CAR_Public/060303.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, March 3, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 44

                            Headlines

ACS STATE: Plaintiff Claims Calif. Traffic Camera System Illegal
ALABAMA: Motorists File Lawsuit V. Autaugaville Police, Mayor
AMERICAN AIRLINES: Faces Antitrust Suits Over Cargo Surcharges
AMERICAN AIRLINES: Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuits in Three States
AMERICAN AIRLINES: Faces Flight Attendant Lawsuit Over 2003 CBA

AMERICAN AIRLINES: Faces Suits Over Passenger Info Disclosures
AMERICAN AIRLINES: Summary Ruling in Calif. Suit Under Appeal
AMERICAN AIRLINES: Travel Agents File Antitrust Lawsuit in N.Y.
AOL TIME: Janus Capital Eyes Separate Settlement, Report Says
BARBEQUES GALORE: Recalls Gas Grills Due to Gas Leaks, Fire Risk

CALIFORNIA: San Francisco Gets Support for Strip-Searching Suit
CANADIAN RAILWAY: Regina Lawyer Under Fire Over Retainer Deals
CMS ENERGY: Court Considers Appeal on Nev. Natural Gas Ruling
CMS ENERGY: Kans. Plaintiffs Oppose Transfer of Case to Nev. MDL
CMS ENERGY: Mich. Mulls Class Certification for Securities Suit

CMS ENERGY: Settlement Negotiations Ongoing in Mich. ERISA Suit
CMS ENERGY: Subsidiaries Face N.Y. Suit Over NYMEX Manipulation
CMS ENERGY: Tenn. Natural Gas Lawsuit Transferred to Nev. MDL
COLUMBIA RURAL: Probe Blames Fallen Tree for Wash. 'School Fire'
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: To Appeal Judge's $15M Tax Refund Order

E-COMMERCE EXCHANGE: Faces Consolidated ERISA Suit in S.D. N.Y.
E-COMMERCE EXCHANGE: Faces Mass. Suit V. Leasecomm Transactions
E-COMMERCE EXCHANGE: Plaintiffs File Amended Consumer Suit in CA
ENTROPIN INC: California Federal Court Certifies Securities Suit
FEDERICO'S BAKERY: Recalls Cookies Due to Undeclared Sulfites

FORD MOTOR: Judge Preliminarily Approves Health Care Concessions
GANNETT CO: ERISA Violations Suit Remains Pending in Colo. Court
HOLOCAUST LITIGATION: Plaintiff Challenges Lawyer's $4.1M Fee
ILLINOIS: Elgin School Expects $1M Legal Cost in Racial Suit
IOWA PYRO: Ordered to Stop Selling Illegal Fireworks Components

IPAYMENT INC: Faces Calif. Suit Over Credit, Debit Card Dealings
IPAYMENT INC: Faces Consolidated Lawsuit Over Acquisition Plan
LINCOLN ELECTRIC: Faces Manganese Injury Monitoring Litigation
MCKESSON CORPORATION: Court Approves $960M HBO Suit Settlement
NEXT MARKETING: Recalls Hooded Fleeces Due to Strangulation Risk

POLYCOM INC.: Recalls Conference Phone Batteries on Fire Hazard
QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Lawyers Want Some 25% of $400M Settlement
PROVO CRAFT: CPSC Recalls Metal Charms for Lead Poisoning Hazard
TEXTRON INC: Continues to Face ERISA Complaint in R.I. Court
TEXTRON INC: R.I. Court Gives Preliminary Approval to Settlement

WACHOVIA CORPORATION: N.C. Court Dismisses Suit V. First Union
WELLS FARGO: Larkin Motions to Remove Judge Weber from Lawsuit
WILSONART INTERNATIONAL: Sole Defendant in NY Antitrust Lawsuit

                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Con Edison Noted $25M Related Costs in `05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Coca-Cola Spends US$3.3Mil for Remediation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sempra, SDG&E Continue to Face Removal Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Enbridge Reserves US$8.8Mil for Remediation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hanson Plc Notes 131,350 Claimants at 2005

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: TRW Confronts Claims Against Subsidiaries
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ENSCO Int'l. Faces 3 Multiparty Suits in MS
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: McDermott Unit Exits Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OR Appeals Court Reinstates Weihl Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Locals Dismayed at Insurers' Rejection

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens Corning Links 2005 Losses to Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allstate Corp. Reserves US$1.37B for Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bondex, GP to Bare Evidence v. Laundry Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: $140B Asbestos Fund Authors Move for Revote
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB to Settle Claims for US$1.43B by April

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Hopes for Payout After Profit Surge
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Goodrich Bears Claims as Unit's "Successor"
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dispute Over CPChem's Claims Intensifies
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Graco Inc Named in Multi-Defendant Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Phelps Dodge Downplays Involvement in Suits

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Thomas & Betts Probes Claims in Five States
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: St. Paul Notes US$1.2B Recoverables for A&E
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Navigators Group Sets US$28Mil for 2 Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AO Smith, Subsidiaries Named in 15T Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hartford Reserves US$2.7Bil for A&E Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: American Standard Faces 128,197 Open Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: LECO Battles Claims With 34,667 Plaintiffs
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Illinois Tool Works Named in Welding Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BlueLinx Directs Claims to Georgia-Pacific
ASBESTOS ALERT: OSHA Cites East Coast Const. for Safety Hazards

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

COOPER COMPANIES: Kahn Gauthier Lodges Securities Suit in Calif.
GRAFTECH INT'L: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in Del.
GRAFTECH INT'L: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Lawsuit in Del.


                         *********


ACS STATE: Plaintiff Claims Calif. Traffic Camera System Illegal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiff lawyers in a class action against the operator of
California's traffic camera system told the court on Monday the
state's contract with the company violates state law.

The lawyers said the contracts were illegal because ACS State
and Local Solutions Inc. earned money only when they captured
motorists running red traffic lights.  They contend it was the
company, and not law enforces, which determine violators,
according to Union-Tribune.

Eugene Iredale, one of the plaintiff's lawyers, told San Diego
Superior Court Judge Linda B. Quinn, the money collected should
be placed in a fund and repaid to plaintiffs.  Court documents
alleged the amount could be up to $27.8 million.

B. Boyd Hight, a lawyer for ACS, denied the allegations, saying
the Superior Court has the last say whether a suspected traffic
offender is guilty or not.

Plaintiffs are represented by:

     Brian Burchett
     Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel,
     A Professional Law Corporation
     550 West C Street, Suite 1500
     San Diego, California 92101-3540
     (San Diego Co.)
     Phone: 619-233-4100
     Rapifax: 619-231-4372

     Eugene G. Iredale
     105 West "F" Street, Fourth Floor
     San Diego, California 92101
     (San Diego Co.)
     Phone: 619-233-1525
     Fax: 619-233-3221


ALABAMA: Motorists File Lawsuit V. Autaugaville Police, Mayor
-------------------------------------------------------------
The town of Autaugaville is facing a suit filed by two men
alleging they were issued traffic tickets by uncertified police
officers, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.

Ricardo Matthews and Cleo Frank Jackson filed a class action in
U.S. District Court in Montgomery against police officers and
city officials.  The defendants are:

     (1) Michael McCollum;

     (2) Donnie Martin;

     (3) Wyatt Lee Seger III;

     (4) Mayor Curtis Jackson; and

     (5) Police Chief LeVan Johnson.

The men alleged the tickets they received were issued by
officers not yet certified by the Alabama Peace Officers
Standards and Training Commission.  Mr. Matthews was ticketed
for driving with suspended license, and for being uninsured.
Mr. Jackson was ticketed once for speeding.  Their suit seeks
the return of all fines and court costs for traffic cases made
by uncertified officers from Feb. 1, 2004 to the present, along
with unspecified damage amounts.

The suit is styled "Matthews et al v. Town of Autaugaville et al
Delores R. Boyd (2:06-cv-00185-DRB)," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Middle District of Alabama under Judge Delores R.
Boyd.

Representing the plaintiffs is Jim Lee DeBardelaben of Jim L.
DeBardelaben Attorney At Law, P.O. Box 152, Montgomery, AL
36101-0152, Phone: 334-265-9206, Fax: 265-9299; E-mail:
dgoollaw@aol.com.


AMERICAN AIRLINES: Faces Antitrust Suits Over Cargo Surcharges
--------------------------------------------------------------
American Airlines, Inc. and certain foreign as well as domestic
air carriers are facing two purported class actions, alleging
violations of the U.S. antitrust laws by illegally conspiring to
set prices and surcharges on cargo shipments.

The suits are:

     (1) Animal Land, Inc. v. Air Canada et al., filed February
         17, 2006, and

     (2) Adams v. British Airways, et al., filed February 22,
         2006.

Both cases were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of New York.  Plaintiffs are seeking trebled money
damages and injunctive relief.

The first suit is styled, "Animal Land, Inc. v. Air Canada et
al., Case No. 1:06-cv-00725-DLI-RML," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of New York under Judge Dora
Lizette Irizarry with referral to Judge Robert M. Levy.
Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (i) Eric J. Belfi of Murray Frank and Sailer, LLP, 275
         Madison Avenue - 8th Floor, New York, NY 10016, Phone:
         212-682-1818, Fax: 212-682-1892, E-mail:
         ebelfi@murrayfrank.com

    (ii) Jeffrey J. Corrigan of Spector Roseman & Kodroff, 1818
         Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone: 215-496-
         0300

   (iii) Gary B. Friedman of Friedman & Shube, 155 Spring St.,
         New York, NY 10012, Phone: 212-680-5150, Fax: 212-219-
         6446, E-mail: garybfriedman@att.net

    (iv) Mark Reinhardt of Reinhardt Wendorf & Blanchfield,
         E1250 First National Bank Bldg., 322 Minnesota St., St.
         Paul, MN 55101, Phone: 651-287-2100, Fax: 651-287-2103,
         E-mail: mreinhardt@comcast.net.


AMERICAN AIRLINES: Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuits in Three States
----------------------------------------------------------------
American Airlines, Inc. faces three purported class actions,
arising from alleged improper failure to refund certain
governmental taxes and fees collected by the Company upon the
sale of nonrefundable tickets when such tickets are not used for
travel.  The suits are:

     (1) Coleman v. American Airlines, Inc., No. 101106, filed
         December 31, 2002, pending (on appeal) before the
         Supreme Court of Oklahoma.  The Coleman Plaintiffs seek
         actual damages (not specified) and interest;

     (2) Hayes v. American Airlines, Inc., No. 04-3231, pending
         in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
         District of New York, filed July 2, 2004.  The Hayes
         Plaintiffs seek unspecified damages, declaratory
         judgment, costs, attorneys' fees, and interest.

     (3) Harrington v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., et. al., No. 04-
         12558, pending in the United States District Court for
         the District of Massachusetts, filed November 4, 2004.
         The Harrington plaintiffs seek unspecified actual
         damages (trebled), declaratory judgment, injunctive
         relief, costs, and attorneys' fees.

The suits assert various causes of action, including breach of
contract, conversion, and unjust enrichment.


AMERICAN AIRLINES: Faces Flight Attendant Lawsuit Over 2003 CBA
---------------------------------------------------------------
American Airlines, Inc. continues to face a consolidated class
action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of New York.  The suit is styled "Ann M. Marcoux, et al. v.
American Airlines, Inc., et al."  It names as defendant:

     (1) the Association of Professional Flight Attendants
         (APFA),

     (2) the Union that represents the Company's flight
         attendants.

The suit seeks on behalf of all of the Company's flight
attendants or various subclasses to set aside, and to obtain
damages allegedly resulting from, the April 2003 Collective
Bargaining Agreement referred to as the Restructuring
Participation Agreement (RPA).  The RPA was one of three labor
agreements the Company successfully reached with its unions in
order to avoid filing for bankruptcy in 2003.

In a related case, styled, "Sherry Cooper, et al. v. TWA
Airlines, LLC, et al.," also filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of New York, the court denied a
preliminary injunction against implementation of the RPA on June
30, 2003.

The suit alleges various claims against the Union and the
Company relating to the RPA and the ratification vote on the RPA
by individual Union members, including:

     (1) violation of the Labor Management Reporting and
         Disclosure Act (LMRDA) and the APFA's Constitution and
         By-laws,

     (2) violation by the Union of its duty of fair
         representation to its members,

     (3) violation by the Company of provisions of the Railway
         Labor Act through improper coercion of flight
         attendants into voting or changing their vote for
         ratification, and

     (4) violations of the Racketeer  Influenced and Corrupt
         Organizations Act of 1970 (RICO).

The suit is styled "Marcoux et al v. American Airlines Inc. et
al, case no. 1:04-cv-01376-NG-KAM," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of New York, under Judge Nina
Gershon.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Emily Maruja Bass, Law Offices of Emily Bass, 25
         Washington Street, Suite 305 Brooklyn, NY 11201, Phone:
         718-522-9705, Fax: 718-522-9707, E-mail: eb@basslaw.us

     (2) Martin Garbus and Mark J. Rachman, Davis & Gilbert,
         LLP, 1740 Broadway, 21st floor, New York, NY 10019
         Phone: 212-468-4800, Fax: 212-468-4888, E-mail:
         mgarbus@dglaw.com or mrachman@dglaw.com

Representing the Defendant/s are, Thomas Edward Reinert, Jr.,
Melissa C. Rodriguez, Sam Scott Shaulson of Morgan, Lewis &
Bockius, LLP, 101 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10178, Phone: 212-
309-6000, Fax: 212- 309-6273, E-mail: treinert@morganlewis.com,
mcrodriguez@morganlewis.com, sshaulson@morganlewis.com.


AMERICAN AIRLINES: Faces Suits Over Passenger Info Disclosures
--------------------------------------------------------------
American Airlines, Inc. faces four class actions arising from
the disclosure of passenger name records by a vendor of the
Company.  The cases are:

     (1) Kimmell v. AMR, et al., filed in the U.S.
         District Court in Texas,

     (2) Baldwin v. AMR, et al., filed in the U.S.
         District Court in Texas,

     (3) Rosenberg v. AMR, et al., filed in the United States
         District Court in New York

     (4) Anapolsky v. AMR, et al., filed in the United States
         District Court in New York

The Kimmell suit was filed in April 2004. The Baldwin and
Rosenberg cases were filed in May 2004.  The Anapolsky suit was
filed in September 2004.  The suits allege various causes of
action, including but not limited to, violations of the
Electronic Communications Privacy Act, negligent
misrepresentation, breach of contract and violation of alleged
common law rights of privacy.  In each case plaintiffs seek
statutory damages of $1000 per passenger, plus additional
unspecified monetary damages.  The Court dismissed the cases but
allowed leave to amend, and the Kimmell and Rosenberg cases have
been re-filed.


AMERICAN AIRLINES: Summary Ruling in Calif. Suit Under Appeal
-------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs are appealing the summary judgment by the U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California, Western
Division in the suit, styled, "Westways World Travel, Inc. v.
AMR Corporation, et al."

The suit names as defendants American Airlines, Inc., and:

     (1) AMR Corporation,

     (2) AMR Eagle Holding Corporation,

     (3) Airlines Reporting Corporation, and

     (4) the Sabre Group Holdings, Inc.

The lawsuit alleges that requiring travel agencies to pay debit
memos to the Company for violations of American's fare rules (by
customers of the agencies):

     (1) breaches the Agent Reporting Agreement between American
         and AMR Eagle and the plaintiffs;

     (2) constitutes unjust enrichment; and

     (3) violates the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
         Organizations Act of 1970 (RICO)

The certified class includes all travel agencies who have been
or will be required to pay money to American for debit memos for
fare rules violations from July 26, 1995 to the present.  The
plaintiffs seek to enjoin American from enforcing the pricing
rules in question and to recover the amounts paid for debit
memos, plus treble damages, attorneys' fees, and costs.

On February 24, 2005, the court decertified the class.  In
September 2005, the Court granted Summary Judgment in favor of
the Company and all other defendants.  Plaintiffs recently filed
an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit.

The suit is styled, "Westway World Travel v. AMR Corp, et al,
case no. 99-cv-07689-WDK-AIJ," filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Central District of California, under Judge William D.
Keller.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Linda S. Platisha,
Linda S. Platisha Law Offices, 21520 Yorba Linda Blvd., Ste. G-
560 Yorba Linda, CA 92887, Phone: 714-694-1542; and Dean
Browning Webb, Dean Browning Webb Law Offices, 8002 NE Hwy. 99,
Ste. B Vancouver, WA 98665-8833, Phone: 503-629-2176, Fax: 503-
629-9527.

Representing the Defendant/s are, Chad S. Hummel, Manatt Phelps
& Phillips, 11355 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064-1614,
Phone: 310-312-4000; and William A. Wargo, Gibson Dunn &
Crutcher, 333 S. Grand Ave., 45th Fl, Los Angeles, CA 90071-
3197, Phone: 213-229-7000.


AMERICAN AIRLINES: Travel Agents File Antitrust Lawsuit in N.Y.
---------------------------------------------------------------
American Airlines, Inc. continues to face an amended class
action filed against it and other airlines in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York.  The suit is styled
"Power Travel International, Inc. v. American Airlines, Inc., et
al."  It names as defendants:

     (1) Continental Airlines,

     (2) Delta Air Lines,

     (3) United Airlines, and

     (4) Northwest Airlines

The suit alleges that the Company and the other defendants
breached their contracts with the agency and were unjustly
enriched when these carriers at various times reduced their base
commissions to zero.  The as yet uncertified class includes all
travel agencies accredited by the Airlines Reporting Corporation
"whose base commissions on airline tickets were unilaterally
reduced to zero by" the defendants.  The claims against Delta
Air Lines were dismissed, and the case is stayed as to United
Airlines and Northwest Airlines since they filed for bankruptcy.

The suit is styled "Power Travel Intl. v. American Airlines, et
al., Case No. 1:02-cv-07434-RWS," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York under Judge Robert
W. Sweet.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Craig L. Briskin,
Lawrence Paskowitz of Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP,
100 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017, Phone: 212-907-0854, Fax:
212-883-7054, E-mail: cbriskin@labaton.com.  Representing the
Defendant/s is Richard M. Goldstein and Carla M. Miller of
Proskauer Rose LLP, 1585 Broadway, New York, NY 10036-8299,
Phone: (212) 969-3000.


AOL TIME: Janus Capital Eyes Separate Settlement, Report Says
-------------------------------------------------------------
Janus Capital Group Inc. is pursuing its own settlement in the
securities suit against AOL and AOL Time Warner, according to
BusinessWeek.  Janus Capital owned over 10% of Time Warner and
over 3% of America Online when the companies announced their
merger in September 2000.

The New York-based owners of the Warner Brothers film studio and
the AOL online division, struck a $2.4 billion settlement with
some shareholders last year to settle a securities fraud lawsuit
related to the accounting at AOL.  But it emerged recently that
AOL and AOL Time Warner institutional shareholders are planning
to file a new lawsuit seeking $3.3 billion from the world's
largest media company (Class Action Reporter, Feb. 8, 2006).

About 100 shareholders opted out of a $2.6 billion settlement
last year.  Plaintiffs filed so-called "opt-out" lawsuits when
they are unsatisfied over the settlement in a class action case
and decide to strike out on their own.  William Lerach is the
lead attorney representing investors who are pursuing separate
claims.

Contact information for William S. Lerach: Phone: (619) 231-1058
or (800) 449-4900, E-mail: wsl@lerachlaw.com (San Diego Office)


BARBEQUES GALORE: Recalls Gas Grills Due to Gas Leaks, Fire Risk
----------------------------------------------------------------
Barbeques Galore Inc., of Lake Forest, California is cooperating
with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) by
voluntarily recalling about 1,800 Turbo Sport Portable Infrared
LP Gas Grills.

The grills have faulty regulators that can release too much gas
to the burner causing an excessive burner flame. This also poses
a risk of gas leaks, fires and explosions if an ignition source
is present.  There have been 18 reports of excessive flame or
the regulator shutting off.  No injuries have been reported.

The Turbo Sport Portable Infrared LP Gas Grill is model number
IR600; the model number is not identified on the grill.  The
Turbo Sport measures 16.5-inches long by 14-inches wide and 12-
inches high.  The portable grill is constructed of stainless
steel with an attached stainless steel hood.  The "Turbo Sport"
nameplate is on the front panel of the grill.  No other barbecue
with the "Turbo" name is affected by this recall.  Picture of
recalled products:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06095.jpg

Manufactured in Taiwan, the grills were sold at all Barbeques
Galore Inc. stores nationwide from August 2004 through August
2005 for between $170 and $200.

Remedy: Consumers are advised to stop using these grills and
return the regulator to a Barbeques Galore retail store for a
replacement, or contact Barbeques Galore Customer Service to
have a replacement regulator sent to them.

Consumer Contact: Call Barbeques Galore Inc toll-free at
(800) 752-3085 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. PT Monday through
Friday. For additional information on this product, consumers
can visit the Barbeques Galore Web site:
http://www.bbqgalore.com


CALIFORNIA: San Francisco Gets Support for Strip-Searching Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
San Mateo County filed a court brief on Monday in support of San
Francisco city, which is facing a lawsuit over alleged illegal
strip-searching of inmates.

According to The San Francisco Examiner, the County, which is
facing a similar suit, said in a "fiend of the court" brief
strip searches should be allowed for inmates in the general jail
for safety reasons.  The case is now before the 9th Circuit
Court of Appeals, according to officials.

San Francisco stands liable for strip-searches of up to 27,000
adults between April 2002 and January 2004.  San Mateo, Marin,
Solano and Contra Costa counties, are facing similar actions.

The San Mateo County case was filed by a resident Shannon
Gallagher, who alleged her Fourth Amendment rights were violated
when she was strip-searched multiple times.  The case received
class status in November.  It could potentially make the county
liable for searches of up to 2,000 women during the period from
February 2002 to December 2003, Gallagher's attorney Andrew
Schwartz said.


CANADIAN RAILWAY: Regina Lawyer Under Fire Over Retainer Deals
--------------------------------------------------------------
A Regina lawyer has appealed a disciplinary decision on counts
of misconduct he was cited for in relation to a lawsuit against
Canadian Pacific Railway, The Star Phoenix reports.  He appealed
the ruling in a Saskatchewan Court on Feb. 28.  No date for
hearing the appeal has been set yet.

Tony Merchant of Regina, Saskatchewan was found guilty of two
counts of conduct unbecoming of a lawyer by the Law Society of
Saskatchewan, Canada in January.  One count relates to his
sending of correspondence regarding retainer agreement with
residents of Estevan.  The committee said the letters were
reasonably capable of misleading intended recipients.  The
second count pertains to his withdrawing or authorizing the
withdrawal of trust funds belonging to a person identified as
B.P. contrary to a court order or without the consent of B.P.

Mr. Merchant states in his appeal the retainer agreement was
sent out "innocently and by mistake," and there was no court
order to stop the withdrawal of funds.

The Canadian railway class action stemmed from the January 2002
derailment and massive release of anhydrous ammonia from five
ruptured tank cars in Minot, South Dakota.  Thirty-one cars on
the 112-car Canadian Pacific Railway train derailed on the west
edge of Minot and five broke open early on the morning of
January 18, 2002.  The National Transportation Safety Board said
the wreck was caused by inadequate track maintenance and
inspections, a conclusion disputed by Canadian Pacific, (Class
Action Reporter, July 11,
2005).

Since the derailment, about 450 lawsuits in Minnesota state
court and North Dakota are pending against the Company.  The
suits filed in Minneapolis were grouped together to help them
move through the courts.  Just recently six cases were settled
out of court.  The settlements included a wrongful death lawsuit
brought by the widow of John Grabinger, 38, who died while
trying to escape the anhydrous ammonia cloud released by the
train wreck.  Terms of those settlements have not been released.

Twelve more cases scheduled to begin on May 1.  Further, Minot
attorney Mark Larson said he has one case coming up in the next
round of trials in Minneapolis.

Mr. Miller represents six clients in the next batch of trials
scheduled for May in Minneapolis.  The report said Solberg Law
is also planning a class action.  About 1,000 people are
involved in that lawsuit.

The trial is being held in Minneapolis because it is the U.S.
headquarters of Canadian Pacific, which is based in Calgary,
Alberta.  The Company admitted liability in the current round of
lawsuits,  (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 10, 2006).  Tim Thornton
is the railroad's lead attorney.


CMS ENERGY: Court Considers Appeal on Nev. Natural Gas Ruling
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is yet to rule on plaintiffs'
appeal of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada's
order that dismissed a lawsuit against CMS Energy Corporation
and several other defendants over the sale of natural gas in the
U.S.

Texas-Ohio Energy, Inc. filed a putative class action in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in
November 2003 against a number of energy companies engaged in
the sale of natural gas in the U.S. (including CMS Energy).  The
complaint alleged defendants entered into a price-fixing scheme
by engaging in activities to manipulate the price of natural gas
in California. The complaint alleged violations of the federal
Sherman Act, the California Cartwright Act, and the California
Business and Professions Code relating to unlawful, unfair and
deceptive business practices.

The complaint sought both actual and exemplary damages for
alleged overcharges, attorneys' fees, and injunctive relief
regulating defendants' future conduct relating to pricing and
price reporting.

In April 2004, a Nevada Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) Panel
ordered the transfer of the Texas-Ohio case to a pending MDL
matter in the Nevada federal district court that at the time
involved seven complaints originally filed in various state
courts in California.  These complaints make allegations similar
to those in the Texas-Ohio case regarding price reporting,
although none contain a federal Sherman Act claim.  In November
2004, those seven complaints, as well as a number of others that
were originally filed in various state courts in California and
subsequently transferred to the MDL proceeding, were remanded
back to California state court.  The Texas-Ohio case remained in
Nevada federal district court, and defendants, with CMS Energy
joining, filed a motion to dismiss.

The court issued an order granting the motion to dismiss on
April 8, 2005 and entered a judgment in favor of the defendants
on April 11, 2005.  Texas-Ohio has appealed the dismissal to the
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a related matter, three federal putative class actions, were
filed and respectively styled as:

     (1) Fairhaven Power Company v. Encana Corp. et al.,

     (2) Utility Savings & Refund Services LLP v. Reliant Energy
         Resources Inc. et al., and

     (3) Abelman Art Glass v. Encana Corp. et al.,

The suits all make allegations similar to those in the Texas-
Ohio case, styled, "In RE: Western States Wholesale Natural Gas
Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 2:03-cv-01431-PMP-PAL MDL-1566."
Specifically, the suits are regarding price manipulation and
seek similar relief.  They were originally filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of California in
September 2004, November 2004 and December 2004, respectively.

The Fairhaven and Abelman Art Glass cases also include claims
for unjust enrichment and a constructive trust.  The three
complaints were filed against CMS Energy and many of the other
defendants named in the Texas-Ohio case.  In addition, the
Utility Savings case names CMS Marketing, Services and Trading
(MST) and Cantera Resources Inc. (Cantera Resources Inc., the
parent of Cantera Natural Gas, LLC and CMS Energy is required to
indemnify Cantera Natural Gas, LLC and Cantera Resources Inc.
with respect to these actions.)

The Fairhaven, Utility Savings and Abelman Art Glass cases have
been transferred to the MDL proceeding, where the Texas-Ohio
case was pending.  Pursuant to stipulation by the parties and
court order, defendants were not required to respond to the
Fairhaven, Utility Savings and Abelman Art Glass complaints
until the court ruled on defendants' motion to dismiss in the
Texas-Ohio case.

Plaintiffs subsequently filed a consolidated class action
complaint alleging violations of federal and California
antitrust laws.  Defendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing
that the consolidated complaint should be dismissed for the same
reasons as the Texas-Ohio case.  The court issued an order
granting the motion to dismiss on December 19, 2005 and entered
judgment in favor of defendants on December 23, 2005.
Plaintiffs have appealed the dismissal to the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals.

The suit is styled, "In RE: Western States Wholesale Natural Gas
Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 2:03-cv-01431-PMP-PAL MDL-1566,"
filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada
under Judge Philip M. Pro with referral to Judge Peggy A. Leen.
Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Alan G. Crone
         Crone & Mason, PC
         5100 Poplar Ave., Suite 3200
         Memphis, TN 83137
         Phone: 901-683-1850
         Fax: 901-683-1963

     (2) Paul Alexis Del Aguila
         Greenberg Traurig, LLP
         77 West Wacker Drive
         Suite 2500, Chicago, IL 60601
         Phone: (312) 456-8400.

Representing the Defendant/s are:

     (1) Frederic G. Berner, Jr.
         Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, LLP
         1501 K Street, NW Washington, DC 80005
         Phone: 202-736-8000
         Fax: 202-736-8711

     (2) Robert E. Craddock, Jr.
         Wyatt Tarrant & Combs
         P.O. Box 775000, Memphis
         TN 92177-5000
         Phone: 901-537-1000
         Fax: 901-537-1010


CMS ENERGY: Kans. Plaintiffs Oppose Transfer of Case to Nev. MDL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the Kansas state court action styled, "Learjet,
Inc., et al. v. Oneok, Inc., et al.," are opposing the
conditional transfer order that removes their case to the MDL
proceeding in Nevada.  The Nevada suit is captioned "In RE:
Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation, Case
No. 2:03-cv-01431-PMP-PAL MDL-1566."

On November 20, 2005, CMS Marketing, Services and Trading (MST)
was served with a summons and complaint, which named:

     (1) CMS Energy Corporation,

     (2) CMS MST, and

     (3) CMS Field Services

as defendants in a new putative class action filed in Kansas
state court, styled, "Learjet, Inc., et al. v. Oneok, Inc., et
al."

Similar to the other actions that have been filed, the complaint
alleges that during the putative class period, January 1, 2000
through October 31, 2002, defendants engaged in a scheme to
violate the Kansas Restraint of Trade Act by knowingly reporting
false or inaccurate information to the publications, thereby
affecting the market price of natural gas.

Plaintiffs, who allege they purchased natural gas from
defendants and other for their facilities, are seeking statutory
full consideration damages consisting of the full consideration
paid by plaintiffs for natural gas.  On December 7, 2005, the
case was removed to the U.S. District Court for the District of
Kansas and later that month a motion was filed to transfer the
case to the MDL proceeding in Nevada.

On January 6, 2006, plaintiffs filed a motion to remand the case
to Kansas state court.  On January 23, 2006, a conditional
transfer order transferring the case to the MDL proceeding in
Nevada was issued.  On February 7, 2006, plaintiffs filed an
opposition to the conditional transfer order.


CMS ENERGY: Mich. Mulls Class Certification for Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has
yet to rule on plaintiff's motion for class certification in the
securities lawsuit filed against:

     (1) CMS Energy Corporation,

     (2) Consumers Energy Corporation, and

     (3) certain of the Company's officers and directors and its
         affiliates, including but not limited to Consumers
         Energy which, while established, operated and regulated
         as a separate legal entity and publicly traded company,
         shares a parallel Board of Directors with CMS Energy.

Beginning on May 17, 2002, a number of complaints were filed as
purported class actions by shareholders who allege that they
purchased the Company's securities during a purported class
period running from May 2000 through March 2003.  The cases were
consolidated into a single lawsuit.  The consolidated lawsuit
generally seeks unspecified damages based on allegations that
the defendants violated U.S. securities laws and regulations by
making allegedly false and misleading statements about the
Company's business and financial condition, particularly with
respect to revenues and expenses recorded in connection with
round-trip trading by CMS Energy Resource Management Company.

                   Class Certification Hearing

In January 2005, a motion was granted, dismissing Consumers and
three of the individual defendants, but the court denied the
motions to dismiss for the Company and the 13 remaining
individual defendants.  Plaintiffs filed a motion for class
certification on April 15, 2005 and an amended motion for class
certification on June 20, 2005.  The hearing on this motion is
scheduled for February 28, 2006.

On September 20, 2005, CMS Energy filed a motion for judgment on
the pleadings, based on the Dura Pharmaceuticals decision issued
by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Plaintiffs filed their response on
October 25, 2005 along with a so-called "cross-motion for
partial summary judgment" seeking a determination that CMS
Energy is liable for all damages proximately caused by its
"culpable conduct."  On November 29, 2005, the judge issued a
decision denying both CMS Energy's motion for judgment on the
pleadings and plaintiffs' cross-motion for partial summary
judgment.

The suit is styled, "Green v. CMS Energy Corp., et al., Case No.
2:02-cv-72004-GCS-VMM," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan, under Judge George Caram Steeh
with referral to Judge Virginia M. Morgan.

Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Clifford S. Goodstein
         Milberg, Weiss, (New York)
         One Pennsylvania Plaza
         49th Floor, New York
         NY 10119-0165
         Phone: 212-594-5300
         E-mail: cgoodstein@milbergweiss.com

     (2) E. Powell Miller
         Miller Shea (Rochester)
         950 W. University Drive
         Suite 300, Rochester, MI 48307
         Phone: 248-841-2200
         E-mail: emiller335@aol.com.

Representing the Defendant/s are:

     (1) Steven J. Aranoff
         McDermott, Will
         18191 Von Karman Avenue
         Suite 500, Irvine, CA 92612-7108
         Phone: 949-851-0633
         Fax: 949-851-0633

     (20 Steven L. Bashwiner
         Katten, Muchin, (Chicago)
         525 W. Monroe Street
         Suite 1600, Chicago
         IL 60661-3693
         Phone: 312-902-5200
         Fax: 312-902-5200.


CMS ENERGY: Settlement Negotiations Ongoing in Mich. ERISA Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Parties in the consolidated class action filed against:

     (1) CMS Energy Corporation,

     (2) Consumers Energy Corporation,

     (3) certain of the Company's officers and directors and its
         affiliates, including but not limited to Consumers
         Energy which, while established, operated and regulated
         as a separate legal entity and publicly traded company,
         shares a parallel Board of Directors with CMS Energy,

are attempting to settle the matter, despite the expected mid-
2006 trial for the case.  The case is pending in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  The suit
also names as defendants CMS Energy Resource Management Company,
and certain named and unnamed officers and directors.

In July 2002, two lawsuits were initially filed on behalf of
participants and beneficiaries of the CMS Employees' Savings and
Incentive Plan (the Plan).  The court later consolidated the two
cases, whose plaintiffs allege breaches of fiduciary duties
under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and
seek restitution on behalf of the Plan with respect to a decline
in value of the shares of CMS Energy Common Stock held in the
Plan. Plaintiffs also seek other equitable relief and legal
fees.

In March 2004, the judge granted in part, but denied in part,
the Company's motion to dismiss the complaint.  The Company,
Consumers and a number of individual defendants remain parties.

The judge has conditionally granted plaintiffs' motion for class
certification.  A trial date has not been set, but is expected
to be no earlier than mid-2006.  Settlement negotiations among
counsel for the parties and CMS Energy's fiduciary insurance
carrier are ongoing.

The suit is styled, "Schilling v. CMS Energy Corp, et al., Case
No. 2:02-cv-72834-GCS," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan under Judge George Caram Steeh.
Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Barry D. Adler of Adler and
Assoc. (Farmington Hills), 30300 Northwestern Highway, Suite
304, Farmington Hills, MI 48334, 248-855-5090, E-mail:
badler@adlerfirm.com; and Ellen M. Doyle of Malakoff, Doyle, 437
Grant St., Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, Phone: 412-281-8400,
E-mail: edoyle@mdfpc.com.

Representing the Defendant/s are, Wilber H. Boies of McDermott,
Will, (Chicago), 227 W. Monroe Street, Suite 4400, Chicago, IL
60606-5096, Phone: 312-372-2000, E-mail: bboies@mwe.com; and
James E. Brunner of Consumers Power Company, Legal Department,
212 W. Michigan Avenue, Jackson, MI 49201, Phone: 517-788-0550,
Fax: 517-788-0550.


CMS ENERGY: Subsidiaries Face N.Y. Suit Over NYMEX Manipulation
---------------------------------------------------------------
A Current and a former subsidiary of CMS Energy Corporation are
named as defendants in a consolidated complaint over the
manipulation of New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) natural gas
futures and options.  The suit was filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York against CMS Energy
and dozens of other energy companies.

Cornerstone Propane Partners, L.P., filed the putative class
action complaint back in August 18, 2003.  It was subsequently
consolidated with two similar complaints filed by other
plaintiffs.  The plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint on
January 20, 2004.  The consolidated complaint alleges that false
natural gas price reporting by the defendants manipulated the
prices of NYMEX natural gas futures and options.  The complaint
contains two counts under the Commodity Exchange Act, one for
manipulation and one for aiding and abetting violations.

On September 30, 2005, the court entered an order granting
plaintiffs' motion for class certification.  Plaintiffs are
seeking to have the class recover actual damages and costs,
including attorneys' fees.  CMS Energy is no longer a defendant;
however, CMS Marketing, Services and Trading (MST) and CMS Field
Services are named as defendants.  (CMS Energy sold CMS Field
Services to Cantera Natural Gas, LLC, which changed the name of
CMS Field Services to Cantera Gas Company.  CMS Energy is
required to indemnify Cantera Natural Gas, LLC with respect to
this action.)  Settlement negotiations among counsel for the
parties are ongoing.

The suit is styled, "In re Natural Gas Commodity Litigation,
Case No. 1:03-cv-06186-VM-AJP," filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York, under Judge Victor
Marrero and Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck.  Representing the
Defendant/s are, Robert A. Jaffe of Kutak, Rock, L.L.P., 100
Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017, Phone: (212) 922-9155; and
Gregory Copeland, Holly Roberts, J. Michael Baldwin, Baker
Botts, L.L.P., One Shell Plaza, 910 Louisiana, Houston, TX
07002, Phone: (713) 229-1234.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Ali Oromchian, Finkelstein Thompson & Loughran, 601
         Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111, by Phone:
         (415)-398-8700

     (2) Christopher J. Gray, Law Office of Christopher J. Gray,
         P.C, 460 Park Avenue 21st Floor, New York, NY 10022,
         Phone: (212) 838-3221, Fax: (212) 508-3695, E-mail:
         gray@cjgraylaw.com

     (3) Christopher Lovell, Gary S. Jacobson, Lovell, Stewart,
         Halebian, L.L.P., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110,
         Phone: (212) 608-1900

     (4) Louis F. Burke, Louis F. Burke, P.C., 460 Park Avenue,
         21st Floor, New York, NY 10022, Phone: (212) 682-1700,
         Fax: (212) 808-4280


CMS ENERGY: Tenn. Natural Gas Lawsuit Transferred to Nev. MDL
-------------------------------------------------------------
The class action complaint captioned, "Samuel D. Leggett, et al
v. Duke Energy Corporation, et al." that was brought on behalf
of retail and business purchasers of natural gas in Tennessee
was transferred to the MDL proceeding in Nevada.

The suit was filed was filed in the Chancery Court of Fayette
County, Tennessee in January 2005.  The Nevada suit is styled,
"In RE: Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust
Litigation, Case No. 2:03-cv-01431-PMP-PAL MDL-1566."

The complaint contains claims for violations of the Tennessee
Trade Practices Act based upon allegations of false reporting of
price information by defendants to publications that compile and
publish indices of natural gas prices for various natural gas
hubs.  The complaint seeks statutory full consideration damages
and attorneys fees and injunctive relief regulating defendants'
future conduct.  The defendants include CMS Energy Corporation,
CMS MST and CMS Field Services.

On March 7, 2005, defendants removed the case to the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western
Division, and they filed a motion on May 20, 2005 to transfer
the case to the MDL proceeding in Nevada.  On April 6, 2005,
plaintiffs filed a motion to remand the case back to the
Chancery Court in Tennessee.  On August 10, 2005, certain
defendants, including CMS Marketing, Services and Trading (MST),
filed a motion to dismiss, and CMS Energy Corporation and CMS
Field Services filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction.

Plaintiffs have opposed the motions to dismiss.  An order
transferring the case to the MDL proceeding in Nevada was issued
on or about August 11, 2005, and the motions to dismiss remain
pending.


COLUMBIA RURAL: Probe Blames Fallen Tree for Wash. 'School Fire'
----------------------------------------------------------------
State and federal authorities' investigations of a school fire
in Columbia and Garfield counties in Washington concluded that a
dead pine tree that fell on power lines started the fire,
according to the Walla Walla Union Bulletin.

The state Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Forest
Service investigators on Monday released results of an inquiry
into the August 2005 fire that burned about 52,000 acres of
forest and grassland and destroyed 216 structures in the area.

The fire is now subject of a class action by a property owner in
Washington's Columbia County.  Keller W. Allen initiated the
lawsuit in January against:

     (1) Columbia Rural Electric Association, and

     (2) Asplundh Tree Expert Company, a tree-trimming company.

In his suit, Mr. Allen alleged that the companies were
responsible for the wildfire near Pomeroy last summer, The
Associated Press reports (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 9, 2006).

Mr. Allen is seeking unspecified monetary compensation in the
suit filed in the U.S. District Court in Spokane.  Attorney
Darrell W. Scott, Mr. Allen's legal representative , told The
Associated Press last month he will move to make his client's
case a class action on behalf of hundreds of property owners who
suffered damage from the August 2005 "School Fire."   Columbia
REA and Asplundh have until Monday to respond to the suit,
according to the Walla Walla Union.

Mr. Allen's suit alleged that the fire was caused by the
utility's failure to maintain its overhead distribution lines.
According to the suit, Asplundh had been hired by the utility to
perform vegetation management near its lines.

John Parker, Columbia Rural Electric's CEO and CFO, says the
utility had not seen the lawsuit, so he could not comment. A
manager in Asplundh's Washington office in Bothell was in a
meeting and not immediately available for comment as well.

The suit is styled, "Allen v. Columbia Rural Electric
Association Inc., et al., Case No. 2:06-cv-00003-FVS," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington,
under Judge Fred Van Sickle.  Representing Darrell W. Scott of
Scott Law Group, PS, 926 W. Sprague Ave., Suite 583, Spokane, WA
99201, Phone: 509-455-3966, Fax: 509-455-3906, E-mail:
scottgroup@mac.com.


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: To Appeal Judge's $15M Tax Refund Order
-------------------------------------------------------------
The District of Columbia is preparing an appeal to a September
court ruling that requires it to refund more than $15 million in
property taxes to some homeowners, according to The Washington
Times.  The D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue could lodge the
appeal by the end of April.

In September, D.C. Superior Court judge, Eugene N. Hamilton
ruled that city officials "knowingly, intentionally and
deliberately" violated the law when they changed the rules for
assessing residential property for tax purposes, The Common
Denominator reports (Class Action Reporter, Sept. 30, 2005).
Judge Hamilton ordered the city to repay $15 million of its
collected 2002 real estate taxes to residents.

The court's former chief judge concluded that lawyer Peter S.
Craig and other Cleveland Park homeowners who filed the class
action complaint to appeal their 2002 residential property tax
assessments "fully established the material allegations of their
petition" (Class Action Reporter, Sept. 30, 2005).

Court records show that significant increases in the assessed
values of their homes, resulting in considerably higher tax
bills, prompted the homeowners to question the basis for the new
assessments. Ultimately, the city's use of a "trending" process
to assess homes located within designated neighborhoods, rather
than considering individual characteristics of properties as
required by D.C. law, led to the court challenge (Class Action
Reporter, Sept. 30, 2005).


E-COMMERCE EXCHANGE: Faces Consolidated ERISA Suit in S.D. N.Y.
---------------------------------------------------------------
E-Commerce Exchange, Inc. (ECX), a subsidiary of iPayment, Inc.,
is a defendant in a consolidated class action that is pending in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The suit is styled, "Thomas Zito v. Leasecomm Corporation, E-
Commerce Exchange, Inc., etc. et al., Case No. 02CV8074."

About 184 plaintiffs initially filed the suit back in October
2002.  It alleged that the defendants engaged in certain
activities in connection with their purported sale of Internet
access, franchises and other services and that by participating
in a number of the alleged acts with other defendants, each of
the defendants violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act of 1970, (RICO).

It further alleged violations of state unfair and deceptive
practices acts, unlawful franchise offerings, common law fraud
and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
It requested unspecified monetary damages, punitive damages,
costs and attorney's fees and equitable relief in the form of an
injunction and restitution.

ECX filed a Motion to Dismiss on January 31, 2003 (each of the
other named defendants filed their own separate Motion to
Dismiss), which the Court granted in September 2003, but also
providing the plaintiffs leave to amend and re-file the
complaint.

In September 2003, 213 plaintiffs filed a separate complaint
against ECX and several additional defendants in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York (the "Zito
v. Burtzloff Action").  The Burtzloff complaint included the
same plaintiffs named in the "Zito v. Leasecomm Action, plus 29
additional plaintiffs and added two additional defendants to
those named in the "Zito v. Leasecomm Action."

Subsequently, the court ordered the "Zito v. Burtzloff Action"
and the "Zito v. Leasecomm Action" to be consolidated and in
November 2003, the plaintiffs filed a consolidated Amended
Complaint.  Plaintiff's claims for negligent infliction of
emotional distress were dismissed in their entirety and claims
for intentional infliction of emotional distress were dismissed
as to certain other plaintiffs.

In January 2005, plaintiffs (including 4 newly added plaintiffs)
served a Second Amended Complaint, which dropped all claims for
unlawful franchise offerings and negligent infliction of
emotional distress, and which ECX answered on February 18, 2005.
Discovery is being conducted and is anticipated to continue, and
no trail date was set at this time.

The suit is styled, "Zito, et al. v. Leasecomm Corp., et al.,
Case No. 1:02-cv-08074-GEL-JCF," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of New York under Judge Gerard E. Lynch
with referral to Judge James C. Francis.  Representing the
Plaintiff/s are, John C. Klotz of The Law Office of Sean F.
O'shea, 90 Park Avenue, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10021, Phone:
(212) 630-2600.  Representing the Defendant/s are:

     (1) Martin Glenn and John Theodore Hammer of O'Melveny &
         Myers, LLP, Times Square Tower, 7 Times Square, New
         York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-326-2076 and (212) 326-2000,
         Fax: 212-326-2061 and (212) 326-2061, E-mail:
         mglenn@omm.com and jhammer@omm.com;

     (2) Kenneth J. King of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler,
         LLP, 1133 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036,
         Phone: (212) 336-2000, Fax: (212) 336-2222, E-mail:
         kjking@pbwt.com; and

     (3) Charles W. Stotter of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge,
         LLP (NYC), 750 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022,
         Phone: (973) 921-5226, Fax: (973) 376-3380, E-mail:
         cstotter@edwardsangell.com.


E-COMMERCE EXCHANGE: Faces Mass. Suit V. Leasecomm Transactions
---------------------------------------------------------------
E-Commerce Exchange, Inc. (ECX), a subsidiary of iPayment, Inc.,
is a defendant in an amended class action in Cambridge District
Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The suit is captioned,
"Venus L. Franklin and Sandra Lindsey v. Leasecomm Corporation
and E-Commerce Exchange, Inc., Civil Action No. 04-338."

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a purported nationwide
putative class against ECX, Leasecomm Corporation after a
similar action filed in the Middlesex Superior Court,
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, (the Superior Court Action) was
dismissed.

The two Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in the District Court,
alleging the same claims asserted in the prior dismissed
Superior Court Action.  The suit asserts claims based on alleged
violations of various Massachusetts state statutes and common-
law, arising out of certain lease transactions and lease
agreements between Leasecomm as "lessor."  Each Plaintiff as
"lessee" for licenses of payment gateways allegedly marketed by
ECX under the names "Quick Commerce" and "Quick Commerce Pro."

The suit asks the Court to certify a nationwide class of
plaintiffs consisting of all persons and businesses (excluding
certain residents of Texas) who within the six-year period prior
to the filing of the lawsuit, entered into similar Leasecomm
Agreements to acquire a "Quick Commerce" or "Quick Commerce Pro"
license.

In March 2005, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Compliant (FAC)
adding a usury claim.  ECX filed responsive Anwers to the
initial Compliant and the FAC requesting the Court to, among
other things, dismiss the Plaintiffs' FAC, deny certification of
the proposed class, and enter Judgment for ECX.  Discovery is
being conducted and is anticipated to continue, and no trail
date has been set at this time.


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

The lawsuit, which also names several other defendants, was
filed on February 2, 2005 and is brought by Robert Aguilard and
nine other named plaintiffs on behalf of:

     (1) themselves,

     (2) and as private attorneys general pursuant to California
         Business and Professions Code Sections 17204 and 17535,
         on behalf of all persons similarly situated, and

     (3) the general public, as a "class action" pursuant to
         California Code of Civil Procedure Section 382 (the
         "class" defined in the compliant is composed of "all
         persons who purchased or leased a Quick Commerce or
         Wonderpay software/license/set-up fee from the
         Defendants").

The complaint alleges a single cause of action for "unfair
competition" (including "unfair business practices") pursuant to
California Business and Professions Code Sections 17200, arising
out of certain alleged transactions and marketing activities by
defendants in connection with various merchant credit card
processing services and products offered to persons and
businesses that intended to conduct "e-commerce" business and
acquired a license for a "virtual terminal" marketed under the
name "Quick Commerce" or "Wonderpay."

The complaint seeks:

     (1) an order certifying the lawsuit as a "certified class
         action,"

     (2) for a declaratory judgment as to the rights and
         liabilities of the parties,

     (3) for a preliminary and permanent injunction to restrain
         and enjoin defendants from continuing to engage in the
         alleged unlawful conduct,

     (4) an order requiring defendants to provide an accounting,
         restitution for amounts paid by plaintiffs (and "class"
         members),

     (5) disgorgement of profits obtained by the "unfair
         competition" activities engaged in by defendants,
         interest, attorney fees, costs of suit, and

     (6) such other relief as may be proper.

On April 8, 2005, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint
(FAC), which alleges as to all defendants, a single cause of
action for "unfair competition" (including "unfair business
practices" pursuant to California Business and Professions Code
Sections 17200), arising out of certain alleged transactions
relating to alleged marketing activities of ECX in providing
various credit card processing services and products to
merchants for "Internet" commerce business and related lease
transactions for "payment gateways" allegedly marketed by ECX
under the names "Quick Commerce" and "Wonderpay."

Plaintiffs assert that the lease transactions and leases are
unlawful, fraudulent and unfair and seek an order certifying the
Action as a class action: for a declaratory judgment; for a
preliminary and permanent injunction to restrain and enjoin
defendants from continuing to engage in such actions; an order
requiring defendants to provide an accounting, restitution,
disgorgement of defendants profits from the "unfair competition"
activities, interest, attorney fees, costs of suit, and other
relief as may be proper.

In response to the FAC, ECX and Duvera each filed a Demurrer and
Motion to Strike and A-1 Leasing filed a Motion to Quash.  A
Hearing on the Demurrers and Motions to Strike was held on
January 19, 2006, and on January 26, 2006 the Court issued its
Ruling denying both of the Motions to Strike as well as both
Demurrers, finding that Plaintiffs had properly plead a cause of
action and granted ten days for Answers to be filed.  ECX filed
its Answer on February 6, 2006, in which it denies all of the
allegations in the FAC and asserts twenty-seven affirmative
defenses.  Discovery is ongoing and a status conference is
currently set for May 17, 2006.  No trial date was set at this
time.


ENTROPIN INC: California Federal Court Certifies Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Ronald S. W. Lew, U.S. District Judge of the U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California, has
allowed a suit (CV-04-06180 RSWL (CWx)) to proceed as a class
action against:

     (1) Entropin, Inc.,

     (2) Higgins D. Bailey, and

     (3) Thomas Tachovsky

The lawsuit is brought on behalf of a certified class consisting
of all persons who acquired units of Entropin, Inc. securities
consisting of one share of stock and one warrant in a public
offering on or about March 15, 2000 at $7.25 per unit. It
excludes defendants; the officers and directors of Entropin; any
firm, trust, corporation or other entity in which any Defendant
has a controlling interest; and the legal representatives,
agents, immediate family members, affiliates, subsidiaries,
heirs, successors-in-interest, and assigns of any excluded
person or entity.

The Court has determined that the lawsuit may proceed as a class
action, with plaintiffs:

     (1) W. Douglas Moreland,

     (2) David E. Lewis,

     (3) Edwin B. Berrington,

     (4) David Zallar, and

     (5) Thomas Murphy as Class Representatives.

Contact information for Entropin, Inc. Securities Litigation
Claims Administrator: c/o FRG Information Systems Corp., P.O.
Box 4059, Grand Central Station, New York, New York 10163-4059,
Phone: (800) 556-9955, Fax: (212) 490-5709.

Contact information for class counsel: Kenneth J. Catanzarite,
Esq., Jim Travis Tice, Esq., Catanzarite Law Corporation, 2331
West Lincoln Avenue, Anaheim, California 92801, Phone:
(714) 520-5544, Fax: (714) 520-0680.


FEDERICO'S BAKERY: Recalls Cookies Due to Undeclared Sulfites
-------------------------------------------------------------
FEDERICO'S BAKERY of Duarte, California is recalling its
"Apricot-filled Butter Cookies" because they contain Sodium-
Bisulfite in the Apricot filling.  People who have allergies to
sulfites run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic
reaction if they consume these products.

The recalled "Apricot-filled Butter Cookies" were distributed in
California in retail stores.  The product comes in a clear
plastic package and is contained in the following item numbers:

Item No. = Description = Size

VS 118 = Italian Deluxe Assortment = 13.50 oz
VS 119 = Fancy Butter Cookie Assortment = 11.50 oz
VS 122 = Butter Cookie Apricot Center = 11.50 oz
VS 123 = Assorted Butter Cookies = 11.50 oz
V118 = Deluxe Italian Assortment = 32 oz
V119 = Fancy Butter Cookies = 32 oz

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this
problem.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that the
Sodium-Bisulfite containing product was distributed in packaging
that did not reveal the presence of Sodium-Bisulfite.
Subsequent investigation indicates the problem was caused by not
properly labeling the Sodium-Bisulfite in the packages.

Consumers who have purchased the packages above are urged to
return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Consumers with questions may contact the company at
1-626-357-3243 extension 13.


FORD MOTOR: Judge Preliminarily Approves Health Care Concessions
----------------------------------------------------------------
A U.S. District Court judge granted tentative approval to a
proposed health care settlement between United Auto Workers, and
Ford Motor Co. on Friday, according to Associated Press.  It
also allowed some retirement cases to proceed as class action,
the report said.

Judge Arthur Tarnow ordered Ford to inform retirees about the
settlement by March 10, and gave an April 28 deadline for the
workers to file complaint.  A May 31 fairness hearing was set.

The class in the suit comprises retirees who left the company
before Dec. 22.  About 150,000 people are eligible, according to
a court filing.

The settlement requires autoworkers to start paying monthly
contributions, annual deductibles and co-payments for some
medical services up to a maximum of $370 a year for individuals
and $752 for a family.

Hourly workers will have to contribute part of their future wage
increases to a trust for future health care expenses, but they
won't be required to pay deductibles or monthly contributions.
The agreement also raises the cost of prescription drugs and
institutes a $50 emergency room fee for retirees, according to
the report.


GANNETT CO: ERISA Violations Suit Remains Pending in Colo. Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gannett Co., Inc. continues to face a class action filed in the
U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, alleging
violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
(ERISA).

On December 31, 2003, two employees of the Company's television
station KUSA in Denver filed the suit against the Company and
the Gannett Retirement Plan (Plan) on behalf of themselves and
other similarly situated individuals who participated in the
Plan after January 1, 1998, the date that certain amendments to
the Plan took effect.

The plaintiffs allege, among other things, that the current
pension plan formula adopted in that amendment violated the age
discrimination accrual provisions of the ERISA.  The plaintiffs
seek to have their post-1997 benefits recalculated and seek
other equitable relief.

The suit is styled, "Wells, et al. v. Gannett Retire Plan, et
al., Case No. 1:03-cv-02671-RPM," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Colorado under Judge Richard P.
Matsch.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are, John Hathaway Evans,
Jr. and Robert F. Hill of Hill & Robbins, P.C., 1441 - 18th
Street #100, Denver, CO 80202, U.S.A, Phone: 303-296-8100, Fax:
303-296-2388, E-mail: johnevans@hillandrobbins.com and
roberthill@hillandrobbins.com; and Douglas R. Sprong of Korein
Tillery, LLC, 701 Market Street #300, St. Louis, MO 63101,
U.S.A, Phone: 314-241-4844, Fax: 314-588-7036, E-mail:
dsprong@koreintillery.com.

Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Kerri Atencio, Michael S.
Beaver and Parker Whitfield Dragovich of Holland & Hart, LLP,
Phone: 719-475-6474 and 303-290-1600, Fax: 303-290-1606, E-mail:
kjatencio@hollandhart.com, mbeaver@hollandhart.com and
pdragovich@hollandhart.com; and Margaret A. Clemens of Nixon
Peabody, LLP, Clinton Square, P.O. Box 31051, Rochester, NY
14603, U.S.A, Phone: 585-263-1453, Fax: 585-263-1600, E-mail:
MClemens@nixonpeabody.com.


HOLOCAUST LITIGATION: Plaintiff Challenges Lawyer's $4.1M Fee
-------------------------------------------------------------
The attorney for the nationwide survivors' alliance of Holocaust
survivors requested Brooklyn Federal Judge Edward Korman to hold
a hearing for him to justify the fee he requested for his
services, according to The Jewish Week.

Burt Newborn, a professor at the New York University School of
Law, says his request for nearly $4.1 million of the settlement
money is just enough for his expertise and the time he invested
in the suit.  Mr. Newborn said he worked on the case over the
past seven years.

Mr. Newborn's requested fee is $1 million more than all needy
U.S. survivors have received thus far from the settlement,
according to the report.  The Swiss bank settlement is $1.25
billion.

Sam Dubbin, a Miami lawyer who represents the nationwide
survivors' alliance Holocaust Survivors Foundation.  The
National Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors has
1,200 members.


ILLINOIS: Elgin School Expects $1M Legal Cost in Racial Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
A racial discrimination suit that is waiting certification as
class action against Elgin School District U46 stands to cost
the school $1 million in legal fees alone this year, according
to The Courier News Online.

Chief Financial Officer John Prince believes that before fiscal
2006 ends on June 30, the cost is likely to exceed $1 million.
From July to December, the district spent $427,000 on the suit.

Plaintiffs in a bias lawsuit against Elgin School District U46
filed in January a reply in the legal battle that will decide
whether the case earns federal class-action status, The Eglin
Courier reports (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 30, 2006).

Like other recent court filings, the latest comments to the
court are sealed.  The plaintiffs' attorney, Carol Ashley of
Chicago-based Futterman & Howard, only told The Eglin Courier
News that the reply to a district filing last month details some
of her clients' concerns

The class action alleges that Latino students and those with
limited English skills receive an inferior education in the
Elgin School District U46.  It is largely influenced by last
year's decision to redesign school attendance zones to emphasize
the concept of "neighborhood schools."  About 700 fewer U46
students now use school buses to attend schools, a move that not
only helps the district financially, but also aids parents who
want to become more involved in their children's education, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (December 22, 2005) reports.

Critics argued that in the process of implementing it, a "de
facto segregation" has been created by lumping larger groups of
poor and minority children into schools on Elgin's east side.
More than one-third of the 40,000 students in U46 are Hispanic,
while about 7 percent are black.  District officials have said
that about 6,000 children are non-native English speakers, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (December 22, 2005) reports.

The two families listed as plaintiffs in the case are seeking
class-action status for the lawsuit.  They sought a proposed
class of all U46 Hispanic and black students, totaling about
16,000, as well as a class of Hispanic students who are
considered to have limited English proficiency.  Both sides are
expected to learn in March whether the suit will take on class-
action status.

The suit is styled, "Daniel et al v. Board of Education for
Illinois School District U-46, Case No. 1:05-cv-00760," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois,
under Judge Robert W. Gettleman.  Representing the Plaintiff/s
is Carol Rose Ashley of Futterman & Howard, Chtd., 122 South
Michigan Ave., Suite 1850, Chicago, IL 60603, Phone: (312) 427-
3600, E-mail: cashley@futtermanhoward.com.   Representing the
Defendant/s is Patricia J. Whitten of Franczek Sullivan, P.C.,
300 South Wacker Drive, Suite 3400, Chicago, IL 60606-6785,
Phone: (312) 986-0300, E-mail: pjw@franczek.com.


IOWA PYRO: Ordered to Stop Selling Illegal Fireworks Components
---------------------------------------------------------------
An Iowa-based manufacturer and distributor of chemicals used to
make illegal fireworks agreed to stop operations after pleading
guilty to violating a federal law.  Iowa Pyro Supply Inc., of
Stanwood, Iowa, which is owned by Mark and Geraldine Mead, was
fined $10,000 and given one year of probation.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John A. Jarvey of the Northern District of
Iowa handed down the sentence after Iowa Pyro pled guilty in
December 2005 to one criminal count of introducing into
interstate commerce banned hazardous substances.  The company
sold powdered aluminum, potassium perchlorate, sulfur, M-80 and
M-100 tubes, end caps and pre-cut fuses to a customer in
Illinois.  These chemicals and components are used to make
highly dangerous fireworks, such as M-80s, quarter sticks,
silver salutes, and aerial bombs, which are banned under the
Federal Hazardous Substances Act.

Iowa Pyro and the Meads also entered into a consent agreement
and permanent injunction to cease business operations related to
the sale of fireworks components and to transfer or destroy
remaining components inventory.  U.S Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) investigators are authorized to conduct
unannounced inspections of the company, and compliance with the
settlement agreement shall be documented by the company and
reported to CPSC.

CPSC was actively involved in the investigation of this matter
and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Consumer
Litigation and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern
District of Iowa prosecuted the case.


IPAYMENT INC: Faces Calif. Suit Over Credit, Debit Card Dealings
----------------------------------------------------------------
iPayment, Inc., is a defendant in a purported class action in
Los Angeles County Superior Court, State of California, styled,
"Fogazzo Wood Fired Ovens and Barbecues, LLC v. iPayment, Inc.,
Case No. BC342878."

The lawsuit was filed on November 10, 2005 by Plaintiff Fogazzo
Wood Fired Ovens and Barbecues, LLC ("Fogazzo") on its own
behalf, and as private attorneys general pursuant to California
Business and Professions Code Sections 17204 and 17535, on
behalf of all similarly situated groups as a "class action."
The "class" being defined in the Compliant as all persons,
entities, and organizations in California who used the services
of iPayment, Inc. to process their customers' credit or debit
card transactions and whose funds were withheld in excess of 180
days from the date of the approved transactions.

In the Compliant, Plaintiff asserts claims that the Company in
connection with advertising its services and providing merchant
card services to Plaintiff and other merchants (the "class"),
made certain false representations, took certain actions that
violated Plaintiff's merchant processing contract, and engaged
in certain wrongful conduct that constitutes "unfair, unlawful
and fraudulent business acts and practices," and based upon such
asserted claims, alleges causes of action for breach of
contract, conversion, Common Counts, fraud, negligent
misrepresentation, violation of California Business and
Professions Code 17500, and unfair business practices pursuant
to California Business and Professions Code Sections 17200 et
seq. The Complaint seeks an order certifying the lawsuit as a
class action: for a declaratory judgment; for a preliminary and
permanent injunction to restrain and enjoin the Company from
continuing to engage in such actions; for imposition of a
constructive trust for the benefit of Plaintiffs for money
allegedly wrongfully taken from Plaintiffs; for unspecified
monetary damages, for an accounting, restitution, disgorgement
of profits from the unfair competition activities, punitive
damages; interest; attorney fees; costs of suit; and other
relief as may be proper.

On December 1, 2005 the Court designated the case to be Complex
pursuant to Rule 1800 of the California Rules of Court, and
stayed the case and any responsive pleading required by
iPayment, pending an initial status conference set for January
27, 2006.  At the January 27, 2006 status conference, the
Company informed the Court that it had determined that Fogazzo
(the named plaintiff) was not the named merchant for numbered
merchant account designated in the Complaint.

Accordingly, the Court ordered the Plaintiff to ascertain the
correct party (merchant) and ordered counsel for Plaintiff to
file an amended complaint (with the proper named plaintiff) by
March 10, 2006, and further ordered that the Company need not
file any responsive pleading to the currently filed Complaint,
unless and until it was served with an amended complaint.  As of
this date, we have not been served with an amended complaint.


IPAYMENT INC: Faces Consolidated Lawsuit Over Acquisition Plan
--------------------------------------------------------------
As a direct result of the acquisition proposal announced by
iPayment, Inc.'s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, the
Company was named as a defendant in a consolidated class action
filed in the Chancery Court for Davidson County, 20th Judicial
District, State of Tennessee, and styled, "In re iPayment, Inc.
Shareholders Litigation, Lead Case No. 05-1250-I."

In May and June 2005, immediately following the announcement of
Company Chairman and CEO Gregory S. Daily's acquisition proposal
("the May 13 Proposal"), and before any decision of the Special
Committee was taken, three complaints were filed in the actions
styled:

     (1) Teresita Fay, on behalf of herself and all others
         similarly situated v. Gregory S. Daily, et al., Case
         No. 051250-I, filed in the Chancery Court for the State
         of Tennessee, 20th Judicial District, Nashville County,

     (2) Charter Township of Clinton Police and Fire Retirement
         System, Individually and On Behalf Of All Others
         Similarly Situated v. iPayment Inc., et al., Case No.
         051258-I, pending in the Chancery Court for the State
         of Tennessee, 20th Judicial District, Davidson County,
         and

     (3) Seth Blumenfeld, Individually and On Behalf Of All
         Others Similarly Situated v. iPayment, Inc., et al.,
         Case No. 05-1495-II, filed in the Chancery Court for
         the State of Tennessee, 20th Judicial District,
         Davidson County.

All three complaints were substantially identical, were brought
on behalf of a putative class of the stockholders of iPayment,
and name as defendants all of the directors of iPayment (the
"Individual Defendants"), and iPayment.  The complaints allege
that the May 13 Proposal constituted an inadequate purchase
price and would be the product of an unfair process.  The
complaints further allege that the Individual Defendants,
somehow, breached their fiduciary duties of care, loyalty,
candor and independence in connection with their future
evaluation of the May 13 Proposal and that iPayment aided and
abetted such purported breaches of fiduciary duties.  The
complaints seek various declaratory, injunctive and equitable
relief and an award of plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and costs.
By agreed order entered on August 11, 2005, the three cases were
consolidated under the caption "In re: iPayment, Inc.
Stockholders Litigation, Lead Case No. 05-1250-I, pending in the
Chancery Court for the State of Tennessee, Twentieth Judicial
District, Davidson County (the Consolidated Action).

In addition, pursuant to the agreed order, an executive
committee of plaintiffs' counsel and a plaintiffs' liaison
counsel were appointed.  On or about January 3, 2006, a
consolidated complaint was filed in the Consolidated Action.
The consolidated complaint alleges that the proposed transaction
under the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated December 27, 2005
resulted from an unfair process and the merger consideration of
$43.50, plus the adjustment amount, if any, constitutes an
unfair purchase price, and asserts that the Individual
Defendants breached fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, good
faith, candor and independence in connection with the proposed
merger, purportedly aided and abetted by iPayment.  The
consolidated complaint seeks:

     (1) certification as a class action,

     (2) a declaration that the proposed merger is in breach of
         defendants' fiduciary duties and, thus, unenforceable,

     (3) an injunction against consummation of the merger or, in
         the alternative, rescission of the transaction and
         imposition of a constructive trust,

     (4) a direction that defendants comply with their fiduciary
         duties, and

     (5) an award of plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and costs.

The Company and the individual defendants have not yet responded
to the consolidated complaint, but believe the claims to be
without merit.


LINCOLN ELECTRIC: Faces Manganese Injury Monitoring Litigation
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. is a co-defendant in cases
alleging manganese-induced illness, involving claims by
approximately 8,622 plaintiffs as of September 30,2005, which is
a net decrease of 2,941 from those previously reported at June
30, 2005.

In each instance, the Company is one of a large number of
defendants. The claimants in cases alleging manganese-induced
illness seek compensatory and punitive damages, in most cases
for unspecified sums.  The claimants allege that exposure to
manganese contained in welding consumables caused the plaintiffs
to develop adverse neurological conditions, including a
condition known as manganism.  Many of the cases are single
plaintiff cases but some multi-claimant cases have been filed,
including alleged class actions in various states.

At September 30, 2005, cases involving 5,052 claimants were
filed in or transferred to federal court where the Judicial
Panel on Multi District Litigation has consolidated these cases
for pretrial proceedings in the Northern District of Ohio (the
"MDL Court").

Since January 1, 1995, the Company has been a co-defendant in
similar cases that have been resolved as follows: 5,483 of those
claims were dismissed, 7 were tried to defense verdicts in favor
of the Company, 2 were tried to hung juries, 1 of which resulted
in a plaintiff's verdict upon retrial, and 1 of which resulted
in a defense verdict (subsequently, however, a motion for a new
trial has been granted) and 12 were settled for immaterial
amounts.  The Company has appealed the 1 case tried to a
plaintiff's verdict.  In addition, class action claims in 10
cases transferred to the MDL Court that was originally filed as
purported class actions have been dropped.  However, plaintiffs
have filed new class actions seeking medical monitoring in seven
state courts, five of which have been removed to the MDL Court.
On December 20, 2005, the Fifth District Appellate Court of
Illinois affirmed the judgment in the one case tried to a
plaintiff's verdict.

The suit is styled, "In re: Welding Rod Products Liability
Litigation, Case No. 1:03-CV-17000, MDL Docket No. 1535," filed
in the U.S District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
under Judge Kathleen M. O'Malley.  Representing the Defendant/s
are, Russell T. Abney of Watts Law Firm, 14th Floor, 555 North
Caranchaua, Corpus Christi, TX 78478, Phone: 713-621-7944, Fax:
713-621-9638, E-mail: russ@abney.us; and Roy F. Amedee, Jr. of
Roy F. Amedee Attorny at Law, 425 W. Airline Hwy., Suite B,
LaPlace, LA 70068, Phone: 985-651-6101, Fax: 985-651-6104.
Representing the Defendant/s are, Michael W. Ulmer of Watkins &
Eager, 300 Emporium Bldg., 400 East Capitol Street, Jackson, MS
39201, Phone: 601-965-1948, Fax: 601-354-3623, E-mail:
mulmer@watkinseager.com; and Richard E. Sarver of Barrasso Usdin
Kupperman Freeman Sarver, 1800 LL & E Tower, 909 Poydras Street,
New Orleans, LA 70112, Phone: 504-598-9700, Fax: 504-598-9701,
E-mail: rsarver@barrassousdin.com.

For more details, visit: http://researcharchives.com/t/s?602.


MCKESSON CORPORATION: Court Approves $960M HBO Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte in San Jose, California has
approved a $960 million settlement to a lawsuit filed against
McKesson Corp. in relation to its merger with HBO & Co.,
according to Bloomberg News.

The suit arises out of a merger between McKesson Corp.
(McKesson) and HBO & Company (HBOC) in Atlanta resulting in an
entity called McKesson HBOC, Inc. (McKesson HBOC).  Beginning on
June 29, 1999, 53 purported class actions were commenced in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
(Class Action Reporter, Feb. 13, 2006).

These actions were subsequently consolidated, and the plaintiffs
proceeded to file a series of amended complaints. On February
15, 2002, plaintiffs filed their third amended consolidated
complaint, which alleges that Bear Stearns violated Sections
10(b) and 14(a) of the Exchange Act in connection with allegedly
false and misleading disclosures contained in a joint proxy
statement/prospectus that was issued with respect to the
McKesson/HBOC merger.

Plaintiffs purport to represent a class consisting of all
persons who either acquired publicly traded securities of HBOC
between January 20, 1997 and January 12, 1999, or acquired
publicly traded securities of McKesson or McKesson HBOC between
October 18, 1998 and April 27, 1999, and who held McKesson
securities on November 27, 1998 and January 22, 1999.  Named
defendants include McKesson HBOC, certain present and former
directors and/or officers of McKesson HBOC, McKesson and/or
HBOC, Bear Stearns and Arthur Andersen LLP. Compensatory damages
in an unspecified amount are sought.

On January 12, 2005, McKesson HBOC announced that it had reached
a settlement with the plaintiff class, which settlement must be
approved by the Court.  Bear Stearns's engagement letter with
McKesson in connection with the merger of McKesson and HBOC
provides that McKesson cannot settle any litigation without Bear
Stearns's written consent unless McKesson obtains an
unconditional written release for Bear Stearns and, under
certain circumstances, is required to provide indemnification to
Bear Stearns.

In his order, Judge Ronald M. Whyte denied "without prejudice"
the motion for preliminary approval of the settlement.  The
order expressed the court's objection to two non-monetary
provisions of the settlement.

The previously reported actions pending in California Superior
Court captioned "Utah and Colorado State Retirement Boards v.
McKesson HBOC, Inc. et al. (Case No. 311269)" and "Minnesota
State Board of Investment v. McKesson HBOC, Inc. et al., (Case
No. 311747)" were settled in July 2005.

The remaining actions consolidated in California Superior Court,
"Yurick v. McKesson HBOC, Inc. et al. (Case No. 303857)," "The
State of Oregon by and through the Oregon Public Employees
Retirement Board v. McKesson HBOC, Inc. et al. (Case No.
307619)" and "Merrill Lynch Fundamental Growth Fund et al. v.
McKesson HBOC, Inc. et al. (Case No. CGC-02-405792)," have been
assigned a revised trial date of October 31, 2005. The "Merrill
Lynch" plaintiffs have moved for summary adjudication on their
common law fraud claim, and the hearing on that motion was
continued from July 1, 2005, to September 22, 2005.

Two previously-reported actions that were pending in Georgia
state courts, "Suffolk Partners Limited Partnership et al. v.
McKesson HBOC, Inc. et al. (Georgia State Court, Fulton County,
Case No. 00VS010469A)" and "Curran Partners, L.P. v. McKesson
HBOC, Inc. et al. (Georgia State Court, Fulton County, Case No.
00 VS 010801)," were settled in June 2005.

By order dated September 26, 2005, the Honorable Ronald M. Whyte
granted preliminary approval to the settlement agreement. The
settlement remains subject to final approval by the U.S.
District Court.

As of December 23, 2005, the deadline that the Court imposed for
objecting to final confirmation of the settlement, three
individual class members directed letters to the Court
purporting to object to the settlement.  One of the Company's
co-defendants, Bear Stearns & Co. Inc., also objected to the
settlement.  The Company and Lead Plaintiff responded to these
objections on January 13, 2006.  The Court continued to February
24, 2006, the hearing on the motion of both the Company and Lead
Plaintiff that is seeking final approval of the class action
settlement, which was originally scheduled for January 27, 2006.

The suit is styled, "In Re McKesson HBOC, Inc. Securities
Litigation, Case No. 99-CV-20743," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of California, under Judge
Ronald M. Whyte.  Representing the Company are James E. Lyons,
Jonathan J. Lerner of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Four
Embarcadero Ctr., Ste. 3800, San Francisco, CA 94111, Phone:
(415) 984-6400.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Barrack, Rodos & Bacine (New York), 170 E. 61st Street,
         Second Floor, New York, NY, 10021, Phone: 212.688.0782,
         Fax: 212.688.0783, E-mail: info@barrack.com

     (2) Barrack, Rodos & Bacine (San Diego), 402 West Broadway,
         San Diego, CA, 92101, Phone: 619.230.0800, Fax:
         619.230.1874, E-mail: info@barrack.com

     (3) Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP (New York,
         NY), 1285 Avenue of the Americas, 33rd Floor, New York,
         NY, 10019, Phone: 212.554.1400, Fax: 212.554.1444, E-
         mail: blbg@blbglaw.com

     (4) Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP (San Diego,
         CA), 12544 High Bluff Drive, Suite 150, San Diego, CA,
         92130, Phone: 858.793.0070, Fax: 858.793.0323, E-mail:
         blbg@blbglaw.com


NEXT MARKETING: Recalls Hooded Fleeces Due to Strangulation Risk
----------------------------------------------------------------
Next Marketing Inc., of Wabash, Ind. is cooperating with the
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) by voluntarily
recalling about 22,000 Youth Hooded Fleeces with Drawstrings.

The garments have a drawstring through the hood, posing a
strangulation hazard to children.  In February 1996, CPSC issued
guidelines to help prevent children from strangling or getting
entangled on the neck and waist by drawstrings in upper
garments, such as jackets and sweatshirts.

The recalled youth hooded fleece garments have drawstrings.
They were sold in a variety of colors and many of them have the
names of colleges and universities printed or embroidered on
them.  A sewn-in tag reads, "Lil Fan" or "LF 2."  Picture of the
recalled products:

     (1) http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06097.jpg

Manufactured in China and Pakistan, the recalled products were
sold by web retailers, college bookstores and department stores
nationwide from September 2003 through December 10, 2005 for
about $15.

Remedy: Consumers should remove or cut the drawstrings to
eliminate the hazard, or return the garment to the store where
purchased for help in removing the drawstring.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Next
Marketing Inc. toll-free at (866) 871-9978 between 8 a.m. and 5
p.m. ET Monday through Friday.  Note: CPSC was alerted to this
hazard by the state of Wisconsin.


POLYCOM INC.: Recalls Conference Phone Batteries on Fire Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Polycom Inc., of Pleasanton, California, is voluntarily
recalling:

     (1) 21,000 units of Lithium Ion batteries in SoundStation2W
         wireless conference phone in the U.S., and

     (2) about 27,700 units of the product worldwide.

Consumers are advised to stop using recalled products
immediately.  The company said the batteries can overheat, which
could pose a fire or burn hazard.  It has received two reports
of batteries overheating and causing minor damage to the tables
on which the units sat.  No injuries have been reported.

The recalled batteries were sold with the SoundStation2W
wireless conference phones, and separately as replacement
batteries. The SoundStation2W Part Number is printed on the
underside of the telephone.  The SoundStation2W Part Numbers and
SKU numbers are:

Part Number  SKU number
2201-07800-001  2200-07800-001
2201-07880-001  2200-07880-001

SoundStation2W recalled battery Part Numbers, SKU numbers and
date codes are:

Part Number  SKU number     Date Code
1520-07803-001 2200-07803-001 1205 or earlier (December 2005)
1520-07804-001 2200-07804-001 1205 or earlier (December 2005)

The batteries have a black or white plastic coating and a white
label with the title: "RECHARGEABLE Li-ion BATTERY."  The
recalled battery Part Numbers can be found on the bottom right
hand corner of the white label on the battery pack.  The date
code can be found to the left of the Part Number.  Recalled
batteries have the date code of 1205 (December 2005) or earlier
printed on the white label of the batter pack.

The China-made batteries were sold by Polycom business to
business resellers who sell through catalogs, online, telesales,
through office supply stores or on the Polycom Web store from
August 2004 through January 2006 for between $700 and -$900.
Replacement batteries were sold for between $50 and $90.

Customers are advised to remove the battery pack from
SoundStation2W units immediately.  Once the batteries are
removed, customers can still use their conference phone by
keeping the charger plugged into the unit.  Customers should not
attempt to use other batteries in the unit.  Consumers should
contact Polycom Inc. for information on receiving a free
replacement battery.

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06092a.jpg
Pictures of Recalled Conference:
SoundStation2W Conference Phone
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06092b.jpg
12 hour talk time Battery Pack

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06092c.jpg
24 hour talk time Battery Pack

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06092d.jpg
Battery Pack Date Code Example: 0704 (July 2004)
Battery Pack Part Number Example: 1520-07804-001

For more information, visit: http://www.polycom.com/2WBattery;
Polycom Inc. contact: Phone: (800) 917-5738 between 8 a.m. and 9
p.m. ET Monday through Friday.  Consumers can also contact local
Polycom office or write to: Polycom Inc, 1565 Barber Lane,
Milpitas, CA 95035 ATTN: SoundStation2W Battery Return Program.


QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Lawyers Want Some 25% of $400M Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
A New York pension fund asked a Denver federal court to lower
the amount that attorneys in the securities suit against Qwest
Communications International, Inc. are requesting, according to
the Rocky Mountain News.

Lawyers, which include Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman &
Robbins in San Diego and Dyer & Shuman in Denver, are asking for
$98.2 million in fees and expenses in the suit that was settled
for $400 million in November.  Lawyers said the amount -- $96
million in fees and $2.2 million in expenses -- is reasonable
for the time and complexity of the case which ran for four-and-
a-half years.

In November, Qwest Communications reached a settlement for the
consolidated securities class action filed against it in the
U.S. District Court of Colorado, alleging violations of federal
securities laws (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 4, 2005).

Since July 27, 2001, 13 putative class action complaints have
been filed against the Company.  One of those cases has been
dismissed. By court order, the remaining actions have been
consolidated into a consolidated securities action.

On August 21, 2002, plaintiffs in the consolidated securities
action filed their Fourth Consolidated Amended Class Action
Complaint, or the Fourth Consolidated Complaint, which
defendants moved to dismiss.  On January 13, 2004, the court
granted the defendants' motions to dismiss in part and denied
them in part.  In that order, the court allowed plaintiffs to
file a proposed amended complaint seeking to remedy the pleading
defects addressed in the court's dismissal order.

On February 6, 2004, plaintiffs filed a Fifth Consolidated
Amended Class Action Complaint, or the Fifth Consolidated
Complaint.  The Fifth Consolidated Complaint is purportedly
brought on behalf of purchasers of publicly traded securities of
the Company between May 24, 1999 and July 28, 2002, and names as
defendants the Company and:

     (1) former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph P.
         Nacchio,

     (2) former Chief Financial Officers, Robin R. Szeliga and
         Robert S. Woodruff,

     (3) other of Qwest's former officers and current directors
         and

     (4) Arthur Andersen LLP

The suit is styled "In re Qwest Communications International
Inc. Securities Litigation, case no. 1:01-cv-01451-REB-CBS,"
filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
under Judge Robert E. Blackburn.  Representing the plaintiffs
are:

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

     (2) Leo W. Desmond, 2161 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, Suite
         204, West Palm Beach, FL, 33409, Phone: 561.712.8000,
         E-mail: stocklaw@bellsouth.net

     (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


PROVO CRAFT: CPSC Recalls Metal Charms for Lead Poisoning Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Provo Craft & Novelty Inc., of Spanish Fork, Utah, is
voluntarily recalling 29,000 units of Art Accentz(TM)
Changlz(TM) Metal Charms.  Consumers are advised to stop using
recalled products immediately.

The company said the recalled charms contain high levels of
lead, posing a serious risk of lead poisoning and adverse health
effects to young children.  No incidents or injuries have been
reported with the recalled charms.

The charms are small silver-colored metal shapes that include
flowers, bugs, pumpkins, and picture frames.  "Art Accentz,"
"Changlz," "Provo Craft," and "For ages 3 and over" are printed
on the charm's packaging.  The charms were sold as decorations
for craft projects such as scrapbooks, home d‚cor and jewelry
making.

The China-made metal charms were sold in small craft and
scrapbook retails outlets from April 2004 through July 2005, and
at Pamida Stores from January 2005 through April 2005, for about
$3.

Consumers are advised to immediately take the charms away from
children and ensure any charms being used are not accessible to
children.  Provo Craft is offering a full refund.

Provo Craft contact information: Phone: (800) 955-9490.


TEXTRON INC: Continues to Face ERISA Complaint in R.I. Court
------------------------------------------------------------
Textron, Inc., continues to defend itself against certain claims
in a consolidated amended class action that was filed in Rhode
Island federal court and is alleging breach of certain fiduciary
duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
(ERISA).

Two identical lawsuits, purporting to be class actions on behalf
of Textron benefit plans and participants and beneficiaries of
those plans during 2000 and 2001, were filed in 2002 in the U.S.
District Court in Rhode Island against Textron, the Textron
Savings Plan and the Plan's trustee.  A consolidated amended
complaint alleges breach of certain fiduciary duties under
(ERISA), based on the amount of Plan assets invested in Textron
stock during 2000 and 2001.

The complaint seeks equitable relief and compensatory damages on
behalf of various Textron benefit plans and the participants and
beneficiaries of those plans during 2000 and 2001 to compensate
for alleged losses relating to Textron stock held as an asset of
those plans.  Textron's Motion to Dismiss the consolidated
amended complaint was granted on June 24, 2003.

On May 7, 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
affirmed dismissal of all claims against the Plan's trustee and
against the Plan itself, and also affirmed dismissal of certain
other claims against Textron.  However, the Court of Appeals
ruled that plaintiffs should be permitted to attempt to develop
their breach of fiduciary duty claims, and remanded those claims
to the District Court.

The suit is styled "Lalonde v. Textron, Inc., et al., Case No.
1:02-cv-00334-S-LDA," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Rhode Island under Judge William E. Smith with
referral to Judge Lincoln D. Almond.  Representing the
Plaintiff/s are, G. Douglas Jones of Whatley Drake, LLC, 2323
2nd Avenue, North Birmingham, AL 35203, US, Phone: 205-328-9576,
Fax: 328-9669; and David J. Strachman of McIntyre, Tate, Lynch &
Holt Counsellors at Law, 321 South Main Street, Suite 400,
Providence, RI 02903, Phone: 351-7700, Fax: 331-6095, E-mail:
djs@mtlhlaw.com.  Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Paul V.
Curcio and Kristen W. Sherman of Adler Pollock & Sheehan, P.C.,
One Citizens Plaza, 8th Floor, Providence, RI 02903, 274-7200,
Phone: 351-4607, Fax: 351-4607, E-mail: pcurcio@apslaw.com; and
Mitchell A. Karlan and William J. Kilberg of Gibson, Dunn &
Crutcher, LLP, 200 Park Ave., 47 Floor, New York, NY 10166-0193,
Phone: 212-351-4000 and 202-955-8573, Fax: 351-4035 and
530-9559.


TEXTRON INC: R.I. Court Gives Preliminary Approval to Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island gave
preliminary approval to the settlement of a consolidated amended
class action filed against Textron, Inc., certain of its present
and former officers and Bell Helicopter.

In 2002, two identical lawsuits purporting to be class actions
were filed in the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island by Textron
shareholders suing on their own behalf and on behalf of a
purported class of Textron shareholders.  A consolidated amended
complaint later alleged that the defendants failed to make
certain accounting adjustments in response to alleged problems
with Bell Helicopter's V-22 and H-1 programs and that the
Company failed to timely write down certain assets of its
OmniQuip unit.  The complaint sought unspecified compensatory
damages.

On June 15, 2004, the District Court ruled that the plaintiffs
could not maintain the claims that were based on allegations
relating to the H-1 program or to OmniQuip, and also ruled that
all claims against one of the individual defendants should be
dismissed. The District Court certified the class of
shareholders on May 11, 2005.

All claims in the litigation were subsequently settled for a
cash amount to be paid by Textron's insurer.  The settlement was
preliminarily approved by the District Court on January 31,
2006.

The suit is styled, "Rosen, et al. v. Textron, Inc., et al.,
Case No. 1:02-cv-00190-S," filed in the U.S. District Court for
the District of Rhode Island under Judge William E. Smith.
Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Michael I. Behn of Behn &
Wyetzner, Chartered, 55 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 950, Chicago, IL
60601, Phone: 312-629-0000, Fax: 312-327-0266; and William M.
Kolb of Law Offices of William M. Kolb, LLC, 1 Ship Street,
Providence, RI 02903, Phone: 490-8297, Fax: 490-8299.
Representing the Defendant/s are, Mitchell A. Karlan and Anthony
J. Mahajan of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, 200 Park Ave., 47
Floor, New York, NY 10166-0193, Phone: 212 351-4000, Fax: 351-
4035; and John A. Tarantino of Adler Pollock & Sheehan, P.C.,
One Citizens Plaza, 8th Floor, Providence, RI 02903, Phone:
274-7200, Fax: 351-4607.


WACHOVIA CORPORATION: N.C. Court Dismisses Suit V. First Union
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of North
Carolina dismissed a shareholder lawsuit against Wachovia Corp.
in January, The Charlotte Observer reports citing the firm's
annual 10-K filing.

The class action was filed in 1999 against Wachovia's
predecessor First Union Corp.  The suit alleged the defendant
violated federal securities law in relation to the 1998
acquisitions of CoreStates Financial Corp. and The Money Store
Inc.

It also emerged from the filing that Wachovia reached an
undisclosed settlement in February with Bluebird Partners LP
over a dispute concerning the handling of collateral in
Continental Airlines' 1990 bankruptcy filing by a Wachovia
predecessor.

Wachovia has filed an appeal on a $32.9 million judgment by the
N.Y. Supreme Court in 2005.


WELLS FARGO: Larkin Motions to Remove Judge Weber from Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Madison County Circuit Judge Don Weber has submitted an
affidavit in opposition to a motion to remove him from a
proposed Henderson vs. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage class action,
according to Madison St. Clair Record.

In the affidavit, Judge Weber said he had already forgotten the
case Lakin attorney Gary Peel stated in his motion filed on Jan.
5.  Mr. Peel said the firm sued Judge Weber on behalf of Linday
Condray 14 years ago.

In Illinois, any party to a case can substitute a judge once
without cause if the judge has not made a substantial ruling.  A
second substitution requires proof of bias.  The Lakin firm had
already exercised its free substitution in the Henderson case.

As of Feb. 24, the motion was not yet reassigned by Chief Judge
Edward Ferguson because the judge to whom it was referred to,
Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron, has already been removed with a
substitution motion by Wells Fargo.


WILSONART INTERNATIONAL: Sole Defendant in NY Antitrust Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Wilsonart International, Inc. is the remaining defendant in the
consolidated class action filed in the U.S. District Court in
White Plains, New York on behalf of purchasers of high-pressure
laminate.  The complaint alleges that the Company participated
in a conspiracy with competitors to fix, raise, maintain or
stabilize prices for high-pressure laminate between 1994 and
2000 and seeks injunctive relief and treble damages.

Indirect purchasers of high-pressure laminate filed similar
purported class action cases under various state antitrust and
consumer protection statutes in 13 states and the District of
Columbia, all of which cases have been stayed pending the
outcome of the consolidated class action.

These lawsuits were brought following the commencement of a
federal grand jury investigation into price-fixing in the high-
pressure laminate industry, which investigation was subsequently
closed by the Department of Justice with no further proceedings
and with all documents being returned to the parties.
Plaintiffs are seeking damages in the range of $439,000,000 to
$475,000,000 before trebling.

Without admitting liability, two of the Company's co-defendants,
International Paper Company and Panolam International, Inc.,
have settled the federal consolidated class action case for
$31,000,000 and $9,500,000, respectively.  The plaintiffs'
claims against Formica Corporation, the remaining co-defendant
in the case, were dismissed with prejudice as a result of its
bankruptcy proceedings on September 27, 2004.  As a result, the
Company is the sole remaining defendant in the consolidated
class action.

The suit is styled, "In Re: High Pressure Lam., et al. v., et
al., Case No. 7:00-md-01368-CLB-MDF," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York under Judge Charles
L. Brieant with referral to Judge Mark D. Fox.  Representing the
Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Steven A. Asher of Barrack, Rodos & Bacine, 18 East
         50th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022, Phone:
         (212) 421-7633

     (2) W. Joseph Bruckner of Lockridge, Grindal, Nauen &
         Holstein, P.L.L.P., 2200 Washington Square, 100
         Washington Avenue, South Minneapolis, MN 55401, Phone:
         (612) 339-6900

     (3) William Caldes of Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, 1818
         Market Street, Suite 2500, Philadelphia, PA 19103,
         Phone: (215) 496-0300

Representing the Defendant/s are, Daniel R. Murdock of Winston &
Strawn, LLP, 35 West Wacker Drive, 42nd Floor, Chicago, IL
60601, Phone: (516) 558-5600, E-mail: dmurdock@winston.com; and
Matthew R. Rechner of McDonald Hopkins, 2100 Bank One Center,
600 Superior Avenue, E. Cleveland, OH 44114, Phone:
(216) 348-5400.



                         Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Con Edison Noted $25M Related Costs in `05
---------------------------------------------------------------
Consolidated Edison Inc. reserved US$25 million for asbestos-
related costs at December 31, 2005, according to the Company's
10-K report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Company and its subsidiaries co-defended against suits
brought in New York state and federal courts, in which
plaintiffs sought large amounts of compensatory and punitive
damages for deaths and injuries allegedly caused by exposure to
asbestos at various premises of Con Edison of New York and
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.

The suits were resolved without payment, or for amounts that
were immaterial. The amounts specified in all the remaining
thousands of suits total billions of dollars.

In 2004, subsidiary Con Edison of New York estimated that its
aggregate undiscounted potential liability for these suits and
additional suits that may be brought over the next 15 years is
US$25 million.

Certain current and former employees have claimed or are
claiming workers' compensation benefits based on alleged
disability from asbestos exposure. Under its current rate
agreements, Con Edison of New York is permitted to defer as
regulatory assets liabilities incurred for its asbestos lawsuits
and workers' compensation claims.

New York, NY-based Consolidated Edison Inc. operates as a
utility holding Company. Consolidated Edison Company of New York
distributes electricity to more than 3 million residential and
business customers in New York City; it also delivers natural
gas to over 1 million customers. The Company's non-utility
operations include energy marketing, fiber-optic
telecommunications, and independent power production.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Coca-Cola Spends US$3.3Mil for Remediation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. spent about US$3.3 million in 2005
for the remediation of asbestos-containing materials and other
wastes of underground fuel storage tanks at its bottlers in
North America, according to a SEC report.

The Company estimates to spend about US$3.3 million in 2006 and
US$3.5 million in 2007.

The Company has adopted a plan for the testing, repair, and
removal in its North America bottlers. The plan extends to the
upgrade of wastewater handling facilities and any necessary
remediation of asbestos-containing materials found in its
facilities.


COMPANY PROFILE

Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.
2500 Windy Ridge Pkwy.
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: 770-989-3000
Fax: 770-989-3788
http://www.cokecce.com

Description:
Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. bottles and distributes the Coca-Cola
Co. products. The Company accounts for 21% of worldwide sales of
Coca-Cola's beverages. The Coca-Cola Co. owns 36% of Coca-Cola
Enterprises.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sempra, SDG&E Continue to Face Removal Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sempra Energy and subsidiary, San Diego Gas & Electric Co.,
continue to defend against an environmental lawsuit relating to
activities in a natural gas storage facility in 2001, according
to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

Filed in 2001 by the San Diego County, the suit alleges
violations of environmental standards applicable to the
abatement, handling, and disposal of asbestos-containing
materials during the demolition of a natural gas storage
facility in Lemon Grove, California.

In a federal criminal indictment, SDG&E and two employees,
environmental supervisor Jacquelyn McHugh and environmental
specialist David Williamson, have also been charged with having
violated these standards and with conspiracy and making false
statements to government authorities related to these matters.

In January 2005, Sempra Energy and SDG&E received a grand jury
subpoena from the US Attorney's Office in San Diego seeking
documents related to this matter and are fully cooperating with
the investigation. (Class Action Reporter, March 4, 2005)

The Company and SDG&E believe that the maximum fines and
penalties that could reasonably be assessed against them would
not exceed US$750,000.

San Diego, CA-based Sempra Energy distributes natural gas to
some 6.2 million customers and electricity to 1.3 million
customers through its Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) and San
Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) utilities.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Enbridge Reserves US$8.8Mil for Remediation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Enbridge Energy Partners LP, recorded US$4 million in current
liabilities and US$4.8 million in long-term liabilities for
remediation of asbestos-containing materials, management of
hazardous waste material disposal, and outstanding air quality
measures for certain of its liquids and natural gas assets, as
of December 31, 2005, according to a SEC report.

As of December 31, 2004, the Company had recorded US$3.6 million
in current liabilities and US$5.3 million in long-term
liabilities.


COMPANY PROFILE

Enbridge Energy Partners LP
1100 Louisiana St., Ste. 3300
Houston, TX 77002-5217
Phone: 713-821-2000
Fax: 713-821-2232
http://www.enbridgepartners.com

Description:
Enbridge Energy Partners LP, formerly Lakehead Pipe Line
Partners, deals with the transporting of petroleum and owns the
1,900-mile US portion of the world's longest liquid petroleum
pipeline. Enbridge Energy Management owns an 18% stake in the
company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hanson Plc Notes 131,350 Claimants at 2005
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hanson Plc's outstanding claimants for asbestos-related claims
at the end of 2005 totaled 131,350 compared to 135,750 claimants
at the end of 2004, according to a SEC report.

Several of the Company's US subsidiaries are defendants in a
number of lawsuits alleging bodily injury due to exposure to
asbestos-containing products before 1984.

Of the 14,750 claimants whose cases were resolved during 2005,
over 90% were dismissed without payment. The Company received
10,350 new claimants for asbestos-related claims in 2005
compared with 18,700 claimants received in 2004.

The gross cost of resolving asbestos claims in 2005 was US$43.2
million (US$59.3 million in 2004) including legal fees of
US$26.3 million (US$27.4 million in 2004). The net cost of
asbestos for the year after insurance was US$31.7 million
(US$12.8 million in 2004).

At present, the provision for those costs, which are both
probable and reliably estimable, equates to about eight years of
gross cost assuming annual gross costs of US$60.0 million. The
full year increase in the provision for future asbestos costs
was US$60.0 million (US$222.5 million in 2004), taking the gross
provision to US$496.8 million (US$480.0 million in 2004) before
the impact of discounting, which has reduced the provision to
US$398.6 million (US$401.2 million in 2004), or GBP232.2 million
(GBP209.0 million in 2004).

Offsetting this is about US$14.6 million (US$26.1 million in
2004) of remaining insurance cover at December 31, 2005.

The settlement the Company reached with its insurers in February
2006 will result in an additional insurance asset of about US$60
million being recognized on January 1, 2006.

London, UK-based Hanson Plc produces aggregates, ready-mixed
concrete, bricks, and concrete pipe and building products. Other
operations include quarries, marine dredging, and recycling.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: TRW Confronts Claims Against Subsidiaries
--------------------------------------------------------------
Certain of the subsidiaries of TRW Automotive Holdings
Corporation have been subject in recent years to claims, which
seek damages for illnesses alleged to have resulted from
exposure to asbestos used in certain components sold by the
Company's subsidiaries, according to a SEC report.

The Company believes that most of the claimants were assembly
workers at major U.S. automobile manufacturers. The claims name
as defendants numerous manufacturers and suppliers of products
allegedly containing asbestos.

Many of these cases have been dismissed without any payment.

Neither settlement costs in connection with asbestos claims nor
annual legal fees to defend these claims have been material in
the past. These claims are strongly disputed by the Company and
it has been its policy to defend against them aggressively.

There is significant insurance coverage with solvent carriers
with respect to these claims.

Livonia, MI-based TRW Automotive Holdings makes components for
automakers such as Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen, and
General Motors. Products include chassis systems and safety
systems such as airbags, security electronics, and seat belts.
Other products include fasteners, body controls, and engine
valves.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ENSCO Int'l. Faces 3 Multiparty Suits in MS
----------------------------------------------------------------
ENSCO International Inc. and certain subsidiaries continue to
defend against three multi-party asbestos-related lawsuits filed
in Mississippi involving numerous other companies as co-
defendants, according to a SEC report.

The suits, which were filed in August 2004, seek an unspecified
amount of monetary damages on behalf of individuals alleging
personal injury or death, including claims under the Jones Act,
purportedly resulting from exposure to asbestos on drilling rigs
and associated facilities during the period 1965 through 1986.

The Company has not been able to determine the number of
plaintiffs with claims that may have been employed by the
Company or its subsidiaries or otherwise associated with its
drilling operations during the relevant period. The Company has
filed responsive pleadings preserving all defenses and
challenges to jurisdiction or venue, and intends to vigorously
defend against the litigation.

While the Company does not expect the resolution of these
lawsuits to have a material adverse effect on its financial
position, results of operations or cash flows, there can be no
assurance as to the ultimate outcome of these lawsuits.

The lawsuits are in their preliminary stages.

Dallas, TX-based ENSCO International Inc. is an offshore
drilling contractor. The Company conducts most of its domestic
drilling business in the Gulf of Mexico, but also operates in
the North Sea, offshore West Africa, Indonesia, Trinidad, and in
the Asia/Pacific region.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: McDermott Unit Exits Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
---------------------------------------------------------------
McDermott International Inc., in a press release, announced that
the Babcock & Wilcox Company and certain of its subsidiaries
have now exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy and entered into its
previously announced settlement.

In the settlement approved on January 17, the Company will
settle as many as 300,000 asbestos injury claims ranging US$375
million to US$955 million in costs. (Class Action Reporter,
January 20, 2006)

McDermott also stated that B&W has finalized and implemented its
exit-financing package, and has funded its initial payment to
the asbestos-claimants' trust. B&W paid US$350 million and
assigned rights to about US$1.15 billion face-amount of
insurance to the claimants' trust.

Depending on the status of national asbestos legislation at
November 30, 2006, either an additional US$25 million or US$605
million in consideration will be made available to the trust in
the time periods required.

B&W's exit-financing package consists of three tranches for a
combined total of US$650 million of credit capacity; providing
ample liquidity for letter-of-credit requirements, working
capital needs and the possibility of refinancing the US$250
million contingent note which was issued to the claimants'
trust.

"This is a transformational event for McDermott and B&W, as well
as for our shareholders, employees, customers and suppliers,"
said Bruce W. Wilkinson, McDermott Board Chairman and CEO.

"Six years to the day since its original filing, B&W emerges at
the commencement of an exciting time in the power generation
industry. Electricity demand in the U.S. is growing,
environmental requirements for our customers require new
technologies, coal remains an abundant and cost-effective
domestic fuel source and new power plants are being planned.

"For more than 138 years, B&W has supplied innovative solutions
to the power generation industry to meet the world's energy
needs. We are now looking forward to our future, with the
asbestos portion of B&W's history now behind it."

B&W's financial results will be re-consolidated with McDermott's
and its operations managed without Bankruptcy Court supervision.

Houston, TX-based McDermott International Inc., through its
subsidiaries, builds deepwater and subsea oil and gas production
facilities, makes electric power generation systems and
equipment, provides nuclear reactor components to the US Navy,
and provides research and development services.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OR Appeals Court Reinstates Weihl Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Oregon Court of Appeals reinstated an asbestos claim, which
was formerly dismissed by a trial court due to the plaintiff's
alleged failure to comply with an order that regulated the
pleading of product information in asbestos cases.

On February 15, 2006, presiding Judge Rex Armstrong, together
with Chief Judge David B. Brewer and Judge Jack L. Landau,
decided on Case No. 0211-11911; A122068.

William R. Weihl appealed from the Multnomah County Circuit
Court's dismissal of his damages claim for his mesothelioma that
allegedly developed as a result of asbestos exposure in his
employment as a school district maintenance employee.

On November 22, 2002, Mr. Weihl alleged in the multi-defendant
lawsuit that defendants had installed asbestos-containing
products during construction projects on Portland public
schools. He sought damages on theories of strict liability,
negligence, and civil conspiracy.

Each defendant alleged that Mr. Weihl had failed to identify any
asbestos product to which he was exposed and which defendant was
responsible.

On February 18, 2003, Congoleum Corporation, a defendant, filed
a motion for summary judgment. The remaining defendants
subsequently joined in the motion.

Mr. Weihl died after the Circuit Court's judgment and the filing
of the appeal. Florence Elaine Weihl, his wife, took over as
representative of his estate.

Meagan A. Flynn represented the Weihls. With her on the opening
and reply briefs was Preston Bunnell & Stone, LLP.



ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Locals Dismayed at Insurers' Rejection
--------------------------------------------------------------
Frizington town residents, who found potentially lethal asbestos
in their homes, may have to abandon their compensation fight
because insurers would not pay for their legal costs, Whitehaven
News reports.

Families from 22 privately owned homes in Moor Place, where the
asbestos scare was sparked three months ago, wanted compensation
money to help pay for work to clean up their homes and for the
stress they have suffered.

They had enlisted the help of personal injury lawyer Roger
Wilson, of Whitehaven-based Bleasdale & Co., to pursue their
case.

Residents' spokesman James Hall told the residents that they can
no longer continue with legal action after being told that their
home insurance companies, who they believed would cover them
under a property disputes clause, will not cover the costs.

Work is ongoing to remove asbestos in Home Housing-owned
properties on the estate.

The residents are going back to see Copeland MP Jamie Reed,
whose help they sought when the asbestos was first discovered in
Moor Place back in November.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens Corning Links 2005 Losses to Asbestos
----------------------------------------------------------------
Owens Corning states that net income for the year ended December
31, 2005 suffered a loss of US$4.099 billion, or (US$74.08) a
share, compared to an income of US$204 million, or US$3.40 a
share, for 2004, according to a SEC report. The 2005 decrease
reflects the non-cash provision for asbestos litigation claims,
the accrual of post-petition interest and fees on the Pre-
Petition Credit Facility and other items.

The Company had increases in its asbestos liability estimate and
an unexpected interest payment from a court ruling in its
Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

Since the filing, Owens Corning has reached settlements with
more than 10 excess level insurance carriers with respect to
non-products insurance coverage applicable to asbestos personal
injury claims.

During the 2005-4th quarter, Owens Corning reached settlements
providing for about US$80 million of deferred payments. The
settlements provide that such payments, when paid, will be made
into escrow accounts, to be disbursed in accord with an approved
plan of reorganization.

During 2004 and 2001, Owens Corning reached such settlements
providing for payments of about US$21 million and US$55 million,
respectively. These settlement payments were paid into escrow
accounts to be released in conjunction with implementation of an
approved plan of reorganization.

During 2005, Owens Corning received payments of about US$10
million in respect of previous settlements with insolvent
insurance carriers concerning coverage for asbestos-related
personal injury claims.

Toledo, OH-based Owens Corning makes fiberglass and composite
materials. Accounting for 80% of sales, its building materials
unit makes thermal, acoustic, and foam insulation, roofing
shingles, vinyl windows and siding, stone veneer building
products, housewrap, patio doors, and rain gutters. Its
composite materials unit makes glass fiber materials for the
auto, construction, marine, and industrial customers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allstate Corp. Reserves US$1.37B for Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Allstate Corporation, at December 31, 2005, allocated
reserves for asbestos claims at US$1.37 billion net of
reinsurance recoverables of US$831 million, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

At December 31, 2004, the Company had reserves for asbestos
claims at US$1.46 billion net of reinsurance recoverables of
US$963 million.

Reserves for environmental claims were US$205 million and US$232
million, net of reinsurance recoverables of US$47 million and
US$49 million at December 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively.

About 68% and 62% of the total net asbestos and environmental
reserves at December 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively, were for
incurred but not reported estimated losses.

Based in Northbrook, Illinois, the Allstate Corporation sells
auto, homeowners, and other property & casualty and life
insurance products in Canada and the US.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bondex, GP to Bare Evidence v. Laundry Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bondex International Inc. and Georgia-Pacific Corporation are
set to present new evidence in an asbestos suit, linked to
"laundry" exposure, filed by an 84-year-old Illinois woman, The
Madison St. Clair Record reports.

Anita O'Connell claimed Bondex and Georgia-Pacific were
negligent for injuries she received from asbestos fibers that
became airborne while she shook out husband George O' Connell's
work clothes before washing them between 1966 and 1970. (Class
Action Reporter, February 17, 2006)

Michael O'Connell, Anita's son, testified that joint compound
produced by Georgia Pacific and Bondex was often seen by him in
his father's shop and was responsible for causing his mother's
illness.

The elder O'Connell owned Bel-Aire plastering in Burbank,
Illinois, an important aspect in the case because plasterers do
not use joint compound, only drywallers.

Internal and pulmonary medicine expert Dr. Gerald Kerby is
expected to testify that short fiber chrysotile does not cause
mesothelioma and that no joint compound could have caused the
illness.

Jeff Hebrank and Mark Phillips, the defendants' attorneys, are
also expected to call industrial hygienist Dr. James Rock, who
is expected to testify that even if Mrs. O'Connell was exposed
to asbestos in joint compound there was not enough to cause her
illness.

Human memory expert Charles Weaver III, Ph.D. will testify about
metamemory and metacognition, the relationship between what
individuals know and what they believe they know. He will state
that it is unlikely that Michael O'Connell can remember the
brand name of a product his father used 40 years ago.

The case is expected to go to the jury later in the week.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: $140B Asbestos Fund Authors Move for Revote
----------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Senate aides said that co-authors of the bill to create a
US$140 billion asbestos victims' compensation fund are trying to
gather 60 senators' signatures in a letter for a revote on the
bill, Reuters reports.

Senators Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Patrick
Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, began passing the letter after Senate
Majority Leader Bill Frist demanded pledges of support from at
least 60 members, enough to overcome procedural hurdles, before
bringing the legislation back to the Senate floor.

The letter asks Sen. Frist, a Tennessee Republican, to schedule
a revote on the budget point of order. He said that he wants
assurances that 60 senators would vote to end any obstructions,
as well as defeat the budget point of order, before bringing the
bill back to the Senate floor.

"Because this may be our last best chance to enact meaningful
asbestos reform, we are hopeful that you share in our sense of
urgency to resolve this important unfinished business of the
Senate," the letter stated.

The bill would stop injury claims filed by people sickened from
exposure to the fibrous mineral. It would pay the claims instead
from a US$140 billion fund backed by defendant companies and
their insurers.

The bill also has critics that fear the fund will not have
enough money or that it will require too much money from
companies paying into the fund.

The asbestos bill was shelved earlier this month after it
failed, 58 to 41, to get the 60 votes needed to clear a budget
point of order raised on the Senate floor by a member concerned
the proposed fund might end up costing taxpayers money.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB to Settle Claims for US$1.43B by April
---------------------------------------------------------------
ABB Ltd. could likely settle U.S. subsidiary Combustion
Engineering's 100,000 asbestos-related claims for US$1.43
billion starting early spring.

US District Judge Joseph E. Irenas approved the reorganization
of Combustion Engineering. The ruling becomes final if there are
no appeals made during a 30-day period.

After the expected signing of the asbestos settlement, which
will shield the Company from all future claims, ABB will
transfer its proposed payout sum to a trust in the U.S. to pay
out current and future plaintiffs.

ABB was one of the first companies to try to solve its asbestos
litigation with a pre-packaged settlement in 2002 asking
plaintiffs to agree to a specific payout before taking the cases
to court.

While most plaintiffs accepted the Company's terms, many lawyers
opposed the deal and in late 2004 rejected the Company's initial
settlement plan, which proposed a sum of US$1.2 billion.

ABB is one of only a few companies to finally settle asbestos
litigation that has brought more than 70 companies to
bankruptcy.

According to the American Trial Lawyers Association, asbestos
was first medically linked to lung cancer as early as 1934
though it was widely used in insulation and fireproofing until
the 1970s.

ABB posted its first full-year net profit in five years, US$735
million, after total net losses of more than US$2 billion during
the past four years. The Company has also cut its net debt to
US$500 million from US$10 billion in 2002, and generated cash
flow of more than US$1 billion in 2005.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Hopes for Payout After Profit Surge
---------------------------------------------------------------
Building materials manufacturer James Hardie Industries NV is
positive its compensation deal for asbestos victims will still
push through, after reporting a surge in third quarter profits,
The Age reports.

The Company reported that its net profit for the first nine
months of 2005/2006 jumped 79% to US$144.2 million (AUD195.5
million) as its fiber cement home cladding products in the U.S.
continued to be popular. Its net profit more than doubled to
US$40.7 million.

Earnings before interest and tax in the U.S. business grew by
52% to US$79.7 million in the third quarter. However, Asia
Pacific fell by 22% to US$8 million, dragged down by the
Australian business, which was impacted by work stoppages at its
pipes plant in Meeandah, Brisbane over a new enterprise
bargaining agreement.

The Company continues talks with the Australian Taxation Office
over the compensation deal it signed with asbestos victims,
unions and the New South Wales Government last December 2005.

The deal hit a snag when the ATO ruled out tax deductibility for
the payouts the Company plans to make over the next four
decades. The Company also wants a tax exemption for the special
purpose fund that will handle the claims.

Hardie CEO Louis Gries said the Company was hopeful it would
succeed and be able to put its compensation deal to its
shareholders for approval.

James Hardie's asbestos victims are currently being paid out of
a fund that has enough money to last until the end of 2006.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Goodrich Bears Claims as Unit's "Successor"
----------------------------------------------------------------
Goodrich Corporation states that it defends against a number of
asbestos-related claims as "successor" to certain subsidiaries,
according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

The Company and a number of its subsidiaries have been named by
plaintiffs alleging injury or death as a result of exposure to
asbestos fibers in products, or which may have been present in
its facilities.

A number of these cases involve maritime claims, which have been
and are expected to continue to be administratively dismissed by
the court. These actions primarily relate to previously owned
businesses.

In May 2002, the Company completed the tax-free spin-off of its
Engineered Products segment, which at that time included EnPro
Industries, Inc. and Coltec.

Two Coltec subsidiaries were defendants in a significant number
of personal injury claims relating to alleged asbestos-
containing products sold by those subsidiaries.

It is possible that asbestos claims might be asserted against
the Company on the theory that it has some responsibility for
the asbestos-related liabilities of EnPro, Coltec or its
subsidiaries, even though the activities that led to those
claims occurred prior to the Company's ownership of any of those
subsidiaries.

It is also possible that a claim might be asserted against the
Company that Coltec's dividend of its aerospace business to the
Company prior to the spin-off was made at a time when Coltec was
insolvent or caused Coltec to become insolvent.

In September 2004, the Company entered into a settlement
agreement with the insurance subsidiaries of London United
Investments Plc (KWELM) pursuant to which the Company agreed to
give up its rights with respect to the KWELM insurance policies
in exchange for US$18.3 million, subject to increase under
certain circumstances.

The initial settlement amount of US$18.3 million was paid to the
Company during 2004, was recorded as a deferred settlement
credit and will be used to offset asbestos and other toxic tort
claims in future periods.

The KWELM insolvent fund managers made additional settlement
distributions to the Company in 2005 totaling US$11.3 million
following completion of the insolvent scheme of arrangement
process in the United Kingdom.

Charlotte, NC-based Goodrich Corporation Goodrich Corporation,
formerly tire maker BFGoodrich, focuses on its three aerospace
divisions: Engine Systems, Airframe Systems, and Electronic
Systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dispute Over CPChem's Claims Intensifies
-------------------------------------------------------------
Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLC is party to certain asbestos
lawsuits for which the financial responsibility between CPChem
and parent ConocoPhillips is disputed, according to the
Company's 10-K report to the SEC.

CPChem, ConocoPhillips and parent Chevron Corporation are
attempting to resolve whether ConocoPhillips or CPChem has
financial responsibility for these lawsuits. ConocoPhillips is
managing and defending these lawsuits.

In the event the financial responsibility for these lawsuits is
ultimately determined to rest with CPChem, CPChem may be
required to record a charge to operations that could be material
to the period reported.

However, CPChem believes that any such charge, if required,
would not have a material adverse effect on financial position
or liquidity.

Based in The Woodlands, Texas, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLC
produces ethylene, propylene, polyethylene, and polypropylene,
which are sometimes used as a component for the company's other
products such as pipe. Most of the Company's operations are
located in the US. Chevron Corporation and ConocoPhillips share
ownership of the Company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Graco Inc Named in Multi-Defendant Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Graco Inc. has been named in multiple-defendant lawsuits
alleging bodily injury as a result of asbestos exposure,
according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

Most of the suits have an excess of 100 defendants and several
have multiple plaintiffs. None of the suits make specific
allegations regarding the Company or any of its products.

Insurance covers a portion of the cost of potential liability
for these claims.

Established in 1926, Minneapolis, MN-based Graco Inc.
manufactures systems and equipment designed to move, measure,
control, dispense, and apply fluid materials. Graco sells its
products through independent distributors. Investment firms
Ariel Capital Management and Wellington Management Co. own 13%
and 7% of the Company, respectively.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Phelps Dodge Downplays Involvement in Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mining firm Phelps Dodge Corporation states that the Company or
its subsidiaries are involved in product liability or premises
lawsuits filed by electricians, skilled tradesmen, or
contractors alleging injury from asbestos exposure, according to
a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

In the suits, which were filed since about 1990, the asbestos
was allegedly found in limited lines of electrical wire products
produced or marketed many years ago, or from asbestos at certain
Phelps Dodge properties.

The Company believes its liability, if any, in these matters
will not have a material adverse effect, either individually or
in the aggregate, upon its business, financial condition,
liquidity, results of operations or cash flow.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Phelps Dodge Corporation
produces copper, which accounts for most of its sales. The
Company also produces gold, silver, molybdenum, and other
mineral and chemical by-products of its copper operations.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Thomas & Betts Probes Claims in Five States
----------------------------------------------------------------
Thomas & Betts Corporation and a subsidiary, Amerace Corp.,
defend against asbestos lawsuits in five states, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

The suits are related to undefined and unidentified or historic
products. In all cases, the Corporation is investigating these
allegations.

Acquired in 1995, Amerace is one of hundreds of defendants and
the Corporation is one of dozens of defendants in each case. No
asbestos-containing product of Amerace or Thomas & Betts has
been identified in these cases to date.

In the Amerace cases, more than 50 lawsuits have already been
dismissed. Insurance coverage is available in connection with
these claims.

All asbestos lawsuits involving another subsidiary, L.E. Mason
(Red Dot), were dismissed in 2005.

Memphis, TN-based Thomas & Betts Corporation provides electrical
connectors, HVAC equipment, and transmission towers to the
commercial, communications, industrial, and utility markets.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: St. Paul Notes US$1.2B Recoverables for A&E
----------------------------------------------------------------
The St. Paul Travelers Companies Inc. had, as of December 31,
2005, US$1.2 billion reinsurance recoverables attributable to
asbestos and environmental claims, according to a Securities and
Exchange Commission report.

The amount was part of the Company's US$19.57 billion
reinsurance recoverables at December 31, 2005.

The Company allocated US$3.99 billion to structured settlements
relating mainly to personal injury claims, for which the Company
had purchased annuities and remains contingently liable in the
event of a default by the companies issuing the annuities.

A portion of the Company's loss reserves are for asbestos and
environmental claims and related litigation which aggregated
US$4.79 billion at December 31, 2005.

At December 31, 2005, net asbestos reserves totaled US$4.36
billion, compared with US$3.93 billion at December 31, 2004. The
Company's annual ground-up review of asbestos exposures resulted
in a reserve increase of US$830 million in 2005. In 2004, the
Company increased asbestos reserves by US$922 million.

At December 31, 2005 and 2004, the Company's claims and claim
adjustment expense reserves included US$4.79 billion and US$4.57
billion, respectively, for asbestos and environmental-related
claims, net of reinsurance.

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, The St. Paul Travelers Companies
Inc. offers personal and commercial liability and casualty,
property, workers' compensation, auto, marine, and other
coverage to companies in North America and the UK.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Navigators Group Sets US$28Mil for 2 Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
At December 31, 2005, The Navigators Group Inc. allocates about
US$28 million for two large asbestos-related claims, according
to the Company's 10-K report to the Securities and Exchange
Commission.

The payments are for the 2005-4th quarter settlements for excess
insurance policy limits exposed to class action suits against
two insureds involved in the manufacturing or distribution of
asbestos products. Each settlement will be paid over two years.

The Company has also allotted, for a 2004 settlement, about
US$25 million in a class action suit in which the settlement
will be paid over seven years, which started in June 2005.

The Company also considers other insureds not directly involved
in the manufacturing or distribution of asbestos products, but
that have more than incidental asbestos exposure for their
purchase or use of products that contained asbestos.

The Navigators Group also sets reserves for attritional asbestos
claims that could be expected to occur over time.

The Company's exposure to asbestos liability principally stems
from marine liability insurance written on an occurrence basis
during the mid-1980s.

In many instances the Company is one of many insurers who
participate in the defense and ultimate settlement of these
claims, and it is generally a minor participant in the overall
insurance coverage and settlement.

At December 31, 2005, about US$26.5 million was due from
reinsurers under pro rata and excess of loss reinsurance
treaties in connection with the Company's asbestos exposures of
which US$15.4 million is due from Equitas. About 80% of such
amounts will be due and payable to the Company over the next two
years as the gross asbestos losses are billed and paid by the
Company.

Headquartered in New York, NY, The Navigators Group Inc. writes
specialty lines of insurance and reinsurance to clients. The
company's main insurance subsidiaries, Navigators Insurance and
NIC Insurance, write ocean and marine insurance. The Navigators
Agencies subsidiaries are involved in marine underwriting.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AO Smith, Subsidiaries Named in 15T Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
A.O. Smith Corporation and its subsidiaries are named in about
15,000 asbestos-related injury lawsuits, the Company states in
its 10-K report to the SEC.

The Company, or its subsidiaries, have been named a defendant in
lawsuits alleging personal injury as a result of exposure to
asbestos integrated into certain of the Company's or its
subsidiaries' products or premises. The Company and its
subsidiaries have never manufactured asbestos.

These lawsuits name from 50 to 100 other companies as defendants
along with the company or its subsidiaries. The complaints do
not identify any products of the company, or specify the amount
of damages claimed. In addition, the complaints do not allege
which claimants were exposed to asbestos attributed to the
Company's or its subsidiaries' products or premises, nor the
extent to which such claimants have been harmed.

To date, the Company and its subsidiaries have not made any
payment in a substantial majority of the cases closed. The
remaining resolved cases have been settled for amounts that are
not material to the Company, and the costs of defense and
settlements have been supported in part by insurance.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, A.O. Smith Corporation
makes electric motors and water heaters. The Company also makes
residential gas and electric water heaters and commercial water-
heating systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hartford Reserves US$2.7Bil for A&E Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. states that, as of
December 31, 2005, it had recorded net reserves of US$2.7
billion for asbestos and environmental claims, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

As of December 31, 2005, the Company reported US$2.3 billion of
net asbestos reserves and US$360 million of net environmental
reserves. This represents a decrease from the US$2.5 billion of
net asbestos reserves and US$394 million of net environmental
reserves for the same period in 2004.

The recorded net reserves are within an estimated range,
unadjusted for covariance, of US$2 billion to US$3.1 billion.

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. offers personal and
commercial property/casualty insurance products, including
homeowners, auto, and workers' compensation. Operating since
1910, the Group sells its products through about 11,000
independent agencies and more than 100,000 registered broker-
dealers. The Group is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: American Standard Faces 128,197 Open Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
American Standard Companies Inc. defends against 128,197 open
asbestos-related claims as of December 31, 2005, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

The Company has been named as a defendant in numerous asbestos-
related personal injury lawsuits arising primarily from its
historical sales of boilers and railroad brake shoes.

In these lawsuits, the Company is named as one of a large group
of defendants. Many of these lawsuits involve multiple
claimants, do not specifically identify the injury or disease
for which damages are sought or do not allege a connection
between any Company product and a claimed injury or disease.

During 2005, 10,544 new claims were filed against the Company,
5,044 claims were dismissed and 659 claims were settled.

From receipt of its first asbestos claim more than 20 years ago
to December 31, 2005, the Company has resolved 33,690 claims.
The total amount of all settlements paid by the Company and by
its insurance carriers is about US$64.2 million, for an average
payment per resolved claim of US$1,905.

The asbestos indemnity liability decreased by US$13.4 million in
2005, from US$699.4 million as of December 31, 2004 to US$686.0
million as of December 31, 2005.

The Company estimates and records an asbestos receivable for
amounts due to the Company for previously settled and paid
claims, the reimbursable portion of incurred legal expenses, and
the probable reimbursements relating to its estimated liability
for pending and future claims.

At December 31, 2005, the asbestos receivable was US$390.0
million, reduced from US$405.6 million at December 31, 2004.

Piscataway, NJ-based American Standard Companies Inc. makes air-
conditioning systems, plumbing products, and automotive braking
systems. Comprising over half of its sales, its air-conditioning
division makes consumer and commercial systems under the Trane
and American Standard brand names. The Company's bathroom
contributions include plumbing fixtures under such names as
American Standard, Ideal Standard, and Porcher. The Company also
makes vehicle-braking systems through subsidiary WABCO.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: LECO Battles Claims With 34,667 Plaintiffs
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc., at December 31, 2005, challenges
asbestos-related claims with about 34,667 plaintiffs, a net
decrease of 3,888 claims from December 31, 2004, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

At September 30, 2005, the Company was a co-defendant in cases
alleging asbestos induced illness involving claims by about
35,795 plaintiffs, which is a net decrease of 3,063 claims from
those previously reported. (Class Action Reporter, November 4,
2005)

The Company faces multi-defendant asbestos-related litigation.
Liabilities relating to such litigation could reduce its
profitability and impair its financial condition. The claimants
seek compensatory and punitive damages, in most cases for
unspecified sums.

In the asbestos cases, the claimants allege that exposure to
asbestos contained in welding consumables caused them to develop
adverse pulmonary diseases, including mesothelioma and other
lung cancers.

Since January 1, 1995, the Company has been a co-defendant in
asbestos cases that have been resolved as follows: 19,443 of
claims were dismissed, nine were tried to defense verdicts, four
were tried to plaintiff verdicts and 304 were decided in favor
of the Company following summary judgment motions.

The Company has appealed or will appeal the four judgments based
on verdicts against the Company.

On December 29, 2005, the New York State Appellate Division
affirmed two of the four judgments but the Company is seeking
reconsideration and reviewing other appellate options.

Cleveland, OH-based Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. manufactures
arc-welding, cutting products, and welding supplies including
arc-welding power sources, automated wire-feeding systems, and
consumable electrodes for arc-welding. The Company operates 26
manufacturing facilities in the US and 17 other countries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Illinois Tool Works Named in Welding Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Illinois Tool Works Inc. and its subsidiaries, Hobart Brothers
Company and Miller Electric Mfg. Co., have been named in multi-
defendant lawsuits alleging injury from exposure to asbestos,
manganese or toxic fumes in connection with the welding process,
according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

The plaintiffs in these suits claim unspecified damages.

Based upon the Company's experience in defending these claims,
the Company believes that the resolution of these proceedings
will not have a material adverse effect on the Company's
financial position, liquidity or future operations.

The Company has not recorded any significant reserves related to
these cases.

Glenview, IL-based Illinois Tool Works Inc. makes products used
in the automotive, construction, paper products, and food and
beverage industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BlueLinx Directs Claims to Georgia-Pacific
---------------------------------------------------------------
BlueLinx Holdings Inc. revealed that Georgia-Pacific Corporation
is defending against lawsuits brought in various U.S. courts by
plaintiffs who allege that they have suffered personal injury as
a result of exposure asbestos-containing products, according to
a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

These suits allege a variety of lung and other diseases based on
alleged exposure to products previously manufactured by Georgia-
Pacific.

On March 8, 2004, BlueLinx was created as a Georgia-based firm
named ABP Distribution Holdings Inc. New York-based investment
firm Cerberus Capital Management LP owned ABP.

Georgia-Pacific's distribution division owned BlueLinx's assets.
On May 7, 2004, Georgia-Pacific sold the Division to ABP, which
subsequently merged into BlueLinx Holdings Inc.

Although Georgia-Pacific will indemnify the Company against all
obligations and liabilities arising out of, relating to or
otherwise in any way in respect of any product liability claims
with respect to products purchased, sold, marketed, stored,
delivered, distributed or transported by Georgia-Pacific and its
affiliates, including the Division prior to the acquisition, the
Company believes that circumstances may arise under which
asbestos-related claims against Georgia-Pacific could cause it
to incur substantial costs.

In the event that Georgia-Pacific is financially unable to
respond to an asbestos product liability claim, plaintiffs'
lawyers may sue the Company despite the fact that the assets
sold to the Company did not contain asbestos.

Although BlueLinx believes, based on its understanding of the
law as currently interpreted, that it should not be held liable
for any of Georgia-Pacific's asbestos-related claims, and, to
the contrary, that it would prevail on summary judgment on any
such claims, there is nevertheless a possibility that new
theories could be developed, or that the application of existing
theories could be expanded, in a manner that would result in
liability.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, BlueLinx Holdings Inc.,
through more than 65 warehouses, distributes more than 10,000
building products to some 12,000 customers. Structural products,
including plywood, oriented strand board, and lumber, account
for about 60% of the Company's revenues.


ASBESTOS ALERT: OSHA Cites East Coast Const. for Safety Hazards
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health
Administration issues US$42,600 in federal fines to East Coast
Construction for alleged asbestos and trench cave-in hazards at
two Portsmouth, Rhode Island construction sites, The Newport
Daily News reports.

OSHA issued two "repeat" citations, totaling US$30,000 in
proposed fines, to East Coast for the cave-in hazards, since the
Company had paid a US$4,500 OSHA fine in August 2005 for an
unprotected excavation at the Freedom Bay retirement community
development off West Main Road.

The Company also faces US$12,600 in fines for eight "serious"
hazards related to the lack of asbestos controls, head
protection and safe trench exits in the latest inspections.

An OSHA inspector on November 16, 2005 found East Coast
employees working in an unprotected trench deeper than 5 feet,
with no safe exit route and no head protection, at 45 Corys
Court.

According to OSHA, the workers were cutting asbestos-containing
pipes, but they did not have the proper safeguards nor did they
have the proper training to handle the pipe or someone familiar
with asbestos hazards overseeing their work. The Company was
installing a water line at the property.

On Dec. 21, OSHA inspected another East Coast site, the Ferry
Landing luxury condominium development off Bristol Ferry Road,
where an employee was injured when an unprotected, 7-foot deep
trench collapsed.

"Cave-in protection is essential, since an excavation's
sidewalls can collapse suddenly and with great force, stunning
and burying workers beneath tons of soil before they have a
chance to react or escape," said Fred Joseph, OSHA's acting area
director for the state.

"Hazards of overexposure to asbestos are not as dramatic or as
immediate as a cave-in but they, too, carry a very real
potential to disable or kill workers."


COMPANY PROFILE

East Coast Construction
202 Chase Road
Portsmouth, RI 02871
Telephone: (401) 683-5656
Fax: (401) 683-5662
Email: info@eastcoastconstruction.com
http://www.eastcoastconstruction.com/

Description:
Established in 1986, the Company provides professional
excavation services for the residential, commercial and
industrial sector. The Company has completed sewer and drainage
work for Aquidneck Island municipalities and done work at the
Carnegie Abbey Club golf course.



                  New Securities Fraud Cases


COOPER COMPANIES: Kahn Gauthier Lodges Securities Suit in Calif.
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The Kahn Gauthier Swick, LLC ("KGS") announces that a securities
class action has been commenced in the U.S. District Court for
the Central District of California, on behalf of shareholders
who purchased, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock
of The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE: COO) between July 29, 2004
and November 21, 2005. No class has yet been certified in this
action.

The Complaint that has been filed alleges that defendants have
violated federal securities laws by issuing a series of
materially false statements regarding Cooper's business and
operations. According to these allegations Cooper improperly
accounted for assets acquired in the Ocular merger, and provided
overly aggressive guidance to investors. The action also alleges
that, during the Class Period, while in possession of material
adverse non-public information, Company insiders sold over 1.97
million shares of Cooper common stock for gross proceeds of over
$141.49 million.

Investors, however, suffered large losses after the true facts
concerning the Company emerged on or about November 21, 2005,
when Cooper shares fell $21 per share -- or 29%. For long-term
investors of the Company, this decline was especially dramatic,
having eradicated all profits earned in almost 18 months.

For more details, contact Lewis Kahn of KGS, Phone:
1-866-467-1400, ext. 100 and 504-648-1850, E-mail:
lewis.kahn@kglg.com.


GRAFTECH INT'L: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in Del.
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The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C., which has significant
experience representing investors in prosecuting claims of
securities fraud, announces that a lawsuit seeking class action
status has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Delaware on behalf of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired the publicly traded securities of GrafTech
International, Ltd. ("GrafTech" or the "Company") between
November 3, 2005 and February 8, 2006, inclusive, (the "Class
Period").

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing a series of materially false
statements concerning the Company's business condition.
Specifically, defendants failed to disclose the following
adverse facts:

     (1) that pricing power for the Company's graphite electrode
         products was nonexistent, particularly in the European
         markets;

     (2) that announced cost-cutting measures were insufficient
         to improve GrafTech's bottom line;

     (3) that contraction in the non-graphite market was
         contributing to the Company's financial woes;

     (4) that the Company was unable to accurately forecast
         growth and report guidance; and

     (5) that GrafTech's inability to determine the required
         extent of its restructuring activities and charges
         necessary to counter the costs of its staggering debt
         and loss of pricing power grossly understated the true
         costs that GrafTech would incur in the restructuring.

On February 8, 2006, GrafTech revealed the truth about its
business prospects. As a result, the price of GrafTech shares
plunged 37.0%, falling from $7.31 per share on February 8, 2006
to $4.60 per share on February 9, 2006, a one-day drop of $2.71
per share.

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


GRAFTECH INT'L: Scott + Scott Lodges Securities Lawsuit in Del.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Scott + Scott, LLC, filed a securities class action in Delaware
federal court on behalf of purchasers of GrafTech International
Ltd. ("GrafTech" or the "Company") securities from November 3,
2005, through February 8, 2006, inclusive (the "Class Period").

GrafTech provides synthetic and natural graphite and carbon-
based products, as well as technical and R&D services. Its
synthetic graphite products include: graphite electrodes,
cathodes, and advanced synthetic graphite products. The
complaint charges GrafTech and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.

During the Class Period, according to the complaint, defendants
made materially false and misleading statements regarding the
Company's business prospects, which served to artificially
inflate the price of the Company's securities.  Specifically,
defendants knew and concealed that:

     (1) pricing power for the Company's graphite electrode
         products was nonexistent, particularly in the European
         markets;

     (2) announced cost-cutting measures were insufficient to
         improve the Company's bottom line;

     (3) contraction in the non-graphite market was contributing
         to the Company's financial woes;

     (4) the Company was unable to accurately forecast growth
         and report guidance; and

     (5) the Company's inability to determine the required
         extent of its restructuring activities and charges
         necessary to counter the costs of its staggering debt
         and loss of pricing power grossly understated the true
         costs the Company would incur in restructuring.

On February 8, 2006, GrafTech revealed the truth about its
business prospects. As a result, the price of GrafTech shares
plunged 37.0%, on unusually high volume, falling from $7.31 per
share on February 8, 2006 to $4.60 per share on February 9,
2006, for a one-day drop of $2.71 per share, on volume of 9.8
million shares, nearly twelve times the average daily trading
volume.

For more details, contact David R. Scott of Scott + Scott,
Phone: 800/404-7770, E-mail: drscott@scott-scott.com, Web site:
http://www.scott-scott.com.



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news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
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collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.

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