CAR_Public/050408.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, April 8, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 69

                         Headlines

ABATIX CORPORATION: Reaches Agreement To Settle TX Lawsuits
ADVANCED NEUROMODULATION: Investors File Stock Fraud Suits in TX
AMERICA WEST: AZ Court Approves Securities Fraud Suit Settlement
AT CROSS: Discovery Ongoing For Stock Suit Class Representatives
CANADA: Farmer Sues Quebec, Ridley Inc. Over Mad Cow's Effects

CARRIAGE INDUSTRIES: Recalls 25 Trailers Due To Crash Hazard
CHUBB CORPORATION: Appeals Court Nixes Review of Suit Dismissal
CHUBB CORPORATION: Consumers File FL Unfair Trade Practices Suit
COMPUTER ASSOCIATES: TX Billionaire Lodges Petition V. Law Firms
CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: Court Nixes Summary Judgment Ruling Review

CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: Canada Court Allows Agent Suit Dismissal
CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: AZ Court Grants Summary Judgment in Suit
EMPIRE DISTRICT: KS Court Junks Lawsuit V. Flint Hills Operation
ETHICON ENDO-SURGERY: NC Court Grants Certification in AWP Suit
EMERY WORLDWIDE: Laid-Off Workers File WARN Act Violations Suit

DETROIT: Judge Approves $12.7M Settlement For 2000 Flooding Suit
FLORIDA: Judge Rules Lee County Staff Ineligible For Toxins Suit
FLORIDA: Lawmakers Pull Out Bill To Curb Suits V. Payday Lenders
GOLDMAN SACHS: Settles Enron Disputes, Provides Legal Updates
HAEMALKN SIKPOOM: Recalls Cookies Due To Undeclared Ingredients

IC CORORATION: Recalls 550 2003-2005 Buses Due Injury Hazard
INCO LTD.: To Hear Appeal in Canadian Injury Suit In Spring 2005
INTERNET KIOSKS: FTC Raises Accusations of Internet Fraud
JEFFERSON-PILOT: Court To Hear Suit Certification Denial Appeal
JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Asks MA Court To Certify Litigation on AWP

KENTUCKY: Vatican Asks Judge To Dismiss Priest Molestation Suit
MCMORAN EXPLORATION: Trial in Investor Fraud Suit Set Sept. 2005
MICROTUNE INC.: TX Court OKs Settlements of Shareholder Suits
MID ATLANTIC: Recalls Pulpo Salad Due To Listeria Contamination
MISSISSIPPI: NMHS Departs From Settlement Talks With Plaintiffs

NEW YORK: Hearing Scheduled For Challenge To License Crackdown
OMNICOM GROUP: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
PEMSTAR INC.: Securities Settlement Hearing Set May 26, 2005
PENNSYLVANIA: Hearing To Mark End Of Public Defenders Agreement
SONOL ISRAEL: Consumers Launch Gasoil Antitrust Suit in Israel

SUPERGAS: Plaintiffs To Appeal Israel Court Decision Nixing Suit
SUPERGAS: Israel Court Allows Three Antitrust Suits To Proceed
SUPERGAS: Consumers Launch NIS1B Commercial Gas Antitrust Claim
TECO ENERGY: FL Court Orders Shareholder Lawsuits Consolidated
TELLABS INC.: Court Hears Appeal of IL Securities Suit Dismissal

TELLABS INC.: Shareholders Launch Suit V. Advanced Fiber Merger
TORCHMARK CORPORATION: AL Court OKs Consumer Lawsuit Settlement
UNITED AMERICAN: Plaintiffs Initiate Amended Fraud Lawsuit in TX
UNITED AMERICAN: FL Court Refuses To Certify Consumer Fraud Suit
VERITAS SOFTWARE: Earmarks $35M To Settle Securities Suits in CA

                       Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MARF Initiates Over USUS$1M in New Research
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL Bill Gains Initial Committee Approval
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ballantyne Sustains Defense V. NY, IL Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: General Cable Corp. Battles 49,500 Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Battles 280 Suits

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Goodyear Indemnifies Claims Against K&F
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NL Industries Deals With 500 Pending Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Leap Technology Wary of Suit Reinstatements
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Metso Corp. Cites 124 Cases Still Pending
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens Corning's Potential Claims Set at $7B

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Property Council Supports ACT Law Changes
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Armstrong Receives $4.5M Insurance Recovery
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ADAO Remembers the Victims on Asbestos Day
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Gives Update on Funding Negotiations
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NY Court Rejects Motion to Remand GE Case

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Insurers Attack Asbestos Trust Fund Bill
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CompuDyne Carrier Excludes Certain Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Kaiser Aluminum Updates 4Q04 Cost Estimates
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mestek's Asbestos-related Suits Reach 265
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FiberMark Inc. Faces Suits in Miss., Texas

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Selas Corp. Deals With 123 Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Standard Motor to Answer for 3,700 Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Claims Still Affect Everest Reinsurance
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Development of UK Asbestos Site Put on Hold
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum's Insurers Consider Plan Unfair

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USG Corp. Continues Push for Trust Fund
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Pledges TUC Tsunami "Asbestos Aid"
ASBESTOS ALERT: CA Court Affirms Ruling Against National Marine
ASBESTOS ALERT: EPA Probes VA Contractor for Handling Violations
ASBESTOS ALERT: UK Court Compels Bifrangi to Pay GBP7,500 Fine

ASBESTOS ALERT: EPA Imposes $70T Fine on RI Flooring Contractor

                    New Securities Fraud Cases

COLLINS & AIKMAN: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Suit in MI
COLLINS & AIKMAN: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in MI
ELECTRONIC ARTS: Federman & Sherwood Files Securities Suit in CA
MBIA INC.: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in NY
MBIA INC.: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY

MBIA INC: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
ORANGE 21: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. CA


                            *********


ABATIX CORPORATION: Reaches Agreement To Settle TX Lawsuits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Dallas-based Abatix Corporation reached a preliminary agreement
to settle a federal class-action shareholder lawsuit and a
second suit filed in state District Court in Dallas, the Dallas
Morning News reports.  Abatix, a distributor of safety equipment
and products for the environmental and construction industries,
has agreed to settle both suits for $900,000.

The company has been the subject of several shareholder lawsuits
since its shares soared from about $4 to almost $17 in April
2004 and then collapsed to $2. That trading frenzy was triggered
by a news release that said the company's RapidCool products
slowed the heat release rate of combustible materials in testing
by two nationally known companies. But the stock collapsed when
the company said more testing was needed to confirm the products
worked.

After that announcement, Abatix became the target of five
lawsuits involving dozens of shareholders alleging that the
company made false statements about RapidCool. Later, those
suits were consolidated into the one federal suit filed in U.S.
District Court in Dallas.

Even with the settlement, Frank Cinatl, Abatix chief financial
officer, cautioned that this was only a proposed settlement and
that there are still some hurdles before a final agreement is
reached, the Morning News reports.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Abatix
stated that it agreed to settle both lawsuits "so that
management and its employees can concentrate their full
attention on growing the business by eliminating the distraction
of further protracted litigation." In addition, the filing also
stated that the $900,000 settlement is covered by the company's
insurance policy and shouldn't affect earnings.


ADVANCED NEUROMODULATION: Investors File Stock Fraud Suits in TX
----------------------------------------------------------------
Advanced Neuromodulation, Inc. and certain of its officers and
directors face several securities class actions filed in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas,
on behalf of purchasers of the Company's securities between
April 24, 2003 and February 16, 2005, inclusive.

The Company has not been served with any of these lawsuits, but
has confirmed that at least two such lawsuits have been filed,
namely "PLA, LLC vs. Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, Inc., et
al," filed March 1, 2005; and "RAI Investment Club vs. Advanced
Neuromodulation Systems, Inc., et al," filed March 9, 2005.
These suits allege the Company violated federal securities laws
by the issuance of false and misleading statements to the market
regarding the Company's strong financial performance throughout
the Class Period, which statements allegedly had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's
securities.

In particular, the claims allege improper marketing and sales
practices accounted for the Company's revenue growth, citing,
among other things, the public announcement the Company made on
February 17, 2005 that the Company had received a subpoena from
the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and
Human Services, requesting documents related to sales and
marketing, reimbursement, Medicare and Medicaid billing and
other business practices.  The plaintiffs are seeking
unspecified compensatory damages and costs and expenses of
litigation.


AMERICA WEST: AZ Court Approves Securities Fraud Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Arizona
granted final approval to the settlement of the consolidated
securities class actions filed against America West Holdings
Corporation, America West Airlines, Inc. and certain of the
Company's stockholders, executive officers and directors.  The
suit alleges violations of the Exchange Act in connection with
the Company's public disclosures regarding its business and
prospects during 1997 and 1998.

A settlement of the lawsuits was reached with the plaintiffs in
November 2004 for $15 million.  A fairness hearing was held on
March 9, 2005 to allow class members to object to the
settlement.  No objections were filed and the Court entered a
final judgment.


AT CROSS: Discovery Ongoing For Stock Suit Class Representatives
----------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is ongoing concerning plaintiff's proposed substitute
class representatives in the lawsuit filed against AT Cross Co.,
certain of its officers and directors and other defendants in
the United States District Court for the District of Rhode
Island.

On April 21, 2000, the suit was filed on behalf of purchasers of
the Company's Class A common stock.  The suit alleges that the
defendants violated Federal securities laws by making material
misstatements and omissions in the Company's public filings and
statements relating to the Company's former Pen Computing Group
business.   The suit seeks class action status including all
purchasers of the Company's Class A common stock between
September 17, 1997 and April 22, 1999.   The damages sought are
unspecified.

On June 30, 2000, the Company filed a Motion to Dismiss the
action.  The court granted the Company's Motion to Dismiss in
June 2001.  In July 2001, the Plaintiff filed an appeal with the
First Circuit Court of Appeals.  The appeal was before the First
Circuit Court of Appeals.  Oral argument was held February 8,
2002.  On March 20, 2002, the Court of Appeals for the First
Circuit issued a judgment affirming the dismissal of all claims
asserted against the W. Russell Boss Jr. Trust A, W. Russell
Boss Jr. Trust B and W. Russell Boss Jr. Trust C and reversing
the District Court's dismissal of the Section 10(b) and 20(a)
claims asserted against the Company and the named individual
defendants.  The Court of Appeals' ruling was limited to a
finding that the plaintiff's complaint had satisfied the
pleading requirements of the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995; the Court did not opine on the merits of
plaintiff's claims.

On January 8, 2004, the District Court heard oral argument on
defendants' motion for summary judgment.  On July 21, 2004, the
Court issued its Memorandum and Order partially granting
defendants' motion for summary judgment and narrowing the class
period to encompass only purchases made between July 16, 1998
and April 22, 1999.  Due to the revised class period, the
plaintiff's two proposed class representatives no longer had
standing to assert claims on behalf of the proposed class.  The
Court, however, allowed the plaintiff class an opportunity to
recruit new class representatives.


CANADA: Farmer Sues Quebec, Ridley Inc. Over Mad Cow's Effects
--------------------------------------------------------------
Farmer Donald Berneche of St-Gabriel-de-Brandon, Quebec is
hoping to secure court approval for a class-action suit against
the federal government and animal feed company Ridley Inc. over
mad cow disease and the U.S. ban on Canadian beef exports, The
Canadian Press reports.

Mr. Berneche alleges that Canadian authorities delayed in
prohibiting the addition of meat and bone meal from ruminant
animals in cattle feed. This, he argued, made it possible for a
case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy to be found in an
Alberta cow in 2003, causing the U.S. border closure against
Canadian cattle and beef. He further alleges that the cow, born
in the spring of 1997, became infected with BSE soon after being
fed with Ridley's products.

Filed in Quebec Superior Court, the suit claims up to $100,000
in damages because of the border closing and the farmer's
inability to sell his herd and seeks certification as a class
action on behalf of all affected farmers in the province.
Additionally, Mr. Berneche's suit, whose request for class-
action status will be heard May 4 in Montreal, alleges that the
Minnesota-headquartered Ridley was a possible supplier of feed
to the affected Alberta cow early in its life, It also alleges
that the company should have stopped using ruminant meat and
bone meal in its feed even before it was banned in 1997. The
suit further contends that Ridley Canada should have modified
its recipe before the government ordered it to do so, because it
had already undertaken to conform to stricter requirements in
other markets including Australia.

Other defendants are named in the suit are the Solicitor General
of Canada and the Ministry of Agriculture. Ridley, one of North
America's leading animal nutrition companies, said it expects
similar lawsuits to be filed in other provinces.


CARRIAGE INDUSTRIES: Recalls 25 Trailers Due To Crash Hazard
------------------------------------------------------------
Carriage Industries is cooperating with the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration by voluntarily recalling 25
trailers, namely:

     (1) LOGAN COACH / QUALIFIER 3 GOOSENECK, model 2003-2004

     (2) LOGAN COACH / QUALIFIER 4 GOOSENECK, model 2003-2004

     (3) LOGAN COACH / QUALIFIER 5 GOOSENECK, model 2003-2004

     (4) LOGAN COACH / STOCKMAN, model 2003-2004

On certain trailers, the wheels and nuts may not maintain a
solid clamp due to decreased length of engagement.  Wheels might
separate from the axle hub because of thick rims and limited
thread engagement.  A crash might occur without prior notice.

Dealers will replace the wheel.  The recall began on March
11,2005.  For more details, contact the Company by Phone:
435-752-3737 EXT 315. or visit the NHTSA's auto safety hotline:
1-888-327-4236.


CHUBB CORPORATION: Appeals Court Nixes Review of Suit Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to
review the dismissal of a securities class action filed against
Chubb Corporation and certain of its officers.

On August, 31,2000, the California Public Employees' Retirement
System filed a purported class action complaint in the United
States District Court for the District of New Jersey, naming as
defendants the Company, current officer, Henry B. Schram, two
former officers, Dean R. O'Hare and David B. Kelso, Executive
Risk Inc. and three of its former officers, Stephen J. Sills,
Robert H. Kullas and Robert V. Deutsch.

The suit alleged that the defendants were liable for certain
misrepresentations and omissions regarding, among other matters,
disclosures made between April 27, 1999 and October 15, 1999
relating to the improved pricing in the Company's standard
commercial insurance business and relating to the offer of the
Company's securities to, and solicitation of votes from, the
former shareholders of Executive Risk Inc. in connection with
the Company's acquisition of Executive Risk Inc.  The complaint
seeks unspecified damages, a recision of the sale of Executive
Risk Inc. to the Company or a new vote on the merger, and such
other relief as the court may deem proper.

On June 26, the court entered an order dismissing in its
entirety the previously reported purported class action
complaint originally filed on August 31, 2000, as amended on
September 4, 2001, and granting plaintiffs the right to file a
Second Amended Complaint.  On August 9, 2002, plaintiffs filed a
Second Amended Complaint based on substantially the same
allegations as previously reported.  On August 11, 2003, the
trial court dismissed the entire action with prejudice. On
September 10, 2003, the plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal to
the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. On
December 30, 2004, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial
court's dismissal in all respects.  On February 1, 2005, the
plaintiffs filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for
rehearing or for rehearing en banc.  On February 14, 2005, the
Court of Appeals denied this petition.

The suit is styled "In Re: Chubb Corporation Securities
Litigation, case no. 00-CV-2485," filed in the United States
District Court for the District of New Jersey, under Judge
Garrett E. Brown, Jr.  Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Cohn, Lifland, Pearlman, Herrmann & Knopf, Park 80
         Plaza West-One, Saddle Brook, NJ, 7663, Phone:
         201845.9600, Fax: info@njlawfirm.com

     (2) Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins (San
         Diego), 401 B Street, Suite 1700, San Diego, CA, 92101,
         Phone: 619.231.1058, Fax: 619.231.7423, E-mail:
         info@lerachlaw.com

Representing the Company is Mary Catherine Roper of Drinker
Biddle & Shanley, LLP 105 College Road East Suite 300 PO Box 627
Princeton, NJ 08542-0627 USA Phone: 609-716-6500 E-mail:
Marycatherine.roper@dbr.com.


CHUBB CORPORATION: Consumers File FL Unfair Trade Practices Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chubb Corporation faces a class action filed in Seminole County
State Court in Florida, arising out of investigations into
market practices in the property and casualty insurance industry
filed in a number of states.

The plaintiffs allege that the Company and the other non-
affiliated defendants violated the "unfair and deceptive trade
practices statutes and consumer protection statutes" of all
fifty states by, among other practices, using contingent
commission agreements to steer business in its direction.  The
action seeks unspecified damages and attorneys' fees.


COMPUTER ASSOCIATES: TX Billionaire Lodges Petition V. Law Firms
----------------------------------------------------------------
Texas billionaire Sam Wyly recently filed a petition seeking
access to a storehouse of evidence against three class-action
law firms that have settled securities claims with Computer
Associates International Inc., the Newsday.com reports.

The petition, which was filed in state Supreme Court in
Manhattan, seeks the release of dozens of boxes of documents and
the depositions of more than 50 people collected while the firms
were building their cases against CA starting in the late 1990s.

Mr. Wyly filed the petition against law firms Milberg Weiss
Bershad & Schulman LLP, Stull, Stull & Brody and Schiffrin &
Barroway LLP. In the petition, Mr. Wyly's lawyers claim that the
documents "rightfully belong to him" because, as a CA
shareholder, he was effectively a client of the firms until he
declined to participate in the class-action settlement.  Mr.
Wyly has also argued that the settlement was reached through "a
fraud perpetrated on the court," since a former CA general
counsel, Steve Woghin, who has since admitted a role in the
accounting fraud, represented CA during the settlement. Mr.
Woghin in September had pleaded guilty to two counts of
conspiracy to commit securities fraud and obstruction of
justice.

In the petition, Mr. Wyly states that the law firms purportedly
told him that they wouldn't turn over the evidence until a
federal judge rules on a previous request he had made for a
quickened to discovery in another case that he initiated, that
is seeking to exclude current and former CA directors and
executives from the class-action settlement.

As previously reported in the December 13, 2004 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, the Texas billionaire had filed a motion
in federal court in Central Islip seeking to reopen a court-
approved settlement between Computer Associates and class-action
shareholders, so he could pursue past executives and directors
who may have improperly benefited from CA's accounting
improprieties.

According to William Brewer, an attorney for Mr. Wyly at Bickel
& Brewer in Dallas, the action is seeking to void elements of a
securities class-action settlement reached in which CA issued
5.7 million shares to settle four years of claims of improper
accounting against the company, directors and executives. In
December, a federal judge had approved the settlement, which
released former executives and directors, past and present, from
future legal claims related to the accounting problems.


CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: Court Nixes Summary Judgment Ruling Review
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied
plaintiffs' petition for rehearing of a lower court ruling
granting summary judgment in favor of Continental Airlines, Inc.
and other defendants in the lawsuit styled "Sarah Futch Hall
d/b/a/ Travel Specialists v. United Air Lines, et al."

The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of North Carolina on behalf of all U.S. travel
agents, challenging the reduction and subsequent elimination of
travel agent base commissions.  The amended complaint alleged an
unlawful agreement among the airline defendants to reduce, cap
or eliminate commissions in violation of federal antitrust laws
during the years 1997 to 2002.  The plaintiffs sought
compensatory and treble damages, injunctive relief and their
attorneys' fees.

The class was certified on September 18, 2002.  On October 30,
2003, a summary judgment and order was granted in favor of all
of the defendants.  Plaintiffs filed their appeal to this
judgment and order on November 5, 2003.  On December 9, 2004,
the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the award of
summary judgment.  On January 4, 2005, the plaintiffs' Petition
for Rehearing with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals was
denied.


CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: Canada Court Allows Agent Suit Dismissal
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division Montreal approved
plaintiffs' motion to discontinue the class action filed against
Continental Airlines, Inc. and others, styled "Always Travel,
et. al. v. Air Canada, et al."

On December 6, 2002, the named plaintiffs in this case filed an
amended statement of claim alleging that between 1995 and the
present, the Company, the other defendant airlines, and the
International Air Transport Association conspired to reduce
commissions paid to Canada-based travel agents in violation of
the Competition Act of Canada.  By Order dated December 10,
2004, the Court approved the plaintiffs' motion to discontinue
their action and abandon their motion for class certification
with prejudice.


CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: AZ Court Grants Summary Judgment in Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Phoenix, Arizona granted
summary judgment in favor of Continental Airlines, Inc. in an
alleged securities fraud class action relating to the sale of
certain America West stock in 1998.  The suit also names as
defedants America West Airlines, America West Holdings
Corporation and various other defendants and is styled
"Employer-Teamsters Joint Council No. 84 Pension Trust Fund v.
America West Holdings Corp., et al.

This action was first filed in March 1999, but was dismissed.
Plaintiffs then filed a Second Amended Consolidated Complaint in
January 2001, which was dismissed with prejudice in June 2001.
Plaintiffs appealed that dismissal and in 2003 the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the lower court's
dismissal.  In January 2004 the class was certified and was set
for trial in November 2004.  By Order dated September 27, 2004,
the Court granted full summary judgment in favor of Continental
and it is not anticipated that there will be any further appeal.


EMPIRE DISTRICT: KS Court Junks Lawsuit V. Flint Hills Operation
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Kansas dismissed the class
action filed against Empire District Electric Co. on January 24,
2005 by Flint Hills Tallgrass Prairie Heritage Foundation, Inc.
The suit seeks to halt the development or operation of
industrial wind turbine electric power generation facilities
within the Flint Hills Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystem.

This complaint was dismissed with prejudice by the Court on
February 11, 2005.  A notice of appeal has been filed.


ETHICON ENDO-SURGERY: NC Court Grants Certification in AWP Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
North Carolina State Court certified a North Carolina state
class of consumers for the lawsuit filed against Johnson &
Johnson and Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson
operating company which markets endoscopic surgical instruments,
alleging Average Wholesale Price (AWP) inflation and improper
marketing activities against TAP Pharmaceuticals.

Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. is a defendant based on claims that
several of its former sales representatives are alleged to have
been involved in arbitrage of a TAP drug.  The allegation is
that these sales representatives persuaded certain physicians in
states where the drug's price was low to purchase from TAP
excess quantities of the drug and then resell it in states where
its price was higher.

On April 24, 2003, the trial judge certified a national class of
purchasers of the TAP product at issue. On July 6, 2004, that
class was decertified by the North Carolina Court of Appeals and
the matter remanded to the trial court for additional
consideration. On January 5, 2005, the trial judge certified a
North Carolina State class of purchases of the TAP product in
question. No trial date has been set in this matter.


EMERY WORLDWIDE: Laid-Off Workers File WARN Act Violations Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Emery Worldwide Airlines continues to face a class action filed
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Ohio, alleging violations of the Worker Adjustment and
Retraining Notification Act (the "WARN Act") in connection with
employee layoffs and ultimate terminations due to the August
2001 grounding of EWA's airline operations and the shutdown of
the airline operations in December 2001.

The court subsequently certified the lawsuit as a class action
on behalf of affected employees laid off between August 11 and
August 15, 2001.  The WARN Act generally requires employers to
give 60-days notice, or 60-days pay and benefits in lieu of
notice, of any shutdown of operations or mass layoff at a site
of employment.

The suit is styled "Bledsoe, et al v. Emery Worldwide Airl, et
al, case no. 3:02-cv-00069-WHR-SLO," filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, under Judge
Walter H. Rice.  Representing the plaintiffs is David Gerard
Torchia, Tobias & Kraus - 1414 Walnut Street Cincinnati, OH
45202 Phone: 513-241-8137 Fax: 513-241-8137 E-mail:
davet@tktlaw.com.  Representing the Company are Michelle R
Arendt and Thomas H. Barnard, Jr. Ulmer and Berne Penton Media
Building 1300 E. Ninth Street Suite 900 Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: 216-931-6056 Fax: 216-931-6057 E-mail: marendt@ulmer.com;
and Jacqueline Schuster Hobbs, Cinergy Services, Inc. 139 East
Fourth Street 25ATII Cincinnati, OH 45201-0960 Phone:
513-287-1238 Fax: 513-287-2996 E-mail:
Jacqueline.Hobbs@Cinergy.com.


DETROIT: Judge Approves $12.7M Settlement For 2000 Flooding Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge John Feikens approved a $12.7 million
settlement to reimburse more than 10,000 mostly Downriver
residents for basement flooding that resulted from a September
2000 rainstorm, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The federal judge signed an order settling the dispute during an
hour-long court hearing. He stated that he would enter the order
when Wayne County's eight communities finish depositing money
into a bank account to pay for the settlement.  Under the
proposed settlement, Wayne County will pay $5.5 million, Allen
Park, $3.35 million, Dearborn Heights, $325,000, Ecorse,
$195,000, Inkster, $100,000, Lincoln Park, $150,000, Riverview,
$5,000, Southgate, $2.625 million and Taylor, $500,000.

The attorneys who represented the property owners in the class
action, Steven Liddle and Peter Macuga have requested $4.1
million, the standard one-third fee for handling the lawsuit. In
addition they have also requested $427,366 for costs associated
with the lawsuit over the past 4 1/2 years.

During the hearing Judge Feikens said that he wouldn't approve
$71,500, which the lawyers paid a lobbyist to persuade the
Legislature to adopt a law to ensure homeowners would be
reimbursed for damages. He pointed out that the cost should not
come out of the settlement, the Free Press reports.

"After a long drawn-out battle that took to the Michigan Supreme
Court, the Legislature and the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
in Cincinnati, we finally are able to provide relief for the
homeowners," Mr. Liddle said afterward, according to the Free
Press.  He also stated that homeowners have until June 24 to
file a claim and that they should receive payments beginning in
late summer.


FLORIDA: Judge Rules Lee County Staff Ineligible For Toxins Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lee County Circuit Judge William C. McIver ruled that the staff
at Lee County schools couldn't join a 2002 lawsuit filed against
the district by nine employees, who say they were sickened by
exposure to hazardous asbestos, mold and other toxins, the
Naples Daily News reports.

According to Judge McIver's ruling, the employees couldn't turn
their complaint into a class action lawsuit, thus barring any of
the Lee County School District's more than 10,000 employees from
joining in.  In Judge McIver's five-page order, he specifically
explained that each staff member's individual medical problems
and exposure to hazardous materials are what drives the lawsuit,
not a shared amount of building contamination and health
damages. He further wrote, " ... Not only would each building
operated by the School District be different in regard to mold,
CO2, and/or asbestos, but each individual school room would be
different. Each employee's exposure would be different and
distinct from that of another employee."

In November 2004, attorneys for the staff and School District
had argued their cases for and against turning the suit into a
class action complaint. The nine staffers now will consider
whether to appeal and what's next, according to their attorney,
Patrick Geraghty.  "We're obviously disappointed in the judge's
ruling and don't agree with it. We don't know which way we're
going to go," he told Naples Daily News.

The nine teachers and staff who work in five schools are suing
the School District, saying they were sickened from years of
exposure to toxic mold, asbestos, mildew, lead paint and carbon
dioxide. Their desire to create a class action suit prompted the
two-day November hearing.  With Judge McIver's recent ruling,
others, who contacted Mr. Geraghty cannot join the suit and must
file their own or seek workers' compensation reimbursement for
illnesses caused by asbestos, mold and other hazardous substance
exposure.

Judge Mciver further wrote in his ruling, "At most, the School
District's failure to solve any internal air quality problem at
any school district building would be considered simple
negligence."

Even with the judge's ruling not going their way, Mr. Geraghty
told Naples Daily News that he and his clients should know by
next week whether they may appeal or request another hearing
seeking class action certification.

As previously reported in the November 18, 2004 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, in a bid to have their 2002 civil suit
turned into a class action case, some of the nine Lee County
School District teachers or staff, who say they were exposed to
so much toxic mold and other harmful substances in the county's
schools, testified before Lee County Circuit Judge William C.
McIver.

During that November hearing, teachers' attorney Marcus Viles
told Judge McIver, "There are over 8,000 employees of the
(district). Their claims are, in fact, typical of people who
have suffered similar harm. The claims all stem from indoor air
quality problems."

Of the staff suing, two worked at San Carlos Park Elementary
School, two at Spring Creek Elementary in Bonita Springs, two at
Estero High School, and one who worked at both Mirror Lakes
Elementary in Lehigh Acres and Pinewood Elementary in Estero.
Former district safety director Ernie Scott, who won $400,000 in
a federal civil suit November 8 against the district for
eliminating his job because he reported school safety hazards,
also is suing in this case claiming that he was exposed to
hazardous asbestos while performing safety checks at the
buildings.

In reaction to the testimonies of the plaintiffs, school
district attorney John Lewis argued that the case shouldn't be
opened to more plaintiffs, since staffs throughout the district
weren't exposed to the same problems. He further argued that the
staffs have the right to file workers' compensation claims and
their own lawsuits. But by using a workers' compensation system,
the district shouldn't be held liable again in court, since
according to Mr. Lewis, "the statute says if you have a workers'
compensation system you have exclusive liability."


FLORIDA: Lawmakers Pull Out Bill To Curb Suits V. Payday Lenders
----------------------------------------------------------------
Florida lawmakers are backing off a bill that would prevent
lawsuits against payday loan companies offering illegal
contracts to consumers, the Ledger Tallahassee Bureau reports.

Attorneys have criticized the efforts to pass the bill, saying
payday lenders prey on low-income consumers and charge
extortionate interest rates.  Payday lenders, favoring the title
of "neighborhood financial centers," countered that the services
provide a need and added that the industry has cleaned up
previous tactics that have drawn legislative scorn.

Senate Bill 2242 and House Bill 1343 were filed at the request
of payday lending companies in response to a January Florida
Supreme Court ruling. That ruling, Cardegna vs. Buckeye Cash
Checking, found that a contract many consumers signed with the
company contained mandatory arbitration for disputes.  In that
case though, lawyers representing the class-action plaintiffs
contended the contracts illegally imposed excessive fees and
voided the mandatory arbitration. The 5-1 decision ruled that
consumers should be allowed to contest the legality of the
contract's provisions in court before going to arbitration.

Explaining the decision to withdraw the bill, Sen. Charles
Clary, R-Destin, told the Ledger Tallahassee Bureau that the
bill would have to be pulled out, because of concerns about
conflicting state and federal court rulings on the complicated
issue. "I don't think we need to rush it through," Sen. Clary
adds.


GOLDMAN SACHS: Settles Enron Disputes, Provides Legal Updates
-------------------------------------------------------------
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. settled two disputes with Enron Corp.
over the trading of over-the-counter derivatives, according to
the company's quarterly report, the Associated Press reports.

Enron North America had sought to recover $45 million and other
unspecified damages in due to the early termination in late 2001
of a trading agreement with Goldman Sachs. It had also sued
Goldman to avoid guarantees related to the derivatives.

Last February, New York-based Goldman Sachs said in its annual
report that the parties had reached an agreement in principle to
settle both suits.  Terms of the settlement though were not
disclosed in Goldman Sachs's report, which was filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission.  Additionally, in the recent
filing, Goldman Sachs stated that a federal district court has
denied the company's motion to dismiss federal commodities
claims against the company in a lawsuit related to its trading
of 30-year Treasury bonds.

The Company was named as a defendant in a purported class action
filed last year in Illinois on behalf of holders of short
positions in 30-year U.S. Treasury futures and options on the
morning of October 31, 2001. That suit had alleged that the
company purchased 30-year bonds and futures prior to the
Treasury's refunding announcement that morning based on non-
public information, and that such purchases increased the costs
of covering such short positions. Thus, the plaintiffs in that
suit have alleged violations of the federal commodities and
antitrust laws, as well as Illinois statutory and common law.

Goldman Sachs' most recent filing further states that on March
28, the court denied its motion to dismiss the federal
commodities claims, granted its motion to replead as to the
antitrust claims and dismissed the Illinois statutory and common
law claims.


HAEMALKN SIKPOOM: Recalls Cookies Due To Undeclared Ingredients
---------------------------------------------------------------
Haemalkn Sikpoom Inc., 230 & 250 FOREST DR. - East Hill, NY
11548, is recalling Couque D'asse Coffee Cookies because they
may contain undeclared dairy ingredients.  Consumers who are
allergic to dairy products may run the risk of serious or life-
threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product.

The recalled Couque D'asse Coffee Cookies, 2.26 oz. (64 g) &
5.08 oz. (144 g) boxes, Code: 2004.10.11A2005.10.10, were sold
in NY, MA, MD, NH, and CT.

The recall was initiated after routine sampling by New York
State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors and
subsequent analysis by laboratory personnel revealed the
presence of undeclared dairy ingredients in Couque D'asse Coffee
Cookies in packages, which did not declare dairy ingredients on
the label.  No illnesses have been reported to date in
connection with this problem.

Consumers who are allergic to dairy ingredients and purchased
Couque D'asse Coffee Cookies are urged to return them to the
place of purchase. Consumers with questions may contact the
company at (516) 484-9494.


IC CORORATION: Recalls 550 2003-2005 Buses Due Injury Hazard
------------------------------------------------------------
IC Corporation in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation is
voluntarily recalling about 550 2003-2005 IC / FE buses.

According to ODI, certain IC / FE school and commercial buses
manufactured from September 4, 2003, through February 5, 2005,
the engine cover lid is unsecured. As a consequence the lid may
close abruptly if it is bumped, possibly resulting in personal
injury.

As a remedy IC will notify its owners and will install a latch
and cable assembly to secure the engine cover lid while it is in
the open position.  For more details, contact IC by Phone:
260-461-1924 or the NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236.


INCO LTD.: To Hear Appeal in Canadian Injury Suit In Spring 2005
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Ontario Court of Appeal will hear plaintiffs' appeal of a
lower court's rejection of class certification for a lawsuit
filed against Inco, Ltd. and several other parties under Ontario
class action proceedings legislation in spring of 2005.

The lawsuit claimed CDN$600 million in compensatory damages and
CDN$150 million in punitive damages covering certain residents
who lived in the Port Colborne area since 1995 and allegedly
suffered a decline in their property values as a result of, and
health and other injuries from exposure to, metals and related
emissions from the refinery.

In June 2002, hearings were held in the Ontario Superior Court
of Justice to consider whether this action, or any portion of
it, should be certified to proceed as a class action.  In July
2002 the court rejected certifying any part of the action as a
class action. The nominal plaintiff appealed this decision and
the appeal, which revised the original pleadings and focused
only on the plaintiff's claim for damages for property value
diminution, resulting in a significant reduction in the number
of citizens that the plaintiff is purporting to represent, was
heard in June 2003.  In February 2004, the Ontario Divisional
Court rejected the plaintiff's appeal.  The plaintiff
subsequently sought leave (permission) to appeal to the Ontario
Court of Appeal. Leave to appeal was granted in September 2004
and it is currently expected that the appeal concerning whether
this action should be certified as a class action under
applicable Ontario law will be heard in the late spring of 2005.


INTERNET KIOSKS: FTC Raises Accusations of Internet Fraud
---------------------------------------------------------
The Federal Trade Commission has charged two groups of
California-based defendants working together with duping
hundreds of consumers into buying "Internet kiosk" business
opportunities with promises of lucrative earnings.

The FTC alleges that the defendants misrepresented the earnings
potential of the business opportunity and misrepresented the
availability and/or the profitability of locations for the
machines. One group of defendants has agreed to settle the
charges and is barred from selling any business venture or
franchise in the future. As part of the settlement, these
defendants agreed to withdraw all claims they have to more than
$1.5 million that the FBI seized from their bank accounts. The
case against the other set of defendants is ongoing; the FTC is
asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order to halt
their illegal conduct and to freeze their assets.

The FTC filed separate complaints against Edward Bevilacqua,
Bikini Vending Corp., 360 Wireless Corp., and MyMart, Inc.
(collectively the "Bevilacqua Entities"), who have agreed to
settle FTC charges; and Charles Castro, Elizabeth Castro,
Gregory High, Phillis Watson, Network Services Depot, Inc.,
Network Marketing, LLC, doing business as Network Services
Marketing, LLC, Net Depot, Inc., Network Services Distribution,
Inc., and Sunbelt Marketing, Inc. (collectively the "Castro
Entities"). The "Bevilacqua Entities" are located in Escondido,
California, and the "Castro Entities" are located in Brea,
California.

According to the FTC, the defendants sold "Internet kiosk"
business opportunities to consumers nationwide. Consumers
learned about the business opportunity through telephone, mail,
or in-person solicitations from local insurance agents and
financial planners the defendants recruited and trained as sales
agents. Using promotional materials received from the
defendants, the sales agents promised consumers secured
profitable locations, a guaranteed monthly income generated by
the kiosk usage, and annual returns of 12 percent or more. The
free-standing kiosks housed a computer and a mechanism to accept
payments. The Internet kiosks were designed to allow the public
to access the Internet, for a fee, from locations such as
hotels, bowling alleys, restaurants, casinos, and convenience
stores. According to the FTC, more than 450 consumers purchased
thousands of kiosks.

Using an interrelated series of agreements, the Castro Entities
sold the Internet kiosks to consumers at prices ranging from
$4,000 to $7,000 per unit, and the Bevilacqua Entities agreed to
install the kiosks in a designated location and manage and
service the kiosks. After entering into these agreements,
consumers believed that they owned the Internet kiosk business
opportunities at the designated locations and that the
businesses would be managed by the Bevilacqua Entities.

The FTC alleged that the venture was like a Ponzi scam since
some purchasers received monthly payments not from the revenue
generated by the kiosk usage, but paid to the first purchasers
by using the initial payments from new purchasers, leaving the
majority of buyers holding worthless interests in nonexistent
kiosks.

The FTC's complaints charge the defendants with violating the
FTC Act by falsely representing that:

     (1) consumers would acquire ownership of an Internet kiosk
         business opportunity;

     (2) consumers would receive monthly payments from revenue
         generated by their Internet kiosks;

     (3) consumers would earn substantial income; and

     (4) the defendants would find profitable locations for
         consumers' Internet kiosks.

The complaints also charge that the defendants knowingly
provided deceptive promotional materials to independent sales
agents, causing those agents to mislead consumers. In addition,
the complaints allege that the defendants violated the Franchise
Rule by failing to provide consumers with the required
disclosure document, which contains 20 categories of information
required by the Rule; failing to have a reasonable basis for
their earnings claims; and failing to provide consumers with
documents substantiating those claims.

The settlement permanently bars the Bevilacqua entities from
promoting or selling any business venture or franchise, and from
profiting from any sales of those ventures by other entities.
The settlement also bars the defendants from making deceptive or
misleading claims about any product, and from knowingly
providing third parties with deceptive information for the
purposes of marketing a product or service. The order also
prohibits the defendants from sharing any customer lists. In
addition, the order contains a total judgment of $18 million,
suspended due to Mr. Bevilacqua's inability to pay, which will
become due if it is found that he misrepresented his financial
situation.

The Commission vote authorizing staff to file the complaint and
the stipulated final order against the Bevilacqua entities, and
to file a complaint against the Castro entities was 5-0. The
complaints and the stipulated final order were filed in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Nevada on April 5, 2005.

For more details, contact the FTC's Consumer Response Center,
Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580
by Phone: 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or visit the Website:
http://www.ftc.gov. Also contact Brenda Mack, Office of Public
Affairs by Phone: 202-326-2182 or contact Lisa Rosenthal or
Kerry O'Brien, FTC's Western Region - San Francisco by Phone:
415-848-5100.


JEFFERSON-PILOT: Court To Hear Suit Certification Denial Appeal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear
plaintiffs' interlocutory appeal of the denial of class
certification for a lawsuit filed against Jefferson-Pilot Life
Insurance Company, as successor to Pilot Life Insurance Company,
styled "Thorn v. Jefferson-Pilot Life Insurance Company."

The suit, filed September 11, 2000 in the United States District
Court in Columbia, South Carolina, alleges that Pilot Life and
its successors decades ago unfairly discriminated in the sale of
certain small face amount life insurance policies and that these
policies were unreasonably priced. The suit alleges fraudulent
inducement, constructive fraud, and negligence in the marketing
of these policies.  The plaintiffs seek unspecified compensatory
and punitive damages, costs and equitable relief.

On December 2, 2004, the court issued an order denying Thorn's
motion to certify a class. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
has agreed to hear Plaintiff's interlocutory appeal.


JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Asks MA Court To Certify Litigation on AWP
-------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs asked the United States District Court in Boston,
Massachusetts to grant class certification for the multi-
district litigation (MDL) filed against Johnson & Johnson, its
pharmaceutical operating companies, and numerous other
pharmaceutical companies.

A series of lawsuits were initially filed in state and federal
courts involving allegations that the pricing and marketing of
certain pharmaceutical products amounted to fraudulent and
otherwise actionable conduct because, among other things, the
companies allegedly reported an inflated Average Wholesale Price
(AWP) for the drugs at issue.  Most of these cases, both federal
actions and state actions removed to federal court, were later
consolidated for pre-trial purposes in an MDL.

The plaintiffs in these cases include classes of private persons
or entities that paid for any portion of the purchase of the
drugs at issue based on AWP, and state government entities that
made Medicaid payments for the drugs at issue based on AWP. In
the MDL proceeding in Boston, plaintiffs have moved for class
certification of all or some portion of their claims.  A
decision is expected on that motion in the second or third
quarter of 2005.

The suit is styled "In re Pharmaceutical Industry Average
Wholesale Price Litigation, case no. MDL-1456," filed in the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts,
under Judge Patti B. Saris.


KENTUCKY: Vatican Asks Judge To Dismiss Priest Molestation Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Vatican has responded to a federal lawsuit in Louisville,
Kentucky over the priest molestation cases by saying that the
suit is flawed and should be dismissed, the Associated Pres
reports, the Associated Press reports.

In their filings, the Vatican is asking Judge John G. Heyburn II
to dismiss the suit, which Louisville lawyer William McMurry
filed last year on behalf of three men alleging abuse as far
back as 1928.  In filings with U.S. District Court, which is the
church's first in-depth response, attorneys for the Holy See,
the legal identity of the Vatican said, there are several
problems with the lawsuit.

As previously reported in the June 15, 2004 edition of the Class
Action reporter, the Law firm of William F. McMurry & Associates
filed a federal lawsuit seeking class action status in U.S.
District Court for the Western District of Kentucky against the
Vatican.  William F. McMurry accused the leaders of the Roman
Catholic Church of orchestrating a cover-up of priests who
allegedly molested thousands of American children. He is seeking
unspecified monetary damages from the Vatican, and requesting
that:

     (1) a federal judge supervise the Vatican's conduct for 10
         years and that

     (2) injunctions be issued requiring the Vatican to "cease
         its violations of the internationally recognized human
         rights of children" and "to report all allegations of
         childhood sexual abuse" in the United States.

The suit if granted class action is considered to be the first
ever class-action suit against the Vatican regarding sexual
abuse as well as the first sexual-abuse lawsuit to name the
Vatican as the sole defendant. Other sexual-abuse lawsuits have
named the Vatican only as a co-defendant with dioceses and
religious orders in cases that have been dismissed or are
pending.

Mr. McMurry, who in 2003 represented 243 abuse victims in
reaching a $25.7 million settlement with the Archdiocese of
Louisville, is seeking to have the suit certified as a class-
action case, alleging that "several thousand" victims exist
nationwide.

In its filing, the Vatican argues that the suit fails to cite
specific actions by them in regard to the abusive priests. The
Vatican also argues that the complaint does not have enough
specifics about the alleged abuse times, places and other
circumstances to proceed, AP reports.  In addition, the filings
also contend that Mr. McMurry did not comply with requirements
in U.S. law that must be followed for a foreign country to be
sued. The Vatican, which occupies a 109-acre enclave of Rome, is
recognized as a sovereign state with legal protections.  The
church's lawyers also say that Mr. McMurry provided a
"misleading" translation of documents in the suit into Latin, a
Vatican language, AP reports.

Though Mr. McMurry was unavailable for comment his associate,
Ross Turner, told AP most of the arguments made by the church
were expected. According to him, "I think I was probably most
taken aback by the claim that our translated complaint, which we
spent $15,000 to have translated into Latin, has been so
vigorously challenged as an unacceptable Latin translation. I
believe that there are genuine issues that the court needs to
address, but that isn't one of them."

One of the three plaintiffs is Michael Turner of Louisville, who
also filed the first of about 250 lawsuits against the
Archdiocese of Louisville between 2002 and 2003. The now-
imprisoned Rev. Louis E. Miller molested Mr. Turner in the
1970s, when Mr. Turner attended St. Aloysius Church in Pewee
Valley.  The late Pope John Paul II removed Rev. Miller from the
priesthood last year after pleading guilty in 2003 to sexually
abusing children in Jefferson and Oldham counties.

With regards to the other two plaintiffs, James H. O'Bryan and
Donald E. Poppe, they have not settled with any diocese, Mr.
McMurry has said. Both live in California and say that while
growing up in Louisville priests abused them. Mr. O'Bryan
contends a "Father Lawrence" at St. Cecilia Church in western
Louisville abused him in 1928. An archdiocesan spokeswoman has
said a Rev. Lawrence Kuntz worked at St. Cecelia from 1928 to
1935 and died in 1952. On the other hand, Mr. McMurry has
alleged that the late Rev. Arthur Wood, who died in 1983 and was
named as an abuser by 39 plaintiffs who settled with the
archdiocese, molested Mr. Poppe.


MCMORAN EXPLORATION: Trial in Investor Fraud Suit Set Sept. 2005
----------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the consolidated class action filed against McMoRan Oil
& Gas Co. is set for September 2005 in the Delaware Chancery
Court, in and for New Castle County.

Two suits were initially filed, namely "Daniel W. Krasner v.
James R. Moffett; Ren L. Latiolais; J. Terrell Brown; Thomas D.
Clark, Jr.; B.M. Rankin, Jr.; Richard C. Adkerson; Robert M.
Wohleber; Freeport-McMoRan Sulphur Inc. and McMoRan Oil & Gas
Co., Civ. Act. No. 16729-NC," (filed October 22, 1998); and
"Gregory J. Sheffield and Moise Katz v. Richard C. Adkerson, J.
Terrell Brown, Thomas D. Clark, Jr., Ren L. Latiolais, James R.
Moffett, B.M. Rankin, Jr., Robert M. Wohleber and McMoRan
Exploration Co." (filed December 15, 1998.)

These two lawsuits were consolidated in January 1999. The
complaint alleges that Freeport-McMoRan Sulphur Inc.'s directors
breached their fiduciary duty to Freeport-McMoRan Sulphur Inc.'s
stockholders in connection with the combination of Freeport-
McMoRan Sulphur Inc. and the Company.  The plaintiffs claim that
the directors failed to take actions that were necessary to
obtain the true value of Freeport-McMoRan Sulphur Inc.  The
plaintiffs also claim that the Company knowingly aided and
abetted the breaches of fiduciary duty allegedly committed by
the other defendants.

In January 2001, the court granted the defendants' motions to
dismiss with leave for the plaintiffs to amend.  In February
2001, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, and the
defendants then filed a motion to dismiss. In September 2002,
the court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss.  The
plaintiffs appealed the court's decision and in June 2003, the
Delaware Supreme Court reversed the trial court's dismissal and
remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.
The lawsuit has been certified as a class action. Fact discovery
has been completed and the defendants have filed a motion for
summary judgment.


MICROTUNE INC.: TX Court OKs Settlements of Shareholder Suits
-------------------------------------------------------------
Final judgments have been entered to approve settlements of two
shareholder class action lawsuits, both of which were
consolidated cases of various actions filed in Sherman in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, according
to Plano chipmaker Microtune Inc. and other defendants, the
Dallas Business Journal reports.  Both settlements though, the
chipmaker said, are still subject to appeal for 30 days after
final court approval.

As previously reported in the December 1, 2004 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, Microtune, a silicon and subsystems
company that designs and markets radio frequency (RF)-based
solutions for the worldwide broadband communications and
transportation electronics markets and four former high-ranking
executives agreed to pay $5.62 million, including attorneys'
fees, to settle a class-action shareholder lawsuit.

Under the terms of that settlement, the securities class action
litigation will be dismissed in exchange for a payment of
$5,625,000. Microtune's director and officer insurance carriers
have agreed to pay the $5,625,000 settlement amount, subject to
the Company's 15% co-pay obligation, under a separate settlement
agreement with the carriers reached on November 22, 2004.
Microtune established an accrual for its co-pay obligation
during the third quarter of 2004. Microtune's insurance carriers
also have agreed to reimburse certain of the Company's defense
costs. Microtune believes that the net effect of its co-pay
obligation and expense reimbursement from its insurance carriers
will have an insignificant impact on the Company's cash
reserves.

However, two shareholders who could have been part of the class-
action settlement did not join in. The two supposedly owned a
total of 2,500 shares in Microtune (NASDAQ: TUNE). Those claims
are still pending.

The litigation had alleged that the company artificially
inflated its stock price by, among other things, engaging in
fraudulent accounting and recognizing revenue too quickly.
Shareholders also claimed Microtune had insufficient internal
controls to ensure its financial statements met generally
accepted accounting principles, or to issue accurate press
releases in a timely fashion.

Meanwhile, as part of a settlement of a separate stockholder
case against current and former Microtune officers and
directors, the company has agreed to pay some $1.13 million for
the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and expenses. That suit, in
which Microtune was only a nominal defendant, alleged various
acts of mismanagement, including abuse of control and waste of
corporate assets. As in the other case, Microtune's D&O
insurance carrier is reimbursing Microtune for those costs and
according to the company the amount will not have a major impact
on the company's finances, either.


MID ATLANTIC: Recalls Pulpo Salad Due To Listeria Contamination
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mid Atlantic, Inc., 4250 Broadway, New York, NY 10033 is
recalling store-made Pulpo Salad sold on march 24, 2005 due to
Listeria contamination. The product was packed from bulk and
sold in an uncoded, circular, clear plastic container weighed at
time of sale. The Pulpo Salad was sold in the New York City
area.

Listeria is a common organism found in nature. It can cause
serious complications for pregnant women, such as stillbirth.
Other problems can manifest in people with compromised immune
systems. Listeria can also cause serious flu-like symptoms in
healthy individuals.

The problem was discovered after routine sampling by "New York
State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors and
subsequent analysis of the product by food laboratory personnel,
found the product to be positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

MID ATLANTIC, INC. has voluntarily closed its deli department
and kitchen area until they, and Department officials, determine
the source of the problem. No illnesses have been reported to
date.

Consumers who have purchased Pulpo Salad should not consume it,
but should return it to the store for a full refund. Consumers
with questions may contact the company at (212) 923-1600.


MISSISSIPPI: NMHS Departs From Settlement Talks With Plaintiffs
---------------------------------------------------------------
Almost seven months after entering a memorandum of understanding
(MOU), a framework for a potential settlement, with a
plaintiff's attorney group headed by the Scruggs Law Firm to
settle concerns over discounts provided to uninsured patients,
North Mississippi Health Services (NMHS) has reached an impasse
in its attempt to reach a final agreement with respect to
charity discounted care to the uninsured.

North Mississippi Health Services is the parent corporation for
North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC), a 650-bed hospital
located in Tupelo, Miss., along with five smaller community
hospitals in northeast Mississippi and northwest Alabama.

John Heer, NMHS president and chief executive officer said,
"Since the announcement of the MOU, the landscape has changed.
NMHS has experienced a significant increase in the volume of
charity care. It appears that patients are bypassing other
hospitals in the 24-county service area and coming to NMHS to
receive charity care." Prior to the MOU, NMHS had a charity
policy in place and has continued to use those charity
guidelines. In fiscal year 2004, NMHS provided $45 million in
charity care, which represents 4.32 percent of NMHS' gross
charges and is larger than NMHS' bottom line.

"The $45 million in charity represents a significant increase
when compared with the $32 million in charity care written off
by NMHS in fiscal year 2003. Based on FY'03 activity, NMHS
budgeted $35 million for charity care in FY '04. As the public
became aware of the memorandum of understanding, NMMC
experienced a marked increased for charity care in August and
September 2004 and the first four months of FY '05. We are
anticipating charity care to exceed $60 million this year," Mr.
Heer said.

As part of NMHS' voluntary commitment to the memorandum of
understanding, the NMHS board of directors approved a revised
conflict of interest policy* and is implementing an enhanced
charity policy* that provides uninsured patients with the same
discount provided under its average managed care contracts.

When NMMC entered the memorandum of understanding in August
2004, class action lawsuits had been filed against 40 hospitals
and health care systems across the United States alleging that
hospitals have failed to fulfill their charitable mission by not
providing health care to uninsured patients at discounted rates.
The courts have dismissed most of these suits. NMHS agreed to
the memorandum of understanding as a framework to attempt to
develop a settlement to avoid the distraction and cost
associated with a lawsuit.

"Our organization is dedicated to providing quality health care
to everyone, whether they have insurance or not," Mr. Heer said.
"We are withdrawing from these negotiations because the proposed
terms would have a devastating economic impact on our
organization and the services we provide. We have given and will
continue to provide charity care to those who meet our charity
care guidelines."

For more details, visit http://www.nmhs.net/breakingnews.asp.


NEW YORK: Hearing Scheduled For Challenge To License Crackdown
--------------------------------------------------------------
Acting State Supreme Court justice, Karen S. Smith heard oral
arguments at an April 7, 2005 hearing in New York, whether the
motor vehicles commissioner exceeded his authority last year by
starting a sweeping crackdown on the driving licenses of tens of
thousands of non-citizens in New York State, many of them
illegal immigrants, the New York Times reports.

Though she has already issued a preliminary ruling that the
commissioner probably did go too far in denying license renewals
and suspending licenses of non-citizens without a Social
Security card or a visa deemed satisfactory by a motor vehicles
clerk, the judge still needs to determine in the upcoming
hearing whether she should issue a preliminary injunction to
stop the practice until a final court decision in a class action
lawsuit challenging the crackdown is concluded.

The hearing has been awaited not only by the immigrants, but
also by thousands of employers in the metropolitan region who
depend on them as nannies, taxi drivers, construction workers
and in a host of other occupations.  Supporters of the state's
crackdown on license fraud, who cite the need to keep criminals
and terrorists from exploiting weaknesses in the system of
issuing identity documents, are also watching.

Lawyers for the state argued in court papers that state law
gives the commissioner broad power and discretion to verify the
documentation of identity before issuing a license. They further
argued that demanding proof of "legal presence" in the United
States from those without a Social Security number is "a valid
and reasonable requirement" within that authority, because only
valid, current immigration documents can be electronically
verified with the Department of Homeland Security through a
database known as SAVE.

Foster S. Maer, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, disagreed
told the Times, "Let's say the state said 'we only want to give
licenses to people born in New York State because we can verify
their birth certificates more easily. They can't just decide
back in their offices that they are going to deprive a whole
class of people of licenses, just because they think it's a good
idea - that's not the way government is supposed to work."

In a recently issued press statement, the commissioner, Raymond
P. Martinez, said he was confident that the requirements were
consistent with existing law and the interest of public safety.
He reiterated, "The Department of Motor Vehicles requires every
person applying for a driver's license to submit current, valid
and verifiable identification whether they are a U.S. citizen or
someone who is visiting our country. That is a simple, common-
sense policy that helps fight fraud and abuse."

As previously reported in the August 30, 2004 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and
Education Fund (PRLDEF), a privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit
and nonpartisan organization have described the policy as
unlawful since it usurps federal responsibility for immigration,
oversteps state law on issuing licenses and ignores due process.
The group along with other immigrant advocates has denounced the
policy as discriminatory against non-citizens and dangerous to
highway safety.

Considered to be the first legal challenge to a new policy that
is characterized as a means of ferreting out fraud and foiling
would-be terrorists, the class action lawsuit, which challenges
the crackdown names Gov. George E. Pataki and the motor vehicles
commissioner, Raymond P. Martinez, as defendants.


OMNICOM GROUP: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Omnicom Group, Inc. asked the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action filed against the Company and certain
senior executives in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, styled "In re Omnicom Group Inc.
Securities Litigation, No. 02-CV4483 (RCC)."

The suit was filed on behalf of a proposed class of purchasers
of the Company's common stock between February 20, 2001 and June
11, 2002. The consolidated complaint alleges among other things
that the Company's public filings and other public statements
during that period contained false and misleading statements or
omitted to state material information relating to:

     (1) the Company's calculation of the organic growth
         component of period-to-period revenue growth,

     (2) the Company's valuation of certain internet investments
         made by its Communicade Group, which it contributed to
         Seneca Investments LLC in 2001, and

     (3) the existence and amount of certain contingent future
         obligations in respect of acquisitions.

The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of compensatory
damages plus costs and attorneys' fees.  Defendants have moved
to dismiss the complaint.  The court has not yet decided the
motion.

In addition to the proceedings described above, a shareholder
derivative action was filed on June 28, 2002 in New York State
Court in New York City, by a plaintiff shareholder, purportedly
on the company's behalf. The complaint alleges, among other
things, breaches of fiduciary duty, disclosure failures, abuse
of control and gross mismanagement in connection with the
formation of Seneca Investments LLC by certain of the Company's
current and former directors. This case is stayed, pending a
ruling on the motion to dismiss the proposed class action. On
February 18, 2005, another shareholder filed an action asserting
similar claims. No response is yet required.


PEMSTAR INC.: Securities Settlement Hearing Set May 26, 2005
------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
will hold a fairness haring for the proposed $12 million
settlement in the matter: In Re: Pemstar Inc. Securities
Litigation (Master File No. 02-1821-DWF/SRN) on behalf of all
persons who purchased or acquired the shares of the company's
common stock during the period from June 8, 2001 through May 3,
2002.

According to the court, a hearing shall be held before the
Honorable Donovan W. Frank, on May 26, 2005, at 9:30 a.m. in
Courtroom 2, Seventh Floor of the United States District Court
for the District of Minnesota, 316 North Robert Street, St.
Paul, Minnesota 55101.

For more details, contact PEMSTAR Inc. Securities Litigation -
Claims Administrator c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC by Mail: P.O. Box
5100, Larkspur, CA 94977-5100 OR Rick Nelson of Lerach,
Coughlin, Stoia, Geller, Rudman & Robbins, LLP by Phone:
619-231-1058 or by E-mail: rickn@lerachlaw.com.


PENNSYLVANIA: Hearing To Mark End Of Public Defenders Agreement
---------------------------------------------------------------
An April 6, 2005 hearing has been scheduled in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania that will finally end a protracted court battle
over the city's public defenders office, the Associated Press
reports.  The legal dispute started in 1996, when Allegheny
County commissioners cut $1 million from the budget of the
public defenders' office.

The ACLU represented three plaintiffs, who lodged a class action
lawsuit alleging that the severe understaffing and cuts were
resulting in defendants not being represented properly and
having their rights violated.  Eventually, the parties involved
worked out an agreement in 1998 before the case went to trial
and the office has been working under that agreement ever since.
With the judge's approval during the April 6 hearing that
agreement will officially be ended.


SONOL ISRAEL: Consumers Launch Gasoil Antitrust Suit in Israel
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sonol Israel Ltd., Paz Oil Company, Ltd. and "Delek" the Israel
Fuel Corporation Ltd. faces a motion, filed in Israeli court, to
allow a class action relating to the alleged collusion in the
price fixing of gasoil to consumers.  This claim, after being
updated and, if allowed as a class action, will amount to
approximately NIS244 million, of which the Company's share is
approximately NIS57 million.

The Company rejected the claim outright and, in the opinion of
the Company's management, based on the opinion of its legal
counsel, chances are reasonable to good that it will not be
allowed as a class action, it said in a disclosure to the
Securities and Exchange Commission.


SUPERGAS: Plaintiffs To Appeal Israel Court Decision Nixing Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs sought permission to appeal the Tel Aviv district
court in Israel's refusal to allow a class action claim against
Supergas and four other gas companies in the amount of NIS8
million.

Several consumers filed the motion for a class action pursuant
to Regulation 29 of the Civil Procedures Law, and after its
amendment, additional grounds were added pursuant to the Law for
the Protection of the Consumer and the claim stood at an amount
of only NIS4.9 thousand for so-called violation of the gas
companies' obligation to conduct periodic inspections of the gas
equipment in the possession of consumers and for selling a
product while misleading consumers, causing damage, loss of
convenience and harm to safety, while endangering the lives of
consumers.

The plaintiffs request that the court order the defendant gas
companies to carry out the periodic inspections, to pay them
compensation for the above amount - approximately NIS0.8
thousand per plaintiff - and/or to give a declarative order
stipulating that the plaintiffs are entitled to a refund of the
amounts that they paid to the defendants from the date
agreements were entered into and additional similar orders.  In
addition, the plaintiffs requested the court to consider the
claim as a class action.

The court approved, only partially, the filing of a class action
for declarative relief only, under the Consumer Protection Law,
regarding the responsibility of the gas companies to refund to
their customers amounts paid by them for periodic examinations
which were not made, retroactive to the date of the engagement
with each consumer.  The court rejected the claim for monetary
relief and other relief against the gas companies.

In April 2003 the district court ruled that it is not possible
to approve the class action pursuant to Regulation 29 of the
Civil Proceedings Regulations, and this as the result of a
verdict by the Supreme Court regarding Regulation 29.  Recently,
the parties issued notices on their behalf regarding the
ramifications of the district court's ruling on the procedures
for the application for a right of appeal.  In addition, the
plaintiffs filed a request for a separate right to appeal on
their behalf regarding the above decision not to approve the
claim as a class action based on Regulation 29.


SUPERGAS: Israel Court Allows Three Antitrust Suits To Proceed
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Tel Aviv District Court in Israel allowed three class action
claims against Supergas and other gas companies to proceed.

The first suit, filed in June 2001, makes claims in the amount
of NIS131 million.  Concurrently, the Company was informed of
two additional claims filed against two other gas companies and
to which it was included on a formal basis only.  The plaintiffs
claim they are the Company's customers of central gas and
contend, inter-alia, that the Company and other gas companies
unlawfully charge their customers a periodic fixed charge which
was not agreed upon in contracts signed between them and the
Company.  Therefore, they contend that the Company should refund
the amounts paid and, in addition, should make an "appropriate"
compensatory payment in a manner as to be determined by the
court.

In a preliminary hearing, the court decided that the three
claims and the request to approve them as class actions,
submitted against the Company and two other gas companies will
be heard jointly.


SUPERGAS: Consumers Launch NIS1B Commercial Gas Antitrust Claim
---------------------------------------------------------------
Supergas faces a claim in the amount of at least NIS1 billion
filed in Tel Aviv District Court in Israel.  The claim also
seeks to be recognized as a class action and also names as
defendants Paz Oil Company Ltd.'s Amisragas and Dorgas.  The
claim alleges that between the years 1994 and 2003 restrictive
trade arrangements were in force in the private and the
commercial gas markets.

The Company submitted its response to the request rejecting it
outright.  The claim is not accompanied by any firm evidence
supporting its contentions, and has serious flaws and,
therefore, the company's management believes, based on the
opinion of its legal counsel, that its prospects are poor, the
Company said in a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange
Corporation.


TECO ENERGY: FL Court Orders Shareholder Lawsuits Consolidated
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Middle District of
Florida consolidated several securities class actions filed
against TECO Energy, Inc. and certain of its current and former
officers by purchasers of the Company's securities.

The suits were filed on behalf of all persons who purchased the
securities of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE) between October 30,
2001 and February 4, 2003, including anyone who purchased in the
October 10, 2002 or June 5, 2002 equity offerings or the January
10, 2002, May 8, 2002 or January 10, 2002 debt offerings.  The
suits uniformly allege that, during the Class Period,
Defendants, TECO, Robert D. Fagan, and Gordon L. Gillette,
violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (December 8,2004) states.

On February 1, 2005, the court entered its order appointing the
lead plaintiff, comprising NECA-IBEW Pension Fund (The Decatur
Plan), Monroe County Employees Retirement System, John Marder
and Charles Korpak, and also the lead counsel.


TELLABS INC.: Court Hears Appeal of IL Securities Suit Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard
plaintiffs' appeal of the dismissal of a consolidated class
action filed against Tellabs, Inc., Michael Birck and Richard
Notebaert, its former chief executive officer, president and
director, and certain of its other officers and directors.

The suit was filed in the United States District Court of the
Northern District of Illinois, alleging that during the class
period (December 11, 2000-June 19, 2001) the defendants violated
the federal securities laws by making materially false and
misleading statements, including, among other things, allegedly
providing revenue forecasts that were false and misleading,
misrepresenting demand for the Company's products, and reporting
overstated revenues for the fourth quarter 2000 in the Company's
financial statements.  Further, certain of the individual
defendants were alleged to have violated the federal securities
laws by trading the Company's securities while allegedly in
possession of material, non-public information about the Company
pertaining to these matters.

On January 17, 2003, the Company and the other named defendants
filed a motion to dismiss the consolidated amended class action
complaint in its entirety.  On May 19, 2003, the Court granted
the motion and dismissed all counts of the consolidated amended
complaint, while affording plaintiffs an opportunity to replead.
On July 11, 2003, plaintiffs filed a second consolidated amended
class action complaint against the Company, Mr. Birck and Mr.
Notebaert, and many (although not all) of the other previously
named individual defendants, re-alleging claims similar to those
contained in the previously dismissed consolidated amended class
action complaint.  The Company filed a second motion to dismiss
on August 22, 2003, seeking the dismissal with prejudice of all
claims alleged in the second consolidated amended class action
complaint.  On February 19, 2004, the Court issued an order
granting that motion and dismissed the action with prejudice.
On March 18, 2004, the plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal to
the United States Federal Court of Appeal for the Seventh
Circuit appealing the dismissal. The appeal was fully briefed,
oral argument was heard on January 21, 2005 and the parties are
awaiting a decision.


TELLABS INC.: Shareholders Launch Suit V. Advanced Fiber Merger
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tellabs, Inc. faces a class action filed in the Court of
Chancery in the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County,
on behalf of a putative class of Advanced Fiber Communications,
Inc. (AFC) stockholders.  The suit also names as defendants AFC
and certain of AFC's current officers and directors.

The complaint alleges that the Defendants breached their
fiduciary duties to AFC's public stockholders by acting to cause
or facilitate the merger of the Company and AFC for inadequate
consideration, and that the Company acted to aid and abet the
alleged breaches of fiduciary duty.  In particular, plaintiff
alleges that the merger consideration originally offered by the
Company to AFC's public stockholders prior to the amendment and
restatement of the merger agreement is unfair and inadequate
because, according to the plaintiff:

     (1) the intrinsic value of the stock of AFC is materially
         in excess of the $21.24 per share being proposed,
         giving due consideration to the possibilities of growth
         and profitability of AFC in light of its business,
         earnings and earnings power, present and future;

     (2) the $21.24 per share price is inadequate and offers an
         inadequate premium to the public shareholders of AFC;
         and

     (3) the $21.24 per share price is not the result of any
         structured auction process by which AFC sought to
         obtain the best deal possible for its shareholders.

The plaintiff sought either to enjoin the merger or to rescind
the transaction, in the event the merger is completed, and also
asserts claims for unspecified compensatory and/or rescissory
damages, and an award of costs, including attorneys' fees.


TORCHMARK CORPORATION: AL Court OKs Consumer Lawsuit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court of Choctaw County, Alabama approved the
settlement of the consolidated class action filed against
Torchmark Corporation and Liberty National Life Insurance
Company.

The two companies were parties to purported class action
litigation filed in the Circuit Court of Choctaw County, Alabama
on behalf of all persons who currently or in the past were
insured under Liberty cancer policies which were no longer being
marketed, regardless of whether the policies remained in force
or lapsed.  The suit is styled "Roberts v. Liberty National Life
Insurance Company, Case No. CV-2002-009-B."  The suit was based
on allegations of breach of contract in the implementation of
premium rate increases, misrepresentation regarding the premium
rate increases, fraud and suppression concerning the closed
block of business and unjust enrichment.  On December 30, 2003
the Alabama Supreme Court issued an opinion granting the
Company's and Liberty's petition for a writ of mandamus,
concluding that the Choctaw Circuit Court did not have subject
matter jurisdiction and ordering that Circuit Court to dismiss
the action.  The plaintiffs then filed their purported class
action litigation against Liberty and the Company in the Circuit
Court of Barbour County, Alabama on December 30, 2003, under the
caption "Roberts v. Liberty National Life Insurance Company,
Civil Action No. CV-03-0137."

On April 16, 2004 the parties filed a written Stipulation of
Agreement of Compromise and Settlement with the Barbour County,
Alabama Circuit Court seeking potential settlement of the
Roberts case.  A fairness hearing on the potential settlement
was held by the Barbour County Circuit Court on July 15, 2004.
After receipt of briefs on certain issues and submission of
materials relating to objections to the proposed settlement to
the Court-appointed independent special master, the Court
reconvened the previously-continued fairness hearing on
September 23, 2004.  After the September 23, 2004 hearing, the
Court, after hearing from the objectors to the potential
settlement, ordered the appointment of an independent actuary to
advise and report back to the Court on certain issues.  The
report of the independent actuary was subsequently furnished to
the special master and the Court on a timely basis.

On November 22, 2004, the Court entered an order and final
judgment in Roberts whereby the Court consolidated Roberts with
"Robertson v. Liberty National Life Insurance Company, CV-92-
021," for purposes of the Roberts Stipulation of Settlement and
certified the Roberts class as a new subclass of the class
previously certified by that Court in Robertson.  The Court
approved the Stipulation and Settlement and ordered and enjoined
Liberty to perform its obligations under the Stipulation.
Subject to the Stipulation, Liberty and the Company were
permanently enjoined from instituting, engaging or participating
in, maintaining, authorizing or continuing premium rate
increases inconsistent with the Stipulation; failing to
implement temporary premium waivers in accordance with the
Stipulation; failing to implement the new benefits procedure
described in the Stipulation; and failing to implement the
special schedules and special provisions of the Stipulation for
subclass members who have cancer and are receiving benefits and
for subclass members who have no other cancer or medical
insurance and/or are not covered by Medicare.

The Court dismissed plaintiffs' claims, released the defendants,
enjoined Roberts subclass members from any further prosecution
of released claims and retained continuing jurisdiction of all
matters relating to the Roberts settlement. In an order issued
February 1, 2005, the Court denied the objectors' motion to
alter, amend or vacate its earlier final judgment on class
settlement and certification. The Companies are proceeding to
implement the settlement terms.


UNITED AMERICAN: Plaintiffs Initiate Amended Fraud Lawsuit in TX
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed an amended class action against United American
Insurance Company in the District Court of Starr County, Texas,
styled "Rodriguez v. Burdine, et al., DC-05-8."

The suit was initially filed on January 7, 2005, behalf of the
Texas purchasers of association group health insurance policies
or certificates issued by the Company through Heartland Alliance
of America and Farm & Ranch Healthcare, Inc.  The plaintiffs
assert claims of civil conspiracy, conversion and theft,
violations of the Texas Insurance and Administrative Codes,
breach of fiduciary duties, fraud and gross negligence and
breach of contract as well as filing a members representative
action on behalf of all the members of the Heartland
Association.  The plaintiffs allege that the defendants have
collected excessive and unauthorized association dues payments
from policyholders.  A declaratory judgment, monetary damages,
imposition of a constructive trust, equitable forfeiture and
attorney's fees are sought by the plaintiffs.

On February 17, 2005, named defendant Martha Burdine filed an
amended answer and a complaint (the cross complaint) against
various other defendants including United American (the cross
defendants) on behalf of a purported class of former agents and
managers of those cross defendants (the cross plaintiffs).
These cross plaintiffs assert a pattern of contract breaches and
misconduct by the cross defendants including claims for breach
of contract, intentional and negligent misrepresentation, fraud,
negligence, breach of duties of trustees, trespass to chattels,
conversion, intentional interference with a business
relationship and intentional interference with a valid business
expectancy.  The cross plaintiffs seek actual, punitive and
exemplary damages, attorneys' fees and costs and other legal and
equitable relief.


UNITED AMERICAN: FL Court Refuses To Certify Consumer Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court of Duval County, Florida refused to grant
class certification to a lawsuit filed against United American
Insurance Company, styled "Moore v. United American Insurance
Company, Case No. 16-2003-CA-001955-XXX-MA, Division CV-E."

The plaintiff, representing a class with in excess of 8,000
members, asserts that the annual additional fee that the Company
charges him and its other Medicare Supplement insurance
policyholders for electronic processing of claims is a premium
charge subject to filing with and approval by the State of
Florida's Department of Financial Services (formerly the
Department of Insurance) and that such charge has never been
filed by the Company with and approved by the Department. The
plaintiff alleges claims for breach of contract and the implied
covenant of good faith and fair dealing as well as for
declaratory relief.  Compensatory damages including the refund
of all premium charges found to be illegal, a declaratory
judgment, interest, costs, and attorney's fee are sought.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss this action, which was
granted by the Circuit Court on July 14, 2003. The case was
subsequently re-filed by the plaintiff and the Company filed
another motion to dismiss the case, which was denied by the
Circuit Court on October 22, 2003.  The Company filed
appropriate responsive pleadings with the Circuit Court and on
March 3, 2005, the Circuit Court issued an order denying
certification of a plaintiffs class.


VERITAS SOFTWARE: Earmarks $35M To Settle Securities Suits in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
In its annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission, Veritas Software Corporation, the storage software
maker being bought by Symantec Corporation revealed that it had
set aside $35 million on March 25 to settle a class action
lawsuit, the Reuters News Agency reports.

According to Veritas' filing, a U.S. court has tentatively
approved a class-action settlement of suits against Veritas
after it announced in January 2003 it would restate financial
results.  "Our insurance carriers funded $24.9 million of the
settlement fund, and we funded $10.1 million of the settlement
fund, which one of our insurance companies is obligated to repay
to us on or before April 15, 2005," Veritas told Reuters.

Additionally, as part of the settlement, Veritas stated in its
annual report that it took steps, such as increasing the number
of accounting personnel, improve financial reporting controls.
The Mountain View, California-based company also said it would
also establish a "compliance desk" to boost controls.

As previously reported in the August 4, 2004 edition of the
Class Action Reporter several lawsuits were initiated in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on behalf of purchasers of Veritas' securities
between April 21, 2004 and July 6, 2004.

Defendants in the suits had included Veritas, Edwin G. Gillis
and Gary L. Bloom. The suits charges that defendants violated
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10-b (5). Specifically, the suits had alleged that
during the Class Period, defendants issued materially false
statements concerning Veritas' financial condition.
Specifically, although the Company was involved in negotiations
for significant contracts, defendants knew or recklessly
disregarded the fact that those negotiations had not advanced
enough to reasonably conclude they would close. Nevertheless,
defendants caused the Company to confirm expectations that its
revenue for second quarter 2004 would be $490 to $505 million
and earnings per share for the quarter would be $0.21 to $0.23.

On July 6, 2004, just three weeks after defendants confirmed
their second quarter 2004 expectations, defendants stunned the
market by announcing that the Company's second quarter 2004
revenues would actually be "in the range of $475 million to $485
million" and that its GAAP earnings per share would, in fact,
"be in the range of $0.17 to $0.19." As a result of this news,
the Company's share price plunged from $26.55 to $17.00, or 36%
in heavy trading volume.


                       Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MARF Initiates Over USUS$1M in New Research
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos research will be given a strong boost following a
national nonprofit organization's awarding of grants for
projects aimed at curing mesothelioma, a cancer related to
asbestos exposure. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
aims to create new hope for those who suffer from the disease
and those at risk of developing it.

The organization will be providing US$100,000 for each of the
nine new research projects, which scientific experts chose to be
the most important and promising among the 32 applications
received. For each of these two-year projects, the researcher
has agreed to MARF's strict budgeting and progress reporting
requirements. The funds for the first year have been paid, and
work is now underway. MARF also awarded an additional US$135,000
for two special projects in this round of grant funding,
bringing the total for new mesothelioma research to over
US$1,000,000.

MARF recognizes the need for research since the disease
continues to put millions of Americans at risk. Hardest hit are
U.S. veterans and workers who were exposed occupationally or in
Navy ships and shipyards. MARF noted the risks following the
destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11 as well as in the
prevalence of asbestos-riddled attic insulation in up to 35
million U.S. homes.

According to Executive Director Chris Hahn, MARF's recent grant
will allow Dr. Black to apply the latest development in serum
research to the situation in Libby, Montana. This will serve as
a powerful tool for early detection and diagnosis of the
disease, as well as monitor response to treatment and
recurrence. A second MARF grant will support novel immunotherapy
research by Dr. Richard S. Kornbluth of the Veterans Medical
Research Foundation in San Diego, CA. In addition to these two,
MARF announced grants to support seven other innovative,
promising research projects in the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and
the Netherlands.

According to Mr. Hahn, "These projects demonstrate yet again
that there is no shortage of brilliant researchers, innovative
trials or new technologies. Our only restraint in curing meso is
the lack of funding. This was our most ambitious round of grants
ever and was made possible through the generosity of patients
and their families, a handful of trial lawyers, and a small
group of concerned corporations. "

Mr. Hahn also mentioned the foundation's need for federal
government's commitment to assist in funding research.

Details on all nine new projects are available at
http://www.marf.org.For more information, see
http://www.marf.orgor contact MARF Executive Director Chris
Hahn, 805-560-8942, c-hahn@marf.org, or MARF Communications
Director Klaus Brauch, 714-969-1481, k-brauch@marf.org.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL Bill Gains Initial Committee Approval
-------------------------------------------------------------
A leading insurance trade organization commended the approval of
the Asbestos and Silica Compensation Fairness Act of 2005 or HB
1019 on its initial legislative hearing by the House of
Representatives' Civil Justice Committee. The measure is part of
the broader civil justice reform agenda being advocated by Gov.
Jeb Bush and the Florida business community.

The American Insurance Association considers this development as
one of the first steps in achieving asbestos litigation reform
in Florida.

"There is a pressing need to return the asbestos claims and
litigation process in Florida to a fair and equitable method for
compensating those who are truly sick," said Cecil Pearce, AIA
vice president, Southeast Region.

"Certain jurisdictions in the state have become magnets for
dubious asbestos-related claims. This legislation puts those who
are truly ill and have a legitimate right to bring their claim
in Florida at the head of the line."

HB 1019 requires those suffering from asbestos-related illnesses
to meet a minimum level of objective medical criteria before
filing an action. The bill also eliminates the statute of
limitations, preserving the ability of individuals who do not
yet show signs of impairment to file a claim when and if they
ever do become sick. The bill requires that those who file
asbestos-related claims in Florida courts are Florida residents
or are able to document that their exposure occurred in Florida.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill, HB 1019,
through a vote 7-1 but still has one more committee hearing
before it can to the floor for a vote. The bill is part of a
broader national effort to limit asbestos litigation, and a
larger business-led fight to put limits on lawsuits in general.

This early however, plenty of people suffering from asbestos-
related diseases are criticizing the bill since it only allows
people who were around asbestos for five years to sue. If this
legislation becomes law, a considerable number might not count
as victims since they weren't exposed long enough.

Rep. Joe Pickens, a Republican from Palatka who sponsored the
bill, said, "This is not designed to exclude the genuinely sick
people who have valid claims. It is designed to address what I
truly believe is the abuses that are occurring."

The measure intends to limit what some say has become a free-
for-all in filing for claims in one of the biggest product
liability arenas ever. President George W. Bush is strongly
pushing for change, saying that "asbestos litigation alone has
led to the bankruptcy of cozens of companies and cost tens of
thousands of jobs."

President Bush has said one of his top priorities is to end "the
lawsuit culture in our country."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ballantyne Sustains Defense V. NY, IL Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ballantyne of Omaha Inc. (OTC: BTNE) is a defendant in two
asbestos-related cases, Bercu v. BICC Cables Corporation, et
al., in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, and one
entitled Julia Crow, individually and as special administrator
of the Estate of Thomas Smith, deceased v. Ballantyne of Omaha,
Inc. in Madison County, Illinois. In both cases, there are
numerous defendants including Ballantyne, a manufacturer and
marketer of motion picture theatre projection room equipment.

According to the filing it submitted to the Securities and
Exchange Commission, neither case has progressed to a stage
where either the likely outcome or the amount of damages can be
determined. An adverse resolution of these matters could have a
material effect on the financial position of the Company.

Higher administrative costs relate to the settlement of one of
the Company's asbestos cases and also due to a claim for about
US$0.4 million in 2003 for preferential payments relating to a
customer who filed bankruptcy in 2002. Ballantyne has recorded
an accrual with respect to this contingency.

In a previous edition of the Class Action Reporter on Nov. 26,
2004, Ballantyne disclosed that it settled an asbestos-related
lawsuit in February 2004 in a case in the Supreme Court of the
State of New York entitled Prager v. A. W. Chesterton Company,
et al, including Ballantyne.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: General Cable Corp. Battles 49,500 Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
General Cable Corporation (NYSE: BGC) has been a defendant in
asbestos litigation for about 15 years. As of Dec. 31, 2004,
Company was a defendant in about 49,500 lawsuits. About 33,200
of these lawsuits have been brought on behalf of plaintiffs by a
single admiralty law firm and seek unspecified damages.

Headquartered in Highland Heights, KY, General Cable Corp. is a
manufacturer of aluminum, copper, and fiber-optic wire and cable
products. It operates through three segments: energy, industrial
and specialty, and communications.

Plaintiffs in these cases generally allege that they formerly
worked in the maritime industry and sustained asbestos-related
injuries from products that General Cable ceased manufacturing
in the mid-1970s. These cases, referred to as MARDOC cases, are
managed and supervised by a federal judge in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by
reason of a transfer by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation. To date, General Cable has not been identified as a
manufacturer of asbestos-containing products to which any of
these plaintiffs were exposed.

General Cable has resolved the claims of about 11,200
plaintiffs. The cumulative average settlement for these matters
is less than US$210 per case. As of Dec. 31, 2004, the Company
had accrued on its balance sheet a liability of US$3.0 million
for asbestos-related claims. This amount represents the
Company's best estimate in order to cover resolution of future
asbestos-related claims.

In addition, Company subsidiaries have been named as defendants
in lawsuits alleging exposure to asbestos in products
manufactured by the Company. At Dec. 31, 2004, there were about
16,300 non-maritime claims and 33,200 maritime asbestos claims
outstanding. During 2004, some 418 new non-maritime claims and
173 maritime claims were filed; 22 non-maritime claims and no
maritime claims were dismissed, settled or otherwise disposed of
in that period. At Dec. 31, 2004 and 2003, General Cable had
accrued about US$3.0 million and US$1.6 million, respectively,
for these lawsuits.

General Cable is also a defendant in about 15,000 cases brought
in various jurisdictions throughout the United States. About
5,000 of these cases have been brought in federal court in
Mississippi or other federal courts and then been transferred to
the JPMDL, but are on a different docket from the MARDOC cases.
The vast majority of cases on this JPMDL docket have been
inactive for over four years.

With regard to the about 10,000 remaining cases, General Cable
has aggressively defended these cases based upon either lack of
product identification as to General Cable manufactured
asbestos-containing product or lack of exposure to asbestos dust
from the use of a General Cable product. In the last 10 years,
General Cable has had no cases proceed to verdict. In many of
the cases, General Cable was dismissed as a defendant before
trial for lack of product identification.

Plaintiffs have asserted monetary damage claims in 365 cases as
of the end of 2004. In 346 of these cases, plaintiffs allege
only damages in excess of some dollar amount (about US$265,000
per plaintiff); there are no claims for specific dollar amounts
requested as to any defendant. In 19 other cases pending in
state and federal district courts (outside the JPMDL),
plaintiffs seek about US$47 million in damages from each of
about 110 defendants. In addition, in each of these 19 cases,
there are claims of US$55 million in punitive damages from all
of the defendants. However, almost all of the plaintiffs in
these cases allege non-malignant injuries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Battles 280 Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp. or its former subsidiary, NATCO
Limited Partnership, are named as defendants in about 280
lawsuits, the majority of which were filed between 1989 and
2000, and 18 of which were filed in the last three years. In
these lawsuits, the plaintiffs allege personal injury, primarily
fibrosis or asbestosis, from exposure to asbestos on its
vessels.

As previously reported in the April 2, 2004 edition of the Class
Action Reporter, the Oak Brook, IL-based Company recorded about
260 lawsuits, seven of which were filed in the last three years.

The vast majority of these lawsuits have been filed in the
Northern District of Ohio and a few in the Eastern District of
Michigan. These cases have been transferred to the asbestos
multi-district litigation pending in the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania. The Company cannot determine its potential
liability in these cases because the claims generally do not
specify the amount of damages sought. The plaintiffs have not
sought for discovery in any of these cases, and none of these
cases has been litigated to date as to the Company. Management
does not believe that these cases will have a material adverse
impact on the business.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock's services include beach improvement
or renourishment, rock dredging, harbor excavation, land
reclamation, demolition, and restoration of aquatic and wetland
habitats.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Goodyear Indemnifies Claims Against K&F
------------------------------------------------------------
K&F Industries Inc. disclosed that since 1993, it has faced
product liability lawsuits brought by about 170 non-employee
plaintiffs alleging personal injury from exposure to asbestos.
In connection with these lawsuits, the Company sought and
received defense and indemnity from Goodyear, which produced
aircraft braking systems equipped with asbestos-containing brake
linings between 1940 and 1985 at the Akron, Ohio facility now
operated by Aircraft Braking Systems.

Goodyear has been named as a defendant in all of these claims.
In addition, these claims name Loral Corporation (now part of
Lockheed Martin Corporation), from whom it bought the aircraft
braking system production assets in 1989. In 2003, K&F
participated with Lockheed Martin Corporation in the resolution
of numerous worker-related claims, including 157 claims made
against it, for an aggregate cost of US$120,000. There are
currently no further employee asbestos exposure claims pending
against the Company. So far, the Company has incurred only
administrative costs in connection with these claims.

Accordingly, the costs that the Company has expended to date in
connection with asbestos exposure claims have not had a material
adverse effect on its business, financial condition or results
of operations. Goodyear has defended and resolved the products
claims for the Company but Goodyear has recently reserved its
rights to dispute whether such defense and indemnification are
required. The Company has obtained limited indemnification
regarding these and other issues, upon the terms and conditions
of the purchase agreement, from the prior stockholders of K&F
selling their shares in the acquisition.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NL Industries Deals With 500 Pending Cases
---------------------------------------------------------------
NL Industries, Inc. (NYSE: NL) revealed in its latest filing to
the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has been named as
a defendant in various lawsuits in a variety of jurisdictions,
alleging personal injuries as a result of occupational exposure
primarily to products containing asbestos, silica or mixed dust
that were manufactured by formerly owned operations.

Headquartered in Dallas, TX, NL Industries is a diversified
holding company, which conducts operations through its majority-
owned subsidiary, Kronos Worldwide, a global producer and
marketer of value-added titanium dioxide pigments.

About 500 of these cases involving a total of about 22,000
plaintiffs and their spouses remain pending, down from cases
involving about 32,000 plaintiffs from a year ago. Of these
plaintiffs, about 4,700 are represented by five cases pending in
Mississippi state courts, and about 5,000 are represented by
three cases that have been removed to federal court in
Mississippi where they have been, or are in the process of being
transferred to the multi-district litigation pending in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania.

The Company has not accrued any amounts for this litigation
because liability that might result to the Company, if any,
cannot be reasonably estimated. In addition, the Company has
received notices regarding asbestos or silica claims purporting
to be brought against former subsidiaries of the Company,
including notices provided to insurers with which the Company
has entered into settlements extinguishing certain insurance
policies. These insurers may seek indemnification from the
Company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Leap Technology Wary of Suit Reinstatements
----------------------------------------------------------------
Leap Technology Inc. divulged in its regulatory filing to the
Securities and Exchange Commission that it is involved in
litigation relating to the offshore supply business conducted
prior to August 14, 1996 by certain subsidiaries of the Company
that are now inactive. The cases were filed against such
subsidiaries and other ship-owning companies based on the
alleged exposure of 64 former seamen to maritime asbestos and
other toxic substances while working on vessels operated by such
companies as part of an industry-wide series of similar claims.

On May 1, 1996, the claims against the Fort Lauderdale, FL-based
Company's subsidiaries and the other defendants were
administratively dismissed subject to reinstatement against one
or more specific defendants upon a specific showing that a
plaintiff suffers from an asbestos-related disease and that he
was exposed to asbestos containing products on the vessels
operated by such defendants. Since such date, none of the cases
against the Company's subsidiaries have been reinstated.

During the past five years, the Company has incurred between
US$1,200 and US$3,600 per year in legal fees monitoring the
status of the claims against the Company's subsidiaries. At the
present time, the Company does not believe such cases are likely
to have a material adverse impact upon the Company. However,
there can be no assurance that one or more plaintiffs will not
be successful in reinstating claims against the Company's
subsidiaries, which could result in the incurrence by the
Company's subsidiaries of material defense or settlement costs.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Metso Corp. Cites 124 Cases Still Pending
--------------------------------------------------------------
Metso Corporation (NYSE: MX) disclosed that as of Jan. 31, 2005,
there had been a total of 350 complaints alleging asbestos
injuries filed in the U.S. in which a Metso entity is one of the
named defendants. The Helsinki, Finland-based Company cited that
where a given plaintiff has named more than one viable Metso
unit as a defendant, the cases are counted by the number of
viable Metso defendants.

Of these claims, 124 are still pending and 226 cases have been
closed. Of the closed cases, two were by summary judgment, 168
were dismissed, and 56 were settled. For the 56 cases settled,
the average compensation has been US$539 per case. The outcome
of the still pending cases is not expected to materially deviate
from the outcome of the previous claims. Hence, management
believes that Metso has no material asbestos-related liability
in the United States.

The April 23, 2004 edition of the Class Action Reporter showed
that as of Feb. 20, 2004, the Company reported 288 complaints,
of which 123 were pending and 165 were closed. Of the closed
cases, 112 were dismissed and 53 were settled for an average
compensation of US$540 per case.

Metso makes fiber and paper machinery, rock crushers, and
automation and control products for the paper and packaging,
construction, and mining industries. It also manufactures
equipment for processing fiber and making panel board and other
products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens Corning's Potential Claims Set at $7B
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge John Fullam, of the US District Court in Philadelphia, has
determined that Owens Corning is likely to owe US$7 billion for
asbestos damages brought on by exposure to insulation produced
by the firm until the early 1970s. This amount represented a
midpoint between estimates of opposing creditor groups.

Financial creditors of the company argued that the company's
asbestos liabilities should be pegged at a number between US$2.2
billion and US$2.6 billion. Lawyers for asbestos claimants asked
for an estimate of US$11 billion from the judge, who took
extensive evidence on the issue.

Considered a key action in the extended bankruptcy case, the
ruling applies to the Company only and excludes liabilities of
the firm's Fibreboard subsidiary. The decision filed in the US
Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, DE followed a trial in January.

"We are very pleased that we have the ruling because it will
allow us to move forward in the bankruptcy process," said
Kristin Kelley, a spokesman for the Toledo, OH-based building
materials manufacturer.

OC was neutral in the dispute over the amount of the asbestos
valuation, and officials said they were prepared to accept any
decision arrived at by the court. The decision could force the
firm to increase a US$3.6 billion accounting reserve currently
on its books.

Whether the decision is able to break the deadlock among
creditors that has stalled the Chapter 11 case for nearly five
years will depend on how opposing groups react. The banks, which
oppose OC's bankruptcy-exit proposal because they claim it
allots too much to asbestos claimants, could take the case to
the U.S. Court of Appeals. Asbestos claimants support the
bankruptcy-exit proposal, but could now withdraw that support
because the valuation falls below a threshold agreed two years
ago.

James McMonagle, a Cleveland lawyer appointed to represent the
interests of people who will assert asbestos claims in the
future, considered the decision a significant step although he
believes the judge didn't fully agree with what their experts
had to say. He remains hopeful, however, that negotiations would
resume toward a consensual plan.

Because OC will be absolved from paying claims when it emerges
from bankruptcy, the valuation will determine how much is placed
into an independent trust fund that will handle claims. Under
the current plan, the fund will receive 38.5 percent of the
valuation.

In deciding on US$7 million, Judge Fullam wrote, "We are dealing
with uncertainties and are attempting to make predictions which
are themselves based upon predictions and assumptions."

The Company filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2000,
weighed down by hundreds of thousands of lawsuits stemming from
its main asbestos-containing product, Kaylo brand insulation,
sold from the late 1950s to early 1970s.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Property Council Supports ACT Law Changes
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Australian Capital Territory division of the Property
Council of Australia said that amendments to new asbestos laws
that came into effect earlier this week would likely be made in
the next few months. The council wants to resolve issues with
some aspects of the legislation and its operation.

As previously reported in the March 4, 2005 edition of the Class
Action Reporter, a major campaign was launched to raise
community awareness of the new legislation obliging homeowners
to pass on knowledge of the presence or state of asbestos in
their homes.

According to this law, owners and occupiers will have to obtain
information about asbestos at their premises and give it to a
person undertaking high-risk activities at their premises such
as a builder or renovator. They would also have to obtain an
asbestos inspection report for property being offered for sale.

Catherine Carter from the property council said the Government-
appointed asbestos task force will make a final report in August
this year and she hopes then the matter will be resolved. She
cited one issue, which says that under the new law, even
buildings that were built after asbestos material was outlawed
are included.

"Now that's obviously just a silly thing because someone who
built a property in 2001 shouldn't be required to provide an
asbestos report," she said.

However, Ms. Carter recognizes that, "The Government was well
intentioned in passing laws like this."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Armstrong Receives $4.5M Insurance Recovery
----------------------------------------------------------------
Armstrong World Industries, the major operating subsidiary of
Armstrong Holdings Inc., received asbestos-related insurance
recoveries of US$4.5 million and US$22.0 million, respectively,
during 2004 and 2003. While the Chapter 11 case is pending, AWI
does not expect to make any further cash payments for asbestos-
related claims. However, it expects to continue to receive
insurance proceeds under the terms of various settlement
agreements.

AWI has a recorded asset of US$98.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2004
representing estimated insurance recoveries related to its
asbestos liability. About US$79 million of the US$98.6 million
asset is determined from agreed coverage in place. During the
second quarter of 2003, AWI reduced its previously recorded
insurance asset for asbestos-related personal injury claims by
US$73 million reflecting management's current assessment of
probable insurance recoveries in light of an unfavorable ruling
in an alternative dispute resolution procedure.

There were no asbestos-related charges in 2004. Historically,
workers' compensation claims against AWI or its subsidiaries
have not been significant in number or amount, and AWI has
continued to honor its obligations with respect to such claims
during the Chapter 11 Case. Currently, AWI has three pending
workers' compensation claims, and its UK subsidiary has five
employer liability claims involving alleged asbestos exposure.

AWI continues the process of investigating and resolving these
claims. The Bankruptcy Court will ultimately determine the
claims and related liability amounts that will be allowed as
part of the Chapter 11 process if the parties cannot agree. In
its ongoing review of the filed claims, AWI to date has objected
to about 2,200 claims totaling US$2.7 billion. The Bankruptcy
Court disallowed these claims with prejudice.

About 1,100 proofs of claim totaling about US$1.3 billion are
pending with the Bankruptcy Court that are associated with
asbestos-related personal injury litigation, including direct
personal injury claims, claims by co-defendants for contribution
and indemnification, and claims relating to AWI's participation
in the Center for Claims Resolution.

An insurance asset in respect of asbestos claims in the amount
of US$98.6 million was recorded as of December 31, 2004 compared
to US$103.1 million recorded as of December 31, 2003. The total
amount recorded reflects AWI's belief that insurance proceeds
will be recovered in this amount, based upon AWI's success in
insurance recoveries, settlement agreements that provide such
coverage, the non-product recoveries by other companies and the
opinion of outside counsel.

Armstrong Holdings Inc. is the parent company of Armstrong World
Industries Inc., which designs and manufactures flooring,
ceilings and cabinets. Based in Lancaster, PA, Armstrong has 44
plants in 12 countries and around 15,300 employees worldwide.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ADAO Remembers the Victims on Asbestos Day
---------------------------------------------------------------
The widow of a pipefitter who died from exposure to asbestos is
now seeking to make sure others are aware of its dangers by
doing volunteer work at the Asbestos Disease Awareness
Organization.

Raye Black, aged 81, of Mount Holly, joined the group in
Washington, D.C., last April 1 in honor of the first Asbestos
Awareness Day, to remember victims and honor volunteers who work
to raise awareness.

In 2001, Mrs. Black's husband, Albert was diagnosed with
mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer. Doctors told him and his
wife there was nothing they could do for him. Mrs. Black
believes her husband's disease stemmed from working at the
former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and while serving on a ship
in the US Navy during World War II.

Now, two years after her husband's death, Mrs. Black said, "Most
people with asbestos exposure had it in them for years and
they're not aware of it. My husband had no idea it was terminal
or I think he would have changed jobs."

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral formerly used for making fireproof
articles and building insulation. Most mesothelioma patients are
diagnosed in their seventies, because they were exposed to
asbestos in the 1940s and 1950s, according to the Asbestos
Resource Center.

The nonprofit organization was founded a year ago by asbestos
victims and their families to provide a united voice to help
ensure their rights are represented and protected and to raise
public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and
asbestos-related diseases. The organization has petitioned
Congress to make the use of asbestos illegal and has testified
about other asbestos-related issues.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Gives Update on Funding Negotiations
----------------------------------------------------------------
The signing of the agreement between James Hardie Industries and
the New South Wales government will encounter a short delay
after the Company recognized complexities involving "a vast
array of structural, legal, accounting and social issues."
However, the Company stated that this should not be taken as a
sign of diminution of will or effort on any of the parties
involved.

Building products company James Hardie declared on Dec. 21, 2004
that it had signed a non-binding Heads of Agreement with the NSW
Government, the ACTU, Unions NSW and asbestos support groups to
provide long-term funding to a special purpose fund to meet
Australian asbestos-related personal injury claims against
former James Hardie group entities Amaca Pty Ltd, Amaba Pty Ltd
and ABN 60 Pty Ltd.

According further to the filing that Hardie submitted to the
Securities and Exchange Commission, the updated timetable, which
NSW Premier Bob Carr provided, reflects legal and administrative
issues surrounding the establishment of the special purpose fund
designed to compensate legitimate Australian asbestos-related
personal injury claims against certain former Hardie group
companies.

The agreement involves James Hardie making an unprecedented
voluntary settlement amounting to some US$1.5 billion (net
present value actuarial central estimate, as at June 2004) over
the next 40 years.

James Hardie still anticipates that the shareholder meeting to
consider approving the proposed asbestos compensation
arrangements will be held in late July 2005. If approved, it is
expected that payments to the special purpose fund would
commence in late August or early September 2005.

Before taking the proposal to shareholders for approval, Hardie
listed the following key steps that need to be completed:

(1) Finalize NSW government review of costs in dust diseases
compensation claims;

(2) Settle terms of principal agreement;

(3) Satisfy conditions precedent;

(4) Update actuarial assessment and quantify cost review
findings;

(5) Receive independent expert report;

(6) Obtain board/financier approvals;

(7) Enter into principal agreement;

(8) Complete enabling legislation and regulations; and

(9) Dispatch explanatory memorandum to shareholders.

Hardie believes that the announcement will not affect legitimate
claimants who will continue to be entitled to receive
compensation through the Medical Research and Compensation
Foundation. Based on information about the existing funds of the
MRCF's subsidiaries, it believes that the MRCF will have
sufficient funds to meet claims while the agreement is being
finalized.

In the unlikely event that the MRCF's existing sources of funds
prove to be inadequate to meet proven claims before the signing
occurs, Hardie assured however that it would assist the MRCF to
obtain interim funding. There is no known precedent for such an
agreement and the need to anticipate a wide range of variables
has affected the initial timetable for signing the agreement.

James Hardie has also begun a review of the legal issues
surrounding the residents of Baryulgil, a small aboriginal town
in northern NSW, where the company used to own an asbestos mine.
This is expected to take two to three weeks.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NY Court Rejects Motion to Remand GE Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
The District Court of New York on March 28, 2005 denied a motion
to remand an asbestos-related case against General Electric Co.,
including other defendants, to the state court. Robert Nesbiet
claimed that the company failed to warn him of the health
dangers involved and is blaming GE for the illness he contracted
as a result of his employment at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Mr. Nesbiet was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the
lung linings caused by exposure to asbestos in October 2004. He
filed the suit on Oct. 26, 2004 alleging that he was exposed to
asbestos-riddled insulation in marine steam turbines while
working as a welder and shipfitter on the USS Missouri between
1943 and 1944.

On Nov. 29, 2004, GE filed a timely notice of removal asserting
federal jurisdiction under the federal officer removal statute.
GE stated that, "In the manufacture and sale of turbines and
other equipment for the U.S. Navy, including all aspects of
warnings associated with those turbines and equipment, GE was
acting under an officer or agency of the United States."

GE submitted affidavits made by David Hobson, a former GE
employee and ship engineer. He testified that GE manufactured
and supplied turbines under contracts administered through Navy
Sea Systems Command, whose personnel exclusively exercised
control over the Navy ships' designs and plans, as well as
guidelines and specifications.

GE also submitted the affidavit of Ben J. Lehman, a retired Rear
Admiral of the U.S. Navy, who served as a ship superintendent
for repairs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard between 1942 and 1944. He
stated that the Navy provided the warnings associated with its
ships and did not permit deviation from any of its contractors.

A third affidavit by Lawrence Stillwell Betts, a medical doctor
and retired U.S. Navy Captain, indicated that the Navy's
knowledge of the health hazards associated with the use of
asbestos aboard Navy vessels during the 1940s represented the
state-of-the-art. He said that GE could not have possessed any
information regarding the dangers posed by the use of asbestos-
containing products in marine steam turbines that was not
already known by the U.S. Navy

The Court ruled that since GE has met each of the three
requirements under section 1442(a), removal of this case to
federal court was therefore proper.

District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin made the ruling over this
lawsuit with Case No. 04 Civ.9321 (SAS).  Bryan Belasky, from
Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., of New York, NY, represented Mr.
Nesbiet.  Michael A. Tanenbaum, from Sedgwick, Detert, of Moran
& Arnold, LLP, which is based in Newark, NJ, stood as counsel
for General Electric Co.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Insurers Attack Asbestos Trust Fund Bill
-------------------------------------------------------------
Despite insurers' calls opposing the asbestos bill, Senate
Majority Leader Bill Frist remained confident that a bipartisan
bill, which centers on a US$140 billion trust fund, would be on
the floor of the Senate soon.

A Tennessee Republican, Sen. Frist said he was not discouraged
that some insurance companies had written again to complain
about Sen. Arlen Specter's draft bill. The insurers, including
American International Group Inc., said they had serious doubts
lawmakers could create a fund that is fair to everyone involved
and affordable for companies paying into it, as well as
providing a final solution to asbestos claims which keep coming
in.

The dozen insurers suggested instead that lawmakers should try
to remedy the "asbestos litigation nightmare" by establishing
medical criteria for filing asbestos injury claims in court.

In a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee
Arlen Specter, a group representing the defendant companies
reaffirmed their continued support for the trust fund draft
bill. The Asbestos Alliance, which also includes the Asbestos
Study Group, wrote, "There remains broad support in the business
community for your efforts."

Supporters of the plan noted that some insurers have long been
opposed to the trust fund, arguing that the insurance industry's
costs would be less if defendants were able to defeat the claims
in court with new parameters on what constitutes asbestos-
related medical conditions.

Sen. Specter said he was within "striking distance" of agreement
with senators from both parties on a plan setting up a fund
while also ending their right to sue. He waved aside the
insurers' objections, saying these would not stop efforts to
pass legislation.

Sen. Specter said there were two or three outstanding concerns
over the plan among lawmakers in both parties and he thought
they could be solved. Meetings would continue the next couple of
weeks with Republicans and the judiciary committee's ranking
Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and other Democarts worried the
fund may run out of money and may not adequately compensate some
victims. He said that he still thought an asbestos fund bill was
"doable" but that "the window (for action) is a short one."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CompuDyne Carrier Excludes Certain Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Over the past several years, CompuDyne Corporation (NASDAQ:
CDCY) has been named in lawsuits involving asbestos related
personal injury and death claims in which CompuDyne Corporation,
individually and as an alleged successor, is a defendant. The
plaintiffs claim to have been exposed to asbestos contained in
some of its predecessor's products.

According to the filing it submitted to the Securities and
Exchange Commission, the Annapolis, MD-based security contractor
has advised its insurers of each of these cases, and the
insurers are providing a defense pursuant to agreement with the
Company. The Company has also received advice from its insurers
that claims in such litigation for punitive damages, exemplary
damages, malicious and willful and wanton behavior and
intentional conduct are not covered. One of the carriers has
given notice that asbestos related claims are excluded from
certain of these policies.

The insurers have additional coverage defenses, which are
reserved, including claims that may fall outside of a particular
policy period of coverage. Litigation costs to date have not
been significant and CompuDyne Corp. has not paid any
settlements from its own funds.

The Company cannot ascertain the total amount of potential
liability with respect to these matters, but does not believe
that any such liability should have a material effect on its
financial position, future operations or future cash flows.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Kaiser Aluminum Updates 4Q04 Cost Estimates
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kaiser Aluminum Corporation (OTC: KLUCQ) disclosed in the filing
it submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission that its
liability for estimated asbestos-related costs as of Dec. 31,
2004 reached US$1,115 million. This amount represents the
Company's estimate of the minimum end of a range of costs. The
upper end of the Company's estimate of costs is about US$2,400
million. The Company is aware that certain constituents have
asserted that they believe that actual costs may exceed the top
end of the Company's estimated range, by perhaps a material
amount.

Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, CA, Kaiser has been a defendant
in a number of lawsuits, which claim that asbestos exposure
occurred during their employment or through asbestos-containing
products that the Company sold or produced more than 20 years
ago. As of the initial filing date, about 112,000 asbestos-
related claims were pending.

The Company filed for Chapter 11 protection on Feb. 12, 2002,
amid rising legacy costs, asbestos claims and a weak aluminum
market.

In addition, the Company has insurance coverage for a
substantial portion of such asbestos-related costs. Its Dec. 31,
2004 balance sheet includes a long-term receivable for estimated
insurance recoveries of US$967 million.

Due to the cases, holders of asbestos, silica and coal tar pitch
volatile claims are stayed from continuing to prosecute pending
litigation and from commencing new lawsuits against the debtors.
As a result, the Company does not expect to make any asbestos
payments in the near term. Despite the cases, the Company
continues to pursue insurance collections in respect of
asbestos-related amounts paid prior to its filing date and to
negotiate insurance settlements and prosecute certain actions to
clarify policy interpretations in respect of such coverage.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mestek's Asbestos-related Suits Reach 265
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mestek, Inc. (NYSE: MCC), a manufacturer of heating, ventilating
and air-conditioning products, is a defendant in about 265
asbestos-related lawsuits. In the past twelve months, it has
been named in about 5 new such lawsuits each month, primarily in
one county in Illinois where numerous asbestos-related actions
have been filed against numerous defendants. On Aug. 20, 2004,
the Class Action Reporter recorded 200 of this type of lawsuits,
with around 10 to 15 new suits being filed each month.

Almost all of these suits seek to establish liability against
the Westfield, MA-based Company as successor to companies that
may have manufactured, sold or distributed asbestos-related
products, and who are currently in existence and defending
thousands of asbestos related cases, or because the Company
currently sells and distributes boilers, an industry that has
been historically associated with asbestos-related products.

The Company believes it has valid defenses to all of the pending
claims and vigorously contests that it is a successor to
companies that may have manufactured, sold or distributed any
product containing asbestos materials. The total requested
damages of these cases are over US$3 billion.

To date, however, the Company has had over 40 asbestos-related
cases dismissed without any payment and it settled about twenty-
five asbestos-related cases for a minimal value. However, there
can be no assurance the Company will be able to successfully
defend or settle any pending litigation.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FiberMark Inc. Faces Suits in Miss., Texas
---------------------------------------------------------------
During 2004, several broad class action asbestos-related
lawsuits were initiated against FiberMark, Inc. (OTC: FMKIQ) in
several states, including Mississippi and Texas. These lawsuits
named the Brattleboro, VT-based Company, a producer of specialty
fiber-based materials, both individually and as successor in
interest to Latex Fiber Industries, Inc. and incorrectly as
Specialty Paperboard f/k/a/Boise Cascade, as a defendant.

At this time, Fibermark stated that the lists of plaintiffs and
defendants are extensive and it does not believe there will be
any liability in connection with these lawsuits. Substantially
all of the lawsuits have been dismissed. Further, in accordance
with the purchase and sale agreement, the former owner has
agreed to indemnify the Company for certain asbestos-related
claims.

The former owner also has agreed to address the Texas
litigation, based on the belief that the company was improperly
named as a defendant, rather than pursuant to its contractual
obligations to the company.

In March 2004, the Company announced the filing of voluntary
petitions for the reorganization under chapter 11 of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Code.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Selas Corp. Deals With 123 Exposure Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Selas Corporation of America (AMEX: SLS) is a defendant along
with a number of other parties in about 123 lawsuits as of Dec.
31, 2004, alleging that plaintiffs contracted asbestos-related
diseases as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products
or equipment sold by one or more named defendants. In Dec. 31,
2003, there were about 101 lawsuits.

Headquartered in Arden Hills, MN, the Company asserted that it
does not know whether any of the complaints state valid claims
due to the lack of specific information. Certain carriers have
informed the Company that the primary policies for the period
August 1, 1970-1973, have been exhausted and that the carriers
will no longer provide a defense under those policies. The
Company has requested that the carriers substantiate this
situation.

The Company, a manufacturer of precision microminiature
components and molded plastic parts, believes it has additional
policies available for other years that have been ignored by the
carriers. As settlement payments are applied to all years a
litigant was deemed to have been exposed to asbestos, the
Company believes when settlement payments are applied to these
additional policies, the Company will have availability under
the years deemed exhausted. If the Company's insurance policies
do not cover the costs and any awards for the asbestos-related
lawsuits, the Company will have to use its cash or obtain
additional financing to pay the asbestos-related obligations and
settlement costs.

There is no assurance that the Company will have the cash or be
able to obtain additional financings on favorable terms, or at
all to pay asbestos related obligations or settlements should
they occur. The ultimate outcome of any legal matter cannot be
predicted with certainty. In light of the significant
uncertainty associated with asbestos lawsuits, there is no
guarantee that these lawsuits will not materially adversely
affect the Company's financial position, results of operations
or liquidity.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Standard Motor to Answer for 3,700 Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard Motor Products, Inc. (NYSE: SMP) revealed that it had
about 3,700 outstanding asbestos-related cases, according to the
regulatory filing it submitted to the Securities and Exchange
Commission. Since September 2001, the date when it assumed
liabilities for new claims, the amounts paid for settled claims
totaled about US$2.3 million.

In 1986, the Long Island City, NY-based Company acquired a brake
business, which it sold in March 1998 and which is accounted for
as a discontinued operation. It also assumed future liabilities
relating to any alleged exposure to asbestos-containing products
manufactured by the seller of the acquired brake business.

At Dec. 31, 2001, the Company faced about 100 cases. At Dec. 31,
2002, the number of cases increased to about 2,500, which
included about 1,600 cases filed in December 2002 in
Mississippi. These Mississippi cases were due in large part to
potential plaintiffs accelerating the filing of their claims
prior to the effective date of Mississippi's tort reform statute
in January 2003, which eliminated the ability of plaintiffs to
file consolidated cases.

SMP stated that it expects the outstanding cases to increase
gradually due to recent legislation in certain states mandating
minimum medical criteria before a case can be heard. It admits
that it does not have insurance coverage for the defense and
indemnity costs associated with these claims.

Loss from discontinued operation, net of taxes, in 2004 reflects
US$3.9 million associated with asbestos-related provisions and
legal expenses as compared to US$1.7 million of legal expenses
in 2003. The most recent actuarial study has estimated an
undiscounted liability for settlement payments, excluding legal
costs, ranging from US$28 to US$63 million for the period
through 2049. Legal costs, which are expensed as incurred, are
estimated to range from US$22 to US$27 million during the same
period.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Claims Still Affect Everest Reinsurance
------------------------------------------------------------
Everest Reinsurance Holdings Inc. continues to receive claims
under expired contracts, both insurance and reinsurance,
asserting alleged injuries and damages relating to or resulting
from environmental pollution and hazardous substances, including
asbestos. The Company's asbestos claims typically involve
potential liability for bodily injury from exposure to asbestos
or for property damage resulting from asbestos or products
containing asbestos.

The Company's cash flow from operations was US$921.6 million,
US$1,051.0 million and US$431.8 million for the years ended Dec.
31, 2004, 2003 and 2002, respectively. Cash flow from operations
was impacted in particular by increased loss payments relating
to catastrophe losses and net asbestos claim settlements in
2004. Coupled with the issuance of junior subordinated debt
securities, this contributed to the growth in the Company's
total investments and cash to US$7,496.3 million.

Net adverse prior period reserve adjustments for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2004 were US$184.9 million compared to US$201.5 million
in 2003. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2004, the adverse reserve
adjustments included net adverse asbestos and environmental
adjustments of US$10.3 million and net adverse non-asbestos and
environmental adjustments of about US$207.3 million relating
primarily to casualty reinsurance, in particular, workers'
compensation, partially offset by favorable development of
US$32.7 million relating to the reduction of reserves for the
World Trade Center events.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2003, net adverse prior period
reserve adjustments for asbestos and environmental exposures
were US$16.8 million and net adverse non-asbestos and
environmental adjustments were US$184.7 million.

The U.S. Reinsurance segment accounted for US$103.4 million of
net adverse prior period reserve adjustments for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2004, which included US$34.2 million of favorable
development due to the reserve reduction related to the
catastrophe losses from the World Trade Center events, as
compared to net adverse prior period reserve adjustments of
US$150.9 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2003. Asbestos
exposures accounted for US$10.3 million and US$16.8 million of
adverse reserve adjustments for the years ended Dec. 31, 2004
and 2003, respectively, with the remainder principally
attributable to professional liability and casualty business
classes. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, there had been a
proliferation of claims relating to bankruptcies and other
financial management improprieties. This increased number of
claims, combined with larger claims, has significantly increased
incurred losses on the professional liability policies.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Development of UK Asbestos Site Put on Hold
----------------------------------------------------------------
After plans to redevelop the former Turner Brothers Asbestos
site were put on hold, campaigners still believe there's much to
be done before an asbestos-free community could be guaranteed.

Ken Smith, Rochdale's head of planning, identified several
issues that needed to be addressed before the application to
build 600 houses on the site could be approved. He said, "Our
overriding priority has always been that of public health."

Although asbestos production at the factory ended in the mid
1990s, Mr. Smith stated that the deaths would continue for many
decades. The residents fear that irresponsible development may
release asbestos fibers from the soil or from tearing down the
history buildings.

"It appears that we are at the start of a very long process that
requires the vigilance of everybody in Rochdale," added Mr.
Smith.

The developers have been ordered to come up with more detailed
information relating to contaminated land surveys, the transport
assessment, the proportion of land to be used for employment and
the environment.

Council-appointed specialist environmental consultants will also
conduct another investigation into possible asbestos
contamination on the site. Meanwhile, the Health and Safety
Executive, is still waiting for the results of tests on bulk
asbestos and fibers in the air.

As previously reported in the Feb. 18, 2005 edition of the Class
Action Reporter, a spokesman for Countryside Properties, joint
developers of the site with landowners MMC Developments, has
confirmed the presence of asbestos. Jason Addy, of the campaign
group Save Spodden Valley, had asked that an independent expert
examine every portion of the site.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum's Insurers Consider Plan Unfair
--------------------------------------------------------------
In the course of Congoleum Corp.'s confirmation hearing, around
20 of its insurers have asked a bankruptcy judge to reject the
company's reorganization plan, saying that it closely resembles
that of now defunct Combustion Engineering Inc. Last November,
the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia overturned the
previous plan.

The insurance companies' complaints include the flooring
products company's alleged lack of fundamental fairness,
preferential treatment of certain asbestos claimants and the
debtors' inadequate contribution to the trust.

On Dec. 31, 2003, Mercerville, N.J.-based Congoleum Corporation
filed a voluntary petition with the United States Bankruptcy
Court for the District of New Jersey (Case No. 03-51524) seeking
relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code as
a means to resolve claims asserted against it related to the use
of asbestos in its products decades ago. Congoleum has filed an
amended plan of reorganization and disclosure statement with the
court and is seeking confirmation of the plan at a hearing that
is set to begin on April 12, 2005.

The insurers objected to Congoleum's plan seeking to create a
two-trust structure that would provide greater distributions to
a subset of claimants based on when their claims were filed and
settled. This would in effect treat prepretition claimants
better than any claimants in the future.

As previously reported in last Friday's edition of the Class
Action reporter, ABB Ltd., the Swiss-Swedish electrical
engineering giant, agreed to pay an additional USUS$232 million
into a trust fund to settle outstanding claims under an amended
plan to reorganize its subsidiaries, Combustion Engineering and
Lummus. The new plan should fully address issues raised in a
December 2004 judgment by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
in Philadelphia, as well as objections raised by some asbestos
claimants, the company said.

In Congoleum's case, the Class 2 asbestos claimants are getting
a security interest for all their claims. Class 3 asbestos
claimants are getting a security interest for 75% of their
claims. Class 10 claimants, meanwhile, are getting no security
interest for their claims. The insurers cite the differences in
what each class will get and won't get in their objection.

Meanwhile, Congoleum's reorganization plan calls for the
establishment of one trust funded mostly by insurance proceeds
to settle about US$400 million of asbestos-related claims
against the company. Congoleum would contribute US$2.7 million
in notes and insurance policies. Non-asbestos creditors would be
paid in full, and Congoleum's shareholders would retain their
equity. The insurers, however, said their obligations to the
trust are unfair.

The insurers complained that the plan requires inadequate
contributions from Congoleum and its parent company, American
Biltrite Inc., which owns 55% of the bankrupt company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USG Corp. Continues Push for Trust Fund
------------------------------------------------------------
Responding to reports of insurers backing away from a proposed
trust fund, USG Corp. and other supporters moved quickly to deny
that it encountered a serious setback in resolving its asbestos
dilemma.

Shares in the Chicago, IL-based wallboard maker fell sharply
along with other firms exposed to asbestos-related lawsuits in
early trading, hitting an intraday low about 7% below Monday's
closing level. But USG was able to claw its way back to end
Tuesday down 21 cents, or 0.7%, at US$32.00

More than a dozen insurance companies sent a joint letter to
Congress expressing their intent to drop their support of the
US$140 billion federal trust fund meant to pay claims from
asbestos lawsuits and urging Congress instead to work to
establish standard medical criteria for these cases.

In the late 1990s, USG found itself deluged with asbestos
claims. The company once produced drywall compound that
contained asbestos. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001
to shield itself from further litigation. The company can't
emerge from bankruptcy without somehow dispensing of those
claims. Under the trust fund plan, companies would be assigned
to pay a set amount into the fund each year for about 25 years.

USG is fighting what it considers frivolous asbestos claims in
court, though CEO William Foote has said the company intends to
pay legitimate claims, pay off creditors and preserve equity for
shareholders.

"This problem needs to be solved and it needs to be solved by
Congress," said a USG spokesman. "If we don't get legislation,
it's only going to get worse."

USG's next court hearing is set for June 13, when a judge will
hear arguments over whether asbestos claimants may have access
to USG's records and documents in a search for evidence.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Pledges TUC Tsunami "Asbestos Aid"
-----------------------------------------------------------
In response to a plea from the Trades Union Congress, the UK
government has committed itself to help ensure that asbestos, a
highly carcinogenic material, is not used in reconstruction work
in Southeast Asia following the tsunami.

Replying to a letter from TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber,
the secretary of state for international development, Hilary
Benn, stressed, "Post-tsunami reconstruction should be carried
out with due consideration for health risks."

Ms. Benn stated that asbestos would be avoided and she advised
that shelter materials used by humanitarian organizations be
sourced locally. The minister wrote, "We would be very concerned
if UN agencies or non-governmental organizations that we work
with were using asbestos. The Department for International
Development expects its partner agencies to follow the sphere
guidelines in the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in
Disaster Response."

Ms. Benn continued to outline the need for experienced personnel
to identify the presence and risks associated with hazardous
materials. Also, technical and managerial staff must have the
appropriate training to carry out the task. He stated that the
DFID would work to ensure that these standards be met in the
country's efforts to rebuild lost homes and even extended this
pledge to assist in future disasters.

The Trades Union Congress, which campaigns on economic and
social issues, is comprised of 70 affiliated unions in the UK
representing nearly seven million working people.


ASBESTOS ALERT: CA Court Affirms Ruling Against National Marine
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of California on March 14, 2005 affirmed the
Court of Appeal's decision in favor of a seaman's son who
brought a wrongful death action for his father's asbestos-
related illness. Brought under the federal Jones Act, this legal
action with Case No. S110301 was filed against National Marine,
Inc., a private shipping company.

Phillip R. Bonotto, Brian M. Taylor, John P. Carty III, and
Carla L. Johansen, of Rushford & Bonotto, represented National
Marine, Inc., the defendant/appellant.

Harry F. Wartnick, Martha A.H. Berman, Stephen M. Tigerman,
Richard A. Brody, and Daniel U. Smith, of Wartnick, Chaber,
Harowitz & Tigerman, represented Richard Donaldson, the
plaintiff/respondent.

National Marine, Inc. had filed for an appeal on the Court of
Appeals judgment awarding US$1,616,400 to Mr. Donaldson, who
claimed that the company was liable for the death of his
adoptive father, Albert Pavolini, a Tennessee resident. Mr.
Pavolini died in 1998 from lung cancer complications.

Mr. Pavolini spent his adult working life on or around boats and
ships. He served in the United States Navy from 1942 until 1964.
He worked for Military Sea Transport from 1966 to 1967; he
worked for National Marine (then Cardinal Carriers) from 1967 to
1981; and he worked for other private shipping companies from
1980 until he retired a few years later.

His duties both for the Navy and for the private shipping
companies included installing or repairing insulation around
pipes and waterlines, and he was exposed to asbestos both during
his Naval career and later, while working for the private
companies.

Mr. Pavolini began smoking at age 16 and smoked until 1984. In
May 1997, he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Mr. Pavolini initially filed the suit against multiple
defendants, including several tobacco companies, on the theory
that his lung cancer was caused by a combination of his use of
tobacco and his exposure to asbestos during his naval career and
his employment with the private shipping companies. Separate
trials for the tobacco defendants from the asbestos defendants
were subsequently ordered.

On September 25, 1999, Mr. Donaldson filed a suit against
National Marine as the successor to Cardinal Carriers, seeking
damages for his father's death under the Jones Act, and under
the maritime doctrine of unseaworthiness. National Marine moved
to dismiss on the theory that the state court lacked subject
matter jurisdiction over plaintiff's maritime claims because the
work for Cardinal Carriers took place outside of California's
territorial waters. The motion was denied, and the matter went
to trial.

At trial, National Marine said that the cancer was unrelated to
his exposure to asbestos, and resulted from his history of
smoking. It also theorized that even if exposure to asbestos was
a factor in lung cancer, tobacco was a greater factor. Finally,
it argued that in any event the exposure to asbestos during his
naval career was far greater than his exposure to asbestos while
working for Cardinal Carriers.

The jury rejected plaintiff's unseaworthiness claims, and found
that defendant was negligent under the Jones Act, and that its
negligence was the cause of death. The jury further fixed the
damages at US$1,796,000, and apportioned fault between Mr.
Pavolini, National Marine, the Navy and the tobacco companies,
at 10 percent for decedent, and 30 percent each for defendant,
the Navy and the tobacco companies.

National Marine appealed the judgment. The trial court later
denied defendant's motions for a new trial and for judgment
notwithstanding the verdict, but granted plaintiff's motion to
amend the judgment to make defendant liable for 90 percent of
the jury's verdict.

The court found that the Navy and the tobacco companies were
immune from these claims, and that defendant, accordingly, was
liable for the full amount of damages, less the 10 percent
attributable to Mr. Pavolini's fault. The court therefore
corrected its judgment to increase the award against defendant
to US$1,616,400. National Marine filed a second appeal from the
court's order, and those appeals were consolidated.

The Court of Appeal ruled in favor of Mr. Donaldson on the
jurisdictional issue, concluding, "California's courts have
subject matter jurisdiction over deaths occurring outside of the
state's territorial limits, although they may be required to
apply the law of the jurisdiction where the wrong occurred."

Justice Ming W. Chin, who wrote for the court, held that, "As
the Jones Act recognizes a claim for wrongful death, the
superior court was entitled to hear [plaintiff's] claims."


ASBESTOS ALERT: EPA Probes VA Contractor for Handling Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------
An incident involving a contractor, who is currently under
investigation for improper asbestos removal and operating
without a license, is now spurring Roanoke, VA to consider
stricter requirements for construction, reports the Roanoke
Times. Improper handling of asbestos can result in regulatory
fines and felony criminal charges.

Eddie Callahan, owner of Environmental Construction, hired three
homeless men to remove 10 to 15 bags of asbestos from a downtown
building and toss it in the trash instead of a special landfill,
court documents revealed. He later told investigators that he
felt qualified to remove asbestos because he had observed other
people to do it and from reading trade journals about the task.
He did not realize that he needed an asbestos license to handle
a small amount of the material.

Doug Wiggins, an asbestos inspector with the state Department of
Labor and Industry, received an anonymous tip Feb. 18 that
asbestos was being removed illegally from the State & City
Building, which was being converted to condominiums. On Feb. 25,
Mr. Wiggins and the job site's general contractor, Cliff
Mascitelli, inspected the basement and found asbestos scattered
about. On March 11, 2005, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Urbanski
granted a federal search warrant for Mr. Callahan's office and
home.

State and federal regulations require a contractor to have a
license to handle asbestos. Mr. Callahan stated that this was
the first time that he ever ordered the removal of asbestos and
that he had used licensed contractors to accomplish the job on
sites elsewhere in Southwest Virginia.

An affidavit, sworn by EPA special agent Chris Smith, stated
that Mr. Callahan obtained a license in July for environmental
specialties, which qualifies him to handle spills, pollution and
other industrial problems, but not asbestos. It was noted
however that the company advertises that it provides asbestos
removal services. State licensing records reveal that he has had
no licensing violations in the past.

Investigation showed that although protective suits, goggles and
respirators were supplied for the men to wear, these were more
similar to rain gear. The company also failed to give two weeks
notice of the task, as required by law.

Mr. Mascitelli said that he hired the Company because Mr.
Callahan told him he had an asbestos license and that he gave
the lowest estimate for the job. After the building site was
temporarily shut down due to the investigation, a licensed
asbestos firm, LCM Corp., has taken over. Baratta & Associates,
a licensed asbestos inspector, declared the floors above the
basement free of asbestos.

Currently, the city sometimes issues asbestos permits at the
same time as demolition and renovation permits. Proposed changes
include requiring documentation from a licensed asbestos
contractor before a demolition or renovation is done. If
asbestos is present, the city will issue an asbestos removal
permit.


ASBESTOS ALERT: UK Court Compels Bifrangi to Pay GBP7,500 Fine
--------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Robert Moore of the Sheffield Crown Court imposed a fine
of GBP7,500 to Italian engineering firm Bifrangi UK Ltd. for
failing to contain the asbestos in demolished buildings at their
Sheffield premises. The court also asked the firm to pay
GBP4,251 in costs.

The Company employed contractors to tear down a row of garages,
which they knew contained cancer-causing white asbestos at the
company's site in Grange Mill Lane, near Meadowhall, the court
heard. When Health and Safety inspectors visited the site in
July 2003, they discovered the toxic cement sheets strewn around
the site near Blackburn Brook.

Diana Maudslay, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court the
defendants could have contained the known health hazard asbestos
at little cost by putting up barriers and warning signs but
failed to do so.

Bifrangi moved quickly after the inspection to prevent further
contamination and removed the contractors from their list. The
Environment Agency was notified and the asbestos cleared at a
cost of GBP5,000.

Andrew Smith, defending, said the Company employed a health,
safety and environmental manager who knew the regulations around
asbestos but was on holiday at the time the buildings were
demolished. He said that the contractor, who did not accomplish
the work properly, had been admonished not to work in the UK
again. Mr. Smith stressed that Bifrangi was a respectable,
family company which had to face the shame of publicly accepting
it had done wrong.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Sue Woods said, "This case
sends out a clear message that it is essential that any work
activities involving asbestos on a site are planned in advance.

Company Profile:
Bifrangi (UK) Ltd.
PO Box 22 Lincoln
LN2 5DT
Lincolnshire
Phone: 01522 585800
Fax: 01522 529116
http://www.bifrangi.co.uk/

Description:
Bifrangi UK Ltd. has 470 employees and premises in Sheffield and
Lincoln. Chief executive officer Guiseppe Saratta heads the
family-run firm.


ASBESTOS ALERT: EPA Imposes $70T Fine on RI Flooring Contractor
----------------------------------------------------------------
The federal Environmental Protection Agency officially asked for
US$70,355 in fines from a Bristol flooring contractor for
violating asbestos laws during a job at Barrington
Congregational Church almost two years ago.

McGovern's Floor Covering of Metacom Avenue, represented by its
counsel John La Terra Bellina, is facing an EPA civil complaint.
The agency discovered that its employees failed to take the
required measures to prevent the spread of asbestos fibers when
they installed new flooring in two classrooms at the church in
August 2003.

Workers reportedly used a high-speed sander/grinder on the
existing asbestos floor without containing the dust. Church
officials stopped the work when they noticed dust and hired an
environmental consultant to test for asbestos. After tests came
back positive, a state-certified contractor cleaned up the
building.

EPA officials further allege that McGovern's failed to inspect
for asbestos, provide proper notice to regulators of the
presence of asbestos, have trained workers on site, properly
dispose of asbestos waste and maintain asbestos disposal
records.

Robert W. Varney, the regional administrator of the EPA's New
England office, said that this legal action should raise
awareness of the risks in disturbing vinyl asbestos tile. He
emphasized the importance of flooring contractors investigating
whether asbestos or other hazardous materials are involved
before starting the work.

EPA attorney Hugh Martino said that McGovern's representatives
have 30 days to respond to the complaint. If a settlement is not
agreed on, he said, an administrative hearing will be held.

"An administrative law judge out of Washington would be assigned
to hear the case," said Mr. Martino. "It would go to a full
hearing at that point."

Company Profile:
McGovern's Floor Covering Incorporated
365 Metacom Ave
Bristol, RI 02809
Phone: (401) 253-5756


                    New Securities Fraud Cases

COLLINS & AIKMAN: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Suit in MI
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of Collins &
Aikman Corp. (NYSE:CKC) between May 6, 2004 and March 17, 2005,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan against defendants Collins &
Aikman, David Stockman, J. Michael Stepp and Bryce Koth. The
action charges that defendants violated 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.

Additionally, Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. is
investigating whether the Collins & Aikman Corp. retirement
plans may have imprudently invested in Collins & Aikman stock
between May 6, 2004 and March 17, 2005.

For more details, contact the Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven,
P.A. by Mail: The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt
Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore, Maryland 21202 by Phone:
410/986-0036 or by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


COLLINS & AIKMAN: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in MI
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of all persons who
purchased the publicly traded securities of Collins & Aikman
Corp. (NYSE: CKC) ("Collins & Aikman") between May 6, 2004 and
March 17, 2005 (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that Collins & Aikman violated federal
securities laws by issuing false or misleading public
statements. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that Collins &
Aikman's financial statements improperly accounted for vendor
rebates. On March 17, 2005, Collins & Aikman announced that
after reviewing vendor rebates from fiscal years 2002 through
2004, net adjustments of approximately $10 -- $12 million are
now required. On this news, shares of Collins & Aikman fell from
a close of $1.63 on March 16, 2005, to close at $1.24 per share
on March 17, 2005.

For more details, contact Wayne T. Boulton or Nancy Kulesa by
Phone: (800) 797-5499 by E-mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit their
Web site: http://www.snlaw.net.


ELECTRONIC ARTS: Federman & Sherwood Files Securities Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Federman & Sherwood initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court Northern District of
California against Electronic Arts, Inc. (Nasdaq: ERTS).

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market which had the effect
of artificially inflating the market price. More specifically,
the Complaint alleges that the Company failed to disclose and
misrepresented the following material adverse facts which were
known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that increased competition from its competitors was
         eroding Electronic Arts, Inc. market share;

     (2) that hardware shortages were material;

     (3) that Electronic Arts, Inc. continued to suffer from
         operating margin compression; and

     (4) that as a result of the above, the Company's statements
         about its financial performance were lacking in any
         reasonable basis when made. The class period is from
         January 25, 2005 through March 21, 2005.

For more details, contact William B. Federman of FEDERMAN &
SHERWOOD by Mail: 120 N. Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK
73102 by Phone: (405) 235-1560 by Fax: (405) 239-2112 or by E-
mail: wfederman@aol.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.federmanlaw.com.


MBIA INC.: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in NY
------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Abbey Gardy, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court of New York on
behalf of a class (the "Class") of all persons who purchased or
acquired securities of MBIA, Inc. ("MBIA" or the
"Company")(NYSE: MBI) between August 5, 2003 and March 30, 2005
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and New York
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer ("NYAG") are pursuing a broad
investigation into the insurance industries reinsurance
business. At least a half-dozen other insurers have disclosed
receiving subpoenas from the SEC and the NYAG. MBIA now joins a
smaller group that not only has received subpoenas from the NYAG
and SEC but is also facing Justice Department scrutiny. On
November, 18, 2004, MBIA disclosed that it received subpoenas
from the SEC and the New York Attorney General's office ("NYAG")
requesting information with respect to non- traditional or loss
mitigation insurance products developed, offered or sold by MBIA
to third parties from January 1, 1998 to the present.

On March 8, 2005, MBIA announced that it was restating its
financial statements for 1998 and subsequent years. The
restatement is being made to correct the accounting treatment
for two reinsurance agreements that MBIA entered into in 1998
with Converium Re (previously known as Zurich Reinsurance North
America). As a result of this restatement, MBIA's financial
results for 1998 will reflect a loss of $70 million related to
$265 million of bonds insured by MBIA that were issued by
Allegheny Health, Education and Research Foundation ("AHERF").

The investigation continues even after MBIA announces the
restatement of its financial statements. On March 9, 2005, MBIA
Inc announced that it had received a subpoena from the U.S.
Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York seeking
information related to the reinsurance agreements it entered
into in connection with the loss it incurred in 1998 on bonds
insured by MBIA that were issued by AHERF.

On March 30, 2005, MBIA announced that it received additional
requests from the NYAG and the SEC that supplement the subpoenas
it received in late 2004. The requests sought documents relating
to the Company's accounting treatment of advisory fees; its
methodology for determining loss reserves and case reserves;
instances of purchase of credit default protection on itself;
and documents relating to Channel Reinsurance Ltd., a
reinsurance company of which MBIA is part owner. On this news,
MBIA fell $4.36 per share, or 7.7% to close at $52.28 per share.

The case names as defendants MBIA, Joseph W. Brown, Gary C.
Dunton, Nicholas Ferreri, Neil G. Budnick and Douglas C.
Hamilton. The action charges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing a series of materially false and
misleading statements concerning the Company's financial
condition throughout the Class Period, which statements had the
effect of artificially inflating the market price of the
Company's securities.

For more details, contact Charles H. Dufresne, Jr., Esq., or
Nancy Kaboolian, Esq. of Abbey Gardy, LLP by Phone:
+1-212-889-3700 or 1-800-889-3701 or by E-mail:
nkaboolian@abbeygardy.com.


MBIA INC.: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of MBIA, Inc.
(NYSE:MBI) between August 5, 2003 and March 30, 2005, inclusive
(the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York against defendants MBIA, Joseph W.
Brown, Gary C. Dunton, Nicholas Ferreri, Neil G. Budnick and
Douglas C. Hamilton. The action charges that defendants violated
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.

Additionally, Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. is
investigating whether the MBIA, Inc. retirement plans may have
imprudently invested in MBIA stock between August 5, 2003 and
March 30, 2005.

For more details, contact the Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven,
P.A. by Mail: The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt
Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore, Maryland 21202 by Phone:
410/986-0036 or by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


MBIA INC: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all persons who
purchased the publicly traded securities of MBIA, Inc., (NYSE:
MBI) ("MBIA" or "the Company") between August 5, 2003 and March
30, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that MBIA violated federal securities laws
by issuing false or misleading information concerning the
Company's financial condition.

On November 18, 2004, MBIA announced that it had received
subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC")
and the New York Attorney General's office ("NYAG") requesting
information with respect to loss mitigation insurance products
developed, offered or sold to third parties from January 1, 1998
to the present. On March 8, 2005, MBIA announced that it would
restate its financial statements for 1998 and subsequent years
in order to correct the accounting treatment for two reinsurance
agreements that MBIA entered into in 1998 with Converium Re
(previously known as Zurich Reinsurance North America). Then on
March 9, 2005, MBIA announced that it had received a subpoena
from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New
York seeking information related to reinsurance agreements in
connection with the loss it incurred in 1998 on bonds insured by
MBIA that were issued by Allegheny Health, Education and
Research Foundation ("AHERF"). Finally, on March 30, 2005, MBIA
announced that it had received additional requests from the NYAG
and SEC supplemental to the 2004 subpoenas. On this news, MBIA
fell $4.36 per share, or 7.7% to close at $52.28 per share.

For more details, contact Wayne T. Boulton or Nancy Kulesa by
Phone: (800) 797-5499 by E-mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit their
Web site: http://www.snlaw.net.


ORANGE 21: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Federman & Sherwood initiated a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court Southern
District of California against Orange 21, Inc. (Nasdaq: ORNG).

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market which had the effect
of artificially inflating the market price. The class period is
from December 14, 2004 through December 14, 2004, during the
Company's initial public offering.

For more details, contact William B. Federman of FEDERMAN &
SHERWOOD by Mail: 120 N. Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, OK
73102 by Phone: (405) 235-1560 by Fax: (405) 239-2112 or by E-
mail: wfederman@aol.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.federmanlaw.com.

                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Glenn Ruel Senorin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2005.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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