CAR_Public/041203.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, December 3, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 240

                          Headlines

AETHER SYSTEMS: Submits Suit Settlement To NY Court For Approval
AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES: Submits Stock Suit Settlement To NY Court
ART TECHNOLOGY: Asks MA Court To Dismiss Remaining Claim in Suit
CAL-SHAKE INC.: CA Judge Sets Trial Date For Roofing Shakes Suit
CALIFORNIA: Home Depot, Lowe's Settles Suit Over Card Promotions

CANADA: Suit Over Snowmobiles in Linear Park Allowed To Proceed
CONNECTICUT: CT, NY Fishermen May Net $3.75M From Die-Off Suit
DISCOVER CAPITAL: Dinov Brothers Fined in SEC Stock Fraud Case
FOUNDRY NETWORKS: Oral Arguments on CA Suit Dismissal To Begin
FOUNDRY NETWORKS: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Suit Settlement

GATEWAY REGIONAL: Patients, Parents File Overcharging Suit in IL
GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC: MA Judge Approves Relafen Suit Settlement
GENERAL MOTORS: Recalls 1,378 Headlights Due To Crash Hazard
INTERMUNE INC.: Asks CA Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
LOUISIANA: Lawyers Say Lafayette Heart Doctor To Face More Suits

MARTHA STEWART: Discovery Proceeds in NY Securities Fraud Suit
MERCK & CO.: TN Woman Lodges "Different" Lawsuit Against VIOXX
NEXTEL PARTNERS: Submits Lawsuit Pact To NY Court for Approval
NEXTEL PARTNERS: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of MD Consumer Suit
NEXTEL PARTNERS: Plaintiffs Appeal Settlement of MO Lawsuits

OFFICE MAX: MA Judge Approves Item-Pricing Lawsuit Settlement
OPENWAVE SYSTEMS: Submits Securities Suit Settlement To S.D. NY
PFIZER INC.: IA Man Lodges Fraud Suit Over Neurontin Promotion
PHILIP MORRIS: MN Judge Reverses Ruling, Grants Certification
PLUG POWER: Reaches Settlement For Securities Lawsuit in E.D. NY

PRICELINE.COM: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Lawsuit Settlement
PRICELINE.COM: CT Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Suit in Part
PROGRESS ENERGY: NY Court Hears Motion To Dismiss Stock Lawsuits
QUEST SOFTWARE: Asks CA Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
QUOVADX INC.: Presents Suit Settlement To NY Court For Approval

QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: CO Judge Tosses Some Claims, Allows Others
REGISTER.COM: Submits Stock Suit Pact To NY Court for Approval
REGISTER.COM: NY Court Holds Hearing For Consumer Lawsuit Pact
REGISTER.COM: Settles NY Unfair Trade Lawsuit, Case Dismissed
SAFEGUARD SCIENTIFICS: PA Court Grants Summary Judgment Motion

SELECTICA INC.: NY Court Mulls Approval For Lawsuit Settlement
SEQUENOM INC.: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Lawsuit Settlement
SONICWALL INC.: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Suit Settlement
SONICWALL INC.: Plaintiffs Dismiss Securities Suits in N.D. CA
TAP PHARMACEUTICALS: MA Judge Approves $150M Lupron Settlement

THESTREET.COM: Submits Securities Lawsuit Settlement to NY Court
TOYOTA NORTH: Recalls 92,577 Headlights Due To Noncompliance
UNOMEDICAL INC.: Issues Safety Alert For Hospitak Airway Adapter

                        Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NSW Certification Plan Rouses Further Talks
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inquest Reveals Ex-Mayor Yielded to Cancer
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scotts Co. Named in Asbestos Exposure Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chase Corp. Continues to Face Asbestos Woes
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Agency Attempts to Eliminate Fly-tipping

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Bill Nearing Success, Talks Resume
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACT First to Impose Full Disclosure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Judge Denies Delay of AWI Approval Hearing
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: S&P Cuts Crane's Ratings Due to Settlements
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Carpet Workers to Sue Amid HSE Indifference

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Trade Unions Campaign for Global Ban
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Ends Halliburton's Asbestos Dilemma
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hartlepool Residents Divided on Ghost Ships
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WR Grace Says Grand Jury Indictment Likely
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Barn Blaze Sets Off Evacuation at Wray, UK

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: LexisNexis Hosts Asbestos Conference in NY
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asahi Owners Support Killala Locals V. IEP
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AFG Reports Sale of Transport Insurance Co
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Turner Site Development Can Lead to Tragedy
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crown Investment Appeals 2 Cases Against It

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Endemol Fined GBD10T for Fame Academy Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Offers Funding to Stop Liquidation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EnPro Industries, Insurers Settle Dispute
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Finds Lee County Guilty of 5 Violations
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inquest Reveals Cause of Lecturer's Death

ASBESTOS ALERT: CFMEU Found Exposed Asbestos in AU Housing Site
ASBESTOS ALERT: 422 Primary Schools in Ireland Placed in Alert
ASBESTOS ALERT: Blazing Asbestos Hazard Sparks Gridlock in UK
ASBESTOS ALERT: CT Health Dept Reviews Platt HS Asbestos Data
ASBESTOS ALERT: Air Tests Prompt NC Officials to Close School
ASBESTOS ALERT: Payouts at Stake from ACC Action to Reverse Case

ASBESTOS ALERT: Asbestos Find Threatens to Shut Down AU Beaches
ASBESTOS ALERT: Daughter Goes Up V. Ernest Ireland Construction
ASBESTOS ALERT: Egyptian-Spanish Asbestos Workers Hold Protest
ASBESTOS ALERT: UK Court Fines Clivnars and EC Harris GBD75,000
ASBESTOS ALERT: Victim's Daughter Takes On South West Trains

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL: Wolf Popper Lodges ERISA Suit in S.D. NY
AXIS CAPITAL: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
IMPAX LABORATORIES: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Securities Suit in CA
INTELLIGROUP INC.: Cohen Milstein Lodges Securities Suit in NJ


                          *********


AETHER SYSTEMS: Submits Suit Settlement To NY Court For Approval
----------------------------------------------------------------
Aether Systems, Inc. submitted the settlement of the
consolidated securities class action filed against it to the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York for preliminary approval.

The Company is among the hundreds of defendants that are named
in the putative class action lawsuits, relating to allegedly
fraudulent initial public offering practices, which are being
coordinated before Judge Shira A. Scheindlin under the caption
"In Re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, 21 MC 92
(S.D.N.Y.) (SAS)." The Court has consolidated the actions by
issuer, and, accordingly, there are approximately 310
consolidated actions before Judge Scheindlin, including the
consolidated action against the Company.

These actions were filed on behalf of persons and entities that
acquired the Company's common stock after the initial public
offering on October 20, 1999.  Among other things, the
complaints claim that prospectuses, dated October 20, 1999,
March 17, 2000, and September 27, 2000 and issued by Aether in
connection with the public offerings of common stock, allegedly
contained untrue statements of material fact or omissions of
material fact in violation of securities laws because, inter
alia, the prospectuses allegedly failed to disclose that the
offerings' underwriters had solicited and received additional
and excessive fees, commissions and benefits beyond those listed
in the arrangements with certain of their customers which were
designed to maintain, distort and/or inflate the market price of
the Company's common stock in the aftermarket.  The actions seek
unspecified monetary damages and rescission.

Initial motions to dismiss the case were filed and the Court
held oral argument on the motions to dismiss on November 1,
2002. On February 19, 2003, the Court issued an Opinion and
Order on defendants' motions to dismiss, which granted the
motions in part and denied the motions in part.  As to Aether
Systems, the motion to dismiss the claims against it was denied
in its entirety.  Discovery is now commencing against the
underwriter defendants.  The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed
without prejudice the officer and director defendants of Aether.

On June 26, 2003, the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee in this
case announced a proposed settlement with the issuers.  The
proposed settlement provides that the cases against the more
than 300 issuers who had IPO's between 1998 and 2000 will end.
Aether has agreed to support the settlement.   Under the terms
of the proposed settlement, Aether would not incur any material
financial or other liability.  The proposed settlement would not
involve the cases against the 55 investment bank underwriter
defendants, which would continue.

On June 14, 2004, the plaintiffs and issuer defendants presented
the executed settlement agreement to Judge Scheindlin during a
Court conference.  Subsequently, plaintiffs made a motion for
preliminary approval of the settlement agreement.  On July 14,
2004, the underwriter defendants filed a memorandum of law in
opposition to plaintiffs' motion for preliminary approval of the
settlement agreement.  Reply briefs have been submitted, and the
parties are awaiting the Court's decision on the motion.  The
settlement agreement is subject to the approval of the District
Court.


AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES: Submits Stock Suit Settlement To NY Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
Akamai Technologies, Inc. submitted the settlement of the
consolidated securities class action filed against it and the
underwriters of its October 28,1999 initial public offering
(IPO) to the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York for preliminary approval.

Between July 2, 2001 and November 7, 2001, purported class
action lawsuits seeking monetary damages were filed allegedly on
behalf of persons who purchased the Company's common stock
during different time periods, all beginning on October 28, 1999
and December 6,2000.  The suit alleges violations of the
Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
primarily based on the allegation that the underwriters received
undisclosed compensation in connection with the Company's
initial public offering.

A Special Litigation Committee of the Board of Directors
authorized the Company to negotiate a settlement of the pending
claims substantially consistent with a Memorandum of
Understanding that was negotiated among class plaintiffs, all
issuer defendants and their insurers.  The settlement is subject
to approval by the Court.

The suit is styled "In re Akamai Technologies, Inc. Initial
Public Offering Securities Litigation, 01 Civ. 6000 (SAS)
(S.D.N.Y.)," related to "In re Initial Public Offering
Securities Litigation, 21 MC 92 (SAS)," filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
under Judge Shira A. Scheindlin.  The plaintiff firms in this
litigation are:

     (a) Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP (New York, NY), 10 E.
         40th Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         800.217.1522, E-mail: info@bernlieb.com

     (b) Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP (New York,
         NY), One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY, 10119-1065,
         Phone: 212.594.5300

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

     (d) Sirota & Sirota, LLP, 110 Wall Street 21st Floor, New
         York, NY, 10005, Phone: 888.759.2990, Fax:
         212.425.9093, E-mail: Info@SirotaLaw.com

     (e) Stull, Stull & Brody (New York), 6 East 45th Street,
         New York, NY, 10017, Phone: 310.209.2468, Fax:
         310.209.2087, E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com

     (f) Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman & Herz LLP, 270
         Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         212.545.4600, Fax: 212.686.0114, E-mail:
         newyork@whafh.com


ART TECHNOLOGY: Asks MA Court To Dismiss Remaining Claim in Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Art Technology Group, Inc. asked the United States District
Court for the District of Massachusetts to dismiss the remaining
claim in the consolidated securities class action filed against
it and certain of its former officers.

The consolidated suit alleges the Company and certain former
officers have violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, which
generally may subject issuers of securities and persons
controlling those issuers to civil liabilities for fraudulent
actions or defects in the public disclosure required by
securities laws.

On December 13, 2001, the Court issued an Order of Consolidation
in which it joined all actions filed against the Company and
appointed certain individuals as Lead Plaintiffs in the
consolidated action. It also appointed two law firms as Co-Lead
Counsel, and a third law firm as Liaison Counsel.  Plaintiffs'
counsel has filed a Consolidated Amended Complaint applicable to
all of the consolidated actions.

On April 19, 2002, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the
case.  On September 4, 2003 the Court issued a ruling dismissing
all but one of the plaintiffs' allegations.  The remaining
allegation is based on the veracity of a public statement made
by a former officer of the Company and is the subject of motions
to dismiss and summary judgment filed by the Company on August
31, 2004 currently pending before the Court.

The suit is styled "In Re: ART TECHNOLOGY v. , et al, 1:01-cv-
11731-NG," filed in the United States District Court in
Massachusetts, under Judge Nancy Gertner.  Lawyers for the
defendants are:

     (1) Dyan Finguerra-DeCharme, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale
         and Dorr LLP, 399 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022,
         Phone: 212-230-8800, fax: 212-230-8888

     (2) Nancy Margaret Gorton, William H. Paine, Jeffrey B.
         Rudman, Matthew A. Stowe and Lisa Cameron of Wilmer
         Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, 60 State Street,
         Boston, MA 02109, Phone: 617-742-9100, Fax: 617-526-
         5000, E-mail: william.paine@wilmerhale.com,
         jeffrey.rudman@wilmerhale.com,
         matthew.stowe@wilmerhale.com, lisa.Cameron@haledorr.com

     (3) Lynne C. Soutter, Hale & Dorr LLP, 60 State St.,
         Boston, MA 02109, Phone: 617-526-6000 Fax: 617-526-5000
         E-mail: Lynne.Soutter@wilmerhale.com

     (4) Sara Jane Shanahan, Griesinger, Tighe & Maffei, LLP,
         176 Federal Street, Boston, MA 02110, Phone: 617-542-
         9900, Fax: 617-542-0900, E-mail: sshanahan@gtmllp.com

Attorneys for the plaintiffs are:

     (i) Theodore M. Hess-Mahan, Thomas G. Shapiro Shapiro Haber
         & Urmy LLP, 53 State Street, Boston, MA 02108, Phone:
         617-439-3939, Fax: 617-439-0134, E-mail:
         ted@shulaw.com, tshapiro@shulaw.com

    (ii) Behram V. Parekh, Weiss & Yourman, 24th Floor, 10940
         Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90024 Phone: 310-
         208-2800, Fax: 310-209-2348 E-mail: bparekh@wyca.com

   (iii) Douglas M. Risen, Sherrie Savett Berger & Montague,
         P.C., 1622 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103,
         Phone: 215-875-3000


CAL-SHAKE INC.: CA Judge Sets Trial Date For Roofing Shakes Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Northern California judge has ruled that the class action suit
over allegedly defective Cal-Shake roofing shakes can go to
trial April 11, 2005, the BuildingOnline, CA reports.

The class action lawsuit is pending in the Contra Costa County
Superior Court involving Cal-Shaker roofing Shakes ("Cal-Shaker
Shakes") includes all persons who own or used to own a home or
other building with a Cal-Shaker roof, the home of building had
a Cal-Shaker roof at the time the person owned it, the home or
other building is in California and the Cal-Shaker roof
installed on the structure was manufactured by Cal-Shake, Inc.
or Duratrend Industries, Inc. ("the Manufacturers") as class
members. Cal-Shaker Shakes are a fiber cement roofing product
made to look like wood shakes or slate tiles.

The plaintiffs allege that the roofing shakes, which are made
from fiber cement and made to look like wood, were defective and
caused damage to their homes. The products in question were
manufactured between 1980 and 1995. They further allege that
Cal-Shaker Shakes caused damage for which Class Members should
be paid. The plaintiffs are seeking payment for the cost of
removing and replacing all Cal-Shaker Shakes in the state of
California.

Meanwhile, the Manufacturers say that the shakes function
properly as part of a roof system and have not caused any damage
to the homes.

For more information on the lawsuit and how to identify whether
the product was used on your home, visit:
http://www.calshakeclassaction.com/.


CALIFORNIA: Home Depot, Lowe's Settles Suit Over Card Promotions
----------------------------------------------------------------
Under the terms of a Court settlement for a lawsuit over the
Home Depot Inc.'s and Lowe's Companies Inc.'s credit card
promotions, more than 2 million people with credit cards from
companies could be eligible for $5 rebates, the Associated Press
reports.

The two home improvement retailers and the issuer of their
credit cards, Monogram Credit Card Bank of Georgia, were named
in a class-action lawsuit accusing them of misleading customers
participating in promotions over the past four years that
offered interest deferred credit card purchases.

According to Seattle attorney Nick Styant-Browne, who had sued
the companies on behalf of the chains' customers in November
2003, his clients were told they could defer interest charges
for six months on certain store credit card purchases over $200,
however they soon discovered that their credit card payments
were being applied toward their interest-free balances, while
their regular purchases continued to accrue interest.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles McCoy gave preliminary
approval to the settlement on November 17 and has also set the
date for a final approval hearing on June 6, 2005.

Aside from granting preliminary approval, the judge also
instructed the companies to begin notifying their customers of
the terms of the settlement, which includes an agreement by the
two retailers to give every class member who lost money as a
result of the wrongful payment allocations a $5 rebate on a
purchase of $15 or more.

Under the terms of the $4 million settlement, $2.5 million will
be earmarked for the rebates, with the rest going to pay
attorneys fees. If not enough customers follow through and take
their refund; the settlement includes a provision that requires
the defendants to establish a $2 million fund benefiting a
consumer-related activity or group, according to Mr. Styant-
Browne said. "All defendants are bound by the terms, but my
understanding is that the credit card provider is the defendant
who is bearing the cost of the settlement," he adds.

Furthermore, Styant-Browne pointed out that as part of the
settlement both Atlanta-based Home Depot and Mooresville, North
Carolina-based Lowe's have also agreed to explain to their
customers exactly how their credit card payments are applied and
to automatically apply payments against the interest-bearing
balances first, unless customers chose otherwise.


CANADA: Suit Over Snowmobiles in Linear Park Allowed To Proceed
---------------------------------------------------------------
After several years of struggle, the Coalition for the
Protection of the Environment of the "Petit Train du Nord"
Linear Park has secured the recognition of citizens' right to a
healthy environment within the vicinity of the Linear Park in
the Laurentians, North of Montreal.  Judge Hlne Langlois of
the Quebec Superior Court has just granted the Coalition's class
action lawsuit in a judgment rendered on November 30, 2004.

Judge Langlois has issued on injunction forcing the regional
municipal authority (MRC des Laurentides) to prevent all
snowmobiles from having access to this trail between the towns
of St. Faustin - Lac Carr and Labelle.  Judge Langlois also
condemned the MRC to pay all of the residents living within 100
metres of either side of the trail, the sum of $1,200 per
person, for each of the last seven winters (from 1997-98 to
2003-04). Several hundred residents will benefit from this
measure.

The President of the Coalition, Mr. Normand Lacroix, declares:
"I am very pleased with the efforts and the quality of the work
undertaken by the Coalition over the past six years. Judge
Hlne Langlois's decision demonstrates the strength of the
evidence submitted."

One of the lawyers of the Coalition, Pierre Sylvestre, adds:
"This is an important decision in environmental law. The Court
did not hesitate to put on end to an activity which disrupts the
quality of life of a very large area".


CONNECTICUT: CT, NY Fishermen May Net $3.75M From Die-Off Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Connecticut and New York lobster fishermen idled since a massive
die-off devastated the Long Island Sound lobster population in
1999 would receive $3.75 million under a provisional settlement
with two of three chemical companies named in a class-action
lawsuit, according to Nick Crismale, president of the
Connecticut Lobstermen's Association, who has described it as
"Band-Aid on an open wound," the New Haven Register reports.

Mr. Crismale stated that Federal Judge Thomas Platt of the
Eastern District of New York would hold a hearing on December 10
before deciding whether to approve the agreement made on behalf
of 1,100 lobster fishermen with Agrevo Environmental Health Inc.
and Clarke Mosquito Control Products Inc., companies which
produce various pesticides that were used for the control of
West Nile virus in autumn 1999.

The third Company, Cheminova, which manufactures a pesticide
containing malathion, is not part of the settlement, and
attorneys for the lobstermen said they will continue to fight
the Company in Court.

If given final approval, about 360 Connecticut lobster fishermen
are expected to benefit from the settlement, according to a
formula based on income before and after 1999. "It's more a
moral victory than a monetary one," Mr. Crismale said. "It will
bring attention to the fact that pesticides were used and had a
detrimental impact" on the lobster population.

According to Court documents, the suit contends that the
chemicals manufactured by these companies, which were used in
and around metropolitan New York and the Connecticut shore,
caused or contributed to the massive die-off that killed not
only mosquitoes and lobsters, but the Long Island Sound lobster
fishing industry itself. The industry was declared a federal
disaster in 2002, and nearly $8 million in federal and state
funds were made available for research into the cause of the
die-off.

A team of scientists reporting at a March symposium concluded
that a combination of environmental factors weakened the
lobsters, making them susceptible to a paramoebic parasite. The
parasite attacked the lobsters' nervous system causing them to
become lethargic and die.

A killer combination of warming water temperatures over a period
of time and low oxygen, or hypoxia, along with other stressors,
such as oxygen-deprived, decaying vegetation, resulted in the
weakening of the lobsters. This led to their mass deaths,
researchers found. The researchers also reported that pesticides
containing malathion may have played a role in adding stress,
while other types of pesticides studied did not.

Gladstone Jones, attorney for the lobster fishermen, said the
settlement agreement with the two companies was reached before
the symposium, where scientific study results and their
conclusions were revealed. Mr. Jones and Mr. Crismale said the
study results regarding the use of chemicals are flawed, and
scientists underestimated the amounts used.

But Edward Monahan, director of the Connecticut Sea Grant
Program and a member of the steering committee for lobster
research, stood by the scientific findings. He also reiterated,
"We don't want to win anybody's lawsuit or defeat anybody's
lawsuit. We're trying to help a community develop a knowledge
base to manage the resource and take care of the environment."


DISCOVER CAPITAL: Dinov Brothers Fined in SEC Stock Fraud Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the U.S. District
Court for the District of Columbia entered final judgments
against Discover Capital Holdings Corp., Indianapolis
Securities, Inc., and Eli and Ari Dinov, arising from charges
that they participated in the fraudulent, unregistered offering
of Discover Capital's preferred shares. Without admitting or
denying the allegations of the Commission's complaint, Discover
Capital and the Dinov brothers agreed to pay a total of $706,459
in disgorgement, penalties, and prejudgment interest, including
a $120,000 penalty imposed on Ari Dinov. In addition, the four
defendants consented to being permanently enjoined from
violating the antifraud and registration provisions of the
federal securities laws, and Eli and Ari Dinov consented to
being barred from acting as officers or directors of a public
Company. In related proceedings, the Commission issued an
administrative order on Dec. 1, 2004, to which Eli and Ari Dinov
consented, barring them from associating with any broker or
dealer.

Specifically, Discover Capital, Indianapolis Securities and the
Dinovs consented to the entry of final judgments permanently
enjoining them from violating Sections 5 and 17(a) of the
Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

The Commission's complaint, filed on July 9, 2003, alleges that
the defendants, Eli Dinov, his brother Ari Dinov, and David
Rubin used spam e-mail touts and misleading, high pressure sales
calls to raise $1.1 million dollars through the sale of private
placement shares of Uniondale, New York-based Discover Capital,
a Company controlled by the individual defendants, through
Discover's wholly owned broker-dealer subsidiary, Indianapolis
Securities.

The money to be paid in connection with these final judgments,
together with the $462,000 in disgorgement, penalty, and pre-
judgment interest which co-defendant David Rubin was ordered to
pay in March 2004, brings the total amount to be paid by the
defendants in this case to over $1.1 million. The action is
titled, SEC v. Discover Capital Holdings Corp., et al., Civil
Action No. 03 Civ. 1496, RMC, D.D.C.


FOUNDRY NETWORKS: Oral Arguments on CA Suit Dismissal To Begin
--------------------------------------------------------------
Oral arguments on the appeal of the dismissal of the securities
class action filed against Foundry Networks, Inc. and certain of
its officers has yet to proceed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California.

In December 2000, several similar stockholder class action
lawsuits were filed, following the Company's announcement of its
anticipated financial results for the fourth quarter ended
December 31, 2000.  The lawsuits were subsequently consolidated
as a class action by the District Court, under the caption "In
re Foundry Networks, Inc. Securities Litigation, Master File No.
C-00-4823-MMC," and lead plaintiffs were selected and filed a
consolidated amended complaint.

The consolidated suit alleged violations of federal securities
laws and purported to seek damages on behalf of a class of
stockholders who purchased the Company's common stock during the
period from September 7, 2000 to December 19, 2000.

The Company then brought four successful motions to dismiss the
complaint.  Although the Court granted each of the four
dismissal motions, it also provided plaintiffs leave to amend
the complaint.  On August 29, 2003, following the dismissal of
the four amended complaints, the Court granted the Company's
motion to dismiss the case with prejudice and without leave to
amend and, on September 2, 2003, entered judgment in the
Company's favor, dismissing the plaintiffs' fifth amended
complaint.

On September 29, 2003, plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal with
the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  On
January 15, 2004, the plaintiff/appellants filed their opening
brief with the Court of Appeals.  On April 2, 2004, the Company
filed its responsive brief.  On May 14, 2004, the plaintiff
appellants filed a reply brief.  The briefing is now complete
and the parties are awaiting a schedule for oral argument from
the Court of Appeals.


FOUNDRY NETWORKS: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Foundry Networks, Inc. submitted the settlement for the
consolidated securities class action filed against it, three of
its officers, including its Chief Executive Officer and Chief
Financial Officer; and investment banking firms that served as
underwriters for its initial public offering in September 1999
to the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York for preliminary approval.

The suit, styled "In re Foundry Networks, Inc. Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation, No. 01-CV-10640 (SAS)
(S.D.N.Y.)," related to "In re Initial Public Offering
Securities Litigation, No. 21 MC 92 (SAS) (S.D.N.Y.)."  The case
is brought purportedly on behalf of all persons who purchased
the Company's common stock from September 27, 1999 through
December 6, 2000.

The amended complaint alleged violations of Sections 11 and 15
of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, on the grounds that the
registration statement for the initial public offering (IPO)
failed to disclose that the underwriters agreed to allow certain
customers to purchase shares in the IPO in exchange for excess
commissions to be paid to the underwriters, and the underwriters
arranged for certain customers to purchase additional shares in
the aftermarket at predetermined prices.  The amended complaint
also appears to allege that false or misleading analyst reports
were issued.

Similar allegations were made in lawsuits challenging over 300
other initial public offerings conducted in 1999 and 2000.  The
cases were consolidated for pretrial purposes.  On February 19,
2003, the Court ruled on all defendants' motions to dismiss.  In
ruling on motions to dismiss, the Court must treat the
allegations in the complaint as if they were true solely for
purposes of deciding the motions.  The motion was denied as to
claims under the Securities Act of 1933 in the case involving
the Company.  The same ruling was made in all but 10 of the
other cases.  The Court dismissed the claims under Section
10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against the Company
and one of the individual defendants and dismissed all of the
Section 20(a) "control person" claims.  The Court denied the
motion to dismiss the Section 10(b) claims against the Company's
remaining individual defendants on the basis that those
defendants allegedly sold Company stock following the IPO,
allegations found sufficient purely for pleading purposes to
allow those claims to move forward.  A similar ruling was made
with respect to 62 of the individual defendants in the other
cases.

The Company has accepted a settlement proposal presented to all
issuer defendants.  Under the terms of this settlement,
plaintiffs will dismiss and release all claims against the
Foundry Defendants in exchange for a contingent payment by the
insurance companies collectively responsible for insuring the
issuers in all of the IPO cases and for the assignment or
surrender of control of certain claims the Company may have
against the underwriters. The settlement will require approval
of the Court, which cannot be assured, after class members are
given the opportunity to object to the settlement or opt out of
the settlement.


GATEWAY REGIONAL: Patients, Parents File Overcharging Suit in IL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gateway Regional Medical Center faces a class action lawsuit
filed in the Madison County Circuit Court, in Illinois, alleging
it charged patients with little or no insurance more than triple
the amount received from patients with insurance, the Madison
County reports.

The plaintiffs in the case, Kimberly Chronister, Lisa Golino,
Julia Holman, Linda Hughes, and Robert Orasco, who all reside in
Illinois, are accusing Gateway of charging inflated, unfair and
unreasonable prices for medical care.

According to suit, which was filed by Chicago attorney James
Branit of Bullaro & Carton, "Gateway charged...more than triple
what Gateway received for the same services from the vast
majority of their other patients, often triple what governmental
agencies paid under Medicare and Medicaid; and more than triple
the actual cost of the care."

The plaintiffs, all of whom have been sued by Gateway seeking to
recover money for medical services provided to them or their
minor children, are further accusing hospital of engaging in
deceptive and unfair business practices using an unfair
bargaining position suffered by the plaintiffs to charge
unreasonable and excessive rates for medical care. Fees charged
to the uninsured or under-insured "bore no rational relationship
to actual costs and were not 'regular' or 'usual and
customary'," according to the suit.

The class claims the only group required to pay the alleged
inflated rates are those who do not qualify for Medicaid or
Medicare, or are not sufficiently covered by health insurance,
often because of financial inability.

Mrs. Chronister alleges that on October 16, 2003, her son was
admitted into the emergency room at Gateway for a psychotic
episode, and released four days later. Although at the time,
Mrs. Chronister did not have health insurance, she claims that
she was required to sign several documents, including an
agreement to pay the regular rates of the facility.

Upon her son's release she received a bill dated on October 26,
2003, for $6,596.75, and claims she was charged significantly
more than what they would accept from a vast majority of their
patients for identical services. She was promptly sued by
Gateway on April 21 for the amount of $6596.75 plus attorney
fees in the amount of $2,198.89.

In the 10-count class action suit, the plaintiffs allege Gateway
was in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive
Business Practices Act, constructive fraud, fraudulent
misrepresentation, breach of contract, breach of good faith and
fair dealing, unjust enrichment, theory of imposition,
unconscionability, civil conspiracy and declaratory judgment.

Furthermore, the plaintiffs are also alleging that if they had
known the truth about being charged regular rates for medical
services, they would have not accepted the services that Gateway
provided, or would have negotiated the charges before receiving
the services.

The class is seeking that the Court:

     (1) certify the action as a class action with the named
         plaintiffs as class representatives and their
         attorneys as class counsel;

     (2) declare that the defendants must disgorge, for the
         benefit of the class, all or part of their unlawful
         gains and benefits received from the plaintiffs and
         class for the improperly collected money and make full
         restitution; and

     (3) award compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees
         and Court costs and any such other relief as is just
         and proper.

The case, which is the 69th class action suit filed in Madison
County this year, has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas
Byron.


GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC: MA Judge Approves Relafen Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
United States District Court Judge, William G. Young granted
preliminary approval of a proposed settlement between
GlaxoSmithKline PLC, SmithKline Beecham Corporation, Beecham
Group PLC, and SmithKline Beecham PLC, and a class of consumers
and third-party payors who purchased the prescription drug
Relafen(R).

The suit, comprised of many federal cases consolidated in United
States District Court in Massachusetts, alleged that Relafen's
distributors unlawfully obtained a patent, which allowed them to
enforce a monopoly over Relafen and prevent competition by
generic prescription drugs. The suit contended that this conduct
resulted in consumers and payors paying exorbitant prices for
Relafen.

According to Tom Sobol, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, the
settlement is equitable compensation for consumers who were
damaged by the Company's business practices.  "We feel that this
settlement is a big victory for consumers of Relafen," said
Sobol. "We hope that this litigation sparks reform in how other
drug companies deal with consumers."

Under the terms of the settlement, class members will be paid up
to $75 million on behalf of the defendants. Third-party payors
will receive $50 million of the settlement fund, while
individual class members will receive $25 million for damages
and fees. Class members' portion of the settlement will be
determined based on the state in which Relafen or its generic
alternative was purchased.

The class includes all persons or entities who purchased Relafen
or its generic alternative, nabumetone, from September 1, 1998
to June 30, 2003. Class members will be notified of their
eligibility and will have the option to file a settlement claim
or dismiss themselves from the suit.


GENERAL MOTORS: Recalls 1,378 Headlights Due To Crash Hazard
------------------------------------------------------------
General Motors Corporation in cooperation with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects
Investigation is voluntarily recalling about 1,378 Year 2005
Chevrolet Cobalt Headlights.

According to the ODI, certain passenger vehicles fail to comply
with the requirements of the federal motor vehicle safety
standard no. 108, "lamps, reflective devices and associated
equipment." The bulb shields inside of the headlamps can loosen
due to vibration. As a result, the shield can loosen or break
because of vibration. If this occurred on a headlamp installed
in a vehicle, oncoming drivers may notice additional glare,
increasing the risk of a crash.

As a remedy, dealers will install two new headlamp assemblies.
For more details, contact Chevrolet by Phone: 1-800-630-2438 or
the NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236.


INTERMUNE INC.: Asks CA Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
InterMune, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action filed against it and its former chief
executive and chief financial officers.

On June 25, 2003, a purported securities class action entitled
Johnson v. Harkonen and InterMune, Inc., No. C 03-2954-MEJ, was
filed in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California.  Three additional class action
complaints entitled Lombardi v. InterMune, Inc., Harkonen and
Surrey-Barbari, No. C 03 3068 MJJ (filed on July 1, 2003);
Mahoney Jr. v. InterMune Inc., Harkonen and Surrey-Barbari, No.
C 03-3273 SI (filed on July 14, 2003); and Adler v. Harkonen and
InterMune Inc., No. C 03-3710 MJJ (filed on August 3, 2003),
were filed in the same Court.

On November 6, 2003, the various complaints were consolidated
into one case by order of the Court, and on November 26, 2003, a
lead plaintiff, Lance A. Johnson, was appointed.  A consolidated
complaint titled "In re InterMune Securities Litigation, No. C
03-2954 SI," was filed on January 30, 2004.

The consolidated amended complaint named the Company, and its
former chief executive officer and chief financial officer, as
defendants and alleges that the defendants made certain false
and misleading statements in violation of the federal securities
laws, specifically Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Rule 10b-5.  The lead
plaintiff seeks unspecified damages on behalf of a purported
class of purchasers of the Company's common stock during the
period from January 7, 2003 through June 11, 2003.

The Company and the other defendants filed a motion to dismiss
the complaint on April 2, 2004, which was granted in part and
denied in part.  Plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on
August 23, 2004, and the defendant filed in a motion to dismiss
the second amended complaint on October 7, 2004.  The motion is
scheduled to be heard in January 2005.


LOUISIANA: Lawyers Say Lafayette Heart Doctor To Face More Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. Mehmood Patel, a local cardiologist, who has had his medical
license restricted by the state Board of Medical Examiners and
lost privileges at two hospitals where he once practiced, now
faces the first of what attorneys say could be "many" lawsuits
alleging unnecessary medical procedures, the Lafayette Daily
Advertiser reports.

In a recently filed lawsuit, Lafayette resident John Touchet
alleges that Dr. Patel performed unnecessary cardiovascular work
on him in 1999 and 2000. The work included angioplasty, a
technique used to widen narrow arteries, and the placement of
stents, mesh tubes used to keep arteries open.

According to attorney Jim Ryan, who works with one of two law
firms that have formed what they dub the "Patel Litigation
Group," "There will be other lawsuits. At this point we don't
know how many or whether we will seek a class action." The
attorneys allege in the Touchet lawsuit that Dr. Patel is the
subject of a federal investigation by the U.S. Attorneys Office
for performing and charging for unnecessary medical procedures.

The lawsuit also names Lafayette General Medical Center and Our
Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center as defendants, alleging
the hospitals were negligent for allowing Dr. Patel to perform
medical work in their facilities.

But, according to representatives from both hospitals, Dr. Patel
has lost privileges at the institutions. "Our Lady of Lourdes
was the first medical center to identify issues with some of the
procedures performed by Dr. Patel," Lourdes President Robert
Peebles said in a written statement. "We informed the
appropriate authorities, and conducted a detailed investigation
and review. Dr. Patel no longer has medical privileges at our
hospital."

Records from the State Board of Medical Examiners also confirms
that Dr. Patel's medical license was restricted in September,
allowing him to continue a practice but preventing him
performing "diagnostic angiography cardiology" and
"interventional vascular procedures." His license is restricted
pending the outcome of a hearing on pending claims against him,
according to the records.


MARTHA STEWART: Discovery Proceeds in NY Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is ongoing in the consolidated class action filed
against Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
by plaintiffs purporting to represent a class of persons who
purchased common stock in the Company between January 8, 2002
and October 2, 2002.

The suit is styled "In re Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
Securities Litigation, 02-CV-6273 (JES)," and names as
defendants the Company, Martha Stewart and seven of the
Company's other present or former officers (Gregory R. Blatt,
Sharon L. Patrick, and five other Company officers
(collectively, the "Individual Defendants")) as defendants.  The
action consolidates seven class actions previously filed in the
Southern District of New York:

     (1) Semon v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., (filed
         August 6, 2002),

     (2) Rosen v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (filed
         August 21, 2002),

     (3) MacKinnon v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
         (filed August 30, 2002),

     (4) Crnkovich v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
         (filed September 4, 2002),

     (5) Rahilly v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (filed
         September 6, 2002),

     (6) Steele v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (filed
         September 13, 2002), and

     (7) Hackbarth v Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
         (filed September 18, 2002)

The claims in the Consolidated Class Action Complaint arise out
of Ms. Stewart's sale of 3,928 shares of ImClone Systems stock
on December 27, 2001. The plaintiffs assert violations of
Sections 10(b) (and rules promulgated thereunder), 20(a) and 20A
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The plaintiffs allege that MSO, Ms. Stewart and the Individual
Defendants made statements about Ms. Stewart's sale that were
materially false and misleading.  The plaintiffs allege that, as
a result of these false and misleading statements, the market
price of the Company's stock was inflated during the putative
class periods and dropped after the alleged falsity of the
statements became public.  The plaintiffs further allege that
the Individual Defendants traded MSO stock while in possession
of material non-public information.  The Consolidated Class
Action Complaint seeks certification as a class action, damages,
attorneys' fees and costs, and further relief as determined by
the Court.

On May 19, 2003, the Company's motion to dismiss the
Consolidated Class Action Complaint was denied.  By stipulation
of the parties, and an order of the Court entered November 10,
2003, all claims asserted in the Consolidated Class Action
Complaint pursuant to Section 20A (Insider Trading) of the
Securities Exchange Act against the Individual Defendants, and
all remaining claims against the Individual Defendants, other
than Mr. Blatt and Ms. Patrick, have been dismissed without
prejudice.


MERCK & CO.: TN Woman Lodges "Different" Lawsuit Against VIOXX
--------------------------------------------------------------
A Centerville, Tennessee woman may be the first person in the
Nashville area to file a lawsuit against Merck & Co., the maker
of Vioxx, the arthritis drug linked to increased risks of blood
clots that could lead to strokes and heart attacks that was
recently recalled from the market, The Tennessean reports.

The suit by Barbara Cathey, which asks to be certified as a
class-action that could involve hundreds of plaintiffs, was
filed November 22 in Hickman County Circuit Court against the
pharmaceutical firm, which took the drug off the market
September 30, 2004.

According to attorney Lewis Garrison Jr., Ms. Cathey's suit
differs from other Vioxx litigation filed in state Courts across
the country, since it is not a personal injury claim but seeks
medical monitoring for Ms. Cathey and other yet-to-be-named
plaintiffs who were Vioxx users for more than 18 months but who
have not suffered a stroke or heart attack.

Furthermore, Mr. Garrison states, "The claim we are making is
that there should be a class certified for medical monitoring of
these people because there's been evidence that there are
cardiovascular issues with this drug." He also states that aside
from medical monitoring, the lawsuit asks for an unspecified
amount of compensatory damages, payment of attorney's fees and a
refund for the purchase of Vioxx.

Vioxx, which had been on the market since 1999, belongs to a
class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that
alleviates pain by blocking the body's production of certain
enzymes that trigger inflammation, and consequently, pain.

In the lawsuit, Ms. Cathey's attorneys said Merck failed to
protect her and the public because the pharmaceutical Company
did not adequately test the drug before it was marketed and,
after it became a best-selling drug, was slow to withdraw the
drug. According to the Food and Drug Administration there were
an estimated 20 million users of Vioxx in the United States.


NEXTEL PARTNERS: Submits Lawsuit Pact To NY Court for Approval
--------------------------------------------------------------
Nextel Partners, Inc. submitted the settlement of the
consolidated securities class action filed against it, two of
its executive officers and four of the underwriters involved in
its initial public offering to the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York for preliminary approval.

The suit was filed on behalf of all persons who acquired the
Company's common stock between February 22, 2000 and December 6,
2000 and initially named as defendants the Company, John
Chapple, its President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of
the Board, John D. Thompson, its Chief Financial Officer and
Treasurer until August 2003, and the underwriters involved in
its initial public offering.

Mr. Chapple and Mr. Thompson have been dismissed from the
lawsuit without prejudice.  The complaint seeks recessionary
and/or compensatory damages.  The plaintiffs and the issuing
Company defendants, including the Company, have reached a
settlement of the issues in the lawsuit.  The proposed
settlement, which is not material to the Company, is subject to
a number of contingencies, including negotiation of a settlement
agreement and its approval by the Court.

The suit is styled "In re Nextel Partners, Inc. (sic) Initial
Public Offering Securities Litigation," related to "In re
Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, 21 MC 92 (SAS),"
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, under Judge Shira A. Scheindlin.  The
plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

     (a) Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP (New York, NY), 10 E.
         40th Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         800.217.1522, E-mail: info@bernlieb.com

     (b) Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP (New York,
         NY), One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY, 10119-1065,
         Phone: 212.594.5300

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

     (d) Sirota & Sirota, LLP, 110 Wall Street 21st Floor, New
         York, NY, 10005, Phone: 888.759.2990, Fax:
         212.425.9093, E-mail: Info@SirotaLaw.com

     (e) Stull, Stull & Brody (New York), 6 East 45th Street,
         New York, NY, 10017, Phone: 310.209.2468, Fax:
         310.209.2087, E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com

     (f) Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman & Herz LLP, 270
         Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         212.545.4600, Fax: 212.686.0114, E-mail:
         newyork@whafh.com


NEXTEL PARTNERS: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of MD Consumer Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the United States District Court for the
District of Maryland's dismissal of a class action filed against
Nextel Partners, Inc. and several other wireless carriers and
manufacturers of wireless telephones.

The complaint alleges that the defendants, among other things,
manufactured and distributed wireless telephones that cause
adverse health effects.  The plaintiffs seek compensatory
damages, reimbursement for certain costs including reasonable
legal fees, punitive damages and injunctive relief.

On March 5, 2003, the Court granted the defendants' consolidated
motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims.  The plaintiffs have
appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit.  The appeal is fully briefed.

The suit is styled "In re:, et al v. Wireless Telephone, et al.,
1:01-md-01421-CCB," filed in the United States District Court
for the District of Maryland under Judge Catherine C. Blake.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs are:

     (1) H. Thomas Howell of Howell and Gately, One Charles
         Center, 100 N Charles St 19th Fl, Baltimore, MD 21201-
         3812, Phone: 1-410-649-1103 or Fax: 1-410-649-1107

     (2) Peter G. Angelos, H. Russell Smouse, John CM Angelos
         and Glenn Edward Mintzer, Law Offices of Peter G.
         Angelos, One Charles Center, 100 N Charles St 22nd Fl,
         Baltimore, MD 21201, Phone: 1-410-649-2000, Fax: 1-410-
         649-2112 or E-mail: kfleischer@lawpga.com,
         jangelos@lawpga.com or GMintzer@lawpga.com

     (3) John A Pica, Jr. of John A Pica Jr. PC, 223 Duke of
         Gloucester, Annapolis, MD 21401, Phone: 1-410-974-8881

     (4) Michael Weinstock, Weinstock and Scavo PC, 3405
         Piedmont Rd NE Ste 300, Atlanta, GA 30305, Phone: 1-
         404-231-3999 or Fax: 1-404-231-1618, E-mail:
         mweinstock@wslaw.net

     (5) Mayer Morganroth, Morganroth and Morganroth PLLC, 3000
         Town Cntr Ste 1500, Southfield, MI 48075, Phone: 1-248-
         355-3084, Fax: 1-248-355-3017 Email:
         jgurfinkel@morganrothlaw.com

     (6) Burton Finkelstein, Richard Maxwell, Volin Tracy, Diana
         Rezvani, Finkelstein Thompson and Loughran, Duvall
         Foundry 1050 30th St NW, Washington, DC 20007, Phone:
         1-202-337-8000 Fax: 1-202-337-8090 Email:
         rmv@ftllaw.com, tdr@ftllaw.com

     (7) Adam Gonnelli, Faruqi and Faruqi LLP, 320 E 39th St
         Third Fl, New York, NY 10009, Phone: 1-212-983-9330,
         Fax: 1-212-983-9331 Email: agonnelli@faruqilaw.com

     (8) Carl B Hilliard, Jr, Law Office of Carl B Hilliard Jr
         1246 Stratford, Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 1-858-509-
         2922, Fax: 1-858-509-2937


NEXTEL PARTNERS: Plaintiffs Appeal Settlement of MO Lawsuits
------------------------------------------------------------
Several objectors and class members appealed the United States
District Court for the Western District of Missouri's approval
of the settlement of the consolidated class action filed against
Nextel Partners, Inc., Nextel Communications, Inc. and Nextel
West Corporation.

On April 1, 2003, a purported class action lawsuit was filed in
the 93rd District Court of Hidalgo County, Texas, captioned
"Rolando Prado v. Nextel Communications, et al, Civil Action
No.C-695-03-B."  On May 2, 2003, a purported class action
lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of Shelby County for the
Thirtieth Judicial District at Memphis, Tennessee, captioned
"Steve Strange v. Nextel Communications, et al, Civil Action
No.01-002520-03."

On May 3, 2003, a purported class action lawsuit was filed in
the Circuit Court of the Second Judicial Circuit in and for Leon
County, Florida against Nextel Partners Operating Corp. d/b/a
Nextel Partners and Nextel South Corp. d/b/a Nextel
Communications.  The lawsuit is captioned "Christopher Freeman
and Susan and Joseph Martelli v. Nextel South Corp., et al,
Civil Action No.03-CA1065."  On July 9, 2003, a purported class
action lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court,
California against the Company, Nextel, Nextel West, Inc.,
Nextel of California, Inc. and Nextel Operations, Inc.  The
lawsuit is captioned Nick's Auto Sales, Inc. v. Nextel West,
Inc., et al, Civil Action No. BC298695."  On August 7, 2003, a
purported class action lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of
Jefferson County, Alabama, captioned "Andrea Lewis and Trish
Zruna v. Nextel Communications, Inc., et al, Civil Action No.CV-
03-907.

On October 3, 2003, an amended complaint for a purported class
action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for
the Western District of Missouri.  The amended complaint named
the Company and Nextel Communications, Inc. as defendants;
Nextel Partners was substituted for the previous defendant,
Nextel West Corporation.  The lawsuit is captioned Joseph Blando
v. Nextel West Corp., et al, Civil Action No.02-0921
(the "Blando Case").  All of these complaints allege that the
Company, in conjunction with the other defendants,
misrepresented certain cost-recovery line-item fees as
government taxes.  Plaintiffs seek to enjoin such practices and
seek a refund of monies paid by the class based on the alleged
misrepresentations.  Plaintiffs also seek attorneys' fees, costs
and, in some cases, punitive damages.

On October 9, 2003, Judge Gaitan in the United States District
Court for the Western District of Missouri in the Blando Case
entered an order granting preliminary approval of a nationwide
class action settlement that encompasses most of the claims
involved in these cases.  Notice of the settlement was provided
to the identified class, and on January 29, 2004, the Court
conducted a final approval hearing and, on April 20, 2004,
approved the settlement.  On May 27, 2004, various objectors and
class members appealed Judge Gaitan's order granting final
approval of the settlement to the United States Court of Appeals
for the Eighth Circuit.  Distribution of settlement benefits is
stayed until the appellate Court issues a final order resolving
the appeal.

The suit is styled "Blando et al v. Nextel Retail Stores, Inc.,
4:02-cv-00921-FJG," filed in the United States District Court
for the Western District of Missouri under Judge Fernando J.
Gaitan Jr.  Lawyers for the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Matthew A. Clement, Cook, Vetter, Doerhoff & Landwehr,
         P.C., 231 Madison, Jefferson City, MO 65101, Phone:
         (573) 635-7977, Fax: (573) 635-7414 E-mail:
         mclement@cvdl.net

     (2) Stephen M. Gorny, Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson &
         Obetz, 11150 Overbrook Dr., Suite 200, Leawood, KS
         66211, Phone: (913)266-2300, Fax: (913)266-2366, E-
         mail: steve@bflawfirm.com

     (3) Edward D. Robertson, Jr., Bartimus, Frickleton,
         Robertson & Obetz, 200 Madison St., Suite 1000,
         Jefferson City, MO 65101, Phone: 573/659-4454, fax:
         (573) 659-4460, E-mail: chiprob@earthlink.net

     (4) Charles F. Speer, Payne & Jones, Chartered 11000 King
         Suite 200, P. O. Box 25625, Overland Park, KS 66210,
         Phone: (913) 469-4100, fax: (913) 221-0786, E-mail:
         cfs@paynejones.com

     (5) Timothy W. Van Ronzelen, Cook, Vetter, Doerhoff &
         Landwehr, P.C., 231 Madison, Jefferson City, MO 65101,
         Phone: (573) 635-7977, Fax: (573) 635-7414, E-mail:
         tvanronzelen@cvdl.net

     (6) Polsinelli Shalton & Welte, P.C., 100 S. 4th Street,
         Suite 1100, St. Louis, MO 63102, Phone: 314-231-1950,
         Fax: 314-231-1776 E-mail: sclark@pswlaw.com
Lawyers for the defendants are:

     (1) Harvey M. Tettlebaum, Husch & Eppenberger, LLC, 235
         East High Street, P. O. Box 1251, Jefferson City, MO
         65102, Phone: 573/635-9118, fax: (573) 634-7854, E-
         mail: Harvey.Tettlebaum@Husch.com

     (2) Kara M. Dorssom, Husch & Eppenberger, LLC, 1200 Main
         Street, Suite 1700, Kansas City, MO 64105-2100, Phone:
         (816)421-4800 or Fax: (816)421-0596, Email:
         kara.dorssom@husch.com

     (3) Glennon P. Fogarty, Husch & Eppenberger, LLC, 190
         Carondelet Plaza, Suite 600, St. Louis, MO 63105,
         Phone: (314)480-1500 or (314)480-1505 E-mail:
         glennon.fogarty@husch.co

     (4) Thomas E. Gilbertsen, Collier, Shannon, Scott, PLLC
         3050 K Street NW Suite 400 Washington, DC 20007 Phone:
         (202) 342-8400 Fax: (202) 342-8451 E-mail:
         tgilbertsen@colliershannon.com


OFFICE MAX: MA Judge Approves Item-Pricing Lawsuit Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
A Quincy District Court judge recently approved a settlement
between Colman M. Herman, the Dorchester activist who made
enforcement of the Massachusetts' item-pricing regulation a one-
man crusade and OfficeMax Inc.  The settlement requires the
retailer to come into compliance with the newly revised item-
pricing regulation at its Braintree store and to pay $530 to
Herman and $10,000 to Consumerworld.org, a consumer education
website, which is edited by Edgar Dworsky of Somerville, the
Boston Globe reports.

According to legal experts, the settlement was the first
negotiated by Mr. Herman since Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly
revised the item-pricing regulation in 2003 to make it easier
for retailers to comply. Retailers began complaining about the
old regulation after being hit with class-action lawsuits, many
of them initiated by Mr. Herman.

The old regulation required retailers to stamp prices on most
items in their stores. The revised regulation keeps that
requirement in place but gives retailers another option --
installing scanners that can tell shoppers how much an item
costs and print out a price sticker that can be affixed to the
item.

Mr. Herman, who hopes his suit will prod OfficeMax to bring its
other stores in Massachusetts into compliance with the item-
pricing law, had sued OfficeMax in Quincy District Court in
August, saying the Braintree store was failing to either item
price or install scanners. Under a settlement approved by Quincy
District Court Judge Mark Coven, OfficeMax agreed to bring its
Braintree store into compliance with the regulation by
installing scanners.

Mr. Dworsky had received $25,000 under an earlier item-pricing
class-action settlement with Home Depot in which Mr. Herman was
the lead plaintiff.

Mr. Herman launched his item-pricing crusade in 1999 after the
attorney general refused to enforce the regulation. Complaints
in small-claims Courts evolved into lawsuits in state Court and
eventually into class-action lawsuits.

Multimillion-dollar settlements have been signed with Home Depot
and Wal-Mart and agreements are pending with Walgreens and
Target. Each agreement penalized the retailer for past
infractions and required future compliance with the existing
item-pricing regulation.


OPENWAVE SYSTEMS: Submits Securities Suit Settlement To S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Openwave Systems, Inc. submitted the settlement of the
consolidated securities class action filed agianst it, five of
its present or former officers and several investment banking
firms that served as underwriters of the Company's initial
public offering and secondary public offering to the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York for
preliminary approval.

The suit is styled "In re Openwave Systems, Inc. (sic) Initial
Public Offering Securities Litigation, Civ. No. 01-9744 (SAS)
(S.D.N.Y.), related to In re Initial Public Offering Securities
Litigation, 21 MC 92 (SAS).  The suit is brought purportedly on
behalf of all persons who purchased the Company's common stock
from June 11, 1999 through December 6, 2000.

Three of the individual defendants were dismissed without
prejudice, subject to an agreement extending the statute of
limitations, through September 30, 2003.  The complaint alleges
liability as under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of
1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934, on the grounds that the registration statement for the
offerings did not disclose that:

     (1) the underwriters had agreed to allow certain customers
         to purchase shares in the offerings in exchange for
         excess commissions paid to the underwriters; and

     (2) the underwriters had arranged for certain customers to
         purchase additional shares in the aftermarket at
         predetermined prices.

The amended complaint also alleges that false analyst reports
were issued.  No specific damages are claimed.  Similar
allegations were made in over 300 lawsuits challenging public
offerings conducted in 1999 and 2000, and the cases were
consolidated for pretrial purposes.

The Company has accepted a settlement proposal presented to all
issuer defendants.  Plaintiffs will dismiss and release all
claims against the Openwave Defendants, in exchange for a
contingent payment by the insurance companies responsible for
insuring the issuers, and for the assignment or surrender of
control of certain claims the Company may have against the
underwriters.  The Openwave Defendants will not be required to
make any cash payment in the settlement, unless the pro rata
amount paid by the insurers in the settlement exceeds the amount
of insurance coverage, a circumstance which the Company does not
believe will occur.  The settlement will require approval of the
Court, which cannot be assured, after class members are given
the opportunity to object to the settlement or opt out of the
settlement.

The suit is styled "In re Openwave Systems, Inc. (sic) Initial
Public Offering Securities Litigation, Civ. No. 01-9744 (SAS)
(S.D.N.Y.)," related to "In re Initial Public Offering
Securities Litigation, 21 MC 92 (SAS)," filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
under Judge Shira A. Scheindlin.  The plaintiff firms in this
litigation are:

     (a) Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP (New York, NY), 10 E.
         40th Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         800.217.1522, E-mail: info@bernlieb.com

     (b) Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP (New York,
         NY), One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY, 10119-1065,
         Phone: 212.594.5300

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

     (d) Sirota & Sirota, LLP, 110 Wall Street 21st Floor, New
         York, NY, 10005, Phone: 888.759.2990, Fax:
         212.425.9093, E-mail: Info@SirotaLaw.com

     (e) Stull, Stull & Brody (New York), 6 East 45th Street,
         New York, NY, 10017, Phone: 310.209.2468, Fax:
         310.209.2087, E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com

     (f) Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman & Herz LLP, 270
         Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         212.545.4600, Fax: 212.686.0114, E-mail:
         newyork@whafh.com


PFIZER INC.: IA Man Lodges Fraud Suit Over Neurontin Promotion
--------------------------------------------------------------
Randall Veys, a Rock Island County resident initiated a federal
class action lawsuit against Pfizer Inc., alleging that it
illegally promoted the sale of the anti-seizure drug Neurontin
for purposes other than federally approved uses, the Quad City
Times reports.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court, Rock
Island, alleges that Neurontin was approved only for the
treatment of epilepsy, but he purchased and used it to treat
pain in his extremities. His suit specifically alleges that
Pfizer solicited physicians to promote so-called off-label, or
non-approved, uses by using cash payments as a reward.

Along with New York-based Pfizer, the lawsuit also names as
defendants Warner-Lambert Inc., the Company that originally
started producing the drug in 1994 and was purchased by Pfizer
in 2000, as well as a division of Warner-Lambert called Parke-
Davis.

Mr. Veys claims he paid for his prescriptions of Neurontin out
of pocket, and that his attorney, Rick Keys of Rock Island filed
the lawsuit as a class-action case because an estimated $1.8
billion worth of the drug has been sold.

Pfizer spokesman Bryant Haskins said the Company has not had a
chance to review the lawsuit, but added that it faces several
similar lawsuits and plans to launch an aggressive defense. He
also adds that the Company believes the lawsuits should not be
class-action cases because the decision to prescribe the drug is
part of an individual patient-physician relationship.

The lawsuit comes seven months after Pfizer agreed to plead
guilty and pay $430 million in fines to settle charges that its
subsidiary, Warner-Lambert unit flouted federal law by promoting
non-approved uses for Neurontin, which was reported in the May
15, 2004 issue of the Class Action Reporter.

While doctors can prescribe drugs for any use, the federal Food,
Drug and Cosmetic Act prohibits the promotion of them for the
so-called off-label uses.

Under an agreement released by federal prosecutors, the Company
acknowledged spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to
promote non-approved uses for the drug, in part by paying
doctors hefty speakers' fees and flying them to lavish resorts
as "educational" trips.


PHILIP MORRIS: MN Judge Reverses Ruling, Grants Certification
-------------------------------------------------------------
Hennepin County District Judge Allen Oleisky granted class
action status to a consumer protection lawsuit brought by a
group of smokers against Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA,
thus reversing an earlier decision, the Minneapolis Star Tribune
reports.

In a recent ruling the Minneapolis judge explained that recent
Minnesota Supreme Court decisions and a recent decision by a
Massachusetts Court in a similar case led to his decision to
reverse his prior opinion.

In January, Judge Oleisky had denied class-action status to the
case, which seeks damages for consumers who purchased Marlboro
Lights cigarettes and allege that Philip Morris USA misled them
about the dangers of the product.

In response to the ruling, an Altria spokeswoman told the
Minneapolis Star Tribune that the Company would seek a review of
the judge's decision as well as ask that the previous decision,
which decertified the case, be reinstated.

Minneapolis attorney Gale Pearson, who is representing the
plaintiffs, called Judge Olesky's decision a critical
endorsement of the state's consumer protection law. "This tells
corporations they can't come into this state and lie about safer
cigarettes and make money off those lies because our consumer
protection law has teeth," she said.

Based on his latest opinion, Judge Oleisky appears to have been
persuaded by the Massachusetts ruling in the Aspinall light
class-action case.

"Basically, Judge Oleisky feels that were there to be individual
trials, the common aspects of Philip Morris' conduct would
become a predominant aspect of each trial," according to Bonnie
Herzog, an analyst at Smith Barney, whose parent, CitiGroup
Inc., has an investment-banking relationship with Altria. "In
addition, the length of time and costs associated with trying
all of the individual cases provide support for the
appropriateness of class certification," she said.

According to legal experts, if Judge Oleisky's decision is
upheld, the case could potentially expose Philip Morris USA, the
largest U.S. cigarette maker, to a large penalty, as was the
case in Illinois where a Court levied a $10 billion penalty
against the Company in a similar "lights" class action, which is
currently on appeal to the state's highest Court.

However, Ms. Herzog points out that in Minnesota, a bond cap
limits the threat to Philip Morris and she is also expecting
Philip Morris to have a "strong" defense in these types of
cases.

In the past, Philip Morris has said that all "lights" cigarettes
sold contained health warnings. The plaintiffs, however, allege
they believed Marlboro Lights cigarettes were healthier than the
Company's Marlboro and other "regular" cigarettes.


PLUG POWER: Reaches Settlement For Securities Lawsuit in E.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plug Power, Inc. reached a settlement for the consolidated
securities class action filed against it and certain of its
officers and directors in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of New York.

In September 2000, a shareholder class action complaint was
filed, alleging that the Company and various of its officers and
directors violated certain federal securities laws by failing to
disclose certain information concerning the Company's products
and future prospects.  The action was brought on behalf of a
class of purchasers of the Company's stock who purchased the
stock between February 14, 2000 and August 2, 2000.
Subsequently, fourteen additional complaints with similar
allegations and class periods were filed.

By order dated October 30, 2000, the Court consolidated the
complaints into one action, entitled "Plug Power Inc. Securities
Litigation, CV-00-5553 (ERK) (RML)."  By order dated January 25,
2001, the Court appointed lead plaintiffs and lead plaintiffs'
counsel.  Subsequently, the plaintiffs served a consolidated
amended complaint.

The consolidated amended complaint extends the class period to
begin on October 29, 1999 and alleges claims under the
Securities Act and Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
under the Exchange Act.  Subsequently, plaintiffs withdrew their
claims under the Securities Act.  Plaintiffs allege that the
defendants made misleading statements and omissions regarding
the state of development of the Company's technology in a
registration statement issued in connection with the Company's
initial public offering (IPO) and in subsequent press releases.

The Company served its motion to dismiss the claims in May 2001.
By order dated January 21, 2003, the Court dismissed all claims
relating to pre-IPO press releases, the IPO prospectus and all
but three post-IPO press releases.  The Court also denied the
motion to dismiss the claims against the individual defendants
at this time.   In May 2004, the Company reached an agreement in
principle to settle the litigation.

Pursuant to the settlement, the Company's primary insurance
carrier will fund the settlement.  The settlement is subject to
negotiation of a final agreement by the parties and approval by
the Court.  The settlement is not anticipated to have any
material impact on the Company's financial condition.


PRICELINE.COM: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
priceline.com, Inc. submitted the settlement of the consolidated
securities class action filed against it to the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York for
preliminary approval.

On March 16, March 26, April 27, and June 5, 2001, respectively,
four putative class action complaints were filed, naming as
defendants the Company, Richard S. Braddock, Jay Walker, Paul
Francis, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., Merrill Lynch,
Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., BancBoston Robertson Stephens,
Inc. and Salomon Smith Barney, Inc.

"Shives et al. v. Bank of America Securities LLC, 01 Civ. 4956,
also names other defendants and states claims unrelated to the
Company.  The complaints allege, among other things, that the
Company and the individual defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing and selling Company common stock in
its March 1999 initial public offering without disclosing to
investors that some of the underwriters in the offering,
including the lead underwriters, had allegedly solicited and
received excessive and undisclosed commissions from certain
investors.

By Orders of Judge Mukasey and Judge Scheindlin dated August 8,
2001, these cases were consolidated for pre-trial purposes with
hundreds of other cases, which contain allegations concerning
the allocation of shares in the initial public offerings of
companies other than the Company.  By Order of Judge Scheindlin
dated August 14, 2001, the following cases were consolidated for
all purposes: 01 Civ. 2261; 01 Civ. 2576; and 01 Civ. 3590. On
April 19, 2002, plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Amended Class
Action Complaint in these cases.

This Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint makes similar
allegations to those described above but with respect to both
the Company's March 1999 initial public offering and the
Company's August 1999 second public offering of common stock.
The named defendants are the Company and:

     (1) Richard S. Braddock,

     (2) Jay S. Walker,

     (3) Paul E. Francis,

     (4) Nancy B. Peretsman,

     (5) Timothy G. Brier,

     (6) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.,

     (7) Goldman Sachs & Co.,

     (8) Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc.,

     (9) Robertson Stephens, Inc. (as successor-in-interest to
         BancBoston),

    (10) Credit Suisse First Boston Corp. (as successor-in-
         interest to Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette Securities
         Corporation),

    (11) Allen & Co., Inc. and

    (12) Salomon Smith Barney, Inc.

Priceline, Richard Braddock, Jay Walker, Paul Francis, Nancy
Peretsman, and Timothy Brier, together with other issuer
defendants in the consolidated litigation, filed a joint motion
to dismiss on July 15, 2002.  On November 18, 2002, the cases
against the individual defendants were dismissed without
prejudice and without costs.  In addition, counsel for
plaintiffs and the individual defendants executed Reservation of
Rights and Tolling Agreements, which toll the statutes of
limitations on plaintiffs' claims against those individuals.

On February 19, 2003, Judge Scheindlin issued an Opinion and
Order granting in part and denying in part the issuer's motion.
None of the claims against the Company were dismissed.  On June
26, 2003, counsel for the plaintiff class announced that they
and counsel for the issuers had agreed to the form of a
Memorandum of Understanding (the "Memorandum") to settle claims
against the issuers.

The terms of that Memorandum provide that class members will be
guaranteed $1 billion dollars in recoveries by the insurers of
the issuers and that settling issuer defendants will assign to
the class members certain claims that they may have against the
underwriters.  Issuers also agree to limit their abilities to
bring certain claims against the underwriters. If recoveries in
excess of $1 billion dollars are obtained by the class from any
non-settling defendants, the settling defendants' monetary
obligations to the class plaintiffs will be satisfied; any
amount recovered from the underwriters that is less than $1
billion will be paid by the insurers on behalf of the issuers.
The Memorandum, which is subject to the approval of each issuer,
was approved by a special committee of the priceline.com Board
of Directors on Thursday, July 3, 2003.  Thereafter, counsel for
the plaintiff class and counsel for the issuers agreed to the
form of a Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement with Defendant
Issuers and Individuals.  The Settlement Agreement implements
the MOU and contains the same material provisions.  On June 11,
2004, a special committee of the priceline.com Board of
Directors authorized the Company's counsel to execute the
Settlement Agreement on behalf of the Company.  The Settlement
Agreement is subject to final approval by the Court and the
process to obtain that approval is still pending.

The suit is styled "In Re: Priceline.com IPO Securities
Litigation, 1:01-cv-02261-SAS," filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, under
Judge Shira A. Scheindlin.

Representing the defendants are:

     (i) Andrew B. Clubok of Kirkland & Ellis, 655 Fifteenth
         Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20005, Phone: (202) 879-
         5000, representing Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.,
         Incorporated

    (ii) Brendan Joseph Dowd of O'Melveny & Myers, L.L.P., 153
         East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-4611 Phone: (212)
         326-2000, E-mail: bdowd@omm.com, representing Robertson
         Stephens, Inc.

   (iii) Howard Fetner of Kirkland & Ellis, 153 East 53rd
         Street, New York, NY 10022, Phone: 212-446-4800,
         representing Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.,
         Incorporated

    (iv) Andrew Jay Frackman, O'Melveny & Myers LLP, Seven Times
         Square, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-326-2000, Fax:
         212-326-2061, E-mail: afrackman@omm.com, representing
         Robertson Stephens, Inc.

     (v) Mark Holland, Clifford Chance US LLP, 200 Park Avenue,
         New York, NY 10166, phone: (212) 878-8000, representing
         Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated

    (vi) Penny Shane, Sullivan & Cromwell, 125 Broad Street, New
         York, NY 10004-2498, Phone: (212) 558-4000,
         representing Goldman Sachs & Co.

   (vii) Kevin J. Toner, Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe,
         L.L.P., 120 West 45th Street, New York, NY 10036,
         Phone: (212) 832-8300, E-mail: ktoner@HEWM.com,
         representing Allen & Co., Incorporated

The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

     (a) Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP (New York, NY), 10 E.
         40th Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         800.217.1522, E-mail: info@bernlieb.com

     (b) Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP (New York,
         NY), One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY, 10119-1065,
         Phone: 212.594.5300

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

     (d) Sirota & Sirota, LLP, 110 Wall Street 21st Floor, New
         York, NY, 10005, Phone: 888.759.2990, Fax:
         212.425.9093, E-mail: Info@SirotaLaw.com

     (e) Stull, Stull & Brody (New York), 6 East 45th Street,
         New York, NY, 10017, Phone: 310.209.2468, Fax:
         310.209.2087, E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com

     (f) Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman & Herz LLP, 270
         Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         212.545.4600, Fax: 212.686.0114, E-mail:
         newyork@whafh.com


PRICELINE.COM: CT Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Suit in Part
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
granted in part priceline.com, Inc.'s motion to dismiss the
consolidated securities class action filed against it and
certain of its officers and directors.

Subsequent to the Company's announcement on September 27, 2000
that revenues for the third quarter 2000 would not meet
expectations, it was served with several putative class action
complaints:

     (1) Weingarten v. priceline.com Incorporated and Jay S.
         Walker, 3:00 CV 1901

     (2) Twardy v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 1884

     (3) Berdakina v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 1902

     (4) Mazzo v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 1924

     (5) Fialkov v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 1954

     (6) Ayach v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 2062

     (7) Zia v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock, Daniel
         H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 1968

     (8) Mazzo v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 1980

     (9) Bazag v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 2122

    (10) Breier v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 2146

    (11) Farzam et al. v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S.
         Braddock, Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV
         2176

    (12) Caswell v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 2169

    (13) Howard Gunty Profit Sharing Plan v. priceline.com,
         Inc., Richard S. Braddock, Daniel H. Schulman and Jay
         S. Walker, 3:00 CV 1917

    (14) Cerelli v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 1918

    (15) Mayer v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 1923

    (16) Anish v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 1948

    (17) Atkin v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 1994

    (18) Lyon v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 2066

    (19) Kwan v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 2069

    (20) Krim v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 2083

    (21) Karas v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 2232

    (22) Michols v. priceline.com, Inc., Richard S. Braddock,
         Daniel H. Schulman and Jay S. Walker, 3:00 CV 2280

All of these cases have been assigned to Judge Dominick J.
Squatrito.  On September 12, 2001, Judge Squatrito ordered that
these cases be consolidated under "In Re Priceline.com, Inc.
Securities Litigation, Master File No. 3:00cv1884 (DJS)," and he
designated lead plaintiffs and lead plaintiffs' counsel.  On
October 29, 2001, plaintiffs served a Consolidated Amended
Complaint.  On February 5, 2002, Amerindo Investment Advisors,
Inc., who is one of the lead plaintiffs in the consolidated
action, made a motion for leave to withdraw as lead plaintiff.
The Court has yet to rule on that motion.

On February 28, 2002, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the
Consolidated Amended Complaint.  On October 7, 2004, the Court
issued a Memorandum of Decision granting, in part, and denying,
in part, the Company's motion, and ordered the submission of a
proposed discovery plan by October 29, 2004.


PROGRESS ENERGY: NY Court Hears Motion To Dismiss Stock Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York heard oral arguments on the dismissal of the
consolidated securities class action filed against Progress
Energy, Inc. on November 15,2004.


On February 3, 2004, the Company was served with a class action
complaint alleging violations of federal security laws in
connection with the Company's issuance of Contingent Value
Obligations (CVOs).  The action was filed by Gerber Asset
Management LLC and names the Company and its former Chairman
William Cavanaugh III as defendants.  The Complaint alleges that
the Company failed to timely disclose the impact of the
Alternative Minimum Tax required under Sections 55-59 of the
Internal Revenue Code (Code) on the value of certain CVOs issued
in connection with the Florida Progress Corporation merger.  The
suit seeks unspecified compensatory damages, as well as
attorneys' fees and litigation costs.

On March 31, 2004, a second class action complaint was filed by
Stanley Fried, Raymond X. Talamantes and Jacquelin Talamantes
against William Cavanaugh III and the Company alleging
violations of federal securities laws arising out of the
Company's issuance of CVOs nearly identical to those alleged in
the February 3, 2004 Gerber Asset Management complaint.  On
April 29, 2004, the Honorable John E. Sprizzo ordered among
other things that the two class action cases be consolidated,
Peak6 Capital Management LLC shall serve as the lead plaintiff
in the consolidated action, and the lead plaintiff shall file a
consolidated amended complaint on or before June 15, 2004.

The lead plaintiff filed a consolidated amended complaint on
June 15, 2004. In addition to the allegations asserted in the
Gerber Asset Management and Fried complaints, the consolidated
amended complaint alleges that the Company failed to disclose
that excess fuel credits could not be carried over from one tax
year into later years.  On July 30, 2004, the Company filed
a motion to dismiss the complaint; plaintiff submitted its
opposition brief on September 14, 2004.


QUEST SOFTWARE: Asks CA Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Quest Software, Inc. asked the United States District Court for
the Central District of California to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action filed against it and certain of its
officers and directors.

After the Company announced on July 23, 2003 that it would
restate certain financial results as a result of its discovery
of a computational error relating to an error in the method used
to translate foreign currency denominated accounts into U.S.
Dollars at historical rates, numerous separate complaints
purporting to be class actions were filed in the United States
District Court for the Central District of California alleging
that the Company and some of its officers and directors violated
provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Orders designating a lead plaintiff and consolidating the
federal class action complaints were issued by the U. S.
District Court in late October 2003, and an amended consolidated
class action complaint was filed in January 2004.  On May 10,
2004, the U.S. District Court granted the Company's motion to
dismiss the amended consolidated class action complaint without
prejudice.  A second amended class action complaint was filed in
U.S. District Court in early July 2004.  The Company's motion to
dismiss the second amended class action complaint was filed in
August 2004, and the U.S. District Court heard it in November
2004.


QUOVADX INC.: Presents Suit Settlement To NY Court For Approval
---------------------------------------------------------------
QuovadX, Inc. presented the settlement of the consolidated
securities class action filed against it to the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York for
preliminary approval.

On November 14, 2001, a shareholder class action was filed
alleging that the prospectus from the Company's February 10,
2000 initial public offering (IPO) failed to disclose certain
alleged improper actions by various underwriters for the
offering in the allocation of the IPO shares.  The amended
complaint alleges claims against certain underwriters, the
Company and certain officers and directors under the Securities
Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Bartula v.
XCare.net, Inc., et al., Case No. 01-CV-10075).

Similar complaints have been filed concerning more than 300
other IPO's; all of these cases have been coordinated as In re
Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, 21 MC 92.  In a
negotiated agreement, individual defendants, including all of
the individuals named in the complaint filed against the
Company, were dismissed without prejudice, subject to a tolling
agreement.  Issuer and underwriter defendants in these cases
filed motions to dismiss and, on February 19, 2003, the Court
issued an opinion and order on those motions that dismissed
selected claims against certain defendants, including the Rule
10b-5 fraud claims against the Company, leaving only the Section
11 strict liability claims under the Securities Act of 1933
against the Company.

A committee of its Board of Directors has approved a settlement
proposal made by the plaintiffs, but the settlement is subject
to a number of conditions.  If the settlement is not achieved,
the Company will continue to aggressively defend the claims.


QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: CO Judge Tosses Some Claims, Allows Others
----------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn dismissed class-action
civil claims against former Qwest Communications President
Afshin Mohebbi and a former sales executive, and dismissed some
allegations against the Denver-based firm, the Rocky Mountain
News reports.

However, the federal judge ruled that other aspects of the case
against Qwest, director Phil Anschutz and former executives Joe
Nacchio, James Smith, Robin Szeliga, Drake Tempest and Robert
Woodruff may move forward.

Judge Blackburn also denied Arthur Andersen's motion to dismiss
allegations that its audit of Qwest's network capacity
accounting in 1999 was misleading.

The ruling came on the heels of recent mediation sessions in
which Qwest has intensified its efforts to settle civil lawsuits
that say the firm misled investors and engaged in accounting and
securities fraud, it was unclear though how the order might
affect a possible settlement. Most of the claims dismissed had
been added as part of a fifth amended complaint that had named
Mr. Mohebbi and former sales executive Gregory Casey as
defendants for the first time, which was filed in February by
the plaintiffs, according to their lead law firm, Lerach
Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins in San Diego.

Qwest has set aside $750 million to cover a possible settlement
of its civil lawsuits and to pay a $250 million fine recently
imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Judge Blackburn threw out several new claims made against Qwest,
including allegations that the firm several years ago
exaggerated the number of its wireless customers, improperly
accounted for costs of a video DSL project, and engaged in
cramming and slamming. Cramming and slamming are related to
putting unauthorized charges on a customer's bill or switching a
customer's providers without permission.

He however, allowed a number of amended claims to proceed,
including allegations that Qwest failed to properly disclose
$222 million worth of asset depreciation and a change in its
pension rate, and improperly recognized revenue from some
additional fiber-optic capacity deals in 1999.

In January, Judge Blackburn had also dismissed some claims
against Arthur Andersen while allowing others to proceed. In his
most recent ruling, he again ruled that the others could go
forward; including allegations that Arthur Andersen's 2000 audit
of Qwest's 1999 fiber-optic capacity deals was materially
inaccurate.

The plaintiffs also have alleged that Arthur Andersen received
nearly $8 million in fees from Qwest in 2000, fees that could
have motivated the auditor to disregard a client's improper
accounting. Arthur Andersen in part had argued that the
allegations weren't made in a timely fashion.


REGISTER.COM: Submits Stock Suit Pact To NY Court for Approval
--------------------------------------------------------------
Register.com, Inc. submitted the settlement of the consolidated
securities class action filed against it, its former Chairman,
President and Chief Executive Officer Richard D. Forman, its
former Vice President of Finance and Accounting, Alan G.
Breitman and Goldman Sachs & Co. and Lehman Brothers, Inc.,
two of the underwriters in the syndicate for the Company's March
3, 2000 initial public offering to the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York for preliminary
approval.

A Consolidated Amended Complaint captioned "In re: Register.com,
Inc. Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation," (which is
now the operative complaint), was filed on April 19, 2002.  The
Consolidated Amended Complaint seeks unspecified damages as a
result of various alleged securities law violations arising from
activities purportedly engaged in by the underwriters in
connection with the Company's initial public offering.
Plaintiffs allege that the underwriter defendants agreed to
allocate stock in the Company's initial public offering to
certain investors in exchange for excessive and undisclosed
commissions and agreements by those investors to make additional
purchases of stock in the aftermarket at pre-determined prices.
Plaintiffs allege that the prospectus for the Company's initial
public offering was false and misleading in violation of the
securities laws because it did not disclose these arrangements.

The action is being coordinated with approximately three hundred
other nearly identical actions filed against other companies
before one judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York.  On October 9, 2002, the Court dismissed
the Individual Defendants from the case without prejudice based
on Stipulations of Dismissal filed by the plaintiffs and the
Individual Defendants.  On February 19, 2003, the Court denied
the motion to dismiss the complaint against the Company.

The Company has approved a settlement agreement and related
agreements which set forth the terms of a settlement between the
Company, the plaintiff class and the vast majority of the other
approximately 300 defendants.  Among other provisions, the
settlement agreement provides for a release of the Company and
the individual defendants for the conduct alleged in the action
to be wrongful.  The Company would also agree to take certain
actions, including agreeing to assign away, not assert, or
release certain potential claims the Company may have against
its underwriters.  The settlement agreement has not yet been
executed and will be subject to approval by the Court, which
approval cannot be assured.


REGISTER.COM: NY Court Holds Hearing For Consumer Lawsuit Pact
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of the State of New York heard oral arguments
for the approval of the settlement of the class action filed
against Register.com, Inc.

Brian Wornow filed the suit on May 2,2002, on behalf of himself
and all others similarly situated, alleging that the Company's
SafeRenew program violates New York law.  The Company's
SafeRenew program was implemented in January 2001 on an
"opt-out basis" to .com, .net and .org registrations registered
through the www.register.com website, and was subsequently
expanded to cover certain ccTLDs registered through this
website.  Under the terms of our services agreement, at the time
a covered registration comes up for renewal, we attempt to
charge a registrant's on-file credit card a one year renewal fee
and, if the charge is successful, to renew the registration for
that additional one-year period.  The Company believes that the
SafeRenew program was properly adopted as an effort to protect
its customers' online identities, it stated in a disclosure to
the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment that the SafeRenew
program violates New York General Obligations Law Section 5-903,
and also asserted claims for breach of contract, money had and
received, and unjust enrichment. Plaintiff further sought to
enjoin Register.com from automatically renewing domain name
registrations, an award of compensatory damages, restitution,
disgorgement of profits (plus interest), cost and expenses,
attorneys' fees, and punitive damages.

On September 6, 2002, Register.com filed a motion to dismiss
the complaint in its entirety. On April 17, 2003, Register.com's
motion was granted as to two counts (declaratory judgment and
breach of contract), but denied as to two other counts (unjust
enrichment and money had and received). On May 2, 2003,
Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal to the Appellate Division,
First Department of the two counts that were dismissed.

On May 15, 2003, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint asserting
new causes of action against Register.com for:

     (1) deceptive trade practices in violation of New York
         General Business Law Section 349;

     (2) conversion; and

     (3) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair
         dealing.

On June 9, 2003, Register.com moved to dismiss Plaintiff's newly
asserted causes of action.  On February 19, 2004, Register.com's
motion to dismiss the first, fourth and a fifth causes of action
of Plaintiff's amended complaint was granted.  Plaintiff has
perfected an appeal from this ruling and on June 8, 2004 the
Appellate Division, First Department affirmed the dismissal of
all five counts.  Register.com and the Plaintiff have agreed
upon a settlement, the terms of which remain subject to approval
by the Court.


REGISTER.COM: Settles NY Unfair Trade Lawsuit, Case Dismissed
-------------------------------------------------------------
Register.com, Inc. settled the class action filed against it in
the Supreme Court of the State of New York, alleging violations
of the state's business laws.

The suit alleges that by linking new domain names registered
through Register.com to a "Coming Soon" web page that informs
visitors the name was recently registered through Register.com,
and provides links to services provided by Register.com and its
business partners, as well as a banner advertisement for such
services, the Company:

     (1) breached an implied covenant of good faith and fair
         dealing;

     (2) engaged in deceptive trade practices in violation of
         New York General Business Law Section 349; and

     (3) was unjustly enriched

In August 2001, the Court granted Register.com's motion to
dismiss Plaintiff's claims for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted.  Plaintiff appealed the dismissal
and in April 2003 the Appellate Division, First Department
affirmed the dismissal of the unjust enrichment cause of action,
but reinstated the causes of action for breach of an implied
covenant of good faith and fair dealing and deceptive trade
practices.

Thereafter, Register.com and Plaintiff agreed upon a settlement
which, following notice to the proposed settlement class, was
approved by the Court on November 3, 2003.  In accordance with
the settlement, Register.com has provided each member of the
putative class with a coupon for a five dollar discount off of
future purchases of Register.com's fees for domain name
registrations and renewals and has paid attorney's fees in the
amount awarded by the Court to class counsel. These coupons
expired in October 2004 and the case has been dismissed.


SAFEGUARD SCIENTIFICS: PA Court Grants Summary Judgment Motion
--------------------------------------------------------------
Safeguard Scientifics Inc. recently scored a major victory in a
case in which the plaintiffs accused it of violating federal
securities laws, the American City Business Journals reports.

According to the Wayne, Philadelphia-based Company, the U.S.
District Court in Philadelphia has granted its motion for
summary judgment in the case, which is a consolidation of
lawsuits filed against it in 2001.

The lawsuits alleged that Safeguard inadequately disclosed
transactions involving its former chairman and CEO, Warren V.
"Pete" Musser, who was forced to sell his Safeguard shares to
cover margin calls when the Internet bubble burst. The Court had
previously denied the request of the plaintiffs in the case to
make the suits a class action.

A separate lawsuit filed last July basically made the same
claims as the original suits, but it was stayed pending a ruling
on the motion for summary judgment in the first case, thus the
Court has not taken any further action on it.  Safeguard said it
was pleased with the Court's ruling, but noted it can be
appealed.


SELECTICA INC.: NY Court Mulls Approval For Lawsuit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York is considering preliminary approval for the settlement
of the consolidated securities class action filed against
Selectica, Inc., certain of its officers and directors, and
Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation (CSFB), as the
underwriters of its March 13, 2000 initial public offering
(IPO).

Between June 5, 2001 and June 22, 2001, four securities class
action complaints were filed and later consolidated before a
single judge along with cases brought against numerous other
issuers, their officers and directors and their underwriters,
that make similar allegations involving the allocation of shares
in the IPOs of those issuers.  The consolidation was for
purposes of pretrial motions and discovery only.

On April 19, 2002, plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended
complaint asserting essentially the same claims as the original
complaints.  The amended complaint alleges that the Company, the
officer and director defendants and CSFB violated federal
securities laws by making material false and misleading
statements in the prospectus incorporated in the Company's
registration statement on Form S-1 filed with the SEC in
March2000 in connection with its IPO.

Specifically, the complaint alleges, among other things, that
CSFB solicited and received excessive and undisclosed
commissions from several investors in exchange for which CSFB
allocated to those investors material portions of the restricted
number of shares of common stock issued in the Company's IPO.
The complaint further alleges that CSFB entered into agreements
with its customers in which it agreed to allocate the common
stock sold in our IPO to certain customers in exchange for which
such customers agreed to purchase additional shares of the
Company's common stock in the after-market at pre-determined
prices.  The complaint also alleges that the underwriters
offered to provide positive market analyst coverage for the
Company after the IPO, which had the effect of manipulating the
market for Selectica's stock.

On July 15, 2002, the Company and the officer and director
defendants, along with other issuers and their related officer
and director defendants, filed a joint motion to dismiss based
on common issues.  Opposition and reply papers were filed and
the Court heard oral argument.  Prior to the ruling on the
motion to dismiss, on October 8, 2002, the individual officers
and directors entered into a stipulation of dismissal and
tolling agreement with plaintiffs.

As part of that agreement, plaintiffs dismissed the case without
prejudice against the individual defendants. The Court ordered
the dismissal of the officers and directors without prejudice on
October 9, 2002.  The Court rendered its decision on the motion
to dismiss on February 19, 2003, denying dismissal of the
Company.

On June 25, 2003, a Special Committee of the Board of Directors
of the Company approved a Memorandum of Understanding (the MOU)
reflecting a settlement in which the plaintiffs agreed to
dismiss the case against the Company with prejudice in return
for the assignment by the Company of claims that the Company
might have against its underwriters.  No payment to the
plaintiffs by the Company is required under the MOU.  After
further negotiations, the essential terms of the MOU were
formalized in a Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement
("Settlement"), which has been executed on behalf of the
Company.  The settling parties presented the Settlement papers
to the Court on June 14, 2004 and filed formal motions seeking
preliminary approval on June 25, 2004.  The underwriter
defendants, who are not parties to the Settlement, filed a brief
objecting to its terms on July 14, 2004.  The Court is reviewing
the matter and has had continued discussion with all of the
parties regarding the terms of the Settlement.

In the meantime, the plaintiffs and underwriters have continued
to litigate the consolidated action. The litigation is
proceeding through the class certification phase by focusing on
six cases chosen by the plaintiffs and underwriters ("focus
cases"). Selectica is not a focus case. On October 13, 2004, the
Court certified classes in each of the six focus cases.
Selectica, along with the other non-focus case issuer
defendants, has not participated in the class certification
phase. It is awaiting the Court's decision on preliminary
approval of the Settlement.


SEQUENOM INC.: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sequenom, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to approve the settlement for the
consolidated securities class action filed against it and
certain of its current or former officers and directors.

Collegeware USA filed the suit, designated as Case No. 01-CV-
10831.  Similar complaints were filed in the same Court against
hundreds of other public companies that conducted initial public
offerings of their common stock in the late 1990s and 2000.  In
the complaint, the plaintiffs allege the Company's underwriters,
certain of its officers and directors and the Company violated
the federal securities laws because the Company's registration
statement and prospectus contained untrue statements of material
fact or omitted material facts regarding the compensation to be
received by and the stock allocation practices of the
underwriters.  The plaintiffs seek unspecified monetary damages
and other relief.

In October 2002, the Company's officers and directors were
dismissed without prejudice pursuant to a stipulated dismissal
and tolling agreement with the plaintiffs.  In February 2003,
the Court dismissed the claim against the Company brought under
Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, without
giving the plaintiffs leave to amend the complaint with respect
to that claim.  The Court, however, declined to dismiss the
claim against the Company brought under Section 11 of the
Securities Act of 1933.

In June 2003, pursuant to the authorization of a special
litigation committee of the Company's Board of Directors, it
approved in principle a settlement offer by the plaintiffs.  In
June 2004, the Company executed a settlement agreement with the
plaintiffs.  The settlement is subject to a number of
conditions, including action by the Court certifying a class
action for settlement purposes and formally approving the
settlement.  The underwriters have opposed both the
certification of the class and the judicial approval of the
settlement.

The suit is styled "In Re Sequenom, Inc. IPO Securities
Litigation, 01-cv-10831-SAS," related to "In re IPO Securities
Litigation," filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, under Judge Shira A. Scheindlin.
The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

     (1) Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP (New York, NY), 10 E.
         40th Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         800.217.1522, E-mail: info@bernlieb.com

     (2) Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP (New York,
         NY), One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY, 10119-1065,
         Phone: 212.594.5300

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

     (4) Sirota & Sirota, LLP, 110 Wall Street 21st Floor, New
         York, NY, 10005, Phone: 888.759.2990, Fax:
         212.425.9093, E-mail: Info@SirotaLaw.com

     (5) Stull, Stull & Brody (New York), 6 East 45th Street,
         New York, NY, 10017, Phone: 310.209.2468, Fax:
         310.209.2087, E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com

     (6) Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman & Herz LLP, 270
         Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         212.545.4600, Fax: 212.686.0114, E-mail:
         newyork@whafh.com



SONICWALL INC.: Asks NY Court To Approve Stock Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
SonicWALL, Inc. submitted the proposed settlement for the
consolidated securities class action filed against it, three of
its officers and directors, and certain of the underwriters in
the Company's initial public offering in November 1999 and its
follow-on offering in March 2000 to the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York for preliminary
approval.

Similar complaints were filed in the same Court against numerous
public companies that conducted initial public offerings (IPOs)
of their common stock since the mid-1990s.  All of these
lawsuits were consolidated for pretrial purposes before Judge
Shira Scheindlin.  On April 19, 2002, plaintiffs filed an
amended complaint.

The amended complaint alleges claims under the Securities Act of
1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and seeks damages
or rescission for misrepresentations or omissions in the
prospectuses relating to, among other things, the alleged
receipt of excessive and undisclosed commissions by the
underwriters in connection with the allocation of shares of
common stock in the Company's public offerings.

On July 15, 2002, the issuers filed an omnibus motion to dismiss
for failure to comply with applicable pleading standards.  On
October 8, 2002, the Court entered an Order of Dismissal as to
all of the individual defendants in the SonicWALL IPO
litigation, without prejudice. On February 19, 2003, the Court
denied the motion to dismiss the Company's claims.

A tentative agreement has been reached with plaintiff's counsel
and the insurers for the settlement and release of claims
against the issuer defendants, including SonicWALL, in exchange
for a guaranteed recovery to be paid by the issuer defendants'
insurance carriers and an assignment of certain claims. Papers
formalizing the settlement among the plaintiffs, issuer
defendants, including SonicWALL, and insurers were presented to
the Court on June 14, 2004.  The settlement is subject to a
number of conditions, including approval of the proposed
settling parties and the Court.  On July 14, 2004, underwriter
defendants filed with the Court a memorandum in opposition to
plaintiff's motion for preliminary approval of the settlement
with defendant issuers and individuals. Plaintiffs and issuers
subsequently filed papers with the Court in further support of
the settlement and addressing issues raised in the underwriter's
opposition.


SONICWALL INC.: Plaintiffs Dismiss Securities Suits in N.D. CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed three class actions filed
against SonicWALL, Inc. and certain of its current and former
officers and directors in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California, on behalf of purchasers of
the Company's common stock between October 17, 2000 and April 3,
2002, inclusive.  The suits are styled:

    (1) Edwards v. SonicWALL, Inc., et al., No. C-03-5537 SBA
         (N.D. Cal.) ("Edwards");

     (2) Chaykowsky v. SonicWALL, Inc., et al., No. C-04-0202
         MJJ (N.D. Cal.) ("Chaykowsky");

     (3) Pensiero DPM Inc. v. SonicWALL, Inc., et al., No. C-03-
         5633 JSW (N.D. Cal.) ("Pensiero")

The complaints sought unspecified damages and generally alleged
that the Company's financial statements were false and
misleading in violation of federal securities laws because the
financial statements included revenue recorded on the sale of
load-balancing products that were defective and did not comply
with a purported warranty.

On February 9, 2004, plaintiffs in the Edwards case voluntarily
dismissed their compliant without prejudice. On April 7, 2004,
plaintiffs in the Chaykowsky case voluntarily dismissed their
complaint without prejudice and on April 15, 2004, plaintiffs in
the Pensiero case voluntarily dismissed their compliant without
prejudice.


TAP PHARMACEUTICALS: MA Judge Approves $150M Lupron Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
United States District Court Judge, Richard G. Stearns, recently
granted preliminary approval of a proposed $150 million
settlement between TAP Pharmaceuticals Products, Inc. and a
nationwide class of consumers and third-party payors who
purchased the drug Lupron(R). Lupron is primarily prescribed to
treat prostate cancer in men, endometriosis and uterine fibroids
in women, and premature puberty in children.

The lawsuit, consolidating many federal cases in United States
District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston,
charged that TAP Pharmaceutical Products, Inc., Abbott
Laboratories and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited conspired
to fraudulently market, sell and distribute Lupron. The suit
claimed that the companies forced consumers to pay inflated
prices for the drug by artificially inflating the "Average
Wholesale Price" of the drug, giving free samples to doctors
knowing they would charge patients and insurers for them, and
giving incentives to doctors so that they would prescribe Lupron
instead of cheaper alternatives.

TAP Pharmaceuticals previously pled guilty to criminal and civil
charges regarding Lupron brought by the U.S. Attorney and
eventually paid $875 million in penalties in 2001. But that
settlement did not include or compensate private consumers or
insurers who were illegally overcharged.

According to Thomas M. Sobol, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs
and managing partner of the Boston office of Hagens Berman, this
proposed settlement gives consumers well-deserved compensation
for damages they suffered.

"The settlement will likely provide full compensation to
consumers for the overpayments they made for this cancer
treatment drug, and affords substantial compensation to the
insurers of Lupron patients," said Sobol. "This litigation sends
a message to pharmaceutical companies that they must be ethical
in their dealings with customers or they will face legal
repercussions."

Under the proposed settlement, TAP will pay $150 million on
behalf of all defendants. After paying $55 million to certain
health plans, the remaining $95 million will go to consumers,
additional health plans and litigation costs and fees. If the
Court gives final approval to the proposed settlement,
individual class members will get payments based on the amount
of Lupron they purchased. TAP admits no wrongdoing in the
settlement.

"This settlement is an enormous victory for everyone who was
illegally overcharged for Lupron. Consumers will get 100 cents
on the dollar for their damages," said Alex Sugerman-Brozan,
director of the Prescription Access Litigation Project (PAL).
"This is the high-water mark for drug pricing cases, and is the
result of aggressive consumer participation in the case." PAL is
a nationwide coalition of over 100 consumer organizations that
is involved in over 20 class action lawsuits on drug price
issues.

The class includes all persons or entities that purchased any
formulation of the drug Lupron from January 1, 1985 until at
least December 31, 2004, perhaps later. Class members will be
notified of their eligibility and will be given the option to
file a settlement claim or exclude themselves from the suit by
the end of the class period, March 31, 2005. Class members can
also find additional information on the Lupron settlement at
http://www.lupronclaims.com.


THESTREET.COM: Submits Securities Lawsuit Settlement to NY Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
TheStreet.com, Inc. submitted the settlement of the consolidated
securities class action filed against it to the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York for
preliminary approval.

On December 5, 2001, a class action lawsuit alleging violations
of the federal securities laws was filed naming as defendants
the Company, certain of its former officers and directors and
James J. Cramer, a current director, and certain underwriters of
the Company's initial public offering:

     (1) The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.,

     (2) Chase H& Q,

     (3) Thomas Weisel Partners LLC,

     (4) FleetBoston Robertson Stephens, and

     (5) Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith, Inc.

Plaintiffs allege that the underwriters of TheStreet.com, Inc.'s
initial public offering violated the securities laws by failing
to disclose certain alleged compensation arrangements (such as
undisclosed commissions or stock stabilization practices) in the
offering's registration statement.  The plaintiffs seek damages
and statutory compensation against each defendant in an amount
to be determined at trial, plus pre-judgment interest thereon,
together with costs and expenses, including attorneys' fees.

Similar suits were filed against over 300 other issuers that had
initial public offerings between 1998 and December 2001, and
they have all been consolidated into a single action.  Pursuant
to a Court Order dated October 9, 2002, each of the individual
defendants to the action has been dismissed without prejudice.
On June 8, 2004, the Company and its individual defendants
(together with the Company's insurance carriers) entered into a
settlement with the plaintiffs.  The settlement is subject to a
hearing on fairness and approval by the Court overseeing the
litigation.

The suit is styled "In Re TheStreet.com, Inc. IPO Securities
Litigation," related to "In re IPO Securities Litigation," filed
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York, under Judge Shira A. Scheindlin.  The plaintiff firms
in this litigation are:

     (1) Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP (New York, NY), 10 E.
         40th Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         800.217.1522, E-mail: info@bernlieb.com

     (2) Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP (New York,
         NY), One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY, 10119-1065,
         Phone: 212.594.5300

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

     (4) Sirota & Sirota, LLP, 110 Wall Street 21st Floor, New
         York, NY, 10005, Phone: 888.759.2990, Fax:
         212.425.9093, E-mail: Info@SirotaLaw.com

     (5) Stull, Stull & Brody (New York), 6 East 45th Street,
         New York, NY, 10017, Phone: 310.209.2468, Fax:
         310.209.2087, E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com

     (6) Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman & Herz LLP, 270
         Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         212.545.4600, Fax: 212.686.0114, E-mail:
         newyork@whafh.com


TOYOTA NORTH: Recalls 92,577 Headlights Due To Noncompliance
------------------------------------------------------------
Toyota North America, Inc. in cooperation with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects
Investigation is voluntarily recalling about 92,577 Year 2001 &
2000 Toyota Celica Headlights.

According to the ODI, certain passenger vehicles fail to comply
with the requirements of the federal motor vehicle safety
standard no. 108, "lamps, reflective devices and associated
equipment." The luminous intensity of the daytime running lamp
(DRL) will be modified to meet the standard requirements.

As a remedy, dealers will install a resistor, which will
decrease the luminous intensity of the DRL. The recall is
expected to begin this March 2005. For more details, contact
Toyota by Phone: 1-800-331-4331 the NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline:
1-888-327-4236.



UNOMEDICAL INC.: Issues Safety Alert For Hospitak Airway Adapter
----------------------------------------------------------------
Unomedical, Inc. in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration has issued a public safety alert regarding their
Hospitak brand 22 mm /15mm airway adapter (Ref 962-E)
distributed by Unomedical Inc., McAllen, Texas, because of
safety concerns.

The product is labeled as being manufactured by Unomedical, Inc
of McAllen, Texas and assembled in Mexico. Several adapters have
been blocked or occluded -- potentially preventing exhalation or
inhalation. This could result in serious or life-threatening
injury to patients. To date one serious patient injury has been
reported.

Although this product is primarily distributed to medical
institutions, some units could be distributed for home use.
These adapters are used as accessories in a wide variety of
respiratory applications, for example: extending breathing
circuits and attaching reservoir bags.

Hospitak brand 22 mm /15mm adapters were distributed to hospital
and home health care supply distributors nationwide. Two lots
have been identified as being potentially affected by the
problem so far:

     (1) Lot 04-40, dated 2004 09

     (2) Lot 04-41, dated 2004 10

This investigation is continuing and other lot numbers may be
involved. The adapter's package labeling can be identified by
the Hospitak brand name and "REF 962-E." Patients and medical
health professionals who have Hospitak adapters should check
with Unomedical, Inc. before using the product to make sure it
is not occluded. Unomedical can be reached at 1-800-634-6003.
Those who have other questions or concerns may also contact U.S.
Food and Drug Administration by Mail: 5600 Fishers Lane,
Rockville, MD 20857-0001 or by Phone: 1-888-INFO-FDA
(1-888-463-6332).

                         Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NSW Certification Plan Rouses Further Talks
----------------------------------------------------------------
A plan to require a certification proving that NSW houses were
asbestos-safe before selling needed further discussion before
laws were passed, a property association said last week. The
proposal stemmed from the Australian Manufacturing Workers
Union, one of the unions fighting for compensation for the
victims of James Hardie Industries' asbestos products.

Paul Bastian, the state secretary for AMWU NSW, said the union
was pushing for the certificates as a regulation to prevent
people becoming exposed to asbestos. "What we have asked for is
it [the certificate] should identify whether or not the house
contains asbestos, where it is located and what state it is in,"
Mr. Bastian said. He intimated that there was a lot of support
for the plan, which was reportedly passed by the NSW Labor
caucus and could become state law by next year. Homeowners also
would need the asbestos certificates, costing at least $150 to
obtain, to get council approval for renovations or demolitions.

Real Estate Institute of NSW president Rowen Kelly also said the
plan had merit but might not be the best approach. "There has to
be a procedure in place to the consumer so we certainly support
that principle, it's just whether this is the best way to go
about it," Mr. Kelly said. "It needs to be discussed more and
there needs to be more consultation.

Mr. Kelly said there was no need to make every household in NSW
pay for an inspection. "There is a vast majority of properties
built since they stopped using asbestos in products," he said.
He also said the law would place a greater financial burden on
the seller and delay the house-selling process. "Our concern is
there were 62,000 properties, houses not apartments, sold in NSW
last year, so if you times that by a minimum of $150, that's a
lot of millions of dollars," Mr. Kelly said. "That will be
another expense and time delay that the seller has placed on
them."

But a spokeswoman for the Australian Consumers Association said
it would be a cost that most people would not mind paying. She
believes that from the perspective of the overall community
good, it is a cost that a lot of consumers would willingly shell
out for. The plan to introduce the law follows similar safety
measures carried out by two Sydney councils, Holroyd and
Ashfield, which already have asbestos policies in place.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inquest Reveals Ex-Mayor Yielded to Cancer
---------------------------------------------------------------
A recent inquest heard that former Carlisle mayor Alf Brumwell
died after being exposed to asbestos while working as a heating
engineer. Coroner Ian Morton recorded a verdict of industrial
cause on the death of Mr. Brumwell, who worked stripping and
repairing boilers for 19 years.

Mr. Brumwell was 62 when he died from malignant mesothelioma,
lung cancer due to exposure to asbestos, last year. He started
his career in Newcastle before moving to Carlisle, where he
worked for M Robinson heating engineers, and David Thompson's,
which later became part of the HAT group. Only in the latter
years of his career did the dangers of asbestos become known and
it wasn't until later still that he was given a mask for
protection.

His wife, Angela, told the inquest that as an apprentice he had
often worn only minimal clothing since the work was so hot. Mr.
Brumwell stripped asbestos lagging from boilers and either
replaced or repaired pipework. He was then usually working in
the vicinity while the boilers were relagged with asbestos
insulation. In 1980, he left to work in insurance and in 1995
began to work for Chubb Security.

In September 2000, he noticed a sharp decline in lung capacity
and was given antibiotics for bronchitis. He was diagnosed with
malignant mesothelioma only after several months of tests.

Wife Angela said, "He always had it in the back of his mind that
it was asbestos. He used to say that older men he worked with
didn't reach their retirement age."

He gave up work in 2001 and was admitted to the Eden Valley
Hospice where he died three days later on July 18 last year.
Coroner Ian Morton said, "He obviously had a useful life and the
sad thing is that it had to be cut short. The judgment must be
that it was an industrial cause."

A civic funeral was held last year for Mr. Brumwell, originally
from Byker in Newcastle. He came to Carlisle in 1976 for work
and became a Labor councilor in the mid-1980s representing
Botcherby and Upperby. He became mayor in 1996 and adopted the
Eden Valley Hospice as his nominated charity for that year.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scotts Co. Named in Asbestos Exposure Cases
----------------------------------------------------------------
Scotts Company (NYSE: SMG), the world's largest maker and
marketer of horticultural and turf products, has been named a
defendant in a number of cases alleging injuries that the
lawsuits claim resulted from exposure to asbestos-containing
products. These claims were apparently based on the Company's
historic use of vermiculite in certain of its products. The
complaints in these cases are not specific about the plaintiffs'
contacts with the Company or its products.

The Marysville, Ohio-based Company in each case is one of
numerous defendants and none of the claims seeks damages from it
alone. The Company believes that the claims against it are
without merit and is vigorously defending them. It is not
currently possible to reasonably estimate a probable loss, if
any, associated with the cases and, accordingly, no accrual or
reserves have been recorded in the Company's consolidated
financial statements. There can be no assurance that these
cases, whether as a result of adverse outcomes or as a result of
significant defense costs, will not have a material adverse
effect on Company, its financial condition or its results of
operations.

The Scotts Company is reviewing agreements and policies that may
provide insurance coverage or indemnity as to these claims and
is pursuing coverage under some of these agreements, although
there can be no assurance of the results of these efforts.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chase Corp. Continues to Face Asbestos Woes
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chase Corporation (AMEX: CCF), a diversified manufacturing
Company providing a wide-variety of high quality products and
services, is one of over a hundred defendants in each of three
personal injury lawsuits, all of which allege personal injury
from exposure to asbestos contained in various products.

Of these lawsuits, one is pending in Mississippi and two are
pending in Ohio. The Mississippi lawsuit is a wrongful death
action that is in discovery and has not yet been given a firm
trial date. One of the two lawsuits in Ohio has been scheduled
for trial on August 5, 2005, and is in discovery. The other Ohio
lawsuit has been inactive with respect to Chase since Chase was
named as a defendant in July 2004.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Agency Attempts to Eliminate Fly-tipping
----------------------------------------------------------------
With police help, the Environment Agency stopped and searched
vehicles suspected of carrying hazardous waste for illegal
disposal around London last weekend as part of a campaign to
eliminate fly-tipping.

Sir John Harman, the agency's chairman, said, "We are determined
to ensure that human health and the environment are not put at
risk by criminals who flout the law. Initiatives such as today's
send out a message to unscrupulous people who think they can
make a quick buck at the expense of the environment: we are
coming after you."

The agency's other enforcement actions include inspection visits
to producers of hazardous waste, inspections of all landfill
sites, the auditing of waste so that it can be traced from its
creation to its disposal, and inspections of companies involved
in the export of hazardous waste.

Hazardous waste has come under new regulation following the
implementation of a European Union directive on its disposal.
Since the implementation of the 2002 Landfill Regulations in
July, it has become illegal for hazardous and non-hazardous
waste to be disposed of in the same sites and the number of
disposal sites allowed to take in hazardous waste has been
reduced.

Waste classified as hazardous now includes paints and oils as
well as more obviously harmful substances such as asbestos, for
which special arrangements must be made. The Environment
Agency's website provides information on how waste can be
classified, according to a three-point guide.

Last week, the agency was awarded GBD2 million from the landfill
tax, levied on businesses for the disposal of their waste, to be
devoted to clamping down on illegal fly-tipping in 2005.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Bill Nearing Success, Talks Resume
----------------------------------------------------------------
Republican election triumphs have fueled hopes in numerous
businesses for passage of a federal law settling the nation's
asbestos injury suits over the next 27 years. Talks are expected
to resume within weeks on the measure, which would create a
US$140 billion, industry-financed, national trust fund to
compensate as many as 2 million sick workers. A bill could reach
the Senate floor early next year. A bill for a smaller US$124
billion trust fund reached the Senate floor last spring, but
fell 10 votes short.

Representatives of both industry and asbestos victims say
complex issues must be addressed before the legislation can go
forward, even with Republicans now just five votes short of a
60-vote, filibuster-proof Senate majority. President Bush's re-
election and the GOP's pickup of three Senate seats on Nov. 2
make it "easier, but not easy" to achieve an overall accord,
said Jan Amundson, senior vice president and general counsel of
the National Association of Manufacturers. But she acknowledged
that NAM's Asbestos Alliance of about 60 companies, which seek
to put a cap on their asbestos liabilities, has never been
closer to success.

Ms. Amundson said she expects the renewed talks to begin with a
US$140 billion trust fund agreed to this fall by Senate Majority
Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and soon-to-be-departed Minority
Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D. Daschle's successor, Sen. Harry Reid,
D-Nev., said he plans to pick up the negotiations.

Margaret Seminario, the health and safety director of the AFL-
CIO and a key negotiator for asbestos victims, said the GOP's
election gains make it harder for Democrats to hold the line in
negotiations. But, she said, that "doesn't change the reality
... that the asbestos disease crisis is massive, and the
compensation issues have to be addressed."

If the trust fund is inadequately bankrolled and collapses, she
said, what many congressional Republicans see as a "litigation
crisis" could become "a compensation crisis and a political
crisis," with victims on Congress members' doorsteps. "This is
really serious business," she said. "It's going to affect
hundreds of thousands of people, and it's going to affect them
immediately. ... We're not going to be party to something that
is set up to fail."

As many as 27 million workers have breathed dust from asbestos,
a naturally occurring, fire retardant mineral that was used in
3,000 products before its dangers became fully known in the
1960s and 1970s. The microscopic fibers, which embed in lung
tissues, typically take 10 to 40 years to cause disabling or
deadly diseases. Because asbestos is still in older buildings
and equipment, the human toll is expected to continue to climb
for 20 years or more.

The Rand Corp.'s Institute for Civil Justice estimates that
730,000 people filed asbestos injury claims through 2002, and
defendant companies and insurers paid US$70 billion in
settlements and Court judgments - 59 percent of it to attorneys
on both sides. Actuaries project that, absent government
intervention, the cost of asbestos injury litigation could reach
US$265 billion.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle would like to
find a legislative solution because of inequities in today's
Court system, where the sickest victims don't always get top
priority, and juries sometimes deliver huge awards that drain
available funds. Businesses blame a flood of claims, mostly from
people who have yet to develop disease symptoms, for 74
corporate bankruptcies.

During two years of negotiations in which key senators
frequently interceded, businesses, insurers, labor unions and
trial lawyers reached several mileposts. But although they
agreed on a schedule that would pay victims from US$20,000 to
US$1 million based on the severity of their illnesses, they have
deadlocked on how to transition from the Courts to a trust fund.

Negotiators for the AFL-CIO say it would take US$40 billion to
US$60 billion in the first five years to satisfy an expected
crush of initial claims. Businesses have offered considerably
less. For their part, the companies and their insurers want all
pending Court cases shifted to the new trust fund, a proposal
that draws objections from victims who have waited years to get
their day in Court.

Meantime, insurers are hedging on whether they will stand by an
earlier commitment to put up US$46 billion. Julie Rochman, a
spokeswoman for the American Insurance Association, said the
current trust fund proposal could unfairly force underwriters to
pay twice to people who've won partial Court settlements or
collected workers' compensation benefits. She said insurers are
"trying to step back" and take a new look at the problem. "There
is a limited amount of compensation available on the planet,"
Ms. Rochman said. "We don't print money."

Delays in reaching accord on the overall bill have brought on
new issues:

     (1) The American Thoracic Society this fall issued new
         guidelines that change the definition of asbestos-
         related disease and how to diagnose it;

     (2) Ms. Rochman said insurers have paid out large sums over
         the last two years but are still being asked to put up
         the same amount of cash;

     (3) Companies in bankruptcy proceedings, such as Grace, the
         Halliburton Corp., and other firms are setting up
         victims' trust funds. It's undecided whether they
         should be merged with the new national trust fund.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACT First to Impose Full Disclosure
--------------------------------------------------------
The Australian Capital Territories will become the first
jurisdiction in Australia and the world to require a full
declaration of asbestos content in all public and private homes
and buildings. This is the first legislative response by any
Government to the devastating health impact of mesothelioma, a
form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

The ACT's asbestos laws would obligate owners to disclose the
presence of asbestos products to potential purchasers, tenants,
and anyone doing relevant work at the premises. ACT Industrial
Relations Minister Katy Gallagher has revealed substantial
aspects of the Government's new asbestos program under the
Dangerous Substances legislation that will require a "point of
sale" asbestos report on all properties before they can be sold
by January 2006. Homeowners would have to prepare a report
showing the extent of asbestos in their homes. The main dangers
are said to come from asbestos in poor condition or when it was
disturbed for renovations. Undisturbed asbestos sheeting usually
posed no threat.

"It is also our commitment to home buyers, tenants and lessees
to guarantee that they are fully informed of any potential
dangers they may face in their home or workplace, now or in the
future," Ms. Gallagher said.

A public awareness campaign would begin in March for what would
be the most comprehensive asbestos management legislation in the
country. It would focus on home renovations in particular and on
the duties of homeowners to assess the extent of asbestos
content in their homes and to make a public disclosure before
selling the property.

An Asbestos Task Force would be established with 20 members,
half appointed by the minister from the unions, real estate
sector, industry and the community. The rest would be chief
executive officers or delegates from the ACT administration. The
committee is to report by August 2005.

Ministerial advisor, Garrett Purtill, said the task force would
provide the first empirical study of asbestos in Australia and
probably the world. He said the questions were, "What is the
state of asbestos, where is it and how old is it? What should we
do about it?" Mr. Purtill said that the task force would aim to
create the first comprehensive, easily accessible database in
the community at large.

Ms. Gallagher said the ACT's asbestos program was being watched
by all other jurisdictions and they were expected to model their
legislation on the ACT's. Essentially, the new legislation
created a duty to disclose publicly the asbestos content in
homes. The taskforce would focus on gathering and assessing
empirical data on the possible impact of the presence of
asbestos, with an aim of identifying high-risk properties.

The new laws would ensure that homeowners, tenants and buyers
would be better informed of asbestos products in houses, and
whether they were in a safe condition. The legislation was part
of Labor's commitment to ensuring that workers were safe when
going about their everyday business, and were not exposed to
hazardous and life-threatening substances like asbestos.

The former Federal Department of Territories began removing
loose asbestos from Canberra homes in 1987. However, some 86,000
homes were already built and most of them contained asbestos in
either loose or solid form. Only 1,066 properties had the loose
asbestos removed at Government expense. Canberra now has an
estimated 116,000 homes.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Judge Denies Delay of AWI Approval Hearing
---------------------------------------------------------------
PA District Court Judge Eduardo Robreno has refused to delay a
final review of Armstrong World Industries' reorganization plan
until Congress can act on asbestos reform legislation. Last
week, Judge Robreno set a Dec. 15 confirmation hearing to give
final approval of the Company's reorganization plan. It's been
nearly a year since a federal bankruptcy judge gave preliminary
approval of the plan.

Armstrong World Industries, the major operating subsidiary of
Armstrong Holdings, Inc. and its only substantial asset, filed
for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Dec. 6, 2000, due to nearly 200,000
outstanding asbestos personal-injury claims filed against it.

The Company's involvement in asbestos litigation relates
primarily to its taking part in the insulation contracting
business. Nearly all the asbestos-related personal injury and
wrongful death lawsuits brought against AWI relate to
individuals who claim they were exposed to the asbestos-
containing high-temperature thermal insulation products used by
AWI in its insulation contracting activities prior to 1958.

Some claims relate to materials used by a subsidiary, Armstrong
Contracting and Supply Corporation (ACandS) in connection with
ACandS's use of AWI's licensed tradename or trademarks after
1958. In some instances, personal injury claims have been
asserted against AWI on account of its asbestos-containing
gaskets or flooring materials.

Lawyers for Armstrong's unsecured creditors committee had asked
Judge Robreno to postpone final bankruptcy proceedings in the
hopes that Congress would enact a no-fault trust fund for U.S.
asbestos victims.

Last September, a bill creating an industry-financed national
trust fund to compensate asbestos victims failed to thrive after
Senate leaders were unable to reach agreement on some key
details, including deciding if pending asbestos claims would
stay in Court or transfer to the fund.

If Armstrong had been eligible to take part in the proposed
trust fund, the Company could save about US$1 billion in
asbestos liability compared to the current reorganization plan,
according to lawyers of Armstrong's unsecured creditors
committee.

The unsecured creditors committee filed a conditional objection
to the plan in September 2003, arguing Armstrong should wait for
the legislation to pass. However Judge Robreno did not share
Armstrong's optimism that Congress would take the matter up in
the first half of 2005.

The current plan, developed by Armstrong and its asbestos
creditors, gives asbestos plaintiffs two-thirds of the
enterprise value of the Company, and the bank and bond debt
holders will get one-third in cash, shares and notes.

Judge Randall Newsome approved Armstrong's plan in November 2003
in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. But
Alfred Wolin, the judge who was supposed to sign off on the
plan, was removed from the case before he was able to review it.

The Third Circuit Court removed Judge Wolin from the case on May
17, citing conflict of interest due to his involvement in
another asbestos case, choosing Judge Robreno as his
replacement.

Armstrong earlier this week announced it plans to reduce its
workforce, primarily in its flooring division, in response to
changing market conditions. This will lead to the elimination of
about 240 positions, 70 of which are located at the Lancaster
Headquarters. Employees affected by this decision will receive
severance and outplacement assistance.

In 2003, Armstrong's net sales totaled more than US$3 billion.
Based in Lancaster, PA, Armstrong has 44 plants in 12 countries
and about 15,500 employees worldwide.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: S&P Cuts Crane's Ratings Due to Settlements
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that the outlook is
negative for Stamford-Conn.-based Crane Co., which incurred
lower ratings because of the increase in debt stemming from
Crane's negotiated agreement to settle its current and future
asbestos claims.

Standard & Poor's credit analyst John Sico said, "However,
should the settlement process, including claim levels, or other
aspects of the Company's plan result in a greater level of debt
or failure to resolve the claims, ratings could be lowered
further."

Standard & Poor's lowered the Company's corporate credit and
senior unsecured ratings to 'BBB' from 'BBB+' and removed all
ratings from CreditWatch where they were placed on Oct. 22,
2004. At the same time, Standard & Poor's assigned its 'BBB'
senior unsecured bank loan rating to Crane's US$450 million
credit facilities, consisting of a US$300 million revolving
credit facility and a US$150 million term loan due in 2009.

The Class Action Reporter edition last October 29 announced that
in an effort to resolve all asbestos claims, the Company had
reached a comprehensive settlement agreement with both current
and future personal injury claimants. The settlement seeks to
establish these two trusts, which will be structured and
implemented pursuant to Section 524(g) of the U.S. Bankruptcy
Code.

In view of the asbestos settlement and filing of a 524(g),
Standard & Poor's rating considerations included the fact that
the settlement would put all liabilities related to asbestos
behind it; that it would ease a significant amount of management
time and expenses; and that management is expected to continue
to demonstrate investment-grade policies.

Crane Co. is a diversified manufacturer of highly engineered
products with sales of about US$2 billion. It has solid niche
positions in aerospace, fluid handling, transportation,
automated merchandising, and industrial markets. The Company
serves the power generation, general aviation, commercial
construction, food and beverage, and chemical industries, among
others.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Carpet Workers to Sue Amid HSE Indifference
----------------------------------------------------------------
Union leaders are threatening to take their battle for
compensation to Court following the receipt of a letter in
response to asbestos exposure victims who are former workers of
the closed Bradford carpet factory, saying it would be
"impossible" to establish the levels of asbestos exposure after
so many years.

This "lukewarm" response from officials of the Health and Safety
Executive has garnered much resentment from the former employees
at Associated Weavers, later known as Carpets International. The
number of Bradford people claiming compensation could escalate
into the thousands as recognition of the dangers of working with
asbestos grows.

Transport & General Workers' Union official Terry Britton said,
"But we are not going to stop, we are not going to be put off by
this bit of paper. We have written to them again and set up a
meeting. Should the Health and Safety Executive decide to take
no further part in this, the union is proposing Court action."

The November 12 edition of the Class Action Reporter had
mentioned that these claims are made more complicated by the
fact that the Carpets International went into receivership last
year, with the loss of 300 jobs. The action group set up by the
union to lead the investigation continues to assist the victims.

Maurice Britton, another official for the T&G, told a campaign
meeting last week that this was a problem which did not just
affect the workers at Associated Weavers, but employees in
factories across Bradford, Yorkshire and the rest of the country
and warned they would face Government resistance to compensation
claims. This is the second meeting for the group which was set
up in the wake of the inquest of former worker Fred Benson, 62,
who worked for 40 years at the factory in Toftshaw Lane, and
developed mesothelioma, a malignant tumor of the lung caused by
inhaling asbestos fibers. Bradford Coroner Alan Pritchard warned
that many more workers at the factory could develop life-
threatening diseases as a consequence of asbestos exposure.

Evidence is now being collected for the compensation claims and
the group believes there have been at least three asbestos-
related deaths among past employees. Members of the group are
being urged to seek medical attention if they had concerns about
their health. Free lung functions tests were set up in
conjunction with the Asbestos Victim Support Group based in
Bradford.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Trade Unions Campaign for Global Ban
---------------------------------------------------------
The world's construction unions have come together to intensify
the campaign for a global asbestos ban. A joint declaration from
the international building trade union federations made at last
week's Global Asbestos Congress in Tokyo expressed their
commitment to promote the ban of all forms of asbestos and to
support the effective regulation of existing material in all the
industrial sectors.

The declaration, signed by general secretaries of the
International Federation of Building and Wood Workers (IFBWW),
the World Federation of Building Workers (WFBW) and the
International Union of Building and Wood Workers (UITBB),
specifically calls for governments to take immediate steps to
ban all mining, manufacturing, recycling and use of all forms of
asbestos and asbestos-containing materials.

The conference, which attracted over 400 trade unionists,
activists and asbestos experts from 36 countries, calls on not
only the governments but also its social partners to prioritize
worker protection, facilitate the replacement of asbestos with
less harmful products, and ensure proper compensation for its
victims. The declaration noted the importance of implementing
the provisions of the ILO Convention 162 (1986), Safety in the
Use of Asbestos and its accompanying Recommendation 172 as a
minimum standard.

The IFBWW, the UITBB and the WFBW are advocating for the
International Labour Organisation to adopt a clear health-based
position to eliminate the use of asbestos and asbestos
containing materials and assist member states by drawing up
national action programs for the management, control and
elimination of asbestos from the working and social environment.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Ends Halliburton's Asbestos Dilemma
--------------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL), the world's largest oil field
services Company, said a bankruptcy judge earlier this week
approved a US$1.5-billion settlement between two of its
subsidiaries and insurers over asbestos claims.

The Honorable Judith K. Fitzgerald in Pittsburgh approved the
final insurance settlement agreements between DII Industries,
Kellogg Brown & Root and other affected Halliburton subsidiaries
and more than 150 appealing insurance carriers. Bankruptcy Court
approval clears the way for Houston-based Halliburton to
complete a US$4.8-billion plan to settle all current and future
asbestos claims.

These settlements, together with other previously announced
insurance settlements, provide a global resolution to the
debtors' insurance disputes that will result in the receipt of
over US$1.5 billion in cash and permit the successful conclusion
of the bankruptcy proceedings.

The settlement agreements were reached with, among others, over
one hundred solvent and insolvent London-based insurance
companies, over fifty domestic insurance companies and other
companies with which DII Industries shares insurance coverage.
Two of the settlement agreements involve matters relevant to
Harbison-Walker Refractories Company and Federal-Mogul Products,
Inc., both debtors in their own bankruptcy proceedings, and the
Bankruptcy Courts in those proceedings also have entered orders
approving these settlements.

"Halliburton's employees, customers and shareholders are
celebrating this positive news. This is clearly one of the
concluding steps toward permanently resolving our asbestos and
silica liability that will provide payments to the impaired
claimants," said Dave Lesar, chairman, president and chief
executive officer of Halliburton. "As final settlement
agreements have been reached, we are delighted to bring closure
to this issue."

The Bankruptcy Court's approval orders are now final and the
settling insurers are obligated immediately to dismiss their
appeals to the Bankruptcy Court's confirmation order and their
motion to vacate the District Court's affirmation order. The
Company anticipates concluding the bankruptcy by yearend, and
funding of the trusts by the end of January 2005.

The two Halliburton subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy in
December 2003 to facilitate the resolution of asbestos
liabilities, which had been a drag on Halliburton in recent
years. Most of the claims regarding exposure to asbestos and
silica stemmed from Halliburton's acquisition of DII, formerly
Dresser Industries, which the Company bought in the 1990s when
Halliburton was led by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.

Halliburton, founded in 1919, is one of the world's largest
providers of products and services to the petroleum and energy
industries. The Company serves its customers with a broad range
of products and services through its Energy Services and
Engineering and Construction Groups.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hartlepool Residents Divided on Ghost Ships
----------------------------------------------------------------
With four ghost ships docked in Hartlepool and potentially more
on the way, some community members are wary at the thought of
this working-class city having to accept toxic asbestos and PCBs
from the United States. The residents of this seaside town,
composed of around 90,000 people on the northeast coast of
England, remain skeptical of the ghost ships that they say pose
a tremendous environmental threat along with the other
facilities that dot this industrial area, including a nuclear
power station and chemical plant.

Able UK Ltd., a British demolition and recycling Company, wanted
to get into the ship-scrapping business. It already had a large
basin for ships that could be turned into a 25-acre dry dock.
The U.S. Maritime Administration needed help disposing of a
fleet of obsolete "ghost ships" sitting idle in the James River.
As a result, in July 2003, they reached a US$17.8 million
agreement to remove 15 ships from the James, of which 13 would
be scrapped at Able UK's proposed dry dock along the River Tees
in this northeastern England town. The deal also provided Able
UK with two uncompleted Navy oil tankers, but the fate of those
ships remains unclear.

More than a year later, none of the scrapping work has begun.
But Able UK has weathered public protests, bureaucratic foul-
ups, administrative delays - and an international headache.

"America is the world's biggest consumer," said Neil Marley, one
of the more vocal residents. "They should face up to their own
responsibilities rather than export their problems."

However, not all residents exude the same passion as Mr. Marley,
a sociology teacher who actively protested against the scrapping
of the ships at their docks when they arrived from Newport News
a year ago. Others believe fears of environmental damage to the
town have been greatly exaggerated, if not proven false.

Jerry Drewitt, the harbormaster for the Teesside region, which
includes Hartlepool, said, "This is not a hugely risky
operation. We're not going to have Teesside covered in
asbestos."

Peter Mandelson, the area's longtime Member of Parliament and
confidant of Prime Minister Tony Blair, remained a staunch
supporter of bringing the ships to Hartlepool. In testimony
before a House of Commons committee, he blamed the public uproar
over the ships to "scare-mongering" by the press and an
environmental group. "If I thought there was a threat to human
health or that our wetlands or our wildlife were going to be
harmed, then I would not go along with it for the sake of a
single job in my town," Mr. Mandelson said. He claimed to have
passed a judgment based on facts, not alarms and falsehoods that
are spread.

Any objective review of the facts, supporters say, shows the
environmental risk from the ships remains small. Able UK Ltd.
can already dismantle a power station that contains as much as
5,000 tons of asbestos, compared to about 25 or 30 tons that
might be contained on a ship, officials say. Hartlepool has for
decades allowed in a number of steel and coal companies,
petrochemical plants and a nuclear power station. There was
often little choice, officials say, as the region struggled with
an unemployment rate that was among the highest in the country.
Even today, at around 4.5 percent, it is about twice the
national average.

After years of redevelopment and the building of a more tourist-
focused economy, some are hesitant of accepting a ship-breaking
business that carries with it the risk of more pollution.
Historically a steel and shipbuilding town, Hartlepool fell into
decline with the closure of its powerhouse employer, Gray's
Shipyard, in 1963. By the early 1980s, after the collapse of the
steel industry here, the unemployment rate reached as high as 25
percent, officials said.

Able UK's recycling yard, where the ships remain docked, lies on
the outskirts of town, far from the downtown and popular marina.
"Visually, it's not very attractive," conceded Mike Childs,
campaigns director for Friends of the Earth, a London-based
environmental lobby that organized much of the opposition to the
ships. "But from a wildlife perspective, it's very rich," he
said, pointing to the role the Tees River plays as a major
feeding ground for rare birds.

Controversy over the ghost ships erupted last year when the U.S.
Maritime Administration agreed to scrap 13 of the obsolete ships
in Hartlepool. Environmentalists filed suit, claiming that the
export of the ships violates U.S. laws against exporting toxic
PCBs. A federal judge allowed four of the ships to go but must
still decide what to do with the remaining nine. No work has
taken place at Able UK because of difficulties the Company has
had in securing permits.

A new planning permit application for a dry dock was due to be
submitted to Hartlepool officials in coming days, after which
the town council has 16 weeks to review it, Greenpeace UK
Executive Director Stephen Tindale said.

In the meantime, the yard sits idle. On a recent visit, 17
workers were on site, inspecting the four ghost ships that
arrived a year ago for leak repair and routine maintenance. An
estimated 200 could be employed there if and when dismantling
work begins.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WR Grace Says Grand Jury Indictment Likely
---------------------------------------------------------------
W.R. Grace & Co., the Columbia, Md.-based specialty chemicals
maker pushed into bankruptcy by asbestos lawsuits, said recently
that it expects to be indicted during the first quarter of 2005
by a federal grand jury in connection with asbestos
contamination in Libby, Mont., where it once mined vermiculite
that contained the hazardous fibers.

Grace said it had been notified that an investigation by the
U.S. attorney in Montana had entered an "advanced stage" and
that criminal charges would be filed "unless a resolution of
this matter can be reached with the government within such a
time frame."

The Company had disclosed in October that it was the target of a
government investigation involving possible obstruction of
federal proceedings, violations of federal environmental laws
and conspiring with others to violate federal environmental
laws. Grace, which employs 1,200 in Maryland, operated the mine
in northwest Montana from 1963 to 1990.

"By designating Grace as a 'target' of the investigation, the
government is asserting that it has substantial evidence linking
the Company to the commission of a crime," the Company said in
its SEC filing.

Several current and former senior-level employees associated
with Grace's construction products business are among the
targets of the investigation. On Nov. 15, the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court in Wilmington, Del., granted the Company permission to
advance legal and defense costs to the targeted employees.

Grace filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001 after being hit
with thousands of personal injury lawsuits related to asbestos-
containing products it sold over the years. The material has
been linked to lung cancer and other lung ailments.

The Company filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan Nov. 16 that
seeks to limit its asbestos liabilities to US$1.61 billion. Most
of the money would go into a trust that would be used to pay
claims from victims of asbestos poisoning. The Court has yet to
rule on the proposal.

The Company also is petitioning the Court for a six-month
extension of its exclusive control over its bankruptcy
reorganization. In a motion filed Tuesday, the Company said it
needed more time to negotiate with creditors, who would be
prevented from filing competing reorganization plans if the
motion is granted. A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 24.

The Company said that it is unable to assess what impact an
indictment or conviction resulting from the Montana
investigation will have on the Company's bankruptcy proceedings.
It has said that vermiculite mined in Libby was used in
insulation, fireproofing and potting soil. Grace is contesting a
US$54.5 million payment that a federal judge ordered the Company
to make to the Environmental Protection Agency to cover the
government's cleanup costs.

The mine has been linked to illness in hundreds of Libby miners,
their relatives and other residents of the area around the mine.
More than a hundred Libby residents are among those who have
sued Grace for damages.

Meanwhile, Grace is contesting a US$54.5 million payment that a
federal judge ordered the Company to make to the Environmental
Protection Agency to cover the government's cleanup costs.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Barn Blaze Sets Off Evacuation at Wray, UK
---------------------------------------------------------------
Around 100 children and adults were evacuated from their school
and homes in the village of Wray two weeks ago when a barn
partly constructed from asbestos sheeting went up in flames.

Lancashire Police officers advised the head teacher at Wray
School to evacuate the 50 pupils and seven staff members and
went door-to-door to evacuate around 30 bemused residents from
Main Street and The Orchard as a health precaution shortly after
the fire was detected at around 8.30 a.m.

The fire was initially classed as a "major incident" by the
emergency services after they discovered that the barn at
Hoskins Farm, near the center of the village, had asbestos
paneling. There had been fears that asbestos particles could be
contained within the smoke billowing from the barn and that
dozens of residents could be exposed to it if the wind suddenly
changed.

But after around four hours of analysis and tests by the Health
Protection Agency, the smoke was found not to be harmful and
residents, many of whom had taken refuge in the George and
Dragon pub, returned home at around 2 p.m.

Steven Gee, from the HPA, said that initial fears had been over
the thick smoke from the blaze, which prompted the launch of a
multi-agency response code named Operation Merlin. "We
downgraded our concerns about asbestos when we were unable to
find any visible traces of it in the area and our results showed
there was no traces of it in the smoke. Nobody was at any great
health risk but it is better to be safe than sorry."

Police officers headed by Inspector Ken Clayton sealed off Main
Street and restricted access to residents and visitors while 35
fire-fighters from Carnforth, Bentham, Bolton-le-Sands, Hornby
and Lancaster tackled the blaze.

Pupils and staff from Wray School were evacuated to nearby
Wennington Hall School during Friday in what amounted to a
history lesson for the children, head teacher Susanne Nicholls
said. "The pupils have just been preparing a presentation on the
evacuations during the Second World War so this was more of an
experience for them than anything scary," she said.

Fire investigators are still investigating to determine the
cause of the fire.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: LexisNexis Hosts Asbestos Conference in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
With a new wave of companies facing the possibility of
bankruptcy because of asbestos litigation and the prospects for
federal legislation improving, LexisNexis, a leader in legal,
news and business information services, is hosting the Mealey's
Asbestos Bankruptcy Conference on December 6 and 7 at the
Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers in New York City.

More than 75 companies are already in bankruptcy due to asbestos
litigation, including major manufacturers such as Owens Corning,
USG and Armstrong. A number of others, including three major
U.S. auto manufacturers, are now at risk of a similar fate
because of a recent flood of "unimpaired" claim filings.

"This is one of the biggest issues facing American industry
today with significant implications for the overall U.S.
economy," said Peter Kelso, senior editor of the LexisNexis
Mealey's Publications Asbestos Liability Report, Asbestos
Bankruptcy Report, and International Asbestos Liability Report
and the founder of the Mealey's Asbestos Bankruptcy Conference.
"The absence of federal legislation has forced some states to
take action to protect employment and this has created a more
complex and confusing litigation landscape. At the same time,
there is renewed hope that the next session of Congress will
move quickly to stem future job losses that will result from
unchecked asbestos litigation."

The Mealey's Asbestos Litigation Conference is the only event of
its type, bringing together all of the parties impacted by
asbestos litigation, including lawyers, judges, corporations,
insurers and financial analysts.

Topics at the conference include:

(1) Update on Current Major Bankruptcies: A review of the latest
developments in high-profile bankruptcy cases, including
Combustion Engineering, Owens Corning, USG, WR Grace, Congoleum
and others;

(2) The Wall Street Perspective on Asbestos Bankruptcy: How is
Wall Street weighing the impact of asbestos litigation on
affected companies;

(3) Judicial Perspectives in Asbestos Bankruptcy: How are judges
striking a balance between new issues and the need to move cases
forward;

(4) Insurance Issues in Asbestos Bankruptcy: Why insurers
continue the fight for standing in asbestos cases;

(5) Overview of 2004 and Anticipating 2005 on State & Federal
Legislation Front: An overview of legislative action on the
state and federal level, including what has happened in 2004 and
what to expect in 2005.

For registration information on the Mealey's Asbestos Bankruptcy
Conference, visit http://www.mealeys.com/conferencesor call
1-800-MEALEYS. CONTACT: Media, Randy Dunham of LexisNexis,
+1-937-865-8836, or mrandy.dunham@lexisnexis.com. URL:
http://www.prnewswire.com


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asahi Owners Support Killala Locals V. IEP
----------------------------------------------------------------
Driven by tremendous community outrage over the proposed
asbestos plant in Killala, the owners of the Asahi plant have
expressed their support towards the local people and have
offered Irish Environmental Processes their deposit back if they
pull out of Killala.

Fierce opposition to the proposed development in the North Mayo
town has shocked the Irish-registered Company, Nobertune, to the
point where they are prepared to lose investment in the plant.
Nobertune sent a letter to Killala Community Council outlining
its support for the community and its willingness to release IEP
from the purchase agreement and return their deposit. The letter
pointed out that when approached by IEP, the Asahi owners were
led to believe that the project was safe but demonstrations by
locals, and letters from Killala Community Council have made the
Company aware of local opposition.

In the November 5 edition of the Class Action Reporter, it was
revealed that in a briefing session with IEP, Killala Fine Gael
councilor Jarlath Munnelly refused to believe Company statements
that both the transportation and recycling processes would be
safe. He harbored concerns about potential health effects from
the plant itself and from the transportation of asbestos from
all over Ireland. Other officials also said their apprehensions
regarding the transport of asbestos and other forms of waste to
Killala, which is believed to release toxins into the air.

But despite Nobertune's newfound support for the local
community, they have entered into a legally binding contract for
the sale of a section of the former Japanese-owned Asahi textile
factory to IEP and cannot terminate the purchase contract. The
Killala community must now wait for IEP to accept or reject the
offer. When asked for comment, IEP would neither confirm nor
deny that they had received an offer from Nobertune to pull out
of the contract and would only say that they had a legally
binding contract with the owners of Asahi. "IEP has a legally
binding contract with Nobertune for the sale," noted a
spokesperson for IEP.

Chairman of Killala Community Council, Val Ferguson, said that
while the announcement by Nobertune was a step in the right
direction, it wasn't quite enough. "Nobertune has agreed to pull
out without any penalties on IEP but IEP haven't agreed to
anything."

Mr. Ferguson urges the community to pursue their fight against
the proposed asbestos plant until they get a more definite
solution. "While it is good news, nothing has changed, the fight
has to go on," he noted.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AFG Reports Sale of Transport Insurance Co
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cincinnati-based American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: AFG)
recently reported the closing of the previously announced sale
of Transport Insurance Company to Randall & Quilter Investment
Holdings Limited, an independent international insurance
advisory group. AFG does not expect to record any material gain
or loss on this transaction in the 2004 fourth quarter.

Transport is an inactive Company with only run-off insurance
liabilities, including asbestos and environmental exposures,
which represented about 12% of AFG's Property and Casualty Group
total asbestos and environmental reserves. Under the sale
agreement, Randall & Quilter has assumed all financial and
administrative responsibility for completing the runoff of
Transport's liabilities and collecting reinsurance recoverables.

Through the operations of the Great American Insurance Group,
AFG is engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance,
focusing on specialized commercial products for businesses, and
in the sale of retirement annuities, supplemental insurance and
life products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Turner Site Development Can Lead to Tragedy
----------------------------------------------------------------
Any development at the old Turner & Newall site could be an
environmental disaster, a councilor has claimed. In fact, he
says there could be so much asbestos waste in the ground that a
serious disturbance could lead to "Rochdale's Chernobyl."

Councilor Tom Stott, a former employee at Turner's, once the
largest asbestos factory in the world, said, "Asbestos was
brought to the site for over 100 years and processed. Turner's
was a huge manufacturing complex. Is it any wonder the people in
the area are battling against the proposed development?"

He believes the Health and Safety Executive should be brought in
to thoroughly inspect the site for contamination. He was also
concerned that the council's contaminated land officer could be
leaving and might not be replaced because of the council's
budget problems. He feared that MMC, the developers, would be
allowed by the council to carry out their own contamination
survey. That survey could then be used to determine whether the
site was fit for development.

Alan Whale, from Rochdale Council's planning department, refused
to comment on whether the contamination officer was leaving and
said the council was yet to receive a planning application. He
said, "Any developer would have to provide a full environmental
assessment of the site as part of their planning application.
The council wouldn't be doing any surveys of its own because it
doesn't have the expertise or the resources to do this." Mr.
Whale gave assurances that when the Council does receive a
planning application, they will make sure that they have enough
resources to deal with it. And if needed, they will require more
information.

In the meantime, campaigners battling to stop houses being built
on the site off Rooley Moor Road believe they have made a
shocking discovery. The Save Spodden Valley Group has found an
old map, from the Rochdale Observer in 1871, which appears to
show old colliery mineshafts. Jason Addy, one of the campaigners
said that he was worried there could be asbestos waste dumped
down the mineshafts that would be disturbed if the land were
developed.

"We just want enough accurate information to be made available
in order for a safe decision to be made on plans to develop this
land," Mr. Addy said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crown Investment Appeals 2 Cases Against It
----------------------------------------------------------------
Crown Investment Group LLC has appealed both a judge's
US$100,000 contempt of Court judgment for tearing down the 67-
year-old Brooks-Scanlon Crane Shed without a city permit, and
the state Department of Environmental Quality's US$64,523
penalty for asbestos mismanagement at the site. The move is the
latest in a series of legal battles over the crane shed.

City Councilor John Hummel blasted the Company's legal move.
"I'm surprised," said Mr. Hummel, who works as a criminal
defense attorney in Bend. "It's the height of arrogance on their
part. They flouted the judge's authority. They kicked dirt on
the history and heritage of the community and then they file an
appeal."

The City of Bend received notice earlier this week that Crown
Investment had appealed a Sept. 30 ruling by Deschutes County
Circuit Judge Michael Adler to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
Judge Adler found the firm in contempt of Court for going
through with the demolition of the famous landmark on Aug. 19
without allowing the judge to rule on its request for a writ of
mandamus because the city had taken more than 180 days to decide
on a demolition permit.

City attorney Pete Schannauer said the Oregon Court of Appeals
hasn't set a date for a hearing in the case. A decision is
expected within six to eight months, city officials said. After
the appeals Court issues a decision, that ruling can be appealed
to the Oregon Supreme Court, which has discretion on whether or
not to rule on the matter.

The judge ordered Crown Investment to pay a US$100,000 "remedial
sanction" to the city, and also that the funds be used to create
a memorial to the Crane Shed and its role in the region's timber
roots. Though no payment has been made, the city and the
Deschutes County Historic Landmarks Commission have begun
seeking community ideas and concepts for how to use the funds.

Meanwhile, the DEQ received notice by mail late last week that
Crown Investment is also seeking a hearing on the DEQ penalties.
Jim Reckling, principal partner, signed a one-sentence letter
Nov. 24, one day after formal notification of the fine, "We
hereby request a hearing on the above matter, and generally deny
the allegations and finding therein."

In the notification letter to crown, DEQ Director Stephanie
Hallock said the firm "may request an informal discussion"
without waving its right to a contested case hearing. Frank
Messina, an environmental specialist with the DEQ's Air Quality
Program in Bend, said the informal meeting is the next step.
"Then, if they are not satisfied, it goes to a hearing in front
of an administrative law judge," he said.

Asked whether the appeals would raise any arguments not already
made before Judge Adler, Reckling sais, "We really can't say at
this point."

In the meantime, the owners of the site are seeking approval of
its redevelopment plans for a new, mixed-use structure on the
same 13-acre crane shed site.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Endemol Fined GBD10T for Fame Academy Case
---------------------------------------------------------------
A television production Company was fined GBD10,000 after
admitting failing to protect its employees from asbestos
exposure during the making of the BBC's Fame Academy show.
Endemol UK plc, which is also behind Big Brother, Ground Force
and Ready, Steady, Cook, admitted two offenses under the Health
& Safety At Work Act in October 2004.

The Company, which has a turnover of more than GBD100 million a
year, failed to protect employees and others from exposure to
the hazardous substance on the set of the reality TV talent
contest in Highgate, north London.

Passing sentence, Dame Diana Brittan said the Company failed in
its responsibility to its employees by not investigating the
matter "vigilantly" enough. She said, "As far as Endemol is
concerned to some extent it's a different level of culpability
as it's a different sort of firm taking a large building in
which they are going to house a large number of employees and
members of the public and their responsibility was one of not
pressing their advisers more.

"It was highly likely in the circumstances that have been
outlined that employees or the people who were in the house -
although less so - were likely to come into contact with
asbestos."

The Company was also ordered to pay GBD3,611 in costs.

Property managers Foilhope Limited, of Highgate West Hill,
Highgate, who surveyed the building in 1999, admitted failing to
ensure people not in its employment were not exposed to
asbestos. Foilhope was fined GBD8,000 and ordered to pay costs
of GBD2,517 by City of London Magistrates Court. Dame Diana
added, "I think the culpability of Foilhope is that they chose
not to act and to some extent were negligent in their duties to
the management of the building."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Offers Funding to Stop Liquidation
--------------------------------------------------------------
Building giant James Hardie Industries and its former parent
Company, ABN 60, recently offered funding to the Medical
Research and Compensation Foundation in a last-minute attempt to
avert liquidation of the foundation.

A hearing in the NSW Supreme Court has adjourned to consider
letters from the two companies, a spokesman for the MRCF said.

The MRCF has applied for the appointment of a provisional
liquidator, claiming to have $40 million in available cash and
some $80 million in notified compensation claims from victims of
asbestos disease.

Meanwhile, The Federal Government has introduced legislation to
allow the corporate regulator to examine all documents relevant
to its investigations into the James Hardie group of companies.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is
considering whether James Hardie breached the corporations law
in setting up its underfunded Medical Research and Compensation
Foundation.

Federal Treasurer Peter Costello says documents from the New
South Wales asbestos inquiry were handed to ASIC, but the state
Government failed to lift the legal professional privilege
attached to some of them. He says the new legislation will
ensure that the Commission can access the documents. He said,
"This means that authorized persons including ASIC and the DPP
will be able to obtain materials that would otherwise be subject
to professional legal privilege."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EnPro Industries, Insurers Settle Dispute
--------------------------------------------------------------
EnPro Industries Inc., a leading manufacturer of engineered
products, on Tuesday announced that it has reached an agreement
to settle the current and future asbestos-related insurance
claims of EnPro subsidiaries against the vast majority of its
solvent London-market companies.

As a result of the agreement, the London insurance companies and
a U.S.-based insurer with policies reinsured through London will
pay a total of US$76.5 million to EnPro's subsidiary, Coltec
Industries Inc., and to an asbestos trust that will be
established to resolve asbestos-related claims made against
certain EnPro subsidiaries under policies subscribed by the
carriers. The amount reflects present value and other negotiated
discounts to the total insurance amounts. Coltec will also
receive payment of slightly more than US$1 million from an
insolvent London carrier in connection with the settlement.

EnPro will receive US$22 million from the settlement total
relating to outstanding amounts for asbestos claims that EnPro
asserts are owed to its subsidiaries by the settling insurers.
EnPro expects to receive the funds in January 2005. The balance
of the settlement total will be contributed to the asbestos
trust. The settlement resolves all claims made against the
settling London insurance companies by EnPro's subsidiaries.

"With this agreement, we have resolved the disputes that led to
the withholding of payments related to asbestos claims against
our subsidiaries," said Ernie Schaub, president and chief
executive officer of EnPro. "We are pleased with the terms of
the agreement, which is the second such agreement we have
reached this year. Our insurance reimbursements from these
carriers will be up to date when we receive the funds in
January, and we are assured the remaining insurance coverage
they provide will be available and paid when due."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Finds Lee County Guilty of 5 Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Environmental Protection Agency has found Lee County schools
in violation of five asbestos regulations following a June 2003
inspection of district facilities. The violations are from over
a year ago but, but the district now has less than 30 days to
provide written proof that the proper corrections have since
been done.

Violations include possible asbestos exposures to non-district
employees working on renovation projects and the failure to hire
an outside air quality firm to give the all-clear after
remodeling an asbestos-laden building. Two violations cite the
absence of paperwork and another notes the lack of regular
inspections.

EPA Toxic Substances Chief Mark Fite said that the federal
agency could later decide to impose a US$5,500 per day, per
violation civil penalty if the district fails to provide
evidence of completion.

An EPA official initially visited Lee County 17 months ago on a
complaint lodged by former safety director Ernie Scott, who
since has sued the school district and won a US$400,000 judgment
in a whistleblower lawsuit. The complaint cited asbestos and air
quality problems at three schools - North Fort Myers Academy for
the Arts, Villas Elementary and Dunbar High - along with the
Gwynne Building, which houses school choice offices.

The five violations cited in the 10-page EPA report are:

(1) Failing to ensure that short-term workers were notified of
where asbestos was located;

(2) Failing to conduct facility surveys every six months for
buildings that contain asbestos;

(3) Failing to submit paperwork for construction projects at
Villas Elementary and Dunbar High, which both contain asbestos;

(4) Failing to maintain records of schools with asbestos in a
centralized administration office and at the school;

(5) Failing to contract with an independent air-sampling expert
after removing asbestos at North Fort Myers Academy for the
Arts.

Nearly every public school building constructed before the mid-
1970s contains asbestos, according to Armando de Leon, director
of plant management. Lee schools mentioned in the EPA report
were all being remodeled a few years ago. "Any of the asbestos
in schools is absolutely harmless, unless it is disturbed. None
of it is in any way, shape or form dangerous to our students,"
said Mr. de Leon.

Mr. Scott argued during his Court case earlier this month that
management interfered with his duties and his job was eventually
eliminated after he spoke out against the district's safety
errors and reported violations to state and federal authorities.
He testified that contractors working on Dunbar High drilled
into asbestos tiles to install wiring for sprinklers and smoke
detectors, relying on other non-district employees to sweep the
toxic material off the floor without even wearing masks. Mr.
Scott blamed W.G. Mills, Gulfpoint Construction and Owen-Ames-
Kimball for a series of safety errors. All three firms still
work with Lee County schools.

North Fort Myers Academy was forced to delay a ceremony
dedicating its refurbished building because asbestos issues
still lingered, but Principal Doug Santini said he hasn't heard
of any concerns from parents or staff since he took the helm
last year.

"Everything in there has to do with outside contractors. I think
there's one item in there where we weren't keeping track like
we're supposed to inside the facilities. We have corrected that
and there's a process in place to take care of that," said
Superintendent Dr. James Browder. He said the school district
does not expect to see a fine and remains firm that the district
will meet the deadline.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inquest Reveals Cause of Lecturer's Death
--------------------------------------------------------------
An asbestos-related disease contributed to the death of Derek
Borrill, a former Peterborough Regional College lecturer, an
inquest revealed. He died at the age of 60 years after
contracting a chest infection caused by asbestos fibers that
became embedded in his lungs when he worked as a welder in a
naval dockyard 40 years ago.

During a hearing at Peterborough's Central Library, it was
revealed how Mr. Borrill, of High Street, Yaxley, near
Peterborough, had wrapped himself in asbestos as a precaution
against fire while working in confined conditions on submarines.
Married with two children, he worked at the Chatham docks, in
Kent, from the age of 17, for nine or 10 years, before becoming
a lecturer. He worked at Peterborough Regional College from 1975
until eight years ago, when he took early retirement.

In addition to the lung disease, called benign asbestos
pleurisy, Mr. Borrill was a heavy drinker and, as a result, had
sclerosis of the liver. Coroner Gordon Ryall heard how in 1996
Mr. Borrill was told not to drink, so he gave up alcohol, but
began smoking again. However, a year later he started drinking
again.

His wife, Violet Borrill, of Primrose Drive, Yaxley, said she
left her husband six-and-a-half years ago as he had bad mood
swings and was bad tempered. She had not seen him for three
years. The inquest heard how Donald Boyden, a friend of Mr.
Borrill's, found him dead on his bed on Thursday, July 1, this
year. Three days earlier, his doctor had prescribed antibiotics
for a chest infection.

After hearing post mortem results, Mr. Ryall concluded, "Mr.
Borrill died of a chest infection and the overwhelming cause of
that was the asbestos-related industrial disease."


ASBESTOS ALERT: CFMEU Found Exposed Asbestos in AU Housing Site
---------------------------------------------------------------
Residents living on the site of a former hospital in western
Sydney might have been exposed to asbestos, it was revealed
recently. The Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union
discovered large mounds of asbestos waste on the residential
redevelopment site of Lidcombe Hospital.

Officials said much of the waste was left uncovered and had no
dust suppression in place, resulting in residents possibly being
exposed to airborne asbestos and future homeowners living on
buried asbestos waste.

A Workcover inspector banned all further work on the site due to
asbestos contamination and the risk the people were exposed to
asbestos fibers.

The authorities have yet to determine the levels of
contamination and the extent of the residents' exposure to the
deadly substance.


ASBESTOS ALERT: 422 Primary Schools in Ireland Placed in Alert
--------------------------------------------------------------
More than 420 primary schools in Northern Ireland have been
identified to contain potentially deadly asbestos. Education
Minister Barry Gardiner released the figures in response to a
written parliamentary question from North Down MP, Lady Sylvia
Hermon.

Asbestos was found in 63 Belfast board schools, 101 Western
board schools, 29 North Eastern board schools, 79 South Eastern
board schools and 150 Southern board schools. The carcinogenic,
linked to 3,000 deaths in the UK each year, is hazardous when
damaged, disturbed or dismantled.

Lady Hermon said she was "absolutely horrified" by the number of
schools affected and called for the substance to be completely
removed from all the buildings.

Mr. Gardiner said asbestos had been identified in classrooms and
other public areas in 422 primary schools across the five boards
to date. A further 193 schools in the Belfast, Western and South
Eastern boards still have to be surveyed. He said, "All boards
have to put in place asbestos management arrangements to ensure
compliance with the 'control of asbestos at work' regulations."
He added that these arrangements include the setting up of an
asbestos register and carrying out of surveys at all board
properties.

Mr. Gardiner said that the Department of Education made GBD4.5
million available in 2003-04 and GBD3.8 million available to
boards in the 2004-05 financial year meant for the cost of
surveys, preparatory works, removal, decontamination work or
repair/remedial work identified.

However, not all school boards had completed the surveys,
according to a department spokeswoman. She said the department
has urged these boards to complete the work as soon as possible.

Fern Turner from the National Association of Head Teachers said,
"I think teachers will be very concerned about health and safety
issues this raises. The NAHT has real concerns about children
being educated in buildings that are not fit for purpose."

Fiona Sterritt from the Justice for Asbestos Victims support
group believes there is no cause for panic as long as
appropriate information is disseminated and the asbestos is
identified, controlled and maintained.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Blazing Asbestos Hazard Sparks Gridlock in UK
-------------------------------------------------------------
An asbestos fire alert disrupted a huge part of Swansea West,
South Wales last Monday as roads were sealed off. What started
out as a garden rubbish fire the day before soon spiraled into a
seven-hour operation in which main roads in and around Tycoch
had to be sealed off to protect the public from being
contaminated from billowing smoke containing asbestos.

Fire crews became suspicious when they were called to tackle a
burning pile of rubble in the garden of a home in Prospect
Place. It was thought the waste heap might contain asbestos
which can cause major health worries. Police were then called in
and the resultant road closures brought traffic chaos to the
area. A spokesman for the police said, "We had to close off
Prospect Place and parts of Tycoch Road. It was gridlock in the
area."

Swansea fire chief, Commander Gene Nash, said that crews from
Swansea West and Swansea Central were called out to a rubbish
fire. But then they detected asbestos on the site and so they
immediately set in action a safety procedure to protect the
community. The fire crews put out the fire while wearing
breathing apparatus.

The Swansea Fire Dept. and the Swansea Council are working
jointly with the owner of the property to identify the source of
the asbestos. They will be conducting further investigations.


ASBESTOS ALERT: CT Health Dept Reviews Platt HS Asbestos Data
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Connecticut Public Health Department expects to issue a
response within a few days to complaints about possible airborne
asbestos contamination inside Platt High School, where an
emergency reroofing project is nearing completion, an
environmental health official said.

Complaints from the public prompted the state to begin looking
at the building about three weeks ago. Environmental health
experts are reviewing the documents. The department's initial
conclusions will help determine whether it carries out any
follow-up, such as inspections and tests.

"We've been in touch with the architect for the school system.
We've sought information related to the reroofing and asbestos
mediation," said Ron Skomro, supervising environmental
sanitarian in the department's asbestos program. "It has not
been fully analyzed yet."

The main asbestos-removal part of the roofing project was
carried out during the summer to avoid any possible hazard to
students and employees, according to Glen A. Lamontagne,
assistant superintendent of schools. Testing showed the air was
asbestos-free before school opened and Lamontagne said he
believes the school is safe.

Workers have encountered a few small, isolated pieces of the
cancer-causing substance since then and removed them in
compliance with safety regulations, he said.

Reroofing projects at Platt and Maloney High School are due to
be completed next month. Serious leaks developed last winter at
both schools, prompting immediate stopgap repairs. Asbestos
removal and reroofing were delayed until the summer.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Air Tests Prompt NC Officials to Close School
-------------------------------------------------------------
Onslow County School officials have closed down some sections of
Jacksonville High School after detecting elevated levels of
asbestos in the air after a routine inspection.

While the area is expected to be cleaned in accordance with
state requirements within the next few weeks, its officials
decided to keep the fine arts building closed until students
return to school in January following their holiday break, said
Earl Taylor, spokesman for Onslow County Schools. He said there
is no immediate health risk and no reason for parents or
students to be concerned.

School employees, who are certified in asbestos inspection,
identified the presence of asbestos earlier this month in some
parts of the pipe insulation. The auditorium was closed off to
students and staff during an asbestos abatement project that
started Nov. 13, said Jeff Hudson, deputy superintendent of
Onslow County Schools. Last week, the air-quality results came
in revealing heightened asbestos levels.

Atlantic Environmental has been hired to clean the area, and
Buffington Environmental will do an air-quality test once the
work is completed. The entire project will cost about
US$150,000, Mr. Hudson said.

While airborne asbestos fibers can cause health damage,
particularly to the lungs, if inhaled, according to the U.S.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, students and
staff at Jacksonville High were not exposed, Mr. Taylor said.
"There's no cause for concern whatsoever. We were monitoring
everything and everything was isolated in the auditorium,"
assured Mr. Taylor.

The school system receives money from the Onslow County Board of
Commissioners each year that is earmarked for asbestos abatement
projects, Mr. Hudson said. There also is money available from
the state to offset the cost of some projects.

Mr. Hudson remains confident that the county will not receive
problems associated with exposure to asbestos fibers in
Jacksonville High. Although, he believes several other schools
in Onslow County still contain asbestos. "I know we have quite a
few old facilities. If it's an old facility, chances are there
is asbestos," said Mr. Hudson.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Payouts at Stake from ACC Action to Reverse Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
The widow of Barrie Grafton, a victim of asbestos-related
disease, has hidden a $100,000 payout to her late husband
because of fears the Accident Compensation Corporation will take
it back. In case the Court overturns a landmark case on asbestos
payouts, his family could be forced to repay the money given to
him shortly before he died.

The Grafton family is one of 13 families to receive that amount
from the ACC since a law change in April 2002 enabled payouts
for asbestos-related diseases. However, all have been warned by
ACC to put the money aside if the Court rules in ACC's favor.

"I've got that money elsewhere - they (ACC) can't take it out of
an account, anyhow. I think I'd fight them if they tried to get
it back," said Barrie's wife, Janette, who became a widow a
little more than two weeks ago. She explained that the ACC
stretches it out until the person is dead or nearly dead. If
their lawyer, John Miller, hadn't asked about the decision when
he did, she believes her husband already would have passed away
when it was paid in.

The family is bitter he had to fight so hard for compensation
after discovering in March he had mesothelioma, a lethal cancer
of the lung lining. Mr. Grafton blamed asbestos exposure from
serving in the Royal New Zealand Navy, lagging boiler house
pipes from 1955 to 1963. Radiation exposure during Operation
Grapple, observing nuclear tests at Christmas Island in the late
1950s, could have aggravated or caused the disease, his doctor
said. Janette, who was married to Barrie for 46 years, says the
situation was made more stressful because of the fight with ACC.

Mr. Grafton lodged a claim with ACC in late April, but it took
four months before an ACC doctor assessed him, deeming him 43%
impaired. He was offered about $8,500 lump sum or $38.48 a week.
They sought advice from Wellington lawyer John Miller, an ACC
legal expert. Several weeks later, a second ACC doctor reviewed
Barrie and found he was 86% impaired. He was offered about
$15,000. Mr. Miller sought a judicial review and on September
31, ACC's assessment was quashed and the judge ordered it to pay
Barrie $100,000.

The money was received early October, about six weeks before Mr.
Grafton's death. He was brought home after dying in a hospice on
November 15.

ACC argues the law change applies to people with asbestos-
related diseases who were exposed to asbestos after April 2002.
An appeal of the case is likely to be heard early next year.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Asbestos Find Threatens to Shut Down AU Beaches
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos discovered buried in the Sandy Cape area in the Shire
of Dandaragan could lead to the closure of the beaches north of
Jurien Bay, including the newly established eco-camping site at
Sandy Cape.

Andy Murnik, a ratepayer, is accusing the Shire of Dandaragan of
willfully disposing of asbestos in the Sandy Cape area. He has a
special interest, as he is a partner with Barry Mainwaring of
Jurien Bay in a mining lease to mine shell grit in the area.
According to Mr. Murnik the asbestos comes from two known dump
sites a short distance from the beach that were constructed in
August 2001 by contractors on behalf of the shire. The sites
were created for squatters to dispose of building material when
all shacks in the area were demolished.

Sandy Cape is located north of North Head in coastal Reserve and
was vested in the Shire of Dandaragan for the purpose of
conservation and recreation. Beekeepers Reserve adjoins the
coastal reserve to the east.

Mr. Murnik said his partner Mr. Mainwaring discovered the
asbestos when he was checking their mining lease. Mr. Mainwaring
reportedly became alarmed upon seeing pieces of asbestos that
were exposed by the wind. Using the Global Positioning System,
he recorded the location and had samples analyzed by mpl
Laboratories. When it tested positive for asbestos, he alerted
the authorities.

Steve Meyerkort, the project officer appointed by the Shire of
Dandaragan for the removal of the squatters' shacks in 2001, was
contacted. Mr. Meyerkort said he was fully conversant with the
issue as he supervised the disposal of asbestos used in the
squatters' shacks when they were dismantled. "In 1995, there was
a very big blow on the coast that added to the wind erosion that
had already exposed asbestos left behind by earlier shack
owners. The asbestos was not in an area controlled by the
shire," he said.

Mr. Meyerkort said prior to the removal of the shacks in the
Sandy Cape area, a pamphlet by WorkSafe on the safe removal of
asbestos was included with the letter they received informing
them of the shire's request to remove their shacks. He said a
pit was dug in the area particularly for receiving asbestos. The
contractor and the shack owners were instructed to place their
asbestos in the pit lined with plastic.

Mr. Meyerkort said the asbestos was disposed of "very carefully"
and in accordance with the requirements of the Health Department
and WorkSafe. A sign was also placed at the site after it was
covered informing people of the location of the pit. Photographs
of each step of the asbestos disposal were taken to document the
activity.

The Shire of Dandaragan refused to comment on the issue, however
Acting CEO Ian Rennie confirmed that the council had received a
copy of Mr. Murnik's letter and that the matter was being
investigated.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Daughter Goes Up V. Ernest Ireland Construction
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Counsel representing the daughter of an asbestos victim, who
was exposed to the deadly material in Connaught Mansions in
Bath, is seeking for witnesses of the exposure to be able to
move the claim forward. Solicitor Gavin Roberts, of Thompson's
in Bristol, is acting for the Walker family, who he says could
be looking at a compensation of more than GBD40,000.

Until the last six months of his illness, Lloyd Latus, who was
treated at the Royal United Hospital and died at the Dorothy
House Hospice at Winsley, lived near his daughter's home in
Frederick Avenue. His wife died five years ago from lung cancer
caused by smoking. Mr. Latus had also smoked, but gave up 12
years ago.

Mrs. Walker, his daughter, said he was always convinced that he
had come into contact with asbestos in Connaught Mansions. "They
were pulling lots of things down from the ceilings and he
believed that was asbestos. The story is that there weren't
enough facemasks to go round and employees felt there wasn't
enough done. I know guys back then did any sort of work to earn
money."

Lloyd Latus served as an employee of Ernest Ireland
Construction, a division of Mowlem PLC, from 1978-1982. He did
work on the Connaught Mansions site within this period. A
spokesperson for Mowlem said, "We have no evidence at this time
for or against the presence of asbestos in the building. The
principal source of dust in the demolition works was
plasterboard sheeting." He adds that they the Company has
received the claim and vows to thoroughly investigate the case.

"This is a complex issue due to the period that has now elapsed
and the number of other construction employers for which Mr.
Latus worked, both before and after his employment with Ernest
Ireland," the spokesman said.

A spokeswoman for Defra, the Department for Environment, Food
and Rural Affairs, which in the 1970s handled property
negotiations for all Government departments, said it would take
time to look into the case.


Company Profile:

Ernest Ireland Construction
Ernest Ireland House
Bath BA1 1XH
Phone: 01225 428441
Fax: 01225 422577

Description:

Ernest Ireland Construction, a division of Mowlem plc, employs
some 200 people in Bath & North East Somerset. Mowlem (formerly
John Mowlem & Company) has built and maintained some of the UK's
best-known landmarks, including Admiralty Arch, and has
performed repairs on or renovated Buckingham Palace, Westminster
Abbey, and Downing Street. It also operates internationally. The
group has a long association with rail infrastructure and other
public transport projects in the UK and pursues capital projects
through the UK's private finance initiatives (PFI) program.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Egyptian-Spanish Asbestos Workers Hold Protest
--------------------------------------------------------------
Workers employed by the Egyptian-Spanish Company for Asbestos
Products in Cairo began a sit-in protest at the Company's
premises last Nov. 20. They are holding demonstrations over the
failure of the Company to pay them their wages since April 2004
after the workers had demanded for occupational safety in their
workplace. The Company has been in operations using asbestos, a
known carcinogenic, since 1983.

About 46 of the Company's workers suffer from asbestosis, and
eight workers out of 90 at the Company were reported to have
died as a result of exposure to asbestos.

Earlier this year, the workers had campaigned to enforce a
decree demanding the closure of the Company until all necessary
industrial safety measures were taken. The campaign forced the
parliamentary health committee to recommend the closure of all
asbestos companies and to impose a ban on imports of asbestos.
But the Company took revenge on workers by refusing to pay them
their wages.

The workers believe that since the rest of the workforce have
refused to die of asbestos-related diseases, the Company owner
wants them to die of hunger by depriving them of their wages.
They are anguishing over the Health Insurance Institution's
refusal to recognize their cancer as an occupational disease,
and in accordance they have neither rights to social insurance
nor access to medications and compensation. The workers are also
aggrieved that the Egyptian General Trade Union for Engineering
Industries has not gotten involved with their case yet.

Aside from the salaries owed them, the workers are also
demanding for the owner's guarantee that safety standards are to
be implemented strictly. They are seeking for sufficient
compensation and health insurance to cover the actual cost of
medications.

The workers continue to invite other groups to send delegations
to their factory in support of their sit-in.


Company Profile:

Egyptian-Spanish Company for Asbestos Products
A1, Ind. Zone
10th of Ramadan, Sharkeya
Egypt
Phone: +20 15 410710, +20 15 410670
Fax: +20 15 410670


ASBESTOS ALERT: UK Court Fines Clivnars and EC Harris GBD75,000
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Court ordered two building companies to pay GBD75,000 in fines
and legal costs after they exposed more than 600 children,
teachers and other staff to potentially deadly asbestos.

Recorder Patrick Moloney, QC, said the companies' health and
safety breaches during refurbishment work at Stanway School,
near Colchester, were "serious" - particularly as their
employees worked on the dangerous substance while lessons
continued around them.

At a sentencing hearing at Basildon Crown Court last week, Mr.
Moloney said the presence of brown asbestos in the 1960s
Rutherford science block had been "manifest, but in practical
terms, nothing was done."

The Court was told that London-based international construction
giant, EC Harris Human Resources Ltd, and the family-run firm of
sub-contractors, Clivnars Ltd, from Hertfordshire, had been
offered more than GBD100,000 to replace windows and carry out
other work at the Winstree Road school in March 2001. EC Harris
took overall responsibility supervising the project while
Clivnars provided the workmen, the Court heard.

Prosecutor Jonathan Ashley-Norman said that prior to the work EC
Harris was made aware of a previous survey in 1997 that revealed
asbestos in other parts of the building. "Clivnars had
responsibility to build upon the health and safety plan
developed by EC Harris. But despite the risks of cancer and
death, nobody seems to have turned their minds to the presence
of asbestos at all," he said.

He said that in March 2001, two Clivnars workmen, John Bush and
Dave Russell, removed panels in the block releasing asbestos
fibers to about 600 to 700 pupils and staff working in the
building. The potentially lethal substance was only discovered
by a school laboratory technician who had gone to examine a lack
of noise proofing as a result of the work on the final day of
term, the Court heard. She reported her worries to the acting
headmaster and the block was closed for six weeks. A Health and
Safety Executive investigation found fibers in the block and
asbestos panels dumped in waste skips outside the building, Mr.
Ashley-Norman said.

Both companies, who pleaded guilty to a total of three charges,
expressed "deep and genuine remorse," the Court heard.

Gerard Forlin, mitigating for EC Harris, said the risk from the
asbestos had been negligible and it was "highly unlikely"
anybody would contract a disease as a result. He added, "Once we
were aware we dealt with the issue. We didn't allow it to
drift."

Mitigating for Clivnars, Adam Budworth, referred to the 1997
survey, of which EC Harris had been aware, Mr. Budworth said
that they had been misled by EC Harris since they were only told
of the presence of asbestos in the porch canopy, but nowhere
else.

Sentencing, Mr. Moloney, said he accepted neither Company had
"cut corners and put people's health at risk for profit," but
the gravity of the offences had been increased as children and
teaching staff had been working during term-time. He said, "It's
not necessary for there to be evidence to understand the
substantial feelings of parents and children that continue to
this day. This was a very serious offence which might have
serious consequences for somebody."

He fined EC Harris GBD17,500 for its one charge of failing to
ensure the health and safety of the public and ordered the
Company to pay GBD26,417 costs. Clivnars Ltd was fined GBD5,000
for failing to protect its employees and another GBD10,000 for
failing to protect the public. It was also ordered to pay
GBD16,600 in costs.

Stanway School headmaster Jonathan Tippett said after the
hearing he was pleased the judge had recognized the school had
every reason to rely on a "reputable" Company such as EC Harris.
He added, "My governors will now meet to decide what we do next
in terms of recouping some of the costs for the original work."


Company Profile:

Clivnars Ltd
Pinder Road
Hoddesdon EN11 0EA
Hertfordshire
Phone: (01992) 467710
Fax:   (01992) 467866
http://www.clivnarwindows.co.uk/

Description:
Clivnars Ltd is a locally based Company that is best known for
being a UPVC & aluminum window manufacturer.

Company Profile:
EC Harris Human Resources Ltd
Lynton House
7-12 Tavistock Square
LONDON, WC1H 9LX
Phone: +44  (0) 20 7387 8431
Fax: +44  (0) 20 7380 0493
http://www.echarris.com/

Description:
EC Harris is a unique global consultancy in the real estate,
infrastructure, industrial and construction sectors. EC Harris
employs over 2,300 people within 46 offices in over 20 different
countries. The firm has worked on projects in more than 80
countries and has achieved a turnover for 2003-2004 of GBD125
million and a projected turnover for 2004-2005 of GBD147
million.  Over GBD4 billion of construction per annum is handled
by the business, and over one million m of facilities are
advised on or managed.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Victim's Daughter Takes On South West Trains
------------------------------------------------------------
The daughter of a South West Trains driver who has died of a
fatal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos in the mess room has
lashed out at the ignorance and arrogance of those who ignored
the warnings of danger from her father and other work
colleagues.

Sharon Reed-Evans, daughter of Ray Reed, who formerly worked at
one of UK's largest transportation franchises at the Guildford
depot, said, "My dad would be alive today and loving life as he
always did if someone had listened to his warnings. My dad's
exposure was minute in comparison to some you hear of who lagged
with the stuff or chipped it off pipe work.

"All he did was brush past the asbestos which was exposed on a
boiler in the mess room but that was enough to kill him. Through
ignorance or arrogance of those to whom he repeatedly complained
he died a painful and premature death." Mrs. Reed-Evans said
that his father's death is proof that even a tiny amount of
asbestos can kill and that it should serve as a warning not to
put up with it at any form at the workplace.

Her solicitor Clare Mellor who is pursuing the case for the
family with backing from the ASLEF, the UK union for train
drivers and operators of rail transport, said, "This is a tragic
story of a small exposure having a devastating impact. Liability
has been admitted in the case and whilst nothing can bring Ray
back we are hoping to conclude it as quickly as possible to get
proper compensation for Mr. Reed's family."


Company Profile:

South West Trains Limited
Friars Bridge Court,
41-45 Blackfriars Road,
London SE1 8NZ.
Phone: 023 8072 8187
http://www.swtrains.co.uk/

Description:
South West Trains is part of the Stagecoach Group. South West
Trains runs 1,635 trains every weekday, serving 207 stations and
employing around 5,250 staff. London Waterloo is the hub of its
network, and is also home to London Underground and Waterloo
International terminal for Eurostar services to Paris and
Brussels via the Channel Tunnel.


                  New Securities Fraud Cases


AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL: Wolf Popper Lodges ERISA Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Wolf Popper LLP initiated a lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York on behalf of participants or beneficiaries of the American
International Group, Inc. ("AIG" or the "Company") 401(K)
Savings Plan (the "Plan") for violations of the federal pension
law (ERISA) in connection with the loss of value in AIG stock
(NYSE: AIG) acquired and held by present and former employees of
AIG through the Plan. The goal of this litigation is to recover
damages sustained by the participants or beneficiaries of the
Plan. The complaint can be viewed on Wolf Popper's website or
obtained from the Court.

The lawsuit alleges that the fiduciaries of the AIG Plan
violated their fiduciary duties by causing participants to
invest and/or maintain an investment in AIG stock from November
1, 1998 to the present (the "Class Period"), during which time
AIG failed to disclose certain improper business practices. In
particular, during the Class Period, AIG touted itself as
experiencing strong, sustainable growth, and as continuing to
demonstrate positive results, when in truth, AIG was engaged in
a plan whereby AIG paid so-called "contingent commissions" or
kick-backs to certain brokers in exchange for "steered" business
from the broker; in addition, AIG was a major participant in a
"bid-rigging" scheme created to shield itself and certain other
insurance companies from competition. These business practices
were illegal and inflated AIG's revenue and income, and, thus,
the Company's stock price. Moreover, because of AIG's central
involvement in the scheme, the Company has been exposed to
massive penalties and/or fines.

For more details, contact Michael A. Schwartz, Esq. or James
Kelly-Kowlowitz by Mail: 845 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022 by
Phone: 212-759-4600 or 877-370-7703 by Fax: 212-486-2093 or
877-370-7704 by E-mail: irrep@wolfpopper.com or visit their Web
site: http://www.wolfpopper.com.


AXIS CAPITAL: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP ("Lerach Coughlin") reminds investors there are only 26 days
left to move for lead plaintiff status in a class action suit
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of purchasers of AXIS Capital
Holdings Ltd. ("AXIS") (NYSE:AXS) publicly traded securities
during the period between August 6, 2003 and October 14, 2004
(the "Class Period").

The complaint charges AXIS and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. AXIS is a holding Company that through its subsidiaries
provides a range of insurance and reinsurance products on a
world-wide basis.

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 as follows:

     (1) that the Company was paying illegal and concealed
         "contingent commissions" pursuant to illegal
         "contingent commission agreements;"

     (2) that by concealing these "contingent commissions" and
         such "contingent commission agreements," the defendants
         violated applicable principles of fiduciary law,
         subjecting the Company to enormous fines and penalties
         totaling potentially tens, if not hundreds, of millions
         of dollars; and

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

On October 14, 2004, New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer
announced that he had charged several of the nation's largest
insurance companies and the largest broker with bid rigging and
pay-offs that he claimed violated fraud and competition laws. On
these revelations, the Company's shares fell to $23.36 from
$25.89 per share, a drop of 10%.

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


IMPAX LABORATORIES: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Securities Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Brodsky & Smith, LLC initiated a securities
class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California on behalf of shareholders who
purchased the common stock and other securities of IMPAX
Laboratories, Inc. ("IMPAX" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:IPXL),
between May 5, 2004 and November 3, 2004 inclusive (the "Class
Period").

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period,
thereby artificially inflating the price of IMPAX securities. No
class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact Marc L. Ackerman, Esq. or Evan J.
Smith, Esq. of Brodsky & Smith, LLC by Mail: Two Bala Plaza,
Suite 602, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 877-LEGAL-90 or by E-
mail: clients@brodsky-smith.com.


INTELLIGROUP INC.: Cohen Milstein Lodges Securities Suit in NJ
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, PLLC initiated
a lawsuit on behalf of its client and on behalf of other
similarly situated purchasers of the securities of Intelligroup,
Inc. (Nasdaq:ITIGE) ("Intelligroup" or the "Company") from May
1, 2001, through September 24, 2004, inclusive (the "Class
Period"), in the United States District Court for the District
of New Jersey.

The complaint names as defendants: Intelligroup; Arjun
Valluripalli a.k.a. Arjun Valluri, the Company's Chief Executive
Officer; Nicholas Visco, the Company's former Senior Vice
President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial
Officer from the beginning of the Class Period until November
2003; Edward Carr, the Company's Chief Financial Officer from
November 2003 to April 2004; and David J. Distel, the Company's
Chief Financial Officer from April 2004 to the end of the Class
Period. The Complaint alleges that the defendants violated
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, including
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") Rule 10b-5.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that, throughout the Class
Period, Intelligroup publicly boasted a strong financial
performance, while in reality, the Company's revenues, net
income and earnings were materially misstated as a direct result
of Intelligroup's improper accounting practices and inadequate
internal controls.

On August 11, 2004, Intelligroup announced that its independent
auditors, Deloitte & Touche LLP, had resigned from serving as
Intelligroup's independent registered accounting firm effective
following the conclusion of its review of the Company's interim
financial information for the second quarter of 2004. Then on
September 24, 2004, after the market closed, Intelligroup
announced that it would restate its previously issued financial
statements filed on Form 10-K for the years ended December 31,
2003, 2002 and 2001 and filed on Form 10-Q for the quarterly
periods beginning January 1, 2001 to date. In response to the
news, the value of Intelligroup's stock fell 32% to close at
$1.13 on September 27, 2004, the following trading day.

For more details, contact Steven J. Toll, Esq. or Elena Takacs
of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, PLLC by Mail: 1100 New York
Avenue, N.W. West Tower - Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20005 by
Phone: 888-240-0775 or 202-408-4600 or by E-mail: stoll@cmht.com
or etakacs@cmht.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
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
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