CAR_Public/051118.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Friday, November 18, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 229

                            Headlines

AIR FRANCE: Report Fails To Pinpoint Cause of August 2 Crash
BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Continues To Face AL Employees Bias Suit
BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Continues To Face Remaining GA Stock Suit
BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Appeals Court Reverses NY Suit Dismissal
BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: GA Court Refuses ERISA Suit Certification

CALIFORNIA: San Diego Zoo Faces ADA Violations Suit For Policy
CHIRON CORPORATION: Investors File Suits V. Novartis Share Offer
CRYOLIFE INC.: Finalizing GA Securities Fraud Lawsuit Settlement
CVS CORPORATION: MA Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement
CVS CORPORATION: MA Court Approves ERISA Fraud Suit Settlement

ELI LILLY: Forges Master Settlement For US Zyprexa Injury Suits
HARLEY-DAVIDSON: Continues to Face Securities Suits in E.D. WI
HARLEY-DAVIDSON: WI Court Mulls Re-filing of Cam Bearing Lawsuit
HARLEY-DAVIDSON: Pension Plan Participants File WI ERISA Lawsuit
HERCULES INC.: CA Court Approves Antitrust Lawsuit Settlement

HERCULES INC.: Forges CA Carbon Fiber Antitrust Suit Settlement
HERCULES INC.: Reaches MA Carbon Fiber Antitrust Suit Settlement
HERCULES INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal NY Agent Orange Suit Dismissal
HERCULES INC.: PA Court Refuses To Certify ERISA Fraud Lawsuit
HERCULES INC.: TX High Court Hears Petition For Writ of Mandamus

HERCULES INC.: Forges Settlement For Lake Charles Injury Suits
HERCULES INC.: Court Mulls Appeal of Agent Orange Suit Dismissal
HERCULES INC.: Reaches Settlement For LA Personal Injury Suits
HILLENBRAND INDUSTRIES: Settles Spartanburg Case For $337.5 Mil
MATTEL INC.: Plaintiffs File Petition For Certiorari For CA Suit

MCI INC.: Shareholders Commence DE Lawsuits V. Verizon Merger
MCI INC.: Working To Resolve Fiber Optic Right-of-Way Litigation
SEMPRA ENERGY: CA Attorney General Files Suit Over Energy Prices
SOCIAL SECURITY: Vision Impaired Groups Sue Over Accommodations
SONY BMG: Recalls Music CDs Containing Copy-Protection Software

STAPLES INC.: CA Court Grants Managers' Wage Suit Certification
TENNESSEE FARMERS: Recalls Horse Feed For High Rumensin Content
WASHINGTON: Judge Grants Day Care Providers' Suit Certification

                          Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Metaldyne Says Claims May Arise from TriMas
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: SCC Cites Risks from ASARCO Fraud Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ameren Companies Face 5 More Suits in 3Q05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BGE Co. Settles 43 Claims, Dismisses 388
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Everest Re Posts Loss Reserves of $649.4Mil

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Metropolitan Life Gets 12,100 Claims in `05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Oglebay Norton Pays 11,270 Claims for $34M
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Raytech Trust Deal Aims to Rush Settlement
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dismissal of Consorti Suit v. Amchem Upheld
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NC Court Junks Mills Lawsuit V. Dana Corp.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL Court Closes Swindell Suit V. FEC, CSX
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IntriCon Holds 122 Pending Suits in 3Q05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bucyrus International Faces Injury Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mestek Dismisses 300 Lawsuits, Settles 25
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Moscow Cablecom's JM Ney Faces Suits in NY

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AIG Posts US$1.4B Net A&E Reserves at 3Q05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL Court Remands Buchinger Suit V. 15 Firms
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allstate Asks Metalclad to Defend V. ACE
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Park-Ohio Co-Defends 1,100 Liability Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-M&F Subsidiary Co-Defends Injury Suits

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allmerica Notes US$24.9M Reserves in 3Q05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: SMP's Liability Suits Remain at 3,900 Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IDEX, Subsidiaries Face Claims in 22 States
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exide's French Subsidiary Faces 54 Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens-Illinois Deferred Payments Total $90M

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Argonaut Still Bound to Pay Asbestos Losses
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Entergy Maintains 480 Suits, 10,000 Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Curtiss-Wright Considers Liability Minimal
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Essex Int'l Defends Product Liability Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CGM Notes $15.5M Asbestos Liability Charge

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Celanese Subsidiaries' Claims Drop to 650
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ampco-Pittsburgh Claims Rise to 17T Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OH Court Grants Immunity to Columbus City
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chubb Notes Loss Reserves Increase in 3Q05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Rally Urges Hardie to Finalize Payout Deal

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-Hardie Workers Optimistic on Payout Deal
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Asks for Tax Cut in Asbestos Payout
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Norwich Union Plc Launches Asbestos Appeal
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hyogo Govt. Ceased Cancer Registry in 2000
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB Ltd. Anticipates Settlement in Late `05

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Kaiser Aluminum Reports 112T Pending Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Kaiser Aluminum Cites Insurance Coverage
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Files Connecticut Litigation Updates
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japan Govt. Eyes JPY30B Extra for Victims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Huntsman Declared as "Premises Defendant"

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: TriMas Corp. Claims Grew Slightly to 1,470
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NL Industries Faces Suits from Old Ventures
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CCOM Defends Lawsuits in New Jersey Court
ASBESTOS ALERT: Shell Chem. Indemnifies Polymer Holdings Claims
ASBESTOS ALERT: MT Court Denies CFAC's Motion to Change Venue

ASBESTOS ALERT: PA Court Dismisses General Refractories Lawsuit
ASBESTOS ALERT: LA Court Remands Suit Against C.V. Harold Rubber

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

HCA INC.: Brodsky & Smith Files Securities Fraud Suit in M.D. TN
HCA INC.: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in M.D. TN
INTERLINK ELECTRONICS: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Fraud Suit in TN
INTERLINK ELECTRONICS: Glancy Binkow Files Securities Suit in CA
INTERLINK ELECTRONICS: Roy Jacobs Lodges Securities Suit in CA

REFCO INC.: Curtis V. Trinko Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
SPECTRUM BRANDS: Lockridge Grindal Lodges Securities Suit in GA
SPECTRUM BRANDS: Smith & Smith Files Securities Fraud Suit in GA
WELLS FARGO: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA


                            *********


AIR FRANCE: Report Fails To Pinpoint Cause of August 2 Crash
------------------------------------------------------------
An Air France jet had plenty of fuel and was functioning
normally before it flew into blinding rain, overran a runway,
slammed into a ditch, and burst into flames as more than 300
passengers scrambled to safety, a report by investigators into
the August crash revealed, The Canadian Press reports.

It remains uncertain whether pilot error, severe weather or some
other problem caused the fiery crash at Pearson International
Airport that destroyed the Airbus 340 but, amazingly, killed no
one. In an interview with The Canadian Press, Real Levasseur,
the lead investigator said, "We have nothing to indicate at this
time that there was anything wrong (with the aircraft)." He
points out though, "(But) because a machine is working fine,
doesn't mean that the machine-man interface was working
perfectly."

Though the Transportation Safety Board reported "no significant
anomalies of the aircraft systems," Mr. Levasseur stressed it
was far too early to blame the pilots or speculate on the cause
of the crash. He told The Canadian Press, "Every accident is
always a complex issue, it's not ever a single factor."

Air France Flight 358 was arriving from Paris when it
encountered stormy weather in the Toronto area on August 2 at
about 4 p.m. Data recorders revealed that the jet was flying
higher and faster than it should have been when it arrived over
the runway. It ran into a driving wall of rain and gusting winds
that changed direction. Mr. Levasseur told, The Canadian Press,
"The weather was pretty ugly. Certainly, the environment is a
fairly significant factor."

The report confirms that the large jet landed almost halfway
down the 2,743-metre, rain-slicked runway, but needed 2,016
meters of runway to touch down safely under such conditions. It
added that the plane failed to stop in time even as its braking
systems were all working normally and properly applied.  The
ensuing fire left the wings largely intact, leading to
speculation that the plane had run short of fuel. However, Mr.
Levasseur pointed out that it landed with 7,500 kilograms of
fuel aboard, enough to divert to Ottawa's airport, if needed.

Paul Miller, a lawyer with Will Barristers in Toronto, who
represents more than 100 people suing Air France over the crash,
told The Canadian Press that the board's update, while
"interesting," will have no impact on class action lawsuit he
has filed. He also told The Canadian Press, "We still don't know
why it crashed," adding, "(But) I know that those 100 people and
the other 197 people didn't crash the plane."


BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Continues To Face AL Employees Bias Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
BellSouth Corporation continues to face a putative class action
lawsuit, captioned "Gladys Jenkins et al. v. BellSouth
Corporation," filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Alabama.

The complaint alleges that the Company discriminated against
current and former African-American employees with respect to
compensation and promotions in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 USC. Section 1981.  Plaintiffs
purport to bring the claims on behalf of two classes - a class
of all African-American hourly workers employed by BellSouth
Telecommunications at any time since April 29, 1998, and a class
of all African- American salaried workers employed by BellSouth
Telecommunications at any time since April 29, 1998 in
management positions at or below Job Grade 59/Level C.  The
plaintiffs are seeking unspecified amounts of back pay,
benefits, punitive damages and attorneys' fees and costs, as
well as injunctive relief.

The suit is styled "Jenkins, et al v. Bellsouth Corporation,
case no. 2:02-cv-01057-VEH," filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Alabama, under Judge Virginia
Emerson Hopkins.  Representing the Company are:

     (1) Anne M. Brafford, Morgan, Lewis & Bocklius LLP, 300
         South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90071 Phone: 213-
         612-7335, Fax: 213-612-2501, E-mail:
         abrafford@morganlewis.com

     (2) Michael S. Burkhardt and George A. Stohner, MORGAN
         LEWIS & BOCKIUS, 1701 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA
         19103-2921, Phone: 1-215-963-5000, Fax: 1-215-963-5001,
         E-mail: mburkhardt@morganlewis.com, or
         gstohner@morganlewis.com

     (3) Jeffrey A. Lee, MAYNARD COOPER & GALE PC, AmSouth
         Harbert Plaza, Suite 2400, 1901 6th Avenue North,
         Birmingham, AL 35203-2618, Phone: 254-1000, Fax: 254-
         1999, E-mail: jlee@maynardcooper.com

     (4) Samuel S. Shaulson, MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP, 101
         Park Avenue, New York, NY 10178, Phone: 212-309-6718,
         Fax: 212-309-6001, E-mail: sshaulson@morganlewis.com  

     (5) Grace E. Speights, MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS, 1111
         Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036, Phone:
         1-202-739-3000, Fax: 1-202-739-3001, E-mail:
         gspeights@morganlewis.com  

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (i) Lisa M. Bornstein, Cyrus Mehri and Steven Skalet, MEHRI
         & SKALET PLLC, 1300 19th Street NW, Suite 400,
         Washington, DC 20036, Phone: 202-822-5100, Fax: 202-
         822-4997, E-mail: lbornstein@findjustice.com,
         cmehri@findjustice.com or sskalet@findjustice.com;

    (ii) Roderick T. Cooks, WIGGINS CHILDS QUINN & PANTAZIS, The
         Kress Building, 301 19th Street, North Birmingham, AL
         35203-3204, Phone: 328-0640, Fax: 254-1500, E-mail:
         rtc@wcqp.com  

   (iii) Angela J Mason, Hezekiah Sistrunk, Jr., C. Gregory
         Stewart, COCHRAN CHERRY GIVENS & SMITH PC, 163 West
         Main Street, PO Box 927, Dothan, AL 36302, Phone: 1-
         334-793-1555, Fax: 1-334-793-8280, E-mail:
         angelamason@cochranfirm.com, hez@sistrunklaw.com,
         gstewart@cochranfirm.com  

   (iii) Byron R. Perkins, PERKINS & ASSOCIATES LLC, 1205 North
         19th Street, Birmingham, AL 35243, Phone: 205-322-1114,
         Fax: 205-322-2832, E-mail: bperkinsatty@bellsouth.net

    (iv) Joseph M. Sellers, Christine E. Weber, Jenny R. Yang,
         COHEN MILSTEIN HAUSFELD & TOLL PLLC, West Tower, Suite
         500, 1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005-
         3934, Phone: 1-410-408-4604, Fax: 1-410-408-4699, E-
         mail: jsellers@cmht.com, cwebber@cmht.com, or
         jyang@cmht.com  


BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Continues To Face Remaining GA Stock Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
BellSouth Corporation continues to face the remaining claims in
the consolidated securities class action filed against BellSouth
Corporation and three of its senior officers, alleging
violations of the federal securities law, after the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
dismissed several claims in the litigation.

From August through October 2002, several individual
shareholders filed substantially identical class action
lawsuits.  The cases have been consolidated and are captioned
"In re BellSouth Securities Litigation."  Pursuant to the
provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995, the court has appointed a Lead Plaintiff. The Lead
Plaintiff filed a Consolidated and Amended Class Action
Complaint in July 2003 on behalf of two putative classes:
purchasers of BellSouth stock during the period November 7, 2000
through February 19, 2003 (the class period) for alleged
violations of Sections 10(b) and 20 of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934; and participants in BellSouth's Direct Investment
Plan during the class period for alleged violations of Sections
11, 12 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.

Four outside directors were named as additional defendants. The
Consolidated and Amended Class Action Complaint alleged that
during the class period the Company:

     (1) overstated the unbilled receivables balance of its
         Advertising & Publishing subsidiary;

     (2) failed to properly implement SAB 101 with regard to its
         recognition of Advertising & Publishing revenues;

     (3) improperly billed competitive local exchange carriers
         (CLEC) to inflate revenues;

     (4) failed to take a reserve for refunds that ultimately
         came due following litigation over late payment
         charges; and

     (5) failed to properly write down goodwill of its Latin
         American operations

On February 8, 2005, the district court dismissed the Exchange
Act claims, except for those relating to the writedown of Latin
American goodwill. On that date, the district court also
dismissed the Securities Act claims, except for those relating
to the writedown of Latin American goodwill, the allegations
relating to unbilled receivables of the Company's Advertising &
Publishing subsidiary, the implementation of SAB 101 regarding
recognition of Advertising & Publishing revenues and alleged
improper billing of CLECs.  The plaintiffs are seeking an
unspecified amount of damages, as well as attorneys' fees and
costs.

In February 2003, a similar complaint was filed in the Superior
Court of Fulton County, Georgia on behalf of participants in
BellSouth's Direct Investment Plan alleging violations of
Section 11 of the Securities Act.  Defendants removed this
action to federal court pursuant to the provisions of the
Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998. In July
2003, the federal court issued a ruling that the case should be
remanded to Fulton County Superior Court.  The Fulton County
Superior Court has stayed the case pending resolution of the
federal case.  The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount
of damages, as well as attorneys' fees and costs.

The suit is styled "In RE BellSouth Corporation Securities
Litigation, case no. 1:02-cv-02142-WSD," filed in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia,
under Judge William S. Duffey, Jr.  Representing the Company are
Peter Quirk Bassett, Theresa Thebaut Bonder, John H. Goselin II,
John Ludlow Latham of Alston & Bird, 1201 West Peachtree Street,
One Atlantic Center, Atlanta, GA 30309-3424, Phone:
404-881-7000, E-mail: pbassett@alston.com, tbonder@alston.com,
jgoselin@alston.com and jlatham@alston.com; and Andrew J.
Morris, Michele L. Odorizzi, Alan N. Saltpeter of Mayer Brown
Rowe & Maw, 1909 K Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20006-1101,
Phone: 202-263-3000, E-mail: amorris@mayerbrownrowe.com,
modorizzi@mayerbrownrowe.com, asalpeter@mayerbrownrowe.com.  
Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (i) Aaron L. Brody, Stull Stull & Brody, 6 East 45th
         Street, New York, NY 10017, Phone: 212-687-7230

    (ii) Nichole Tara Browning, Martin D. Chitwood, Krissi T.
         Gore, Chitwood Harley Harnes, LLP, 1230 Peachtree
         Street, N.E. 2300 Promenade II Atlanta, GA 30309,
         Phone: 404-873-3900, E-mail: nba@classlaw.com,
         mdc@classlaw.com, ktg@classlaw.com  

   (iii) Francis P. Karam and Andrea H. Williams, Bernstein
         Liebhard & Lifshitz, 10 East 40th Street, 22nd Floor
         New York, NY 10016, Phone: 212-779-1414  

    (iv) James E. Tullman, Weiss & Yourman, 551 Fifth Avenue
         1600 The French Building, New York, NY 10176, Phone:
         212-682-3025


BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: Appeals Court Reverses NY Suit Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit reversed
the dismissal of the consumer antitrust class action filed
against BellSouth Corporation and other telecommunications firms
live Verizon, SBC and Qwest, styled "William Twombley, et al v.
Bell Atlantic Corp., et al."

The suit was filed in December 2002 in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging
antitrust violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act
was filed.  The complaint alleged that defendants conspired to
restrain competition by "agreeing not to compete with one
another and otherwise allocating customers and markets to one
another."  The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount of
treble damages and injunctive relief, as well as attorneys' fees
and expenses.

In October 2003, the district court dismissed the complaint for
failure to state a claim and the case is now on appeal.  In June
2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirmed
the District Court's dismissal of most of the antitrust and
state law claims brought by a plaintiff competitive local
exchange carrier (CLEC) in a case captioned "Covad
Communications Company, et al v. BellSouth Corporation, et al."  
The appellate court, however, permitted a price squeeze claim
and certain state tort claims to proceed. In October 2005, the
Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's
decision and remanded the case to the District Court for further
proceedings.


BELLSOUTH CORPORATION: GA Court Refuses ERISA Suit Certification
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia refused to grant class certification to the lawsuit
filed against BellSouth Corporation, alleging violations of the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

In September and October 2002, three substantially identical
class action lawsuits were filed against the Company, its
directors, three of its senior officers, and other individuals.  
The cases were later consolidated and on April 21, 2003, a
Consolidated Complaint was filed. The plaintiffs, who seek to
represent a putative class of participants and beneficiaries of
BellSouth's 401(k) plans (the Plans), allege in the Consolidated
Complaint that the company and the individual defendants
breached their fiduciary duties in violation of ERISA, by among
other things:

     (1) failing to provide accurate information to the Plans'
         participants and beneficiaries;

     (2) failing to ensure that the Plans' assets were invested
         properly;

     (3) failing to monitor the Plans' fiduciaries;

     (4) failing to disregard Plan directives that the
         defendants knew or should have known were imprudent and

     (5) failing to avoid conflicts of interest by hiring
         independent fiduciaries to make investment decisions.

The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount of damages,
injunctive relief, attorneys' fees and costs.  In October 2005,
plaintiffs' motion for class certification was denied. The
plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount of damages,
injunctive relief, attorneys' fees and costs.  Certain
underlying factual allegations regarding the Company's
Advertising and Publishing subsidiary and its former Latin
American operation are substantially similar to the allegations
in the putative securities class action captioned "In re
BellSouth Securities Litigation" which is described above.

The suit is styled "In re BellSouth Corporation ERISA
Litigation, case no. 1:02-cv-02440-JOF," filed in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, unde
Judge J. Owen Forrester.  Representing the Company are Patrick
Connors DiCarlo, Howard Douglas Hinson, Alston & Bird, 1201 West
Peachtree Street, One Atlantic Center, Atlanta, GA 30309-3424,
Phone: 404-881-4512, E-mail: pdicarlo@alston.com or
dhinson@alston.com.  Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (i) Scott L. Adkins, Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman &
         Robbins, Suite 200 197 South Federal Hwy., Boca Raton,
         FL 33432, Phone: 561-750-3000

    (ii) Katherine B. Bornstein, Edward W. Ciolko, Joseph H.
         Meltzer, Richard S. Schiffrin, Schiffrin & Barroway,
         280 King of Prussia Road, Radnor, PA 19087, Phone: 610-
         676-7706, E-mail: kbornstein@sbclasslaw.com,
         eciolko@sbclasslaw.com, jmeltzer@sbclasslaw.com

   (iii) Christi A. Cannon, Michael Fistel, Holzer Holzer &
         Cannon, 1117 Perimeter Center West, Suite E-107
         Atlanta, GA 30338, Phone: 770-392-0090, E-mail:
         mfistel@holzerlaw.com

    (iv) S. Gene Cauley, Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, 11001
         Executive Center Drive, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR
         72211, Phone: 501-312-8500

     (v) Ron Kilgard, Elizabeth A. Leland, Lynn Lincoln Sarko,
         Keller Rohrback, 3101 North Central Avenue, Suite 900
         Phoenix, AZ 85012-2600, Phone: 602-230-6322, E-mail:
         bleland@kellerrohrback.com

    (vi) Steven A. Owings, Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, 11001
         Executive Center Drive, Suite 200 Little Rock, AR
         72211, Phone: 501-312-8500


CALIFORNIA: San Diego Zoo Faces ADA Violations Suit For Policy
--------------------------------------------------------------
People with mobility disabilities initiated a class action
lawsuit against the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, alleging
that they face discrimination when they enter the facility,
10News.com reports.

Shawna L. Parks, an attorney for the Western Law Center for
Disability Rights, told 10News.com that people who use motorized
wheelchairs and scooters are pulled out of line and made to fill
out waivers before they are admitted. "We want the zoo to stop
this policy," according to her.

The suit alleges violations of the Americans With Disabilities
Act (ADA) and California civil rights laws. It seeks to force
the Zoological Society to change the policy and declare the
waivers unenforceable.  

Though officials at the zoo had not yet been served with the
lawsuit, spokesperson Christina Simmons told 10News.com that the
policy on motorized vehicles applies to all people who use them
in the parks, not just disabled people. She pointed out, "People
of all walks of life use these vehicles. We do ask them to take
responsibility."

Ms. Simmons also told 10News.com that people who want to enter
the parks with motorized vehicles are given a list of basic
rules, such as maintaining a safe speed, but don't have to sign
the document. She pointed out that the policy was instituted a
couple of years ago.

The suit named as plaintiffs, Rick Kneeshaw and Gladys Swensrud,
who had polio and can't walk. They represent a class of people
who have visited or been deterred from visiting the zoo or Wild
Animal Park because of the alleged discriminatory entrance
requirements, according to Ms. Parks.

Mr. Kneeshaw told 10News.com that he was removed from the line
as he and his granddaughter prepared to enter the zoo. He said,
"I just wanted to bring my granddaughter to the zoo. She was
looking forward to seeing the elephants, and I was so
embarrassed to be pulled out of line and treated like a criminal
in front of my granddaughter." Mr. Kneeshaw, who has been
visiting the zoo for 50 years, also told 10News.com that he
wouldn't go back until the entrance policy is changed because he
wants to show his granddaughter "that it is important to stand
up for our rights."

Ms. Parks told 10News.com that people with mobility disabilities
have been embarrassed and worried as they were taken out of line
and given documents to sign. She points out that no other zoo
patrons are subjected to being pulled out of line or forced to
sign agreements to get into the zoo.


CHIRON CORPORATION: Investors File Suits V. Novartis Share Offer
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chiron Corporation faces shareholder class actions in California
and Delaware state courts, regarding Novartis AG's September 1,
2005 offer to acquire the approximately 58% of Chiron shares
that it does not already own for $40 per share.

Company shareholders filed twelve similar suits between
September 1 and September 13, 2005 against the Company,
Novartis, and members of the Company's Board of Directors
Eight of the suits were filed in the Superior Court of the State
of California in Alameda County by:

     (1) Ronald Abramoff, Harold Adelson, Beverly McCalla, Joan
         Weisberg, and David Jaroslawicz;

     (2) Edith Auman;

     (3) Joseph Fisher, MD, P.C. New Profit Sharing Trust,
         Trustee Joseph Fisher, MD;

     (4) William Lattarulo;

     (5) Steven Rosenberg and The Harold Grill IRA;

     (6) Tracie Scotto;

     (7) Albert Stein; and

     (8) William Steiner

The remaining four suits were filed in the Court of Chancery of
the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County by:

     (i) Judy Longcore;

    (ii) Paulena Partners L.L.C.;

   (iii) Sylvia Piven; and

    (iv) the Thomas Stone Irrevocable Trust

Both the California and Delaware Plaintiffs allege that
Defendants breached their fiduciary duties or aided in the
breach of those duties in connection with the Novartis Offer.
Two of the Delaware Plaintiffs also allege that certain
provisions of the 1994 Governance Agreement between
Chiron and Novartis are invalid and unenforceable under Delaware
law. The complaints seek injunctive relief to prevent the
Novartis Offer from being consummated, declaratory relief,
unspecified monetary damages and other relief from all
Defendants.

In October 2005, the California Court consolidated the eight
California actions and appointed lead plaintiffs and lead
counsel. In November 2005, the Delaware Court consolidated the
four Delaware actions and appointed lead plaintiffs and lead
counsel. The California Plaintiffs have agreed to stay the
California Litigation until an announcement, if any, that Chiron
and Novartis have agreed to consummate a merger or acquisition,
or Novartis exercises certain arbitration processes as allowed
by the Governance Agreement.


CRYOLIFE INC.: Finalizing GA Securities Fraud Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cryolife, Inc. is finalizing the settlement for the consolidated
securities class action filed against it and certain of its
officers in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia.

Several putative class action lawsuits were filed in July
through September 2002, alleging violations of Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 based on a
series of purportedly materially false and misleading statements
to the market. The suits were consolidated, and a consolidated
amended complaint filed, that principally alleges that the
Company made misrepresentations and omissions relating to
product safety and the Company did not comply with certain FDA
regulations regarding the handling and processing of certain
tissues and other product safety matters.  The consolidated
complaint seeks certification of a class of purchasers between
April 2, 2001 and August 14, 2002, compensatory damages, and
other expenses of litigation.  

The Company and the other defendants filed a motion to dismiss
the consolidated complaint on February 28, 2003, which motion
the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
denied in part and granted in part on May 27, 2003.  The
discovery phase of the case commenced on July 16, 2003. On
December 16, 2003 the Court certified a class of individuals and
entities who purchased or otherwise acquired Company stock from
April 2, 2001 through August 14, 2002.

On March 11, 2005 defendants moved for summary judgment on all
of plaintiffs' claims, and plaintiffs moved for partial summary
judgment as to some of their claims against certain defendants.
On June 17, 2005 the court denied plaintiffs' motion for partial
summary judgment and granted in part and denied in part
defendants' motion for summary judgment.

On July 21, 2005 the Company reached an agreement in principle
to settle the securities class action lawsuit.  The settlement
will resolve all claims asserted against the Company and the
individual defendants in this case.  The terms of the
settlement, which must be approved by the court following notice
to the class, include a total settlement of $23.25 million,
approximately $11.5 million of which is expected to be paid from
insurance proceeds. The remainder of the settlement is comprised
of a cash payment from the Company of approximately $8.0
million, expected to be paid in the third or fourth quarter of
2005, and common stock with a stipulated value of approximately
$3.75 million.

As of September 30, 2005 the Company had accrued $15.9 million
for the settlement payment and legal fees incurred but unpaid
related to this case and recorded an asset of $12.0 million
representing the anticipated recovery of these fees from the
Company's insurance carrier which was placed into an escrow
account in October 2005. The $15.9 million accrual is included
as a component of accrued expenses and other current liabilities
and the $12.0 million insurance receivable is included as a
component of other receivables on the September 30, 2005 Summary
Consolidated Balance Sheet.

The suit is styled "Robert Murray and Richard A. Pearson,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated v.
Cryolife, Inc., Steven G. Anderson, Albert E. Heacox, James C.
Vander Wyk and D. Ashley Lee," and pending in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta
Division.  Attorneys for the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Martin D. Chitwood and Nikole Davenport of Chitwood &
         Harley, Mail: 2900 Promenade II, 1230 Peachtree Street,
         NE Atlanta, Georgia 30309, Phone: 404-873-3900, Fax:
         404-876-4476

     (2) Sherrie R. Savett, Carole A. Broderick, Barbara A.
         Podell, David F. Sorensen of Berger & Montague PC, 1622
         Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone: 215-875-
         3000, Fax: 215-875-4604

For more information, visit
http://securities.stanford.edu/1024/CRY02-
01/20020827_o01c_022388.pdf


CVS CORPORATION: MA Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts approved the settlement for the consolidated
securities class action filed against CVS Corporation, styled
"In re CVS Corporation Securities Litigation, No. 01-CV-11464
(JLT)."

Beginning in August 2001, a total of nine actions were filed
against the Company, asserting claims under the federal
securities laws.  The actions were subsequently consolidated and
on April 8, 2002, a consolidated and amended complaint was
filed.  The consolidated amended complaint names as defendants
the Company, its chief executive officer and its chief financial
officer, and asserts claims for alleged securities fraud under
sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5 thereunder on behalf of a class of persons who
purchased shares of the Company's common stock between February
6, 2001 and October 30, 2001.

On June 7, 2002, all defendants moved to dismiss the
consolidated amended complaint. This motion was denied by the
court on December 18, 2002, and on January 24, 2003, defendants
accordingly filed an answer to the consolidated amended
complaint.  Discovery on merits issues concluded in September
2004 and expert discovery concluded in December 2004. On January
14, 2005, all defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. On
March 8, 2005 this motion was denied and a trial date was set
for May 9, 2005.

Although the Company believes the securities suit is without
merit, it has entered into a settlement agreement, which has
been preliminarily approved by the court, to avoid the risk and
diversion of resources associated with trial. On September 7,
2005, the court approved the settlement agreement and dismissed
the Action.

The suit is styled "In re CVS Corporation Securities Litigation,
No. 01-CV-11464 (JLT)," filed in the United States District
Court in Massachusetts, under Judge Joseph L. Tauro.  The
Company is represented by:

     (1) John J. Clarke, Jr., Dennis E. Glazer, Helen Harris,
         Trisha Lawson, Davis Polk & Wardwell 450 Lexington
         Avenue New York, NY 10017 Phone: 212-450-4000;

     (2) Michael S. Gardener and Kevin M. McGinty, Mintz, Levin,
         Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, PC, One Financial Center
         Boston, MA 02111 Phone: 617-542-6000 Fax: 617-542-2241
         E-mail: mgardener@mintz.com

The plaintiffs are represented by:

     (i) Nancy F. Gans, Moulton & Gans, PC, 33 Broad Street
         Suite 1100 Boston, MA 02109 Phone: 617-369-7979 Fax:
         617-369-7980 E-mail: nfgans@aol.com

    (ii) Charles S. Hellman, Jared Specthrie, Milberg Weiss
         Bershad & Schulman LLP One Pennsylvania Plaza New York,
         NY 10119-0165 Phone: 212-594-5300 Fax: 212-868-1229

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

    (iv) Benjamin J. Sweet, Michael K. Yarnoff, Schiffrin &
         Barroway, LLP 280 King of Prussia Road Radnor, PA 19087
         Phone: 610-667-7706 Fax: 610-667-7056


CVS CORPORATION: MA Court Approves ERISA Fraud Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Massachusetts approved the
settlement of the class action filed against CVS Corporation,
asserting claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security
Act (ERISA), styled "Fescina v. CVS Corp., et. al., No. 04-CV-
12309 (JLT)."

The purported class includes persons who were participants in or
beneficiaries of the CVS 401(k) plan between December 1, 2000
and October 30, 2001. The suit was filed in the United States
District Court for the District of Massachusetts and designated
as related to the Securities Action.  The complaint names as
defendants the Company, its chief executive officer, certain
members of the CVS Board of Directors, and certain unnamed
fiduciaries.

Although the Company believes the ERISA suit is without merit,
it entered into a settlement, which has been preliminarily
approved by the court, to avoid the risk and diversion of
resources associated with trial.  On September 7, 2005, the
court approved the settlement agreement and dismissed the
Action.

The suit is styled "Fescina v. CVS Corporation et al, case no.
1:04-cv-12309-JLT," filed in the United States District Court in
Massachusetts, under Judge Joseph L. Tauro.  Representing
plaintiff Joseph Fescina is Deborah R. Gross of Law Office of
Bernard M. Gross, PC Suite 200 1515 Locust Street 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102 Phone: 215-561-3600 Fax: 215-561-3000 E-
mail: debbie@bernardmgross.com



ELI LILLY: Forges Master Settlement For US Zyprexa Injury Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Eli Lilly & Co. entered a master settlement agreement for
several lawsuits filed against it, alleging a variety of
injuries from the use of Zyprexa.

The Company has been named as a defendant in approximately 400
product liability cases in the United States involving
approximately 790 claimants alleging a variety of injuries from
the use of Zyprexa.  Most of the cases allege that the product
caused or contributed to diabetes or high blood-glucose levels.
The lawsuits seek substantial compensatory and punitive damages
and typically accuse the Company of inadequately testing for and
warning about side effects of Zyprexa.  Many of the lawsuits
also allege that the Company improperly promoted the drug.  
Almost all of the federal cases, involving approximately 345
claimants, are part of a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)
proceeding before The Honorable Jack Weinstein in the Federal
District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  In
addition, the Company has entered into agreements with various
plaintiffs' counsel halting the running of the statutes of
limitation (tolling agreements) with respect to more than 6,200
individuals who do not have lawsuits on file and may or may not
eventually file suits.

Two cases requesting certification of nationwide class actions
on behalf of those who allegedly suffered injuries from the
administration of Zyprexa were filed in the Federal District
Court for the Eastern District of New York on April 16, 2004
(Ortiz v. Lilly) and May 19, 2004 (Tringali v. Lilly),
respectively. A lawsuit was filed on May 4, 2004 (Dau v. Lilly)
that requested a personal injury class action on behalf of Iowa
residents who took Zyprexa.  In June 2005, another lawsuit was
filed in the Eastern District of New York purporting to be a
nationwide class action on behalf of all consumers and third
party payors, excluding governmental entities, who have made or
will make payments on account of their members or insured
patients being prescribed Zyprexa. The suit seeks a refund of
the cost of Zyprexa; medical expenses paid and to be paid as a
result of persons taking Zyprexa; treble damages under certain
state consumer protection statutes; punitive damages; and
attorney fees.  On August 25, 2005, an additional lawsuit was
filed in the same court that purports to be a class action on
behalf of all consumers and third party payors who have
purchased, reimbursed or paid for Zyprexa.  As with the previous
suits, the new suit alleges that the Company inadequately tested
for and warned about side effects of Zyprexa and improperly
promoted the drug.  The suit seeks to recover amounts paid for
Zyprexa by members of the proposed class. The suit is brought
under certain state consumer protection statutes, the federal
civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO)
statute, and common law theories, and seeks treble damages,
punitive damages, and attorneys fees.

In June 2005, the Company entered into a master settlement
agreement with plaintiffs' attorneys involved in the U.S.
Zyprexa product liability litigation to settle a majority of the
claims against the Company relating to the medication. The
agreement covers over 8,000 claimants, representing
approximately 70 percent of the U.S. Zyprexa product liability
claims identified to the Company.  The claims included in the
settlement are:

     (1) A large number of previously filed lawsuits pending in
         various state and federal courts, including the MDL;

     (2) The majority of the over 6,200 tolled claims; and

     (3) A number of other informally asserted claims.

In addition, the class action claims in the Ortiz, Tringali, and
Dau cases were dismissed as a part of the settlement.  The
Company is establishing a fund of $690 million for the claimants
who agree to settle their claims.  Additionally, the Company is
paying $10 million to cover administration of the settlement.
The settlement fund will be overseen and distributed by claims
administrators appointed by the court.  The agreement and the
distribution of funds to participating claimants are conditioned
upon, among other things, our obtaining full releases from no
fewer than 7,193 claimants.

The settlement covers claimants who asserted that they developed
diabetes-related conditions from their use of Zyprexa. Claimants
who are not covered by the final settlement are those
represented by attorneys who are not participating in the
agreement.

In December 2004, the Company was served with two lawsuits
brought in state court in Louisiana on behalf of the Louisiana
Department of Health and Hospitals, alleging that Zyprexa caused
or contributed to diabetes or high blood-glucose levels, and
that the Company improperly promoted the drug. These cases have
been removed to federal court and are now part of the MDL
proceedings in the Eastern District of New York.  In these
actions, the Department of Health and Hospitals seeks to recover
the costs it paid for Zyprexa through Medicaid and other drug-
benefit programs, as well as the costs the department alleges it
has incurred and will incur to treat Zyprexa-related illnesses.

In early 2005, we were served with five lawsuits seeking class
action status in Canada on behalf of patients who took Zyprexa.
The allegations in these suits are similar to those in the
litigation pending in the United States.


HARLEY-DAVIDSON: Continues to Face Securities Suits in E.D. WI
--------------------------------------------------------------
Harley-Davidson, Inc. continues to face several shareholder
class actions filed between May 18, 2005 and July 1, 2005 in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Wisconsin.  The suits also name as defendants several Company
officers:

     (1) Jeffrey L. Bleustein,

     (2) James M. Brostowitz,

     (3) R. Jon Flickinger,

     (4) John A. Hevey,

     (5) Ronald M. Hutchinson,

     (6) Gail A. Lione,

     (7) James A. McCaslin,

     (8) W. Kenneth Sutton, Jr.,

     (9) Donna F. Zarcone and

    (10) James L. Ziemer

The complaints allege securities law violations and seek
unspecified damages relating generally to the Company's April
13, 2005 announcement that it was reducing short-term production
growth and planned increases of motorcycle shipments from last
year's 317,000 units to a new 2005 target of 329,000 units
(compared to its original target of 339,000 units).

The first identified complaint in the litigation is styled
"Raymond Kadagian, et al. v. Harley-Davidson, Inc., et al., case
no 05-CV-00547," filed in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Wisconsin, under Judge J. P.
Stadtmueller.  The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

     (i) Ademi & O'Reilly, LLP, 3620 East Layton Ave., Cudahy,
         WI, 53110, Phone: 866-264-3995, Fax: 414-482-8001, E-
         mail: inquiry@ademilaw.com

    (ii) Brodsky & Smith, LLC, 11 Bala Avenue, Suite 39, Bala
         Cynwyd, PA, 19004, Phone: 610.668.7987, Fax:
         610.660.0450, E-mail: esmith@Brodsky-Smith.com

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

    (iv) Federman & Sherwood, 120 North Robinson, Suite 2720,
         Oklahoma City, OK, 73102, Phone: 405-235-1560, E-mail:
         wfederman@aol.com

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

    (vi) Law Offices of Alfred G. Yates, 519 Alleghany Bldg.,
         429 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15219, Phone:
         412.391.5164,

   (vii) Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP (NY),
         200 Broadhollow Road, Suite 406, Melville, NY, 11747,
         Phone: 631-367-7100, Fax: 631-367-1173,

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

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

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

    (xi) Scott & Scott LLC, P.O. Box 192, 108 Norwich Avenue,
         Colchester, CT, 06415, Phone: 860.537.5537, Fax:
         860.537.4432, E-mail: scottlaw@scott-scott.com

   (xii) Spector, Roseman & Kodroff (Philadelphia), 1818 Market
         Street; Suite 2500, Philadelphia, PA, 19103, Phone:
         215.496.0300, Fax: 215.496.6610, E-mail:
         classaction@srk-law.com  


HARLEY-DAVIDSON: WI Court Mulls Re-filing of Cam Bearing Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has yet to decide on plaintiffs'
appeal of the Court's refusal to allow them to re-file and amend
their dismissed consumer class action against Harley-Davidson,
Inc., related to the Company's 1999 and early-2000 model year
Harley-Davidson motorcycles equipped with Twin Cam 88 and Twin
Cam 88B engines.

In January 2001, the Company, on its own initiative, notified
each owner of 1999 and early-2000 model year Harley-Davidson
motorcycles equipped with Twin Cam 88 and Twin Cam 88B engines
that the Company was extending the warranty for a rear cam
bearing to 5 years or 50,000 miles.  

Subsequently, on June 28, 2001, a putative nationwide class
action was filed against the Company in state court in Milwaukee
County, Wisconsin, which was amended by a complaint filed
September 28, 2001.  The complaint alleged that this cam bearing
is defective and asserted various legal theories. The complaint
sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for
affected owners, an order compelling the Company to repair the
engines, and other relief.

On February 27, 2002, the Company's motion to dismiss the
amended complaint was granted by the Court and the amended
complaint was dismissed in its entirety.  An appeal was filed
with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.  On April 12, 2002, the
same attorneys filed a second putative nationwide class action
against the Company in state court in Milwaukee County,
Wisconsin relating to this cam bearing issue and asserting
different legal theories than in the first action.  The
complaint sought unspecified compensatory damages, an order
compelling the Company to repair the engines and other relief.

On September 23, 2002, the Company's motion to dismiss was
granted by the Court, the complaint was dismissed in its
entirety, and no appeal was taken. On January 14, 2003, the
Wisconsin Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's February
27, 2002 dismissal of the complaint in the first action, and the
Company petitioned the Wisconsin Supreme Court for review.  On
March 26, 2004, the Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed the Court
of Appeals and dismissed the remaining claims in the action.

On April 12, 2004, the same attorneys filed a third action in
the state court in Milwaukee County, on behalf of the same
plaintiffs from the action dismissed by the Wisconsin Supreme
Court.  This third action was dismissed by the court on July 26,
2004.  In addition, the plaintiffs in the original case moved to
reopen that matter and amend the complaint to add new causes
of action, which motion was denied on August 23, 2004. A notice
of appeal to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals from the latter
dismissal was filed by the plaintiffs.


HARLEY-DAVIDSON: Pension Plan Participants File WI ERISA Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Harley-Davidson, Inc. faces a class action alleging violations
of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Wisconsin.  The suit also names as defendants:

     (1) the Administrative Committee of Harley-Davidson, Inc.,

     (2) Harold A. Scott,

     (3) James M. Brostowitz,

     (4) James L. Ziemer,

     (5) Gail A. Lione,

     (6) Barry K. Allen,

     (7) Richard I. Beattie,

     (8) Jeffrey L. Bleustein,

     (9) George H. Conrades,

    (10) Judson C. Green,

    (11) Donald A. James,

    (12) Sara L. Levinson,

    (13) George L. Miles, Jr., and

    (14) James A. Norling

In general, the ERISA complaint includes factual allegations
similar to those in the shareholder class action lawsuits and
alleges on behalf of participants in certain Harley-Davidson
retirement savings plans that the plan fiduciaries breached
their ERISA fiduciary duties.

HERCULES INC.: CA Court Approves Antitrust Lawsuit Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Central District of
California granted final approval to the settlement of the
consolidated class action filed against Hercules, Inc. in the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California, styled "Thomas & Thomas Rodmakers v. Newport
Adhesives and Composites, Case No. CV-99-07796-GHK (CTx)."

In August 1999, the Company was sued in an action styled as
"Cape Composites, Inc. v. Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd., Case No.
99-08260," one of a series of similar purported class action
lawsuits brought on behalf of purchasers (excluding government
purchasers) of carbon fiber and carbon prepreg in the United
States from the named defendants from January 1, 1993 through
January 31, 1999.  The lawsuits were brought following published
reports of a Los Angeles federal grand jury investigation of the
carbon fiber and carbon prepreg industries.  In these lawsuits,
plaintiffs allege violations of Section 1 of the Sherman
Antitrust Act for alleged price fixing.

In September 1999, these lawsuits were consolidated into the
Thomas & Thomas Rodmakers suit, with all related cases ordered
dismissed.  This lawsuit is proceeding through discovery and
motion practice.  On May 2, 2002, the Court granted plaintiffs'
Motion to Certify Class.  The Company is named in connection
with its former Composites Products Division, which was sold to
Hexcel Corporation in 1996.  

During the third quarter of 2004, the Company learned that four
of its co-defendants had reached settlements with the
plaintiffs.  Those settlements were approved by the court on
January 31, 2005.  On February 25, 2005, the Company reached a
settlement in principle with the plaintiffs for $11.25 million.  
The settlement is subject to court approval.   The Company has
denied and continues to deny liability to plaintiffs but entered
into the settlement to avoid the risks, uncertainties and costs
inherent in litigation.  The settlement was agreed to by the
Company without any admission of liability.  On June 10, 2005,
that settlement was granted preliminary approval by the Court.
The settlement was approved and a stipulation of dismissal with
prejudice was executed by the parties effective October 18,
2005. A final dismissal order is pending.

The suit is styled "Thomas & Thomas, et al v. Newport Adhesives,
et al., case no. 2:99-cv-07796-FMC-RNB," filed in the United
States District Court for the Central District of California,
under Judge Florence-Marie Cooper.  Representing the plaintiffs
are:

     (1) Steven A Asher, Fox Rothschild O'Brien and Frankel,
         2000 Market Street,Tenth Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103-
         3291, Phone: 215-299-2000

     (2) Leonard Barrack, Jeffrey B Gittleman, Gerald J Rodos,
         Barrack Rodos & Bacine, 3300 Two Commerce Square, 2001
         Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone: 215-963-0600

     (3) Stephen R. Basser, Marisa C. Livesay, Barrack Rodos and
         Bacine, 402 W Broadway, Ste 850, San Diego, CA 92101,
         Phone: 619-230-0800, E-mail: sbasser@barrack.com  

     (4) Roy Morrow Bell, Jason S Hartley, Timothy P Irving,
         Christopher L Walters, Kevin F Kieffer, Ross Dixon &
         Bell, 550 West B St, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92101-
         3538, Phone: 619-235-4040, E-mail: courtir@rdblaw.com  

     (5) Frederick P Furth, Furth Firm, 225 Bush St, 15th Fl.,
         San Francisco, CA 94104, Phone: 415-433-2070

     (6) Edward M Gergosian, Gergosian and Gralewski, 550 West C
         Street, Suite 1600, San Diego, CA 92101, Phone: 619-
         230-0104, E-mail: ed@gergosian.com  

     (7) David W Mitchell, Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman
         and Robbins, 655 West Broadway, Suite 1900, San Diego,
         CA 92101, Phone: 619-231-1058

Representing the Company are:

     (i) Eliana M Barnes, Eric W Sitarchuck, Diana L Spagnuolo,
         Carrie E Watt, Ballard Spahr Andrews and Ingersoll,
         1735 Market Street, 51st Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103-
         7599, Phone: 215-864-8633, E-mail:
         barnese@ballardspahr.com, spagnuolod@ballardspahr.com

    (ii) Robert W Brownlie, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US, 401
         B Street, Suite 1700, San Diego, CA 92101, Phone: 619-
         699-3665, Fax: 619-699-2701

   (iii) Danielle S Fitzpatrick, Noah A Katsell, DLA Piper
         Rudnick Gray Cary US, 701 5th Avenue, Suite 7000,
         Seattle, WA 98104-7044, Phone: 206-839-4876, E-mail:
         dfitzpatrick@graycary.com  

    (iv) Richard D Gallucci, Jr, Eugene J Kuzinski, Louis R
         Moffa, Jr, Ballard Spahr Andrews and Ingersoll, Plaza
         1000, Main Street, Suite 500, Voorhees, NJ 08043-4636,
         Phone: 856-761-3400, E-mail:
         galluccir@ballardspahr.com, kuzinskie@ballardspahr.com,  
         moffal@ballardspahr.com

     (v) David E Monahan, David R. Steinman, Gray Cary Ware &
         Freidenrich, 4365 Executive Dr, Ste 1100, San Diego, CA
         92121-2133, Phone: 858-677-1400


HERCULES INC.: Forges CA Carbon Fiber Antitrust Suit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hercules, Inc. reached a settlement for the consolidated
antitrust class action filed against it in the Superior Court of
California for the County of San Francisco, styled "Carbon Fiber
Cases I, II, and III, Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding
Nos. 4212, 4216 and 4222."

Since September 2001, the Company was sued in nine California
state court purported class actions brought on behalf of
indirect purchasers of carbon fiber.  The suits were later
consolidated.  These actions all allege violations of the
California Business and Professions Code relating to alleged
price fixing of carbon fiber and unfair competition.  

In July 2005, the Company reached an agreement in principle to
settle these consolidated actions.  That settlement was
subsequently finalized and executed by the parties and is
awaiting Court approval. The settlement was agreed to by the
Company without any admission of liability.


HERCULES INC.: Reaches MA Carbon Fiber Antitrust Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hercules, Inc. reached an agreement in principle to settle the
class action filed against it in the Superior Court of Middlesex
County, Massachusetts, styled "Saul M. Ostroff, et al. v.
Newport Adhesives, et al., Civil Action No. 02-2385."

This matter has been brought on behalf of consumers who
purchased merchandise manufactured with carbon fiber.  The suit
alleges violations of the California Business and Professions
Code relating to alleged price fixing of carbon fiber and unfair
competition.  

In July 2005, the Company reached an agreement in principle to
settle this action.  The Company has denied and continues to
deny liability to plaintiffs, but entered into the settlement to
avoid the risks, uncertainties and costs inherent in litigation.  
The settlement was agreed to by the Company without any
admission of liability.


HERCULES INC.: Plaintiffs Appeal NY Agent Orange Suit Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York's dismissal of twenty-three
lawsuits, including two purported class actions filed against
Hercules, Inc.  Plaintiffs filed the suits, alleging that
exposure to Agent Orange caused them to sustain various personal
injuries.

Various manufacturers of herbicides used by the United States
armed services during the Vietnam War, including the former
Monsanto Company, have been parties to lawsuits filed on behalf
of veterans and others alleging injury from exposure to the
herbicides.  After the United States Supreme Court allowed new
claims to proceed notwithstanding a prior class action
settlement, this litigation was sent back to Judge Jack
Weinstein of the U.S.  District Court for the Eastern District
of New York as part of a multidistrict litigation proceeding
established in 1977 to coordinate Agent Orange-related
litigation in the United States, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (November 9,2004) reports.  

In 1984, a settlement in the MDL proceeding concluded all class
action litigation filed on behalf of U.S. and certain other
groups of plaintiffs.  Approximately 30 suits filed by
individual U.S. veterans contesting the denial of their claims
subsequent to the class action settlement have been consolidated
in the MDL and are currently pending in the District Court.

On June 9, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed two claims
(Isaacson and Stephenson) to proceed notwithstanding the 1984
class action settlement.  On February 9, 2004, the court issued
a series of rulings granting several motions filed by defendants
in the two cases that had been remanded to the U.S. District
Court by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on
remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, namely "In re: Agent Orange
Product Liability Litigation: Joe Isaacson, et al v. Dow
Chemical Company, et al. and Daniel Ray Stephenson, et al. v.
Dow Chemical Company, et al.  (MDL 381, CV 98-6383 (JBW),
CV 99-3056 (JBW)))."

In relevant part, those rulings held that plaintiffs' claims
against the defendant manufacturers of Agent Orange are properly
removable to federal court under the "federal officer removal
statute" and that such claims are subject to dismissal by
application of the "government contractor defense."  The Court
then dismissed plaintiffs' claims, but stayed its decision to
allow plaintiffs to obtain additional discovery and to move for
reconsideration of the Court's decision.  A hearing on the
motion for reconsideration was held on February 28, 2005.  By
Orders dated March 2, 2005, the Court denied reconsideration,
lifted the stay of the earlier decision, and dismissed
plaintiffs' claims in all twenty-three pending lawsuits.  

The suit is styled "In re Agent Orange Product Liability
Litigation, case no. 1:79-md-00381-JBW-JMA," is filed in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York, under Judge Jack B. Weinstein.  Representing the
plaintiffs is David Earl Cherry of Campbell Cherry Harrison
Davis & Dove P.C., P.O. Drawer 21387, 5 Ritchie Road, Waco, TX
76702, Phone: 254-761-3300, Fax: 254-761-3301, E-mail:
cherry@thhetriallawyers.com.  


HERCULES INC.: PA Court Refuses To Certify ERISA Fraud Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States For the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
denied without prejudice plaintiffs' motion to grant class
certification to the lawsuit filed against Hercules, Inc.,
styled "Charles Stepnowski v. Hercules Inc.; The Pension Plan of
Hercules Inc.; The Hercules Inc. Finance Committee; and Edward
V. Carrington, Hercules' Vice President Human Resources, Civil
Action No. 04-cv-2296."

An Amended Complaint was filed on June 16, 2004.  Styled as a
class action, the Amended Complaint seeks benefits under the
Pension Plan of Hercules Incorporated (the "Plan"), and alleges
violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29
U.S.C. Section 1001 et seq. (ERISA).  Under the Plan, eligible
retirees of the Company may opt to receive a single cash payment
of 51% of the present value of their accrued benefit (with the
remaining 49% payable as a monthly annuity).  The Amended
Complaint alleges that the Company's adoption of a new interest
rate assumption used to determine the 51% cash payment
constitutes a breach of fiduciary duty and a violation of the
anti-cutback requirements of ERISA and the Internal Revenue
Code.  The Amended Complaint seeks the payment of additional
benefits under ERISA (as well as costs) and seeks to compel the
Company to use an interest rate assumption that is more
favorable to eligible retirees.  The Amended Complaint seeks to
establish a class comprised of all Plan participants who retired
(or who will retire) on or after December 1, 2001.  By
Memorandum and Order dated May 26, 2005, the Court denied
without prejudice plaintiff's motion for class certification and
dismissed plaintiff's anti-cutback claim, but allowed
plaintiff's claim for benefits and breach of fiduciary duty to
proceed.

The suit is styled "STEPNOWSKI v. HERCULES, INC. et al, case no.
2:04-cv-02296-JF," filed in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, under Judge John P.
Fullam.  Representing the Company are David S. Fryman and
Allison V. Kinsey of BALLARD SPAHR ANDREWS & INGERSOLL, LLPP,
1735 Market St., 51ST Fl, Philadelphia PA 19103-7599, Phone:
215-864-8105, Fax: 215-864-9743, E-mail: fryman@ballardspahr.com
or kinseya@ballardspahr.com.  Representing the plaintiffs are
Alice W. Ballard, LAW OFFICE OF ALICE W. BALLARD, PC, 16165
Walnut St., Suite 2205, Philadelphia PA 19103, Phone:
215-893-9708, Fax: 215-893-9997, E-mail:
awballard@awballard.com; and Mervin M. Wilf, MERVIN M. WILF,
LTD., One South Broad Street, Suite 1630, Philadelphia, PA
19107, Phone: 215-568-4842.


HERCULES INC.: TX High Court Hears Petition For Writ of Mandamus
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Texas Supreme Court heard on November 16, 2005, Hercules,
Inc.'s and other defendants' petition for writ of mandamus,
seeking to set aside a trial court's order consolidating five
plaintiffs for a single trial, in the suit styled "Acevedo, et
al. v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, et al., Case No. C-4885-
99-F."

The suit was originally filed in 2001 in the 332nd Judicial
District Court, Hidalgo County, Texas, and later consolidated
with another related action.  The toxic tort lawsuit alleges
pesticide exposure relating to operations at a former pesticide
formulation facility in Mission, Texas.  There are currently
approximately 1,900 plaintiffs and approximately 30 defendants,
including the Company.

Plaintiffs include former workers at the pesticide formulation
facility, and persons who currently reside, or in the past
resided, near the facility.  All plaintiffs allege personal
injuries and some plaintiffs also allege property damage.  The
vast majority of the plaintiffs allege residential exposure to a
variety of pesticide and chemical products as a result of leaks,
spills, flooding, and airborne emissions from the pesticide
formulation facility.  It is alleged that certain of the
Company's products were sold to or used by the pesticide
formulation facility prior to its ceasing operations in 1967.  
In November 2004, Defendants filed a Petition for a Writ of
Mandamus in the Texas Supreme Court.  The Texas Supreme Court
earlier issued a partial stay of the underlying litigation.  


HERCULES INC.: Forges Settlement For Lake Charles Injury Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hercules, Inc. and other defendants reached a settlement for
lawsuits filed by approximately 250 former employees and
employees of third-party contractors who allege hearing loss as
a result of working at plants located in or about Lake Charles,
Louisiana.  The Company formerly owned and operated a plant in
Lake Charles.

The lawsuits at issue are all pending in the 14th Judicial
District Court of Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, and are
captioned:

     (1) James Allee, et al. v. Canadianoxy Offshore Production
         Co., et al., Case No. 2001-4085,

     (2) James Hollingsworth, et al. v. Hercules Inc., Civil
         Action No. 2001-4064,

     (3) Joseph Kelley, et al. v. Canadianoxy Offshore
         Production Co., et al., Civil Action No. 98-2802, and
  
     (4) Robert Corbin, et al. v. Canadianoxy Offshore
         Production Co., et al., Civil Action No. 98-1097.

In July 2005, the Company and other defendants reached a
settlement in principle with plaintiffs' lawyers providing for
the resolution of these claims over a period of approximately
two years.  


HERCULES INC.: Court Mulls Appeal of Agent Orange Suit Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to
rule on plaintiffs' appeal of the dismissal of the class action
filed against Hercules, Inc. and other chemical companies in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York.  The suit is styled "The Vietnam Association for Victims
of Agent Orange/Dioxin, et al. v. The Dow Chemical Company, et
al., Civil Action No. 04 CV 0400 (JBW))."

The Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin and
several individuals filed the suit on behalf of approximately
two and four million Vietnamese who allege that Agent Orange
used by the United States during the Vietnam War caused them or
their families to sustain personal injuries. That complaint
alleges violations of international law and war crimes, as well
as violations of the common law for products liability,
negligence and international torts.  

The defendants moved to dismiss this case on several grounds,
including failure to state a claim under the Alien Tort Claims
Statute, lack of jurisdiction and justiciability, the bar of the
statute of limitations, failure to state claims for violations
of international law, and the "government contractor defense."  
A hearing on these motions was held on February 28, 2005.  By
order dated March 10, 2005, the Court dismissed this lawsuit.  
Plaintiffs have appealed that dismissal to the United States
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The suit is styled "Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent
Orange/Dioxin et al v. Dow Chemical Company et al, case no.
1:04-cv-00400-JBW-JMA," filed in the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of New York, under Judge Jack B.
Weinstein.  Representing the plaintiffs is Constantine Peter
Kokkoris of Abberley & Koolman, 521 Fifth Avenue New York, NY
10175 Phone: 212-349-9340 Fax: 212-587-8115 E-mail:
cpk@kokkorislaw.com.


HERCULES INC.: Reaches Settlement For LA Personal Injury Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hercules, Inc. reached a settlement for the consolidated class
action filed against it in the United States District Court for
the Middle District of Louisiana, on behalf of direct and
contract employees of Georgia Gulf, alleging personal injury due
to groundwater contamination.

By Order dated May 6, 2003, the U.S. District Court for the
Middle District of Louisiana remanded to the 18th Judicial
District Court for the Parish of Iberville, Louisiana, a total
of nine consolidated lawsuits, including two lawsuits in which
the Company is a defendant.  These two lawsuits, styled "Jerry
Oldham, et al. v. The State of Louisiana, et al., Civil Action
No. 55,160, 18th Judicial District Court, Parish of Iberville,
Louisiana," and "John Capone, et al. v. The State of
Louisiana, et al., Civil Action No. 56,048C, 18th Judicial
District Court, Parish of Iberville, Louisiana," were served on
the Company in September 2002 and October 2002, respectively.

The "Oldham" case is a purported class action comprised of
approximately 2,000 plaintiffs who are or were direct employees
of Georgia Gulf, and the "Capone" case is a consolidated action
by approximately 44 plaintiffs who are or were contract
employees at Georgia Gulf.  Both actions assert claims against
the State of Louisiana, the Company, American PetroFina, Inc.,
Hercofina, Ashland Oil, International Minerals and Chemicals,
Allemania Chemical, Ashland Chemical and the Parish of
Iberville.  The purported class members and plaintiffs, who
claim to have worked or lived at or around the Georgia Gulf
plant in Iberville Parish, allege injury and fear of future
illness from the consumption of contaminated water and,
specifically, elevated levels of arsenic in that water.  As to
the Company, plaintiffs allege that the Company itself and as
part of a joint venture operated a nearby plant and, as part of
those operations, used a groundwater injection well to dispose
of various wastes, and that those wastes contaminated the
potable water supply at Georgia Gulf.

On October 17, 2002, the Company removed these matters to
federal court.  In January 2003, the U.S. District Court for the
Middle District of Louisiana consolidated the "Oldham" and
"Capone" matters with other lawsuits (including the "Batton"
matter, discussed below) in which the Company is not or was not
a party.  Plaintiffs sought remand which, as noted above, was
granted by Order dated May 6, 2003.  In March 2004, Atofina,
successor to American PetroFina, Inc. was dismissed without
prejudice.  

In January 2005, plaintiffs filed a motion to add the Company
and other defendants to a case captioned "Georgenner Batton, et
al. v. The State of Louisiana, et al, Civil Action No. 55,285,
18th Judicial District Court, Parish of Iberville, Louisiana;"
that motion was granted by the Court in February 2005.  The
"Batton" lawsuit is a purported class action comprised of
plaintiffs who are or were contract employees of Georgia Gulf
since 1995 and who are asserting nearly identical allegations as
the plaintiffs in the "Oldham" lawsuit.  Plaintiffs have filed a
motion to certify the purported classes of plaintiffs in the
"Oldham" and "Batton" matters, and a hearing was set for
December 5-7, 2005.  

In August 2005, the Company entered into an agreement in
principle to settle these matters.  That settlement, which will
be structured as a class action settlement and agreed to by the
Company without any admission of liability, is subject to Court
approval.

The suit is styled "Oldham, et al v. State of Louisiana,, et al,
case no. 3:02-cv-00943-JJB," filed in the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, under Judge James J.
Brady.  Representing the company is Charles S. McCowan, Kean,
Miller, Hawthorne, D'Armond, McCowan & Jarman, P. O. Box 3513
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-3513, Phone: 225-387-0999, E-mail:
charles.mccowan@keanmiller.com.  Representing the plaintiffs is
Patrick Wayne Pendley, Pendley Law Firm, P.O. Drawer, 24110 Eden
St., Plaquemine, LA 70764-0071, Phone: 225-687-6396, Fax:
225-687-6398, E-mail: pwpendley@pendleylawfirm.com.


HILLENBRAND INDUSTRIES: Settles Spartanburg Case For $337.5 Mil
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hillenbrand Industries, Inc. (NYSE: HB) and its Hill-Rom, Inc.
and Hill-Rom Company, Inc. subsidiaries entered into an
agreement in principle, in the form of a memorandum of
understanding, with Spartanburg Regional Health Services
District d/b/a Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and the
plaintiffs' attorneys involved in the Spartanburg antitrust
class action litigation to settle the case for $337.5 million.
The proposed settlement also includes Hill-Rom's commitment to
continue certain company-initiated practices.

The proposed settlement is subject to a number of conditions,
including the negotiation of a definitive settlement agreement
and final court approval of that agreement following notice to
class members, which is not anticipated to occur until early
calendar 2006. When finalized, the settlement is expected to
resolve all of the plaintiffs' claims and those of most U.S.
purchasers or renters of Hill-Rom products from 1990 through the
present.

"While we believe the claims are without merit and continue to
deny any and all allegations of wrongdoing, we took this
difficult step because we believe it is in the best interest of
the company, our shareholders, customers and employees," said
Ray J. Hillenbrand, Chairman of the Board of Directors of
Hillenbrand Industries, Inc. "We wanted to reduce significant
uncertainties involved in litigating this complex case and focus
on executing our business objectives. This settlement will not
require us to change current business practices, which we
believe to be compliant with the law, and will enable Hill-Rom
to focus first and foremost on fulfilling its mission of making
a positive difference in the lives of patients and those who
care for them through our focus on patient outcomes, safety and
effectiveness. We are fully committed to delivering the benefits
of competitive markets to our customers."

Fifty million dollars is to be paid to an escrow fund pending
finalization of the settlement. The remainder of the settlement
amount will be payable upon approval of a definitive agreement,
which is currently expected to occur in early calendar 2006.

After funding the settlement, Hillenbrand will continue to have
a solid financial position with continued strong operating cash
flows, and remaining availability under its revolving credit
facility and shelf registration statement to fund the execution
of its strategic initiatives. The company currently has an
untapped availability of approximately $380.0 million under its
revolving credit facility and $750.0 million available under a
shelf registration statement. Additionally, as of June 30, 2005,
Hillenbrand had an available cash and short-term investment
balance of $152.0 million.

In conjunction with this agreement in principle, Hillenbrand
will recognize a pre-tax charge of $358.6 million, $226.1
million, net of tax benefits, in its fiscal 2005 fourth quarter
to cover the settlement along with certain legal and other costs
related to the settlement. The charge will be reflected as a
separate line item on the Statement of Consolidated Income. It
is expected that, if a final settlement is approved, the
company's fiscal 2006 litigation expense would be less than
previously estimated. However, the company has not yet
quantified that potential benefit and is not prepared to adjust
its earnings guidance for fiscal 2006 at this time.

On June 30, 2003, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (the
"Plaintiff") filed a purported antitrust class action lawsuit
against Hillenbrand and Hill-Rom in South Carolina District
court alleging violations of the federal antitrust laws.
Plaintiff claimed injuries caused by Hill-Rom's discounting
practices, which allegedly harmed competition and resulted in
higher prices for standard and/or specialty hospital beds and/or
architectural and in-room products. Details of the litigation
are set forth in Hillenbrand's most recent annual and quarterly
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The suit is styled, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System v.
Hillenbrand Industries, Inc, et al, Case No. 7:03-cv-02141-HFF,"
filed in the United States District Court for the District of
South Carolina, under Judge Henry F. Floyd. Representing the
Defendant are, J. Theodore Gentry and Frank S. Holleman, III of
Wyche Burgess Freeman and Parham, P.O. Box 728, Greenville, SC
29602, Phone: 864-242-8200, Fax: 864-235-8900, E-mail:
tgentry@wyche.com and fholleman@wyche.com. Representing the
Plaintiff are:

     (1) John Gressette Felder of Felder and McGee, P.O. Box
         346, Saint Matthews, SC 29135, Phone: 803-874-1430,
         Fax: 803-655-7167, E-mail: johngfelder@sc.rr.com;

     (2) John Gressette Felder, Jr. and Chad A. McGowan of
         McGowan Hood and Felder, 3710 Landmark Drive, Suite
         114, Columbia, SC 29204, Phone: 803-327-7800, Fax: 803-
         328-5656, E-mail: jfelder@mcgowanhood.com and
         cmcgowan@mcgowanhood.com; and

     (3) IS Leevy Johnson of Johnson Toal and Battiste, P.O. Box
         1431, Columbia, SC 29202, Phone: 803-252-9700, Fax:
         803-252-9102, E-mail: islj@jtbpa.com.

For more details, contact Wendy Wilson, Vice President Investor
Relations of Hillenbrand Industries, Phone: +1-812-934-7670.


MATTEL INC.: Plaintiffs File Petition For Certiorari For CA Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Several members of the class filed a petition for writ of
certiorari before the United States Supreme Court, after the
United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower
court decision approving the settlement of the shareholder fraud
class action and derivative lawsuits filed against Mattel, Inc.
and certain of its current and former officers and directors,
earlier this year.

Following the Company's announcement in October 1999 of the
expected results of its Learning Company division for the third
quarter of 1999, various stockholders filed purported class
action complaints naming the Company and certain of its present
and former officers and directors as defendants.  These
shareholder complaints were consolidated into two lead cases,
one under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 (the "Exchange Act"), and the other under Section 14(a) of
the Exchange Act.  In November 2002, the United States District
Court for the Central District of California permitted the
actions to proceed as class actions.

Several stockholders filed related derivative complaints
purportedly on behalf of the Company. Some of the derivative
suits were consolidated into one lawsuit in Los Angeles County
Superior Court in California, which was dismissed for the
plaintiff's failure to make pre-suit demand on the board of
directors. An appeal from that decision was dismissed in July
2003 by stipulation of the parties. Another derivative suit was
filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, and was dismissed
without prejudice in August 2002 in deference to the then-
ongoing California derivative case. A third derivative suit,
filed in federal court in the Central District of California,
was dismissed in July 2002, and re-filed in November 2002 as
part of the settlement.

In November 2002, the parties to the federal cases negotiated
and thereafter memorialized in a final settlement agreement a
settlement of all the federal lawsuits in exchange for payment
of $122.0 million and the Company's agreement to adopt certain
corporate governance procedures.  The court granted final
approval to the settlement in September 2003, and judgments were
entered accordingly. On October 9, 2003, a group of persons
purporting to be members of the Section 14(a) class filed a
notice of appeal, challenging the manner in which the $122.0
million was allocated between the Section 10(b) class and the
Section 14(a) class.  On April 4, 2005, the United States Court
of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard the appeal.  On July 29,
2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
affirmed the District Court's approval of the settlement.


MCI INC.: Shareholders Commence DE Lawsuits V. Verizon Merger
-------------------------------------------------------------
MCI Inc. faces several class actions filed in the Delaware Court
of Chancery, opposing the Company's merger with Verizon
Communications, Inc. and a Verizon subsidiary.

The first suit was filed on February 15, 2005 on behalf of
Company stockholders.  The suit also named as defendants the
individual members of the Company's Board of Directors.  
Subsequently, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint to include
additional allegations and add Verizon as a defendant in the
case. Plaintiff alleges that the Company and its Board of
Directors breached their fiduciary duties to stockholders in
entering into the Merger Agreement with Verizon rather than
accepting the merger proposal proposed by Qwest. Plaintiff also
alleges that Verizon aided and abetted and benefited from these
breaches. As a remedy, Plaintiff requests, among other things,
that the Chancery Court issue an injunction prohibiting closing
of the merger.

Additionally, the Company received notice that three additional
putative class actions containing similar allegations were filed
on February 18, 2005 against it and its Board of Directors in
the Chancery Court in the State of Delaware.  Subsequent to
February 18, 2005, in one of these three actions, Plaintiff has
sought relief to amend his complaint on two occasions seeking to
add additional factual allegations. These additional allegations
relate to subsequent bids by Verizon and Qwest for the Company,
the responses of the Company's Board of Directors to those bids,
and Verizon's purchase of Company shares from entities
affiliated with Mr. Carlos Slim Helu.  Specifically, the amended
complaints include allegations that:

     (1) the Company's Board of Directors did not negotiate in
         good faith with Qwest, ignored certain Company
         stockholders who indicated that they preferred Qwest's
         offer, and arbitrarily assumed that, in the future,
         Qwest's shares will likely decrease in value;

     (2) several Qwest bids were rejected by the Company's
         Board of Directors for improper reasons;

     (3) Verizon paid Mr. Slim $2.62 per share more that the
         Verizon offer for other MCI shares, demonstrating the
         Verizon's bid undervalued the Company; and

     (4) Verizon's offer is insufficient


MCI INC.: Working To Resolve Fiber Optic Right-of-Way Litigation
----------------------------------------------------------------
MCI Inc. is working to settle litigation filed against it,
involving fiber optic cable on railroad, pipeline and utility
rights-of-way.

Prior to the filing of its bankruptcy petition, the Company was
named as a defendant in five putative nationwide and twenty-five
putative state class actions, alleging that the railroad,
utility and/or pipeline companies from which the Company
obtained consent to install its fiber optic cable held only an
easement in the right-of-way, and that the consent of the
adjoining landowners holding the fee interest in the right-of-
way was necessary to authorize installation. The complaints
allege that because such consent was not obtained, the fiber
optic network owned and operated by the Company trespasses on
the property of putative class members.  The complaints allege
causes of action for trespass, unjust enrichment and slander of
title, and seek injunctive relief, compensatory damages,
punitive damages and declaratory relief.

By the Petition Date, twenty-two putative class actions remained
pending. In the remaining eight cases, class certification had
been denied and/or the action had been dismissed.  These cases
were stayed as a result of the Company's bankruptcy filing
pursuant to the automatic stay provisions of the Bankruptcy
Code. To the extent that the causes of action raised in those
cases are solely pre-petition claims and the claimants did not
file proofs of claim in the bankruptcy proceeding, the alleged
liabilities are discharged.

Certain of the right-of-way plaintiffs filed individual and/or
putative class proofs of claim in the bankruptcy proceedings. To
date, the Bankruptcy Court has denied all pending motions to
certify classes with respect to these proofs of claim, and has
declined to extend the bar date to allow the late-filing of
claims by unnamed class members. As a result of these rulings,
the Company's exposure in these matters has been substantially
reduced.

The Company also is litigating in the Bankruptcy Court, and in
several federal appellate courts, the question of whether the
discharge injunction contained in the Modified Second Amended
Joint Plan of Reorganization bars the initiation or continuation
of actions outside of the Bankruptcy Court based on the
continued presence of the fiber optic cable after the Company's
discharge from bankruptcy. To date, one federal appellate court
has agreed with the Company's position, and the Bankruptcy
Court has issued decisions in three right-of-way cases finding
that any further prosecution after the bankruptcy violates the
discharge injunction. All three Bankruptcy Court decisions are
now on appeal in the Federal District Court for the Southern
District of New York.

The Company executed a settlement agreement in February 2002
regarding all right-of-way litigation in Louisiana, and in June
2002 regarding all other railroad right-of-way litigation
nationwide. However, following the Petition Date, the Company
opted out of the nationwide settlement agreement and filed a
notice in the bankruptcy proceedings rejecting that agreement.
The Company has entered into an agreement, preliminarily
approved by the Bankruptcy Court, to implement the Louisiana
agreement as a pre-petition claim against the Company. A final
fairness hearing is presently scheduled for December 6, 2005,
but the timing and scope of the hearing may be subject to change
due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on putative class
members.  


SEMPRA ENERGY: CA Attorney General Files Suit Over Energy Prices
----------------------------------------------------------------
California's attorney general initiated a lawsuit that alleges
Sempra Energy Trading Corporation "played the Enron game" and
"ripped us off for hundreds of millions of dollars" in higher
electricity prices during the power crisis of 2000-01, The
Associated Press reports.

The suit was filed in a Sacramento County court. It alleges that
the firm engaged in more than 5,000 acts of unfair competition
and illegal commodities transactions starting in 1999.

Attorney General Bill Lockyer told The Associated Press that a
second lawsuit, accusing the energy company affiliate of
illegally manipulating natural gas prices, was probable. He
adds, that the two cases would seek nearly $2 billion in
damages. "This is a close second to Enron," Mr. Lockyer said,
referring to the now-defunct energy company.

However, Doug Kline, a spokesman for San Diego-based Sempra
Energy, characterized the lawsuit as a "shameless and unethical
attempt" to pressure Sempra to settle a separate, $23 billion
lawsuit filed by a number of energy consumers. He told The
Associated Press, "The timing of this action is appalling and
irresponsible given the class action trial under way in San
Diego."

That suit, originally filed in December 2000 against Sempra and
its utilities and later consolidated in San Diego Superior
Court, alleged that they conspired with El Paso Natural Gas
Corporation to prevent competition for cheaper and more
plentiful Canadian natural gas. Additionally, the suit alleges
that Sempra and its companies conspired to protect their
respective market dominance over the supply and transportation
of natural gas into and within California, reaping enormous
profits at the expense of California consumers and businesses.
The plaintiffs stated that the alleged agreement happened in a
clandestine meeting at a Phoenix hotel involving 11 senior
SoCalGas, SDG&E and El Paso executives in September 1996, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (January 24, 2005) reports.

Mr. Lockyer though contends that there is no connection between
the two cases and that Sempra was attempting to "cloud the
issue." He pointed out that case is one of nearly 100 filed by
the attorney general's office against energy companies since the
state was hit with skyrocketing electricity prices, power
shortages and rolling blackouts in 2000 and 2001.

Commenting on the suit's merits, W. Davis Smith, associate
general counsel for Sempra Energy, told The Associated Press
that the allegations made by Mr. Lockyer had been dealt with by
a $7.2 million settlement in 2003 with the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission in which Sempra did not admit any
wrongdoing. He reiterates, "The charges have no merit
whatsoever."

In a prepared statement, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that
"intensive negotiations" between Sempra and the state hadn't
produced a satisfactory settlement and that Mr. Lockyer had
legitimate claims to pursue in court.

In the suit, Mr. Lockyer alleges that the illegal tactics
included:

     (1) Exporting electricity from California and then selling
         it back to California customers at higher prices.

     (2) Exaggerating the amount of power it intended to
         generate to boost income.

     (3) Filing false schedules with the manager of most of
         California's electricity system to create the illusion
         of congestion on the power grid and then getting paid
         to relieve the fake congestion.

     (4) Getting paid by the system manager to keep electricity
         in reserve for an emergency and then not doing so.


SOCIAL SECURITY: Vision Impaired Groups Sue Over Accommodations
---------------------------------------------------------------
The American Council of the Blind and a group of individuals who
are blind or have vision impairments filed a class action
lawsuit against the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA),
alleging that the agency fails to provide the most basic
accommodations to its blind applicants and beneficiaries.
Specifically, the SSA communicates with its hundreds of
thousands of blind applicants and beneficiaries in standard
print that they cannot read, and terminates benefits even if the
blind applicant or beneficiary was never made aware of a problem
with his or her benefits. The suit was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California.

"It is an outrage that SSA, the agency that should know more
about disability than any other, sends critical information to
blind and visually impaired beneficiaries in print only," states
Arlene Mayerson, Directing Attorney of the Disability Rights
Education and Defense Fund, one of the attorneys representing
the plaintiffs. Also representing the SSA beneficiaries are the
National Senior Citizens Law Center, the Oregon Advocacy Center,
and pro bono counsel Heller Ehrman, LLP.

"More than 25 years after the passage of federal disability laws
requiring that blind and visually impaired individuals receive
material in 'alternative format,' the SSA still has no real
viable, cost-effective, and equal alternative for communicating
with its blind beneficiaries," said Wondie Russell, Heller
Ehrman attorney. "Instead, the SSA continues to takes dire
action-such as stopping or reducing benefits payments-without
providing accessible notice. Banks and public utilities provide
blind and visually impaired individuals with information using
alternative formats such as Braille, audiotape, and digital
files that can be read aloud by computer software. The SSA has
done little - or nothing - to assist its blind beneficiaries,
despite numerous appeals," Ms. Russell added.

"Blind and visually impaired Americans face one of the highest
unemployment rates of any sector of the population," explains
Christopher Gray, President of the American Council of the
Blind. "This places a large percentage of the blind and visually
impaired in the position of being dependent on the Social
Security Administration for the means to survive. Yet we cannot
get them to recognize us as meaningful citizens with the same
basic communications needs as everyone else," he says.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit have been reduced to borrowing money
from relatives, have gone into debt, or have gone without
benefits as a result of SSA's failure to give them effective
notice of its actions - they can suddenly receive reduced
benefits, or no benefits at all, leading to extreme financial
hardship. "Imagine receiving a phone call from the bank that
your checks are bouncing and fees are mounting," suggests
American Council of the Blind Executive Director Melanie
Brunson. "If you rely on automatic deposit of your benefits
check, without notice in a format that you can read, deposits
stop, setting off a chain of bounced checks, bank fees, and bad
credit."

The National Eye Institute reports that blindness or low vision
affects 3.3 million Americans age 40 or older, a figure expected
to reach 5.5 million by the year 2020. In addition, there are
2.8 million people over the age of 70 who are blind or have low
vision. The most common causes of vision impairment in older
Americans include age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma,
cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.

"Vision impairments are especially prevalent among the elderly,
with almost a quarter of Americans over the age of 80 classified
as blind or having low vision according to data published by the
government's National Eye Institute," explains Gerald McIntyre,
Directing Attorney of the National Senior Citizens Law Center.
"In fact, people over the age of 80 account for 69 percent of
all Americans who are blind."

Although SSA policy allows blind beneficiaries to request that
critical notices be read to them over the phone, few
beneficiaries have been notified of this option and those who
choose it find it inconsistent, unreliable, and inadequate for
understanding the complex information involved.

The class action suit demands that SSA offer correspondence and
program materials in alternative formats to its beneficiaries,
recipients, and representative payees with vision impairments.

For more details, contact Julia Epstein of Disability Rights
Education and Defense Fund, Inc., Phone: +1-510-644-2555, ext.
241, E-mail: jepstein@dredf.org; John Buchanan of Heller Ehrman
LLP, Phone: +1-415-772-6715, E-mail:
john.buchanan@hellerehrman.com; Tim Ayers of Ayers Associates,
Phone: +1-202-857-9734, E-mail: tim@ayersassociates.net, for
National Senior Citizens Law Center; and Ralph Sanders of
American Council of the Blind, Phone: +1-702-735-2484, E-mail:
ralphsanders_1@juno.com.


SONY BMG: Recalls Music CDs Containing Copy-Protection Software
---------------------------------------------------------------
Yielding to consumer concern, Sony BMG said in a press statement
that it was recalling music CDs containing copy-protection
software that acts like virus software and hides deep inside a
computer, Reuters reports.

In that statement, Sony BMG specifically said "We share the
concerns of consumers regarding discs with XCP content-protected
software, and, for this reason, we are instituting a consumer
exchange program and removing all unsold CDs with this software
from retail outlets." The XCP software used by Sony BMG, which
was developed by British software developers First4Internet,
leaves the back door open for malicious online hackers.

Additionally, in s separate statement, Sony BMG, revealed that
it would distribute a program to remove the software from a PC
where it jeopardizes security. The music publisher also said,
"We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause our
customers. Details of this (recall) program will be announced
shortly."

The withdrawal is set to affect millions of compact discs from
artists such as Celine Dion and Sarah McLachlan but Sony did not
give exact figures or the names of the artists affected. Despite
the planned recall, Sony continues to reiterate that the copy-
protection software only installs itself on personal computers
and not on ordinary CD and DVD players.

In a related matter, Microsoft's anti-virus team recently stated
that it would add a detection and removal mechanism to rid a
personal computer of the Sony's controversial software. Experts
have noted that the software installs itself only on PCs running
Microsoft's Windows operating system. The flaws of the copy-
protection software became acute last week, when the first
computer viruses emerged that took advantage of the security
holes left by the program.

Responding to public outcry over the software, the music
publishing venture of Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony and
Germany's Bertelsmann AG previously said that it would
temporarily suspend the manufacture of music CDs containing XCP
technology. It then provided a patch to make the hidden program
more visible, but at the time it did not recall the CDs or offer
a program to remove it from computers. The initial measures
still left PCs vulnerable, according to software engineers.

Experts discovered that the program would have installed itself
on a Windows-operated personal computer when consumers wanted to
play certain Sony BMG music CDs. The program forces consumers to
use a music player that comes with the program.

Sony BMG has positioned itself as a defender of artists' rights.
Thus it recently re-emphasized that the copy-protection software
is "an important tool to protect our intellectual property
rights and those of our artists".

Before Sony's announcement, suits were already pending over the
alleged "virus-like" software. One of those suits was filed on
November 1, 2005, in Superior Court for the County of Los
Angeles in California. That suit is asking the court to prevent
Sony from selling additional CDs protected by the anti-piracy
software. In addition, the suit seeks monetary damages for
California consumers who purchased them, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (November 10, 2005) reports.

The suit alleges that Sony's software violates at least three
California statutes, including the "Consumer Legal Remedies
Act," which governs unfair and/or deceptive trade acts; and the
"Consumer Protection against Computer Spyware Act," which
prohibits software that takes control over the user's computer
or misrepresents the user's ability or right to uninstall the
program. It also alleges that Sony's actions violate the
California Unfair Competition law, which allows public
prosecutors and private citizens to file lawsuits to protect
businesses and consumers from unfair business practices, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (November 10, 2005) reports.  


STAPLES INC.: CA Court Grants Managers' Wage Suit Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
Staples Inc. disclosed in a recent Securities and Exchange
Commission filing that the court presiding over a lawsuit
against the company for alleged violations of a California wage
law granted the suit class action status, The Associated press
reports.

The Framingham, Massachusetts-based office-supplies retailer's
filing, stated that the court's ruling is procedural only.
Staples pointed out that the ruling doesn't address the merits
of the plaintiffs' allegations.

The plaintiffs in the suit, which was filed in California
Superior Court, allege that Staples "improperly classified both
general and assistant store managers as exempt under the
California wage and hour law, making such managers ineligible
for overtime wages." They are seeking to require the company to
pay overtime wages for the period from October 21, 1995, to the
present.

The plaintiffs in the suit, which was filed in California
Superior Court, alleged that the retailer improperly classified
both general and assistant store managers as exempt under the
California wage and hour law, making such managers ineligible
for overtime wages. They are seeking to require the Company to
pay overtime wages to the putative class for the period from
October 21, 1995 to the present. The court heard the motion for
class certification on July 15, 2005, and the matter was taken
under advisement, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(October 6, 2005) reports.

Staples stated in the filing that it believes that the class was
"improperly certified" and plans to appeal the decision. But, if
the case goes to trial, the retailer said that it expects to
prevail. If it loses though, they pointed out that damages could
range from $10 million to $150 million, excluding interest and
attorneys' fees.


TENNESSEE FARMERS: Recalls Horse Feed For High Rumensin Content
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tennessee Farmers Cooperative (TFC) is voluntarily recalling
four specific lots of a custom horse feed, Co-op 10% Grain Mix
(item #93638), manufactured at TFC's feed mill in Rockford,
Tenn., with the lot numbers 4276593638, 4283593638, 4287593638,
or 4290593638 printed on the back of the bags. This feed was
distributed between Oct. 10 and 25, 2005, to five Co-op feed
outlets in East Tennessee and one store in northeastern South
Carolina.

Laboratory testing has found a potentially harmful level of
monensin sodium (Rumensin) in a bag from lot 4287593638, which
has been implicated in equine deaths. Monsensin sodium, a drug
compound approved for use in some livestock species, can be
fatal if fed to horses. Customers who have purchased 10% Grain
Mix with the specified lot numbers should not continue to store
or use this product and are asked to return the feed to their
dealer for replacement. If equine owners have fed these
particular feeds to their horses, they should refrain from
exercising their horses and immediately seek the services of a
veterinarian.

At this time, the limited recall only involves products with
these specific lot numbers and does not include any other TFC
feed products or lots of 10% Grain Mix.

Questions or concerns may be directed to TFC's Feed Department
in LaVergne at 1-800-366-2667, extension 8401 for Jim Sherman,
Feed and Animal Health Division operations officer, or extension
8497 for John Niver, TFC nutritionist.


WASHINGTON: Judge Grants Day Care Providers' Suit Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Edward Shea certified as a class action a
discrimination lawsuit by day care providers in the Eastern
Washington city of Mattawa against the state Department of
Social and Health Services, Grant County and the city itself,
The Associated Press reports.

The lawsuit stems from a DSHS inquiry into alleged overpayments
of state and federal money used to subsidized child care for
low-income families. That inquiry led to a state auditor's
report, which revealed that DSHS had overpaid the women more
than $800,000 due to falsified and inaccurate attendance
records.

However, the state withdrew its overpayment notices in February
without comment. In two separate lawsuits filed after that
decision, about 30 day care providers accused the state of
violating their civil rights by improperly questioning their
immigration status. In addition, the suits also allege that
investigators entered the licensed home day cares and
confiscated documents without warrants.

Both cases seek changes in DSHS methods for inspecting home day
care businesses, as well as damages. Judge Shea consolidated
those two cases for discovery purposes and later certified the
case as a class action lawsuit.

The ruling was an important legal victory for the plaintiffs. Ty
Duhamel, a Columbia Legal Services attorney representing the
plaintiffs told The Associated Press, "Class certification is a
major step forward and hopefully protects the rights of child
care providers everywhere in the state of Washington."

John McIlhenny, assistant attorney general with the torts
division, which is representing DSHS, told The Associated Press
that though the state had opposed the class certification it
accepts the judge's ruling. "This is really just about a single
event," Mr. McIlhenny said, referring to the investigation. He
also pointed out, "It's not something that should necessarily
apply to a broad statewide class." Under the statute though, any
action by the defendant that can be construed as a violation of
a class as a whole could result in class certification, he adds.

The day care providers believe they are the victims of a
prejudiced investigation that started when a city official
complained they were billing the state for children they had not
tended. Agency documents indicate that Mattawa's mayor, Judy
Esser, made the initial complaint, but she denied she was the
source of the complaint in a report by the Yakima Herald-
Republic.

A June 2004 internal memo written by Jim Carter of DSHS's
Management Services Administration acknowledges the agency
should have limited the type of documents taken, the Yakima
newspaper reported in April. That memo stated, "Limiting the
documentation would have simplified document handling, control,
copying and return, and supported our contention that the focus
of the investigation was billing irregularities, not alien
status." It goes on to state, "Taking far more documentation
than necessary, most of which was not relevant to or used in the
investigation, leaves us open to claims of harassment."

Another controversial aspect of the investigation was the
decision by John Bumford, director of fraud investigation at
DSHS, to use federal immigration officers as interpreters
because they were available at no cost. That policy has since
been changed.

The suit is styled, "Fernandez et al v. Department of Social and
Health Services, et al, Case No. 2:05-cv-00280-EFS," filed in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Washington, under Judge Edward F. Shea. Representing the
Plaintiff/s are: D. Ty Duhamel and Joachim Morrison of Columbia
Legal Services - WEN, 300 Okanogan Ave., Suite 2A, Wenatchee, WA
98801-2235, Phone: 509-662-9681, Fax: 15096629684, E-mail:
ty.duhamel@columbialegal.org and joe.morrison@columbialegal.org;
and Gregory D Provenzano of Columbia Legal Services - OLY, 711
Capitol Way S., Suite 304, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone:
360-943-6260, Fax: 360-754-4578, E-mail:
greg.provenzano@columbialegal.org. Representing he Defendan/s
are:

     (1) Jennifer D. Homer of Canfield and Associates Inc., 451
         Diamond Drive, Ephrata, WA 98823, Phone: 509-754-2027,   
         E-mail: jwebb@canfield-associates.com;

     (2) John K McIlhenny, Jr. of Attorney General of Washington
         - OLY, Olympia Division, P.O. Box 40100, Olympia, WA
         98504-0100, Phone: 360-753-6200, E-mail:
         JohnM5@atg.wa.gov; and

     (3) Jerry John Moberg of Jerry Moberg & Associates, 451
         Diamond Drive, Ephrata, WA 98823, Phone: 509-754-2027,
         Fax: 15097544202, E-mail:
         jjmoberg@canfield-associates.com


                          Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Metaldyne Says Claims May Arise from TriMas
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos-related claims may arise from its former businesses,
revealed Metaldyne Corporation in a Securities and Exchange
Commission filing. Headquartered in Plymouth, MI, the Company
related that these claims are asserted whether or not it is
legally responsible or entitled to contractual indemnification.

Citing an example, Metaldyne indicated that in June 2002, it
divested its controlling interest in TriMas. Certain of TriMas'
subsidiaries have historical contingent and other liabilities,
including liabilities associated with their former manufacture
of asbestos containing gaskets, for which the Company is
indemnified.

In the event of financial difficulty at one of its former
businesses or otherwise, claims may be made against the Company
and, to the extent arising from a TriMas business, TriMas may
not be in a position to meet its indemnification obligations.

TriMas Corp., a Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based manufacturer of
engineered products, operated as an independent company
beginning in 1987, but was acquired in 1998 by Metaldyne Corp.
(then known as MascoTech Inc.). In November 2000, Metaldyne was
acquired by an investor group led by Heartland Industrial
Partners, which later spun the company out on its own.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: SCC Cites Risks from ASARCO Fraud Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
Southern Copper Corporation revealed in its latest filing to the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that its direct and
indirect parent corporations, including Americas Mining
Corporation and Grupo Mexico, have from time to time been named
parties in various litigations involving ASARCO LLC.

In March 2003, AMC purchased its interest in SCC from Asarco. In
August 2002, the U.S. Department of Justice brought a claim
alleging fraudulent conveyance in connection with Asarco's
environmental liabilities and AMC's then-proposed purchase of
SCC from Asarco. That action was settled pursuant to a Consent
Decree dated February 2, 2003. The consent decree is binding
solely on the U.S. government.

In October 2004, AMC, Grupo Mexico, Mexicana de Cobre and other
parties, not including SCC, were named in a lawsuit filed in New
York State court in connection with alleged asbestos
liabilities, which lawsuit claims, among other matters, that
AMC's purchase of SCC from Asarco should be voided as a
fraudulent conveyance.

While Grupo Mexico and its affiliates believe that these claims
are without merit, the SCC cannot give assurances that these or
future claims, if successful, will not have an adverse effect on
its parent Corporations or itself. Any increase in the financial
obligations of its parent corporations, as a result of matters
related to Asarco or otherwise, could result in its parent
corporations attempting to obtain increased dividends or other
funding from the Company.

In 2005, certain subsidiaries of Asarco filed bankruptcy
petitions in connection with alleged asbestos liabilities. In
July 2005, the unionized workers of Asarco commenced a work
stoppage. A further deterioration of the financial condition of
Asarco could result in additional claims being filed against
Grupo Mexico and its subsidiaries, including SCC, Minera Mexico
or its subsidiaries.

As a result of various factors, including the work stoppage,
which commenced in July 2005, on August 9, 2005, Asarco, filed a
voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Code before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Corpus
Christi, Texas. Asarco's bankruptcy case is being joined with
the bankruptcy cases of its subsidiaries. Asarco is in
continuing possession of its properties and is operating and
managing its businesses as a debtor in possession.

Asarco believes that by utilizing the Chapter 11 process it can
achieve an orderly restructuring of its business and finally
resolve its environmental and asbestos claims. However, it is
impossible to predict how the bankruptcy court will ultimately
rule with respect to such petitions and the impact such rulings
will have on Asarco and its subsidiaries.

Southern Copper Corporation, formerly Southern Peru Copper
Corporation (SPCC), is an integrated producer of copper that
operates mining, smelting and refining facilities in the
southern part of Peru.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ameren Companies Face 5 More Suits in 3Q05
---------------------------------------------------------------
Among the U.S.'s largest investor-owned electric and gas
utilities, St. Louis-based Ameren Corp., Union Electric Co.,
Central Illinois Public Service Co., Ameren Energy Generating
Company (Genco), Central Illinois Light Company and Illinois
Power Co. have been named, along with numerous other parties, in
a number of lawsuits which have been filed by certain plaintiffs
claiming varying degrees of injury from asbestos exposure. Most
have been filed in the Circuit Court of Madison County,
Illinois.

The number of total defendants named in each case is
significant; as many as 166 parties are named in some pending
cases and as few as five in others. However, the average number           
of parties is 61 in the cases that were pending as of September
30, 2005.

The claims filed against Ameren, UE, CIPS, Genco, CILCO and IP
allege injury from asbestos exposure during the plaintiffs'
activities at its present or former electric generating plants.
Former CIPS plants are now owned by Genco, and most former CILCO
plants are now owned by AERG. Most of IP's plants were
transferred to a Dynegy subsidiary prior to Ameren's acquisition
of IP. As a part of the transfer of ownership of the CIPS and
CILCO generating plants, CIPS or CILCO has contractually agreed
to indemnify Genco or AERG for liabilities associated with
asbestos-related claims arising from activities prior to the
transfer.

Each lawsuit seeks unspecified damages in excess of US$50,000,
which, if proved, typically would be shared among the named
defendants. From July 1, 2005 through September 30, 2005, five
additional asbestos-related lawsuits were filed against UE,
CIPS, CILCO and IP, mostly in the Circuit Court of Madison
County, Illinois; 18 lawsuits were dismissed and 16 were
settled.

As of September 30, 2005, five asbestos-related lawsuits were
pending against EEI. The general liability insurance maintained
by EEI provides coverage with respect to liabilities arising
from asbestos-related claims.
        
The Ameren Companies believe that the final disposition of these
proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on their
results of operations, financial position, or liquidity.
        

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BGE Co. Settles 43 Claims, Dismisses 388
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Constellation Energy Group Inc. disclosed that since 1993, a
subsidiary, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, has been
involved in several actions concerning asbestos. These actions
are based on the theory of "premises liability," alleging that
BGE knew of and exposed individuals to asbestos in the course of
the construction of certain power plants constructed by
independent contractors on behalf of BGE.

BGE and numerous other parties are defendants in these cases.
About 504 individuals who were never employees of BGE have
pending claims each seeking several million dollars in
compensatory and punitive damages. Cross-claims and third party
claims brought by other defendants may also be filed against BGE
in these actions.

To date, claims of 43 asbestos plaintiffs have been settled for
amounts that were not significant and about 388 were dismissed
without payment. The remaining claims are currently pending in
state courts in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

BGE does not know the specific facts necessary for it to assess
its potential liability for the above referenced pending cases,
such as the identity of the facilities at which the plaintiffs
allegedly worked as contractors, the names of plaintiffs'
employers, the dates on which the exposure allegedly occurred
and the facts relating to the alleged exposure.

Until the relevant facts for the pending cases are established,
the Company stated that it cannot determine if the cases will be
dismissed prior to trial, be postponed, or be settled, and it is
unable to estimate what the Company's, or BGE's, liability might
be.

Constellation Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE: CEG) trades and markets
wholesale energy through subsidiary Constellation Energy
Commodities Group (formerly Constellation Power Source).
Constellation Energy also operates independent power plants with
more than 12,500 MW of generating capacity through its
Constellation Generation unit, and it competes in retail energy
supply markets through Constellation NewEnergy.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Everest Re Posts Loss Reserves of $649.4Mil
----------------------------------------------------------------
At September 30, 2005, Everest Re Group, Ltd. (NYSE: RE) had
gross asbestos loss reserves of US$649.4 million, of which
US$319.5 million was for assumed business and US$329.9 million
was for direct business.

The Company continues to receive claims under expired contracts,
both insurance and reinsurance, asserting alleged injuries and
damages relating to or resulting from environmental pollution
and hazardous substances, including asbestos. The Company's
asbestos claims typically involve potential liability for bodily
injury from exposure to asbestos or for property damage
resulting from asbestos or products containing asbestos.

The unfavorable reserve adjustments for the three months ended
September 30, 2004 included unfavorable asbestos and
environmental reserve adjustments of US$18.0 million and
unfavorable non-asbestos and environmental, non-catastrophe
reserve adjustments of US$24.7 million, partially offset by net
favorable catastrophe adjustments of US$34.4 million.

The U.S. Reinsurance segment accounted for US$0.5 million of net
favorable prior period reserve adjustments for the three months
ended September 30, 2005, and net favorable prior period reserve
adjustments of US$24.8 million for the three months ended
September 30, 2004. Asbestos and environmental exposures
accounted for US$4.8 million and US$1.2 million of unfavorable
reserve adjustments for the three months ended September 30,
2005 and 2004, respectively.

The U.S. Insurance segment reflected US$25.6 million of net
favorable prior period reserve adjustments for the three months
ended September 30, 2005 and US$3.1 million net unfavorable
prior period reserve adjustments for the three months ended
September 30, 2004. These prior period reserve adjustments were
principally due to liability classes relating to accident years
2000 through 2003.

The Specialty Underwriting segment had US$20.3 million of net
favorable and US$2.8 million of net unfavorable prior period
reserve adjustments for the three months ended September 30,
2005 and 2004, respectively. The September 30, 2005 net
favorable prior period reserve adjustments related principally
to US$25.7 million favorable non-asbestos and environmental,
non-catastrophe reserve adjustments primarily related to the
marine, aviation and surety business classes, partially offset
by unfavorable catastrophe development of US$5.3 million related
to the marine and aviation business. The September 30, 2004 net
unfavorable prior period reserve adjustment related principally
to US$3.2 million unfavorable catastrophe adjustments.

The International segment had US$5.9 million and US$1.3 million
of net favorable prior period reserve adjustments for the three
months ended September 30, 2005 and 2004, respectively. The
September 30, 2005 net favorable prior period reserve
adjustments related primarily to favorable non-asbestos and
environmental, non-catastrophe reserve development on the
Canadian and Asian business of US$7.3 million, partially offset
by unfavorable catastrophe loss development of US$1.4 million.

The Bermuda segment reflected US$24.0 million and US$28.6
million of net unfavorable prior period reserve adjustments for
the three months ended September 30, 2005 and 2004,
respectively. The unfavorable development in the three months
ended September 30, 2005 was primarily due to US$42.9 million of
unfavorable asbestos and environmental development, partially
offset by favorable prior period non-asbestos and environmental,
non-catastrophe development of US$18.0 million. The unfavorable
development in the three months ended September 30, 2004 was
primarily due to US$13.5 million of non-asbestos and
environmental, non-catastrophe development and US$16.8 million
of asbestos reserve development, with most of this development
related to exposures assumed through the September 19, 2000 loss
portfolio transfer from Mt. McKinley Insurance Company, a
subsidiary of Holdings.

The segment components of the increase in incurred losses and
LAE for the three months ended September 30, 2005 over the three
months ended September 30, 2004 were a 82.7% (US$298.8 million)
increase in the U.S. Reinsurance operation and a 66.6% (US$135.8
million) increase in the Bermuda operation, partially offset by
a 28.7% (US$47.8 million) decrease in the U.S. Insurance
operation, a 20.6% (US$18.9 million) decrease in the Specialty
Underwriting operation and a 7.7% (US$10.8 million) decrease in
the International operation.

Everest Re was formed in 1973 but was not fully engaged in
underwriting casualty business, under which asbestos and
environmental exposures generally arise, until 1974, and it
effectively eliminated exposures through contract exclusions
effected in 1984.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Metropolitan Life Gets 12,100 Claims in `05
----------------------------------------------------------------
Metropolitan Life revealed that it received about 12,100
asbestos-related claims in the first nine months of 2005,
compared to 19,500 in the same period for 2004. The Company got
a total of 23,900 claims in 2004.

Headquartered in New York, NY, Metropolitan Life is a defendant
in thousands of lawsuits seeking compensatory and punitive
damages for personal injuries allegedly caused by exposure to
asbestos or asbestos-containing products. The Company has never
engaged in the business of manufacturing, producing,
distributing or selling asbestos or asbestos-containing products
nor has it issued liability or workers' compensation insurance
to these companies.

Rather, these suits were based on allegations relating to
certain research, publication and other activities of one or
more of Metropolitan Life's employees during the period from the
1920s through about the 1950s and have alleged that the Company
learned or should have learned of certain health risks posed by
asbestos and improperly publicized or failed to disclose those
health risks. Metropolitan Life believes that it should not have
legal liability in such cases.

Legal theories have included negligence, intentional tort claims
and conspiracy claims concerning the health risks associated
with asbestos. Although Metropolitan Life believes it has
meritorious defenses to these claims, and has not suffered any
adverse monetary judgments in respect of these claims, due to
the risks and expenses of litigation, almost all past cases have
been resolved by settlements.

Metropolitan Life's defenses to plaintiffs' claims include that:

(1) Metropolitan Life owed no duty to the plaintiffs -- it had
no special relationship with the plaintiffs and did not
manufacture, produce, distribute or sell the asbestos products
that allegedly injured plaintiffs;

(2) Plaintiffs cannot demonstrate justifiable detrimental
reliance; and

(3)   Plaintiffs cannot demonstrate proximate causation.

Since 2002, trial courts in California, Utah, Georgia, New York,
Texas, and Ohio granted motions dismissing claims against
Metropolitan Life. Other courts have denied motions brought by
Metropolitan Life to dismiss cases without the necessity of
trial. The Company intends to continue to exercise its best
judgment regarding settlement or defense of such cases,
including when trials of these cases are appropriate.

The Company asserted that bankruptcies of other companies
involved in asbestos litigation, as well as advertising by
plaintiffs' asbestos lawyers, may be resulting in an increase in
the cost of resolving claims and could result in an increase in
the number of trials and possible adverse verdicts. Plaintiffs
are seeking additional funds from defendants in light of such
bankruptcies by certain other defendants. In addition, publicity
regarding legislative reform efforts may affect the number of
claims.

The Company believes adequate provision has been made for all
probable and reasonably estimable losses for these claims.
However, the number of asbestos cases that may be brought or the
aggregate amount of any liability that the Company may
ultimately incur is uncertain.

Metlife Inc., which conducts business as Metropolitan Life,
provides insurance and financial services to individuals and
institutional customers. The Group offers life insurance,
annuities, automobile and property insurance and mutual funds to
individuals and group insurance, reinsurance, as well as
retirement and savings products and services to corporations and
other institutions. The Group has international insurance
operations in 12 countries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Oglebay Norton Pays 11,270 Claims for $34M
---------------------------------------------------------------
In accordance with the terms of the settlement agreements,
Oglebay Norton Co. submitted and approved for payment 11,270
asbestos-related product liability claims at March 31, 2005,
revealed the Company in its latest filing to the Securities and
Exchange Commission. The total settlement amount for these
claims is US$34.367 million.

Separate from the settlements, about 4,800 claims were dismissed
without payment. The Company received some new claims during
bankruptcy even with the automatic stay on litigation, and
experienced an increase in filings since emergence. As of March
31, 2005, it was a co-defendant in about 62,000 asbestos-related
product liability claims. The plaintiffs in the cases generally
seek compensatory and punitive damages of unspecified sums based
upon the Jones Act, common law or statutory product liability
claims.

At March 31, 2005, Oglebay was a co-defendant in 783 asbestos-
related Jones Act claims however; none of these claims had been
paid.

During the third quarter of 2003, the Company agreed with one of
its several insurers to fund a settlement insurance trust to
cover a portion of settlement and defense costs arising out of
asbestos litigation. The Company does not anticipate having to
use its own funds to cover settlements for the future.
Additionally, the agreement provides that the Company may use up
to US$4 million (US$3.998 million used as of March 31, 2005) of
the Trust's assets to cover the cost of any insurable or
insurance related expenses.

The Company expressed its support for the medical criteria bills
being enacted at the state level. In efforts to impact
legislation, it participated in the Coalition for Asbestos
Reform on the federal level and with the National Industrial
Sands Association. The Company considers the "Fairness in
Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005" or the FAIR Act
disadvantageous to the Company. In its present from, it appears
that the Company would be in the bottom sub-tier of tier 2
companies and it would not receive credit for insurance assets
it has relied upon. The insurance assets owned by the Company
would be taken away and would not be available to use toward its
annual contribution amount.

In addition, the Company believes that it, as well as other
well-insured smaller companies, are disproportionately impacted
by the proposed legislation in that it requires us to contribute
about 4% of its 2002 revenue each year, while larger, and often
less well-insured companies, will be required to contribute a
fraction of 1% of their respective 2002 revenues each year.

In the fourth quarter of 2004, the Company entered into
settlement agreements between its subsidiary, ON Marine Services
Company and certain tort plaintiffs claiming exposure to an
asbestos-containing product. Management estimates that the
payments under the agreements for about 17,800 of these claims
will aggregate about US$53.204 million and will be paid from the
insurance trust established pursuant to agreement, made and
entered into on August 28, 2003, by and among its subsidiary ON
Marine Services Company, underwriters at Lloyd's and London
Market Company Signatories and Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota, N.A.

Management believes that the remaining currently outstanding
claims can be satisfied or otherwise resolved within the limits
of its remaining available insurance. The Company has about
US$260 million of insurance resources available to address both
current and future asbestos liabilities.  It recorded an average
of 13,750 asbestos claims asserted against it each year for the
past five years. The average cost per claim prior to the most
recent settlements was about US$1,000; the average cost per
claim of the most recent settlements was about US$3,000.

Oglebay Norton, a producer of limestone and industrial sands,
serves the building materials, environmental remediation,
energy, and metallurgical industries. Based in Cleveland, OH, it
operates 20 plants across the US.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Raytech Trust Deal Aims to Rush Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Raytech Corporation Asbestos Personal Injury Trust said that
it entered into the 2005 agreement with the Environmental
Creditors to accelerate and complete the transactions originally
agreed to in the 2000 and 2001 agreements. The Trust and the
Creditors determined that it was in each party's interest to
hasten the settlement instead of waiting until a bankruptcy or
liquidation plan for the Raymark estates to be confirmed.

Prior to 1986, Raymark Industries, Inc. had been named in suits
claiming substantial damages for injury or death from exposure
to airborne asbestos fibers. In spite of the restructuring plan,
Raytech was named a co-defendant with Raymark and other
defendants in numerous asbestos-related lawsuits as a successor
in liability to Raymark.  

In a lawsuit decided in 1988, the United States District Court
in Oregon ruled that Raytech was to be a successor to Raymark's
asbestos related liability. After several court rulings,
including an appeal to the United States Supreme Court, the
Oregon case remained as the prevailing decision. In order to
stay the asbestos related litigation, on March 10, 1989, Raytech
filed a petition seeking relief under Chapter 11, Title 11,
United States Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court,
District of Connecticut.

In October 1998, Raytech reached a tentative settlement with its
creditors for a consensual plan of reorganization providing for
all general unsecured creditors to receive about 90% of the
equity in Raytech in exchange for their claims. The Trust was
created under the settlement plan to use its assets and income
to satisfy all asbestos-related claims. As reorganized, Raytech
issued about 83% of its common stock to the Trust, 7% to
government and other claimants, and 10% to Raytech's public
stockholders at the time. As of the date of this transaction
statement, the Trust owns 34,584,432 shares of Raytech's common
stock (or 82.86% of its outstanding shares).
        
The Trust was created under Raytech Corporation's Second Amended
Plan of Reorganization and was formed as an irrevocable trust
pursuant to the Raytech Corporation Asbestos Personal Injury
Settlement Trust Agreement, effective as of April 18, 2001.  The
purpose of the Trust is to assume all liabilities of Raytech and
to use the Trust's assets and income to pay the holders of these
claims and their families in a way that the holders of claims
are treated fairly in light of the extremely limited assets
available to satisfy these claims.  

Under the trust agreement, the Trustees were granted the power
to take all actions that are necessary to fulfill the purpose of
the Trust.  By accelerating the acquisition and completing the
short-form merger, Raytech will realize significant cost
savings, which should result in increased assets and income
available to the Trust. The 2005 Agreement allows the Trust to
accelerate its acquisition of stock from the Environmental
Creditors, making the going-private transaction cost-efficient
and relatively quick.

The transactions have been structured in order to effect a
prompt and orderly transfer of the minority ownership of Raytech
from the unaffiliated public stockholders to the Trust, and to
provide the unaffiliated public stockholders with cash payments
for all of their Raytech common stock as promptly as
practicable.

The purpose of the going-private transaction is for the Trust,
the majority stockholder of Raytech, through the merger
subsidiary, to acquire all of the outstanding shares of
Raytech's stock and to terminate Raytech's registration under
the Exchange Act.  The Trust has a fiduciary duty to the victims
and the families of victims with such asbestos related claims.  

Upon completion of the Acquisition, unaffiliated public
stockholders will hold less than 10% of the outstanding shares
of Raytech's common stock. In light of the high costs, the Trust
believes that it is desirable for Raytech to eliminate the
administrative and financial burden of remaining a public
company.  Since Raytech has no intention to raise capital by
selling securities in a public offering, or to acquire other
business entities using its stock as the consideration for any
such acquisition, Raytech is unlikely to be in a position to
benefit from its status as a public company.

The Trust estimated that Raytech spent about US$1,430,000 for
the year ended December 31, 2004, in costs related to being a
public company. These costs can be attributed to directors' and
officers' insurance (about US$550,000 on an annual basis); costs
and fees related to filings with the SEC and NYSE and
shareholder communications (about US$300,000 on an annual
basis); costs related to complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
of 2002 (about US$350,000 on an annual basis), and a portion of
the fees paid for audit and audit related services (about
US$230,000 on an annual basis). These costs would not have been
incurred if Raytech were a private company at the time.

By engaging in the going-private transaction, the Trust aims to
ensure significant cost savings, which should result in
increased assets. As the sole shareholder of Raytech, the Trust
will then be able to increase the amounts paid to the holders of
asbestos related claims.

Raytech Corporation, headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut,
operates manufacturing facilities in the United States, Germany
and China as well as technology and research centers in Indiana
and Germany.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dismissal of Consorti Suit v. Amchem Upheld
----------------------------------------------------------------
Claims are barred by the settlement of a prior federal action,
held the Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate
Division on November 10, 2005 in affirming the decision to
dismiss the case.

On October 5, 2004, New York Supreme Court Judge Helen E.
Freedman dismissed the complaint and all cross claims against
Amchem Products, Inc., Dana Corp. and Union Carbide Chemicals
and Plastics Co., Inc.

The Court held that the motion court properly dismissed the
complaint in this suit, "Richard Langhorne, individually and as
administrator for the Estate of Peter Consorti v. Amchem
Products, Inc., et al., and Aerofin Corporation, etc., et al."

The Court concluded that since a settlement of a federal action
alleging asbestosis was reached previously, the action sought
for personal injuries and wrongful death arising from asbestos-
related cancer, mesothelioma, is now barred. The decedent, Peter
Consorti, signed releases in connection with that settlement.
These documents freed the companies from "any and all claims"
that may arise from his alleged asbestos exposure. The releases
also provided that the settlement was in "complete satisfaction"
of all existing and future asbestos-related claims.

In addition, the Court stated that the releases' "plain and
unambiguous" language and the absence of "duress, illegality,
fraud, or mutual mistake" make them binding.

Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP, New York (Moshe Maimon of
counsel), represented Richard Langhorne.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP, New York (Loring I. Fenton of counsel),
stood for the respondents.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NC Court Junks Mills Lawsuit V. Dana Corp.
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Western District Court of North Carolina on November 7, 2005
granted summary judgment to Dana Corporation in the asbestos-
related suit brought by Edward and Sandra Mills. At issue was
whether Mr. Mills has sufficiently presented evidence of his
exposure to asbestos containing products manufactured by Dana
Corporation.

Mr. Mills repeatedly testified that he could not remember the
names of the asbestos-containing gaskets with which he worked
while he was in the Navy. When asked to identify asbestos
products he used while aboard the Chauncey, he testified that
the only products or manufacturers he could identify were
Garlock and Chesterton.

Mr. Mills' counsel submitted the affidavit of a co-worker, John
Green, who stated that he recalled working with Mr. Mills in the
"vicinity of and being exposed to asbestos-containing Victor
gaskets on a frequent and regular basis." This affidavit
actually contradicted Mr. Mills' testimony.

On October 31, 2005, Mr. Green testified during a deposition
that he had no specific recollection of Victor gaskets and his
previous affidavit was erroneous. He testified repeatedly that
he could not remember if the gaskets on which he and Mills
worked were Victor gaskets.

The Fourth Circuit has previously held that the plaintiff in a
personal injury asbestos case must prove more than a casual or
minimum contact with the product to hold the manufacturer of
that product liable. Instead, the plaintiff must present
evidence of exposure on a regular basis "over some extended
period of time in proximity to where the plaintiff actually
worked."

The Court concluded that Mr. Mills has been unable to meet this
criteria hence, it decided to withdraw the case from the jury,
stating that the plaintiff's argument was based upon
"speculation and conjecture."

Headquartered in Toledo, OH, Dana Corporation designs and
manufactures products for every major vehicle producer in the
world.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL Court Closes Swindell Suit V. FEC, CSX
--------------------------------------------------------------
The three-year statute of limitations applies in the asbestos-
related suit brought by Edward Leroy Swindell against Florida
East Coast Railway And CSX Transportations, held the Middle
District Court of Florida in closing the case on September 28,
2005.

The Court granted FEC's and CSX's motions for summary judgment,
indicating that the statute of limitations commences when the
injury is noticed and before it reaches maximum severity, not
when it is later diagnosed.

Edward Leroy Swindell worked at the FEC from 1939 to 1952 at
various jobs on locomotives. In 1996, he filed a complaint in
state court in Dade County, Florida, alleging negligence of the
railroad caused him to be exposed to asbestos, which caused him
to "suffer permanent injuries to his lungs."  Mr. Swindell's
attorney voluntarily dismissed that action later.
      
Mr. Swindell filed another suit against FEC in the Southern
District of New York. The Court dismissed that case based on
lack of proper jurisdiction. He filed suit for a third time
against the FEC in this court in 2000, again alleging exposure
to harmful substances causing permanent injury to his "lungs and
pleura." Summary judgment was granted in favor of FEC based upon
the statute of limitations. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the
summary judgment.

On May 23, 2003, Mr. Swindell sued both FEC and CSX
Transportation Corp., seeking damages for chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease or emphysema, an injury he claims to have
discovered only in 2002, prior to the expiration of the three-
year statute of limitations. He said that under the "joint
enterprise doctrine," CSX could be jointly liable with FEC.

The Court converted the motions to dismiss into motions for
summary judgment and deferred ruling on Mr. Swindell's motions
for summary judgment, allowing the parties a 60-day period to
conduct any discovery and to file any additional pleadings   

CSX and FEC separately filed motions for summary judgment. Each
defendant filed motions to seal exhibits, which were granted and
jointly filed an affidavit of Dr. Philip Richard Saleeby.

Medical records showed that on January 15, 1998, Dr. Bernard R.
Schrager, a cardiologist in Miami, Florida, examined Mr.
Swindell. Dr. Schrager wrote that he had "a history of atypical
chest pain, shortness of breath and chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease." At least one of the treating physicians
provided a prescription to treat the condition prior to the
three-year statute of limitations period. Those diagnoses are
conclusive on the question of whether the condition is a
separate and distinct illness.

CSX sought to dismiss on the ground that Mr. Swindell had never
been an employee of CSX or its predecessor Atlantic Coast Line,
and that he has not shown an employee relationship required to
be able to sue under the Federal Employers' Liability Act. FEC
argued the "second injury doctrine" would not apply to the
claim.

With regards to the suit against CSX Transportation, the Court
held that whether Mr. Swindell was specifically told of the
diagnosis at the time is not the significant factor. He was
clearly aware of the lung injury, aware of symptoms and getting
treatment for such injury for several years prior to the
expiration of the statute of limitations period. Regardless of
which company allegedly caused the injury, he has known of the
injury and the resulting illness for more than three years
before he filed the lawsuit.

The Court found there is no genuine issue of fact on the
question. In addition, the Court found no need for it to rule on
the employment issue.

Sean Lawrence Mulhall, Eric L. Leach, Milton, Leach, Whitman,
D'Andrea, Charek & Milton, P.A., Jacksonville, FL, Randall A.
Jordan, Jordan & Moses, St. Simons Island, GA, represented the
defendants.

Edward Leroy Swindell, Millbrook, NY, represented himself.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IntriCon Holds 122 Pending Suits in 3Q05
-------------------------------------------------------------
IntriCon Corporation, formerly Selas Corporation of America,
disclosed that it is a defendant in about 122 lawsuits as of
September 30, 2005, according to a Securities and Exchange
Commission report. The Company held 123 suits as of June 30,
2005 and December 31, 2004.

The claimants allege that they contracted asbestos-related
diseases as a result of exposure to asbestos products or
equipment containing asbestos sold by the named defendants.
However, due to the non-informative nature of the complaints,
the Company does not know whether any of the complaints state
valid claims against the Company. The lead insurance carrier has
informed the Company that the primary policy for the period July
1, 1972 to July 1, 1975 has been exhausted and that the lead
carrier will no longer provide a defense under that policy. The
Company has requested that the lead carrier substantiate its
position.

In addition, the Company has contacted representatives of the
Company's excess insurance carrier for some or all of this
period. The Company does not believe that the asserted
exhaustion of the primary insurance coverage for this period
will have a material adverse effect on the financial condition,
liquidity, or results of operations of the Company.

Based in Arden Hills, Minnesota, IntriCon Corporation (AMEX:
IIN), through its subsidiaries, engages in the design,
development, engineering, and manufacture of microminiaturized
medical and electronic products.   


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bucyrus International Faces Injury Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bucyrus International Inc. has been named a co-defendant in
about 308 personal injury liability cases alleging damages due
to exposure to asbestos and other substances, involving about
1,498 plaintiffs.  The cases are pending in courts in nine
states.

The Company revealed that in all of these cases, insurance
carriers have accepted or are expected to accept defense.  These
cases are in various pre-trial stages.  The Company does not
believe that costs associated with these matters will have a
material effect on its financial position, results of operations
or cash flows, although no assurance to that effect can be
given.
  
Headquartered in South Milwaukee, WI, Bucyrus International Inc.
(formerly Bucyrus-Erie Co.) provides replacement parts and
services (more than 70% of sales) to the surface mining
industry. It also makes large excavation machinery used for
surface mining.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mestek Dismisses 300 Lawsuits, Settles 25
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mestek, Inc. (NYSE: MCC) has had about 300 asbestos-related
cases dismissed without any payment and it settled about 25
asbestos-related cases for a minimal amount.

The total requested damages of these cases are over US$3
billion. However, there can be no assurance the Company 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 lawsuits previously pending against the
Company in Illinois have all been resolved by plaintiffs'
dismissals without payment.

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 believes it has valid defenses to all of the pending
claims and vigorously contests that it is a successor to
companies that may have manufactured, sold or distributed any
product containing asbestos materials.

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: Moscow Cablecom's JM Ney Faces Suits in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moscow Cablecom Corp. revealed that in March and April 2004, JM
Ney, now known as Andersen Land Corp., was served with a summons
and a complaint for the Mass and Brienza matters.

JM Ney was named as defendant with over 100 other parties in an
asbestos-related civil action for negligence and product
liability filed in the Supreme Court of New York for the County
of New York (although the Brienza matter has been transferred to
Nassau County). These plaintiffs claim damages from being
exposed to asbestos and asbestos products alleged to have been
manufactured or supplied by the defendants, including JM Ney's
former dental division.

As originally reported in the Company's Form 10-Q for the period
ended November 30, 2004, in October 2004, Andersen Land Corp.
also received a summons in which it and about 30 other companies
were named as defendants in an asbestos-related civil action for
negligence and product liability filed in the Supreme Court of
New York for the County of New York. Jay Fleckner claims damages
from being exposed to asbestos and asbestos products alleged to
have been manufactured or supplied by the defendants, including
JM Ney's former dental division. The plaintiffs have not
provided any specific allegations of facts as to which
defendants may have manufactured or supplied asbestos and
asbestos products which are alleged to have caused the injuries.

These cases are:

(1) Norman D. Mass and Lois Ravage Mass v. Amchem Products,
Inc. et al. (New York State Supreme Court, County of New York,
Index 101931-04);

(2) Loretta Brienza and Brent Brienza v. A.W. Chesterton
Company et al. (New York State Supreme Court, County of New
York, Index 104076-04); and

(3) Jay K. Fleckner v. Amchem Products, Inc. et al. (New York
State Supreme Court, County of New York, Index 113970-04).

The Company believes that it has insurance that potentially
covers these claims and has notified its insurance carriers to
provide reimbursement of defense costs and liability, should any
arise. The Company noted that it does not seem that JM Ney
manufactured any products containing asbestos that are the
subject of these matters. As of this date, the Company has no
basis to conclude that the litigation may be material to the
Company's financial condition or business. The Company intends
to vigorously defend the lawsuits.

From 1991 until March 22, 2002, Moscow Cablecom Corp. owned and
operated JM Ney as its primary operating subsidiary. JM Ney
(which has been renamed Andersen Land Corp. in connection with
the sale of JM Ney's operating assets) owns a 98,000 square foot
facility and 18.4 acres within an industrial park in Bloomfield,
Connecticut.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AIG Posts US$1.4B Net A&E Reserves at 3Q05
---------------------------------------------------------------
American International Group Inc. continues to receive indemnity
claims asserting injuries from asbestos. Environmental and
asbestos reserves for these claims at September 30, 2005
(US$3.32 billion gross; US$1.40 billion net) are believed to be
adequate as these reserves are based on known facts and current
law.

The vast majority of these asbestos and environmental claims
emanate from policies written in 1984 and prior years.
Commencing in 1985, standard policies contained an absolute
exclusion for pollution related damage and an absolute asbestos
exclusion was also implemented. The majority of AIG's exposures
for asbestos and environmental claims are excess casualty
coverages, not primary coverages. Thus, the litigation costs are
treated in the same manner as indemnity reserves. That is,
litigation expenses are included within the limits of the
liability AIG incurs. Individual significant claim liabilities,
where future litigation costs are reasonably determinable, are
established on a case basis.

AIG established specialized asbestos claims units to investigate
and adjust all such claims. Because each policyholder presents
different liability and coverage issues, AIG generally evaluates
exposure on a policy-by-policy basis. Each claim is reviewed at
least semi-annually and adjusted as necessary to reflect the
current information.

With respect to claims handling, AIG's specialized staff
operates to mitigate losses through proactive handling,
supervision and resolution of asbestos cases. Thus, while AIG
has resolved all claims with respect to miners and major
manufacturers, it continues to operate to resolve claims
involving accounts with products containing asbestos, products
containing small amounts of asbestos, companies in the
distribution process, and parties with remote, ill defined
involvement in asbestos.

As of year-end 2004, the range of outcomes from the scenarios
tested for environmental ranged from US$20 million below AIG's
carried reserve to about US$200 million greater than AIG's
carried reserve.

AIG reported a US$650 million increase in net asbestos reserves,
and a US$200 million increase in net environmental reserves. The
corresponding increases in gross reserves were US$1.2 billion
for asbestos and US$250 million for environmental reserves.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL Court Remands Buchinger Suit V. 15 Firms
----------------------------------------------------------------
Since all the claims against General Electric have been resolved
and none of the other defendants claim to have acted under
government control, the Northern District Court of Florida
remanded the case to the state court.

On September 23, 2005, Judge Roger Vinson granted the motion for
remand sought by widow Ann Elizabeth Buchinger for the suit with
Case No. 3:05 CV 118 RV/MD.

In 2003, Larry and Ann Buchinger filed suit in the Circuit Court
in and for Escambia County, Florida, claiming that the husband
suffered damages from asbestos exposure while working as a
machinist mate aboard various ships in Florida from around 1959
to 1984 while he was serving in the US Navy. Since filing of the
original complaint, Mr. Buchinger has died.

On April 1, 2005, GE removed the action to federal court,
alleging that any marine steam turbines it manufactured were
pursuant to a contract and detailed specifications executed by
the US Navy. Under the government contractor defense, GE claimed
it could not be held liable under state law for any injuries
caused by its marine steam turbines.

Since the case was removed, Mrs. Buchinger contended all claims
against GE have been resolved. She moved to remand the case to
state court, and GE has consented to the motion.

The Court concluded that since GE has been dismissed from the
case, and the other defendants have failed to assert a similar
claim of acting under the direction of the government, removal
jurisdiction no longer exists and the case should be remanded.

Peter Lawrence Kaufman of Levin Papantonio Thomas etc.,
Pensacola, FL, represented the Buchingers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allstate Asks Metalclad to Defend V. ACE
-------------------------------------------------------------
On November 1, 2005, Metalclad Insulation Corporation received a
cross complaint by Allstate Insurance Company, asking the court
to determine the Company's obligation to undertake and pay for
the legal defense of Allstate in the ACE Lawsuit under the terms
of the provisions of the settlement agreement. Metalclad has not
accepted a tender by Allstate of the defense of the ACE Lawsuit,
or its obligation to pay for such defense, and believes that it
has no legal obligation to do so.

In June 2004, Metalclad Insulation Corporation, a wholly owned
subsidiary of Entrx Corporation, entered into a settlement
agreement and full policy release releasing one of its insurers,
Allstate Insurance Company from its policy obligations for a
broad range of claims. These claims arose from injury or damage,
which may have occurred during the period March 15, 1980 to
March 15, 1981, under an umbrella liability policy.

The policy provided limits of US$5,000,000 in the aggregate and
per occurrence. Allstate claimed that liability under the policy
had not attached, and that regardless of that fact, an exclusion
in the policy barred coverage for virtually all claims of bodily
injury from exposure to asbestos. Metalclad took the position
that such asbestos coverage existed. The parties reached a
compromise, whereby Metalclad received US$2,500,000 in cash, and
Metalclad and Entrx agreed to indemnify and hold harmless
Allstate from all claims that could be alleged against the
insurer.

In February 2005, ACE Property & Casualty Company commenced an
action seeking declaratory relief to determine the extent of
Metalclad's insurance coverage for asbestos-related claims,
including the effect of the Allstate settlement agreement on the
obligations of other insurers that have provided Metalclad with
coverage.

Metalclad believes that the settlement agreement it entered into
in June 2004, will result in a probable loss contingency for
future insurance claims based on the indemnification provision
in the agreement. The Company believes the reasonable estimate
of the loss will not be less than US$375,000 or more than
US$2,500,000. The US$375,000 estimated loss contingency noted
represents 15% of the US$2,500,000.

Prior to 1975, the Company was engaged in the sale and
installation of asbestos-related insulation materials, which has
resulted in numerous claims of personal injury allegedly related
to asbestos exposure. Some of these claims are brought by the
children and close relatives of persons who have died, alleging
personal injury as a result of the exposure to asbestos.

Metalclad continues to be engaged in lawsuits involving
asbestos-related injury or potential injury claims. The 265
claims made in 2004 were down from the 351 claims made in 2003.
Although the average payment on these claims decreased from
US$21,760 in 2003 to US$15,605 in 2004, they have increased to
US$22,625 for the nine months ended September 30, 2005. There
were 154 new claims made in the first nine months of 2005,
compared to 221 in the first nine months of 2004. There were 507
cases pending at September 30, 2005.

Although defense costs are included in its insurance coverage,
the Company expended US$304,000 in 2004, and US$116,000 during
the nine months ended September 30, 2005 to administer the
asbestos claims.

The Company stated that because of its insurance coverage, it
does not anticipate any adverse effect on its financial
condition to develop for at least the next three to four years.
Beyond that, the Company concluded that the effect of those
claims is uncertain and its estimate of insurance coverage is
disputed.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Entrx provides insulation and
asbestos abatement services, primarily on the West Coast.
Through Metalclad, it provides these services to a wide range of
industrial, commercial and public agency clients.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Park-Ohio Co-Defends 1,100 Liability Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Park-Ohio Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: PKOH) disclosed that, as of
September 30, 2005, it co-defends about 1,100 cases asserting
claims on behalf of about 10,800 plaintiffs alleging personal
injury from asbestos exposure, according to a Securities and
Exchange Commission report.

These asbestos cases generally relate to the production and sale
of asbestos-containing products and allege various theories of
liability, including negligence, gross negligence and strict
liability and seek compensatory and, in some cases, punitive
damages.

In every asbestos case in which the Cleveland, OH-based Company
is named as a party, the complaints are filed against multiple
named defendants. In substantially all of the cases, the
plaintiffs either claim damages in excess of a specified amount,
typically a minimum amount enough to establish jurisdiction of
the court in which the case was filed, or do not specify the
monetary damages sought.

There are only five asbestos cases involving 22 plaintiffs that
plead specified damages. In all cases, the plaintiff is seeking
compensatory and punitive damages based on a variety of
potentially alternative causes of action. In three cases, the
plaintiff has alleged compensatory damages in the amount of
US$3.0 million for four separate causes of action and US$1.0
million for another cause of action and punitive damages in the
amount of $10.0 million. In another case, the plaintiff has
alleged compensatory damages in the amount of US$20.0 million
for three separate causes of action and US$5.0 million for
another cause of action and punitive damages in the amount of
US$20.0 million. In the final case, the plaintiff has alleged
compensatory damages in the amount of US$0.41 million and
punitive damages in the amount of US$2.5 million.

Historically, the Company has been dismissed from asbestos cases
on the basis that the plaintiff incorrectly sued one of its
subsidiaries or because the plaintiff failed to identify any
asbestos-containing product manufactured or sold by the Company
or its subsidiaries.

Park-Ohio Holdings Corp, through Park-Ohio Industries and its
subsidiaries, does provide logistics services and makes
engineered products for the aerospace, auto, semiconductor, and
other industries. Edward Crawford, chairman and CEO, owns 21% of
the company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-M&F Subsidiary Co-Defends Injury Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
A former subsidiary of M&F Worldwide Corp (NYSE: MFW), Pneumo
Abex Corp, defends personal injury lawsuits claiming damages
relating to asbestos exposure, usually with 10 to as many as 100
or more other companies. Prior to 1988, Pneumo Abex manufactured
certain asbestos-containing friction products.

Pursuant to indemnification agreements, PepsiAmericas, Inc.,
formerly known as Whitman Corporation (the "Original
Indemnitor"), is responsible for all the remaining asbestos-
related claims asserted against Pneumo Abex through August 1998
and for certain asbestos-related claims asserted thereafter.

In connection with the sale by Abex in December 1994 of its
Friction Products Division, a subsidiary (the "Second
Indemnitor") of Cooper Industries, Inc. (the "Indemnity
Guarantor") assumed responsibility for substantially all
asbestos-related claims asserted against Pneumo Abex after
August 1998 and not indemnified by the Original Indemnitor.

Federal-Mogul Corp purchased the Second Indemnitor in October
1998. In October 2001, the Second Indemnitor filed
a petition under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code and
stopped performing its indemnity obligations to the Company. The
Indemnity Guarantor guarantees performance of the Second
Indemnitor's indemnity obligation.

Following the bankruptcy filing of the Second Indemnitor, the
Company confirmed that the Indemnity Guarantor would fulfill the
Second Indemnitor's indemnity obligations to the extent that the
Second Indemnitor is no longer performing them.

Pneumo Abex's former subsidiary maintained product liability
insurance covering substantially all of the period during which
asbestos-containing products were manufactured. The subsidiary
commenced litigation in 1982 against a portion of these insurers
in order to confirm the availability of this coverage. As a
result of settlements in that litigation, other coverage
agreements with other carriers and payments by the Original
Indemnitor, the Second Indemnitor and the Indemnity Guarantor
pursuant to their indemnities, Pneumo Abex is receiving
reimbursement each month for substantially all of its monthly
expenditures for asbestos-related claims.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allmerica Notes US$24.9M Reserves in 3Q05
--------------------------------------------------------------
Allmerica Financial Corp (NYSE: AFC) states that it may be
required to defend asbestos and environmental damage claims and
toxic tort liability, although the Company does not specifically
underwrite policies that include them.

Ending loss and LAE reserves for all direct business written by
the Company's property and casualty companies related to
asbestos, environmental damage and toxic tort liability,
included in the reserve for losses and LAE, were US$24.9 million
and US$24.7 million at September 30, 2005 and December 31, 2004,
respectively, net of reinsurance of US$18.2 million and US$16.3
million at September 30, 2005 and December 31, 2004,
respectively.

The Worcester, MA-based Company established loss and LAE
reserves for assumed reinsurance and pool business with
asbestos, environmental damage and toxic tort liability of
US$48.4 million and US$48.2 million at September 30, 2005 and
December 31, 2004, respectively.

These reserves relate to pools in which the Company terminated
its participation. However, it continues to be subject to claims
related to years in which it was a participant. A significant
part of its pool reserves relates to its participation in the
Excess and Casualty Reinsurance Association voluntary pool from
1950 to 1982.

In 1982, the pool was dissolved and since that time, the
business has been in runoff. The Company's percentage of the
total pool liabilities varied from 1.15% to 6.00% during these
years. Its participation in this pool has resulted in average
paid losses of $2.0 million annually over the past ten years.
Because of the inherent uncertainty regarding the types of
claims in these pools, the Company cannot provide assurance that
its reserves will be sufficient.

Allmerica Financial Corp provides personal automobile,
homeowners, workers' compensation, commercial automobile, and
commercial multiple-peril insurance coverage through its
Citizens and Hanover subsidiaries. In late 2005, it will change
its name to The Hanover Insurance Group.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: SMP's Liability Suits Remain at 3,900 Cases
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard Motor Products Inc. (NYSE: SMP) reported that, in
September 30, 2005, the Company maintained its June 30, 2005
figure of 3,900 outstanding asbestos liability claims.  

At December 31, 2004, about 3,700 cases were outstanding for
which the Company was responsible for any related liabilities.
Since inception in September 2001, the amounts paid for settled
claims are US$2.8 million.

In 1986, the Company acquired a brake business, which it
subsequently sold in March 1998 and considered a discontinued
operation. When it acquired this brake business, the Company
assumed future liabilities relating to any alleged exposure to
asbestos-containing products manufactured by the seller of the
acquired brake business.

The Company agreed to assume the liabilities for all new claims
filed on or after September 1, 2001. Its ultimate exposure will
depend upon the number of claims filed against it on or after
September 1, 2001 and the amounts paid for indemnity and defense
thereof.

At December 31, 2001, about 100 cases were outstanding for which
the Company was responsible for any related liabilities. At
December 31, 2002, the number of cases outstanding for which it
was responsible for related liabilities increased to about
2,500, which include about 1,600 cases filed in December 2002 in
Mississippi. The Company believes that the Mississippi cases
filed against it in December 2002 were due to potential
plaintiffs accelerating the filing of their claims prior to the
effective date of Mississippi's tort reform statute in January
2003, which statute eliminated the ability of plaintiffs to file
consolidated cases.

Long Island City, NY-based Standard Motor Products Inc
manufactures engine management and air-conditioning replacement
parts for the automotive aftermarket. Among the Company's top
customers are auto parts warehouse distributors such as CARQUEST
and NAPA and major auto parts retailers such as Advance Auto
Parts and AutoZone.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IDEX, Subsidiaries Face Claims in 22 States
----------------------------------------------------------------
IDEX Corporation (NYSE: IEX) and five of its subsidiaries have
been named as defendants in a number of lawsuits claiming
various asbestos-related personal injuries, allegedly as a
result of exposure to products manufactured with components that
contained asbestos. Such components were acquired from third
party suppliers, and were not manufactured by any of the
subsidiaries.

Claims have been filed in Alabama, California, Connecticut,
Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan,
Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York,
Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Most of the claims resolved to date have been dismissed without
payment. The balance has been settled for reasonable amounts.
Only one case has been tried, resulting in a verdict for the
Company's business unit.

To date, all of the Company's settlements and legal costs,
except for costs of coordination, administration, insurance
investigation and a portion of defense costs, have been covered
in full by insurance subject to applicable deductibles. However,
the Company cannot predict whether and to what extent insurance
will be available to continue to cover such settlements and
legal costs, or how insurers may respond to claims that are
tendered to them.

No provision has been made in the financial statements of the
Company, other than for insurance deductibles in the ordinary
course, and IDEX does not currently believe the asbestos-related
claims will have a material adverse effect on the Company's
business or financial position.

Headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, IDEX Corp is a leading
manufacturer of pump products, dispensing equipment, and other
engineered products. Investment firm Ariel Capital Management
Inc owns 22% of the Company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exide's French Subsidiary Faces 54 Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
In its 2005-3rd quarter report, Exide Technologies (NASDAQ:
XIDE) states that from 1957 to 1982, Compagnie Europeene
D'Accumulateur or CEAC, its principal French subsidiary, faces
employee claims alleging asbestos-related illnesses.

From 1957 to 1982, CEAC operated a plant using crocidolite
asbestos fibers in the formation of battery cases, which
encapsulated the fibers once formed. About 1,500 employees
worked in the plant over the period.

Since 1982, the French governmental agency responsible for
worker illness claims received 54 employee claims alleging
asbestos-related illnesses, an increase from the 45 claims
mentioned in the July 8, 2005 edition of the Class Action
Reporter.

For some of those claims, CEAC is obligated to and has paid the
agency in accordance with French law for about US$260,000 and
US$378,000 in 2003 and 2004, respectively.

CEAC has been held liable to indemnify the agency for about
US$200,000 and US$107,000 during the same periods to date for
the dependents of four such claimants. The Company has not yet
been required to indemnify or make any payments in 2005.

Although the Company cannot predict the number or size of any
future claims, the Company does not believe resolution of the
current or any future claims, individually or in the aggregate,
will have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial
condition, cash flows or results of operations.

Lawrenceville, NJ-based Exide Technologies manufactures lead-
acid automotive and industrial batteries with customers that
include retailers such as Wal-Mart and NAPA, and transportation
giants such as DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and Toyota. European brand
names include Classic, Maxxima, and Ultra.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens-Illinois Deferred Payments Total $90M
----------------------------------------------------------------
As of September 30, 2005, Owens-Illinois Inc (NYSE: OI) declares
that it has disposed of the claims of about 325,000 plaintiffs
and claimants at an average indemnity payment of about US$6,400
per claim, in which certain of these dispositions have included
deferred amounts payable over a number of years, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

Deferred amounts payable totaled about US$90 million at
September 30, 2005 (US$91 million at December 31, 2004) and are
included in the foregoing average indemnity payment per claim.  
OI Inc.'s indemnity payments for these claims have varied on a
per claim basis, and are expected to continue to vary
considerably over time.  

OI Inc. believes that its ultimate asbestos-related liability
(i.e., its indemnity payments or other claim disposition costs
plus related legal fees) cannot be estimated with certainty.
Beginning with the initial liability of US$975 million
established in 1993, OI Inc. has accrued a total of about
US$2.85 billion through 2004, before insurance recoveries, for
its asbestos-related liability.  

OI Inc.'s ability to reasonably estimate its liability has been
significantly affected by the volatility of asbestos-related
litigation in the United States, the expanding list of non-
traditional defendants that have been sued in this litigation
and found liable for substantial damage awards, the continued
use of litigation screenings to generate new lawsuits, the large
number of claims asserted or filed by parties who claim prior
exposure to asbestos materials but have no present physical
impairment as a result of such exposure, and the growing number
of co-defendants that have filed for bankruptcy.

Toledo, OH-based Owens-Illinois Inc is the world's largest maker
of glass containers, it has market-leading positions in the
Americas, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Argonaut Still Bound to Pay Asbestos Losses
----------------------------------------------------------------
Argonaut Group Inc (NYSE: AGII) states that it is still
obligated to pay losses incurred on certain discontinued lines
of business, or run-off lines, which include general liability,
asbestos and environmental liabilities and medical malpractice
policies written in past years, according to a Securities and
Exchange Commission report.

The Company regularly monitors the activity of claims within the
run-off lines, particularly those claims related to asbestos and
environmental liabilities. It performs an extensive actuarial
analysis of the A & E reserves on an annual basis. The Company
completed the 2005 analysis during the three months ended
September 30, 2005.

As a result of this analysis, the Company recorded an additional
US$0.2 million in reserves. It strengthened its unallocated loss
adjustment expense reserves by US$4.1 million based on this
analysis. Losses and loss adjustment expense for the three and
nine months ended September 30, 2005 include a US$2.0 million
increase to the allowance for doubtful accounts related to
certain reinsurance treaties from prior accident years.

For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2005, the run-
off line reported a segment loss of US$6.3 million, compared to
US$0 for the same periods in 2004.

San Antonio, TX-based Argonaut Group Inc is a holding Company
that underwrites specialty property & casualty insurance
products throughout the US.
  

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Entergy Maintains 480 Suits, 10,000 Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) reports that its subsidiaries
defend 480 asbestos related lawsuits involving about 10,000
claims, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission
report. There has been no recorded change to this number since
the May 13, 2005 Class Action Reporter edition.

Numerous lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts in
Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi primarily by contractor
employees in the 1950-1980 timeframe against Entergy Gulf
States, Entergy Louisiana, Entergy New Orleans, and Entergy
Mississippi as premises owners of power plants, for damages
caused by alleged exposure to asbestos or other hazardous
material. Many other defendants are named in these lawsuits as
well.

Management believes that adequate provisions have been
established to cover any exposure. Negotiations continue with
insurers to recover more reimbursement, while new coverage is
being secured to minimize anticipated future potential
exposures. Management believes that loss exposure has been and
will continue to be handled successfully so that the ultimate
resolution of these matters will not be material, in the
aggregate, to the financial position or results of operation of
the domestic utility companies involved in these lawsuits.

New Orleans, LA-based Entergy Corp.'s subsidiaries distribute
electricity to 2.7 million customers in four southern states
(Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) and provide
natural gas to nearly 240,000 customers in Louisiana. The
holding Company has interests in regulated and non-regulated
power plants in North America that have a combined generating
capacity of about 30,000 MW.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Curtiss-Wright Considers Liability Minimal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Curtiss-Wright Corp (NYSE: CW) reports that the Corporation or
its subsidiaries have been named in a number of lawsuits that
allege injury from asbestos exposure, according to the Company's
2005-3rd quarter report to the Securities and Exchange
Commission.

To date, the Corporation has not been found liable or paid any
material sum of money in settlement in any case. It believes
that the minimal use of asbestos in its operations and the
relatively non-friable condition of asbestos in its products
makes it unlikely that it will face material liability in any
asbestos litigation, whether individually or in the aggregate.

The Corporation does maintain insurance coverage for these
lawsuits and it believes adequate coverage exists to cover any
unanticipated asbestos liability.

Roseland, NJ-based Curtiss-Wright Corp was once an aeronautical
pioneer. Nowadays, it makes lower-visibility products. The
Company's flow control business makes special valves for
military and commercial applications. Products of the Company's
motion control business include actuation systems that control
wing flaps, open bomb-bay doors, and stabilize aiming systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Essex Int'l Defends Product Liability Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Superior Essex Inc (NASDAQ: SPSX) divulges, in its 2005-3rd
quarter report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, that
since around 1990, its wholly owned subsidiary Essex
International and certain subsidiaries have been named as
defendants in a number of product liability lawsuits.

The allegations against Essex International were brought by
electricians, other skilled tradesmen and others claiming
injury, in a substantial majority of cases, from exposure to
asbestos found in electrical wire products produced many years
ago.

Litigation against various past insurers of Essex International
who had previously refused to defend and indemnify Essex
International against these lawsuits was settled during 1999.
Essex International was reimbursed for substantially all of its
costs and expenses incurred in the defense of these lawsuits,
and the insurers have undertaken to defend, are currently
directly defending and, will indemnify Essex International
against those asbestos lawsuits, subject to the terms and limits
of the respective policies.

Under the plan of reorganization, certain of the claimants in
these actions will be able to assert claims under applicable
insurance coverage and other similar arrangements. Superor Essex
believes that Essex International's liability in these matters
will not have a material adverse effect either individually, or
in the aggregate, upon its business, financial condition,
liquidity or results of operations.

Atlanta, GA-based Superior Essex Inc is one of the US's leading
makers of copper wire. The Company's products can be found in
transformers, generators, and electrical controls. In 2004,
Superior Essex acquired the North American telecommunications
cable division of Belden.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CGM Notes $15.5M Asbestos Liability Charge
---------------------------------------------------------------
Congoleum Corporation reports a US$15.5 million charge for
asbestos liabilities in its 2005-3rd quarter, according to the
Company's latest filing to the Securities and Exchange
Commission.

The Company posted net sales for the nine months ended September
30, 2005 at US$176.2 million, as opposed with net sales of
US$173.8 million reported in the first nine months of 2004, an
increase of 1.3%. The net loss for the nine months ended
September 30, 2005, including the asbestos liability charge, was
US$14.6 million, or US$1.77 per share diluted.

Excluding the asbestos-related charge, the Company would have
had net income of US$830,000, or US$.10 per share diluted, for
the nine months ended September 30, 2005. Net income in the
first nine months of 2004 was US$2.1 million, or US$0.25 per
share diluted.

Net sales for the three months ended September 30, 2005 were
US$60.5 million, compared with net sales of US$58.9 million
reported in the 2004-3rd quarter, an increase of 2.8%. Net
income for the 2005-3rd quarter was US$0.3 million, compared
with net income of US$1.2 million in the 2004-3rd quarter.
Diluted net income per share was US$.04 for the 2005-3rd
quarter, compared with diluted net income per share of US$0.13
in the 2004-3rd quarter.

On the Company's Plan of Reorganization, Chairman of the Board
Roger S. Marcus said, "We continue to negotiate settlements with
insurers as we also press ahead to reach an agreement on a
modified reorganization plan. With US$164 million in court
approved insurance settlements ready to fund our asbestos trust,
we are making good progress toward getting a plan confirmed."

Mercerville, NJ-based Congoleum Corp (AMEX: CGM) is a leading
manufacturer of resilient flooring, serving both residential and
commercial markets. Congoleum is a 55% owned subsidiary of
American Biltrite Inc (AMEX: ABL).


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Celanese Subsidiaries' Claims Drop to 650
--------------------------------------------------------------
In its 2005-3rd quarter report to the Securities and Exchange
Commission, Celanese Corp (NYSE: CE) reports that, as of
September 30, 2005, its US subsidiaries Celanese Ltd and CNA
Holdings Inc defend in about 650 asbestos cases.

In the May 27, 2005 Class Action Reporter Edition, the Company's
subsidiaries recorded about 850 asbestos-related cases.

Because many of these cases involve numerous plaintiffs, the
Company is subject to claims significantly in excess of the
number of actual cases.

The Company has reserves for defense costs related to claims
arising from these matters. It believes it does not have any
significant exposure in these matters.

Now the ultimate parent of all Celanese companies, Dallas, TX-
based Celanese Corp was created in late 2004 and owns just over
95% of Celanese AG after a series of 2004 transactions led by
the Blackstone Group. Its primary operations include the
manufacture of building block chemicals like acetic acid and
vinyl acetate monomers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ampco-Pittsburgh Claims Rise to 17T Cases
--------------------------------------------------------------
In its latest filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission,
Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation (NYSE:AP) faces allegations of
personal injury from exposure to asbestos-containing components
historically used in some products of some of its subsidiaries.

Those subsidiaries and, in some cases, the Corporation, defend
in cases filed in various state and federal courts, with
typically 50 and often over 100 defendants in each case.

In the nine months ended September 30, 2005, the Pittsburgh, PA-
based Corporation defends about 17,000 open claims and settled
or dismissed about 10,000. The Corporation lists its average
gross settlement and defense costs at US$7,559,000.

According to a recent Class Action Reporter edition, the
Corporation faced about 16,600 claims in the 2005-2nd quarter.
(August 12, 2005)

The Corporation incurred uninsured legal costs in connection
with advice on certain matters pertaining to these asbestos
cases including insurance litigation, case management and other
issues. Those costs amounted to about US$762,000 and US$332,000
for the nine and three months ended September 30, 2005,
respectively, in comparison to US$807,000 and US$79,000 for the
same periods in 2004.

Operating in two business units, Pittsburgh, PA-based Ampco-
Pittsburgh Corp manufactures a variety of metal products. Its
forged steel rolls unit makes forged hardened-steel rolls for
the steel and aluminum industries. The air and liquid processing
segment makes centrifugal pumps for refrigeration and power
generation, finned-tube heat-exchange coils, and air-handling
systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OH Court Grants Immunity to Columbus City
--------------------------------------------------------------
The City of Columbus is immune from an asbestos-related suit
brought by a former fireman, held the Tenth District Court of
Appeals in Franklin County.

On September 15, 2005, the Court affirmed the dismissal of the
suit styled, "Keller et al. v. Foster Wheel Energy Corp. et
al.," with Case No. 04AP-951.

Judge William A. Klatt presided over the case together with
Judges Peggy L. Bryant and Susan Bowman, who sat by assignment.

Jerome Keller, on his behalf and the estate of his deceased
wife, Merelle, appealed the Franklin County Court's judgment
that dismissed his action against the city of Columbus.

From 1966 to 2000, Mr. Keller worked as a firefighter for the
city of Columbus. Fibers allegedly stuck to his clothing from
working directly with asbestos-containing products. When he wore
his work clothes at home, he exposed Mrs. Keller to asbestos. He
claimed that due to this exposure, his wife contracted asbestos-
related lung cancer, which led to her death.

On May 12, 2003, Mr. Keller sued several manufacturers of
asbestos-containing products, the City and one of his previous
employers. He alleged that the City was negligent because it
knew or should have known that the asbestos used in the
firehouses where he worked was hazardous to him and his wife,
but nevertheless failed to warn them of the hazard and continued
to expose them to asbestos.

As a result of the City's negligence, Mr. Keller claimed his
wife fell ill and died, and, thus, her estate is entitled to
damages for her medical bills, lost earning capacity and wages,
mental and physical pain, and death. He further alleged that
through the City's actions, he lost the services, companionship,
society, and relationship of his wife, and, thus, he is due
damages for loss of consortium.

Asserting its immunity as a political subdivision the City filed
a dismissal motion on July 22, 2003. Mr. Keller argued that the
City was liable. The Court disagreed with his argument, finding
in its decision that the city was immune and that none of the
exceptions denied the immunity.

On March 12, 2004, the Court dismissed Mr. Keller's claims
against the City. On August 24, 2004, the Court finalized its
judgment because there was no just cause for delay.

Mr. Keller then appealed, asserting the following errors:

(1) The Court erred when it dismissed Mr. Keller's complaint on
the grounds that Columbus was immune from suit, by which he
reasons that sovereign immunity does not bar his claims against
the City; and

(2) The Court failed to address Mr. Keller's claim for loss of
consortium against the City.

The Court overruled Mr. Keller's first and second assignments of
error and affirmed the judgment of the Franklin County Court of
Common Pleas.

Richard E. Reverman and Kelly W. Thye, of Young, Reverman &
Mazzei Co., L.P.A., represented the appellants.

Columbus City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr. and Assistant
City Attorneys, David E. Peterson and Jeffrey S. Furbee
represented the appellees.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chubb Notes Loss Reserves Increase in 3Q05
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Chubb Corporation (NYSE: CB) reports that its loss reserves
for each of its business units increased in the first nine
months of 2005, with the most significant increases occurring in
the long tail liability classes of business within commercial
and specialty insurance and reinsurance assumed.

Each quarter, the Company monitors developments and analyzes
trends related to its asbestos exposures. During the 2005-2nd
quarter, the Company increased its net asbestos loss reserves by
US$20 million, primarily due to an increase in its estimate of
the ultimate liabilities for one of its traditional asbestos
defendants.

Based on all information currently available, the Company
believes that the aggregate loss reserves of its property and
casualty subsidiaries at September 30, 2005 were adequate to
cover claims for losses that had occurred, including both those
known to the Company and those yet to be reported.

The Chubb Corporation, which is headquartered in Warren, New
Jersey, is best known for comprehensive homeowners insurance for
the demographic that owns yachts. The Company also offers
property and casualty insurance to companies.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Rally Urges Hardie to Finalize Payout Deal
---------------------------------------------------------------
About 40 protesters, mostly union members and asbestos victims,
in Sydney demanded that James Hardie Industries NV finalize its
asbestos compensation negotiations, The Daily Telegraph reports.

James Hardie agreed last December 2004 that it would hand part
of its profit over the next 40 years to compensate victims of
asbestos products it used to manufacture. A final binding
agreement is yet to be signed as the Company continued dealing
with the New South Wales Government.

James Hardie has not set a deadline for the completion of their
compensation talks, though the Company has said progress was
being made.

Currently, James Hardie's asbestos victims are being paid out of
a fund called the Medical Research and Compensation Foundation,
which has enough money to last until the end of June 2006.

James Hardie CEO Louis Gries said progress had been made,
particularly in the past few months. He said there would be no
gap between payouts from the MRCF and those under the new deal,
once it is reached.

Asbestos Disease Foundation of Australia Barry Robson said the
negotiations had taken too long. Australian Manufacturing
Workers Union assistant secretary Tim Ayres warned James Hardie
that unions would reinstate boycotts against its products in
Australia if the talks fell through.

The building materials maker announced a big jump in half yearly
net profit to US$103.5 million (AUD141 million) up from nearly
AUD83 million in 2004.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-Hardie Workers Optimistic on Payout Deal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Former workers of James Hardie Industries NV suffering asbestos-
related illnesses may receive their first compensation checks by
Christmas after years of negotiations, The Sun-Herald reports.

The board of directors of the building materials manufacturer
will meet to finalize AUD1.7 billion in compensation to asbestos
sufferers, which is expected to run for 40 years.

If settlement is reached, Governor Marie Bashir will sign the
legislation onto the statute books by month's end.

Premier Morris Iemma hopes to sign the documents with the
Company soon and then introduce enabling legislation into
Parliament.

Mr. Iemma's spokesman said the NSW Government was "optimistic"
that a settlement could be reached in the next few days.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Asks for Tax Cut in Asbestos Payout
---------------------------------------------------------------
James Hardie Industries NV asked Commonwealth of Australia
Treasurer Peter Costello for a tax cut saying that the Company
could not pay AUD1.7 billion to its asbestos victims until he
gives it an AUD530 million tax break, The Sunday Times reports.

The ultimatum came as unions and asbestos victim groups warned
they would renew boycotts and public action against the building
materials manufacturer unless it finalized a deal by Christmas.

Hardie CEO Louis Gries said the tax deduction on the payments
the Company would make to an asbestos compensation fund over the
next 40 years was "still an issue." All financial modeling in
Hardie's proposal was based on it.

"If we couldn't get tax deductibility we'd be very concerned
about the financial viability of the proposal over a 40-year
period," Mr. Gries said. He said further bans could endanger the
already "marginal" viability of some plants, particularly the
Meeandah pipe factory in Queensland.

However, Mr. Costello made it clear he would not make a special
exception for Hardie.

Hardie surged to a US$47.6 million (AUD65 million) operating
profit for 2005-2nd quarter and an increase in half-yearly
profits of 67% to US$103.5 million. The Company declared an
interim dividend of US$0.04 a share.

Australia and New Zealand fiber cement net sales increased 4% to
US$57.8 million for the quarter due to favorable foreign
currency movements, partly offset by a 2% decrease in sales
volumes.

Mr. Costello dashed any lingering hopes of Hardie directors and
executives that they can escape possible civil prosecution by
the Australian Securities and Investments Commission through an
immunity deal with the NSW Government saying, "the Australian
Government will not allow any indemnity to be given to any
director that has broken the law."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Norwich Union Plc Launches Asbestos Appeal
---------------------------------------------------------------
More than 100,000 sufferers from a lung condition caused by
exposure to asbestos could lose an estimated GBP1.4 billion in
compensation if an appeal launched by Norwich Union Plc is
successful, news.telegraph reports.

The Company asked the Court of Appeal to overturn a ruling by
the High Court in February 2005 awarding damages between
GBP3,500 and GBP7,000 to 10 claimants with pleural plaques,
which are patches of thickening on the lining of the lungs
caused by asbestos inhalation.

Pleural plaques do not threaten or lead to other asbestos-based
diseases. However, patients are naturally anxious that the
asbestos in their bodies means that they are at risk of
contracting lung cancer or mesothelioma, a malignant tumor that
causes death some 40 years after exposure to the fibers.

The claimants chosen for the test cases before the court
included former shipbuilders, a boilermaker, laborers, a joiner
and a laboratory assistant.

Representing Norwich Union, Michael Kent argued that the
condition was not an "injury" for which the courts should award
compensation saying, "Damage had not occurred and might never
occur."

Mr. Kent said claims firms advertising for potential claimants
had swelled the number of claims recently. He said this had the
effect of encouraging in the claimants the very thing for which
the court could make awards, anxiety.

All the appeals are strongly resisted by the claimants' lawyers.
The hearing continues and judgment is likely to be reserved.

Lawyers mounted a bid to win compensation for thousands of
workers who have been struck down by an asbestos-related health
condition. If successful, solicitors believe up to GBP1 billion
could be paid to people with pleural plaques.

Ian McFall of Thompsons Solicitors said most asbestos-related
diseases were due to "negligent" employers.

Mr. McFall said, "For over 20 years the courts have accepted
that pleural plaques, together with the increased risk of future
disease and related anxiety, constitutes an injury and should
therefore be compensated. The majority of people who develop any
type of asbestos-related disease, including pleural plaques, do
so because their employers were negligent in failing to protect
them from exposure to asbestos."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hyogo Govt. Ceased Cancer Registry in 2000
---------------------------------------------------------------
Citing protection of privacy, the Hyogo Prefectural Government
stopped registering data on cancer patients, including those
caused by asbestos-related mesothelioma, at the end of fiscal
2000, The Yomiuri Shimbun reports.

Hyogo Prefecture has the second-largest number of known deaths
caused by asbestos-related mesothelioma of all prefectures over
the past 10 years.

Although the Hyogo Government sought the opinion of an advisory
board, it decided to halt registrations before receiving the
board's opinion, completely ending data collection in 2000.

The Hyogo Government started keeping records in 1964 and began
separately recording mesothelioma cases in 1995.

Kenji Morinaga, manager of the National Institute of Industrial
Health, said it might have been possible to grasp the number of
mesothelioma patients in Amagasaki, particularly in the vicinity
of a former Kubota Corp factory, if the data had been available
for analysis.

Kimindo Kumagai, manager of the Hyogo Government's disease
control division, said the Prefectural Government became
concerned over privacy as the Central Government began to
legislate the registration of cancer patients.

With the personal information protection ordinance going into
effect, government workers became concerned whether it was
permissible for the government to gather personal data on cancer
patients, such as their names, address and other data, without
their consent.

After the Personal Information Protection Law came into full
effect in April 1997, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry
notified all Prefectural Governments that medical institutions
are exempted from the law when it comes to personal information
on cancer patients in regional registrations.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB Ltd. Anticipates Settlement in Late `05
----------------------------------------------------------------
In a move that could trigger ratings agency upgrades,
engineering giant ABB Ltd. (NYSE: ABB) is confident that it may
reach an agreement in the United States over a US$1.2 billion
asbestos settlement by the end of 2005, Reuters reports.

CEO Fred Kindle said that it was unlikely that ratings agencies
would upgrade the Company from its current junk bond status
until after a settlement over asbestos claims had been reached.
He also said that the firm expected its operating profit margin
this year to be at the higher end of a 6.6% to 7.1% range and
could even be beyond that.

Standard & Poor's indicated that it could lift the Company's
rating to investment-grade status pending the settlement over
outstanding asbestos-related liabilities stemming from US unit
Combustion Engineering Inc.

Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB Ltd, formerly called Asea Brown
Boveri, operates through two major divisions: power technologies
and automation technologies. The power technologies division
provides the power supply industry with equipment and services
for transmission, distribution, and automation. The automation
technologies unit offers equipment used to monitor and control
processes in plants and utilities.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Kaiser Aluminum Reports 112T Pending Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kaiser Aluminum Corporation (OTC: KLUCQ) reports that its
subsidiary, Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp, defends lawsuits,
some of which involve claims of multiple persons, in which the
plaintiffs allege that certain of their injuries were caused by
asbestos exposure or exposure to asbestos-containing products
made or sold by KACC or as a result of employment or association
with KACC. The claims generally relate to products KACC has not
sold for more than 20 years.

The Foothill Ranch, CA-based Company reports about 112,000
pending asbestos-related claims. It has previously stated that
other personal injury claims had been filed in respect of
alleged pre-Filing Date exposure to silica and coal tar pitch
volatiles, with about 3,900 claims and 300 claims, respectively.

Holders of asbestos, silica and coal tar pitch volatile claims
are stayed from continuing to prosecute pending litigation and
from commencing new lawsuits against the Debtors. As a result,
the Company does not expect to make any asbestos payments in the
near term.

The Company continues to pursue insurance collections in respect
of asbestos-related amounts paid prior to its Filing Date and to
negotiate insurance settlements and prosecute certain actions to
clarify policy interpretations in respect of such coverage.

The Company had accrued about US$610.1 million in respect of
asbestos and other similar personal injury claims. Such amount
represented the Company's estimate for current claims and claims
expected to be filed over a 10 year period (the longest period
KACC believed it could then reasonably estimate) based on, among
other things existing claims, assumptions about the amounts of
asbestos-related payments, the status of ongoing litigation and
settlement initiatives, and the advice of Wharton Levin
Ehrmantraut & Klein, P.A., with respect to the current state of
the law related to asbestos claims.

The Company estimates that its total liability for asbestos,
silica and coal tar pitch volatile personal injury claims is
expected to be between about US$1,100.0 million and US$2,400.0
million.

In particular, the Company is aware that certain informal
assertions have been made by representatives for the asbestos,
silica and coal tar pitch volatiles claimants that the actual
liability may exceed, perhaps significantly, the top end of the
Company's expected range. While the Company cannot reasonably
predict what the ultimate amount of such claims will be
determined to be, the Company believes that the minimum end of
the range is both probable and reasonably possible to estimate.

In accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, the
Company recorded an average US$500.0 million charge in the 2004-
4th quarter to increase its accrued liability at December 31,
2004 to the US$1,115.0 million minimum end of the expected
range. Future adjustments to such accruals are possible as the
reorganization or estimation process proceeds and it is possible
that such adjustments will be material.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Kaiser Aluminum Cites Insurance Coverage
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kaiser Aluminum Corporation (OTC: KLUCQ) estimates that its
remaining solvent insurance coverage at September 30, 2005 was
in the range of US$1,400.0 million to US$1,500.0 million, in the
Company's 10-Q report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Assuming that actual asbestos, silica and coal tar pitch
volatile costs were to be the US$1,115.0 million amount now
accrued the Company believes that it would be able to recover
from insurers amounts totaling about US$965.5 million and
accordingly, it recorded in the 2004-4th quarter about US$500.0
million increase in its personal injury-related insurance
receivable.

Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp believes that it has insurance
coverage available to recover a substantial portion of its
asbestos-related costs and had accrued for expected recoveries
totaling about US$463.1 million as of September 30, 2004, after
considering about US$54.4 million of asbestos-related insurance
receipts received through September 30, 2004.

The Foothill Ranch, CA-based Company reached this conclusion
after considering its prior insurance-related recoveries in
respect of asbestos-related claims, existing insurance policies,
and the advice of Heller Ehrman LLP with respect to applicable
insurance coverage law relating to the terms and conditions of
those policies.

The Company has continued its efforts with insurers to make
clear the amount of insurance coverage expected to be available
in respect of asbestos, silica and coal tar pitch personal
injury claims. It has settled asbestos-related coverage matters
with certain of its insurance carriers. Other carriers have not
yet agreed to settlements and disputes with carriers exist.

The timing and amount of future insurance recoveries continues
to be dependent on the resolution of any disputes regarding
coverage under the applicable insurance policies through the
process of negotiations or further litigation. However, the
Company believes that substantial recoveries from the insurance
carriers are probable.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Files Connecticut Litigation Updates
---------------------------------------------------------------
Industrial products maker Crane Co (NYSE: CR) states that on
January 21, 2005, five of its insurers within two corporate
insurer groups filed suit in Connecticut state court seeking
injunctive and declaratory relief against the Company and dozens
of its other insurers.

The suit sought temporary and permanent injunctive relief
restraining the Company from participating in any further
settlement discussions with representatives of asbestos
plaintiffs or agreeing to any settlement unless the Company
permitted the plaintiff insurers to both participate in such
discussions and have a meaningful opportunity to consider
whether to consent to any proposed settlement, or unless the
Company elected to waive coverage under the insurers' policies.

At the hearing, the Court denied the plaintiff insurers'
application for temporary injunctive relief and expedited
discovery. The Court stated that the plaintiffs could not show
irreparable injury and that the plaintiff insurers would have an
adequate remedy at law. The insurer plaintiffs sought and
received leave to amend their complaint to remove certain
declaratory relief counts and to remove or restate the remaining
allegations.

On April 8, 2005, the insurer plaintiffs filed an Amended
Complaint raising five counts against the Company. On April 18,
2005, the Company moved to dismiss the claims for injunctive
relief on the grounds that the Court had no jurisdiction to
consider the claims because they were speculative and unripe.

On October 19, 2005, the Court denied Crane Co.'s motion to
dismiss, ruling that the injunctive claims were not unripe.
Nonetheless, the Court noted that the Company could later seek
summary judgment in connection with the injunctive claims if
discovery shows them to be without factual basis.

The Stamford, CT-based Company makes a variety of industrial
products, including fluid handling equipment, aerospace
components, engineered materials, merchandising systems, and
controls. The Company serves the power generation, general
aviation, commercial construction, food and beverage, and
chemical industries, among others.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japan Govt. Eyes JPY30B Extra for Victims
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Japanese Government will propose to allocate JPY30 billion
in the fiscal 2005 supplementary budget to aid asbestos victims
ineligible for workers' compensation, The Japan Times reports.

Sources said the funds would cover people with asbestos-linked
illnesses residing near asbestos factories, people who live with
those factory employees, and the next of kin of those who have
died under those circumstances.

The Government estimated that about 9,900 people who did not
qualify for workers' compensation have died of asbestos-induced
diseases.

A family qualifying for deceased benefits would get between
JPY1.6 million and JPY2.8 million as well as about JPY200,000 to
cover funeral expenses. A person receiving medical treatment
would get a maximum of JPY100,000.

The new benefits are part of a bill the Government plans to
submit to the Diet in early 2006. It will formalize the
supplementary budget plan at a Cabinet meeting that will be held
early December 2005.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Huntsman Declared as "Premises Defendant"
--------------------------------------------------------------
Together with its subsidiaries, Huntsman Corporation (NYSE: HUN)
states that it has been named as a "premises defendant" in a
number of asbestos exposure cases, typically a claim by a non-
employee of exposure to asbestos while at a facility, according
to the Company's 10-Q report to the Securities and Exchange
Commission.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2005, the Company
paid gross settlement costs for asbestos exposure cases that are
not subject to indemnification of around US$20,000.

The cases typically involve multiple plaintiffs suing multiple
defendants do not indicate which plaintiffs are making claims
against which defendants, where or how the alleged injuries
occurred, or what injuries each plaintiff claims. Central to any
estimate of probable loss, these facts can be learned only
through discovery.

Where the alleged exposure occurred prior to the Company's
ownership or operation of the relevant "premises," the prior
owners and operators generally have contractually agreed to
retain liability for, and to indemnify us against, asbestos
exposure claims.

Salt Lake City, UT-based Huntsman Corporation supplies products
through operating subsidiaries Huntsman International LLC and
Huntsman Advanced Materials LLC. The Company's chemicals are
sold in more than 100 countries to a variety of customers in the
adhesives, construction products, electronics, medical,
packaging, and other industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: TriMas Corp. Claims Grew Slightly to 1,470
---------------------------------------------------------------
TriMas Corporation states involvement in about 1,470 pending
cases involving around 19,000 claimants alleging personal injury
due to asbestos exposure from materials used in gaskets made or
distributed by certain of its subsidiaries for use in the
petrochemical refining and exploration industries.

According to the August 19, 2005 Class Action Reporter edition,
the Company defended about 1,460 pending asbestos-related cases.

The Company believes that many of its pending cases relate to
locations at which none of its gaskets were distributed or used.

TriMas settled these cases for about US$3.0 million for all such
cases with some filed over 13 years ago. It does not have
significant primary insurance to cover its settlement and
defense costs. The Company believes that significant coverage
under excess insurance policies of former owners is available.

Moreover, the Company may be subjected to significant additional
claims in the future, the cost of settling cases may increase
for cases in which product identification can be made, and it
may be subjected to further claims in respect of the former
activities of its acquired gasket distributors.

Bloomfield Hills, MI-based TriMas Corporation is a leading
manufacturer of high quality transportation accessories,
packaging systems, fastening systems and industrial specialty
products for the commercial, manufacturing, and consumer
markets.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NL Industries Faces Suits from Old Ventures
----------------------------------------------------------------
NL Industries Inc (NYSE: NL) defends about 500 various lawsuits
involving about 12,500 plaintiffs that allege personal injuries
due to occupational exposure primarily to products made by
formerly owned operations of NL containing asbestos, silica or
mixed dust, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission
filing.  

To date, NL has not been held liable in any of these matters.  
NL believes that the range of reasonably possible outcomes of
these matters will be consistent with NL's historical costs with
respect to these matters, and no reasonably possible outcome is
expected to involve amounts that are material to NL.

NL has and will continue to vigorously seek dismissal from each
claim or a finding of no liability by NL in each case. From time
to time, NL has received notices regarding asbestos or silica
claims purporting to be brought against former subsidiaries of
NL, including notices provided to insurers with which NL has
entered into settlements extinguishing certain insurance
policies.

Dallas, TX-based NL Industries operates through its majority-
controlled subsidiary, Kronos Worldwide. Kronos is among the
world's largest suppliers of titanium dioxide, which maximizes
the whiteness, opacity, and brightness of paints, plastics,
paper, fibers, and ceramics. NL also holds a majority stake in
CompX, a manufacturer of office furniture components. Valhi Inc
owns about 83% of NL Industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CCOM Defends Lawsuits in New Jersey Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
Colonial Commercial Corporation (Pink Sheets: CCOM) faces
asbestos-related personal injury lawsuits, with 126 plaintiffs,
acquired from its predecessor, Hilco Inc, in the Superior Court
of New Jersey in Middlesex County. The Company never sold any
asbestos related products.

Of the existing plaintiffs, 13 filed actions in 2005, 38 filed
actions in 2004, 31 filed actions in 2003, and 44 filed actions
in 2002.

Forty-nine other plaintiffs have had their actions dismissed and
seven other plaintiffs have settled as of September 2005 for a
total of US$3,306,000. There has been no judgment against the
Hilco.

The Company's subsidiary, Universal Supply Group, was named by
17 of the existing plaintiffs; of these, six filed actions in
2001, one filed an action in 2003 and 10 filed actions in 2005.
No case that names Universal has been settled or dismissed.

Universal has not engaged in the sale of asbestos products since
its formation in 1997. Since 1998, its product liability
policies exclude asbestos claims.

Hicksville, NY-based Colonial Commercial Corp, through
subsidiaries Universal Supply Group, RAL Supply Group, and
American/Universal Supply Inc, supplies HVAC products, climate-
control systems, and plumbing fixtures to more than 5,000
customers in New York and New Jersey.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Shell Chem. Indemnifies Polymer Holdings Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Polymer Holdings LLC, parent Company of Kraton Polymers LLC,
reports that Shell Chemicals Ltd has been named in asbestos
lawsuits relating to the elastomers business that the Company
has acquired, in its 10-K report to the Securities and Exchange
Commission.

In particular, plaintiffs filed claims against Shell Chemicals
alleging workplace asbestos exposure at the Belpre, Ohio
facility. The Company is indemnified by Shell Chemicals with
respect to these claims, subject to certain time limitations.

Pursuant to the sale agreements between the Company and Shell
Chemicals relating to the separation from Shell Chemicals in
2001, Shell Chemicals has agreed to indemnify the Company for
certain liabilities and obligations to third parties or claims
against it by a third party relating to matters arising prior to
the closing of the acquisition by Ripplewood Chemical, subject
to certain time limitations.

In addition, Shell Chemicals and the Company have entered into a
consent order relating to certain environmental remediation at
the Belpre, Ohio facility.


Company Profile:

Shell Chemicals Limited
Shell Centre, 2 York Rd.
London, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-20-7934-1234
Fax: +44-20-7934-7703
http://www.shellchemicals.com

Description:
Shell Chemicals Ltd manufactures all manner of petrochemicals
and is among the leaders in producing olefins, aromatics,
solvents, phenols, and glycols for customers that make products
such as plastics, coatings, and detergents.


Company Profile:

KRATON Polymers LLC
700 Milam St., Ste. 1300
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 832-204-5400
Fax: 832-204-5460
Toll Free: 800-457-2866
http://www.kraton.com

Description:
Kraton Polymers LLC is the leading maker of styrenic block
copolymers, a kind of polymer used in a variety of plastic,
rubber, chemicals, and for improving the stability of asphalt.
More specifically, the Kraton family of polymers is used in
adhesives, toys, and packaging, and to make shoe soles.


ASBESTOS ALERT: MT Court Denies CFAC's Motion to Change Venue
-------------------------------------------------------------
Change of venue is denied in the suit styled, "Robert W. Allen,
et al. v. Atlantic Richfield Company, et al.," held the Supreme
Court of Montana on November 8, 2005 in affirming the decision
of the district court.

Robert W. Allen and 46 other plaintiffs sought damages for
personal injuries and loss of consortium stemming from the
contraction of asbestos related disease by them or their
spouses. He filed this original complaint on July 6, 2001, and
on July 19, 2001, filed the amended complaint, which alleges
that the conduct of the defendants caused the exposure to
asbestos and asbestos contaminated products. Mr. Allen indicated
multiple theories of liability, including strict products
liability.

Mr. Allen filed this action in the Eighth Judicial District,
Cascade County, alleging that the residence and conduct of one
of the 53 defendants, Robinson Insulation Company, occurred in
Cascade County.

Robinson Insulation, a defunct Montana corporation, operated a
plant in Cascade County, where it received raw asbestos
contaminated vermiculite, expanded the vermiculite, and
manufactured and sold products containing asbestos. The
Secretary of State involuntarily dissolved Robinson Insulation
on December 1, 1989.

Columbia Falls Aluminum Company, LLC filed a motion for change
of venue from Cascade County to Flathead County on September 15,
2004, arguing that Robinson Insulation did not reside in Cascade
County at the commencement of this action, and that Mr. Allen
improperly had joined Robinson Insulation so it could maintain
venue in Cascade County. The Eighth Judicial District, Cascade
County, presided by Judge Julie Macek, denied the motion.

On its appeal, CFAC argued that the District Court erred in
denying its motion for change of venue because Mr. Allen has not
satisfied any of the statutory criteria necessary to maintain
venue in Cascade County. CFAC also claimed that Robinson
Insulation was joined solely as a sham defendant to manipulate
venue. CFAC further contended that no cause of action exists
against it due to its defunct status.

In the court opinion, Justice Brian Morris held that Montana law
allows for exceptions to the general venue rules for tort
actions. He noted that the proper place for a tort action could
be the county where the defendants or any of them reside at the
commencement of the action; or the county where the tort was
committed.

Justices Karla M. Gray, Patricia O. cotter, James C. Nelson, and
W. William Leaphart concurred while Justice John Warner
dissented with the decision.

Oliver H. Goe, G. Andrew Adamek, and Chad E. Adams, Browning,
Kaleczyc, Berry & Hoven, P.C., Helena, Montana, represented
Atlantic Richfield Company.

Tom L. Lewis, Lewis, Slovak & Kovacich, P.C., Great Falls,
Montana, represented Mr. Allen and the other respondents.

Company Profile:
Columbia Falls Aluminum Company, LLC
2000 Alluminum Dr.
Columbia Falls, MT 59912
Phone: 406-892-8400
Fax: 406-892-8201
http://www.cfaluminum.com/

Description:
Columbia Falls Aluminum, a subsidiary of Glencore International
AG, manufactures primary aluminum at its reduction plant in
Montana.

Atlantic Richfield Company purchased the Anaconda Company on
January 12, 1977. In December of 1983, ARCO announced intentions
to divest its Metals Division including the Columbia Falls
plant. In September of 1985, ARCO announced that the plant had
been sold to the Montana Aluminum Investors Corporation, which
would operate it as the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company.

On May 28, 1999, Glencore AG purchased CFAC. Headquartered in
Baar, Switzerland, Glencore is engaged internationally in the
processing and trading of metals and minerals, energy products,
and agricultural products.


ASBESTOS ALERT: PA Court Dismisses General Refractories Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Citing failure to join indispensable parties, the Eastern
District Court of Pennsylvania dismissed on September 27, 2005
the complaint brought by General Refractories Company against
its insurers.

Judge Edmund V. Ludwig presided over the suit, "General
Refractories Co. v. First State Insurance Co., et al.," with
Case No. Civ.A. 04-3509.

Five of the 16 excess and umbrella insurance carrier defendants
named in this declaratory judgment action jointly moved to
dismiss the Company's complaint. The defendants are Puritan
Insurance Company, now known as Westport Insurance Corporation,
One Beacon America Insurance Company, as successor in interest
to Potomac Insurance Company (improperly identified in the
complaint as Potomac Insurance Company of Illinois), American
Empire Surplus Lines Insurance Company, Centennial Insurance
Company, and Sentry Insurance Co.

Neither American Empire nor Centennial asserted failure to join
an indispensable party as an affirmative defense, which
plaintiff incorrectly views as a waiver. A failure to join an
indispensable party goes to subject matter jurisdiction, which
is non-waivable, however, failure to join a necessary party is
waived if not asserted.

General Refractories Company, a manufacturer and distributor of
asbestos-containing products, has been sued in thousands of
federal and state court lawsuits. The Company submitted these
claims to its comprehensive general liability insurers, which
denied coverage contending that its policies exclude asbestos-
related personal injury claims. However, General Refractories
argued that the exclusions are invalid and ineffective.

The insurers sought to dismiss the complaint arguing that not
all of the Company's excess and umbrella insurers were included.
The absent insurers include National Union Fire Ins. Co. of
Pittsburgh, The American Insurance Company, California Union
Ins. Co., Granite State Ins. Co., Mission Ins. Co, Old Republic
Ins. Co., Century Indemnity Co., Ins. Co. of the State of
Pennsylvania, American Centennial Ins. Co., and The Protective
National Ins. Co. of Omaha.

The extent of the absent insurers' coverage is as much as US$155
million; the named defendants, as much as US$221 million.

In its order for dismissal, the Court indicated that General
Refractories Company can file this action in state court, where
all defendants may be joined in one action and complete relief
afforded.

Barry L. Katz, Bala Cynwyd, PA, represented General Refractories
Company.

Company Profile:
General Refractories Company
225 City Avenue
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004  
Phone: (215) 667-7900

Description:
General Refractories Company manufactures & sells refractories,
building & insulating materials & mineral products worldwide.


ASBESTOS ALERT: LA Court Remands Suit Against C.V. Harold Rubber
----------------------------------------------------------------
Genuine issues of material fact must be proven at a trial, held
the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal on September 23,
2005 in reversing and remanding the summary judgment ruling in
the suit brought by Quincy L. Adams, Jr. et al. against Owens-
Corning Fiberglas Corporation, et al.

Several hundred plaintiffs sought damages for illnesses suffered
as a result of work-related exposure to asbestos at various
industrial and commercial facilities in Louisiana. These
claimants alleged that the defendants manufactured, distributed,
applied, or removed asbestos materials, and that as a result of
their negligence, strict liability, fraudulent concealment of
information, conspiracy, alteration of medical studies, failure
to warn of health hazards, they were exposed to asbestos fibers,
causing their illnesses.

C.V. Harold Rubber Co., Inc., one of the companies named in the
petition, filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming it could
not be liable because it did not manufacture any asbestos-
containing products. The Company said that it sold rubber-
encapsulated asbestos gaskets manufactured by other companies,
which it did not hold out or label as CVH products. In addition,
the Company said it exercised no control over the manufacture,
distribution, or marketing of any asbestos-containing gasket.
James J. Reilly, the president of CVH, testified that during the
time period involved in this litigation, CVH had no knowledge of
any potential hazards associated with the use of asbestos-
containing gaskets and had no warnings from their manufacturers
concerning such hazards.

In opposition, the plaintiffs presented a copy of Reilly's
deposition and attachments, including the plaintiffs' responses
to interrogatories propounded by CVH; a number of CVH invoices
for sales of asbestos-containing gaskets, hoses, and other
products; information printed from the CVH web site describing
the company's business as a fabricator and distributor of
industrial products; and a copy of minutes from a 1956 meeting
of The Asbestos Textile Institute Air Hygiene Committee showing
the asbestosis-cancer link was discussed. They also submitted an
affidavit from a man who delivered CVH products bearing CVH
identification to facilities where some of the plaintiffs
worked.

The plaintiffs claimed this evidence showed there were genuine
issues of material fact concerning CVH's status as a
manufacturer of asbestos-containing products, its delivery of
those products to work sites where the plaintiffs were exposed
to asbestos, and that CVH knew or should have known of the
hazards associated with such products.

After considering the evidence and arguments, the trial court
granted the motion for summary judgment and dismissed all claims
against CVH.

Based on the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal's review of
the evidence, it held that the plaintiffs sufficiently showed
that they could meet the burden of proof at trial. The Court
concluded that the summary judgment ruling of the district court
was inappropriate.

J. Burton LeBlanc, IV, Cameron R. Waddell, Brian F. Blackwell,
Sandra A. Jelks, Chad Dudley, Jody E. Anderman, Charles S.
Lambert, Jr., LeBlanc & Waddell, LLP, Baton Rouge, stood for
Quincy L. Adams, Jr., et al.

Lisa A. Condrey, Ward & Condrey, LLC, Covington, represented
C.V. Harold Rubber Co., Inc.


Company Profile:
C.V. Harold Rubber Co., Inc.
4431 Euphrosine St.
New Orleans, LA 70125
Phone: (504) 821-5944

Description:
C.V. Harold Rubber Co., Inc. is known for fabricating higher-end
rubber and metal hoses for the marine construction,
petrochemical and shipbuilding industries.


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

HCA INC.: Brodsky & Smith Files Securities Fraud Suit in M.D. TN
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law offices of Brodsky & Smith, LLC, initiated a securities
class action lawsuit on behalf of shareholders who purchased the
common stock and other securities of HCA, Inc. (NYSE: HCA)
("HCA" or the "Company") between January 12, 2005 and July 12,
2005, inclusive (the "Class Period"). The class action lawsuit
was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Tennessee.

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

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


HCA INC.: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in M.D. TN
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A., filed a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of HCA, Inc.
(NYSE: HCA) between January 12, 2005 and July 13, 2005,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Middle District of Tennessee against defendant HCA and one or
more of its officers and/or directors. The action charges that
defendants violated federal securities laws by issuing a series
of materially false and misleading statements to the market
throughout the Class Period, which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's
securities. No class has yet been certified in the above action.

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


INTERLINK ELECTRONICS: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Fraud Suit in TN
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Law offices of Brodsky & Smith, LLC, a securities class
action lawsuit on behalf of shareholders who purchased the
common stock and other securities of Interlink Electronics, Inc.
(NASDAQ: LINK) ("Interlink" or the "Company") between April 24,
2003 and November 1, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period"). The
class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District
Court for the Central District of California.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading
statements during the Class Period (April 24, 2003, to November
1, 2005). On March 9, 2005, Interlink publicly announced it
would restate its financial results for the first three quarters
of 2004 to correct several instances of improper accounting.
Then, on November 2, 2005, Interlink shocked investors by
announcing it was again restating its financial statements, this
time for all of 2003, all of 2004, and the first two quarters of
2005 and wiping out previously reported earnings. This sent
Interlink shares plummeting in value by 40%. No class has yet
been certified in the above action.

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


INTERLINK ELECTRONICS: Glancy Binkow Files Securities Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Glancy Binkow & Goldberg, LLP, initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California on behalf of a class (the "Class")
consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise
acquired securities of Interlink Electronics Inc. ("Interlink"
or the "Company") (Nasdaq:LINK) between April 24, 2003 and
November 1, 2005 (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges Interlink and certain of the Company's
executive officers with violations of federal securities laws.
Among other things, plaintiff claims that defendants' material
omissions and dissemination of materially false and misleading
statements concerning Interlink's financial performance caused
the Company's stock price to become artificially inflated,
inflicting damages on investors. Interlink develops,
manufactures, markets, and sells intuitive interface devices and
components, such as wireless remote controls, for business and
home applications. The Complaint alleges that defendants made
repeated Class Period representations concerning the Company's
performance and prospects, which were materially false and
misleading as a result of the Company's improper accounting
practices and weak accounting controls.

On March 9, 2005, Interlink publicly announced it would restate
its financial results for the first three quarters of 2004 to
correct several instances of improper accounting. Then, on
November 2, 2005, Interlink shocked investors by announcing it
was again restating its financial statements -- this time for
all of 2003 and 2004 and for the first two quarters of 2005 --
wiping out previously reported earnings. This news sent
Interlink shares plummeting in value by 40%.

For more details, contact Michael Goldberg, Esq. or Lionel Z.
Glancy of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg, LLP, 1801 Avenue of the
Stars, Suite 311, Los Angeles, CA 90067, Phone: (310) 201-9150
or (888) 773-9224, E-mail: info@glancylaw.com, Web site:
http://www.glancylaw.com.


INTERLINK ELECTRONICS: Roy Jacobs Lodges Securities Suit in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Roy Jacobs & Associates initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California on behalf of all purchasers who purchased
Interlink Electronics Inc. (Nasdaq:LINK) securities during the
Class Period which is from April 24, 2003, to November 1, 2005.
The lawsuit, which alleges violations of the federal securities
laws, was filed against Interlink and its top executives E.
Michael Thoben, III and Paul D. Meyer.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading
statements during the Class Period (April 24, 2003, to November
1, 2005). On March 9, 2005, Interlink publicly announced it
would restate its financial results for the first three quarters
of 2004 to correct several instances of improper accounting.
Then, on November 2, 2005, Interlink shocked investors by
announcing it was again restating its financial statements, this
time for all of 2003, all of 2004, and the first two quarters of
2005 and wiping out previously reported earnings. This sent
Interlink shares plummeting in value by 40%.

For more details, contact Roy Jacobs & Associates, Phone:
888-884-4490, E-mail: classattorney@pipeline.com.


REFCO INC.: Curtis V. Trinko Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, LLP, initiated a class
action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities of
Refco, Inc. (OTC: RFXCQ)(formerly NYSE: RFX) between August 11,
2005 and October 13, 2005 inclusive (the "Class Period"),
including purchasers of Refco stock pursuant or traceable to the
registration statement as amended on August 10, 2005, and the
prospectus dated August 11, 2005, issued in connection with the
Company's initial public offering on or about August 11, 2005.

The action is pending in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York against Phillip R. Bennett,
Gerald M. Sherer, Leo R. Breitman, Nathan Gantcher, David V.
Harkins, Scott L. Jaeckel, Thomas H. Lee, Ronald L. O'Kelley,
Scott A. Schoen, as well as outside auditor Grant Thornton LLP,
and underwriters Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs &
Co., Banc Of America Securities LLC, Merrill Lynch, Pierce,
Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.,
J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., as well as Liberty Corner Capital,
and Refco Group Holdings, Inc. The Complaint alleges that Refco
failed to disclose and misrepresented the following material
adverse facts, which were known to, or recklessly disregarded,
by defendants:

     (1) that an entity controlled by defendant Bennett owed
         Refco as much as $545 million;

     (2) that Refco failed to account for the $545 million;

     (3) that Refco lacked adequate internal controls;

     (4) that Refco's financial results were in violation of the
         GAAP; and

     (5) as a result of the foregoing, Refco's financial results
         were materially inflated at all relevant times.

For more details, contact Curtis V. Trinko, Esq. of The Law
Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, LLP, Phone: 212-490-9550, Fax:
212-986-0158, E-mail: ctrinko@trinko.com.


SPECTRUM BRANDS: Lockridge Grindal Lodges Securities Suit in GA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. initiated a
class action complaint against Spectrum Brands, Inc. ("Spectrum"
or the "Company"), David A. Jones and Randall J. Steward. The
complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Georgia on behalf of persons who purchased
Spectrum common stock (NYSE:SPC) between January 4, 2005 through
and including November 11, 2005 (the "Class Period").  

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange
Act"), and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. According to the
Complaint, during the Class Period the Defendants misrepresented
that:

     (1) the Company was growing through acquisitions and
         diversifying revenues while maintaining sales of
         existing products and leveraging existing brands;

     (2) the combination of Rayovac and United presented a
         "compelling value proposition;"

     (3) management of the Company had an outstanding track
         record for successfully integrating acquired brands
         "while maintaining marketplace momentum" of its legacy
         brands;

     (4) defendants were able to drive revenue growth of its
         core brands by cross selling its legacy products to
         accounts acquired through acquisitions;

     (5) the representations and warranties contained in the
         United Merger Agreement were true and accurate;

     (6) the Company was achieving "record" sales during the
         Class Period with double digit increases in battery
         sales, "exceptional performance" across the board, and
         integrations proceeding according to plan; and

     (7) the integration of United was substantially complete
         and also proceeding according to plan.

The nature of Defendants' fraud began to come to light, on July
28, 2005, when Defendants reported results for the 3rd fiscal
quarter of 2005, and investors first learned that the Company
could not maintain double-digit year-over-year growth in the
sales of its core battery products but, rather, that battery
sales were actually less than the prior year. At the same time,
Defendants belatedly revealed that, as a result of the material
decline in its core battery products, it could not meet its
guidance for either fiscal 2005 or 2006. These disclosures had
an immediate impact on the price of Spectrum Brands stock, which
declined over $8.00 that day, falling over 20%, and closing at
$30.10 per share. Then, on September 7, 2005, prior to the
market opening, Defendants revealed that earnings for the fourth
quarter ending September 30, 2005 would be "substantially lower"
than the guidance previously reported. Defendants attributed the
shortfall to weak sales and "high (retail) inventory levels."
The unexpected news prompted additional analyst downgrades. In
response to the September 7, 2005 news, the stock dropped
another 13% on volume of 4.26 million. Disclosures on November
10 and November 14, 2005 sent the stock even further downward.
On November 10, 2005, the Company revised downward yet again its
earnings projection, and on November 14, 2005, the Company was
forced to admit that the United States Attorney's Office for the
Northern District of Georgia has "initiated an investigation
into recent disclosures by the Company regarding its results for
its third quarter ended July 3, 2005 and the Company's revised
guidance issued on September 7, 2005 as to earnings for the
fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 and fiscal year 2006."

The Complaint explains Defendants' motivations, showing that the
misrepresentations and failure to disclose the conditions that
were adversely affecting Spectrum Brands throughout the Class
Period:

     (i) enabled defendants to acquire United using at least
         13.75 million shares of Company stock and using
         hundreds of millions of dollars raised through the sale
         of debt securities;

    (ii) enabled defendants to register for sale with the SEC,
         more than $500 million of mixed securities;

   (iii) enabled Company insiders to sell millions of dollars
         of their privately held Spectrum Brands stock; and

    (iv) caused investors to purchase Spectrum Brands common
         stock at artificially inflated prices.

For more details, contact Karen Hanson Riebel, Esq. of Lockridge
Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., 100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 2200,
Minneapolis, MN  55401, Phone: (612) 339-6900, E-mail:
khriebel@locklaw.com.


SPECTRUM BRANDS: Smith & Smith Files Securities Fraud Suit in GA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Smith & Smith, LLP, initiated a securities class
action lawsuit on behalf of shareholders who purchased
securities of Spectrum Brands, Inc. ("Spectrum" or the
"Company")(NYSE:SPC), between January 4, 2005 and November 11,
2005, inclusive (the "Class Period"). The class action lawsuit
was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia.

The Complaint alleges that Spectrum and certain of its executive
officers violated sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act and SEC Rule 10b-5 by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period
concerning the Company's operations and financial performance,
thereby artificially inflating the price of Spectrum securities.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period
defendants recklessly disregarded the Company's true operational
and financial condition, and represented that the Company was
growing through acquisitions and diversifying revenues, among
other things. Unbeknownst to investors, during the Class Period
the Company suffered from a number of undisclosed adverse
factors that negatively impacted its business and financial
results. No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact Howard Smith, Esq. of Smith & Smith
LLP, 3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112, Bensalem, PA 19020, Phone:
(866) 759-2275 E-mail: howardsmithlaw@hotmail.com.  


WELLS FARGO: Brodsky & Smith Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law offices of Brodsky & Smith, LLC, initiated a securities
class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC),
and certain of its affiliates, on behalf of all persons who
purchased from Wells Fargo Investments, LLC ("Wells Fargo
Investments") or H.D. Vest Investment Services, LLC ("H.D.
Vest") one or more of the Wells Fargo proprietary funds ("Wells
Fargo Funds," as defined below) or non-proprietary funds
participating in the Revenue Sharing Program (the "Wells Fargo
Preferred Funds" and "H.D. Vest Preferred Funds," as defined
below), from June 30, 2000 through June 8, 2005, inclusive (the
"Class Period"), seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities
Act of 1993 (the "Securities Act"), the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"), the Investment Company Act of 1940
(the "Investment Company Act"), and state law. The class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California.

The "Wells Fargo Preferred Funds" includes mutual funds in the
following mutual fund families: Franklin Templeton Investments,
Putnam Investments, MFS Investment Management, Fidelity
Investments, Evergreen Investments, Alliance Bernstein
Investment Research and Management, Van Kampen Investments, AIM
Distributors, Inc., Oppenheimer Funds, Inc., Eaton Vance Managed
Investments, ING Funds Distributors, LLC, Allianz Global
Investors Distributors, LLC, Federated, The Hartford Mutual
Funds, Dreyfus Service Corporation, Delaware Investments,
Pioneer Investment Management, Inc., Scudder Investments, and
Wells Fargo Mutual Funds.

The "H.D. Vest Preferred Funds" includes mutual funds in the
following families: Oppenheimer Funds, Putnam Investments,
Scudder Investments, MFS Investment Management, Van Kampen
Investments, Lincoln Financial Distributors, AIM Investments,
Phoenix Investment Partners, John Hancock Funds, Wells Fargo
Funds, American Funds, and Franklin Templeton Investments.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
served as financial advisors who purportedly provided unbiased
and honest investment advice to their clients. Unbeknownst to
investors, defendants, in clear contravention of their
disclosure obligations and fiduciary responsibilities, failed to
properly disclose that they had engaged in a scheme to
aggressively push Wells Fargo Investments and H.D. Vest sales
personnel to steer clients into purchasing certain Wells Fargo
Funds and Wells Fargo and H.D. Vest Preferred Funds
(collectively, "Shelf Space Funds") that provided financial
incentives and rewards to Wells Fargo and H.D. Vest and their
personnel based on sales. The complaint alleges that defendants'
undisclosed sales practices created an insurmountable conflict
of interest by providing substantial monetary incentives to sell
Shelf-Space Funds to their clients, even though such investments
were not in the clients' best interest. Wells Fargo Investments
and H.D. Vest's failure to disclose the incentives constituted
violations of federal securities laws.

The action also includes a subclass of persons who held any
shares of Wells Fargo Mutual Funds. The complaint additionally
alleges that the investment advisor subsidiary of Wells Fargo,
Wells Fargo Funds Management, created further undisclosed
material conflicts of interest by entering into revenue sharing
agreements with brokers at Wells Fargo Investments and H.D. Vest
to push investors into Wells Fargo Funds, regardless of whether
such investments were in the investors' best interests. The
investment advisors financed these arrangements by illegally
charging excessive and improper fees to the fund that should
have been invested in the underlying portfolio. In doing so they
breached their fiduciary duties to investors under the
Investment Company Act and state law and decreased shareholders'
investment returns.

The action includes a second subclass of persons who purchased a
Wells Fargo Financial Plan that held Wells Fargo Funds. The
Wells Fargo Financial Plans include, but are not limited to Full
Service Brokerage Accounts, Wells Asset Management accounts,
WellsChoice account, and WellsSelect account.

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


                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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USA.   Glenn Ruel Senorin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
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Copyright 2005.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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