CAR_Public/050826.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, August 26, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 169

                            Headlines

CABLEVISION SYSTEMS: Settles Call-Center Employees' Suit in NY
CALIFORNIA: Writers Sue Fox, Producer For Labor Laws Violations
CANADA: Financial Institutions Attempt to Stop John Dempsey Case
CHEVRON CORPORATION: Faces Huge Liability For Damage in Ecuador
CIT GROUP: NJ Court Refuses To Certify Consumer Fraud Lawsuit

COLUMBIA NATURAL: Trial in WV Gas Royalties Suit Moved To 2006
COMDISCO INC.: Shareholder Fraud Lawsuit Transferred To N.D. IL
COMPUTER SCIENCES: Consumers File Software Antitrust Suit in AR
DOW CHEMICAL: MI Court Shelves Second Property Damages Lawsuit

EI DUPONT: WV Court Approves Settlement of PFOA Damage Lawsuit
EI DUPONT: FL Consumers Launch Injury Suits V. Teflon Products
FLORIDA: Deadline Nears, Millions Unclaimed in Strip Search Deal
GABLES RESIDENTIAL: Settles FL Suit Over Lease Termination Fees
GNC CORPORATION: Consumers Launch Suits V. Pro-Hormone Products

ILLINOIS: Eavenson Cases May be Barometer of Judicial Climate
JAPAN: USFJ Pays $1.77M to Settle Suit by Yokosuka Base Workers
LATIN FOOD: Recalls Seco Cheeses Due to Listeria Contamination
MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: Trial in Antitrust Suit Set May 2006
MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: Discovery Proceeds in CA Fraud Lawsuit

MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: NY Antitrust Settlement Deemed Final
MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: Faces Antitrust Lawsuits in 19 States
MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: Appeal of CA Lawsuit Dismissal Pending
MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: CA Court Dismisses Antitrust Lawsuit
MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: Merchants Launch Antitrust Suit in CT

MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: Merchants Launch Antitrust Suit in NY
MCDONALD'S CORPORATION: Burger King Franchisees Sue Over Games
MERCK & Co.: 41st Suit Over Vioxx Launched in St. Clair County
MERCK & CO.: British User of Vioxx Commences U.S. Legal Action
MOLSON COORS: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuits in Various Courts

NEW YORK: Suit Possible Over SprayPark, Officials Not Worried
OHIO: Judge Allows Indigent Defendant's Suit V. Hamilton County
RAINMAKER MANAGED: SEC Stops Shareholder Fraud by Six Defendants
SOUTHERN STAR: KS Court Mulls Gas Royalties Suit Certification
SOUTHERN STAR: KS Court Hears Arguments For Suit Certification

SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES: Texlon Subsidiary Settles Lawsuit V. PwC
TENNESSEE: MWS Asks Court to Limit Class For Racial Bias Lawsuit
TEXAS: Judge Rules That State is Violating Medicaid Agreement
WESBANCO INC.: Appeals Court Reverses WV Summary Judgment Ruling

                       Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mestek Inc. Announces 300 Dismissed Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RSA Accords GBP1,020M Reserves for UK & US
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FWLT's La Duc Delivers Asbestos Statistics
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NSP Holdings Named in Various Injury Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Proposes Abandoning Australia

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NSW Head to Press Hardie Into Closing Deal
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: James Hardie to Pass up Asbestos Deadline
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Victims to Protest Hardie
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Urged to Finalize Deal, NSW Gov't.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CFMEU Pressures Hardie to Pay Compensation

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tax Dispute Delays Hardie Asbestos Payout
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Victims, Unions Condemn Hardie Over Delay
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Ruling May Stall OC Reorganization
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens Corning Bankruptcy Ruling Reversed
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sumitomo to Dole JPY2 Mil Payout to Victim

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal-Mogul Lists US Liability at US$9Bil
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB Ltd. to Continue Settlement, US Court
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RP Citizens Sue US Firms in Exposure Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-Subic Workers To File Suit v. 24 Firms
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: JPN Doctor Affirms Asbestos in Spray Death

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Rail Man Seeks US$350T Damages in IL Court
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Health Dept. Awards Nurse's Kin GBP175T
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Woolworths Faces Possible Asbestos Query
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IPALCO Subsidiary Defends About 112 Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Habitat Report Uncovers Hazard in CO Home

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Victim's Kin Sues UK Council for Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: James Hardie Records $55.9M Income in 2Q05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestolux Discovery Raises Health Concerns
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US to Settle JPY194M for Japanese Claimants
ASBESTOS ALERT: PA Court Orders Factory Mutual to Answer Claims

ASBESTOS ALERT: Rail Worker's Kin Claims US$11.43M in NJ Court
ASBESTOS ALERT: Gulf States Paper Corp. Named in Six PI Lawsuits

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

ATI TECHNOLOGIES: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in PA
BOSTON SCIENTIFIC: Brualdi Law Starts Securities Investigation
ISOLAGEN INC.: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Securities Suit in TX
MERCURY INTERACTIVE: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in TX
RED ROBIN: Federman & Sherwood Files Securities Fraud Suit in TX

SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in TX
WORLD HEALTH: Barrack Rodos Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in PA


                         *********


CABLEVISION SYSTEMS: Settles Call-Center Employees' Suit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bethpage-based Cablevision Systems Corporation agreed to settle
a lawsuit that accused it of refusing to pay its call-center
employees for prep time, The Newsday.com reports.  U.S. District
Judge Thomas Platt in Central Islip signed off on the agreement
last July 29, slightly more than a year after the legal action
began.

Though the settlement's terms were not revealed, the plaintiffs'
attorney, Robert Lipman of Lipman & Plesur in Jericho,
previously said that the class action lawsuit could cover at
least 1,000 Cablevision call-center employees in the
metropolitan area and involve millions of dollars in back wages.

The Company reiterated that it did nothing wrong. Company
spokesman Jim Maiella told Newsday "Cablevision agreed to settle
this matter to avoid the expense and distraction of class action
litigation but continues to believe without question that its
policies and procedures are fair and lawful."

The law firm of Lipman & Plesur, LLP on behalf of a former call-
center employee, Robert Wolfson, initiated the lawsuit, which
sought class action status in the U.S. District Court in Central
Islip against Cablevision, an earlier Class Action Reporter
story (June 21, 2004) reports.

Mr. Wolfson, 43, worked in Cablevision's Woodbury technical-
support call center handling customers' calls about Optimum
Online, a high-speed Internet service, alleges that he wasn't
being paid for the time it took to get his customer service
computer up and running to answer calls. In addition, Mr.
Wolfson, who worked at the call center for nearly three years,
alleges in the suit that Cablevision refused to pay him for work
he was required to perform before and after his shift, including
booting up his computer and opening the programs necessary to
start his shift, which he terms as "off-the-clock" tasks, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (June 21, 2004) reports.

The "off-the-clock" tasks could take 15 to 20 minutes, According
to Mr. Wolfson, since he had to find a workstation, log on and
open about 20 programs so that he could begin helping customers
by his 11 a.m. start time. If employees weren't set up and ready
to take calls, their performance appraisals would suffer, he
said. To remedy this Mr. Wolfson arrived early to get set up but
claimed supervisors refused to pay him for the time. The extra
time often pushed his workweek over 40 hours, making him
eligible for overtime, according to the complaint and one of his
lawyers, Robert D. Lipman of Lipman & Plesur in Jericho, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (June 21, 2004) reports.

In essence the lawsuit alleged that the company violated the
federal Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay the hourly
employees for the extra time, as the act requires, and for
failing to pay overtime when the prep time lifted the workers'
time on the job to more than 40 hours a week.

The suit is styled, Robert Wolfson v. Cablevision Systems
Corporation, 2:04-cv-02479-TCP, which is pending in United
States District Court for the Eastern District of New York with
the Honorable Thomas C. Platt, presiding. Robert D. Lipman and
David A. Robins of Lipman & Plesur, LLP, 500 North Broadway,
Suite 105, Jericho, NY, 11753-2131, Phone: 516-931-0050, Fax:
516-931-0030, E-mail: lipman@lipmanplesur.com or
robins@lipmanplesur.com, represent the Plaintiff/s. The
following represents the Defendant, Cablevision Systems
Corporation:

     (1) Steven T. Catlett of Jones Day, 77 West Wacker Drive,
         Suite 3500, Chicago, IL 60601-1692, Phone:
         312-269-4281, Fax: 312-782-8585, E-mail:
         stcatlett@jonesday.com;


     (2) Shari Michelle Goldsmith of Jones Day, 222 East 41st
         St., New York, NY 10017, Phone: 212-326-3772, Fax:
         212-755-7306, E-mail: smgoldsmith@jonesday.com;

     (3) Kathleen L. McAchran of Jones Day, 222 East 42nd St.,
         5th Floor, New York, NY 10017-6702, Phone:
         212-326-3435, Fax: 212-755-7306, E-mail:
         kmcachran@jonesday.com; and

     (4) Kathryn A. Stieber of Jones Day, 77 West Wacker Drive,
         Suite 3500, Chicago, IL 60601-1692, Phone:
         312-269-1584, Fax: 312-782-8585, E-mail:
         kstieber@jonesday.com.


CALIFORNIA: Writers Sue Fox, Producer For Labor Laws Violations
---------------------------------------------------------------
A group of writers is suing the Fox Television Network and
Rocket Science Laboratories, the producer of reality programs
such as "Trading Spouses," claiming that they violated labor
laws by forcing the writers to submit fake time cards, skip
meals and work in "sweatshop conditions," Reuters reports.

The suit is part of a broader effort by the Writers Guild of
America to organize writers in the booming field of reality TV
and follows a similar action, which was filed last month against
by a dozen writers with the backing of the Writers Guild against
CBS, ABC, the WB and TBS.

Tony Segall, an attorney for the writers, told Reuters, "Things
have become so bad that these renegade employers aren`t even
complying with minimum standards." He added that the suit names
eight plaintiffs and seeks class action status to represent all
writers in the reality genre.  Additionally, Mr. Segall told
Reuters that as many as 1,000 reality writers had signed cards
seeking representation by the Writers Guild. He explains that
the overwhelming numbers was due to the fact that the writers
had not organized themselves, since the genre was relatively new
and many of the producers were not a party to union contracts.

The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and claims that
Rocket Science, producer of seven series including "Joe
Millionaire" and "Renovate My Family," forced the writers to
work more than 40 hours a week and turn in fake time cards, then
failed to pay overtime, thereby violating California labor laws.
The suit also alleges Rocket Science did not provide itemized
wage statements and did not allow meal periods for the
employees, which also violated state regulations.

According to Zachary Isenberg, who wrote for "Renovate My
Family" and claims to have spent as much as 120 hours a week on
the job, "I spent almost my entire waking time at work." He also
claims in the suit, "The conditions in this industry resemble
sweatshops."

Co-plaintiff Victoria Dew claimed in the suit that her writing
team spent long hours crammed into a small loft with heat-
generating computers running constantly, skylights without shade
from the sun and no air conditioning.  The suit seeks unpaid
wages, overtime premiums, interest and punitive damages. Fox,
which is a unit of News Corp Ltd., was named as a defendant
because it oversaw the shows and aired them on its network.


CANADA: Financial Institutions Attempt to Stop John Dempsey Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
Five months to the day of the initial filing of the biggest
class action suit in Canada, styled "John Ruiz Dempsey on Behalf
of the People of Canada versus Envision Credit Union, Laurentian
Bank, CIBC, Royal Bank, Bank of Montreal, TD Canada Trust, The
Canadian Payment Association and others," the lawyers
representing the financial institutions are gathering steam to
try to stop Mr. Dempsey, a criminologist and forensic litigation
specialist from proceeding with their application to the court
to strike Mr. Dempsey's statement of claim in whole or in part.

Hearings are set for September 12 and 13 at the Supreme Court in
Vancouver. The statement of claim alleges among other things,
creation of money out of nothing, fraudulent misrepresentation,
money laundering, fraud, charging of criminal interest rates and
breach of contract.

"This without a doubt will be a precedent setting case, that is
sure to change the face of the banking system in Canada forever.
Without even taking into consideration the potential damages,
the sheer numbers of people alone who potentially can
participate in this action, will in my estimation make this case
the largest lawsuit ever filed for Class Certification in this
nation", stated John Ruiz Dempsey.

The banks are being represented by two of the largest law firms
in Canada such as Borden Ladner Gervais with 670 lawyers and
Fasken Martineau Dumoulin with 500 lawyers. It is clearly a
David and Goliath case where these lawyers are moving to tread
heavily on Mr. Dempsey and the People of Canada he represents.

News Conferences are currently being arranged and will be held
September 9 in Vancouver and Montreal. Various citizen freedom
movements and other special interest groups representing
thousands of Canadians from across Canada are expected to rally
in support of this action.

A copy of the Statement of Claim is available for download
through http://www.freewebs.com/classaction/.

For more details, contact Bruce Margolese in Montreal, Quebec,
Phone: (514) 294-3284, E-mail: bmargolese@yahoo.com OR John R.
Dempsey in Vancouver, B.C., Phone: (604) 597-1475, E-Mail:
classaction_cpa@hotmail.com or classproceeding@yahoo.ca.


CHEVRON CORPORATION: Faces Huge Liability For Damage in Ecuador
---------------------------------------------------------------
ChevronTexaco, which is now known as Chevron Corporation (CVX),
is apparently losing ground in the environmental "Trial of the
Century" or more precisely a class action lawsuit over Texaco's
operation of a former concession in Ecuador's rainforest,
according to the environmental group, Amazon Watch, The
Mongabay.com reports.

Leila Salazar, spokesperson for Amazon Watch, which is
monitoring the litigation, told The Mongabay.com that the
results of the scientific inspections from 14 well sites of the
350 operated by Texaco have been submitted to the court in the
jungle town of Lago Agrio as part of the judicial process.
According to Ms. Salazar of 569 water and soil samples collected
by both sides and analyzed by independent and certified
laboratories, 341 (60 percent), violate Ecuador law that
regulates petroleum activity. Additionally, Chevron's own
sampling produced shocking proof against itself specifically it
revealed that of the 77 water samples submitted to the court by
Chevron, 75 (97 percent) violate Ecuadorian legal standards.

The class action lawsuit alleges that Texaco dumped more than 18
billion gallons of toxic waste directly into the rainforest over
a 26-year period, which is roughly 30 times the size of the
Exxon Valdez disaster.

Court documents revealed that an estimated 30,000 people are
affected. It also revealed that the only comprehensive damage
assessment, completed in 2003 by the American firm Global
Environmental Operations, concluded that cleanup would cost at
least $6 billion.

Tabulations by the Amazon Defense Coalition (Frente), which
represents the affected communities, revealed that Chevron
submitted 223 water and soil samples to the courts that violated
Ecuador norms, which generally are considered 10 to 40 times
more lax than those in the U.S. One Chevron soil sample came in
at an disquieting 265,338 parts per million of Total Petroleum
Hydrocarbons, which is about 25 times higher than the Ecuadorian
norm.

In addition, the Coalition also reveals that of the 107 water
samples submitted to the court by both sides, 98 percent contain
high levels of toxics that violate Ecuadorian law and of the 107
soil samples taken by the plaintiffs, 84 percent violate Ecuador
law.

Pablo Fajardo, lawyer for the plaintiffs told The Mongabay.com
that fifteen more inspections are planned in 2005 with a
decision in the trial that will be made by a judge, is expected
in early 2007.

The inspections and the analysis are produced by court appointed
experts with experience in the petroleum industry, such as
chemical engineers, geologists, and petroleum engineers.

For more details, contact Leila Salazar of Amazon Watch, Phone:
415-487-9600 ext. 1, Web site: http://www.chevrontoxico.com.


CIT GROUP: NJ Court Refuses To Certify Consumer Fraud Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County refused to
grant class certification for the lawsuit filed against CIT
Group, Inc. and 12 other financial institutions, styled
"Exquisite Caterers Inc., et al. v. Popular Leasing Inc., et
al."

The defendants acquired equipment leases ("NorVergence Leases")
from NorVergence, Inc., a reseller of telecommunications and
Internet services to businesses.  The suit 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.  Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration
of the Court's denial.

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, were
filed by NorVergence customers against the Company and other
financial institutions.  Thereafter, the putative class action
suits in Florida and New York and one of the putative class
action suits in Illinois were dismissed as to the Company,
leaving pending putative class action suits in Illinois and
Texas.


COLUMBIA NATURAL: Trial in WV Gas Royalties Suit Moved To 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the class action filed against Columbia Natural
Resources, Inc. in the Roane County Superior Court in West
Virginia has been moved to the first quarter of 2006.  The suit
is styled "Tawney, et al. v. Columbia Natural Resources, Inc."

The Plaintiffs, who are royalty owners, filed a lawsuit in early
2003 against the Company, alleging that it underpaid royalties
by improperly deducting post-production costs and not paying a
fair value for the gas produced from their leases.  Plaintiffs
seek the alleged royalty underpayment and punitive damages
claiming that the Company fraudulently concealed the deduction
of post-production charges.  The court has certified the case as
a class action that includes any person who, after July 31,
1990, received or is due royalties from the Company (and its
predecessors or successors) on lands lying within the boundary
of the State of West Virginia.  All individuals, corporations,
agencies, departments or instrumentalities of the United States
of America are excluded from the class.  The Company appealed
the decision certifying the class and the Supreme Court of West
Virginia denied the appeal.

In December 2004, the court granted plaintiffs' motion to add
NiSource Inc. and Columbia Energy Group as defendants.  The
trial has been rescheduled from the third quarter of 2005 to the
first quarter of 2006.


COMDISCO INC.: Shareholder Fraud Lawsuit Transferred To N.D. IL
---------------------------------------------------------------
The shareholder class action filed against specific former
members of Comdisco, Inc.'s board of directors has been
transferred to the executive committee of the Northern District
of Illinois.

The suit was initially filed in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of California, and styled "Coons v.
Pontikes et al, case number C 04 5518 CRB."  David Coons filed
the suit on December 30, 2004, in which he seeks class action
status on behalf of himself and certain other former Company
employees who participated in the Company's Shared Investment
Plan (SIP).  On March 18, 2005, Mr. Coons filed a First Amended
Class Action Complaint in the same proceedings.

The Company has referred the complaint to its insurance
carriers.  However, under the terms and provisions of its First
Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization certain of the named
defendants may be entitled to indemnification.  If the insurance
carriers do not provide for the defense of the complaint, then
the Company may have to provide for the payment of legal fees
and other expenses related to defending some of the defendants
under the indemnification obligation.  On July 25, 2005,
pursuant to a joint stipulation filed by the parties, the U.S
District Court Judge entered an Order that transfers the case to
the executive committee for the Northern District of Illinois.

The suit is styled "Coons v. Pontikes et al., case no. 1:05-cv-
04386," filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois, under Judge Paul E. Plunkett.
Representing the plaintiffs are Erick Charles Howard of Shartsis
Fries LLP, One Maritime Plaza, 18th Floor, San Francisco, CA
94111, Phone: (415) 421-6500; and Barbara J. Mulvanny of Davis
McGrath LLC, 125 South Wacker Drive, Suite 1700, Chicago, IL
60606, Phone: (312) 332-3033.


COMPUTER SCIENCES: Consumers File Software Antitrust Suit in AR
---------------------------------------------------------------
Computer Sciences Corporation, other insurance software product
vendors and dozens of insurance companies face a class action
filed in the Miller County Court in Arkansas, styled "Hensley,
et al. vs. Computer Sciences Corporation, et al."

The nationwide class action was filed shortly before United
States President George W. Bush signed the Class Action Fairness
Act into law.  The plaintiffs allege the defendants conspired to
wrongfully use software products licensed by the Company and the
other software vendors to reduce the amount paid to the
licensees' insureds for bodily injury claims. Plaintiffs also
allege wrongful concealment of the manner in which these
software programs evaluate claims and wrongful concealment of
information about alleged inherent errors and flaws in the
software. Plaintiffs seek injunctive and monetary relief of less
than $75,000 for each class member, as well as attorney's fees
and costs.


DOW CHEMICAL: MI Court Shelves Second Property Damages Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Saginaw County Chief Circuit Judge Leopold P. Borrello shelved a
second class action lawsuit that accuses Dow Chemical Co. of
depressing property values along the Tittabawassee River because
of dioxin contamination, The Saginaw News reports.

The litigants, Howard and Barbara Steinmetz, want the chemical
giant to pay for damages to their Saginaw Township property and
to others along the river.  A near-identical claim, different
only in the size of the class, already is before the court. It
was filed by Gary and Kathy Henry of Tittabawassee Township in
March 2003 and is now awaiting a hearing to decide whether it
gains class action status. If certified, the lawsuit could
include about 2,000 properties along the river. The hearing is
actually scheduled at 9 a.m. on September 15.

In a hearing for the second suit that was conducted entirely in
the judge's chambers, Judge Borrello ruled that he must decide
whether to allow the first lawsuit to go forward before ruling
on the second.

The Saginaw News could not reach the Steinmetzes for comment,
but their attorney said the ruling is not a bad omen for the
case. Jason T. Thompson, a Detroit-based attorney who represents
the couple in a lawsuit filed last month told The Saginaw News,
"There are no tea leaves here. (The judge) is just going to rule
on that motion first."


EI DUPONT: WV Court Approves Settlement of PFOA Damage Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Wood County, West Virginia Superior Court approved the
settlement of the class action filed against EI DuPont de
Nemours & Co. and the Lubeck Public Service District, alleging
injury caused by the contamination of water in sites near its
Washington Works plant by perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

The suit was filed in August 2001.  The Company uses PFOA as a
processing aid to manufacture fluoropolymer resins and
dispersions at various sites around the world including its
Washington Works plant in West Virginia.  The complaint alleged
that residents living near the Washington Works facility had
suffered, or may suffer deleterious health effects from exposure
to PFOA in drinking water.  The relief sought included damages
for medical monitoring, diminution of property values, and
punitive damages plus injunctive relief to stop releases of
PFOA.

The Company and the attorneys for the class reached a settlement
agreement in 2004, which was approved by the Wood County Circuit
Court on February 28, 2005 after a fairness hearing.  The
settlement binds a class of approximately 80,000 residents.  As
defined by the court, the class includes those individuals who
have consumed, for at least one year, water containing 0.05
parts per billion or greater of PFOA from any of six designated
public water sources or from sole source private wells.

The company established a reserve of $108 in the third quarter
of 2004 as a result of expenditures required under the
settlement agreement, valued at $85, plus attorneys' fees and
expenses of $23.  On July 1, 2005, the company paid the
attorneys' fees and expenses; made a payment of $70, the
majority of which class counsel has designated to fund a
community health project; and provided $5 to fund a health study
by an independent panel of experts in the communities exposed to
PFOA to evaluate available scientific evidence on whether any
probable link exists between exposure to PFOA and human disease.
In addition, the company is providing state-of-the art water
treatment systems (estimated to cost approximately $10) designed
to reduce the level of PFOA in the water to six area water
districts.

The settlement results in the dismissal of all claims asserted
in the lawsuit except for personal injury claims.  If the
independent panel concludes that no probable link exists between
exposure to PFOA and any diseases, then the settlement would
also resolve personal injury claims.  If the independent panel
concludes that a probable link does exist between exposure to
PFOA and any diseases, then DuPont would also fund a medical
monitoring program (capped at $235) to pay for such medical
testing.  In this event, plaintiffs would retain their right to
pursue personal injury claims.  All other claims in the lawsuit
would remain dismissed by the settlement.


EI DUPONT: FL Consumers Launch Injury Suits V. Teflon Products
--------------------------------------------------------------
EI DuPont De Nemours & Co. faces various class actions filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida on behalf of a purported class of consumers resident in
the state of Florida that have purchased cookware with Teflon
non-stick coating.

Fourteen Florida residents filed the suit in July 2005, alleging
that the Company violated Florida state law by engaging in
deceptive and unfair trade practices by failing "to disclose to
consumers that products containing Teflon were or are
potentially harmful to consumers."  It also alleges that the
Company has liability to plaintiffs and the class under Florida
state law on theories of negligence and strict liability.  The
action alleges that Teflon contained or released harmful and
dangerous substances, including a chemical (perflourooctanoic
acid or PFOA) alleged to have been determined to be "likely" to
cause cancer in humans.   The action seeks monetary damages for
consumers who purchased cooking products containing Teflon as
well as the creation of funds for medical monitoring and
independent scientific research, attorneys' fees and other
relief.

Class actions containing similar allegations and seeking similar
relief have been filed in California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa,
Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Texas federal courts
since June 30, 2005.


FLORIDA: Deadline Nears, Millions Unclaimed in Strip Search Deal
----------------------------------------------------------------
An estimated 5,000 women who were illegally strip searched are
running out of time to file claims for up to $3,000 each in one
of the largest civil rights settlements in Miami-Dade County,
The Associated Press reports.  The women have until midnight
September 1 to submit postmarked forms to qualify for payments
for illegal searches conducted at the Women's Detention Center
following misdemeanor arrests.

According to Randall C. Berg, Jr., executive director of the
nonprofit Florida Justice Institute, a public interest law firm,
"These are the neediest of the needy. These are people who are
down on their luck; many of them may be homeless." He also told
the Associated Press, "Some of them have been fairly
traumatized" by the illegal search, such as a woman forced to
take off her shirt and bra in front of male correctional
inmates. "She was crying in our office" more than a year after
the strip search, he added.

The $4.5 million settlement, under which Miami-Dade County
denied any wrongdoing, stems from a class action lawsuit filed
by three women who were arrested while protesting at a November
2003 free trade conference. In their suit, the women claimed
that Miami-Dade County jailers unnecessarily strip-searched
them, and that they were forced to squat naked and hop in front
of passers-by.

Judith Haney, one of the women who sued, later said, "The type
of strip search that I and thousands of women experienced was
about humiliation and control, not about safety."

Under the settlement, individual payments depend on the age of
the person searched, whether she has a disability or was more
than two months pregnant, and whether the woman was
menstruating. Some 100,000 men and women are also eligible to
collect $10 each for strip-searches without a supervising
officer's written permission, according to the settlement terms.

Mr. Berg told The Associated Press that so far only 970 people
have filed claims, despite the notifications he has mailed,
published in advertisements, and provided to homeless shelters.

U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan allowed the class action
against Miami-Dade County and several county corrections
officials for alleged unconstitutional and "invasive" strip-
searches to proceed, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(August 31, 2004) reports.   In his ruling the judge stated that
there was a substantial likelihood that strip-searches would
injure female arrestees in similar circumstances in the future.
He denied the county's motion to dismiss the suit. However, the
judge pointed out that his ruling does not stop corrections
workers from strip-searching arrestees when they have a
reasonable suspicion that a person is hiding drugs, weapons or
other contraband items in jail. In essence the judge's decision
means that the women's allegations are being taken seriously and
that the practice could ultimately be banned, according to
lawyers for the women, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(August 31, 2004) reports.

The two-page form is available at public libraries or by calling
1-877-43-STRIP (1-877-4327-8747).

For more details, contact Randall C. Berg, Jr., of Florida
Justice Institute, Inc., 2870 1st Union Fncl Center, 200 S
Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33131-2310, Phone: (305) 358-2081,
Fax: (305) 358-0910.


GABLES RESIDENTIAL: Settles FL Suit Over Lease Termination Fees
---------------------------------------------------------------
A management firm with six Central Florida apartment complexes
agreed to provide up to $3 million for refunds and to remove $16
million from credit reports to settle a class action suit filed
by tenants charged with illegal lease termination fees, The
Orlando Business Journal reports.

Disclosed by law firms Rod Tennyson, P.A., and Babbitt, Johnson,
Osborne & Le Clainche, P.A., the settlement affects thousands of
Gables Residential tenants and former tenants in Florida who may
have paid what the attorneys say were illegal fees.

According to attorneys, the fees are commonly called
"insufficient notice fee," "early termination fee" and/or
"liquidated damage fee." Former or current tenants who think
they may be entitled to funds must make a claim for monetary
damages by October 11, 2005, the attorneys said.

Boca Raton-based Gables Residential (NYSE: GBP) has yet to make
a statement on the settlement, which was approved last August 12
by a Palm Beach circuit judge.

Though Gables did not admit to the illegality of the fees,
prosecutors told The Orlando Business Journal that the company
agreed to the settlement and to cease the practices in the
future.  With the settlement, plaintiffs' attorneys, who gained
class action status on the case last December, estimated that 90
percent of class member tenants had adverse reports to their
credit bureaus as a result of the fees. The Gables settlement
affects 12,000 tenants, who faced fees averaging $1,396 each,
they add.  The case along with four others pending against major
apartment landlords in Florida and nationwide have the potential
of wiping out $70 million worth of bad credit reports for 55,000
tenants, according to the attorneys.

West Palm Beach lawyer Ted Babbitt, of Babbitt, Johnson, Osborne
& Le Clainche, who actively pursued the case told The Orlando
Business Journal, "Filing these cases is simply the right thing
to do. It would go a long way toward restoring the good name and
good credit for people harmed by illegal fees."

For more details, contact Babbitt, Johnson, Osborne &
LeClainche, 1450 Centrepark Blvd., Suite 100 West Palm Beach, FL
33401, Phone: (561) 684-2500, Web site:
http://www.babbitt-johnson.com/.


GNC CORPORATION: Consumers Launch Suits V. Pro-Hormone Products
---------------------------------------------------------------
General Nutrition Companies, Inc. and various manufacturers of
products containing pro-hormones, including androstenedione,
face five substantially identical suits filed in the state
courts of the States of Florida, New York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania and Illinois.  The suits are styled:

     (1) Brown v. General Nutrition Companies, Inc., Case No.
         02-14221-AB, Florida Circuit Court for the 15th
         Judicial Circuit Court, Palm Beach County;

     (2) Rodriguez v. General Nutrition Companies, Inc., Index
         No. 02/126277, New York Supreme Court, County of New
         York, Commercial Division;

     (3) Abrams v. General Nutrition Companies, Inc., Docket No.
         L-3789-02, New Jersey Superior Court, Mercer County;

     (4) Toth v. Bodyonics, Ltd., Case No. 003886, Pennsylvania
         Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County; and

     (5) Pio v. General Nutrition Companies, Inc., Case No. 2-
         CH-14122, Illinois Circuit Court, Cook County


On March 20, 2004, a similar lawsuit was filed in California
(Guzman v. General Nutrition Companies, Inc., Case No. 04-
00283).

Plaintiffs allege that the defendants distributed or published
periodicals that contain advertisements claiming that the
various pro-hormone products promote muscle growth.  The
complaints allege that the Company knew the advertisements and
label claims promoting muscle growth were false, but nonetheless
continued to sell the products to consumers.  Plaintiffs seek
injunctive relief, disgorgement of profits, attorney's fees and
the costs of suit.  All of the products involved in the cases
are third-party products. The Company has tendered these cases
to the various manufacturers for defense and indemnification.


ILLINOIS: Eavenson Cases May be Barometer of Judicial Climate
-------------------------------------------------------------
At the peak of the class action craze in Madison County, Granite
City chiropractor Mark Eavenson filed 22 class action complaints
against companies for paying him less than he billed for
treatments, The Madison County Record reports.  However, after
pending before Madison County Circuit Court for at least two
years, the bulk of Mr. Eavenson cases has barely moved.

The Eavenson cases offer a barometer of the judicial climate and
how the national Class Action Fairness Act has sharply reduced
the number of new class action cases in the courthouse.  Nine of
Mr. Eavenson's suits have seen no action since June 1, while
four of those have seen no action since March. The Lakin Law
Firm of Wood River represents Mr. Eavenson in all cases.

Meridian Security Insurance, a defendant in two suits, set a
hearing June 16 on motions to dismiss but the parties continued
it. On the same day, Mr. Eavenson and Continental Loss Adjusting
Services continued a hearing on a motion to dismiss.  However,
nothing has happened ever since in those cases, except for
Meridian filing a memorandum in support of its motion to dismiss
one case.  Mr. Eavenson recently received the court's permission
to amend a complaint against Corvel Corporation.

Additionally, Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian had set an August 24
case management conference on a suit against Allied Property and
Casualty Insurance, however the parties continued it.  Mr.
Eavenson for his part has voluntarily dismissed six suits,
presumably after settling. On the other hand the Illinois
Supreme Court allowed one of his cases to transfer to another
county.

In the most active of all of Mr. Eavenson's suits, Circuit Judge
Phillip Kardis, who is retiring on September 2, has set a
September 8 hearing on a summary judgment motion of Wausau
General Insurance. Wausau though filed its motion June 23, under
seal and on the same day, Wausau filed a memorandum opposing
class certification under seal.


JAPAN: USFJ Pays $1.77M to Settle Suit by Yokosuka Base Workers
---------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) recently agreed to pay part of a
settlement to a group of former Japanese workers who contracted
lung problems after repairing ships at Yokosuka Naval Base,
according to a spokesman for the Defense Facilities
Administration Agency (DFAA), The Stars and Stripes reports.

The DFAA spokesman told The Stars and Stripes that USFJ
specifically agreed to pay approximately $1.77 million (about
194 million yen), which is half of a settlement the Japanese
government awarded to 26 former workers who filed second and
third class action lawsuits that were settled in November 2004
and May 2005, respectively.

Other workers have filed lawsuits but USFJ was asked to pay its
share only for the 26 former workers whose lawsuits were
settled, according to the spokesman said. The DFAA spokesman
noted that the Japanese government asked USFJ to pay for the 26
workers since they filed claims within the three-year statute of
limitation recognized in Status of Forces Agreement guidelines.
Previously three lawsuits have been filed against the Japanese
government with 41 workers receiving money from the government
after either winning their case or reaching a settlement.

Japanese officials requested USFJ pay part of the settlement in
December 2004 after the second class action suit and in June
after the third class action suit reached a settlement, the DFAA
spokesman told The Stars and Stripes. The spokesman explained
that the USFJ told the Japanese government at the end of July
that they would pay.  Additionally, the DFAA spokesman noted
that SOFA guidelines determine respective liability. Under those
guidelines, "Where Japan and the United States are responsible
for the damage, the amount awarded or adjudged shall be
distributed equally between them."

Whether payment should be incurred for other victims, including
workers in the first class action suit, is still being
discussed, the DFFA spokesman told The Stars and Stripes.


LATIN FOOD: Recalls Seco Cheeses Due to Listeria Contamination
--------------------------------------------------------------
Latin Food Group of Miami, Florida is recalling 25 40-lb. cases
of its Queso Seco Cheese because it has the potential to be
contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can
cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children,
frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune
systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short term
symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea,
abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause
miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Latin Food Group of Miami, FL sold this product on a cash and
carry basis in 40 lb. blocks to two unidentified distributors
who are likely to have further distributed the product. The
product was sold between the middle of May and end of June 2005.
This type of cheese is typically sold by weight in delis. It
also may have been repackaged and sold under a private label.
The contamination was detected in a 12 oz. package of cheese
with an "El Puro" label, which may have been provided to the
distributor by Latin Food Group.

There have been no reported illnesses that have been reported to
date.

The bacteria was discovered during a routine sampling of cheese
by the Florida Department of Agriculture in a grocery store
located in Palm Beach County Florida on August 2nd 2005.

If consumers find this product on the shelf or have any
questions, please contact Latin Food Group at 305-888-1788 or
the store where purchased to determine.


MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: Trial in Antitrust Suit Set May 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the consolidated class action filed against MasterCard
International and several other financial institutions is set
for May 15,2006 in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.  The suit also names as
defendants Visa U.S.A., Inc., Visa International Corp., several
member banks including Citibank (South Dakota), N.A., Citibank
(Nevada), N.A., Chase Bank USA, N.A., Bank of America, N.A.
(USA), MBNA, and Diners Club.

Several suits were initially filed, alleging, among other
things, violations of federal antitrust laws based on the
asserted one percent currency conversion "fee."  Pursuant to an
order of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, the
federal complaints have been consolidated in JPMDL No. 1409
before Judge William H. Pauley III in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York.

In January 2002, the federal plaintiffs filed a Consolidated
Amended Complaint adding MBNA Corporation and MBNA America Bank,
N.A. as defendants. This pleading asserts two theories of
antitrust conspiracy under Section 1 of the Sherman Act - an
alleged "inter-association" conspiracy among MasterCard
(together with its members), Visa (together with its members)
and Diners Club to fix currency conversion "fees" allegedly
charged to cardholders of "no less than 1% of the transaction
amount and frequently more" and two alleged "intra-association"
conspiracies, whereby each of Visa and MasterCard is claimed
separately to have conspired with its members to fix currency
conversion "fees" allegedly charged to cardholders of "no less
than 1% of the transaction amount" and "to facilitate and
encourage institution" and collection "of second tier currency
conversion surcharges."  The complaint also asserts that the
alleged currency conversion "fees" have not been disclosed as
required by the Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z.

Defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint.  On July 3,
2003, Judge Pauley issued a decision granting the Company's
motion to dismiss in part. Judge Pauley dismissed the Truth in
Lending claims in their entirety as against MasterCard, Visa and
several of the member bank defendants.  Judge Pauley did not
dismiss the antitrust claims.  Fact and expert discovery in this
matter have closed.  On November 12, 2003 plaintiffs filed a
motion for class certification, which was granted on October 15,
2004.  On March 9, 2005, Judge Pauley issued a decision on
defendants' motion to reconsider the class certification
decision.  The Judge ruled that the arbitration provisions in
the cardholder agreements of member bank defendants, Bank One,
MBNA, Providian, Household and Bank of America are valid as to
those respective banks and MasterCard and, consequently,
cardholders of those banks can no longer participate in the
class action certified in his earlier decision and must pursue
any claims through arbitration.  Plaintiffs moved for further
reconsideration, which was denied by Judge Pauley on June 16,
2005.  In addition, Judge Pauley declined to give effect to the
arbitration clauses in the Citibank and Chase cardholder
agreements; both banks have noticed an appeal of that decision.
The trial date which has been set for May 15, 2006.

The suit is styled "In re: Currency Conversion Litigation, case
no. 1:01-md-01409-WHP," filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York, under Judge William
H. Pauley III.  Representing the plaintiffs are Goldberg, Kohn,
Bell, Black, Rosenbloom & Moritz, Ltd., 55 East Monroe Street,
Suite 3700, Chicago, Illinois 60603 and Lerach Coughlin Stoia
Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP, 100 Pine Street, Suite 2600
San Francisco, CA 94111, Phone: (415) 288-4545, Fax:
(415) 288-4534.


MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: Discovery Proceeds in CA Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Limited discovery is proceeding in the lawsuit filed against
MasterCard International and Visa U.S.A., Inc. in the Superior
Court of California, styled "California Law Institute v. Visa
U.S.A, et al."

The suit, filed purportedly on behalf of the general public,
seek disgorgement, restitution and injunctive relief for
unlawful and unfair business practices in violation of
California Unfair Trade Practices Act Section 17200, et. seq.
Plaintiffs purportedly allege that the Company's (and Visa's)
chargeback fees are unfair and punitive in nature.  Plaintiffs
seek injunctive relief preventing the Company from continuing to
engage in its chargeback practices and requiring it to provide
restitution and/or disgorgement for monies improperly obtained
by virtue of them.

On June 10, 2005, MasterCard filed a motion requesting that the
Court bifurcate certain dispositive issues to be tried
separately.  The parties are waiting for a ruling on that
motion.


MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: NY Antitrust Settlement Deemed Final
--------------------------------------------------------------
The settlement of the consolidated antitrust class action filed
against MasterCard International and Visa U.S.A., Inc. is deemed
final, after no appeals were filed against settlement approval
granted by a lower court.

Commencing in October 1996, several class action suits were
brought by a number of U.S. merchants against MasterCard
International and Visa U.S.A., Inc. challenging certain aspects
of the payment card industry under U.S. federal antitrust law.
Those suits were later consolidated in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of New York.

The plaintiffs challenged the Company's "Honor All Cards" rule
and a similar Visa rule. Plaintiffs claimed that MasterCard and
Visa unlawfully tied acceptance of debit cards to acceptance of
credit cards. The plaintiffs also claimed that MasterCard and
Visa conspired to monopolize what they characterized as the
point-of-sale debit card market, thereby suppressing the growth
of regional networks such as ATM payment systems.

On June 4, 2003, the Company signed the Settlement Agreement to
settle the claims brought by the plaintiffs in this matter,
which the Court approved on December 19, 2003.  A number of
class members have appealed the District Court's approval of the
settlement.  These appeals are largely focused on the Court's
attorneys' fees award as well on the Court's ruling on the scope
of the release set forth in the Settlement Agreement.  On
January 4, 2005, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued an
order affirming the Court's approval of the U.S. merchant
Settlement Agreement. The settlement is now final as no class
members filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court
regarding the Second Circuit's affirmation of the district
Court's approval of the settlement.

The suit is styled "In re Visa/MasterCard Antitrust Litigation,
case no. 1:03-md-01575-JG-RLM," filed in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of New York, under Judge
John Gleeson.  Representing the Company are Randi Dale
Adelstein, Gary R. Carney, Jr., and Kenneth Anthony Galloe of
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP, 1285 Avenue of
the Americas, New York, NY 10019-6064, Phone: 212-373-3000, E-
mail: radelstein@paulweiss.com, gcarney@paulweiss.com,
kgallo@paulweiss.com.  Representing the plaintiffs are

     (1) Anne M. Lockner, K. Craig Wildfang of Robins, Kaplan,
         Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P., 2800 LaSalle Plaza, 800
         LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402-2015, Phone:
         (612) 349-8500, Fax: (612) 339-4181, E-mail:
         amlockner@rkmc.com or kcwildfang@rkmc.com;

     (2) David P. Germaine, Daar & Vanek P.C., 225 W.
         Washington, 18th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606, Phone:
         312-474-1400, Fax: 312-474-1410, E-mail:
         dgermaine@daarvanek.com

     (3) Joseph Michael Vanek, Daar, Fisher, Kanaris & Vanek,
         P.C., 200 South Wacker Drive, Suite 3350, Chicago, IL
         60606, Phone: 312-474-1400, E-mail:
         jvanek@daarvanek.com

     (4) Mitchell H. Macknin, Bruce S. Sperling of Sperling &
         Slater, P.C., 55 W. Monroe Street, Suite 3300, Chicago,
         IL 60603, Phone: 312-641-3200, Fax: 312-641-6492, E-
         mail: mhmacknin@sperling-law.com, bss@sperling-law.com

     (5) Jeffrey S. Cashdan, Dwight J. Davis, Joseph J.
         Loveland, Reginald Smith of King & Spalding LLP, 191
         Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30303-1763, Phone:
         404-572-4600, E-mail: jcashdan@kslaw.com,
         ddavis@kslaw.com, jloveland@kslaw.com or
         rsmith@kslaw.com

     (6) Mark L. Weyman, Anderson, Kill, Olick & Oshinsky P.C.,
         1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, Phone:
         (212) 279-1000, E-mail: mweyman@andersonkill.com


MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: Faces Antitrust Lawsuits in 19 States
---------------------------------------------------------------
MasterCard International continues to face several individual or
multiple complaints brought in 19 different states and the
District of Columbia under state unfair competition statutes
against MasterCard International (and Visa) on behalf of
putative classes of consumers.  The claims in these actions
largely mirror the allegations made in the U.S. merchant lawsuit
and assert that merchants, faced with excessive merchant
discount fees, have passed these overcharges to consumers in the
form of higher prices on goods and services sold.

While these actions are in their early stages, the Company has
filed motions to dismiss the complaints in a number of state
courts for failure to state a cause of action. Courts in
Arizona, Iowa, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Maine,
North Dakota, Kansas, North Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont,
Wisconsin and the District of Columbia have granted the
Company's motions and dismissed the complaints with prejudice.
Plaintiffs have appealed several of these decisions.

The plaintiffs in Minnesota have filed a revised complaint on
behalf of a purported class of Minnesota consumers who made
purchases with debit cards rather than on behalf of all
consumers.  On July 12, 2005, the court granted the Company's
motion to dismiss the Minnesota complaint for failure to state a
claim and dismissed the complaint with prejudice.  The time in
which plaintiffs may appeal this decision is currently running.
In addition, the courts in Tennessee and California have granted
the Company's motion to dismiss the respective state unfair
competition claims but have denied the Company's motions with
respect to unjust enrichment claims in Tennessee and Section
17200 claims for unlawful, unfair, and/or fraudulent business
practices in California.  Both parties have appealed the
Tennessee decisions.  The Company is awaiting decisions on its
motions to dismiss in the other state courts.


MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: Appeal of CA Lawsuit Dismissal Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs' appeal of the dismissal of the consolidated class
action filed against MasterCard International, Visa U.S.A.,
Inc., Visa International Corporation and several member banks in
California is still pending in the United States Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals.

In July 2002, a purported class action lawsuit was filed by a
group of merchants in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California, alleging, among other things, that
MasterCard's and Visa's interchange fees contravene the Sherman
Act.  The suit seeks treble damages in an unspecified amount,
attorney's fees and injunctive relief, including the divestiture
of bank ownership of MasterCard and Visa, and the elimination of
MasterCard and Visa marketing activities.

On March 4, 2004, the court dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice
in reliance upon the approval of the Settlement Agreement in the
U.S. merchant lawsuit by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of New York, which held that the settlement and release
in that case extinguished the claims brought by the merchant
group in the present case.  The plaintiffs have appealed the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York's
approval of the U.S. merchant lawsuit settlement and release to
the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and have also appealed the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California's
dismissal of the present lawsuit to the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals. On January 4, 2005, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals
issued an order affirming the District Court's approval of the
U.S. merchant lawsuit settlement agreement, including the
District Court's finding that the settlement and release
extinguished such claims. Plaintiffs did not seek certiorari of
the Second Circuit's decision with the U.S. Supreme Court. The
appeal to the Ninth Circuit is currently pending.

The suit is styled "Reyn's Pasta Bella, LLC et al v. VISA U.S.A.
Inc. et al., case no. 3:02-cv-03003-JSW," filed in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California,
under Judge Jeffrey S. White.  Representing the Company is Jay
Neil Fastow, Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, 767 Fifth Avenue, New
York, NY 10153, Phone: 212-310-8644, Fax: 212-310-8007, E-mail:
jay.fastow@weil.com.  Representing the plaintiffs are Richard
Joseph Archer of Archer & Hansen, 3110 Bohemian Highway,
Occidental, CA 95465, Phone: 707-874-3438, Fax: 707-874-3438, E-
mail: archerdic@aol.com; and James Archer Kopcke of Golden
Kopcke LLP, 22 Battery St., Ste 610, San Francisco, CA 94111,
Phone: 415-399-9994, E-mail: jameskopcke@yahoo.com.


MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: CA Court Dismisses Antitrust Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California dismissed the class action filed on October 8,2004
against MasterCard International, Visa U.S.A., Inc., Visa
International Corp. and several member banks in California.

The suit alleges, among other things, that MasterCard's and
Visa's interchange fees contravene the Sherman Act and the
Clayton Act.  The complaint contains similar allegations to
those brought in the interchange case described above, and
plaintiffs have designated it as a related case. The plaintiffs
seek damages and an injunction against MasterCard (and Visa)
setting interchange and engaging in "joint marketing
activities," which plaintiffs allege include the purported
negotiation of merchant discount rates with certain merchants.

On November 19, 2004, the Company filed an answer to the
complaint. The plaintiff filed an amended complaint on April 25,
2005.  The Company moved to dismiss the claims in the complaint
for failure to state a claim and, in the alternative, also moved
for summary judgment with respect to certain of the claims.  The
Court heard oral argument on the Company's motion to dismiss on
July 8, 2005.  On July 25, 2005, the Court issued an order
granting the motion to dismiss and dismissed the plaintiff's
complaint with prejudice.  The time in which the plaintiff can
appeal this decision is currently running.

The suit is styled "Kendall et al v. Visa U.S.A. Inc. et al,
case no. 3:04-cv-04276-JSW," filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California, under Jeffrey S.
White.  Representing the plaintiffs are Richard Joseph Archer,
Archer & Hansen, 3110 Bohemian Highway, Occidental, CA 95465,
Phone: 707-874-3438, Fax: 707-874-3438, E-mail:
archerdic@aol.com; and James Archer Kopcke, Golden & Kopcke,
LLP, 22 Battery Street, Suite 610 San Francisco, CA 94111,
Phone: 415-399-9995, Fax: 415-398-5890 E-mail:
jameskopcke@yahoo.com.  Representing the Company are Jay Neil
Fastow, Gianluca Morello, and Debra J. Pearlstein, Weil Gotshal
& Manges LLP, 767 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10153, Phone:
212-310-8644, Fax: 212-310-8007, E-mail: jay.fastow@weil.com,
gianluca.morello@weil.com, debra.pearlstein@weil.com; and Wesley
Railey Powell and Nancy Karen Raber of Clifford Chance US LLP,
31 West 52d Street New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-878-3309, Fax:
212-878-8375, E-mail: wesley.powell@cliffordchance.com and
Nancy.raber@cliffordchance.com.


MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: Merchants Launch Antitrust Suit in CT
---------------------------------------------------------------
MasterCard International faces a class action filed in the
United States District Court for the District of Connecticut by
a group of merchants.  The suit also names as defendants Visa
U.S.A., Inc., Visa International Service Association and a
number of member banks.

The suit alleges, among other things, that MasterCard's and
Visa's purported setting of interchange fees violates Section 1
of the Sherman Act.  In addition, the complaint alleges
MasterCard's and Visa's purported tying and bundling of
transaction fees also constitutes a violation of Section 1 of
the Sherman Act. The suit seeks treble damages in an unspecified
amount, attorney's fees and injunctive relief.  The Company's
time in which to respond to the complaint is currently running.

The suit is styled "Photos Etc Corp et al v. Visa USA Inc et
al., case no. 3:05-cv-01007-WWE," filed in the United States
District Court in Connecticut, under Judge Warren W. Eginton.
Representing the Company is Suzanne Ellen Wachsstock of Wiggin &
Dana, 400 Atlantic St., 7th Fl., PO Box 110325, Stamford, CT
06911-0325, Phone: 203-363-7601, E-mail: swachsstock@wiggin.com.
Representing the plaintiffs are David A. Balto, Janet C. Evans,
Craig E. Holden, Ann M. Lockner, Christopher W. Madel, Ryan W.
Marth, Thomas J. Undlin and K. Craig Wildfang of Robins, Kaplan,
Miller & Ciresi LLP, 1801 K St., NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC
20006, Phone: 202-736-2637, Fax: 202-223-8604, E-mail:
DABalto@rkmc.com, JCEvans@rkmc.com, CEHolden@rkmc.com,
AMLockner@rkmc.com, CWMadel@rkmc.com, RWMarth@rkmc.com,
TJUndlin@rkmc.com and KCWildfang@rkmc.com; and Richard A.
Bieder, William M. Bloss, Michael P. Koskoff, Antonio Ponvert
III, of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, P.C., 350 Fairfield Ave.,
Bridgeport, CT 06604, Phone: 203-336-4421, Fax: 203-368-3244, E-
mail: rbieder@koskoff.com, bbloss@koskoff.com,
mkoskoff@koskoff.com, or aponvert@koskoff.com.



MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL: Merchants Launch Antitrust Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
MasterCard International, Visa U.S.A., Inc. and Visa
International faces a class action filed on behalf of a
purported class of merchants in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York.

This suit alleges that MasterCard and Visa's interchange fees
violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act.  The suit also alleges
that MasterCard and Visa have enacted various rules, including
the no surcharge rule, which purportedly constitute unlawful
restraints of trade.  The suit seeks treble damages, attorney's
fees and injunctive relief.

There has been a number of additional class action lawsuits on
behalf of merchants filed in the Southern District of New York
generally mirroring the allegations contained in the lawsuits
described above. Likewise, there have been a number of
complaints containing similar allegations filed in the Northern
District of California, the District of Connecticut and the
Eastern District of Wisconsin.  The company has yet to be served
with the complaints in the majority of these actions, and its
time in which to respond to the complaints with which it has
been served is currently running.

The suit is styled "Bonte Wafflerie LLC et al v. Visa U.S.A. et
al., case no. 1:05-cv-06708-DAB," filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, under
Judge Deborah A. Batts.  Representing the plaintiffs is Marian
Rosner of Wolf Popper LLP, 845 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022,
Phone: 212 451 9608, Fax: 212 4862093, E-mail:
mrosner@wolfpopper.com.


MCDONALD'S CORPORATION: Burger King Franchisees Sue Over Games
--------------------------------------------------------------
An organization representing the owners of nearly 7,000 Burger
Kings in the United States launched a class action lawsuit
against McDonald's Corporation, claiming that their fast-food
rival hurt their business by running a rigged Monopoly
promotional game in the 1990s, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.

In an e-mail distributed to some franchisees, National
Franchisee Association Chairman Dan Fitzpatrick said,
"McDonald's lured our customers to their restaurants for years
with rigged promotional games which offered million-dollar
prizes which did not exist." He added, "The McDonald's games
were a powerful promotion that had the effect of diverting
business away from Burger King restaurants."

Filed in Atlanta federal court, the lawsuit has its origins in
the U.S. Justice Department's 2001 announcement that McDonald's
promotional games based on Monopoly and "Who Wants to Be a
Millionaire" had been rigged for six years. The scam, according
to the Justice Department, deprived customers of an estimated
$13 million.

Law enforcement officials laid the blame on employees of an
outside company McDonald's had hired to run the contest. Despite
that McDonald's was slapped with customer lawsuits and had to
run a makeup contest worth $15 million. A McDonald's spokesman
told The Chicago Sun-Times that makeup prizes eventually totaled
$25 million.

According to the franchisees' suit, Even though McDonald's
shelled out settlement payments and contest funds, it still
benefited from the rigged contest by seeing an "unnatural spike
in profits" during the contests. Additionally, the suit alleges
that McDonald's executives acknowledged the profit spike, which
came at the Burger King franchisees' expense. The franchisees'
suit also alleges damages under the Lanham Act, a federal law
prohibiting false advertising.

It was not immediately clear if Burger King Corporation is
supporting the lawsuit, but the company is not a plaintiff.
Spokesmen for Burger King did not return calls from the Chicago
Sun-Times.

NFA Executive Director Frank Capaldo declined to specify the
dollar amount of damages. However, he told The Chicago Sun-Times
that because both fast food chains keep meticulous sales
records, proving the damages would not be a problem.  One source
familiar with the case though told The Chicago Sun-Times that
the damages, if proved, would be in the hundreds of millions of
dollars.

The scam mentioned in the franchisees' suit involves eight
employees of Simon Marketing Inc., who between 1995 and 2001
used stolen game pieces to collect millions in cash, cars and
trips. Led by Simon's security chief Jerome Jacobson -- aka
"Uncle Jerry" -- the conspirators "embezzled at least $20
million" worth of prizes. Mr. Jacobson and others pled guilty to
mail fraud and conspiracy in 2002, according to the suit.


MERCK & Co.: 41st Suit Over Vioxx Launched in St. Clair County
--------------------------------------------------------------
Just one day after a Texas jury awarded approximately $253
million to a widow who blamed her husband's death on his use of
the painkiller drug, Vioxx, besieged manufacturer Merck & Co.
was the target of yet another lawsuit leveled against it in St.
Clair County Circuit Court, The Madison County Record reports.

The suit by Gracie Blount, who is represented by St. Louis
attorney John J. Driscoll, also names pharmaceuticals Pfizer and
Pharmacia and retailer Walgreen Co., claiming she suffered a
heart attack at age 56 from taking either or both Vioxx and
Celebrex. Both drugs are used to relieve arthritis pain. Aside
from the pharmaceutical firms, Walgreen Co. is also named as a
defendant for promoting, distributing and selling the drugs.

Ms. Blount's complaint is 41st Vioxx lawsuit filed against Merck
in St. Clair County in which consumers claim the drug caused
their cardiac problems. An estimated 4,200 similar lawsuits have
been filed across the country since Vioxx was removed from the
market last September 30, 2004.  The first St. Clair County suit
was a class action case, Rensing v. Merck, which was filed the
day after Vioxx was removed.

Ms. Blount's 12-count suit claims Pharmacia and Pfizer
encouraged the use of Celebrex in "improper customers." It
states, "Pharmacia and Pfizer aggressively marketed this drug
directly to the consuming public, although only available
through prescription, through the use of various marketing
mediums, including, but not limited to print and television
advertisements." The suit also claims, "Pharmacia and Pfizer did
this to increase sales and profits."

The complaint states that Merck ignored a study conducted in
2000, which revealed that Vioxx use resulted in a statistically
significant increase in hypertension and stroke. It further
stated, "Not only did Merck do nothing to further accurately
publish these studies or warn consumers, but it denied the
results with respect to hypertension."  In addition, the
complaint states, "Merck engaged in a massive advertising and
sampling program and gained continued increases in the market
share, which enhanced Merck's financial stability to the
detriment of its consumers," and goes on to state, "As a result
of Merck's scheme, it reaped more than $2 billion in profit in
the year 2000 alone, and appropriated approximately 23 percent
share of the market."

The Texas case involves, Texan Carol Ernst, who is seeking
compensation for the death of her husband Robert, allegedly of
arrhythmia, in 2001. Mr. Ernst, a produce manager at a Wal-Mart
near Fort Worth, who ran marathons and worked as a personal
trainer, took Vioxx for eight months to alleviate pain in his
hands until he died in his sleep, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (July 27, 2005) reports.

Mrs. Ernst's lawsuit alleges that Merck & Co. knew of the
dangers of using Vioxx years before it recalled the drug. But,
the Company allegedly ignored those concerns in favor of
aggressive marketing for a multibillion-dollar seller. The case
was the first of 4,200 other suits that have been filed in the
United States and thousands more from other countries that are
being prepared to reach trial after the drug's withdrawal, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (July 27, 2005) reports.

Though the Texas award will be whittled down to $26.1 million
because of the state's rules on punitive damages, the jury's
decision in favor of the plaintiff could invite even more Vioxx
lawsuits.


MERCK & CO.: British User of Vioxx Commences U.S. Legal Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
The first British legal action to be brought against Merck &
Co., the maker of the painkiller Vioxx could be heard within the
next year, according to British solicitors acting for Christine
Peckham, 53, who suffered two strokes and is partially blind and
paralyzed after taking the drug, The Belfast Telegraph reports.

The solicitors told The Belfast Telegraph that documents
relating to her case were sent to the U.S. recently and are due
to be filed with the courts there by American lawyers. Russell
Spargo of the MSB firm of solicitors in Liverpool specifically
told The Belfast Telegraph, "The documents have been prepared
and need to be looked at by a cardiologist in the U.S. before
they are lodged with the courts. This is just the beginning of
the process but we are prepared for a long haul."

More than 4,000 people, including 300 in the United Kingdom,
plan to sue Merck for negligence over the best-selling
painkiller.

Merck, which recalled Vioxx last September, after a new study
showed that taking it for more than 18 months could double the
risk of heart attacks and strokes, denied allegations that it
covered up evidence that taking the drug was linked to an
increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. In addition to
vehemently denying the allegations, the company vowed that it
intends to contest every court case and has already set aside
millions of dollars to pay for the lengthy and potentially
costly legal battles.

However, some experts believe that pressure is increasing on
Merck to settle the class action after it recently lost the
first case of its kind. That case involved a jury in Texas that
ordered the drug maker to pay about $253 million (141 million)
in damages to the widow of a man who died after taking Vioxx.

The Texas case involves, Texan Carol Ernst, who is seeking
compensation for the death of her husband Robert, allegedly of
arrhythmia, in 2001. Mr. Ernst, a produce manager at a Wal-Mart
near Fort Worth, who ran marathons and worked as a personal
trainer, took Vioxx for eight months to alleviate pain in his
hands until he died in his sleep, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (July 27, 2005) reports.

Mrs. Ernst's lawsuit alleges that Merck & Co. knew of the
dangers of using Vioxx years before it recalled the drug. But,
the Company allegedly ignored those concerns in favor of
aggressive marketing for a multibillion-dollar seller. The case
was the first of 4,200 other suits that have been filed in the
United States and thousands more from other countries that are
being prepared to reach trial after the drug's withdrawal, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (July 27, 2005) reports.

Merck faces three more American cases over the coming months,
while Mrs. Peckham may be the first foreigner to have her action
come to trial in the United States.

Michael Kelly, a U.S. legal expert, told The Bloomberg.com, "If
they lose these next three cases, Merck will be in deep trouble.
They will have given the plaintiffs a road map on how to
successfully try these cases and the pressure for a global
settlement of these suits may start to grow."

British citizens, who claim that they have suffered as a result
of Vioxx are suing in the United States, since the Legal
Services Commission refused them legal aid for a class action in
Britain. Under the U.S. system, the cases will proceed on a "no
win, no fee" basis.

Additionally, by going through the U.S. litigation system, the
alleged victims also stand to win much larger awards. According
to Mr. Spargo, "In Britain, they may only get 30,000, but in
the US some of these cases could be worth millions. This is not
about winning large sums of money; for many people it is about
getting an explanation and justice for what has happened to
them." He also told The Belfast Telegraph that hundreds more
people had contacted his firm after the Texas award.

The UK drugs approval body, the Medicines and Healthcare
Products Regulatory Agency, is investigating whether Merck
withheld information about the potential risks of Vioxx when
applying for a British license in 1999.

Merck withdrew Vioxx last September after a new trial showed
that taking it for more than 18 months could double the risk of
heart attacks and strokes.


MOLSON COORS: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuits in Various Courts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Molson Coors Brewing Co. and its affiliated entities, including
Molson, Inc. faces various class actions filed beginning in May
2005 in the United States and Canada, including federal courts
in Delaware and Colorado and provincial courts in Canada,
alleging, among other things, that they, including Molson Inc.,
and certain officers and directors misled stockholders by
failing to disclose first quarter (January-March) 2005 U.S.
business trends prior to the merger vote in January 2005.

The suits were filed on behalf of the following: former
shareholders of Molson who received shares of Molson Coors
Brewing Company ("Molson Coors" or the "Company") (NYSE:TAP)
(TSX:TAP-NV) as a result of the February 9, 2005 merger of
Molson by and into the Coors, open market purchasers of the
common stock of Coors from July 22, 2004 to February 9, 2005,
inclusive and open market purchasers of the common stock of the
Company, following completion of the merger between Molson and
Coors on or about February 9, 2005 to April 27, 2005, inclusive,
and who were damaged by the decline in the Company's stock.
Plaintiff is seeking remedies under the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The complaints allege that in order to get the necessary
shareholder approval for the merger between Coors and Molson,
defendants failed to disclose, in press releases and Proxy
Statement(s), that at the time the merger closed on or about
February 9, 2005, which was well into the first fiscal quarter
of 2005, Coors was not operating according to plan and had
experienced material adverse changes in its business and at the
time of the merger, defendants had violated the terms of the
merger agreement and Proxy/Prospectus by failing to disclose
that Coors's business was being, and foreseeably would continue
to be, adversely impacted by conditions that were causing Coors
to perform well below plan and consensus estimates. Defendants
concealed these material facts because it enabled them to
effectuate the merger in a manner that allowed the relatives and
heirs of the Coors and Molson families to dominate the combined
Company, as detailed in the complaint.

On April 28, 2005, only weeks after the merger closed, before
the open of trading, defendants published a release announcing
disappointing results for the Company's first quarter of 2005.
Immediately following publication of this release, shares of the
Company fell precipitously, almost $14.50 per share, to $63.00
per share, a decline of almost 20%, a testament to investors'
surprise and disappointment in the results. The same day,
defendant O'Neill resigned from his post as Chair of Office of
Synergies and Integration, taking with him $4.8 million as a
severance payment.


NEW YORK: Suit Possible Over SprayPark, Officials Not Worried
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Seneca Lake State Park sprayground illness has prompted an
Albany lawyer to solicit clients for a possible class action
suit, The Finger Lakes Times reports.

Attorney Don Boyajian, a partner with Dreyer Boyajian, LLP, in
Albany, told The Finger Lakes Times that victims of the
cryptosporidiosis outbreak, especially those with severe cases
may be able to sue for pain and suffering and lost wages, while
others may be able to tap into a class action suit.  Mr.
Boyajian, who is running ads in the Finger Lakes Times this week
said, "We're interested in it because our firm has been involved
in other water contamination cases."

Wendy Gibson, spokeswoman for the state's office of Parks and
Recreation, declined to comment on legal issues until state
officials determine the cause of the outbreak. She stressed out
though that the agency remains committed to informing people
about what's going on and conducting a detailed investigation
into the matter. "There's a presence of crypto in the (water)
storage tanks ... (but) the source still hasn't been
identified," she said.

Regardless, Melissa DeWall of Salem, Virginia, is worried about
how she'll pay the bills associated with her 6- and 8-year-old
daughters becoming sick after visiting the park. Noting that the
medical bills included a brief hospital stay, multiple doctor
visits and money for the antibiotic, Alinia, Mrs. DeWall told
The Finger Lakes Times, "My kids were tortured."

Mrs. DeWall, who is worried that her insurance company will deny
her claim, also told The Finger Lakes Times that her husband
missed a day and a half of work to stay with the girls. "My
insurance is going to reject it because they're saying it's a
third-party incident," she explains about the possible denial of
her claim by the insurance company.

State officials are hesitant to place time frames on the ongoing
investigation, citing the need for a thorough analysis of the
problem. The park was closed August 15, but the illness has
shown up in people who visited the park as far back as June.
With an estimated 2,700 people affected by the outbreak and 197
cases confirmed, the situation recently gained national
attention, including coverage in The New York Times and on CNN,
however area tourism staffs are optimistic that such exposure
will not hurt business around the area.

Ms. Gibson though told The Finger Lakes Times that she hopes the
system's history of excellence, which includes its receipt of
the 2003-04 National Gold Medal State Park Award for the best
state park system in the country, will help counteract the
negative publicity.  She stressed that although many news
agencies, including CNN, have reported that state parks
officials were slow to respond to the outbreak, state officials
shut the park down immediately after the first documented case
of cryptosporidiosis. Regarding the cases that went as far back
as June, Ms. Gibson explained that park officials didn't learn
of the outbreak until last week.

Ontario County Tourism President Valerie Knoblauch added that
tourists are likely to find alternative attractions to frequent
during their stay in the Finger Lakes. She told The Finger Lakes
Times, "I don't think overall tourism numbers will be affected,
because I think there are substitute options for [the spray
park]. It's a great diversion, but it's not the main reason
people come here."

Others, like Dr. Robert Weinberg, a pediatrician with Finger
Lakes Medical Associates, think the number of cases may be
"overblown," because people could be mistaking symptoms of
another ailment for cryptosporidiosis. Stressing that those with
the gastrointestinal disease are likely to be sick for 10 to 20
days, Dr. Weinberg told The Finger Lakes Times, "We're getting a
lot of calls, but we're not getting a lot of real significant
sickness." He added, "You shouldn't expect necessarily a three-
to five-day illness." Dr. Weinberg suspects that 25 to 50
percent of patients calling the pediatric office are likely
afflicted with the illness.

While the spray park will remain closed for the rest of the
season, patrons are welcome to swim in the beach adjacent to the
park. According to Ms. Gibson, tests indicated that the water
there contains no trace the parasite.  Officials are urging
everyone to make sure they wash their hands after they use the
bathroom and before they eat.

Individuals who think they have contracted the illness, are
encouraged to call 539-1920 in Seneca County; (585) 396-4343 in
Ontario County; 946-5749 in Wayne County; and (585) 274-6079 in
Monroe County.


OHIO: Judge Allows Indigent Defendant's Suit V. Hamilton County
---------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Arthur Spiegel cleared the way for indigent
defendants to pursue a class action lawsuit against the Hamilton
County Public Defender's Office for not doing enough to keep
them out of jail, The Associated Press reports.

In a recent ruling the Ohio federal Judge agreed that the
jailing of poor people for failing to pay minor fines has
persisted for years in Hamilton County.  The federal lawsuit
accuses public defenders of failing to seek court hearings that
could keep their clients out of jail. Judges can waive fines if
defendants prove they are too poor to pay.

According to Robert Newman, the lawyer who filed the suit, "The
public defenders were just asleep at the wheel." He also said,
"The public defender's office has got to do better in
representing people."

In his ruling, Judge Spiegel found that the jailing of indigents
has persisted since at least 1982, when a court committee
recommended changes to eliminate the problem. Mr. Newman pointed
out that those changes were not made.

Public Defender Lou Strigari contended that his office seeks
court hearings whenever necessary and has changed its policy in
recent years to ensure indigent defendants get a fair shake.

Despite the Public Defenders contention, Judge Spiegel wrote in
his ruling, "It is clear to the court that the public defender
commission and the Hamilton County public defender had a well-
settled custom or policy of not asking for an indigency
hearing."

Court documents show that Mr. Newman's client, Michael Powers,
was ordered to jail in 2002 for failing to pay a $250 fine
stemming from a reckless operation conviction. He claims the
Public Defender's Office failed to request an indigency hearing.
According to the documents, due to the alleged failure in filing
the request, Mr. Powers spent a day in jail before another
lawyer convinced a judge to free him and waive the fine.

Mr. Newman told The Associated Press that he is seeking damages
on behalf of the indigent defendants and an end to the practice
of jailing indigents.

The suit is styled, Michael Powers v. Hamilton County Public
Defender's Office, et al., 1:02-cv-00605-SAS, which is pending
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Ohio, with the Honorable Arthur Spiegel, presiding. Robert Brand
Newman, Lisa Talmadge Meeks and Stephen R. Felson of Newman &
Meeks Co., LPA, 617 Vine St., Suite 1401, Cincinnati, OH 45202,
Phone: 513-639-7000 or 513-721-4900, Fax: 513-639-7011, E-mail:
robertnewman@newman-meeks.com, lisameeks@newman-meeks.com, and
SteveF8953@aol.com, are representing the Plaintiff/s. David Todd
Stevenson, Hamilton County Prosecutor, Civil Unit, 230 E Ninth
St., Suite 4000, Cincinnati, OH 45202-2151, Phone: 513-946-3120
and Joseph M Hutson of Cohen Todd Kite & Stanford, LLC, 250 East
Fifth St., Suite 1200, Cincinnati, OH 45202, Phone:
513-333-5217, E-mail: jhutson@ctks.com, are representing the
Defendant/s.


RAINMAKER MANAGED: SEC Stops Shareholder Fraud by Six Defendants
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities Exchange Commission obtained a temporary
restraining order, asset freeze and other emergency relief in a
civil fraud action filed against six defendants: Rainmaker
Managed Living, LLC, a New York limited liability company;
Rainmaker Managed Living, LLC, a California limited liability
company; Furman & Dilmaghani P.C., a New York law firm; Alireza
Dilmaghani, age 41, an attorney; Sidney F. Levine, whose age and
residence are not known; and James Joseph Conway, 50, of San
Pedro, California.

The Commission's complaint alleges that the defendants raised at
least $7.03 million from investors by representing, among other
things, that investor money would be kept in an attorney trust
or escrow account to be used solely for purchasing and
developing properties as assisted living facilities, and then,
contrary to their representations, misappropriated over half the
money for their own personal use and to make purported interest
payments to investors.

The Commission's complaint alleges that since at least August
2004, the defendants have raised over $7 million, and probably
more than $8 million, from investors in an unregistered
securities offering, promising a "guaranteed" 25% annual return.
The defendants tell investors that they use investor funds to
purchase, build and refurbish assisted living facilities for
retirees, and that no management fees will be taken until the
facilities are profitable.  The complaint further alleges that
the defendants repeatedly emphasize the key role of the
associated law firm in the assisted living center project,
including the fact that until the assisted living centers
generate a profit, the defendants will pay the 25% annual return
from other sources, such as the law firm's revenues.  Contrary
to these representations, investor funds were not segregated and
used as represented.  Instead the defendants have made payments,
out of the account in which investors deposited their funds,
totaling over $3.75 million to themselves, and over $850,000
back to investors as purported interest.

The Commission's complaint alleges that all of the defendants
violated the securities registration and antifraud provisions of
the federal securities laws, Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of
the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  As to Conway,
the complaint further alleges that he violated the broker-dealer
registration provisions of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act.
In addition to emergency relief, the Commission's complaint
seeks from each defendant preliminary and permanent injunctions,
disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty.

Acting on the Commission's lawsuit, the Honorable S. James
Otero, United States District Judge for the Central District of
California, issued a temporary restraining order against
Rainmaker NY, Rainmaker CA, Furman & Dilmaghani P.C., Mr.
Dilmaghani, Sidney Levine, and Mr. Conway and issued orders
freezing the defendants' assets, requiring accountings from the
defendants, prohibiting the defendants from destroying
documents, and ordering expedited discovery.  A hearing on
whether a preliminary injunction should be issued against the
defendants is scheduled for September 6, 2005.

The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the United States
Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York and the
Federal Bureau of Investigation, which executed a search warrant
on the office of Rainmaker NY and Furman & Dilmaghani P.C. on
Aug. 23, 2005.  In addition, the Commission acknowledges the
assistance of the Office of the New York State Attorney General,
and the California Department of Corporations.

The suit is styled, SEC v. Rainmaker Managed Living, LLC, a New
York limited liability company; Rainmaker Managed Living, LLC, a
California limited liability company; Furman and Dilmaghani
P.C.; Alireza Dilmaghani; Sidney F. Levine, and James Joseph
Conway, No. CV 05-06121, SJO, SHx, C.D. Cal. (LR-19347).


SOUTHERN STAR: KS Court Mulls Gas Royalties Suit Certification
--------------------------------------------------------------
The District Court for Stevens County, Kansas heard oral
arguments on the motions for and against class certification for
the lawsuit filed against Southern Star Central Corporation and
other natural gas companies, including El Paso Natural Gas Co.,
styled "Will Price, et al. v. El Paso Natural Gas Co., et al.,
Case No. 99 C 30."

In this putative class action filed May 28, 1999, the named
plaintiffs (Plaintiffs) have sued over 50 defendants, including
the Company.  Asserting theories of civil conspiracy, aiding and
abetting, accounting and unjust enrichment, their Fourth Amended
Class Action Petition alleges that the defendants have
undermeasured the volume of, and therefore have underpaid for,
the natural gas they have obtained from or measured for
Plaintiffs.  Plaintiffs seek unspecified actual damages,
attorney fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, and reserved the
right to plead for punitive damages.

On August 22, 2003, an answer to that pleading was filed on
behalf of the Company.  Despite a denial by the court on April
10, 2003 of their original motion for class certification, the
Plaintiffs continue to seek the certification of a class.  The
Plaintiffs' motion seeking class certification for a second time
was fully briefed and the court heard oral argument on this
motion on April 1, 2005.


SOUTHERN STAR: KS Court Hears Arguments For Suit Certification
--------------------------------------------------------------
The District Court for Stevens County, Kansas heard oral
arguments for and against class certification for the lawsuit
filed against Southern Star Central Corporation and other
natural gas companies, styled "Will Price, et al. v. El Paso
Natural Gas Co., et al., Case No. 03 C 23."

In this putative class action filed May 12, 2003, the named
Plaintiffs from Case No. 99 C 30 (discussed above) have sued the
same defendants, including the Company.  Asserting substantially
identical legal and/or equitable theories, the Original Class
Action Petition alleges that the defendants have undermeasured
the British thermal units (Btu) content of, and therefore have
underpaid for, the natural gas they have obtained from or
measured for Plaintiffs.  Plaintiffs seek unspecified actual
damages, attorney fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, and
reserved the right to plead for punitive damages.

On November 10, 2003, an answer to that pleading was filed on
behalf of the Company.   The Plaintiffs' motion seeking class
certification for a second time was fully briefed and the court
heard oral argument on this motion on April 1, 2005.


SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES: Texlon Subsidiary Settles Lawsuit V. PwC
-------------------------------------------------------------
Symbol Technologies, Inc.'s wholly owned subsidiary, Telxon
Corporation, which it acquired on November 30, 2000, recently
settled a lawsuit against its former auditors,
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Wireless IQ reports.

Under the settlement, PwC is required to pay Telxon $18 million
by September 30, 2005. In addition, PwC will also be required to
pay Telxon an extra $1 million if PwC reaches a settlement
agreement with the class before certain motions now pending are
decided in a related shareholder class action lawsuit.

Under the terms of a separate settlement agreement between
Telxon and the class, which was approved by the United States
District Court in the Northern District of Ohio in February
2004, Telxon will pay up to $3 million of the proceeds from the
PwC settlement to the class.

Court documents revealed that Telxon sued PwC in February 2001
for various claims arising from PwC's role in the original
issuance and restatements of Telxon's financial statements for
its fiscal years 1996, 1997 and 1998 and its interim financial
statements for its first and second quarters of fiscal year
1999, which were the subject of the class action litigation
against Telxon.


TENNESSEE: MWS Asks Court to Limit Class For Racial Bias Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Metro Legal Department asked an appeals court to prevent
eight city workers and one former employee from pulling other
black employees at Metro Water Services (MWS) into a class
action bias lawsuit, The Tennessean reports.

Individuals familiar with the matter told The Tennessean that if
the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals grants Metro's appeal, the
plaintiffs would not be able to bring into their suit all
current and former employees at the water department since 2000,
but the nine could still proceed with their own complaints.

According to the Plaintiffs' attorney, Martin D. Holmes, a
partner with the Nashville-based Stewart Estes & Donnell, the
employees have been victims of bias saying, "The plaintiffs
allege that historically Metro Water has engaged in a pattern
and practice of race discrimination including promotion, pay and
other terms and conditions of employment, such as discipline.

Brook Fox, the Metro Legal attorney handling the case explained
that Metro has taken the position that the actions taken against
the employees were based on "legitimate nondiscriminatory
reasons." Mr. Fox told The Tennessean that due to the different
actions that were taken against the workers, it is not proper to
group them together in court as a class. He pointed out, "This
is not a proper class to be certified because each one is a
highly individualized complaint about their own particular
employment situation."

The nine plaintiffs in Grant et al vs. Metro Government of
Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee are: application tech
Princess A. Martindale, plumber Darrell W. Gant, office support
representative Pamela N. Tucker, administrative services manager
Claude P. Grant, water maintenance leader Antonio D. McKissack
Sr., administrative services officer Sandra J. Derrick,
maintenance and repair leader Darryl L. McKibben, administrative
services officer Faletha B. Reid and former equipment operator
Oralene Day, who is the only plaintiff no longer with the
department.

For more details, contact Martin Douglas Holmes of Stewart Estes
& Donnell, Phone: (615) 244-6538, Fax: (615) 256-8386, E-mail:
mdholmes@sedlaw.com.


TEXAS: Judge Rules That State is Violating Medicaid Agreement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Senior U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice ruled Texas to
be in violation of a deal meant to improve health care access
for Medicaid-eligible children and young adults, The Associated
Press reports.

The ruling by the federal judge in Austin came in a class action
lawsuit by San Antonio attorney Susan Zinn, wherein she argued
that the state violated federal law by not informing poor
families of available services as it had agreed to do in 1995.

The state signed the agreement pledging to improve health care
access to indigent youths. However, a 112-page order that Judge
Justice recently signed found the state hadn't made good on its
part of the deal.

The state though argued it spends $16 million on its outreach
program and meets federal guidelines. Still, the number of
children on Medicaid who received no medical checkups jumped
from about 1 million in 1998 to almost 1.5 million in 2004.


WESBANCO INC.: Appeals Court Reverses WV Summary Judgment Ruling
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a
lower court ruling granting summary judgment in favor of
WesBanco, Inc. in the class action filed against it, as a result
of its acquisition of American Bancorporation through a series
of corporate mergers in 2002.

At the time of the consummation of this transaction, American
Bancorporation was a defendant in a suit styled "Martin, et al.
v. The American Bancorporation Retirement Plan, et al.," under
Civil Action No. 5:2000-CV-168 (Broadwater), pending in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of West
Virginia.  The Company became the principal defendant in this
suit by reason of the merger.

This case involves a class action suit against American
Bancorporation by certain beneficiaries of the American
Bancorporation Defined Benefit Retirement Plan (the "Plan")
seeking to challenge benefit calculations and methodologies used
by the Plan Administrator in determining benefits under the Plan
which was frozen by American Bancorporation, as to benefit
accruals, some years ago. The Plan had been the subject of a
predecessor action in a case styled "American Bancorporation
Retirement Plan, et al. v. McKain, Civil Action No. 5:93-CV-
110," which was also litigated in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.  The McKain
case resulted in an Order entered by the District Court on
September 22, 1995, which directed American Bancorporation to
follow a specific method for determining retirement benefits
under the Plan.

American Bancorporation has asserted that it has calculated the
benefits in accordance with the requirements of the 1995 Order.
The purported class of plaintiffs have asserted that they are
not bound by the 1995 Order since they were not parties to that
proceeding and are seeking a separate benefit determination. The
District Court in the current case limited the class of
plaintiffs to a group of approximately 37 individuals and
granted partial summary judgment to significantly reduce the
scope and extent of the case. The Court subsequently granted
summary judgment in favor of the Company on the remaining claims
on March 31, 2004, and the plaintiff appealed the decision to
the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion dated May
11, 2005, which reversed the District Court's earlier grant of
summary judgment on behalf of the Company, and remanded the case
for further proceedings. The Appellate Court reversed the
District Court's ruling that res judicata and collateral
estoppel are applicable under the circumstances which precluded
the re-litigation of matters previously decided by the District
Court in the earlier 1995 case involving the same pension plan.
The remand will address certain issues identified by the
Appellate Court for further determination.

The suit is styled "Martin, et al v. American the Plan, et al.,
case no. 5:00-cv-00168-WCB-JES," filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, under
Judge W. Craig Broadwater.  Representing the Company is Cynthia
B. Jones of Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC - Morgantown, PO Box 1616,
Morgantown, WV 26507-1616, Phone: 304-598-8111, Fax: 304-598-
8116, E-mail: jonescb@steptoe-johnson.com.  Representing the
plaintiffs is Thomas M. Cunningham of Cassidy, Myers, Cogan &
Voegelin, L.C., 1413 Eoff St., Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone:
304-232-8100, Fax: 304-232-8352, E-mail: tmc@cmcvlaw.com.


                         Asbestos Alert



ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mestek Inc. Announces 300 Dismissed Cases
--------------------------------------------------------------
To date, Mestek Inc. (NYSE: MCC) has had about 300 asbestos-
related cases dismissed without any payment and it settled about
twenty-five asbestos-related cases for insignificant amounts, in
a report submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Company, however, cannot assure that it will be able to
successfully defend or settle any pending litigation.

The Company is currently a party to over 100 asbestos-related
lawsuits, and in the past three-months has been named in about
20 new such lawsuits each month, primarily in Texas where
numerous asbestos-related actions have been filed against
numerous defendants.

The total requested damages of these cases are over US$3
billion.

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

The Company continues to investigate all of these matters. Given
the information presently known, no estimation can be made of
any liability, which the Company may have with respect to these
matters.

Based in Westfield, Massachusetts, Mestek Inc. comprises a
family of manufacturing companies that provide HVAC (heating,
ventilating and air conditioning) and metal forming (machine
tool, coil handling) products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RSA Accords GBP1,020M Reserves for UK & US
---------------------------------------------------------------
Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group Plc (NYSE: RSA) states in
its 2005-second quarter report that it provides GBP1,020 million
for asbestos in the UK and US.  These provisions can be analyzed
by where the risks were written and by survival ratio, which
means an industry standard measure of a company's reserves
expressing recent year claims payments or notifications as a
percentage of liabilities.

The estimation of the provisions for the ultimate cost of claims
for asbestos and environmental pollution is subject to a range
of uncertainties that is generally greater than those
encountered for other classes of insurance business.

Consequently, traditional techniques for estimating claims
provisions cannot wholly be relied upon and the Group employs
specialized techniques to determine provisions using the
extensive knowledge of both internal asbestos and environmental
pollution experts and external legal and professional advisors.

The position in the US is particularly problematic, as
plaintiffs have expanded their focus to defendants beyond the
`traditional' asbestos manufacturers and distributors.  This has
arisen as a consequence of the increase in the number of
insureds seeking bankruptcy protection because of asbestos
related litigation and the exhaustion of their policy limits.

Plaintiffs, supported by lawyers remunerated on a contingent fee
basis, are now seeking to draw in a wide cross section of
defendants who previously only had peripheral or secondary
involvement in asbestos litigation.  This may include companies
that have distributed or incorporated asbestos containing parts
in their products or operated premises where asbestos was
present.

There are also increasing signs of attempts to reopen and
reclassify into other insurance coverages previously settled
claims, and the filing of claims under the non aggregate
premises or operation section of general liability policies.
There are also indications that plaintiffs may seek damages by
asserting that insurers had a duty to protect the public from
the dangers of asbestos.

There is also the possibility of federal legislation that would
address asbestos related problems.  Senate Judiciary Committee
Chair Arlen Specter, in April 2005, introduced the Senate Bill
852, an amended version of Senate Bill 2290 (Fairness in
Asbestos Injury Resolution or `FAIR' Act).

The amended bill includes establishing a privately financed
trust fund to provide payments to individuals with asbestos
related illnesses and removal of asbestos claims from the tort
litigation system for the duration of the fund. The proposed
bill would remove pending and future cases from the judicial
system and place these cases and claims into a no fault trust
fund to be administered by the US Department of Labor.

Currently based in London, UK, Royal & Sun Alliance is one of
the world's leading multinational insurance groups.  The Company
focuses on commercial and personal general insurance coverages
and writes virtually all types with an emphasis on property,
casualty, motor and household insurance.  It has a significant
market position in the UK, Scandinavia and Canada.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FWLT's La Duc Delivers Asbestos Statistics
---------------------------------------------------------------
John La Duc, EVP and CFO of Foster Wheeler Ltd. (NASDAQ: FWLT),
reports in a 2005-second quarter conference call its asbestos
figures for the period, in a report submitted to the Securities
and Exchange Commission.

The Clinton, NJ-based Company received about 4,400 new asbestos
claims during the quarter and resolved about 6,300 claims.  At
the end of the quarter, the Company had about 166,000 claims
pending, including an estimated 23,000 claims that have been
placed on inactive dockets for claimants who have alleged
minimal or no impairment.

Although the estimated 23,000 claims are inactive, they are
included in the projected liability on the Company's balance
sheet.  About 10,000 claims included in the 166,000 previously
noted are considered abandoned and are not included in the
projected asbestos liability.  Asbestos indemnity and defense
costs for the quarter were about US$22 million, all of which
were reimbursed from insurance coverage.

The Company plans to continue its strategy of settling with
insurance carriers by monetizing policies or arranging coverage
in place agreements that is designed to reduce future cash
payments from the company to cover future asbestos liabilities.
The Company predicts that, net of payments from our insurers; it
will not be required to fund any asbestos liabilities from its
own cash flow before 2010.

While the Company expects to continue settlement discussions
with its insurers during 2005 and in order to allow sufficient
time for it to reach an agreeable settlement, the Company may
determine that the appropriate course of action is to fund a
portion of its asbestos liabilities during 2005 and 2006.  If
the Company takes this course of action, it may spend up to
US$12 million from its cash flow in the second half of 2005.

Foster Wheeler is a global engineering and construction
contractor and power equipment supplier.  The Engineering &
Construction group designs and builds facilities for industrial
markets. The Company's Power Products & Services unit makes
steam-generating units and related equipment for power and
industrial plants, including fluidized-bed and conventional
boilers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NSP Holdings Named in Various Injury Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
NSP Holdings LLC is subject to various claims arising in the
ordinary course of business.  As of July 2, 2005, the Company's
North Safety Products subsidiary, along with its predecessors or
the former owners of such business were named as defendants in
about 928 lawsuits involving respirators manufactured and sold
by it or its predecessors.

The Company is also monitoring an additional 11 lawsuits in
which it feels that North Safety Products, its predecessors or
the former owners of such businesses may be named as defendants.
Collectively, these 939 lawsuits represent a total of about
25,000 plaintiffs.

About 92% of these lawsuits involve plaintiffs alleging injury
resulting from exposure to silica dust, with the remainder
alleging injury resulting from exposure to other particles,
including asbestos.  These lawsuits typically allege that the
purported injuries resulted in part from respirators that were
negligently designed or manufactured.

Invensys Plc, formerly Siebe Plc, is contractually obligated to
indemnify the Company for any losses, including costs of
defending claims, resulting from respiratory products
manufactured or sold prior to the acquisition of North Safety
Products in October 1998.

On July 19, 2005, Safety Products Holdings Inc. closed the
transactions under which it acquired all of the outstanding
membership units of Norcross Safety Products LLC and assumed all
of the obligations of NSP Holdings LLC under the Company's and
NSP Holdings Capital Corp.'s outstanding US$100 million 11_%
senior pay in kind notes due 2012 and the indenture governing
the Notes.  Upon closing of the Acquisition, Safety Products
became a successor issuer to the Company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Proposes Abandoning Australia
---------------------------------------------------------
American directors of James Hardie Industries NV, including its
chief executive Louis Gries, proposes to leave Australia rather
than paying AUD1.7 billion to its numerous asbestos victims, The
Australian reports.

Hardie chairwoman Meredith Hellicar told The Weekend Australian
that Mr. Gries "certainly was one of the ones discussing the
bequeathing of the assets, given the relative size of Australia
versus the rest of the business and the relative advantages of
not having the liabilities in any way in the future (connected
with) James Hardie".  She added that the exit-Australia option
was not taken far, and the decision made to find a negotiated
solution.

The Australian assets, according to company figures, are worth
about a tenth of the AUD1.7 billion-estimated cost of future
asbestos claims.

The Company states it has no legal liability to provide further
funds to meet claims from Australians who will contract mostly
fatal diseases from the asbestos products the company made up
until 1987.

Hardie moved its operational headquarters to California several
years ago.  For tax reasons, the Company in 2001 successfully
applied to the New South Wales Supreme Court to shift its
corporate seat from Sydney to The Netherlands.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NSW Head to Press Hardie Into Closing Deal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Morris Iemma, New South Wales' recently elected Premier,
arranged to meet with asbestos support groups and union leaders
to drive James Hardie Industries NV into finalizing its asbestos
compensation deal.

The deal is unprecedented because it compels the Company to
compensate people who become sick from asbestos exposure to its
products regardless of its legal liability to do so.

Hardie's domicile move from Sydney to the Netherlands in 2001,
while maintaining its operations in the US, complicates matters.

James Rickards, James Hardie's spokesman, said it was
"unnecessary and odd" for Mr. Iemma to apply heat "when we have
all been working closely and quite well.

"I would find it surprising that the NSW Government would be
looking to increase pressure considering that we have recently
received from them the latest draft agreement, which we are
working on, and they are aware of significant steps we have
already taken to help push this deal across the line," Mr.
Rickards adds.

With asbestos victims receiving compensation from the massively
underfunded trust Hardie set up in 2001, which is set to run out
until late next year, there is little pressure on the Company to
finalize its new funding arrangements it has promised.

Hardie's share price has risen steadily since before Christmas.
Although analysts credit the increase to the US building
materials operation's strength, the recovery also indicates that
the market is positive that Hardie is capable of putting the
asbestos scandal behind it.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: James Hardie to Pass up Asbestos Deadline
--------------------------------------------------------------
Citing James Hardie Industries NV's chair Meredith Hellicar, the
Australian Financial Review reports that the Company will miss
August's deadline to finalize a deal with the New South Wales
government to fund its AUD1.68 billion asbestos liabilities.

Hardie and the NSW government agreed to a timetable from late
July to early August for a final agreement in May.

"We had hoped to have it finalized.  We are still going...
that's all we can say at this point. We haven't met the
deadline...", Ms. Hellicar was quoted as saying.

"That's the trouble with negotiations; it's always dangerous to
deliver a deadline," Ms. Hellicar added.

According to the newspaper, the delay has forced the company to
postpone plans to give directors pay adjustments and make new
board appointments.

Based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, James Hardie Industries NV
is a pioneer in cellulose-reinforced fiber cement.  The Company
uses the material to create construction products like sidings,
external cladding, walls, fencing, and roofing.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Victims to Protest Hardie
-----------------------------------------------------
Australian asbestos victims plan to protest against building
products manufacturer James Hardie Industries NV at the
Company's shareholder meeting, the Australian Associated Press
reports.

James Hardie confirmed that it would pursue its Australian
shareholders' meeting despite failing to finalize on time its
$4.5 billion asbestos compensation plan to benefit victims over
the next 40 years.

Shareholders will consider issues that will be discussed at the
annual general meeting in the Netherlands.  They will be asked
to confirm Louis Gries' appointment as chief executive and
approve the transfer of 1 million share options to him.

James Hardie blamed the legal complexities involved for failing
to meet its deadline, as the Company continues to negotiate the
deal with the New South Wales government.

The final asbestos settlement should have been concluded by late
July or August, with the funding starting to flow in September.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Urged to Finalize Deal, NSW Gov't.
--------------------------------------------------------------
The NSW government, unions and asbestos victims urged building
materials producer James Hardie Industries NV to conclude a
settlement for victims that could be worth up to $4.5 billion
over the next 40 years, the Australian Associated Press reports.

Legal issues are currently blocking a settlement that would
ensure the Company to stick to long-term compensation plans that
benefits victims of its asbestos products.

Negotiators were trying to ensure the compensation fund was
protected from any action that could be taken under American or
Dutch law, according to NSW Premier Morris Iemma.

James Hardie remains committed to establishing a compensation
arrangement in accordance with the heads of agreement in the
shortest possible time," James Hardie CEO Louis Gries said in a
statement.

Company directors requested that the final agreement include a
provision releasing them from corporate civil penalties that
could be enforced by the Australian Securities and Investments
Commission.

Despite suspicions of the Company's intentions, Asbestos
Diseases Foundation vice president Bernie Banton, who suffers
from asbestosis, hopes the negotiations could be finalized soon.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CFMEU Pressures Hardie to Pay Compensation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union spokesman Andrew
Ferguson says his union will launch a worldwide campaign against
James Hardie Industries NV if it breaches on its AUD1.7 billion
compensation package for asbestos victims, ABC News reports.

"We hope James Hardie doesn't renege.  They need to do the right
thing by victims but if they don't, the issue, I'm confident,
will get a lot of community support," Mr. Ferguson added.

The Company is yet to pay compensation to numerous asbestos
victims despite settling to a deal with the NSW Government,
unions and asbestos victims.

Unions plan to use James Hardie's annual shareholders' meeting
to compel the Company to finalize the compensation agreement.

A James Hardie spokesman says the company is committed to
achieving a long-term compensation agreement.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tax Dispute Delays Hardie Asbestos Payout
--------------------------------------------------------------
A tax wrangle between James Hardie Industries NV and the
Australian Tax Office delays the Company's compensation payment
to victims exposed to its asbestos-containing products, the
Australian Associated Press reports.

The building products manufacturer wants the payouts to be tax-
deductible but the ATO and federal treasury are yet to make a
ruling on whether this will occur.

James Hardie CEO Louis Gries said tax deductibility was a
crucial factor in whether the compensation deal actually went
ahead.  It was a condition of the draft compensation agreement
signed by the Company, the NSW government and unions last
December.

Mr. Gries said he could not put a time frame on when the
compensation deal is likely to be finalized despite negotiations
it dragging on for almost nine months.  He adds he was not
concerned about a potential union backlash if the negotiations
suffered further delays, as he was "very confident" the deal
would ultimately go ahead.

However, if the tax ruling did not come through, or if
negotiations with the government could not be resolved, Mr.
Gries said James Hardie remains committed to compensating its
asbestos victims.

Victims currently receive payment from a fund set up by the
company that is expected to last until next year.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Victims, Unions Condemn Hardie Over Delay
--------------------------------------------------------------
In addition to their demands for the immediate finalization of
James Hardie Industries NV's asbestos compensation plan,
asbestos victims and union representatives, in a Sydney rally,
condemn Hardie for payout delays while the Company is embroiled
in a tax wrangle with the Australian Tax Office, the Australian
Associated Press reports.

In a related story in the August 26, 2005 edition of the Class
Action Reporter, the building products manufacturer wants
asbestos victims payouts to be tax deductible but the ATO and
the federal treasury are yet to rule on whether that demand will
be allowed.

The asbestos compensation deal, worth as much as $4.5 billion
over the next four decades, was agreed to in principle last
December and was expected to be finalized by now.

Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia president Barry Robson
said tax issue delays were not the only hold up, and added the
Company must also hasten its negotiations with the NSW
government.

Asbestos Diseases Foundation Vice President Bernie Banton, who
suffers from asbestosis, demanded the company at least set a
date to complete the deal.

However, Company chair Meredith Hellicar would not call a date
but admitted it had taken an "appalling" length of time so far.

A spokeswoman for federal Treasurer Peter Costello said James
Hardie should honor its obligation to compensate asbestos
victims and added the issue of tax deductibility was not a
hindrance to the agreement being signed.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Ruling May Stall OC Reorganization
-------------------------------------------------------------
A court ruling by the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals in
Philadelphia, which overturned a key provision of Owens
Corning's reorganization plan, may further delay the Company
from emerging from bankruptcy protection, The Associated Press
reports.

The Court said a US District judge erred last October 2004 when
he ruled that Company subsidiaries' assets should be merged with
those of Owens Corning.

Company lawyer Stephen Krull said the ruling will help
accelerate the case and clarifies a major point of disagreement
among the Company's creditors.

The ruling improves the banks' position in the plan to divide
cash, bonds and new stock Owens Corning will hand to creditors
as it emerges from bankruptcy.

Banks said the assets should be treated separately.  The banks
made nearly US$2 billion in loans to the Company prior to the
Chapter 11 filing and demanded that subsidiaries sign contracts
guaranteeing repayment.
Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning (OTC: OWENQ), a fiberglass and
composite products manufacturer, filed for bankruptcy protection
in October 2000 because of rising costs from asbestos lawsuits.
It stopped selling asbestos-containing insulation 25 years ago.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens Corning Bankruptcy Ruling Reversed
-------------------------------------------------------------
A regulatory filing cites that Owens Corning (OTC: OWENQ), a
fiberglass and composite products manufacturer, said the US
Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit reversed a lower court
ruling to treat the company and its subsidiaries as a whole,
Reuters reports.

Last year's lower court ruling by Delaware Bankruptcy Court
Judge John Fullam had allowed the consolidation that dealt a
loss to 43 banks headed by Credit Suisse First Boston, which
fought the plan and were owed roughly US$1.6 billion in loans to
the Company and its subsidiaries.

The Company's consolidation would have meant that some banks'
claims would not rank ahead of claims of bondholders, asbestos
claimants and other creditors when the company's assets are
distributed, legal experts have said.

Steve Krull, Owens Corning General Counsel, said he did not know
if the ruling would curb or hasten the Company's emergence from
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but added Owens Corning would
reach out to creditors to try to hammer out a final agreement on
a plan.

The bank creditors argued that consolidation would prevent them
from collecting whatever assets were left over from agreements
they had struck with Owens Corning subsidiaries.  Their claims
with the subsidiaries ranked ahead of those of bondholders,
asbestos claimants and trade creditors, they added.

The Company said the Court ruling, if it survives a possible
appeal, would result in significant modifications to its
bankruptcy plan.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sumitomo to Dole JPY2 Mil Payout to Victim
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co, a leading Japanese cement producer,
decides to offer JPY2 million to an unnamed 45-year-old female
lung cancer victim who spent part of her childhood living within
the vicinity of a former affiliate's asbestos factory in
Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, The Asahi Shimbun reports.

Sumitomo Cement is not legally obligated to make amends as it
secured its stake in the affiliate after it had moved to a new
location.

The Amagasaki Occupational Safety and Health Center requested
the Company to assist the woman.  The support group's members
said the woman's parents used to work for Kansai Slate,
Sumitomo's former affiliate, a construction materials maker
based in Amagasaki where asbestos was a key ingredient of the
materials.

The woman grew up in corporate housing just across the street
from the factory and lived there for about 10 years from the age
of 13.  She also used to play with neighborhood children at a
storage site adjacent to the factory where asbestos cement
sheets were stored.

In 2003, the woman was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma.  In
March 2005, she was hospitalized after the cancer was confirmed
to have spread to other parts of her body, including the
lymphatic node.

Sumitomo Cement, in mid-August, established a policy of offering
JPY2 million as consolation to former employees of its former
affiliate who died from asbestos-related cancer and adds the
offer does not apply to other residents who lived around the
Kansai Slate factory.

The Company's move might inspire other companies to do the same,
observers say.  This is because many asbestos-related firms went
out of business years ago or merged with other companies.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal-Mogul Lists US Liability at US$9Bil
----------------------------------------------------------------
US District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez decided that Federal-Mogul
Corp. (OTC: FDMLQ), which used to manufacture brake pads with
asbestos, is subject to about US$9 billion in death and injury
claims in the US and about US$411.3 million in Britain,
Bloomberg News reports.

Judge Rodriguez in Camden, New Jersey, said he reviewed trial
evidence and data from an asbestos personal injury committee in
the Company's bankruptcy case before making the ruling.  He adds
his 64-page ruling wasn't an affirmation of the company's
reorganization plan but "an estimation of liability for the
creation of a personal injury trust" as part of the bankruptcy
process.

The Southfield, MI-based Company is a manufacturer of components
for cars, trucks, and construction vehicles.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB Ltd. to Continue Settlement, US Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
A US Bankruptcy Court grants Swiss-based ABB Ltd., a major
manufacturer of industrial robots and electrical motors,
permission to go forward with its US$1.4 billion (CHF1.8
billion) asbestos settlement plan.

The Company said it welcomed the 'positive outcome' of the
hearing on its revised plan, which added an extra US$232 million
to the initial plan, saying it 'marks another step forward
towards resolving the asbestos issue.'
The hearing opens the way for a vote by the Company's asbestos
claimants, ABB said in a statement.  The plan will go back to
the court for a confirmation hearing set for September 29,
provided the claimants would approve of it.

ABB spokesman Thomas Schmidt said that he was convinced that the
claimants would accept the plan - a majority of 75% is needed
for it to pass through.

The Company's asbestos problems date back to 1990 when it
acquired its Combustion Engineering subsidiary, which made
industrial boilers lined with the cancer-causing substance.

ABB considers the asbestos claims as one of the final hurdles in
its path to financial recovery.  The Company reported a first-
half net profit of US$325 million, more than three times the
US$90 million for the same period last year.

"Although we took sizeable provisions to improve the longer-term
profitability of our transformer business and to cover
litigation and regulatory costs, we were able to improve our
profitability once more," said ABB Chief Executive Fred Kindle
at the time.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RP Citizens Sue US Firms in Exposure Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Philippine residents Cess Navarro Olmo and Ronnie Pascual
Ferreras sued several US companies in the US District Court of
Guam for exposing both of them to asbestos, which they claim is
killing them, the Pacific Daily News reports.

Some of the US' largest manufacturers including the Chemical
Company, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Honeywell
International are named in the lawsuit.  The Companies allegedly
ignored or failed to react to medical and scientific information
available since 1929 that indicates asbestos is hazardous, the
lawsuit states.

Mr. Olmo and Mr. Ferreras, who discovered their asbestos-related
illnesses this year, were allegedly exposed to the harmful
material while employed by the US Navy in the Pacific region
between 1966 and 1992.

"Among the duties assigned to plaintiffs was the removal and
replacement of certain piping or insulation in the ships," the
lawsuit states.  "The piping or insulation material contained
asbestos or was an asbestos product supplied to the Navy by some
or all of the defendants."

The lawsuit further states that Mr. Olmo and Mr. Ferreras were
regularly exposed to "great quantities" of asbestos dust and
fibers, which they inhaled.

The plaintiffs filed the suit in Guam because a substantial part
of the events happened there, the lawsuit adds.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-Subic Workers To File Suit v. 24 Firms
--------------------------------------------------------------
Former Filipino workers in the defunct US Subic Naval Base will
file charges against 24 US Companies to seek compensation
damages due to asbestos products exposure, The Manila Standard
Today reports.

Teofilo Juatco, chairman of the People's Task Force for Bases
Clean Up, said his group would demand the US firms to pay the
victims, mostly stevedores, a minimum of US$100,000 as punitive
damages.  He adds the PTFBCU closely coordinates with US lawyer
Benjamin Cassidy, who pledged to help them in filing the case.

Two of the 1,000 victims were identified as Ronnie Pascual
Ferreras and Cess Navarro Olmo.  The two men filed a separate
lawsuit in Guam as reported in a related story in the August 26,
2005 edition of the Class Action Reporter.

Mr. Juatco said the 61-year-old Mr. Ferreras, a former shop
machinist at the Ship Repair Facilities, started to feel chest
pains, vertigo and drastic weight loss in the late 1990s while
64-year-old Mr. Olmo, a former shop planner general, recently
complained of lasting cough and fatigue.

Mr. Juatco said medical findings on the case of Mr. Ferreras and
Mr. Olmo confirmed that their symptoms are a sign of early
asbestosis, which could lead to mesothelioma or cancer.

Mr. Juatco said the asbestos exposure was part of the workers'
24-hour work shift, where they are tasked to rapidly replace or
patch up old asbestos pipes or American warships, and also
inspect damaged areas or machine parts that should be repaired
to determine which asbestos products should be used.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: JPN Doctor Affirms Asbestos in Spray Death
---------------------------------------------------------------
Yuji Natori, a doctor based in Tokyo's Koto Ward, reported the
presence of highly toxic blue asbestos in the lungs of a man,
the first confirmed victim who died of mesothelioma in 2004 due
to asbestos sprayed on the walls, the Asahi Shimbun reports.

From 1969 to 2003, the unnamed 70-year-old man worked in the
second-floor storage room of an Osaka stationery shop where the
walls had been sprayed with blue asbestos, adds Dr. Natori who
deals with asbestos-related issues.

According to supporters and members of the Kansai Occupational
Safety and Health Center, the storage room was located under
elevated railroad tracks where, as trains pass by, the
vibrations caused the uncovered asbestos particles to fly around
the room.

In July 2005, Dr. Natori found an average of 72 asbestos bodies-
-asbestos fibers attached with protein--per gram of lung tissue
in dry weight.  He states that roughly 1,000 asbestos bodies can
be found in the lungs of a person who has inhaled asbestos in an
asbestos-related workplace.

The asbestos found in the man's lungs falls short of the figure,
but it is more than double the statistics for ordinary people,
which is about 30, Dr. Natori said.  He added that most of the
particles in the man's lungs were from blue asbestos, which
cannot be found in ordinary people.

The density of asbestos likely reached 136 fibers per liter of
air in the stationery shop's storage room when the man swept the
floors.  The figure ranges from one to four fibers under normal
conditions and only about one particle was found on the ground
floor, he said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Rail Man Seeks US$350T Damages in IL Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
On August 4, The St. Clair County Circuit Court in Madison,
Illinois received a claim filed by John J. Gerdausky, a railroad
machinist and asbestosis victim, who seeks US$350,000 in
damages, reports The Madison St. Clair Record.

Mr. Gerdausky filed a seven-count Federal Employers Liability
Act (FELA) and Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act lawsuit (LBIA).
Jane C. Gerdausky, his wife, is seeking damages for loss of her
husband's consortium.

The plaintiff alleges contracting asbestosis through exposure to
toxic substances like asbestos, diesel exhaust or organic
chemicals while employed from 1942 to 1984 at Chicago and
Eastern Illinois Railroad Co. and Louisville & Nashville
Railroad Co.

Mr. Gerdausky alleges the railroad defendants violated FELA by
failing to provide him a safe environment and equipment, exposed
him to toxic substances, failed to warn him of exposure hazards,
and allowed unsafe work practices to become routine.

Mr. Gerdausky claims the railroads violated the LBIA by
providing unsafe, contaminated locomotives.  He alleges the non-
railroad defendants failed to warn users of the dangers of
asbestos products.

Mr. Gerdausky names CSX Transportation Inc, successor to
Louisville & Nashville, and Union Pacific Railroad Co,
responsible for Eastern Illinois Railroad as railroad
defendants.

The claim also names American Standard Inc, Anchor Packing Co,
Certainteed Corp, Garlock Sealing Technologies, Ingersoll-Rand
Co, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co, Old Orchard Industrial Corp
and Owens-Illinois Inc as non-railroad defendants.

Mr. Gerdausky, in a count of civil conspiracy, alleges that
medical and scientific information about the dangers of asbestos
was "withheld, concealed and suppressed." Rather, "incorrect,
incomplete, outdated and misleading" data was disseminated.

William P. Gavin of the Gavin Law Firm in Belleville represents
Mr. Gerdausky.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Health Dept. Awards Nurse's Kin GBP175T
---------------------------------------------------------------
The UK Department of Health compensates the family of Rebecca
Little, a nurse who succumbed to mesothelioma in 2002, worth
GBP175,000 in damages, the BBC News reports.

The Department of Health had admitted liability for breach of
duty of care, Mrs. Little's family's solicitors said.

Mrs. Little, 53, trained as a nurse at the former Charing Cross
Hospital in London between 1968 and 1970 where she claimed she
was exposed to the toxic dust as it crumbled from the insulation
that covered the hospital wards' piping.  She had started her
case against the Department of Health before she died.

Mrs. Little claimed that, if the ward was quiet, nurses were
expected to keep busy by cleaning and it was usual for them to
sweep up small pieces and dust from the pipes' insulation.  She
underwent extensive treatment for her cancer, including
chemotherapy, but died a few days shy of 54th birthday.

Julian Little, an anesthetist, said his wife's motivation in
bringing the case had been to stress the dangers of asbestos in
old hospitals.

Although Dr. Little was satisfied the Department of Health had
claimed liability, he said nothing could make up for the loss of
his wife.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Woolworths Faces Possible Asbestos Query
-------------------------------------------------------------
Woolworths Group Plc (London: WLW) confronts a potential
investigation over allegations that staff and customers in its
stores were put at risk from asbestos dust, Reuters reports.

"The health and safety of our staff and customers is of
paramount importance to Woolworths.  We are fully aware of the
situation with regard to Devon County Council and are working
with the authorities and our supplier to resolve the matter,"
the company said in a statement.

The risk emerged when asbestos-made fire-retardant ceiling
panels were replaced as part of a store refit project, the
report said.

The report adds officials in the Devon towns of Tiverton and
Bideford are deciding whether or not to launch a prosecution
over working practices.

Originally from the US, the London, UK-based group is primarily
engaged in retail that focuses on the home, family and
entertainment.  The Group operates the entertainment businesses
E.UK, 2 Entertain and Streets Online.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IPALCO Subsidiary Defends About 112 Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
IPALCO Enterprises Inc. states in its 2005-second quarter report
to the Securities and Exchange Commission that its subsidiary,
Indianapolis Power & Light Co (IPL), is a defendant in about 112
and 113 pending lawsuits, as of June 30, 2005 and December 31,
2004, respectively.

The lawsuits allege personal injury or wrongful death stemming
from exposure to asbestos and asbestos containing products
formerly located in IPL power plants.

IPL has been named as a "premises defendant" in that IPL did not
mine, manufacture, distribute or install asbestos or asbestos
containing products.  These suits have been brought on behalf of
persons who worked for contractors or subcontractors hired by
IPL.

IPL has settled a number of asbestos related lawsuits for
amounts, which are not material to IPL or IPALCO's financial
position, results of operations, or cash flows.  Historically,
settlements paid on IPL's behalf have been comprised of proceeds
from one or more insurers along with comparatively smaller
contributions by IPL.

Indianapolis, IN-based IPALCO Enterprises Inc., a subsidiary of
the AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), generates, transmits, and
distributes electricity to nearly 460,000 customers in central
Indiana through its regulated utility unit, Indianapolis Power &
Light Co (IPL).


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Habitat Report Uncovers Hazard in CO Home
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Craig Daily Press reports that an initial study for Habitat
for Humanity disclosed widespread asbestos contamination in a
Moffat County, Colorado house the Organization purchased in June
2005.

Melinda Bobo, the Organization's Moffat County Board President,
said board members were not surprised that an addition to the
porch, insulation, linoleum and vinyl flooring tested positive
for asbestos.  However, they were astonished that the report
mentioned that all the house's windows are glazed with asbestos.

The preliminary findings were sent for bidding to three
asbestos-abatement contractors.  Ms. Bobo doesn't expect bids to
come back until the contractors see the final report.

Habitat is set to spend between US$2,000 and US$2,600 for the
inspection.  A combination of funds, raised from yard sales and
donations, will cover that cost, Ms. Bobo said, and it will be
enough to begin the abatement.

The group's goal is to have a family moved into the house by the
end of the year.

Americus, GA-based Habitat for Humanity International is a non-
profit ecumenical Organization that is dedicated to eliminate
substandard housing and homelessness worldwide.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Victim's Kin Sues UK Council for Exposure
--------------------------------------------------------------
The family of John Michael Holdsworth, a maintenance engineer
who died 20 years after workplace asbestos exposure, is taking
legal proceedings against Calderdale Council, Halifax Today
reports.

West Yorkshire Coroner Roger Whitaker, at an inquest, said Mr.
Holdsworth had died of bronchia pneumonia caused by
mesothelioma.

Seventy-one year old Mr. Holdsworth, who was employed by
Brighouse Borough Council and later Calderdale Council, worked
with asbestos-covered pipes in swimming pools at Sowerby Bridge
and Brighouse in the 1980s.

Stanley Shaw, Mr. Holdsworth's former work colleague said they
had removed asbestos insulation from pipes in swimming pools and
had generally worked with the deadly substance over a number of
years.

Ariel, Mr. Holdsworth's widow, is hoping other families who may
have lost a loved one through working with asbestos will come
forward and get help.

John Pickering and Partners, a Halifax firm specializing in
asbestos disease compensation claims, is handling Mr.
Holdsworth's case.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: James Hardie Records $55.9M Income in 2Q05
----------------------------------------------------------------
James Hardie Industries NV, a major Australian building products
manufacturer, reports that the Company's net income increased to
$55.9 million in the 2005-second quarter from $36.3 million the
previous year with sales rising 17% to $359.4 million, the
International Herald Tribune reports.

Company CEO Louis Gries is expanding the US business he ran for
10 years.  The Company notes its first-quarter profit rose 54%
as it sold more fiber-cement home sidings, with an average 12%
price increase, in the United States where the Company gets 80%
of its sales.

The company had profit, excluding asbestos costs, of $156
million last year.  Full-year profit, excluding compensation
costs to people exposed and sickened from asbestos in some of
the Company's former products, will meet analysts' forecasts of
$175 million to $240 million, the Company said.  James Hardie
had $5.2 million in costs from a government inquiry into
compensation for asbestos in the quarter.

Some investors are worried that growth in the US might slow.
James Hardie said US fiber cement sales rose 7% last quarter,
compared with 23% growth in the quarter that ended March 31.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestolux Discovery Raises Health Concerns
----------------------------------------------------------------
The detection of Asbestolux, containing highly dangerous brown
asbestos, in the cellars of the former Killingbeck Hospital site
in Leeds, UK triggers serious health concerns in the local
community, the Evening Post reports.

The site, recently bought by Shepherd Homes for a multi-million
pound housing development, raised grave concerns about how
demolition was handled by the site's previous owners, NHS
Estates, and their demolition contractor James Gill Ltd of
Leeds.

Mr. Gill states that the asbestos was likely used as lagging
around steam pipes which run under York Road and connected the
Killingbeck and Seacroft hospitals.

A Shepherd Homes spokesman confirmed a quantity of asbestos had
been found but claimed there was no public health risk.  He said
suitable measures of isolation and protection had been employed
and said workers were not having to take special precautions.

Work on a large section of the site has been halted and fencing
is placed around the area, with asbestos warnings placed at
intervals.  Security, however, is inadequate, with the public
able to stroll into the "secure" area unhindered.

Workers entering the secure area have to shower on site at the
end of each day with the water then taken away by lorry.

The asbestos abatement could cost tens of thousands of pounds,
although Shepherd Homes has refused to say who will foot the
bill.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US to Settle JPY194M for Japanese Claimants
----------------------------------------------------------------
The US Military in Japan agrees to indemnify 26 plaintiffs, who
developed asbestos-related diseases after working in the US
Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa Prefecture, a court-ordered
payout of JPY194 million (US$1.765 million), The Asahi Shimbun
reports.

The Japanese Government, which hired the claimants to work at
the US base, will pay the remaining JPY522 million (US$4.75
million).  A total of 41 Japanese claimants were awarded JPY716
million (US$6.51 million) compensation in three lawsuits.

In the October 2002 primary settlement, the Yokosuka branch of
the Yokohama District Court ruled the government must pay JPY195
million (US$1.77 million) to nine former base workers.

In the November 2004 second lawsuit, the government settled out
of court a total of JPY305 million (US$2.77 million) to 21
claimants.

In a third settlement in May, the government agreed to pay a
total of JPY216 million (US$1.96 million) to 11 former workers.

Article 18 of the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement stipulates
that both nations must pay compensation equally when both are
found responsible for damage.  The Japanese government asked the
US military to shoulder part of the compensation because 26 of
the 41 plaintiffs were exposed to asbestos on the base after
1966, the year the SOFA was amended.

Most claimants had worked on the base from the 1960s through the
1970s at vessel repair centers, where asbestos was used on
vessels for insulation or sprayed as fireproofing.


ASBESTOS ALERT: PA Court Orders Factory Mutual to Answer Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County,
in a preliminary hearing on June 30, 2005, overruled Defendant
Factory Mutual Insurance Co.'s (fka Arkwright Mutual Insurance
Co) objections to Plaintiff American Special Risk Insurance
Co.'s complaint.

The Court orders Factory Mutual to reply to American Special's
complaint within twenty days.

The case is presided by Judge Howland W. Abramson.

American Special issued a commercial umbrella policy to A-Best
Products Inc, a former manufacturer and distributor of
industrial safety clothing.  American Special and Factory Mutual
entered into a reinsurance agreement to cover the policy that
requires Factory Mutual to pay its proportion of settled claims
generated by the policy.  A-Best demanded coverage under the
policy pursuant to numerous asbestos claims and American Special
notified Factory Mutual of the A-Best claims.

Years later, American special notified Factory Mutual that it
had reached an agreement with A-Best's other excess insurance
carriers to handle A-Best's asbestos claims.  More recently,
American Special submitted a reimbursement request to Factory
Mutual for the A-Best claims.

To date, American Special has paid about US$3 million to A-Best,
of which about US$1 million is attributable to Factory Mutual
through the Agreement.  Factory Mutual, however, claims that the
Agreement does not apply to the A-Best asbestos claims and has
made no payments to American Special.

Factory Mutual contends that any "factual dispute" surrounding
the Agreement raises a question of interpretation.  In an
attempt to create a factual dispute, Factory Mutual asserts that
"enforcement" of the Agreement is "interpretation" of the
Agreement, but the argument strips both words of their typical
meanings.  Lacking a factual dispute, the Agreement must be
interpreted on its face.

Factory Mutual identifies no provision of the Agreement that
creates an interpretative dispute between the parties.  Since
the Agreement clearly restricts arbitration to such instances,
Factory Mutual's preliminary objections are overruled.


COMPANY PROFILE

American Special Risk, LLC
212 South Tryon Street, Suite 1780
Charlotte, North Carolina 28281
Telephone: (704) 358-0447
Facsimile: (704) 358-0977
E-mail: webinquiry@asrisk.com

Description:
American Special Risk, LLC is a leading independent provider of
insurance, reinsurance and alternative risk transfer services.


COMPANY PROFILE

Factory Mutual Insurance Company
1301 Atwood Ave.
Johnston, RI 02919
Phone: 401-275-3000
Fax: 401-275-3029
http://www.fmglobal.com

Description:
Factory Mutual Insurance (operating as FM Global) provides
commercial and industrial property insurance and a variety of
risk management services.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Rail Worker's Kin Claims US$11.43M in NJ Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
A New Jersey Middlesex County jury awards the family of Ruggerio
Fuccilli, a 50-year-old railroad worker who died of lung cancer
allegedly caused by asbestos exposure, the amount of US$11.43
million in a wrongful death lawsuit, the New Jersey Law Journal
reports.

Superior Court Judge Ann McCormick presided the trial that
lasted five weeks.

Mr. Fuccilli died in December 2002, two years after diagnosed
with pulmonary fibrosis.  His work, including welding, metal
grinding and brake repair, exposed him to contaminants like
asbestos, sawdust, welding fumes and silica, according to
evidence presented by his lawyers, Barry Eichen and William
Levinson of Eichen Levinson in Edison, NJ.

The defense asserted that Mr. Fuccilli's symptoms either had no
known cause or were caused by his cigarette smoking and wood
dust exposure during his four years as a carpenter before taking
up railroad work, Mr. Levinson says.

Mr. Fuccilli had worked for Central Railroad of New Jersey from
1974 to 1976, Conrail Inc. from 1976 to 1983, and New Jersey
Transit Corp. from 1983 to 2001.

After an eight-hour deliberation, the jury tagged US$4.1 million
for Mr. Fuccilli's disability, pain and suffering and US$15.07
million for his wife Catherine's and their autistic son
Michael's loss of companionship, for a total of US$19.17
million.

However, the award was cut down to US$11.43 million because
Conrail, which was held 35% liable, settled before trial for
US$500,000, and because Mr. Fuccilli was held 8% responsible.
The jury slapped 50% liability to New Jersey Transit and 7% to
Central Railroad.

Conrail's lawyer, Louis Ruprecht of Ruprecht, Hart & Weeks in
Millburn, NJ, New Jersey Transit lawyer Alan Grant of Mauro Savo
Camerino & Grant in Somerville, NJ, and Central Railroad lawyer
Spencer Robbins of Robbins & Robbins in Woodbridge, NJ refused
to comment.


COMPANY PROFILE

Conrail Inc.
2001 Market St., 16th Fl.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-209-2000
Fax: 215-209-4819
http://www.conrail.com

Description:
Conrail Inc. is the holding company for Consolidated Rail, a
freight railroad system in the heavily industrialized Northeast.
The Company operates some lines and facilities in the
Philadelphia and Detroit metropolitan areas and in much of New
Jersey.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Gulf States Paper Corp. Named in Six PI Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gulf States Paper Corporation has been named a defendant in six
asbestos-related personal injury litigation.  These suits also
name many other corporate defendants, in a report the Company
submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The number of defendants in the suits has ranged from 40 to 161
and is based upon injury claims resulting from asbestos exposure
while employed by third-party contractors at the Company's
mills.  The plaintiffs have not produced any evidence to date
that they performed services at any of the Company's facilities.

The Company has substantial insurance coverage, subject to
applicable deductibles and policy limits, with respect to
asbestos claims.  To date, the costs resulting from the
litigation have not been significant.  The Company settled one
lawsuit during 2004. However, the other five lawsuits are in the
discovery phase.

Although the outcome of this type of litigation is subject to
many uncertainties, the Company does not believe that such
claims will have a material adverse effect on its consolidated
financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.


COMPANY PROFILE

Gulf States Paper Corporation
1400 Jack Warner Pkwy. NE
Tuscaloosa, AL 35404-8999
Phone: 205-562-5000
Fax: 205-562-5010
http://www.gulf-states.com

Description:
Tuscaloosa, AL-based Gulf States Paper Corporation is one of
America's premier forest products companies.  In 2005 the
Company sold its Alabama-based pulp and paperboard operations
and its paperboard packaging manufacturing plants in eight
states, to Rock-Tenn Company (NYSE: RKT). The Company's
remaining operations include one of the Southeast's largest and
most modern sawmills at Moundville (Alabama); some 400,000 acres
of Alabama timberland; and real estate developments in Alabama,
Florida, and Georgia.


                New Securities Fraud Cases


ATI TECHNOLOGIES: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in PA
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Federman & Sherwood initiated a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania against ATI Technologies, Inc.
(Nasdaq: ATYT).

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market which had the effect
of artificially inflating the market price. The class period is
from October 7, 2004 through June 23, 2005.

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


BOSTON SCIENTIFIC: Brualdi Law Starts Securities Investigation
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Brualdi Law Firm commenced an investigation on behalf of
shareholders who acquired Boston Scientific Corporation
(Nasdaq:BSX) securities between March 4, 2004 and August 23,
2004, inclusive (the Relevant Period).

The investigation is focusing on the company and certain key
officers and directors and whether they may have violated the
federal securities laws by issuing a series of materially false
and misleading statements to the market throughout the Relevant
Period which statements had the effect of artificially inflating
the market price of the Company's securities.

For more details, contact Richard B. Brualdi, Esq. or Gaitri
Boodhoo, Esq. of The Brualdi Law Firm, Phone: (212) 952-0602 or
(877) 495-1187, Web site: http://www.brualdilawfirm.com.


ISOLAGEN INC.: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Securities Suit in TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Federman & Sherwood initiated a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Texas against Isolagen, Inc. (Amex: ILE).

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market which had the effect
of artificially inflating the market price. The class period is
from March 3, 2004 through August 1, 2005.

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


MERCURY INTERACTIVE: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in TX
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Federman & Sherwood initiated a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California against Mercury Interactive
Corporation (Nasdaq: MERQE).

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market which had the effect
of artificially inflating the market price. The class period is
from December 1, 2004 through July 5, 2005.

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


RED ROBIN: Federman & Sherwood Files Securities Fraud Suit in TX
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Federman & Sherwood initiated a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
District of Colorado against Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc.
(Nasdaq: RRGB).

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market which had the effect
of artificially inflating the market price. The class period is
from November 8, 2004 through August 11, 2005.

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


SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES: Federman & Sherwood Lodges Stock Suit in TX
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Federman & Sherwood initiated a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York against Symbol Technologies, Inc.
(NYSE: SBL).

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market which had the effect
of artificially inflating the market price. The class period is
from May 10, 2004 through August 1, 2005.

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


WORLD HEALTH: Barrack Rodos Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in PA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Barrack Rodos & Bacine initiated a class action
in the United States District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania on behalf of purchasers of the publicly traded
securities of World Health Alternatives, Inc. (WHAI.OB) ("World
Health Alternatives" or the "Company") between October 7, 2003
to August 18, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges World Health Alternatives, certain of its
officers and directors and its former auditor with violations of
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

The complaint alleges that the Company's publicly filed
financial statements during the Class Period were materially
false and misleading in that, among other things, the Company
underpaid more than $4 million in taxes during the Class period,
and net income was consequently overstated by a comparable
amount; that the Company was in breach of its lending agreements
as a result of having misrepresented its financial condition to
its lenders, resulting in the Company having fraudulently
obtained more than $6.5 million from its lenders; and that the
Company misstated the amount of debenture and warrants
associated with the Company's preferred stock. In addition, the
Company misstated the academic credentials of defendant McDonald
in various SEC filings during the Class Period, misleading
investors as to the training and integrity of the Company's
senior management. As a result of these misstatements, the
prices of the Company's publicly traded securities were
artificially inflated during the Class Period. The disclosure of
these misstatements caused the prices of the Company's
securities to collapse, causing injury to members of the Class.

The complaint seeks to recover damages on behalf of all persons
who purchased World Health Alternatives securities during the
Class Period.

For more details, contact Leslie Bornstein Molder, Esq. of
Barrack, Rodos & Bacine, 3300 Two Commerce Square, 2001 Market
Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone: 215-963-0600, Fax:
215-963-0838, E-mail: lmolder@barrack.com.


                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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