CAR_Public/051209.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, December 9, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 244

                            Headlines

AAIPHARMA INC.: NC Stock Lawsuit Stayed Due To Bankruptcy Filing
BC PENSION: High Court Justice Allows Retirees to Sue Province
CANADA: Mutual Funds Investors Launches Suit V. Fund Companies
CAPSTONE TURBINE: NY Court Preliminarily OKs Lawsuit Settlement
CHINA AVIATION: Judge Dismisses Suit, Cites Jurisdiction Issues

CNET NETWORKS: Suit V. Gambling Sites in Searches Pending in CA
CNET NETWORKS: NY Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement
CORNELL COMPANIES: TX Court Mulls Stock Suit Settlement Approval
CORNELL COMPANIES: Named As Defendant in New Mexico Inmate Suit
FARO TECHNOLOGIES: Faces Purported Securities Fraud Suit in FL

FLORIDA: Judge Allows Detainees to Join Suit Over Strip Searches
FMF CAPITAL: Faces Lawsuit From Alleged Shareholder in MI Court
FRANKLIN RESOURCES: Chief Justice Limits Attorney Fees in Suits
KVH INDUSTRIES: RI Court Dismisses in Part Securities Fraud Suit
LORAL SPACE: Mediation For NY Securities Suit Set January 2006

LORAL SPACE: Discovery Continues NY Securities Lawsuit V. Execs
LORAL SPACE: Reaches Settlement For NY Consolidated ERISA Suit
LORAL SPACE: CEO Preliminarily Settles NY Securities Fraud Suit
LORAL SPACE: Plaintiffs Temporarily Halt NY Lawsuit Proceedings
MAINE: Funeral Director Settles Suit Over Mortuary Trust Funds

OHIO: Injunction Issued V. Steubenville's Speed Camera Program
POST PROPERTIES: GA Court Mulls Suit Settlement Approval Appeal
RIDEAU REGIONAL: Argument V. Closure Bolstered, Attorney Says
SCHICK TECHNOLOGIES: Investors File Suit V. Sirona, Blitz Merger
SHOPKO STORES: ID Resident Files Suit Over Denied Overtime Wages

UNION PACIFIC: TX Residents Want Suit Returned to Miller County
VERISIGN INC.: Consolidated Securities Suit Still Pending in CA
VERISIGN INC.: Continues to Face Consumer Fraud Suit in CA Court
VERISIGN INC.: Consumers Commence Fraud Litigation in S.D. CA
WALGREENS CO.: Attorney Gives Update on IL Discrimination Case

WOLF HALDENSTEIN: Nymex Rejects Cataldo Capozza's Legal Demand

                          Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: LA Court Reverses Ruling to Favor Avondale
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace's Ninth Motion to Extend Exclusivity
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Insists Challenge Fit for PD Estimate
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Issues Brief on Constructive Notice
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Presents Constructive Notice Proposal

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ruling Should Be Applied to Grace Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WR Grace Contends Legal Analysis Expansion
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Committee Wants Constructive Notice Junked
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 1,495 Grace PD Claims Withdrawn & Expunged
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ISG Expects US$11 Million Abatement in 2006

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NJ Court Ends Congoleum Exclusivity Period
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Canadian Group Proposes Asbestos Export Ban  
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bereaved Japanese Families to Split JPY3M
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Frist Reiterates Pledge for '06 Legislation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CSK Auto Faces Asbestos & Liability Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Board Approves Final Fund Agreement
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Parliament Passes Dust Diseases Bill
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: New Zealanders Urge Inclusion in AU Scheme
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Met-Pro Corp. States That Claims Lack Merit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Transatlantic Holdings Notes $85M Reserves

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Coalition Launches Drive to Protect Victims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Awards $54.5M to EPA for Grace Costs
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bill of Particulars Withheld from WR Grace
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Set to Release Asbestos Project Plan
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Athens, PA Township Zoning Officer Indicted

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Man Sounds Alarm for Contaminated Building
ASBESTOS ALERT: Canada Firm to Pay Thousands for Risking Workers
ASBESTOS ALERT: Maltese Court Junks Appeal Raised by Two Firms
ASBESTOS ALERT: Council Fined GBP25T for Health & Safety Breach
ASBESTOS ALERT: Circuit Court Affirms National Casualty Appeal

    
                  New Securities Fraud Cases

GUIDANT CORPORATION: Lerach Coughlin Files Securities Suit in IN
HELEN OF TROY: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in TX
STONE ENERGY: Patton Roberts Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in LA
STONE ENERGY: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in LA
UNIVERSAL AMERICAN: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Fraud Suit in NY


                            *********


AAIPHARMA INC.: NC Stock Lawsuit Stayed Due To Bankruptcy Filing
----------------------------------------------------------------
The consolidated amended securities class action filed against
aaiPharma, Inc., certain of its current and former officers and
directors, and its independent registered public accountants in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
North Carolina has been stayed, due to the Company's Chapter 11
filing.

Several suits were initially filed, alleging violations of
federal securities laws.  By order dated April 16, 2004, the
district court consolidated the securities lawsuits into one
consolidated action, and on February 11, 2005, the plaintiffs
filed a consolidated amended complaint.

The amended securities complaint asserts claims arising 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 purchasers of
the Company's common stock during the period from April 24, 2002
through and including June 15, 2004.  The securities complaints
allege generally that the defendants knowingly or recklessly
made false or misleading statements during the Class Period
concerning the Company's financial condition and that its
financial statements did not present its true financial
condition and were not prepared in accordance with generally
accepted accounting principles.  The amended securities
complaint seeks certification as a class action, unspecified
compensatory damages, attorneys' fees and costs, and other
relief.

The Company has not yet responded to the complaint in this
litigation, though it was originally due by May 26, 2005. No
discovery has yet occurred in this case.  No trial date has been
set in this litigation.

The suit is styled "Santos v. AAIPharma, Inc., et al., case no.
7:04-cv-00027," filed in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of North Carolina, under Judge James C.
Dever, III.  Representing the plaintiffs is L. Bruce McDaniel
McDaniel & Anderson, LLP, P. O. Box 58186, Raleigh, NC 27658,
Phone: 919-872-3000, Fax: 919-790-9273, E-mail: mcdas@mcdas.com.  
Representing the Company are Daniel Francis Basnight and David
C. Wright, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, 101 N. Tryon St., Suite
1900, Charlotte, NC 28246-0106, Phone: 704-377-8381, Email:
dwright@rbh.com or dbasnight@rbh.com.  




BC PENSION: High Court Justice Allows Retirees to Sue Province
--------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit involving as many as 27,000 retired
provincial government employees moved one step closer to trial
when a judge ruled the lawsuit has enough validity to be heard
in court, The Oak Bay News.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Frederick Melvin's decision clears
the way for the retirees to try and recover an estimated $90
million in out-of-pocket health care costs they paid since the
BC Pension Corporation changed their benefit packages in 2002.

Terry Prentice, a retired government administrator who spent 34
years working for the province told The Oak Bay News, "Every
body that we've talked to is really pleased," with the decision.
She adds, "Many people have said 'ah, you'll never get it
there.'"

Changes to the benefit structure for retired B.C. government
employees coincided with a steep 2002 hike in medical service
plan (MSP) premiums. Instead of covering the increased MSP
contributions for retired employees, the Pension Corporation
decreed that they would have to pay the difference between the
old premiums and the new rates, around $20 per month in many
cases.

In addition, the Pension Corporation also eliminated dental
coverage for retirees, forcing them to pay additional monthly
fees for private insurance and increased the deductible for
extended health from $25 to $250 annually. Coverage for
prescription drugs dropped to 70 per cent from 75 per cent,
under that decree.

Victoria lawyer Peter Waldmann, who is representing the group,
told The Oak Bay News that on average provincial government
employees who retired on or before November 30, 2002 pay between
$750 and $1,500 in additional health care costs. "When you're
retired that's not a small sum," he told The Oak Bay News,
noting that some of the plaintiffs retired in the 1970s and
haven't benefited from inflation adjustments. He pointed out,
"To take a bite out of the fixed incomes they have is a serious
thing." The extra costs vary from person to person depending on
their state of health and need for health-care services, he
added.

Mr. Waldmann told The Oak Bay News that he expects further
developments in the case early in the next year, but sidestepped
a question about whether the group is open to a settlement
offer. Instead, he told The Oak Bay News, "They're not doing
this just to make a point," and adding, "They're looking to
resolve the problem. They just want what they were promised in
their pensions."

Ms. Prentice told The Oak Bay News that the Crown has 30 days to
appeal Justice Melvin's decision. Once that date passes, the
Crown will be obligated to notify all 27,000 retirees involved
in the lawsuit. Those who don't opt out will automatically be
included on the list of plaintiffs.


CANADA: Mutual Funds Investors Launches Suit V. Fund Companies
--------------------------------------------------------------
Canadians who invested in mutual funds managed by four fund
companies between September 1998 and September 2003 launched a
class action seeking compensation as a result of market timing.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are: IG Investment
Management Ltd., CI Mutual Funds Inc., Franklin Templeton
Investments Corp., and AGF Funds Inc. (collectively, the
"Management Companies").

The claim, filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice,
alleges that the Management Companies breached their fiduciary
duties to unit holders and were negligent in allowing market
timed trading of their funds. Market timing of mutual funds
refers to the investment practice of short-term "in and out"
trading of mutual fund shares to capitalize on the fact that
funds use "stale" prices to calculate the value of the shares,
which do not necessarily reflect the "fair market value" of the
shares at the time of valuation. Unlike other types of traded
securities, mutual funds are valued once per day, as of 4:00
p.m. EST, and not on a real-time basis. This daily valuation is
referred to as the fund's net asset value or NAV.

As a result of time zone differences, a market timer can take
advantage of positive developments on shares held by the fund
that come to light after the close of trading in those shares to
buy into the fund at a unit price lower than its fair market
value. A profit can be realized by selling the fund units after
the increase in value is incorporated into the fund's NAV the
following day. By stepping in at the last moment to take part of
the increase in value, effective timing captures a profit that
comes out of the pockets of the long-term investors of the fund.
This wealth transfer is referred to as "dilution".

"In allowing market timed trading to occur, the Management
Companies did not act in the best interests of all fund
investors and appear to have favoured the interests of market
timers over long-term investors of the funds," said Joel P.
Rochon, a partner at Rochon Genova, LLP. "The actions of the
Management Companies have affected thousands of Canadian
investors who have unwittingly been deprived of hundreds of
millions of dollars in investment savings."

According to an investigation conducted by the Ontario
Securities Commission, market-timing activity took place in
funds managed by the Management Companies. As part of a
settlement reached with the OSC earlier this year, the
Management Companies agreed to pay approximately $150 million to
the unit holders of the subject funds. However, it is alleged
that these payments reflect only a portion of the losses
suffered by the class members.

The allegations raised in the claim have not yet been proven in
court. The firm of Rochon Genova, LLP, represents the plaintiffs
and the prospective class members.

For more details, contact Joel Rochon of Rochon Genova, LLP,
Phone: (416) 363-1867 or 1-866-881-2292, Web site:
http://www.rochongenova.com.


CAPSTONE TURBINE: NY Court Preliminarily OKs Lawsuit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York granted preliminary approval to the settlement of the
consolidated securities class action filed against Capstone
Turbine Corporation, two of its then officers and the
underwriters of its initial public offering (IPO).

The consolidated suit was filed on behalf of purchasers of the
Company's common stock during the period from June 28, 2000 to
December 6, 2000. An amended complaint was filed on April 19,
2002.  Plaintiffs allege that the underwriter defendants agreed
to allocate stock in the Company's June 28, 2000 initial public
offering and November 16, 2000 secondary offering to certain
investors in exchange for excessive and undisclosed commissions
and agreements by those investors to make additional purchases
of stock in the aftermarket at pre-determined prices. Plaintiffs
allege that the prospectuses for these two public offerings were
false and misleading in violation of the securities laws because
they did not disclose these arrangements.

A committee of the Company's Board of Directors conditionally
approved a proposed partial settlement with the plaintiffs in
this matter. The settlement would provide, among other things, a
release of the Company and of the individual defendants for the
conduct alleged in the action to be wrongful in the Amended
Complaint.  The Company would agree to undertake other
responsibilities under the partial settlement, including
agreeing to assign away, not assert, or release certain
potential claims the Company may have against its underwriters.
Any direct financial impact of the proposed settlement is
expected to be borne by the Company's insurers.  The proposed
settlement is pending final approval by parties to the action
and the United States District Court Southern District of New
York.

The suit is styled "In Re Capstone Turbine Corp. Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation, docket number 01-CV-11220,"
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, under Judge Shira N. Scheindlin.  The
plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

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

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

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

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

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

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


CHINA AVIATION: Judge Dismisses Suit, Cites Jurisdiction Issues
---------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Robert P. Patterson Jr. dismissed a class
action lawsuit filed against China Aviation Oil (Singapore)
Corporation in the United States, The Associated Press reports.

According to the jet fuel importer, the New York concluded in
his ruling that U.S. courts did not have jurisdiction in the
case. Commenting on the ruling, China's former top jet-fuel
supplier said in a recently released statement, "The Company is
not aware of whether the plaintiffs intend to appeal this
decision."

Five current or former executives of the Company have been
charged with offenses in connection with the near-downfall in
late 2004 of the company. Its subsidiary sought court protection
from creditors after losing more than $500 million on risky oil
trades.

Just recently, the Company said that London-based energy group
BP PLC and Singapore's Temasek Holdings Pte., will pump funds
into the jet-fuel importer as part of a rescue package.

Previously, several law firms initiated class action lawsuits in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf of all securities purchasers of the Company
between March 27, 2003 and November 30, 2004 inclusive, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (June 13, 2006) reports.

The complaint charges China Aviation, Jia Changbin and Chen
Jiulin with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder. More specifically, the Complaint alleges that the
Company failed to disclose and misrepresented the following
material adverse facts, which were known to defendants or
recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls and
         risk management procedures;

     (2) that as a consequence the Company engaged in
         speculative derivative trading, forcing controlling
         shareholders to raise funds to cover margin calls on
         massive derivative losses; and

     (3) that the Company kept $550 million in derivative
         trading losses of the books, thereby artificially
         inflating its financial results.

On November 30, 2004, China Oil announced that the Company had
suffered significant losses from speculative oil derivative
trading. As of November 29, 2004, the Company estimated that the
total cumulative losses (both realized and unrealized) incurred
by the Company were approximately $550 million. On this news,
trading in the Company's shares was suspended after the shares
dropped to below S$1.00 per share, compared to prices as high as
S$1.70 per share, at which the shares traded during the Class
Period, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (June 13, 2006)
reports.

Plaintiffs firms involved in the case are:
    
     (1) Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C., 60 Park Ave.,
         21st Floor, New York, NY 10022, Phone: 212-838-3221, E-
         mail: gray@cjgraylaw.com;

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

     (3) 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; and

     (4) Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 3 Bala Plaza E., Bala
         Cynwyd, PA 19004, Phone: 610-667-7706, Fax: 610-667-
         7056, E-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com.


CNET NETWORKS: Suit V. Gambling Sites in Searches Pending in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
CNET Networks, Inc. continues to face a class action filed in
the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San
Francisco by Mario Cisneros and Michael Voigt on behalf of
themselves, all others similarly situated and the general
public.  The suit also names other defendants who provide
Internet search services, including Google, Yahoo!, Overture,
AskJeeves and others.

The complaint alleges that certain search results displayed by
the defendants facilitate illegal internet gambling in violation
of California state law. The complaint does not specify an
amount of damages.  The proceeding is in its early stages, and
accordingly, the Company cannot predict the impact of this
litigation on its business, financial condition or results of
operations.

The suit is styled "Mario Cisneros et al, v. Yahoo! Inc., et al,
case no. CGC-04-433518," filed in the California Superior Court
in San Francisco County, under Judge Richard A. Kramer.
Representing the plaintiffs are Kathrein R. Reed and Ira P.
Rothken.  Lawyers for the Company are David T. Biderman, Robert
Harvey Binzel, Janet L. Cullum, Charles H. Dick, Jr., Albert
Gidari, Richard Jay Idell, Matthew P. Kanny, David H. Kramer,
Thomas P. Laffey, Ryan M. Malone, Laurence F. Pulgram, John C.
Rawls, David O. Stewart.  


CNET NETWORKS: NY Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York granted preliminary approval to the settlement of the
consolidated securities class action filed against Ziff-Davis,
Eric Hippeau, former Chief Executive Officer of Ziff-Davis,
Timothy O' Brien, former Chief Financial Officer of Ziff-Davis,
and investment banks that were the underwriters of the public
offering of ZDNet series of Ziff-Davis stock (the ZDNet
Offering).  CNET Networks was named as a defendant, as successor
in liability to Ziff-Davis.

Two complaints were initially filed, similarly alleging
violations of the Securities Act of 1933.  One of the complaints
also alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  
The complaints allege the receipt of excessive and undisclosed
commissions by the underwriters in connection with the
allocation of shares of common stock to certain investors in the
ZDNet Offering and agreements by those investors to make
additional purchases of stock in the aftermarket at pre-
determined prices.  Plaintiffs allege that the prospectus for
the ZDNet Offering was false and misleading and in violation of
the securities laws because it did not disclose the
arrangements.

A Consolidated Amended Complaint, which is now the operative
complaint, was filed in the Southern District of New York on
April 19, 2002. The action seeks damages in an unspecified
amount.  The action is being coordinated with over 300 nearly
identical actions filed against other companies and their
underwriters.  On February 19, 2003, the Court granted the
Company's motion to dismiss the Section 10(b) claim with leave
to re-plead, and denied the motion to dismiss the Section 11
claim.  Plaintiffs did not re-plead the Section 10(b) claim, and
the time to re-plead that claim has expired. On October 13,
2004, the Court certified a class in six of the approximately
300 other nearly identical actions and noted that the decision
is intended to provide strong guidance to all parties regarding
class certification in the remaining cases.  Plaintiffs have not
yet moved to certify a class in the CNET Networks case.

The majority of the issuers, including CNET Networks, and their
insurers have approved a settlement agreement and related
agreements.  The agreements set forth the terms of a settlement
between the Company, the plaintiff class and the vast majority
of the other approximately 300 issuer defendants. Pursuant to
those agreements, the Company's insurers would participate in an
undertaking to guarantee a minimum recovery by the plaintiffs.
Among other provisions, the settlement provides for a release of
the Company and the individual defendants for the conduct
alleged in the action to be wrongful.  The Company would agree
to undertake certain responsibilities, including agreeing to
assign away, not assert, or release certain potential claims the
Company may have against its underwriters.  The settlement
agreement also provides for a "back-stop" guarantee from the
issuers and their insurers pursuant to which they will pay the
plaintiffs any shortfall between $1 billion and the amounts
recovered in the ongoing litigation against the underwriters.  
It is anticipated that any potential financial obligation of the
Company to plaintiffs pursuant to the terms of the settlement
agreement and related agreements will be covered by existing
insurance.  Therefore, the Company does not expect that the
settlement will involve any payment by it.  Based on the amount
of the Company's insurance and the agreement of the insurers to
cover legal expenses after June 1, 2003, CNET Networks does not
anticipate additional expenses or liability if the settlement is
approved.  

On February 15, 2005, the court granted preliminary approval of
the settlement agreement, subject to certain modifications
consistent with its opinion. The requested modifications would
provide for a mutual bar of all contribution claims by the
settling and non-settling parties and would not bar the parties
from pursuing other claims.  The Court held a hearing on March
18, 2005 to discuss the status of the revised settlement terms
and to determine the date on which the revised settlement
agreement will be submitted as well as the deadline for the
underwriter defendants to object to the revised settlement
agreement.  There is no assurance that the parties to the
settlement will be able to agree to a revised settlement
agreement consistent with the court's opinion, or that the court
will grant final approval to the settlement to the extent the
parties reach agreements. Currently, the settlement is in the
process of being approved by the court.

The suit is styled "In Re CNET Networks, Inc. Securities
Litigation," filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, under Judge Shira N. Scheindlin.  
The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

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

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

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

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

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

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


CORNELL COMPANIES: TX Court Mulls Stock Suit Settlement Approval
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas, Houston Division has yet to grant approval to the
settlement of the consolidated securities class action filed
against Cornell Companies, Inc. and certain of its officers and
directors.

In March and April 2002, the company, Steven W. Logan (its
former President and Chief Executive Officer), and John L.
Hendrix (its former Chief Financial Officer), were named as
defendants in four federal putative class action lawsuits
styled:

     (1) Graydon Williams, On Behalf of Himself and All Others
         Similarly Situated v. Cornell Companies, Inc, et al.,
         case no. H-02-0866, in the United States District
         Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston
         Division;

     (2) Richard Picard, On Behalf of Himself and All Others
         Similarly Situated v. Cornell Companies, Inc., et al.,
         case no. H-02-1075, in the United States District
         Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston
         Division;

     (3) Louis A. Daly, On Behalf of Himself and All Others
         Similarly Situated v. Cornell Companies, Inc., et al.,
         case No. H-02-1522, in the United States District Court
         for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division,
         and

     (4) Anthony J. Scolaro, On Behalf of Himself and All Others
         Similarly Situated v. Cornell Companies, Inc., et al.,
         case No. H-02-1567, in the United States District Court
         for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division

The aforementioned lawsuits were putative class action lawsuits
brought on behalf of all purchasers of the Company's common
stock between March 6, 2001 and March 5, 2002 and relate to the
Company's restatement in 2002 of certain financial statements.  
The lawsuits involved disclosures made concerning two prior
transactions executed by the Company: the August 2001 sale
leaseback transaction and the 2000 synthetic lease transaction.  
These four lawsuits were consolidated into the "Graydon
Williams" action and Flyline Partners, LP was appointed lead
plaintiff.  As a result, a consolidated complaint was filed by
Flyline Partners, LP.  Richard Picard and Anthony Scolaro were
also named as plaintiffs.

Since then, the court has allowed plaintiffs to file an amended
consolidated complaint. The amended consolidated complaint
alleges that the defendants violated Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"), Rule 10b-5
promulgated under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, Section
20(a) of the Exchange Act, Section 11 of the Securities Act of
1933 (the "Securities Act") and/or Section 15 of the Securities
Act.  The amended consolidated complaint seeks, among other
things, restitution damages, compensatory damages, rescission or
a rescissory measure of damages, costs, expenses, attorneys'
fees and expert fees.  

In an order entered April 1, 2005, the court granted the motion
to dismiss with respect to the plaintiffs' securities fraud
claims pursuant to Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act
and Rule 10b-5.  The court denied the motion to dismiss as to
the remaining claims covering the Company's secondary offering
in 2001.  Subject to court approval and documentation, the
parties have agreed to settle this matter.  Under the proposed
agreement, the Company has not admitted any wrongdoing.  
Settlement in the amount of $7 million will be funded through
the Company's Directors' and Officers' liability insurance.  


CORNELL COMPANIES: Named As Defendant in New Mexico Inmate Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cornell Companies, Inc. faces a lawsuit filed by a detainee at
the Lincoln County Detention Center (LCDC) in the United States
District Court of New Mexico (Santa Fe).

The lawsuit relates to the former LCDC policy that required
strip searches for all detainees and inmates and alleges that
such policy violates a detainee's Fourth Amendment rights.  The
lawsuit was filed as a putative class action lawsuit brought on
behalf of all inmates who were searched at the facility from May
2002 to July 2005.  This lawsuit is in its early stages and no
discovery has been conducted.


FARO TECHNOLOGIES: Faces Purported Securities Fraud Suit in FL
--------------------------------------------------------------
FARO Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: FARO) and certain of its
officers were named as defendants in a purported securities
class action lawsuit filed in United States District Court for
the Middle District of Florida.

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws, the
central allegation of which is that certain of the Company's
public disclosures between May 6, 2004 and November 3, 2005 were
materially false or misleading. The Company adamantly denies
that any of its public disclosures have violated any federal
securities law. The Company believes that this lawsuit is
baseless, and it intends to vigorously defend against all claims
asserted in the case.

The suit is styled, "Goldberger v. Faro Technologies, Inc. et
al, Case No. 6:05-cv-01810-ACC-DAB," filed in the United States
District Court for the Middle District of Florida, under Judge
Anne C. Conway with referral Judge David A. Baker. Representing
the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Maya S. Saxena of Milberg, Weiss, Bershad & Schulman,
         LLP, 5200 Town Center Circle, Suite 600, Tower One,
         Boca Raton, FL 33486-1018, Phone: 561/361-5000, Fax:
         561/367-8400, E-mail: msaxena@milbergweiss.com;

     (2) David R. Scott of Scott & Scott, LLC, 108 Norwich Ave.,
         P.O. Box 192, Colchester, CT 06415, Phone: 860-537-
         3818;

     (3) Arthur L. Shingler, III of Scott & Scott, LLC, 600 B.
         St., Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101, Phone: 619/233-
         4565, Fax: 619/233-0508.

For more details, contact Greg Fraser, Executive Vice President,
FARO Technologies, Phone: +1-407-333-9911, E-mail:
fraserg@FARO.com.


FLORIDA: Judge Allows Detainees to Join Suit Over Strip Searches
----------------------------------------------------------------
Seminole County could face significantly greater fallout as a
result of a federal judge's decision that anyone detained for an
"unreasonable" amount of time at the Seminole County Jail can
seek damages, The Orlando Sentinel reports.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Presnell stems
from a lawsuit filed by eight people who were illegally strip-
searched at the jail last year. It seeks damages for those
searches. Filed in June 2004, the suit also seeks damages
because jailers took more than five hours to release six of the
plaintiffs even after a judge ordered them to be freed
immediately. One plaintiff says he was detained for 14 hours
after his family paid his bail.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs told The Orlando Sentinel that they
plan to seek class action status for the suit. The recent ruling
means it could now encompass not only anyone illegally strip-
searched but those unreasonably detained at the jail in the past
four years.

If the suit is successful, the county could face thousands of
claims, based on the more than 84,000 people processed through
the jail since 2001. Plaintiff's attorney Randall Berg told The
Orlando Sentinel, "The exposure obviously is more than just the
people who have been illegally strip-searched. There are a lot
more individuals who have been unreasonably detained."

It's not known how many people were detained after they should
have been released, but that can be determined, according to Mr.
Berg, executive director of the nonprofit Florida Justice
Institute, a public-interest law firm. He added, that attorneys
could hammer out a time frame for what is reasonable and then
jail records can be used to determine who was held for longer
than that time. "We know it takes time for [release] orders to
be processed, but five hours or 14 hours is not reasonable," he
adds.

Seven of the eight plaintiffs in the suit were among 18 people
that Seminole County Judge John Sloop ordered arrested in
December 2 and 3, 2004, for not showing up in traffic court. All
had been directed to the wrong courtroom. They were taken to the
Seminole County Jail, where they were strip-searched. The eighth
plaintiff, Kim Lemister, also says she was illegally strip-
searched, but she was not among those jailed by Judge Sloop.

The Sheriff's Office, which operates the jail, has acknowledged
that searches of those Judge Sloop had arrested violated jail
policy and were illegal. An internal investigation by the jail
later found that everyone sent to jail from the court was
routinely strip-searched. Since 2001, about 4,900 people have
been remanded to jail from court.

The lawsuit names Sheriff Don Eslinger, jail administrator
Michael Tidwell, former jail administrator David Diggs and
Seminole County as defendants.

Judge Presnell ruled that qualified immunity, which protects
public officials from lawsuits over job performance, does not
excuse the unreasonable delays. He wrote in his ruling, "To this
court, such an unjustified delay is so obviously a violation of
every citizen's due process rights that it precludes qualified
immunity even in the absence of case law directly on point."

The suit is styled, "Parilla et al v. Eslinger et al, Case No.
6:05-cv-00850-GAP-KRS," filed in the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Florida, under Judge Gregory A.
Presnell with referral to Judge Karla R. Spaulding. Representing
the Plaintiff/s are, Randall Challen Berg, Jr., Cullin Avram
O'Brien and Peter Michael Siegel of Florida Justice Institute,
Inc., 200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2870, Miami, FL 33131-2309,
Phone:  305/358-2081, Fax: 305/358-0910, E-mail:
rcberg@bellsouth.net, cullinobrien@bellsouth.net and
pmsiegel@bellsouth.net; and J. Larry Hanks of Larry Hanks, P.A.,
6500 S. Highway 17-92, Fern Park, FL 32819, Phone: 407/423-1231,
Fax: 407/423-3066, E-mail: larrylaw@bellsouth.net. Representing
the Defendant/s are, D. Andrew DeBevoise and Thomas W. Poulton
of DeBevoise & Poulton, P.A., Lakeview Office Park, Suite 1010,
1035 S. Semoran Blvd., Winter Park, FL 32792, Phone:
407/673-5000 ext:231, Fax: 407/673-5059, E-mail:
debevoise@debevoisepoulton.com and poulton@debevoisepoulton.com;
and Henry W. Jewett, II  David T. White, III of Rissman,
Weisberg, Barrett, Hurt, Donahue & McLain, P.A., 201 E. Pine
St., 15th Floor, P.O. Box 4940, Orlando, FL 32802-4940, Phone:
407/839-0120, Fax: 407-841-9726, E-mail: skip.jewett@rissman.com
and trey.white@rissman.com.


FMF CAPITAL: Faces Lawsuit From Alleged Shareholder in MI Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
FMF Capital Group Ltd. (TSX:FMF.UN) faces a class action filed
by one of its shareholders in the Oakland County Circuit Court
for the State of Michigan.  The suit also names as defendants
FMF Holdings, LLC, FMF Capital, LLC, certain of the Company's
officers and directors, the underwriters of the Company's
initial public offering, the Company's auditors and certain
other named individuals.

None of the parties have yet been served, the Company said in a
statement. The Company obtained and reviewed a copy of the
complaint, which alleges, among other things, violations of the
Michigan Uniform Securities Act, fraud and negligent misconduct.
The Company believes that the claims alleged in the complaint
are without merit and intends to defend this matter vigorously.


FRANKLIN RESOURCES: Chief Justice Limits Attorney Fees in Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
In his first Supreme Court opinion that produced a narrow but
unanimous victory for businesses, U.S. Chief Justice John
Roberts limited the ability of consumers to win attorneys' fees
in suits against companies, Bloomberg reports.

In a nine-page opinion, Justice Roberts said that Franklin
Resources Inc. and another company don't have to pay the legal
fees two New Mexico consumers incurred in a pre-trial skirmish
over the proper forum for their lawsuit. Nonetheless, the court
did refuse to impose sharp limits on fees urged by the Bush
administration, reading a federal statute as placing "no heavy
thumb on either side of the scales."

The dispute concerned a law that lets defendants shift lawsuits
from state to federal court in some circumstances. Businesses
often use that approach in the hope of getting a more favorable
hearing before a federal judge and jury.

The issue for Justice Roberts and the court was whether legal
fees generally should go to plaintiffs who successfully argue
against a bid to move a case into federal court. Mr. Roberts
pointed out in the ruling that fees should be awarded only when
a litigant "lacked an objectively reasonable basis" for arguing
in favor of a federal forum.

The decision upheld a lower court ruling favoring Franklin and
Century-National Insurance Co. The two companies are fighting a
class-action lawsuit filed by Gerald and Juana Martin over auto
loans and insurance.

The Bush administration previously urged the court to allow fees
only when the bid to shift is "frivolous, unreasonable or
without foundation." Justice Roberts rejected that argument,
however, saying, "there is no basis here for a strong bias
against fee awards." The case being hjeard is Martin v. Franklin
Capital Corporation, 04-1140.


KVH INDUSTRIES: RI Court Dismisses in Part Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Rhode
Island dismissed in part the consolidated securities class
action filed against KVH Industries, Inc. and certain of its
officers.

The suit asserts claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 under that
statute, as well as claims under Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15
under the Securities Act of 1933, on behalf of purchasers of our
securities in the period between October 1, 2003 and July 2,
2004. The Teamsters Affiliates Pension Plan has been appointed
lead plaintiff.  This matter consolidates into one action eight
separate complaints filed between July 21, 2004 and September
15, 2004.

On January 14, 2005, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss
the consolidated complaint for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.  The court heard oral arguments on
May 10, 2005.  The court granted in part and denied in part
defendants' motion to dismiss. On October 14, 2005, defendants
answered the consolidated complaint and denied liability and all
allegations of wrongdoing.

The suit is styled `Sekuk Global, et al v. KVH Industries, Inc.,
et al., case no. 1:04-cv-00306-ML,' filed in the United States
District Court for the District of Rhode Island, under Judge
Mary M Lisi.  Representing the plaintiffs are Matthew F.
Medeiros, Little, Medeiros, Kinder, Bulman & Whitney, 72 Pine
St., 5th Floor, Providence, RI 02903, Phone: 401-272-8080 Fax:
401-521-3555; and Barry J. Kusinitz, 155 South Main St., Suite
405, Providence, RI 02903, Phone: 401-831-4200, Fax: 401-831-
7053.  Representing the Company are John H. Henn, Kalun Lee,
Brandon F. White, Foley Hoag LLP, 155 Seaport Boulevard,  
Boston, MA 02210, Phone: 617-832-1000, Fax: 617-832-7000; and
Brooks R. Magratten, Benjamin V. White III, Vetter & White,
Incorporated, 20 Washington Place, Providence, RI 02903, Phone:
401-421-3060, Fax: 401-272-6803.


LORAL SPACE: Mediation For NY Securities Suit Set January 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mediation for the class action filed against Loral Space &
Communications, Ltd.'s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of
the Board of Directors Bernard Schwartz in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York is set for
January 2006.

In August 2003, plaintiffs Robert Beleson and Harvey Matcovsky
filed the suit, alleging that:

     (1) that Mr. Schwartz violated Section 10(b) of the
         Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by
         making material misstatements or failing to state  
         material facts about the Company's financial condition
         relating to the sale of assets to Intelsat and Loral's
         Chapter 11 filing and

     (2) that Mr. Schwartz is secondarily liable for these
         alleged misstatements and omissions under Section 20(a)
         of the Exchange Act as an alleged "controlling person"
         of Loral.

The class of plaintiffs on whose behalf the lawsuit has been
asserted consists of all buyers of Loral common stock during the
period from June 30, 2003 through July 15, 2003, excluding the
defendant and certain persons related to or affiliated with him.

In February 2004, a motion to dismiss the complaint in its
entirety was denied by the court.  Defendant filed an answer in
March 2004. Discovery has been stayed pending the outcome of
mediation scheduled for January 2006.

The suit is styled "Beleson, et al. v. Schwartz, case no. 1:03-
cv-06051-JES," filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, under Judge John E. Sprizzo.  
Representing the plaintiffs are Jules Brody of Stull Stull &
Brody, 6 East 45th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10017, Phone:
(212) 687-7230, Fax: (212) 490-2022; and Joseph H. Weiss, Weiss
& Yourman, The French Building 551 Fifth Avenue 1600 New York,
NY 10176, Phone: (212) 682-3025.  Representing Mr. Schwartz are
Jeanne Marie Luboja and Francis James Menton, Jr., Willkie Farr
& Gallagher LLP (NY), 787 Seventh Avenue New York, NY 10019,
Phone: (212) 728-8000 Fax: (212) 728-8111, E-mail:
maosdny@willkie.com


LORAL SPACE: Discovery Continues NY Securities Lawsuit V. Execs
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery continues in the class action filed against two Loral
Space & Communications Ltd. executives in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In November 2003, plaintiffs Tony Christ, individually and as
custodian for Brian and Katelyn Christ, Casey Crawford, Thomas
Orndorff and Marvin Rich filed a purported class action
complaint against Bernard Schwartz, the Company's chief
executive officer and chairman of the board of directors and
Richard J. Townsend, the Company's executive vice president.  
The complaint alleges:

     (1) that defendants violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange  
         Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by making
         material misstatements or failing to state material
         facts about the Company's financial condition relating
         to the restatement in 2003 of the financial statements
         for the second and third quarters of 2002 to correct
         accounting for certain general and administrative
         expenses and the alleged improper accounting for a
         satellite transaction with APT Satellite Company Ltd.
         and

     (2) that each of the defendants are secondarily liable for
         these alleged misstatements and omissions under Section
         20(a) of the Exchange Act as an alleged "controlling
         person" of Loral.

The class of plaintiffs on whose behalf the lawsuit has been
asserted consists of all buyers of Company common stock during
the period from July 31, 2002 through June 29, 2003, excluding
the defendants and certain persons related to or affiliated with
them.  In October 2004, a motion to dismiss the complaint in its
entirety was denied by the court. Defendants filed an answer to
the complaint in December 2004.  Discovery has commenced and is
ongoing. The parties have requested a stay of discovery pending
the outcome of mediation scheduled for January 2006.

The suit is styled "Hull v. Schwartz, case no. 1:03-cv-07829-
JES," filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, under Judge John E. Sprizzo.  Representing
the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Lauren D. Antonino, Martin D. Chitwood, Chitwood &
         Harley, 2300 Promenade II 1230 Peachtree Street, NE
         Atlanta, GA 30309, Phone: (404) 873-3900

     (2) Christopher Scott Hinton, Frederick Taylor Isquith,
         Sr., Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP 270
         Madison Avenue New York, NY 10017, Phone: (212) 545-
         4600, E-mail: isquith@whafh.com


LORAL SPACE: Reaches Settlement For NY Consolidated ERISA Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Loral Space & Communications, Ltd. reached an agreement to
settle the consolidated class action filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York against it
by its former employees and participants in the Loral Savings
Plan (the "Savings Plan"), styled "In re: Loral Space ERISA
Litigation."

In July 2004, plaintiffs in the consolidated action filed an
amended consolidated complaint against the members of the Loral
Space & Communications Ltd. Savings Plan Administrative
Committee and certain existing and former members of the Board
of Directors of SS/ L, including Bernard L. Schwartz.  The
amended complaint alleges:

     (1) that defendants violated Section 404 of the Employee
         Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), by breaching
         their fiduciary duties to prudently and loyally manage
         the assets of the Savings Plan by including Loral
         common stock as an investment alternative and by
         providing matching contributions under the Savings Plan
         in Loral stock,

     (2) that the director defendants violated Section 404 of
         ERISA by breaching their fiduciary duties to monitor
         the committee defendants and to provide them with
         accurate information,

     (3) that defendants violated Sections 404 and 405 of ERISA
         by failing to provide complete and accurate information
         to Savings Plan participants and beneficiaries, and

     (4) that defendants violated Sections 404 and 405 of ERISA
         by breaching their fiduciary duties to avoid conflicts
         of interest.

The class of plaintiffs on whose behalf the lawsuit has been
asserted consists of all participants in or beneficiaries of the
Savings Plan at any time between November 4, 1999 and the
present and whose accounts included investments in Loral stock.  
In September 2005, the plaintiffs agreed in principle to settle
this case for $7.5 million payable solely from proceeds of
insurance coverage and without recourse to the individual
defendants. The District Court has suspended further proceedings
in this case pending the outcome of the insurance litigation
referred to below and final approval of the settlement.  
Plaintiffs have also filed a proof of claim against the Company
with respect to this case in an unliquidated amount.  The
Company believes that this claim is without merit and have filed
an objection in the Bankruptcy Court which is scheduled to be
heard in December 2005.


The suit is styled, "In Re Loral Space ERISA Litigation, case
no. 1:03-cv-09923-LTS," filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York, under Judge Laura
Taylor Swain.  Representing the plaintiffs is Evan J. Smith,
Brodsky & Smith, L.L.C., Two Bala Plaza, Suite 602 Bala Cynwyd,
PA 19004, Phone: 610.667.6200, Fax: 610.667.9029, E-mail:
esmith@brodsky-smith.com.  


LORAL SPACE: CEO Preliminarily Settles NY Securities Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Loral Space & Communications Ltd.'s Chief Executive Officer and
Chairman of the Board of Directors Bernard Schwartz
preliminarily settled the consolidated class action filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York against him, the Company and Globalstar Telecommunications
Limited (GTL), styled "In re Globalstar Securities Litigation."

On September 26, 2001, the nineteen separate purported class
action lawsuits filed in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York by various holders of
securities of GTL and Globalstar L.P. (Globalstar) were
consolidated.  In November 2001, plaintiffs in the consolidated
action filed a consolidated amended class action complaint,
alleging:

     (1) that all defendants (except Loral) violated Section
         10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
         10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by making material
         misstatements or failing to state material facts about
         Globalstar's business and prospects,

     (2) that defendants Loral and Mr. Schwartz are secondarily
         liable for these alleged misstatements and omissions
         under Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act as alleged
         "controlling persons" of Globalstar,

     (3) that defendants GTL and Mr. Schwartz are liable under
         Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the
         "Securities Act") for untrue statements of material
         facts in or omissions of material facts from a
         registration statement relating to the sale of shares
         of GTL common stock in January 2000,

     (4) that defendant GTL is liable under Section 12(2)(a) of
         the Securities Act for untrue statements of material
         facts in or omissions of material facts from a
         prospectus and prospectus supplement relating to the
         sale of shares of GTL common stock in January 2000, and

     (5) that defendants Loral and Mr. Schwartz are secondarily
         liable under Section 15 of the Securities Act for GTL's
         primary violations of Sections 11 and 12(2)(a) of the
         Securities Act as alleged "controlling persons" of GTL.

The class of plaintiffs on whose behalf the lawsuit has been
asserted consists of all buyers of securities of Globalstar,
Globalstar Capital and GTL during the period from December 6,
1999 through October 27, 2000, excluding the defendants and
certain persons related to or affiliated with them.

In December 2003, a motion to dismiss the amended complaint in
its entirety was denied by the court insofar as GTL and Mr.
Schwartz are concerned, and discovery has commenced and is
ongoing.  In December 2004, plaintiffs' motion for certification
of the class was granted. In June 2004, Globalstar was
dissolved, and in October 2004, GTL was liquidated pursuant to
chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.

This case was preliminarily settled by Mr. Schwartz in July 2005
for $20 million, and he has commenced a lawsuit against
Globalstar's directors and officers liability insurers seeking
to recover the full settlement amount plus legal fees and
expenses incurred in enforcing his rights under Globalstar's
directors and officers liability insurance policy. In addition,
Mr. Schwartz has filed a proof of claim against the Company
asserting a general unsecured prepetition claim for, among other
things, indemnification relating to this case. Mr. Schwartz and
the Company have agreed in principle subject to definitive
documentation that in no event will his claim against the
Company with respect to the settlement of this case exceed $25
million.  If Mr. Schwartz's claim ultimately becomes an allowed
claim under the Plan of Reorganization and assuming he is not
reimbursed by Globalstar's insurers, Mr. Schwartz would be
entitled to a distribution under the Plan of Reorganization of
New Loral common stock based upon the amount of the allowed
claim. Any such distribution of stock would be in addition to
the 20 million shares of New Loral common stock being
distributed under the Plan of Reorganization to other creditors.

The suit is styled "In re Globalstar Securities Litigation, Case
No. 01-CV-1748 (SHS)," filed in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York, under Judge P. Kevin
Castel.

Representing the plaintiffs is Eric James Belfi of Murray, Frank
& Sailer, LLP, 275 Madison Avenue, Ste. 801, New York, NY 10016,
Phone: 212-682-1818, Fax: 212-682-1892, E-mail:
ebelfi@murrayfrank.com.  Representing the Company and Bernard
Schwartz are Jeanne Marie Luboja, Francis James Menton of
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (NY), 787 Seventh Avenue, New York,
NY 10019, Phone: (212) 728-8000, Fax: (212) 728-8111, E-mail:
maosdny@willkie.com


LORAL SPACE: Plaintiffs Temporarily Halt NY Lawsuit Proceedings
---------------------------------------------------------------
For now plaintiffs agree not to pursue the consolidated
securities class action filed against Loral Space &
Communications, Ltd. in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, as a result of the Company's
filing for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy
Code.

On March 2, 2002, the seven separate purported class action
lawsuits filed by various holders of the Company's common stock
against the Company, Bernard L. Schwartz and Richard J. Townsend
were consolidated into one action titled "In re: Loral Space
Communications Ltd. Securities Litigation."  On May 6, 2002,
plaintiffs in the consolidated action filed a consolidated
amended class action complaint alleging that all defendants
violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by making material misstatements or
failing to state material facts about the Company's s financial
condition and its investment in Globalstar Telecommunications
Limited (GTL) and that Mr. Schwartz is secondarily liable for
these alleged misstatements and omissions under Section 20(a) of
the Exchange Act as an alleged "controlling person" of the
Company.

The class of plaintiffs on whose behalf the lawsuit has been
asserted consists of all buyers of the Company's common stock
during the period from November 4, 1999 through February 1,
2001, excluding the defendants and certain persons related to or
affiliated with them.  After oral argument on a motion to
dismiss filed by the Company and Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Townsend,
in June 2003, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint alleging
essentially the same claims as in the original amended
complaint.  In February 2004, a motion to dismiss the amended
complaint was granted by the court insofar as Mr. Schwartz and
Mr. Townsend are concerned.

As a result of the commencement of the Chapter 11 Cases,
however, this lawsuit is subject to the automatic stay, and
further proceedings in the matter have been suspended, insofar
as the Company is concerned but continued as to the other
defendants, although the claims against them have been
dismissed. The parties have voluntarily agreed not to proceed
further with the action at this time, subject to their right to
actively pursue the litigation at a later date.


MAINE: Funeral Director Settles Suit Over Mortuary Trust Funds
--------------------------------------------------------------
Andrew L. Pratt, a former funeral director from Windsor, Maine,
who pleaded guilty last August to charges involving the
mishandling of mortuary trust funds settled a class action
lawsuit involving more than 70 clients for $250,000 plus
interest, The Bangor Daily News reports.

Mr. Pratt, 52, who is the former owner and director of Laite &
Pratt Funeral Home in Camden and Gray & Pratt Funeral Home in
Windsor, pleaded guilty last August 29 in Kennebec County
Superior Court in Augusta to one count each of theft by
unauthorized taking and theft by deception, according to a court
clerk. A sentencing date though was not yet set.

An order approving a civil class action settlement signed by
Justice S. Kirk Studstrup was filed in Knox County Superior
Court in Rockland. The agreement culminates three years of
working out a $250,000 settlement plus interest for amounts held
in escrow, according to Camden attorney Mary Platt Cooper, who
represents the two original plaintiffs, plus more than 70 others
who joined the class action lawsuit. Ms. Cooper told The Bangor
Daily News of the path towards settling the case, "It's been
quite a fight and quite a process."

Mr. Pratt represented himself in the civil case. In the criminal
matter, his attorney was Steve Parker of Augusta, who is now an
assistant attorney general.

In the order, the judge approved $83,333 for attorney fees and
$3,765 for costs, which will be taken from the settlement
amount. Ms. Cooper told The Bangor Daily News that the remaining
funds would be distributed by various percentages to the members
of the class.

Previously, Ms. Cooper explained that some people signed
contracts with Mr. Pratt that established accounts for prepaid
funeral expenses. In some instances, the accounts were never set
up, she had said, and in other cases, the funds were withdrawn
from the accounts without the person dying.

Although no criminal charges were made against Mr. Pratt, he
nevertheless signed a consent agreement on April 11, 2002, with
the Maine Board of Funeral Service for numerous violations,
including unauthorized withdrawal of mortuary trust funds, or
inability to account for mortuary trust funds, contained in 19
mortuary trusts that were established with Mr. Pratt or which
subsequently came under his control, according to the board's
Website. A condition of that consent agreement is that Mr. Pratt
never own or operate a funeral home or be employed by or be
licensed to work in a funeral home. Mr. Pratt neither admitted
nor denied the board's charges. The board also issued six
reprimands against Mr. Pratt and ordered that he provide $82,970
in restitution and other costs, an earlier Class Action Reporter
story (August 22, 2003) reports.


OHIO: Injunction Issued V. Steubenville's Speed Camera Program
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge David E. Henderson issued a
preliminary injunction against the speed camera program in city
of Steubenville, Ohio, TheNewspaper.com reports.

As a result of that injunction, the city shut down the camera
system and those who have received tickets will not have to pay
them unless the case is resolved in the city's favor.

Attorney Gary M. Stern filed the class action lawsuit on behalf
of his wife, who recently received two speeding tickets. Mr.
Stern claims that the cameras are unconstitutional for a number
of reasons among those are that motorists don't have the right
to appeal. Court documents pointed out that the traffic cameras
read the speed of cars driving by, and if you are in excess of
the speed limit, you are mailed an $85 ticket, an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (November 24, 2005) reports.

Mr. Stern claims that his wife was not driving the vehicle at
the time of the alleged offense and charges that the city failed
to follow the terms of its own ordinance which required fourteen
days of advance notice before installing the cameras. In
addition, he also cites constitutional problems with the
ordinance.

"Persons who wish to contest their citations are limited to a
hearing that is not subject to any prescribed rules of procedure
or evidence, and is not heard by an impartial tribunal, but is
decided by a police officer employed by the very department that
issued the citation, whose decision is final and not subject to
judicial review or further appeal, all of which violate the due
process rights guaranteed by the Ohio and the United States
constitutions," asserts Mr. Stern.

Since September 23, Steubenville has collected $225,000 in
revenue from the camera program, which issued the $85 tickets to
anyone going just 5 MPH over the speed limit. The other
defendant named in the suit is Traffipax, Inc. of Maryland.

The suit is styled, "APRIL STERN v. THE CITY OF STEUBENVILLE,
OHIO and TRAFFIPAX, INC., Case No. 05 CV 524," filed in the
Court of Common Pleas of Jefferson County, Ohio, under Judge
David E. Henderson. Representing the Plaintiff is GARY M. STERN
of STERN, STERN & STERN CO., LPA, 108 South Fourth St.,
Steubenville, OH 43952, Phone: (740) 284-1211, Web site:
http://www.sternlawyer.com/complaint.htm.


POST PROPERTIES: GA Court Mulls Suit Settlement Approval Appeal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia has yet to rule on
an alleged Post Properties, Inc. shareholder's appeal of the
approval of the settlement of the shareholder derivative and
purported class action lawsuits filed against members of the
Company's board of directors and the Company (as a nominal
defendant).

This complaint alleged various breaches of fiduciary duties by
the board of directors of the Company and sought, among other
relief, the disclosure of certain information by the defendants.
This complaint also sought to compel the defendants to undertake
various actions to facilities a sale of the Company.

On May 7, 2003, the plaintiff made a request for voluntary
expedited discovery. On May 13, 2003, the Company received
notice that a similar shareholder derivative and purported class
action lawsuit was filed against certain members of the board of
directors of the Company and against the Company as a nominal
defendant.  The complaint was filed in the Superior Court of
Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia on May 12, 2003 and alleged
breaches of fiduciary duties, abuse of control and corporate
waste by the defendants.  The plaintiff sought monetary damages
and, as appropriate, injunctive relief.

These lawsuits were settled, and in October 2004, the Superior
Court of Fulton County entered an order approving the settlement
and related orders dismissing the litigation. The estimated
legal and settlement costs, not covered by insurance, associated
with the expected resolution of the lawsuits were recorded in
the second quarter of 2003 as a component of a proxy contest and
related costs charge.  An alleged Company shareholder, who has
filed a separate purported derivative and direct action against
the Company and certain of its officers and directors, has
appealed from the Superior Court's orders approving the
settlement, overruling the shareholder's objection to the
settlement, denying the shareholder's motion to intervene, and
dismissing the litigation with prejudice.


RIDEAU REGIONAL: Argument V. Closure Bolstered, Attorney Says
-------------------------------------------------------------
A lawyer says that her argument for an injunction to block the
province from moving patients out of Rideau Regional Center
(RRC) while a class action lawsuit is before the courts was
significantly bolstered since her last court appearance in
September, The Brockville Recorder and Times reports.

Brenda Hollingsworth told The Brockville Recorder and Times that
she now has affidavits from three expert witnesses explaining
what they believe is the harm transfers into group-home style
care will cause long-term residents of the Smiths Falls
facility. Ms. Hollingsworth and lawyers for the Ministry of
Community and Social Services will make arguments surrounding
the injunction in front of a three-judge panel in Divisional
Court in Ottawa next week.

Back in September, Justice Robert Smith of the Superior Court of
Ontario denied the injunction. He however referred the case for
judicial review. At the same time, he also imposed a 90-day
prohibition on moving RRC residents without consent from them or
a family member.

Ms. Hollingsworth told The Brockville Recorder and Times that
only one patient has been transferred in the interim. She adds
that Justice Smith's ruling gives her some confidence going into
the upcoming hearing. "(Justice Smith) highlighted that it's a
very serious case," she said.

She also told The Brockville Recorder and Times, "He could have
dismissed it out of hand and he certainly didn't. He felt it was
important enough to refer it to the Divisional Court and give a
stay even though he (was) concerned we didn't have an expert
witness."

Ms. Hollingsworth added that evidence since gathered from
experts Drs. Joseph Molino, Bruce McCreary and George McAllister  
further supports case she'll make next week. Dr. Molino, a
retired RRC psychologist, stated that for some residents "the
cost of transferring into a group home is just too high and he
measures that in terms of loss of freedom and loss of
relationships," according to Ms. Hollingsworth. Dr. McCreary,
meanwhile, says there is reason to doubt an already strained
health-care system can provide the level of care discharged RRC
patients will require.

Families launched the class action suit in hopes of overturning
the government's planned closure of the massive home for
severely mentally disabled adults in March 2009. It was filed by
Toronto attorney James Gray, who issued a claim as a guardian
for his sister Ann Gray, against the Province of Ontario,
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Community and Social Services
Minister Sandra Pupatello and "any other minister or Crown
officer" involved in the impending closure of the RRC, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (July 21, 2005) reports.
Approximately 160 families at the Smiths Falls institution are
represented.

Additionally, Ms. Hollingsworth told The Brockville Recorder and
Times that families from the Huronia Centre in Orillia, a
similar facility that's slated for closure, also joined the
lawsuit.

The families see the injunction against patient transfers while
the case makes its way through the courts as crucial to prevent
the government from the de facto shutdown of the facility by
moving everyone out. Ms. Hollingsworth told The Brockville
Recorder and Times that she would base her arguments for the
injunction on two sections of the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms, namely: Section 7 protecting security of the person
and Section 15's equality guarantees.

In addition, she will also argue Community and Social Services
Minister Sandra Pupatello exceeded her authority when she
announced the closures of RRC, Huronia and a third facility in
southwestern Ontario in September 2004.

Finally, Ms. Hollingsworth told The Brockville Recorder and
Times that the panel's ruling could come directly from the bench
as early as next week, or be reserved until after Christmas. She
said, "There's no way to know."


SCHICK TECHNOLOGIES: Investors File Suit V. Sirona, Blitz Merger
----------------------------------------------------------------
Schick Technologies, Inc. faces a class action filed in the
Delaware Court of Chancery with respect to the proposed
combination between the Company, Sirona Holdings Luxco S.C.A.
("Sirona Holdings") and Blitz 05-118 GmbH ("Blitz").

The complaint purports to be filed by a stockholder of the
Company as a class action. It names the Company, its Directors,
Sirona Holdings, Sirona Holdings S.A., Madison Dearborn
Partners, LLC, and related parties, as Defendants.  The
complaint alleges, among other things, that the terms of the
contemplated transaction are unfair to the Company's public
shareholders and that the members of the Board of Directors
violated their fiduciary duties by, among other things, failing
to maximize shareholder value in a sale of control of the
Company, and that they have effectively made an acquisition of
the Company untenable for any third party other than Sirona.  
The plaintiff seeks, among other things, class action
certification, a preliminary and permanent injunction against
consummation of the proposed transaction, rescission should the
transaction be consummated, compensatory damages to the class,
and attorneys' fees and expenses.  


SHOPKO STORES: ID Resident Files Suit Over Denied Overtime Wages
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ryan Cannell, a Twin Falls, Idaho resident is attempting to
bring a class action lawsuit against Shopko Stores, Inc.,
claiming that the discount retailer is violating the federal
Fair Labor Standards Act by refusing to pay overtime wages to
assistant managers.

Filed recently in U.S. District Court in Boise, the suit alleges
that the retailer routinely hires people under the title of
assistant manager for non-managerial duties, and then fails to
pay the assistant managers overtime. Mr. Cannell is asking a
federal judge to classify the case as a class action.

Asked for comment regarding the suit, the Company's attorney
Candy Dale of the Boise firm Hall Farley Oberrecht and Blanton
told The Associated Press, "ShopKo's policy is not to comment on
pending litigation, however, I am authorized to indicate that we
do not believe the suit has any merit whatsoever and we intend
to defend against it vigorously." ShopKo had not yet been served
with the lawsuit.

Based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the Company employs more than
25,000 people at more than 360 stores in 23 states. ShopKo
stores sell discount retail items and generally include pharmacy
and eye care centers. It's annual sales exceed $3 billion,
according to its Web site.

In his suit, Mr. Cannell contends that at least 500 other people
employed by the Company as assistant managers during the last
three years were subjected to unfair labor practices. According
to the suit, "ShopKo paid Mr. Cannell a salary and did not pay
him for his hours over 40 per week, nor for any of his overtime
work. Almost all of Mr. Cannell's time working for ShopKo was
spent performing manual work, including but not limited to
unloading trucks, stocking shelves, performing customer
services, cashiering, collecting carts from the parking lot and
cleaning bathrooms."

In fact, Mr. Cannell claims, none of the assistant managers
employed by ShopKo or its subsidiary, Pamida Stores, were bona
fide executives, nor did they work in an administrative or
professional capacity.

Patrick Perotti, an attorney representing Mr. Cannell based in
Cleveland, Ohio told The Associated Press, "Those people are
hourly workers and should be getting paid overtime. From what
we've investigated, they do not have the power to act as
managers. A manager would normally be able to fire someone. A
manager would normally have access to the company's finances or
credit card - these people don't have the power to do that."
Cynthia Woolley, an attorney based in Ketchum, also represents
Mr. Cannell in the case.

The suit states that as an assistant manager, Mr. Cannell was
scheduled for an average of 45 hours per week and that increased
to an average of over 50 hours a week during the Christmas
season.

Someone on salary is normally able to come and go as they
please, Mr. Perotti points out. He told The Associated Press,
"If certain things don't get done because another employee is
sick then this so-called manager is on their hands and knees,
cleaning the bathroom. They're the ones running through the
parking lot, rounding up shopping carts."

The lawsuit asks the court to prevent ShopKo from destroying any
employment records, time cards or other documents dating back
three years and to stop misclassifying employees. Additionally,
Mr. Cannell himself is also seeking back pay of overtime wages,
attorney fees and any other award the court deems proper.

The suit is styled, "Cannell v. Shopko Stores, Inc., Case No.
1:05-cv-00496-BLW, filed in the United States District Court for
the District of Idaho, under Judge B. Lynn Winmill. Representing
the Plaintiff/s are, Kirstin K. Dutcher and Cynthia Jane Woolley
of THE LAW OFFICES OF CYNTHIA J. WOLLLEY, PLLC, P.O. Box 6999,
Ketchum, ID 83340, Phone: (208) 725-5356, Fax: 1-208-725-5569,
E-mail: kirstin@ketchumidaholaw.com and
cynthia@ketchumidaholaw.com; and Patrick J. Perotti of DWORKEN &
BERNSTEIN CO., LPA, 55 Public Square, Suite 950, Cleveland, OH
44114. Representing the Defendant is Candy W. Dale of HALL
FARLEY OBERRECHT & BLANTON, P.O. Box 1271, Boise, ID 83701-1271,
Phone: (208) 395-8500, Fax: 1-208-395-8585, E-mail:
cwd@hallfarley.com.


UNION PACIFIC: TX Residents Want Suit Returned to Miller County
---------------------------------------------------------------
Residents of College Hill, Texas are asking a federal judge to
send back the lawsuit that they filed against Union Pacific
Corporation to Miller County circuit court where they originally
filed it, The Texarkana Gazette reports.

The lawsuit centers around the October 15 derailment and
chemical spill that caused evacuations of homes in College Hill.
Following the filing of two class action lawsuits, the Company
moved the cases to federal courts citing the Class Action
Fairness Act of 2005, which effectively pushes class action
lawsuits into federal jurisdiction rather than state court.

Legally, someone who is sued can move the lawsuit to a federal
court if they believe there are federal laws that are more
applicable to the case. However, the residents are arguing that
there is no federal question that a federal judge or jury needs
to decide necessitating its move to federal court.

According to the lawsuit filed by Troy H. Bradford and Gloria
Bradford, who are serving as lead plaintiffs of the
neighborhood, "The chemical released from one of the rail cars
... was extremely dangerous and ultra-hazardous and soon after
the collision, a toxic plume spread throughout the neighboring
community." The lawsuit cites the exposure to the smoke and
chemical fumes and the common threat the residents faced.


VERISIGN INC.: Consolidated Securities Suit Still Pending in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Verisign, Inc. and certain of its current and former officers
and directors continue to face a consolidated securities class
action filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California, styled "In re VeriSign, Inc.
Securities Litigation, Case No. C-02-2270 JW(HRL)."

The consolidated action seeks unspecified damages for alleged
violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, on
behalf of a class of persons who purchased VeriSign stock from
January 25, 2001 through April 25, 2002.  An amended
consolidated complaint was filed on November 8, 2002.  On April
14, 2003, the court granted in part and denied in part the
defendants' motion to dismiss the amended and consolidated
complaint.

On May 5, 2004, plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint that
is substantially identical to the amended consolidated complaint
except that it purports to add a claim under Sections 11 and 15
of the Securities Act of 1933 on behalf of a subclass of persons
who acquired shares of VeriSign pursuant to the registration
statement and prospectus filed October 10, 2001 and amended
October 26, 2001 for the acquisition of Illuminet Holdings, Inc.
by VeriSign.

The suit is styled "In re: Verisign Corp Securities Litigation,
case no. 5:02-cv-02270-JW," filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California, under Judge James
Ware.  Representing the defendants is O'Melveny & Myers LLP,
Embarcadero Center West 275 Battery Street, Suite 2600 San
Francisco, CA 94111-3344 Phone: 415-984-8900 Fax: 415-984-8701.  
The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

     (1) Bernard M. Gross, 1500 Walnut Street, Suite 600,
         Philadelphia, PA, 19102, Phone: 215.561.3600, Fax:
         215.561.3000, E-mail: bmgross@BernardMGross.com;

     (2) Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. (Washington,
         DC), 1100 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 500, West Tower,
         Washington, DC, 20005, Phone: 202.408.4600, Fax:
         202.408.4699, E-mail: lawinfo@cmht.com;

     (3) Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes & Lerach, LLP (S.F.,
         CA), 100 Pine Street - Suite 2600, San Francisco, CA,
         94111, Phone: 415.288.4545, Fax: 415.288.4534;

     (4) Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes & Lerach LLP (San Diego,
         CA), 600 West Broadway, 1800 One America Plaza, San
         Diego, CA, 92101, Phone: 800.449.4900, E-mail:
         support@milberg.com;

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


VERISIGN INC.: Continues to Face Consumer Fraud Suit in CA Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
VeriSign, Inc. faces a consumer class action filed in the
Superior Court of California, alleging violations of the unfair
competition laws, breach of express warranty and unjust
enrichment relating to the Company's Secure Site Pro SSL
certificates.  

Southeast Texas Medical Associates, LLP filed the suit on
February 14,2005, on behalf of a class of persons who purchased
the Secure Site Pro certificate from February 2001 to present.
The Company disputes these claims.  While it cannot predict the
outcome of this matter, the Company believes that the
allegations are without merit, it stated in a disclosure to the
Securities and Exchange Commission.


VERISIGN INC.: Consumers Commence Fraud Litigation in S.D. CA
-------------------------------------------------------------
VeriSign, Inc. faces a consumer fraud class action filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
California.

On March 8, 2005, plaintiff Charles Ford filed a putative class
action in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego,
alleging fraud, negligent misrepresentation, false advertising,
and violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act
and unfair competition laws relating to marketing and
advertising of mobile phone "ringtones" and other content by
VeriSign's subsidiaries, Jamster International Sarl and Jamba!
GmbH.  The complaint is brought on behalf of classes of persons
who responded to advertising by sending a text message on their
mobile phones or registered over the Internet to purchase
ringtone or other content.  On April 18, 2005, the Company
removed the action to the federal district court for the
Southern District of California.

In August 2005 and October 2005, respectively, the Company
received two additional similar putative class action lawsuits,
one in state court in Arkansas, alleging claims for fraud,
unjust enrichment, and violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade
Practices Act, and one in federal district court for the
Southern District of California, alleging claims for fraud,
negligence and negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment,
quantum meruit, breach of contract, breach of warranty, false
advertising, and unfair competition.  These lawsuits relate to
the marketing and advertising of mobile phone "ringtones" and
other mobile phone content by VeriSign and its subsidiaries
Jamster International Sarl and Jamba!

The suit is styled "Ford v. Verisign, Inc. Case no. 05-CV-819,"
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of California (San Diego), under Judge Jeffrey T
Miller.  Representing the plaintiffs is Robert Walter Thompson
of Callahan McCune and Willis, 111 Fashion Lane, Tustin, CA
92780-3397, Phone: (714)730-5700.  Representing the Company is
Sean O'Leary Morris, Arnold and Porter, 777 South Figueroa
Street, Suite 4400, Los Angeles, CA 90017-5844, Phone: (213)243-
4238


WALGREENS CO.: Attorney Gives Update on IL Discrimination Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
Preparation for the upcoming racial discrimination suit trial
against Walgreens Co. is progressing, Ian E. Silverberg of Hardy
Law Group said in a press release.

Mr. Silverberg said, "Discovery is almost done and we're
preparing for trial May 8, 2006. The plaintiffs from Houston
filed suit against Walgreens based on discriminatory treatment
back in February 2003."

The plaintiffs alleged that while shopping at Walgreens a store
clerk became hostile toward them when asked about photos they
were purchasing. The clerk became hostile and used racial slurs
and refused service, displaying anger by slamming a door and
storming out of Walgreens into the dark, setting off the store's
alarm while his manager witnessed his behavior.

"Although Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens claimed in a
written statement that corrective measures would be taken, no
such action has been taken. The employee, in a written
statement, admitted his hostile behavior was never reprimanded
and he is still currently employed by Walgreens, the plaintiffs
believe" the Company said in a press release.

"The plaintiffs questioned Walgreens' policy of zero tolerance
for any type of discrimination. At what point would Walgreens
policy be enforced? Sadly, simply "old-fashioned" good customer
service would have alleviated the plaintiffs' distress and loss
of dignity," the law firm in a press release.

Mr. Silverberg believes this case has focused attention on
Walgreens as a company that engages in racial discrimination,
racial profiling, and other misconduct directed at African-
American customers and employees.  Other allegations of consumer
discrimination have been filed in other cities, said Mr.
Silverberg. Eleven current and former employees filed suit
against Walgreens alleging the drugstore chain discriminates
against African-Americans in hiring, work assignments and
promotion.  On November 29, 2005, three customers and three
former clerks of Walgreens filed suit in Chicago with claims of
bias and consumer profiling of black customers.

"We are very committed to our civil rights and the rights of
others," said Bruce Johnson, Cadarell Freeman, Mark Mills, and
Michael Price, the plaintiffs, who are all seeking compensatory
and punitive damages against Walgreens for violation of their
civil rights. They also seek reimbursement of all attorneys'
fees and cost.

Leaders of the NAACP and American Civil Liberties Union
officials are closely monitoring the case.  For more details,
contact Ian Silverberg of Hardy Law Group, Phone:
775-322-7422.


WOLF HALDENSTEIN: Nymex Rejects Cataldo Capozza's Legal Demand
--------------------------------------------------------------
The New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) rejected a legal demand
by a longtime seatholder for documents detailing the exchange's
proposed stake sale to private-equity firm General Atlantic,
LLC, and its plans to go public next year, The Associated Press
reports.

Previously, the prominent class action law firm Wolf Haldenstein
Alder Freeman & Herz, LLP, slapped Nymex with a demand for
documents detailing the exchange's proposed stake sale to the
private-equity firm and its plans to go public. Sent as a letter
on behalf of longtime seatholder Cataldo Capozza and received by
Nymex last November 29, 2005, the demand seeks to investigate
whether the proposed $135 million sale of a 10% equity stake
will offer Nymex members fair value, as well as examine plans by
the exchange to rejigger corporate-governance rules ahead of an
initial public offering. In addition, it will also probe whether
Nymex misrepresented the way it handled bids in its planned
stake sale, according to people close to the situation. The
letter was filed last December 1, 2005 with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(December 5, 2005) reports.

Mr. Capozza's exhaustive letter, which includes nearly 40
requests for Nymex documents and business records, asks for
specific details of exchange board meeting deliberations, board
votes and advice Nymex received from its financial advisers,
which include J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (December 5, 2005) reports.

The letter also requests documentation of any agreements inked
between Nymex executives and entities of General Atlantic,
including possible arrangements involving Nymex Vice Chairman
Richard Schaeffer, who backed General Atlantic's bid on the
exchange, and former Nymex Chairman Vincent Viola. Nymex has
made no disclosure of any such agreements in its SEC filings, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (December 5, 2005) reports.

However, in a letter to the law firm, Nymex said that the demand
for documents was "impermissible" under the state law of
Delaware, where the exchange is incorporated. In addition, Nymex
said that nearly 40 different requests for documents from Mr.
Capozza went beyond his legal rights as a seatholder, "because,
among other reasons, your letter does not state a proper purpose
that would entitle you to the inspection sought."

As part of its purchase agreement with Nymex, General Atlantic
plans to help prep the nation's largest energy and metals
exchange for a public float in mid-2006. General Atlantic is a
$10 billion venture-capital firm based in Greenwich,
Connecticut.


                          Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: LA Court Reverses Ruling to Favor Avondale
----------------------------------------------------------------
Finding that interruption of prescription did not occur, the
Supreme Court of Louisiana reversed an appellate court's
judgment and reinstated the judgment of a trial court in favor
of Avondale Industries Inc. and its executive officer Peter
Territo.

On November 29, 2005, presiding Justice John Weimer made a
decision in the suit filed in December 2001 by Sam P. Cichirillo
with Case No. 04-C-2894, 04-C-2918.

Mr. Cichirillo has since died and the trial court signed an
order to allow his beneficiaries to file a petition substituting
the heirs in the survival action and pleadings asserting the
heirs' action for wrongful death.
                                       
Mr. Cichirillo worked in the US Navy from December 1941 until
August 1961, during which time he worked at Ingalls Shipyard
in Pascagoula, Mississippi. After the Navy, he worked as an
electrician for Avondale until 1984. In April 1991, he was
diagnosed with asbestosis.

Mr. Territo filed a motion to strike and exceptions of lis
pendens and no cause of action for post-October 1976 exposure.
On June 18, 2003, he also filed an exception of prescription,
asserting that Mr. Chichirillo knew as early as May 1999 that he
suffered from mesothelioma and that suit was filed more than one
year following that knowledge.

On September 5, 2003, the trial court granted judgment in favor
of Mr. Territo. The court did not hear the remaining exceptions
and granted judgment in favor of the other defendants,
dismissing Mr. Cichirillo's suit, who later appealed.

On appeal, Mr. Cichirillo raised two assignments of error
claiming the trial court erred in holding the prescriptive
period in Louisiana had run.

The court of appeal agreed, finding Mr. Cichirillo timely filed
a cause of action in Mississippi in a court of competent
jurisdiction and venue in which he reserved his right to bring
an action for damages as a result of asbestos-related injuries,
including mesothelioma.

Mr. Territo's memorandum on the exception of prescription
incorrectly stated Mr. Cichirillo's suit was filed on December
4, 2000. His counsel stated the initial brief contained
a typographical error.

Counsel advised the court that the records showed Mr. Cichirillo
filed the petition on December 4, 2002 more than three years
following his mesothelioma diagnosis.

Mr. Cichirillo's counsel did not object that the June 29, 1999
date of discovery was not in evidence and, in fact, answered
affirmatively every time the judge mentioned that date. The
judges found no evidence in the instant record that the
Mississippi suit was amended to allege mesothelioma damages
after Mr. Cichirillo's diagnosis in 1999.

Because the 1992 Mississippi asbestosis lawsuit was filed prior
to the mesothelioma diagnosis, at a time when Mr. Cichirillo
could not have asserted a claim for mesothelioma in Mississippi,
the Mississippi suit could not serve to interrupt prescription
in Louisiana in the present suit.

The court concluded that a prior suit in Mississippi could not
interrupt prescription because the filing preceded the date
plaintiff's claim became actionable. As the Mississippi suit was
premature as to the mesothelioma claim, it could not serve to
interrupt prescription in Louisiana.

Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Inc. is the successor in interest
to Avondale.
                                       

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace's Ninth Motion to Extend Exclusivity
---------------------------------------------------------------
According to James E. O'Neill, Esq., at Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl,
Young, Jones & Weintraub P.C., in Wilmington, Delaware, the
WR Grace & Co Chapter 11 cases present a complex challenge for
all parties.

From the very beginning, Grace aggressively attempted to map out
a strategy for claims adjudication, common issue litigation and
confirmation. Mr. O'Neill relates that while the various
constituencies have been at odds for years on that strategy, the
Court has now placed the parties on a clear path toward
estimation and, ultimately, confirmation.

As previously reported, the Court has approved case management
orders for the estimation of both asbestos personal injury and
property damage claims, and a PI questionnaire. The parties have
also complied with the requirements of the PD CMO and are nearly
at the stage of the Phase I hearing for PD claims. In addition,
the Debtors have eliminated nearly 75% of the PD claims through
claims objections, and all constituents have a renewed
commitment to settlement discussions to reach a consensual plan
of reorganization.

Grace stated that it could only proceed to plan confirmation
after the estimation hearings are concluded and the aggregate
amount of asbestos claims is determined. Essentially, the
parties are well down the estimation road that the Court
established, Mr. O'Neill attests.

By this motion, Grace asked Judge Judith Fitzgerald to further
extend:

(a) Their exclusive right to file a Plan through and including
the 90th day after a final order is issued in the estimation
hearings; and

(b) Their exclusive right to solicit acceptances of the Plan
through and including an additional 60 days thereafter.

Terminating exclusivity in Grace's cases, Mr. O'Neill says,
would almost certainly result in, among other things, a
tightening of the Debtors' ability to obtain credit and other
accommodations, loss of customer confidence, and lack of
competitive edge. It may also damage employee relations and
Grace's ability to recruit and keep young talents.

The Court will convene a hearing on Grace's request on
December 19, 2005, at 12:00 p.m.

(WR Grace Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 99; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215-945-7000)


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Insists Challenge Fit for PD Estimate
----------------------------------------------------------------
Laura Davis Jones, Esq., at Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, Young,
Jones & Weintraub P.C., in Wilmington, Delaware, reminds the
Court that it has already decided that a Daubert challenge to
the property damage claimants' use of the dust sampling
methodology is appropriate for hearing as a threshold matter in
the PD estimation process. The same issue has been decided by
the bankruptcy court in "In re Armstrong World Industries,
Inc.," which held that a Daubert challenge is warranted and,
indeed, meritorious.

As the Armstrong case demonstrated, dust sampling is uniquely
well suited for a threshold Daubert challenge. The principles of
Daubert are applicable in bankruptcy claims estimation
proceedings to assess the admissibility of scientific and
technical evidence. Bankruptcy courts, pursuant to Rule 702 and
Daubert, have excluded unreliable scientific and medical
evidence in contested proceedings involving the evaluation of
bankruptcy claims. The Armstrong court found that dust sampling
is not reliable or relevant.

Ms. Jones explains that the dust method fails under Daubert
because:

(1) The method for collecting samples of dust introduces
uncontrolled variability, the extent of which is unknown,
because of variations in surface texture, cleaning history,
nozzle velocity, and collection technique, and because the
distribution of dust on a floor surface is non-random.

(2) The "indirect" method specified for analyzing dust samples
alters the material that is collected by shaking it and
subjecting it to ultrasonic waves in an acidic solution, which
introduces a large, but variable, bias into the reported
results.

(3) Even if the dust method accurately reported asbestos
concentrations in settled dust, which it does not, it cannot be
used to predict the concentration of respirable asbestos that
is, or may be, in the air.

(4) The settled dust method has not won general acceptance by
government regulators or scientists as a measure of the human
exposure hazard posed by asbestos.

Ms. Jones affirms that the Court is not being asked to make
those findings on relevance and reliability. Rather, even a
cursory examination of a list of shortcomings in dust sampling
techniques demonstrates why dust sampling is so well suited for
a threshold Daubert hearing, so that those determinations can be
made in Phase I. The issues have already been briefed and argued
in Armstrong, and many of those issues were also briefed before
the Court in advance of the ZAI hearing in the Debtors' cases.
Furthermore, four experts have already submitted reports on dust
sampling.

With this easily accessible record, Ms. Jones says, the Debtors
believe that the Daubert issue is appropriately addressed early
in Estimation Phase I and will significantly advance the
resolution of the Debtors' Chapter 11 cases.

Ms. Jones points out that Phase I will not be a generalized
examination of air sampling methods and it will certainly not be
a determination of "a quantitative risk model" as posited by
claimants. Rather, Phase I will be narrowly focused on the
single issue of whether dust sampling is a scientific technique
that meets Daubert's strictures that it may be admitted as proof
in a federal bankruptcy court.

Accordingly, the Debtors want the Court to hold a Daubert
hearing on the reliability and relevance of the dust sampling
methodology as part of Phase I of the estimation of asbestos PD
claims.

(WR Grace Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 99; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215-945-7000)


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Issues Brief on Constructive Notice
--------------------------------------------------------------
James E. O'Neill, Esq., at Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, Young, Jones
& Weintraub P.C., in Wilmington, Delaware, relates that the
Court has an available array of procedural approaches that it
may use to assess claims. These claims may be disallowed
entirely or be assigned an estimated value of zero using summary
judgment or an evidentiary hearing on the merits. In addition,
the Court may hold hearings on the values of claims that include
presentation of factual evidence pursuant to the Federal Rules
of Evidence and examination of applicable state and federal law.

Mr. O'Neill maintains that the Court should select those
proceedings that will best effectuate the Bankruptcy Code's
goals of efficient and speedy resolution of claims while
remaining within the bounds of the federal rules and state law.

Against this backdrop, the Debtors suggest that a process on the
subject of constructive notice will best serve the principles
embodied in the Bankruptcy Code.

Considering that the Court has already indicated its intention
to address the estimation of property damage claims in
successive places, Mr. O'Neill reminds Judge Judith Fitzgerald
that Phase I, the claims allowance process, is to be bifurcated
to deal with Daubert methodology and constructive notice, while
Phase II will consist of merits-based estimation of the asbestos
property damage claims.

Although the Court has not yet determined the details of the
procedures in estimating claims, the Debtors suggest a plan as
the most effective way to resolve the PD claims on constructive
notice.

(WR Grace Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 99; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215-945-7000)


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Presents Constructive Notice Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------
WR Grace & Co proposes that the Court decide the issue of
constructive notice during a Phase I estimation hearing that
would consider only legal and factual issues that will be
relevant to certain claims on a consolidated basis. To simplify
and speed up the process, Mr. O'Neill explains, the Phase I
estimation would consider the issue of when claimants from three
main states, California, New York and Louisiana, were
constructively on notice of legal claims relating to asbestos
property damage. Claims from those states make up more than half
of all of the PD claims that have been filed, or around 1,863
out of 3,155 U.S. claims that have received constructive notice
objections.

Mr. O'Neill says that considering the laws of three states only
will greatly simplify the Court's decision-making with respect
to the applicability and effect of state constructive notice
doctrines. To determine when constructive notice applied with
respect to commercial property owners, the Court will look to
the constructive notice laws and statutes of limitations of the
states from which the claims arise. The states of California,
New York, and Louisiana each have case law governing when a
building owner should have known of a claim arising from on-site
asbestos, and therefore, when the statutes of limitations would
be triggered for those claims.

Moreover, the state-to-state variation in constructive notice
law is limited, which should permit the Court easily to discern
the laws in the three main states in Phase I, as well as
determine the standards for groups of states.

To assist the Court in determining the timing of constructive
notice in the three states, Grace and Claimants will file expert
reports describing the state of knowledge surrounding use of
asbestos-containing materials in buildings. The Court will have
the opportunity to examine evidence collected and synthesized by
those experts about the government literature and regulations
that resulted in nationwide awareness of asbestos issues.

In addition, the parties in February to March 2006 will file
briefs outlining the constructive notice laws and relevant
statutes of limitations in the three States. Mr. O'Neill tells
Judge Judith Fitzgerald that by limiting its legal analysis to
three States, the Court should be able to quickly discern the
few legal standards that will apply to the thousands of claims
from those states.

Mr. O'Neill illustrates that courts in each state have applied a
version of the "discovery rule" to the determination of when the
statute of limitations begins to run with respect to an
asbestos-related "injury" to a building. Specifically, the cause
of action accrues when the party discovers or should have
discovered that they have been injured. Grace believes that the
Court will find that claimants had constructive notice of
asbestos-related PD claims since at least 1983. Those claims are
now barred by all statutes of limitations in the States, which
the claims arise.

(WR Grace Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 99; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215-945-7000)


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ruling Should Be Applied to Grace Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
Assuming that the Court determines in Phase I that, under the
laws of the States, property owners were on constructive notice
of asbestos-related PD claims as of the early 1980s, that ruling
will apply to all claims from those States. The practical effect
of that ruling, Mr. O'Neill states, is that those claims will be
time-barred by state statutes of limitations and the claims will
be disallowed. Thus, by deciding the issue of constructive
notice early on, the Court will be able to adjudicate a large
number of claims with speed and efficiency.

To ensure that the Court has the opportunity to consider all
factors that may affect the value of those claims, however, some
individual claimants may be afforded an opportunity in Phase II
or otherwise through the ongoing claims objection process to
show cause why the Phase I ruling does not apply to the specific
circumstances underlying their claims. The scope of those
individual issues, if any, will become more apparent after
responses to WR Grace & Co.'s omnibus objection are submitted.
However, it would then be the claimants' burden to overcome the
presumption that they were on constructive notice as of 1983,
Mr. O'Neill says. Should the Court find those exceptions
meritorious after an evidentiary hearing, it could then adjust
the estimation of the value of individual or categories of
claims, using whatever estimation methodology is selected.

"Permitting claimants the opportunity to overcome the presumed
applicability of the Phase I ruling will address any possible
concerns raised by claimants' attorneys about the use of
consolidated Phase I proceedings to decide constructive notice
issues," Mr. O'Neill asserts. "It allows the Court to take into
account unusual factual circumstances that may affect the value
of certain claims."

Mr. O'Neill also contends that overcoming the presumed Phase I
applicability addresses concerns raised by claimants' attorneys
regarding the need to consider events that they argue might toll
the statute of limitations, including alleged fraudulent
concealment or other fraud.

(WR Grace Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 99; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215-945-7000)


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WR Grace Contends Legal Analysis Expansion
---------------------------------------------------------------
Furthermore, WR Grace & Co proposes that to address the claims
from other states that would not fall automatically within the
ambit of the Phase I ruling, the Court should broaden the scope
of its legal analysis in Phase II and other claims adjudication
processes.

To assist the Court, Mr. O'Neill explains, Grace would provide
it with a summary of standards governing constructive notice,
and listing the particular states and cases that employ each
standard. Since the Court will have looked at the laws of the
three States in Phase I, it will already be generally familiar
with those doctrines, and will simply have to assess the handful
of variations applied among the states.

While each standard finds constructive notice on the date that a
claimant should have known of an "injury," Mr. O'Neill points
out that these standards vary somewhat in defining the
particular "injury" that must occur for the claimant to be on
notice:

(1) Under the "presence standard," the mere presence of asbestos
in a building is a sufficient injury to trigger the statute of
limitations.

(2) In a similar rule, some states find the date of the
installation of the asbestos-containing material is the relevant
"injury" date.

(3) Some states find that constructive knowledge of alleged
"contamination" starts the statute of limitations clock ticking.

Mr. O'Neill notes that broadening the Court's legal analysis in
Phase II or other claims adjudication processes to address the
remaining states that have enunciated standards would cover
hundred of other PD claims in other states. However, Grace
believes that, regardless of the legal standard that is applied,
constructive notice and statutes of limitations will operate to
bar virtually all PD claims.

(WR Grace Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 99; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215-945-7000)


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Committee Wants Constructive Notice Junked
---------------------------------------------------------------
"WR Grace & Co.'s Brief flies in the face of fact and applicable
law and [their] 'Constructive Notice' theory should play no role
in the PD Estimation," Theodore J. Tacconelli, Esq., at Ferry,
Joseph & Pearce, P.A., in Wilmington, Delaware, tells the Court.

Mr. Tacconelli asserts that the issue of Constructive Notice
should be rejected because:

(a) The Constructive Notice's date of potential hazard of
asbestos is irrelevant under state law to the determination of
when a cause of action accrued;

(b) Differences in state law preclude sweeping generalized
determinations;

(c) State law requires individual determinations in respect of
statutes of limitations; and

(d) Grace's "Constructive Notice" proposal would undermine the
due process rights of PD Claimants.

The Official Committee of Asbestos Property Damage Claimants
relates that while it does not dispute that the Debtors have
been promoting the notion of a "Constructive Notice" finding as
part of the estimation of PD Claims, what is proposed in Grace's
Brief is hardly the process that the Debtors have been heralding
and provides further evidence that the PD Estimation is a "work
in progress" that is being revealed to the Court and all
participants when and as it suits the Debtors.

Moreover, the PD Committee contends that to adopt any aspect of
Grace's proposed "Constructive Notice" estimation procedure
would constitute reversible error. The PD Committee argues that
the Debtors' proposal ignores applicable federal and state law,
which, without exception, establishes that the date on which a
PD claimant can be deemed to have suffered an actionable
asbestos PD damage tort injury is determined based on an
individual, case-by-case factual inquiry.

The PD Committee further contends that Grace has been unable to
cite even a single decision, because there is none, which
supports their attempt to globally determine that thousands of
PD Claims are time-barred without reference to the individual
facts unique to each PD Claim.

Ironically, Mr. Tacconelli states, the law of the three States
curiously chosen by Grace as the first group of jurisdictions
illustrates precisely why it is impossible to make any
"Constructive Notice" findings whatsoever.

Mr. Tacconelli maintains that in applying state law, the Court
is constrained to do so literally on a state-by-state basis and
not hypothetically based on some sort of amalgation of various
state laws. That ground rule is inviolate, he points out.

"The fact that Grace posits that it would be easier, faster or
more efficient to cobble together a 'virtual' state discovery
rule is but wishful thinking, even in bankruptcy," Mr.
Tacconelli asserts.

(WR Grace Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 99; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215-945-7000)


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 1,495 Grace PD Claims Withdrawn & Expunged
---------------------------------------------------------------
WR Grace & Company and the Speights & Runyan firm have
stipulated and agreed that the 1,495 asbestos property damage
claims, which the firm has no evidence of a product manufactured
or sold by Grace contained in the subject building, are
withdrawn and expunged. The Court entered an order reflecting
the parties' stipulation.

Judge Judith Fitzgerald further expunges 512 Anderson Memorial
Out-of-State Claims and 51 Anderson Memorial In-State Claims.

Considering Speights & Runyan's voluntary withdrawal of certain
proofs of claim and the firm's indication to withdraw further
claims, the Court also expunges and disallows 259 withdrawn
claims in their entirety.

(WR Grace Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 99; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215-945-7000)


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ISG Expects US$11 Million Abatement in 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------
International Steel Group assumes to spend over US$48 million
over the next 40 years, including over US$11 million during the
next 12 months, for the disposal of PCB equipment and asbestos
material encountered during the operation of the Company's
facilities.

The undiscounted amounts disclosed have been discounted at
appropriate rates with the discounted liability at September 30,
2005.

There are a number of other facilities and properties, which ISG
owns across the US, which may present environmental liabilities.
The majority of these sites were former pipe coating operations,
which may have impacted soils or groundwater. The Company
estimates to spend US$10 million for future investigations and
probable remediation at these sites.

Established in April 2002, Richfield, Ohio-based International
Steel Group Inc is one of the leading competitors in the global
steel industry. ISG also owns extensive coal reserves, iron ore
and coke operations, a hot briquetted iron (HBI) plant in
Trinidad, lake shipping and trucking operations, and operates
seven short line railroads.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NJ Court Ends Congoleum Exclusivity Period
----------------------------------------------------------------
In a November 7, 2005 decision, the US Bankruptcy Court for the
District of New Jersey denies the request of Congoleum
Corporation (AMEX: CGM) to extend the time it would have the
exclusivity to propose a plan to resolve its asbestos-related
bankruptcy.

In Chapter 11 Bankruptcy for 22 months, the Mercerville, NJ-
based flooring manufacturer has been hit with tens of thousands
of lawsuits from plaintiffs claiming asbestos-related injuries
from exposure to its products.

The Court noted the provisions in the Bankruptcy Abuse
Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which took effect
October 17, 2005, that limit debtor exclusivity periods to 18
months. Under the BAPCPA, debtors get the initial six-month
exclusivity period and a maximum of two six-month extensions.

The Court said Congoleum's failure to negotiate with its
insurers was one reason for terminating exclusivity. The Court
also found that Congoleum was moving away from developing a
confirmable plan.

The court expressed doubts as to whether the Company has given
due consideration to legal precedents that have developed in
bankruptcy cases since its filing.

Congoleum was seeking its sixth extension on exclusivity.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Canadian Group Proposes Asbestos Export Ban  
----------------------------------------------------------------
The group, Ban Asbestos Saskatchewan, advises the Canadian
Government to stop the export of asbestos, a highly carcinogenic
substance, particularly to developing countries that don't
regulate its use, CBC News reports.

Saskatchewan Labor Minister Deb Higgins says she is currently
studying the proposal to ban asbestos being brought into the
province. She said that there is a need to do more research on
how many asbestos-containing products are brought into the
province.

Saskatchewan does not export asbestos, but it does allow
products, which are made with it, including certain roof
shingles and brake pads, to be imported.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labor states that nine workers
died from asbestos exposure in 2004. The Group also says the
Government could do more educate the public about the location
of the dangerous substance in the workplace and in homes.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bereaved Japanese Families to Split JPY3M
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Japanese Government, the Liberal Democratic and New Komeito
parties agree to provide a total of JPY3 million, JPY200,000
more than the Government's initial proposal, as condolence money
and funeral fees to families that lost members to asbestos-
related diseases, Kyodo News reports.

The Government had presented the ruling parties with a plan to
provide a lump sum payment of JPY2.6 million and funeral fees of
JPY200,000, but the New Komeito party had been asking for a
raise in the amount.

For families of employees whose deaths were not recognized as
work related, the Government plans to provide JPY2.4 million
annually including medical and leave expenses.

The Government had initially proposed providing JPY2.4 million
based on the premise that the average life expectancy of a
patient of mesothelioma, which is cancer caused by asbestos
exposure, would be 12 months and that its average medical
expenses would be about JPY100,000 a month.     

However, the sum was raised to JPY2.6 million in response to New
Komeito's demand, but the final decision was left to top
officials of the ruling parties, considering other relief
systems and that JPY2.6 million was paid in political
settlements involving Minamata mercury-poisoning sufferers.

Sources said people suffering asbestos-linked health problems
who are not covered by industrial accident insurance would be
paid 100,000 yen a month in medical care benefits.

The agreement to support the bereaved families, who are excluded
from industrial accident insurance, will be revealed in a
meeting of a task force of the ruling parties, the sources said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Frist Reiterates Pledge for '06 Legislation
----------------------------------------------------------------
US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican,
restated his pledge to bring up legislation to curb asbestos
lawsuits early in 2006, Reuters reports.

Sen. Frist said in November that one of the first issues the
Senate would tackle in 2006 would be legislation to create a
US$140 billion fund to compensate victims harmed by asbestos
exposure and end hundreds of thousands of asbestos injury
lawsuits.

Sen. Frist and other legislation supporters assert that many
claims are made by people who have been exposed to the mineral
but are not sick, hence, clogging the courts, diverting
compensation from those who are ill and driving businesses into
bankruptcy.

Some senators worry the payments to the proposed fund could push
smaller firms into bankruptcy, while others say the fund could
go broke quickly and taxpayers might then be asked to foot the
bill.

Asbestos was widely used for fireproofing and insulation until
the 1970s. Scientists say inhaled fibers are linked to cancer
and other diseases.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CSK Auto Faces Asbestos & Liability Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
CSK Auto Corporation (NYSE: CAO) reports that, from time to
time, CSK Auto Inc and its other subsidiaries currently face
complaints or litigation incidental to the conduct of business,
including asbestos and similar product liability claims,
according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

CSK Auto Inc and the other subsidiaries also contend with slip
and fall, other general liability claims, discrimination and
employment claims, vendor disputes, and miscellaneous
environmental and real estate claims.

The Company accrues reserves using its best estimate of the
probable and reasonably estimable contingent liabilities.
Although it maintains liability insurance for some litigation
claims, if one or more of the claims greatly exceeds its
coverage limits or its insurance policies do not cover a claim,
it could have a material adverse effect on its business and
operating results.

Phoenix, AZ-based CSK Auto Corp sells automotive parts and
accessories mainly to do-it-yourselfers but also to auto
professionals. CSK Auto owns more than 1,130 stores in about 20
states. The stores carry about 18,000 products for domestic and
imported vehicles.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Board Approves Final Fund Agreement
---------------------------------------------------------------
James Hardie Industries NV announced that its Board has approved
the Principal Deed (Final Funding Agreement) to provide long
term funding for Australian asbestos-related personal injury
claims that result from exposure to products made by former
Hardie subsidiaries.

The Final Funding Agreement was negotiated having regard to the
terms of the Heads of Agreement signed on December 21, 2004 by
the Australian Council of Trade Unions, New South Wales
Government, Unions NSW, Asbestos support groups and Hardie.

The arrangements include:

1) The establishment of the Special Purpose Fund to compensate
asbestos sufferers with claims against former Hardie
subsidiaries, Amaca Pty Ltd, Amaba Pty Ltd or ABN 60 Pty Ltd;
  
2) Initial funding of the SPF by James Hardie of about AUD154
million;
  
3) A two-year rolling cash "buffer" in the SPF and an annual
contribution in advance, based on actuarial assessments of
expected claims for the following three years, revised annually;
  
4) A cap on the annual Hardie payments to the SPF in all years,
except the first year, initially set at 35% of annual net
operating cash flow of the Group for the immediately preceding
financial year, with provision for the percentage to decline
over time, depending on James Hardie's financial performance and
the claims outlook;
  
5) No cap on individual payments to proven claimants; and
  
6) Special compensation arrangements for members of the
Baryulgil community for asbestos-related claims arising from the
activities of Marlew Mining Pty Ltd.

The Final Funding Agreement is subject to a number of
conditions, including Hardie being satisfied with the tax
treatment of the proposed funding arrangements and receiving the
approval of its lenders and shareholders.

The KPMG Actuaries' central estimate of the net liabilities is
AUD1,568 million. The figure is discounted and net of insurance
recoveries and NSW cost savings following recent reforms by the
NSW Government. The undiscounted value of the central estimate,
net of NSW cost savings, of the liabilities is AUD3,131 million.
  
The arrangements are designed to provide funding for Australia
proven personal injury claims while preserving the Company's
financial health and growth prospects.

Since the late 1980s, James Hardie has funded over US$400
million in asbestos claims. Hardie understands the Medical
Research and Compensation Foundation has funds available to meet
proven claims well into 2006, by when it is hoped this long-term
funding arrangement will have come into effect.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Parliament Passes Dust Diseases Bill
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Parliament of South Australia passed the Dust Diseases Bill,
which gives SA victims of asbestos the right to claim
compensation for their families, ABC News Online reports.

The Government said the law allows the victims of dust diseases
to receive compensation for a third party. The legislation also
gives the District Court greater discretion powers when awarding
damages to asbestos victims.

The passing of the bill is being credited with putting the State
at the forefront in caring for the families of asbestos diseases
victims. It is designed to speed up the handling and resolution
of claims.

Independent MP Nick Xenophon said it is a historic achievement
and Terry Miller of the Asbestos Victims Association said he is
pleased the bill was passed quickly.

The new law also sets a national precedent with asbestos victims
able to seek compensation for their families. It is hoped
asbestos victims will be awarded greater damages under the
legislation.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: New Zealanders Urge Inclusion in AU Scheme
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyer John Miller asserts that New Zealanders who were former
James Hardie Industries NV employees and were affected by
asbestos should be included in the Australian compensation
scheme.

Hardie had a south Auckland factory manufacturing asbestos
products.

The Hardie board had agreed to a compensation package valued at
up to AUD4.5 billion dollars for victims of its asbestos
products in Australia.

Mr. Miller said that the NZ Hardie workers should be covered by
that agreement but if they are not, it is about time the New
Zealand Government put pressure on Hardie to have a similar
compensation fund for New Zealanders.

Mr. Miller is representing 32 asbestos sufferers who are suing
the Accident Compensation Corporation for adequate compensation.

Meanwhile, the Green Party of Aotearoa MP Sue Kedgley said New
Zealand asbestos sufferers are getting a raw deal. She says New
Zealanders are not included and that is totally unfair.

Ms. Kedgley added New Zealand should be seeking a similar
settlement from Hardie and the Government should be taking the
lead in trying to get the Company to compensate NZ victims.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Met-Pro Corp. States That Claims Lack Merit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Met-Pro Corporation (NYSE: MPR) reports a significant increase
during the last several years in asbestos-related litigation
claims filed in certain states on both multiple and single
plaintiffs against a large number of industrial firms including
those in the pump and fluid handling sectors, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

Beginning in 2002, the Company or one of its divisions began to
be named as one of many defendants in such cases, primarily in
Mississippi. Moreover, Met-Pro or the division has also recently
experienced an increase in the number of single plaintiff
asbestos cases filed against it and numerous other industrial
companies in two other states.

The allegations against the Company or the division are vague,
general and speculative, but generally allege that the Company
or the division, along with other defendants, sold unidentified
asbestos-containing products and engaged in other related
actions which caused injuries and loss to the plaintiffs.

Based upon the current status of the cases, the Company believes
that these cases are without merit and that none of its products
were a cause of any injury or loss to any of the plaintiffs.

The Harleysville, PA-based Company or the division has resolved
and been dismissed from a number of these cases. Most of these
cases have not advanced beyond the early stages of discovery,
although several cases are on schedule leading to trial.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Transatlantic Holdings Notes $85M Reserves
---------------------------------------------------------------
Transatlantic Insurance Inc. (NYSE: TRH) declares that its loss
reserves, including amounts for risks related to environmental
impairment and asbestos-related illnesses, total US$85 million
and US$75 million at December 31, 2004 and 2003, respectively. A
total of US$23 million was recorded in relation to losses
occurring in 1985 and prior at Dec. 31, 2004 while collecting
US$22 million at Dec. 31, 2003.

As Transatlantic Reinsurance Company started in 1978, the great
majority of Transatlantic Holding's environmental and asbestos-
related liabilities arose from contracts entered into after 1985
that were underwritten specifically as environmental or
asbestos-related coverage rather than as standard general
liability coverage, where the environmental or asbestos-related
liabilities were neither clearly defined nor specifically
excluded.

The reserves carried for these claims, including claims incurred
but not reported, are based upon known facts and current law.
However, significant uncertainty exists in determining the
amount of ultimate liability for environmental impairment and
asbestos-related losses, particularly for those occurring before
1985.

New York, NY-based Transatlantic Holdings Inc. operates through
its principal subsidiary, Transatlantic Reinsurance, and its
main operating units, Putnam Reinsurance and Trans Re Zurich.
The Group offers reinsurance for a full range of property or
casualty products, including general liability, medical
malpractice, automobile liability, and surety lines.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Coalition Launches Drive to Protect Victims
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Common Interest Group, a coalition of asbestos settlement
trust funds, launches a campaign to ensure that thousands of
American workers exposed to asbestos continue to receive their
court-approved compensation, according to the US Newswire.

The campaign, "Don't Betray Their Trust," states the Group's
concern that S. 852, the legislation currently pending before
the Senate, would do substantial harm to many of their
beneficiaries.

The Group is calling on Congress to amend the legislation, to
allow existing asbestos settlement trusts to drop out of the
proposed legislation's national fund.

Congress authorized the asbestos settlement trusts in 1994
through the enactment of a federal bankruptcy code section that
provides a critical solution for firms that are fully viable,
but face insolvency solely due to current and future asbestos
liabilities.

It provides certainty of compensation for claimants while also
allowing defendant companies to contain their liability without
the continued threat of future lawsuits.

Under S. 852, the established trusts would be required to
transfer their assets into the national fund within 90 days of
enactment, effectively shutting them down. This action would
result in beneficiaries of the settlement trusts losing their
previously court-approved settlements.

Under the proposed funding scheme, many of the trust recipients
would receive no compensation at all and thousands more would
receive less than they would from the existing asbestos trusts.
Even those eligible to recover from the fund would face delays
in receiving compensation while the fund is implemented and
would receive no assurances that the national fund will have
sufficient resources.

In 2005, the trustees of five asbestos settlement trusts formed
the Common Interest Group. The trusts comprising the Group are
the NGC Bodily Injury Trust, DII Industries, LLC Asbestos
Personal Injury Trust, Fuller-Austin Asbestos Settlement Trust,
Celotex Asbestos Settlement Trust and Western Asbestos
Settlement Trust.

For more information on the trusts visit
http://www.dontbetraytheirtrust.org


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Awards $54.5M to EPA for Grace Costs
---------------------------------------------------------------
On December 1, 2005, the Ninth Circuit of the United States
Court of Appeals affirmed the Montana US District Court's order
granting the US Environmental Protection Agency summary judgment
on the asbestos removal issues in the former WR Grace & Company
sites in Libby, Montana.

In Case No. 03-35924, the Court also affirmed the district
court's order awarding the EPA US$54,527,081.11 in costs and a
declaratory judgment on Grace's liability for future costs.

Circuit Judges Betty B. Fletcher, M. Margaret McKeown, and
Carlos T. Bea reviewed the case.

In 1999, the EPA was called to Libby to address health reports
due to asbestos contamination. The Court ruled the EPA did not
exceed its authority to conduct cleanup activities under the
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability Act.

WR Grace & Co, Kootenai Development Corp, and WR Grace & Co-
Conn, collectively known as Grace, did not dispute that they
were financially tied under CERCLA to help with the cleanup from
their former mining and processing operations. Grace contested
the EPA's cleanup as a removal action rather than a remedial
action under CERCLA.

Grace contended that even if the action was a removal, the
District Court erred in exempting the action from CERCLA's
general 12-month, US$2 million cap for removal actions and in
granting the EPA over US$54 million in reimbursement plus a
declaratory judgment for future costs. Grace disputed the
accounting methods used to calculate the EPA's indirect costs.

After initial investigation in November 1999, the EPA issued
a Sampling and Quality Assurance Project Plan in December,
followed by a more comprehensive revised plan in January 2000.
These findings led the EPA to set out the intended removal
action in a series of three memoranda issued between May 2000
and May 2002, which progressively broadened the scope of the
cleanup.

The EPA sued Grace in March 2001 seeking recovery of all costs
incurred by the Government and a declaration that Grace would be
liable for future costs. In December 2002, the District Court
granted the EPA summary judgment on the liability issue.

After a three-day trial, the District Court issued an order
awarding the EPA the full US$54.53 million in reimbursement,
including US$11.32 million in indirect costs, and granting a
declaratory judgment that Grace would be liable for future
cleanup costs.

On appeal, Grace's challenged that the EPA termed its cleanup in
Libby a removal action as a subterfuge when the response was a
remedial action. Having determined that the action was a
removal, the inquiry turned to whether the EPA can recover costs
in excess of the US$2 million, 12-month statutory cap on removal
actions. The District Court was persuaded by the EPA's account
in the Action Memos of the immediate risk to public health.

Finally, Grace complained that the methodology used to calculate
indirect costs of US$11,322,226 overstated the EPA's costs
attributable to the Libby response action.

Christopher Landau and John C. O'Quinn from Kirkland & Ellis LLP
of Washington, DC; Kenneth W. Lund, Linnea Brown and Katheryn
Jarvis Coggon from Holme Roberts & Owen LLP of Denver, CO
represented the defendants-appellants.

John T. Stahr, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S.
Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.; James Freeman,
Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of
Justice, Denver, CO stood for the plaintiff-appellee.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bill of Particulars Withheld from WR Grace
---------------------------------------------------------------
On November 29, 2005, the United States District Court in
Montana, Missoula Division denied WR Grace & Co and its current
and former employees a bill of particulars regarding the
Company's indictment regarding its former vermiculite mining
operations in Libby, Montana.

Case No. CR 05-07-M-DWM was presided by Chief District Judge
Donald W. Molloy.

Defendants in the case are WR Grace, Alan R. Stringer, Henry A.
Eschenbach, Jack W. Wolter, William J. McCaig, Robert J.
Bettacchi, O. Mario Favorito, and Robert C. Walsh.

Defendants were charged in ten counts of conspiracy to violate
the Clean Air Act and to defraud the US, wire fraud, and
Obstruction of Justice, which relate to the Defendants' alleged
role in the release and distribution of asbestos-contaminated
vermiculite throughout the Libby area.

Grace argued that the Indictment failed to provide information
sufficient to allow the Defendants to understand the nature of
the charges and to prepare a defense.
                                       
The Defendants argued that the Clean Air Act counts lack
sufficient specificity with regard to the dates and locations of
the charged releases and the mechanisms of release.

The Indictment apprised the Defendants of the federal offense
with which they are charged and provided significant detail
regarding the overt acts taken in furtherance of the conspiracy.

The Defendants' motion for a bill of particulars is denied as it
related to their request for disclosure of the Government's
theory regarding how documents transmitted by wire related to
the alleged wire fraud schemes.
      
With respect to these counts alleging false and misleading
statements, the Defendants wanted the US to explain how the
statements are false and misleading and how the statements
obstructed justice. A bill of particulars is unnecessary because
the answer to both questions can be found in the Indictment
itself and in the discovery provided by the Government.

The Indictment, combined with the Government's significant
pretrial disclosure of discovery and witness and exhibit lists,
is adequate to:

(1) Allow the Defendants to prepare a defense;

(2) Protect the Defendants from the risk of surprise at trial;
and

(3) Plead their conviction or acquittal as a bar to subsequent
prosecution for the same conduct.

The Defendants are entitled to nothing more at this stage.

William B. Jacobson and Laurence A. Urgenson of Kirkland & Ellis
LLP, Gary A. Winters of Mayer Brown Rowe Maw LLP from
Washington, DC, Charles E. McNeil, Stephen R. Brown, Jr.,
Kathleen L. Desoto, Garlington of Lohn & Robinson PLLP, C.J.
Johnson of Kalkstein Law Firm from Missoula, MT, Tyler D. Mace,
Ronald F. Waterman, Gough Shanahan Johnson, Palmer A. Hoovestal
of Hoovestal Kakuk & Fanning from Helena, MT, Elizabeth Van
Doren Gray of Sowell Gray Stepp & Lafitte from Columbia, SC,
William A. Coates of Roe Cassidy Coates & Price from Greenville,
SC, and Stephen A. Jonas of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale from
Boston, MA, represented the Defendants.

US Attorney William W. Mercer of Washington, DC, represented the
United States of America.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Set to Release Asbestos Project Plan
-------------------------------------------------------------
The US Environmental Protection Agency intends to release the
Asbestos Project Plan, which describes its current and proposed
actions to coordinate an agency-wide approach to identify,
evaluate, and reduce the risks to people from asbestos exposure.

The Plan focuses on improving asbestos science; identifying and
addressing exposure and seeking asbestos risk reduction
opportunities in products, schools, and buildings; and better
understanding and minimizing exposures through assessment and
cleanup.

EPA is also currently updating the Integrated Risk Information
System file for asbestos.

As part of its effort to completely address asbestos issues, EPA
is working with other federal agencies and with state and tribal
representatives to ensure that there is appropriate coordination
among Government agencies.

EPA says it will take additional appropriate steps to address
asbestos exposure and reduce risk to the public as it obtains
new information.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Athens, PA Township Zoning Officer Indicted
----------------------------------------------------------------
Following an examination by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's
Office, Athens Township's zoning officer was indicted on charges
of forgery, deceptive or fraudulent business practices, and
unlawful conduct, The Daily & Sunday Review reports.

Magisterial District Judge Michael Shaw charged 39-year-old
David J. Kreider after allegedly failing to dispose asbestos
floor tiles properly during a 2003 renovation in 407 North
Elmira Street building, and invoiced a general contractor for
the work under the name of a firm that is nonexistent.

The Attorney General's office alleged that while doing business
as David Kreider General Construction, Mr. Kreider was
subcontracted in early 2003 to renovate the former Ames
department store under general contractor Donald L. Bennett of
Developer's Realty.

The complaint stated Mr. Kreider claimed to be certified to
remove asbestos materials and also claimed to have previously
worked on several asbestos removal projects.

Following the tile removal, the complaint claimed Mr. Kreider
invoiced Developer's Realty for US$12,000 under the name of a
non-existent company, Cianfoni Asbestos Abatement Specialist.

According to the complaint, Mr. Kreider employed Daniel Cianfoni
on a part-time basis from 2001 through 2003. Mr. Cianfoni and
another employee of Kreider's at the time of the renovations
told investigators neither Mr. Kreider nor Mr. Bennett told him
the tiles contained asbestos materials and said the tiles were
removed using a backhoe and placed directly into a dumpster at
the renovation site.

The complaint further stated no special precautions were taken
and no certified asbestos handlers were present during the
removal of floor tiles.

Mr. Kreider was appointed to the full-time position of zoning
officer in May of 1999, according to township Secretary Robin
Smith, and is responsible for enforcing zoning ordinances in the
township.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Man Sounds Alarm for Contaminated Building
---------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos victim George McGregor criticizes the Aberdeen City
Council for allowing nursery pupils to occupy a building, which
they knew contained potentially deadly asbestos.

Mr. McGregor claimed the children from Aberdeen's Walker Road
Nursery currently using the former Torry Nursery building could
be running the risk of a health time bomb.

Mr. McGregor was diagnosed with pleural plaques, which is caused
by asbestos exposure, decades after first being exposed to the
material. As a mechanical installation supervisor, he worked
with asbestos from the age of 15 until its dangers were exposed.

The 72-year-old pensioner is worried that pupils could still be
exposed despite the fact that the dangers have been known for
several decades.

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman asserted there is no
immediate risk to children and staff and that asbestos, which is
naturally occurring, is only harmful if it is disturbed and the
fibers inhaled.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Canada Firm to Pay Thousands for Risking Workers
----------------------------------------------------------------
Canadian firm Enterprise Universal Inc agrees to pay thousands
of dollars for endangering workers at the former Holy Cross
Hospital site, CTV News reports.

The Calgary, Alberta-based Company pleaded guilty for failing to
comply with a work stoppage order. It had been told to stop
removing asbestos from the site after complaints that the work
was not being done properly.

The Company had been ordered to pay CAD10,000 in penalties, plus
a 15% surcharge. Enterprise Universal has also agreed to donate
CAD30,000 to the STARS Air Ambulance Society.

Liberal leader Kevin Taft called it a "gross betrayal of
justice." He said the men who were exposed to asbestos are now
facing potentially long and painful deaths and Enterprise
Universal, which is supposed to be dedicated to providing
quality healthcare, knew they were sending these men into a
dangerous situation.

Enterprise Universal was facing seven charges, in which each
count carried a fine of up to CAD150,000 and up to six months in
prison. That's more than a million dollars in fines compared to
CAD10,000 fine it received.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Maltese Court Junks Appeal Raised by Two Firms
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeal in Malta dismissed an appeal filed by Grech
& Company Ltd and Square Deal, a laundry and dry cleaning
company, and ordered them to pay over MTL20,000 in damages to
the heirs of one of their employees who died of asbestosis, The
Times reports.

In 1997, plaintiffs Jane Desira and her children sued the
Companies as heirs of the late Anthony Desira. They had claimed
that Mr. Desira worked with the Companies since 1964 when he was
17 until he stopped at the age of 40. In May 1995, he was
diagnosed with mesothelioma and died in August 1996.

While employed, Mr. Desira had been in contact with asbestos,
which was used in the factories belonging to Grech. The
Companies had claimed that Mr. Desira's actual work did not put
him in direct asbestos contact and that the factory's covering
of pipes with asbestos was extra work that the employees did
voluntarily.

The first Court dismissed the Companies' argument and held that
the employer should supply a safe work system independently of
whether the employees carried out their usual work or did extra
work.

The Companies asserted that asbestos had not been prohibited at
law from being imported and that it was used in various
factories worldwide. However, the Court of Appeal noted that the
surgeon who had operated on Mr. Desira testified that the link
between asbestos and lung tumors was well known as far back as
the 1970s, and it was not correct to say that at the time of Mr.
Desira's employment, no one was aware that asbestos was
dangerous.

The Court of Appeal found that the first court had correctly
established the damages paid by the Desiras due to the loss of
income on the part of Mr. Desira, which is worth MTL20,000.
However, the first Court had not ordered the Companies to pay
the heirs the sum of MTL360.80 that represented the funeral
expenses.

The court however varied the damages to be awarded to the heirs
and ordered the Companies to pay the heirs the sum of
MTL20,360.80 together with all the costs of the litigation and
with legal interest as from the date of the judgment of the
first Court in June 2002.

The Court of Appeal concurred with the first Court's judgment in
declaring the Companies responsible for the death of Mr. Desira.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Council Fined GBP25T for Health & Safety Breach
---------------------------------------------------------------
The North Avon magistrates slapped a GBP25,000 fine on the South
Gloucesterhire Council after admitting that it allowed a
secondary school to become tainted with cancer-causing asbestos,
The Evening Post reports.

Both the Council and the builder David Moore, manager of
Ashcroft Services Ltd, admitted breaches of the Health and
Safety at Work Act and failing to ensure the safety of workers
during the refurbishment at Hanham High School.

South Gloucestershire admitted two offenses under the Health and
Safety Act and was fined GBP12,500 for each offence. Mr. Moore
was fined GBP11,500.

The Council and Mr. Moore were ordered to pay GBP1,044 each in
costs for what magistrates described as "a very serious breach
of health and safety, which could have been avoided."

Prosecuting for the Health and Safety Executive, Andrew
Kingswood said the Council's Direct Services department
organized the classroom refurbishment and took on Ashcroft
Services to do the work, which would have cost just GBP1,700.

Both were unaware the Council's Property Services department had
carried out a survey showing the building had insulating boards
with dangerous asbestos. The information was not passed on to
Direct Services or the builder and the boards were removed.

Mr. Moore said he told the Council he was not licensed to handle
asbestos and admitted he made an honest mistake when he failed
to identify the asbestos.

No children or teaching staff were put at risk because the work
was carried out during the summer break last year. However, two
caretakers entered contaminated classrooms to move furniture.


COMPANY PROFILE

Ashcroft Services Limited
181 South Liberty Lane, Ashton Vale Trading Estate, Ashton Vale,
Bristol, Avon, BS3 2TN
Tel: 0117 9660819
Fax: 0117 9668668
Email: dave@ashcroftservices.co.uk

Description:
The Bristol-based firm specializes in commercial and domestic
construction services. The Company offers services primarily in
Avon.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Circuit Court Affirms National Casualty Appeal
--------------------------------------------------------------
On December 2, 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the
First Circuit granted an appeal filed by a reinsurer over the
coverage of asbestos non-product liability claims.

Senior Circuit Judge Norman H. Stahl together with Circuit
Judges Sandra Lea Lynch and Kermit Victor Lipez reviewed Case
No. 05-1505 with National Casualty Company as the petitioner-
appellant and First State Insurance Group as respondent-
appellee.

In a dispute between the two Companies, in which National
Casualty sought certain documents in discovery but First State
refused to produce them despite an order from the arbitration
panel to do so.

The arbitrators decided in First State's favor despite First
State's failure to produce the desired documents. National
Casualty sued in Federal District Court seeking to overturn the
decision of the arbitration panel.


National Casualty and First State were parties to a set of
contracts under which National Casualty served as a reinsurer to
First State on a number of First State's insurance obligations,
in which First State was required under the underlying policies
to cover some portion of its insureds' liability for so-called
asbestos non-product liability claims. National Casualty was
First State's reinsurer for these "non-product liability claims"
policies.

In the amended complaint, National Casualty argued that the
court should overturn the arbitration award in First State's
favor because First State's failure to comply with the
arbitration panel's production order constituted a breach of
contract, voiding the arbitration clause and terminating the
arbitration panel's jurisdiction.

It also moved to have the district court vacate the arbitration
panel's award for procedural deficiencies.

The district court denied the motion to vacate and dismissed
National Casualty's complaint, but declined First State's
request that it impose sanctions on National Casualty. National
Casualty timely appealed.
                                       
On this appeal, National Casualty urges that the district court
was wrong to deny its motion to vacate under its various Federal
Arbitration Act theories and to dismiss its breach of contract
claim.

National Casualty made its original request for vacatur under
the FAA in its complaint. The district court therefore treated
the portions of the complaint brought under the FAA as if they
had been raised by motion.

National Casualty limited its FAA claims on the motion to vacate
to claims of procedural irregularity. Specifically, it claims
that the award was procured by undue means and that the
arbitrators were guilty of misconduct.
       
Natasha C. Lisman, with whom Susan A. Hartnett was on brief,
represented National Casualty Company.

Lloyd A. Gura, with whom Lawrence S. Greengrass, Sanjit Shah,
Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass, and Prince, Lobel, Glovsky &
Tye LLP were on brief, represented First State Insurance Group.

    
                  New Securities Fraud Cases

GUIDANT CORPORATION: Lerach Coughlin Files Securities Suit in IN
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins,
LLP, initiated a class actions in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Indiana on behalf of
purchasers of Guidant Corporation ("Guidant") (NYSE:GDT)
publicly traded securities during the period between December
15, 2004 and November 4, 2005 (the "Class Period").

The complaints charge Guidant and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Guidant and its subsidiaries provide therapeutic medical
solutions for customers, patients and healthcare systems
worldwide.

On December 15, 2004, defendants announced that Guidant had been
sold to Johnson & Johnson ("J&J") for approximately $25 billion
in cash and J&J stock, within an imputed value of approximately
$76 per share. Meanwhile, according to the complaints,
throughout the fall of 2004 and spring of 2005, defendants
continued concealing from investors, regulators, and,
ostensibly, J&J, the truth about the known defects in Guidant's
defibrillators and pacemakers, including:

     (1) that they had discovered a design flaw in
         defibrillators manufactured prior to April 2002;

     (2) that despite knowledge of the design flaw, they
         continued to sell these defective defibrillators to
         maintain Guidant's revenue stream;

     (3) that at the time of the proposed merger with J&J, many
         defibrillators and pacemakers had failed or
         malfunctioned;

     (4) that as a result of these manufacturing defects,
         revenues from Guidant's defibrillator and pacemaker
         business would be negatively impacted going forward;
         and

     (5) more importantly, that Guidant would likely be exposed
         to substantial litigation risks as more reports of
         failed defibrillators and pacemakers surfaced,
         significantly decreasing the price J&J would be willing
         to pay for Guidant.

Finally, on November 2, 2005, citing issues surrounding
Guidant's defibrillators and the investigation initiated by the
U.S. Attorney's Office as constituting "material adverse
effects" that delimited its duty to perform on the merger
agreement, J&J announced it was not required to complete the
acquisition of Guidant, signaling it would not. On November 4,
2005, when J&J's 48-hour deadline in which to complete the
transaction expired, shares of Guidant fell to $57.52, a drop of
more than $14 per share from the December 15, 2004 merger
announcement date, erasing over $4.5 billion in market
capitalization. Thereafter, on November 15, 2005, defendants
agreed to sell Guidant to J&J for $21.5 billion, or $4 billion
less than the price announced at the start of the Class Period.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins of
Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP, Phone: 800-
449-4900 or 619-231-1058, E-mail: wsl@lerachlaw.com, Web site:
http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/guidantcorp/.  


HELEN OF TROY: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in TX
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Texas on behalf of all securities purchasers
of Helen Of Troy Limited (Nasdaq: HELE) ("Helen" or the
"Company") between October 12, 2004 and October 10, 2005,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges Helen with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. More specifically, the Complaint alleges
that the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented the
following material adverse facts, which were known to defendants
or recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the Company's sales in its personal care business
         segment were declining due to the lack of solid new
         product ideas;

     (2) that the Company was experiencing weak revenue growth;
         and

     (3) that as a consequence of the foregoing, the Company's
         positive earnings guidance throughout the class period
         lacked in any reasonable basis.

On October 11, 2005, Helen significantly lowered its guidance
for 2006 and reported a year-over-year decline in revenues
during its second quarter. On this news, shares of Helen fell
$2.48 per share, or 12.59 percent, to close, on October 11,
2005, at $17.22 per share.

For more details, contact Darren J. Check, Esq. or Richard A.
Maniskas, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 280 King of Prussia
Road, Radnor, PA 19087, 1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706, E-
mail: info@sbclasslaw.com, Web site: http://www.sbclasslaw.com.


STONE ENERGY: Patton Roberts Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in LA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Patton, Roberts, McWilliams & Capshaw, LLP,
filed a class action in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Louisiana on behalf of purchasers of Stone
Energy Corporation (NYSE: SGY) ("Stone Energy" or "the Company")
common stock during the period between June 17, 2005 and October
6, 2005 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Stone Energy Corporation and certain of
its officers and directors with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act. Specifically, the action charges that the
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 Stone
Energy's securities.

For more details, contact Richard A. Adams of Patton, Roberts,
McWilliams & Capshaw, LLP, Century Bank Plaza - Suite 400, 2900
St. Michael Drive, Texarkana, TX 75503, Phone: 903-334-7000 or
1-866-546-9959 x404, Fax: 903-334-7007, E-mail:
mcosta@pattonroberts.com.


STONE ENERGY: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in LA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C., initiated a
securities class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Western District of Louisiana, on behalf of
purchasers of the common stock of Stone Energy Corporation
("Stone Energy" or the "Company") (NYSE:SGY) between June 17,
2005 through October 6, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading
statements contained in filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission and press releases during the Class Period.
Specifically, defendants failed to disclose and misrepresented
the following adverse facts that:

     (1) Stone Energy was materially overstating its financial
         results by overvaluing its oil reserves through
         improper and aggressive reserve methodologies;

     (2) the Company lacked adequate internal controls and was
         therefore unable to ascertain its true financial
         condition; and

     (3) as a result of the foregoing, the values of the
         Company's proven reserves, assets and future net cash
         flows were materially overstated at all relevant times.

On October 6, 2005, Stone Energy issued a press release
announcing that it intends to take a significant reserve write-
down, among other things. On this news, the price of Stone
Energy stock fell $7.93 per share or almost 14% to close at
$48.14 per share. Then, on November 8, 2005, Stone Energy issued
a press release announcing that it will restate its financial
statements for the periods from 2001 to 2004 and for the first
six months of 2005. As a result of this disclosure, Stone Energy
initiated an internal investigation into its reserve practices.

For more details, contact Robert M. Roseman or Andrew Abramowitz
of Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C., Phone: (888) 844-5862, E-
mail: classaction@srk-law.com, Web site: http://www.srk-law.com.  


UNIVERSAL AMERICAN: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Fraud Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all securities
purchasers of Universal American Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:
UHCO) ("Universal American" or the "Company") between February
16, 2005 and October 28, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Universal American, Richard A. Barasch,
Robert A. Waegelein, and Gary W. Bryant with violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. More specifically, the
Complaint alleges that the Company failed to disclose and
misrepresented the following material adverse facts which were
known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls;

     (2) that Company did not disclose an increase in the
         medical loss ratio, or higher expenses relative to
         premium income;

     (3) that the Company's under-reporting of medical-loss
         ratio was in violation of Generally Accepted Accounting
         Principles ("GAAP"); and

     (4) that as a result of the foregoing the Company was
         growing less profitable, and Defendants' statements
         with respect to the Company's future guidance and
         operations lacked in any reasonable basis.

On October 28, 2005, the Company announced that it experienced a
22% year- over-year decline in net income resulting from higher
medical care costs and expenses. On this news, shares of
Universal American fell $8.32 per share, or 36.99 percent, to
close, on October 28, 2005, at $14.17 per share.

For more details, contact Darren J. Check, Esq. or Richard A.
Maniskas, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 280 King of Prussia
Road, Radnor, PA 19087, 1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706, E-
mail: info@sbclasslaw.com, Web site: http://www.sbclasslaw.com.



                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

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

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

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