CAR_Public/041210.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, December 10, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 245

                          Headlines

ALABAMA: County Settles Lawsuit Over The Ticketing of Minors
AMC ENTERTAINMENT: Faces MO, DE Suits V. Marquee Holdings Merger
AMERICAN MULTI-CINEMA: Former Managers Launch Overtime Wage Suit
AUSTRALIA: Poker Addicts To Sue Casinos, Government For Losses
BANK OF AMERICA: Pension Plan Participants File IL ERISA Lawsuit

BROADWING INC.: OH Court Dismisses in Part Securities Fraud Suit
BROADWING INC.: Trial in OH ERISA Violations Suit Set May 2006
CALIFORNIA: ACLU Commences Lawsuit Challenging Proposition 64
CALIFORNIA: Federal Court Backs Auto Insurer's $19.5M Settlement
CARDINAL HEALTH: Shareholders Lodge Stock Fraud Suits in S.D. OH

CARDINAL HEALTH: Pension Plan Participants File Ohio ERISA Suits
CARDINAL HEALTH: CA Court Dismisses In Part ERISA Fraud Lawsuit
CINCINNATI BELL: OH Consumers Launch Unfair Trade Practices Suit
CROSSROADS SYSTEMS: Settles Consolidated Securities Suits in TX
DESLY INTERNATIONAL: Recalls Marshmallows For Undeclared Eggs

DUPONT PHARMACEUTICALS: Court Upholds $44.5M Coumadin Settlement
FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Pension Holders Launch ERISA Suit in CT
GENZYME CORPORATION: Investors Sue Over Exchange of Stock in MA
GLOBAL EXECUTIVE: Loan Officers Lodge Overtime Wage Suit in FL
HALLIBURTON CO.: Worker Assigned in Iraq Sues For Overtime Pay

HANGER ORTHOPEDIC: Shareholders File Stock Fraud Suits in VA, NY
HECLA MINING: Plaintiffs To Appeal ID Property Lawsuit Dismissal
HEXCEL CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement For Antitrust Suit in CA
IMCLONE SYSTEMS: Fact Discovery on NY Securities Suit Finished
LIFE FINANCIAL: Stock Suit Settlement Hearing Set March 2, 2005

MARSH & MCLENNAN: Faces 70+ Market-Timing, Late Trading Lawsuits
MARSH & MCLENNAN: Faces Stock Lawsuits Based on NY AG Complaint
MERCK & CO.: Over 500 Australians Join Vioxx Lawsuit V. Merck
OKLAHOMA: High Court Denies GRDA Appeal Over Two Court Judgments
PARADIGM MEDICAL: Reaches Verbal Agreements To Settle Lawsuits

PUTNAM INVESTMENT: Investors Lodge Securities Fraud Suit in MA
ROCHE DIAGNOSTICS: Recalls CARDIAC Reader System Due To Defects
SCANA CORPORATION: Faces Right-Of-Way Lawsuit in SC State Court
SOUTH CAROLINA: Named as Defendant in SC Right-of-Way Lawsuit
SOUTH KOREA: FSS Governor Says Suits Could Cost Firms Huge Money

SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Plaintiff Asks Court To Clarify Dismissal
TECHNICAL CONSUMER: Recalls 158T Light Bulbs Due To Burn Hazard
UNITED STATES: Chamber of Commerce Paper Pushes For Tort Reform
UNITED STATES: Regulators Warned Of Threat To Their Authority
WAL-MART STORES: Lawyers Demand $2.6M For Winning $211T Back Pay

WYETH: Faces Two PREMARIN/PREMPRO Personal Injury Lawsuits in NY
WYETH: Working on Nationwide Settlement of Fen-Phen Litigation
WYETH: EFFEXOR Patients Launch Personal Injury Suit in N.D. OK
WYETH: OK Consumers File Suit Over PROHEART 6 Veterinary Product


                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Senators Act to Include Minneapolis Victims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Jury Hears Statements on Case V. Bondex, GP
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA to Bring Yonkers Schools to Compliance
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grant to Explore Serpentine Link to Cancer
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fly-tippers Threaten to Cause Health Hazard

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GBD25Mil Payouts at Stake in Landmark Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Officials Pledge Aid for Dearborn Victims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lucent Technologies Named in Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Insurers Recoil at Rapid Asbestos Vote Plan
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: T&N Workers Act to Overcome Pensions Crisis

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Rejects ABB Asbestos Settlement Plan
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Essex Int'l Faces Product Liability Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal-Mogul Confirmation Hearing Delayed
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fairfax Financial Tells of Claims Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie and ACTU Close to Settling Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens-Illinois Reports 3rd Quarter Issues
ASBESTOS ALERT: AU Council Closes New Park Due to Contamination
ASBESTOS ALERT: Victim's Son Prepares Case V. British Furnaces
ASBESTOS ALERT: Developer Pleads Guilty, Faces US$75,000 Fine
ASBESTOS ALERT: Panel Reverses Ruling on Case V. Port Authority

ASBESTOS ALERT: Widow Seeks Compensation from Prime's Insurers
ASBESTOS ALERT: BHP Billiton Wins Case to Have Claim Heard in SA
ASBESTOS ALERT: U.S. Steel, NIPSCO Named in Exposure Lawsuit
ASBESTOS ALERT: State Probes Longley-Jones Corp, Faces $15T Fine
ASBESTOS ALERT: Widow Battles Pembroke Refineries, Power Station

ASBESTOS ALERT: OSHA Probes Entergy Plant for Workers' Exposure


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

SOURCECORP INC.: Brian M. Felgoise Lodges Securities Suit in TX


                         *********


ALABAMA: County Settles Lawsuit Over The Ticketing of Minors
------------------------------------------------------------
The criminal convictions of 300 people ticketed for being too
young to be in a bar will likely be erased, but whether state
law considers 19- and 20-year-olds to be minors remains up for
debate, the Associated Press reports.

Though the Tuscaloosa County circuit judge has yet to approve,
parties involved in the debate recently reached a settlement in
a class action suit that alleged Tuscaloosa police unlawfully
ticketed 19- and 20-year-olds for being in bars or lounges,
which attorneys had negotiated in October, a year after the
lawsuit was filed.

Under the settlement terms, those who received a ticket before
September 4, 2003, for being a minor in a lounge will have the
charge dropped from their criminal record, but will not be
reimbursed for fines paid. The City Council agreed Tuesday to
pay $30,000 in fees to the plaintiffs' attorneys.

The minors, who were charged will receive a settlement notice
and can appear at a fairness hearing that will probably be held
in the next few months.


AMC ENTERTAINMENT: Faces MO, DE Suits V. Marquee Holdings Merger
----------------------------------------------------------------
AMC Entertainment, Inc. is working to resolve the consolidated
class action filed against it in Delaware and Missouri courts,
alleging breach of fiduciary duty in relation to its merger with
Marquee Holdings, Inc., with the Company as the surviving
Company.

On July 22, 2004, two lawsuits purporting to be class actions
were filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware,
one naming the Company, the Company's directors, Apollo
Management Corporation and certain entities affiliated with
Apollo as defendants and the other naming the Company, the
Company's directors, Apollo Management and Marquee Holdings,
Inc. as defendants.

Those actions were consolidated on August 17, 2004.  The
plaintiffs in the consolidated action filed an amended complaint
in the Chancery Court on October 22, 2004 and moved for
expedited proceedings on October 29, 2004.  On July 23, 2004,
three more lawsuits purporting to be class actions were filed in
the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, each naming the
Company and the Company's directors as defendants.  These
lawsuits were consolidated on September 27, 2004.  The
plaintiffs in the consolidated action filed an amended complaint
in the Circuit court of Jackson County on October 29, 2004.  The
Company filed a motion to stay the case in deference to the
prior-filed Delaware action and separate motion to dismiss the
case in the alternative on November 1, 2004.

In both the Delaware action and the Missouri action, the
plaintiffs generally allege that the individual defendants
breached their fiduciary duties by agreeing to the merger, that
the transaction is unfair to the minority stockholders of the
Company, that the merger consideration is inadequate and that
the defendants pursued their own interests at the expense of the
stockholders.  The lawsuits seek, among other things, to recover
unspecified damages and costs and to enjoin or rescind the
merger and related transactions.


AMERICAN MULTI-CINEMA: Former Managers Launch Overtime Wage Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
American Multi-Cinema, Inc. faces a class action filed in the
Orange County Superior Court in California, styled "Conrad Grant
v. American Multi-Cinema,Inc. and DOES 1 to 100; Case No:
03CC00429."

The suit was filed on behalf of himself and other current and
former "senior managers," "salary operations managers" and
persons holding similar positions who claim that they were
improperly classified by the Company as exempt employees over
the prior four years.  Plaintiff alleges violations of the
California Labor Code and unfair business practices and seeks
overtime pay, pay for meal and rest periods, statutory
penalties, including penalties of up to $100 per underpaid
employee per pay period in which he or she was underpaid or any
other violation and waiting time penalties of up to 30 days
wages for former employees, prejudgment interest, attorneys fees
and costs.  Plaintiff also seeks declaratory and injunctive
relief.


AUSTRALIA: Poker Addicts To Sue Casinos, Government For Losses
--------------------------------------------------------------
An estimated 300,000 problem gamblers and their families have
been invited to join an Australian-first class action against
Tattersall's, Tabcorp, Crown casino and the Victorian
Government, which aims to sue for millions of dollars, the
Herald Sun reports.

According to the Action Against Gaming Machines, the lawsuit
would allege that poker machines do not meet the legislated
requirement of an 87 per cent return to gamblers and that they
will be targeting the state governments, gaming machine
manufacturers, machine operators and industry associations.

Lana O'Shanassy, who began the legal bid after losing "more than
a million dollars" on the "pokies", said she had proved, for the
first time, that poker machines failed to pay at legal rates by
using software from the Productivity Commission and poker
machine manufacturers to simulate win/loss ratios on electronic
gaming machines. She further states, "It's the first in the way
it uses solid evidence to base a case. We're not just saying we
don't want (pokies) any more." "It's not a legal activity . . .
because the evidence shows that gaming machines don't return the
legislated minimum of 87 per cent," the NSW woman adds.

However, poker machine operators, pokies venues and the State
Government dismissed her claims as unfounded. A spokeswoman for
Gaming Minister John Pandazopoulos even stated that the
Government had put safeguards in place to ensure payouts met the
legislated standards. "The state's independent gambling
regulator scrutinizes gaming venues to ensure minimum player
returns are met," the spokeswoman adds.

Clubs Victoria said the claims made on the AAGM website were
confused and posed no threat to the Victorian industry. "We're
not concerned because we believe it's unfounded," executive
director Mag Kearney said. "The Gambling Regulation Act does not
provide for individuals to take action," he further states.

Tabcorp in fact said that more than 90 per cent of money put
through its poker machines was returned to gamblers.  However,
Ms. O'Shannasy said governments and the gaming industry should
not underestimate the legal power of Australia's problem
gamblers. "You're probably well aware that a gambler who's lost
their money wants it back," she points out, since "If there's a
premise there that maybe (they) can get it back, then they will
go for it, so there's no trouble getting class (action)
members."


BANK OF AMERICA: Pension Plan Participants File IL ERISA Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bank of America Corporation faces an amended putative class
action complaint filed in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Illinois, entitled Anita Pothier, et al
v. Bank of America Corp., et al.

The suit was filed on behalf of all participants in or
beneficiaries of any cash balance formula defined benefit plan
maintained by the Company or its predecessors. The amended
complaint named as defendants the Company, Bank of America,
N.A., the Bank of America Pension Plan (formerly known as the
NationsBank Cash Balance Plan) and its predecessor plans, the
Bank of America 401(k) Plan and its predecessor plans, members
of the Bank of America Corporate Benefits Committee, various
current and former directors of the Corporation and certain of
its predecessors, and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.  The named
plaintiffs are alleged to be current or former participants in
one or more employee benefit pension plans sponsored or
participated in by the Corporation or its predecessors.

The amended complaint alleges the defendants violated various
provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
(ERISA), including that the cash balance formula of the Bank of
America Pension Plan and the BankAmerica Pension Plan violated
ERISA's defined benefit pension plan standards.  In addition,
the amended complaint alleges age discrimination in the design
and operation of the identified cash balance plans, improper
benefit to the Corporation and its predecessors, and various
prohibited transactions and fiduciary breaches.  The amended
complaint further alleges that certain voluntary transfers by
participants of assets from the NationsBank, Barnett Banks,
Inc., and Bank of America 401(k) plans to the Bank of America
Pension Plan violated ERISA.  The amended complaint alleges that
the participants in these plans are entitled to greater benefits
than they have received and seeks declaratory relief, monetary
relief in an unspecified amount, equitable relief, attorneys'
fees and interest.


BROADWING INC.: OH Court Dismisses in Part Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Ohio, Western Division granted in part Broadwing, Inc.'s motion
to dismiss the consolidated securities class action, styled "In
re Broadwing Inc. Securities Class Action Lawsuits, (Gallow v.
Broadwing Inc., et al), Case No.C-1-02-795."

Between October and December 2002, five virtually identical
class action lawsuits were filed against the Company and two of
its former Chief Executive Officers.  These complaints were
filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's securities
between January 17, 2001 and May 20, 2002, inclusive, and
alleged violations of Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
and Exchange Act of 1934 by, inter alia:

     (1) improperly recognizing revenue associated with
         Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) agreements; and

     (2) failing to write-down goodwill associated with the
         Company's 1999 acquisition of IXC Communications, Inc.

The plaintiffs seek unspecified compensatory damages, attorney's
fees, and expert expenses.

On December 30, 2002, the "Local 144 Group" filed a motion
seeking consolidation of the complaints and appointment as lead
plaintiff.  By order dated October 29, 2003, Local 144 Nursing
Home Pension Fund, Paul J. Brunner and Joseph Lask were named
lead plaintiffs in a putative consolidated class action.

On December 1, 2003, lead plaintiffs filed their amended
consolidated complaint on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
securities between January 17, 2001 and May 21, 2002, inclusive.
This amended complaint contained a number of new allegations.
Cincinnati Bell Inc. was added as a defendant in the amended
filing.  The Company's motion to dismiss was filed on February
6, 2004.

Plaintiffs filed their opposition to the Company's motion to
dismiss on April 15, 2004, and the Company filed its reply on
June 1, 2004.  On September 24, 2004, Judge Walter Rice issued
an Order granting in part and denying in part the Company's
motion to dismiss.  The Order indicates that a more detailed
opinion will follow.  Until the detailed opinion is issued,
there is no way of knowing which portions of the case have been
dismissed.  In the interim, Judge Rice directed that the stay of
discovery will remain in effect.


BROADWING INC.: Trial in OH ERISA Violations Suit Set May 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the consolidated class action filed against Broadwing,
Inc. alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act (ERISA) is set for May 2006 in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western
Division.  The suit is styled "In re Broadwing Inc. ERISA Class
Action Lawsuits, (Kurtz v. Broadwing Inc., et al), Case No. C-1-
02-857."

Between November 18, 2002 and January 10, 2003, four putative
class action lawsuits were filed against Broadwing Inc. and
certain of its current and former officers and directors in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
Fidelity Management Investment Trust Company was also named as a
defendant in these actions.

These cases, which purport to be brought on behalf of the
Cincinnati Bell Inc. Savings and Security Plan, the Broadwing
Retirement Savings Plan, and a class of participants in the
Plans, generally allege that the defendants breached their
fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security
Act of 1974 (ERISA) by improperly encouraging the Plan
participant-plaintiffs to elect to invest in the Company stock
fund within the relevant Plan and by improperly continuing to
make employer contributions to the Company stock fund within the
relevant Plan.

On October 22, 2003, a putative consolidated class action
complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Ohio.  The Company filed its motion to dismiss on
February 6, 2004.  Plaintiffs filed their opposition to the
Company's motion to dismiss on April 2, 2004, and the Company
filed its reply on May 17, 2004.

On October 6, 2004, the Judge issued a Scheduling Order in these
matters.  According to the Scheduling Order, discovery may
commence immediately and must be completed by November 15, 2005.
The trial is tentatively scheduled to take place in May 2006.  A
ruling on the Company's motion to dismiss is still pending.


CALIFORNIA: ACLU Commences Lawsuit Challenging Proposition 64
-------------------------------------------------------------
The California affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union
filed a class-action lawsuit challenging portions of a new
initiative, Proposition 69 that requires DNA testing of people
who are arrested for but never convicted of a crime.

"California has the most draconian DNA database system in the
country because of Proposition 69," said ACLU attorney Julia
Harumi Mass. "We are seeking an injunction against the testing,
analysis and indefinite storage of DNA from our clients and
Californians like them. We are asking the federal court to
protect our fundamental rights to be secure from
unconstitutional police searches and to privacy in our personal
medical and genetic information."

Under the law, people arrested but who are never charged, who
have their charges dropped or dismissed, or who are acquitted at
trial, all nonetheless must submit their DNA to police for
analysis and inclusion in a statewide database.

The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court in San
Francisco, also challenges Proposition 69's requirement that
people who were convicted of a felony some time in the past, but
have already fully served their debt to society and are no
longer under any supervision by the criminal justice system,
nonetheless must report to authorities and submit their DNA.

People who may be subject to DNA testing under the law, despite
being innocent of any crime, include victims of identity theft,
victims of police misconduct, political protesters, and lawful
medical marijuana users. Proposition 69 also mandates the
sharing of DNA samples with law enforcement and private
laboratories nationwide and globally.

Others caught in the DNA dragnet include: victims of domestic
violence, who are arrested for violence committed in self-
defense and who either have the charges against them dropped or
are subsequently acquitted; and people who were arrested for
felony drug offenses and who upon successful completion of
treatment programs, have had their convictions expunged under
Proposition 36 or other state laws. The ACLU clients in the case
include people who fall into those categories.

"DNA is much more than a fingerprint," said attorney Maya
Harris, director of the ACLU of Northern California's Racial
Justice Project. "It opens a genetic window that reveals
intimate information about you and your family, including
predispositions to Alzheimer's disease, depression, multiple
sclerosis and cancer. Law enforcement should not be allowed to
seize that personal, private information when you haven't even
been charged with a crime."

Michael Weber, a freshman at San Francisco State University,
joined the ACLU lawsuit after attending an anti-war protest
where he was arrested for a felony and the charges were later
dropped. Under the law, Weber will be required to be tested for
his DNA.

"I don't understand why I have to provide my DNA to the
government when I am innocent," said Weber. "The only time I've
been arrested the charges were dropped because the police had
the wrong person. I don't want the government to have sensitive,
private medical information about me and my family."

Air Force veteran Rodney Ware, another plaintiff in the lawsuit,
has been a victim of identity theft many times in the last 12
years. He was arrested in Los Angeles in April on a felony
warrant for a crime committed by someone using his name.

"I understand first-hand how easy it is to get arrested by
mistake," said Ware. "Under Proposition 69, every time I get
arrested for the crime of someone else, the police will take my
DNA. As the victim of a crime, I don't belong in the DNA
database and neither do the thousands of other innocent people
who are arrested each year."

The law allows individuals whose DNA is seized, but who are not
subsequently charged or acquitted, to petition the court to have
their DNA records expunged. But they face a delayed and
cumbersome process. They must petition a judge who has
unfettered discretion to deny their request and is not even
permitted to grant the request if the prosecuting attorney
objects. Once denied, individuals are left with no right to
appeal.

"Proposition 69 goes too far by compelling the seizure of DNA
from thousands of people who are presumed to be innocent and in
many cases actually are innocent," said ACLU cooperating
attorney Sonya Winner, a partner at the law firm Covington &
Burling. "Then, to add insult to injury, innocent people who are
wrongly arrested have no meaningful way to make sure their DNA
is removed from the criminal database."

Proposition 69 was passed by California voters on November 2,
2004 and is known as the California DNA Fingerprint, Unsolved
Crime and Innocence Protection Act. Before passage of
Proposition 69, California law provided for mandatory DNA
testing only of individuals who had been convicted of serious
and violent felony offenses and the inclusion of their DNA in a
statewide database.  The ACLU lawsuit seeks a permanent
injunction against DNA extraction and retention from
Californians arrested but not convicted and those who have
completed probation and parole.


CALIFORNIA: Federal Court Backs Auto Insurer's $19.5M Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Under a settlement approved by a California federal court,
Automobile Club of Southern California will pay $19.5 million to
1,300 current and former sales agents in California, Texas and
New Mexico, resolving a class-action lawsuit that claimed the
insurer denied them overtime pay in violation of federal and
California labor laws, the BestWire Services reports.

U.S. District Judge Gary L. Taylor Jr. of the U.S. District
Court of the Central District of California, Santa Ana Division,
on December 6 granted final approval to the settlement and
dismissed the five-year-old case, said plaintiffs' attorney
David Borgen, a partner at Oakland, Calif.-based Goldstein,
Demchak, Baller, Borgen and Dardaria.  Automobile Club of
Southern California, an affiliate of the American Automobile
Association, is California's fourth-largest auto insurer.

There were two main allegations in the case, Mr. Borgen told
BestWire. The first was that the plaintiffs were misclassified
as exempt employees. They claimed that they worked 60 hours a
week but didn't get paid any overtime, he said. The second
allegation was that the plaintiffs were being required to pay
for part of the cost of promotional gifts they used to increase
sales, such as boxes of candy or jumper cables, Mr. Borgen adds.
During the course of the litigation, Automobile Club
"unilaterally" changed the alleged practices, "so on a going-
forward basis, there is no claim," Mr. Borgen further stated.

Carol Thorp, a spokeswoman for Automobile Club, said that the
settlement "is in the best interests of all parties because now
our focus can return solely to serving members."

The court expects all payments to be made to the plaintiffs by
the end of this year, Mr. Borgen said. The settlement money
would be allocated to the plaintiffs based on how long they
worked for Auto Club, he said. Payments will average about $70
for each week worked, according to press reports.

According to court documents, in June 1999, Rosemarie Cummings,
Tamra Gonzalez and David Compton filed the proposed class action
in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeking back pay for
nonpayment of overtime wages and alleging violations of the
California Labor Code and California Business and Professions
Code. They alleged that sales agents and "life specialists"
employed by Automobile Club were misclassified as exempt and
consistently worked more than eight hours a day and 40 hours a
week, for which they weren't compensated. The complaint also
alleged that sales agents weren't compensated for necessary
business expenses, in violation of California law.

On August 3, 2001, Willie Bullock filed a similar proposed
class-action suit, known as "Bullock I" in the California
federal district court. Bullock also alleged violations of the
federal Fair Labor Standards Act, according to court documents.

The settlement resolves claims for four groups of current and
former Auto Club employees: All individuals who are employed or
have been employed by Auto Club in California as a sales agent
and who joined in the Bullock I collective action before Feb. 5,
2004, when the parties entered the settlement; all individuals
who are employed or have been employed by Auto Club in Texas and
New Mexico as a sales agent between Feb. 5, 2002 and Feb. 5,
2004, who joined in the Bullock I collective action; all persons
who are employed or have been employed by Auto Club in
California as a sales agent at any time between Aug. 1, 1998,
and Sept. 30, 2003, and who didn't join the collective action
before Feb. 5, 2004; and all individuals who are employed or
have been employed by Auto Club in California as a "life
specialist" between Feb. 1, 2001, and Sept. 30, 3003, and who
didn't demand arbitration of their individual claims.

According to Automobile Club's Thorp, the sales agents "met the
test" for being exempt employees under California law. Under the
federal FLSA, Automobile Club argued that it fit under the
"retail sales exemption," but the judge disagreed, she said.

"We still feel that the sales agents should be exempt, but of
course we agreed to the settlement," Ms. Thorp said. In October
2003, Automobile Club agreed to reclassify its agents as
nonexempt employees, she said.

Ms. Thorp added that during the litigation, "the judge
acknowledged that we had behaved in good faith" and didn't award
any punitive damages against the company.


CARDINAL HEALTH: Shareholders Lodge Stock Fraud Suits in S.D. OH
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cardinal Health, Inc. and certain of its officers and directors
face ten purported class action complaints filed on behalf of
purchasers of the Company's securities in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

The suits assert claims under the federal securities laws and
are styled:

     (1) Gerald Burger v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04 CV
         575),

     (2) Todd Fener v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04 CV
         579),

     (3) E. Miles Senn v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04 CV
         597),

     (4) David Kim v. Cardinal Health, Inc. (04 CV 598),

     (5) Arace Brothers v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04 CV
         604),

     (6) John Hessian v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04 CV
         635),

     (7) Constance Matthews Living Trust v. Cardinal Health,
         Inc., et al. (04 CV 636),

     (8) Mariss Partners, LLP v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al.
         (04 CV 849),

     (9) The State of New Jersey v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et
         al. (04 CV 831) and

    (10) First New York Securities, LLC v. Cardinal Health,
         Inc., et al. (04 CV 911)

The Cardinal Health federal securities actions purport to be
brought on behalf of all purchasers of the Company's securities
during various periods beginning as early as October 24, 2000
and ending as late as July 26, 2004 and allege, among other
things, that the defendants violated Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act by
issuing a series of false and/or misleading statements
concerning the Company's financial results, prospects and
condition.

The alleged misstatements relate to the Company's accounting for
recoveries relating to antitrust litigation against vitamin
manufacturers, and to classification of revenue in the Company's
Pharmaceutical Distribution business as either operating revenue
or revenue from bulk deliveries to customer warehouses, among
other matters.  The alleged misstatements are claimed to have
caused an artificial inflation in the Company's stock price
during the proposed class period.  The complaints seek
unspecified money damages and equitable relief against the
defendants and an award of attorney's fees.  None of the
defendants has yet responded to any of the complaints in the
Cardinal Health federal securities actions.


CARDINAL HEALTH: Pension Plan Participants File Ohio ERISA Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cardinal Health, Inc. and certain of its officers, directors and
employees face fourteen class actions filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, on behalf of
purported participants in the Cardinal Health Profit Sharing,
Retirement and Savings Plan (collectively referred to as the
"Cardinal Health ERISA actions").

These cases include:

     (1) David McKeehan and James Syracuse v. Cardinal Health,
         Inc., et al. (04 CV 643),

     (2) Timothy Ferguson v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04
         CV 668),

     (3) James DeCarlo v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04 CV
         684),

     (4) Margaret Johnson v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04
         CV 722),

     (5) Harry Anderson v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04 CV
         725),

     (6) Charles Heitholt v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04
         CV 736),

     (7) Dan Salinas and Andrew Jones v. Cardinal Health, Inc.,
         et al. (04 CV 745),

     (8) Daniel Kelley v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04 CV
         746),

     (9) Vincent Palyan v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04 CV
         778),

    (10) Saul Cohen v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04 CV
         789),

    (11) Travis Black v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04 CV
         790),

    (12) Wendy Erwin v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04 CV
         803),

    (13) Susan Alston v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04 CV
         815), and

    (14) Jennifer Brister v. Cardinal Health, Inc., et al. (04
         CV 828)

The Cardinal Health ERISA actions purport to be brought on
behalf of participants in the Cardinal Health Profit Sharing,
Retirement and Savings Plan (the "Plan"), and also on behalf of
the Plan itself.  The complaints allege that the defendants
breached certain fiduciary duties owed under the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), generally asserting
that the defendants failed to make full disclosure of the risks
to Plan participants of investing in the Company's stock, to the
detriment of the Plan's participants and beneficiaries, and that
Company stock should not have been made available as an
investment alternative for Plan participants.  The misstatements
alleged in the Cardinal Health ERISA actions significantly
overlap with the misstatements alleged in the Cardinal Health
federal securities actions.  The complaints seek unspecified
money damages and equitable relief against the defendants and an
award of attorney's fees.  None of the defendants has yet
responded to any of the complaints in the Cardinal Health
ERISA actions.


CARDINAL HEALTH: CA Court Dismisses In Part ERISA Fraud Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Central District of
California dismissed in part the consolidated class action filed
against Cardinal Health, Inc., Syncor International Corporation
and certain officers and employees of the Company.

A purported class action complaint, captioned Pilkington v.
Cardinal Health, et al, was filed on April 8, 2003, against the
Company, Syncor and certain officers and employees of the
Company by a purported participant in the Syncor Employees'
Savings and Stock Ownership Plan (the "Syncor ESSOP").  A
related purported class action complaint, captioned Donna Brown,
et al. v. Syncor International Corp, et al., was filed on
September 11, 2003, against the Company, Syncor and certain
individual defendants.

Another related purported class action complaint, captioned
Thompson v. Syncor International Corp., et al., was filed on
January 14, 2004, against the Company, Syncor and certain
individual defendants.  Each of these actions was brought in the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California.  A consolidated complaint was filed on February 24,
2004 against Syncor and certain former Syncor officers,
directors and/or employees alleging that the defendants breached
certain fiduciary duties owed under ERISA based on the same
underlying allegations of improper and unlawful conduct alleged
in the federal securities litigation.

The consolidated complaint seeks unspecified money damages and
other unspecified relief against the defendants.  On April 26,
2004, the defendants filed Motions to Dismiss the consolidated
complaint.  On August 24, 2004, the Court granted in part and
denied in part Defendants' Motions to Dismiss.  The Court
dismissed, without prejudice, all claims against defendants Ed
Burgos and Sheila Coop, all claims alleging co-fiduciary
liability against all defendants, and all claims alleging that
the individual defendants had conflicts of interest precluding
them from properly exercising their fiduciary duties under
ERISA.  A claim for breach of the duty to prudently manage plan
assets was upheld against Syncor, and a claim for breach of the
alleged duty to "monitor" the performance of Syncor's Plan
Administrative Committee was upheld against defendants Monty Fu
and Robert Funari.


CINCINNATI BELL: OH Consumers Launch Unfair Trade Practices Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cincinnati Bell Wireless Company faces a class action filed in
the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas in Ohio, styled "Sandy
Wynn v. Cincinnati Bell Wireless Company and Cincinnati Bell
Wireless, LLC, Case No. A0407822."

On September 28, 2004, attorneys for Sandy Wynn filed a class
action against Cincinnati Bell Wireless Company and Cincinnati
Bell Wireless, LLC (hereinafter collectively referred to as
"CBW"), alleging that Ms. Wynn and similarly-situated customers
of CBW were wrongfully assessed roaming charges for wireless
phone calls made or received within CBW's Home Service Area
and/or within major metropolitan areas on the AT&T Wireless
Network.  The complaint asserts several causes of action,
including negligent and/or intentional misrepresentation, breach
of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment, conversion and violation
of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act. Plaintiff seeks
economic and punitive damages on behalf of herself and all
similarly-situated customers of CBW.


CROSSROADS SYSTEMS: Settles Consolidated Securities Suits in TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
Crossroads Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRDS) reached an agreement in
principle to settle the consolidated securities class action
litigation, In re Crossroads Systems, Inc. Securities
Litigation, Master File No. A-00-CA-457-JN, pending in the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin
Division.

The shareholder class will receive a total payment of $4.35
million. Of that amount, the Company's directors-and-officers
insurance carriers have agreed to pay $3.35 million and the
Company will pay $1.0 million. As a result, Crossroads will take
a charge to earnings in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2004
of $1.0 million for the settlement and will report this with the
earnings call scheduled for December 20, 2004.

The settlement is subject to a number of conditions, including a
definitive agreement and final court approval following
completion of a fairness hearing. At this time, there can be no
assurance that these conditions will be met and that the
settlement of the securities class action litigation will
receive final court approval.

In the agreement, Crossroads and the individual defendants named
in the litigation continue to deny any and all allegations of
wrongdoing, and they will receive a full release of all claims
asserted in the litigation.

"While we were prepared to mount a vigorous defense, the
management team concluded that settlement was in the best fiscal
interest of the Company," stated Robert C. Sims, president and
chief executive officer, Crossroads Systems. "We also appreciate
the services of the Akin Gump securities litigation team in
their efforts to bring this matter to a conclusion."

For more information about Crossroads Systems, please visit
http://www.crossroads.comor call 800/643-7148.


DESLY INTERNATIONAL: Recalls Marshmallows For Undeclared Eggs
-------------------------------------------------------------
Desly International Corp., 242 47th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11220
is recalling CHOCOLATE COVERED MARSHMALLOWS (STRAWBERRY AND
VANILLA FLAVOR) ON THE STICK because they contain undeclared
eggs. Consumers who are allergic to eggs may run the risk of
serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume
this product.

The recalled CHOCOLATE COVERED MARSHMALLOWS (STRAWBERRY AND
VANILLA FLAVOR) ON THE STICK are packaged in uncoded 48g
cellophane packages with Russian writing only. The products were
sold nationwide.

The recall was initiated after routine sampling by New York
State Department of Agriculture and Marks food inspectors and
subsequently analysis by Department Food Laboratory personnel
revealed the presence of undeclared eggs in CHOCOLATE COVERED
MARSHMALLOWS (STRAWBERRY AND VANILLA FLAVOR) ON THE STICK in
packages that did not declare eggs as an ingredient on the
label. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection
with this problem.

Consumers who are allergic to eggs and purchased CHOCOLATE
COVERED MARSHMALLOWS (STRAWBERRY AND VANILLA FLAVOR) ON THE
STICK are urged to return them to the place of purchase.
Consumers with questions may contact the company at
(718) 492-8492.


DUPONT PHARMACEUTICALS: Court Upholds $44.5M Coumadin Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
An appeals court recently upheld a class action settlement in
which DuPont Pharmaceuticals Co. agreed to pay $44.5 million to
resolve charges that it unfairly claimed the generic equivalents
of its blood-thinning medication, Coumadin, were unsafe, the
NEPA News reports.

DuPont customers had initiated a lawsuit against the drug maker,
claiming that it tried to stave off competition in the late
1990s by disseminating false and misleading information about
generic versions of Coumadin, the brand name for the anti-
clotting drug warafin sodium.  According to the suit, as a
result of the misleading information some patients were afraid
to switch, and continued to pay higher prices for DuPont's
version of the drug.

The parties had settled the case in 2001 but several consumers
appealed to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, saying that
the settlement was inadequate and that a federal judge shouldn't
have allowed the case to proceed as a national class action.
Those who had opposed national class action status, had argued
that some plaintiffs could have collected bigger damages had
their cases been allowed to proceed independently in each state.
However, the 3rd Circuit ruled that the court overseeing the
settlement had acted properly.


FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Pension Holders Launch ERISA Suit in CT
--------------------------------------------------------------
FleetBoston Financial Corporation and the FleetBoston Financial
Pension Plan faces a putative class action complaint, entitled
"Donna C. Richards vs. FleetBoston Financial Corp. and the
FleetBoston Financial Pension Plan," in the United States
District Court of the District of Connecticut on behalf of
former or current employees of FleetBoston who on December 31,
1996 were not yet 50 years of age with 15 years of vesting
service, who participated in the FleetBoston Financial Pension
Plan (Fleet Plan) before January 1, 1997, and who have
participated in the Fleet Plan at any time since January 1,
1997.

The complaint alleges that FleetBoston violated the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by amending the Fleet
Plan to be a cash balance plan without notifying participants
that the amendment significantly reduced their plan benefits, by
conditioning the amount of benefits payable under the Fleet Plan
upon the form of benefit elected, by reducing the rate of
benefit accruals on account of age, and by failing to inform
participants of the correct amount of their pensions and related
claims. The complaint also alleges that the Fleet Plan violates
the "anti-backloading" rule of ERISA.   The complaint
seeks equitable and remedial relief, including a declaration
that the cash balance amendment to the Fleet Plan was
ineffective, additional unspecified benefit payments, attorneys'
fees and interest.


GENZYME CORPORATION: Investors Sue Over Exchange of Stock in MA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Genzyme Corporation faces a consolidated class action filed in
Massachusetts Superior Court, relating to the exchange of all of
the outstanding shares of Biosurgery Stock and Molecular
Oncology Stock for shares of Genzyme Stock.

Four similar suits were initially filed against the Company.
The first case, filed in Massachusetts Superior Court in May
2003, was a purported class action on behalf of holders of
Biosurgery Stock alleging a breach of the implied covenant of
good faith and fair dealing in the Company's charter and a
breach of its board of directors' fiduciary duties.  The
plaintiff in this case was seeking an injunction to adjust the
exchange ratio for the tracking stock exchange.  The Court
dismissed the complaint on November 12, 2003 for failure to
state a claim. The plaintiff in this case has appealed the
dismissal of the complaint.

Two substantially similar cases were filed in Massachusetts
Superior Court in August 2003 and October 2003.  These cases
were consolidated in January 2004, and in July 2004, the
consolidated case was stayed pending disposition of a fourth
case.

The fourth case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York in June 2003, was brought by two
holders of Biosurgery Stock alleging, in addition to the state
law claims contained in the other cases, violations of federal
securities laws, common law fraud, and a breach of the merger
agreement with Biomatrix, Inc.  The plaintiffs are seeking an
adjustment to the exchange ratio, the rescission of the
acquisition of Biomatrix, and unspecified compensatory damages.


GLOBAL EXECUTIVE: Loan Officers Lodge Overtime Wage Suit in FL
--------------------------------------------------------------
Three loan officers filed a collective action against Global
Executive Mortgage, Inc., its principals and related
corporations ("Global") for failure to pay minimum wage and
overtime compensation. Global loan officers receive leads to
sell mortgages over the Internet. The Company operates out of
Venice and Wesley Chapel, Florida, and Twinsburg, Ohio. The
plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit worked in the Venice and
Twinsburg offices. Plaintiffs allege that they worked for long
periods of time without receiving any compensation whatsoever
for their efforts.

Plaintiffs seek to have their case certified as a collective
action under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") -- a type of
class action in which individuals employed in similar job
positions are provided with an opportunity to pursue overtime
pay claims by opting into a lawsuit filed by representative
plaintiffs. In order to participate in the lawsuit, employees
who worked for Global during the past three years must file a
"consent to join form," which may be obtained from plaintiffs'
counsel.

The complaint alleges that Global's President, Kevin Parks,
intentionally rejected advice by FLSA experts that Global's loan
officers were not being lawfully compensated. Instead, Global
required its employees to rely solely upon their commissions for
compensation. Many of Global's loan officers routinely worked
more than forty hours per week in order to reach the goals set
for them. The plaintiffs seek up to three years of overtime pay
and liquidated damages, amounting to double the amount of
overtime pay due.

A similar case was filed against Ditech Funding Corporation in
California. In Ellmore, et al. v. GMAC Mortgage and Ditech
Funding Corporation, loan agents and loan processors employed in
the Orange County ditech.com facilities alleged that they were
misclassified as exempt and, therefore, were improperly deprived
of overtime pay despite their long hours of work on a regular
basis. Their case settled for $9,650,000.

Plaintiffs are represented by the law firms of James D. Keeney,
P.A. and Burr & Smith, LLP. Burr & Smith, LLP, recently sued ABN
AMRO on behalf of mortgage consultants who were denied overtime
compensation. In the ABN case, the plaintiffs asserted that they
did not perform administrative duties justifying an exemption
from overtime. Sam J. Smith stated, "These cases are merely the
tip of the iceberg because the financial services industry
continues to ignore the requirements of the FLSA." James Keeney
added, "Global has virtually no defense to this case because it
failed to pay its loan officers any salary at all. Paying only
occasional commissions to inside sales employees clearly
violates FLSA requirements."

Anyone with evidence regarding this case or who wishes to obtain
a "consent to join form" should call 1-813-253-2010, or
1-941-309-0050, or log onto http://www.burrandsmithlaw.comto
report their claims.


HALLIBURTON CO.: Worker Assigned in Iraq Sues For Overtime Pay
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sammie Curry Smith Jr., a former heating and air-conditioning
mechanic working for Halliburton Co. in Iraq recently initiated
a lawsuit seeking class-action status against the company for
failing to pay overtime when he put in more than 40 hours a
week, the Billings Gazette reports.  However, U.S. overtime laws
don't apply when U.S. workers toil overseas, according to
employment lawyers and for that reason alone, it may be
withdrawn.

Mr. Smith had received a base salary of $4,004 a month, which
included danger pay, foreign service and area differential,
according to the lawsuit that was filed in federal court in
Houston. The seven-day-a-week job required a lot of overtime,
but he received regular pay after 40 hours instead of time and a
half.

Federal overtime laws do not cover employees of U.S. companies
working in foreign countries, said Ian Scharfman, a lawyer with
Shellist, Lore & Lazarz, who isn't connected to the case.
Congress specially excluded them from the overtime laws, he
further adds. "The language of the statute is pretty
unambiguous," added Chip Galagaza, a lawyer with Seyfarth Shaw
in Houston, who also is not connected to the case.

Salar Ali Ahmed, a lawyer who is representing Mr. Smith, said he
was discussing the issue with his co-counsel, Melissa Ann Moore.
Later, he called to say he was dismissing the case. "And that's
all I'm going to say," Ahmed told the Billings Gazette. "Just
don't print anything."

Commenting on the Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall stated,
"It's certainly our business practice to pay all of our
employees what they're entitled to, if we found we had not, we
would rectify the situation." "We believe the lawsuit is based
on an incorrect interpretation of the law and is without merit,"
she adds.


HANGER ORTHOPEDIC: Shareholders File Stock Fraud Suits in VA, NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc. and certain of its executive
officers and directors face substantially similar class actions
filed on behalf of certain shareholders of the Company in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The complaints in those cases relate to the employee allegations
of misconduct at the West Hempstead, New York patient-care
center.  On June 15, 2004, the Company announced that an
employee at its patient-care center in West Hempstead, New York
alleged in a television news story aired on June 14, 2004 that
there were instances of billing discrepancies at that facility.
On June 18, 2004, the Company announced that on June 17, 2004,
the Audit Committee of the Company's Board of Directors had
engaged the law firm of McDermott, Will &; Emery to serve as
independent counsel to the committee and to conduct an
independent investigation of the allegations.  The scope of that
independent investigation has been expanded to cover certain of
the Company's other patient-care centers.  On June 17, 2004, the
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York
subpoenaed records of the Company regarding various billing
activities and locations.  In addition, the Company also
announced on June 18, 2004 that the Securities and Exchange
Commission had commenced an informal inquiry into the matter.
The Company is cooperating with the regulatory authorities.

A suit captioned "Twist Partners vs. Hanger Orthopedic Group,
Inc., Thomas F. Kirk, George E. McHenry and Ivan R. Sabel, (Case
No. CV 04 2585)," was filed on June 22, 2004 in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  Mr. Kirk
is President and a director of the Company, Mr. McHenry is Chief
Financial Officer of the Company and Mr. Sabel is the Chairman
of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

The complaint alleges that throughout the class period (July 29,
2003 through June 14, 2004), the defendants engaged in "an
illegal scheme to bill the Medicaid and Medicare programs, the
Veterans Administration and private insurers," and alleges that
the improperly booked sales artificially inflated the Company's
reported revenues and earnings.  The complaint also alleges that
the defendants were motivated to engage in the fraud so that the
Company's insiders could effect sales of their shares of the
Company's common stock at artificially inflated prices, citing
the sale of a total of 120,270 shares for total proceeds of
$1,931,198.

The suit alleges violations of the anti-fraud provision
contained in Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and asserts violations of
Section 20(a) against the individual defendants as controlling
persons.  The suit seeks an unspecified amount of compensatory
damages against all defendants, jointly and severally for
all damages sustained, including interest thereon, as well as
reasonable costs and expenses incurred, including counsel and
expert fees.

Three substantially identical suits, captioned "Robert Imperato
vs. Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc., Ivan R. Sabel, Thomas Kirk,
and George E. McHenry (Civil Action No. CV 04 2736)," "Kenneth
Walters vs. Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc., Thomas F. Kirk,
George E. McHenry, and Ivan R. Sabel (Civil Action No. CV 04
2826)," and "Adam Shapiro vs. Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc.,
Ivan R. Sabel and George E. McHenry (Case CV 04 2681) were filed
on June 29, 2004, July 6, 2004 and June 28, 2004, respectively,
in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

A suit captioned "Curt Browne vs. Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc.,
Ronald N. May, Thomas P. Cooper, Jason P. Owen, Ivan R. Sabel,
Richard J. Taylor, George E. McHenry, Glenn M. Lohrmann and Risa
J. Lavizzo-Mourey (Case No. 1:04 cv 715)" was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on June 23,
2004. Mr. May is the President of Southern Prosthetic Supply
(the Company's distribution division), Mr. Cooper is a director
of the Company, Mr. Owen is Treasurer of the Company, Mr. Taylor
is Executive Vice President of the Company, Mr. Lohrmann is Vice
President and Secretary of the Company and Ms. Lavizzo-Mourey is
a former director of the Company.  The complaint's allegations
are substantially similar to those set forth in the above-
referenced action and specifies a class period of February 26,
2003 through June 14, 2004.  The complaint alleges sales by the
individual defendants of a total of 167,270 shares for total
proceeds of $2.4 million.  The complaint seeks damages in an
unspecified amount, including interest, and reasonable
costs, including attorneys' fees.


HECLA MINING: Plaintiffs To Appeal ID Property Lawsuit Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs intend to appeal dismissal of the class action filed
against Hecla Mining Corporation and several corporate
defendants over their mining practices in the Coeur d'Alene
Basin in Idaho.

On January 7, 2002, a class action complaint was filed in the
Idaho District Court, County of Kootenai, against several
corporate defendants, including the Company.  The complaint
seeks certification of three plaintiff classes of Coeur d'Alene
Basin residents and current and former property owners to pursue
three types of relief: various medical monitoring programs, real
property remediation and restoration programs, and damages for
diminution in property value, plus other damages and costs they
allege resulted from historic mining and transportation
practices of the defendants in the Coeur d'Alene Basin.

On August 18, 2004, the District Court of Kootenai County issued
its Opinion and Order with respect to a number of Summary
Judgment Motions filed by the defendants in the litigation.  In
the Order, the Judge dismissed all of the plaintiff's claims
against the defendants, asserting that in each case the
applicable statute of limitations had been exceeded prior to
filing the lawsuit.  The Court held that Hecla Mining Company
had completely ceased discharging mill tailings into the South
Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River in 1968 and that all mill
tailings were deposited on lands within ten years of that date
or by 1978.  The Court stated that the action was brought in
2002, and the four-year statute of limitations had expired.
Therefore, the Court held that the lawsuit against Hecla was
time barred.  In September 2004, the plaintiffs filed a Notice
of Appeal, appealing the District Court's dismissal decision to
the Idaho Supreme Court.


HEXCEL CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement For Antitrust Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hexcel Corporation reached a settlement for the class action
filed in the United States District Court, Central District of
California styled "Thomas & Thomas Rodmakers v. Newport
Adhesives and Composites, Case No. CV-99-07796-GHK (CTx)."

Similar purported class action lawsuits were filed on behalf of
purchasers (excluding government purchasers) of carbon fiber and
carbon prepreg in the United States from the named defendants
from January 1, 1993 through January 31, 1999.  The lawsuits
were brought following published reports of a Los Angeles
federal grand jury investigation of the carbon fiber and carbon
prepreg industries, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(April 1,2004) reports.

In these lawsuits, plaintiffs allege violations of Section 1 of
the Sherman Antitrust Act for alleged price fixing.  In
September 1999, these lawsuits were consolidated by the Court
into a case captioned "with all related cases ordered dismissed.
This lawsuit is proceeding through discovery and motion
practice.

September 30, 2004, the Company entered into a stipulation of
settlement with the plaintiffs.  The settlement is
subject to court approval.  The court has given preliminary
approval to the settlement, with no additional opt-out right for
class members.  Notice of settlement will be sent to class
members by November 16, 2004 and objections, if any, are due by
January 3, 2005.  The final settlement approval hearing is
scheduled for January 31, 2005.


IMCLONE SYSTEMS: Fact Discovery on NY Securities Suit Finished
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fact discovery has concluded on the consolidated securities
class action filed against ImClone Systems Incorporation in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York.

Beginning in January 2002, a number of complaints asserting
claims under the federal securities laws against the Company and
certain of the Company's directors and officers.  Those actions
were consolidated under the caption "Irvine v. ImClone Systems
Incorporated et al., No.02 Civ. 0109 (RO)."

On September 16, 2002, a consolidated amended complaint was
filed in that consolidated action, which plaintiffs corrected in
limited respects on October 22, 2002.  The corrected
consolidated amended complaint named the Company, as well as the
Company's former President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr.
Samuel D. Waksal, the Company's former Chief Scientific Officer
and then-President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Harlan W.
Waksal, and several of the Company's other present or former
officers and directors as defendants.

The complaint asserted claims for securities fraud under
sections 10(b), 20(a) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, on behalf of a purported class of persons who
purchased the Company's publicly traded securities between March
27, 2001 and January 25, 2002 and asserted claims against Dr.
Samuel D. Waksal  under section 20A of the Exchange Act on
behalf of a separate purported sub-class of purchasers of the
Company's securities between December 27, 2001 and December 28,
2001.

The complaint generally alleges that various public statements
made by or on behalf of the Company or the other defendants
during 2001 and early 2002 regarding the prospects for FDA
approval of ERBITUX were false or misleading when made, that the
individual defendants were allegedly aware of material non-
public information regarding the actual prospects for ERBITUX at
the time that they engaged in transactions in the Company's
common stock and that members of the purported stockholder class
suffered damages when the market price of the Company's common
stock declined following disclosure of the information that
allegedly had not been previously disclosed.  The complaint
sought to proceed on behalf of the alleged class described
above, sought monetary damages in an unspecified amount and
sought recovery of plaintiffs' costs and attorneys' fees.

On June 3, 2003, the court granted in part, a motion to dismiss
filed by all defendants other than Dr. Samuel D. Waksal, the
Company and Dr. Harlan W. Waksal.  Dr. Harlan W. Waksal, Dr.
Samuel D. Waksal and the Company each filed an answer to the
complaint on June 27, 2003.  On July 31, 2003 plaintiffs filed a
motion for class certification.  Defendants opposed that motion.
On April 14, 2004, the court granted plaintiffs' motion for
class certification.


LIFE FINANCIAL: Stock Suit Settlement Hearing Set March 2, 2005
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed
settlement in the matter In re Life Financial Corporation
Securities Litigation [99 Civ. 11877 (DAB)] on behalf of all
persons, who purchased shares of the common stock of Life
Financial Corporation ("Life Financial") during the period June
24, 1997 to March 3, 1999.

A hearing has been scheduled before the Court on March 2, 2005
to consider approval of the proposed settlement of this action
for, among other consideration, $825,000; certification of a
plaintiff class; Class Counsel's application for attorney's fees
and reimbursement of expenses; and related matters in the above-
captioned action brought on behalf of the Class defined above.

Subsequent to the filing of the Complaint, defendant Life
Financial Corporation changed its name to Pacific Premier
Bancorp, Inc. and currently trades under the symbol "PPBI"
(Nasdaq: PPBI).

For more details, contact Life Financial Corporation Securities
Litigation c/o The Garden City Group, Inc. - Claims
Administrator by Mail: PO Box 9000, #6274 Merrick, NY 11566-9000
or visit their Web site: http://www.murrayfrank.com.


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Faces 70+ Market-Timing, Late Trading Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC) and Putnam Investment
Management LLC face complaints in over 70 civil actions based on
allegations of "market-timing" and "late trading" activities.
These actions were filed in courts in New York, Massachusetts,
California, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, Vermont, Kansas,
and North Carolina.  All of the actions except five have been
transferred, along with actions against other mutual fund
complexes, to the United States District Court for the District
of Maryland for coordinated or consolidated pretrial
proceedings.  Plaintiffs who were appointed lead plaintiffs by
the Court recently filed consolidated amended complaints in the
actions.

MMC and Putnam, along with certain of their current and former
officers and directors, have been named in a consolidated
amended class action complaint purportedly brought on behalf of
all purchasers of the publicly traded securities of MMC between
January 3, 2000 and November 3, 2003.  In general, the MMC Class
Action alleges that the defendants, including MMC, allowed
certain mutual fund shareholders and fund managers to engage in
market-timing in the Putnam family of funds.  The complaint
further alleges that this conduct was not disclosed until late
2003 in violation of the federal securities laws.  The complaint
alleges that, as a result of defendants' purportedly misleading
statements or omissions, MMC's stock traded at inflated levels
during the Class Period. The suit seeks unspecified damages and
equitable relief.

A consolidated amended complaint asserting shareholder
derivative claims has been filed against members of MMC's Board
of Directors, two of Putnam's former officers, and MMC as a
nominal defendant.  The MMC Derivative Action generally alleges
that the members of MMC's Board of Directors violated the
fiduciary duties they owed to MMC and its shareholders by
permitting, acquiescing in, and/or consciously disregarding the
lack of formal controls regarding the oversight or monitoring of
market-timing in Putnam mutual funds.  The MMC Derivative Action
alleges that, as a result of the alleged violation of
defendants' fiduciary duties, MMC suffered damages.  The suit
seeks unspecified damages and equitable relief.

MMC and Putnam have also been named as defendants in a
consolidated amended complaint filed on behalf of a putative
class of shareholders of certain Putnam funds, and in another
consolidated amended complaint in which certain fund
shareholders purport to assert derivative claims on behalf of
all Putnam funds. These suits seek to recover unspecified
damages allegedly suffered by the funds and their shareholders
as a result of purported market- timing and late trading
activity that allegedly occurred in certain Putnam funds.  The
derivative suit seeks additional relief, including termination
of the investment advisory contracts between Putnam Investment
Management and the funds, cancellation of the funds' 12b-1 plans
and the return of all advisory and 12b-1 fees paid by the funds
over a certain period of time.  In addition to MMC and Putnam,
the suits name as defendants various Putnam affiliates, certain
trustees of Putnam funds, certain present and former Putnam
officers and employees, and persons and entities that allegedly
engaged in market-timing and/or late trading activities in
Putnam funds. The complaints allege violations of the federal
securities laws and state law. Putnam has also been named as a
defendant in its capacity as a sub-advisor to a non-Putnam fund
in a class action suit pending in the District of Maryland
against another mutual fund complex.

MMC, Putnam, and various of their officers, directors and
employees have been named as defendants in two consolidated
amended complaints that purportedly assert class action claims
under ERISA (the "ERISA Actions").  The ERISA Actions, which
have been brought by participants in MMC's Stock Investment Plan
and Putnam's Profit Sharing Retirement Plan (collectively, the
"Plans"), allege, among other things, that, in view of the
market-timing trading activity that was allegedly allowed to
occur at Putnam, the defendants knew or should have known that
the investment of the Plans' funds in MMC's stock and Putnam's
mutual fund shares was imprudent and that the defendants
breached their fiduciary duties to the Plans' participants in
making these investments.  The ERISA actions seek unspecified
damages, as well as equitable relief including the restoration
to the Plans of all profits the defendants allegedly made
through the use of the Plan's assets, an order compelling the
defendants to make good to the Plans all losses to the Plans
allegedly resulting from defendants' alleged breaches of their
fiduciary duties, and the imposition of a constructive trust on
any amounts by which any defendant allegedly was unjustly
enriched at the expense of the Plans.

Putnam has agreed to indemnify the Putnam funds for any
liabilities arising from market-timing activities, including
those that could arise in the securities litigations, and MMC
has agreed to guarantee Putnam's obligations in that regard.


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Faces Stock Lawsuits Based on NY AG Complaint
---------------------------------------------------------------
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC) faces various securities
fraud litigation related to a civil complaint filed by New York
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

On October 14, 2004, the New York Attorney General's Office
filed a civil complaint in state court against MMC and Marsh
Inc. (collectively "Marsh") asserting claims under New York
State law for fraudulent business practices, antitrust
violations, securities fraud, unjust enrichment, and common law
fraud.

The complaint alleges that market services agreements and other
similar agreements between Marsh and various insurance companies
created an incentive for Marsh to steer business to such
insurance companies and to shield them from competition.  The
complaint further alleges that these Agreements were not
adequately disclosed to Marsh's clients or to Marsh's investors.

In addition, the complaint alleges that Marsh solicited
fraudulent bids to create the appearance of competitive bidding,
and that Marsh steered business away from insurers with less
favorable Agreements and toward insurers with more favorable
Agreements.  The complaint seeks relief including an injunction
prohibiting Marsh from engaging in the alleged wrongful conduct,
disgorgement of all profits related to such conduct, restitution
and unspecified damages, attorneys' fees, and punitive damages.

On October 25, 2004, the New York Attorney General's Office
announced that the adoption by Marsh of dramatically new
business procedures, installation of new leadership, a full
examination of prior wrongdoing and a pledge of restitution to
those harmed would make criminal prosecution of MMC unnecessary.
MMC is assisting the New York Attorney General's Office's
investigation of the allegations in the civil complaint and
seeking to resolve the claims asserted therein.

As of November 2, 2004, numerous private plaintiffs have filed
civil actions against MMC, and its directors, officers and
affiliates, alleging claims based on allegations that are
similar or identical to those alleged in the New York Attorney
General's Office's complaint.

United Policyholders, a not-for-profit organization, which is
purporting to sue on behalf of the general public filed a
complaint on August 3, 2004 in the Superior Court of California,
San Diego County.  The complaint alleges, among other things,
that the Agreements themselves and the alleged failure to
adequately disclose the Agreements constitute violations of the
California Business Code provisions concerning unfair business
practices and false advertising.  The complaint seeks injunctive
relief, restitution in an unspecified amount and attorneys fees.

Three purported class actions alleging claims on behalf of a
purported nationwide class of persons and entities who engaged
MMC or its affiliates to provide insurance brokerage services
during the purported class periods have been filed in United
States District Courts for the Southern District of New York,
the Eastern Districtof New York, and the District of New Jersey.
The longest purported class period extends from August 26, 1994
to the date of the certification of the purported class, and the
other two purported class periods extend from approximately
October 1998 to October 2004.

These complaints collectively include claims for violations of
the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(RICO), federal and state antitrust violations, state unfair
business practice violations, and common law claims including
breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of duty of
loyalty, and unjust enrichment. The complaints seek unspecified
damages, treble damages, disgorgement, restitution, injunctive
relief and attorneys fees.

Three purported class actions on behalf of individuals and
entities who purchased or acquired MMC's publicly traded
securities during the purported class periods have been filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York, and the purported class periods extend from
approximately October 1999 to October 2004.  These complaints
allege, among other things, that MMC inflated its earnings
during the class period by engaging in an unsustainable business
practice which allegedly involved steering business to insurers
with Agreements and shielding such insurers from competition.

These complaints further allege, among other things, that
defendants deceived the investing public regarding MMC's
business, operations, management, and the intrinsic value of
MMC's stock, and caused the plaintiffs and other members of the
purported class to purchase MMC's securities at artificially
inflated prices. These complaints include claims for violations
of the federal securities laws based on the company's allegedly
false or incomplete disclosures.  The complaints seek
unspecified compensatory damages and attorneys fees.

Nine purported class actions alleging violations of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") on behalf of
participants in one or more MMC sponsored employee benefit plans
during the purported class periods have beenfiled in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The purported class periods vary, with the longest purposed
class period extending from October 1, 1998 to the present.

These complaints allege, among other things, that in view of the
allegedly fraudulent bids and the receipt of contingent
commissions pursuant to Agreements with insurers, the defendants
knew or should have known that the investment of the Plans'
funds in MMC stock was imprudent. These complaints assert claims
for violations of ERISA based on, among other things, the
alleged failure to properly manage the Plans' assets, the
alleged failure to monitor the Plans' fiduciaries, the alleged
failure to provide complete and accurate information to
participants and beneficiaries of the Plans, and the alleged
failure to avoid conflicts of interest and prohibited
transactions.  The complaints seek, among other things,
unspecified compensatory damages, restitution, disgorgement,
injunctive relief and attorneys fees.

Seven derivative actions have been filed against MMC's directors
and officers during the relevant time period (the "derivative
actions") in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware and
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York.  These derivative actions allege, among other things,
that the directors and officers of MMC during the relevant time
period breached their fiduciary duties by permitting or failing
to take action to correct the alleged misconduct described in
the New York Attorney General's Office's complaint, are liable
to MMC for damages arising from their breaches of fiduciary
duty, and must contribute to or indemnify MMC for any damages
MMC has suffered. MMC has also received demand letters asking
the Board of Directors of MMC to take appropriate legal action
against those directors and officers who are alleged to have
caused damages to MMC based on the allegations contained in the
New York Attorney General's Office's complaint.


MERCK & CO.: Over 500 Australians Join Vioxx Lawsuit V. Merck
-------------------------------------------------------------
Over 500 Australians have so far joined a class action against
the makers of a controversial painkiller Vioxx which has been
linked to heart disease, according to Adelaide law firm Duncan
Basheer Hannon, who adds that response to the action against
pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. had been overwhelming, the AAP
Information Services reports.

The case is similar to lawsuits launched around the world since
Vioxx was removed from the market in October because of its link
with chronic heart disease. As previously reported in the
November 25, 2004 issue of the Class Action Reporter, Duncan
Basheer Hannon partner Peter Humphries, who is expected to
launch legal proceedings against the drug maker in Federal Court
by early next year, said, "It's estimated that people taking a
low dose of Vioxx as little as 25 milligrams a day have a 50 per
cent higher risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death.
Reports indicate between 30,000 and 100,000 users of Vioxx
worldwide have suffered heart attacks and strokes, many of them
fatal."

Mr. Humphries further states that 12 people had contacted the
law firm to date to discuss joining the class action, including
former Vioxx user Brian Heffernan, who had no history of heart
trouble before taking the drug but was later diagnosed with
chronic heart disease after using the drug for 14 months. He
would eventually undergo a triple bypass.

He also told the AAP Information Services, "We are also
exploring the possibility of linking with lawyers in the United
States with a view to joining a class action in the US, over the
next few weeks we will be getting in touch with all the people
who have contacted us in preparation for the case. The response
from Australian users of the drug has been huge and more people
are calling every day."

Attorneys believe that up to 500,000 Australians have taken
Vioxx, which was commonly prescribe for the treatment of
arthritis until a US study linked it to heart attacks, strokes,
blood clots and kidney damage.


OKLAHOMA: High Court Denies GRDA Appeal Over Two Court Judgments
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Oklahoma Supreme Court recently denied an appeal by the
Grand River Dam Authority of two court judgments over flood
damage, thus opening the way for further lawsuits.

The decision involved lawsuits filed by Miami homeowners Jeffrey
and Carolyn McCool and Randy and Dena Stoner. In 2002, the
McCools were awarded $75,000 and the Stoners were awarded
$67,000. Other victims of numerous floods in the 1990s include
the city of Miami, Ottawa County, 10 businesses and the Miami
Tribe of Oklahoma.

The authority is an agency of the state of Oklahoma that was
created by the Legislature in 1935 to be a conservation and
reclamation district for the waters of Grand River. About
500,000 customers in 24 counties receive power from the
authority's hydroelectric sites.

Plaintiffs have accused the authority in its operation of the
Pensacola Dam of increasing the elevation of water during more
than a dozen floods in a period of almost three years in the
1990s in the Miami area.

However, the authority has asserted that the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission had ultimate control of the dam, and that
the Neosho River, which feeds into Grand Lake, caused the
flooding. The agency, which governs hydroelectric projects,
ordered the authority in 1996 to lower the lake's annual base
level. Since then, Miami has experienced no catastrophic
flooding like in the previous decade.

According to the plaintiffs' attorney Larry Bork, the reason the
authority kept the levels high as long as possible was to drive
the power turbines within the dam. He further stated, "I didn't
think GRDA ever thought we would stick it out as long as we did
and get a favorable ruling from the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the
cost of litigation and damages will likely exceed $10 million."

Mr. Bork also said that with the state Supreme Court ruling, a
class-action lawsuit over flood damage now would receive
multiple trial dates for the 111 plaintiffs, since the McCool
and Stoner lawsuits were used as test cases.

In 1999, Associate District Judge Robert Reavis II had ruled
that the authority was responsible for the increased elevations
and duration of flooding in the Miami area. Judge Reavis based
his decision in part on an independent report from Forrest Holly
Jr., a hydrologic engineer from the University of Iowa.


PARADIGM MEDICAL: Reaches Verbal Agreements To Settle Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Paradigm Medical Industries, Inc. (OTCBB: PMED.OB/PMEDW.OB)
recently reported that verbal agreements have been made to
settle certain lawsuits brought against the Company and its
former executive officers, Thomas F. Motter, Mark R. Miehle and
John W. Hemmer. The following are the lawsuits that have been
verbally settled:

     (1) The class action lawsuit filed on May 14, 2003 by
         Richard Meyer, individually and on behalf of all others
         similarly situated, against Paradigm Medical and
         certain former executive officers in the United States
         District Court for the District of Utah, which was
         consolidated into a single action on June 28, 2004 with
         two other class action lawsuits -- the class action
         lawsuit filed by Michael Marone on June 2, 2003 and the
         class action lawsuit filed by Lidia Milian on July 21,
         2003 against the Company and its former executive
         officers in the same court. The consolidated action is
         captioned In re Paradigm Medical Industries Securities
         Litigation, with lead plaintiffs Rock Solid Investments
         of Miami, Inc., Brito & Brito Accounting, Inc. and
         Joseph Savanjo.

     (2) The class action lawsuit filed on October 14, 2003 by
         Albert Kinzinger, Jr., individually and on behalf of
         all others similarly situated, in the Third District
         Court for the State of Utah against Paradigm Medical
         and certain former executive officers.

     (3) The lawsuit filed on July 10, 2003 by Innovative
         Optics, Inc. against Paradigm Medical and certain
         former executive officers.

Under the terms of the settlement agreements, U.S. Fire
Insurance Company, which issued a Directors and Officers
Liability and Company Reimbursement Policy to Paradigm for the
period from July 10, 2002 to July 10, 2003, has agreed to pay an
undisclosed amount of cash to the classes in the class action
lawsuits and to Innovative Optics, Inc. in settlement of these
lawsuits. Under the terms of settlement, Paradigm Medical is to
pay U.S. Fire the sum of $220,000, representing the remaining
amount owing under a $250,000 retention obligation in the
insurance policy, and to execute a policy release in favor of
U.S. Fire as to coverage under the insurance policy.

The parties to the settlement and their respective legal counsel
are in the process of preparing written settlement agreements to
memorialize the terms of the verbal agreements. Settlement of
the lawsuits is subject to certain conditions, which include but
are not limited to the following:

     (i) Each of the settlement classes shall, in their
         respective actions and at their own expense, obtain
         preliminary approval of the terms of settlement by both
         the court in the federal action and the court in the
         state action.

    (ii) After obtaining a court order granting preliminary
         approval of the terms of settlement in the respective
         actions, each of the classes are required, in their
         respective actions and at their own expense, to provide
         notice to all persons that are potential members of the
         federal settlement class and the state settlement
         class, respectively.

   (iii) The federal settlement class members and the state
         settlement class members shall have a period of time
         from the date of the mailing of such notice in which to
         "opt-out" of the federal settlement class and state
         settlement class, respectively.

Under the terms of the settlement, U.S. Fire has the option to
terminate the settlement agreements if the cumulative dollar
value of the claims held by individuals or entities that "opt-
out" of the federal settlement class or the state settlement
class exceeds $250,000. However, if such "opt-outs" exceed
$250,000, the parties in the class have a period of time to cure
by reducing the amount of "opt-outs" to less than $250,000.

If U.S. Fire exercises its option to terminate the settlement
agreements in the event the "opt-outs" exceed $250,000 and the
parties are unable to reduce the amount of "opt-outs" within an
allowable time period, the terms and conditions of the
settlement agreements will have no further force and effect, and
all parties will be restored to their respective positions in
the various legal actions prior to such settlement.

"We are extremely pleased to have reached verbal agreements on
these lawsuits. This settlement represents a major milestone for
the new Paradigm Medical and will better enable the Company to
focus its energy and resources to further reduce costs,
introduce new products, drive growth and enhance shareholder
value," said Paradigm Medical's Chief Executive Officer, John
Yoon.

For more details, contact Paradigm Medical Industries, Inc. by
Mail: 2355 South 1070 West, Salt Lake City, Utah 84119 by Phone:
(801) 977-8970 or visit their Web Site: http://www.paradigm-
medical.com.


PUTNAM INVESTMENT: Investors Lodge Securities Fraud Suit in MA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Putnam Investment Management, LLC and Putnam Retail Management
Limited Partnership faces a class action filed in the United
States District Court for the District of Massachusetts for
alleged violations of Section 36(b) of the Investment Company
Act of 1940 through the receipt of purportedly excessive
advisory and distribution fees paid by the mutual funds in which
plaintiffs purportedly owned shares.

Plaintiffs seek, among other things, to recover the compensation
paid to defendants by the funds for one year prior to the filing
of the complaint, rescission of the management and distribution
agreements between defendants and the funds, and a prospective
reduction in fees.  Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss
the complaint for failure to state a claim for relief.


ROCHE DIAGNOSTICS: Recalls CARDIAC Reader System Due To Defects
---------------------------------------------------------------
Roche Diagnostics initiated a recall for the CARDIAC ReaderT
system due to the potential that the system could start the
measuring process before the user applies the sample. As a
result, there is a potential for falsely decreased or false
negative Troponin T results and falsely decreased Myoglobin
results. These tests are used as part of the diagnostic process
for myocardial infarction (heart attack).

To date, Roche Diagnostics has not received any complaints in
the U.S. No injuries or false results have been reported from
this event.

This recall action does not affect Roche's Elecsysr Troponin T
STAT reagent pack, Elecsys Myoglobin STAT reagent pack, or TROPT
Sensitive Rapid assay strips.

After notifying the US Food and Drug Administration recently,
Roche Diagnostics initiated the recall by contacting the less
than 100 facilities in the U.S. that are currently using the
CARDIAC Reader System. Roche is instructing all of these
facilities to return their units to Roche Diagnostics. The
company is working with its customers to determine the best
alternative to continue providing Troponin T and Myoglobin
results using alternative Roche Diagnostics products, or other
means.

Roche Diagnostics voluntarily initiated this recall action after
reviewing practice patterns in the U.S. and is working directly
with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure that all
appropriate parties are notified. Laboratory customers who need
to review the field correction action notice can do so by
logging into their customer website at www.mylabonline.com.

Roche Diagnostics is committed to the CARDIAC Reader platform
and intends to upgrade the system for reintroduction into the
U.S. market as soon as possible. Roche Diagnostics will continue
its focus and development of cardiac biomarkers for the
healthcare community.


SCANA CORPORATION: Faces Right-Of-Way Lawsuit in SC State Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
SCANA Corporation faces a class action filed in South Carolina's
Circuit Court of Common Pleas for the Ninth Judicial Circuit,
styled "Douglas E. Gressette, individually and on behalf of
other persons similarly situated v. South Carolina Electric &
Gas Company and SCANA Corporation."

The plaintiff alleges the Company made improper use of certain
easements and rights-of-way by allowing fiber optic
communication lines and/or wireless communication apparatuses to
transmit communications other than the Company's electricity-
related internal communications.  The plaintiff asserts causes
of action for unjust enrichment, trespass, injunction and
declaratory judgment.  The plaintiff did not assert a specific
dollar amount for the claims.


SOUTH CAROLINA: Named as Defendant in SC Right-of-Way Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company was named as a co-
defendant in the class action lawsuit styled "Collins v. Duke
Energy Corporation, Progress Energy Services Company, and SCE&
G," filed in South Carolina's Circuit Court of Common Pleas for
the Fifth Judicial Circuit.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages for the alleged improper use
of electric transmission and distribution easements but have not
asserted a dollar amount for their claims.  Specifically, the
plaintiffs contend that the licensing of attachments on electric
utility poles, towers and other facilities to non-utility third
parties or telecommunication companies for other than the
electric utilities' internal use along the electric transmission
and distribution line rights-of-way constitutes a trespass.  The
Company is confident of the propriety of the Company's actions
and intends to mount a vigorous defense.


SOUTH KOREA: FSS Governor Says Suits Could Cost Firms Huge Money
----------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit system may cost companies huge amounts
of money in legal expenses, but its aim is to improve
transparency and to monitor unfair trade practices in the
market, according to Yoon Jeung-hyun, governor of the Financial
Supervisory Service (FSS), who made the remarks at a seminar at
the Korea Federation of Banks in Seoul with a sponsorship of the
National Strategy Institute, the Korea Times reports.

"The class action suit system was designed to protect investors
from false disclosures and consumers from unfair trades, (and it
was also designed to) upgrade transparency and fair trade in the
markets, however the system is a ``double-edged sword' as it
could be misused," Mr. Yoonhe tells the Korea Times. He also
stated that companies might face a class suit for mistakenly
arranged documents, which could only be prevented if they fully
understand difficult accounting rules.

Due to such circumstances, the financial regulator is
contemplating ways to help the controversial class action
lawsuit scheme run effectively. "For example, in the United
States, some 200 or 2-3 percent of listed companies are involved
in class action suits annually," Mr. Yoon said. "The out-of-
court settlement expenses for the accused companies are
skyrocketing. Once accused, stock values of the accused firms
fall to the ground, with some of them going bankrupt," he adds.

Meanwhile, government officials and lawmakers are moving toward
applying the system to false accounts recorded before January
20, 2004, when it became law. "To curb the illegal use of
classified information at financial firms, the FSS is
considering including executives of affiliate companies into the
category of insiders," the chairman noted. Securities analysts
can't advise customers what stocks they should buy, using the
undisclosed information, any irregularities linked to capital
increase would lead to heavy fines, he added.

Lastly, to help the private equity fund (PEF) take firm root in
South Korea, the FSS governor said supervision on the PEF
investment activities would be minimized to the maximum extent.
The PEF will be the first of its kind in the country.

The FSS will receive applications for the establishment of the
PEF from December 14, which currently has nine companies,
including Kookmin Bank, Consus Asset Management and Daewoo
Securities having shown interest.



SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Plaintiff Asks Court To Clarify Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The lead plaintiff filed a motion for clarification of the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California's dismissal of the consolidated securities class
action filed against Syncor International Corporation and
certain of its officers and directors.

Eleven purported class action lawsuits have been filed against
the Company and certain of its officers and directors, asserting
claims under the federal securities laws.  All of these actions
were filed in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California.  These cases include:

     (1) Richard Bowe v. Syncor Int'l Corp., et al., No. CV 02-
         8560 LGB (RCx) (C.D. Cal.),

     (2) Alan Kaplan v. Syncor Int'l Corp., et al., No. CV 02-
         8575 CBM (MANx) (C.D. Cal),

     (3) Franklin Embon, Jr. v. Syncor Int'l Corp., et al., No.
         CV 02-8687 DDP (AJWx) (C.D. Cal),

     (4) Jonathan Alk v. Syncor Int'l Corp., et al., No. CV 02-
         8841 GHK (RZx) (C.D. Cal),

     (5) Joyce Oldham v. Syncor Int'l Corp., et al., CV 02-8972
         FMC (RCx) (C.D. Cal),

     (6) West Virginia Laborers Pension Trust Fund v. Syncor
         Int'l Corp., et al., No. CV 02-9076 NM (RNBx) (C.D.
         Cal),

     (7) Brad Lookingbill v. Syncor Int'l Corp., et al., CV
         02-9248 RSWL (Ex) (C.D. Cal),

     (8) Them Luu v. Syncor Int'l Corp., et al., CV 02-9583
         RGK (JwJx) (C.D. Cal),

     (9) David Hall v. Syncor Int'l Corp., et al., CV 02-9621
         CAS (CWx) (C.D. Cal),

    (10) Phyllis Walzer v. Syncor Int'l Corp., et al., CV 02-
         9640 RMT (AJWx) (C.D. Cal), and

    (11) Larry Hahn v. Syncor Int'l Corp., et al., CV 03-52 LGB
         (RCx) (C.D. Cal.)

The Syncor federal securities actions purport to be brought on
behalf of all purchasers of Syncor shares during various
periods, beginning as early as March 30, 2000, and ending as
late as November 5, 2002.  The actions allege, among other
things, that the defendants violated Section 10(b) of the
Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and Section
20(a) of the Exchange Act by issuing a series of press releases
and public filings disclosing significant sales growth in
Syncor's international business, but omitting mention of certain
allegedly improper payments to Syncor's foreign customers,
thereby artificially inflating the price of Syncor shares.

A lead plaintiff has been appointed by the Court in the Syncor
federal securities actions, and a consolidated amended complaint
was filed May 19, 2003, naming Syncor and 12 individuals, all
former Syncor officers, directors and/or employees, as
defendants.  The consolidated complaint seeks unspecified money
damages and other unspecified relief against the defendants.

The Company filed a Motion to Dismiss the consolidated amended
complaint on August 1, 2003, and on December 12, 2003, the Court
granted the Motion to Dismiss without prejudice.  A second
amended consolidated class action complaint was filed on January
28, 2004, naming Syncor and 14 individuals, all former Syncor
officers, directors and/or employees, as defendants.  Syncor
filed a Motion to Dismiss the second amended consolidated
class action complaint on March 4, 2004.  On July 6, 2004, the
Court granted Defendants' Motion to Dismiss without prejudice as
to defendants Syncor, Monty Fu, Robert Funari and Haig
Bagerdjian. As to the other individual defendants, the Motion to
Dismiss was granted with prejudice. On September 14, 2004, the
lead plaintiff filed a Motion for Clarification of the Court's
July 6, 2004 dismissal order.

On November 14, 2002, two additional actions were filed by
individual stockholders of Syncor in the Court of Chancery of
the State of Delaware (the "Delaware actions") against seven of
Syncor's nine directors (the "director defendants").  The
complaints in each of the Delaware actions were identical and
alleged that the director defendants breached certain fiduciary
duties to Syncor by failing to maintain adequate controls,
practices and procedures to ensure that Syncor's employees and
representatives did not engage in improper and unlawful conduct.
Both complaints asserted a single derivative claim, for and on
behalf of Syncor, seeking to recover all of the costs and
expenses that Syncor incurred as a result of the allegedly
improper payments (including the costs of the Syncor federal
securities actions described above), and a single purported
class action claim seeking to recover damages on behalf of all
holders of Syncor shares in the amount of any losses sustained
if consideration received by Syncor stockholders in the
Company's merger with Syncor was reduced.

On November 22, 2002, the plaintiff in one of the two Delaware
actions filed an amended complaint adding as defendants the
Company, its subsidiary Mudhen Merger Corporation and the
remaining two Syncor directors, who are hereafter included in
the term "director defendants."  These cases have been
consolidated under the caption "In re: Syncor International
Corp. Shareholders Litigation (the "consolidated Delaware
action")."

On August 14, 2003, the Company filed a Motion to Dismiss the
operative complaint in the consolidated Delaware action.  At the
end of September 2003, plaintiffs in the consolidated Delaware
action moved the Court to file a second amended complaint.
Plaintiffs' request was granted in February 2004. Monty Fu was
the only named defendant in the second amended complaint. On
September 15, 2004, the Court granted Monty Fu's Motion to
Dismiss the second amended complaint.  The Court dismissed the
second amended complaint with prejudice.

On November 18, 2002, two additional actions were filed by
individual stockholders of Syncor in the Superior Court of
California for the County of Los Angeles (the "California
actions") against the director defendants.  The complaints in
the California actions allege that the director defendants
breached certain fiduciary duties to Syncor by failing to
maintain adequate controls, practices and procedures to ensure
that Syncor's employees and representatives did not engage in
improper and unlawful conduct.  Both complaints asserted a
single derivative claim, for and on behalf of Syncor, seeking to
recover costs and expenses that Syncor incurred as a result of
the allegedly improper payments.  These cases include:

     (i) Joseph Famularo v. Monty Fu, et al., Case No. BC285478
         (Cal. Sup. Ct., Los Angeles Cty.), and

    (ii) Mark Stroup v. Robert G. Funari, et al., Case No.
         BC285480 (Cal. Sup. Ct., Los Angeles Cty.).

An amended complaint was filed on December 6, 2002 in one of the
cases, purporting to allege direct claims on behalf of a class
of shareholders.  The defendants' motion for a stay of the
California actions pending the resolution of the Delaware
actions (discussed above) was granted on April 30, 2003.


TECHNICAL CONSUMER: Recalls 158T Light Bulbs Due To Burn Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Technical Consumer Products Inc., of Aurora, Ohio is cooperating
with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission by
voluntarily recalling about 158,000 3-way compact fluorescent
light bulbs.

The bulbs can overheat and spark, posing a burn hazard to
consumers. Technical Consumer Products has received 16 reports
of overheating bulbs. No injuries have been reported.

The recalled 32-watt, 3-way (40-75-150 watt output) compact
fluorescent bulbs were sold under the brand names Commercial
Electric (Home Depot) and DuraBright (Orchard Supply Hardware).
The bulbs are about seven inches high and have a white, spiral
fluorescent tube attached to a white plastic base. The following
item numbers, which can be found on the back of the packaging
and the base of the bulb, are included in the recall: 283-924,
575-717, and 69032.

Manufactured in China, the bulbs were sold at all Home Depot and
Orchard Supply Hardware nationwide from April 2004 through
November 2004 for about $10 (single pack) or $19 (double pack).

Consumers should stop using the bulbs immediately and contact
Technical Consumer Products for a free replacement or gift card.

Consumer Contact: Call Technical Consumer Products at
(800) 397-2647 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through
Friday.


UNITED STATES: Chamber of Commerce Paper Pushes For Tort Reform
---------------------------------------------------------------
In its multimillion-dollar campaign for tort reform, the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce launched a weekly newspaper in Illinois this
fall without identifying itself as owner, the Charleston Gazette
reports.

The newspaper in question is the Madison County Record, which if
successful could also be used by the Chamber as a strategy in
other states, especially West Virginia, according to a chamber
official. "This is really in the early stages, but we're always
looking for the opportunity to spotlight cases of lawsuit
abuse," said Sean McBride, spokesman for the chamber's Institute
for Legal Reform. "West Virginia has been ranked 49th out of 50
in our state rankings in each of the past three years," he
further told the Charleston Gazette.

However, Mr. McBride was quick to point out that the chamber has
no plans to buy or start newspapers in West Virginia or other
states. "We're certainly pleased with the Madison County
Record's work, but it's reasonably early in the process," he
said.

The Madison County Record, which the chamber has spent about
$200,000 on its 6,000-circulation was launched in September,
"bills itself as the county's legal journal," according to a
story in Monday's Washington Post. A recent front page included
stories about lawsuits against businesses where "In one, a woman
sought $15,000 in damages for breaking her nose at a haunted
house. In another, a woman sued a restaurant for $50,000 after
she hurt her teeth on a chicken breast," according to the story.

But the chamber's silent role as owner rubs some media experts
the wrong way. "I think it's rather deceptive," said Charles
Davis, a Beckley native and head of the news-editorial sequence
at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Mr. Davis told the
Charleston Gazette, "One of the core principles of journalism
ethics though I'm not sure if this is journalism or propaganda
is transparency. If you share ideas with the public, you should
share your motives with the public."

Mr. McBride however said that chamber leaders see no problem in
not reporting their ownership of the Record. "I think the
essential point is that the paper is independently published and
has an independent editorial policy," he adds.

The Record's publisher is Brian Timpone, who was the co-owner of
a small chain of Illinois community newspapers, according to the
Post. Last summer, Mr. Timpone agreed to become publisher of the
Record. He told the Post he did not divulge the chamber's
connection in print because he thought the publication would be
prejudged and was quick to point out that the chamber doesn't
dictate the Record's news content. But Mr. Timpone is clearly in
line with the chamber's way of thinking.

The chamber hopes the Record's influence will spread beyond
Madison County. The paper maintains a running tally of class-
action filings on its front page.


UNITED STATES: Regulators Warned Of Threat To Their Authority
-------------------------------------------------------------
State insurance regulators were warned that cross-border class-
action suits could usurp their authority unless they take an
active role in seeking reform of the civil justice system,
according to industry representatives and attorneys, who had
delivered their warning to the Class Action Insurance Litigation
Working Group of the National Association of Insurance
Commissioners at the NAIC's Winter National Meeting in New
Orleans, the BestWire Services reports.

Bob Zeman, senior vice president of industry and regulatory
affairs for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of
America, outlined steps that he said might be helpful in
stemming the tide of class-action litigation. One would be
"exhaustion of administrative remedies," requiring would-be
plaintiffs to pursue all regulatory avenues to address their
grievances before turning to the courts. Another would be the
right to appeal immediately to overturn a class certification,
before the litigation proceeds. A third measure would be caps on
appeal bonds that defendants must post when asking a higher
court to overturn a decision.

Meanwhile, Steve McManus of State Farm told the working group
that class-action reform may pass in the next Congress, but work
still is needed at the state level citing Texas were just
recently after tort reform was enacted in the state, class-
action lawyers were encouraged to cross the border and bring
their cases in Oklahoma.

Phillip E. Stano of the Washington law firm Jorden Burt LLP
updated regulators on other cases involving so-called "modal
premiums" in New Mexico, which allege that insurers failed to
disclose adequately the added cost of such premiums or the
effective "annual interest rate" reflected by that cost. Mr.
Stano said insurers argue that a percentage rate only must be
disclosed in the case of a loan, which a modal premium is not.

Mr. Stano said such litigation would have the effect of taking
away regulators' basic function of approving insurance products
for sale in their states, and he urged the regulators to get
involved in such cases. Where regulators have come forward, the
outcome has been successful, but where they haven't, insurers
have tended to settle the cases, he adds.

However, Birny Birnbaum, executive director of the Center for
Economic Justice and a funded consumer representative to the
NAIC, chided the committee for entertaining a string of pro-
industry speakers. Mr. Birnbaum said that consumers and state
attorneys general are the ones holding insurers accountable and
called the regulators' approach to the class-action issue "a
poke in the eye to consumers who seek redress" and pleaded with
the working group to "at least pretend to get some balance."

Bill Newton of the Florida Consumer Action Network even adds
that rather than complaining about the cost of class-action
litigation, insurers could bring it to a halt by simply
informing consumers about modal premiums.

Dave Snyder of the American Insurance Association said that
supporters of class-action reform in Congress include some
notably consumer-friendly senators like Chuck Schumer of New
York, Chris Dodd of Connecticut and John Chafee of Rhode Island.
Legislation that has been proposed would "establish some
fairness in the basic class-action settlements," Mr. Snyder
said. Among its provisions would be mandatory notice to relevant
public officials before a settlement could be finalized. The
legislation's effects would include moving cases out of
"backwater" courts chosen for their plaintiff-friendly,
"provincial" qualities, Mr. Snyder adds.

Class-action reform stalled earlier this year amid partisan
squabbles in the Senate, as Democrats sought to add unrelated
amendments to the Class Action Fairness Act after the House of
Representatives passed its own version of bill. But in the wake
of the November election, which gave Republicans solid
majorities in both chambers and ousted Senate Minority Leader
Tom Daschle, D-S.D., tort-reform advocates are highly optimistic
that the bill can pass in 2005.


WAL-MART STORES: Lawyers Demand $2.6M For Winning $211T Back Pay
----------------------------------------------------------------
After six years of legal wrangling, two Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
workers, who accused the world's largest retailer of forcing
them and hundreds of other Oregon workers to work off the clock,
have finally reached a conclusion in the case with the workers'
attorneys set to recover tens of thousands more than the workers
themselves, The Oregonian reports.

In September, a U.S. District Court judge in Portland awarded 83
Wal-Mart workers back wages, penalties and interest totaling
$211,000, or an average of $2,542 each. Just recently attorneys
representing the workers argued that Wal-Mart should pay $2.57
million for the time and money six of them spent trying the
case.

However, Wal-Mart opposes the request, echoing arguments pushed
by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Republicans in Congress who
contend the amount of attorney fees in class-action lawsuits is
harming business. According to Christi Gallagher, a Wal-Mart
spokeswoman, "We oppose such a huge award of fees for a case
that had such a small judgment."

James Piotrowski, a Boise lawyer who was the lead attorney
representing the Wal-Mart workers, said the awards are justified
because they enable workers to seek back wages too small to
cover attorney fees. "The government doesn't have the resources
to enforce the wage-and-hour law aggressively," Mr. Piotrowski
told The Oregonian.

The case has implications for 39 similar "off-the-clock"
lawsuits filed against the nation's largest retailer, none of
which has reached trial. Ms. Gallagher said courts have denied
class-action status in 14 cases, but Wal-Mart's exposure remains
huge including one in October, where a judge in Washington
certified a class-action overtime case involving 40,000 current
and former Wal-Mart workers.

According to Geoffrey Miller, a New York University law
professor who has studied attorney fee awards in class-action
lawsuits, the difference between the fees sought by the
attorneys and the amount of money their clients received was
unusual but not unheard of. He further stated that Wal-Mart had
an incentive "to litigate the case to the hilt" because it had
millions of dollars at stake and a public image to protect.
Individual workers had far less money to gain. In that light, he
adds, the attorneys' ability to collect fees from the losing
defendant gave them an incentive to go up against a determined
adversary.

Carolyn Thiebes and Betty Alderson filed the case against Wal-
Mart in Oregon in 1998. In December 2002, a jury ruled
unanimously that Wal-Mart had violated state and federal wage-
and-hour laws prohibiting employees from working off the clock.

In a second trial, which ended in February, a separate jury
found the retailer owed overtime to 83 of 108 eligible workers.
In September, U.S. District Judge Garr King calculated that Wal-
Mart owed a total of $6,210 for back wages, $136,350 in
penalties and $68,170 in interest.

Ms. Gallagher, Wal-Mart's spokeswoman, noted that more than
15,000 current and former employees received notice of the
lawsuit, but only about 400 opted to participate, and 108 of
them were allowed to try their claim in court with nearly a
quarter of the 108, including Ms. Thiebes, received no award,
Gallagher said.

During the recent hearing, Ms. Thiebes' attorneys argued they
were seeking compensation for an extraordinarily long case that
featured two trials, 60 motions by Wal-Mart and 200 depositions.

Judge King hinted he would award much, but not all, of the
requested fees and commended Ms. Thiebes' attorneys by stating
that they were "extremely successful in overcoming a determined
defense by Wal-Mart." The judge also said if he had known only
83 workers would be awarded damages, he might not have split the
case into two trials and that the first jury might have awarded
larger damages because it heard "a lot more of the quote -- dirt
-- unquote" about Wal-Mart's practices.


WYETH: Faces Two PREMARIN/PREMPRO Personal Injury Lawsuits in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wyeth faces two new class actions filed over PREMARIN and
PREMPRO, the Company's estrogen and estrogen/progestin therapies
in New York Superior Court for New York County.

The putative class representative in Tiedemann, et al. v. Wyeth,
et al., No. 110063/04 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., New York Cty.), seeks to
represent a class of all New York women who ingested
prescription hormone therapy (HT) medication "on a regular
basis" and allegedly suffered personal injury as a result.
Medical monitoring and compensatory and punitive damages are
also sought.

The putative class representative in Lesser, et al. v. Wyeth, et
al., No. 04110280 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., New York Cty.), seeks to
represent a class of all New York residents who used HT and were
prescribed the product by a physician licensed and practicing in
New York. Compensatory damages, medical monitoring costs and
punitive damages are sought.

The Company is currently defending approximately 2,560 actions
in various courts for personal injuries allegedly arising out of
the use of PREMARIN or PREMPRO, including breast cancer, stroke
and heart disease. Together, these cases assert claims on behalf
of approximately 4,100 women allegedly injured by PREMPRO or
PREMARIN.


WYETH: Working on Nationwide Settlement of Fen-Phen Litigation
--------------------------------------------------------------
Wyeth is working to resolve and implement the nationwide
settlement in the massive litigation filed against it over its
diet drugs Pondimin and Redux in various courts nationwide.

On September 15, 1997, American Home Products Corporation (AHP)
withdrew Pondimin and Redux from the market.  These drugs had
been commonly prescribed by physicians alone and/or in
combination with another prescription drug (specifically,
Phentermine) for weight loss.  The combination of drugs was
popularly known as "Fen-Phen."  The Company later changed its
name to Wyeth on March 11, 2002.

Prior to 1997, and continuing to the present, individuals who
had ingested Pondimin and/or Redux, alone, or in combination
with Phentermine, filed individual lawsuits and class actions in
federal and state courts against AHP and others, alleging that
the use of the diet drugs has or may have adversely affected
their health.  The alleged injuries include: heart valve
regurgitation, valvular heart disease, or an increased risk of
developing these conditions.  The lawsuits seek remedies
including monetary damages, medical monitoring and screening,
http://www.settlementdietdrugs.comreports.

On December 10, 1997, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation transferred all federal diet drug cases to the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
(Trial Court) for coordinated or consolidated pretrial
proceedings before the Honorable Louis C. Bechtle, Chief Judge
Emeritus.   Upon the retirement of Judge Bechtle, the matter was
reassigned to Judge Harvey Bartle III on June 29, 2001.

Subsequently, counsel for plaintiffs and AHP began negotiating a
nationwide settlement to settle claims resulting from the
ingestion of Pondimin and/or Redux.  Counsel for plaintiffs and
AHP prepared and presented to the Court a proposed Settlement
Agreement and related documents, seeking certification of the
proposed settlement class.  On November 23, 1999, the Trial
Court, in Pretrial Order No. 997, preliminarily approved the
settlement class.  The Court appointed Class Counsel to
represent the class as a whole, and appointed Gregory P. Miller,
Esquire and the Honorable C. Judson Hamlin as Interim Claims
Administrators.   The job of the Interim Claims Administrators
was, in cooperation with counsel for the parties, to develop the
resources and mechanisms for complying with the provisions of
the Settlement Agreement.

On May 2, 2000, the Trial Court held a hearing to determine
whether the proposed Settlement Agreement was fair, adequate,
and reasonable.  Another hearing was held on August 10, 2000, to
hear evidence on the fairness of changes contained in the 4th
Amendment to the Settlement Agreement.  On August 28, 2000,
Judge Bechtle issued Memorandum and Pretrial Order No. 1415
approving the Settlement Agreement and the four amendments as
incorporated in the Settlement Agreement.

The AHP Settlement Trust was established on September 1, 2000.
The Trust is a special purpose entity established solely to
administer the provisions of the Settlement Agreement, and to
process the claims of Class Members who file claims with the
Trust in connection with their use of Pondimin and/or Redux.
The Trust has assumed responsibility for activities previously
conducted by the Interim Claims Administrators.

Trial Court Approval of the Settlement Agreement was appealed to
a higher court, specifically the United States Court of Appeals
for the Third Circuit.  On August 15, 2001, a three-judge panel
of the Third Circuit issued an order affirming the ruling of the
Trial Court.  However, the entity that filed the appeal
requested all the judges of the Third Circuit to rehear the
appeal.  On October 3, 2001, that request was denied.  The time
to seek review of the ruling of the Third Circuit by the Supreme
Court of the United States expired on January 2, 2002.  Since no
review of the Third Circuit ruling was sought in the Supreme
Court of the United States, Final Judicial Approval occurred as
of January 3, 2002.

In a joint motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania on May 4, 2004, the Company,
counsel for the plaintiff class in the nationwide settlement and
counsel for a number of individual class members moved to stay
for 60 days the processing and payment of Level I and Level II
matrix claims and certain associated court proceedings. That
motion was granted by the court on May 10, 2004. The stay was
intended to provide the parties with an opportunity to draft and
submit to the court a Seventh Amendment to the settlement
agreement that would create a new claims processing structure,
funding arrangement and payment schedule for these claims.  The
stay was eventually extended beyond its original expiration
date, July 9, 2004, until August 10, 2004. On August 10, 2004,
the parties filed a joint motion seeking preliminary approval of
the proposed Seventh Amendment. By the terms of the court's
orders, the filing automatically extended the stay of Level I
and Level II claim processing until the court granted or denied
preliminary approval.

On August 26, 2004, United States District Judge Harvey Bartle
III granted the motion for preliminary approval of the proposed
Seventh Amendment. In addition to other terms of the court's
order, the order directed that notice of the Seventh Amendment
be provided to potentially affected class members beginning on
September 10, 2004 (to be completed by September 15, 2004),
established November 9, 2004 as the date by which class members
could opt out of the proposed Seventh Amendment (and remain
bound by the original settlement terms), or object to it, and
scheduled a fairness hearing for January 18, 2005.

Pursuant to the terms of the proposed Seventh Amendment, the
Company retains the right to withdraw from the Seventh Amendment
if participation by class members is inadequate or for any other
reason.  The Company must do so within 60 days of the end of the
opt out/objection period (i.e., by January 8, 2005).

If approved by the court following the fairness hearing and
upheld on any appeals that might be taken, the proposed Seventh
Amendment would include the following key terms:

     (1) The amendment would create a new Supplemental Fund, to
         be administered by a Fund Administrator who will be
         appointed by the District Court and who will process
         the Level I and Level II matrix claims;

     (2) After trial court approval, the Company would make
         initial payments of up to $50.0 million to facilitate
         the establishment of the Supplemental Fund and to begin
         reviewing claims. Following approval by the federal
         court overseeing the settlement and any appellate
         courts, the Company would make an initial payment of
         $400.0 million to enable the Supplemental Fund to begin
         paying claims. The timing of additional payments would
         be dictated by the rate of review and payment of claims
         by the Fund Administrator.  The Company would
         ultimately deposit a total of $1,275.0 million, net of
         certain credits, into the Supplemental Fund;

     (3) All current matrix Level I and II claimants who qualify
         under the Seventh Amendment, who pass the Settlement
         Fund's medical review and who otherwise satisfy the
         requirements of the settlement would receive a pro rata
         share of the $1,275.0 million Supplemental Fund, after
         deduction of certain expenses and other amounts from
         the Supplemental Fund. The pro rata amount would vary
         depending upon the number of claimants who pass medical
         review, the nature of their claims, their age and other
         factors. A Seventh Amendment participant who does not
         qualify for a payment after such medical review would
         be paid $2,000 from the Supplemental Fund;

     (4) Participating class members who might in the future
         have been eligible to file Level I and Level II matrix
         claims would be eligible to receive a $2,000 payment
         from the settlement Trust; such payments would be
         funded by the Company apart from its other funding
         obligations under the national settlement;

     (5) If the participants in the Seventh Amendment have heart
         valve surgery or other more serious medical conditions
         on Matrix Levels III through V by the earlier of
         fifteen years from the date of their last diet drug
         ingestion or by December 31, 2011, they would remain
         eligible to submit claims to the existing settlement
         Trust and be paid the current matrix amounts if they
         qualify for such payments under terms modified by the
         Seventh Amendment. In the event the existing settlement
         Trust is unable to pay those claims, the Company would
         guarantee payment; and

     (6) All class members who participate in the Seventh
         Amendment would give up any further opt out rights.
         Approval of the Seventh Amendment would also preclude
         any lawsuits by the Trust or the Company to recover any
         amounts previously paid to class members by the Trust,
         as well as terminate the Claims Integrity Program as to
         all claimants who do not opt out of the Seventh
         Amendment.

There can be no assurance that the Company will ultimately
proceed with the amendment (based upon the level of
participation in the amendment or for other reasons), or that
the amendment will be approved by the court and upheld on
appeal.

As of October 27, 2004, approximately 63,000 individuals who had
filed Intermediate or Back-End opt out forms had served lawsuits
on the Company. The claims of approximately 50% of the
plaintiffs in the Intermediate and Back-End opt out cases served
on the Company are pending in federal court, with approximately
40% pending in state courts. The claims of approximately 10% of
the Intermediate and Back-End opt out plaintiffs have been
removed from state courts to federal court, but are still
subject to a possible remand to state court. In addition, a
large number of plaintiffs have asked the United States Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit to review and reverse orders
entered by the federal court overseeing the settlement which had
denied the plaintiffs' motions to remand their cases to state
court. The appellate court has not determined whether or not it
will hear that challenge.

The Company will fight all Intermediate and Back-End opt out
claims of questionable validity or medical eligibility and a
number of cases have already been dismissed on eligibility
grounds. However, the total number of filed lawsuits that meet
the settlement's opt out criteria will not be known for some
time. As a result, the Company cannot predict the ultimate
number of purported Intermediate or Back-End opt outs that will
satisfy the settlement's opt out requirements, but that number
could be substantial. As of October 27, 2004, approximately
1,700 Intermediate or Back-End opt-out plaintiffs have had their
lawsuits dismissed for procedural or medical deficiencies or for
various other reasons.

In addition to verdicts previously reported, on August 12, 2004,
a Philadelphia jury in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas,
First Judicial District, hearing the Back-End opt out cases of
Steward v. Wyeth, et al., No. 021002340, Ford v. Wyeth, et al.,
No. 020704036, Hargrove v. Wyeth, et al., No. 020800684, and
Nixon v. Wyeth, et al., No. 021101759 returned a defense
verdict, finding that plaintiffs had not been damaged by their
use of PONDIMIN and/or REDUX and that the Company had not been
negligent in its marketing of PONDIMIN or REDUX.  On August 20,
2004, a Philadelphia jury in the Pennsylvania Court of Common
Pleas, First Judicial District, hearing the Intermediate opt out
cases of Bernston v. Wyeth, et al., No. 021202304, and Connell
v. Wyeth, et al., No. 021202454, returned a verdict finding that
plaintiff Bernston had not been damaged by her use of PONDIMIN
and that plaintiff Connell had been damaged in the amount of
$50,000 by the use of PONDIMIN and REDUX. The Bernston case was
thereupon dismissed and the parties resolved the Connell case.

On October 22, 2004, a Philadelphia jury in the Pennsylvania
Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District, hearing the
Intermediate opt out cases of Feagins v. Wyeth, et al., No.
021202424, and Dupree v. Wyeth, et al., No. 021202429, returned
a verdict finding that plaintiff Feagins had not been damaged by
her use of PONDIMIN and that plaintiff Dupree had been damaged
in the amount of $41,195.12 by the use of PONDIMIN. The Feagins
case was thereupon dismissed; the Company agreed not to contest
liability in the Dupree case, but may pursue an appeal. On
October 27, 2004, a Philadelphia jury in the Pennsylvania Court
of Common Pleas, First Judicial District, hearing the Back-End
opt out cases of Fernandez v. Wyeth, et al., No. 020704037, Joel
Taylor v. Wyeth, et al., No. 020802581, and Ruby Taylor v.
Wyeth, et al., No. 021102104, returned a verdict finding that
plaintiffs Joel Taylor and Ruby Taylor had not been damaged by
their use of PONDIMIN and that plaintiff Fernandez had been
damaged in the amount of $50,000 by her use of PONDIMIN. The two
Taylor cases were thereupon dismissed and the parties resolved
the Fernandez case.

On November 2, 2004, a Norwalk, California jury in the
California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, hearing the
Intermediate opt out case of Hines v. Wyeth, et al., No.
DD001645, returned a verdict finding that plaintiff had been
damaged in the amount of $115,000 by his use of PONDIMIN. The
Bernston/Connell, Feagins/Dupree, Fernandez/Taylor, and Hines
cases were tried under a reverse bifurcation procedure, in which
the parties first try the issue of the plaintiff's alleged
injury and damages, and only proceed to a trial of the Company's
liability for the jury's award if any damages are found. Because
no damages were found in the Bernston, Feagins and two Taylor
cases, because the Connell, Fernandez, and Hines cases were
resolved after the damages phase and because the Company did not
contest liability in the Dupree case, none of these cases
proceeded to the liability phase.

On October 6, 2004, a Philadelphia jury in the Pennsylvania
Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District, hearing the
combined Intermediate opt out cases of Hansen v. Wyeth, et al.,
No. 021201063, Jensen v. Wyeth, et al., No 0021201202, Hill v.
Wyeth, et al., No. 021201207, and McMurdie v. Wyeth, et al., No.
021201386, in a reverse bifurcation format found that plaintiffs
had been damaged in the aggregate amount of $2.135 million by
their use of PONDIMIN and/or REDUX. The verdict dealt solely
with the issue of damages. The trial resumed on October 25, 2004
and on November 3, 2004, the jury returned a verdict finding the
Company liable for the damages determined in the earlier phase.
The Company plans to appeal the verdict.

In addition to the Intermediate and Back-End opt out cases that
have gone to verdict, other such cases set for trial have been
settled, dismissed or adjourned to a later date.

On April 27, 2004, a jury in Beaumont, Texas hearing the case of
Coffey, et al. v. Wyeth, et al., No. E-167,334, 172nd Judicial
District Court, Jefferson Cty., TX, returned a verdict in favor
of the plaintiffs for $113.353 million in compensatory damages
and $900.0 million in punitive damages for the wrongful death of
the plaintiffs' decedent, allegedly as a result of PPH caused by
her use of PONDIMIN.  On May 17, 2004, the trial court entered
judgment on behalf of the plaintiffs for the full amount of the
jury's verdict, as well as $4.2 million in pre-judgment interest
and $188,737 in guardian ad litem fees. On July 26, 2004, the
trial court denied in their entirety the Company's motions for a
new trial or for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, including
the Company's request for application of Texas's statutory cap
on punitive damage awards. The Company has filed an appeal from
the judgment entered by the trial court and believes that it has
strong arguments for reversal or reduction of the awards on
appeal due to the significant number of legal errors made during
trial and in the charge to the jury and due to a lack of
evidence to support aspects of the verdict. In connection with
its appeal, the Company was required by Texas law to post a bond
in the amount of $25.0 million.  The appeal process is expected
to take one to two years at a minimum.

As of October 14, 2004, the Company was a defendant in
approximately 340 lawsuits in which the plaintiff alleges a
claim of PPH, alone or with other alleged injuries. Almost all
of these claimants must meet the definition of PPH set forth in
the national settlement agreement in order to pursue their
claims outside of the national settlement (payment of such
claims, by settlement or judgment, would be made by the Company
and not the Trust). Approximately 70 of these cases appear to be
eligible to pursue a PPH lawsuit under the terms of the national
settlement. In approximately 45 of the approximately 340 cases,
the Company expects the PPH claims to be voluntarily dismissed
by the claimants (although they may continue to pursue other
claims).  In approximately 55 of these cases the Company has
filed or expects to file motions under the terms of the national
settlement to preclude plaintiffs from proceeding with their PPH
claims. For the balance of these cases, the Company currently
has insufficient medical information to assess whether or not
the claimants meet the definition of PPH under the national
settlement.


WYETH: EFFEXOR Patients Launch Personal Injury Suit in N.D. OK
--------------------------------------------------------------
Wyeth faces a class action filed on behalf of all former or
present EFFEXOR patients who, after August 20, 1997, suffered
from an alleged dependency or withdrawal syndrome following the
reduction or termination of their dosage of EFFEXOR.

The suit is styled "Carolina, et al. v. Wyeth, et al., No. 04CV-
608P," and is pending in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Oklahoma.  The complaint asserts causes
of action for strict liability, failure to warn, negligent
failure to warn, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional
distress and violations of the federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act
and seeks compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the
class.


WYETH: OK Consumers File Suit Over PROHEART 6 Veterinary Product
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wyeth faces a putative class action lawsuit filed involving the
veterinary product PROHEART 6, which the Company's Fort Dodge
Animal Health subsidiary voluntarily recalled from the market in
September 2004.

The suit is styled "Dill, et al. v. American Home Products, et
al., No. CJ 1004 05879," and is pending in the United States
District Court in Tulsa City, Oklahoma.  The suit seeks to
represent a class of all Oklahoma individuals whose canines have
been injured or died as a result of being injected with PROHEART
6.  Compensatory and punitive damages are sought.


                         Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Senators Act to Include Minneapolis Victims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Minnesota Senators Mark Dayton and Norm Coleman have indicated
that they will work to ensure that northeast Minneapolis
residents with legitimate claims would receive compensation.

A provision in federal legislation that would settle the
nation's asbestos injury suits could enable northeast
Minneapolis residents to seek compensation, according to a
Senate aide. The proposed legislation is seeking to create an
industry-financed, US$140 billion trust fund to compensate up to
2 million people with asbestos-related diseases.

Drafts of the bill's medical criteria only explicitly refer to
workers and their family members, except for a provision
exempting residents of the asbestos-ravaged mining town of
Libby, Mont., from requirements that prove their illnesses are
asbestos-related.

However, a senior Senate Judiciary Committee aide said it
appears that residents of northeast Minneapolis taken ill by the
same Montana vermiculite that was shipped to a Minneapolis
factory could file an "exceptional medical claim" for
compensation. A panel of doctors would then decide whether these
claims from nonworkers and workers with short-term exposures are
asbestos-related conditions covered by the trust fund.

Victims of mesothelioma, a rare, aggressive cancer associated
with asbestos exposure, would not be required to show a
workplace connection.

In a recently completed Minnesota Department of Health survey,
more than 2,600 present and former residents of a northeast
Minneapolis neighborhood said they had been exposed to asbestos-
contaminated vermiculite from the since-closed factory.

Negotiations over the bill are still underway, but it was agreed
last year that victims would be compensated in 10 disease
categories. Payments would range from US$20,000 for lung
scarring to US$1 million for mesothelioma.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Jury Hears Statements on Case V. Bondex, GP
----------------------------------------------------------------
A jury in the 32nd Judicial Court last week heard opening
statements regarding a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of a
Wisconsin man who died of asbestos-related cancer.

On Nov. 15, 2002, the family of Walter Flatoff filed a US$6
million civil suit against Georgia Pacific and Bondex alleging
that the joint compounds that Mr. Flatoff used that were
manufactured by the defendants caused his untimely and agonizing
death. The family said that the corporations were guilty of
negligence in failing to warn the public on the hazards of their
supposedly asbestos containing joint compound products.

Mr. Flatoff died in 2003 after a lengthy fight with
mesothelioma, a tumor affecting the lining of the chest or
abdomen. Exposure to asbestos particles in the air has been
proven to increase the risk of developing malignant
mesothelioma.

Attorney for the Flatoff family, Troyce Wolf, told a jury of
eight women and four men that his team will outline the life and
death of Walter Flatoff, which he described as did not have to
happen. Mr. Wolf told the jury that they were entrusted to
decide justly and base their decision on witness expertise and
credibility. He also pointed out that the defendants acted in a
manner of negligence with regards to product warning labels and
failed to take responsibility.

According to the National Cancer Institute, most people who
develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled
asbestos particles.

Mr. Wolf told the jury that they would show evidence that Mr.
Flatoff's exposure to asbestos was from joint compounds
manufactured by the defendants he used for home remodel jobs. He
added that Mr. Flatoff's brother, Donald, even recalled the
deceased using the defendants' products through the years before
he was diagnosed with the illness.

Mr. Wolf pointed out that expert testimony and evidence would
show that Georgia Pacific and Bondex acted maliciously through
the years with regards to the knowledge they knew of the hazards
of their joint compound product, and failed to act upon it. His
team cited, among other items, that Georgia Pacific started
developing asbestos-free compound in 1972, comparing it to
compounds that have asbestos.

According to the plaintiff's lawyers, Bondex did not have any
warning or labels that consumers could follow when using their
product. Mr. Wolf told the jury that their evidence would show
that in 1973, OSHA cited Bondex for serious violations,
including improper labeling.

Bondex attorney Clay White told the jury that Bondex adequately
labels their products and asked them to "challenge me in
everything I say" as he walked them through the case. He
challenged the deposition of both the deceased and his brother,
citing that they did not give out any specifics on the case.

Mr. White showed the jury throughout his presentation, parts of
Flatoff's deposition, where he said that he does not know when
or where the deceased used Bondex products. "They have no
specific evidence," he said, pertaining to the plaintiff's claim
that using Bondex joint compound caused Mr. Flatoff's illness,
which led to his death.

Since Mr. Flatoff had been retired at the time of his death, and
was on disability since 1998 due to medical conditions, Mr.
White noted that the plaintiff's claim for loss of income cannot
be proven. He stated to the jury that there can be a number of
factors for Mr. Flatoff's illness, including the fact that he
was employed by a paper mill Company from 1967 to 1998 and
worked on pipe and boiler insulation that exposed him to
asbestos. He also had a job as a brake mechanic from 1950 to
1970, working on brake products containing asbestos.

Maria Karos, who was representing Georgia Pacific, told the jury
that there is no clear evidence why the Company is being sued.
She based the statement on Mr. Flatoff's deposition, not
mentioning anything about Georgia Pacific joint compound. She
explained that the reason Georgia Pacific is in the courtroom is
mainly because of a statement made by Mr. Flatoff in a recent
deposition that at some point in time, he recalls seeing a
bucket of the company's joint compound, but added that he did
not see the deceased use the joint compound.

Ms. Karos said that testimony will show that the joint compound
allegedly used by the deceased was a quick set. Georgia Pacific
does not make a quick set joint compound.

Ms. Karos also told the jury that expert testimony will prove
that not all asbestos fiber types cause mesothelioma and added
that Georgia Pacific did not act maliciously, citing that the
Company met and exceeded government requirements. "The key
question is where the asbestos exposure came from," Ms. Karos
stated, noting that they do not dispute the cause of death.

The jury is expected to hear from expert witnesses from both
sides within the following weeks.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA to Bring Yonkers Schools to Compliance
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Environmental Protection Agency fined Yonkers schools
US$131,000 for failing to comply with federal asbestos laws
under a settlement that allows them to apply the penalty to
repairs and training, according to an agreement released last
Friday by federal authorities.

Citing lapses with record keeping and inadequate training, the
EPA said the district must bring all of its 43 schools into
compliance with EPA asbestos rules by September 2005.

Under the settlement reached last September, the fine will be
spent for district repair projects and training for custodians
to improve the asbestos management system. Under the Asbestos
Hazard Emergency Response Act, money due as a penalty may be
used to correct violations instead, so Yonkers Public School is
using the US$131,000, the sum of money collected, to fix any
problems found at its 43 schools.

The Act requires local educational authorities to:

(1) Inspect all school buildings for visible damage;

(2) Develop and implement asbestos management plans; and

(3) Keep the public, students and teachers informed about
asbestos related hazards.

During inspections conducted in 2002 and 2003, EPA found AHERA
violations, mostly record-keeping, at P.S. 13, the Mark Twain
Middle School, the Martin Luther King School, P.S. 23 and the
Yonkers Middle/High School.

Inspectors were not provided the up-to-date asbestos management
plans that the law requires should be made available for EPA
review. The case led to an evaluation of conditions in schools
with asbestos-containing building materials by Yonkers Public
Schools, conducted with EPA oversight.

"Parents, teachers and students should be able to focus on
education and not have to wonder about conditions in their
schools," said Regional EPA Administrator Jane Kenny. "We have
had excellent cooperation from Yonkers Public School system and
this agreement will bring consistency and certainty across the
school system."

Schools Superintendent Angelo Petrone said officials have worked
cooperatively with federal authorities. He said Yonkers' 43
schools now have asbestos plans and reports available at each
school for inspection by the public.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grant to Explore Serpentine Link to Cancer
---------------------------------------------------------------
A group of agencies and research institutions is preparing an
application for a US$100,000 pilot study to see whether the
serpentine rocks in Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California,
contain certain carcinogens, such as asbestos. The study would
examine which types of carcinogens are present, as well as their
levels of toxicity.

"We just want to see what's there," said Janice Barlow,
executive director of Marin Breast Cancer Watch. "The study is
not to see if the serpentines are causing breast cancer in
Marin, but just to see if they should be factored into future
studies."

The application will be submitted in February to the California
Breast Cancer Research Program. Program officials earlier
rejected the group's first application, but awarded a US$10,000
planning grant to rewrite it. "They really don't do that very
often," Ms. Barlow said. "We're hopeful that this time they'll
approve it."

The Mt. Tamalpais watershed, where the county has several water
reservoirs, has an abundance of serpentine. The mineral,
California's official state rock, is often greenish in cast, but
can be other colors too.

Libby Pischel, public information officer for the Marin
Municipal Water District, said serpentine contains naturally
occurring asbestos. While asbestos fibers are a human carcinogen
through inhalation, in drinking water they are considered safe
as long as they are smaller than 10 microns in length, she said.

"No asbestos fibers longer than 10 microns have ever been found
in any MMWD water," Ms. Pischel said. If they did find asbestos
fibers longer than 10 microns in Marin's drinking water, those
would be limited to 7 million per liter under current health
regulations, she added.

MMWD officials, who do more than 120,000 water quality tests a
year, say they have found no links between Marin's drinking
water and breast cancer.

Other participants in the serpentine study are Stanford
University, Dartmouth College, California Department of Health
Services and Cornell University.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fly-tippers Threaten to Cause Health Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fly-tippers instigated a major health alert after dumping two
tons of asbestos in a remote country road on Black Moss Lane.
Council workers in protective boiler suits and masks were called
to remove around 50 corrugated sheets left by the road.

An environmental health team from Ribble Valley Council took the
asbestos into storage. It will be transferred to a specialist
tip in Freckleton, near Preston, designed to handle contaminated
material.

The council said it has had to deal with an increasing amount of
illegal fly-tipping since the Landfill Tax, which forces
businesses to pay to dump rubbish on landfill sites, came into
operation last year. In one incident, nearly 30 tons of asbestos
was left at Four Lane Ends, Clitheroe, in August 2003.

Alan Boyer, street cleaning and grounds maintenance manager,
said, "The likelihood is someone dumped the asbestos because
they didn't fancy paying to dispose of it properly. It's
extremely irresponsible because asbestos is very dangerous and
anyone could have come across this. Thankfully it's a remote
site, miles from anywhere, so not many people could have come
across it. However, that means it could have been left there for
sometime before it was reported."

A countryside ranger reported the find last week before a
council risk assessment team inspected the site and requested
the environmental unit.

Mr. Boyer said it would now cost the council at least GBD500 to
move the material and store it in a council depot before paying
for it to be disposed of at the tip. He added, "Since Landfill
Tax came in we've had to deal with more of these incidents. Some
builders finish a job then ring up local tips and find out they
have to take the asbestos to a specialist site at Freckleton.
They don't want to pay the extra cost so they dump it and we end
up picking up the tab."

The Environment Agency had already granted Ribble Valley Council
permission to dispose of the asbestos.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GBD25Mil Payouts at Stake in Landmark Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
Insurers return to the High Court for the continuation of a test
case over compensation for claims from victims of pleural
plaques, an asbestos-related illness. If the insurance companies
win this case, it could end payouts totaling some GBD25 million
a year.

Ten test cases of workers with pleural plaques, scars in the
linings of the lungs caused by asbestos exposure, are being
heard in Manchester. They are a mark that a person has been
exposed to asbestos fibers, but are the least serious form of
damage caused by asbestos.

Claimants say the plaques rarely affect daily life but cause
anxiety, and leave them susceptible to other illnesses. They add
that patients who know they have been exposed to asbestos could
therefore contract more serious diseases in the future, such as
mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs. They
want compensation for the anxiety they suffer from knowing that
they could more easily contract serious diseases.

The cases have arisen from insurance companies, Norwich Union
and Zurich Insurance, who are trying to block these claims for
compensation for the disease altogether. They assert that the
plaques are not injuries and that compensation should be
stopped.

Antonio Bueno QC, representing one of the insurance firms, said,
"The figures involved are monumental. A great many people, who
in reality have nothing wrong with them at all were being
compensated for harmless medical conditions purely in respect of
risk and anxiety." He added, "These claims are claims by the
worried well."

Frank Burton QC, for the claimants, told the court last month
that pleural plaques were a marker of asbestos exposure and set
time running for sufferers. He said that having a plaque means
that he has had enough asbestos exposure to put him at risk from
those other diseases. "The concern is an obvious one. It is a
deterioration of health and a fear of death," said Mr. Burton.

The landmark case begun last month at the High Court in
Manchester, moves to London for further hearings. The insurers
are expected to argue that, because plaques only occasionally
cause breathlessness or pain, and because anxiety stems from
exposure to asbestos and not the plaques themselves, payouts
should be halted.

If the judge, Mr. Justice Holland, rules in favor of the
insurance companies, compensation payments to people with
pleural plaques could be stopped for good. Typical awards for
pleural plaques are GBD5,000, with the right to return to court
if more serious asbestos-related illness occurs, or GBD10,000 on
a full and final basis. The High Court judge hearing the case is
expected to reserve his judgment at the completion of legal
submissions.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Officials Pledge Aid for Dearborn Victims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Nearby residents and workers of a Dearborn factory that had
released asbestos dust for decades will receive guidance, advice
and resources, pledged some federal and state officials at a
public hearing. However, up to 700,000 Michigan homeowners whose
homes contain the poisonous vermiculite insulation produced at
the factory do not have those services available to them.

In last week's meeting, the Michigan Department of Community
Health and two federal agencies admitted that there are no easy
solutions for homeowners. They advised homeowners to leave the
insulation in place, not disturb it, and to be vigilant to
ensure it doesn't fall through light fixtures and other ceiling
openings.

"I'm really angry about this," said Benjamin Calo, who has the
dangerous insulation in his Ann Arbor home. "I own an
environmental Company and I deal with this stuff. I remember my
son and I putting this insulation in, stirring it up. Now what?"

The vermiculite insulation, sold under the brand name Zonolite,
came from a Montana mine owned by the W.R. Grace Co. where the
vermiculite was contaminated with a particularly lethal type of
asbestos. Asbestos can cause debilitating lung scarring and lead
to mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung lining.

The mine in Libby, Mont., was closed in 1990. The mine and the
town, where possibly thousands of former workers and their
families are believed to have been sickened by the tainted ore,
is the focus of a massive federal cleanup and investigation.

The former vermiculite processing plant on Henn Street in
Dearborn is one of 28 included in the first phase of a federal
investigation into locations where large quantities of the
carcinogenic was shipped. The plant closed in 1990 after more
than four decades of operation. It received more than 206,000
tons of vermiculite between 1966 and 1988, processing much of it
into Zonolite insulation.

A site assessment conducted by the MDCH for federal agencies
concluded last month that the plant was a danger to workers and
others who spent time there. It may also have endangered nearby
residents who breathed the dust, or who took home free
vermiculite from the plant to use as garden fill or landscaping.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency plans to test
neighborhood soils next year to determine whether there is a
hazard. And state officials said they will continue to try to
track down former workers and their families, and people who
lived in the neighborhood. "We're just getting started on this,"
said Brendan Boyle, a specialist for the MDCH.

"It's a particularly acute problem in this state," said Erik
Janus, a toxicologist for the MDCH. "We plan to establish a
public education campaign. But we don't have any ideal answers."

When vermiculite insulation is disturbed, it releases asbestos
fibers that can be carried on clothing or stay suspended
throughout a room or home. When inhaled, the fibers lodge in the
lungs like microscopic daggers.

Tests can help determine whether the fibers are present in areas
of the home other than the attic. A lab certified by the
American Industrial Hygiene Association should do the testing.
It can cost US$10,000 or more to have a certified contractor
safely remove the product.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lucent Technologies Named in Exposure Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
A global leader in telecom equipment, Lucent Technologies Inc.,
is a defendant in various lawsuits involving alleged exposure to
asbestos. These cases involve exposure to asbestos in premises
owned or operated by the Company or by the predecessors of its
business, such as AT&T or Western Electric, or from exposure to
products manufactured that the Company or any of its
predecessors had sold that allegedly contained asbestos.

Historically, the Company has not paid any material amounts
related to asbestos claims, and currently do not expect these
cases to have a significant impact on it in the future. However,
asbestos claims are on the rise generally in the United States
and more cases are being asserted against owners or operators of
premises or companies that manufactured or sold products
allegedly containing asbestos, and the Company has observed a
rise in the number of matters asserted against it. Accordingly,
the Company cannot give assurance that asbestos-related claims
will not have a material adverse impact on it in the future.

Lucent Technologies manufactures products used to build
communications network infrastructure. Its copper line
transmission and switching, wireless, and optical gear is used
in core telephony and data networks worldwide. It provides
wireline and wireless products to leading telephone companies
and other communications service providers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Insurers Recoil at Rapid Asbestos Vote Plan
----------------------------------------------------------------
Despite the insurance sector's apprehensions about the outcome
of the controversial asbestos claims bill, the incoming chairman
of the Senate Judiciary Committee has told lobbyists he wants to
rush it to the floor. He intends to introduce his bill Jan. 4,
hold hearings in the committee the following week, move the bill
through his committee in another week, and have it ready to put
on the Senate floor by the week of Jan. 29.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., laid out his plan for quick action on
the measure in separate meetings with various stakeholders,
followed by a meeting of all lobbyists and lawyers involved.
During the session on Monday, he was accompanied by Judge Edward
Becker, former chief of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in
Philadelphia, who has sought at the request of Sen. Specter to
facilitate passage of the legislation over the past year.

Four industry trade groups sent the senator a letter outlining
substantive problems they have with a draft asbestos bill he
presented last week, but he was undeterred in outlining an
aggressive schedule to pass the measure.

Two of the concerns voiced in the letter were about "finality
and exclusivity." The draft legislation allows some asbestos
cases to still be brought within the tort system. That so-called
"leakage" from the trust fund "undermines exclusivity and
finality for the fund participants," the letter said.

Another concern, the letter said, is that the accelerated
payment system for insurers under the latest draft speeds up the
timeline for insurers' contributions to the trust fund and at
the same time would have claims revert back to the tort system
if no payments are made within 300 days. Language in an earlier
version barred such reversion for seven years.

Informed of the chairman's plans, Chris Winans, a senior
industry analyst at Lehman Bros., was stunned. "That doesn't
sound like a realistic schedule, given that few of the
industry's concerns brought up over 18 months of negotiations
have been resolved," he said.

Mr. Winans cited among the concerns the fact that the core of
the bill remains a trust fund that few companies and trade
groups within the industry support, and the fact that industry
contributions remain open-ended. This would mean that even
though the industry is mandated to contribute US$46 billion over
27.5 years to the trust fund, it doesn't buy them indemnity from
future claims.

Julie Rochman, senior vice president for public affairs at the
American Insurance Association, confirmed the senator's plans.
"We have communicated directly with Sen. Specter and, while his
expressed timeline is ambitious, I agree with the incoming
Judiciary chairman that time is of the essence when it comes to
asbestos litigation reform." She added, "The crisis in our court
system is very real, and only Congress can solve the problem.

"We look forward to working with Sen. Specter, Majority Leader
Frist, R-Tenn., the new Minority Leader, Sen. Harry Reid, D-
Nev., and others to develop workable legislation that provides a
meaningful fix to the out-of-control asbestos litigation
system," Ms. Rochman added.

The industry letter to Sen. Specter was signed by
representatives of the AIA, the Property Casualty Insurers
Association of America; the Reinsurance Association of America;
and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: T&N Workers Act to Overcome Pensions Crisis
----------------------------------------------------------------
Amid reports that its parent firm will not fund the scheme,
about 40,000 current and former workers at Turner & Newall who
face losing part of their pension, threatened industrial action
in a bid to achieve "justice" for their members.

It had been hoped that Federal-Mogul would continue to finance
the scheme, which has a deficit of nearly GBD900 million.
However, discussions between the US firm, which is in bankruptcy
protection, and independent trustees of the pension scheme have
broken down. The scheme could now be wound up, leaving many
workers without support.

Meetings will be held at Turner & Newall plants across the UK to
establish support for a ballot, it was announced. Unions said
they were "alarmed" at the reports and expressed dismay at the
failure to reach an agreement.

Amicus, the Transport and General Workers' Union and the GMB
said they had lost confidence in the chances of reaching an
agreement to bail out the pension scheme, which was frozen in
July this year.

Amicus officer Dick Croft said, "This is an intolerable
situation for our members who have to read about these negative
developments in the press and still do not know the fate of the
pensions they have contributed all of their working lives to."

T&G officer, John Rowse, added, "Our members at Turner & Newall
have done nothing wrong but have had to endure blow after blow.
We are determined to continue the fight for pensions justice at
Turner & Newall and will be seeking support for an industrial
action ballot at the shop stewards' meeting."

About 20,000 current or former workers and 20,000 retired staff
have invested in the pension scheme, which was frozen in July by
administrators for Federal Mogul, which was forced into
bankruptcy protection because of liabilities from asbestos-
related claims. Pension experts have warned that Turner & Newall
workers could get less than 40% of what they were expecting if
the pension scheme was wound up.

The Government is introducing a Pension Protection Fund next
April, with the aim of offering a safety buffer for work-based
pension schemes. But pensions experts have warned that the
entire fund could be taken up by the Turner & Newall case.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Rejects ABB Asbestos Settlement Plan
----------------------------------------------------------------
ABB Ltd. may have to revise a bankruptcy reorganization plan for
its Combustion Engineering Inc. unit after a federal appeals
court questioned the plan's fairness to certain classes of
asbestos injury claimants.

A panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia
last week overturned a lower court order approving the plan
after finding that it improperly included asbestos claims of
Combustion Engineering affiliates and that it could shortchange
future claimants. The appeals panel sent the plan back to U.S.
District Court in Delaware for further hearings.

ABB's shares, which are listed in Switzerland, and in the U.S.
as depository receipts, tumbled after the court's decision was
released. Analysts had anticipated a favorable ruling from the
court.

The rejection of the proposal by the Third Circuit Court of
Appeals in Philadelphia, with which ABB hoped to settle more
than 100,000 pending asbestos lawsuits, comes as a surprise
because two lower courts had already confirmed the plan. This
proves to be a major setback to the firm, which had hoped the
deal would end years of legal struggles and put a cap on
asbestos claims filed by thousands of former U.S. workers.

The prepackaged Chapter 11 plan, which was announced in January
2003 and later approved by a federal bankruptcy court and the
Delaware district court, would set aside US$1.2 billion in cash,
ABB stock and Combustion Engineering assets for all current and
future asbestos claimants of the bankrupt company. Another
concern of the plaintiffs, which was also shared by the Third
Circuit Court of Appeals, was that Combustion Engineering's
proposal unfairly extended protection from liability to two ABB
units that were not in bankruptcy - ABB Lummus Global and Basic
Inc.

The appellate court found, though, that U.S. Bankruptcy Code
provisions do not allow Lummus and Basic to channel their own
asbestos claims into an asbestos trust fund set up for
Combustion Engineering.

The effect of the plan "is to extend bankruptcy relief to two
nondebtor companies outside of bankruptcy," the court noted.
"There is no evidence that either Basic or Lummus need to
reorganize under Chapter 11. If they do, as U.S. companies
facing asbestos liabilities, both could conceivably petition for
Chapter 11 reorganization and injunctive relief from those
liabilities."

Combustion Engineering also devised a "two-trust structure" to
resolve asbestos claims. Nearly three months before filing its
prepackaged plan, the Company transferred US$400 million to a
trust to make partial payments to those with settled and pending
asbestos claims. Claimants with agreed settlements received 95%
of the amounts owed, far more than future claimants would likely
receive. These claimants then voted in favor of the Chapter 11
plan, which would create a second trust fund for future and
other claimants.

A cancer claimants' group objected that the Company manipulated
claimant groups to win approval of the plan, and the appellate
court agreed the plan may unfairly discriminate among similarly
situated victims.

Combustion Engineering's US$400 million prepetition payment to
the first trust may be voidable under several Bankruptcy Code
provisions barring preferential treatment of certain creditors,
the court ruled.

In setting up the first trust, the Company also failed to
include representatives of future claimants and the cancer
claimants' group, the panel added. "The result was a plan
ratified by a majority of ?votes? cast by the very claimants who
obtained preferential treatment from the debtor," the judges
found.

Jurgen Dormann, chairman and chief executive officer of Zurich,
Switzerland-based ABB, expressed disappointment in the ruling.
"But we remain confident that we can resolve Combustion
Engineering's asbestos liability within a plan of reorganization
compatible with the 3rd Circuit's decision within a relatively
short time," he said in a statement.

"The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has dealt a stunning blow to
ABB's hopes to resolve its asbestos liabilities cheaply," said
plaintiff attorney Steven Kazan, who represents several hundred
ailing claimants. "We believe the ultimate result will greatly
benefit all those, present and future, who have been injured by
ABB's subsidiary, Combustion Engineering, including the cancer
victims we represent," he said.

ABB has paid out US$1 billion for asbestos claims over the past
10 years, and hoped to resolve the pending suits with this plan.
The claims mainly stem from people who declare they have come
into contact with cancer-causing asbestos fibers used in
products manufactured by ABB's Combustion Engineering unit in
the U.S.

Under the proposed deal, ABB would have put its U.S. Combustion
Engineering unit under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making
it possible to shield the parent firm, and other ABB affiliates,
from future asbestos claims. The plan would have included a
special section setting the terms of a special fund to assume
all future liabilities from asbestos claims, and would have set
a cap on each settlement.

The fund was to have been headed by David Austern, a well-known
figure in the asbestos litigation field. Serving as ABB Ltd.'s
trust appointee, Mr. Austern said he expects the Swiss-Swedish
engineering firm to reach a new asbestos settlement in a few
months. "I still expect this matter will settle, and the new
plan will be approved", he added.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Essex Int'l Faces Product Liability Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Superior Essex, a global leader in the design, manufacture and
supply of a wide range of cable, wire and electrical insulation
products, reported in its latest filing to the Securities and
Exchange Commission that its wholly owned subsidiary, Essex
International has been named as a defendant in a number of
product liability lawsuits since 1990.

The lawsuits against Essex International were brought by
electricians and other skilled tradesmen claiming injury from
exposure to asbestos found in electrical wire products produced
many years ago. Litigation against various past insurers of
Essex International who had previously refused to defend and
indemnify Essex International against these lawsuits was settled
during 1999.

Under the settlement, Essex International was reimbursed for
substantially all of its costs and expenses incurred in the
defense of these lawsuits, and the insurers have undertaken to
defend, are currently directly defending and, if it should
become necessary, will indemnify Essex International against
those asbestos lawsuits, subject to the terms and limits of the
respective policies. Under the plan of reorganization, certain
of the claimants in these actions will be able to assert claims
under applicable insurance coverage and other similar
arrangements.

The Company believes that Essex International's liability, if
any, in these matters will not have a material adverse effect
either individually, or in the aggregate, upon our business,
financial condition, liquidity or results of operations. There
can be no assurance, however, that future developments will not
alter this conclusion.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Superior Essex Inc. employs
almost 3000 people and manages a business portfolio that
generates US$1 billion in revenues annually.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal-Mogul Confirmation Hearing Delayed
----------------------------------------------------------------
The confirmation hearing in Federal-Mogul Corporation's chapter
11 proceeding, which had been scheduled to commence on December
9, 2004, has been postponed. The Company reports in the latest
filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it is
preparing to move forward with estimation of asbestos personal
injury claims against the UK Debtors beginning that date.

After the Company and the co-proponents of its Plan of
Reorganization have the results from the estimation proceedings,
amendments to the plan will be filed that will reflect, among
other things, the results of that estimation. Thereafter, the
Company and its plan co-proponents expect to move forward toward
confirmation of the amended Plan of Reorganization. Accordingly,
the Company's Plan of Reorganization confirmation proceedings
will not begin on December 9, 2004, as had been previously
disclosed.

The Independent Trustee for the Champion Pension Scheme last
week received approval by a United Kingdom Court to vote in
favor of the Plan of Reorganization and to take the Alternate
Payout option in relation to the Champion scheme once the Plan
of Reorganization is confirmed. The Champion Scheme covers about
300 Federal-Mogul Corporation employees in the United Kingdom.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fairfax Financial Tells of Claims Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fairfax Financial Holdings (NYSE: FFH), a holding Company that
provides insurance and reinsurance, stated in its report to the
Securities and Exchange Commission that its business is affected
by the Company's potential exposure to asbestos, environmental
and other latent claims.

The Ontario, Canada-based Company has established loss reserves
for these claims but there is a high degree of uncertainty with
respect to future exposure from such claims because of
significant issues surrounding the liabilities of insurers,
inherent risks in major litigation, and diverging legal
interpretations and judgments in different jurisdictions.

More so, insurers are experiencing an increase in the number of
asbestos-related claims due to intensive advertising by lawyers
seeking asbestos claimants and the growing focus by plaintiffs
on new defendants. The number of entities seeking bankruptcy
protection as a result of asbestos-related liabilities is also
on the rise. These bankruptcy proceedings may significantly
accelerate and increase loss payments by insurers.

In addition, policyholders have been asserting that their claims
for asbestos-related insurance are not subject to aggregate
limits on coverage and that each individual bodily injury claim
should be treated as a separate occurrence under the policy. The
Company expects this trend to continue. In some cases,
proceedings have been launched directly against insurers,
challenging insurers' conduct in respect of asbestos claims.

In another development, legislation has been introduced in
Congress that would require, as an essential element of an
asbestos claim, a certification of physical impairment to which
asbestos exposure was a substantial contributing factor. To
date, Congress has taken no action on that legislation. In
addition, a bill entitled the Fairness in Asbestos Injury
Resolution Act or the FAIR Act has been introduced in Congress
to address the rising number of asbestos personal injury claims
in the U.S.

If enacted in its current form, the FAIR Act would establish a
trust fund consisting of contributions from insurers and
industrial defendants, which would provide the exclusive remedy
for asbestos personal injury victims. No direct contributions by
reinsurers are contemplated, but, instead, the FAIR Act would
create a federal cause of action by which insurer participants
could sue their reinsurers for recovery of asbestos fund
assessments under fast track procedures and apparently in
disregard of arbitration clauses in reinsurance agreements.

As currently drafted, the FAIR Act would also create a medical
certification requirement as a predicate to making an asbestos
claim and would implement a schedule of standardized award
values for the various asbestos-related injuries for which
relief is proposed under the program. The Senate Judiciary
Committee approved the bill in June 2003, but no further
legislative action has occurred to date.

The Company states it is not presently possible to quantify with
a high degree of certainty the ultimate exposure or range of
exposure represented by asbestos, environmental and other latent
claims and related litigation. They have established reserves
that represent their best estimate of ultimate claims and claim
adjustment expenses based upon known facts and current law.

The Company's gross asbestos reserves were US$1.6 billion as of
December 31, 2003 and the gross reserves for environmental and
other latent claims were US$722.2 million. The asbestos
reserves, net of reinsurance but excluding vendor indemnities,
were US$772.2 million as of December 31, 2003 and the reserves
for environmental and other latent claims, net of reinsurance
but excluding vendor indemnities, were US$307.9 million.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie and ACTU Close to Settling Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
James Hardie Industries and the ACTU are close to agreeing on a
financial settlement for compensation for future victims of
asbestos disease. The parties had agreed on the structure of a
deal, set to be the largest financial settlement in Australian
history, after major concessions in their critical negotiations.

All asbestos victims would receive full payouts even if there
was a cap on the amount of money James Hardie Industries would
provide for compensation each year, a union spokesman said.
Hardie revealed that as part of negotiations, it was seeking a
limit to the amount of money it would have to pay out each year.

The ACTU has confirmed that unions were willing to accept such a
limit, as long as there was a buffer in place to ensure no
victims would miss out. "There has been agreement on that for a
while," ACTU spokesman George Wright said. "There's no proposal
that we are going to sign up to that means that all victims
aren't paid in full."

Mr. Wright said the unions would support a cap on the funds
James Hardie would provide each year because it was important to
ensure the Company remained viable. And the Company was willing
to accept a "substantial and meaningful" cap on annual payments.
The cap would be set as a percentage of cash flow, with the
specific percentage still under negotiation.

Hardie was prepared to put as much as AUD200 million into a
"buffer fund" to ensure there would be money to meet claims for
up to three years, even if Hardie made no profit during that
period. Some of the buffer could be met by the existing fund,
the Medical Research and Compensation Foundation. However, ACTU
was seeking more.

Once those details are sorted out, the parties would be able to
sign a Heads of Agreement, which the ACTU hopes will occur
before Christmas. It would still take some time beyond that to
formulate a detailed, legally binding agreement.

"James Hardie is working with the ACTU and asbestos diseases
groups to develop a long-term, voluntary funding proposal that
can be put to James Hardie's shareholders for their approval,"
the Company said in an open letter published in the Sydney
Morning Herald newspaper.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens-Illinois Reports 3rd Quarter Issues
--------------------------------------------------------------
Owens-Illinois Inc., one of the world's leading manufacturers of
packaging products, estimates that of the 35,000 plaintiffs
claiming compensation during the third quarter, about 92% claim
an amount insufficient to invoke the jurisdiction of the trial
court. This pronouncement, according to its latest filing to the
Securities and Exchange Commission, also states that the Company
has disposed of the asbestos claims of about 313,000 plaintiffs
and claimants at an average indemnity payment per claim of about
US$6,200.

Certain of these dispositions have included deferred amounts
payable over periods ranging up to seven years. Deferred amounts
payable totaled about US$88 million at September 30, 2004 can be
compared to US$87 million as of December 31, 2003. The company's
indemnity payments for these claims have varied on a per claim
basis, and are expected to continue to vary considerably over
time. Beginning with the initial liability of US$975 million
established in 1993, the Company has accrued a total of US$2.7
billion through 2003, before insurance recoveries, for its
asbestos-related liability.

A significant number of those pending cases were reported to
have exposure dates after the Company's 1958 exit from the
business. It takes the position that it has no liability and
those cases are subject to dismissal because they were filed in
improper forums. The Company is facing other asbestos-related
lawsuits or claims involving maritime workers, medical
monitoring claimants, co-defendants and property damage
claimants. Based upon its past experience, the Company believes
that these categories of lawsuits and claims will not involve
any material liability.

The Company expects to conduct a comprehensive review of its
asbestos-related liabilities and costs in connection with
finalizing and reporting its results of operations for the year
ended December 31, 2004. If the results of this review indicate
that the existing amount of the accrued liability is
insufficient to cover its estimated future asbestos-related
costs, then the Company will record an appropriate charge to
increase the accrued liability.

Meanwhile, shares in the bankrupt building materials
manufacturer have skyrocketed over the past month. This run-up
may have resulted from investor optimism that the Republican-
dominated Congress will set up an asbestos-claims fund,
alleviating some burden on companies.

Mainly, the issue is whether the Republican-dominated Congress
and executive branch will pass a law that would significantly
reduce the size of the asbestos liabilities that led Owens
Corning to file for bankruptcy in October 2000. The possibility
that the judge in the case might reduce the liability may be at
work as well.

The stock's rise "is all about the prospects for asbestos
legislation," says Andrew Rahl of Anderson Kill & Olick, an
attorney representing Owens Corning's prebankruptcy bondholders
and trade creditors. "People assumed if the Democrats won, there
would be no legislation."

Currently, the operative number being considered for the size of
Owens Corning's asbestos liability is US$16 billion, which is
the number that the asbestos claimants have officially set as
the figure they seek to guarantee their support of Owens
Corning's current reorganization plan. With Owens Corning having
an estimated enterprise value of US$7 billion, that asbestos
liability would leave current shareholders out in the cold; the
current and future asbestos claimants would get control of the
company, and the holders of the US$4 billion in nonasbestos-
related debt and obligations would get partial payback.

It becomes likely that some legislative solution will cut that
asbestos liability to some manageable combination of immediate
and future payments - an obligation that would leave some of the
US$7 billion enterprise for shareholders after covering the US$4
billion non-asbestos debt and other expenses, such as
significant interest payments on the prebankruptcy debt to cover
the period the Company was in Chapter 11.

"It has been a good year for us," said Steven McCracken, the
Company's chief executive officer for the last eight months. "We
are a top-tier performer. The future is bright, and the street
[Wall Street] agrees."


ASBESTOS ALERT: AU Council Closes New Park Due to Contamination
----------------------------------------------------------------
An Australian community park built less than a year ago in
central Bullaburra is now strictly off limits due to the
discovery of old fibro fragments in the soil. The fragments
became exposed at Bullaburra Village Green after heavy rains in
November and were reported to Blue Mountains City Council by a
local resident. Orange fences and contamination warning signs
were installed on site last month and high steel fences added by
council to ensure nobody could enter the park while tests were
carried out.

A council spokesperson said the decision to close the park was
made in the interests of public safety. "An asbestos expert said
the fibers are not airborne and that there was no [health] risk
unless the fibers were smashed to pieces. But we don't want to
take any risks."

The spokesperson said that an environmental consultant visited
the site and devised a clean-up plan that will be implemented
next month. He said that the council is also trying to get a
history of the land use of the site.

David and Helen Buckle from Bullaburra said the park was built
less than a year ago with great anticipation from the community.
"It was well supported by our community whose ideas were
solicited and many implemented. Suddenly up goes the orange
fencing, a sign saying no admittance and a phone number for more
details. Our local children and our own grandchildren are
desolate."

Another local resident said the situation was absurd and was
concerned about the length of time council would take to clean
the site up. A council spokesperson said it was disappointing to
have to temporarily close the park to the public, but said, "We
are erring on the side of caution. Safety is the highest
priority."


ASBESTOS ALERT: Victim's Son Prepares Case V. British Furnaces
--------------------------------------------------------------
Adam Pascott agonized as he watched his mother die two months
ago as the result of the asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma.
Jennifer Pascott had blamed the disease on washing her husband
Joe's clothes.  Joe had worked at British Furnaces about 30
years ago. Joe Pascott's work involved lining furnaces with
asbestos sheeting. He handled asbestos string, rope and seals.

Adam believes that his mother was the innocent victim of her
former husband's job at a time when legislation governing work
with asbestos had changed, demanding far greater protection for
human beings from its toxic, and often fatal, effects.

Mesothelioma, one of the three asbestos-related illness that
include lung cancer and asbestosis, is a cancerous tumor that
encases the lining of the lungs, growing and gripping like a
vice until the victim suffocates to death. Like asbestosis, it
has a latency period of between 15 and 60 years before symptoms
become apparent. Unlike asbestosis, it always kills.

Joe and Jennifer separated in 1976, when Adam was five years
old. Adam is now 33 and works for Norwich Union in Sheffield. He
and his wife Tania went to live in Worksop, but kept in close
contact with Jennifer. She never remarried.

The final diagnosis, at the beginning of March this year, was
mesothelioma caused by asbestos poisoning, which doctors say
Jennifer must have suffered from breathing in the dust from
those clothes. The prognosis was said to be a mere 6 to 10
months. In August, Jennifer went in to St Luke's Hospice in
Sheffield to have her medication regulated. Her condition
deteriorated rapidly, and she died on September 28. The
coroner's interim report on Jennifer's death said she'd had the
worst case of mesothelioma he had ever seen.

Doctors and lawyers advised Jennifer that she had a case for
seeking compensation from her ex-husband's former employers. Joe
was traced, and he and other witnesses have given testimony to
the working conditions that prevailed at British Furnaces back
in the 1970s. They allege that neither masks nor showers were
provided to protect employees working with asbestos, despite
legal changes in 1970 which made such safeguards mandatory.

About 1,800 people are now diagnosed each year from
mesothelioma, and about five percent of these are domestic
exposure cases like Jennifer Pascott. Because of the long
latency period, the peak of diagnosed cases is not likely to be
reached until about 15 years' time.

In 1990, chest physicians in Sheffield expected to see half a
dozen mesothelioma cases a year. Now the figure is about one a
week. It's more common than cervical cancer, and is stubbornly
resistant to treatment. As diagnostic methods have improved and
more cases have emerged, insurers have been swamped by the flood
of claims for damages.

Adrian Budgen, a partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield
and head of the company's National Asbestos Team, is handling
the Pascott case on behalf of Jennifer's estate. He said, "Such
cases are difficult, not least because you have to prove
exposure. But by and large, he says, the outcome is good."

Mr. Budgen also campaigns for centrally funded mesothelioma
research and advocates for fair access to benefits for those
whose illness comes from secondary exposure like Jennifer's.

"There's a real issue. People like Jennifer don't qualify for
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. Those who do qualify
because they actually worked with the asbestos are currently
paid GBD120 a week.

"Because she didn't qualify for IIDB, Jennifer didn't qualify
for Constant Attendance Allowance and Exceptionally Severe
Disablement Allowance either. The system isn't fair at all, and
the payments are vital to provide the extra help, equipment and
comforts that ease those last months."

Mr. Budgen concludes, "We've been able to put mesothelioma
research on the agenda, but still there's no government funding
to help find a cure, and both the industrial injuries
compensation legislation and benefits system need revisiting
wholesale."


ASBESTOS ALERT: Developer Pleads Guilty, Faces US$75,000 Fine
-------------------------------------------------------------
East St. Louis real estate developer Philip H. Cohn pleaded
guilty last Monday in federal court in East St. Louis of mail
fraud, money laundering and violating federal environmental law.

His wife, Katrina J. Frede-Cohn, pleaded guilty of bank fraud in
the purchase of a Chevrolet Blazer from an O'Fallon dealer by
claiming falsely that her husband paid her US$45,000 a year. She
is expected to get probation when she is sentenced on March 11.

Philip Cohn, 42 years old, admitted misusing a US$1 million fund
earmarked for environmental cleanup at the site of the new Clark
Middle School under construction at 56th and State streets in
East St. Louis. He also admitted starting renovation work on the
Spivey building, a 12-story building he purchased in East St.
Louis, without proper control of asbestos in ceiling and floor
tiles and pipe insulation. He violated environmental laws by
improperly removing and disposing of 35 cubic feet of asbestos-
containing material from the project. Under federal sentencing
guidelines, Mr. Cohn faces 37 to 46 months in prison. He also
could be fined up to US$75,000.

The prosecutor, assistant U.S. attorney Hal Goldsmith, agreed to
recommend a sentence on "the low end" of the guidelines and to
dismiss 17 related charges. Mr. Goldsmith hinted he might invoke
a rule that allows prosecutors to recommend a sentence below the
guidelines defendants who provide federal authorities valuable
information against other defendants.

Mrs. Frede-Cohn's lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said his client has
cooperated with federal prosecutors. He said, "And we will be
seeking leniency from the court." Mr. Schwartz declined to
comment on his knowledge of whether Phil Cohn, represented by
his lawyer David B. Helfrey, has cooperated with prosecutors.

But the plea agreement also leaves open the possibility of
prosecuting Cohn for vote fraud. Mr. Cohn and a business
associate, Nathan Parienti, claimed three years ago that they
lived at an East St. Louis address that allowed to cast ballots
in that district. But land records show that in 2000, Cohn and
his wife purchased an expensive townhouse in St. Louis' Central
West End, where she is registered to vote. The U.S. attorney's
office is now investigating this alleged incident.

Mr. Cohn's plea agreement requires that he repay the East St.
Louis School District US$347,200 he obtained illegally from a
fund set up for environmental cleanup at the Clark Middle School
site. U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan said that repayment
would be a major factor in what sentence Mr. Cohn gets.

Judge Reagan scheduled sentencing for March 25, and allowed Mr.
Cohn to remain free on bond.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Panel Reverses Ruling on Case V. Port Authority
----------------------------------------------------------------
Last week, an Appellate Division panel overturned a ruling
entered on January 22, 2003 that had held the Port Authority of
New York and New Jersey not liable to a victim of secondary
asbestos exposure.

The panel explained that the lower court should have given
consideration to the issue of "whether the plaintiff was within
the zone of foreseeable harm." The lawsuit involved a housewife
who contracted a fatal form of cancer from washing the work
clothes of her mechanic husband.

The Appellate Division gave an order to modify the judgment for
dismissal and reinstate the negligence cause of action. The Port
Authority's argument that no duty exists because the wife was
not an employee did not hold water with the court. The claim was
deemed sufficient since it was established that the Company had
failed to warn its employees of the dangers of asbestos.

Earlier this year, a Manhattan Supreme Court justice had ruled
that the Port Authority was not liable because Elizabeth
Holdampf was not an employee. Mrs. Holdampf was diagnosed in
2001 with mesothelioma, a fatal cancer caused by exposure to
asbestos dust.

A 59-year-old resident of Bellerose, New York, Mrs. Holdampf is
suing the Port Authority, which employed her husband from 1960
to 1996. She claims never to have worked in an asbestos-
contaminated workplace.

Her husband John Holdampf worked for the Port Authority as a
mechanic from 1960 to 1996. During that time, he was assigned to
several different work sites, including the World Trade Center,
the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, La Guardia, JFK and Newark
Airports, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Journal Square
Terminal in New Jersey. The husband claims to have been exposed
to asbestos products at each of these work sites while working
with tiles, gaskets, brakes, pipes and other items containing
asbestos. The Port Authority provided laundry services at each
of the above facilities for its employees' work clothes, but the
husband usually wore his uniforms home as a matter of
convenience and because there were no showers at work.

"Mrs. Holdampf's husband was a Port Authority mechanic and had
worked at the World Trade Center construction site as well as
the tunnels and airports," said their lawyer, Erik Jacobs of the
firm of Weitz & Luxenberg. At this point, Mr. Holdampf remains
free of the dreaded illness.

"For more than 30 years, Mr. Holdampf wore his asbestos-
contaminated clothes home, and Mrs. Holdampf laundered them,"
Mr. Jacobs said. "Her repeated exposure caused her to develop
mesothelioma, a form of cancer that is associated with exposure
to asbestos dust and is nearly always fatal."

After Elizabeth Holdampf's cancer was diagnosed, she immediately
filed suits seeking unspecified damages from more than 20
defendants, including the bi-state agency, which she accused of
negligence.

Mr. Jacobs said he hopes to take the case to trial immediately.
But a Port Authority spokesman said the agency's lawyers were
reviewing the opinion and could file an appeal.

Seeing his wife's pain, John Holdampf said, "There isn't any
amount of money in the world that I would take right now. Just
put her back in good health and we'd be happy. Just make her
well again."


ASBESTOS ALERT: Widow Seeks Compensation from Prime's Insurers
--------------------------------------------------------------
In response to his final wishes, a widow has taken up the battle
for compensation begun by her husband who suffered from an
asbestos-related cancer.

Bill Smart, from Swavesey, succumbed to mesothelioma last
October 23 at the age of 67. He worked from 1953 to 1968 as a
carpenter and joiner for Primes of Cambridge, where he was
exposed to the dust while building flume cupboards for
laboratories. The Company, which carried out shopfitting, was
based in Burleigh Street, Cambridge, before moving to St
Andrew's Road, Chesterton. It ceased trading in 1976.

Following the disease's diagnosis in March 2003, he was advised
to seek private compensation from the insurers of his former
employers. Solicitors, who are known experts on asbestos
litigation, took on the case, but have since been unable to
trace the Company's insurer.

Now Mr. Smart's wife Jenny, who is being assisted by a close
family friend, hopes to find people who might have worked in the
office or had an injury at work and might remember who the
insurers were.

"Bill was so fit and had never had anything wrong with him in
his life until last year," said Mrs. Smart, who enjoyed a
holiday in South Africa with her husband in January. "I asked
him how he felt about his illness, and he said he just felt he
had been robbed of his retirement and the rest of his life."

The insurance profession has been increasingly concerned about
the bill for illnesses linked to asbestos. The future cost of
asbestos-related diseases were said to range from GBD8 billion
to GBD20 billion, which represents 80,000 to 200,000 new claims
over the next 30 years.

Those who can share any information can call Jo Stagg on (01223)
434417 or news desk on (01223) 434437.


ASBESTOS ALERT: BHP Billiton Wins Case to Have Claim Heard in SA
----------------------------------------------------------------
An asbestos victim failed to have his claim against BHP Billiton
heard in a New South Wales Court, after a High Court earlier
this week ruled that his case should be confined to South
Australia's jurisdiction. He wanted the case heard in NSW where,
if he should develop other health problems related to his
exposure to asbestos, he could make a further claim.

Two years ago, Trevor John Schultz commenced proceedings in the
Dust Diseases Tribunal in New South Wales. He brought a claim of
negligence against BHP Billiton, blaming the Company for the
asbestosis and the asbestos-related pleural disease he has been
suffering from. He had worked at the Company's Whyalla shipyard
during two stints from the 1950s to the 1970's.

The Melbourne-based mining and oil Company preferred having the
case heard in South Australia where the law prevents more than
one claim for an injury.

The state's peak asbestos victims group has called on the South
Australian government to investigate the possibility of forming
a court similar to the Dust Diseases Tribunal following the High
Court decision.

Attorney-General Michael Atkinson immediately responded to this
appeal, saying that the state government will not form a
specialist tribunal to settle South Australian asbestos
compensation claims. According to him, asbestos cases could be
heard at short notice in the state's current court system.

"I have maintained the Liberal position to avoid establishing
extra legal avenues that create a costly duplication of our
present court system," he added. "Generally, establishing
additional courts and tribunals also increases the likelihood of
argument about which court proceedings should start in."

Asbestos Victims Association of South Australia secretary Terry
Miller said the decision, which could affect the claims of every
asbestos sufferer in South Australia, meant victims would have
to lodge claims in the bogged-down Supreme Court rather than the
efficient NSW tribunal set up specifically to deal with similar
cases.

Company Profile:
BHP Billiton (Australian: BHP)
180 Lonsdale St.
Melbourne, 3000, Australia

Phone: +61-3-9609-3333
Fax: +61-3-9609-3015
http://www.bhpbilliton.com/

Fiscal Year-End    June
2004 Sales (mil.)   GBD12,663.4
1-Year Sales Growth   46.6%
2004 Net Income (mil.)   GBD1,882.9
1-Year Net Income Growth  79.1%
2004 Employees    35,070

Description:
BHP Billiton is the world's largest diversified resources
company. The Company ranks among the world's top producers of
iron ore and coal (thermal and metallurgical) and is a major
producer of petroleum products such as crude oil and natural
gas. Other units produce aluminum, base metals, diamonds,
manganese, and stainless steel. BHP Billiton has operations on
six continents.


ASBESTOS ALERT: U.S. Steel, NIPSCO Named in Exposure Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------------
A man, who worked in maintenance jobs for U.S. Steel Corp. and
the Northern Indiana Public Service Co., is now blaming his
former employers for his suffering due to an asbestos-related
lung disease.

Frank Hesting, seeking an unspecified amount of money, has filed
a civil suit accusing the U.S. Steel and NIPSCO of negligence.
He said that within the span of 20 years that he worked for
them, he repeatedly came into contact with asbestos. According
to the lawsuit, the companies should have known the health
hazards of asbestos and were obliged to provide a safe
workplace. The companies are accused of failing to warn Hesting
of the health risks and failing to identify and control asbestos
at the work sites.

Officials at NIPSCO and U.S. Steel declined to comment on the
suit.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring material that was added to a
variety of products to strengthen them and provide heat
insulation and fire resistance, according to the American Lung
Association. Its uses were curtailed and in some cases banned
when it was discovered that airborne asbestos can cause severe
health problems remains dormant until many years after exposure.

Among those health problems is asbestosis, which is a scarring
of the lungs that leads to breathing problems and heart failure.
Mr. Hesting is reportedly suffering from this form of illness.

Company Profile:
United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X)
600 Grant St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2800
Phone: 412-433-1121
Fax: 412-433-5733
http://www.ussteel.com/corp/

Fiscal Year-End    December
2003 Sales (mil.)   GBD5,245.1
1-Year Sales Growth   34.2%
2003 Net Income (mil.)   (GBD260.3)
2003 Employees    47,000

Description:
Pittsburgh-based United States Steel (U.S. Steel, formerly USX-
U.S. Steel Group) is the nation's #1 integrated steelmaker. With
mills in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, and the Slovak Republic, U.S. Steel produces sheet
and semifinished steel, tubular and plate steel, and tin
products.

Company Profile:
Northern Indiana Public Service Company
801 E. 86th Ave.
Merrillville, IN 46410
Phone: 219-647-5200
Fax: 219-647-5589
Toll Free: 800-464-7726
http://www.nipsco.com/

Fiscal Year-End    December
2003 Sales (mil.)   GBD1,176.3
1-Year Sales Growth   8.8%
2003 Net Income (mil.)   GBD91.5
1-Year Net Income Growth  (28.3%)
2003 Employees    2,406

Description:
The largest subsidiary of utility holding Company NiSource,
Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) is also one of
the largest energy distributors in the Hoosier state with more
than 440,000 electricity customers and 700,000 natural gas
customers. The utility also has 3,400 MW of primarily coal-fired
generating capacity. NIPSCO operates approximately 13,000 miles
of electric transmission and distribution lines and 14,000 miles
of gas mains.


ASBESTOS ALERT: State Probes Longley-Jones Corp, Faces $15T Fine
----------------------------------------------------------------
State and federal authorities are investigating one of Central
New York's largest property management firms after finding it
removed asbestos illegally from a Syracuse apartment complex,
state officials said late last week.

The State Labor Department had acted on an anonymous tip called
in to its Syracuse office about three weeks ago. The caller
divulged that asbestos had been illegally removed from one
building. When the investigators arrived at the site, they found
the asbestos stored in the basement.

Longley-Jones Management Corp. faces fines of up to US$15,000
for four violations of state asbestos regulations at the Vincent
Apartments, 105 Smith Lane, the state Labor Department said. The
Company disturbed asbestos without a license, failed to use
asbestos-certified workers to remove the material, failed to
conduct air sampling during the work and failed to conduct air
monitoring, the department said.

"These would all be considered serious violations," said Rob
Lillpopp, a spokesman for the state Labor Department in Albany.
However if additional violations are found, the fines could be
increased.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency launched a joint investigation
into the matter, a DEC investigator said. Officials declined to
say whether the probe extends beyond the single incident at the
Vincent Apartments.

"We're looking at it," said Lt. James Masuicca of the DEC's
Bureau of Environmental Conservation Investigations in Syracuse.
"We just started the investigation in the last couple of weeks."
He declined to elaborate, and said he could not provide any
details about ongoing investigations.

Longley-Jones will be required to hire a licensed, certified
asbestos removal contractor to take away the contaminated
material, Mr. Lillpopp said. Longley-Jones executives referred
comment to the company's law firm, Hiscock & Barclay in
Syracuse.

"We have been consulting with the interested agencies and have
been cooperating fully with those agencies during their
respective inquiries," said Mike Porter, a lawyer for Hiscock &
Barclay. He declined to say if the state and federal
investigation extends beyond the Vincent Apartments.


Company Profile:

Longley-Jones Management Corp
1010 James Street
Syracuse, NY 13203
Phone: 315-424-0200
Fax: 315-424-8347
http://www.longley-jones.com/

Description:
Longley Jones Management Corp. manages more than 8,500 apartment
units throughout New York State. Longley Jones offers project
based Section 8 Housing to all qualified candidates through
Eljay/CNY Redevelopment in the Central New York region. Since
1958 Longley Jones has been dedicated to providing a complete
menu of real estate services throughout Central New York and its
surrounding communities. It is recognized as the largest,
independently owned real estate Company in the area.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Widow Battles Pembroke Refineries, Power Station
----------------------------------------------------------------
The family of a Pembrokeshire scaffolder, who died prematurely
from an asbestos-related cancer, is desperate to find people who
worked alongside him at Milford Haven refineries and Pembroke
Power Station.

Peter James of Carew Park, Sageston, died in April 2002, aged
54, leaving a wife and three children. He was diagnosed only
seven months earlier with mesothelioma, an asbestos-related
cancer.

Mr. James spent years erecting and dismantling scaffolding at
the power station and Gulf and Amoco refineries, working next to
laggers who were removing and replacing asbestos lagging on
pipes and plant. He worked for contractors Mills Scaffolding in
the late 1960s and 70s, and for S. M. Scaffolding at Pembroke
Power Station from 1974 to 1977.

His widow, Jean, is now making a claim for compensation and her
solicitors are trying to find Peter's former colleagues so they
can gather information about his working conditions which
exposed him to the deadly asbestos dust. "It was Peter's job to
work near asbestos, but we had no idea then of the danger," she
said.

Added Mrs. James, "My family and friends have kept me going, as
well as my job. The pain of Peter's death is still raw, but I
need to speak out to make people aware."

Said Mrs. James' solicitor Joanna Stevens, "Asbestos-related
diseases will cause 10,000 deaths a year by 2010 and will be the
biggest industrial killer of all time."

If you worked at Pembroke Power Station or the refineries at the
same time as Peter James, or have family or friends who did,
contact Joanna Stevens at Thompsons solicitors, Cardiff, on
07813 025 953.

Milford Haven was known as one of the world's major oil ports.
Four huge refineries with their great jetties lined its shores
in the 60s and 70s. Changes in the economic climate and consumer
demands have resulted in only two refineries currently remaining
in full operation.

Company Profile:
Pembroke Power Station
Pembrokeshire Coast
UK

Description:
Pembroke Power Station closed in the middle of 1997, the labor
force for the most part being relocated to other power plants
elsewhere in the country. During 1998, most of the generating
plant was removed. Well known Kinetik landmark, Pembroke Power
Station was eventually demolished in the summer of 1999.


ASBESTOS ALERT: OSHA Probes Entergy Plant for Workers' Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is
investigating the alleged exposure to asbestos by up to 300
workers at the Entergy Indian Point 2 nuclear power plant during
last month's shutdown for refueling.

Federal officials are looking for possible violations of safety
or health standards, said agency spokesman John Chavez. The
asbestos issue at Indian Point, which is located in Buchanan,
N.Y., Westchester County, on the east bank of the Hudson River,
involves workers in the non-radioactive building that houses the
40-ton turbine used to create electricity.

Entergy Nuclear Northeast, which owns Indian Point, brought in
hundreds of additional workers last month to augment its
permanent staff during the 30-day refueling, a process conducted
about every 18 months. The adjacent Indian Point 3 plant is
scheduled for refueling in the spring.

Charles Pencola, a steamfitter who has worked at Indian Point
for 35 years, said the asbestos covers 50-foot-long heaters near
the turbine and is insulated by a thin layer of tin. The tin was
cut, he said, "and it fell on us. There were chunks and real
small particles, and we were working around it."

Mr. Pencola said Entergy managers declined to stop work in the
area until the problem was properly corrected. "This is about
death to people who are exposed to asbestos and their families,"
he said. "No one was wearing coveralls, so it is possible that
anyone could have brought it home to their family."

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission was notified about the
situation through internal reports filed by Indian Point
workers. NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said, however, that asbestos
contamination "has nothing to do with nuclear safety, which is
our area of jurisdiction, so it is not something we can be
involved with."

Mr. Chavez said that many buildings contain asbestos, but that,
"as long as it is properly encased it usually doesn't present a
problem." When the asbestos is exposed, he said, the agency's
role is to determine "how severe it is, how long it has gone on
and if it violates workplace regulations."

The investigation will be completed within six months, he said.


Company Profile:

Entergy Nuclear Northeast
White Plains
N.Y.
Phone: 914-272-3360
http://www.safesecurevital.org/entergy/

Description:
Entergy Nuclear Northeast is part of Entergy Corporation (NYSE:
ETR), a global energy Company based in New Orleans. With over
1,500 employees, Entergy owns, operates and manages nine nuclear
generation plants that are among the safest and most
professionally operated energy facilities in the United States.
Indian Point 2, which was acquired from Consolidated Edison,
began commercial operations in 1974.


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

SOURCECORP INC.: Brian M. Felgoise Lodges Securities Suit in TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Brian M. Felgoise, P.C. initiated a
securities class action on behalf of shareholders who acquired
SOURCECORP Incorporated (NASDAQ: SRCP) securities between May 7,
2003 and October 26, 2004, inclusive (the Class Period).

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Texas, against the company and certain key
officers and directors.

The action charges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing a series of materially false and
misleading statements to the market throughout the Class Period
which statements had the effect of artificially inflating the
market price of the Company's securities. No class has yet been
certified in the above action.

For more details, contact the law offices of Brian M. Felgoise,
Esq. by Mail: 261 Old York Road, Suite 423, Jenkintown, PA 19046
by Phone: (215) 886-1900 or by E-mail: FelgoiseLaw@aol.com.


                            *********


A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Wednesday's edition of the Class Action Reporter. Submissions
via e-mail to carconf@beard.com are encouraged.

Each Friday's edition of the CAR includes a section featuring
news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
asbestos defendants that, according to independent researches,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.

                            *********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Glenn Ruel Se¤orin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
Resnick, Editors.

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

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