CAR_Public/051223.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, December 23, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 254


                           Headlines

ACE LTD.: Continues To Face NJ Insurance Antitrust Litigation
AUTHENTIDATE HOLDING: NY Court Consolidates Securities Suits
CFM CORPORATION: Recalls Propane Heaters Due To Pollution Hazard
CONCORD EFS: TN Court Approves Securities Fraud Suit Settlement
CONCORD EFS: TN Court Yet To Rule on Shareholder Suit Dismissal

CONCORD EFS: CA Court Yet To Rule on Summary Judgment Motion
DHB INDUSTRIES: Shareholders File Securities Fraud Suits in NY
DIAMOND PET: Issues Warning V. Aflatoxin in Pet Food Products
ESS TECHNOLOGY: Trial in CA Securities Suit Expected Early 2007
FAMILY DOLLAR: Recalls 13T Christmas Decorations For Fire Hazard

FIDELITY GROUP: Enters Mediation For Unfair Trade Litigation
GRILL CONCEPTS: Discovery Continues in CA Employee Wage Lawsuit
GUESS INC.: Continues To Face Overtime Wage Lawsuit in CA Court
IAC/INTERACTIVECORP: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Lawsuit
MECO CORPORATION: Recalls 98,000 Gas Grills Due To Fire Hazard

NEW YORK: Plaintiffs File Amended Securities Lawsuits in E.D. NY
NEW YORK: NY Court Mulls Dismissal of ERISA Violations Lawsuit
POINT BLANK: Finalizes Settlement For Zylon Vest Consumer Suit
PROTECTIVE APPAREL: Enters Settlement Negotiations For Vest Suit
SHERWIN WILLIAMS: RI Lead-Based Paint Litigation Trial Begins

SHURGARD STORAGE: CA Court OKs Overtime Wage Lawsuit Settlement
SIMPLICITY INC.: Recalls 104,00 Cribs Due to Suffocation Hazard
SL INDUSTRIES: Continue To Face NJ Water Contamination Lawsuit
TICKETMASTER.COM: IL Court Refuses Fraud Suit Summary Judgment
TICKETMASTER.COM: CA Consumer Suit Remand To State Court Sought

WILD OATS: Trial in CA Overtime Wage Lawsuit Moved To 3Q 2006

                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lucent Technologies Defends Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BWC Adopts Liability for Suits v. Water Pik
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: JCI May be Liable for CAA, CERCLA Breaches
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scotts Miracle-Gro Defends Exposure Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: New Claims v. Zurn Drop to 10,400 in 2005

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: North Safety Faces Suits from Respirators
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Widow Seeks Evidence to Mount Alstom Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ATO Rules Hardie Payout Not Tax Deductible
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japanese Ministry to Revise Real Estate Law
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Judge Uses Smoking as Cause to Cut Benefits

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: China's Cancer Risk Seen to Rise in 2030
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Oglebay Norton Faces 47,645 Liability Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cooper Agrees to Resolve Pneumo Abex Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CBO Reaffirms US$140Bil Fund Inadequacies
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Grants ABB US$1.4Bil to Settle Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MA Court Grants AW Chesterton Appeal Review
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NJ Court Denies Motion Filed by G-I & BMCA
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PM Blair Faces Backlash Over Removal Rules
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hanson Sees 4T Claimants in 2005-2nd Half
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Huttig Resolves Rugby IPD Suit Filed in NY

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Man Complains Of Minimal Compensation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Unit to Investigate Unsecured Hazard
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Irish Site Owners Admit Serious Public Risk
ASBESTOS ALERT: UK Man Initiates Bid for GBP100T Payout v. BBA
ASBESTOS ALERT: Contractors, City Sued for IL Asbestos Breaches

ASBESTOS ALERT: Sybron Dental Deals With Personal Injury Suits


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

DIEBOLD INC.: Federman & Sherwood Files Securities Suit in Ohio
NASH FINCH: Federman & Sherwood Launches Securities Suit in MN
NASH FINCH: Lockridge Grindal Files Securities Suit in MN Court
NORTHWEST AIRLINES: Charles Piven Files Securities Lawsuit in NY
WELLS FARGO: Stull Stull Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA

                          *********


ACE LTD.: Continues To Face NJ Insurance Antitrust Litigation
-------------------------------------------------------------
ACE Ltd., ACE INA Holdings, Inc. and ACE USA continue to face a
consolidated insurance policyholder class action filed in the
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Ten federal putative nationwide class actions were initially
filed, namely:

     (1) Bayou Steel Corporation v. ACE INA Holdings, et al.,
         (Case No. 04 CV 5391 filed in the United States
         District Court for the Eastern District Pennsylvania on
         November 18, 2004);

     (2) Eagle Creek, Inc. v. ACE INA Holdings, et al. (Case No.
         04 CV 5255, filed in the United States District Court
         for the Eastern District, Pennsylvania on November 10,
         2004);

     (3) Stephen Lewis vs. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., et
         al. (Case No. 04 CV 7847; filed in the United States
         District Court for the Northern District of Illinois,
         on December 6, 2004);

     (4) Opticare Health Systems, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan
         Companies, Inc., et al. (Case No. 04 CV 06954; filed in
         the United States District Court for the Southern
         District of New York on October 19, 2004);

     (5) Diane Preuss v. March & McLennan Companies, et al.,
         (Case No. 04 CV 78553; filed in the United States
         District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on
         December 6, 2004);

     (6) Redwood Oil Company v. Marsh & McLennan
         Companies, Inc.  (Case No. 05 C 0390; filed in the
         United States District Court for the Northern District
         of Illinois on filed January 21, 2005);

     (7) Shell Vacations LLC v. Marsh & McLennan Companies,
         Inc., et al. (Case No. 05 C 0270; filed in the United
         States District Court for the Northern District of
         Illinois on January 14, 2005);

     (8) Edward Macuish v. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., et
         al. (Case No. 2005 CV 00440; filed in the United States
         District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on
         January 25, 2005 and later dismissed);

     (9) Edward Macuish v. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., et
         al. (Case No. 2005 CV 00440; filed in the United States
         District Court for the District of New Jersey, on March
         21, 2005);

    (10) David Boros v. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., et al.
         (Case No. C050543EDL; filed in the United States
         District Court for the Northern District of California,
         on February 4, 2005), and

    (10) Robert Mulcahy v. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., et al.,
         (Case No. 2005 CV 01064; filed in the United States
         District Court for the District of New Jersey, on
         February 23, 2005)

    (11) Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District
         vs. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., et.al. (Case No.
         05-1214, filed in the United States District Court for
         the District of New Jersey on February 23, 2005)

    (12) The Prococcianti Group vs. Marsh & McLennan Companies,
         Inc., et. al. (Case No. 05-1368, filed in the United
         States District Court for the District of New Jersey on
         March 7, 2005);

    (13) Palm Tree Computers Systems, Inc. et al. v. ACE USA et
         al.(Case No. 6:05-cv-418-ACC-JGG)(filed on February 16,
         2005) (Case originally filed in the Eighteenth Judicial
         Circuit in and for Seminole County, Florida. AIG and
         The Hartford removed case. Motion to remand pending);

    (14) Cellect LLC et al. v. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.
         et al. (Case No. 05-2255; filed April 27, 2005 in the
         United States District Court for the District of New
         Jersey);

    (15) New England Regional Council of Carpenters et al. v.
         Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (Case No. 05-2256;
         filed in the United States District Court in New Jersey
         on April 27, 2005);

    (16) Bensley Construction, Inc. et al. v. Marsh & McLennan
         Companies, Inc. (Case No. 2005-00277;) (filed in the
         United States District Court in Massachusetts on May
         20, 2005) (Case removed from state court. Motion to
         remand is pending)

In each of these cases, the plaintiff has sued a number of other
insurance entities in addition to the ACE entities.  The
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated
these cases, as well as other putative class actions in which no
ACE entity is named as a party in the District of New Jersey.

On August 1, 2005, Plaintiffs filed two consolidated amended
complaints - one concerning commercial insurance and the other
concerning employee benefit plans. In the commercial insurance
complaint, the plaintiffs named ACE Limited, ACE INA Holdings,
Inc., ACE USA, Inc., ACE American Insurance Co., Illinois Union
Insurance Co., and Indemnity Insurance Co. of North America.
They allege that insurers, including certain ACE entities, and
brokers conspired to increase premiums and allocate customers
through the use of "B" quotes and contingent commissions.

In addition, the complaints allege that the broker defendants
received additional income by improperly placing their clients'
business with insurers through related wholesale entities that
act as intermediaries between the broker and insurer. Plaintiffs
also allege that broker defendants tied the purchase of primary
insurance with the placement of such coverage with reinsurance
carriers through the broker defendants' reinsurance broker
subsidiaries. In the commercial insurance consolidated
complaint, plaintiffs assert the following causes of action
against ACE: Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organization Act (RICO), federal antitrust law, state antitrust
law, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust
enrichment.

In the employee benefits complaint, the plaintiffs named ACE
Limited, ACE USA, and Insurance Company of North America. They
allege that insurers, including certain ACE entities, and
brokers conspired to increase premiums and allocate customers
through the use of "B" quotes and contingent commissions. In
addition, the complaints allege that the broker defendants
received additional income by improperly placing their clients'
business with insurers through related wholesale entities that
act as intermediaries between the broker and insurer. Plaintiffs
also allege that defendants improperly charged communication
fees, which plaintiffs claim are also known as "enrollment fees"
or "service/administrative fees."  Plaintiffs also allege that
insurers transferred their insureds' business, with who they had
direct contracts with and no broker involvement, to insurance
brokers in exchange for the insurance brokers steering
additional business to the insurers.  Plaintiffs also allege
that broker defendants tied the purchase of primary insurance
with the placement of such coverage with reinsurance carriers
through the broker defendants' reinsurance broker subsidiaries.
In the employee benefits consolidated complaint, plaintiffs
assert the following causes of action against ACE: Federal
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO),
federal antitrust law, state antitrust law, Employee Retirement
Income Security Act (ERISA), aiding and abetting breach of
fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment. In both cases, the
plaintiffs have sought unspecified compensatory damages and
reimbursement of expenses, including legal fees.

ACE USA and ACE INA have also been named in a state court class
action, styled "Palm Tree Computer Systems, Inc. et al. v. ACE
USA et al. Case No. 05-CA-373-16-W," filed in the Circuit Court,
Seminole County, Florida on February 5, 2005.  The allegations
are similar to the allegations in the federal class actions
identified above. Plaintiffs allege causes of action under every
state's consumer statute and state common law (breach of
fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment).  The complaint states
that "neither the Plaintiff nor any member of the Class has
suffered damages exceeding $74,999.00 each, even when trebled.
In no event will Plaintiff or any member of the Class accept
damages in excess of $74,999.00 for each class member."

Illinois Union Insurance Company, an ACE subsidiary, has been
named in a state court class action, styled "Van Emden
Management Corporation v. Marsh; McLennan Companies, Inc., et
al., Case No. 05-0066A," filed in the Superior Court of
Massachusetts on January 13, 2005).  The allegations are similar
to the allegations in the federal class actions identified
above.  Plaintiffs assert causes of action under Massachusetts'
antitrust statute and Massachusetts' consumer protection
statute. Plaintiffs also assert a conspiracy cause of action and
seek an injunction. Plaintiff has sought unspecified
compensatory damages and reimbursement of expenses, including
legal fees.

ACE American Insurance Co. (now known as Union Insurance
Company), an ACE subsidiary, has been named in a state court
lawsuit, styled "Office Depot, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan
Companies, Inc. et al., Case No. 502005CA004396" filed in the
Circuit Court of the 15th Judicial Circuit in Palm Beach County
Florida on June 22, 2005.  The allegations are similar to the
allegations in the federal class actions identified above.
Plaintiffs assert the following causes of action against ACE
American Insurance Co.: conspiracy and concerted action to aid
and abet Marsh's breaches of fiduciary duties, conspiracy and
concerted action to aid and abet Marsh's fraud, antitrust
violation under Florida law, deceptive and unfair trade
practices, unjust enrichment, civil RICO under Florida law,
commercial bribery, and punitive damages. Plaintiff has sought
unspecified compensatory damages and reimbursement of expenses,
including legal fees.

Another similar class action, styled "Bensley Construction, Inc.
et al. v. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc, case No. 2005-00277,"
was initially filed in the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts.  The `Bensley' and `Palm Tree' suits
were later removed to federal court and are the subject of
pending motions to remand. The Court has stayed the "Van Emden"
case pending resolution of the consolidated proceedings in the
District of New Jersey or until further order of the Court.

The OptiCare litigation is styled "In Re Insurance Brokerage
Antitrust Litigation, case no. 2:05-cv-01168-FSH," filed in the
United States District Court in New Jersey, under Judge Faith S.
Hochberg.  Representing the Company is Vineet Bhatia, Johnny W.
Carter, Michael P. Geiser, H. Lee Godfrey, Neal S. Manne,
Jeffrey R. Seely, SUSMAN GODFREY LLP, 1000 Louisiana St., Suite
5100, Houston TX 77002 Phone: 713-653-7855.  Representing the
plaintiffs are Joseph P. Guglielmo and Edith M. Kallas, MILBERG
WEISS BERSHAD & SCHULMAN LLP (NYC) One Pennsylvania Plaza, New
York NY 10119 Phone: 212-594-5300; and Mark C. Rifkin, WOLF
HALDENSTEIN ADLER FREEMAN & HERZ LLP, 270 Madison Avenue, New
York, NY 10016 Phone: 212 545-4600 E-mail: rifkin@whafh.com.


AUTHENTIDATE HOLDING: NY Court Consolidates Securities Suits
------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York consolidated the six purported shareholder class
actions were filed against Authentidate Holding Corporation and
certain of its current and former officers and directors.

Plaintiffs in these actions allege that defendants violated
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Sections 11, 12(a), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.
The securities law claims are based on the allegation that the
Company failed to disclose that the USPS could cancel its August
2002 contract with it if the Company did not meet certain
performance metrics, and when it disclosed in 2005 that the USPS
could cancel its contract because the Company had not met those
performance metrics, the market price of its stock declined. The
class action complaints seek unspecified monetary damages.

Certain plaintiffs and purported shareholders have filed motions
seeking to consolidate the class actions and to be appointed as
lead plaintiff under the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act.  A hearing on these motions was scheduled for October 5,
2005. On October 5, 2005 the Court granted the motion of one
plaintiff, the Illinois State Board of Investment, to be
appointed as lead plaintiff under the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act.  The caption of the case is "in re
Authentidate Holding Corp. Securities Litigation, C.A. No. 05
Cir. 5323 (LTS)." Plaintiff is scheduled to file an amended
consolidated complaint on January 3, 2006; defendants' motion to
dismiss the complaint is scheduled to be filed on March 4, 2006.
Oral argument on the motion to dismiss is scheduled for June 30,
2006.

The suit is styled "IN RE AUTHENTIDATE HOLDING CORP. SECURITIES
LITIGATION, case no. 1:05-cv-05323-LTS," filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
under Judge Laura Taylor Swain.  Representing the plaintiffs is
Samuel Howard Rudman of Lerach, Coughlin, Stoia, Geller, Rudman
& Robbins, LLP, 200 Broadhollow Road, Ste. 406, Melville, NY
11747, Phone: 631-367-7100, Fax: 631-367-1173, E-mail:
srudman@lerachlaw.com.  Representing the defendants are Curtis
Victor Trinko, Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, LLP, 16 West
46th Street, Seventh Floor, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-490-
9550, Fax: 212-986-0158, e-mail: ctrinko@trinko.com.


CFM CORPORATION: Recalls Propane Heaters Due To Pollution Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
CFM Corporation is cooperating with the Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) by voluntarily recalling about 10,200 Legacy
Propane Infrared Plaque Heaters, manufactured by Chant Kitchen
Equipment, of Guandong, China, due to carbon monoxide hazard.

A non-specification gasket around the heating plaques could
allow heater carbon monoxide emissions to leak into the area in
which the heater is being used.  No injuries or incidents of
property damage have been reported.

The heaters are propane infrared plaque space heaters sold after
September 1, 2005. The units are rectangular in shape and the
casing has a white finish. The heaters can be mounted on walls
or stand on the floor. The name "Legacy" is centered on the
front of the heater immediately below the grill. Affected units
have one of the following model numbers:

     (1) RMC-LI6LP
     (2) RMC-LI10LP
     (3) RMC-LI10LPT
     (4) RMC-LI18LP-F
     (5) RMC-LI18LPT-F
     (6) RMC-LI30LP-F
     (7) RMC-LI30LPT-F

The model number is located on the right side panel of the unit.
All of the heaters were listed by the Canadian Standards
Association.  Heating and hardware retailers, and HVAC dealers
in the U.S. sold these heaters from September 2005 through
November 2005 for between $156 and $290.

Consumers should stop using the heater and immediately contact
CFM to arrange for a refund of the purchase price or replacement
of the product with an equivalent unit. CFM Corporation already
notified known purchasers about this recall.  For more
information, contact CFM Corporation toll-free at (866) 333-4833
between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, visit the
firm's Web site at www.cfmcorp.com or contact the retailer from
which you purchased the heater.


CONCORD EFS: TN Court Approves Securities Fraud Suit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Tennessee approved the settlement of the consolidated securities
class action filed against Concord EFS, Inc., styled "In re
Concord EFS, Inc. Securities Litigation."

A number of complaints against Concord and its directors
containing essentially identical allegations were consolidated
on November 20, 2002.  The lead plaintiffs filed a Consolidated
Amended Complaint on February 17, 2003, in which they alleged,
among other items, that the Company's financial statements were
materially misleading because they failed to disclose `related
party transactions' with H& F Card Services, Inc. (H&F). The
Consolidated Amended Complaint sought class certification, an
unspecified amount of compensatory damages, including interest
thereon, attorney fees and other costs and expenses on behalf of
the plaintiffs and members of the putative class, and other
relief the Court deemed just and proper.

On October 21, 2005, the court gave final approval of a
settlement providing $13.3 million to the plaintiffs, of which
approximately $13.0 million will be paid by the Company's
insurers with the balance by the Company.

The suit is styled "In re Concord EFS, Inc. Securities
Litigation, case no 2:02-cv-02697-SHM," filed in the United
States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee,
under Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr.  Representing the plaintiffs
are:

     (1) Andrew J. Brown, LERACH COUGHLIN STOIA & ROBBINS, LLP,
         401 B St., Ste. 1700, San Diego, CA 92101, Phone: 619-
         231-1058

     (2) David B. Kahn and Mark E. King, DAVID B. KAHN &
         ASSOCIATES, LTD., One Northfield Plaza, Suite 100,
         Northfield, IL 60093, Phone: 847-501-5083

     (3) Henry Rosen, MILBERG WEISS BERSHAD HYNES & LERACH, LLP
         600 West Broadway, Ste. 1800, San Diego, CA 92101,
         Phone: 619-231-1058

     (4) Paulette S. Fox, Peter C. Harrar, WOLF HALDENSTEIN
         ADLER FREEMAN & HERZ LLP, 270 Madison Ave., New York,
         NY 10016, Phone: 212-545-4600,

Representing the Company are David F. Graham, Gerard D. Kelly,
Rachel Bloom, William F. Conlon of SIDLEY AUSTIN BROWN & WOOD
One South Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60603, Phone: 312-853-7000,
Fax: 312-853-7036; and Jef Feibelman, Nathan A. Bicks, Scott J.
Crosby, WJ Michael Cody, BURCH PORTER & JOHNSON, 130 N. Court
Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-524-5000, Fax:
901-524-5024, Email: jfeibelman@bpjlaw.firm, nbicks@bpjlaw.com,
scrosby@bpjlaw.com, mcody@bpjlaw.com.


CONCORD EFS: TN Court Yet To Rule on Shareholder Suit Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Shelby County Circuit Court for the States of Tennessee has
yet to rule on the motion to dismiss the consolidated
shareholder class action filed against Concord EFS Inc.'s
current and former officers and directors.

On April 3 and 4, 2003, two purported class action complaints
were filed on behalf of the public holders of the Company's
common stock (excluding shareholders related to or affiliated
with the individual defendants). The defendants in those actions
were certain current and former officers and directors of
Concord. The complaints generally alleged breaches of the
defendants' duty of loyalty and due care in connection with the
defendants' alleged attempt to sell Concord without maximizing
the value to shareholders in order to advance the defendants'
alleged individual interests in obtaining indemnification
agreements related to the securities litigation discussed above
and other derivative litigation.  The complaints sought class
certification, injunctive relief directing the defendants'
conduct in connection with an alleged sale or auction of
Concord, reasonable attorneys' fees, experts' fees and other
costs and relief the Court deems just and proper.

On April 2, 2003 an additional purported class action complaint
was filed by Barton K. O'Brien.  The defendants were the
Company, certain of its current and former officers and
directors. This complaint contained allegations regarding the
individual defendants' alleged insider trading and alleged
violations of securities and other laws and asserted that this
alleged misconduct reduced the consideration offered to Concord
shareholders in the proposed merger between Concord and a
subsidiary of First Data Corporation.  The complaint sought
class certification, attorneys' fees, experts' fees, costs and
other relief the Court deems just and proper.  Moreover, the
complaint also sought an order enjoining consummation of the
merger, rescinding the merger if it is consummated and setting
it aside or awarding rescissory damages to members of the
putative class, and directing the defendants to account to the
putative class members for unspecified damages.

These complaints were consolidated in a second amended
consolidated complaint filed September 19, 2003 into one action
(In re Concord EFS, Inc. Shareholder Litigation) in the Shelby
County Circuit for the State of Tennessee.  On October 15, 2003,
the plaintiffs In re Concord EFS, Inc. Shareholder Litigation
moved for leave to file a third amended consolidated complaint
similar to the previous complaints but also alleging that the
proxy statement disclosures relating to the antitrust regulatory
approval process were inadequate.

On October 17, 2003, the plaintiffs filed a motion for
preliminary injunction to enjoin the shareholder vote on the
proposed merger and/or the merger itself. The Court denied the
plaintiffs' motion on October 20, 2003 but ordered deposition
discovery on an expedited basis. On October 27, 2003 the
plaintiffs filed a renewed motion to enjoin the shareholder
vote, which was denied by the Court the same day. A motion to
dismiss was filed on June 22, 2004 alleging that the claims
should be denied and are moot since the merger has occurred. On
October 18, 2004, the Court heard arguments on the plaintiff's
motion to amend complaint and the defendant's motion to dismiss.


CONCORD EFS: CA Court Yet To Rule on Summary Judgment Motion
------------------------------------------------------------
Concord EFS, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California to grant summary judgment in its
favor in the consolidated class action filed against it, its
parent company First Data Corporation and various financial
institutions.

On July 2, 2004, Pamela Brennan, Terry Crayton, and Darla
Martinez filed a class action complaint on behalf of themselves
and all others similarly situated in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California against the
Company, First Data Corporation, and various financial
institutions. Plaintiffs claim that the defendants have violated
antitrust laws by conspiring to artificially inflate foreign ATM
fees that were ultimately charged to ATM cardholders.
Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgement, injunctive relief,
compensatory damages, attorneys' fees, costs and such other
relief as the nature of the case may require or as may seem just
and proper to the court.

Five similar suits were filed and served in July, August and
October 2004, two in the Central District of California
(Los Angeles), two in the Southern District of New York, and one
in the Western District of Washington (Seattle).  The Plaintiffs
sought to have all of the cases consolidated by the Multi
District Litigation panel. That request was denied by the panel
on December 16, 2004 and all cases have been transferred to the
Northern District Court of California and assigned to a single
judge.  All cases other than Brennan have been stayed.

In Brennan, on May 4, 2005 the Court ruled on Defendants' Motion
to Dismiss and Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. The Court
did not dismiss the complaint, except for a technical dismissal
of the claims against First Data Corporation, Bank One
Corporation and JP Morgan Chase. On May 25, 2005 the Plaintiffs
filed an amended complaint which clarified the basis for
alleging that the holding companies First Data Corporation, Bank
One Corporation and JP Morgan Chase were liable.  On July 3,
2005 the Court's stay on discovery expired. On July 13, 2005 the
Court held a status conference in which is ruled that the
Brennan Plaintiffs would file their motion for class
certification in November 2005 with the Defendants responses due
in February 2006.  On July 21, 2005, Concord filed a motion for
summary judgment seeking to foreclose claims arising after
February 1, 2001  - the date that Concord acquired the STAR
network. On August 22, 2005, the Court also consolidated all of
the ATM interchange cases pending against the defendants in
Brennan which will now be referred to collectively as the "ATM
Fee Antitrust Litigation."

The suit is styled "In re ATM FEE ANTITRUST LITIGATION, case no.
4:04-cv-02676-SBA," filed in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of California, under Judge Saundra
Brown Armstrong.  Representing the plaintiffs are Daniel O.
Myers, Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook and Brickman, LLC, 1037
Chuck Dawley, Building A, Mt. Pleasant, SC 92464, Phone:
843-727-6500, fax: 843-216-6509, E-mail: dmyers@rpwb.com; and
Joseph R. Saveri, Lieff Cabraser Heiman & Bernstein, LLP, 275
Battery Street, 30th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111-3339, Phone:
415-956-1000, Fax: 415-956-1008, E-mail: jsaveri@lchb.com.
Representing the Company are Buckmaster DeWolf, Peter Edward
Moll, Esq., Benjamin K. Riley, Brian Wallach, Howrey Simon
Arnold & White, LLP, 301 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park, CA
94025, Phone: 650-463-8100, E-mail: dewolfb@howrey.com,
mollp@howrey.com, rileyb@howrey.com, wallachb@howrey.com.


DHB INDUSTRIES: Shareholders File Securities Fraud Suits in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
DHB Industries, Inc. and certain of its officers and directors
face several securities class action lawsuits filed in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York on behalf of purchasers of the Company's publicly traded
securities during the period from April 21, 2004 through August
29, 2005.

The complaints, which are substantially similar to one another,
allege, among other things, that the Company's public
disclosures were false or misleading because they did not
disclose certain information. The lawsuits allege that the
Company's body armor products were defective and failed to meet
the standards of its customers, and that these alleged facts
should have been publicly disclosed.

The Company has been served with a number of these complaints.
No class has been certified in the actions. The lawsuits seek
compensatory damages plus interest and attorneys' fees.


DIAMOND PET: Issues Warning V. Aflatoxin in Pet Food Products
-------------------------------------------------------------
Diamond Pet Food has discovered aflatoxin in a product
manufactured at its facility in Gaston, South Carolina.
Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxic chemical by-product
from the growth of the fungus Aspergillus flavus, on corn and
other crops, the Company stated in a press release.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we have notified our
distributors and recommended they hold the sale of all Diamond
Pet Food products formulated with corn that were produced out of
our Gaston facility (see complete list below). Please note that
products manufactured at our facilities in Meta, Missouri and
Lathrop, California are not affected. The Gaston facility date
codes are unique from other Diamond facility codes in that
either the eleventh or twelfth character in the date code will
be a capital "G" (in reference to Gaston). The range of date
codes being reviewed are "Best By 01-March-07" through Best By "
11-June-07". Diamond's quantitative analysis records
substantiate that Diamond's corn shipments were definitively
clear of aflatoxin after December 10. As such, "Best By 11-June-
07" date codes or later are not affected by this notice," the
press release stated.

States serviced by the Company's Gaston facility include
Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky
(eastern), Main, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, West
Virginia, Vermont, and Virginia.

"We are rapidly analyzing retained samples of all products
produced in Gaston so we can isolate specific lot numbers
impacted and provide this information to our distributors,
retailers and customers as quickly as possible.  Meanwhile, if
your pet is showing any symptoms of illness, including
sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat,
yellowish tint to the eyes and/or gums, and severe or bloody
diarrhea, please consult your veterinarian immediately," the
Company said.  "Product quality and customer satisfaction are
important to us. We pledge to keep you updated as new
developments occur."

Gaston Facility Products Removed From Sale are:

Diamond Low Fat Dog Food
Diamond Hi-Energy Dog Food
Diamond Maintenance Dog Food
Diamond Performance Dog Food
Diamond Premium Adult Dog Food
Diamond Puppy Food
Diamond Maintenance Cat Food
Diamond Professional Cat Food
Country Value Puppy
Country Value Adult Dog
Country Value High Energy Dog
Country Value Adult Cat Food
Professional Chicken & Rice Senior Dog Food
Professional Reduced Fat Chicken & Rice Dog Food
Professional Adult Dog Food
Professional Large-Breed Puppy Food
Professional Puppy Food
Professional Reduced Fat Cat Food
Professional Adult Cat Food


ESS TECHNOLOGY: Trial in CA Securities Suit Expected Early 2007
---------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the consolidated securities class action filed against
ESS Technology, Inc. and certain of its present and former
officers and directors is set for early 2007 in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California.

On September 12, 2002, following the Company's downward revision
of revenue and earnings guidance for the third fiscal quarter of
2002, a series of putative federal class action lawsuits were
filed against the Company.  The complaints alleged that the
Company and certain of its present and former officers and
directors made misleading statements regarding its business and
failed to disclose certain allegedly material facts during an
alleged class period of January 23, 2002 through September 12,
2002, in violation of federal securities laws.  These actions
were consolidated and are proceeding under the caption "In re
ESS Technology Securities Litigation."  The plaintiffs seek
unspecified damages on behalf of the putative class.

Plaintiffs amended their consolidated complaint on November 3,
2003, which the Company then moved to dismiss on December 18,
2003.  On December 1, 2004, the Court granted in part and denied
in part the Company's motion to dismiss, and struck from the
complaint allegations arising prior to February 27, 2002.  On
December 22, 2004, based on the Court's order, the Company moved
to strike from the complaint all remaining claims and
allegations arising prior to September 10, 2002.  On February
22, 2005, the Court granted the Company's motion in part and
struck all remaining claims and allegations arising prior to
August 1, 2002 from the complaint. Discovery is now proceeding
in the case. Plaintiffs have moved to certify the proposed class
(as modified by the motion to strike described above). The court
is currently awaiting the completion of class certification
discovery and briefing before ruling on the motion, which is
scheduled for January 13, 2006. A trial date has tentatively
been set for early 2007.

The suit is styled "In re ESS Technology, Inc. Securities
Litigation, case no. 02-CV-4497," filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California, under
Judge Ronald M. Whyte.  Representing the Company are Meredith N.
Landy and Joshua D. Baker of O'Melveny & Myers, 2765 Sand Hill
Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025-7019, Phone: 650.473.2600, Fax:
650.473.2601, E-mail: mlandy@omm.com or jbaker@omm.com.
Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP (San
         Diego), 401 B Street, Suite 1700, San Diego, CA, 92101,
         Phone: 206.749.5544, Fax: 206.749.9978, E-mail:
         info@lerachlaw.com

     (2) 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,

     (3) 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


FAMILY DOLLAR: Recalls 13T Christmas Decorations For Fire Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
Family Dollar Stores of Charlotte, N.C. is cooperating with the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission about 13,000 Spinning
Star Christmas Tree Topper decorations.  The tree topper can
melt or smoke near the on/off switch, which could pose a fire
hazard.

The Company has received eight reports of the tree topper
melting or smoking. There are no reports of fires, injuries or
property damage.  The recalled tree topper is a plastic star
with a gold or silver metallic finish. The center of the tree
topper is clear plastic center with a spinning disk with lights.
"X'mas L.E.D. Spinning Tree Top" is written on the box.

Family Dollar Stores sold these items nationwide from September
2005 through December 2005 for about $8.

Consumers should immediately stop using the spinning star tree
topper and return it to a Family Dollar store for a full refund.
For additional information, contact Family Dollar toll-free at
(800) 547-0359 Ext. 5365, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET
Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at
www.familydollar.com


FIDELITY GROUP: Enters Mediation For Unfair Trade Litigation
------------------------------------------------------------
Fidelity Group, Inc. entered mediation for the class action
filed against it, HealthPlan Services, Inc. (HPS), HPS, Third
Party Claims Management, and others, for unspecified damages.

The complaint stems from the failure of a Fidelity insurance
plan, and alleges, against the Company, which is its contracted
administrator:

     (1) unfair and deceptive trade practices;

     (2) negligent undertaking;

     (3) fraud;

     (4) negligent misrepresentation;

     (5) breach of contract;

     (6) civil conspiracy; and

     (7) Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO)
         violations

Two principals of the Fidelity plan have been convicted of
insurance fraud and sentenced to prison in a separate
proceeding.  The class has been certified.  The Company is
contesting the plaintiffs' claims vigorously, but is unable to
predict the outcome of the case or any potential liability.
Mediation began on November 1, 2005.


GRILL CONCEPTS: Discovery Continues in CA Employee Wage Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery continues in the employee class action filed against
Grill Concepts, Inc. in the Superior Court of California for Los
Angeles County.

One of the Company's former hourly restaurant employees filed
the suit in June 2004.  The Company requested and was granted a
motion to move the suit from Orange County to Los Angeles
County.  The lawsuit was then filed in the Superior Court of
California of Los Angeles in December 2004.  The plaintiff has
alleged violations of California labor laws with respect to
providing meal and rest breaks. The lawsuit sought unspecified
amounts of penalties and other monetary payments on behalf of
the plaintiffs and other purported class members.

The Court is waiting until the State Supreme Court hears the
cases currently before the Court of Appeals related to the meal
and rest breaks before scheduling any further action in the
case, the Company stated in a disclosure to the Securities and
Exchange Commission.


GUESS INC.: Continues To Face Overtime Wage Lawsuit in CA Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Guess Inc. continues to face a class action filed in the
Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco,
alleging violations of the state's overtime laws.

Michele Evets filed the suit on February 1, 2005.  The suit
purports to be a class action filed on behalf of current and
former Guess store managers in California.  Plaintiffs seek
overtime wages and a preliminary and permanent injunction.  The
Company answered the complaint on April 28, 2005.  No trial date
has been set.


IAC/INTERACTIVECORP: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
IAC/InterActiveCorp asked the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York Plaintiffs to dismiss a
consolidated securities class action against, styled "In re
IAC/InterActiveCorp Securities Litigation," filed against it and
fourteen current or former officers or directors of the Company
or its Expedia travel business.

Several suits were initially filed, arising out of the Company's
August 4, 2004 announcement of its earnings for the second
quarter of 2004.  On May 20, 2005, the plaintiffs filed a
consolidated amended complaint. Like the twelve complaints
previously filed in this case, this complaint generally alleges
that the value of the Company's stock was artificially inflated
by pre-announcement statements about its financial results and
forecasts that were false and misleading due to the defendants'
alleged failure to disclose various problems faced by the
Company's travel businesses.  The plaintiffs seek to represent a
class of shareholders who purchased the Company's common stock
between March 31, 2003 and August 3, 2004. The complaint
purports to assert claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, as well as Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act
of 1933, and seeks damages in an unspecified amount.

Two related shareholder derivative actions have been
consolidated with the securities class action for pre-trial
purposes. The consolidated shareholder derivative complaint,
filed on July 5, 2005 against the Company (as a nominal
defendant) and sixteen current or former officers or directors
of the Company or its former Expedia travel business, is based
upon factual allegations similar to those in the securities
class action and purports to assert claims for breach of
fiduciary duty, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, waste of
corporate assets, unjust enrichment, violation of section 14(a)
of the Exchange Act, and contribution and indemnification. The
complaint seeks an order voiding the election of the Company's
current Board of Directors, as well as damages in an unspecified
amount, various forms of equitable relief, restitution, and
disgorgement of remuneration received by the individual
defendants from the Company.

On September 15, 2005, the Company and the other defendants
filed motions to dismiss both the securities class action and
the shareholder derivative suits. The plaintiffs' responses to
the motions are scheduled to be filed by November 15, 2005.


The suit is styled "In re IAC/InteractiveCorp Securities
Litigation, case no. 1:04-cv-07447-RJH," filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
under Judge Richard J. Holwell.  Representing the plaintiffs are
Frederick Taylor Isquith, Sr. and Gregory M. Nespole of Wolf
Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP, 270 Madison Avenue, New
York, NY 10016, Phone: 212-545-4600, Fax: 212-545-4653, E-mail:
isquith@whafh.com; and Jeffrey S. Nobel of Schatz & Nobel, One
Corporate Center, 20 Church Street, Suite 1700, Hartford, CT
06103, Phone: 860-493-6292.


MECO CORPORATION: Recalls 98,000 Gas Grills Due To Fire Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
Meco Corporation is cooperating with the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission by recalling about 98,000 AussieT Gas Grills,
due to fire and burn injuries.

The regulators on these gas grills, the component that controls
the amount of gas released to the burner, can leak propane when
the propane cylinder is connected and open, and the grill is not
in use.  There have been 10 reports of gas leaks. No injuries
have been reported. There has been one report of a fire causing
property damage.

The recall involves certain AussieT Gas Grills in the Bonza,
Bushman and Bondi series, which have "AussieT" found on the
front panel and the series name found on the control panel.
Regulator assemblies on these grills have date codes of 2704 and
lower. The regulator is attached to the side of the grills. The
model number and serial number of the grill can be found on the
back of the grill or on the sides of the control panel. The
recall includes grills with the following model numbers and
serial number ranges:

Model Numbers Serial Number Ranges

     (1) 7362K3XM11 0000001 through 0000760

     (2) 7720.1.641 0005559 through 0055583

     (3) 7462K3XB11 0000001 through 0000155

     (4) 7830.3.641 0000001 through 0006492

     (5) 7462K3XM51 0000001 through 0000917

     (6) 7710.1.641 0071582 through 0089666

     (7) 7820.3.641 0001801 through 0018329

     (8) 7362K3XB41 0000001 through 0000289

     (9) 7362K3XG51 0000001 through 0003804

    (10) 7362K3XM51 0000001 through 0000860

Grocery, department, hardware and other retail stores sold these
items nationwide from December 2003 through December 2004 for
between $100 and $480.

Consumers should immediately stop using the grill and contact
Meco for instructions on receiving a replacement regulator
assembly.  Call Meco toll-free at (800) 251-7558 between 8 a.m.
and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or email Meco's consumer
service at csr@meco.net. Consumers also can visit the company's
Web site at www.meco.net


NEW YORK: Plaintiffs File Amended Securities Lawsuits in E.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed a consolidated securities class action against
New York Community Bancorp, Inc. in the United States District
Court, Eastern District of New York, alleging violations of
federal securities laws on behalf of persons and entities, other
than the defendants, who purchased or otherwise acquired the
Company's securities during the period June 27, 2003 to July 1,
2004, or such shorter period as defined in some of the actions.

The lawsuits are all related to the same sets of facts and
circumstances and all but one allege that the Company violated
Sections 11 and 12 of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10
and 14 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5,
promulgated pursuant to Section 10 of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934.  Plaintiffs allege, among other things, that the
Registration Statement issued in connection with the Company's
merger with Roslyn Bancorp, Inc. and other documents and
statements made by executive management were inaccurate and
misleading, contained untrue statements of material facts,
omitted other facts necessary to make the statements made not
misleading, and concealed and failed to adequately disclose
material facts.

On August 9, 2005, the court consolidated the actions and
appointed a Lead Plaintiff.  On October 6, 2005, the Lead
Plaintiff filed a consolidated amended complaint on behalf of a
putative class of persons and entities, other than defendants,
who purchased or otherwise acquired the Company's securities
from June 27, 2003 to July 1, 2004, alleging claims under
Sections 11 and 12 of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10
and 14 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5,
promulgated pursuant to Section 10 of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934. Plaintiffs allege, among other things, that the
Registration Statement issued in connection with the Company's
merger with Roslyn Bancorp, Inc. and other documents and
statements made by executive management were inaccurate and
misleading, contained untrue statements of material facts,
omitted other facts necessary to make the statements made not
misleading, and concealed and failed to adequately disclose
material facts, pertaining to, among other things, the Company's
business plans and its exposure to interest rate risk.
The defendants have not yet answered or otherwise responded to
the consolidated amended complaint. Discovery is stayed pursuant
to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

The first identified complaint in the litigation is styled "Toby
Olsen, et al. v. New York Community Bancorp, Inc., et al., case
no. 04-CV-4165," filed in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of New York.  The plaintiff firms in this
litigation are:

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

     (2) 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

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

     (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


NEW YORK: NY Court Mulls Dismissal of ERISA Violations Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York to dismiss the class action filed against New York
Community Bancorp, Inc., alleging violations of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act on behalf of a putative class of
participants in the New York Community Bank Employee Savings
Plan.

On February 8, 2005, the Company's Board of Directors received a
letter, dated January 31, 2005, from a law firm purporting to
represent a shareholder of the Company that repeats many of the
allegations made in the putative class actions, and demands that
the Board take a variety of actions allegedly required to
address those allegations.

The suit is in its preliminary stages. The defendants moved to
dismiss the action, but no defendant has answered or otherwise
responded to any of the putative securities class action
complaints.


POINT BLANK: Finalizes Settlement For Zylon Vest Consumer Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Point Blank Body Armor, Inc. has implemented the settlement for
the class action filed against it in the Circuit Court of the
Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in Broward County, Florida by a
police organization and individual police officers, alleging
concerns regarding the effectiveness and durability of body
armor with high concentrations of Zylon in the Company's bullet-
resistant soft body armor (vests).

The Company settled a class action lawsuit involving a total of
less than 2,000 vests containing a high concentration of Zylon.
Pursuant to the settlement, class members have been exchanging
the vests for a choice of four other vests made by the company.
Class members have also been receiving two extra carriers, as
well as a 10 percent discount certificate. The final date for
class members to submit a claim form was August 21, 2005. This
settlement did not have a material adverse effect on its
financial position.


PROTECTIVE APPAREL: Enters Settlement Negotiations For Vest Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Protective Apparel Corporation of America, Inc. entered
settlement negotiations for the class action filed against it
and Point Blank Body Armor, Inc. alleging that the National
Institute of Justice (NIJ) decertified all bullet resistant
vests containing Zylon.

Southern States Police Benevolent Association, Inc. filed the
suit on August 29, 2005, alleging that the test results released
by the NIJ demonstrated that all of Defendants' Zylon-containing
vests fail to comply with their certifications and warranties.
Southern States brought causes of action for breach of warranty
on label in vest, breach of warranty in warranty statement,
breach of implied warranty of merchantability, breach of implied
warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and for injunctive
relief.

Previously, Defendants filed an answer and affirmative defenses
denying that Defendants are in breach of any warranty and
denying that injunctive relief is proper. On October 20, 2005,
the Court entered a Consent Order Certifying Class Action. The
certified classes include all law enforcement personnel and
organizations, and other individuals, who purchased new
ballistic resistant soft body armor containing Zylon from the
Defendants, except for federal agencies and any persons who have
been physically injured as a result of defects in their vests.
The parties are engaged in settlement negotiations. The Company
has recorded a $36.7 million reserve for this settlement during
the quarter ended September 30, 2005, which is part of the $60
million cost of the vest replacement program.


SHERWIN WILLIAMS: RI Lead-Based Paint Litigation Trial Begins
-------------------------------------------------------------
The trial for litigation filed against Sherwin Williams Co. and
other lead-based paint manufacturers by the State of Rhode
Island, began on November 1, 2005.

The Company's past operations included the manufacture and sale
of lead pigments and lead-based paints. The Company, along with
other companies, is a defendant in a number of legal
proceedings, including purported class actions, separate actions
brought by the State of Rhode Island, and actions brought by
various counties, cities, school districts and other government-
related entities, arising from the manufacture and sale of lead
pigments and lead-based paints.  The plaintiffs are seeking
recovery based upon various legal theories, including
negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, negligent
misrepresentations and omissions, fraudulent misrepresentations
and omissions, concert of action, civil conspiracy, violations
of unfair trade practices and consumer protection laws,
enterprise liability, market share liability, nuisance, unjust
enrichment and other theories. The plaintiffs seek various
damages and relief, including personal injury and property
damage, costs relating to the detection and abatement of lead-
based paint from buildings, costs associated with a public
education campaign, medical monitoring costs and others.

The Company is also a defendant in legal proceedings arising
from the manufacture and sale of non-lead-based paints which
seek recovery based upon various legal theories, including the
failure to adequately warn of potential exposure to lead during
surface preparation when using non-lead-based paint on surfaces
previously painted with lead-based paint.  The Company expects
that additional lead pigment and lead-based paint litigation may
be filed against the Company in the future asserting similar or
different legal theories and seeking similar or different types
of damages and relief.

During September 2002, a jury trial commenced in the first phase
of the action brought by the State of Rhode Island against the
Company and the other defendants.  The sole issue before the
court in this first phase was whether lead pigment in paint
constituted a public nuisance under Rhode Island law. This first
phase did not consider the issues of liability or damages, if
any, related to the public nuisance claim. In October 2002, the
court declared a mistrial as the jury, which was split four to
two in favor of the defendants, was unable to reach a unanimous
decision.  This was the first legal proceeding against the
Company to go to trial relating to the Company's lead pigment
and lead-based paint litigation. The State of Rhode Island has
decided to retry the case and the new trial will decide all
issues, including liability and damages.


SHURGARD STORAGE: CA Court OKs Overtime Wage Lawsuit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California approved the settlement for the class action filed
against Shurgard Storage Centers, Inc. in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California styled as
"Patricia Scura et al. v. Shurgard Storage Centers, Inc. (Case
No. C 02-5246-WDB)."

The complaint alleges that the Company required its hourly store
employees to perform work before and after their scheduled work
times and failed to pay overtime compensation for work performed
before and after hours and during meal periods. The lawsuit
seeks class action status and seeks damages, injunctive relief
and a declaratory judgment against the Company under the federal
Fair Labor Standards Act and California statutory wage and hour
laws and laws relating to unlawful and unfair business
practices.

In December 2004, the Company reached a tentative agreement to
settle this lawsuit. The basis terms of the proposed agreement
are reflected in a Memorandum of Understanding, which was
incorporated into a definitive settlement agreement that was
submitted for approval by the District Court.  The District
Court established October 7, 2005, as the date for final
approval of the settlement agreement.  The District Court
approved the final settlement on October 7, 2005, and the
Company will mail payments in November 2005 to class members who
submitted claims.

The suit is styled "Scura et al v. Shurgard Storage Centers,
Inc., case no. 3:02-cv-05246," filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California, under
Judge Charles R. Breyer.  Representing the plaintiffs are J.E.B.
Pickett and Matthew Rigetti of Righetti Wynne, 456 Montgomery
Street Suite 1400 San Francisco, CA 94104 Phone: 415 983 0900 E-
mail: jebp@righettilaw.com, or matt@righettilaw.com.
Representing the Company is Clemens H. Barnes and James D.
DeRoche of Perkins Coie LLP, 1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4800
Seattle, WA 98101-3099  Phone: 206-359-3861 E-mail:
jderoche@perkinscoie.com.


SIMPLICITY INC.: Recalls 104,00 Cribs Due to Suffocation Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Simplicity, Inc. is cooperating with the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling about 104,000 Aspen 3
in 1 Cribs, sold under the Graco Trademark.

The screws on the wooden mattress support can come loose
allowing a portion of the mattress to fall, posing a suffocation
hazard to young children.  The Company has received 14 reports
of the mattress support coming loose, including eight reports of
entrapment. Five injuries have been reported including scratches
and bruises to the face and head, a strained neck and a report
of a child turning blue.

The recalled cribs are made of wood and have a wooden mattress
support. Only cribs with wooden mattress supports and with model
number 8740KCW SC and serial number 2803 SC to 1605 are included
in this recall. The model and serial number are printed on the
envelope attached to the mattress support.

Department stores, and children's product stores sold these
products from August 2003 through May 2005 for about $130.
Consumers should call Simplicity Inc. to receive a retrofit kit.
For additional information, contact Simplicity Inc. at
(800) 784-1982 anytime or visit the Web site at
www.simplicityforchildren.com


SL INDUSTRIES: Continue To Face NJ Water Contamination Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
SL Industries, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, SL Surface
Technologies, Inc. continue to face a class action complaint
filed in Superior Court of New Jersey for Camden County.

SurfTech once operated a chrome-plating facility in Pennsauken,
New Jersey (the "SurfTech Site").  Substantially all of the
operating assets of SurfTech were sold in November 2003.

The Company and SurfTech are currently two of approximately 39
defendants in this action. The complaint alleges, among other
things, that the plaintiffs suffered personal injuries as a
result of consuming water distributed from the Puchack Wellfield
in Pennsauken, New Jersey (which supplied Camden, New Jersey).
The suit also alleges that SurfTech and other defendants
contaminated ground water through the disposal of hazardous
substances at industrial facilities in the area.


TICKETMASTER.COM: IL Court Refuses Fraud Suit Summary Judgment
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois denied
Ticketmaster.com's motion for summary judgment on Illinois and
California statutory claims in the class action field against
the Company, challenging its charges to customers for UPS ticket
delivery.  The suit is styled `Mitchell B. Zaveduk, Individually
and as the Representative of a Class of Similarly Situated
Persons v. Ticketmaster et al., case no. No. 02 CH 21148.

The lawsuit alleges in essence that it is unlawful for the
Company not to disclose that the fee it charges to customers to
have their tickets delivered by UPS contains a profit component.
The complaint asserted claims for violation of the Illinois
Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and for
unjust enrichment and sought restitution to the purported class
of the difference between what the Company charged for UPS
delivery and what it paid UPS for that service.

On May 20, 2003, the court granted the Company's motion to
dismiss the common-law claim for unjust enrichment but declined
to dismiss the claim under the Illinois statute.  On July 7,
2004, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint, adding claims
for breach of contract and for violation of the California
Consumers' Legal Remedies Act and Section 17200 of the
California Business and Professions Code. On August 13, 2004,
the court granted the Company's motion to dismiss the claim
under the California Consumers' Legal Remedies Act. On October
28, 2004, the court granted the Company's motion to dismiss the
claim for breach of contract but declined again to dismiss the
claim under the Illinois statute. On June 16, 2005, the court
denied the Company's motion for summary judgment on the
remaining Illinois and California statutory claims. Discovery in
the case has been stayed.


TICKETMASTER.COM: CA Consumer Suit Remand To State Court Sought
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs seek the remand of the consumer fraud lawsuit filed
against Ticketmaster.com in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California to California State Court.

On October 21, 2003, a purported representative action was filed
in California state court, challenging the Company's charges to
online customers for UPS ticket delivery.  The suit was styled
"Curt Schlesinger et al. v. Ticketmaster, No. BC304565," and was
filed in the Superior Court, Los Angeles County.  The lawsuit
alleges in essence that it is unlawful for the Company not to
disclose on its website that the fee it charges to online
customers to have their tickets delivered by UPS contains a
profit component. The complaint asserted a claim for violation
of Section 17200 of the California Business and Professions
Code and, like the Illinois case, sought restitution or
disgorgement of the difference between the total UPS-delivery
fees charged by the Company in connection with online ticket
sales and the amount it paid to UPS for that service.

On January 9, 2004, the court denied Ticketmaster's motion to
stay the case in favor of the earlier-filed Illinois case. On
December 31, 2004, the court denied the Company's motion for
summary judgment. On April 1, 2005, the court denied the
plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend their complaint to include
UPS-delivery fees charged in connection with ticket orders
placed by telephone. Citing Proposition 64, a recently approved
California ballot initiative that outlawed so-called
"representative" actions brought on behalf of the general
public, the court ruled that since the named plaintiffs did not
order their tickets by telephone, they lacked standing to assert
a claim based on telephone ticket sales. The plaintiffs were
granted leave to file an amended complaint that would survive
application of Proposition 64.

On August 31, 2005, the plaintiffs filed an amended class-action
and representative-action complaint alleging, as before, that
the Company's website disclosures in respect of its charges for
UPS ticket delivery violate Section 17200 of the California
Business and Professions Code, and for the first time, that the
Company's website disclosures in respect of its ticket order-
processing fees constitute false advertising in violation of
Section 17500 of the California Business and Professions Code.
On this latter claim, the amended complaint seeks restitution or
disgorgement of the entire amount of order-processing fees
charged by Ticketmaster during the applicable statute-of-
limitations period.

On September 1, 2005, in light of the newly pleaded claim based
upon order-processing fees, the Company removed the case to
federal court pursuant to the recently enacted federal
Class Action Fairness Act.  The suit was filed under the caption
"Curt Schlesinger et al. v. Ticketmaster No. CV-05-6515,' in the
U.S. District Court, Central District of California.  On October
3, 2005, the plaintiffs filed a motion to remand the case to
state court, which Ticketmaster has opposed. This motion was
argued on November 7, 2005, and remains pending.


WILD OATS: Trial in CA Overtime Wage Lawsuit Moved To 3Q 2006
-------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the class action filed against Wild Oats Markets, Inc.,
styled "Auchterlonie, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated and the general public, and Roes 1 to 1000
vs. Wild Oats Markets, Inc. and Does 1 through 100," has been
moved to the third quarter of 2006 in the Superior Court of the
County of Los Angeles, California.

The suit makes claims for payment of overtime and damages
relating to alleged violations of the California Business and
Professions Code by a former managerial employee, on behalf of
himself and all other similarly situated California employees,
claiming that store directors at our California stores should
have been classified as non-exempt employees and paid on an
hourly basis. Plaintiff also alleges that the Company's
incentive bonus program is illegal based upon deductions for
items outside of the employee's control.

The Company believes that the employee, a former store director,
was properly classified as an exempt employee based upon his job
duties, and intends4 to vigorously defend the suit, the Company
said in a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In mid-2005, six new named plaintiffs were added to the suit,
and the trials of the original plaintiff and the six new
plaintiffs were bifurcated. The Company believes that all of the
named plaintiffs were correctly classified as exempt employee
based upon their job duties. The Company has settled with the
original plaintiff, and the trial date has been vacated. A trial
for the remaining six plaintiffs has been set for third quarter
2006.


                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lucent Technologies Defends Exposure Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
According to its 10-K Securities and Exchange Commission report,
Lucent Technologies Inc (NYSE: LU) defends various lawsuits
relating to asbestos exposure in premises owned or operated by
the Company or by its business predecessors, like AT&T or
Western Electric, or in products manufactured or sold by the
Company or its predecessors.

Historically, the Company has not paid any material amounts
related to asbestos claims. It has experienced an increase in
the number of claims asserted against it, and these claims are
on the rise generally in the US against owners or operators of
premises or companies that manufactured or sold products
allegedly containing asbestos.

Despite this trend, the Company is currently not expecting these
cases to have a significant impact in the future, although no
assurance can be given that this will be the case.

Murray Hill, NJ-based Lucent Technologies Inc. manufactures
products used to build communications network infrastructure.
Its copper line transmission and switching, wireless, and
optical gear is used in core telephony and data networks
worldwide. The company also makes communications and network
management software and provides a wide range of services.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BWC Adopts Liability for Suits v. Water Pik
----------------------------------------------------------------
Water Pik Technologies Inc (NYSE: PIK) revealed that Bradford
White Corporation has assumed financial responsibility for all
asbestos-related lawsuits pending against the Company as of June
30, 2005. As part of the sale of Heating Systems, BWC has also
included other known and unknown liabilities relating to the
Heating Systems business.

On June 6, 2005, Water Pik entered into an asset purchase
agreement to sell substantially all the assets and liabilities
of its Laars Heating Systems business, a component of its former
Pool Products and Heating Systems segment, to Bradford White
Corporation. The sale was completed on June 30, 2005.

According to the SEC filing, these lawsuits against multiple-
defendant companies are increasing and many of the defendant
companies have not been associated with having asbestos risks.

In many of these suits the alleged ties to Water Pik's products
are either unclear or the Company has been able to demonstrate
that the identified product did not contain asbestos. The
Company does not expect to incur any material liabilities in
connection with these suits. Its historic insurance coverage,
including that of its predecessors, may not cover asbestos
claims or the defense of such matters, as coverage depends on
the year of purported exposure and other factors.

The Company has agreed to use commercially reasonable efforts to
provide BWC access to its available insurance and related claims
administrative support.

Newport Beach, CA-based Water Pik Technologies Inc. makes oral
irrigators, showerheads, and water filters under the Water Pik
name. It sells its swimming pool and spa products under the
Laars and Jandy brands. The Company also makes residential and
commercial water-heating systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: JCI May be Liable for CAA, CERCLA Breaches
---------------------------------------------------------------
According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing,
Johnson Controls Inc (NYSE: JCI) reports that last November
2005, the US Attorney for the Middle District of Florida advised
that it is considering proceedings against the Company, which
would involve charges of violating the Clean Air Act and the
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability Act.

In 2003, the Company was involved in an asbestos release during
the renovation of a building in Lakeland, Florida. Following an
investigation, the US Environmental Protection Agency turned its
findings over to the US Attorney.

The Company believes the release was totally inadvertent and
does not believe this should be a criminal matter. The Company
also believes that any monetary sanctions resulting from the US
Attorney's pursuit of this matter would not be material.

Milwaukee, WI-based Johnson Controls Inc manufactures car seats,
interior systems, and batteries, as well as environmental
control systems for commercial buildings. The Company has more
than 80 subsidiaries worldwide.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scotts Miracle-Gro Defends Exposure Cases
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (NYSE: SMG) defends a number of
lawsuits alleging that claimants' injuries resulted from
exposure to asbestos-containing products, based on the Company's
historic use of vermiculite in some of its products, according
to the Company's 2005 annual report to the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

The complaints in these cases are not specific about the
plaintiffs' contacts with the Company or its products. The
Company in each case is one of numerous defendants and none of
the claims seeks damages from the Company alone. The Company
believes that the claims against it are without merit and is
vigorously defending them.

Marysville, OH-based Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (formerly The Scotts
Co) is the world's largest maker and marketer of horticultural
and turf products. Its garden and indoor plant care items
include grass seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, potting soils, and
related tools.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: New Claims v. Zurn Drop to 10,400 in 2005
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jacuzzi Brands Inc (NYSE: JJZ) discloses that, during fiscal
2005, its wholly owned subsidiary Zurn Industries Inc recorded
about 10,400 new asbestos claims as compared to 25,000 in fiscal
2004, according to the Company's 10-K report to the Securities
and Exchange Commission.

In June 1998, the Company acquired Zurn, which at the time of
acquisition had owned various subsidiaries. Zurn co-defends
asbestos-related lawsuits pending in the US plaintiffs' claims
that allege personal injuries by exposure to asbestos used in
industrial boilers formerly manufactured by a segment of Zurn
considered a discontinued operation. Zurn did not make asbestos
or asbestos components but purchased it from suppliers.

As of October 1, 2005, the number of asbestos claims pending
against Zurn was about 69,900 compared to 75,500 as of October
2, 2004. The claims against Zurn as of October 1, 2005 were
included in about 7,900 lawsuits, in which Zurn and an average
of 100 other companies are named as defendants, and which
cumulatively allege damages of about US$16.8 billion against all
defendants.

During fiscal 2005 and as of the end of such period, about
17,000 claims were paid or pending payment and about 13,600
claims were or pending dismissal. During fiscal 2004 and as of
the end of such period, about 26,000 claims were paid or pending
payment and about 4,900 claims were dismissed or pending
dismissal.

Since Zurn received its first asbestos claim in the 1980s, Zurn
has paid or dismissed or agreed to settle or dismiss about
115,900 asbestos claims including dismissals or agreements to
dismiss of about 23,900 of such claims through the end of fiscal
2005 compared to 100,600 and 10,600 claims, respectively,
through the end of fiscal 2004.

The estimate of Zurn's potential liability for asbestos claims
pending against it and for claims estimated to be filed through
2015 is US$153 million with the expected amount to be paid
through 2015 being US$114 million.

In order to use about US$268 million of the US$293 million of
its insurance coverage from solvent carriers, Zurn estimates
that it would need to satisfy about US$14 million of asbestos
claims, with additional gaps of US$80 million layered within the
final US$25 million of the US$293 million of coverage. The
Company will pursue any available recoveries on its average
US$148 million coverage with insolvent carriers, which includes
about US$83 million of coverage.

West Palm Beach, FL-based Jacuzzi Brands Inc. manufactures and
distributes bath products and plumbing products. The Company
sells its products globally, although the US accounts for almost
three-fourths of sales.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: North Safety Faces Suits from Respirators
--------------------------------------------------------------
Safety Products Holdings Inc reveals that its subsidiary North
Safety Products defends injury lawsuits, 92% of which involve
exposure to silica dust, with the remainder alleging injury from
exposure to other particles, including asbestos.

As of October 1, 2005, North Safety Products, its predecessors
or the former owners of such business were named as defendants
in about 1,182 lawsuits involving respirators manufactured and
sold by it or its predecessors.

The Company is monitoring an additional 11 lawsuits in which it
feels that North Safety Products, its predecessors or the former
owners of such businesses may be named as defendants. These
1,193 collective lawsuits represent a total of about 23,938
plaintiffs.

The Company acquired North Safety Products on October 2, 1998
from Siebe plc. In connection with the acquisition, Siebe, which
was subsequently merged with BTR plc, now known as Invensys plc,
contractually agreed to indemnify the Company for any losses,
including costs of defending claims, resulting from respiratory
products manufactured prior to its acquisition of North Safety
Products in October 1998.

North Safety Products is contractually entitled to
indemnification from Norton Company, an affiliate of Saint-
Gobain, which owned the North Safety Products business prior to
Invensys.

As of October 1, 2005, Invensys has sent the Company
reimbursement requests totaling US$214,900, relating to settled
cases in which Invensys claims that the period of alleged
exposure included periods after October 1998. To date, the
Company has not reimbursed Invensys for these claims, as it is
currently pursuing negotiations regarding the allocation of
costs and the determination of the alleged exposure periods.

The Company believes that Invensys has made settlement payments
to these claims of US$303,486 prior to 2001, US$210,056 in 2001,
US$479,206 in 2002, US$660,510 in 2003, US$938,083 in 2004 and
US$59,500 for the nine months ended October 1, 2005.

Separately, the Company settled on an unusual case along with
Invensys for US$65,000 in which its settlement share was
US$45,000.

During the year ended December 31, 2004, NSP Holdings LLC
recorded a US$1.25 million liability and charge to operating
expenses to establish a reserve for respiratory claims, which
remains outstanding as of October 1, 2005.

In connection with the North Safety Products acquisition, NSP
Holdings recorded a US$2.5 million reserve for potential
uninsured product liability claims of North Safety Products for
periods prior to October 1998. Through December 2003, NSP
Holdings incurred charges of about US$0.2 million against this
reserve, which reduced the reserve balance to US$2.3 million.

During 2004, NSP Holdings reduced this reserve to US$1.0 million
to reflect the Company's current expectations of the liability
based on information available and recorded a US$1.3 million
credit to operating expenses. The US$1.0 million reserve remains
outstanding as of October 1, 2005.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Widow Seeks Evidence to Mount Alstom Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
Phillis Griffiths, the widow of a Rugby, England worker who died
from asbestos exposure, asks for the help of his friends to come
forward and present evidence against his former employers, Rugby
Today reports.

For more than 30 years, Cyril Griffiths worked for Alstom at the
Company's Newbold Road site, then Willans Works.

After retiring, Mr. Griffiths moved to Wales, then Kent where he
settled with his second wife and died three years ago of
asbestos-related mesothelioma.

Mrs. Griffiths has sought legal advice to launch a case against
Alstom, where she believes Mr. Griffiths, who died at the age of
77, was exposed to asbestos.

Solicitors of Kent-based law firm Thomson, Snell and Passmore
want to speak to people who worked with Mr. Griffiths between
1949 and 1982. Legal Executive Claire Jackson asserts her need
to gather as much information about his working conditions as
possible.

Families of four other Alstom employees who died from
mesothelioma have all previously tried to fight for compensation
against the Company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ATO Rules Hardie Payout Not Tax Deductible
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Australian Taxation Office decided that James Hardie
Industries NV's asbestos compensation fund could not be tax
deductible, The Courier Mail reports.

All parties to the Heads of Agreement, the New South Wales
Government, Australian Council of Trade Unions, Unions NSW,
asbestos support groups represented by Bernie Banton, and
Hardie, agreed that tax deductibility was critical to the
affordability of the long-term voluntary funding proposal.

Federal Treasurer Peter Costello provided the Company with a
strong hint at a potential solution to its problem. He said
Hardie could take advantage of a new "black hole" tax offset
that enables companies to deduct expenditures that were not
otherwise deductible over a period of five years.

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley and NSW Premier Morris Iemma have
instead called on Mr. Costello to personally step in to save the
compensation deal. However, Prime Minister John Howard ruled out
intervention, saying Hardie would not be given special treatment
by the Federal Government.

Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia president Barry Robson
said he remained "upbeat" about a resolution to the lengthy
campaign for justice for asbestos victims. He said the tax
ruling was still upsetting for victims, who were also
disappointed that the Federal Government had not come to their
aid.

Louis Gries, James Hardie CEO said, "James Hardie remains
committed to a long term compensation arrangement for Australian
personal injury claimants and will continue discussions with the
Federal Treasury and the ATO to pursue all options to satisfy
the tax conditions precedent. At this stage it is inappropriate
to talk about those options."

Hardie understands that other Australian companies who make
compensation payments to asbestos claimants in relation to their
prior asbestos manufacturing or production activities are
entitled to tax deductions.

Hardie's asbestos victims are currently being compensated from a
fund, which has enough money to last until the end of June 2006.

News of the tax ruling prompted an immediate sell-off of James
Hardie stock, with the shares plunging as much as AUD0.63 in
early trade. The stock recovered to close AUD0.07 higher at
AUD8.58.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japanese Ministry to Revise Real Estate Law
----------------------------------------------------------------
Japan's Construction and Transport Ministry will revise some of
the country's Real Estate Business Law ordinances regarding
asbestos and earthquake-resistance in time to enforce them in
fiscal 2006, The Yomiuri Shimbun reports.

Regarding residences for sale, the Ministry intends to let
property owners and real estate agents present information on
whether the properties have undergone asbestos and earthquake-
resistance inspections.

Currently, individual owners and agencies get to decide whether
to release information related to earthquake resistance and the
use of asbestos. The Government also does not punish agencies
for failing to mention problems with houses and buildings
related to earthquake-resistance and asbestos data.

Sellers of buildings constructed before 1981, when a new
earthquake-resistance standard was introduced, will have to
submit earthquake-resistance information, and sellers will be
required to provide asbestos information.

Owners and agents will be required to mention in their housing
specifications whether screenings of quake resistance and
asbestos have been conducted on their buildings and, if they
have been, what the results were.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Judge Uses Smoking as Cause to Cut Benefits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Justice Stanley Burnton slashed the compensation of a dockyard
worker's widow, citing "contributory negligence" for the
worker's failure to give up smoking, ITN reports.

The dockyard worker died of lung cancer after being exposed to
asbestosis by 20%.

Insurance industry figures believe the ruling was unlikely to
spark a wave of cases where insurers seek to use this to reduce
compensation awards for asbestos-related illness claimants.

Fraser Whitehead, a partner at law firm Russell Jones & Walker
said, "Medical experts say that people who were exposed to
asbestos are more likely to develop mesothelioma if they are
smokers."

Justice Burnton said it was "surprising" that no other English
court had ever before been asked to decide whether smoking is
"negligent." He warned that his ruling could affect future
payouts.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: China's Cancer Risk Seen to Rise in 2030
-------------------------------------------------------------
Doctors say China could risk the rise of mesothelioma, a rare
but deadly asbestos-linked cancer, by 2030 if the country does
not take proper measures to rid buildings of the material, the
Shanghai Daily reports.

China still has a low incidence of three to five in every 1
million people, but the rate is rising and should peak around
2030, since asbestos is still used in many industries and
workers don't adopt proper protection, experts said.

Currently, about 10,000 to 15,000 people are diagnosed worldwide
annually with malign pleural mesothelioma, which is cancer of
the chest and abdominal linings.

"Though many western countries have banned several asbestos
products, the international medical community estimated a MPM
peak in 2010 in the United States and in 2020 in Europe," said
Dr. Liao Meilin from Shanghai Chest Hospital.

Asbestos becomes airborne after cutting, sanding, or other
remodeling activities disturb asbestos-containing materials.
Most people with asbestos-related diseases were exposed to
elevated concentrations on the job and others developed the
disease from exposure to clothing and equipment brought home
from job sites.

US-based Eli Lilly announced that it has introduced Alimta, the
world's first medication to treat MPM.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Oglebay Norton Faces 47,645 Liability Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Oglebay Norton Co reports that as of September 30, 2005, the
Company was a co-defendant in about 47,645 asbestos-related
product liability claims, according to a Securities and Exchange
Commission report.

At September 30, 2005, 14,229 filed and un-filed asbestos-
related product liability claims were submitted and approved for
payment in accordance with the terms of settlement agreements.
The total settlement amount for these 14,229 claims is US$41.546
million. Separate from the settlements, about 17,884 claims were
dismissed without payment.

At September 30, 2005, 532 of the asbestos-related Jones Act
claims had been submitted and approved for payment in the amount
of US$1.192 million. At September 30, 2005, the Company co-
defends 271 asbestos-related Jones Act claims.

The Company had an average of 13,750 asbestos claims asserted
against it each year for the past five years, in which the
average cost per claim for settlement or other resolution for
the past five years prior to the most recent settlements was
about US$1,000. The average cost per claim of the most recent
settlements was about US$3,000.

The length of time to resolve claims varies on a case-by-case
basis and can be affected by decisions of management and
opposing counsel. If there are no developments that reduce the
impact of asbestos litigation or its costs to the Company, its
available insurance may be insufficient to cover all future
claims, and there could be a material adverse effect on its
results of operations, liquidity and financial condition.

Cleveland, OH-based Oglebay Norton Co operates 20 plants across
the US. About 80% of sales come from its O-N Minerals units,
which mine and process limestone, produce lime, limestone
fillers, chemical limestone, and construction aggregate, and
operate a fleet of 12 self-unloading vessels and two trans-
loading dock facilities.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cooper Agrees to Resolve Pneumo Abex Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cooper Industries Ltd (CBE: NYSE) announced that the Company and
other parties in the resolution of Federal-Mogul Corporation's
bankruptcy proceeding have reached a settlement regarding
Cooper's participation in FMC's asbestos claimants' trust.

Cooper will resolve, through the bankruptcy trust, its asbestos
claims liability arising from Cooper's former Abex Friction
Products business.

In a settlement that will resolve more than 38,000 pending Abex
claims, the proposed agreement is subject to court approval,
approval of 75% of the current Abex asbestos claimants and other
approvals.

Future claims will be resolved through the bankruptcy trust, and
Cooper will be protected against future claims by a ruling to be
issued by the district court upon plan confirmation.

Cooper has agreed to pay US$130 million with US$100 million
payable upon FMC's emergence from bankruptcy. The remainder will
be paid in two US$15 million installments due on January 15,
2006 and January 15, 2007, or upon emergence from bankruptcy, if
later. Cooper will receive US$37.5 million during the funding
period from other parties associated with the FMC bankruptcy.

Cooper will provide the trust 1.4 million shares of its stock
upon FMC's emergence from bankruptcy. The agreement stipulates
that the trust may, during the first year after issuance, sell
these shares to Cooper at market prices and, thereafter, in open
market transactions.

The agreement also provides for further payments by Cooper
subject to the amount and timing of insurance proceeds. Cooper
has agreed to make 25 annual payments of up to US$20 million
each reduced by certain insurance proceeds received by the
trust.

In years that the insurance proceeds exceed US$17 million,
Cooper will be required to contribute US$3 million with the
excess insurance proceeds carried over to the next year.

Cooper, through Pneumo-Abex LLC, has access to Abex insurance
policies with remaining limits on policies with solvent insurers
in excess of US$800 million. The trust will retain 10% of the
insurance proceeds for indemnity claims paid by the trust until
Cooper's obligation is satisfied and will retain 15% thereafter.
The agreement also provides for Cooper to receive the insurance
proceeds related to indemnity and defense costs paid prior to
the date a stay of current claims is entered by the bankruptcy
court.

With 2004 revenues of US$4.5 billion, Houston, TX-based Cooper
Industries is a global manufacturer of electrical products and
tools and hardware.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CBO Reaffirms US$140Bil Fund Inadequacies
--------------------------------------------------------------
The US Congressional Budget Office restated that there is a
"significant likelihood" that the proposed asbestos compensation
fund would fall short of the amount needed to pay valid claims,
debt service, and administrative costs.

The revenues collected under the bill would be, at most, about
US$140 billion, but could be significantly less. If the valid
claims' value was significantly more than US$130 billion, the
fund's revenues would probably be inadequate to pay all claims.

A rival estimate by economic consulting firm Bates White had
said the US$140 billion asbestos fund would be quickly swamped
by claims that could total between US$301 billion and US$561
billion.

Neither CBO nor any other analyst has publicly documented where
the money would come from to sustain the trust fund or if there
would be enough. While the CBO includes a critique of the recent
Bates White study the agency admitted that massive uncertainties
continue to plague the legislation.

The CBO report comes after the General Accounting Office's
report, releasing a study demonstrating that historically,
federal compensation programs invariably exceed initial
estimates in terms of length of activity, number of claims, and
ultimately, cost.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter, a
Pennsylvania Republican, released the CBO's review of the Bates
White report and CBO's own estimate.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Grants ABB US$1.4Bil to Settle Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Swiss-based engineering giant ABB Ltd (NYSE: ABB) says the US
Bankruptcy Court in Pennsylvania approved the Company's US$1.4
billion settlement of asbestos claims, which brings ABB closer
to resolving its asbestos problem, Reuters reports.

The Bankruptcy Court recommended the plan to the District Court,
which has to approve the settlement before ABB can draw a line
under its asbestos troubles.

If the District Court approves the plan, there will be a 30-day
appeals period. If no appeals are lodged, the plan is final, the
Company said in a statement.

ABB's US unit Combustion Engineering made industrial boilers
lined with asbestos, which can cause cancer and other diseases.

A US court threw out ABB's original plan in 2004. The Company
then reworked the plan, adding an extra US$232 million to the
package, bringing the total amount of the settlement to US$1.43
billion.

The Bankruptcy Court's decision to approve the reworked
settlement followed a vote by asbestos claimants in September
2005, in which they overwhelmingly approved the plan.

ABB came to the brink of financial collapse in 2002 after an
acquisition spree left it weighed down with debt. It has since
managed a turnaround and is set to beat its full-year
profitability target after better-than-expected third-quarter
net earnings in October.

ABB shares, which have soared almost 90% so far in 2005 as the
company returned to profitability, rose 1.3% to CHF12.10 by 0921
GMT.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MA Court Grants AW Chesterton Appeal Review
----------------------------------------------------------------
On December 12, 2005, the Supreme Judicial Court of
Massachusetts in Middlesex granted AW Chesterton Company's
application for direct appellate review.

Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall, Justices John M. Greaney,
Roderick L. Ireland, Francis X. Spina, Judith A. Cowin, & Robert
J. Cordy reviewed the case.

The case concerned the liability of the Massachusetts Insurers
Insolvency Fund on excess indemnity policies issued by Midland
Insurance Company to AW Chesterton Company covering asbestos-
related liability claims involving Chesterton products.

Based in Stoneham, Massachusetts, Chesterton used to manufacture
and distribute products that contained asbestos. Chesterton
maintained primary comprehensive general liability insurance
policies and multiple layers of excess indemnity policies
with coverage for asbestos-related liabilities.

In January 1980, the first claim alleging bodily injury caused
by the inhalation of asbestos was asserted against Chesterton.

By the time of trial, over 300,000 claims had been asserted
against Chesterton, alleging bodily injury, or death, due to
exposure to asbestos fibers. Chesterton initially sought to have
the claims defended, and, if necessary, indemnity paid, by its
primary general liability insurers.

When Chesterton perceived that the indemnity limits of its
primary coverages had been exhausted, it demanded that insurers
that had issued it excess insurance coverage provide indemnity
and defense in accordance with the terms of those excess
policies.

In August 1996, Chesterton filed a complaint in the Superior
Court alleging breach of contract and seeking a declaration of
the scope of the obligations of certain of its excess carriers
with respect to their duties to defend and to indemnify the
company on the underlying claims against it.

At trial, the Fund claimed that the absence of any reference, in
Chesterton's applications for coverage during the four policy
years, to either asbestos-containing products or to lawsuits
claiming damages related to asbestos, were factual
misrepresentations.

Chesterton argued that the doctrine of laches prevented the Fund
from asserting the affirmative defense of misrepresentation in
order to avoid its obligations under the policies.

Martin F. Gaynor III, with Nicholas D. Stellakis, represented AW
Chesterton Company.

Joseph C. Tanski & Gregory P. Deschenes, with Gregg A.
Rubenstein & Christine Vargas Suthoff with them, represented
Massachusetts Insurers Insolvency Fund.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NJ Court Denies Motion Filed by G-I & BMCA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The US District Court in New Jersey denied the motion of G-I
Holdings Inc and Building Materials Corporation of America to
make a July 6, 2005 Court Order final or, at least, certify the
order for interlocutory appeal.

Senior Judge William G. Bassler reviewed Case No. Civ. 02-
3626(WGB), which was decided on December 9, 2005.

G-I Holdings Inc, GAF Corporation's successor, and its non-
bankrupt subsidiaries sought a declaration that the subsidiaries
could not be liable for asbestos-related claims under successor
liability or alter ego theories. G-I filed for Chapter 11
bankruptcy on January 5, 2001.

GAF was a building materials company that produced asbestos
products. It has been named in 500,000 asbestos lawsuits and G-I
remains liable for about 150,000 claims that have been filed and
for unknown numbers of asbestos claims that will be filed in the
future.

G-I is the parent company of Building Materials Corporation of
America, Building Materials Investment Corporation and Building
Materials Manufacturing Corporation. Established in 1994, BMCA
is a leading manufacturer of roofing and building products.

BMCA received all assets of GAF's products business and assumed
US$204 million of asbestos liability with G-I indemnifying BMCA
against additional asbestos liability.

About 2,500 state law actions were filed pre-petition against
BMCA alleging asbestos-related claims under theories of
"successor liability" or "alter ego" between G-I and BMCA.

The US trustee appointed the Official Committee of Asbestos
Claimants to represent present asbestos claimants or individuals
exposed to G-I's asbestos products pre-petition who had asbestos
related injury before plan confirmation.

The Bankruptcy Court later appointed C. Judson Hamlin as the
Legal Representative to protect the interests of those
individuals currently unknown to the parties that have not yet
manifested an asbestos-related injury but may hold future
claims.

On February 7, 2001, G-I and BMCA sought a declaration that BMCA
was not liable for asbestos claims under successor liability or
alter ego theories.

G-I and BMCA sued six individual asbestos claimants namely,
Ruddles A. Bennett, Jr., Earl J. Barrow, Anthony S. Barbera,
Jennie Barbera, Gene R. Campbell and Vera L. Campbell. Mr.
Bennet is the only surviving original defendant while the rest
had died pending litigation.

On July 6, 2005, the Court dismissed the Legal Representative of
Present and Future Holders of Asbestos-Related Demands from the
action finding that his involuntary participation in the matter
is not statutorily authorized and would be an abuse of his role.

Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti LLP, By: Dennis J.
O'Grady, Morristown, New Jersey, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, By:
Martin J. Bienenstock, Kathryn L. Turner, Ralph I. Miller, Debra
L. Goldstein, John B. Kinchen, New York, New York, represented
G-I Holdings Inc and Building Materials Corporation of America.

Saiber Schlesinger Satz & Goldstein, LLC, By: David R. Gross,
Nancy A. Washington, Whitney R. Chelnik, Newark, New Jersey,
Keating, Muething & Klekamp, P.L.L., By: Kevin E. Irwin, Michael
L. Scheier, Douglas Hensley, Cincinnati, Ohio, represented the
Legal Representative of Present and Future Holders of Asbestos-
Related Demands.

Lowenstein Sandler, PC, By: John K. Sherwood, Rose E. Ramsay,
Roseland, New Jersey, Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered, By: Elihu
Inselbuch, New York, New York, Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered, By:
Trevor W. Swett, Peter Van N. Lockwood, Washington, DC,
represented the Official Committee of Asbestos Claimants.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PM Blair Faces Backlash Over Removal Rules
---------------------------------------------------------------
British Prime Minister Tony Blair faces a revolt by 60 Labor MPs
over plans to relax the rules on home asbestos removal, the
Sunday Mirror reports.

Only licensed contractors could remove coatings containing
asbestos such as Artex. However, a new plan from Brussels means
anyone can do it and MPs fear it could put people at risk.

The Asbestos Removal Contractors Association said, "The main
concern seems to be cost-cutting, not protecting workers and
families."

The backlash comes after an inquest into the death of 32-year-
old Barry Welch who is thought to be the youngest Briton to die
from asbestos-related lung disease.

Mr. Welch was exposed to asbestos dust on his stepfather's work
clothes when he was a toddler.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hanson Sees 4T Claimants in 2005-2nd Half
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hanson Plc (NYSE: HAN) states that it expects new asbestos
claimants in the second half of 2005 to reach around 4,000
compared to 6,700 in the first half (full year 2004: 18,700),
according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

The Company expects about 5,000 claimants' cases to be resolved
in the period, over 90% by dismissal, which would reduce
outstanding claimants of 1,000 to 132,500.

The gross cost of settlements and legal fees for the 2005-second
half is expected to be similar to the first half of the year
(US$22 million) and significantly below last year (full year
2004: US$59.3 million).

The majority of the discontinued item charge relates to about
GBP20 million after tax to top up the eight-year provision for
asbestos.

London, UK-based Hanson Plc's building products and aggregates
operations in the US and the UK produce aggregates, ready-mixed
concrete, bricks, and concrete pipe and building products. Other
operations include quarries, marine dredging, and recycling.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Huttig Resolves Rugby IPD Suit Filed in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Huttig Building Products Inc (NYSE: HBP) reports that last
January 19, 2005, it entered into a settlement agreement with
the selling stockholder and Rugby IPD Corporation, a subsidiary
of the selling stockbroker, settling a lawsuit filed in April
2002, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

In the lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of the state of New
York, Huttig alleged that the stockbroker and Rugby IPD breached
their contractual obligations to indemnify and defend Huttig
against asbestos-related liabilities and claims arising out of
the business that was acquired in 1994 by Rugby Building
Products, Inc.

On January 19, 2005, the selling stockholder paid Huttig
US$609,581.46 in accordance with the terms of the settlement.
Huttig and the selling stockholder each released the other from
further liabilities with respect to the underlying asbestos-
related liabilities and claims and any future asbestos-related
liabilities and claims, subject to termination of the joint
defense agreement.

Huttig also had agreed to certain other terms typical for a
settlement agreement of this kind. The parties agreed to dismiss
the pending litigation without prejudice and without any
admission of liability in any respect by any party.

St. Louis, MO-based Huttig Building Products Inc is a
distributor of millwork, building materials, and wood products.
Huttig sells doors, windows, moldings, trusses, wall panels,
lumber, and other supplies through nearly 50 distribution
centers throughout the US.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Man Complains Of Minimal Compensation
-------------------------------------------------------------
A self-employed painter-decorator says that his GBP3,750
asbestos-illness settlement from three former employers is
"garbage," Preston Today reports.

The employers admitted responsibility for putting 59-year-old
Dennis McBride at risk during his 13 years in the business. The
agreement leaves the case open for a further GBP100,000-plus
payout if his condition deteriorates into full asbestosis or
mesothelioma.

In January 2003, Mr. McBride was diagnosed with pleural plaques,
which is a scarring of the lungs due to exposure to asbestos
fibers. He is one of thousands of sufferers waiting for a Court
of Appeal ruling in the New Year, which could set an important
precedent on compensation claims for asbestos sufferers.

Insurance firms Aviva, which trades as Norwich Union, and Zurich
appealed to the Court of Appeal over a High Court ruling, which
claimed they were liable to pay compensation to pleural plaques
sufferers.

It is estimated there are 14,000 such claims each year, which
could cost the insurance industry up to GBP1.4 billion over the
next year.

Mr. McBride started lagging at the age of 15 for a Manchester-
based firm McAndrew Wormald operating out of a garage in Preston
and working on a number of local developments including the
Whittingham Hospital. He went on to do more jobs for Cape
Darlington Ltd and Wright Installations Ltd, lagging insulation
on developments across Lancashire.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Unit to Investigate Unsecured Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
Safe Work SA will investigate how a certain subcontractor came
up with a decision to leave asbestos unsecured, and within easy
access to children, in Yalata in the west of South Australia,
ABC News Online reports.

Five bags containing asbestos were left in the community after a
contractor working for the Department for Administrative and
Information Services demolished a toilet block.

The Department said the contractor's decision was inappropriate.

Judith Carr, the Department's executive director of building
said a fully licensed subcontractor was used to remove the
hazardous material. She added, however, the Department is yet to
decide if they will use the same subcontractor again.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Irish Site Owners Admit Serious Public Risk
----------------------------------------------------------------
Grove Services Group, the firm behind the building of an
asbestos dump next to a residential area in west Belfast, admits
the facility poses a serious public risk, Daily Ireland reports.

Daily Ireland obtained sensitive documents, which contained a
safety inspection carried out in July 2004 by GSG, from the
Department of Regional Development. The documents reveal the
dangers posed by the plant, which controversially won planning
permission earlier this year.

The inspection noted that there is a high risk of asbestos
escaping from bags being transported to the dump, and a medium
risk of the deadly dust escaping during manual handling by plant
workers.

Daily Ireland had also learned that containers attached to
lorries taking an average two tons of asbestos to the dump each
week in the Blackstaff Way area are not airtight.

The Health and Safety Executive said it had no objections to the
opening of the dump, leading the Planning Service to grant it
planning permission. The dump is on course to open early in
2006.

Local Sinn Fin councilor Paul Maskey, who organized the
residential protests outside GSG's offices, has called for an
inquiry into how the asbestos dump received planning permission.

Residents have staged a number of protests outside the offices
of GSG. Belfast City Council has backed them by opposing the
asbestos dump planning application.

A spin-off of what is now Apogent Technologies, Sybron Dental
Specialties Inc makes products used in orthodontics and general
dentistry.


ASBESTOS ALERT: UK Man Initiates Bid for GBP100T Payout v. BBA
--------------------------------------------------------------
A Devon, UK man who suffers from asbestos-related cancer has
launched a High Court bid for compensation worth GBP100,000, BBC
News reports.

Seventy-nine-year-old Ilmars Olins was diagnosed with
mesothelioma in March 2005. He claimed the lung cancer resulted
from his work grinding brake shoes at BBA Group Plc's plant at
Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire in the 1950s.

Mr. McBride claims Company negligence and a breach of statutory
duty.

Although the writ does not specify the level of compensation
sought, it indicates that lawyers value the claim, if
successful, at up to GBP100,000.


COMPANY PROFILE

BBA Group plc
20 Balderton St.
London
W1K 6TL, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-207-514-3999
Fax: +44-207-408-2318
http://www.bbagroup.com/

Description:
BBA operates in two sectors: aviation services and materials
technology. BBA's aviation division services corporate jets,
primarily through its Signature Flight Support subsidiary. The
company's other area of operations, materials technology, turns
out non-woven materials used in diapers, feminine hygiene
products, and medical filtration products.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Contractors, City Sued for IL Asbestos Breaches
---------------------------------------------------------------
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a 10-count
complaint charging defendants for alleged improper asbestos
handling and disposal during a renovation of the former JC
Penney store at the Dixie Square Mall located at 154th Street
and Dixie Highway, in Harvey.

AG Madigan's suit charges the defendants for violating the
Illinois Environmental Protection Act, Illinois Commercial and
Public Building Asbestos Abatement Act, the Illinois Department
of Public Health Asbestos Abatement Regulations and National
Emission Standards for Asbestos.

The lawsuit tags the firm in charge of renovation and demolition
Emerald Property Group LLC and a managing member of the Company
John Deneen as defendants. Contractors Windy City Construction
Inc, company president Jesse Williams, GM Demolition Corporation
and Gordon Martin also are named as defendants. The complaint
also names the City of Harvey as a defendant because the City
owns the land on which the mall is situated.

AG Madigan's suit seeks to stop all renovation involving the
asbestos-contaminated areas and asks the Court to order the
defendants to immediately undertake all necessary corrective
actions to abate the violations.

The lawsuit seeks to stop the defendants from any further
violations of Illinois' environmental laws and asks the Court to
order the defendants to pay civil penalties of US$50,000 for
each violation and additional penalties of US$10,000 per day for
violations of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and
US$1,000 per day for violations of the Commercial and Public
Building Asbestos Abatement Act.

In a June 9, 2005 inspection, IDPH and IEPA representatives
observed piles of floor tiles suspected of containing asbestos
at the north end of the Dixie Square Mall.

IDPH and IEPA representatives estimated that about 69,300 square
feet of floor tiles were removed from the first floor. On the
second floor, tiles suspected of containing asbestos were thrown
down a chute to the first floor and then pushed by mechanical
loading machines into large piles of renovation debris.

According to AG Madigan's lawsuit, subsequent sample testing
from the debris confirmed the tiles contained asbestos. The suit
also alleges that the defendants failed to obtain a license from
IDPH to conduct asbestos abatement activities.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Sybron Dental Deals With Personal Injury Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sybron Dental Specialties Inc (NYSE: SYD) states that it is
currently, and has been in the past, named as a defendant in
lawsuits claiming personal injuries allegedly related to
exposures caused by an asbestos-containing product sold by one
of its subsidiaries prior to the late 1970s, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

The Newport Beach, CA-based Company asserts that neither it nor
any of its subsidiaries manufactured asbestos. The claims
against the Company relate to exposures allegedly suffered by
dentists and dental technicians when using its asbestos-
containing product in the creation of custom impression trays
and in performing the "lost wax investment casting procedure,"
which was used when making dental prosthetic devices, such as
crowns and bridges.

The Company believes that adequate provisions have been made for
probable losses with respect to pending claims and proceedings
and that the ultimate outcome of all known claims, after
provisions for insurance, will not have a material adverse
effect on its consolidated financial position.


COMPANY PROFILE

Sybron Dental Specialties, Inc. (NYSE: SYD)
100 Bayview Cir, Ste. 6000
Newport Beach, CA 92660-8915
Phone: 949-255-8700
Toll Free: 800-537-7824
http://www.sybrondental.com

Description:
A spin-off of what is now Apogent Technologies, Sybron Dental
Specialties Inc makes products used in orthodontics and general
dentistry.


                   New Securities Fraud Cases


DIEBOLD INC.: Federman & Sherwood Files Securities Suit in Ohio
---------------------------------------------------------------
Federman & Sherwood filed a class action in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Ohio against
Diebold, Inc. (NYSE: DBD).

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market which had the effect
of artificially inflating the market price. The class period is
from October 22, 2003 through September 21, 2005.

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


NASH FINCH: Federman & Sherwood Launches Securities Suit in MN
--------------------------------------------------------------
Federman & Sherwood filed a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
against Nash Finch Company (Nasdaq: NAFC).

The complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws,
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market which had the effect
of artificially inflating the market price. The class period is
from February 24, 2005 through October 20, 2005.

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


NASH FINCH: Lockridge Grindal Files Securities Suit in MN Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. filed a
securities class action lawsuit on behalf of all persons who
purchased the common stock of Nash Finch Company ("Nash Finch"
or the "Company") (Nasdaq:NAFC) between February 24, 2005 and
October 20, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period") seeking to
pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the
"Exchange Act").

The action is pending in the United States District Court for
the District of Minnesota against defendants Nash Finch Company,
Ron Marshall (CEO) and Le Anne M. Steward (CFO & Senior Vice
President). A copy of the complaint filed in this action is
available from the Court.

The complaint alleges that Nash Finch made a series of false and
misleading statements with respect to its acquisition of
Roundy's Distribution Center, a mid-west food distributor. These
statements were false and misleading because Defendants knew or
recklessly disregarded that Nash Finch was operating far below
expectations, had significantly under-reserved for the Roundy's
acquisition, the integration of Roundy's was not proceeding as
planned, and the Company's core business was under-performing.

On October 20, 2005, Nash Finch issued a press release
announcing lower fiscal 2005 earnings guidance. The Company
attributed the lower guidance to a decline in retail gross
margins and inadequate execution of pricing across its retail
operations and higher than expected acquisition integration
costs. In reaction to the announcement, Nash Finch shares
plummeted $12.76 per share, or 28.6%, to close at $30.04 on
October 21, 2005.

For more details, contact Gregg M. Fishbein, Esq. or Nathan D.
Prosser, Esq., Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., 100 Washington
Avenue South, Suite 2200, Minneapolis, MN 55401, Phone:
(612) 339-6900, E-mail: gmfishbein@locklaw.com,
ndprosser@locklaw.com.


NORTHWEST AIRLINES: Charles Piven Files Securities Lawsuit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. filed a securities
class action was commenced on behalf of shareholders who
purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common
stock of Northwest Airlines Corp. (OTC: NWACQ) between April 21,
2005 and September 14, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York. The action charges that
defendants violated federal securities laws by issuing a series
of materially false and misleading statements to the market
throughout the Class Period, which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's
securities.

No class has yet been certified in the above action. Until a
class is certified, you are not represented by counsel unless
you retain one. If you are a member of the proposed class, you
may move the court no later than February 20, 2006 to serve as a
lead plaintiff for the proposed class. In order to serve as a
lead plaintiff, you must meet certain legal requirements. To be
a member of the proposed class you need not take any action at
this time, and you may retain counsel of your choice.

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


WELLS FARGO: Stull Stull Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Wells Fargo & Company and certain of its affiliates face a
securities class action in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California on behalf of those who
purchased Federated mutual funds from Wells Fargo Investments,
LLC ("Wells Fargo Investments") during the period between June
30, 2000 and June 8, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Federated mutual funds and their respective symbols are as
follows:

Adjustable Rate Securities Fund (NASDAQ: FEUGX) (NASDAQ: FASSX)
Alabama Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: ALMXX)
American Leaders Fund, Inc. (NASDAQ: FALDX) (NASDAQ: FALBX)
(NASDAQ: FALCX)
(NASDAQ: FALFX) (NASDAQ: FALKX)
Arizona Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: AZMXX)
Automated Cash Management Trust (NASDAQ: ACCXX) (NASDAQ: ACMXX)
Automated Government Cash Reserves (NASDAQ: AGSXX)
Automated Government Money Trust (NASDAQ: AGMXX)
Automated Treasury Cash Reserves (NASDAQ: ATTXX)
Bond Fund (NASDAQ: FDBAX) (NASDAQ: FDBBX) (NASDAQ: FDBCX)
(NASDAQ: ISHIX)
California Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: CALXX) (NASDAQ: CAIXX)
(NASDAQ: CACXX)
California Municipal Income Fund (NASDAQ: FCMIX) (NASDAQ: CMUIX)
Capital Appreciation Fund (NASDAQ: FEDEX) (NASDAQ: CPABX)
(NASDAQ: CPACX)
(NASDAQ: CPAKX)
Capital Income Fund (NASDAQ: CAPAX) (NASDAQ: CAPBX) (NASDAQ:
CAPCX)
(NASDAQ: CAPFX)
Communications Technology Fund (NASDAQ: FCTAX) (NASDAQ: FCTEX)
(NASDAQ: FCTYX)
Connecticut Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: FCTXX)
Conservative Allocation Fund (NASDAQ: FMCGX) (NASDAQ: FCGSX)
Equity Income Fund, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLEIFX) (NASDAQ: LEIBX)
(NASDAQ: LEICX)
(NASDAQ: LFEIX)
European Equity Fund (NASDAQ: EURAX) (NASDAQ: EURBX) (NASDAQ:
EURCX)
Florida Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: FLCXX) (NASDAQ: FLMXX)
Fund for U.S. Government Securities (NASDAQ: FUSGX) (NASDAQ:
FUSBX)
(NASDAQ: FUSCX)
GNMA Trust (NASDAQ: FGMAX) (NASDAQ: FGSSX)
Georgia Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: GAMXX)
Global Equity Fund (NASDAQ: FGEIX) (NASDAQ: FGEFX) (NASDAQ:
FGEDX)
Global Value Fund (NASDAQ: WUFAX) (NASDAQ: WUFBX) (NASDAQ:
WUFCX)
Government Cash Series (NASDAQ: CTGXX)
Government Income Securities, Inc (NASDAQ: FGOAX) (NASDAQ:
FGOBX)
(NASDAQ: FGOCX) (NASDAQ: FGOIX)
Government Obligations Fund(NASDAQ: GOIXX) (NASDAQ: GOSXX)
(NASDAQ: GORXX)
Government Obligations Tax-Managed Fund (NASDAQ: GOTXX) (NASDAQ:
GTSXX)
Government Ultrashort Duration Fund (NASDAQ: FGUAX) (NASDAQ:
FGUSX)
(NASDAQ: FEUSX)
Growth Allocation Fund (NASDAQ: FMGPX) (NASDAQ: FMGSX)
Growth Strategies Fund (NASDAQ: FGSAX) (NASDAQ: FGSBX) (NASDAQ:
FGSCX)
High Income Bond Fund, Inc. (NASDAQ: FHIIX) (NASDAQ: FHBBX)
(NASDAQ: FHICX)
High Yield Trust (NASDAQ: FHYTX)
Income Trust (NASDAQ: FICMX) (NASDAQ: FITSX)
Institutional High Yield Bond Fund (NASDAQ: FIHBX)
Intermediate Income Fund (NASDAQ: FIIFX) (NASDAQ: INISX)
Intermediate Municipal Trust (NASDAQ: FIMTX) (NASDAQ: FIMYX)
International Bond Fund (NASDAQ: FTIIX) (NASDAQ: FTBBX) (NASDAQ:
IFTIBX)
International Capital Appreciation Fund (NASDAQ: IGFAX)
(NASDAQ: IGFBX) (NASDAQ: IGFCX)
International Equity Fund (NASDAQ: FTITX) (NASDAQ: FIEBX)
(NASDAQ: FIECX)
International High Income Fund (NASDAQ: IHIAX) (NASDAQ: IHIBX)
(NASDAQ: IHICX)
International Small Company (NASDAQ: ISCAX) (NASDAQ: ISCBX)
(NASDAQ: ISCCX)
International Value Fund (NASDAQ: FGFAX) (NASDAQ: FGFBX)
(NASDAQ: FGFCX)
Kaufmann Fund (NASDAQ: KAUAX) (NASDAQ: KAUBX) (NASDAQ: KAUCX)
(NASDAQ: KAUFX)
Kaufmann Small Cap Fund (NASDAQ: FKASX) (NASDAQ: FKBSX) (NASDAQ:
FKCSX)
Large Cap Growth Fund (NASDAQ: FLGAX) (NASDAQ: FLGBX) (NASDAQ:
FLGCX)
Liberty U.S. Government Money Market Trust (NASDAQ: LUGXX)
(NASDAQ: LIBXX)
Limited Duration Fund (NASDAQ: FTRLX) (NASDAQ: FTRDX) (NASDAQ:
FLDIX)
(NASDAQ: FLDSX)
Limited Term Fund (NASDAQ: LTDFX) (NASDAQ: LTFSX)
Limited Term Municipal Fund (NASDAQ: LMINX)
Liquid Cash Trust (NASDAQ: LCTXX)
Managed Income Portfolio (NASDAQ: FMIPX) (NASDAQ: FIPSX)
Market Opportunity Fund (NASDAQ: FMAAX) (NASDAQ: FMBBX) (NASDAQ:
FMRCX)
Maryland Municipal Cash (NASDAQ: MDMXX)
Massachusetts Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: MMCXX)
Master Trust (NASDAQ: FMTXX)
Max-Cap Index Fund (NASDAQ: MXCCX) (NASDAQ: FISPX) (NASDAQ:
FMXKX)
(NASDAQ: FMXSX)
Michigan Intermediate Municipal Trust (NASDAQ: MMIFX)
Michigan Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: MIIXX) (NASDAQ: MINXX)
(NASDAQ: MIMXX)
Mid-Cap Index Fund (NASDAQ: FMDCX)
Mini-Cap Index Fund (NASDAQ: MNCCX) (NASDAQ: FMCPX)
Minnesota Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: MNMXX) (NASDAQ: FEMXX)
Moderate Allocation Fund (NASDAQ: FMMGX) (NASDAQ: FMMSX)
Money Market Trust (NASDAQ: MMTXX)
Mortgage Fund (NASDAQ: FGFIX) (NASDAQ: FGFSX)
Muni and Stock Advantage Fund (NASDAQ: FMUAX) (NASDAQ: FMNBX)
(NASDAQ: FMUCX)
Municipal Cash Series (NASDAQ: CMSXX) (NASDAQ: MCTXX)
Municipal Obligations Fund (NASDAQ: MFCXX) (NASDAQ: MOFXX)
(NASDAQ: MOSXX)
Municipal Opportunities Fund, Inc. (NASDAQ: FMOAX) (NASDAQ:
FMOBX)
(NASDAQ: FMNCX) (NASDAQ: FMTFX)
Municipal Securities Fund, Inc. (NASDAQ: LMSFX) (NASDAQ: FMSBX)
(NASDAQ: LMSCX)
Municipal Ultrashort Fund (NASDAQ: FMUUX) (NASDAQ: FMUSX)
New Jersey Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: NJMXX) (NASDAQ: NJSXX)
New York Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: NYCXX) (NASDAQ: FNTXX)
New York Municipal Income Fund (NASDAQ: NYIFX) (NASDAQ: NYIBX)
North Carolina Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: NCMXX)
North Carolina Municipal Income Fund (NASDAQ: NCIFX)
Ohio Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: FOHXX) (NASDAQ: OHIXX)
(NASDAQ: OHTXX)
Ohio Municipal Income Fund (NASDAQ: OMIFX)
Pennsylvania Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: PACXX) (NASDAQ:
PAMXX)
(NASDAQ: FPAXX)
Pennsylvania Municipal Income Fund (NASDAQ: PAMFX) (NASDAQ:
FPABX)
Prime Cash Obligations Fund (NASDAQ: PCCXX) (NASDAQ: PCOXX)
(NASDAQ: PRCXX)
Prime Cash Series (NASDAQ: CTPXX)
Prime Obligations Fund (NASDAQ: POIXX) (NASDAQ: PRSXX) (NASDAQ:
POLXX)
Prime Value Obligations Fund (NASDAQ: PVCXX) (NASDAQ: PVOXX)
(NASDAQ: PVSXX)
Short-Term Income Fund (NASDAQ: FSTIX) (NASDAQ: FSISX)
Short-Term Municipal Trust (NASDAQ: FSHIX) (NASDAQ: FSHSX)
Short-Term U.S. Government Trust (NASDAQ: FSUXX)
Stock Trust (NASDAQ: FSTKX)
Stock and Bond Fund, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSTBX) (NASDAQ: FSBBX)
(NASDAQ: FSBCX)
(NASDAQ: FSBKX)
Strategic Income Fund (NASDAQ: STIAX) (NASDAQ: SINBX) (NASDAQ:
SINCX)
(NASDAQ: STFSX)
Tax-Free Instruments Trust (NASDAQ: TFIXX) (NASDAQ: TFSXX)
Tax-Free Obligations Fund (NASDAQ: TBIXX) (NASDAQ: TBSXX)
(NASDAQ: TBTXX)
Tax-Free Trust (NASDAQ: FTFXX)
Total Return Bond Fund (NASDAQ: TLRAX) (NASDAQ: TLRBX) (NASDAQ:
TLRCX)
(NASDAQ: FTRBX) (NASDAQ: FTRKX) (NASDAQ: FTRFX)
Total Return Government Bond Fund (NASDAQ: FTRGX) (NASDAQ:
FTGSX)
Treasury Cash Series (NASDAQ: CTTXX) (NASDAQ: CTWXX)
Treasury Obligations Fund (NASDAQ: TOCXX) (NASDAQ: TOIXX)
(NASDAQ: TOSXX)
(NASDAQ: TOTXX)
Trust for Government Cash Reserves (NASDAQ: TGCXX)
Trust for Short-Term U.S. Government Securities (NASDAQ: TUSXX)
Trust for U.S. Treasury Obligations (NASDAQ: TTOXX)
U.S. Government Bond Fund (NASDAQ: FEDBX)
U.S. Government Securities Fund:1-3 Years (NASDAQ: FSGVX)
(NASDAQ: UFSGIX)
(NASDAQ: FSGTX)
U.S. Government Securities Fund:2-5 Years (NASDAQ: FIGTX)
(NASDAQ: FIGKX)
(NASDAQ: FIGIX)
U.S. Treasury Cash Reserves (NASDAQ: UTIXX) (NASDAQ: TISXX)
Ultrashort Bond Fund (NASDAQ: FULAX) (NASDAQ: FULIX) (NASDAQ:
FULBX)
Virginia Municipal Cash Trust (NASDAQ: VAIXX) (NASDAQ: VACXX)
The Wells Fargo Preferred Funds include mutual funds in the
following mutual fund families: Franklin Templeton Investments,
Putnam Investments, MFS Investment Management, Fidelity
Investments, Evergreen Investments, Alliance Bernstein
Investment Research and Management, Van Kampen Investments, AIM
Distributors, Inc., Oppenheimer Funds, Inc., Eaton Vance Managed
Investments, ING Funds Distributors, LLC, Allianz Global
Investors Distributors, LLC, Federated, The Hartford Mutual
Funds, Dreyfus Service Corporation, Delaware Investments,
Pioneer Investment Management, Inc., Scudder Investments, and
Wells Fargo Mutual Funds.

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

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

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

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

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody, Stull, Stull & Brody,
Phone: 1-800-337-4983, Fax: 212/490-2022, Website:
http://www.ssbny.com.


                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 240/629-3300.

                  * * *  End of Transmission  * * *