolve more than
300,000 asbestos claims before the bankruptcy filing.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Relief Trust Pays Out ZAR16.5M
------------------------------------------------------------
The Asbestos Relief Trust, which was set up to compensate people
who have become ill through exposure to asbestos dust and
fibers, had paid out ZAR16.5 million in 117 claims since March
in Africa.

The Trust Chairman, John Doidge, said that by working closely
with accredited claims handlers and by setting up offices in
Johannesburg, Kuruman and Mpumalanga, the trustees had ensured
that the quality of claims was substantially improved since the
first claim was received in March this year.

Another 150 claims had been approved and it's expected that
compensation would be paid out soon. The trust is able to make
payment to a claimant within three months of the receipt of the
claim. In the case of mesothelioma sufferers, claimants are paid
within two weeks. The trustees have made it a priority that the
suffering of claimants with lung cancer and mesothelioma is
alleviated.

While arrangements were being made to determine the amount to be
paid in compensation and to put medical and administrative
processes in place, interim awards of ZAR100,000 per claimant
were paid out to about a dozen people.

During the first year, the trustees faced a number of
challenges; including ascertaining the likely number of
claimants in the future and estimating appropriate compensation.

"Some sufferers may only develop symptoms in years to come, and
the trustees are mandated to take all reasonable steps to ensure
that all claimants are treated fairly and that current sufferers
are not preferred over future sufferers. We are operating with a
finite amount of money," Mr. Doidge said.

In May this year, the trustees focused their attention on
Kuruman. During a visit to the town it became clear that the
majority of claimants had not had a medical examination on which
to base an assessment. The trust decided to pay the travel costs
of every person who needed to visit one of the trust's claims
offices.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: More Victims to Sue Swiss Mining Companies
---------------------------------------------------------------
More asbestos exposure victims from the Northern Cape are
emerging to take action against multinational mining giants.

The communities of Kuruman and Danielskuil are currently holding
meetings with lawyers to ensure a stronger case against Swiss-
based mining companies. The latest case against Swiss companies,
Eternit and Duiker Holding, follows one against British KPlc and
South African company Gencor-Griqualand.

Claimants are suing the two Swiss-based companies in what is
known as "retrogressive health damage" claims. The claimants say
the companies failed to take the necessary steps to protect
their workers and nearby communities during their mining
operations in Kuruman and Danielskuil.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: LGANT Calls for Study of Indigenous Threat
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Local Government Association of the Northern Territory says
there should be an assessment of the potential asbestos threat
from deteriorating buildings in Indigenous communities around
the Territory.

LGANT President Fran Kilgariff said the association and
individual councils have approached the Territory Government
seeking advice on what should be done. Most of the concern
centers on buildings built in the 1950s. Most of the worries of
the community health staff and leaders are focused on the state
of the buildings, which are largely occupied but deteriorating.

"I think the first thing that has to happen is an inventory of
these buildings to see how many there are and what sort of
condition they're in, then how they can be made safe, whether
they do need to be completely blocked off," Ms. Kilgariff said.

The Territory Government says it is aware of the concerns and is
assessing how the issue should be handled. A spokesman for the
Local Government Minister John Ah Kit says they will advise
communities about who they should contact to work out whether
any buildings may be dangerous.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AZ Agency Hosts Asbestos Control Seminars
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Air Quality Control District will host two seminars dealing
with two very important topics to Pinal County residents:
Asbestos and Dust Control.

On October 29, the Air Quality Control District will hold a free
Asbestos Regulatory Seminar inside the County's Emergency
Operations Center in Florence and will run from 9 a.m. until 3
p.m. The asbestos seminar is designed for facility managers,
building owners, contractors, fire departments and permitting
agencies who have an interest in meeting OSHA, AHERA and EPA
requirements for demolitions and renovations. Any interested
member of the public is also invited to attend this free
seminar.

On November 9, the Air Quality Control District, in cooperation
with the Arizona Department of Transportation, will host the
Pinal County Dust Conference at Central Arizona College-Signal
Peak Campus. The free conference will be held inside the Student
Services Building, Room M101 from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

The half-day conference will discuss several topics on dust
control from why there are regulations to how to comply with
those regulations. This will be very informative to anyone who
has to deal with agencies on dust control procedures.

For more information on these seminars, call the Air Quality
Control District at 520-866-6929.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Widow Condemns Ireland's Waste Unit Plan
-------------------------------------------------------------
A woman who lost her husband, a former mayor of Derry, to an
asbestos-related illness has criticized plans to build an
industrial unit for storing waste asbestos in the city. Mary
Carlin is calling all local politicians to oppose the proposal.

Architect for the proposed construction, Edward G. Mitchell,
said that the building, which is to be constructed at a site to
the rear of Carrakeel Industrial Park on Clooney Road, would be
securely sealed and that the waste stored inside would be
double-wrapped and sealed on site.

"To date it has been legal to dump asbestos in Northern Ireland
as long as it is marked. However European law is changing and
this waste now has to be disposed of in England," Mr. Mitchell
said.

It is understood the asbestos removal firm, which is hoping to
get planning permission for the project, has a license to remove
the material and has now applied for a license to also store the
asbestos.

However Mrs. Carlin, also of the Northwest Asbestos Group, said
that no one could guarantee that fibers from the waste material
would not escape into the air during the transfer process. She
wants people to realize that the danger with the proposed
transfer station lies in moving the waste asbestos from the
plant to England.

"It only takes a gust of wind to spread the fibers in the air
and no matter what they say they cannot guarantee 100 percent
that these fibers will not escape, even if double-bagged. To say
that it's a totally safe process is a joke," she added.

Mrs. Carlin asserted that she would be very much against the
building of any such asbestos waste transfer station in the
city. She considers it unfortunate that most people are not
aware of the risks they are taking living near the plant. Her
husband reportedly breathed in the fibers 40 years ago and
showed no signs of illness for most of that time.

"I would urge our political representatives to make a stand
against this planned asbestos transfer station on behalf of the
people of Derry," she concluded.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Pleural Effusions, A Warning Sign of Cancer
----------------------------------------------------------------
If you, a loved one, or a friend has a past history of asbestos
exposure, such as from Navy or shipyard exposure, and is
experiencing rapid fluid buildup in the chest or stomach,
medical testing should be done immediately, to determine the
presence or absence of cancer. This advice, according to a
report released by the law firm of Lewis & Schonick, considers
pleural effusions as a possible warning sign of mesothelioma.

Pleural effusion, which is an excess of fluid on the pleura, or
lung lining, is not an uncommon medical finding and is
ordinarily not a cause for extreme concern. However, for persons
with past exposure to asbestos, pleural effusions may be
extremely significant, and should be treated with caution.

Pleural effusion is a common sign of malignancy, or cancer,
including lung cancer and mesothelioma, a form of cancer for
which the only known cause is asbestos exposure. Frequently, a
diagnosis of cancer can be made just on the basis of analysis of
pleural fluid. Mesothelioma cancers can originate in the lung
lining, or in the stomach, or peritoneum.

It is frequently the case that persons with fluid buildup in the
chest or stomach choose not to seek medical evaluation. This
attitude is understandable, but erroneous. Prompt medical
attention, and diagnosis, may be the difference between life and
death.

Persons with past histories of asbestos exposure who are
diagnosed with pleural effusion, or fluid buildup in the chest
or stomach, can only benefit from prompt medical attention. Even
with a past history of asbestos exposure, most pleural effusions
are benign, or non-cancerous. If lung cancer is diagnosed early
following a pleural effusion, there is an increasingly high rate
of successful treatment. With respect to mesothelioma, early
detection is absolutely essential to any chance of life-
extending treatment.

The intent of this article is to increase awareness of a
potentially dangerous situation, and to help people overcome
fear of medical treatment. Persons with a past history of
asbestos exposure, found to have asbestos-related lung disease,
or cancers, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, may be
entitled to compensatory damages.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WA Island Residents Alarmed Over Asbestos
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kevin Gilbert, a victim of asbestosis, has spoken out about the
poor condition of some asbestos-laden roofs on Rottnest, and
expresses worries that residents and visitors alike may become
affected.

These fears, which are shared by the Asbestos Diseases
Association, are not unfounded as association president Robert
Vojakovic said there is currently no technique that could
accurately detect and measure small airborne asbestos fibers.

The Rottnest Island Authority said that maintenance programs
involved air monitoring, clearing trees and debris from around
asbestos surfaces and removing and sealing asbestos using
standards set by the Department of Housing and Works.

Mr. Gilbert disputes reports that remaining asbestos roofs are
treated each year as part of this maintenance program. He stated
that deteriorated asbestos material and fibers are still
protruding from the roof of many remaining roofs on the island.
He believes that these fibers are being released into the air by
the wind and as many buildings don't have gutters, fibers can
also be running onto the ground.

Mr. Vojakovic said, "This may cause a potential future risk for
an unspecified number of children."

An RIA spokeswoman said asbestos roofs were sprayed with a
solution that bound the surface and contained asbestos fibers
for 10 years, but she could not confirm how many had been
treated this way.

RIA Chief Executive Paolo Amaranti said independent experts did
air monitoring regularly. He added, "We are committed to the
removal of all asbestos roofing on the island as part of a
controlled and managed process. In the meantime, air monitoring
shows there is no risk to the health of holidaymakers or staff."

The RIA plans to replace all asbestos cement roofs on the island
by 2010 and this year has removed roofs from units in Fay's Bay,
Longreach and some asbestos ex-army shacks.

Mr. Gilbert, who was diagnosed six years ago, said he believed
his exposure to asbestos occurred when he worked as a fitter and
turner 40 years ago in Perth.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Firefighters Battle Blaze Amid Health Risks
----------------------------------------------------------------
Despite concerns that the site contained asbestos dust, more
than 20 firefighters succeeded in controlling the blaze at a
Northeast Quayside warehouse last week. The area around
Peterhead's old fishmarket was cordoned off while police
officers, who were wearing protective masks, prevented motorists
and pedestrians from using Greenhill Road.

Four pumping units and an Aberdeen-based height vehicle were
used to allow firefighters, some wearing breathing apparatus, to
work downwind of the thick smoke and douse the flames. Assistant
divisional officer Gordon Gray said, "The roof of the building
is cement asbestos sheeting, which isn't too much of a problem."

It later emerged that the shed owned by Denholm contained only a
small pocket of suspected asbestos, which fire crews were able
to isolate. They were called to the building at about 4 p.m.
after a passerby spotted smoke and raised the alarm. Police said
later that no harmful asbestos was in the building. They also
said it was too early to say if the blaze had been started
deliberately.

"The cause has not yet been established, but there will be a
joint investigation involving ourselves and the Grampian Fire
and Rescue Service," said Chief Inspector Bill Archibald.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EC Approves Alimta for 2 Cancer Indications
----------------------------------------------------------------
The European Commission has granted marketing authorization to
Eli Lilly's chemotherapy agent, Alimta (pemetrexed), for two
distinct cancer indications. This regulatory first for the
pharmaceuticals firm means that Alimta can be offered to two
patient groups each battling devastating forms of cancer. The
product launch and availability of Alimta will vary in each
European Member State.

Alimta, in combination with cisplatin, now becomes the first and
only approved chemotherapy in the European Union to help
patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma live longer.
Alimta, given as a single agent, is also an important new
second-line treatment for patients suffering from non-small cell
lung cancer.

Dr. Christian Manegold, a consultant in Hematology/Oncology for
the Thoracic Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany, believes that
Alimta represents a true breakthrough in cancer care pushing the
boundaries of conventional therapies with an innovative
scientific approach.

By providing a balance of proven efficacy and controlled side
effects, the drug will help positively change the way
chemotherapy is perceived. A team of researchers led by Lilly
discovered that vitamin supplementation of folic acid and B12
given with Alimta significantly reduces the frequency and
severity of the drug's side effects without compromising its
ability to kill cancer cells.

Specifically, Alimta was approved in combination with cisplatin,
a common chemotherapy agent, for the treatment of malignant
pleural mesothelioma, a cancer in the lining of the lungs for
patients who have not received prior chemotherapy and are not
candidates for surgery. The administration for Alimta is a
convenient 10-minute infusion, once every 3 weeks.

"We now have a very strong non-small cell lung cancer franchise
led by Gemzar in the first-line metastatic setting and Alimta in
the second-line metastatic setting. Oncology is an area of
tremendous unmet medical need, and we are committed to being a
leader in developing new therapies for patients," said Edmundo
Muniz, MD, oncology platform team leader at Lilly.

The now approved combination of Alimta and cisplatin was
compared to cisplatin alone in a clinical trial of 448 patients
from 19 countries - the largest trial to date among patients
with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

The most common side effects when Alimta is used in combination
with cisplatin are disorders of the blood and lymphatic system,
gastrointestinal disorders, fatigue, sensory disorders of the
nervous system, renal and urinary disorders, rash and hair loss.

In this study, Alimta showed a survival rate comparable to that
of docetaxel but with a more favorable side effect profile.
Alimta caused significantly less neutropenia or an abnormal
decrease in white blood cells. Hair loss was considerably less
compared to docetaxel.

According to the 2003 World Health Organization Cancer Report,
lung cancer is the world's most common cancer and the leading
cause of cancer death for both men and women. There will be 1.2
million cases diagnosed this year around the world. The number
of patients receiving treatment beyond the first-line in non-
small cell lung cancer is steadily increasing and new therapy
options are desperately needed in this setting.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL Court of Appeal Rules for Asbestos Judge
----------------------------------------------------------------
The 4th District Court of Appeal has rejected a law firm's
attempt to remove the Palm Beach County judge who presides over
hundreds of asbestos lawsuits.

Ferraro & Associates, which sues corporations on behalf of
asbestos victims, petitioned the court to disqualify Circuit
Judge Timothy McCarthy after he dismissed dozens of cases that
he said had no connection to Palm Beach County and threatened to
disband the court's asbestos division.

On October 7, the appeals court denied without comment the
firm's petitions to remove Judge McCarthy from two cases already
in court and 85 others waiting to be heard or settled. A similar
petition involving more than 90 cases that were dismissed on
October 5 is still pending, and the firm has asked for
reconsideration of the others or a written opinion explaining
why they were rejected.

The law firm asked Judge McCarthy to disqualify himself in
September, saying he had a "longstanding and escalating personal
bias and prejudice" against Ferraro & Associates lawyers and
that he was "rude, impatient and discourteous" to them. Judge
McCarthy denied the motion.

Ferraro & Associates and a handful of other law firms file
thousands of asbestos lawsuits in South Florida, where court
systems have set up special divisions to handle such claims. The
lawyers recruit complainants from out of state and other parts
of Florida. Confronted with masses of cases, corporations offer
settlements in 99 percent of them to avoid the expense of
multiple trials and the risk of multimillion-dollar jury
verdicts.

In June, Judge McCarthy decided that Palm Beach County taxpayers
shouldn't have to pay for lengthy trials of claims with no local
connection and said that he intended to dismiss large blocks of
cases if the lawyers couldn't show any connection.

James Ferraro and David Jagolinzer alleged that Judge McCarthy
singled them out for unfair treatment, belittling them in court
and even suggesting to Union Carbide Corp. defense attorneys in
one case that they could always challenge the venue if the jury
ruled against them.

The firm also lodged a complaint July 14 with the state's
Judicial Qualifications Commission, which has not filed any
charges against the judge.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Irish Health Dept Probes 31 Schools in 2004
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ireland's Health and Safety Authority has investigated
conditions in 19 primary schools and 12 secondary schools since
the beginning of 2004, according to figures obtained from the
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

The inspections would usually be instigated by complaints from
teaching staff about their working conditions and those of their
pupils. According to the Department, the inspections would have
reviewed workplace conditions for teachers and ancillary staff
and other workers such as those involved in construction or
maintenance work, and removal of asbestos at the school.

Spokesperson on Education, Deputy Jan O'Sullivan said the
figures speak volumes about the extent of poor working
conditions for staff and pupils in many schools around the
country.

Ms. O'Sullivan stated, "It is a shocking indictment of the
condition of many school buildings, classrooms and staff rooms
that so many schools are the subject of inspection and
investigation by the Health and Safety Authority. According to a
Labor Party study of primary schools published this week, many
teachers and staff are operating in cramped, dilapidated and
sub-standard schools, as capital investment in education remains
completely inadequate."

She also cited The School Building Program for 2005, which is
being drawn at present, as a guide in ensuring that unsafe
schools would be provided with the resources to rectify any
ongoing problem.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US Govt Pushes Ghost Ship Recycling Deal
-------------------------------------------------------------
Mothballed ghost ships are scrap metal and not vessels loaded
with hazardous material, said the US Government amid calls from
green groups to stop the export of these ships.

The claim was made in a US court as a judge considers what to do
with nine ships, which make up the second half of Able UK's
ghost ship recycling deal. Judge Rosemary Collyer allowed four
ghost ships to leave but said the fate of nine more involved in
the deal would be decided later. After 13 months of delays and
backroom legal arguments the court case to decide the fate of
the second batch of ships resumed last week.

Graythorp-based Able UK made international headlines last year
after brokering a deal with ghost ship caretaker MARAD to
dismantle 13 retired US naval vessels.

As the row raged, green groups in Britain and in America filed
separate court cases to scupper the GBD11-million deal. US green
groups say exporting the ships for disposal will break American
law, as it is illegal to ship out hazardous waste.

In court, US Government officials insisted that although there
are hazardous materials onboard, such as cancer-causing PCBs and
asbestos, the ships are scrap metal. And because that makes them
exempt from the hazardous materials rules, it means the
Government has not broken the law by exporting them.

The green groups, represented by Martin Wagner of Earthjustice,
say the case has forced the US Government to review its policy
of sending ships abroad for dismantling. They also say that
contracts awarded to American scrapping firms are proof their
action has forced the Government to keep such vessels in the US.

"The Bush administration is beginning to do the right thing with
these ships - scrapping them domestically, but only after being
blocked by a lawsuit from their plan to outsource US jobs and US
responsibilities," said Mr. Wagner.

"The best and safest plan is to scrap the Ghost Fleet at home,"
added Mr. Wagner.

When the hearing was over, the judge gave no hint as to when she
might make her final ruling on the fate of the nine ships.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hercules Inc. Drops Suit Against Insurers
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hercules Inc. says it will drop a lawsuit seeking coverage for
asbestos-related liabilities, as insurance companies agreed to
pay as much as US$128 million for personal injury claims.

Last August 24, the Company filed a report with the US
Securities and Exchange Commission describing a comprehensive
agreement to settle the Company's claims for insurance coverage
of asbestos-related liabilities with respect to those policies
issued by underwriters at Lloyds, London and reinsured by
Equitas Limited among others.  That report also described a
confidential agreement with many of the Company's excess
insurers where a significant portion of the costs will be
reimbursed to the Company, subject to those claims meeting
certain criteria.

Insurers in London and the U.S. will reimburse Hercules as much
as US$102 million over four years beginning in 2005. Other
insurers will pay US$26 million between 2004 and 2011. Hercules
spokesman Stuart L. Fornoff declined to name the insurers.

The insurance companies will place the payments into a trust.
The trust funds may be used to reimburse the Company for costs
it incurs in the future to resolve asbestos claims. Any funds
remaining in the trust after 2008 may be used by the Company to
pay both asbestos-related claims and non-asbestos product
related claims.

While many of the specific terms of this settlement agreement
are confidential, the settlement agreement generally provides
for:

(1) The payment of money to the Company in exchange for the
release by the Company of past, present and future claims under
those policies and the cancellation of such policies;

(2) The agreement by the Company to indemnify the released
insurers from any such claims asserted under those policies; and

(3) Under the alternative payment option described below, the
impact on the settlement should federal asbestos reform
legislation be enacted on or before January 3, 2007.

Insurers have agreed to reimburse Hercules a total of US$225
million, including US$97 million from Equitas Ltd., a re-insurer
of Lloyds of London underwriters. The company is facing personal
injury lawsuits and claims from former employees and workers
exposed to asbestos-coated pipes and tanks used in the oil
industry and other high-heat applications. Last December,
Hercules estimated its asbestos liability at US$220 million to
US$665 million. The estimate will be reassessed later this year,
added Ms. Fornoff.

The settlement permits an alternative plan for the company's
U.S. insurer should the government enact asbestos liability
reform by Jan. 3, 2007. The alternative would entitle Hercules
to US$22.5 million in January 2005. The settling insurers would
pay another US$97.9 million into a trust from 2005 through 2008,
with as much as US$50.4 million refunded to the U.S. insurer.

The Company has also reached agreements with additional solvent
and insolvent insurers, whose participation in its insurance
program is substantially less than the joined participation of
the insurers. According to this agreement, Hercules will release
its rights to coverage under insurance policies and expects to
receive cash payments at various times from 2004 to 2011
totaling US$26 million.

Since these agreements have been reached, Hercules has
considered it unnecessary to pursue trial of the insurance
coverage action, previously scheduled on October 12, 2004. It
has prepared motions to dismiss all defendants from the lawsuit.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Firemen Face High Risk of Mesothelioma
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hundreds of hero Midland firefighters could die after being
exposed to deadly asbestos. Experts predicted that more members
of the service will fall victim to asbestos-related diseases.

They fear firefighters could have come into contact with the
lethal substance while on mercy missions to save lives. One
fireman has already developed symptoms of asbestosis and union
leaders say his case could instigate a surge of compensation
claims worth millions.

The risk to firefighters was first revealed two years ago when
Merseyside fireman William Melling died from an asbestos-related
illness. Mr. Melling spent years battling blazes in buildings
containing the material, which was commonly used for
fireproofing until 1981. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service was
eventually forced to admit liability for his death and paid out
GBD100,000 compensation to his family.

The Fire Brigades Union is currently handling 10 cases involving
firefighters whose lives have been ruined by asbestos. One of
those is a former West Midlands Fire Service member. Tony
Nutting, West Midlands regional secretary of the FBU, said, "The
member concerned is in his 50s and recently diagnosed with
asbestosis. Details of his condition have been passed onto our
solicitors, but the case is in its very early stages. It appears
that the only place he could have picked up this kind of disease
is from his place of work."

Mr. Nutting added, "Asbestos could be a ticking time bomb as far
as we're concerned. It is found in plenty of buildings across
the Midlands and firefighters would have been exposed to it over
time." He explained that years ago firemen's training frequently
took place in hospital basements, where asbestos was used as
pipe lagging.

Barrister Caroline Coates, an expert on industrial diseases for
Birmingham law firm Buller Jeffries, said compensation claims
from firefighters or their families could run into millions of
pounds.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Farmers Alerted to Costly Work Violation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Farmers in Wales are being warned they risk fines of up to
GBD5,000 if they fail to survey their buildings and record the
presence of asbestos.

Pamela Oldfield, NFU Mutual's risk management specialist, said
legislation came into effect on May 21 requiring businesses to
record and manage any asbestos in their buildings. The Control
of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 include a duty on the
occupiers of all non-domestic premises to determine whether
there is asbestos present, and to assess and control the risk.

However, she said it was becoming clear from her team of
surveyors who work with farmers, that many of them have not done
the required assessment and could face fines if their premises
fail the inspection by the Health and Safety Executive.

"We know now that asbestos can be very dangerous. If it is in a
condition where its microscopic fibers can escape and be
inhaled, it can cause serious lung problems and even death," Ms.
Oldfield added.

Asbestos products were widely used within farm buildings up
until the 1980s, with many constructed using asbestos cement
products, while plant and boiler rooms were often insulated with
asbestos fiberboard. Some cement-based products containing
asbestos were still in use well into the 1990s. With general
wear and tear caused by livestock and machinery, the condition
of these buildings means that they could present a serious
hazard to all who work in them.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: New Drug Aids Mesothelioma Sufferers in AU
----------------------------------------------------------------
A new treatment for the asbestos-induced cancer that prolongs
the lives of some sufferers by up to two years is now available
in Australia.

Until recently, most people newly diagnosed with mesothelioma
have been told they have less than a year to live, and offered
pain relief or radiotherapy as the only treatment options.
However, as new chemotherapeutic agents become available, chest
cancer specialist Associate Professor Michael Boyer said
treatment options are improving.

As Royal Prince Alfred Hospital's head of medical oncology,
Prof. Boyer said doctors treating mesothelioma patients have
embraced the new drug, pemetrexed, since it was approved by the
Therapeutic Goods Administration in June.

"The data is pretty clear that this improves their quality of
life, it improves their breathing and their pain and at the same
time it lengthens their survival," Prof. Boyer said. He says the
new drug works by blocking three enzymes which control cancer
cells from spreading. It is given through a six-week course of
chemotherapy and doctors say its effective in about 50% of
patients.

Not all patients can take the drug, however, and there are some
possible side effects including skin rash, diarrhea and
depression of the immune system. "You've got to be in reasonable
shape - if you get somebody who's literally dying, is very, very
sick and getting sicker, you are unlikely to help them by
treating them," Prof. Boyer said.

However, Rosemary Vojakovic of the Asbestos Diseases Society of
Australia said the release in Australia of the first drug to
effectively treat mesothelioma is meaningless for most
sufferers. She said that without a pharmaceutical benefits
subsidy, only the rich can afford the drug. Each treatment costs
around $25,000, though in New South Wales it is free for those
patients who were exposed to asbestos through their workplace.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W.R. Grace Seeks to Delay Reorganization
-------------------------------------------------------------
W.R. Grace & Co. shares surged more than 13% last week after the
specialty chemicals company said talks with asbestos claimants
have reached a point that may allow the parties to agree on a
Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan.

The Company said it filed a motion with a Delaware court seeking
to extend the deadline for a reorganization plan so it can
continue to negotiate with asbestos claimants, general creditors
and equity holders in the next several weeks. If negotiations do
not lead to the filing of a consensual plan, Grace is prepared
to file its own plan of reorganization which would provide for
the Bankruptcy Court to determine Grace's asbestos-related
liability based on estimation protocols.

W.R. Grace, which filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors
in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware in April 2001, has the
exclusive right to file a plan of reorganization through
November 24. During a meeting with official representatives of
the asbestos creditors, "sufficient progress was made for the
parties to conclude that additional negotiations could lead to a
consensual Chapter 11 plan," the Company said.

Whether Grace proposes its own plan of reorganization or a
consensual plan with the support of creditors and equity
holders, Grace is likely to make use of Section 524(g) of the
Bankruptcy Code to resolve its asbestos-related liabilities.

Section 524(g) requires, among other things, that a trust be
established through which all current and future claims would be
channeled for resolution, and that at least a majority of the
voting securities of the reorganized Grace be owned by, or
contingently available to, the trust to resolve such claims.

The Company's exposure to asbestos litigation dates to 1963,
when it purchased Zonolite Co., a firm that mined for
vermiculite in Montana and made commercial insulation products
containing asbestos. The Libbey mine was closed in the late
1980s. Residents of the mining town have drawn media attention
regarding the health effects of exposure to asbestos.

W.R. Grace, a building materials and chemical supplier, has more
than 6,000 employees and operates in nearly 40 countries. Shares
of the Columbia, Maryland-based Company were last trading up
US$1.37, or 14%, at a 52-week high of US$11.13 on heavy volume.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Home Renovators Likely to Dump Asbestos
------------------------------------------------------------
To avoid costly fees, it is feared that some renovators are
dumping asbestos illegally instead of hiring experts to remove
the deadly product safely.

Australia's Moyne Shire Council is seeking the culprits who
dumped a load of asbestos on a roadside amid concerns do-it-
yourself renovators will follow suit.

A standard investigation into asbestos in southwest Victoria has
found more than 50 percent of homes in Warrnambool alone contain
the toxic material. Other findings include:

(1) A medical expert predicts a significant increase in the
number of southwest residents who will be struck down with
asbestos-related illness;

(2) Thirty people in the region have been diagnosed with
mesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer, within a two-year
period;

(3) Warrnambool district residents exposed to asbestos in or
around a workplace are being urged to join a legal register
which could pave the way for compensation if they fall ill; and

(4) Experts who remove asbestos are joining calls for mandatory
asbestos certificates for all homes being sold amid concerns
some residents are left with hefty bills when they find their
new home is riddled with the product.

Warrnambool asbestos remover Alan Lowe expressed concerns that
some DIY renovators do not dispose of the product safety because
they find it too costly to have it transported by a
professional. He said the number of inquiries on how to remove
asbestos had almost doubled in recent years, but he said he was
worried some homeowners were not taking proper precautions.

Mr. Lowe said he had no problem with people removing the
material, as long as they used protective clothing. But he said
he was worried some inexperienced renovators did not know
whether or not they were dealing with asbestos.

However, Portland's qualified asbestos remover, Peter Zwiers,
claims "scaremongering" from solicitors and the media is
creating unnecessary panic among residents when it comes to
asbestos removal. He said most people who did have the
potentially deadly material in their homes had it removed safety
during renovations.

He said his workload for asbestos removal had increased by 50
percent since he started working in the mid 1990s.

"I take a different approach to other people in the industry,
because I think if you hype it up it makes people overly
paranoid," he said. "We've lived around asbestos for most of our
lives and most of the time it's harmless."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hopes Rise for Turner & Newall Pensioners
--------------------------------------------------------------
The pensions of 40,000 workers at Turner & Newall came a step
closer to being saved after unions and administrators gave their
backing to a package from the company's billionaire bondholder.
The victims of the asbestos tragedy in Leeds may finally be
compensated.

Federal Mogul, parent company of the JW Roberts factory at
Armley, is on the verge of settling a series of outstanding
pension claims. These will hopefully allow the company to emerge
from administration next year. Once that happens, campaigners
believe their compensation claims can also be addressed.

It is now in the hands of the independent trustees of the
pension scheme to accept the offer put forward by Carl Icahn,
the main bondholder in Federal Mogul, T&N's bankrupt US parent.
The trustees will decide whether the offer is sufficient to meet
current obligations.

Representatives of Amicus, the Transport & General Workers'
Union, the GMB and Kroll, the administrator of T&N, met to
discuss the proposal and believe it may save the scheme from
winding up. "The unions are satisfied that in principle the deal
is workable and understand that the administrators, Kroll, will
be working with the independent trustee to resolve some issues
that have arisen from the proposals," a statement from the
unions said.

There are concerns that Federal Mogul, which is going through
bankruptcy proceedings in the US in the face of huge asbestos
claims from former employees, may not be able to provide
sufficient guarantees to the pension scheme to be able make the
payments. The factory closed in the 1950s but left a legacy of
asbestos-linked cancers among former workers, their families,
and people living in the surrounding streets.

But faced with tens of millions of pounds in settlements in the
United States, Turner & Newall's parent company, Federal Mogul,
declared itself technically insolvent. US business law allowed
the company to carry on trading and making profits while
freezing compensation payments. Turner & Newall also declared
itself insolvent, freezing payments.

Now there is the possibility of a breakthrough. Federal Mogul is
close to settling a series of outstanding pension claims, which
could allow it to emerge from administration next year. Once
that has been achieved, campaigners believe their compensation
claims can be addressed.

Federal Mogul said in a statement that it believed its pension
plan "will be in the best interests of all creditors of the UK
debtors and will help Federal Mogul's ongoing progress to emerge
from administration in the UK and bankruptcy in the US in 2005."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Coroner Advises to Record Work History
--------------------------------------------------------------
The coroner for North Lincolnshire has called on families of
mesothelioma sufferers to keep a diary of the victims' work
histories since it is very difficult to piece together the facts
after the victims have died.

His advice followed three inquests held in one day in Scunthorpe
with each sufferer dying of mesothelioma. However, Stewart
Atkinson, the North Lincolnshire coroner, pointed out just
because someone had worked in an industry with asbestos it did
not necessarily mean they died because of the substance in their
workplace. Thus, he recorded only one verdict of death by
industrial disease in the three cases.

Mr. Atkinson said laggers, joiners and electricians were
particularly at risk from the disease, because asbestos was
disturbed and entered the air as they worked. "There has been a
substantial increase in deaths by mesothelioma. A few years ago
we used to have one or two a year, and last year we had 14," he
added.

He said doctors could do nothing when mesothelioma had been
diagnosed because it always ended in death, but he said families
should get all the work information they could and if in doubt
consult a solicitor to get compensation advice.

The day's first inquest involved Anne Rowson of Winterton who
died on September 17, 2003. Mrs. Rowson, who worked at the
Wilfred Robinson chicken farm, left a statement that was read at
the inquest. It stated the chicken farm had asbestos roofs and
the walls were coated with asbestos to keep in the heat.
Asbestos expert, Dr Alan Gibbs, who was responsible for looking
into her case, said that asbestos was not handled or removed so
it was not a clear-cut case of exposure. Dr. Gibbs also only
found a low-level of asbestos in her lungs.

Mr. Atkinson recorded a verdict of death by mesothelioma. He
said he was uneasy about recording a death of natural causes,
and he was not confident enough to record a death of industrial
disease. He added the case was "somewhat novel" because Mrs.
Rowson did not come into contact with asbestos in the usual way.

The other two cases also held records of work histories that
contributed largely to the outcome of the inquests.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AMF Bowling Worldwide Sets Record Straight
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Company recently filed a report with the US Securities and
Exchange Commission stating that their operations are subject to
environmental laws and regulations which impose limitations and
establish standards for the handling of hazardous materials.

In the past, its manufacturing facilities have received notices
of noncompliance with various laws and regulations but they have
accordingly paid fines and undertaken action to resolve these
complaints.  However, the Company does not rule out that in the
future, it could incur substantial costs in the form of fines or
sanctions. They are also subject to laws concerning the
remediation of contamination of facilities they own or had
formerly owned.

As of June 27, 2004, the Company owned or leased 3 manufacturing
facilities in connection with the products business and 465
bowling centers in connection with the centers business. The
filing stated that some of their properties might be
contaminated with hazardous substances. In addition, some of the
older bowling centers might also contain asbestos-containing
materials.

From time to time in the past, the Company had been subject to
environmental claims relating to hazardous substance
contamination. The Company could not assure the public that
cleanup costs and liabilities relating to the claims will not be
material to the business. In the same way, they also could not
predict how any change in the existing laws would affect the
cost and demand of their products and services.

AMF Bowling Worldwide, Inc is the largest operator of bowling
centers in the world with about 430 facilities in the US and
four other countries. In addition to operating bowling alleys,
AMF sells goods such as shoes and ball bags and provides
equipment such as pinsetters and ball returns to other bowling
centers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Health Chief Orders Building Site to Close
---------------------------------------------------------------
Health and Safety Chiefs ordered a Liverpool building site to
close after deadly asbestos was found yards from a primary
school. Residents raised the alarm after workmen demolishing a
launderette in Kensington exposed asbestos-filled concrete
blocks.

They fear pupils at Phoenix primary in Birchfield Road could be
at risk from airborne asbestos fibers. Neighbor Ron Brown, 70,
informed the council after he realized the building was packed
with the hazardous substance. He said, "There are young children
nearby and I'm worried about what it could do to them 20 years
from now."

Health and safety chiefs ordered workmen to put down their tools
while their team carried out an investigation. The Agency's
spokesman Paul Brady said that they have placed a prohibition
order on the firm carrying out work on the site. Work will be
allowed to continue once certain criteria are met for the safe
disposal of asbestos.

Workmen began demolishing the building as work on a luxury
housing development got under way.

Mr. Brady added, "The risk of off-site contamination is very
low."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie's Case Struggles as it Moves Forward
----------------------------------------------------------------
The embattled James Hardie Industries NV has for the past weeks
been engaged in negotiations with the ACTU and asbestos victims
to come up with a solution to its asbestos compensation
shortfall, which is well over $2 billion.

The building-products manufacturer said discussions with unions
to come up with a solution to its asbestos funding problems have
been productive. The Company also reiterated that while it was
committed to achieving a long-term solution, the provision of
extra funds would have to be supported by its shareholders.

The discussions began after an inquiry into the asbestos-funding
crisis suggested that the best solution would be for James
Hardie to meet its moral obligations by providing the funds
itself. Hardie has made such an offer, but has refused to make
an unconditional commitment to providing whatever funds are
necessary, indicating that to do so could put the company in
conflict with its shareholders.

But Australia's peak union body, the ACTU, has expressed
concerns that James Hardie is not serious about negotiating
compensation for future victims of its asbestos products. ACTU
secretary Greg Combet says he has had no response to a number of
documents he has put before James Hardie in a bid to work out a
compensation package. Mr. Combet says the ACTU will continue to
try to negotiate over the next few weeks but may be forced to
take other action.

Meanwhile, the asbestos compensation foundation set up by James
Hardie Industries threatened to use extraordinary legislation
introduced by the Carr Government to sue the Company if it did
not quickly pay a massive funding shortfall. Mr. Carr took the
new laws to parliament that would make James Hardie a special
case for which the normal rules governing confidentiality
between lawyers and clients would not apply.

The laws would mean the massive stack of confidential or legally
privileged e-mails, documents and other evidence presented in
the Jackson commission of inquiry into the underfunding of
Hardie's asbestos disease liabilities could be used by the
corporate watchdog and, with the approval of the Attorney-
General, by plaintiffs.

But the move drew outrage from Australian Council of Civil
Liberties President Terry O'Gorman, who said the law would
undermine the privacy of the lawyer-client relationship. "It is
absolutely unacceptable, despite the appalling way in which
James Hardie has behaved, to wipe away a fundamental part of the
legal system," Mr. O'Gorman said.

Senior executives and some directors of James Hardie Industries
could reportedly lose their personal assets in lawsuits if the
firm fails to pay full compensation for future asbestos disease
victims. The Medical Research and Compensation Foundation, the
trust Hardie set up in 2001 with inadequate funds to meet
claims, is considering action against individual Company
officials as one way to recoup the shortfall.

Trust Managing Director Dennis Cooper said that MRCF directors
had a duty to mount such actions if they would provide money for
asbestos disease victims. Corporate law expert Ian Ramsay said
such potential lawsuits presented a danger to the Company's
Chief Executive, Peter Macdonald, and Chief Financial Officer,
Peter Shafron.

In a bid to rapidly resolve its massive asbestos disease
liability, Hardie is understood to have gone outside its own
executive ranks to appoint Russell Chenu as acting chief
financial officer. Mr. Chenu, formerly CFO with the NSW TAB,
will fill in the role of Peter Shafron, who stepped aside last
month after damning findings against him by the NSW Jackson
commission of inquiry. Hardie refused to confirm or deny the
move, with spokesman John Noble saying "we have no comment on
speculation."

The move came as the New York Stock Exchange officially
confirmed it had branded Hardie a "Late Filer" after it missed
its final deadline for submitting its annual financial statement
to the US Securities & Exchange Commission. Mr. Noble insisted
that, "James Hardie is in full compliance with the SEC
regulations."

This follows the refusal of the Company's auditors to sign off
on the accounts before a US legal firm completes an independent
investigation into findings of serious misconduct by the Company
and at least two of its officers. The findings are contained in
the report of NSW special commissioner David Jackson QC into the
Company's underfunding of a trust to meet the future claims of
victims of the asbestos products it manufactured until 1987. Two
Sydney-based US corporate lawyers described the late filing as a
breach of SEC regulations, and by definition, a breach of NYSE
regulations since companies are required under listing rules to
abide by the SEC.

The Victorian Trades Hall Council is organizing a rally outside
Telstra's annual general meeting in Melbourne.  They expect the
rally will be attended by up to 1,500 protesters composed of
unions and asbestos victims. Set next week, the target of the
rally will be Telstra Chairman Donald McGauchie, who is also a
board member of James Hardie Industries. The VTHC is calling for
Mr. McGauchie's resignation and demanded full compensation for
James Hardie's victims.


ASBESTOS ALERT: St. Luke's Hospital Reaches US$6,750 Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
St. Luke's Hospital has reached a US$6,750 settlement with a
federal agency over improper asbestos removal that included more
than a dozen violations.

Kate Dugan, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Occupational Safety and
Health Administration in Philadelphia, said that the hospital
has paid the penalty and fixed or resolved almost every
infraction or issue. Most of the remediation took place during
an inspection by OSHA.

OSHA, which is part of the federal Department of Labor, began
inspecting the hospital in late May after construction workers
renovating St. Luke's third-floor neonatal intensive care unit
learned the fireproofing material they had been removing was
asbestos. Work on the unit began in late January.

Ms. Dugan said the incident caused no illnesses among
construction workers, hospital staff or patients. St. Luke's
officials previously said the hospital hired a special
contractor to remove the asbestos, later receiving certification
that the area had been cleared of the material.

St. Luke's received 12 "serious" and four "other than serious"
violations, Ms. Dugan said.  The infractions included St. Luke's
failure to:

(1) Determine the presence or location of the quantity of
asbestos in the unit before the renovation began;

(2) Provide or require workers to use respirators or protective
clothing; and

(3) Have an appropriate training program to deal with asbestos
work.

A serious violation is one in which an employer knows or should
know about a hazard, Ms. Dugan said. It is considered the
second-most stringent violation, and the government can assess
fines as high as US$7,000. Six of the serious violations came
with fines worth US$2,250 each, for a total of US$13,500.

The hospital appealed OSHA's decision and met informally with
the OSHA area director based in Allentown. That meeting led OSHA
to reduce the fine by 50 percent to US$6,750. Ms. Dugan said
OSHA officials weigh several factors in determining whether to
reduce fines such as the size of an employer, its past record on
workplace safety and a "good-faith effort to fix the hazards."

In a statement released by the hospital in May, officials said
they had been cooperating fully with OSHA's inspection. OSHA
issued the violations and penalties in late August, and agency
and hospital officials signed off on the settlement in early
September.

The construction workers came from at least three companies,
including Allied Building Corp. of Upper Saucon Township, the
general contractor.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Westfield Fined GBD4,700 for Disposal Violation
----------------------------------------------------------------
A company in Hampshire has been fined GBD4,700 with GBD1,200
costs for illegally dumping dangerous asbestos with other
general building waste. Westfield Asbestos had pleaded guilty at
Portsmouth Magistrates' Court to the disposal breach.

The prosecution, brought by the Environment Agency, came after
vigilant staff from SITA, a waste management company, spotted
the toxic material in a waste transfer station at Fareham.

The court heard how they had to isolate the load before wetting
the surrounding area to reduce any airborne risk. The firm sent
a skip to the waste transfer station, describing the load as
"mixed municipal waste." SITA staff examined it, as they are
required to do under the waste management license, and
discovered asbestos.

They swung emergency procedures into action, and informed the
Environment Agency and Westfield. Representatives from Westfield
carried out air monitoring which revealed the area was not
contaminated with asbestos.

However, an Environment Agency officer took samples of the
waste, which showed contamination. Westfield told the court it
did not know how the waste had been put in the skip.

They asked the court to take into account the early guilty plea,
the fact that staff had been sent to clear the waste, that it
had fully cooperated with the investigation and had taken
further measures to prevent such an incident from occurring
again.

After the case, Environment Agency officer Mike O'Neill said,
"This sends a clear message to all those who dispose of asbestos
and other hazardous waste. It must be sent to waste disposal
facilities that are licensed to handle and dispose of it in a
safe manner. It is down to the vigilance of SITA staff at
Fareham and their emergency procedures that stopped this
incident being far more serious."


Company Profile:

Westfield Asbestos (UK) Ltd
Brokenford Business Park
Unit A Brokenford Lane Totton
Southampton
SO40 9DY
Phone: 023 8088 5060
http://www.scrollingpages.com/westfieldgroup/

Description:
The Westfield Group is a specialist asbestos removal company
with over 50 years of experience within the asbestos removal
industry. The company offers independent and professional
solutions to all of the problems that arise due to the presence
of asbestos in buildings. They are able to carry out
comprehensive building surveys which identifies the presence of
asbestos, its condition and potential for harm. They assess the
risk and make recommendations enabling the employer to take the
appropriate course of action for each situation identified.


ASBESTOS ALERT: PA Family Files Suit V. 38 Companies for US$7.8M
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Rostraver Township family is suing 38 companies or
corporations for at least US$7.8 million in a wrongful death
suit filed in Westmoreland County Court.

Dolores M. Neth and her three daughters filed the suit in
connection with the death of Dolores' husband, Lawrence M. Neth.
He was diagnosed with lung cancer on November 15, 2002 and died
March 24, 2003.

The lawsuit names in particular Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.
and corporations ranging from Argo Packing Co. in Oakmont to
defense contractor Martin Marietta Technologies Inc. and Viacom
Inc., the successor by merger to CBS Corp.

Dolores Neth, as Lawrence Neth's wife and executrix of his
estate, contends in the lawsuit that her husband died of cancer
as a result of inhaling asbestos dust. She claims that Mr. Neth
was exposed to asbestos while working as a carpenter at various
industrial sites throughout western Pennsylvania from 1943 to
1986. The suit named companies which were engaged in the
business of mining, milling, manufacturing, fabricating,
supplying or selling asbestos-containing products.

The suit alleges that the companies provided products that "they
knew were defective and/or unreasonably dangerous to the user or
consumer, such as plaintiff, and acted in such a manner which
was willful, wanton, gross and in total disregard for the health
and safety of the user or consumer, i.e., plaintiff."

In 1934, according to the lawsuit, Metropolitan and asbestos
manufacturers suggested that a doctor, acting as an agent for
Metropolitan, publish a study on asbestos in which he would
"affirmatively misrepresent material facts about asbestos
exposure and concerning the seriousness of the disease
processes, asbestosis and related diseases."

The suit says that as a result, the study was published in
medical literature in 1935. It stated, "This fraudulent
misrepresentation and fraudulent nondisclosure was motivated in
part by a desire to influence proposed legislation to regulate
asbestos exposure and to provide a defense in disputes involving
Metropolitan as insurer."

It related that through the years, Metropolitan and various
defendants acted in concert to influence or suppress various
researches on the health hazards posed by asbestos.

The suit seeks damages that include hospital and medical
expenses, loss of earnings and future earning power, loss of
pecuniary contributions to the plaintiff, loss of aid, services
and companionship to the plaintiff, and punitive damages.


Company Profiles:

MetLife, Inc.
1 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10010-3690
Phone: 212-578-2211
Fax: 212-578-3320
http://www.metlife.com/

2003 Sales (mil.)   o20,124.2
1-Year Sales Growth   8.0%
2003 Net Income (mil.)   o1,246.6
1-Year Net Income Growth  38.1%
2003 Employees    49,000

Description:
MetLife is one of the US's largest insurers. MetLife's
Institutional segment offers group benefits products; its
Individual segment offers consumers many of the same types of
products; and its International segment offers the same to
groups and individuals, primarily in Latin America and
Asia/Pacific. The company also provides property and casualty
products through its Auto & Home operations, and retail and
institutional investment management products through its Asset
Management segment. A sixth segment focuses on reinsurance.

Viacom Inc.
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-258-6000
Fax: 212-258-6464
http://www.viacom.com/

2003 Sales (mil.)   o14,948.9
1-Year Sales Growth   8.0%
2003 Net Income (mil.)   o796.7
1-Year Net Income Growth  95.2%
2003 Employees    117,750

Description:
One of the world's largest media companies, Viacom spans movies,
television, radio, and the Internet. It owns BET, CBS, Paramount
Pictures, the United Paramount Network, MTV Networks, Showtime
Networks, and Comedy Central, and produces and syndicates TV
shows through Paramount Television and CBS Enterprises. Viacom
also owns 39 TV stations, publisher Simon & Schuster, Infinity
Broadcasting, and has dozens of Internet holdings.

Lockheed Martin Corporation
6801 Rockledge Dr.
Bethesda, MD 20817-1877
Phone: 301-897-6000
Fax: 301-897-6704
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/

2003 Sales (mil.)   o17,894.6
1-Year Sales Growth   19.7%
2003 Net Income (mil.)   o592.1
1-Year Net Income Growth  110.6%
2003 Employees    130,000

Description:
In 1961, the Glenn Martin Company consolidated with the
American-Marietta Company and was renamed Martin Marietta
Technologies, Inc. On August 29, 1994 the Lockheed Corporation
and the Martin Marietta Corporation announced that the two
companies would merge into Lockheed Martin. The company is the
world's #1 defense contractor. Its business segments:
Aeronautics, Electronic Systems, Space Systems, Integrated
Systems & Solutions, and Information & Technology Services.

Argo Packing Co
515 Cedar Way
Oakmont
PA 15139-2010
Phone: 412-828-6606


ASBESTOS ALERT: Pensioner Launches GBD150T Compensation Battle
--------------------------------------------------------------
A terminally ill pensioner has begun High Court proceedings
after claiming he caught an asbestos-related cancer during a
lifetime of working with asbestos.

Brian Staley, 67, from Bury St. Edmunds, has now launched a
legal battle for compensation of up to GBD150,000 after he
contracted mesothelioma and was told he had just six months to
live. In a writ issued to the High Court, Mr. Staley has claimed
his condition was caused by negligence on the part of the
Central Electric Generating Board, now known as Powergen. He
said the Company exposed him to a major risk of injury without
any protection or warning, and also failed to provide him with a
safe place to work.

Mr. Staley claimed he was exposed to asbestos while working in a
power station in Nottingham and then again when he worked as an
assistant engineer at the Cliff Quay power station in Ipswich.

He said he breathed in deadly dust and fibers while removing and
putting up asbestos in boiler rooms and turbine halls. After his
national service, he returned to work at the power station where
he was also exposed to asbestos through working close to
laggers. He was involved in maintenance work where asbestos
lagging was disturbed and removed, causing the release of large
amounts of dust into the air. He later worked at the Cliff Quay
power station, Ipswich, where he was again exposed to asbestos.

He first suffered symptoms last year and his condition is
expected to deteriorate. A spokesman for Powergen said they
could not comment on the case as legal proceedings had begun.


Company Profile:

Powergen
Westwood Way
Westwood Business Park
Coventry, CV4 8LG
Phone: 024 76424000/ 01623 788588
http://www.powergen.co.uk/

Description:
Powergen is one of the best-known names in energy in the UK,
generating, distributing and retailing electricity to millions
of customers around the country. It is part of the E.ON group,
the world's largest investor-owned company. With 6 million
electricity and gas customers, it is one of the largest energy
suppliers in the country. It produces electricity from world-
class power stations and is one of the leading names in
renewable energy.


ASBESTOS ALERT: EDF Energy Awards Compensation to Victim's Widow
----------------------------------------------------------------
A six-figure compensation award to the widow of a city
electricity worker, who died after coming into contact with
asbestos, could open the floodgates for others to make claims,
legal experts said.

John King, 59, died in February this year after he was diagnosed
with mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer. In the 1960s, he
had worked for the Eastern Electricity Board in Norwich where he
was constantly exposed to asbestos.  Last week his widow
Christine was awarded undisclosed damages.

Simon Davis, of lawyers Kester Cunningham John, which led the
case, said the award meant similar cases in the future would be
nearly assured of success. He said, "There is certainly a worn
path for others to go along now, though at present I don't know
of anyone with a claim in against EDF Energy, the successors to
the Eastern Electricity Board. It proves that the grim legacy of
asbestos lingers on 35 years after John left those conditions
behind."

Mr. Davis added, "It would be proper for me to make clear that,
although the case was brought against EDF Energy, it only had
responsibility because it is the statutory successor to Eastern
Electricity. Its prompt recognition of the claim has at least
saved Christine King from further distress, and we are grateful
for its action."

Mr. King was just 15 in 1959 when he started an apprenticeship
with the company. He often worked in boiler rooms where pipes
were lagged with asbestos and which often crumbled while being
dismantled. He was never given any form of protection nor warned
of the dangers to which he was being exposed.

Mr. King began the action against EDF Energy in January this
year as his health deteriorated. After his death, his widow
continued the action, leading to an out of court settlement.

An EDF Energy spokesman said, "We would like to express our
sympathy to Mrs. King. At the time the alleged asbestos exposure
took place, industry in general did not appreciate the long-term
health effects of this material. As these effects have become
known both the legal requirements and company practices have
become more stringent as we seek to better protect people."

EDF Energy expressed its full commitment to ensuring a safe and
healthy working environment for all its employees. The spokesman
indicated that the company has established an extremely
comprehensive control of asbestos policy that goes well beyond
the legal requirements. However, he refrained to comment on the
possibility that more former employees would now come forward
following its award for damages.

Gordon Dean, a partner in Godfrey Morgan solicitors in Norwich,
said what was unusual about this case was that the exposure took
place so long ago. He said the major regulations came into force
in 1970, and that it was harder to bring any cases from before
then.


Company Profile:

EDF Energy plc
40 Grosvenor Place, Victoria
London
SW1X 4EN, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-20-7242-9050
Fax: +44-20-7752-2104
http://www.edfenergy.com/

2003 Sales (mil.)   o3,505.4
1-Year Sales Growth   37.1%
2003 Net Income (mil.)   o263.5
1-Year Net Income Growth  97.3%
2003 Employees    10,457

Description:
EDF Energy has the London Bridge and Big Ben wired. The company,
formerly London Electricity Group, provides retail electric and
gas services to more than 5 million customers across the UK
through its London Energy, Seeboard Energy, SWEB Energy, and
Virgin Home brands. EDF Energy trades energy on the wholesale
market and has power generation assets that give it 5,000 MW of
capacity. The Electricite de France subsidiary also operates
regulated transmission and distribution assets that deliver
electricity to 7.8 million homes and businesses in London and
eastern and southeastern England, and it provides infrastructure
construction services.


ASBESTOS ALERT: El Paso Disposal Fined US$82T for 41 Violations
---------------------------------------------------------------
The New Mexico Environment Department fined El Paso Disposal
Inc. US$82,000 and charged the waste hauler with 41 violations
of dumping laws.

Officials said the fine and charges were filed after an
investigation into dumping at the Sunland Park's Camino Real
landfill in August. The alleged violations include unauthorized
transportation of special waste, attempted disposal of
unauthorized special waste, failure to provide documentation for
special waste and improper transportation of asbestos waste.

Jon Goldstein, a spokesman for the Environment Department in
Santa Fe, said a compliance order charges the company with
violating New Mexico state solid waste management laws and
regulations. The special waste was mostly medical waste from El
Paso hospitals. This was waste that New Mexico state officials
said El Paso Disposal was not registered to haul and the Camino
Real Landfill was not authorized to receive.

In a written response, El Paso Disposal said it intends to
appeal the order, "in part based on the fact that as a hauler,
El Paso Disposal is not in a position to monitor compliance by
the waste generators that it serves."

The company also said, "We are committed to protecting the
environment using every means at our disposal. We are the
middleman in transporting waste from generators to final
disposal and are committed to the highest standards in waste
management. We intend to redouble our efforts to educate those
of our customers who generate medical waste, special waste and
asbestos as to the types of waste that may be disposed of in the
landfills that we use, and those that require disposal at
alternate sites."

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson ordered state inspectors to the
landfill after an anonymous tip that illegal dumping was taking
place there. State officials said the violations were discovered
during inspection done from August 4 to 10.

El Paso Disposal has up to 30 days to contest the fine, request
a hearing and correct any problems that haven't been corrected.
New Mexico environmental officials also recently issued 22 field
compliance orders and combined fines of US$17,900 against other
companies, several El Paso hospitals and the city of Sunland
Park, stemming from the same investigation, officials said.


Company Profile:

El Paso Disposal Inc
5539 El Paso Drive
El Paso, Texas 79905
Phone: (915) 772-7495

Description:
El Paso Disposal Inc, a vertically integrated collection and
landfill operation, is the largest garbage disposal company in
the city. The company, which manages landfills in both greater
El Paso and southern New Mexico, has annual revenues of about
US38 million. The company was sold to California-based Waste
Connections in 1999.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Fire Officials Close WA Theater for Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tacoma fire officials have temporarily shut down the Pantages
Theater after stage equipment and portions of the 86-year-old
theater failed inspections last week on the eve of the Tacoma
Symphony's opening weekend.

The fire department's engine and truck companies, which perform
routine inspections, look for gross fire code violations,
whereas the department's fire prevention bureau provides more
comprehensive inspections, said Kevin O'Donnal, deputy fire
marshal.

On September 29, fire prevention officials scrutinized the
building after a concerned theater employee called, said Ralph
Johns, deputy fire chief. That day, Pantages employees didn't
want to lower the fire curtain for fear that asbestos particles
could break free. After a thorough inspection, fire officials
detected asbestos particles on the stage and a malfunctioning
curtain.

An electrical inspector from Tacoma Public Utilities also found
electrical problems, some of which made the building unsafe for
admission. A theater employee told the inspector that budget
cuts caused a project to be abandoned, with the exposed wire
left on the floor. Theater officials could not confirm that
story.

"We're still in discussion, [to see] if we can get some of these
things resolved more quickly," said Eli Ashley, executive
director of the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.

As a result of the inspections, fire officials posted a "Do Not
Occupy" notice. The fire department's report lists seven
findings. TPU's report found about 20 conditions it said must be
corrected within 15 days.

The Pantages, 901 Broadway, was built in 1918 and patterned
after an ornate theater in the Palace of Versailles outside
Paris. The Broadway Center for the Performing Arts runs the
Pantages, the Rialto and the Theater on the Square.

The city, which maintains and inspects the theater, will pay for
the repairs. "There are obviously some serious repairs that need
to be made," city spokesman Scott Huntley said.

The downtown Tacoma theater is expected to be closed for at
least two weeks to correct the safety problems outlined by both
inspections.


Company Profile:

Pantages Theater
901 Broadway
Tacoma, Washington
Phone: +1 253 591 5894

Description:
Inspired by Versailles, this opulent theater was constructed in
1918. Fully restored in 1983, the 1,182-seat theater showcases
events ranging from national touring acts to the Tacoma
Philharmonic. A surprising number of local acts appear here as
well, including live music, film festivals and avant-garde
theater.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Cancer Victim's Wife Sues UK Ministry of Defense
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Lowton widow whose husband died from asbestos-related cancer
launched a legal battle against the Government for damages.

Joan Kitto is suing the Ministry of Defense after her husband,
Edwin, contracted the industrial disease malignant mesothelioma,
at the age of 74. In a writ issued to London's High Court last
week, Mrs. Kitto claimed he had been exposed to deadly asbestos
dust and fibers when he worked as a painter at Chatham dockyard,
Kent, for the agency from 1941 to 1947.

During her husband's work, constructing and repairing ships, he
was exposed to open containers mixing the dangerous substance,
alongside workers cutting asbestos and applying asbestos cement
to pipes and boilers. The court heard these activities released
substantial amounts of the deadly fumes into the air, which Mr.
Kitto inhaled and went on to develop a strain of cancer from
which he later died.

His widow blames the agency's negligence for her husband's
death, and said the Government department failed to provide
respiratory equipment or adequate protective clothing. She also
accuses the agency of not informing her husband of the dangers
of working in close proximity to the substance. She believes
that the government did not ensure a safe workplace.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Balfour Beatty Faces Domestic Exposure Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
A man, aged 32, is claiming to be the youngest person in the UK
to contract a fatal cancer caused by asbestos from domestic
exposure to the substance. Barry Welch believes he contracted
the cancer as a child while living with his stepfather, Roger
Bugby, who worked at a power station on the Isle of Grain in
Kent.

Mr. Welch, who believes he was exposed to asbestos from his
stepfather's clothes, has been given six months to live. He was
diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer that attacks the lining of
the lungs. In the UK the only known cause is exposure to
asbestos, which needs to be present only in small amounts. The
asbestos that causes the condition is now banned but Mr. Welch
believes he was exposed to it during the 1970s.

National law firm Irwin Mitchell is representing Mr. Welch in a
possible claim for compensation. Spokesman Adrian Budgen said,
"This is a particularly tragic case and it is vital that people
who remember Roger Bugby or the presence of asbestos at the Isle
of Grain Power Station in Kent come forward as witnesses."

Balfour Beatty admitted to have a number of asbestos-related
claims from the 1970s arising from the Isle of Grain but refuses
to comment on individual cases.


Company Profile:

Balfour Beatty plc
130 Wilton Rd.
London
SW1V 1LQ, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-20-7216-6800
Fax: +44-20-7216-6902
http://www.balfourbeatty.com/

2003 Sales (mil.)   o3,160.1
1-Year Sales Growth   13.0%
2003 Net Income (mil.)   o89.0
1-Year Net Income Growth  86.1%
2003 Employees    28,848

Description:
From modernizing railways in the UK to building a toll road in
Texas, Balfour Beatty provides engineering services worldwide.
Formerly BICC (British Insulated Callender's Cables), Balfour
Beatty is engaged in engineering, construction, and building
management services, primarily in Europe and North America. The
firm handles building, civil, and rail engineering for a wide
range of projects. Balfour Beatty is also focusing on asset
management and capital projects such as hospitals, power
projects, and roads.


                   New Securities Fraud Cases


CONVERIUM HOLDING: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Suit 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 Converium Holding AG ("Converium")
(NYSE:CHR) common stock during the period between December 11,
2001 and September 2, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Converium Holding AG and certain of its
officers and directors with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. Converium is a global professional
reinsurer that offers a range of traditional non-life and life
reinsurance products, as well as non-traditional solutions to
help clients manage capital and risks.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
falsely reported its results for prior to and subsequent to the
Company's IPO by failing to adequately reserve for casualty
losses and its failure to record impairment of deferred tax
assets and goodwill. The Company's false results were included
in the Company's IPO offering documents and in Forms 20-F and 6-
K filed with the SEC. The results were also included in press
releases disseminated to the public. Converium has admitted that
it must bolster its reserves for underwriting practices, which
occurred in 1997-2001. During the Class Period, Converium
improperly failed to record reserves for underwriting losses,
even though conditions existed which required the losses to be
recorded. Moreover, the Company failed to record impairment of
goodwill and deferred tax assets associated with the understated
loss reserves.

On July 20, 2004, Converium announced that second quarter
results would be impacted by a reserve strengthening for US
casualty business and subsequent asset impairments on the
balance sheet of Converium Reinsurance. Upon this shocking news,
shares of Converium fell $11.12 per share, or 44.44 percent to
close at $13.90 per share.

Subsequently, on August 31, 2004, Converium announced that the
Company had completed external actuarial review of Converium's
reserves. On September 2, 2004, Converium announced that
following the announcement of the external reserve review's
outcome and resulting capital measures, Standard & Poor's and
A.M. Best have lowered their ratings on Converium and its
subsidiaries. On this news, shares of Converium fell an
additional $1.04 per share, or 10.51 percent, to close at $8.86
per share.

For more details, contact Samuel H. Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld
of Lerach Coughlin by Phone: 800/449-4900 by E-mail:
wsl@lerachlaw.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/converium/


HARTFORD FINANCIAL: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Stock Suit in CT
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Connecticut on behalf of all securities purchasers
of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: HIG) ("The
Hartford" or the "Company") from November 5, 2003 through
October 13, 2004 inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges The Hartford, Ramani Ayer, David M.
Johnson, David K. Zwiener, Robert J. Price and Thomas M. Marra
with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. More
specifically, the complaint alleges that the Company failed to
disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse facts
which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by
them:

     (1) that the Company entered into and concealed illegal
         contingent commission agreements that it entered into
         with other insurance companies, including Marsh, Inc.,
         a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan, Inc.;

     (2) that the Company engaged in bid-rigging whereby the
         Company agreed to provide brokers with artificial
         quotes which were not justified by underwriting
         analysis;

     (3) that as a result of the bid-rigging, the defendants
         guaranteed The Hartford material amounts of business;

     (4) that by concealing these "contingent commissions" and
         such "contingent commission agreements" the defendants
         violated applicable principles of fiduciary law; and

     (5) that as a result, the Company's prior reported revenue
         and income was grossly overstated.

On October 14, 2004, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer ("Spitzer")
filed a suit against Marsh & McLennan, Inc., alleging that it
steered unsuspecting clients to insurers with whom it had
lucrative payoff agreements, and that the firm solicited rigged
bids for insurance contracts. Spitzer's complaint also named The
Hartford as an alleged participant in bid-rigging. On these
revelations, the Company's shares fell $3.78 per share, or 6.08
percent, to close at $58.40 per share on unusually high trading
volume on October 14, 2004. By October 15, 2004, shares of The
Hartford fell another $2.10 per share, or 3.60 percent, to close
at $56.30 per share.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Darren J.
Check, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP by Phone:
1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706 or by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


INTELLIGROUP INC.: Berman DeValerio Lodges Securities Suit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo
initiated a class action in the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey against Intelligroup, Inc.
("Intelligroup" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:ITIGE), claiming the
Company misled the investing public about its finances.

The lawsuit seeks damages for violations of federal securities
laws on behalf of all investors who bought Intelligroup common
stock from May 1, 2001 through and including September 24, 2004
(the "Class Period").

The lawsuit claims that the defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the rules
and regulations promulgated thereunder, including U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") Rule 10b-5.

The complaint names as defendants: Intelligroup; Arjun
Valluripalli a.k.a. Arjun Valluri, who was at all relevant times
the Company's chairman and chief executive officer; Nicholas
Visco, who served as Intelligroup's senior vice president of
finance and administration and chief financial officer from the
beginning of the Class Period until November 2003; Edward Carr,
who served as chief financial officer from November 2003 to
April 2004; and David J. Distel, who was the Company's chief
financial officer from April 2004 to the end of the Class
Period.

The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period,
Intelligroup publicly touted its strong financial performance.
In reality, however, the Company's revenues, net income and
earnings were materially misstated as a direct result of
Intelligroup's improper accounting practices and inadequate
internal controls, the lawsuit says.

On August 11, 2004, Intelligroup stunned the investing public
when the Company announced that its independent auditors,
Deloitte & Touche LLP, had resigned from serving as
Intelligroup's independent registered accounting firm effective
following the conclusion of its review of the Company's interim
financial information for the second quarter of 2004.

On September 24, 2004, after the market closed, Intelligroup
further shocked investors when the Company announced that it
intended to restate its previously issued financial statements
filed on Form 10-K for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002
and 2001 and filed on Form 10-Q for the quarterly periods
beginning January 1, 2001 to date.

In response to the news, the value of Intelligroup's stock
declined 32% to close at $1.13 on September 27, 2004, the
following trading day.

For more details, contact Jeffrey C. Block, Esq. or Colleen M.
Conners, Esq. by Mail: One Liberty Square, Boston, MA 02109 by
Phone: (800) 516-9926 by E-mail: law@bermanesq.com or visit
their Web site: http://www.bermanesq.com/pdf/Intelligroup-
Cplt.pdf


INTELLIGROUP INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Stock Suit in NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New Jersey on behalf of all securities
purchasers of Intelligroup, Inc. (Nasdaq: ITIGE) ("Intelligroup"
or the "Company") from May 1, 2001 through September 24, 2004,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Intelligroup, Arjun Valluripalli, Nicholas
Visco, Edward Carr and David J. Distel with violations of
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. More specifically, the
complaint alleges that the Company failed to disclose and
misrepresented the following material adverse facts, which were
known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the Company engaged in improper accounting
         practices;

     (2) that as a consequence of the foregoing, the Company
         materially overstated its financial results in
         violation of generally accepted accounting principles
         ("GAAP");

     (3) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls; and

     (4) that as result of the above, the Company's net income
         and revenues, among other things, were materially
         overstated at all relevant times.

On September 24, 2004, Intelligroup announced that it expected
to restate its previously issued financial statements filed on
Form 10-K for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001
and filed on Form 10-Q for the quarterly periods beginning
January 1, 2001 to date. The news shocked the market. Shares of
Intelligroup fell $.08 or 4.62 percent per share, to close at
$1.65 per share.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Darren J.
Check, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP by Phone:
1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706 or by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


                            *********


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  * * *