CAR_Public/050603.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, June 3, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 109


                            Headlines

AVENTIS PHARMACEUTICALS: Judge Orders Settlement Distribution
AXIS CAPITAL: NY Court Orders Securities Lawsuits Consolidated
BARR PHARMACEUTICALS: Working To Settle Cipro Antitrust Lawsuits
BRISTOL-MYERS: Settles Four Investor Lawsuits in NY For $89 Mil
CHILE: Blizzard Victims' Families Launch Lawsuit V. Government

CIT GROUP: Faces NorVergence Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in NJ Court
CLIENTLOGIC OPERATING: Workers Launch Overtime Wage Suit in NY
COLDWELL BANKER: ID Couple Launches "Tying" Antitrust Suit
CORONET FOODS: WV Judge Allows Salmonella Victims to Launch Suit
COX RADIO: GA Court Yet To Rule on Appeal of TCPA Suit Dismissal

E-COMMERCE EXCHANGE: Plaintiffs File Amended Consumer Suit in CA
ELECTRONIC DATA: Trial in Securities, ERISA Suits Set Sept. 2005
ENTERPRISE TITLE: OH Homeowners File RESPA Suit Over AfBA Sham
FIRST ADVANTAGE: Subsidiary Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in NY
FIRST ADVANTAGE: Subsidiaries Face Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in CA

FLORIDA: Physician's Suit V. Insurance Firms Set For Fall Trial
GOLD FIELDS: Faces Lead Personal Injury Litigation in OK Courts
GOLD FIELDS: Oklahoma Sends Notice of Claim in CERCLA Lawsuit
GUIDANT CORPORATION: PA Man Files Lawsuit Over Defective Devices
HAWAII: Settles Prisoners' Suit Over Illegal Detention for $700T

HOMESTORE INC.: Reaches Settlement For CA Overtime Wage Lawsuit
IMERGENT INC.: Lawsuits Postpone Firm's Internet E-Commerce Demo
INSIGHT COMMUNICATIONS: DE Court Denies Preliminary Injunction
LONE STAR: Enters Settlement Agreement For CalPERS' Lawsuit
MIDAMERICAN ENERGY: Plaintiffs Seek NY Stock Suit Certification

OHIO: Suit Launched Over Jail's Policy Regarding Inmates' Money
OVERTURE SERVICES: NY Court Preliminarily OKs Lawsuit Settlement
PRAECIS PHARMACEUTICALS: MA Court Consolidates Securities Suits
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS: Pays $41M To Settle Travel-Billing Suit
SIEBEL SYSTEMS: Agrees To Stay CA Securities Violations Lawsuit

SONIC AUTOMOTIVE: Plaintiffs To Appeal TX Certification Reversal
TITAN CORPORATION: Plaintiffs To Seek Leave To File Amended Suit
TITAN CORPORATION: Continues To Face Iraqi Human Rights Lawsuit
UNITED STATES: Army Settles 0-5s' Lawsuit Over Forced Retirement
VIXEL CORPORATION: NY Court Preliminarily OKs Lawsuit Settlement

VIXEL CORPORATION: Gateway Partners Still Against CA Settlement
WILLIS GROUP: Investor Fraud, Market-Timing Lawsuits Moved To NJ

                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Asbestos Death Toll to Rise Until 2020
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB to Present Final Asbestos Plan In June
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chemist Bares New Risk Assessment Approach
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Deal Frees Hardie Officers from Liability

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Senate Panel Approves US$140B Asbestos Fund
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ATSDR Checks NJ Plant Site for Health Risks
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Boat Builder Dies from Asbestos Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: KY Jury Awards US$3.25MM to Worker's Estate
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fibrecrete Worker Dies from Mesothelioma

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GMB Raises Asbestos Issue at IMF Conference
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Rhodia Deals With Asbestos Exposure Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Senate Panel Excludes Easthampton from Bill
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Mulls Over US and UK Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio Court Ruling Favors 47 Insurance Firms

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Building Firm Owner Succumbs to Lung Cancer
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Workers' Families Run Cancer Risk
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Activist Raises Inco Ltd. Health Risk Issue
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US Base Workers to Get 215M-Yen Settlement
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: SC Overturns Order Forcing Ford Disclosure

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PA Court Reverses WCAB Order V. Monessen
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeals Court Reverses Order V. CCR Members
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AIG Restates Income With US$3.9B Adjustment
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Metalworker Unions Campaign for Global Ban
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA to Create Expert Panel for El Dorado

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Dumping Strikes UK Nature Reserve
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Victims' Group Dismayed at Passage of Bill
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Town Residents Urge Action for Dumping
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Complaint Filed V. IL Asbestos Removal Firm
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: One Body to Handle Commonwealth Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Toxin Levels High in Iowa Financial Center
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Inquest Shows Linesman Died of Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AG Sues W.R. Grace for Lying About Cleanup
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sears Wants Maremont to Indemnify Losses
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GE Files Motion for Mistrial in IL County

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Agency Sounds Alert on Asbestos Rubble
ASBESTOS ALERT: Inn Owner, Contractor Agree to US$81T Settlement
ASBESTOS ALERT: Man Pleads Guilty to Asbestos Removal Case in NY

                  New Security Fraud Cases

ABLE LABORATORIES: Abbey Gardey Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NJ
COLLINS & AIKMAN: Murray Frank Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
DORAL FINANCIAL: Glancy Binkow Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
GRAVITY CO.: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
UNITED AMERICAN: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Suit in E.D. MI


                            *********


AVENTIS PHARMACEUTICALS: Judge Orders Settlement Distribution
-------------------------------------------------------------
After a single objection delayed the payments for 18 months, a
federal judge in Detroit ordered the distribution of an $80
million class action settlement for more than 76,000 consumers,
who were overcharged for blood pressure medication nationwide,
The Detroit News reports.

Attorney generals from 14 states, led by Michigan and New York,
initiated a lawsuit against Aventis Pharmaceuticals and Andrx
Corporation in 2001, alleging that the firms illegally agreed
that they would not introduce a less expensive generic version
of Cardizem CD, leaving only the higher-priced, brand-name
product on the market. The once-a-day prescription drug is used
by millions of people to treat high-blood pressure and angina.
According to the suit, in return for agreeing not to produce a
generic drug, France-based Aventis paid Florida-based Andrx $90
million.

U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds approved the distribution
of the settlement checks on June 1, 2005, more than 18 months
after she gave final approval to the settlement in October 2003.
The order came after the U.S. Supreme Court on May 23 declined
to hear an appeal of the settlement.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs, Joseph T. Tabacco Jr., told the
Detroit News that the checks, which is expected to average $270
each, would go out as soon as the first week of July.

Under the terms of the settlement, 76,400 consumers will split
$22 million, while insurance companies that overpaid for
prescription reimbursement costs will receive $30 million.  In
Michigan, thousands of consumers will split $750,000; Michigan
insurance companies will get $1 million. The state itself will
get $400,000 for its attorney fees, and state agencies will get
another $215,000.

In a related matter, Mr. Tabacco told the Detroit News that one
of the first elderly consumers to file suit died while waiting
for her check. Mr. Tabacco, noting that the money would be paid
to their estates, also said, "Given the fact that this is heart
medication, you would imagine that the plaintiffs have passed
away in a higher percentage. That's the sad part for the delay
from the appeal." He adds, " ... This settlement will help a lot
of senior citizens with their drug bills," though he said that
he and other lawyers didn't know how many plaintiffs have died.

Under the agreement announced in January 2003 and joined by
attorneys general for all 50 states, consumers who bought the
drug between January 1998 and January 2003 were eligible to be
compensated.

However in November 2003, Tennessee resident Eugenia Wynne Sams,
filed an objection to the settlement, demanding a hearing in the
federal appeals court. Her attorney contended that her state's
laws could have resulted in a more generous settlement. Last
month though, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court rejected her appeal,
but she has until March 14, 2006, to file another appeal with
the U.S. Supreme Court.

Generally, the attorney generals in the suit contend that
starting July 1998, Hoechst, a pharmaceutical company acquired
by Aventis in 2000, paid Andrx just less than $90 million in
exchange for not to marketing a generic version of Cardizem.
Private attorneys first filed suit against the companies in 1999
on behalf of individual consumers.

The one-year delay in the availability of a generic substitute
meant consumers, medical insurance companies and the government,
were forced to buy the higher-priced, brand name version.

The suit alleges that in 1997, Hoechst earned $700 million from
the sale of Cardizem, the company's highest revenue producer.

Under the settlement, the typical user will recover 30 percent
of their prescription prices paid in 1998-1999 and 11 percent of
their prescription prices for drugs purchased from 2000-2003.

The deadline for joining in the class action suit was November
15, 2003 though Judge Edmunds approved late-filers to the
settlement that had made claims by the end of 2004.


AXIS CAPITAL: NY Court Orders Securities Lawsuits Consolidated
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York ordered consolidated the two securities class actions
filed against AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. and certain of its
executive officers, relating to the practices being investigated
by the Attorney General of the State of New York and other state
regulators.  The suits are styled "James Dolan v. AXIS Capital
Holdings Limited, Michael A. Butt and John R. Charman" (filed on
October 28, 2004) and "Robert Schimpf v. AXIS Capital Holdings
Limited, Michael A. Butt, Andrew Cook and John R. Charman,"
(filed on November 5, 2004).

The suits were filed on behalf of purchasers of AXIS Capital
Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: AXS) publicly traded securities during the
period between August 6, 2003 and October 14, 2004 (the "Class
Period").  The complaints charge AXIS and certain of its
officers and directors with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.

The complaints further allege that during the Class Period,
defendants disseminated materially false and misleading
statements concerning the Company's results and operations. The
true facts, which were known by each of the defendants but
concealed from the investing public during the Class Period,
were as follows:

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

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

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

On April 13, 2005, these lawsuits were consolidated and will now
be known as "In re AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. Securities
Litigation."  The lawsuit alleges securities violations in
connection with the failure to disclose payments made pursuant
to contingent commission arrangements and seeks damages in an
unspecified amount.


BARR PHARMACEUTICALS: Working To Settle Cipro Antitrust Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is working to settle the litigation
pending against it, Bayer Corporation, The Rugby Group, Inc.,
alleging antitrust violations related to its antibiotic
Ciprofloxacin (Cipro).

Approximately 38 class action complaints were filed in state and
federal courts by direct and indirect purchasers of Cipro from
1997 to the present.  The complaints allege that the 1997 Bayer-
Barr patent litigation settlement agreement was anti-competitive
and violated federal antitrust laws and/or state antitrust and
consumer protection laws.  A prior investigation into the 1997
settlement by the Texas Attorney General's Office on behalf of a
group of state Attorneys General was closed without further
action in December 2001.

All of the federal complaints were consolidated in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of New York, which had
been designated to handle the multi-district Cipro litigation at
the federal level (the "MDL Case").  In May 2003, the District
Court ruled that the 1997 settlement did not constitute a per se
violation of the antitrust laws. At that time, the Court had
rejected two of plaintiffs' three legal theories. In March 2005,
the District Court granted summary judgment in the Company's
favor, again rejecting a challenge to the lawfulness of its 1997
settlement with Bayer. In granting summary judgment, the
District Court concluded that plaintiffs' remaining legal theory
was also insufficient as a matter of law. Plaintiffs are
expected to appeal the District Court's decision.

Of the state court lawsuits, two cases in New York and one case
in Wisconsin were dismissed at the outset, and appeals are now
pending. Lawsuits remain pending in California, Kansas, and
Florida state courts, and all raise similar challenges to the
same 1997 settlement for which the U.S. District Court has
rejected antitrust and consumer protection claims as a matter of
law. On April 13, 2005, the Superior Court of San Diego,
California ordered a stay of the California state class actions
until after the resolution of any appeal in the MDL Case. On
April 22, 2005, the District Court of Johnson County, Kansas
similarly stayed the action before it, until after the
resolution of any appeal in the MDL Case.  The Florida state
class action remains at a very early stage, with no status
hearings, dispositive motions, pre-trial schedules, or a trial
date set as of yet.

The Company believes that its agreement with Bayer Corporation
reflects a valid settlement to a patent suit and cannot form the
basis of an antitrust claim, the Company said in a disclosure to
the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Based on this belief,
the Company is vigorously defending itself in the remaining
state court matters, and will vigorously defend any appeal of
the MDL Case.  The Company anticipates that these matters may
take several years to resolve.


BRISTOL-MYERS: Settles Four Investor Lawsuits in NY For $89 Mil
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bristol-Myers Squibb settled four investor lawsuits for $89
million and warned that it would be forced to set aside more
money this quarter for costs related to an accounting
investigation, The New York Times reports.

According to the drug giant, the amount of the additional set-
aside, which it did not disclose, would affect its operating
results this quarter but not its material condition. Along with
a similar $110 million charge in the first quarter, the
company's litigation reserve fund had risen to a total of $140
million. The charge also lowered its operating profit for the
three-month period by about 16 percent.

Tony Plohoros, a spokesman for the New York-based company, told
the Times that the $89 million settlement represented completion
of the company's investor civil litigation. He adds that in
settling the civil cases, which asserted financial misdeeds, the
company admitted no wrongdoing.

Currently, the company is the subject of a Department of Justice
investigation into accusations that it manipulated its earnings
several years ago through a practice known as channel stuffing,
an action wherein it gave financial incentives to wholesalers to
buy extra products. A person who has been briefed on
negotiations between Bristol-Myers and the government has
previously said that the resolution of that investigation was
imminent, with Bristol-Myers expected to pay a large fine.

In a press statement, Bristol-Myers stated that the four suits
it settled were brought in New York State Supreme Court by
plaintiffs who had declined to join a class action settlement
last November in Federal District Court in Manhattan. The
investor cases involved the same wholesale inventory claims that
led to the criminal investigation.


CHILE: Blizzard Victims' Families Launch Lawsuit V. Government
--------------------------------------------------------------
The families of 44 recruits and a sergeant who died in a
blizzard on May 18 initiated a lawsuit against the Chilean
government, according to official legal sources, The PeriĘdico
26 reports.

Some 433 soldiers, most of them aged at 18 or 19, were caught in
a sudden blizzard on May 18 in the high Andes Mountains where
they were on a military training exercise.

Attorney Ra£l Meza and a team of lawyers, advisers of Senator
Nelson Avila, will present the class action.  Though the
families have yet to agree on the amount of money they will
request, Mr. Meza thinks the demand can be between $140,000 and
$170,000 for each victim.

Mr. Meza said at least 15 families have agreed to receive legal
assistance to present legal action to seek a government
compensation for irreparable damages. The lawyer told PeriĘdico
26 that he expects other victims' families to join the legal
action.


CIT GROUP: Faces NorVergence Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in NJ Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
CIT Group, Inc. faces a national class action filed in the
Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County, styled "Exquisite
Caterers v. Popular Leasing, et al."  The suit also names 12
other financial institutions, who had acquired equipment leases
("NorVergence Leases") from NorVergence, Inc., a reseller of
telecommunications and Internet services to businesses.

The lawsuit alleges that NorVergence misrepresented the
capabilities of the equipment leased to its customers and
overcharged for the equipment.  The complaint asserts that the
NorVergence Leases are unenforceable and seeks rescission,
punitive damages, treble damages and attorneys' fees.

In addition, putative class action suits in Florida, Illinois,
New York, and Texas and several individual suits, all based upon
the same core allegations and seeking the same relief, have been
filed by NorVergence customers against the Company and other
financial institutions.


CLIENTLOGIC OPERATING: Workers Launch Overtime Wage Suit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
ClientLogic Operating Corp., a customer service outsourcing
company that provides telephone call center services to Fortune
500 and Global 2000 companies violated state and federal labor
laws, according to a lawsuit filed in a federal court in New
York.

Two telephone workers in ClientLogic's Buffalo, New York,
facility -- Martin J. Hens and Paul Van Voorhees -- allege that
neither they nor their coworkers received overtime pay as
required by federal Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and New
York state laws.

According to Mr. Hens, "We were required to start work early and
finish late, but they only paid us for our scheduled shift. Some
weeks I was giving as many as two or three hours to the company.
It seemed wrong, but they told us that's the way it worked."

Attorneys from Outten & Golden LLP and Stueve Siegel Hanson
Woody LLP represent the call center workers and will seek
certification of the case as a class action. The case could
include ClientLogic call center workers at up to 26 call centers
in 16 states. A subsidiary of Onex Corp. (TSX: OCX.SV), of
Canada, ClientLogic's call center customers include Sony,
Microsoft and DirectTV.

Attorney George A. Hanson, of Stueve Siegel Hanson Woody LLP's
Kansas City, Mo., office, stated that the practice violates the
law. "Regardless of what company representatives may have told
workers, companies like ClientLogic are obligated under federal
and state laws to pay workers for all the time they work, not
just for their scheduled shifts," he said. "Unfortunately, it is
a common practice in call centers across the country to require
workers to put in time before and after their shifts without
pay."

Justin M. Swartz, an attorney with Outten & Golden LLP's New
York office, stated, "Call center employees more than earn their
pay in a work environment that is typically highly stressful and
low paying. Companies like ClientLogic should make it a top
priority to ensure that its workers are being paid everything
they are owed for work well done. This case is particularly
distressing because not only were the Buffalo-area ClientLogic
workers denied overtime pay but their jobs were sent abroad to
foreign countries in the company's efforts to minimize its
costs. We also are investigating the overtime practices at other
ClientLogic call center facilities throughout the U.S."

Founded in 1990 in the Buffalo area, ClientLogic has shifted
most of its call center operations to foreign locations to
maximize wage and health care cost savings. ClientLogic's
Buffalo facility provided an estimated 1,500 jobs before it was
closed earlier this year.

ClientLogic operates call center facilities in Buffalo, N.Y.;
Kenmore, N.Y.; Tonawanda, N.Y.; Andalusia, Ala.; Hamilton, Ala.;
Winfield, Ala.; Milford, Del.; Lake City, Fla.; Bogalusa, La.;
Starkville, Miss.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Bloomfield, N.J.; Clifton,
N.J.; Fairlawn, N.J.; Weehawken, N.J.; Albuquerque, N.M.;
Asheville, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Bartlesville, Okla.; Norman,
Okla.; Kingstree, S.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; Oak Ridge, Tenn.;
Dallas, Texas; Port Arthur, Texas; and Huntington, W.Va.

The case is "Martin J. Hens and Paul Van Voorhees v. ClientLogic
Operating Corporation" (No. 05 CV 0381) in the U.S. District
Court for the Western District of New York.

For more details, contact Justin M. Swartz or Carlmelyn P.
Malalis of Outten & Golden LLP by Phone: (877) 468-8836 or by E-
mail: jms@outtengolden.com or cpm@outtengolden.com OR George A.
Hanson or Amy E. Bauman of Stueve Siegel Hanson Woody LLP by
Phone: (800) 714-0360 or by E-mail: hanson@sshwlaw.com or
bauman@sshwlaw.com.


COLDWELL BANKER: ID Couple Launches "Tying" Antitrust Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------
Robert and Renae Bafus commenced a class action lawsuit in Idaho
district court against Coldwell Banker Aspen Realty alleging
that the firm violated federal and state anti-trust laws during
the purchase of their home, The KBCI-TV Boise reports.

The suit claims that in March 2000, the couple wanted to
purchase a lot in the Chaumont Subdivision in Eagle, but when
they had already found their own builder, the realtor told them
that if they purchase the land they had to use one of the
subdivision's preferred contractors.  The suit also claims that
the couple was being charged a six percent commission on the lot
and an additional six percent on the sale of the house, which
hadn't been built yet.

Bruce Smith, one of the attorneys representing the Bafuses told
KBCI-TV, "In essence there's a commission being charged on
something that is yet to be done and it includes a commission
that is often times not identified to the purchaser." Mr. Smith
calls this practice 'tying,' when the sale of one product forces
the buyer to purchase another product they don't want or need.

Though Coldwell Banker representatives were advised not to
comment on the suit, an attorney for the real estate group did
issue a statement to KBCI-TV Boise. In that press statement the
Bohner Law Office said they are still sorting out all the facts
in the case, however once those facts are known, they are
confident their client will be exonerated. "The discovery
process is just beginning, but once all the facts are know, it
will be clear the claims are without merit," says A.J. Bohner,
an attorney for Coldwell Banker.

The plaintiff's attorneys allege that though it's not uncommon
for subdivisions to be controlled by one real estate group, it
is illegal for Coldwell Banker and other brokers to charge
hidden commission fees to homebuyers.  A homebuyer hotline has
been set up for people who believe they have been affected by
this practice. The number is 208-947-1890.


CORONET FOODS: WV Judge Allows Salmonella Victims to Launch Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
West Virginia Federal Bankruptcy Judge L. Edward Friend II
allowed more than 80 people, who claimed that they were sickened
by salmonella-tainted tomatoes, to sue the company that supplied
the tomatoes and the Sheetz convenience store chain, The
Associated Press reports.

The federal judge recently signed an order allowing plaintiffs
to sue Coronet Foods Inc., a bankrupt Wheeling, West Virginia
company, and Sheetz after attorneys for Coronet stated that they
did not want to mediate the lawsuits.

Seattle food-illness attorney Bill Marler, who had sought
mediation, told AP that he planned to file a class action
lawsuit against Coronet.  Eric Anderson, the Pittsburgh
attorney, defending Coronet against lawsuits, declined comment,
saying he had not had time to talk with Coronet officials, while
Coronet's bankruptcy attorney, Charles J. Kaiser Jr., told AP he
had not seen the order but pointed out that any rewards would be
paid from Coronet's insurance.

Court records show that Coronet had shut down in October and
filed bankruptcy shortly, after a few lawsuits were filed. The
company has $11 million dollars worth of insurance covering it,
Mr. Marler has said.

Mike Cortez, vice president and general counsel for Sheetz, told
AP that the order didn't necessarily preclude the convenience
store chain from settling the claims. Mr. Cortez pointed out
that that Sheetz's goal has been the same and said, "let's get
them in, find out what their claims are and take care of them."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
more than 400 people were sickened in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West
Virginia and six other states after eating Roma tomatoes served
at Sheetz stores last year. The CDC traced the tainted tomatoes
to a Florida packinghouse that it did not identify. The agency
though stated that the packinghouse followed food-safety
practices and no trace of the bacteria was found there.

Food inspectors also told AP that though Coronet and Sheetz did
nothing wrong under the law they could be held liable because
they supplied and prepared the tomatoes for human consumption.

Nobody died in the Sheetz outbreak. Mr. Marler has said most
claims will be for less than $100,000 to cover medical bills,
lost wages and pain and suffering.


COX RADIO: GA Court Yet To Rule on Appeal of TCPA Suit Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Fulton County Superior Court in Georgia has yet to rule on
plaintiffs' appeal of the dismissal of a class action filed
against Cox Radio, Inc., alleging violations of the Federal
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The complaint seeks statutory damages in the amount of $1,500,
plus attorneys' fees, on behalf of each person "throughout the
State of Georgia" who received an unsolicited pre-recorded
telephone message delivering an "unsolicited advertisement" from
a Cox Radio radio station.

The Company filed an answer to the complaint denying liability
and asserting numerous defenses.  Thereafter, proceedings in
this case were stayed pending rulings by the Georgia Court of
Appeals in a similar action pending against another radio
broadcast company.  This stay was lifted on August 13, 2003
following rulings by the Court of Appeals in the second case
directing the trial court to consider certain constitutional
defenses raised by the defendant.

On July 3, 2003, the FCC issued a Report and Order holding,
among other things, that pre-recorded telephone messages by
broadcasters made for the purpose of inviting consumers to
listen to a free broadcast are not "unsolicited advertisements"
prohibited by the TCPA. On July 28, 2003, the Company requested
that the plaintiffs voluntarily dismiss their claims in light of
the FCC's Report and Order. Plaintiffs subsequently refused this
request, and on October 24, 2003, the Company filed a motion for
judgment on the pleadings seeking the dismissal of plaintiffs'
claims on grounds that the calls in question were permissible
under the TCPA and the FCC's implementing rules and,
alternatively, that the application of the TCPA to the facts of
this case would violate the Company's constitutional rights to
free speech, equal protection and due process.

On February 3, 2004, plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint
in support of their contention that the messages at issue were
not exempted by the terms of the FCC Report and Order. On March
25, 2004, the court entered an order ruling that the calls at
issue were not prohibited by the TCPA and its implementing
regulations, granting the Company's motion for judgment on the
pleadings, and dismissing the plaintiffs' claims.  Plaintiffs
filed a notice of appeal from these rulings on April 21, 2004.


E-COMMERCE EXCHANGE: Plaintiffs File Amended Consumer Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed an amended class action against E-Commerce
Exchange, Inc. (ECX) in the Superior Court of Orange County,
California, styled "Robert Aguilard, et al., on behalf of
themselves and all persons similarly situated v. E-Commerce
Exchange, Inc., A-1 Leasing LLC, and Duvera Billing Services,
Civil Action No.05CC02794."

This lawsuit, which also names several other defendants, was
filed on February 2, 2005 and is brought by Robert Aguilard and
nine other named plaintiffs on behalf of themselves, and as
private attorneys general pursuant to California Business and
Professions Code Sections 17204 and 17535, on behalf of all
persons similarly situated, and on behalf of the general public,
as a "class action" pursuant to California Code of Civil
Procedure Section 382 (the "class" defined in the compliant is
composed of "all persons who purchased or leased a Quick
Commerce or Wonderpay software/license/set-up fee from the
Defendants").

The complaint alleges a single cause of action for "unfair
competition" (including "unfair business practices") pursuant to
California Business and Professions Code Sections 17200, arising
out of certain alleged transactions and marketing activities by
defendants in connection with various merchant credit card
processing services and products offered to persons and
businesses that intended to conduct "e-commerce" business and
acquired a license for a "virtual terminal" marketed under the
name "Quick Commerce" or "Wonderpay."  The complaint seeks an
order certifying the lawsuit as a "certified class actionm," for
a declaratory judgment as to the rights and liabilities of the
parties, for a preliminary and permanent injunction to restrain
and enjoin defendants from continuing to engage in the alleged
unlawful conduct, an order requiring defendants to provide an
accounting, restitution for amounts paid by plaintiffs (and
"class" members), disgorgement of profits obtained by the
"unfair competition" activities engaged in by defendants,
interest, attorney fees, costs of suit, and such other relief as
may be proper.

On March 25, 2005, the Company filed a Demurrer and Motion to
Strike to plaintiffs' initial complaint, setting a hearing date
of April 27, 2005.  In response to the Company's Demurrer and
Motion to Strike, on April 8, 2005, the plaintiffs filed a First
Amended Complaint which the Company must respond to on or before
May 13, 2005.


ELECTRONIC DATA: Trial in Securities, ERISA Suits Set Sept. 2005
----------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the consolidated securities class action and the
consolidated Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
class action filed against Electronic Data Systems Corporation
and certain of its former officers is set for September 26,2005
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Texas.

The Company and certain of its former officers are defendants in
numerous purported shareholder class action suits filed from
September through December 2002 in response to its September 18,
2002 earnings pre-announcement, publicity about certain equity
hedging transactions that it had entered into, and the drop in
the price of its common stock.  The cases allege violations of
various federal securities laws and common law fraud based upon
purported misstatements or omissions of material facts regarding
the Company's financial condition.

In addition, five purported class action suits were filed on
behalf of participants in the Company's 401(k) Plan against the
Company, certain of its current and former officers and, in some
cases, its directors, alleging the defendants breached their
fiduciary duties under ERISA and made misrepresentations to the
class regarding the value of Company shares.

The Company's motions to centralize all of the foregoing cases
in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
have been granted.  Representatives of two committees
responsible for administering the EDS 401(k) Plan notified the
Company of their demand for payment of amounts they believe are
owing to plan participants under Section 12(a)(1) of the
Securities Act of 1933 as a result of an alleged failure to
register certain shares of EDS common stock sold pursuant to the
plan during a period of approximately one year ending on
November 18, 2002.  The committee representatives have asserted
that plan participants to whom shares were sold during the
applicable period are entitled to receive a return of the
amounts paid for the shares, plus interest and less any income
received, upon tender of the shares to the Company.

On July 7, 2003, the lead plaintiff in the consolidated
securities action described above and the lead plaintiffs in the
consolidated ERISA action described above each filed a
consolidated class action complaint.  The amended consolidated
complaint in the securities action alleges violations of Section
10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5
thereunder and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act. The plaintiffs
allege that the Company and certain of its former officers made
false and misleading statements about the financial condition of
the Company, particularly with respect to the NMCI contract and
the accounting for that contract.  The class period is alleged
to be from February 7, 2001 to September 18, 2002.

The consolidated complaint in the ERISA action alleges violation
of fiduciary duties under ERISA by some or all of the defendants
and violation of Section 12(a)(1) of the Securities Act by
selling unregistered EDS shares to plan participants.  The named
defendants are the Company and, with respect to the ERISA
claims, certain current and former officers of the Company,
members of the Compensation and Benefits Committee of its Board
of Directors, and certain current and former members of the two
committees responsible for administering the plan. The Company's
motions to dismiss the consolidated securities action and the
consolidated ERISA action were denied by the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Texas.

On November 8, 2004, the court certified a class in the ERISA
action on certain of the allegations of breach of fiduciary
duty, of all participants in the EDS 401(k) Plan and their
beneficiaries, excluding Defendants, for whose accounts the plan
made or maintained investments in Company stock through the
Company Stock Fund between September 7, 1999 and October 9,
2002. Also on November 8, 2004, the court certified a class in
the ERISA action on the allegations of violation of Section
12(a)(1) of the Securities Act of all participants in the Plan
and their beneficiaries, excluding the Defendants, for whose
accounts the Plan purchased EDS stock through the EDS Stock Fund
between October 20, 2001 and November 18, 2002.

The Company filed a petition to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of
Appeal on November 23, 2004 requesting that the Court hear and
reverse the trial court's class certification order as to the
class certified in the ERISA action.  On December 29, 2004, the
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal granted the Company's petition to
appeal the class certification order from the District Court.
That court also granted the Company's motion to expedite the
appeal, and oral arguments were heard on the appeal on April 5,
2005.

On May 5, 2005, the Company reached an agreement with the class
representatives in the ERISA action to settle that action,
subject to final approval of the settlement an independent
fiduciary and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of Texas and the receipt of certain assurances from the
Department of Labor, and filed a joint motion to stay the
proceedings with the court pending such approvals. Under the
terms of the settlement, a cash payment would be paid entirely
by one of the Company's insurers. In addition, the Company would
continue to make the matching contribution under the EDS 401(k)
Plan through 2006 and make certain changes to the Plan.

On February 11, 2005, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Texas certified a class in the consolidated
securities action of all persons and entities, excluding
defendants, who purchased or otherwise acquired EDS securities
between February 7, 2001 through September 18, 2002 and who were
damaged thereby. The Company filed a petition to the U.S. Fifth
Circuit Court of Appeal on February 28, 2005 requesting that the
Court hear and reverse the trial court's class certification
order as to the class certified in the securities action. On
April 28, 2005, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal granted the
Company's petition to appeal the class certification order from
the District Court. A trial commencement date of September 26,
2005 has been established for the consolidated securities action
and the consolidated ERISA action.  A trial commencement date of
September 26, 2005 has been established for the consolidated
securities action.

The securities suit is styled "In re Electronic Data Systems
Securities Litigation, case no 6:03-cv-110," filed in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, under
Judge Leonard Davis.  Representing the plaintiffs is Bernstein
Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP (San Diego, CA), 12544 High
Bluff Drive, Suite 150, San Diego, CA, 92130, Phone:
858.793.0070, Fax: 858.793.0323, E-mail: blbg@blbglaw.com.
Representing the Company is G. Irvin Terrell, Shira Radinsky
Yoshor, and Larry Dean Carlson of Baker Botts LLP, 910 Louisiana
Suite 3000, One Shell Plaza, Houston TX 77002-4995 USA Phone:
713-229-1215, Fax: 1-713-229-1522 and Kirk Alan Parry, Jr. of
Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan, 2500 First
Union Capitol Center, PO Box 2611, Raleigh NC 27602-2611, USA,
Phone: 919-821-6621.

The ERISA Suit is styled "In re Electronic Data Systems
Corporation ERISA Litigation, case no. 6:03-MD-1512," filed in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Texas, under Judge Leonard Davis.  Plaintiffs are represented by
Barry C. Barnett of Susman Godfrey LLP, 901 Main Street, Suite
4100, Dalass Texas 75202-3775, Phone: 214-754-1900, Fax:
214-754-1933.  Representing the Company are:

     (1) David J. Bailey and Michael McConnell of Jones Day -
         Atlanta, 1420 Peachtree Street Suite 800 Atlanta, GA
         30309-3053 Phone: 214/969-3700, Fax: 12149695100, E-
         mail: djbailey@jonesday.com or mmcconnell@jonesday.com

     (2) Richard P. Keeton, Nickens Keeton Lawless Farrell &
         Flack, 600 Travis Suite 7500, Houston, Tx 77002, Phone:
         713/571-9191, Fax: 713/571-9652, E-mail:
         rkeeton@nickenskeeton.com

     (3) Robert H Klonoff, Jones Day-Kansas City MO, 500 East
         52nd St, Kansas City, MO 64110, E-mail:
         rhklonoff@jonesday.com


ENTERPRISE TITLE: OH Homeowners File RESPA Suit Over AfBA Sham
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ohio homeowners launched a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
(RESPA) class action lawsuit against the Enterprise Title
Agency, Inc., First USA Title Agency, LP, John DeSantis, a real
estate agent affiliated with Realty One, and a presently unknown
John Doe for conspiring to defraud consumers by funneling
kickbacks through a sham "Affiliated Business Arrangements"
(AfBA).

The named Plaintiffs in the suit are Calvin R. Pettrey, who
operates a Painesville, Ohio-based trucking company and Nikki
Pettrey, a dispatcher of the same company. They represent a
class of homeowners who are seeking relief from the predatory
practices of Enterprise, Mr. DeSantis, and a sham affiliated
business entity (First USA) for violations of statutory and
common law obligations.

The case, which is pending before the United States district
Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, is
styled, Pettrey et al v. Enterprise Title Agency, Inc. et al,
Case No. 1:05-cv-01504-JMM. The Honorable John M. Manos is
currently presiding over the case.

Court documents reveal that Enterprise relies heavily on
mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers, and real estate brokers to
obtain business. In order to promote its title services,
Enterprise, according to the suit, encourages and assists one or
more of these entities to set up "Joint Ventures" or
"Partnerships," which on information and belief are sham
entities known as "Affiliated Business Arrangements," as a way
to referral fees and kickback to the referring entity at the
expense of the borrower and in circumvention of the provision of
RESPA.

The suit alleges that upon information and belief, under the
Defendants' scheme, Enterprise solicited title work from Mr.
DeSantis promising that he could make additional money for each
loan referred without performing and additional work. The suit
states that Enterprise along with Mr. DeSantis, then set up
Defendant First USA, North American Titled Agency, LP, and White
Star Title Agency, affiliated business arrangements that were
established to appear on closing documents as entities, which
had performed title work or settlement services for, or in
conjunction with, the closing of the mortgage loan (collectively
known as the "Sham Entities"). The Sham Entities are owned in
whole or in part by Mr. DeSantis and Enterprise either directly
on through subsidiaries.

The suit goes on to allege that once the Sham Entities were
created, one of them appeared on the settlement documents in
transactions closed by Enterprise as an entity that had
performed bona fide and substantial title or closing services,
which was however untrue. Even though the Sham Entities charged
and were paid a fee by the borrower in each transaction, they,
in fact, performed little or no work in connection with the
transactions. Moreover, following the settlement, the fess
attributable to the Sham Entities, which were in addition to the
customary and usual fee that Enterprise charged title and
closing work, were channeled back to Mr. DeSantis, who collected
the fee without disclosing to the borrower that the monies were
paid to reward the real estate agent for the referral of the
title and/or settlement work to the Sham Entities.

In so doing, Enterprise and Mr. DeSantis were able to
systematically and deceptively hide and conceal the fact that
First USA, North America and White Star were sham "Affiliated
Business Arrangements" and served no purpose in transaction
other than to permit the real estate agent to pocket additional
monies, paid by the borrower, while proving good and services
and facilitate the payment of referral fee and kickback,
sponsored by Enterprise, at increased expense of the borrower
and in violation of the borrower's rights Under state and
federal law.

In addition, the suit, which was filed on May 26, 2005, also
named as Plaintiffs a class of borrowers who entered in mortgage
loan transactions using the services of Enterprise where the
HUD-1 (Housing Urban Development-1) Settlement Statement, or
other documents in the loan file, includes a charge for or
payment to one or more of the Sham Entities.

The case is styled, Pettrey et al v. Enterprise Title Agency,
Inc. et al, Case No. 1:05-cv-01504-JMM, which is penfing before
the Honorable John M. Manos which in the United States district
Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division. The
plaintiffs are Calvin R. Pettrey and Nikki Pettrey, both
represented by Kramer & Associates and The Fair Housing Law
Clinic. The defendants are Enterprise Title Agency, Inc., First
USA Title Agency, LP, John DeSantis and a presently unknown John
Doe.

For more details, contact David G. Oakley or Edward G. Kramer of
Kramer & Associates by Mail: 3214 Prospect Avenue, East
Cleveland, OH 44115-2600 by Phone: 216-431-5300 by Fax:
216-431-6149 or by E-mail: davidgoakley@aol.com or
kramere7@aol.com OR Lisa L. Gold-Scott of The Fair Housing Law
Clinic by Mail: 3655 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-2703
by Phone: 216-391-5444 x 117 by Fax: 216-391-5404 by E-mail:
lisa_goldscott@hotmail.com.


FIRST ADVANTAGE: Subsidiary Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
One of First Advantage Corporation's subsidiaries faces a
consumer fraud class action filed in the United States District
Court for the District of New York.

The plaintiffs allege that the Company's subsidiary, directly
and through its agents, violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act,
New York's Fair Credit Reporting Act and New York's Deceptive
Practices Act by failing to use reasonable procedures to ensure
the maximum possible accuracy when issuing tenant reports.  The
action seeks injunctive and declaratory relief, compensatory,
punitive and statutory damages, plus attorneys' fees and costs.


FIRST ADVANTAGE: Subsidiaries Face Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Two of First Advantage Corporation's subsidiaries are defendants
in separate class action lawsuits that are pending in state
court in California.

The plaintiffs in both cases allege that the Company's
subsidiaries, directly and through their agents, violated the
California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act and California
Business and Professions Code by failing to use reasonable
procedures to ensure the maximum possible accuracy when issuing
tenant reports.  The actions seek injunctive relief, an
accounting, restitution, statutory damages, interest, punitive
damages and attorneys' fees and costs.


FLORIDA: Physician's Suit V. Insurance Firms Set For Fall Trial
---------------------------------------------------------------
After the U.S. Supreme Court refused for a second time to
intervene, a lawsuit that pits tens of thousands of doctors
against leading managed-care companies appears to be headed for
a Miami trial this fall, The Associated Press reports.

The Supreme Court declined without comment to limit which claims
by physicians will be involved in the trial, currently set to
begin September 6, before U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno in
Miami.  Previously, the Supreme Court let stand an appeals court
ruling that the lawsuit be tried as a class action involving
more than 600,000 doctors.

In their suit, the physicians contend that they have been
systematically cheated by insurance companies, which programmed
computers to pay for less intensive services than were actually
provided.

Though a settlement remains possible, insurance companies'
spokesman Kent Jarrell told AP that they are prepared for trial.
He adds, "The claims by the physicians will be revealed to be
baseless when this matter goes to trial."

Defendants in the case are Anthem, Coventry, Health Net, Humana,
PacifiCare, Prudential, UnitedHealth and Wellpoint, Aetna and
Cigna though have already reached settlements.


GOLD FIELDS: Faces Lead Personal Injury Litigation in OK Courts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gold Fields Mining LLC faces personal injury litigation related
to its lead mills operations in Picher, Oklahoma.

The Company and three other companies are defendants in two
class action lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Oklahoma. The plaintiffs have asserted
nuisance and trespass claims predicated on allegations of
intentional lead exposure by the defendants and are seeking
compensatory damages for diminution of property value, punitive
damages and the implementation of medical monitoring and
relocation programs for the affected individuals.  A predecessor
of the Company formerly operated two lead mills near Picher,
Oklahoma prior to the 1950's.  The Company has agreed to
indemnify one of the other defendants, which is a former
subsidiary of the Company.

The Company is also a defendant, along with other companies, in
five individual lawsuits arising out of the same lead mill
operations. In July 2004, two lawsuits were filed, one in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma and
one in Ottawa County, Oklahoma (subsequently removed to the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma), on behalf
of 48 individuals against the Company and three other companies.
Plaintiffs in these actions are seeking compensatory and
punitive damages for alleged personal injuries from lead
exposure.  The trials for a few of the individual plaintiffs
have been set for November 2005.


GOLD FIELDS: Oklahoma Sends Notice of Claim in CERCLA Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The state of Oklahoma, on behalf of itself and several other
parties, sent a notice to Gold Fields Mining and other
potentially responsible parties (PRPs) in the litigation filed
against it in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Oklahoma, alleging that they had concluded that
there is a reasonable probability of making a successful claim
against the PRPs for damages to natural resources.

In December 2003, the Quapaw Indian tribe and certain Quapaw
owners of interests in land filed a class action lawsuit against
the Company and five other companies in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of Oklahoma. The plaintiffs are
seeking compensatory and punitive damages based on public and
private nuisance, trespass, strict liability, natural resource
damage claims under Comprehensive Environmental Response,
Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and claims under the
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  The Company has denied
liability to the plaintiffs, has filed counterclaims against the
plaintiffs seeking indemnification and contribution and has
filed a third-party complaint against the United States, owners
of interests in chat and real property in the Picher area.


GUIDANT CORPORATION: PA Man Files Lawsuit Over Defective Devices
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Pennsylvania commenced a lawsuit against medical device maker
Guidant Corporation, claiming that the company misrepresented
the safety of one of its heart defibrillators, which has an
electrical problem that causes a tiny fraction of the devices to
short-circuit, The Associated Press reports.

Filed on behalf of 74-year-old John Brennan in U.S. District
Court, the suit that alleges the Indianapolis firm knew of the
defect, but did not tell patients or their doctors of the
possible problems. It seeks class-action status on behalf of
some 24,000 patients implanted with the Ventak Prizm 2 Model
1861.

The suit claims that the device has caused serious physical
trauma to patients and at least one death. It further claims,
"Defendants knew or had reason to know of this tendency and the
resulting risk of injury and death, preventing plaintiff, the
class and their physicians from making informed choices about
the implantation of the pacemaker defibrillator combination."

Aside from class action status, the lawsuit is also seeking a
judgment that Guidant is liable to all patients who had the
device implanted and that the company should pay for testing,
monitoring and treatment of all those patients.


HAWAII: Settles Prisoners' Suit Over Illegal Detention for $700T
----------------------------------------------------------------
Several hundred former state prisoners, who were kept in their
cells despite being cleared, or after their sentences expired,
may receive thousands of dollars from the state of Hawaii,
TheHawaiiChannel.com reports.

In a class action settlement that was recently approved, the
state agreed to money payments to prisoners and to improve
procedures for releasing inmates. Deputy attorney general
Kendall Moser told TheHawaiiChannel.com, "Nobody should be held
beyond his or her acquittals. If a judge says 'not guilty,' they
should be able to walk out the courthouse door."

Attorney Mark Davis, one of several state and civil liberties
lawyers, who searched prison records and found about 2,000
people who may be eligible for damages because they weren't
released quickly said, "We had one or more people that actually
stayed in prison for up to 90 days when they absolutely should
have been free people."

According to court documents, the settlement makes about
$700,000 available to former prisoners, who could get $1,000 for
every day their release was delayed and another $3,000 if they
were strip-searched.  Documents also indicate that another half
million will go to attorneys, and the costs of bringing the
lawsuit and managing the claims.

The claims manager told TheHawaiiChannel.com that so far, only
about 80 former prisoners have filed claims. He also told the
news organization that the deadline is next month and if inmates
don't claim all the money, it will go to the University of
Hawaii law school for projects to get legal help for prisoners.


HOMESTORE INC.: Reaches Settlement For CA Overtime Wage Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Homestore, Inc. reached a settlement for the class action filed
against it in the Los Angeles Superior Court in California,
alleging violations of the state's overtime wage laws.

In September 2004, Elizabeth Hathaway filed the suit on behalf
of herself and all current and former account executives
employed by the Company, alleging that the Company misclassified
account executives as exempt from overtime wage requirements in
violation of California law.  Ms. Hathaway sought back wages,
interest and attorneys' fees.

On March 11, 2005, Ms. Hathaway and the Company reached a
settlement for an additional $1.4 million.  The settlement will
be submitted to the court for approval.


IMERGENT INC.: Lawsuits Postpone Firm's Internet E-Commerce Demo
----------------------------------------------------------------
Facing a growing amount of federal lawsuits that accuses it of
fraud and deceptive sales practices, iMergent Inc. decided to
postpone its upcoming Analyst Day in New York City, The Salt
Lake Tribune reports.

The event, which was scheduled for Monday, was supposed to be
broadcast over the Internet and to be highlighted by a
demonstration of iMergent's StoresOnline e-commerce products and
customer service.

According to Jeffrey Korn, general counsel for the Orem-based
company, the event will be rescheduled after lead defendants are
chosen from proposed class action complaints that were filed
against iMergent in Salt Lake City's U.S. District Court.

Mr. Korn also reiterated, "We continue to believe that the
lawsuits that have been filed are without merit, and we intend
to aggressively defend iMergent against these claims." In the
meantime, "our legal counsel has advised against [participating
in] what could be very open-ended questioning in a public forum"
- a venue that could, in effect, allow litigants to mine
evidence without the judicial oversight of formal discovery-
phase depositions, he adds.

As of the moment, iMergent and/or chief executive Donald Danks,
chief operating officer Brandon Lewis and other company officers
and trustees were named in 10 proposed class action suits. In
addition to alleging securities violations, fraud and deceptive
sales practices, the suits also accuse the defendants of
providing misleading or false information that enabled them to
profit from insider trading.

Court documents also contend that iMergent officers and
directors sold hundreds of thousands of shares in the days
before February 25, when the Texas Attorney General's Office
named iMergent as one of several companies targeted by Operation
Biz Opp Flop Heading, a nationwide anti-fraud campaign by the
Federal Trade Commission, Justice Department and U.S. Postal
Inspection Service.

Texas prosecutors maintain that representatives of
StoresOnline.com, which was formerly known as Galaxy Mall Inc.,
claim their software and services result in successful,
profitable Web sites. Further, the company reportedly promised
Texas clients a profit return far exceeding an initial $500 fee.

However, after some customers set up their Web sites,
prosecutors argued that the defendants pushed them to pay an
additional $4,000 or more for "expert technical assistance." In
addition, customers complained that the StoresOnline software
was faulty, resulting in lost sales.

iMergent though denied the charges, reiterating that it is
talking with Texas authorities in hopes of reaching an out-of-
court settlement. However, Tom Kelley, a spokesman for the Texas
Attorney General's Office, told the Tribune repeatedly that
prosecutors have not deviated from plans to take the case to
trial.

In two cases, U.S. District Court documents contend iMergent
officers made huge profits by unloading stock between January 31
and February 20, five days before the Texas case came to light.
Stock, which had traded as high as $25 per share before the
announcement, tumbled to $12 in the wake of the litigation.

Mr. Lewis allegedly made out the best of the defendants, raking
in more than $2.65 million from selling 110,968 shares for
$23.95 each on February 9. Lawsuits contend several other
defendants realized six-figure profits.


INSIGHT COMMUNICATIONS: DE Court Denies Preliminary Injunction
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Delaware Court of Chancery denied plaintiffs' motion for
preliminary injunction for the consolidated securities class
action filed against Insight Communications Company, Inc. and
each of its directors.

Between March 7 and March 15, 2005, five purported class action
lawsuits were filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery.  Three of
the lawsuits also name The Carlyle Group as a defendant.  The
cases were subsequently consolidated under the caption "In Re
Insight Communications Company, Inc. Shareholders Litigation
(Civil Action No. 1154-N)," and on April 11, 2005, a
Consolidated Amended Complaint was filed.

The Complaint alleges, among other things, that the defendants
have breached their fiduciary duties to the stockholders of
Insight in connection with a proposal from Sidney R. Knafel,
Michael Willner, together with certain related and other
parties, and The Carlyle Group to acquire all of the
outstanding, publicly-held Class A common stock of the Company.
The Complaint also alleges that the proposed transaction
violates the Company's Charter and that The Carlyle Group has
aided and abetted the alleged fiduciary duty breaches.  The
Complaint seeks the certification of a class of Company
shareholders; a declaration that the proposed transaction
violates the Company's Charter; an injunction prohibiting the
defendants from proceeding with the proposed transaction;
rescission or other damages in the event the proposed
transaction is consummated; an award of costs and disbursements
including attorneys' fees; and other relief.

On April 15, 2005, the plaintiffs filed a Motion for Preliminary
Injunction seeking an order enjoining the defendants from taking
any steps or acts in furtherance of the proposed transaction,
except in compliance with the duties set forth in "Revlon v.
MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc., 506 A.2d 173 (Del. 1976)."
On April 25, 2005, the Court refused to schedule a hearing on
plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and entered an
order denying that motion, without prejudice to plaintiffs'
ability to re-file the motion, if appropriate, once the special
committee makes a recommendation.


LONE STAR: Enters Settlement Agreement For CalPERS' Lawsuit
-----------------------------------------------------------
Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Inc. ("Lone Star" or the
"Company") (Nasdaq: STAR) and the California Public Employees
Retirement System ("CalPERS") entered into a Stipulation of
Settlement agreement relating to the settlement of the class
action and derivative lawsuit brought by CalPERS against Lone
Star.

The settlement, which is subject to court approval, resolves all
claims raised by the parties in litigation. As part of the
Stipulation of Settlement, the parties agreed to release each
other from any and all current and future claims related to the
litigation. CalPERS's Chief Investment Officer, Mark Anson,
stated, "We are pleased that Lone Star has taken actions to
improve their corporate governance profile and we believe that
the Company's focus on good governance has resulted in
substantially improved financial performance at the Company."
Lone Star's Chairman, William B. Greene, Jr., stated, "We are
pleased to have this lawsuit behind us and are proud of the
corporate governance profile that Lone Star has maintained.
Putting this era behind us will allow the Lone Star team to
focus on what it does best, which is running successful chains
of steakhouse restaurants."

The settlement was facilitated by the Company's implementation
of certain corporate governance initiatives since the filing of
the lawsuit, which included the addition of 3 independent
directors, the expiration of certain change of control contracts
for senior executives, the elimination of the Company's poison
pill and the requirement for stockholder approval to reprice
stock options. As part of the settlement, certain of the
Company's current and former directors agreed to reprice certain
stock options or personally make payments to the Company which,
upon the exercise of the stock options, would result in
additional proceeds to the Company of approximately $4.7
million. Lone Star's insurance carrier will also make a payment
of $3 million.

For more details, contact Rob Solomon of Rubenstein Associates,
Inc. by Phone: +1-212-843-8050, for Lone Star Steakhouse &
Saloon, Inc.


MIDAMERICAN ENERGY: Plaintiffs Seek NY Stock Suit Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to grant class certification to
the consolidated securities class action filed against
MidAmerican Energy Co. and other firms, alleging that the
defendants have engaged in unlawful manipulation of the prices
of natural gas futures and options contracts traded on the New
York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) during the period of January 1,
2000 to December 31, 2002.

The Company is mentioned as a company that has engaged in wash
trades on Enron Online (an electronic trading platform) that had
the effect of distorting prices for gas trades on the NYMEX. The
plaintiffs to the class action do not specify the amount of
alleged damages.

The original complaint in this matter, styled "Cornerstone
Propane Partners, L.P. v. Reliant, et al.," was filed on August
18, 2003 in the United States District Court, Southern District
of New York naming the Company.  On October 1, 2003, a second
complaint, styled "Roberto, E. Calle Gracey, et al. v. Reliant,
et al.," was filed in the same court but did not name the
Company.  On November 14, 2003, a third complaint, styled
"Dominick Viola (Viola), et al.," was filed in the same court
and named the Company as a defendant.  On December 5, 2003, the
court entered Pretrial Order No. 1, which among other procedural
matters, ordered the consolidation of the Cornerstone, Calle
Gracey and Viola complaints and permitted plaintiffs to file an
amended complaint in this matter.  On January 20, 2004,
plaintiffs filed "In Re: Natural Gas Commodity Litigation," as
the amended complaint reasserting their previous allegations.

On February 19, 2004, the Company filed a Motion to Dismiss and
joined with several other defendants to file a joint Motion to
Dismiss. The plaintiffs filed a response on May 19, 2004,
contesting both Motions to Dismiss. On September 24, 2004, the
pending motions to dismiss were denied. On October 14, 2004,
plaintiffs filed an amended complaint to add certain defendants'
affiliates as defendants and reasserted their previous
allegations.  The Company and the other defendants filed their
respective answers to the complaint on October 28, 2004.
Plaintiffs filed a motion for class actions certification on
January 25, 2005.


OHIO: Suit Launched Over Jail's Policy Regarding Inmates' Money
---------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit is challenging the practice by Campbell County jail
officials of confiscating 25 percent of money sent by relatives
and friends of inmates, which is earmarked for the prisoners to
spend at the jail commissary, The Cincinnati Post reports.

The class action lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court
in Covington seeks a halt to the practice, a return of all money
confiscated in the past year and unspecified punitive damages.

According to Cincinnati attorney Robert Newman, who filed the
suit, "They're trying to finance the operation of the jail out
of the pocketbooks of poor mothers and wives of inmates. They're
just trying to finance the jail every which way, and some of
these ways are unconstitutional. The government can't take
somebody's money without due process. Innocent mothers and wives
have no duty to finance the operation of the jail."

Campbell County Jailer Greg Buckler declined to comment on the
latest lawsuit by telling the Post, "I can't say anything
because I haven't seen the suit. If there is a lawsuit and I
haven't seen it, I don't want to say anything without consulting
with the attorneys. I really shouldn't say anything."

Mr. Newman filed the lawsuit on behalf of Cheryl Lightfoot of
Dayton, who sent her incarcerated son, Branston Lightfoot,
commissary money, and Aisha Abdulrahim of Newport, who sent
commissary money to her jailed husband, Kahlil Abdulrahim.

In seeking class action status, Mr. Newman also asked that
everybody who had money confiscated in the past year be included
in the lawsuit.

The attorney told the Post that his client, Cheryl Lightfoot on
three occasions sent her son money in the amounts of $40, $30
and $10. He adds, "Ms. Lightfoot is disabled, and this has been
all that she has been able to send to her son. On each occasion,
the jail staff has not conveyed the full amount to Mr.
Branston's commissary account, but has taken out 25 percent of
each of Ms. Lightfoot's transmittals to her son."

On the other hand, according to Mr. Newman his other client,
Aisha Abdulrahim has sent money orders to her husband about
three times a month in varying amounts, up to $50. Mr. Newman,
who said he has information that if the money is sent on a day
when the commissary isn't open, a second 25 percent of the
unspent money is confiscated also states, "Each time, the jail
officials confiscate not less than 25 percent of the amount."

The attorney called the policy "a cruel and unconstitutional
attempt to finance operations of a government facility." He
pointed out, "Innocent parties have a right to their own money."

Additionally, Mr. Newman told the Post, "It's sad that some of
these people scrape up $20 to send to their son to buy
toothpaste and cookies and a lot of these people in jail end up
with nothing because the jail takes out multiple 25 percents of
money if it is lying around for any amount of time."


OVERTURE SERVICES: NY Court Preliminarily OKs Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York preliminarily approved the settlement for the
consolidated securities class action filed against Overture
Services, Inc., certain underwriters involved in the Company's
initial public offering, and certain of its current and former
officers and directors.

Plaintiffs allege, among other things, violations of the
Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
involving undisclosed compensation to the underwriters, and
improper practices by the underwriters, and seek unspecified
damages.

Similar complaints were filed in the same court against numerous
public companies that conducted initial public offerings of
their common stock since the mid-1990s. All of these lawsuits
were consolidated for pretrial purposes before Judge Shira
Scheindlin.  On April 19, 2002, plaintiffs filed an amended
complaint, alleging Rule 10b-5 claims of fraud.  On July 15,
2002, the issuers filed a motion to dismiss for failure to
comply with applicable pleading standards. On October 8, 2002,
the Court entered an Order of Dismissal as to all of the
individual defendants in the Overture IPO litigation, without
prejudice.  On February 19, 2003, the Court denied the motion to
dismiss the Rule 10b-5 claims against certain defendants,
including the Company.

Settlement discussions relating to this case on behalf of the
named defendants have occurred over the last year, resulting in
a final settlement memorandum of understanding with the
plaintiff and the Company's insurance carriers. This settlement
proposal includes the settlement of and release of claims
against the issuer defendants, including the Company. The
settlement is subject to a number of conditions, including
approval of the court.

The suit is styled "In RE Overture Services, Inc. Securities
Litigation," related to "In re Initial Public Offering
Securities Litigation, Master File No. 21 MC 92 (SAS)," filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York under Judge Shira A. Scheindlin.  The plaintiff firms
in this litigation are:

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

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

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

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

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

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


PRAECIS PHARMACEUTICALS: MA Court Consolidates Securities Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts ordered consolidated the securities class actions
filed against Praecis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and:

     (1) Chairman and (now former) Chief Executive Officer
         Malcolm Gefter,

     (2) President and (now former) Chief Operating Officer
         Kevin F. McLaughlin,

     (3) Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Edward C.
         English, and

     (4) former President and Chief Operating Officer William K.
         Heiden

Several suits were initially filed against the Company in
December 2004 and January 2005 in the United States District
Court for the District of Massachusetts.  The complaints
generally allege securities fraud during the period from
November 25, 2003 through December 6, 2004. Each of the
complaints purports to assert claims under Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, and alleges that the Company and the
individually named defendants made materially false and
misleading public statements concerning the Company's business
and financial results, particularly relating to statements
regarding the commercialization of Plenaxis.

On February 7, 2005, a motion was filed to consolidate the three
actions and to appoint lead plaintiffs and lead counsel.  On
February 18, 2005, the Company and the individual defendants
filed a brief response to that motion, reserving their rights to
challenge the adequacy and typicality, among other things, of
the proposed lead plaintiffs in connection with class
certification proceedings, if any. On April 13, 2005, the Court
entered an Order granting the plaintiffs' motion to consolidate
the three actions (as well as each case that relates to the same
subject matter that may be subsequently filed in or transferred
to the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts), appoint lead plaintiffs and approve such
plaintiffs' selection of co-lead counsel.


Those purported class actions are captioned:

     (i) Katz v. Praecis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Malcolm Gefter,
         Kevin McLaughlin, Edward English and William K. Heiden,
         Civil Action No. 04-12581-GAO (filed December 9, 2004),
         under Judge George A. O'Toole, Jr.

    (ii) Schwartz v. Praecis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Malcolm
         Gefter, Kevin McLaughlin, Edward English and William K.
         Heiden, Civil Action No. 04-12704-REK (filed December
         27, 2004) under Judge Robert E. Keeton and

   (iii) Bassin v. Praecis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Malcolm L.
         Gefter, Ph.D., Kevin F. McLaughlin, Edward C. English
         and William K. Heiden, Civil Action No. 05-10134-GAO
         (filed January 21, 2005) under Judge George A. O'Toole,
         Jr.

The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

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

     (b) Dyer & Shuman, LLP 801 East 17th Avenue, Denver, CO,
         80218-1417, Phone: 303.861.3003, Fax: 800.711.6483, E-
         mail: info@dyershuman.com

     (c) Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP (LA) 1801 Ave. of the
         Stars, Suite 311, Los Angeles, CA, 90067 Phone: (310)
         201-915, E-mail: (310) 201-916, info@glancylaw.com

     (d) Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP 275 Madison Ave 34th Flr,
         New York, NY, 10016 Phone: 212.682.1818, Fax:
         212.682.1892, E-mail: email@rabinlaw.com

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

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

     (g) Shapiro, Haber & Urmy LLP 75 State Street, Boston, MA,
         02109, Phone: 617.439.3939, Fax: 617.439.0134, E-mail:
         info@shulaw.com


PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS: Pays $41M To Settle Travel-Billing Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
In a bid to settle claims that it over-billed the government for
travel-related expenses, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP reportedly
reached an agreement to pay about $41 million in civil
penalties, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Citing people familiar with the investigation, the Journal
reported that the expected settlement with the U.S. Justice
Department could be announced as early as this week. The
settlement, which is concluded in Los Angeles Federal District
Court is said to involve bills paid directly by the Defense
Department and other federal agencies that used PwC, as well as
inflated bills passed on to the government by contractors
working on federal projects.

According to the Journal report, the anticipated agreement with
the DOJ follows a federal False Claims Act lawsuit that was
filed under seal, which prompted an investigation by the U.S.
Attorney's office. PricewaterhouseCoopers isn't expected to
admit any wrongdoing as part of the proposed agreement, the
paper said.

A spokesman for the Big Four firm told the Journal that, "We
believe we will shortly reach a settlement."

PricewaterhouseCoopers previously paid $54.5 million to settle
its share of a class action lawsuit over travel-billing issues
in another case filed in 2001 in state court in Texarkana,
Arkansas, which accused the firm, and others, of over-billing
clients by charging them the full face amount of travel costs,
while receiving back-end rebates from vendors. All of the firms
involved in that case discontinued accepting back-end rebates.


SIEBEL SYSTEMS: Agrees To Stay CA Securities Violations Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The securities class action filed against Siebel Systems, Inc.
and certain members of its board of directors in the Superior
Court of California has been stayed.

On April 12, 2004, Pamela Plotkin, on behalf of herself and
purportedly on behalf of a class of the Company's stockholders,
filed the suit, which alleges claims in connection with various
public statements made by the Company and seeks damages together
with interest and reimbursement of costs and expenses of
litigation.

The court dismissed the complaint on September 23, 2004, but
gave Ms. Plotkin leave to file a new, amended complaint, which
was subsequently filed by Ms. Plotkin. The court dismissed the
amended complaint on December 28, 2004, but again gave Ms.
Plotkin leave to file a new, amended complaint. Ms. Plotkin
filed a new amended complaint on January 14, 2005. On February
2, 2005, the parties to this complaint agreed to stay (i.e.,
place on hold) the entire case until June 1, 2005.


SONIC AUTOMOTIVE: Plaintiffs To Appeal TX Certification Reversal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs intend to appeal the United States Fifth Circuit
Court of Appeals' reversal of class certification for the
lawsuits filed against several of Sonic Automotive, Inc.'s Texas
dealership subsidiaries, the Texas Automobile Dealers
Association (TADA) and new vehicle dealerships in Texas that are
members of the TADA.  Approximately 630 Texas dealerships are
named as defendants in two of the actions, and approximately 700
Texas dealerships are named as defendants in the other action.

The three actions allege that since January 1994, Texas
automobile dealerships have deceived customers with respect to a
vehicle inventory tax and violated federal antitrust and other
laws. In two of the actions, the Texas state court certified two
classes of consumers on whose behalf the actions would proceed.
The Texas Court of Appeals has affirmed the trial court's order
of class certification in the state actions, and the Texas
Supreme Court issued an order for the second time in September
2004 stating that it would not hear the merits of the
defendant's appeal on class certification.

The federal trial court conditionally certified a class of
consumers in the federal antitrust case, but on appeal by the
defendant dealerships, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth
Circuit reversed the certification of the plaintiff class in
October 2004 and remanded the case back to the federal trial
court for further proceedings not inconsistent with the Fifth
Circuit's ruling. The plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit are
seeking to have the U.S. Supreme Court hear an appeal of the
Fifth Circuit's ruling that reversed the federal trial court's
class certification order.


TITAN CORPORATION: Plaintiffs To Seek Leave To File Amended Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs intend to file an amended securities class action
against Titan Corporation and certain of its officers in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
California.

Since April 2, 2004, two stockholder class action lawsuits have
been filed, asserting claims under the federal securities laws,
which the Company refers to collectively as the "federal
securities actions".  On September 17, 2004, these class action
lawsuits were consolidated as "In re Titan Inc. Securities
Litigation, case no. 04-CV-0701-K(NLS)."

The federal securities action purports to be brought on behalf
of all purchasers of the Company's common stock during the
period from July 24, 2003 through and including March 22, 2004.
The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages. The
complaint alleges, among other things, that the defendants
violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
as amended (the Exchange Act), and SEC Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act, by issuing a
series of press releases, public statements and filings
disclosing significant historical and future revenue growth, but
omitting to mention certain allegedly improper payments
involving international consultants in connection with Titan's
international operations, thereby artificially inflating the
trading price of Titan's common stock.

On January 14, 2005, the Company and certain individual
defendants jointly filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.  The
plaintiff intends to seek leave to amend the complaint. If the
court allows the plaintiff to amend the complaint, the Company
expects to file another motion to dismiss the amended complaint.


TITAN CORPORATION: Continues To Face Iraqi Human Rights Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Titan Corporation and other defendants continue to face two
lawsuits, alleging that the defendants either participated in,
approved of, or condoned the mistreatment of prisoners by United
States military officials in certain prison facilities in Iraq
in violation of federal, state and international law.

The first of these cases, styled "Saleh v. Titan Corporation,
case No. 04-CV-1143 R, was filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of California against the
Company, CACI International, Inc. (CACI), and its affiliates,
and three individuals (one formally employed by the Company and
one by a Company subcontractor).  Plaintiffs in "Saleh" seek
class certification. The second case, styled "Ibrahim v. Titan
Corporation, case no. 04-CV-1248," was filed on July 27, 2004,
on behalf of five individual plaintiffs against the Company,
CACI and CACI affiliates, and contains allegations similar to
those in "Saleh."  Class certification has not been requested in
"Ibrahim."


UNITED STATES: Army Settles 0-5s' Lawsuit Over Forced Retirement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Eight years after initiating a court challenge to their forced
early retirement in 1992, approximately 900 former Army
lieutenant colonels (O-5) agreed to a $50.2 million class action
settlement with the government, The Army Times reports.

Certified on May 11 by Senior Judge Loren A. Smith of the Court
of Federal Claims, the agreement is believed to be the largest
lump-sum settlement ever in a military back pay case, according
to legal sources.

The case, which is styled, Christian v. United States has been
in the courts since 1997 when retired Lt. Col. Frank Christian
challenged the affirmative action guidance used by the 1992
Selective Early Retirement Board. That draw down-related panel
ousted 1,184 officers, 1,052 of them white males.

Eventually, Judge Smith certified the case as a class action
suit and, in June 2000, ruled the board was unconstitutional
because it used race- and gender-based evaluation criteria.

Though Justice Department attorneys representing the Army did
not challenge that finding, they did appeal Judge Smith's
subsequent ruling that all 881 plaintiffs were eligible for
relief. As a result, the Court of Appeals for the Federal
Circuit partially agreed with the government, ruling that only
some of the plaintiffs were eligible for back pay.

Lt. Col. Christian then appealed to the Supreme Court last year,
however the justices declined to hear the case, which was then
remanded to Judge Smith for final disposition.

Thus, early this spring the retired officers agreed to settle
for $50,274,000, which was approved by Judge Smith at a May 11
fairness hearing.

In the judge's implanting order, he stated, "The settlement
amount appears to . be adequate and reasonable given the risk to
individual class members associated with further proceedings,
and considering reasonable estimates of the monetary value of
remedies to a small minority of the class following the remand
required by the Federal Circuit."

The money will be distributed based on year-group affiliation.
Junior officers had the most to lose in future income, so their
payments are the largest. Individual settlement checks, after
costs and attorney fees, are estimated to be:

     (1) $41,253 for plaintiffs in year group 1966.

     (2) $42,417 for 1967.

     (3) $43,581 for 1968.

     (4) $44,745 for 1969.

     (5) $45,909 for 1970.

     (6) $47,073 for 1971.

     (7) $48,237 for 1972, 1973 and 1974.

Commenting on the settlement from his Peachtree City, Georgia
home, Lt. Col. Christian told the Times, "I am really pleased
everyone will be getting something. I only wish it had been
sooner."

It has been a long and difficult campaign for Lt. Col.
Christian, a former air defense officer, who earned a law degree
after leaving the Army, but before filing his reverse
discrimination lawsuit in 1997.

As a paring statement, Lt. Col. Christian told the Times, "I
don't believe the Army deliberately set out to hurt anyone, but
the board procedures were not right. A lot of people were hurt
by its actions."


VIXEL CORPORATION: NY Court Preliminarily OKs Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York granted preliminary approval to the settlement of the
consolidated securities class action filed against Vixel
Corporation, two of its officers and directors and certain
underwriters who participated in the Company's initial public
offering in late 1999.  The suit is styled "In re Vixel
Corporation Securities Litigation, case no. 01 CIV. 10053(SAS)."

The amended complaint alleges violations under Section 10(b) of
the Exchange Act and Section 11 of the Securities Act and seeks
unspecified damages on behalf of persons who purchased the
Company's stock during the period October 1, 1999 through
December 6, 2000.

In October 2002, the parties agreed to toll the statute of
limitations with respect to the Company's officers and directors
until September 30, 2003, and on the basis of this agreement,
the Company's officers and directors were dismissed from the
lawsuit without prejudice.

During June 2003, the Company and the other issuer defendants in
the action reached a tentative settlement with the plaintiffs
that would, among other things, result in the dismissal with
prejudice of all claims against the defendants and their
officers and directors. In connection with the possible
settlement, those officers and directors who had entered tolling
agreements with the plaintiffs agreed to extend those agreements
so that they would not expire prior to any settlement being
finalized. Although Vixel approved this settlement proposal in
principle, it remains subject to a number of procedural
conditions, as well as formal approval by the court.

The suit is styled "In re Vixel Corporation Securities
Litigation, case no. 01 CIV. 10053(SAS)," related to "In re
Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, Master File No.
21 MC 92 (SAS)," filed in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York under Judge Shira A.
Scheindlin.  The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

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

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

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

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

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

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


VIXEL CORPORATION: Gateway Partners Still Against CA Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys for Gateway Partners intend to file with the United
States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals a stipulation confirming
that no proceeds of the settlement fund for the consolidated
securities class action filed against Vixel Corporation would be
distributed until its appeal of settlement is resolved, and that
Gateway Partners would not have to post a bond.

Beginning on February 20, 2001, the Company and certain of its
officers and directors were named as defendants in a number of
securities class action lawsuits filed in the United States
District Court, Central District of California, designated as
Case No. SACV-01-219 GLT (ANx).  The plaintiffs in the actions
represent purchasers of the Company's common stock during
various periods ranging from January 18, 2001, through February
9, 2001.

The complaints alleged that the Company and certain of its
officers and directors made misrepresentations and omissions in
violation of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, as amended. The complaints generally seek
compensatory damages, costs and attorney's fees in an
unspecified amount.

In addition, the Company has received inquiries about events
giving rise to the lawsuits from the SEC and the Nasdaq Stock
Market. On April 22, 2003, the Company entered into two
Memoranda of Understanding agreeing to terms of settlement for
both the class action and derivative litigation.  The settlement
was approved and $39.5 million held in escrow was paid by the
Company into the settlement fund during the nine months ended
March 28, 2004.

Gateway Partners filed a challenge to the allocation of
settlement funds among the plaintiffs and adequacy of the
settlement notice, and the district court ruled against such
challenge on November 23, 2004.  On December 13, 2004, Gateway
Partners filed an appeal and a motion to stop distribution from
the settlement fund; both of which were filed with the United
States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Index No. 04-
57123).


WILLIS GROUP: Investor Fraud, Market-Timing Lawsuits Moved To NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
The market-timing class actions filed against Willis Group
Holdings, Inc. and other insurance carriers and insurance
brokerage firms have been transferred to the United States
District Court for the District of New Jersey for coordinated
proceedings.

Since August 2004, various plaintiffs have filed eight purported
class actions, one in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, four in the Northern District of
Illinois, one in the Northern District of California, one in New
Jersey District court, and one in the Circuit Court for the
Eighteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Seminole County, Florida
Civil Division, seeking monetary damages and equitable relief
and make allegations regarding the practices and conduct that
has been the subject of the investigation of state attorneys
general and insurance commissioners, including allegations that
the brokers are breaching their duties to their clients by
entering into contingent compensation agreements with either no
disclosure or limited disclosure to clients, of bid rigging,
tying, and of the improper use of affiliated wholesalers.  The
eight complaints also allege the existence of a conspiracy among
the insurance carriers and brokers and the seven federal court
complaints allege violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statute.

The Company expects that further suits may be filed.  The seven
actions filed in federal court have been transferred to the
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey for
coordinated pre-trial proceedings.


                         Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Parents Fear Kids' Exposure to Asbestos
------------------------------------------------------------
After the South Warrimoo Council informed them through a letter
that a nearby block was contaminated, residents are expressing
fears that their children's health may have been put at risk.

The letter failed to state what the contamination threat was.
Victoria Street resident and former councilor Mark Greenhill
said they wouldn't have known what contaminant was on the block
if one of their neighbors hadn't investigated on her own. They
became even more alarmed when it was revealed that the site
might have been polluted with arsenic and asbestos.

The parents are especially concerned for the children, who have
frequently played on the site. They are vexed at the council for
not fencing the area and of not informing them earlier. The
council replied that the reports about the contamination were
spread as soon as they knew, which is when Sydney Water lodged a
development application for the site's remediation.

The parents called on the council to provide them with advice as
to whether or not their children are at risk of infection, which
Mr. Greenhill believes would have to come from a qualified
toxicologist.

A council spokesperson said they sought advice from the NSW
Department of Health about the health risks of the site
contamination and hope to put out a leaflet to residents soon.
He said the preliminary advice they've received indicates that
the risk is very low. The council has since asked Sydney Water
to cordon off the site before remediation work is begun.

Ward 3 Councilor Alison McLaren said she will move at the next
meeting that council determine the extent of this contamination
and provide residents with the results of an independent site
toxicity examination.

The council spokesperson said that there is no need for council
to undertake another study of the site, or for residents to wait
until the council meeting to see the report on the levels of
contamination. He said that there is already a remediation
action plan on public exhibition that includes an independent
assessment of the toxicity of the site. This plan has also been
submitted to an accredited EPA site auditor for oversight.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Asbestos Death Toll to Rise Until 2020
--------------------------------------------------------------
Experts warn that the death toll from asbestos-related cancer,
which is currently more than 1,800 a year, is expected to rise.
Government research shows the number of asbestos-related deaths
will not peak until 2020.

More women are also predicted to die from mesothelioma, a rare
and lethal cancer from asbestos exposure, in Barking and
Dagenham than anywhere else in the United Kingdom.

Tony Browne from union Unison, which helped set up the Barking
and Dagenham Asbestos Victims Support Group, believes the legacy
left by the Cape Asbestos factory is one of the main causes. He
said that potentially, the exposure to the carcinogenic material
will eventually lead to more deaths over the next 10 to 40
years.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB to Present Final Asbestos Plan In June
---------------------------------------------------------------
Swiss-based engineering group ABB will present its final
asbestos settlement plan to a U.S. bankruptcy court on June 13,
hoping to end its asbestos woes by the end of this year.

At a hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith Fitzgerald in
Pittsburgh, ABB lawyer Jeffrey Rich, said there was "very
substantial" progress in work to document a new reorganization
strategy, one that would rescue ABB's effort to cleanse itself
of massive asbestos liabilities. He added that the company would
submit the reworked asbestos settlement plan to a bankruptcy
court in Pittsburgh for approval next month.

The Company moved to resolve its asbestos problems in March by
offering to pay an additional US$232 million to claimants. That
money was on top of the US$1.2 billion that ABB had already
agreed to contribute to a settlement under an earlier plan,
which was thrown out by a U.S. court last year. The settlement
would cap claims from former workers who made products
containing potentially carcinogenic asbestos.

ABB is one of many companies attempting to use U.S. bankruptcy
processes to shield its ongoing operations from liabilities
related to products they ceased making decades ago.

In December, a federal appeals court rejected a confirmed
Chapter 11 plan that sought to resolve roughly 100,000 claims
for asbestos damages against Combustion Engineering and other
ABB units. The plan would have allowed ABB to get out from under
asbestos claims by putting US$1.2 billion into a trust fund. The
Third Circuit Court of Appeals faulted the so-called "pre-pack"
reorganization plan on several grounds and sent it back to be
reworked.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chemist Bares New Risk Assessment Approach
---------------------------------------------------------------
Using research data over the past two decades, a chemist has
developed a proposed protocol for predicting exposure to
asbestos and assessing the risk to cancer by determining the
type of fiber rather than the weight of all fibers, The
Occupational Hazards reports.

D. Wayne Berman, a chemist with Aeolus Inc., presented his
findings during a breakout session last week at the American
Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition in Anaheim, CA. He
said that it has been 20 years since the EPA last conducted a
cancer risk assessment for asbestos and there are signs that the
agency may update its protocol.

Rather than mass concentrations, the new approach points to
fiber number concentrations as the more reliable risk factor.
Longer and thinner asbestos structures are said to be more tied
to risk than shorter fibers, according to Mr. Berman.

Traditional risk assessments that fail to distinguish the size
and shape of asbestos structures may be doubly misleading,
according to Mr. Berman. He noted the importance of picking out
the subset of fibers that actually contributes to the induction
of the disease. He added that there are short fibers that are
not risky.

Mr. Berman's findings could have implications for how the EPA
defines and regulates asbestos. The agency currently defines
"asbestos-containing material" as any material containing more
than 1 percent asbestos by weight. He said that in some cases
the current definition may be overprotective and in others not
protective enough.

Asked if he thought the EPA might be preparing to redefine
asbestos-containing material, Mr. Berman replied that he thinks
it is a subject the agency may well consider in the future.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Deal Frees Hardie Officers from Liability
--------------------------------------------------------------
James Hardie directors and executives will be released from
civil liability when the company signs a compensation deal for
asbestos victims, confirmed New South Wales Premier Bob Carr.

The building materials giant had agreed in principle to set
aside about $1.5 billion to compensate asbestos victims in the
next four decades. However, it is yet to sign a final agreement
with unions, victim groups and the State Government.

The chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments
Commission, Jeff Lucy, had written to Mr. Carr warning him
against extending an exemption from so-called civil liability to
James Hardie's directors and executives.

Earlier, Mr. Carr had said he was unaware of any plans to
release directors and executives from civil liability but later
clarified that executives will be exempted from civil
prosecution if a deal was signed. He said the proposal did not
stop ASIC from pursuing criminal prosecutions. It is well-known
however that there is a much higher burden of proof on the
prosecution in criminal matters, particularly in instances of
so-called white-collar crime.

An ASIC spokeswoman said the commission would not release the
letter and had no further comment on the issue.

Last year the Government set up an inquiry into circumstances of
the impending fall of the Medical Research and Compensation
Foundation, set up by James Hardie to compensate victims of
asbestos used in James Hardie products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Senate Panel Approves US$140B Asbestos Fund
----------------------------------------------------------------
Legislation to create a US$140 billion asbestos compensation
fund won approval from the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee but
it seems apparent that the bill will be facing more challenges
on the Senate floor.

The committee voted 13-5 for the bill that would eliminate
asbestos lawsuits and create a 30-year fund financed by
companies facing litigation and their insurers. Victims could no
longer sue, but would go to the fund for compensation. By paying
into the fund, defendants and insurers would be relieved of any
further legal liability for asbestos-related claims. Three
Democrats joined 10 Republicans backing the bill.

Three members of the Senate's Republican majority, who supported
clearing the bill from committee, warned they would insist on
changes before voting for it on the Senate floor. Sen. Cornyn of
Texas is worried about the allocation of expense among firms
while Arizona Sen. Kyl is concerned about the fund's solvency.
Oklahoma Sen. Coburn warned that with the current medical
criteria, the fund would cost US$60 billion a year for claims.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania
Republican, said he knew the bill faced continued challenges. He
expressed confidence however, that the bill was backed by the
White House.

Many interest groups, such as insurers and some labor unions,
oppose the current bill, and victims' groups dislike the fact
they cannot opt out of the fund. Manufacturers and companies
that acquired asbestos liabilities through acquisitions have
generally been supportive.

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the
Judiciary Committee, thought it would pass the Senate, even
though Democrats in the last Congress blocked a committee-backed
version from coming up on the Senate floor. Some other Democrats
on the committee were strongly opposed. Delaware Democratic Sen.
Joseph Biden said there was not enough information about what
companies would pay into the fund.

There were arguments in committee just before the final vote
over whether to extend to other localities some special
provisions for people sickened by asbestos in Libby, Montana.
Residents who meet special medical criteria would automatically
be awarded US$400,000 each.

Senators agreed that the fund's administrator would extend the
special Libby provisions to other areas if a study showed
similar contamination at other sites around the country that got
material from Libby's vermiculite mine.

The Association of Trial Lawyers of America noted the disparity
between treatment of Libby residents and other asbestos victims
as a basis for a possible court challenge. The ATLA, whose
members would see their attorney fees cut to five percent of
awards from the fund, called the bill "underfunded, unfair,
unworkable and likely unconstitutional."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ATSDR Checks NJ Plant Site for Health Risks
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry is
investigating the former Celotex factory site in Edgewater, New
Jersey to determine whether workers or the public may have been
exposed to asbestos more than 30 years ago, and whether any
risks persist.

The redeveloped River Road site was home to a gypsum-board
manufacturer that stopped production in the 1970s. It used to
receive about 300 tons of asbestos-laced vermiculite in the
1960s. Now it holds a movie theater, apartments and shops.

Asbestos can cause serious health problems including asbestosis,
mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the
ATSDR is investigating the Celotex site and 27 others across the
nation, all of which received asbestos-tainted vermiculite from
mines in Libby, Montana.

John Florence, a spokesman for the ATSDR, said a preliminary
report on Edgewater would be finished by the end of the summer.
Working with the ATSDR, the state Health Department said
investigators would evaluate potential ways that workers and the
community may have been exposed to asbestos from vermiculite.

Marilyn Riley, a spokeswoman for the Health Department, said
that the site did not "exfoliate" the vermiculite, a process
that increases the amount of asbestos fibers released.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Boat Builder Dies from Asbestos Exposure
-------------------------------------------------------------
At an inquest in Bridgwater, West Somerset District Coroner
concluded that a Highbridge man died after being exposed to
asbestos while working for a boat building company more than
three decades ago.

Coroner Michael Rose said that Derek Ronald Wharton, aged 61, of
Poplar Estate, died last March 21, after suffering from
asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma.

Dianne Wharton, who married Mr. Wharton in 1969, said he had
worked at Brensal Plastics until 1993 and was a pattern maker
for the boat-building firm. Later he went to work for Clearwater
Polcon in Bridgwater, which manufactures septic tanks.

Mrs. Wharton said, "He told me he did work with asbestos in the
late 1960s to early 1970s but I am not sure why. He was talking
about it in general."

Mr. Rose said he encounters 10 to 12 asbestos-related deaths
every year, often from workers at Courtaulds or Hinkley Point.
He added that mesothelioma is a type of occupational disease,
which was known about in 1910 but was ignored until the 1960s
and 1970s.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: KY Jury Awards US$3.25MM to Worker's Estate
----------------------------------------------------------------
After deliberating for six hours, a Marshall Circuit Court jury
awarded US$3.25 million in damages for asbestos-related injuries
to the estate of James G. Dexter, in what his lawyer calls is
the largest asbestos verdict ever in Kentucky.

Jurors decided that the estate was entitled to damages for
medical expenses and pain and suffering from two companies,
CertainTeed Products Corp. and Garlock Inc. The jurors did not
award any punitive damages.

Mr. Dexter worked as a union pipefitter for about 40 years in
Western Kentucky. His exposure to asbestos stemmed from grinding
asbestos and concrete pipe and also from grinding pipe flanges
and gaskets containing asbestos. Garlock had produced some of
the gaskets.

Joe Satterly of Louisville, the lawyer for Dexter's estate, said
jurors returned a US$5 million verdict but apportioned 35
percent of the responsibility for lung cancer to Mr. Dexter, who
formerly smoked.

Court documents reveal that CertainTeed believes smoking and not
its products caused Dexter's lung cancer. The Company's lawyer,
David Marshall, explained that Mr. Dexter had a long smoking
history beginning at age 9, which is the cause of his lung
cancer, not the very small amount of work that he did with
CertainTeed asbestos-cement pipe in the early 1960s.

"We believe that the jury's verdict was the result of sympathy.
... But that sympathetic verdict was against the weight of the
evidence in the case," said Mr. Marshall, who adds that the
verdict likely would be appealed.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fibrecrete Worker Dies from Mesothelioma
-------------------------------------------------------------
Gloucester coroner Alan Crickmore recorded a verdict of death by
industrial disease on the case of a man who worked with asbestos
at a factory in the 1960s, The Gazette reports.

John Little died on February 28, 2005 at the age of 59 after
being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a lethal cancer caused by
exposure to asbestos, last December. Of Kingswood Lodge, Wolton-
under Edge, Mr. Little worked with the dangerous substance 40
years ago when he worked for Fibrecrete Ltd. of Stroud from 1961
to 1968.

His job entailed pulling out sheets of aggregate made from
concrete and asbestos which were used to make pipes and gutters.
When the material was dry it was his task to sand the edge and
this led to huge amounts of asbestos dust.

Mr. Little's daughter, Stacey Ruston, said that at no time was
her father warned about the danger of asbestos exposure or
provided with a protective mask or overalls. After 1968, Mr.
Little worked in jobs that did not bring him into contact with
asbestos except for once, when he was given a mask, she stated.

In June last year he fell ill with a chest infection and
breathing difficulties. He was given a course of radiotherapy
but because of his declining health he moved into the Kingswood
Lodge Care Center in December.

Pathologist Dr. Nadir Hassann said he found clear evidence of a
mesothelioma tumor in Mr. Little's lung and chest cavity. Tests
at a specialist laboratory in Sheffield found there were 520,189
fibers of mineral (asbestos) per gram of dry lung tissue.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GMB Raises Asbestos Issue at IMF Conference
----------------------------------------------------------------
The GMB- Britain's General Union put the "the deadliest
workplace hazard ever known" at the top of the International
Metalworkers' Federation conference agenda in Vienna as Keith
Hazlewood, GMB National Officer moved the only mention of
asbestos at the conference.

The GMB motion reads:

IMF World Congress Resolution from GMB

The 31st IMF World Congress recognizes that while 32 countries
worldwide have banned the use of asbestos, its use is expanding
in many markets, particularly in developing countries. This
Congress also recognizes that the deadliest workplace hazard
ever known continues to kill 100,000 people every year. The
British section of the IMF calls upon the IMF to intensify the
fight against this global killer and to launch a high profile
international campaign which:

(1) In addition to the call for a global ban on asbestos
contained in the IMF action plan, puts pressure on the 150
member states of the ILO that have not even ratified the 1986
ILO Convention setting out minimum standards to do so;

(2) Opposes the actions of asbestos producing nations in
exporting increasing quantities of the killer product to newly
industrializing nations in Asia, the Far East and Africa;

(3) Condemns the cynical and dishonest worldwide propaganda
campaigns mounted by asbestos producers to promote asbestos as a
"safe" product;

(4) Highlights and condemns the actions of insurance companies
that pursue court actions which seek to limit or avoid their
liability to pay compensation to workers who have contracted
asbestos-related diseases;

(5) Pressurizes governments to adopt compensation schemes for
workers harmed by asbestos that shift the burden of proof away
from the worker, and ensure that guaranteed compensation is paid
swiftly to victims of employers' neglect;

(6) Calls for increased governmental and international
cooperation and coordination to raise funds for the development
of improved research, diagnosis, care and treatment of workers
suffering from asbestos-related diseases;

(7) Develops a program of education and awareness raising about
the risks of exposure to asbestos, particularly among workers in
developing countries who work with no protection; and

(8) Calls upon all governments worldwide to introduce effective
legislation that implements preventive and protective measures
for all workers liable to be exposed to asbestos during the
course of their work.

The GMB is organized in 34 of the UK's biggest 50 companies. Its
purpose is "to improve the quality of life for all [its] members
and their families, widening horizons and bringing new
opportunities into reach."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Rhodia Deals With Asbestos Exposure Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
France-based Rhodia disclosed to the US Securities and Exchange
Commission in its latest regulatory filing that the Company is
subject to liabilities and claims relating to personal injury
(including exposure to hazardous substances used, produced,
disposed of by it or located in its facilities), property damage
or damage to natural resources.

The specialty chemicals company currently owns or operates
plants previously owned successively by Stauffer Chemicals and
Rhone-Poulenc where asbestos was used as insulation in pipes,
boilers and furnaces, but not in the manufacturing of these
products. As a consequence, the Company received a limited
number of claims relating to asbestos exposure.

In addition, one of its former sites in France has been
registered on an official list prepared by French authorities as
an industrial site that previously manufactured asbestos-
containing materials. This could give workers the right to claim
early retirement or other rights.

One of its currently owned and operated sites may also be
included in this official list during the course of 2005 and the
Company cannot exclude the possibility that other sites may be
included in the future. The Company stated that while it is not
possible to determine the ultimate outcome of all claims that
may be brought against it, it still believes that future risk
related to asbestos exposure is limited based on available
information and its experience with these claims.

A global specialty chemicals manufacturer with a streamlined
organization focused around nine Enterprises, Rhodia holds
strong technological positions in applications chemistry,
specialty materials and services and fine chemicals. Rhodia
shares are traded on the Euronext Paris market and the New York
Stock Exchange.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Senate Panel Excludes Easthampton from Bill
----------------------------------------------------------------
By a vote of 11-6, the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected an
amendment to the US$140 billion asbestos liability bill to
compensate Easthampton residents and 27 other communities where
asbestos-contaminated ore from the W.R. Grace mine in Libby,
Montana was shipped, processed and dumped.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., offered an amendment to cover
Easthampton where 258,000 tons of vermiculite ore laced with
tremolite asbestos was processed at the W.R. Grace plant, which
made Zonolite attic insulation from 1964 to 1983. Sen. Lindsey
Graham, R-S.C., joined Sen. Kennedy's amendment by expanding its
language to give the same protections to the residents of those
towns as the bill gives to the people of Libby.

Instead, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amendment
that calls for a study that would ultimately cover Easthampton
and the other locations if tests show the level of ambient
asbestos contamination is the same level found in Libby. Both
Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Graham said the testing would be
meaningless because exposure at far less levels than seen at
Libby could still be harmful if not fatal.

Sen. Kennedy said there was no scientific or logical reason to
differentiate Libby residents from residents of the areas where
the contaminated ore was shipped and processed. At issue, both
senators argued, is a question of fairness.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., told Sen. Kennedy that the committee
has recently learned that other communities have similar
problems as seen in Libby and is trying to delineate exactly how
extensive they are before deciding what the committee can do
about it. But Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Graham wanted the 28
communities where Grace owned and operated processing plants
included in the bill now. They argued that if the trust fund can
compensate the people of Libby, it should also give compensation
to the people who lived in the towns where the contaminated ore
was shipped and processed.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Mulls Over US and UK Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
In its latest regulatory filing, international engineering firm
Foster Wheeler Ltd. revealed that the cost of its current and
future asbestos claims in the U.S. could be substantially higher
than it has estimated.

Some of its subsidiaries are named as defendants in numerous
lawsuits and out-of-court administrative claims pending in the
U.S. in which the plaintiffs claim damages for bodily injury or
death arising from exposure to asbestos in connection with work
performed or heat exchange devices assembled, installed or sold
by its subsidiaries.

The Clinton, NJ-based Company expects these subsidiaries to be
named as defendants in similar suits and claims brought in the
future. For purposes of its financial statements, the Company
estimated the indemnity payments and defense costs to be
incurred in resolving pending and forecasted domestic claims
through year-end 2019. It believes that it is likely that there
will be new claims filed after 2019, but in light of
uncertainties inherent in long-term forecasts, it cannot
reasonably estimate the indemnity payments and defense costs
which might be incurred. The Company's forecast contemplates
that new claims will decline from year to year.

Meanwhile, the number of asbestos-related claims received by its
subsidiaries in the United Kingdom has increased in 2004. These
claims are covered by insurance policies and proceeds from the
policies are paid directly to the plaintiffs. The total number
of claims received to date in the U.K. is 622 of which 292
remain open as of April 1, 2005.

The Company recorded an estimated liability to resolve pending
and future forecasted claims through year-end 2019 of US$43.6
million as of April 1, 2005 and a corresponding asset for
probable insurance recoveries in the same amount. To date,
insurance policies have provided coverage for substantially all
of the costs incurred in connection with resolving asbestos
claims in the U.K. The balance sheet as of April 1, 2005,
includes as an asset an aggregate of US$363.1 million in
probable insurance recoveries relating to a liability for
pending and expected future asbestos claims through year-end
2019.

On January 10, 2005, a New York state trial court entered an
order finding that New York, rather than New Jersey, law applies
in the litigation regarding the allocation of liability for
asbestos-related personal injury claims among the Foster Wheeler
entities and their various insurers. The application of New York
law would result in its subsidiaries realizing lower insurance
recoveries.

As a result of this decision, it recorded a charge to earnings
in the fourth quarter of 2004 of US$75.8 million and reduced the
year-end carrying value of its probable insurance recoveries by
a similar amount. Unless this decision is reversed on appeal,
the Company expects that it will be required to fund a portion
of its asbestos liabilities from its own cash beginning in 2010.

On February 16, 2005, its subsidiaries filed separate motions
seeking the re-argument of this decision and an appeal of this
decision to a higher court.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio Court Ruling Favors 47 Insurance Firms
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Eighth District of the Court of Appeals of Ohio affirmed the
ruling in favor of the defendants in the case captioned, Dale
Bugg, et al. v. American Standard, Inc., et al., May 26, 2005,
Case No. CV-501703, Cuyahoga County, OH.

The plaintiffs known as Bevan Group 9 appealed the trial court's
decision granting the motion to dismiss the case against the
defendants, 47 individually named insurance entities. The
plaintiffs include Dale Bugg, Charles Gilchrist, Billy Gillette,
Luanne Parker, Lee Rettig, McKinnley Sanders, and Yvonne Varner.

Bevan Group 9 originally filed essentially identical personal
injury lawsuits against numerous manufacturers, distributors,
and premises owners for their involvement in the manufacturing,
sale, distribution or use of asbestos or asbestos containing
products. They also alleged claims against the insurance
defendants, seeking to hold them liable for each plaintiff's
asbestos-related injuries based on their failure to protect
plaintiffs from the harmful risks of asbestos. The amended
complaint asserted claims against the insurance defendants for:
(1) negligent undertaking, (2) spoliation, (3) conspiracy, and
(4) concert of action.

These complaints were grouped together at the trial court for
purposes of judicial economy because the same counsel
represented each individual plaintiff and the claims asserted
against the defendants were nearly identical.

In response to the complaint, several insurance defendants filed
motions to dismiss and motions for judgment on the pleadings,
while other insurance defendants joined in the motions filed by
their co-defendants. In accordance with its case management
order, the trial court treated the motions as a collective
motion of all the defendants.

According to the court opinion written by Judge Colleen Conway
Cooney, the judgment is affirmed. A special mandate issue out of
this court directed the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas to
carry this judgment into execution.

Judges Kenneth A. Rocco and Mary Eileen Kilbane concurred with
the decision.

Thomas W. Bevan, Anthony L. Ania, Bevan & Associates, LPA,
Northfield, Ohio, Bruce Carter, Fairfield, Ohio, R. Bryan Nace,
Fairlawn, Ohio, represented the plaintiffs-appellants, Dale
Bugg, et al.

Deborah A. Coleman, Hahn, Loeser & Parks, LLP, Cleveland, Ohio,
Michael E. Smith, Jenifer E. Novak, Frantz, Ward, LLP,
Cleveland, Ohio, Kevin M. Young, Brzytwa, Quick & McCrystal,
LLC, Cleveland, Ohio, Jim Petro, Ohio Attorney General, Peter M.
Thomas, Assistant Solicitor, Lawrence D. Pratt, Assistant
Attorney General, Health & Human Services Sec., Columbus, Ohio,
stood for the defendants-appellees, American Standard, Inc., et
al.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Building Firm Owner Succumbs to Lung Cancer
----------------------------------------------------------------
City coroner Donald Coverdale revealed in an inquest that one of
York's most successful businessmen died from the industrial
disease mesothelioma, a rare and lethal cancer from exposure to
asbestos.

Michael Hogg started his working life as an apprentice joiner
and cabinetmaker and went on to renovate buildings. He founded
Hogg the Builders at Strensall 37 years ago. This Company was
responsible for building thousands of houses in the York area,
where he concentrated exclusively. He eventually left York to
live in Alderney, in the Channel Islands.

Mr. Coverdale disclosed that Mr. Hogg's dealings within the
building trade in his early years could have led to him to
extensive contact with asbestos sheeting. The post-mortem
examination showed that Mr. Hogg had been exposed to asbestos
"at a high level."

Mr. Hogg was diagnosed in 2003 and he died at a Guernsey
hospital on January 12, 2005 at the age of 60. Mr. Hogg left a
widow and two sons.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Workers' Families Run Cancer Risk
---------------------------------------------------------------
Family members of workers exposed to asbestos run the risk of
developing the asbestos-related cancer many years later,
according to a new study published in the May issue of the
American Journal of Industrial Medicine. The study looked at
cases from 15 U.S. law firms involved in asbestos claims.

Dr. Albert Miller of St. Vincent Catholic Medical Center in New
York found 32 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed since 1990,
depicting that wives and daughters were most often affected with
a few cases occurring in sons and other relatives. Lag time
between the exposure and cancer development varied but went as
long as 40 years in most cases.

Those who worked in the construction, insulation, manufacturing
and shipbuilding industries were found to be at greatest risk of
mesothelioma, the relatively rare cancer of the membrane that
surrounds the internal organs. The people who lived with them
also face an increased mesothelioma risk, because these workers
likely came home with particles of asbestos on their clothes and
bodies.

Dr. Miller concluded that the 32 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed
since 1990 could be attributable only to "asbestos brought home
by another resident of the household." Six patients developed
the cancer in their 40s, but the majority were age 60 or older
when diagnosed.

Asbestos use has declined in the U.S., and people who still work
with the material wear protective equipment. To cut the risk of
bringing asbestos dust home, they are also typically required to
shower and change clothes before leaving work.

Dr. Miller also points out that while 90 percent of
mesotheliomas in men have been attributed to asbestos, far fewer
cases in women have been linked to the material. He speculates
that many of these women with unexplained mesotheliomas may have
lived with an asbestos-exposed worker at some point.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Activist Raises Inco Ltd. Health Risk Issue
----------------------------------------------------------------
The New Caledonian government faces accusations that it failed
to disclose medical reports warning that asbestos type deposits
in ore processed by a Canadian nickel company could pose health
risks, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

Jacques Boengkih, a Kanak activist, said that the medical head
of the labor department called for more research even before
Inco Limited implemented a major project in Goro. Mr. Boengkih
said a letter addressed to then president, Pierre Frogier,
demanded for studies to determine if operations would cause any
health problems.

A total of 20 people died of cancer in the town over an 18-year
period, a figure that Mr. Boengkih said is 250 times the global
average for such a small population. He believes the high
fatality rate from lung cancer in the mining town of Houailou
means the government needs to address the problem immediately.

Inco Limited is one of the world's premier mining and metals
companies and the world's second largest producer of nickel. It
is also an important producer of copper, cobalt and precious and
platinum-group metals and a major producer of specialty nickel-
based products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US Base Workers to Get 215M-Yen Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Accepting liability for asbestos-related illnesses, the Japanese
government agreed to pay 215 million yen to five former Japanese
U.S. Naval Base workers and families of six others. Under the
settlement made at the Yokosuka branch of the Yokohama District
Court, the former workers will receive 14 million yen each,
while the deceased workers get 25 million yen each.

This is the last settlement among three damages suits filed
against the government by former workers who developed
asbestosis from inhaling large amounts of asbestos dust while
working at the base.

Asbestos was used mainly to insulate steam pipes on the vessels.
With the settlement, the government accepted the claim that
these workers developed asbestosis due to insufficient health
safety measures in the workplace.

"I am relieved that the suit is finally over. I think setting
remedies out of court is an urgent task," said Tsutomu Ohashi,
aged 62, one of the plaintiffs who lost his father nine years
ago at age 80.

The Japanese government hired the workers to work at the U.S.
military base. No measures were taken at the base to counter the
health hazards of asbestos until around 1980.

More than 30 former workers at the Yokosuka base in Kanagawa
Prefecture have filed suits against the central government and
the U.S. Navy in asbestos-related cases, and several have
reached out-of-court settlements.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: SC Overturns Order Forcing Ford Disclosure
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Missouri on April 26, 2005 rejected a trial
court order compelling discovery in a wrongful death action
brought against Ford Motor Company by the relatives of an
employee who contracted lung cancer. Chief Justice Ronnie L.
White held that the motion asking Ford to disclose information
and documents regarding every product containing asbestos that
was ever manufactured, sold or distributed in its 102-year
history was too broad.

Jeremiah J. Morgan, Ann K. Covington, Craig S. O'Dear, Thomas E.
Rice, Jr., Gregory J. Pals, of Kansas City, represented Ford
Motor Company.

Steven E. Crick, Kenneth B. McClain, Scott A. Britton-Mehlisch,
Independence, John M. Klamann, of Overland Park, represented the
respondent, Honorable W. Stephen Nixon.

Roy Dietiker, a former employee of Ford, filed a worker's
compensation suit against Ford and a products liability suit
against multiple other defendants for allegedly having been
exposed to defective products containing asbestos. These two
lawsuits were ongoing at the time of his death from the cancer,
and discovery in these suits had been obtained from Ford.

After Mr. Dietiker's death, his relatives filed a wrongful death
action against Ford, and discovery requests were served in this
third lawsuit. Ford did not comply with the discovery requests
in this action, and the trial court issued an order to compel
production.

Ford sought a writ of prohibition preventing the trial court
from enforcing the order. The Supreme Court of Missouri issued a
preliminary writ on November 23, 2004, prohibiting the trial
court from taking any further action in this case other than
vacating its order to compel and entering a protective order
limiting discovery to those matters not already discovered and
that are relevant to the cause.

Ford claimed the discovery requests are overbroad and unduly
burdensome because there are no geographical, time or subject
matter restrictions. It also argued that discovery should be
limited to the products-related claims, because the court lacks
jurisdiction over the employment-related claims. Finally, the
Company asserted that the discovery requests are duplicative
because counsel is the same in all of these cases and has
already received many of the requested materials.

The Supreme Court decided that the trial court abused its
discretion when ordering Ford to comply with all of the
discovery requests. It concluded that the trial court "must
vacate its order to compel and limit discovery to the reasonable
parameters of the petition allowing discovery of relevant and
temporal subject matter."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PA Court Reverses WCAB Order V. Monessen
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania on May 27, 2005 reversed
a Workers' Compensation Appeal Board order, which reduced the
rate by which an employer may recover its subrogation lien based
on a claimant's asserted financial hardship.

Todd K. Foster, of Pittsburgh, represented the petitioner,
Monessen, Inc.

Daniel K. Bricmont, Pittsburgh, represented the respondent, the
Workers' Compensation Appeal Board.

In October 1995, James Fleming filed a claim petition against
his employer, Monessen, Inc., and its insurance carrier, the
State Workers' Insurance Fund, alleging he developed lung cancer
and asbestosis as a result of exposure to asbestos and coke gas.
One year later, his wife, Donna Fleming, filed a fatal claim
petition.

A Workers' Compensation Judge granted both petitions, concluding
Mr. Fleming developed a work-related occupational disease while
working for Monessen, and a direct causal connection existed
between his occupational disease and his death.

Thereafter, the case was remanded for the WCJ to consider
whether Monessen was entitled to a credit for any third-party
settlements Mrs. Fleming received. On remand, the WCJ conducted
four hearings. Notably, Mrs. Fleming submitted no evidence
concerning the impact of the manner of repayment on her
financial situation.

The WCJ determined Mrs. Fleming recovered a net total of
US$65,656.02 from third-party settlements with several
defendants. The WCJ further determined Monessen paid Mrs.
Fleming US$120,190.00 in compensation benefits.

As a result, the WCJ concluded Monessen was entitled to suspend
benefits during a "grace period" of 241.38 weeks in order to
recover the US$65,656.02. Mrs. Fleming appealed to the Board.
She asserted a complete suspension of her benefits created a
financial hardship; as a result, she requested the Board extend
the repayment period. The Board agreed and determined a
deduction of US$80.00 per week from Mrs. Fleming's benefit
checks was a "just and manageable sum." This extended the
repayment period to 494.30 weeks.

Monessen appealed, asserting that it has an absolute right to
immediate payment of the past due lien through a total
suspension of benefits until the lien is satisfied.

The Commonwealth Court agreed with the employer's contention. It
opposed the Board's decision to reduce the rate by which
Monessen may recover its subrogation lien for several reasons.

According further to the opinion written by Judge Robert
Simpson, in extending the recovery period, the Board overlooked
Monessen's right to immediate payment of its past due lien. The
Board also exceeded its authority in making a factual finding
that a total suspension of benefits would create undue hardship
for Mrs. Fleming.

Finally, by extending the repayment period by about six years,
the Board increased the risk Monessen will not recover its
entire lien. The possibility Mrs. Fleming could pass away within
the extended recovery period increases the risk Monessen will
not recover its entire past due lien.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeals Court Reverses Order V. CCR Members
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Ohio on May 26, 2005 reversed and
remanded the trial court's decision granting Kelley & Ferraro's
ninth motion to enforce the settlement agreement.

Former members of the Center for Claims Resolution filed the
appeal before Presiding Judge Colleen Conway Cooney of the
Appeals Court. The eleven companies include Amchem Products,
Inc., C.E. Thurston & Sons, Inc., CertainTeed Corp., Dana Corp.,
I.U. North America, Inc., Maremont Corp., National Service
Industries, Inc., Nosroc Corp., Pfizer Inc., Quigley Company,
Inc., and Union Carbide Corp.

K & F represented 15,000 asbestos claimants who sued various
asbestos manufacturers and distributors in several
jurisdictions, including Cuyahoga County. In 1988, the asbestos
producers and distributors created the CCR, a nonprofit
organization, to handle all asbestos-related personal injury
litigation. The rights and responsibilities of the CCR and its
members were set forth in an agreement known as the CCR producer
agreement, under which each member authorized the CCR to
calculate its share of each settlement in accordance with the
members' allocation arrangements.

In July 1999, K & F, acting on behalf of their clients, entered
into a settlement agreement with the CCR to settle claims
against the CCR member companies. Pursuant to the agreement,
each member company would pay its individual share of the
settlement, in biannual installments between December 1999 and
December 2004, to those claimants who qualified under the terms
and conditions of the agreement.

After the agreement was executed but before payments became due,
various CCR member companies filed for bankruptcy and failed to
pay their shares. As a result, K & F filed numerous motions
seeking to enforce the agreement and to hold the remaining
solvent CCR member companies jointly and severally liable for
the insolvent member companies' unpaid shares.

In July 2003, the trial court granted K & F's ninth motion to
enforce the settlement agreement, thereby holding all solvent
CCR member companies jointly and severally liable for the unpaid
shares. The CCR members appealed, raising four assignments of
error.

The Appeals Court found that the trial court did not err in
failing to identify the claimants for whom it entered judgment.
If the CCR members had any concerns or questions as to who the
judgment claimants were, the CCR members should have raised the
issue at the hearing. Instead, the parties waived their right to
an evidentiary hearing and stipulated to the amount of qualified
claims.

The Court agrees to the CCR members' contention that the trial
court erred in holding the CCR members, whether solvent or
insolvent, jointly and severally liable under the settlement
agreement.

However, the Ohio Supreme Court recently reversed this court's
decision. Therefore, based upon this reversal, the Appeals Court
finds that each individual member company is only responsible
for its individual share pursuant to the producer agreement.

Judges Diane Karpinski and Mary Eileen Kilbane concurred with
the decision.

Eric H. Zagrans, The Zagrans Law Firm, Elyria, Ohio, David P.
Huitema, Michael K. Isenman, William F. Sheehan, Richard M.
Wyner, Shea & Gardner, Washington, D.C., for Defendant-
Appellant, (Amchem Products, Inc., et al.).

Frank J. Santoro, Marcus, Santoro & Kozac, P.C., Chesapeake,
Virginia, for Defendant-Appellant, (C.E. Thurston & Sons).

Jeffrey M. Embleton, Eli Manos, Samuel R. Martillotta, Ronald B.
Rubin, Rubin & Rubin, Chartered, Rockville, Maryland, for
Defendant-Appellant, (Pfizer, Inc., et al.).

Michael V. Kelley, Thomas M. Wilson, Kelley & Ferraro, LLP,
Cleveland, Ohio, Robert J. Fogarty, Andrew S. Pollis, Hahn,
Loeser & Parks, Cleveland, Ohio, for Plaintiff-Appellee, (Kelley
& Ferraro).


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AIG Restates Income With US$3.9B Adjustment
----------------------------------------------------------------
Facing scrutiny from regulators, American International Group
filed its long-awaited 2004 annual report with the Securities
and Exchange Commission, lowering net income by US$3.9 billion
over five years to correct improper accounting and increase
reserves for asbestos claims.

New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and the Securities
and Exchange Commission began investigating AIG amid a broad
probe of a type of nontraditional reinsurance that can be abused
to mask losses or smooth earnings. As a result, AIG, the world's
largest insurer by market value, admitted in March and May that
it understated liabilities and underwriting losses by failing to
disclose control of three offshore reinsurers: Union Excess
Reinsurance, Richmond Insurance and Capco Reinsurance.

Following an internal review, New York-based AIG finally
released a thrice-delayed regulatory filing in which it also cut
its net worth through the end of 2004 by US$2.26 billion, or 2.7
percent -- less than an early May warning of a possible US$2.7
billion.

AIG said the US$3.9 billion reduction in net income for the five
years through 2004 included an US$850 million increase in its
asbestos and environmental reserves for the fourth quarter of
2004. The company also reported US$1.51 million in net reserve
for losses and loss expenses at the end of 2004 related to
asbestos and environmental claims.

Michael Chren, senior portfolio manager of National City
Investment Management Co., cited the eventual filing of AIG's
10-K annual report and less-than-expected reduction in net worth
as positives. However, he pointed out that the asbestos reserve
review will "leave a cloud over the shares."

The reserves were adjusted to reflect a new view that
potentially more claims could hit the company as AIG
increasingly takes into account the losses it has experienced.
AIG said it would commission an independent actuarial review of
loss reserves, including those for asbestos and environmental
claims, for its main property and casualty insurance operations.

The filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission came
a week after New York authorities filed a civil lawsuit against
AIG, former chief executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, and former
chief financial officer Howard Smith. The lawsuit said the two
officers, who have since been ousted, committed fraud and
manipulated company books to amplify the strength of AIG's core
underwriting business and prop up the stock price.

AIG stated that it is cooperating fully with regulators who
continue to investigate the company amidst the possibility that
criminal charges could be put forward. Now, however, "there
should be no further restatements going forward," said AIG
President and Chief Executive Officer Martin Sullivan in a
conference call with investors.

In its latest filing, AIG said its management identified
material weaknesses in its internal control over financial
reporting. AIG expects to file its financial report for the
first quarter of 2005 by the end of June.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Metalworker Unions Campaign for Global Ban
----------------------------------------------------------------
The International Metalworkers' Federation, representing more
than 200 metalworker unions from 100 countries around the world,
launched a high-powered campaign this week for a global ban on
asbestos.

A "death counter" at the congress cited that asbestos deaths
occur every five minutes. The IMF estimated that 100,000 people
die from exposure to asbestos. However, the demand for asbestos
appears to have expanded in 2003, enabling world production to
increase by 5.4 percent over 2002.

Speaking at the global union federation's international congress
in Vienna, IMF general secretary Marcello Malentacchi said,
"While most developed countries are racing to remove asbestos
from buildings, some countries continue to sell this deadly
substance particularly to the developing world."

Mr. Malentacchi said that asbestos producers see Asian countries
as key markets. He asserted that no worker should ever be
exposed to asbestos whether in developed or developing
countries. The continued production of asbestos, he says, would
only prolong the suffering and unnecessary loss of life.

UK union GMB moved for a conference motion supporting the call
for a global asbestos ban. This was passed unanimously with no
abstentions.

The IMF is a federation of national unions in the metal industry
at world level. The IMF head office is in Geneva, Switzerland,
where worldwide activities are coordinated with a network of
regional offices.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA to Create Expert Panel for El Dorado
-------------------------------------------------------------
The federal Environmental Protection Agency will be seeking the
assistance of independent experts to look into the public health
risks posed by naturally occurring asbestos in El Dorado County.
The EPA hopes to put the data it has collected in perspective
with a panel made up of renowned experts ranging from
epidemiologists to lung specialists.

Dan Meer, the chief of the EPA's Response, Planning and
Assessment Branch in San Francisco, moves to diminish skepticism
about the study, which the agency conducted on a 10-day long
asbestos sampling last year. The results showed asbestos fibers
in almost every air sample. Mr. Meer said one of the focuses of
the new study would be how exposure relates to children, who
frequented many of the locations where the samples came from.

Gerald Hiatt, a senior toxicologist with the EPA, said there is
a sufficient body of new science on asbestos that the EPA has
not yet been able to use in determining risk level to warrant a
panel of this kind. Some of the new science comes from
epidemiology studies in other countries, while other cutting-
edge research comes from a reanalysis of data in this country.

The EPA is hoping to begin work with the panel this summer
however Mr. Meer said that because they are aiming to get the
top experts in the field, the EPA might have to work around
their schedules. If the panel can begin in July then information
could be presented to the public within a couple of months. This
timetable could be changed if a need for further sampling comes
up. The EPA has contracted out the creation of the panel to the
Syracuse Research Corp.

Originally, the EPA was interested in doing some further
assessment of asbestos in places outside of El Dorado County.
This may be postponed until after the panel has come back with
recommendations and additional information, giving the EPA a
better shot at interpreting data collected from these other
places more accurately.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Dumping Strikes UK Nature Reserve
---------------------------------------------------------------
Illegal dumping of asbestos dismayed staff at Dudley's Fens Pool
Nature Reserve, which has recently been recognized for its
environmental importance.

Workers discovered asbestos at the entrance to the reserve's
volcanic site, endangering both visitors and wildlife at Barrow
Hill. Nature lovers and children in particular are put at
serious risk by the presence of asbestos, whose fibers are known
to be carcinogenic when inhaled.

The latest clean-up operation cost the council GBP350 to have a
specialist contractor remove the hazardous substance.

Secretary of the Pensnett Wildlife Group, Angela Wadeley, said,
"Asbestos is a particularly nasty type of waste. I'm no expert
but it has huge risks for people's health and of course it ruins
the wildlife."

Ms. Wadeley added that since only professionals could clear
asbestos, the high cost comes out of the taxpayer's pocket. She
appealed to people to be responsible and dispose of the waste
properly. She said that the reserve is doing its best to
preserve its collection of rare plants.

Anyone caught dumping the potentially lethal material can face
fines of up to GBP20,000 or jail.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Victims' Group Dismayed at Passage of Bill
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization expressed its
disappointment regarding the passage of S. 852, the bill seeking
to create an industry-financed US$140 trust fund aimed to put a
stop to asbestos litigation.

ADAO, an independent group founded by asbestos victims and their
families, has incessantly opposed the bill. It said the bill
sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter does not
adequately protect the rights of present and future victims.

ADAO President Alan Reinstein said, "It is clear that the
victims and their families were not considered stakeholders." He
added that he hopes the Senate does the right thing by rejecting
this "corporate bailout bill."

Specifically, ADAO made the following statements:

(1) ADAO's Science Advisory Board strongly objects to the
outdated and incorrect medical criteria in S. 852 describing the
symptoms, diagnosis and severity of asbestos related diseases.
ADAO recommends that any piece of legislation should follow the
established American Thoracic Society guidelines to diagnose and
treat asbestos related diseases;

(2) The bill contains inordinate compensation delays and
ineligibility for the victims;

(3) The bill has inadequate funding for not only research, but
education, prevention and outreach; and

(4) The trust fund faces insolvency long before all present and
future victims can access it.

ADAO Co-founder and Executive Director Linda Reinstein explained
in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this
year that, "Asbestos diseases can take twice as long to appear
as the fund is designed to last. That leaves millions of
Americans exposed to asbestos with a fund that is destined to
become insolvent.

"Once again, sick and dying victims will be at the mercy of
bureaucracy and receive more aggravation than compensation.We
are not principally opposed to a trust fund. But it makes good
business sense to design a fair and balanced fund that provides
speedy compensation and adequate funding for research, education
and outreach.

"Give the victims the right to choose the fund or a trial.
Citizens need to make certain before they give up their right to
a trial, that a national trust fund has sufficient funding for
the future."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Town Residents Urge Action for Dumping
--------------------------------------------------------------
Syston residents called for action to deal with the problem of
fly tipping in the town after another asbestos dumping incident
within the area was reported. They said the site is often used
as dumping ground for all sorts of rubbish.

The Environment Agency sent an emergency response team to the
scene after asbestos sheeting and a barrel with toxic chemical
labels was spotted near the brook under the railway bridge near
Syston's Memorial Park. The professional cleaning crew of Adler
and Allen was hired to clear up the hazardous material under a
railway bridge, believed to have cost several hundred pounds.

Environment officer Rachel Martin said the asbestos sheeting
looked like it had been used in roofing. She added that asbestos
could be harmful if it gets broken up and the fibers are
inhaled. However, she emphasized that the contractors took all
the necessary precautions to minimize the health risk.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Complaint Filed V. IL Asbestos Removal Firm
----------------------------------------------------------------
Acting on reported asbestos removal violations at an East Moline
site, Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a complaint with the
Illinois Pollution Control Board against demolition contractor
Champion Environmental Services. She is seeking a maximum
penalty of US$50,000 and an additional penalty of US$10,000 for
each day the violation continues.

Champion Environmental Services was contracted by CNH America
LLC in February to remove asbestos-containing materials in
preparation for the factory's demolition. However, a May 5
inspection of the facility by the Environmental Protection
Agency revealed that emission-control procedures were not being
followed and that asbestos material was scattered throughout the
work site. The EPA referred the case to the Attorney General's
office the next day.

As previously reported in the May 13, 2005 edition of the Class
Action Reporter, inspectors discovered that workers were not
following proper asbestos removal procedures. They found siding
and roofing material containing asbestos that had broken apart,
possibly releasing asbestos fibers. Eight open bins and three
partially covered containers with asbestos materials were also
observed.

In a news release, Ms. Madigan said, "Safe handling of asbestos
during removal is critical to protecting workers and residents
from the health hazards associated with exposure to this cancer-
producing substance."

The complaint requested a hearing before the pollution control
board on the violations, which include concerns over asbestos-
emission standards, air pollution and open dumping, said Scott
Mulford, a spokesman from the Attorney General's office.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Commonwealth Claims to be Handled by 1 Body
----------------------------------------------------------------
Under new laws passed through the House of Representatives
earlier this week, a single federal government body will now
manage all asbestos claims against the Commonwealth, the Daily
Telegraph reports.

Workforce Participation Minister Peter Dutton said the bill
would ensure better handling of asbestos-related claims against
the Australian government by allowing Comcare to assume all of
the government's liabilities for such claims. He added that it
would mean less duplication of effort and "will consist of
outcomes for the government and the claimants."

Labor supported the bill but opposition industry spokesman
Stephen Smith said he had serious reservations about plans to
scrap the stevedoring industry finance committee, which resolves
common law asbestos exposure claims from waterside workers or
their widows.

Mr. Smith pointed out that the legislation carves out an ongoing
specialized attention for claims in the defense department and
in the veterans' area. However, he believes there is a serious
issue as to whether there are good public policy grounds for
continuing specialized attention in the stevedoring industry.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Toxin Levels High in Iowa Financial Center
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tests conducted in the Financial Center in downtown Des Moines
earlier this year show the air in the building could be
hazardous to health. Tests found lead dust levels above the HUD
reference level, mold levels above those found in the outdoor
air, and asbestos above the industry standard clearance level.

Hundreds of people work in the 25-story building, which was
built in 1972.

In February, Wells Fargo Financial, which occupies most of the
building, asked a private consulting group to look into possible
problems with air quality. In the tower portion of the building,
air quality tests showed lead dust above federally regulated
levels and mold above recommended levels. On the eighth floor,
tests turned up asbestos, a known cancer causing agent, above
the levels the federal government deems safe.

Samples were also collected in the portion of the building that
houses Walgreen's. Lead dust and mold levels were above
regulated levels. Asbestos also turned up in the heating and
cooling system on both floors.

Iowa's Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Administrator has so far not received specific complaints about
the building. Mary Bryant, administrator for the state safety
regulatory agency, said that if workers did contact OSHA, the
agency would be able to help in the abatement of the federally
regulated asbestos but clarified that there is no regulator for
overall air quality to deal with mold and other toxins.

Wells Fargo claimed asbestos wasn't used in the construction of
the tower. OSHA says there's a small possibility it entered the
air supply when some of the older buildings in downtown Des
Moines were demolished.

Maintenance supervisors confirm a massive clean up is underway.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Inquest Shows Linesman Died of Exposure
---------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest revealed that a former employee of the Electricity
Supply Board suffered from a mesothelioma tumor caused by
occupational exposure to asbestos.

Prior to his death at age 53, Michael Clohessy, from Killcross
Lawns, Sandyford in Dublin had worked for the State-owned
electricity company as a linesman for 33-years.

At Dublin City Coroner's Court, the family's solicitor, Peter
Duff, said the ESB was Mr. Clohessy's prime employer during his
entire lifetime.

Mr. Clohessy complained of shortness of breath in 2001 and was
originally treated in several hospitals, including chemotherapy
treatment, for a regular form of lung cancer. He was transferred
to Our Lady's Hospice in Harold's Cross in March 2002, where he
remained until his death in December 6, 2003.

The coroner Dr. Brian Farrell said that upon Mr. Clohessy's
death, a biopsy revealed an unusual mesothelioma tumor rather
than ordinary lung cancer. In an autopsy report, the State
Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy, said she found encrusted
fragments in the lungs and queried whether it may have been
asbestos fibers.

Dr. Louise Burke of Cork University Hospital confirmed it was a
mesothelioma tumor. The Court heard that 90 to 95% of the cases
are associated with exposure to asbestos some 20 to 40 years
previously.

The jury passed a verdict of death caused by occupational
disease, stating that on the balance of probabilities the
mesothelioma was related to asbestos exposure.

Dr. Farrell said the Coroner's Court and the Health and Safety
Authority, which was represented in court by Dr. Thomas
Donnelly, believe potential occupational deaths must be fully
explored.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AG Sues W.R. Grace for Lying About Cleanup
---------------------------------------------------------------
New Jersey attorney general filed a civil complaint against
former insulation manufacturer W.R. Grace & Co. for falsifying
documents to environmental authorities about asbestos-
contaminated soil. The lawsuit seeks US$150,000 in damages each
from W.R. Grace and two former executives. In addition, the law
could allow for damages of US$450,000 per day for each day the
defendants did not correct their statements.

The complaint alleges that upon closing the plant in 1995, W.R.
Grace, the former operator of an industrial plant in Hamilton
Township provided false information to the New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection, saying that asbestos contamination
there had been cleaned up and that only insignificant amounts
remained.

However, Attorney General Peter C. Harvey said that more than
15,000 tons of contaminated soil remained at the site, with some
soil samples containing concentrations as high as 40 percent, a
huge difference from the concentrations reported by the
consultant, which ranged from .03 percent to 1 percent. The
removal of about 9,000 tons has already been completed, with the
remainder to be taken out this summer.

The complaint cites a report, dated June 2, 1995, that was
completed by a consultant for Environmental Resources
Management. It concluded that no environmental testing was
required on the grounds based on data that W.R. Grace provided.
No further testing of the site was required and the matter was
closed until 1999, when the EPA began examining 200 plants
nationwide that processed raw vermiculite. Earlier this year,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called the 1995 report
inaccurate.

The environmental consulting firm that prepared the 1995 report
has since defended its role in the assessment, calling W.R.
Grace responsible for the report and its contents. Steven Picco,
an attorney for Environmental Resources Management, stressed
that the firm relied on information for its report provided by
the company.

Environmental assessment reports, even when prepared by a
consultant, are signed and certified by company officials. W.R.
Grace's 1995 report was certified as "true, accurate and
complete" by Jay H. Burrill, the environmental coordinator for
the company, and Robert J. Bettacchi, a company vice president.

Accurate Document Destruction Inc., a paper shredding company,
was the most recent owner of the plant, which was devastated by
a fire in April.

As previously reported in the March 11, 2005 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, five years after W.R. Grace moved out of
the Hamilton plant, Accurate Document Destruction decided to
move into the former Zonolite factory armed with a written
assurance from officials of the state Department of
Environmental Protection that the property had been cleaned and
no health threat remained.

According to the April 22, 2005 CAR edition, it was reported
that the state Department of Health and Senior Services
determined in March that former W.R. Grace workers and their
families were at the greatest risk from asbestos exposure. The
report also states that neighboring businesses and residents and
employees of then-occupant, Accurate Document Destruction Inc.,
might have been exposed.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sears Wants Maremont to Indemnify Losses
-------------------------------------------------------------
Sears Roebuck and Co. filed a suit against Maremont Corp. for
losses associated with civil action taken by mesothelioma
sufferers or their families in four Madison County asbestos
lawsuits in 2002, The Madison Record reports.

According to the suit filed May 25, 2005, Maremont was Sears'
supplier of brake shoe sets since 1971. It also stated that
Marement owes "a duty to indemnify, protect, defend and hold
harmless from and against any and all liability and expenses
resulting from any alleged or claimed defect."

Sears is represented by Cates, Kurowski, Bailey & Schultz LLC in
Swansea.

The asbestos cases in which Sears was named as a defendant
included James B. Pryor v. A.W. Chesterton, et.al., Finance J.
Roberts-Jeanie Roberts v. A.W. Chesterton, et.al, Charlene
Merrill, individually and as special administrator of the estate
of Jerome Merrill, deceased v. A.W. Chesterton, et.al. and Diane
Teaver, individually and as special administrator of the estate
of Francesco Marino, deceased v. A.W. Chesterton, et. al.

The suits were dismissed without prejudice on Sept. 13, 2004.

Sears, which was allowed by the court to file a counterclaim, is
seeking indemnification of the total amount of loss, expense or
judgment and for further relief the court deems just and proper.

Acquired by Kmart Holding Corp. in March 2005, Sears Roebuck and
Co. provides retail services that offers an array of merchandise
& related services. The Group operates in three domestic
segments: retail and related services segment consisting of 872
full-line stores, 767 dealer stores, 249 hardware stores and 38
outlet stores.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GE Files Motion for Mistrial in IL County
--------------------------------------------------------------
In Madison County Court, Judge Daniel Stack nearly directed a
verdict in favor of defendant General Electric, citing that the
"evidence is weak," The Madison Record reports.

"I think I have to deny the motion (for directed verdict), but
this is as close as I have ever come," said Judge Stack,
referring to the county's second asbestos trial within a month.

In April 2003, Jane Gudmundson of Cook County filed suit,
claiming that her late husband, Harvey Gudmundson, was exposed
to asbestos while serving on the U.S.S. Bausell, a navy
destroyer during the Korean War in the early 1950s. Mrs.
Gudmundson alleges that the General Electric asbestos-insulated
steam turbines in the Bausell caused her husband's mesothelioma.

Frank Parker, an industrial hygienist, and O.W. Forrest, a naval
friend who also served on the Bausell, have testified in the
trial for the plaintiff.

Attorneys for GE filed a motion for mistrial after co-defendant
John Crane's motion for a directed verdict was allowed by Judge
Stack. "(This is) an improper use of the court and it borders on
fraud," said GE attorney Fitzgerald.

Crane filed its motion for the directed verdict after
plaintiff's attorney David Greenstone rested his case. Mr.
Fitzgerald claimed that Mr. Greenstone made a deal with John
Crane not to present any evidence against John Crane. He called
the practice "highly suspect" and argued that no evidence was
entered against John Crane nor were any witnesses listed.

Mr. Greenstone told Judge Stack that to accuse someone of fraud
in open court is a "slanderous allegation." He added that not
presenting evidence against Crane is "between me and my client."

On Jan. 26, 2005, GE attorneys tried to convince Judge Stack to
transfer the case to Cook County where Mrs. Gudmundson now
resides. Mr. Julian countered that the motion was nothing more
than a stall tactic as the case was originally set for trial in
early February. Judge Stack agreed that it was too close to
trial to transfer the case.

David Greenstone of Dallas, Texas and Barry Julian of Alton, are
representing Mrs. Gudmundson.

General Electric is represented by Ronald Flack of Gallop,
Johnson & Neumann of St. Louis and Myra Eaton. John Crane is
represented by Ed Burns of O'Connell & Associates in Elgin.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Agency Sounds Alert on Asbestos Rubble
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Environment Agency launched an investigation of a scare that
broke out in a West Cumbrian village after it became known that
asbestos-laden building rubble was given away to the public,
News & Star reports.

The rubble came from the demolished Kangol factory building in
Frizington owned by Lancashire-based Orm Developments. It is
believed a number of people helped themselves to the building
material advertised as "free crushed rubble" for a variety of
uses including laying garden paths.

Vic Emerson, Copeland Borough Council's principal environmental
health officer, said the asbestos released was the hard-bonded
type and came from the roof, which was dropped to the ground and
smashed during the demolition. As a result, the carcinogenic
material became mixed up in the building rubble. He said that
asbestos should have been removed separately.

Mr. Emerson added that both the people giving away the rubble
and those who took it broke the law.

The Environment Agency is passing health queries on to Copeland,
which will contact the Health Protection Agency, however Mr.
Emerson insisted the health risk is minimal.

".The chances of getting anything in the way of asbestosis is
equivalent to winning the Lottery or being struck by lightning.
It's in an open area, totally different to being in an enclosed
space, and the dilution is so vast that the risk is minimal,"
said Mr. Emerson.

The Environment Agency is now urging those who took some or know
where the rubble might have gone, to contact it for advice. It
also said that the rubble would have to be properly disposed at
the taker's own expense.

The Environment Agency can be contacted on its hotline at 0800
80 70 60.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Inn Owner, Contractor Agree to US$81T Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
As a result of violations in the handling of asbestos in April
2004, the inn owner and the contractor have both agreed to pay
US$81,000 as part of a settlement with the Sacramento
Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

Robert Holt of Sheepherders Inn in Rancho Cordova and Lawrence
Parfitt, owner of APC Contractors of Fresno, will be paying the
penalty through the agency's voluntary program designed to
resolve violations without the time and expense of litigation.

The Inn has been closed for a couple of years for remodeling.

Settlement funds will be used to help support the district's
mission of improving air quality in the Sacramento region.

Company Profile:
APC Contractors Inc.
4606 North Bendel Avenue,
Fresno, CA  93722-3904
Phone: 559-275-7099
Fax: 559-275-7316
http://www.apccontractors.com/

Description:
APC Contractors, Inc., a privately held corporation, has been
providing hazardous materials abatement services to public and
private entities for over 20 years. The Company was formed in
1983 and incorporated in 1984.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Man Pleads Guilty to Asbestos Removal Case in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Possibly facing up to five years in prison and a fine of
US$250,000, a general manager for an asbestos company pleaded
guilty in federal court to charges relating to asbestos removal
projects in the Southern Tier and in Tioga County, PA, the Star-
Gazette reports.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 28 in Binghamton.

In the U.S. District Court in Syracuse, 50-year-old James Todd
pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the federal Clean Air
Act, the federal Clean Water Act and federal mail fraud
statutes. However Mr. Todd, who worked for Lambert's Asbestos
Removal Service Inc., clarified that he only entered the plea to
avoid a trial.

"I'd just like to clarify that the charge I'm admitting to is
all minor paperwork violations," he said. "The rest is just
unproved allegations."

According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Todd and unidentified
co-conspirators in April 2002 were accused of failing to
adequately wet down regulated asbestos-containing material at
the Corning Town Hall. At Alfred University in August 2002, they
supposedly discharged asbestos-containing material into floor
pipes without a permit while working on a boiler. The complaint
says that violated the Clean Water Act because the pipes
discharged into a nearby stream. At Binghamton University on
Feb. 27, 2003, the complaint says, the conspirators forged the
signature of another person on waste shipment records during a
project at a lecture hall and failed to keep accurate waste
shipment records.

Since Mr. Todd disputed wrongdoing at some of the projects,
prosecutor Craig A. Benedict says, there will probably be a
sentencing hearing to consider that information.

Glenn T. Suddaby, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New
York said that the felony charge relates to activities in
supervising asbestos renovation or demolition projects,
performed illegally at various facilities, and falsifying of
asbestos-related records.

As part of the plea deal, Mr. Todd agreed to surrender all
licenses related to asbestos removal and demolition for two
years from the date of his sentencing.

Special agents of the Environmental Protection Agency, officers
of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and
inspectors from the New York State Department of Labor
investigated the case.


Company Profile:
Lambert's Asbestos Removal Service
68 Kahler Rd S
Elmira, NY 14903-7910
Phone: (607) 562-8426


                  New Security Fraud Cases


ABLE LABORATORIES: Abbey Gardey Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Abbey Gardy, LLP initiated a Class Action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the United
States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Newark
Division on behalf of a class (the "Class") of all persons who
purchased or acquired securities of Able Laboratories, Inc.
("Able" or the "Company")(Nasdaq: ABRX) between October 30, 2002
and May 18, 2005 inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period thereby
artificially inflating the price of Able securities. The action,
captioned Skoros v. Able Laboratories, Inc., et al., is pending
in the United States District Court for the District of New
Jersey against defendants Able Laboratories, Dhananjay G.
Wadekar (CEO, President), Robert Weinstein (CFO, Treasurer to
November 2004).

The Complaint alleges that starting on October 30, 2002 and
continuing until May 18, 2005, defendants made a series of
materially false and misleading statements regarding the about
Able's business and earnings. The Complaint alleges that
throughout the Class Period, Able failed to disclose and
misrepresented the following material adverse facts known to
defendants or recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) the Company's product testing procedures failed to meet
         standard industry practices and good manufacturing
         practices established by the FDA;

     (2) the Company was faced with potentially enormous
         liabilities and fines as a result of its breaches of
         good manufacturing practices;

     (3) the Company's breaches jeopardized not only its current
         drug offerings but also the likelihood that drugs in
         development would gain FDA approval; and

     (4) as a result of the foregoing, defendants' opinions and
         statements concerning Able's current and future
         earnings lacked a reasonable basis at all times.

On May 19, 2005, Able announced that it had identified
departures from standard operating procedures and good
manufacturing practices with respect to certain laboratory
testing practices and that as a result of these observations;
the Company will be recalling additional products in the future.
Able also announced on May 19 the resignation of Wadekar from
his positions as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

This news shocked the market and the reaction of the stock
market was dramatic. Shares of Able fell $18.37 per share, or
$74.59 per share, on May 19, 2005, to close at $6.25 per share

On May 23, 2005, Able Laboratories announced that it is
recalling all of its products for safety testing and taking the
additional drastic step of withdrawing seven of its "abbreviated
new drug applications" due to commercial reasons and
"identification, in certain applications, of data upon which the
Company is no longer willing to rely." During the Class Period,
insiders sold a total of 480,666 shares for proceeds of
$9,533,047.00.

For more details, contact Susan Lee or Nancy Kaboolian, Esq. of
Abbey Gardy, LLP by Mail: 212 East 39th Street, New York, New
York 10016 by Phone: (212) 889-3700 or (800) 889-3701 or by E-
mail: slee@abbeygardy.com.


COLLINS & AIKMAN: Murray Frank Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of shareholders who
purchased or otherwise acquired the securities of Collins &
Aikman ("Collins & Aikman" or the "Company") (Pink Sheets:CKCRQ)
between May 6, 2004 and March 17, 2005, inclusive (the "Class
Period").

The Complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, defendants
issued materially false and misleading statements that
materially overstated the value of the Company's revenue and net
income. On March 17, 2005, Collins & Aikman issued a press
release announcing that it had commenced an internal review of
how it was accounting for supplier rebates. This review revealed
that the Company was prematurely or inappropriately recognizing
revenue and would cause the Company to restate its results that
will reflect a reduction of its previously reported operating
income by $10 - $12 million for the nine months ended September
30, 2004.

The complaint alleges that statements made by the Company
concerning its financial results were materially false and
misleading because defendants knew, but failed to disclose
and/or misrepresented that the Company lacked adequate internal
controls that would allow it to ascertain its true financial
performance and condition and was further materially overstating
its financial results by engaging in improper accounting
practices that will require the Company to restate its results
for the at least the first three quarters of 2004.

On May 17, 2005, the Company announced that it had filed to
reorganize under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Christopher Hinton of
Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP by Phone: (800) 497-8076 or
(212) 682-1818 by Fax: (212) 682-1892 by E-mail:
info@murrayfrank.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.murrayfrank.com/CM/NewCases/NewCases.asp.


DORAL FINANCIAL: Glancy Binkow Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP initiated a Class
Action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York on behalf of a class (the
"Class") consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or
otherwise acquired securities of Doral Financial Corporation
("Doral" or the "Company") (NYSE:DRL), between October 10, 2002
and April 19, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges Doral and certain of the Company's
executive officers with violations of federal securities laws.
Plaintiff claims defendants' omissions and material
misrepresentations during the Class Period artificially inflated
Doral's stock price, inflicting damages on investors. Doral is a
diversified financial services company engaged in mortgage
banking, commercial banking, institutional broker-dealer
activities and insurance agency activities. The Complaint
alleges that during the Class Period defendants failed to
disclose and/or misrepresented material adverse facts, including
that:

     (1) the Company was using overly aggressive and unrealistic
         assumptions to value its derivative portfolio of
         interest-only strips ("IO Strips") used to hedge its
         mortgage portfolio against interest rate fluctuations;

     (2) the Company was using fraudulent accounting practices
         and materially overstated its net income, net gain on
         mortgage loan sales and net capital; and

     (3) the Company was using ineffective risk management and
         hedging strategies against the increasing risk of
         rising interest rates.

On January 19, 2005, the Company for the first time warned of
potential trouble with its hedging strategy against interest
rate changes through its use of a derivative portfolio of IO
Strips. On March 15, 2005, Doral filed its Annual Report with
the SEC in which the Company disclosed for the first time its
use of overly aggressive assumptions in valuing its IO Strips
portfolio.

On March 16, 2005, a Wachovia Capital Markets analyst downgraded
Doral to "underperform" and cut his fiscal year earnings-per-
share estimate after reviewing the Company's annual report. The
next day, a Merrill Lynch analyst downgraded Doral stock and cut
his fiscal year earnings-per-share estimates. In response to the
Company's disclosure, Standard & Poor's lowered its outlook for
Doral's long-term debt from stable to negative, expressing
"concern over the sustainability of the Company's business
model." In a matter of days Doral stock plummeted from $38.29
per share to $21.50 per share in extremely heavy volume.

For more details, contact Lionel Z. Glancy or Michael Goldberg
of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP by Phone: (310) 201-9150 or
(888) 773-9224 by E-mail: info@glancylaw.com or visit their Web
site: http://www.glancylaw.com.


GRAVITY CO.: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lasky & Rifkind, Ltd., initiated a lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York, on behalf of persons who purchased the American
Depository Shares ("ADS") pursuant to and or traceable to the
Company's Registration Statement/Prospectus issued in connection
with the initial public offering of Gravity ADS's and for open
market purchasers or otherwise acquired publicly traded
securities of Gravity Co., Ltd. ("Gravity" or the "Company")
(NASDAQ:GRVY) between February 7, 2005 and May 12, 2005,
inclusive, (the "Class Period"). The lawsuit was filed against
Gravity and certain officers and directors ("Defendants").

The complaint alleges that Defendants violated the Securities
Exchange Act. Specifically, the complaint alleges that
Defendants issued a Prospectus and Registration Statement in
connection with the Company's IPO, and issued press releases
after the IPO including numerous positive representations
regarding demand for the Company's products. These statements
were false and misleading because Defendants failed to disclose
or misrepresented that the Company's core product, Ragnarok
Online, at the time of the IPO was being materially affected by
declining customer demand. In fact, contrary to the growth
portrayed in the Prospectus, sales at Ragnarok Online were
declining, the Company's animation business had materially
deteriorated, and the Company's license fees and royalties were
being negatively impacted by adverse market conditions in China.

On May 12, 2005, the Company stunned the investor community when
it announced that its financial results for the first quarter of
2005 were much lower than expected. In reaction to this news,
shares of the Company's ADS's dropped precipitously to an all
time low of $5.60, well below the Company's IPO price of $13.50
per share.

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


UNITED AMERICAN: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Suit in E.D. 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 common stock of United American Healthcare
Corporation (Nasdaq: UAHC) ("United American" or the "Company")
between May 26, 2000, and April 22, 2004, inclusive (the "Class
Period").

The Complaint alleges that United American and certain of its
officers and directors violated federal securities laws.
Specifically, defendants failed to disclose the Company's
improper business and financial relationship with a legislator
having oversight of United American's Healthplan. The Complaint
further alleges that this relationship was in violation of the
Company's contract with Tennessee and has caused the State of
Tennessee to place United American's Healthplan under
administrative supervision. As a result, investors could not
accurately assess the extent to which United American's ongoing
operations, reported revenue, and income were dependent upon the
improper political payments scheme.

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


                            *********


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 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
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