CAR_Public/041126.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, November 26, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 235

                          Headlines

3R BANCORP: Faces FTC Charges Of Credit Card, Consumer Fraud
ACE LIMITED: Receives Subpoenas From SEC, NY Attorney General
ADVANCEPCS: Asks PA Court To Reconsider Arbitration For Lawsuit
ADVANCEPCS: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of AL ERISA Fraud Suit
ADVANCEPCS: Asks NJ Court To Grant Summary Judgment in Lawsuit

AIRNET COMMUNICATIONS: Working To Settle NY Securities Lawsuit
ALLEN'S BLUEBERRY: 176 Growers File Claims For $5M ME Settlement
AMERICAN HONDA: Recalls 257,616 Sedans Due To Air Bag Defects
AMERICAN MORTGAGE: Principal Resident Employees File Suit in NY
ARGOSY GAMING: Shareholder Launches Suit V. Penn National Merger

BRISTOL-MYERS: Reaches $70 Mil Serzone Lawsuit Settlement in WV
CANADA: CIC Offers "Settlement" To Immigrants Affected By IRPA
CAREMARK INC.: Asks TN Court To Dismiss ERISA Violations Lawsuit
CAREMARK RX: Asks AL Court To Dismiss ERISA Violations Suits
CAREMARK RX: Lawsuit For Shareholder Fraud Proceeds in AL Court

CAREMARK RX: IL Court Nixes Antitrust Violations Suits Dismissal
CLARUS CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement for GA Securities Lawsuit
DANKA INDUSTRIES: Asks TN Court For Summary Judgment in Lawsuit
DIET SUPPLEMENTS: FTC Charges Firms For False Weight Loss Claims
ECHOSTAR COMMUNICATIONS: Certification Hearing Set Dec. 7, 2004

ECHOSTAR COMMUNICATIONS: Limited Discovery Proceeds in CO Suits
ECHOSTAR COMMUNICATIONS: Dismissal of TX Retailers Suit Upheld
EQUITY RESIDENTIAL: Bench Trial Completed in FL Tenant Fees Suit
IDAHO: Residents Ask Attorney General To Sue Federal Government
IMPAC FUNDING: IL Court Dismisses Prepayment Penalties Lawsuit

JAYCO INC.: Recalls 317 Trailers Due To Service Brake Defects
JAYCO INC.: Recalls 370 Trailers Due To Incorrect Tire Labels
MICHIGAN: Macomb County Judge Certifies Suit V. City Of Warren
MICHIGAN SUGAR: Settles With Residents Bothered By Plant Odors
NEKTAR THERAPEUTICS: Shareholders Launch Stock Fraud Suit in CA

NEW JERSEY: Drug Makers Face Suit On Amiodarone "Over-Promotion"
NEW MEXICO: Albuquerque Nearer to Pact in 10-Year McClendon Suit
NEW YORK: Comptroller's Office Receives 300 Claims Over Arrests
NORTH CAROLINA: NC Court Bars Furniture Dealer Because of Fraud
PEOPLESOFT INC.: DE Judge Rejects Shareholder's Suit Settlement

REPUBLIC BANCORP: Seeks Judgment, Arbitration, Relief in NC Suit
SPECTRALINK CORPORATION: CO Court Approves Stock Suit Settlement
SHERWIN WILLIAMS: Lead Paint Litigation Trial Set For April 2005
SERVICE CORPORATION: TX Court Approves Stock Lawsuit Settlement
SERVICE CORPORATION: FL Court OKs Grave Desecration Settlement

SERVICE CORPORATION: Shareholders File Consolidated Suit in TX
SERVICE CORPORATION: Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in TX Court
UNISOURCE ENERGY: Asks AZ Court To Dismiss Shareholder Lawsuit
VIROPHARMA INC.: PA Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement

                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MT Hospital Uses $3.5M to Boost Treatment
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Missouri Residents Oppose Landfill Proposal
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Neighbors Call for Gate's Safe Demolition
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ground Chemicals Fail to Deter Land Buyers
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Awareness Week Scheduled to Educate, Inform

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL Jury Awards $400T to Ex-Safety Director
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Used on Rise in Asia, Says Expert
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wolseley Reports Liability of GBD27.9M
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MI Agencies Agree on Plan for Quincy Site
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Solbec's Cancer Drug Testing A Huge Success

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cancer Victim Accepts US$4M Settlement
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tower Properties Reaches US$50T Settlement
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Archicentre Stresses Home Renovation Risks
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Court Summons Huntsman to Face 5 Charges
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RAND Prompts Michigan to Mimic Ohio's Law

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PA Judge Grants Halliburton's Plan for DII
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Papers Expose Washington Chemical Cover-up
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MSA Named in Less Than 300 Liability Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Payouts End as MRCF Seeks Liquidator
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ballantyne Settles NY Case, Battles 2 More

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Illinois Power Co. Faces 39 Pending Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ALSTOM Tackles Various Claims Worldwide
ASBESTOS ALERT: 9/11 Workers Sue EPA for Misleading Statements
ASBESTOS ALERT: DEQ Hits Owner with $1T Fine for Unsafe Removal
ASBESTOS ALERT: Death of Ex-Navy Worker Caused by Mesothelioma

ASBESTOS ALERT: Post Office Break-in Attempt Fosters Closure
ASBESTOS ALERT: UK Inquest Reveals Asbestos as Cause of Death
ASBESTOS ALERT: Break-in Sets Off Health Scare at UK High School
ASBESTOS ALERT: Officials Probe Exposure at Brisbane High School
ASBESTOS ALERT: ICI Awards GBD85T to Widow of Ex-Plumber/Welder

ASBESTOS ALERT: DEQ Fines Crown and SMAF with More Than $71,000
ASBESTOS ALERT: Transgrid Workshop Closed Due to Asbestos Find
ASBESTOS ALERT: Asbestos Fear Leads to Evacuation at HI School


                    New Securities Fraud Cases

AUTOBYTEL INC.: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
JAKKS PACIFIC: Lasky & Rifkind Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
SEARS ROEBUCK: Squitieri & Fearon Lodges Securities Suit in IL
SIRVA INC.: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in IL
UNITED RENTALS: Marc S. Henzel Files Securities Fraud Suit in CT


                            *********


3R BANCORP: Faces FTC Charges Of Credit Card, Consumer Fraud
------------------------------------------------------------
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged a cross-border
telemarketing enterprise with defrauding consumers out of
millions of dollars by offering them a "guaranteed" low-interest
credit card for an advance fee, then failing to come through on
its promise.

According to the FTC's complaint, the defendants, operating
boiler rooms in the United States, Canada, and India, targeted
consumers with poor credit and used promises for credit cards to
trick them into revealing their bank account information.  On
November 17, a U.S. district Court in Chicago issued a temporary
restraining order halting the defendants' illegal activities,
freezing their assets, and appointing a receiver to take over
their operation.

The FTC's complaint against 3R Bancorp states that, since at
least May 2002, the defendants have called consumers across the
United States and falsely claimed they would provide them with
credit cards in exchange for an advance fee, typically at least
$149. The defendants allegedly claim that consumers are pre-
approved for an unsecured Visa or MasterCard with a low interest
rate and a high credit limit, with no security deposit required
regardless of the consumer's credit history.

The FTC alleges that the defendants use high-pressure sales
tactics to coerce consumers into providing their checking
account information. The defendants then allegedly debit
consumers' accounts and fail to provide the promised credit
card. In papers filed with the Court, the FTC alleges that the
defendants are unresponsive to consumers' refund requests and
that consumers seeking refunds rarely receive them.

The FTC's complaint also alleges that the defendants have called
consumers whose telephone numbers are registered on the National
Do Not Call Registry and failed to pay the required annual fee
to access the registered telephone numbers.

The FTC charges that the defendants have violated the FTC Act by
falsely claiming that consumers would receive an unsecured
credit card, then collecting money from consumers without
providing the promised card. The FTC's complaint also alleges
that the defendants violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule by
making false claims via telemarketing and by calling consumers
whose numbers are registered on the National Do Not Call
Registry. The FTC has asked the Court to bar permanently the
defendants' illegal business practices and award consumer
redress.

The FTC's complaint names: 3R Bancorp; 3R E-Solutions, Inc.,
d/b/a CR Bancorp, Euro Banca, 3R Companies, 3R Ventures, 3R
Contact Centers, 3R Solutions, 3RE E-Solutions, R 3R E-
Solutions, E3R E-Solutions, and E 3R Capital Solutions; 3R E-
Solutions Corporation; National United Properties, LLC, d/b/a
Awfmex Management Company; 3R Real Estate Corporation, d/b/a
Fairview, Inc.; E Three R Info Systems Pvt. Ltd; Ranbir Sahni;
John Perton; Oliver McKinney; Brian Murphy; and Kirt Charter as
defendants.

The FTC brought this matter with assistance from the members of
the Toronto Strategic Partnership, a cross-border fraud law
enforcement effort that includes, in addition to the FTC,
Competition Bureau Canada, the Ontario Provincial Police Anti-
Rackets, the Toronto Police Service Fraud Squad, the Ontario
Ministry of Consumer and Business Services, and the United
States Postal Inspection Service.

The FTC also received valuable assistance in this matter from
the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Central District of
California, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S.
Marshals Service, and the Long Beach, California Police
Department.

The Commission vote authorizing staff to file the complaint was
5-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division on November 5,
2004.

For more details, contact the FTC's Consumer Response Center,
Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580 or
visit the website: http://www.ftc.gov. Also, contact Jen
Schwartzman, Office of Public Affairs by Phone: 202-326-2674 or
C. Steven Baker or Guy Ward, FTC Midwest Region, by Phone:
312-960-5628 or 312-960-5612


ACE LIMITED: Receives Subpoenas From SEC, NY Attorney General
-------------------------------------------------------------
ACE Limited has recently received subpoenas from the Securities
and Exchange Commission and the New York Attorney General
requesting documents in connection with an investigation of non-
traditional, or loss mitigation, products, according to the law
firm of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP.

The law firm had filed a class action lawsuit in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on
behalf of all persons who purchased the securities of ACE
Limited ("ACE" or the "Company") (NYSE: ACE) between May 30,
2002 and 10:58a.m, Eastern Standard Time on October 14, 2004,
inclusive, (the "Class Period") against defendants ACE and
certain officers and directors of the Company. Wolf Haldenstein
has been investigating additional claims that may be brought by
employees during the class period.

For more details, contact Mark C. Rifkin, Esq., Gustavo
Bruckner, Esq., Christopher S. Hinton, Esq., or Derek Behnke of
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP by Mail: 270 Madison
Avenue, New York, New York 10016 by Phone: (800) 575-0735 by E-
mail: classmember@whafh.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.whafh.com.


ADVANCEPCS: Asks PA Court To Reconsider Arbitration For Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs moved for reconsideration of the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania's ruling
granting arbitration in the class action filed against
AdvancePCS (now known as CaremarkPCS) by Bellevue Drug Co.,
Robert Schreiber, Inc., d/b/a Burns Pharmacy and Rehn-Huerbinger
Drug Co., d/b/a Parkway Drugs, on behalf of themselves and all
others similarly situated, and the Pharmacy Freedom Fund and the
National Community Pharmacists Association.

The plaintiffs allege antitrust violations under Section 1 of
the Sherman Act arising from the Company's establishment of
network rates for retail pharmacies.  The plaintiffs are
attempting to certify a class of all pharmacies that, at any
time during the period commencing four years before the filing
of the litigation through the present, contracted with the
Company to dispense and sell brand name and generic prescription
drugs for any prescription drug benefit plan(s).  The plaintiffs
seek three times actual money damages and injunctive relief
enjoining the alleged antitrust violations.

The Company moved to compel arbitration of any claims between it
and the plaintiffs pursuant to the pharmacy services agreements
it has with the plaintiffs.  The motion to compel arbitration
has been granted.  The plaintiffs have moved for reconsideration
of the Court's decision or to have the decision certified for an
immediate appeal.  The plaintiffs' motion is pending.


ADVANCEPCS: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of AL ERISA Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the dismissal of the consolidated class
action filed against AdvancePCS (now doing business as
CaremarkPCS) in the United States District Court of Arizona.

In April 2002, the Company was served with a purported class
action filed by Tommie Glanton on behalf of the plaintiff's
health plan and a putative class of self-funded health plans.
In March 2003, AdvancePCS was served with a complaint filed by
Tara Mackner in which the plaintiff, a purported participant in
a self-funded health plan customer of AdvancePCS, sought to
bring action on behalf of that plan.  Each of the lawsuits
sought unspecified monetary damages and injunctive relief.

Because the previously filed Glanton case purported to be
brought as a class action on behalf of self-funded plans, the
Court consolidated the Mackner case and the Glanton case.  In
November 2003, the Court dismissed and terminated both the
Glanton and Mackner cases on the pleadings, finding that the
plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the actions under Employee
Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The plaintiffs have appealed the District Court's dismissal of
these cases to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit.  The plaintiffs and AdvancePCS have filed their briefs
in the appeal, and the United States Department of Labor has
filed an amicus brief.


ADVANCEPCS: Asks NJ Court To Grant Summary Judgment in Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
AdvancePCS asked the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey to grant summary judgment in the class
action, alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act (ERISA).

In March 1998, PCS Health Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of PCS
Holding Corporation, which was acquired by Advance Paradigm (now
known as AdvancePCS) in October 2000, was served with a
purported class action lawsuit filed by Ed Mulder.  The lawsuit
alleges that PCS Health Systems, Inc. acts as a fiduciary, as
that term is defined in ERISA, and has breached certain
purported fiduciary duties under ERISA.  The plaintiff is
seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages in an unspecified
amount.  The plaintiff purported to represent a nation-wide
class consisting of all members of all ERISA plans for which PCS
Health Systems, Inc. provided PBM services during the class
period.

The Company opposed certification of this class, and in July
2003 the Court entered an order certifying a more limited class
comprised only of members of those ERISA plans for which PCS
Health Systems, Inc. provided services under its contract with a
single HMO for a limited time period.  Discovery in this lawsuit
is proceeding.


AIRNET COMMUNICATIONS: Working To Settle NY Securities Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
AirNet Communications Corporation is working on the settlement
of the consolidated securities class action filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
styled "IN re Airnet Communications Corporation Securities
Litigation," related to "In re Securities Litigation, Case No.
21 MC 92 (SAS)."  The suit also names as defendants the members
of the underwriting syndicate involved in the Company's initial
public offering and two of the Company's former officers.

The suit alleges that the defendants violated federal securities
laws and seeks unspecified monetary damages and certification of
a plaintiff class consisting of all persons and entities who
purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired shares of
the Company's common stock between December 6, 1999 and December
6, 2000, inclusive.

Specifically, the complaint charges the defendants with
violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933
and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  In
substance, the allegations are that the underwriters of the
Company's initial public offering charged commissions in excess
of those disclosed in the initial public offering materials and
that these actions were not properly disclosed.

On July 15, 2002, the Issuers' Committee filed a Motion to
Dismiss on behalf of all issuers and individual defendants in
similar lawsuits.  In February 2003, the Motion to Dismiss was
granted in part (with respect to the Company) and denied in part
(with respect to all issuer defendants).  The claims against the
Company's two former officers named in the class action lawsuit
have been dismissed without prejudice.

The issuer defendants and the plaintiffs have since drafted and
agreed upon a settlement, which is pending approval by the
Court.  A committee of AirNet's Board of Directors has accepted
the pending settlement.  Pending Court approval, the individual
tolling agreements dismissing the named individual defendants
have been extended, so that the individual defendants will be
covered by the settlement as well.  While awaiting Court
approval of the settlement, the issuers, including the Company,
have complied with discovery obligations specified in the
Settlement, by providing a limited number of documents.


ALLEN'S BLUEBERRY: 176 Growers File Claims For $5M ME Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Less than 200 of Maine's blueberry growers have filed claims for
a portion of a $5 million settlement in a landmark lawsuit
against Allen's Blueberry Freezer of Ellsworth, which accuses
Allen's and three other blueberry processors with fixing prices
paid to growers for four years in the 1990s, the Associated
Press reports.

That number was recently disclosed as Justice Joseph Jabar put
his signature on the final piece of the settlement. The case is
nearing an end following the agreement by Allen's Blueberry
Freezer of Ellsworth to pay $1 million as its share of the
settlement.

The most startling moment in the Courtroom, however, was the
disclosure that just 176 growers statewide have filed claims for
a cut of the settlement, minus the attorneys' traditional one-
third cut. But, this did not surprise the growers' attorneys,
since throughout the four years of the case they have vehemently
stated that as many as 800 growers could have been damaged by
the price-fixing.

According to William Robitzek, a Lewiston attorney who
represented some of the growers, he can't control which growers
file claims. He further states, "The pool of growers gets
smaller once you peel off those who opted out of the suit in the
beginning. Then there are growers who are still scared to death
to be identified with this lawsuit, because the list of payouts
will be published."

Growers who can show how many pounds of fruit they sold in each
of the seasons between 1996 and 1999 have until Dec. 23 to file
their paperwork and join the claimants, according to Mr.
Robitzek.

The case, which was previously reported in the August 30, 2004
issue of the Class Action Reported, is Maine's first-ever class-
action lawsuit and was decided last November 2003 when a civil
jury awarded an $18.6 million judgment against Allen's,
Cherryfield Foods of Cherryfield and Jasper Wyman & Son of
Milbridge. Since antitrust issues were involved in the case, the
damages were automatically tripled, raising the total to more
than $56 million.

In the settlement, Cherryfield Foods agreed to pay $2.5 million,
and Wyman agreed to pay $1.5 million, reducing the processors'
payout to a more manageable $5 million once Allen's, which
initially challenged the settlement reached by Cherryfield and
Wyman's, fell into step. The fourth and smallest processor sued,
Merrill's Blueberry Farms of Ellsworth, reached its settlement
with the growers for $85,000 last October, days before the case
went to trial.


AMERICAN HONDA: Recalls 257,616 Sedans Due To Air Bag Defects
-------------------------------------------------------------
American Honda Motor Co. in cooperation with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects
Investigation is voluntarily recalling about 257,616 Year 2004 &
2005 Honda Accord Sedans due to air bag defects.

According to the ODI, on certain sedans, a tear in the fabric of
the driver's front air bag occurred after apparent contact with
the inside surface of the airbag cover during deployment. A torn
air bag may not offer the same level of protection, in the event
of a crash, thereby increasing the risk of injury to the driver.

As a remedy dealers will install a protective fabric flap
between the air bag module and the inner module. The recall is
expected to begin on December 6, 2004. For more details, contact
NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236 or American Honda
Motor Co.: 1-800-999-1009.


AMERICAN MORTGAGE: Principal Resident Employees File Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
William Gregory Williams, 49, and Suzanne Brayman, 56, two
former employees of a Dallas-based company have initiated
lawsuit against American Home Mortgage Holdings of Melville, one
of the country's largest mortgage lenders alleging that the
Company lured them to jobs with a pension promise the Company
later reneged on, the New York Newsday reports.

Filed in New York State Supreme Court in Central Islip, the
lawsuit is seeking class-action status, which the plaintiffs'
lawyers believe could cover at least 200 employees and involve
$3 million to $5 million.

American Home, a subsidiary of publicly traded American Home
Mortgage Investment Corp., also of Melville, seemed unfazed by
the lawsuit by former employees of the acquired Company,
Principal Residential Mortgage. According to John LoVallo,
American Home spokesman, "It's a two-person lawsuit and we think
we are on the right side of the issue. We don't consider this
lawsuit a material event in any way shape or form."

Mr. Williams and Ms. Brayman were among the many employees of
Principal Residential Mortgage who went to work for American
Home in Dallas in March 2003, shortly after the Long Island
Company revealed that it was going to buy Principal's retail
mortgage network.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs were reluctant to
join American at first because "they had benefits at Principal
that were more attractive than those offered by American Home."
The complaint further states that Principal made annual
contributions to each employee's cash balance account, an
employer-paid retirement program American Home didn't have and
that in order to make its package more attractive, American said
it would make an annual contribution to the employees' 401k
programs, which they also had at Principal.

However, American Home later reversed itself and said it would
make a one-time contribution, the suit said and that "The
promises were made not only verbally, but in writing," said one
of the plaintiff's lawyers, Keith Clouse of Clouse Dunn Hirsh in
Dallas.

American also promised it would honor the employees' service at
Principal toward the Long Island Company's vesting period, which
is five years. But later on, according to the complaint, the
mortgage banker said it would credit the Principal employees
with just one year of service toward pension eligibility. That
meant that Mr. Williams, who had worked at Principal for six
years, and Ms. Brayman, for five years, were each credited for
one year.

In essence, when Mr. Williams was dismissed earlier this month,
he fell short of the American's five-year vesting period and
stands to lose "a substantial" portion of the Company
contributions to his carried over 401k, the lawsuit further
states.


ARGOSY GAMING: Shareholder Launches Suit V. Penn National Merger
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judi Ann Ringhofer of Vernon Hills, an Argosy Gaming Company
shareholder, has recently initiated a class action lawsuit
against the Company, its chairman and board members, claiming
that an announced merger with Penn National Gaming Co. does not
adequately compensate shareholders given the Company's "stellar
third quarter 2004 financial results," the Madison County Record
reports.

Filed in Madison County Circuit Court, the suit alleges that the
defendants, which include chairman William F. Cellini, Richard
J. Glasier, George L. Bristol, Jimmy F. Gallagher, James B.
Perry, F. Lance Callis, John B. Pratt, Sr., Edward F. Brennan
and Michael W. Scott, breached their fiduciary duty by not
representing the full value of Argosy.

According to a recent financial report, Argosy's earnings had
risen substantially over the previous year. Earnings per share
were 71 cents, up from 56 cents last year. Argosy's net income
also rose from $38.1 million during last year's third quarter
report to $43.7 million in the same reporting period this year.

The suit further alleges, "Argosy shareholders will, if the
transaction is consummated, be deprived of the opportunity for
substantial gains which the Company may realize." The suit also
alleges that while the merger will be extremely beneficial for
the shareholders of Penn, plaintiff and class members will be
unable to reap the benefits of the merger since the companies
are not merging, but rather Argosy is being sold for cash.

A recent report in the St. Louis Business Journal stated that
Mr. Callis, one of the defendants, who holds 870,553 shares of
Argosy stock along with a Granite City lawyer, stands to collect
nearly $41 million if he sells his 3 percent ownership of the
Company.

Ms. Ringhofer alleges the defendants did not seek and solicit
the best possible offer available for Argosy's shares and that
at no time prior to the announcement of the merger did Argosy
indicate that it was considering a sale or similar business
combination. She also alleges that the merger is directly
contrary to the business strategy announced to Argosy
shareholders.

Furthermore, Ms. Ringhofer claims that the defendants have thus
far failed to announce any active auction or open bidding
procedures best calculated to maximize shareholder value and
have, instead, agreed to the merger which will only serve to
inhibit the maximization of shareholder value.


BRISTOL-MYERS: Reaches $70M Serzone Lawsuit Settlement in WV
------------------------------------------------------------
Bristol-Myers Squibb, in the matter, In re: Serzone Products
Liability Litigation has agreed to pay $70 million to end a
nationwide class-action lawsuit over its antidepressant Serzone,
according to Court documents filed in Charleston by both the
Company and the plaintiff's lawyers, the Charleston Gazette
reports.

More than 2,000 people have filed lawsuits in state and federal
Court alleging that Bristol-Myers Squibb did not warn them
adequately that the drug, which has been taken by more than 8
million people since its introduction to the market in 1995,
could cause liver failure.

Individuals actually started suing Bristol-Meyers Squibb over
Serzone after the Company reported in 2001 that more than 100
users had serious liver problems. In 2002, the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration forced Bristol-Myers Squibb to put a "black-
box warning" on the drug's packaging that said studies found
Serzone users were three to four times more likely to have liver
failure than the general population. As the public learned about
the drug's potential side effects, the drug's sales dropped from
$334 million in 2001 to $98 million in 2003. The Company stopped
selling Serzone earlier this year.

According to Court documents, all of the estimated million of
people who took the drug would be eligible for a cut of the $70
million settlement, however most of the money would go to
compensate the families of people who died after taking the drug
and people who had serious liver problems after taking the drug.

Upon being granted preliminary approval by U.S. District Judge
Joseph R. Goodwin, a spokesman for the Company reiterated that
they opted to settle so as to "avoid protracted litigation." The
Company also continued to deny any wrongdoing, and maintains
that Serzone was a safe drug. Final approval for the settlement
though will be expected next year, according to the attorneys.

The action is titled, In re: Serzone Products Liability
Litigation and is pending in the United States District Court
for Southern District of West Virginia - Charleston (CASE #:
2:02-md-01477). Carl N. Frankovitch and Marvin W. Masters are
Co-Lead and Co-Liaison counsel for plaintiffs while Michael A.
Tanenbaum and Michael B. Victorson are Lead Counsel and Liaison
Counsel for the Defendants respectively. Mr. Tanenbaum though
was later replaced by David A. Covey of Sedgwick, Detert, Moran
& Arnold, New York, New York. Smith, Cochran & Hicks, PLLC, has
been appointed as the claims administrator in this action.

The following actions pending in districts other than the
Southern District of Western Virginia (EDLA Civil Action 2:02-
910/SDWV Civil Action 2:02-1030, Cheramie, etal., v. Bristol-
Myers Squibb Co.; MDLA Civil Action 3:02-322/SDWV Civil Action
2:02-1031, Duplessie, et al., v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.; WDLA
Civil Action 1:02-638/SDWV Civil Action 2:02-1032, Collins v.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.; WDLA Civil Action 2:02-637/SDWV Civil
Action 2:02-1033, Viator, et al., v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.;
WDLA Civil Action 6:02-680/SDWV Civil Action 2:02-1034, Owens,
et al. v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.; and NDMS Civil Action 4:02-
86/SDWV Civil Action 2:02-1035, Hayden, et al. v. Bristol-Myers
Squibb Co.) were transferred on August 12, 2002 to Western
Virginia, thus creating MDL 1477.


CANADA: CIC Offers "Settlement" To Immigrants Affected By IRPA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has now offered a
"settlement" in response to a class action suit filed on behalf
of immigrants who had applied in 2001 or earlier, but were left
out in the cold when the in June 2002, the Immigration and
Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) was promulgated, the Times of
India reports.

The class action lawsuit was filed against the Canadian federal
government alleging that the new, stricter rules under IRPA made
it unfair for those who had applied before the new criteria were
put in place. The CIC has now, "in lieu of release and discharge
of all claims against CIC in the suit," offered to expedite the
processing of the applications of those who applied before the
new rules came into being, and send a selection decision (could
be accepted or rejected) within certain time-frames.

Under the IRPA greater emphasis was given on employment
adaptability and it also included such factors as English (or
French) language proficiency, spouse's education and previous
work experience in Canada, which actually made it difficult for
older applicants to qualify. It eventually led to 149 cases
being filed against the CIC by different lawyers, which were
later consolidated into one class action suit for the purpose of
a negotiated settlement agreement.

According to the CIC, those who submitted their applications in
1999 or earlier will receive a selection decision by February 1,
2006, those who submitted in 2000, by February 1, 2007, and
those who submitted in 2001, by August 1, 2008. Under the terms
of the settlement though, no damages will be paid to the
applicants who are part of the suit.

An applicant could still challenge the refusal to issue him/her
a visa under the settlement, provided his/her legal grounds are
unrelated to those raised in the class action suit.

Before this settlement was offered though, the CIC had already
adjusted the rules for the affected applicants in December 2003,
and agreed to assess the applications under whatever selection
criteria would favor their application best.


CAREMARK INC.: Asks TN Court To Dismiss ERISA Violations Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Caremark, Inc. and Caremark Rx, Inc. asked the United States
District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee to dismiss
the private class action filed against them by Robert
Moeckel, on behalf of the John Morrell Employee Benefits Plan.

The suit alleges that the defendants act as a fiduciary as that
term is defined in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
(ERISA) and that Caremark Rx and Caremark have breached certain
purported fiduciary duties under ERISA.  The suit seeks
unspecified monetary damages and injunctive relief.

The Company and Caremark Rx have filed motions seeking the
complete dismissal of this action on various grounds.  The
motions are currently pending before the Court.


CAREMARK RX: Asks AL Court To Dismiss ERISA Violations Suits
------------------------------------------------------------
Caremark Rx, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Alabama to dismiss the class actions filed
against it and Caremark, Inc., alleging violations of the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

In April 2002, Roland Bickley filed the suit, on behalf of the
Georgia Pacific Corporation Life, Health and Accident Plan, in
the United States District Court, Central District of
California.  The suit alleges that the Company and Caremark,
Inc. each act as a fiduciary as that term is defined in ERISA
and that the defendants have breached certain purported
fiduciary duties under ERISA.  On August 29, 2002, this case was
ordered transferred to the United States District Court,
Northern District of Alabama.

The Company was subsequently served on May 29, 2002 with a
virtually identical lawsuit, containing the same types of
allegations, which was filed by Mary Dolan, on behalf of Wells
Fargo Health Plan, and also filed in the United States District
Court, Central District of California.  On December 12, 2002,
this case was also ordered transferred to the United States
District Court, Northern District of Alabama.

Both of these lawsuits have been amended to name Caremark as a
defendant, and Caremark Rx has been dismissed from the second
case filed.  These lawsuits seek unspecified monetary damages
and injunctive relief.

Caremark Rx and Caremark, as applicable, have filed motions
seeking the complete dismissal of both of these actions on
various grounds.  The motions are currently pending before the
Court.


CAREMARK RX: Shareholder Fraud Lawsuit Proceeds in AL Court
-----------------------------------------------------------
Parties filed pleadings on how the class action filed against
Caremark Rx, Inc. in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County,
Alabama should proceed, after the Court refused to dismiss the
suit.

John Lauriello filed the suit in October 2003, behalf of a
purported class of persons who were participants in the 1999
settlement of then pending securities class action and
derivative lawsuits against Caremark Rx and others.  Also named
as defendants are several insurance companies that had provided
coverage to Caremark Rx up to the time of the settlement.

The lawsuit seeks, among other things, to recover approximately
$3.2 billion in compensatory damages plus unspecified punitive
damages, pre-judgment interest, costs and attorneys' fees from
the defendants for their alleged intentional, reckless and/or
negligent misrepresentation and suppression of material facts
relating to the amount of insurance coverage that was available
to pay any settlement or judgment arising out of the claims that
were resolved by the 1999 settlement.  Alternatively, the
lawsuit seeks to re-open the judgment approving the 1999
settlement.

After the Court overruled the defendants' joint motion to
dismiss in July 2004, the defendants amended their answers,
which, among other things, denied all of the material
allegations of the complaint.  The parties have now filed
pleadings setting out their respective positions as to how this
case should proceed, and anticipate that the Court's ruling on
those motions will generally address the scope, timing, and need
for discovery on both the class issues presented and the
substantive claims asserted.

In November 2003, a second class action lawsuit was filed by
Frank McArthur in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama
arising out of the same 1999 settlement of then pending
securities class action and derivative lawsuits against Caremark
Rx and others.  This lawsuit also was filed on behalf of a
purported class of persons who were participants in the 1999
settlement, and named as defendants Caremark Rx, several
insurance companies that had provided coverage to Caremark Rx up
to the time of the settlement, and a number of lawyers and law
firms involved in negotiating and securing the approval of the
1999 settlement.

The lawsuit seeks, among other things, to recover approximately
$3.2 billion in compensatory damages plus unspecified punitive
damages, pre-judgment interest, costs and attorneys' fees from
the defendants for their alleged intentional, reckless and/or
negligent misrepresentation and suppression of material facts
relating to the amount of insurance coverage that was available
to pay any settlement or judgment arising out of the claims that
were resolved by the 1999 settlement.

On December 18, 2003, John Lauriello, the plaintiff in the
lawsuit filed in October 2003 filed a motion to intervene and a
motion to dismiss, abate or stay this lawsuit on the grounds
that it was a duplicative, later-filed, class action complaint.
On January 15, 2004, Caremark Rx and the other defendants filed
their own motion to abate, dismiss or stay the lawsuit as a
later-filed class action that is substantially similar to the
previous class action lawsuit filed by Mr. Lauriello.  The
defendants' motion to stay was granted by the Court, and the
lawsuit was transferred to an Administrative Docket where it
will be reviewed every ninety (90) days.


CAREMARK RX: IL Court Nixes Antitrust Violations Suit Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois refused to dismiss the amended class action filed
against Caremark Rx, Inc., Caremark Inc. and AdvancePCS (now
known as CaremarkPCS).

In October 2003, Caremark Rx, Caremark and AdvancePCS were
served with a purported class action complaint filed in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
Alabama by North Jackson Pharmacy, Inc. and C& C, Inc. d/b/a Big
C Discount Drugs, Inc., two independent pharmacies.  The initial
complaint alleged purported violations of Section 1 of the
Sherman Act in three counts.

In December 2003, Caremark Rx, Caremark and AdvancePCS filed
motions to dismiss the complaint for failure to state any claim
upon which relief can be granted.  In February 2004, the
plaintiffs amended and restated their class action complaint,
dropping two counts under Section 1 of the Sherman Act and
adding a count under Section 2 of the Sherman Act.  The
defendants moved to dismiss the amended class action complaint.

Following a Court hearing, the plaintiffs were granted leave to
file a second amended class action complaint to restate their
purported antitrust claims against the defendants.  The Court
granted a motion filed by Caremark Rx and Caremark to transfer
venue to the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois pursuant to the terms of the pharmacy
services agreements between Caremark and the plaintiffs.  The
Court also granted a motion filed by AdvancePCS to compel
arbitration of any claims between it and the plaintiffs pursuant
to the pharmacy services agreements it has with the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs are seeking three times actual money damages and
injunctive relief enjoining the alleged antitrust violations.


CLARUS CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement for GA Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Clarus Corporation reached a settlement for the consolidated
securities class actions filed against it and certain of its
officers and directors in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Georgia.

Following its public announcement on October 25, 2000, of its
financial results for the third quarter of 2000, the Company and
certain of its directors and officers were named as defendants
in fourteen putative class action lawsuits.  The fourteen class
action lawsuits were consolidated into one case, Case No. 1:00-
CV-2841, pursuant to an order of the Court dated November 17,
2000.

A consolidated amended complaint was then filed on May 14, 2001
on behalf of all purchasers of common stock of the Company
during the period beginning December 8, 1999 and ending on
October 25, 2000.  Generally the amended complaint alleges
claims against the Company and the other defendants for
violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.

Generally, it is alleged the defendants made material
misrepresentations and omissions in public filings made with the
Securities and Exchange Commission and in certain press releases
and other public statements.  The amended complaint alleges that
the market price of the Company's common stock was artificially
inflated during the class periods.  The plaintiffs sought
unspecified compensatory damages and costs (including attorneys'
and expert fees), expenses and other unspecified relief on
behalf of the classes.

In July 2004, the Company entered into a memorandum of
understanding with the plaintiffs' counsel, on behalf of the
consolidated class.  Pursuant to the memorandum, and a
subsequent definitive agreement, the Company agreed in principle
to settle the consolidated class action in exchange for a
payment of $4.5 million which is expected to be covered by
insurance.  The final settlement of the consolidated class
action is subject to certain action including approval by the
Court.

The suit is styled In Re: Clarus Corp SEC Lit., et al v. , et
al, 1:00-cv-02841-CAP, filed in the United States for the
Northern District of Georgia under Judge Charles A. Pannell.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Robert R. Adler and Maya Saxena, Milberg Weiss Bershad
         & Schulman, 5355 Town Center Road, Suite 900, Boca
         Raton, FL 33486, Phone: 561-361-5000, E-mail:
         radler@milbergweiss.com or msaxena@milbergweiss.com

     (2) David Andrew Bain, Martin D. Chitwood and Krissi T.
         Gore of Chitwood & Harley, 1230 Peachtree Street, N.E.,
         2300 Promenade II, Atlanta, GA 30309, Phone: 404-873-
         3900, E-mail: dab@classlaw.com, mdc@classlaw.com,
         ktg@classlaw.com

     (3) Gregory M. Nespole and David Wales, Wolf Haldenstein
         Adler Freeman & Herz, 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY
         10016, Phone: 212-545-4600

     (4) Samuel H. Rudman and Steven G. Schulman, Milberg Weiss
         Bershad & Schulman, One Pennsylvania Plaza, 48th Floor,
         New York, NY 10119-0165, Phone: 212-594-5300

     (5) Sherrie R. Savett and Arthur Stock, Berger & Montague,
         1622 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-6365, Phone:
         215-875-3000

     (6) Kenneth J. Vianale, Vianale & Vianale, 5355 Town Center
         Road, Suite 801, Boca Raton, FL 33486, Phone: 561-391-
         4900, E-mail: kvianale@vianalelaw.com

Lawyers for the defendants are:

    (i) Robert R. Adler, Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, 5355
        Town Center Road, Suite 900, Boca Raton, FL 33486,
        Phone: 561-361-5000, E-mail: radler@milbergweiss.com

    (ii) Irene E. Baker, Susan Elaine Hurd, Caroline B. Keller,
         W. Shawn Murnahan, Oscar N. Persons, Alston & Bird,
         1201 West Peachtree Street, One Atlantic Center,
         Atlanta, GA 30309-3424, Phone: 404-881-7000, E-mail:
         ibaker@alston.com, shurd@alston.com


DANKA INDUSTRIES: Asks TN Court For Summary Judgment in Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Danka Industries, Inc. asked the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Tennessee to grant summary judgment
in its favor in the class action filed against it, styled
"Stephen L. Edwards, et al., Plaintiffs vs Danka Industries,
Inc., et al."  The suit also names as defendant American
Business Credit Corporation.

The suit alleges claims of breach of contract, fraud/intentional
misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, violation of the Florida
Deception and Unfair Trade Protection Act and injunctive relief.
The claim was filed in the state Court in Tennessee, and the
Company has removed the claim to the United States District
Court for Middle District of Tennessee for further proceedings.

The plaintiffs have filed a motion to certify the class, which
the Company has opposed.  The Company has filed a motion for
summary judgment, which plaintiffs have opposed.

The suit is styled "Edwards v. Danka Industries, Inc., et al.,
Case No. 03-CV-575," filed in the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Tennessee, under Judge John T. Nixon.

Lawyer for the plaintiffs is Charles P. Yezbak, III, 144 Second
Avenue North, Suite 200, Nashville, TN 37201, Phone:
(615) 250-2000

Laywers for the defendants are Andrew B. Campbell and Andrew J.
Pulliam of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, 2525 West End Avenue, Suite
1500, Nashville, TN 37203-1423, Phone: (615) 244-0020 and Thomas
B. Hatch, Robert J. Gilbertson, L. China Terrell of Robins,
Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, 2800 LaSalle Plaza, Minneapolis, MN
55402-2015, Phone: (612) 349-8500


DIET SUPPLEMENTS: FTC Charges Firms For False Weight Loss Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Federal Trade Commission has charged three related dietary
supplement companies located in Norcross, Georgia, their
corporate officers, and a physician with deceiving consumers
through deceptive advertising for their weight-loss and erectile
dysfunction products.  The case is part of the agency's on-going
effort to combat deceptive claims for dietary supplements that
purport to enable obese or overweight consumers to lose
substantial amounts of weight safely.

The FTC filed charges against National Urological Group, Inc.;
National Institute for Clinical Weight Loss, Inc.; Hi-Tech
Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Jared Wheat; Thomasz Holda; Stephen
Smith; Michael Howell; and Dr. Terrill Mark Wright.

The Commission's complaint alleges that the defendants made
deceptive claims about the effectiveness and safety of
"Thermalean" and "Lipodrene," purported weight-loss products
with ephedra, and "Spontane-ES," a purported erectile
dysfunction product with yohimbine.

According to the FTC's complaint, the defendants' direct mail
and Internet advertisements contained false and unsubstantiated
efficacy and safety claims for the weight-loss products
Thermalean and Lipodrene. The central theme of the Thermalean
advertising campaign was that the product was an effective
treatment for obesity, and that it combined the weight-loss
benefits of three different prescription drugs. Consumers paid
$80 for a two-month supply of Thermalean. The defendants
promoted Lipodrene as a dietary supplement that had undergone
substantial clinical testing proving that it enabled consumers
to lose large amounts of weight safely. Consumers paid about $30
for a one-month supply of Lipodrene. The active ingredient in
Thermalean and Lipodrene was ephedra.

The FTC has alleged that, contrary to the defendants' claims,
dietary supplements with ephedra do not cause substantial, long-
term weight loss, and create safety risks because they increase
blood pressure and stress the circulatory system. In April 2004,
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned sales of
dietary supplements with ephedra because they pose an
unreasonable risk of illness or injury. The defendants have not
advertised or sold Thermalean or Lipodrene containing ephedra
since the FDA prohibited the sale of dietary supplements
containing ephedra.

The FTC's complaint also alleges that the defendants represented
that Spontane-ES, a dietary supplement with yohimbine, was
effective in treating erectile dysfunction in 90 percent of
users and Spontane-ES was safe. Consumers paid about $100 for a
60-count bottle of Spontane-ES. The Commission challenged the
defendants' specific 90 percent efficacy claims as
unsubstantiated. The FTC also alleged that their safety claim
for Spontane-ES was unsubstantiated, because yohimbine creates
safety risks by significantly raising blood pressure and
interacting adversely with certain medications, such as beta-
blockers that are used to treat heart disease.

The defendants, according to the FTC, made further deceptive
claims to reinforce the efficacy and safety claims they were
making for their products. The FTC also alleged that ads for
Thermalean contained several deceptive claims made by Dr.
Wright, who is named in the complaint. In addition, the
defendants allegedly made the false claim in ads that Warner
Laboratories and the National Institute for Clinical Weight Loss
were legitimate research or medical facilities engaged in the
scientific or medical research and testing of their products.

The FTC complaint seeks injunctive and other equitable relief
including, but not limited to, consumer redress, restitution,
and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains.

For more details, contact the FTC's Consumer Response Center,
Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580
or visit the Website: http://www.ftc.gov. Also, contact Brenda
Mack, Office of Public Affairs, Phone: 202-326-2182 or contact
Tawana Davis, Bureau of Consumer Protection by Phone:
202-326-2755.


ECHOSTAR COMMUNICATIONS: Certification Hearing Set Dec. 7,2004
--------------------------------------------------------------
The California State Superior Court for Los Angeles County will
hear on December 7,2004 class certification for the lawsuit
filed against Echostar Communications Corporation, relating to
the use of terms such as "crystal clear digital video," "CD-
quality audio," and "on-screen program guide," and with
respect to the number of channels available in various
programming packages.

David Pritikin and Consumer Advocates, a nonprofit
unincorporated association, filed the suit in 1999, alleging
breach of express warranty and violation of the California
Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Civil Code Sections 1750, et seq.,
and the California Business & Professions Code Sections 17500,
17200.

A hearing on the plaintiffs' motion for class certification and
the Company's motion for summary judgment was held during 2002.
At the hearing, the Court issued a preliminary ruling denying
the plaintiffs' motion for class certification.  However, before
issuing a final ruling on class certification, the Court granted
the Company's motion for summary judgment with respect to all of
the plaintiffs' claims.

Subsequently, the Company filed a motion for attorneys' fees
which was denied by the Court.  The plaintiffs filed a notice of
appeal of the Court's granting of the Company's motion for
summary judgment and the Company cross-appealed the Court's
ruling on its motion for attorneys' fees.

During December 2003, the Court of Appeals affirmed in part; and
reversed in part, the lower Court's decision granting summary
judgment in the Company's favor.  Specifically, the Court found
there were triable issues of fact whether the Company may have
violated the alleged consumer statutes "with representations
concerning the number of channels and the program schedule."
However, the Court found no triable issue of fact as to whether
the representations "crystal clear digital video" or "CD
quality" audio constituted a cause of action.  Moreover, the
Court affirmed that the "reasonable consumer" standard was
applicable to each of the alleged consumer statutes.  Plaintiff
argued the standard should be the "least sophisticated"
consumer.

The Court also affirmed the dismissal of Plaintiffs' breach of
warranty claim.  Plaintiff filed a Petition for Review with the
California Supreme Court and the Company responded.  During
March 2004, the California Supreme Court denied Plaintiff's
Petition for Review.  Therefore, the action has been remanded to
the trial Court pursuant to the instructions of the Court of
Appeals.


ECHOSTAR COMMUNICATIONS: Limited Discovery Proceeds in CO Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Limited discovery has been conducted in three separate class
actions filed against Echostar Communications Corporation on
behalf of its satellite hardware retailers.

During October 2000, two separate lawsuits were filed in the
Arapahoe County District Court in the State of Colorado and the
United States District Court for the District of Colorado,
respectively, by Air Communication & Satellite, Inc. and John
DeJong, et al. on behalf of themselves and a class of persons
similarly situated.

The plaintiffs are attempting to certify nationwide classes on
behalf of certain of the Company's satellite hardware retailers.
The plaintiffs are requesting the Courts to declare certain
provisions of, and changes to, alleged agreements between us and
the retailers invalid and unenforceable, and to award damages
for lost incentives and payments, charge backs, and other
compensation.

The Company has asserted a variety of counterclaims.  The United
States District Court for the District of Colorado stayed the
Federal Court action to allow the parties to pursue a
comprehensive adjudication of their dispute in the Arapahoe
County State Court.

John DeJong, d/b/a Nexwave, and Joseph Kelley, d/b/a Keltronics,
subsequently intervened in the Arapahoe County Court action as
plaintiffs and proposed class representatives.  The Company
filed a motion for summary judgment on all counts and against
all plaintiffs.  The plaintiffs have filed a motion for
additional time to conduct discovery to enable them to respond
to the Company's motion.  The Court granted a limited discovery
period until November 15, 2004.


ECHOSTAR COMMUNICATIONS: Dismissal of TX Retailers Suit Upheld
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the
dismissal of a class action filed against Echostar
Communications Corporation, on behalf of sellers, installers and
servicers of satellite equipment who contract with them.

Satellite Dealers Supply, Inc. (SDS) filed the lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
during September 2000, on behalf of itself and a class of
persons similarly situated.  The plaintiffs allege that the
Company:

     (1) charged back certain fees paid by members of the class
         to professional installers in violation of contractual
         terms;

     (2) manipulated the accounts of subscribers to deny
         payments to class members; and

     (3) misrepresented, to class members, the ownership of
         certain equipment related to the provision of the
         Company's satellite television service.

During September 2001, the Court granted the Company's motion to
dismiss.  The plaintiff moved for reconsideration of the Court's
order dismissing the case.  The Court denied the plaintiff's
motion for reconsideration.  The trial Court denied the
Company's motions for sanctions against SDS.

Both parties perfected appeals before the Fifth Circuit Court of
Appeals.  On appeal, the Fifth Circuit upheld the dismissal for
lack of personal jurisdiction. The Fifth Circuit vacated and
remanded the District Court's denial of the Company's motion for
sanctions.  The District Court subsequently issued a written
opinion containing the same findings.  The only issue remaining
is the Company's collection of costs, which were previously
granted by the Court.


EQUITY RESIDENTIAL: Bench Trial Completed in FL Tenant Fees Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bench trial in the class action filed against Equity Residential
in Palm Beach County Circuit Court in Florida was held on August
2004.

The suit alleges that several of the types of fees that the
Company charged when residents breached their leases were
illegal, as were all efforts to collect them.  The suit charges
that the Company violated Florida law by charging tenants an
extra 60 days' rent plus a one-month penalty fee for terminating
their leases early.  The Illinois-based Company also allegedly
charged tenants an extra two months' rent if they stayed through
their lease term but failed to give 60 days' notice of their
intention to vacate.

Plaintiffs in the case include tenants and their co-signers who
moved or left their Equity residential Florida apartments from
December 1, 1998 to date, who signed an Equity form lease and
who received a demand for fees resulting from "insufficient
notice," "early termination," "cancellation," "lease
fulfillment," "no notice given," or "liquidated damages."  Palm
Beach County Circuit Court Judge Jorge Labarga made the
certification ruling.

The suit charges that Equity has collected millions of dollars
of illegal fees from tenants of its 33,000 rental units in
Florida. Besides charging illegal fees, lawyers said the Company
is very aggressive and "hard-nosed" in its collections
practices.  The suit, filed in Florida by four tenants, claims
the Company is violating the Consumer Collection Practices Act
and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.


IDAHO: Residents Ask Attorney General To Sue Federal Government
---------------------------------------------------------------
A group of Idaho residents, who believe Cold War nuclear testing
harmed their health, are asking state Attorney General Lawrence
Wasden to file a class-action lawsuit against the federal
government, the Associated Press reports.

Sixteen people asked Mr. Wasden to sue the government for
compensation for Idaho residents sickened by radioactive fallout
from atmospheric testing in Nevada in the 1950s and 1960s. Four
Idaho counties -- Blaine, Gem, Custer and Lemhi -- received some
of the highest levels of iodine-131, one of the radioactive
elements released by the tests, according to a 1997 National
Cancer Institute study.

High levels of iodine-131 typically cause cancer by falling on
grass, which is eaten by cows and goats, which then produce
radioactive milk.  Residents in Gem County have even begun
sending a form letter to officials, demanding compensation as
part of a campaign being led by Tona Henderson, a bakery owner
whose extended family has had about 32 cases of cancer.

However Mr. Wasden's spokesman, Bob Cooper, says that as a
general rule, the attorney general doesn't file class action
suits.  Earlier this month, Idaho downwinders testified before
the National Academy of Sciences' Board on Radiation Effects
Research about the health problems they've suffered because of
nuclear testing. The board will release a report in March that
will recommend whether the federal government should expand the
compensation program. Currently, residents with certain kinds of
cancers who lived in any of 21 counties in southern Utah, Nevada
and Arizona during testing qualify for a $50,000 payment under
the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, but Idaho is not
included in the law. The downwinders hope their testimony will
persuade Congress to include Idaho.


IMPAC FUNDING: IL Court Dismisses Prepayment Penalties Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court of DuPage County, Illinois dismissed with
prejudice the class action filed against Impac Funding
Corporation, styled "Sally Sengpiel v. GMAC Mortgage
Corporation, Impac Funding Corp. d/b/a Impac Leasing Group, Case
No. 04 L 391."

The complaint contains allegations of a class action and alleges
that the defendants required prepayment penalties on notes,
which exceed an annual percentage rate of 8% per annum in
violation of Illinois law.  The plaintiff is seeking actual and
statutory damages and injunctive relief.


JAYCO INC.: Recalls 317 Trailers Due To Service Brake Defects
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jayco, Inc. in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation is
voluntarily recalling about 317 Year 2004 & 2005 Jay Feather
trailers due to defective service breaks.

According to the ODI, on certain travel trailers, the potential
for the brake wires to be improperly secured along the trailer
frame. This could lead to the brake wires coming in contact with
the axle mounting plate and chafing through the protective
insulation. This condition may result in loss of braking, which
could lead to a crash or personal injury.

As a remedy dealers will replace and re-route the axle brake
wire to clear the axle mounting plate. The recall is expected to
begin this December 2004. For more details, contact NHTSA Auto
Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236 or Jayco, Inc.: 574-825-0608.


JAYCO INC.: Recalls 370 Trailers Due To Incorrect Tire Labels
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jayco, Inc. in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation is
voluntarily recalling about 370 Year 2004 & 2005 Jay Feather
trailers due to incorrect tire inflation labels.

According to the ODI, on certain travel trailers, the federal
identification label has the incorrect tire inflation listed.
Failure to follow the proper vehicle loading specifications or
tire inflation recommendation can result in tire failure,
increasing the risk of a crash.

As a remedy dealers will remove the incorrect federal
identification label. The recall is expected to begin this
December 2004. For more details, contact NHTSA Auto Safety
Hotline: 1-888-327-4236 or Jayco, Inc.: 574-825-0608.


MICHIGAN: Macomb County Judge Certifies Suit V. City Of Warren
--------------------------------------------------------------
In Macomb County Circuit Court, Judge James M. Biernat recently
issued a ruling allowing thousands of Warren residents, whose
property has been damaged by city-planted trees, to maintain a
class action against the city.

The suit is based on the millions of dollars in property damage
that the city has caused to its residents by planting trees in
front of residents' homes, the roots of which have destroyed
sewer pipes, causing sewage to back up into people's homes,
ruined driveways and sidewalks, and wreaked havoc on homes,
lawns, and gardens.

The suit contends that the City of Warren not only planted the
destructive trees and mandated their continued existence in
front of the residents' homes, but that the city has also turned
a blind eye to the problems and damages caused by the trees. The
city has continually admitted that it caused the problem. The
suit states the city should, therefore, pay for the problem.

The homeowners' attorney, Gerard Mantese, said of the ruling
that "the purpose of this suit has always been to provide all of
the homeowners with fair compensation and to get the city to
rectify this problem once and for all, and the Judge's ruling
today will allow this to happen."

The case was initially filed in May 2000. Shortly after the
inception of the suit, Judge Biernat ruled that the case would
not proceed as a class action. The class action issue was then
litigated in the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan
Supreme Court for the next 3 years, with two different panels of
the Court of Appeals reversing Judge Biernat, and then with the
Supreme Court affirming Judge Biernat's denial of class action
status and sending the case back to him for further proceedings
in November 2003.

The homeowners' attorneys then filed a motion asking Judge
Biernat to reconsider his earlier denial, which he did in an
opinion issued this morning. The ruling means that the case will
now proceed on behalf of thousands of homeowners, rather than
just the few dozen people who initially brought the suit. Judge
Biernat stated in his opinion that "after much careful
consideration of the record and pleadings filed since the
Court's initial decision denying class certification, the Court
is persuaded to reconsider its denial." The Judge added,
"whether to certify a class in this case has always been a close
decision."

Mr. Mantese said, "Judge Biernat's opinion was thoughtfully
written, he made the right decision, and the homeowners of the
City of Warren will finally be able to have their day in Court."


MICHIGAN SUGAR: Settles With Residents Bothered By Plant Odors
--------------------------------------------------------------
A judge recently approved a settlement of a class-action lawsuit
filed against Michigan Sugar Company, wherein it promised to
reduce or eliminate dust and odors that plaintiffs say came from
the former Monitor Sugar plant, which was bought by Michigan
Sugar, the DetNews.com reports.

The Company also agreed to pay out $1.75 million to up to 3,800
families living near the plant. The settlement grants $3,500 to
each of seven named plaintiffs in the case and $1,500 to
everyone who's made a complaint to environmental officials about
the pollution or showed written interest in joining the lawsuit,
even if they live outside the designated boundaries.

Bay County Circuit Judge Lawrence M. Bielawski granted class
action status and approved the settlement, The Bay City Times
reported. The details of the agreement were worked out while
Monitor Sugar's parent Company, Illovo Sugar Ltd. of South
Africa, was negotiating to sell the Company to its growers, said
Dick Leach, director of community and government affairs for
Michigan Sugar.


NEKTAR THERAPEUTICS: Shareholders Launch Stock Fraud Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Nektar Therapeutics faces a securities class action filed in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, styled "Rhodes v. Nektar Therapeutics et al., Case
No. C 04 3735."  The suit also names as defendants the Company's
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and the Company's President,
Nektar AL.

The complaint alleges the defendants made certain material
misrepresentations to the market in violation of the federal
securities laws, specifically Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5.  The named
plaintiff seeks unspecified damages on behalf of a purported
class of purchasers of the Company's common stock during the
period from March 4, 2004 through August 4, 2004.  No class has
been certified in the suit and no trial date has been scheduled.

The suit is styled Rhodes, et al. v. Nektar Therapeutics, et
al., Case No. 04-CV-03735, pending in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California.  The plaintiff
firms in this litigation are:

     (1) Charles J. Piven, World Trade Center-Baltimore,401 East
         Pratt Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD, 21202, Phone:
         410.332.0030, E-mail: pivenlaw@erols.com

     (2) Green & Jigarjian LLP, 235 Pine Street, 15th Floor, San
         Francisco, CA, 94104, Phone: 415.477.6700, Fax:
         415.477.6710

     (3) Schatz & Nobel, P.C., 330 Main Street, Hartford, CT,
         06106, Phone: 800.797.5499, Fax: 860.493.6290, e-mail:
         sn06106@AOL.com

     (4) Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 3 Bala Plaza E, Bala Cynwyd,
         PA, 19004, Phone: 610.667.7706, Fax: 610.667.7056, E-
         mail: info@sbclasslaw.com


NEW JERSEY: Drug Makers Face Suit On Amiodarone "Over-Promotion"
----------------------------------------------------------------
Just recently a class action lawsuit was filed in New Jersey
that accuses drug makers of promoting amiodarone for common
heart ailments in an effort to boost profits, the Knight Ridder
Newspapers reports.

The suit, which was filed by David Harris, a Naples, Florida
attorney who filed it in Atlantic County Superior Court in New
Jersey, contends that more than 1,000 people died, 100 had
vision problems and thousands of others suffered severe medical
complications. Mr. Harris states, "It's our belief there has
been one long over-promotion of this drug."

Patients taking amiodarone have died from lung and liver damage,
gone blind or suffered from other side effects. Yet it's
routinely prescribed for common heart rhythm problems despite
the availability of safer alternatives. The FDA has approved
amiodarone only for more severe disorders, called ventricular
arrhythmias, and then only as a treatment of last resort. Wyeth,
which sells the drug under the brand name Cordarone, was the
first Company to sell the drug. Amiodarone is also currently
sold by several generic manufacturers, as well as under another
brand name, Pacerone.

According to recent data, doctors wrote more than 2 million
prescriptions in a single year for atrial fibrillation and other
heart conditions that amiodarone wasn't approved to treat. A
Knight Ridder investigation last year found that those
prescriptions represented 82 percent of all the amiodarone
dispensed from retail pharmacies during the 12-month period
ending July 31, 2003.

In the lawsuit, which named Wyeth and several other makers of
amiodarone as defendants, patients and their families accused
the drug makers of a nearly 20-year scheme to push doctors to
prescribe the drug for unapproved uses while concealing and
downplaying its risks.

According to Karen Muccino, one of five plaintiffs in the suit,
her father, Dr. John Muccino, 69, had suffered from chronic
atrial fibrillation since he was in his 40s and that when his
heart was out of rhythm it made him tired. Ms. Muccino further
states that he was put on various medications over the years
with varying degrees of success and then in October 2002,
doctors put him on amiodarone.

About a year later he developed a dry cough. The cough worsened
and by New Year's Day 2004 he was very ill with what he thought
was a bad cold. Within days he was hospitalized with what seemed
to be pneumonia. A lung biopsy, however, found it was amiodarone
lung damage, Karen Muccino said. Her father died after being
taken off a respirator on February 20.

To read Knight Ridder's investigation of the off-label use of
drugs, including amiodarone, go to
http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/news/special_packages
/riskyrx/.


NEW MEXICO: Albuquerque Nearer to Pact in 10-Year McClendon Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
A protracted legal battle over jail conditions that has hounded
city and county officials for nearly 10 years and cost taxpayers
millions might finally be heading toward a resolution, according
to Nick Bakas, chief public safety officer for Mayor Martin
Chavez. However, the process will take months and the outcome is
not guaranteed, the Albuquerque reports.

Mr. Bakas stated that the city and county have agreed to a
settlement that could bring an end to federal oversight of the
Metropolitan Detention Center within the next nine months.

The lawsuit, known as the McClendon case, dates to 1995, when
inmates of the old Downtown City-County Jail alleged cruel
treatment because of overcrowding. Filed in federal Court in
1995 as a class action, the suit alleged "grossly and inhumanely
overcrowded" conditions at the old Downtown jail. Mayor Martin
Chavez, who was serving his first term at the time and other
city and county officials, were named as defendants.

According to Mr. Bakas and Bernalillo County Attorney Tito
Chavez, lawyers representing inmates and the city and county
have agreed to allow independent auditors to inspect the jail
over a period of six to nine months to determine whether it
meets minimum constitutional requirements and the minimum
standards set by the American Correctional Association.

Brian Pori, one of the original lawyers who represented inmates
in the McClendon case, said attorneys representing all parties
in the case would have to agree on three auditors. If they can't
agree, they will submit names to U.S. District Judge Martha
Vazquez.

The auditors will be hired as independent contractors by the
city and the county and the dollar amount of the contracts will
be determined through negotiations with the auditors, Mr. Bakas
said. They will inspect for compliance to standards for the
general population and psychiatric and medical-classified
inmates, they will then report back to all parties involved in
the lawsuit with their findings and once all standards are met,
the lawsuit will be dismissed, according to both Mr. Bakas and
Mr. Pori.

As part of an original agreement in 1996, the city and county
agreed to pay attorney fees for the inmates. Mr. Bakas estimates
both governments have spent about $2.5 million on those fees.
The case also prompted the county to earmark $86 million to
build a new jail.


NEW YORK: Comptroller's Office Receives 300 Claims Over Arrests
---------------------------------------------------------------
As the deadline to sue the city of New York rapidly approaches,
the comptroller's office has received 300 notices of claim from
protesters and bystanders who claim they were falsely arrested
during the Republican National Convention in August, according
to Jeff Simmons, the press secretary for Comptroller William
Thompson, the New York Newsday reports.

Mr. Simmons states that the National Lawyer's Guild-New York
City Chapter submitted the individual claims against the city on
Wednesday afternoon in connection with convention-related
arrests. He further states that by law, claimants have 90 days
from an incident in which to file a claim, and another year from
that to file a lawsuit. Previously, 48 such claims had been
filed with the comptroller's office during the last three months
and with the influx of claims it will take several days to
process them all, he adds.

The high number of claims filed against the city came as a
surprise and marked the latest development surrounding arrests
made during the four-day convention held at Madison Square
Garden.

Earlier this week, lawyers filed a lawsuit in U.S. District
Court seeking class-action status for the nearly 2,000 people
alleging their constitutional rights were violated when they
were arrested or detained by police. It also seeks unspecified
amounts for physical and mental anguish.


NORTH CAROLINA: NC Court Bars Furniture Dealer Because of Fraud
---------------------------------------------------------------
A North Carolina furniture dealer who took money for furniture
he never delivered has been ordered to leave the furniture
business in North Carolina and pay nearly $800,000 to the state,
Attorney General Roy Cooper announced in a statement.

"North Carolina's furniture industry has a proud history, and I
will not stand by while companies use that reputation to take
advantage of consumers," said AG Cooper.  "This case involves a
sad set of circumstances, but I hope it will serve as a warning
to consumers and also to dealers who might be thinking about
treating customers unfairly."

At AG Cooper's request, Wake County Superior Court Judge Henry
W. Hight Jr. signed an order that permanently bars Henry R.
Privette from working in the furniture industry in North
Carolina.  The order against Mr. Privette, who ran Carolina
Furniture and Miller Burns International, was entered by the
Court yesterday.   The judge also ordered that Mr. Privette, who
has declared bankruptcy, pay a total of $778,723 to the state to
provide refunds to Mr. Privette's customers.  It was unclear
Wednesday whether Mr. Privette has assets to cover the judge's
ordered payment.

The ruling resolves a lawsuit first filed by AG Cooper against
Mr. Privette in 2003.  The Attorney General's Office took
Privette to Court to make him deliver the furniture he had sold
or pay refunds to consumers after getting a temporary ruling
barring Privette from taking additional orders until existing
customers had received their furniture.

AG Cooper's office received hundreds of complaints about Mr.
Privette from consumers across the country.   According to
customers whose furniture orders did not arrive when promised,
Mr. Privette failed to let them know that their items would be
delayed.  He also refused to give them the option of canceling
for a full refund in violation of federal rules.  In some cases,
Carolina Furniture told consumers that their furniture was ready
for delivery and accepted their full payment but still failed to
deliver the furniture or pay refunds.  Carolina Furniture
continued to collect advance payments for furniture orders it
never fulfilled despite warnings from the Attorney General's
office that the practice was illegal.

A typical complaint is that of a woman in New York state who
paid half the cost for her furniture upfront.  Months later,
Privette called her to say that the furniture was ready but that
she had to pay the $1,579 balance.  The customer paid the amount
and scheduled a delivery date.  When the furniture did not
arrive as scheduled, she called Privette and was told that her
furniture would arrive by 8 PM.  The furniture never arrived,
and the woman never received a refund.

Mr. Privette's business was an online operation that used a High
Point address but was actually located in Calabash.  In July of
2003, Privette's companies filed for bankruptcy.  Federal
bankruptcy Court found that he had hidden, falsified and
mutilated business records in an attempt to hide his fraudulent
activities.

"Both the furniture industry and furniture shoppers can learn
some lessons from this case," said Cooper.  "We want customers
to have a good experience when they buy North Carolina products,
and we won't tolerate companies that cheat consumers operating
in our state."

For more details, contact Noelle Talley, Public Information
Officer, N.C. Department of Justice by Phone: (919) 716-6484 or
(919) 716-6413 by Fax: (919) 716-0803 or by E-mail:
ntalley@ncdoj.com.


PEOPLESOFT INC.: DE Judge Rejects Shareholder's Suit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Delaware Chancery Court judge, who is overseeing the legal
squabbling between PeopleSoft, Inc. (Nasdaq:PSFT) and hostile
suitor Oracle recently rejected a settlement that PeopleSoft had
arranged with a group of dissident shareholders, the IDG News
Service reports.

PeopleSoft negotiated the deal in May to resolve claims bought
by a number of shareholders unhappy with the methods the Company
used to fend off Oracle's unsolicited takeover bid.

As previously reported in the June 1, 2004 edition of the Class
Action Reporter, PeopleSoft, Inc. under the settlement's terms,
agreed to change some provisions in its controversial customer
guarantees known as the Customer Assurance Program and to leave
decisions about Oracle's bid in the hands of the board's
independent directors. The Company and the plaintiffs submitted
their settlement agreement to the Court in July, and were
awaiting approval.

However, spurred by Oracle's decision to raise its bid from $21
to $24 cash per share, PeopleSoft shareholders just recently
filed a fresh lawsuit. That lawsuit concerned only PeopleSoft's
actions after June 17, the day on which the shareholders signed
the settlement agreement. The case's presiding judge, Leo Strine
of Delaware's Chancery Court, decided to eliminate the confusion
of one settled suit and one current one by rejecting the
settlement.

According to the lead counsel for the shareholders, Bruce
Jameson, of Prickett, Jones & Elliott PA, "The judge said, in
light of the way events have evolved, that he didn't view the
benefits under the settlement as sufficient to justify releasing
claims that rose prior to June 17."

Mr. Jameson adds, that Judge Strine has also scheduled further
hearings on Oracle's case against PeopleSoft for December 13 and
14, virtually assuring that the case will continue into next
year. Oracle has asked the Delaware Court to invalidate several
anti-takeover provisions PeopleSoft is using to prevent Oracle
from acquiring the Company.


REPUBLIC BANCORP: Seeks Judgment, Arbitration, Relief in NC Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Republic Bancorp, Inc. filed a petition for Declaratory
Judgment, Order Directing Arbitration, and Injunctive Relief for
the class action filed against it in North Carolina State Court,
by certain of its Deferred Deposit customers.

The suit seeks to enjoin one of the Company's Marketer/Servicers
from continuing to market and service deferred deposit
transactions in the state of North Carolina.  Other
Marketer/Servicers, with whom the Company has no contractual
agreement with, were also named as Defendants in separate
lawsuits.

The state Court suit alleges that the Company's
Marketer/Servicer is not authorized to engage in payday lending
operations, that it is operating in violation of several
consumer protection statutes and other state law violations.
The Plaintiffs seek a Declaratory Judgment that the Company's
Marketer/Servicer is unlawfully operating in North Carolina, and
the Plaintiffs are seeking an injunction barring further alleged
violations and an unspecified award of money damages.

The Complaint specifies that the Plaintiffs do not assert claims
against any bank.  In this regard, the Company filed a Petition
for Declaratory Judgment, Order Directing Arbitration, and
Injunctive Relief on September 24, 2004 in the United States
District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, Southern
Division.  The petition seeks to require the Plaintiffs in the
North Carolina State Court action to submit to arbitration and,
also seeks an injunction enjoining the Plaintiffs from seeking
to adjudicate any dispute in any non-arbitral forum, except a
small claims tribunal with jurisdiction.


SPECTRALINK CORPORATION: CO Court Approves Stock Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Colorado granted final
approval to the settlement of the consolidated securities class
action filed against SprectraLink Corporation and certain of its
officers and directors.

On January 14, 2002, the Company issued a press release
announcing preliminary financial results for the fourth quarter
of 2001 and revising downward its estimates for year 2002
results of operations.  Shortly after the press release, the
Company's stock price declined and the Company and certain of
its officers and directors were named as defendants in four
lawsuits filed between February 7, 2002 and March 6, 2002, three
of which were filed in the United States District Court for the
District of Colorado and one of which was filed in the Colorado
District Court for the City and County of Denver.

In each of the lawsuits, plaintiffs, who purport to be
purchasers or holders of SpectraLink common stock, initially
sought to assert claims either on behalf of a class of persons
who purchased securities in SpectraLink between July 19, 2001
and January 11, 2002, or in the case of two of the lawsuits (one
filed in the United States District Court and one in the
Colorado District Court), derivatively on behalf of the Company.

Two of the lawsuits filed in the United States District
contained essentially identical claims alleging that SpectraLink
and certain of its officers and directors violated Sections
10(b) and 20(a) and Rule 10b-5 under the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934, as a result of alleged public misstatements and
omissions, accompanied by insider stock sales made in the months
prior to the decline in the price of SpectraLink's stock after
the January 14, 2002 press release.

In the cases brought as derivative actions, the plaintiffs
allege that the officers and directors of SpectraLink violated
fiduciary duties owed to SpectraLink and its stockholders under
state laws by allowing and/or facilitating the issuance of these
same alleged public misstatements and omissions,
misappropriating nonpublic information for their own benefit,
making insider stock sales, wasting corporate assets, abusing
their positions of control, and mismanaging the corporation.
The plaintiffs in these derivative cases allege that SpectraLink
has and will continue to suffer injury as a result of these
alleged violations of duty for which the officers and directors
should be liable.

The cases are designated as follows:

     (1) Wilmer Kerns, Individually And On Behalf of All Others
         Similarly Situated, Plaintiff, vs. SpectraLink
         Corporation, Bruce Holland and Nancy K. Hamilton,
         Defendants (United States District Court Civil Action
         Number 02-D-0263);

     (2) Danilo Martin Molieri, Individually and On Behalf of
         All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff, v.
         SpectraLink Corporation, Bruce Holland and Nancy K.
         Hamilton, Defendants (United States District Court
         Civil Action Number 02-D-0315);

     (3) Evie Elennis, derivatively on behalf of SpectraLink
         Corporation, Plaintiff(s), v. Bruce M. Holland, Anthony
         V. Carollo, Jr., Gary L. Bliss, Michael P. Cronin,
         Nancy K. Hamilton and John H. Elms, Defendants), and
         SpectraLink Corporation, Nominal Defendant (United
         States District Court Civil Action Number 02-D-0345);
         and

     (4) Roger Humphreys, Derivatively on Behalf of Nominal
         Defendant SpectraLink Corporation, Plaintiff, v. Carl
         D. Carman, Anthony V. Carollo, Jr., Bruce M. Holland,
         Burton J. McMurtry, Gary L. Bliss, Michael P. Cronin,
         John H. Elms, and Nancy K. Hamilton, Defendants
         (Colorado District Court Case. No. 02CV1687).

The Kerns and Molieri purported class actions were consolidated,
and the plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Amended Complaint in
these Consolidated Actions.  In January 2003, the Court denied a
motion to dismiss that amended pleading, and discovery
commenced.  The Court certified a class of all purchasers of
publicly traded common stock of SpectraLink from April 19, 2001
through January 11, 2002, inclusive.

On November 26, 2003, the Lead Plaintiffs in these Consolidated
Actions moved the Court for permission to file a second
consolidated amended class action, which would have deleted
certain of the original claims, would have extended the class
period so that it would commence on February 1, 2001 instead of
April 19, 2001, and would have added more detail on claims
relating to alleged improper revenue recognition.  The Company
filed an opposition to that motion.  On March 5, 2004, the
Magistrate Judge entered his Order denying plaintiffs' motions,
and plaintiffs appealed that decision to the district Court.

On April 16, 2004, the parties to these Consolidated Actions
held a mediation in San Francisco.  The parties entered into a
Memorandum of Understanding settling the case for $1.5 million,
subject to certain terms and conditions, including approval by
the Court.  The Court granted preliminary approval to the
settlement, and a final hearing for approval of the settlement
was scheduled for October 7, 2004.  An Order and Final Judgment
was entered on October 7, 2004, ending the litigation.

The two derivative actions were stayed pending resolution of the
motion to dismiss in the consolidated class action, and
plaintiff's counsel in the Elennis derivative action filed an
unopposed motion for relief from the stay and filed an amended
complaint and then a corrected amended complaint.  Prior to the
entry of the stays in each of the derivative cases, the
defendants had filed motions to dismiss.  In August 2003,
Defendants moved to dismiss the amended and corrected Elennis
complaint.  The Court denied that motion on March 22, 2004.  No
discovery has been conducted in either of the derivative
actions.  The defendants in the derivative actions engaged in
settlement discussions with the derivative plaintiffs in light
of the settlement of the Consolidated Actions and the parties
have reached an agreement in principle settling both derivative
cases.  The settlement is conditioned upon reaching agreement on
written settlement documents and on Court approval.


SHERWIN WILLIAMS: Lead Paint Litigation Trial Set For April 2005
----------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the litigation filed against Sherwin Williams Co. by
the State of Rhode Island over its lead pigments and lead-based
paints is set for April 2005.

The Company's past operations included the manufacture and sale
of lead pigments and lead-based paints.  The Company, along with
other companies, is a defendant in a number of legal
proceedings, including purported class actions, separate actions
brought by the State of Rhode Island, and actions brought by
various counties, cities, school districts and other government-
related entities, arising from the manufacture and sale of lead
pigments and lead-based paints.

The plaintiffs are seeking recovery based upon various legal
theories, including negligence, strict liability, breach of
warranty, negligent misrepresentations and omissions, fraudulent
misrepresentations and omissions, concert of action, civil
conspiracy, violations of unfair trade practices and consumer
protection laws, enterprise liability, market share liability,
nuisance, unjust enrichment and other theories.  The plaintiffs
seek various damages and relief, including personal injury and
property damage, costs relating to the detection and abatement
of lead-based paint from buildings, costs associated with a
public education campaign, medical monitoring costs and others.

The Company believes that the litigation is without merit and is
vigorously defending such litigation.  The Company expects that
additional lead pigment and lead-based paint litigation may be
filed against the Company in the future asserting similar or
different legal theories and seeking similar or different types
of damages and relief, the Company stated in a disclosure to the
Securities and Exchange Commission.

During September 2002, a jury trial commenced in the first phase
of the action brought by the State of Rhode Island against the
Company and the other defendants.  The sole issue before the
Court in this first phase was whether lead pigment in paint
constitutes a public nuisance under Rhode Island law.  This
first phase did not consider the issues of liability or damages,
if any, related to the public nuisance claim.  In October 2002,
the Court declared a mistrial as the jury, which was split four
to two in favor of the defendants, was unable to reach a
unanimous decision.  This was the first legal proceeding against
the Company to go to trial relating to the Company's lead
pigment and lead-based paint litigation.  The State of Rhode
Island has decided to retry the case and a trial has been
scheduled for April 2005.

The suit, filed by then Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse (D)
in 1999, was the first suit filed by a state against the lead
paint industry. According to the state's complaint, the
defendants marketed and sold lead-based paint until it was
banned in 1978, despite the knowledge that it was toxic.

The companies named in the suit include:

     (1) American Cyanamid Co.

     (2) Atlantic Richfield

     (3) ConAgra Grocery Products Co.

     (4) Cytec Industries Inc.

     (5) DuPont Co.

     (6) Millennium Inorganic Chemicals Inc.

     (7) NL Industries Inc. and

     (8) Sherwin-Williams Co.

The suit, styled "State of Rhode Island v. Lead Industries
Association, Inc., et al., Case No. 99-5226," is filed in the
Superior Court for the State of Rhode Island, under Judge
Michael Silverstein.

The suit was filed by RI Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse,
150 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903.  Counsel for the
plaintiffs are Leonard Decof, Decof & Grimm, One Smith Hill,
Providence, RI 02903 and John J. McConnell Jr. of Ness, Motley,
Loadhold, Richardson & Poole, 321 South Main Street, P.O. Box
6067, Providence, RI 02940.

Counsel for the Company are Shelia High King of Cetrulo &
Capone, The Heritage Building, 321 South Main Street,
Providence, RI 02903; Lawrence G. Cetrulo and Nancy Kelly of
Cetrulo & Capone, Exchange Place, 53 State Street, Boston, MA
02109; and Paul Michael Pohl, Charles H. Moellenberg Jr., Laura
E. Ellsworth of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, 500 Grant Street,
31st Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.


SERVICE CORPORATION: TX Court Approves Stock Lawsuit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas, Houston Division granted approval to the settlement of
the class action filed against Service Corporation
International, styled "In Re Service Corporation International;
Cause No. H-99-0280."

The consolidated suit was filed in January 1999 and includes
numerous separate lawsuits that were filed in various United
States District Courts in Texas.  The suit has been certified as
a class action and names as defendants the Company and three of
the Company's current or former executive officers or directors
(the Individual Defendants).

The Consolidated Lawsuit has been brought on behalf of all
persons and entities who:

     (1) acquired shares of Company common stock in the merger
         of a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company into Equity
         Corporation International (ECI);

     (2) purchased shares of Company common stock in the open
         market during the period from July 17, 1998 through
         January 26, 1999 (the Class Period);

     (3) purchased Company call options in the open market
         during the Class Period;

     (4) sold Company put options in the open market during the
         Class Period;

     (5) held employee stock options in ECI that became options
         to purchase Company common stock pursuant to the
         merger; and

     (6) held Company employee stock options to purchase Company
         common stock under a stock plan during the Class
         Period.

Excluded from the class definition categories are the Individual
Defendants, the members of their immediate families and all
other persons who were directors or executive officers of the
Company or its affiliated entities at any time during the Class
Period.

The plaintiffs in the Consolidated Lawsuit alleged that
defendants violated federal securities laws by making materially
false and misleading statements and failing to disclose material
information concerning the Company's pre-need funeral business
and other financial matters, including in connection with the
ECI merger.  The Consolidated Lawsuit sought recovery of an
unspecified amount of monetary damages.

A Motion to Dismiss the Consolidated Lawsuit filed by the
Company and the Individual Defendants was pending before the
Court.  On April 20, 2004, the Company announced that it had
entered into a memorandum of understanding to settle the
Consolidated Lawsuit.  The terms of the proposed settlement call
for the Company to cause to be created a settlement fund in May
2004 totaling $65,000 in settlement of the claims.  The
Company and its insurance carriers have also entered into an
agreement providing for the payment by the Company's insurance
carriers of $30,000 towards this settlement, which resulted in
direct payments made by the Company of approximately $35,000.

At a hearing on November 4, 2004, the Court entered an order
approving the settlement.  Subject to appeal, all claims under
the Consolidated Lawsuit have been dismissed.  The Company may
also have additional potential liability for those who have
opted out of the Consolidated Lawsuit.  The most significant opt
out claim is the subject of the T. Rowe Price Lawsuit discussed
below.

Several other related lawsuits have been filed against the
Company and the Individual Defendants in Texas State Courts by
former SCI and ECI shareholders.  These lawsuits include the
following matters:

     (1) Charles Fredrick v. Service Corp. International, Case
         No. 31820-99-2, In the District Court of Angelina
         County, Texas, filed February 16, 1999;

     (2) Thomas G. Conway, John T Conway and Trust U/W/O George
         M. Conway, Jr. v. Service Corporation International,
         No. 2004-28511; In the 127th Judicial District Court of
         Harris County, Texas, filed May 28, 2004 (the Conway
         Lawsuit)

     (3) T. Rowe Price Balanced Fund, Inc., et al. v. Service
         Corporation International, et al, No. 2004-429637; In
         the 270th Judicial District Court, Harris County,
         Texas, filed June 7, 2004 (the T. Rowe Price Lawsuit)

These lawsuits allege, among other things, violations of Texas
securities law and statutory and common-law fraud, and seek
compensatory and exemplary damages.  The plaintiffs in the
Conway Lawsuit have not opted out of the Consolidated Lawsuit,
and therefore they are precluded from prosecuting the Conway
Lawsuit.  For that reason, the Company expects the Conway
Lawsuit to be dismissed in the near future.

The plaintiffs in the other lawsuits have opted out of the
Consolidated Lawsuit.  The plaintiffs in the T. Rowe Price
Lawsuit consist of investment companies and trust funds who were
former ECI and SCI shareholders and who have opted out of the
proposed settlement of the Consolidated Lawsuit.  They allege
that the Company and the Individual Defendants violated the
Texas Securities Act by making materially false and misleading
statements and failing to disclose material information
concerning the Company's business and other financial matters,
including in connection with the ECI merger.  The T. Rowe Price
Lawsuit seeks recovery of at least $32,000 in actual damages
plus unspecified exemplary damages.

The plaintiffs in the Conway Lawsuit also filed a separate
arbitration styled "Thomas G. Conway et al v. Service
Corporation International, et al; Cause No. 70 Y 168 00748 02"
before the American Arbitration Association (AAA) (Conway
action).  The Conway action raised claims distinct from those
claims alleged in the Conway Lawsuit.  The Company has recently
settled the Conway action.


SERVICE CORPORATION: FL Court OKs Grave Desecration Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit in and for
Broward County, Florida, General Jurisdiction Division approved
the settlement of the consumer class actions and individual
suits filed against Service Corporation International, Inc., one
of its subsidiaries and several related entities.

The class action, styled "Joan Light, Shirley Eisenbert and
Carol Prisco v. SCI Funeral Services of Florida, Inc. d/b/a
Menorah Gardens & Funeral Chapels, and Service Corporation
International; Case No. 01-21376 CA 08," was filed on December
19, 2001.  On August 19, 2003, the Court certified a class
comprising all persons with burial plots or family members
buried at Menorah Gardens & Funeral Chapels in Florida.
Excluded from the class definition were persons whose claims had
been reduced to judgment or had been settled as of the date of
class certification.  The defendants appealed the trial Court's
order regarding class certification.

The plaintiffs alleged that defendants failed to exercise
reasonable care in handling remains by secretly:

     (1) dumping remains in a wooded area;

     (2) burying remains in locations other than the ones
         purchased;

     (3) crushing vaults to make room for other vaults;

     (4) burying remains on top of the other or head to foot
         rather than side-by-side;

     (5) moving remains; and

     (6) co-mingling remains

The plaintiffs in the Consumer Lawsuit alleged that the above
conduct constituted negligence, tortious interference with the
handling of dead bodies, infliction of emotional distress, and
violation of industry specific state statutes, as well as the
state's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.  The
plaintiffs sought an unspecified amount of compensatory and
punitive damages.

The Court granted plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend their
complaint to include punitive damages.  Plaintiffs also sought
equitable/injunctive relief in the form of a permanent
injunction requiring defendants to fund a Court supervised
program that provides for monitoring and studying of the
cemetery and any disturbed remains to insure their proper
disposition.

Counsel for plaintiffs in the Consumer Lawsuit also represented
individuals who filed numerous separate lawsuits setting forth
individual claims similar to those in the Consumer Lawsuit.
These lawsuits include "Sheldon Cohen, surviving son of Hymen
Cohen, deceased v. SCI Funeral Services of Florida, Inc., d/b/a
Menorah Gardens & Funeral Chapels and Service Corporation
International; Case No. 02014679; In the Circuit Court of the
17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida," and
"Marian Novins, surviving daughter of Harold Wells deceased v.
SCI Funeral Services of Florida, Inc. d/b/a Menorah Gardens
&Funeral Chapels, and Service Corporation International; Case
No. 0307886; In the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial
Circuit, in and for Broward County, Florida, General
Jurisdiction Division."

In December 2003, the Company entered into an agreement in
principle to settle the Consumer Lawsuit and the individual
related lawsuits.  A settlement agreement pertaining
specifically to the Consumer Lawsuit was filed with the Court on
March 2, 2004.  On October 28, 2004, the Court entered an order
approving the settlement.  Subject to appeal, all claims under
the Consumer Lawsuit have been dismissed.  The terms of the
proposed settlement call for the Company to make payments
totaling approximately $100,000 in settlement of these claims.

On April 21, 2002, additional plaintiffs filed a lawsuit styled
"Sol Guralnick, Linda Weinr, Joan Nix, Gilda Schwartz, Paul
Schwartz, Ann Ferrante, Steve Schwartz, Nancy Backlund, Jamie
Osit, Corey King, Marc King, Barbara Feinberg Clark v. SCI
Funeral Services of Florida, Inc. d/b/a Menorah Gardens and
Funeral Chapels and Service Corporation International; In the
Circuit Court in the 15th Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County,
Florida; Case number CA024815AE" (Guralnick Lawsuit), making
essentially the same allegations as the Consumer Lawsuit with
the exception that it does not contain class allegations.

In addition to the Guralnick Lawsuit, counsel filed a lawsuit
containing cemetery mismanagement allegations styled "Diane
Wolff, Arlene Benowitz, Michael Wolff, Randee Wolff Blumstein,
and Martha Freedberg v. SCI, Funeral Services of Florida, Inc. a
Florida corporation d/b/a Menorah Gardens & Funeral Chapels,
Service Corporation International, a Texas Corporation, Menorah
Partnership, a Florida General Partnership, and Sharon Gardens
Limited Partnership, a Florida Limited Partnership; In the
Circuit Court in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Palm
Beach County, Florida, Case No. 2003CA013025" (Wolff Lawsuit).

In October 2004, the Company reached an agreement for settlement
of the Guralnick and Wolff Lawsuits.


SERVICE CORPORATION: Shareholders File Consolidated Suit in TX
--------------------------------------------------------------
Service Corporation International faces a class action filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas, Houston Division, styled "Conley Investment Counsel v.
Service Corporation International, et al; Civil Action 04-MD-
1609."

The lawsuit resulted from the transfer and consolidation by the
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation of several lawsuits,
namely:

     (1) Edgar Neufeld v. Service Corporation International,
         et al., Cause No. CV-S-03-1561-HDM-PAL, filed in the
         United States District Court for the District of
         Nevada;

     (2) Rujira Srisythemp v. Service Corporation International,
         et. al., Cause No. CV-S-03-1392-LDG-LRL; In the United
         States District for the District of Nevada;"

     (3) Joshua Ackerman v. Service Corporation International,
         et. al.; Cause No. 04-CV-20114; In the United States
         District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

The consolidated suit names as defendants the Company and three
of the Company's current and former executive officers or
directors.  The suit is a purported class action filed in
connection with the circumstances surrounding the consumer
lawsuit pending in Florida State Court, styled "Joan Light,
Shirley Eisenbert and Carol Prisco v. SCI Funeral Services of
Florida, Inc. d/b/a Menorah Gardens & Funeral Chapels, and
Service Corporation International; Case No. 01-21376 CA 08,"
(see related story above).  The plaintiffs allege that the
Company failed to disclose, or falsely stated, material
information relating to the circumstances surrounding the
Consumer Lawsuit.


SERVICE CORPORATION: Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in TX Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
Service Corporation International faces a class action filed in
the County Court of El Paso County Texas, County Court at Law
Number Three, styled "David Hijar v. SCI Texas Funeral Services,
Inc., SCI Funeral Services, Inc., and Service Corporation
International, Cause Number 2002-740."

The Hijar Lawsuit is a putative class action brought on behalf
of all persons, entities and organizations who purchased funeral
services from the Company or its subsidiaries at any time since
March 18, 1998.  Plaintiffs allege that federal and Texas
funeral related rules (Rules) required the Company to disclose
its markups on all items obtained from third parties in
connection with funeral service contracts and that the failure
to make required disclosures of markups resulted in fraud and
other legal claims.

The Company believes that the plaintiffs' interpretation of the
Rules is incorrect, it stated in a disclosure to the Securities
and Exchange Commission.  The Lawsuit seeks to recover an
unspecified amount of monetary damages.  The plaintiffs' counsel
has pursued two arbitration claims raising similar issues in
California.  The Company has recently filed a complaint for
declaratory relief in Federal District Court for the Central
District of California relating to these arbitration claims.

Each side in the Lawsuit filed motions to summarily establish
that its interpretation of the Rules was correct, and the judge
has ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.  This ruling allows the
plaintiffs to proceed with the case.  No class has been
certified.

The International Cemetery and Funeral Association, the Texas
Funeral Directors Association, the National Funeral Directors
Association, the National Funeral Directors and Morticians
Association, Inc., the Texas Funeral Service Commission, and
three industry competitors filed Amicus Curiae briefs asserting
that their interpretation of the Rules was the same as the
defendants.  Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission provided
the Company with an informal staff opinion supporting the
defendants' argument.


UNISOURCE ENERGY: Asks AZ Court To Dismiss Shareholder Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
UniSource Energy Corporation asked the Superior Court for the
State of Arizona to dismiss the class action filed against it,
and its directors styled "Pennsylvania Ave. Event Driven Fund v.
UniSource Energy Corp., et al."

The Pennsylvania Avenue Event Driven Fund filed the suit in
August 2004 on behalf of the holders of the Company's common
stock, relating to the proposed acquisition of the Company by an
affiliate of Saguaro Utility.  The plaintiff alleges, among
other things, that members of UniSource Energy's board of
directors breached their fiduciary duties to UniSource Energy's
shareholders in connection with the proposed acquisition by
tailoring the acquisition to meet the specific needs of Saguaro
Utility and basing the acquisition on financial results of
UniSource Energy that were subsequently restated to recognize
additional net income.

The plaintiff is seeking to enjoin the acquisition, which was
approved by shareholders of UniSource Energy in March 2004.  The
lawsuit requests an order:

     (1) declaring that the action is properly maintainable as a
         class action;

     (2) decreeing that the acquisition agreement was entered
         into in breach of the directors' fiduciary duties and
         is therefore unlawful and unenforceable;

     (3) enjoining the consummation of the acquisition until a
         new sale process is adopted;

     (4) ordering directors to exercise their fiduciary duties
         to obtain a transaction that is in the best interest of
         UniSource Energy's shareholders;

     (5) rescinding, to the extent implemented, the acquisition;
         and

     (6) awarding the plaintiff the costs of its action,
         including attorney's and experts' fees


VIROPHARMA INC.: PA Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania granted final approval to the settlement of the
consolidated securities class action filed against Viropharma,
Inc. and certain of its directors.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount of damages on behalf of an
alleged class of persons who purchased shares of the Company's
common stock at various times between July 13, 1999 and March
19, 2002.  The suit alleges that the Company and/or such
directors and officers violated federal securities laws by
misrepresenting and failing to disclose certain information
regarding Picovir (pleconaril), an earlier Class Action Reporter
story (April 5,2004) states.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss this action in August
2002.  In April 2003, the Court granted in part and denied in
part the Company's motion to dismiss the consolidated complaint.
In March 2004, the Company entered into an agreement in
principle with plaintiffs' counsel to settle this litigation.
The parties subject to the litigation then entered into a
stipulation and agreement of the settlement dated June 29, 2004.

Under the terms of the settlement, the Company's insurance
carriers assumed the obligation to pay the settlement amount of
$9.0 million from the Company's insurance coverage.  The
settlement will therefore not result in the payment of any funds
by the Company.  On July 12, 2004, the Court issued an order
granting preliminary approval of the settlement.  A hearing on
the proposed settlement was held in November 2004.


                         Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MT Hospital Uses $3.5M to Boost Treatment
--------------------------------------------------------------
A US$3.5 million federal appropriation proved to be a lifesaver
for the administrators of St. John's Lutheran Hospital who were
earnestly looking for ways to handle the projected deluge of
asbestos-related victims.

As health screenings five years ago revealed there would be
hundreds of victims to treat in the coming years, the hospital
located in Libby, Montana allocated funds to be used
specifically for construction, renovation and equipment that the
U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration mandated. They
also added more clinic space and a new emergency room.

Then came a new information system and a tele-radiology
department that allows X-rays, CT scans and ultrasound images to
be digitally transmitted to and from health-care providers at
other hospitals and clinics.

"What this has provided is 24-hour radiologist coverage," said
Jeanie Gentry, director of support services at St. John's. "Now,
through partnering with Kalispell Regional Medical Center [and
other hospitals] we always have radiology available, and that's
helped save lives."

Since St. John's no longer subsidizes the Center for Asbestos
Related Disease with the annual US$250,000 payment from W.R.
Grace, the hospital is using that money for other improvements.
This donation was pledged as part of a broad plan by W.R. Grace
to help Libby residents who have been diagnosed with an
asbestos-related illness. This year an "ancient" CT scanner,
literally worn out from asbestos screening, was replaced.

There is crossover care between St. John's and the CARD clinic.
"We all share the same patients and the same goals," Ms. Gentry
said. "The focus is on more integrated patient care."

Other health-care resources, such as the grant-funded Asbestos
Related Disease Network, help patients with needs that might
otherwise fall through the cracks, she noted. Another important
resource is Community Health Care, a federal government program
that subsidizes health-care costs for the uninsured.

Ms. Gentry added, "I feel we're embarking on a great journey
that will help us stay ahead of community expectations."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Missouri Residents Oppose Landfill Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Residents near the proposed demolition landfill site at the Pink
Hill Road and Missouri 7 are raising questions regarding the
community's health once operations begin.

In a public hearing last week, a community member Wayne Myslivy
expressed concern that the air could be contaminated with
asbestos and lead dust since the landfill accepts construction
waste from older buildings. The Missouri Department of Natural
Resources informed them that a permit would have to be issued
before construction on the landfill can begin. Residents are
encouraged to write in their comments until December 1, and the
decision will be made by December 31.

Developers anticipate it would operate from about 6:30 a.m. to 5
p.m. on weekdays and 6:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. The
landfill would accept materials such as cut or shredded tires,
wood and concrete. The landfill itself is about 19 acres in a
130-acre piece of land.

Another issue Mr. Myslivy brought up was noise from construction
equipment and the blasting the contractors would have to do in
the rock quarry before it can be an acceptable dumpsite.

"There's a lot of buffer around what people will see and hear,"
said project manager Tom Evans. He added the project would not
generate half the traffic the asphalt and quarry did.

The landfill will also take oil-contaminated soil, but
representatives from the Missouri Department of Natural
Resources said there will be tests done on the oil to make sure
it's not hazardous. Likewise, there would be an onsite retention
pond that would catch the oil that could be washed away by rain.

Still, Mr. Myslivy remained worried the proposal doesn't offer
enough safeguards. He said that at some point, contaminated dirt
is going to go into that dump which is precariously located
within several hundred yards of three grade schools.

Commenting on the low turnout of residents at the hearing, Mr.
Myslivy said he never received notice about the public hearing
and worried that not many neighbors knew what was happening.

Matt Bowen, who owns Pink Hill Acres, said his Company purchased
the land in 1988 to operate an asphalt Company. The asphalt
Company has since moved to M-7 and U.S. 50. "We don't intend to
make any enemies," he said, indicating the blasting needed to
prepare the site would be minimal. "We would make an effort to
consult the citizens."

Lisa Danbury, with the Mid American Regional Council, spoke in
favor of the project. She said the landfill would provide a
place for construction materials that are currently filling up
other landfills.

Mr. Bowen estimates it would take about 20 years for the
landfill to reach capacity, then the land surrounding the hole
could be built on.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Neighbors Call for Gate's Safe Demolition
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fears of asbestos poisoning are brewing in Drayton Road,
Borehamwood, where the 1920s Gate Studios complex is scheduled
for demolition. Nearby homeowners last week called on Hertsmere
Borough Council to make sure demolition workers make any
asbestos in the building safe, before it is knocked down to make
way for a new housing estate.

The Gate, built in 1928, is thought to have an asbestos-laden
roof, although a detailed report is yet to be completed on the
building.

Linda Brown, whose house backs onto the studios complex, said,
"I am concerned. You hear so much about asbestos, and I have
windows open all the time, and children coming over to stay. I
would like to know when they are going to demolish the building.
We haven't had any notification of when they are starting the
demolition."

Pauline Poole, also from Drayton Road, said that the residents
should be informed of the presence of asbestos.

A spokesman from Hertsmere Borough Council said that asbestos is
likely to be in the roofs as buildings of that age used the
substance heavily. He added, "Before any demolition takes place
the developers will be required to complete a detailed asbestos
report. If there is asbestos in the building, legislation
requires the Health and Safety Executive to ensure the
demolition is safe."

The Gate Studios complex was built in 1928, and is widely
believed to be Britain's oldest surviving sound stage. A
campaign to have it listed as a site of national heritage
failed, and it is now due to be demolished and replaced with 130
new houses and flats.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ground Chemicals Fail to Deter Land Buyers
----------------------------------------------------------------
Warnings against digging more than two feet into the ground
because of cancer-causing chemicals haven't dissuaded people
from buying 130 of the 150 former missile silo plots the federal
government is selling in Missouri. Much of the property is being
bought back by the previous owners - farmers who owned the land
before the government took it 40 years ago to install the silos.

The Air Force removed the solid-fueled Minuteman II missiles and
destroyed the underground silos years ago, but the soil is still
contaminated with fuel, asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls,
or PCBs, found in waterproof coatings on the silos and
underground fuel storage tanks.

Some farmers said they purchased the plots just to ensure that
no one else grabbed them. "I didn't really want to buy it back,
but it has a frontage on a blacktop road that is well-traveled,"
said Mary Gorrell, who bought a plot on her farm near Sedalia.
"We were afraid someone would buy it and it would become a
public nuisance."

Retired farmer Eugene Wells, who leases his Johnson County farm
for grazing, turned down an offer to buy a silo site.

Besides the price of US$2,200 for 2.8 acres of land, Mr. Wells
said, he was concerned about deed restrictions, including a
stipulation that the buyer and all future owners of the land
could not make any claims against the government if the ground
were disturbed and required cleanup. "Why should I be
responsible?" Mr. Wells asked. "The government is the one that
contaminated the land."

Military officials said that as long as the land is not
disturbed, the contaminants should not be hazardous to humans or
livestock.

Missouri has asked the military to help pay for a state registry
to track the sites and inspectors who could check the property
each year, said James Werner of the Missouri Department of
Natural Resources. "We increasingly learn that the risks, at
least the urgent risks, are not so much an immediate and acute
health risk," Mr. Werner said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Awareness Week Scheduled to Educate, Inform
----------------------------------------------------------------
As Australia observes National Asbestos Awareness Week, a
variety of nationwide activities have been planned to mark this
event. The organizers intend to make people aware of the tragedy
caused by asbestos-related illnesses. The Australian Council of
Trade Unions says there is still a poor level of awareness of
the dangers of handling and disposing of asbestos products.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow says the asbestos problem that has
been plaguing the country for so long will continue to do so for
decades. "We've had almost 2,000 deaths from mesothelioma," she
said.

Ms. Burrow added, "That's one of the cruelest diseases and for
every case there's another two of either lung related cancer or
other illness. If adults in our community aren't aware then
children will in fact be all too often at risk."

Coinciding with the launch, the New South Wales Government has
committed $100,000 to improving community education about the
dangers of asbestos. State Workplace Relations Minister John
Della Bosca says a state Government-funded program will be
established to ensure homeowners and renovators are aware of the
risks of dealing with asbestos.

"The outreach program will include full-time work and travel
throughout New South Wales, raising awareness of the dangers of
asbestos in the community, through local councils, hospitals,
libraries, shopping centers and the media," he said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL Jury Awards $400T to Ex-Safety Director
----------------------------------------------------------------
A jury gave a US$400,000 award to Lee county school district's
former safety director to make up for loss wages and mental
anguish he suffered after being terminated by the district.
Ernie Scott lost his job after blowing the whistle on hazards
the district allegedly ignored to the federal authorities. They
announced the verdict on Nov. 8 and gave him US$127,000 more
than he asked for.

Mr. Scott said upper level management interfered with his duties
by going around him, and cutting corners. When he reported woes
with fire codes, indoor air quality or asbestos and they fell on
deaf ears, he went to the media. When they eliminated his job,
he sued.

"I didn't see it as blowing the whistle. I saw it as
protecting," said Mr. Scott. For years, he helped uncover
numerous safety problems at Lee County schools.

The award miffs school board member Elinor Scricca. "Misguided.
Plainly misguided," she says about the jurors. "That they
deliberated only 58 minutes told me they did not thoroughly
review the evidence. He played on their emotions."

Board member Bob Chilmonik's jaw dropped. "It was a David and
Goliath thing. I learned in the corporate world when a company
goes against a worker, sometimes the jury sides with the
worker."

The school district has ten days to get the judge in the case to
override the jury award. If that fails, it has 30 more days to
send the case to the district Court of appeals. But even that
won't be the last time they deal with the former employee. He is
involved in a separate case along with dozens of teachers and
students who claim they were exposed to asbestos and toxic mold.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Used on Rise in Asia, Says Expert
---------------------------------------------------------------
Asia needs to ban the use of asbestos and conduct studies on
people who have become ill from exposure or asbestos-related
diseases will never end, according to a specialist.

A law largely prohibiting use of asbestos took effect in Japan
last month, but few other Asian economies have taken similar
action, said Ken Takahashi, a professor in the environmental
epidemiology department at the University of Occupational and
Environmental Health in Kitakyushu. His concerns are at the
center of a three-day conference in Tokyo that began last week.

The Global Asbestos Congress 2004 brings together some 420
researchers, civic group representatives and relatives of people
who have asbestos-related diseases from more than 36 countries
to discuss problems caused by asbestos and their possible
solutions. The conference was organized by Japanese civic groups
and researchers.

Mr. Takahashi, an epidemiologist specializing in asbestos-
induced illnesses, gave a presentation on disease prevention in
Asia. While asbestos exposure has dropped in South Korea, Taiwan
and Singapore, its use is on the rise in countries that include
China, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, the professor said.
Unfortunately, exact figures on asbestos use and the number of
people with asbestos-related diseases are not available in these
countries.

Although Japan banned asbestos use in principle, construction
workers may still inhale the substance when they repair or tear
down old buildings. In Japan, where asbestos exposure peaked in
the 1970s, the number of people who have died of mesothelioma
has increased in recent years. The figure was 500 in 1995 but
grew to 878 in 2003, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor
and Welfare. About 70 percent to 80 percent of the victims were
believed to have been exposed to asbestos, Mr. Takahashi said.
He estimated that 2,440 people a year will die of mesothelioma
between 2035 and 2039.

He feels strongly that all of Asia needs to ban the substance or
strive to gradually cut its use, stressing that governments and
researchers need to study patterns of asbestos use and the
number of victims of the diseases the substance causes. The
governments should also reconsider whether exposure limits under
the law are low enough to protect the health of construction
workers, he said.

Some parts of Asia do not require health checks for workers
exposed to airborne asbestos, and Mr. Takahashi said Japan can
help its Asian neighbors establish better systems to supervise
workers' health.

"Not just researchers, but also non-governmental organizations,
media and people suffering from asbestos-related diseases need
to inform the public of this problem from various viewpoints,"
he said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wolseley Reports Liability of GBD27.9M
-----------------------------------------------------------
The world's number one distributor of heating and plumbing
products, Wolseley plc (NYSE: WOS), claims that its level of
insurance cover significantly exceeds that of expected future
claims. No impact to its profit or cash flow is therefore
expected to arise in the future.

There were 308 outstanding claims at this year's fiscal year end
compared to 484 claims in 2003. In accordance with UK GAAP, the
Company has recognized a discounted liability of GBD27.9 million
in respect to asbestos litigation. An equal debtor account of
GBD27.9 million is shown in other debtors reflecting the
discounted sum recoverable from insurers in respect of this
liability.

The West Berkershire, UK-based Company believes that the
international nature of Wolseley's operations exposes it to the
potential for litigation from third parties. In the US, the risk
of litigation is generally higher than that in Europe in such
areas as workers' compensation, general employer liability and
environmental and asbestos litigation.

In the case of asbestos litigation, the Company employs
independent professional advisers to actuarially determine the
potential gross liability, which necessitates the application of
certain assumptions relating to claims development and the cost
of settling such claims over the remaining lifetime of the
potential litigants, which is about 50 years.

Wolseley Insurance provisions represent an estimate, based on
historical experience, of the ultimate cost of settling
outstanding and potential claims. Environmental and legal
liabilities include known legal claims and environmental
liabilities where the costs and timing of any payment is
inherently uncertain. Included in this provision is an amount of
GBD27.9 million related to asbestos litigation involving certain
Group companies. GBD26.2 million was the amount recorded in
2003.

The liability has been actuarially determined as of July 2004
based on advice from independent professional advisors. The
provision and the related receivable have been stated on a
discounted basis using a long-term US treasury rate of 5%.

The provision for asbestos litigation as reported under US GAAP
would be GBD45.9 million (2003: GBD33.8 million), of which
GBD38.1 million (2003: GBD25.1 million) is an undiscounted
amount with the balance representing a discounted amount.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MI Agencies Agree on Plan for Quincy Site
--------------------------------------------------------------
Two federal agencies are trying to agree on a plan for dealing
with asbestos at the former Quincy copper smelting site.

The National Park Service plans to develop the site as a visitor
center for the Keweeenaw National Historical Park and Isle
Royale National Park. But the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency placed boundaries around the site last July after
asbestos was discovered there.

"Here we have two governmental agencies and there seemed to be a
lack of understanding as to what each agency was responsible for
going there, and how the future collaboration on that site could
be enhanced, said Frank Fiala, superintendent of the historical
park.

Representatives from the EPA, the park, outside consulting firms
and attorneys from both sides met last month in Chicago to
discuss the situation. The meeting was helpful, said Brian
Kelly, the onsite coordinator for the emergency response branch
of the EPA.

"We were able to come up with a plan for moving forward on the
site," Mr. Kelly said. "There are people involved at the local,
state and federal levels, and everybody wants to see a positive
outcome, we just all need to work together to work that out."

A number of issues regarding the site were discussed, Mr. Fiala
said, primarily asbestos removal and containment.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Solbec's Cancer Drug Testing A Huge Success
----------------------------------------------------------------
Australian-based Solbec Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (ASX:SBP) said its
cancer drug, Coramsine, is effective in both treating and
preventing mesothelioma in a "mouse model" of the cancer. If
used in combination with the immune triggering compound, CpG,
Coramsine resulted in the total remission of the cancer.

The Company, which is known for developing anti-cancer agents
and hormone replace products, said that the study showed that
the combination therapy displayed a much greater response than
that seen with either agent on its own. This type of therapy was
used to maximize the immunological effect of Coramsine. The
Coramsine, CpG combination therapy potentially has the added
effect of stimulating lasting immunity against the cancer as
attempts to cause tumor formation in a treated, "cured" mouse
failed.

The Company noted that the aim of the study, which confirms and
extends earlier findings conducted by Solbec, was to learn how
Coramsine primes the immune system and whether it could bring
about long term remission of mesothelioma. Further research will
set out to confirm these findings.

"If this finding is replicated in patients with mesothelioma or
other cancers, we believe that Coramsine could play an important
role in clinical management of malignancy," said Professor John
Papadimitriou.

"The results go a long way toward confirming that Coramsine
causes an immune response to cancer. The proof will come by
trial[s using] combination therapy in humans," said Stephen
Carter, Solbec's managing director.

Shares in Solbec Pharmaceuticals jumped 68 percent later that
day after the biotech company announced that the new drug had
proven effective in treating asbestos-related cancer. Solbec
shares were up 8.5 cents to 21 cents at 1330pm (AEDT) on a
volume of 24.9 million shares.

The research, conducted by scientists at the University of
Western Australia's Tumour Immunology Group, formed part of a
program funded by Solbec, with support from the federal
government's Biotechnology Innovation Fund.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cancer Victim Accepts US$4M Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
Luke Lindau, a 78-year-old Arlington Heights man who suffers
from mesothelioma, has decided to forego his chance to face the
people responsible for his illness in Court. Instead Mr. Lindau
settled for a substantial sum of nearly US$4 million, according
to his attorney Scott Hendler.

"We believed that the defendants' herculean efforts to delay
this trial would only hurt Mr. Lindau," Mr. Hendler said. "His
interests were paramount to our decision to settle."

An asbestos suit against 59 defendants filed a year ago in
Madison County Circuit Court came close to trial in recent
weeks. But various legal maneuvers -- including defense motions
to transfer and then remove the case to federal Court --
ultimately landed and stalled in appellate Court, which was
considering an emergency motion to stay the trial.

In a recent edition of the Class Action Reporter dated Nov. 19,
it was reported that Circuit Judge Daniel Stack dismissed 60
potential jurors in an asbestos lawsuit filed in Madison County
Circuit Court. Trial was said to be averted because the 5th
Judicial Appellate Court was still mulling over Stack's ruling
Nov. 8 that denied transferring the case to Cook County, a
jurisdiction closer to where the plaintiff Luke Lindau resides.

Mr. Hendler, who called the settlement a "favorable amount,"
said his client had wanted to tell his story in Court "to help
prevent this type of thing from happening to other people in the
future."

According to his complaint, Mr. Lindau alleged that during the
course of his employment and during home remodeling work, he was
exposed to, ingested or otherwise absorbed large amounts of
asbestos fibers emanating from certain products he worked around
and that they were manufactured or sold by the defendants. A
former union painter, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in
October 2002.

"We expect that the overall recovery from all defendants,
including individual trust funds established by defendants that
sought bankruptcy protection but are still viable and profitable
businesses... is a reflection of the merit with which the
defendants viewed Mr. Lindau's claims against them and the trial
team that represented him," according to a statement from Mr.
Hendler.

"I think we were able to accomplish this because the defendants
did not consider the emergency appeal to have much chance of
success," Mr. Hendler said. "The trial judge indicated he would
reset the case for December 13 if the appeal were rejected."

Defendants Bondex and Georgia Pacific, represented by Jeff
Hebrank, have yet to issue a comment.

Scott Hendler's co-counsel was Mike Bilbrey of the Edwardsville
firm, Bilbrey & Hylla. Mr. Hendler is managing attorney of
Hendler Law, a national trial firm representing victims and
their families in mesothelioma and pharmaceutical drug injury
litigation throughout the country.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tower Properties Reaches US$50T Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tower Properties (OTC:TPOP), owner of the 31-story Commerce
Tower downtown, has paid US$50,000 to settle asbestos claims
brought by attorney Gregory Leyh, a former tenant in the
building. The claims stemmed from the aftermath of a fire on the
23rd floor of the building in July 2000. Mr. Leyh alleged that
Tower Properties turned down his request to remove asbestos from
the open-ceiling space between his office and the fire-damaged
space.

In the April 2, 2004 edition of the CAR newsletter, the Company
disclosed in its filing to the Securities and Exchange
Commission that it had a pending suit with a former tenant, who
was alleging alleged fraud, gross negligence, nuisance and
breach of contract. The plaintiff had sought to represent a
class for damages for alleged excessive rent, property damage
and medical monitoring. Plaintiff originally filed suit in June
2001, then voluntarily dismissed it on May 30, 2003 and
immediately filed another suit, this time, seeking punitive
damages and an order requiring removal of the asbestos.

After a judge refused to certify the case as a class action on
behalf of all the building's tenants, Mr. Leyh proceeded on his
own. In reaching the settlement, Mr. Leyh said he rejected Tower
Properties' request that the terms be kept confidential.

"The reason I was put in this position was because Tower wanted
to keep secret the fact that its building is currently
contaminated by asbestos. I won't perpetuate that secret with a
confidential settlement," he said.

Tower Properties' attorney, Spencer Brown of Deacy & Deacy,
denied Mr. Leyh's assertion. "The settlement and the form of the
settlement have absolutely nothing to do with any effort on the
part of Tower Properties to hide from its tenants the fact that
the building has asbestos-containing fireproofing," he said.
"It's common knowledge, because the owners of the building have
told the tenants about the presence of asbestos in the
building."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Archicentre Stresses Home Renovation Risks
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos dust can be a deadly side effect of renovations, says a
leading Tasmanian architect. Children and other family members
run a high risk of contracting asbestos-related diseases during
a renovation, says Michael Cooper, state manager of Archicentre,
Australia's largest designer of home renovations and home
inspection Company. The likelihood of contamination increased if
they lived in the home while renovation went on.

Mr. Cooper, who also runs the building advisory service of the
Royal Australian Institute of Architects in Tasmania, said there
were hundreds of thousands of renovations each year in
Australia. Promoting National Asbestos Awareness Week, Mr.
Cooper said a third of all houses built in Australia before 1982
contained asbestos. He said asbestos in sheet products was
usually embedded but if the sheets started to weather or break
killer fibers could attack the lungs.

The real problem began when people renovated and started
cutting, sanding, drilling, grinding, or pulling up materials
and caused the deadly dust. "The bottom line is that people need
to realize that a renovation can be extremely hazardous and
there needs to be constant monitoring of the site to ensure the
family's safety." Archicentre was often alarmed to find
renovations which involved asbestos dust had already been
started without the owners receiving specialist advice from
licensed asbestos removalists.

On a population basis, Australia had the highest incidence of
mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The
Asbestos Diseases foundation of Australia has estimated the
number of people diagnosed with asbestos related diseases will
not peak until 2020. By then there will be 13,000 cases of
mesothelioma and 40,000 cases of asbestos related lung cancer.

Mr. Cooper said removal and disposal of asbestos cement sheet
should only be done by a licensed asbestos removal Company, and
admittedly, it could add substantially to the cost of renovation
or maintenance. Specialists would take precautions like wearing
protective masks and clothing, using hand tools for cutting not
power tools, not abrading or breaking up the product whenever
possible, wetting the product before working with it, and
wetting any residue before sweeping.

Archicentre, which claims to be a leading authority on building
construction, advised homeowners doing any renovations to have a
health and safety plan if they were doing it themselves. If
professional builders or tradesmen were doing the job, part of
the contract should clearly include a reference to health and
safety matters and an existing public risk insurance policy.



ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Court Summons Huntsman to Face 5 Charges
----------------------------------------------------------------
HMP Equity Holdings Corp. reports that following an
investigation by the U.K. Health and Safety Executive, a summons
was served on its subsidiary Huntsman Advanced Materials (UK)
Ltd to appear in Magistrates Court on November 2004 to answer
five charges.

The charges cite violations of the Health and Safety at Work Act
arising from what is alleged to have been asbestos contamination
caused by construction activity at the Advanced Materials
facility in Duxford, U.K. between November 2002 and January
2003. Although the Company does not believe this matter will
result in the imposition of fines and other costs material to
the financial condition of the Company, it is too early to
predict the outcome of the case.

The Company has been named as a "premises defendant" in a number
of asbestos exposure lawsuits. These suits often involve
multiple plaintiffs and multiple defendants, and, generally, the
complaint in the action does not indicate which plaintiffs are
making claims against a specific defendant, where the alleged
injuries were incurred or what injuries each plaintiff claims.

There are currently 43 asbestos exposure cases pending against
the Company. Among the cases currently pending, management is
aware of one claim of mesothelioma.

Originally known for pioneering innovations in packaging, and
later, rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, Huntsman
companies today employ 15,000 people in more than 40 countries,
with annual revenues of approximately US$9.5 billion.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RAND Prompts Michigan to Mimic Ohio's Law
--------------------------------------------------------------
According to one of the leading public policy research
institutions in the U.S., asbestos litigation is choking the
Court system and threatening manufacturing plants across
Michigan. And despite attempts by Congress, the situation is
getting worse.

The RAND Institute for Civil Justice, an independent research
program within the RAND Corporation, recently released a report
stating that an Ohio law could help ease the burden placed on
the Courts and provide a roadmap for Michigan to follow to
protect businesses from pre-emptive lawsuits from plaintiffs who
aren't really sick. It could supposedly also make it easier for
the true victims to get relief.

The Ohio law requires that those who have been exposed to
asbestos and later sue for medical damages meet specific medical
criteria before a lawsuit can proceed. RAND reports that, "Such
a benchmark is long overdue and an obvious solution to the
unbridled legal atmosphere that's prevailed nationwide."

Asbestos lawsuits have bankrupted nearly 70 companies nationwide
and cost them US$70 billion. Roughly 50,000 workers lost jobs
last year because of the lawsuits. Michigan businesses,
particularly the auto industry, have been hit hard by such
lawsuits. Southfield auto supplier Federal Mogul, for example,
was sued into bankruptcy because it bought a Company that made
asbestos brake linings. Ford Motor Co. has 45,000 claims pending
against it.

According to industry research, at best, half of all potential
asbestos claims have been filed. At worst, one-fifth has been
filed. That creates a total potential cost for claims in the
range of US$200 billion to US$265 billion.

Asbestos claims can be filed based on exposure, not injury. An
estimated two-thirds of claimants do not have any symptoms, but
worry they might get sick in the future. So they sue now because
they're afraid there won't be any money later.

Attempts by Congress to establish funds to pay claims to try and
protect businesses from lawsuits haven't been effective. The
idea that the companies that use asbestos and their insurers pay
into a fund where affected workers could make claims makes
sense. Workers would give up their right to sue, but still get
money to cover their damages. Those who have developed serious
diseases would be able to claim a larger payout. However, the
parties involved can't agree on the fund amounts and the
estimates continue to escalate.

The RAND Institute study concludes, "Ohio's law is a logical
step and one Michigan should follow."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PA Judge Grants Halliburton's Plan for DII
----------------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton Co., the world's No. 2 oil field services Company,
posted a quarterly loss as gains in its energy business were
outweighed by US$230 million in charges to fund its asbestos
settlement.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith Fitzgerald found a proposed US$1.5
billion settlement of asbestos claims between two subsidiaries
of Halliburton Co. and insurers "fair and reasonable." At a
hearing in Pittsburgh, Judge Fitzgerald gave two parties until
Nov. 23 to contest the deal. She said that the agreement will be
considered approved if there are no objections.

Court approval would clear the way for Halliburton to complete a
US$4.8 billion plan to settle all current and future asbestos
claims as soon as year's end. The agreement involves insurers
and Halliburton subsidiaries KBR and DII Industries.

The Company had stated in its latest filing to the Securities
and Exchange Commission that it intends to issue 59,500,000
shares of common stock that will be contributed to DII
Industries, LLC Asbestos PI Trust, the trust created under the
plan of reorganization of some of their subsidiaries. The assets
of Asbestos PI Trust will be used to fund the payment of
unsecured asbestos personal injury claims against its
subsidiaries. The shares of common stock that may be offered
under this prospectus will be offered by Asbestos PI Trust or by
those to whom the selling stockholder may pledge, donate or
transfer shares covered by this prospectus.

Upon the Company's funding of Asbestos PI Trust, the trust will
beneficially own 59,500,000 shares of common stock, which, after
issuance, would constitute 11.9% of its outstanding common stock
(using its 442,167,852 outstanding shares as of November 16,
2004 for purposes of calculation).

Asbestos PI Trust, or its members, donors or other transferees,
may sell up to 59,500,000 shares of common stock under the
registration statement. The Company will include in a supplement
to this prospectus, to the extent that may be required by the
applicable SEC rules and regulations, any change in the
information concerning the selling stockholder, any additional
information concerning the manner of sale and the name of any
other person who may sell, transfer or dispose of shares of
common stock under this prospectus.

In connection with the transfer of its common stock into
Asbestos PI Trust, Halliburton and Alan R. Kahn, the managing
trustee of Asbestos PI Trust, will enter into a stockholder
agreement. The stockholder agreement provides for specified
registration rights in favor of Asbestos PI Trust and describes
the manner and volume in which Asbestos PI Trust may sell its
shares of our common stock. Although the stockholder agreement
does not restrict Asbestos PI Trust's right to vote its shares,
it places limitations on Asbestos PI Trust's ability to take
certain actions in its capacity as a stockholder of our common
stock.

As of September 30, 2004, the aggregate indebtedness of its
subsidiaries was about US$109 million, and other liabilities of
its subsidiaries, including trade payables, accrued
compensation, advanced billings, income taxes payable and other
liabilities (other than asbestos and inter-company liabilities)
were about US$5.7 billion, and accrued asbestos and silica
liabilities were about US$4.4 billion.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Papers Expose Washington Chemical Cover-up
----------------------------------------------------------------
The lengths to which management at the Washington Chemical
Company went to cover up the dangers of asbestos to its
workforce are staggering. Documents reveal directors knew their
workers were at risk, yet did nothing. They failed to warn
employees of the dangers or provide safety devices, rarely
carried out medical tests and went as far as to change Company
recruitment rules to avoid paying out compensation to future
asbestos victims.

Papers from the Washington Chemical Company and sister firm
Newalls Insulation in Newcastle show the extent to which
thousands of employees were misled and their lives put at risk.

A university lecturer in Manchester has compiled Company
documents from the 1930s to the late 1970s. The 240 cassettes of
microfilm detail the lengths they went to try to stop the
Government from extending asbestos restrictions and to cover up
the affect of the deadly dust. They reveal more than 20,000
people were exposed to asbestos by working at the chemical
Company or at Newalls. Only 800 were ever given a medical.
Towering over their homes, children regularly played in the
mountains of asbestos dust unaware of the threat.

Minutes from the board of Newalls Insulation show how the
Company tried to limit the amount of compensation it paid to
asbestosis victims by changing employment rules. These included
stopping hiring people with chest problems and later those who
had worked in mines as they had more chance of getting asbestos
related diseases.

A letter from parent Company Turner & Newall's solicitors to the
firm in 1977 said, "It has not been practical for Newalls to
adopt a system of warning men of the risk of contracting
asbestosis or other respiratory disability."

In one set of minutes in 1940, after a man who worked filling
mattresses died of asbestosis, the Company decided men would be
moved around in jobs so they could not claim compensation.

The minutes related, "Mr. Collins said that this work will not
come within the asbestos scheme if it is only occasional and
suggested therefore that this fact should continually be borne
in mind and that where ever the making of mattresses in the
areas became necessary different men should be engaged in the
work on difference occasions."

The factory inspectors were introduced after the Asbestos Act,
implemented in 1931, laid out restrictions for some workers who
deal with asbestos.

Unions wanted men who worked with insulation to be given
medicals, but the firm decided only a handful would, to avoid
setting a precedent and to stop the unions from going to the
Government. Calls from factory inspectors for everyone working
with insulation to wear masks were suppressed.

The minutes said, "Mr. Collins said he thought that the present
problem was largely a tactical or psychological matter for the
management rather than a legal problem." The directors felt the
Government would eventually crack down on asbestos practices but
chose to resist any extension of the rules as long as it could.

Workers who were entitled to medicals found the Medical Board
dealing with these was so behind in its work it did not attend
the factory for more than 18 months. Union protests over the
delay were ignored.

The extent the Board would go to avoid paying compensation was
shown when one woman died of asbestosis and lung cancer. Letters
between directors agreed to "resist any suggestion that death
was due to asbestosis" and say her death was due to cancer.

Washington Chemical Company made asbestos-containing products
including fireproofed mattress for trains, lagging for pipes and
spun glass, which could be found in insulation in buildings. The
firm's contracting arm Newalls Insulation had workers spraying
ships with asbestos mixed with magnesium, many in Tyneside
yards.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MSA Named in Less Than 300 Liability Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Various lawsuits and claims are pending against the world's
largest manufacturer of safety equipment and systems, Mine
Safety Appliances Company. These lawsuits are primarily product
liability claims.

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Company has been named as a
defendant in about 2,125 lawsuits involving primarily
respiratory protection products allegedly manufactured and sold
by the Company. Collectively, these lawsuits represent a total
of about 30,200 plaintiffs. About 85% of these lawsuits involve
plaintiffs alleging they suffer from silicosis, with the
remainder alleging they suffer from other or combined injuries,
including asbestosis.

Of the 320 non-silicosis claims, only a handful alleges
asbestos-related injuries. These lawsuits typically allege that
these conditions resulted in part from respirators that were
negligently designed or manufactured by the Company.

Consistent with the experience of other companies involved in
silica and asbestos-related litigation, there has been an
increase in the number of asserted claims that could potentially
involve the Company. Management cannot determine the Company's
potential maximum liability for such claims, in part because the
defendants in these lawsuits are often numerous and the claims
generally do not specify the amount of damages sought.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Payouts End as MRCF Seeks Liquidator
----------------------------------------------------------------
James Hardie asbestos victims have suffered another setback as
the multinational forced the compensation body into provisional
liquidation and again threw their claims in doubt.

The Medical Research and Compensation Foundation was set to file
for provisional liquidation after Hardie refused to adequately
cover its liabilities. The move will put a moratorium on 700
claims currently before the foundation and has sparked
speculation that Hardie is planning to again cut and run from
asbestos victims.

The foundation's Managing Director Dennis Cooper said the
application for liquidation was a last resort and one the
foundation had desperately wanted to avoid. But with notice of
claims worth about $80 million and the foundation having only
about $40 million in cash, he said he had no choice.

"We've been waiting since July for the promises of James Hardie
to be converted into dollars," said Mr. Cooper. He also said
Hardie had offered to cover only the next six months' worth of
claims, and even then only once the foundation had used up the
last of its money. This would have placed future claimants at
even more risk.

Asked whether it was possible Hardie was trying to cut off the
foundation altogether, the foundation's lawyer Nancy Milne said,
"It may well be." A source close to the negotiations between
Hardie and asbestos victims over compensation also speculated
the Company may be preparing to again leave sufferers in the
lurch. The foundation will file evidence ahead of a scheduled
Court hearing on December 2.

Meanwhile, James Hardie Chair Meredith Hellicar continues to
defend the employment of the former chief executive Peter
Macdonald as a consultant on $74,000 a month. "This man is not
evil incarnate, he was a very, very effective chief executive
and our shareholders were very concerned about the loss of his
knowledge and experience," she said.

Earlier this week, delegates at the Global Asbestos Congress in
Tokyo, representatives from 40 countries, endorsed calls for a
global ban on James Hardie products in support of Australian
asbestos victims, a day after the Company warned that boycotts
in Australia were beginning to affect its sales.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ballantyne Settles NY Case, Battles 2 More
----------------------------------------------------------------
In February 2004, Ballantyne of Omaha Inc. (OTC: BTNE) settled
an asbestos-related lawsuit in a case in the Supreme Court of
the State of New York entitled Prager v. A.W. Chesterton
Company, et al, including Ballantyne.

Ballantyne, a leading manufacturer and marketer of motion
picture theatre projection room equipment, is also a defendant
in two other asbestos cases. One entitled Bercu v. BICC Cables
Corporation, et. al., in the Supreme Court of the State of New
York and one entitled Julia Crow, Individually and as Special
Administrator of the Estate of Thomas Smith, deceased v.
Ballantyne of Omaha,Inc. in Madison County, Illinois.

In both cases, there are numerous defendants including
Ballantyne. At this time, neither case has progressed to a stage
where either the likely outcome or the amount of damages, if any
for which Ballantyne may be liable can be determined. An adverse
resolution of these matters could have a material effect on the
financial position of Ballantyne.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Illinois Power Co. Faces 39 Pending Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Illinois Power Co. has been named in a number of lawsuits, along
with numerous other parties, which have been filed by certain
plaintiffs claiming varying degrees of injury from asbestos
exposure at generating plants formerly owned by the Company. A
total of 109 lawsuits have been filed, with 26 of them settled
and 44 of the lawsuits dismissed.

As of September 30, 2004, 39 lawsuits were pending. Four of
these pending asbestos lawsuits were served during the third
quarter of 2004. Most of these pending lawsuits were filed in
the Circuit Court of Madison County, Illinois. The number of
total defendants named in each case is significant with as many
as 130 parties named in a case to as few as five. The average
number of parties is 70 in the pending lawsuits. Each lawsuit
seeks unspecified damages in excess of US$50,000, which, if
proved, typically would be shared among the named defendants.
The Company recorded a reserve with respect to the pending
lawsuits with the belief that the final disposition of these
proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on its
financial position, results of operations or liquidity.

In the October 1, 2004 edition of the Class Action Reporter, it
was reported that when the Illinois Commerce Commission approved
Ameren Corp.'s proposed purchase of Illinois Power earlier this
year, several groups raised objections to an "asbestos rider,"
which was a surcharge devised to cover asbestos-related claims.

Ameren has since then modified its proposal, and agreed to
restrict the use of a surcharge. Beginning in 2007, 90% of cash
expenditures in excess of the amount included in base electric
rates will be recovered by the Company from a US$20 million
trust fund financed with contributions of US$10 million each by
Ameren and Dynegy.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ALSTOM Tackles Various Claims Worldwide
------------------------------------------------------------
Headquartered in Paris, France, the ALSTOM Group (Euronext
Paris: ALS) reported in its latest filing to the Securities and
Exchange Commission that it has not in recent years suffered any
adverse judgment, or made any settlement payment, in respect of
any U.S. personal injury asbestos claim. Between October 31,
2002 and September 30, 2004, a total of 185 cases involving
about 17,742 claimants were voluntarily dismissed by plaintiffs,
typically without prejudice, allowing them to refile these cases
in the future.

The Group designs, builds and services technologically advanced
products and systems for the energy and transport infrastructure
and accordingly is subject to regulations regarding the control
and removal of asbestos-containing material and identification
of potential exposure of its employees to asbestos. It has been
the Group's policy for many years to abandon definitively the
use of products containing asbestos by all of its operating
units worldwide and to promote the application of this principle
to all of the Group's suppliers, including in those countries
where the use of asbestos is permitted. In the past, however,
the Group has used and sold some products containing asbestos,
particularly in France in the Marine Sector and to a lesser
extent in the other Sectors.

As of September 30, 2004, in France, the Group is aware of about
2,408 asbestos sickness-related declarations accepted by the
French Social Security authorities concerning the Group's
employees, former employees or third parties. All of such cases
are treated under the French Social Security system, which pays
medical and other costs of those who are sick and which pays a
lump sum indemnity.

Out of these 2,408 declarations, the Group is aware of about 237
asbestos-related cases from employees or former employees. They
have instituted judicial proceedings against certain of the
Group's subsidiaries with the aim of obtaining a Court decision
holding these subsidiaries liable for an inexcusable fault which
would allow them to obtain a supplementary compensation above
the payments made by the French Social Security funds of related
medical costs. Decisions of the Courts of Appeal have all
confirmed these findings of inexcusable fault.

In March 2004, the French Supreme Court (COUR DE CASSATION)
rendered its first decisions on the appeals lodged by a
subsidiary of the Group's Marine Sector. The French Supreme
Court has confirmed the inexcusable fault, but has reversed the
Court of Appeal's decisions which had ordered the Group's
subsidiary to pay damages as the damages are to be directly
compensated by the Social Security funds (CAISSE PRIMAIRE
D'ASSURANCE MALADIE).

In May 2004, the French Supreme Court confirmed the finding of
inexcusable fault in six decisions rendered in relation to cases
in the Group's Marine Sector, while confirming that the damages
were to be definitively borne by the Social Security funds. In
the current cases within the Group's Marine Sector, the Social
Security authorities have not in fact attempted to charge the
Group subsidiary the financial consequences of occupational
disease, including those arising out of the inexcusable fault
pursuant to article 2 paragraph 2 of the decree of 16 October
1995. In the other Sectors, the Group estimates that most of the
current cases will be governed by the same terms, pursuant to
the above-mentioned decree.

In addition, in the United States, as of September 30, 2004, the
Group was subject to about 155 asbestos-related personal injury
lawsuits, which have their origin solely in the Company's
purchase of some of ABB's power generation business, for which
the Group is indemnified by ABB.

The Group is also currently subject to two class action lawsuits
in the United States asserting fraudulent conveyance claims
against various ALSTOM and ABB entities in relation to
Combustion Engineering, Inc., for which the Group has asserted
indemnification against ABB. CE is a United States subsidiary of
ABB, and its power activities were part of the power generation
business purchased by the Group from ABB.

In January 2003, CE filed a  "pre-packaged" plan of
reorganization in United States bankruptcy Court. This plan was
confirmed by the bankruptcy court and the United States federal
district Court. The plan has been appealed and has not yet
become effective; consummation of the plan is subject to certain
specified conditions. In addition to its protection under the
ABB indemnity, ALSTOM believes that under the terms of the plan
it would be protected against pending and future personal injury
asbestos claims, or fraudulent conveyance claims, arising out of
the past operations of CE.

At the end of the third quarter of 2004, the Group was subject
to about 48 other asbestos-related personal injury lawsuits in
the United States involving about 528 claimants that, in whole
or in part, assert claims against ALSTOM which are not related
to ALSTOM's purchase of some of ABB's power generation business
or as to which the complaint does not provide details sufficient
to permit the Group to determine whether the ABB indemnity
applies.

Most of these lawsuits are in the preliminary stages of the
litigation process and they each involve multiple defendants.
The allegations in these lawsuits are often very general and
difficult to evaluate at preliminary stages in the litigation
process.  In those cases where ALSTOM's defense has not been
assumed by a third party and meaningful evaluation is
practicable, the Group believes that it has valid defenses and,
with respect to a number of lawsuits, the Group is asserting
rights to indemnification against a third party.

The Group is also subject to asbestos-related or other employee
personal injury related claims in other countries, including in
the UK. The Group is subject to about 145 asbestos related
claims currently ongoing in the UK.

The ALSTOM Group is mostly known for building the TGV, the
world's fastest train, Singapore's automatic metro and almost
the entire fleet of metros for the city of Paris. The Group
builds power plants and has supplied around 20% of the world's
total installed capacity in power generation. ALSTOM employs
75,000 people in over 70 countries worldwide.


ASBESTOS ALERT: 9/11 Workers Sue EPA for Misleading Statements
--------------------------------------------------------------
Several Ground Zero workers sued the federal government last
Tuesday for allegedly lying about air quality after the World
Trade Center attacks.

The suit accuses officials of the Environmental Protection
Agency of misleading the public with statements about the safety
level of dangerous contaminants released into the air after the
twin towers were destroyed in a terror strike. The plaintiffs
say they were sent to work without proper protective gear,
exposing them to PCBs, asbestos, benzene and other known
carcinogens.

Among those making claims are city correction officers, a
National Guard medic and a city paramedic sent to help with the
cleanup. A federal marshal charges he lost two months of work
because of shortness of breath and other ailments triggered by
his work at the site.

Their attorneys are asking a judge to classify the case as a
class action to include all workers sent to Ground Zero after
the attacks. Among those named as defendants are former EPA
director Christie Whitman and officials from the Occupational
Health and Safety Administration.

The lawsuit accuses Ms. Whitman of authorizing news releases in
the day after the attacks that were "false and misleading."


ASBESTOS ALERT: DEQ Hits Owner with $1T Fine for Unsafe Removal
----------------------------------------------------------------
For failure to follow procedures for safe asbestos removal, the
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued a US$1,000
penalty against the owner of a property being remodeled at 232
NW Georgia in Bend.

Responding to a citizen complaint in May 2004, DEQ staff
discovered about 48 square feet of shattered cement asbestos
board and shingles that had been removed and placed in a
dumpster on the property by a person whom the owner, David
Gordon of Portland, had hired. The open accumulation of
asbestos-containing waste material likely released asbestos
fibers in to the air, exposing neighbors and the public to
asbestos. While in that friable state, it may have continued to
release asbestos fibers. Laboratory analysis revealed that the
cement asbestos board on Gordon's property contained 10 percent
chrysotile asbestos.

Asbestos fibers are a respiratory hazard proven to cause lung
cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis and other respiratory diseases;
they also are a hazardous air contaminant for which there is no
known safe level of exposure. To protect human health and the
environment, state and federal laws set strict requirements on
the removal, handling and disposal of material containing over 1
percent asbestos.

An Oregon-licensed asbestos abatement contractor is required to
handle the removal of friable asbestos-containing materials. A
licensed asbestos abatement contractor would have wet the
material during removal, placed it in leak-tight containers,
clearly labeled the containers as asbestos-containing and
disposed of it in a timely manner to prevent emissions of
asbestos fibers into the air.

Nonfriable cement asbestos board siding can be safely handled by
homeowners and general contractors, provided the material is not
broken and remains wetted and intact during removal,
transportation and final disposal. As there are various handling
and notification requirements for different types of asbestos
containing materials, contacting DEQ is recommended before
starting any related project.

Immediately after Mr. Gordon discovered the broken cement
asbestos board, he hired a licensed asbestos abatement
contractor to properly dispose of all the asbestos containing
waste material. Appeal procedures allow 20 days for Mr. Gordon
to either pay or appeal the penalty.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Death of Ex-Navy Worker Caused by Mesothelioma
--------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest heard a 78-year-old Scunthorpe man died of malignant
mesothelioma after years of working in asbestos-filled
environments.

Hubert Frederick Lacey, a retired engine driver from Grosvenor
Street, passed away at Lindsey Lodge Hospice in December last
year. Giving evidence at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe, his son
Keith Lacey told the inquest his father had joined the Royal
Navy in 1943.

"He left the Royal Navy and worked on railways as a cleaner and
progressed to fireman, then driver," said Mr. Lacey, a police
officer. He went on to say his father was diagnosed with
mesothelioma, after working in asbestos environments of lagging
and insulation.

Recording a verdict of death by mesothelioma, coroner Stewart
Atkinson, said he was extremely cautious with asbestos. "I don't
think we necessarily know enough about it but clearly he seems
to be a man who more likely than not has been in an area where
asbestos has been."


ASBESTOS ALERT: Post Office Break-in Attempt Fosters Closure
------------------------------------------------------------
An asbestos scare at the Australian Post Office building erupted
two weeks ago necessitating all staff of the Department of
Ageing, Disability and Home Care to seek medical attention. The
entire second floor has already been cordoned off. Fortunately,
the area of the building occupied by Australia Post was not
affected.

Bathurst Regional Council, which owns the building, immediately
alerted WorkCover about the possible presence of asbestos in the
building.

A WorkCover spokesman said a door was damaged during an
attempted break-in on the night before the asbestos was
discovered.

Council was in the process of sealing the door when a fire alarm
went off. The spokesman said one DADHC employee leaned up
against the door, getting some asbestos particles on his
clothing. Two other DADHC employees also brushed up against the
door.


ASBESTOS ALERT: UK Inquest Reveals Asbestos as Cause of Death
----------------------------------------------------------------
A garage owner from Welford, who suffered more than a year of
pain after contracting mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer,
finally succumbed to death last Oct. 1.

David Wilshaw, 64 years old, of Headland Road, became ill in
August 2003, but was not diagnosed until February 2004. At an
inquest into his death, his daughter Tina Barnes said when he
was diagnosed with the disease he tried to think where he could
have caught it. "He could only think that it may have been from
brake linings when work was being carried out at his garage,"
she said.

A postmortem carried out by Dr. Olga Stores, consultant
pathologist at Warwick Hospital, showed a tumor caused by cancer
cells in his chest. Histology tests also identified the presence
of asbestos fibers. The cause of death was given as
mesothelioma. Warwickshire coroner Michael Coker recorded a
verdict of industrial disease.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Break-in Sets Off Health Scare at UK High School
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Derbyshire school reopened last Monday after an asbestos scare
the previous week forced it to halt classes and send students
home.

More than 1,400 pupils were asked to leave the Derbyshire
secondary school after it was found that asbestos had been
disturbed during a break-in that night. While safety checks were
carried out, the school remained closed after fears burglars may
have exposed the dangerous substance in a classroom.

Intruders broke into a computer suite and corridor at Mill Hill
School, in Peasehill Road, Ripley, at around 4:10 a.m. A ceiling
at the school was damaged after a projector was ripped out, head
teacher David Anstead said. He added that there was only "a
remote possibility" asbestos dust escaped.

Parents were informed immediately and staff supervised students,
who were unable to go home, in an uncontaminated area of the
school. The area had been sealed off and licensed asbestos
contractors were employed to remove the risk. Safety checks by
environmental health officials have concluded that none of the
fibers escaped into the corridors.

Due to this asbestos presence, the school officials ready
prepared an emergency plan for these rare circumstances.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Officials Probe Exposure at Brisbane High School
----------------------------------------------------------------
While renovating a staff room, unwary students and teachers from
a Brisbane high school risked exposure to potentially deadly
asbestos materials. It was learned that in April, more than 30
students and staff at Macgregor State High on Brisbane's south
side were involved in the demolition of two cement sheeting
walls, not knowing that they contained the carcinogen. An
anonymous tip-off about the asbestos threat alerted education
officials, who continue to investigate.

The Macgregor initial investigation found that two manual arts
teachers and two male Year 12 students demolished the walls in
the manual arts staff room. Another four teachers were in the
room during the work and 23 Year 8 students, 15 boys and eight
girls, transferred the materials to industrial bins.

After consulting Queensland Health, principal Karyn Hart
contacted each student's family to inform them of the risks to
the exposure and offer access to independent health checks.
Education Queensland insists there was an "extremely low risk"
to those involved in the work. However, experts warn that there
is no minimum safety level and inhaling just one asbestos fiber
could lead to cancer.

Last October 8, the Class Action Reporter published a related
story that revealed Australian State Government contractor, Q-
Build Industries, paid children to remove deadly asbestos
materials from a worksite in Monto High School in central
Queensland in September of 2002.

Opposition education spokesman Rob Messenger accused Education
Queensland of failing to ensure the safety and health of
students and staff. "It is absolutely disgraceful that lives
have been endangered on at least two occasions," he said.

On November 1, Education Queensland wrote to all principals
ordering that no students be involved in work that might expose
them to asbestos.

Macgregor Parents and Citizens Council president Andy Willows-
Keetley said he was satisfied with the school's and Education
Queensland's response to the incident. "Obviously it's a concern
when children are exposed to any kind of danger, be it asbestos
or chemicals," he said.


ASBESTOS ALERT: ICI Awards GBD85T to Widow of Ex-Plumber/Welder
----------------------------------------------------------------
A widow was awarded GBD85,000 following the asbestos-related
death of her husband who was exposed to asbestos in his work as
a plumber and welder from 1953 to 1966 for chemical Company
Imperial Chemical Industries (NYSE: ICI).

Her 74-year-old husband developed mesothelioma, a cancer
commonly linked to asbestos, after he worked for chemical
Company ICI for 33 years. The unnamed worker, whose job included
removing lagging from pipes, died in February 2002.

His solicitors said that during this time, his employer failed
to warn of the risk of asbestos exposure. ICI also did not
provide any devices for protection.

Figures have revealed that Teesside accounts for one in ten
deaths from the disease in Britain. The situation is expected to
get worse as more cases come to light years after workers were
exposed to the deadly material. The extent of the area's
industrial past was revealed after the compensation was awarded
to a Redcar widow. The scale of the problem emerged as the
latest case was settled out of Court.

Legal executive Helen Martin, from Archers Law, of Stockton,
said figures showed that Teesside has one of the worst records
for mesothelioma deaths. She said, "Due to strong industrial
links, Teesside already accounts for almost ten percent of these
deaths in Great Britain, and this is set to rise considerably."

For a long time, the dangers of asbestos use were not widely
understood, but the annual total of mesothelioma deaths has
increased from 153 cases in 1968 to 1,862 in 2002.

Occupations with the highest risk of asbestos exposure are metal
plate workers, vehicle body builders, plumbers, gas fitters,
carpenters, electricians, sheet metal and construction workers,
electrical engineers, plant operators and production fitters.


Company Profile:

Imperial Chemical Industries PLC (London: ICI)
20 Manchester Sq.
London
W1U 3AN, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-20-7009-5000
Fax: +44-20-7009-5001
http://www.ici.com

Fiscal Year-End    December
2003 Sales (mil.)   GBD5,865.4
1-Year Sales Growth   5.7%
2003 Net Income (mil.)   GBD20.2
1-Year Net Income Growth  (87.5%)
2003 Employees    35,030

Description:
The ICI Group comprises the International Businesses of National
Starch and Chemical Company, Quest International, Uniqema, and
ICI Paints - as well as the Regional & Industrial Group, made up
of businesses which are more regional in their scope with
principal locations in India, Pakistan, and Argentina.


ASBESTOS ALERT: DEQ Fines Crown and SMAF with More Than $71,000
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Bend-based real estate development partnership and its
contractor face more than US$71,000 in environmental fines
related to the demolition of the historic Brooks-Scanlon crane
shed.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued a
US$64,500 penalty against Crown Investment Group. It also
planned to issue a US$7,200 fine against Prineville-based SMAF
Construction. The agency said that the incident likely exposed
employees and members of the public to asbestos contamination.

At this point, the extent of the problem is unclear since Crown
Investment Group and its contractor SMAF Construction never
performed a required survey of the building prior to the Aug. 20
demolition. The asbestos was discovered after the fact, when an
investigator from the DEQ visited the site. The agency's
laboratory samples revealed parts of roofing material that
contained up to an alarmingly high 45% asbestos content.

This story about the unlawful tearing down of the crane shed
first came out in the October 8, 2004 edition of CAR. It was
reported that a Deschutes County judge had found Crown
Investment Group in "willful contempt of Court" for having
short-circuited the legal process when it leveled the building
without the permission of the city or the Court. The Company was
then ordered to pay a US$100,000 penalty, which the judge said
would be used by the city to construct a memorial for the crane
shed.

The agency had issued multiple "notices of non-compliance"
against Crown and SMAF for failing to remove asbestos from the
67-year-old building prior to the Aug. 20 demolition. The
partnership also failed to secure a permit from the city for the
work, which was done after dark using steel cables and
bulldozers.

Crown partner Jim Reckling said he hadn't seen the most recent
fine, which was sent out last Monday by the Department of
Environmental Quality, and didn't want to comment. "I'm not
going to give you anything because I haven't seen anything. You
know more about it than I do," he said.

A representative at SMAF Construction said he was not aware that
the Oregon DEQ was considering fines against his Company. "I'm
really not sure what is coming at us. I probably should not say
a hell of a lot until we know some facts," said Scott Porfily,
the principal agent for SMAF Construction.

Both Crown and SMAF can appeal the fines to the agency. Appeals
not resolved administratively are sent to an administrative
Court judge for a hearing.

City Councilor John Hummel said he was pleased that the state
seemed to take the asbestos issue seriously. But even as the
financial penalties mount, some observers say it's not enough to
deter similar abuses in the future.

In fact, Crown has already submitted a redevelopment plan to the
city for the crane shed site. The partnership has plans for a
mixed-use retail, office and residential mall that mimic the
crane shed's architectural style, including the massive domed
roof. The planning commission will look at the project Dec. 13
at its regular meeting.


Company Profile:

SMAF Construction
2260 N.W. Industrial Park Way
P.O. box 672
Prineville, OR 97754
Phone: (541) 447-5643
Fax: 541-447-2190
http://www.powellbutte.net/smafconstruction.html

SMAF Construction, owned partly by former Crook County
Commissioner Frank Porfily and his son, Scott Porfily, is a
local construction Company, which answers to a variety of
excavating needs.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Transgrid Workshop Closed Due to Asbestos Find
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Transgrid workshop in Orange has been shut down due to
asbestos contamination that occurred in 1986. According to
testing carried out by Sydney firm, Environmental and Safety
Professionals, asbestos was found in 13 of 30 dust samples taken
in the McLachlan Street workshop. The report was dated March 10,
2004 but the workshop was not closed until last month.

Its report said, "There is a significant amount of asbestos
containing dust located predominantly around the perimeter of
the workshop building and the welding bay." It further indicated
that the testing was only conducted from floor level to four
meters up the wall but there was likely to be more asbestos
containing dust above that mark. The report concluded that the
sheets represented a "low risk situation" but still necessitated
a removal of the material.

The asbestos-contaminated dust was found on beams, an overhead
crane, a wall ledge above workbenches, on top of a brick wall
and on top of an electrical box. The inspection also found
damaged asbestos cement sheeting.

Transgrid corporate manager Joe Zahra said the contamination
occurred when the building's corrugated asbestos roof was
removed in 1986. "Back in 1986 it was removed as a maintenance
thing, not an asbestos thing ... [The removal] would be done
vastly different today," he said.

Transgrid undertook a statewide audit of sites in 2001 but the
Orange workshop was not included because it was considered
asbestos free after the roof was removed.

Tests were undertaken in March following concerns raised by
existing Transgrid employees who worked in the workshop in 1986.
Since only a few people used the workshop at that time, the
Company did not believe the risk merited urgency for action. Mr.
Zahra said no action was taken between March and October due to
the low level of risk.

The Company staff had asked that the workshop be listed as an
asbestos site with the Department of Health so that the
department can provide monitoring and ensure that future
complaints can be linked to this occurrence. Transgrid had
expressed support for this listing.

The workshop would remain closed indefinitely, as there was said
to be an abundance of other suitable buildings at the Transgrid
center.


Company Profile:

TransGrid
201 Elizabeth St
PO Box A 1000
SYDNEY SOUTH NSW
AUSTRALIA 1235
Phone: 61 2 9284 3000
http://www.transgrid.com.au/

Description:
TransGrid is the owner, operator and manager of the high voltage
electricity transmission system throughout New South Wales
(NSW), Australia. The Company transmits electricity across NSW
through 12,016 kilometers of high voltage transmission lines
supported by about 20,000 structures that are made from
concrete, wood or steel, along what are commonly known as
easements. Its high voltage electricity system also comprises 76
substations and power station switchyards.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Asbestos Fear Leads to Evacuation at HI School
----------------------------------------------------------------
Students and faculty were evacuated from a four-classroom
building last Nov. 12 at a school in Honolulu County, Hawaii
after asbestos was disturbed during renovations while classes
were in session.

Release of the deadly dust apparently occurred several weeks ago
as workers were sanding and scraping the outside of Building I
of the King Intermediate School in Kaneohe in preparation for
painting, according to Lea Albert, complex-area superintendent
for the Castle-Kahuku area. However, the school's management
plan did not indicate the presence of asbestos in the paint, so
classes continued in the two-story, cinder-block building while
work was going on outside. Faculty members were simply asked to
keep windows and doors closed.

But after staff raised concerns over the dust, tests were
conducted that revealed asbestos, most likely from the plaster
under the paint, Ms. Albert said.

The school informed the parents by letter sent through the
students, announcing that asbestos had been detected. The
building will be properly cleaned, sealed with a primer and
repainted, and air quality will be monitored before students are
allowed to return, the letter stated.

"We wish to assure you that the school cares deeply for both
students and employees and is taking every precaution to ensure
a safe campus at King Intermediate," Ms. Albert and Principal
Cynthia Chun wrote in the letter.

King Intermediate, which has about 900 students, has been
undergoing renovations for more than a year. 57 Builders Ltd., a
private contractor, is handling the work.


Company Profile:

57 Builders Ltd
2001 Kahai St
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819
Phone: (808) 841-0889



                    New Securities Fraud Cases


AUTOBYTEL INC.: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Scott + Scott, LLC initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California on behalf of purchasers of Autobytel Inc.
("Autobytel") (Nasdaq:ABTL) common stock during the period
between July 24, 2003 and October 21, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Autobytel and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Autobytel is an automotive marketing services Company that
helps dealers and manufacturers through its marketing,
advertising and customer relationship management tools and
programs, primarily through the Internet.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period defendants
disseminated materially false and misleading statements
concerning the Company's results and operations. The true facts,
which were known by each of the defendants but concealed from
the investing public during the Class Period, were that the
Company inappropriately recorded revenue/income associated with
its dealer sales credits and that as a result of this, the
Company's financial results were materially inflated. That the
Company's financial results were in violation of Generally
Accepted Accounting Principles and that the Company lacked
adequate internal controls to issue earnings or projection
reports. Finally, that the Company was experiencing weaker than
claimed customer relationship management ("CRM") revenues and
zero growth in its dealer network size and that as a result of
the above, the Company's financial results were materially
inflated at all relevant times.

On October 21, 2004, the Company revealed its third quarter 2004
financial results would be rescheduled because the Audit
Committee and Board of Directors of the Company were directing
an internal review of the accounting treatment of certain
credits that were recognized as revenue during the preceding
quarters. Upon the revelation of these illegal acts, the
Company's shares fell to $6.88 from $8.81, a drop of over 28%.
Autobytel Inc. will restate some previous financial statements
after an internal review uncovered accounting errors. The
Irvine, California Company expects to restate its financial
statements for the second, third and fourth quarters of 2003,
full-year 2003 and the first and second quarters of 2004. In
addition, its report for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2004 will
be further delayed until the restated statements are filed. As a
result, it expects to receive a notification from Nasdaq that it
is not in compliance with listing requirements and that its
stock may be delisted.

For more details, contact Scott + Scott, LLC by Mail: 108
Norwich Avenue, Colchester, CT 06415 by Phone: 860/537-3818 or
800-404-7770 (EST) or 800-332-2259 (PST) or 619-233-4565
(California) by Fax: 860/537-4432 or by E-mail:
AutobytelLitigation@scott-scott.com or
nrothstein@scott-scott.com.


JAKKS PACIFIC: Lasky & Rifkind Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lasky & Rifkind, Ltd. initiated a lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired
publicly traded securities of JAKKS Pacific, Inc. ("JAKKS" or
the "Company") (NASDAQ:JAKK) between October 26, 1999 and
October 19, 2004, inclusive, (the "Class Period"). The lawsuit
was filed against JAKKS and certain officers and directors
("Defendants").

The complaint alleges that Defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. Specifically, the complaint alleges that
Defendants issued a series of false and misleading statements
during the Class Period. More specifically, the complaint
alleges that the statements were false and misleading because
they failed to disclose that the Company had obtained their
license with World Wrestling Entertainment ("WWE") as a result
of its participation in an illicit bribery scheme, and that this
scheme would substantially impact the Company's past and future
operating results.

In response to the announcement of problems with the WWE, the
price of JAKKS stock fell dramatically, falling from $24.15 on
October 18, 2004 to $18.81 per share on October 19, 2004.

For more details, contact Lasky & Rifkind by Phone:
(800) 495-1868 or by E-mail: investorrelations@laskyrifkind.com


SEARS ROEBUCK: Squitieri & Fearon Lodges Securities Suit in IL
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Squitieri & Fearon, LLP initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois against Sears Roebuck & Co. on
behalf of persons who sold shares of Sears securities ("Sears"
or the "Company") (NYSE:S) during the period from November 8,
2004 through November 16, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The lawsuit charges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing a series of materially false and
misleading statements to the market throughout the Class Period
about the Company and by failing to disclose material
information about the Company's plan to merge with Kmart and
that when the market learned the truth, the price of Sears
securities increased substantially.

For more details, contact Lee Squitieri, Esq. of Squitieri &
Fearon, LLP by Mail: 32 East 57th Street, 12th Floor, New York,
NY 10022 by Phone: (212) 421-6492 or by E-mail:
lee@sfclasslaw.com.


SIRVA INC.: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in IL
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP initiated a
class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities
of Sirva, Inc. ("Sirva" or the "Company") (NYSE:SIR) between
November 25, 2003 and November 9, 2004, inclusive (the "Class
Period") seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The action is pending in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division (Chicago)
against defendants Sirva, Brian P. Kelley (CEO, Pres.) Joan E.
Ryan (CFO), James W. Rogers (Chairman) and Richard J. Schnall
(director).

The complaint alleges that Sirva's financial statements issued
during the class period, in its IPO prospectus, press releases,
quarterly and annual SEC reports and its secondary prospectus,
were materially false and misleading because:

     (1) Sirva's insurance and claim reserves were grossly
         inadequate and unreasonable and

     (2) as a result of the foregoing, the earnings and
         shareholders' equity reported by the Company were
         materially inflated, violated generally accepted
         accounting principles and failed to give a fair
         representation of Sirva's true results and financial
         condition.

In addition, the complaint alleges that defendants
mischaracterized Sirva's business structure, calling it "asset-
light" and scalable, which (if that were true) would have given
it financial flexibility, allowing it to weather lulls in
business without incurring high-fixed costs. In fact, as the
Company would later admit, its business, especially its European
operations, were "asset-intensive" and saddled with high fixed-
costs that presented a serious, but undisclosed, risk to Sirva's
operations and ability to maintain profitability.

On November 9, 2004, Sirva announced, in a press release
discussing its third quarter 2004 results, that it would take a
$15.2 million charge to bolster its insurance reserves, which
severely and negatively impacted its earnings. Its insurance
business had deteriorated to the point that the Company would
discontinue entire lines of its insurance business. In addition,
the Company also reported poor results from its European
operations. In a follow-up conference call, Sirva's CEO,
defendant Kelley, stated that the reason behind the
disappointing European results was high fixed costs, a situation
that was being remedied through a substantial restructuring.
These disclosures caused Sirva's stock price to drop from $23.78
per share on November 9, 2004 to $17.95 per share on November
10, 1004, a one-day drop of 24.5%, on unusually heavy trading
volume. During the Class Period, entities in which defendants
Rogers and Schnall had financial and controlling interests sold
6,403,476 shares in the IPO and 15,022,831 shares in the
secondary offering (21,426,307, total), thereby giving
defendants a strong incentive to create the illusion that the
Company's financial performance was better than it actually was.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman, Peter E. Seidman
or Andrei V. Rado by Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl., New
York, NY 10119-0165 by Phone: (800) 320-5081 by E-mail:
sfeerick@milbergweiss.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.milbergweiss.com.


UNITED RENTALS: Marc S. Henzel Files Securities Fraud Suit in CT
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
Connecticut on behalf of all securities purchasers of United
Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI) from October 23, 2003 through August
30, 2004 inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges United Rentals, Wayland R. Hicks, Bradley
S. Jacobs, John N. Milne, and Joseph B. Sherk 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, in an effort to generate a more
         favorable stock price and raise capital, manipulated
         its financial results through the use of restructuring
         charges, asset writedowns, and debt refinancing;

     (2) that the Company improperly delayed recognition of bad
         accounts receivable;

     (3) that as a result of these manipulations, the Company's
         announced financial results were in violation of
         Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"); and

     (4) that the Company's financial results were materially
         inflated at all relevant times.

On August 30, 2004, United Rentals announced that it had
received notice that the SEC was conducting a non-public, fact-
finding inquiry of the Company. The notice was accompanied by a
subpoena requesting the production of documents relating to
certain of the Company's accounting records. News of this
shocked the market. Shares of United Rentals fell $4.39 per
share, or 21.53 percent, to close at $16.00 per share on August
30, 2004 on unusually heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact the Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel by
Mail 273 Montgomery Ave., Suite 202, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by
Phone: 610-660-8000 or 888-643-6735 by Fax: 610-660-8080 by E-
Mail: mhenzel182@aol.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  * * *