CAR_Public/060317.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, March 17, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 55

                            Headlines

ALLIED WASTE: Ariz. Court's Dismissal of Stock Lawsuit Appealed
BEST BUY: Search for Lead Plaintiff in Consumer Lawsuit Proceeds
BIOGEN IDEC: N.Y. County Wants Pricing Fraud Lawsuit Back Home
BIOGEN IDEC: Mass. Court Mulls Protests to Suits' Consolidation
BIOGEN IDEC: Litigants Want Calif. TYSABRI Lawsuit Dismissed

BLUEHIPPO FUNDING: Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in California
BRIO CORP: Recalls Pull Along Snail Toy Due to Choking Hazard
CAPRESSO INC: Recalls Espresso Machines Due to Fire Hazard
CIENA CORP: Court Sets April 2006 Fairness Hearing for IPO Pact
EXELON CORP: Denies Property Damages Claimed in Tritium Lawsuit

GILEAD SCIENCES: Calif. Court Mulls Dismissal of Securities Suit
HALLIBURTON CO: Tex. Court Rejects Part of Securities Fraud Suit
HARLEY-DAVIDSON: Asks Wis. High Court to Review Cam Bearing Suit
HARLEY-DAVIDSON: Shareholders File Stock Fraud Lawsuit in Wis.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON: Workers Launch ERISA Violations Lawsuit in Wis.

HERCULES INC: Pa. Court Combines ERISA Lawsuits, Sets Trial Date
HERCULES INC: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Agent Orange Suits
HERCULES INC: Plaintiffs Appeal Vietnamese Lawsuit's Dismissal
HERCULES INC: Reaches $1.412M Settlement for La. Pollution Suits
H&R BLOCK: New York Files $250M Lawsuit Over Retirement Plan

H&R BLOCK: Lerach Coughlin Alleges Fraud in Retirement Plan
H&R BLOCK: Brodsky & Smith Probes Alleged Retirement Plans Fraud
H&R BLOCK: Express IRA Has Helped Thousands of Americans Save
ILLINOIS: Racial Bias Suit V. Elgin School Denied Certification
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL: Disabled Customers to Get Special Carts

NASHBAR DIRECT: Recalls Defective Bicycle Resistance Trainers
NC SOFT: Police Says Victims of Korean ID Theft May Reach 1.22M
NEW JERSEY: $11.1M Settlement Reached in Teachers' Exam Lawsuit
NORTHWESTERN CORP: Court to Hear Injunction Request in "Livonia"
OIL COMPANIES: Tex. Lawyer Urges Residents to Join MTBE Lawsuit

PATINA OIL: Colo. Court Refuses to Review Class Certification
RELATED COS: Icon Condominium Buyers Launch Federal Suit in Nev.
RENAISSANCERE HOLDINGS: Faces Consolidated Stock Lawsuit in N.Y.
RENT-A-CENTER: High Court Revives Suit Over Rent-to-Own Deals
ROBERTSON STEPHENS: NaviSite Shareholders Urged to File Claims

ROBERTSON STEPHENS: Digimarc Shareholders Urged to File Claims
ROBERTSON STEPHENS: Oplink Shareholders Urged to File Claims
STOCK EXCHANGES: May Hearing Set for Antitrust Suit Settlement
THAXTON GROUP: Appeals Court Decertifies Suit Over Junk Bonds
UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Insurance Suit Pre-trial Schedule Drags On

UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Mediations Hold Off Summary Judgment Rulings
UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Transfer Ruling Pending in Antitrust Suits
UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of CorTs Lawsuit
UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Tenn. Court Sets Pretrial Discovery Deadline
WATTS WATER: Md. Appeals Court Reaffirms Dismissal of Valve Suit

                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PepsiAmericas Accrues $7M for Liabilities
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PepsiAmericas, Others to Answer Cooper Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ameren Utilities Face 11 More Suits in 4Q05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ADEQ Seeks Less Than $1M for El Paso Breach
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Curtiss-Wright Seeks Dismissal of 60 Suits

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FMC Corporation Burdened With 34T Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Midwest Generation Posts $67.4M Liability
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BNS Holds 275 Open Claims at End of 2005
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ladish Dismissed From Majority of MS Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bowater Inc. Tackles 785 Remaining Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Pepco Notes 265 Pending Claims in MD Courts
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W.R. Berkley Puts Up $37M A&E Net Reserves
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Harsco Records 27,216 Pending Suits in 4Q05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Eastman Chemical Faces 1.5T Pending Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: SCC Affiliates Named in Asarco Litigation

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UIC, Detroit Stoker Claims Drop to 11,059
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PNM Resources Cleared in 19 of 21 Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Noble Unit Challenges 3 Suits in MS Courts
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OfficeMax, Units Contend With Injury Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PMA Capital Corp Notes $26.9M Loss Reserves

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Quaker Unit Reaches $15M Deal with Insurer
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton Gets $1B Insurance Settlement
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EnPro Records US$271M Liability for Claims
ASBESTOS ALERT: Trizec Properties Named as Defendant in CA Suits
ASBESTOS ALERT: GlobalSantaFe, Subsidiaries Fight Injury Claims

ASBESTOS ALERT: NRG Energy Inc. Challenges Third-Party Lawsuits
ASBESTOS ALERT: Temple-Inland's Annual Settlements Average US$1M
ASBESTOS ALERT: BJ Services Co. Defends Against Four Suits in MS
ASBESTOS ALERT: XL Capital Ltd. Records 878 Open Claims in 2005
ASBESTOS ALERT: State Auto Financial Notes US$3.7M for Reserves


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

BAUSCH & LOMB: Murray Frank Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
BAUSCH & LOMB: Schiffrin Barroway Files Securities Suit in N.Y.
COOPER COMPANIES: Charles Johnson Lodges Calif. Securities Suit
OMNICARE INC: Smith & Smith Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in Ky.


                            *********


ALLIED WASTE: Ariz. Court's Dismissal of Stock Lawsuit Appealed
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the consolidated securities class action against
Allied Waste Industries, Inc. want the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit to review the U.S. District Court for the
District of Arizona's decision to dismiss the suit filed against
it and five of its current and former officers.

A consolidated amended class action complaint was filed against
the Company and five of its current and former officers on March
31, 2005 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona,
consolidating three lawsuits previously filed on August 9, 2004,
August 27, 2004 and September 30, 2004.  The amended complaint
asserted claims against all defendants under Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder and claims against the officers under Section 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act.  The complaint alleged that from
February 10, 2004 to September 13, 2004, the defendants caused
false and misleading statements to be issued in our public
filings and public statements regarding our anticipated results
for fiscal year 2004. The lawsuit sought an unspecified amount
of damages.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on May 2,
2005.  On December 15, 2005, the U.S. District Court for the
District of Arizona granted our motion and dismissed the lawsuit
with prejudice.  Plaintiffs appealed the dismissal to the 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals.

The first identified complaint in this litigation is styled
"Steven Zack, et al. v. Allied Waste Industries, Inc., et al.,
Case No. 2:04-cv-01640-MHM," filed in the U.S. District Court
for the District of Arizona under Judge Mary H. Murguia.  The
plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

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

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

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

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

     (5) Glancy Binkow & Goldberg, LLP, 1801 Ave of the Stars,
         Ste. 311, Los Angeles, CA 90067, Phone: (310) 201-9150;

     (6) Tiffany & Bosco, PA, Camelback Esplanade II, 2525 E.
         Camelback Rd., 3rd Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85016, Phone:
         602-255-6021, Fax: 602-255-0103; and

     (7) Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP, 10 E. 40th St., New
         York, NY 10016, Phone: (212) 779-1414.

Representing the defendants are:

     (i) Maureen Beyers of Osborn Maledon, P.A., 2929 North
         Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85012-2794, Phone: 602-640-
         9305, Fax: 602-664-2053, E-mail: mbeyers@omlaw.com;

    (ii) David Hennes, Shahzeb Lari and William McGuinness of
         Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, 1 New York
         Plaza, New York, NY 10004, Phone: (212) 859-8000;

   (iii) Doug C. Northup of Fennemore Craig, PC, 3003 N. Central
         Ave., Ste. 2600, Phoenix, AZ 85012-2913, Phone: 602-
         916-5000, Fax: 602-916-5562, E-mail:
         dnorthup@fclaw.com; and

    (iv) David B. Rosenbaum of Osborn Maledon, PA, P.O. Box
         36379, Phoenix, AZ 85067-6379, Phone: 602-640-9000,
         Fax: 602-640-6051, E-mail: drosenbaum@omlaw.com.


BEST BUY: Search for Lead Plaintiff in Consumer Lawsuit Proceeds
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Fourth District Court of Appeal in California supported the
distribution of a letter seeking a new class representative in
the suit filed against Best Buy Co., Inc., but recommended some
changes to protect the privacy of the recipients, Metropolitan
News-Enterprise reports.

An Orange County judge previously ordered the retailer to
facilitate the distribution of a letter to solicit indications
of interest from customers to participate in a class action
against the company.  Orange Superior Court Judge Jonathan H.
Cannon gave the order after finding that attorney Mark Boling
could not serve as both counsel and class representative.  The
judge cited Apple Computer, Inc. v. Superior Court (2005) 126
Cal.App.4th 1253 in the ruling.  He also provided that the
letter state that Boling would be class counsel and that he
would seek attorney fees.

Mr. Boling complained against Best Buy's policy of charging
customers a restocking fee if they returned items without their
original packaging.  He charged the firm with unfair
competition, unjust enrichment, and violating the Consumer Legal
Remedies Act.

Best Buy sought writ relief, arguing that the letter would
amount to an unethical solicitation.  It also said that even if
another class representative were found Boling would improperly
retain control of the litigation, and that the letter and order
violated the privacy rights of the customers who would receive
it.

But Div. Three, Justice William F. Rylaarsdam said the letter
did not constitute a solicitation prohibited by Rules 1-
400(B)(1), (B)(2)(a), and (C) of the California Rules of
Professional Conduct.  He, however, made changes in the letter
to prevent direct contact between Mr. Boling and the recipient.
Justices Eileen C. Moore and Richard D. Fybel joined in the
opinion authored by Justice Rylaarsdam.

The case is Best Buy Stores, L.P. v. Superior Court (Boling),
G035672.  Appellate attorneys are Roman M. Silberfeld and
Gregory N. Karasik of the Century City firm of Robins Kaplan
Miller & Ciresi.

Headquartered in Richfield, Minnesota, Best Buy --
http://www.bestbuy.com-- operates a chain of about 700 stores
in the US and Canada offering a wide variety of electronic
gadgets, movies, music, computers, and appliances.


BIOGEN IDEC: N.Y. County Wants Pricing Fraud Lawsuit Back Home
--------------------------------------------------------------
The County of Erie, New York asked the U.S. District Court for
the District of Massachusetts to remand to the Supreme Court of
the State of New York a consolidated litigation filed against
Biogen Idec MA, Inc. (formerly Biogen, Inc.), several other
major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and in certain
cases, Biogen Idec Inc.

The City of New York and these Counties of the State of New York
initially filed several suits alleging average wholesale pricing
(AWP) fraud:

     (1) County of Albany,

     (2) County of Allegany,

     (3) County of Broome,

     (4) County of Cattaraugus,

     (5) County of Cayuga,

     (6) County of Chautauqua,

     (7) County of Chenango,

     (8) County of Erie,

     (9) County of Fulton,

    (10) County of Genesee,

    (11) County of Greene,

    (12) County of Herkimer,

    (13) County of Jefferson,

    (14) County of Madison,

    (15) County of Monroe,

    (16) County of Nassau,

    (17) County of Niagara,

    (18) County of Oneida,

    (19) County of Onondaga,

    (20) County of Putnam,

    (21) County of Rensselaer,

    (22) County of Rockland,

    (23) County of St. Lawrence,

    (24) County of Saratoga,

    (25) County of Steuben,

    (26) County of Suffolk,

    (27) County of Tompkins,

    (28) County of Warren,

    (29) County of Washington,

    (30) County of Wayne,

    (31) County of Westchester, and

    (32) County of Yates.

All of the cases, except for the County of Erie and County of
Nassau cases, are the subject of a Consolidated Complaint, which
was filed on June 15, 2005 in U.S. District Court for the
District of Massachusetts in Multidistrict Litigation No. 1456.
The County of Nassau, which originally filed its complaint on
November 24, 2004, filed an amended complaint on March 24, 2005
and that case is also pending in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Massachusetts.  The County of Erie originally filed
its complaint in Supreme Court of the State of New York on March
8, 2005.  On April 15, 2005, the Company and the other named
defendants removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of New York.  That case has been stayed pending
a decision by the Joint Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
(JPMDL) regarding transfer to the U.S. District Court for the
District of Massachusetts.

On May 12, 2005, the JPMDL issued a Conditional Transfer Order,
transferring the case to the U.S. District Court for the
District of Massachusetts.  The County of Erie filed a motion to
vacate the Conditional Transfer Order on June 7, 2005.  The
Company, together with other named defendants, filed an
opposition to the motion to vacate shortly thereafter.  The
motion to vacate is currently pending before the JPMDL.

On August 11, 2005, the Joint Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
issued a Transfer Order, transferring the case to the U.S.
District Court for the District of Massachusetts.  The County of
Erie has filed a motion to remand the case back to the Supreme
Court of the State of New York, which is currently pending
before the District Court in the District of Massachusetts.

All of the complaints allege that the defendants:

     (1) fraudulently reported the Average Wholesale Price (AWP)
         for certain drugs for which Medicaid provides
         reimbursement, also referred to as Covered Drugs;

     (2) marketed and promoted the sale of Covered Drugs to
         providers based on the providers' ability to collect
         inflated payments from the government and Medicaid
         beneficiaries that exceeded payments possible for
         competing drugs;

     (3) provided financing incentives to providers to over-
         prescribe Covered Drugs or to prescribe Covered Drugs
         in place of competing drugs; and

     (4) overcharged Medicaid for illegally inflated Covered
         Drugs reimbursements.

The complaints allege violations of New York state law and
advance common law claims for unfair trade practices, fraud, and
unjust enrichment.  In addition, all of the complaints, with the
exception of the County of Erie complaint, allege that the
defendants failed to accurately report the "best price" on the
Covered Drugs to the Secretary of Health and Human Services
pursuant to rebate agreements entered into with the Secretary of
Health and Human Services, and excluded from their reporting
certain drugs offered at discounts and other rebates that would
have reduced the "best price."

On April 8, 2005, the court dismissed similar claims, which were
brought by Suffolk County against the Company and eighteen other
defendants in a complaint filed on August 1, 2003.  The court
held that Suffolk County's documentation was insufficient to
plead allegations of fraud.  Neither the Company nor the other
defendants have answered or responded to the complaints that are
currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, as all of the plaintiffs have agreed to stay the
time to respond until a case management order and briefing
schedule have been approved by the Court.

The consolidated suit is styled, "In re Average Wholesale Price
Litigation, Case No. 1:01-cv-12257-PBS," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Massachusetts under Judge
Patti B. Saris.  Representing the plaintiffs are David J.
Bershad and J. Douglas Richards of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes &
Lerach LLP, One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th Floor, New York, NY
10119, Phone: 212-594-5300; and Nicole Y. Brumsted of Lieff
Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, 175 Federal Street, 7th
Floor, Boston, MA 02110, Phone: 617-720-5000.

Representing the Company are James C. Burling and William F. Lee
of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, 60 State Street,
Boston, MA 02109, Phone: 617-526-6416, Fax: 617-526-5000, Email:
james.burling@wilmerhale.com or william.lee@wilmerhale.com; and
Daniel E. Reidy, Jeremy P. Cole, Jessie A. Witten, Tina M.
Tabacchi, and Toni-Ann Citera of Jones Day, 77 West Wacker
Drive, Chicago, IL 60601-1692, Phone: 312-782-3939, E-mail:
tmtabacchi@jonesday.com, jawitten@jonesday.com and
tcitera@jonesday.com.


BIOGEN IDEC: Mass. Court Mulls Protests to Suits' Consolidation
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has
yet to rule on plaintiffs' objections to its order consolidating
the securities class actions filed against Biogen Idec, Inc.,
William H. Rastetter, its Executive Chairman, and James C.
Mullen, its Chief Executive Officer.

On March 2, 2005, the company, along with William H. Rastetter,
former Executive Chairman, and James C. Mullen, Chief Executive
Officer, were named as defendants in a purported class action,
captioned, "Brown v. Biogen Idec Inc., et al.," filed in the
U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

The complaint alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  The action is purportedly brought on behalf of all
purchasers of our publicly-traded securities between February
18, 2004 and February 25, 2005.  The plaintiff alleges that the
defendants made materially false and misleading statements
regarding potentially serious side effects of TYSABRI in order
to gain accelerated approval from the FDA for the product's
distribution and sale.

The plaintiff alleges that these materially false and misleading
statements harmed the purported class by artificially inflating
our stock price during the purported class period and that
company insiders benefited personally from the inflated price by
selling our stock.  The plaintiff seeks unspecified damages, as
well as interest, costs and attorneys' fees.

Other purported class representatives filed substantially
similar actions, captioned, "Grill v. Biogen Idec Inc., et al.,
and Lobel v. Biogen Idec Inc., et al.," on March 10, 2005 and
April 21, 2005, respectively, in the same court.  Those actions
were assigned to District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay and
Magistrate Judge Marianne C. Bowler.

On July 26, 2005, the three cases were consolidated and by
Margin Order dated September 23, 2005, Magistrate Judge Bowler
appointed lead plaintiffs and approved their selection of co-
lead counsel.  An objection to the September 23, 2005 order was
filed on October 7, 2005.  The affected plaintiffs' objection is
fully briefed and is pending with the Court.

The suit is styled, "Brown v. Biogen Idec Inc., et al., Case No.
1:05-cv-10400-RCL," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Massachusetts under Judge Reginald C. Lindsay.
Representing the plaintiffs are Shannon L. Hopkins and Mario
Alba Jr. of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP, One
Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th Floor, New York, NY 10119, Phone: 646-
733-5768, Fax: 212-273-4445, E-mail: shopkins@milbergweiss.com;
and David Pastor of Gilman and Pastor, LLP, 60 State Street,
37th Floor, Boston, MA 02109, Phone: 617-742-9700, Fax: 617-742-
9701, E-mail: dpastor@gilmanpastor.com.

Representing the Company is James R. Carroll of Skadden, Arps,
Slate, Meagher & Flom, One Beacon Street, 31st Floor, Boston, MA
02108, Phone: 617-573-4800, Fax: 617-573-4822, E-mail:
jcarroll@skadden.com.


BIOGEN IDEC: Litigants Want Calif. TYSABRI Lawsuit Dismissed
------------------------------------------------------------
Parties in the purported class action against Biogen Idec Inc.
filed a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice with regards to
the case.  The suit, styled "Wayne v. Biogen Idec Inc. and Elan
Pharmaceutical Management Corp.," is pending in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California.

The suit was initially filed in June 2005.  On August 15, 2005,
the plaintiff filed an amended complaint.  The amended complaint
purports to assert claims for strict product liability, medical
monitoring and concert of action arising out of the manufacture,
marketing, distribution and sale of TYSABRI.  The action is
purportedly brought on behalf of all persons in the U.S. who
have had infusions of TYSABRI and who have not been diagnosed
with any medical conditions resulting from TYSABRI use.  The
plaintiff alleges that defendants, acting individually and in
concert, failed to warn the public about purportedly known risks
related to TYSABRI use.  The plaintiff seeks to recover the cost
of periodic medical examinations, restitution, interest,
compensatory and punitive damages, and attorneys' fees.
Defendants currently have until November 15, 2005 to respond to
the amended complaint.

On January 20, 2006, the parties filed a stipulation of
dismissal with prejudice, which the Court entered on January 24,
2006.

The suit is styled "Wayne v. Biogen Idec Inc. et al., case no.
3:05-cv-02497-PJH," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California, under Judge Phyllis J.
Hamilton.  Representing the Company is Barbara Wrubel, 4 Times
Square, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-735-3000.  Representing
the plaintiffs is Cynthia B. Chapman of Caddell & Chapman, 1331
Lamar, Suite 1070, Houston, TX 77010, Phone: 713.751.0400, E-
mail: cbc@caddellchapman.com.


BLUEHIPPO FUNDING: Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in California
-------------------------------------------------------------
Two Californians are suing Maryland-based BlueHippo Funding LLC
over computers they bought electronically, by installments, that
allegedly remain undelivered, The Baltimore Sun reports.

The suit seeks class-action status to represent thousands of
consumers who allege they didn't get their computers and weren't
able to get refunds, the report said.

BlueHippo sells computers and plasma TVs nationwide to people
without access to traditional credit.  Consumers pay through
electronic debits to their bank accounts over one year.  They
were promised the merchandise after completing three months'
payments worth hundreds of dollars.  But early on, consumers
complain, the company reneged on the promise.

The Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland says it has
logged 799 complaints against the company during the last three
years, according to the report. BlueHippo has only operated
since 2003.

The Illinois Attorney General's office sued the company late
last year after receiving 15 complaints.  It accused the firm of
deceptive sales tactics.  The lawsuit asks to bar them from
making sales in the state.

Florida's Attorney General's office began an investigation in
December after receiving 17 complaints.  Maryland's Attorney
General's office has received 257 complaints about BlueHippo but
has not filed a lawsuit.  Most of the complaints are from out of
state, and 82 were resolved through mediation, according to the
report.

The suit is styled, "Ray et al. v. Bluehippo Funding, LLC et al.
(3:06-cv-01807-JSW)" filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California under Judge Jeffrey S. White.
Representing the plaintiffs are: Debra S. Katz of Katz, Marshall
& Banks, 1718 Conneticut Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20009, Phone:
202-299-1140; and David J. Marshall of Katz, Marshall and Banks,
LLP, 1718 Conneticut, Ave. N.W., Sixth Floor, Washington, DC
20009 U.S., Phone: 202-299-1140.


BRIO CORP: Recalls Pull Along Snail Toy Due to Choking Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
BRIO(R) Corp. of Germantown, Wisconsin, a subsidiary of BRIO AB,
of Sweden, is recalling 2,100 Pull-along Snails.

The snail toy is sold with a rattle containing a bell.  The
rattle can come apart, and the bell poses a small parts choking
hazard to young children.  No such incidents or injuries have
been reported.

The recalled BRIO Pull-along Snail is made of wood.  The body of
the snail is painted red and it has yellow wheels.  The toy has
item number 30368 written on the packaging.  The snail measures
6-inches long and 4.5-inches high with natural wood and spring
antennae.  On the back of the snail is a removable green bell
rattle with a yellow swirl and multi-colored posts.  The rattle
measures 2.25-inches in diameter and 2-inches high.  A BRIO logo
is printed on the back end of the snail and a yellow cord is
attached at the front.

The toys were made in China and sold in specialty toy stores
nationwide, Web retailers and mail order catalogs from September
2005 through January 2006 for about $13.

Consumers who purchased this toy are advised take it away from
their child immediately and contact BRIO(R) for information on
how to receive a free replacement product.

Picture of Recalled Snail Toy:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06108.jpg

Consumer Contact: BRIO(R), Phone: (888) 274-6869 between 8:30
a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday; Web site:
http://www.brio.net.


CAPRESSO INC: Recalls Espresso Machines Due to Fire Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Capresso Inc., of Closter, New Jersey, is recalling 28,000 of
C1000 Capresso Automatic Coffee Center.

The company said the electrical connectors in the espresso
machine can erode, posing a fire hazard.  The firm has received
four reports of fires started inside the coffee center.  No
injuries or property damage were reported.

The Automatic Coffee Centers are espresso machines and have
C1000 printed in large type on the front panel and model number
152 printed on the bottom of the machine.  These machines grind,
compact ground coffee, pressure brew, stop automatically, and
discard used coffee grounds.  They can also dispense hot water
for tea and hot steam to froth and steam milk.

The machines were made by Eugster/Frismag of Switzerland.  They
were sold at department stores and independent specialty stores
nationwide from July 1999 through October 2005 for about $800.

Consumers are advised to stop using the recalled espresso
machines immediately and contact Capresso to arrange for a free
repair.

Picture of the recalled product:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06106.jpg

Consumer Contact: Capresso, Phone: (888) 406-4440 (toll-free)
between 8:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday; Web site:
http://www.capresso.com.


CIENA CORP: Court Sets April 2006 Fairness Hearing for IPO Pact
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
tentatively set an April 2006 fairness hearing for the final
approval of a settlement of consolidated initial public offering
class action that names Ciena Corporation as defendant.

As a result of its merger with ONI Systems Corp. in June 2002,
the Company became a defendant in a securities class action.
Beginning in August 2001, a number of substantially identical
class action complaints alleging violations of the federal
securities laws were filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York.  These complaints name:

     (1) ONI, Hugh C. Martin, ONI's former chairman, president
         and chief executive officer;

     (2) Chris A. Davis, ONI's former executive vice president,
         chief financial officer and administrative officer; and

     (3) certain underwriters of ONI's initial public offering
         as defendants.

The complaints were consolidated into a single action, and a
consolidated amended complaint was filed on April 24, 2002.  The
amended complaint alleges, among other things, that the
underwriter defendants violated the securities laws by failing
to disclose alleged compensation arrangements (such as
undisclosed commissions or stock stabilization practices) in the
initial public offering's registration statement and by engaging
in manipulative practices to artificially inflate the price of
ONI's common stock after the initial public offering.  The
amended complaint also alleges that ONI and the named former
officers violated the securities laws on the basis of an alleged
failure to disclose the underwriters' alleged compensation
arrangements and manipulative practices.  No specific amount of
damages has been claimed.

Similar complaints have been filed against more than 300 other
issuers that have had initial public offerings since 1998, and
all of these actions have been included in a single coordinated
proceeding.  Mr. Martin and Ms. Davis have been dismissed from
the action without prejudice pursuant to a tolling agreement.

In July 2004, following mediated settlement negotiations, the
plaintiffs, the issuer defendants (including the Company), and
their insurers entered into a settlement agreement, whereby the
plaintiffs' cases against the issuers are to be dismissed. The
plaintiffs and issuer defendants subsequently moved the court
for preliminary approval of the settlement agreement, which
motion was opposed by the underwriter defendants.

On February 15, 2005, the District Court granted the motion for
preliminary approval of the settlement agreement, subject to
certain modifications to the proposed bar order, and directed
the parties to submit a revised settlement agreement reflecting
its opinion.  On August 31, 2005, the District Court issued a
preliminary order approving the stipulated settlement agreement,
approving and setting dates for notice of the settlement to all
class members, and scheduling the fairness hearing for April
2006.  After the fairness hearing, if the Court determines that
the settlement is fair to the class members, the settlement will
be approved.  The settlement agreement does not require the
Company to pay any amount toward the settlement or to make any
other payments.

The suit was filed in relation to "In Re Initial Public Offering
Securities Litigation, Master File No. 21 MC 92 (SAS)," which
pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York under Judge Shira N. Scheindlin.  The plaintiff firms
in the litigation are:

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

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

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

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

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

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


EXELON CORP: Denies Property Damages Claimed in Tritium Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit against Exelon filed on March 13 by a group of
residents who live two miles from tritium spills at the
Braidwood Generating Station is without merit, the company said
after its initial review of the suit.

According to the company, the plaintiffs did not live near the
tritium spills, and their lawsuit does not allege any direct
environmental impact on their property.  It does not claim that
their own drinking water was contaminated by tritium or that
they or anyone else suffered personal injury as a result of the
spills.  Nor does it claim these spills caused any exposure in
excess of applicable standards.

The suit seeks class-action status but specifically excludes
those owners of property directly affected by localized
groundwater contamination at the Braidwood station.  Exelon said
it has worked closely with nearby property owners since
discovering the tritium contamination in November 2005 and has
repeatedly assured them that it would protect them against any
economic loss.

Nearly 40 drinking water wells -- all private wells in the
vicinity of the tritium leak -- have been tested for tritium.
Only one has shown any detectable amount of tritium, at a level
well within federal drinking water standards and that presents
no health or radiological hazard.

"The water is safe," Exelon Nuclear Vice President of Regulatory
Affairs Thomas S. O'Neill said. "We will defend this vigorously.

"We also recognize that some plant neighbors have genuine
concerns about the tritium we have detected and we are working
hard to address those concerns," O'Neill said.  "We have
indicated that the leaks are unacceptable and we have undertaken
a system-wide inspection to make sure we have identified any
other instances. We have committed to a comprehensive
remediation program."

Tritium is a naturally occurring isotope of hydrogen that emits
a very low level of radiation and is found in virtually all of
the earth's water.  It is produced in greater concentrations in
commercial nuclear reactors and is discharged into the
environment under federal operating permits.  A spill of
tritiated water more than seven years ago on top of the ground
at Braidwood eventually seeped into the groundwater and created
a plume of low-level contamination extending about 1,000 feet
from the plant property.

Exelon has submitted an interim remediation plan to the Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency and expects to begin cleanup
work in the next few weeks.

Federal regulatory agencies have established a rigorous system
of radiation protection standards for tritium and other
substances that are designed to protect the public.  There is no
evidence that the releases caused any exposures in excess of
these standards, the report said.

Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC) is one of the nation's largest
electric utilities with approximately 5.2 million customers and
more than $15 billion in annual revenues.  The company has one
of the industry's largest portfolios of electricity generation
capacity, with a nationwide reach and strong positions in the
Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.  Exelon distributes electricity to
approximately 5.2 million customers in northern Illinois and
Pennsylvania and natural gas to more than 470,000 customers in
southeastern Pennsylvania.  Exelon is headquartered in Chicago
and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.

For more information, contact Craig Nesbit of Exelon Nuclear,
Phone: +1-630-657-4208.


GILEAD SCIENCES: Calif. Court Mulls Dismissal of Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
has yet to rule on Gilead Sciences, Inc.'s motion to dismiss the
fourth consolidated amended securities complaint filed against:

      (1) the Company;

      (2) its Chief Executive Officer;

      (3) Chief Financial Officer;

      (4) former Executive Vice President of Operations (and
          current Senior Business Advisor);

      (5) Executive Vice President of Research and Development;
          and

      (6) Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Research.

On November 10, 2003, a purported class action complaint was
filed, which alleges that the defendants violated federal
securities laws, specifically Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Rule 10b-5 of
the Securities and Exchange Commission, by making certain
alleged false and misleading statements.  The plaintiffs seek
unspecified damages on behalf of a purported class of purchasers
of Gilead's securities during the period from July 14, 2003
through October 28, 2003.

Other similar actions were subsequently filed and the court
issued an order consolidating the lawsuits into a single action
on December 22, 2003.  On February 9, 2004, the court issued an
order appointing lead plaintiffs in the consolidated action.  On
April 30, 2004, the lead plaintiffs, on behalf of the purported
class, filed their consolidated amended complaint.  On June 21,
2004, the Company and individual defendants filed their motion
to dismiss the consolidated amended complaint.

On January 4, 2005, the court granted the defendants' motion to
dismiss with leave to amend.  Plaintiffs filed a second amended
complaint on February 25, 2005 and a third amended complaint on
March 11, 2005.  On October 11, 2005, the court granted the
defendants' motion to dismiss the third amended complaint with
leave to amend.  On December 2, 2005, the plaintiffs filed a
fourth consolidated amended complaint.  The court heard
defendants' motion to dismiss on February 21, 2006, took the
matter under submission and has yet to rendered its decision.

The suit is styled "In re Gilead Sciences Securities litigation,
case no. 03-CV-4999," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California under Judge Martin J. Jenkins.
The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

     (1) Geller Rudman, PLLC, 197 South Federal Highway, Suite
         200, Boca Raton, FL, 33432, Phone: 561.750.3000, Fax:
         888.262.3131, E-mail: info@geller-rudman.com,

     (2) Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer, LLP (San Francisco, CA), 100
         Pine Street, 26th Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94111,
         Phone: 415.772.4700, Fax: 415.677.1233, E-mail:
         info@kaplanfox.com,

     (3) Lori G. Feldman and Steven G. Schulman of Milberg Weiss
         Bershad & Schulman, LLP, Phone: 206-839-0730 and 212-
         594-5300, Fax: 206-839-0728 and 212-868-1229, E-mail:
         lfeldman@milberg.com and sschulman@milbergweiss.com,

     (4) Eric J. Belfi of Murray, Frank & Sailer, LLP, 275
         Madison Avenue, Suite 801, New York, NY 10016, Phone:
         212-682-1818, Fax: 212-682-1892, E-mail:
         ebelfi@murrayfrank.com,

     (5) Jack G. Fruchter of Abraham Fruchter & Twersky, LLP,
         One Penn Plaza, Suite 2805, New York, NY 10119, Phone:
         212-279-5050, Fax: 212-279-3655,

     (6) David Jude George and Robert Jeffrey Robbins of Lerach
         Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman Robbins, LLP, 197 South
         Federal Highway, Suite 200, Boca Raton, FL 33432,
         Phone: (561) 750-3000, Fax: (561) 750-3364, E-mail:
         dgeorge@lerachlaw.com and rrobbins@lerachlaw.com,

     (7) Robert S. Green of Green Welling, LLP, 595 Market
         Street, Suite 2750, San Francisco, CA 94105, Phone:
         415/477-6700, Fax: 415-477-6710, E-mail:
         RSG@CLASSCOUNSEL.COM,

     (8) James M. Orman of Law Offices of James M. Orman, 1845
         Walnut Street, 14th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103,
         Phone: 215-523-7800,

Representing the defendants are, John C. Dwyer and Grant P.
Fondo of Cooley Godward, LLP, Five Palo Alto Square, 3000 El
Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306-2155, Phone: 650-843-5000, Fax:
650-857-0663, E-mail: dwyerjc@cooley.com and gfondo@cooley.com.


HALLIBURTON CO: Tex. Court Rejects Part of Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge partially denied motions by energy services
company Halliburton Co. to dismiss a securities fraud class
action that has as lead plaintiff The Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Supporting Fund, Inc., Reuters reports.

Plaintiffs have until April 4 to file a fourth amended complaint
by April 4, with motions to dismiss due by May 9 and oral
arguments on such motions set for July 28.

On June 3, 2002, a class action was filed against Halliburton in
federal court on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common
stock during the period of approximately May 1998 until
approximately May 2002 alleging violations of the federal
securities laws.  In addition, the plaintiffs allege that the
Company overstated its revenue from unapproved claims by
recognizing amounts not reasonably estimable or probable of
collection.

Approximately twenty similar class actions were filed against
the Company afterwards.  Several of those lawsuits also named as
defendants Arthur Andersen LLP, independent accountant, for the
period covered by the lawsuits, and several of its present or
former officers and directors.  The class action cases were
later consolidated and the amended consolidated class action
complaint, styled "Richard Moore, et al. v. Halliburton Company,
et al., was filed and served upon us on April 11, 2003.

Subsequently, in October 2002 and March 2003, two derivative
actions arising out of essentially the same facts and
circumstances were filed, one of which was subsequently
dismissed, while the other was transferred to the same judge
before whom the "Moore" class action was pending.

                    Dresser Industries Claims

In early May 2003, the Company announced that it had entered
into a written memorandum of understanding setting forth the
terms upon which both the "Moore" class action and the remaining
derivative action would be settled.  In June 2003, the lead
plaintiffs in the "Moore" class action filed a motion for leave
to file a second amended consolidated complaint, which was
granted by the court.  In addition to restating the original
accounting and disclosure claims, the second amended
consolidated complaint includes claims arising out of the 1998
acquisition of Dresser Industries, Inc. by the Company,
including that the Company failed to timely disclose the
resulting asbestos liability exposure.  The Dresser claims were
included in the settlement discussions leading up to the signing
of the memorandum of understanding and are among the claims the
parties intended to be resolved by the terms of the proposed
settlement of the consolidated "Moore" class action and the
derivative action.

The memorandum of understanding called for the Company to pay $6
million, which would be funded by insurance proceeds.  After the
May 2003 announcement regarding the memorandum of understanding,
one of the lead plaintiffs in the consolidated class action
announced that it was dissatisfied with the lead plaintiffs'
counsel's handling of settlement negotiations and what the
dissident plaintiff regarded as inadequate communications by the
lead plaintiffs' counsel.  The dissident lead plaintiff further
asserted that it believed that, for various reasons, the $6
million settlement amount is inadequate.

                      "Moore" Class Action

The attorneys representing the dissident plaintiff, filed
another class action complaint in August 2003, raising
allegations similar to those raised in the second amended
consolidated complaint regarding the accounting and disclosure
claims and the Dresser claims.  In addition, the complaint
enhances the Dresser claims to include allegations related to
the Company's accounting with respect to the acquisition,
integration, and reserves of Dresser.  The Company moved to
dismiss that complaint, styled "Kimble v. Halliburton Company,
et al."; however, the court never ruled on our motion and
ordered the case consolidated with the "Moore" class action.

                        Murphey Complaint

On August 3, 2004, the attorneys representing the dissident
plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file yet another class
action complaint styled "Murphey v. Halliburton Company, et
al.," which was subsequently granted by the court.  The Murphey
complaint raised and augments allegations similar to those in
the "Moore" class action and the "Kimble" action, including
additional allegations regarding disclosure of asbestos
liability exposure.

On June 7, 2004, the court entered an order preliminarily
approving the settlement.  Following the transfer of the case(s)
to another district judge and a final hearing on the fairness of
the settlement, on September 9, 2004, the court entered an order
holding that evidence of the settlement's fairness was
inadequate and denying the motion for final approval of the
settlement in the "Moore" class action and ordering the parties,
among other things, to mediate.

                   Pension Funds' Intervention

After the court's denial of the motion to approve the
settlement, the Company withdrew from the settlement as it
believes it is entitled to do by its terms, although the
settling plaintiffs assert otherwise.  In the days preceding the
mediation, two union-sponsored pension funds filed motions
seeking leave to intervene in the consolidated class action
litigation and to file their own class action complaint.  The
court has granted those motions.  The mediation was held on
January 27, 2005 and, at the conclusion of that day, was
declared by the mediator to be at an impasse with no settlement
having been reached.

After the mediation, the lead plaintiff and lead counsel filed
motions to withdraw as lead plaintiff and lead counsel.  The
court conducted a hearing on those motions on April 29, 2005.
At that hearing the court appointed co-lead counsel and directed
that they file a third consolidated amended complaint not later
than May 9, 2005 and that the Company file its motion to dismiss
not later than June 8, 2005.  That motion was filed and fully
briefed.  The court heard the motion on August 2, 2005.

On September 9, 2004, the court ordered that if no objections to
the settlement of the derivative action described above were
made by October 20, 2004, the court would finally approve the
derivative action settlement.  On February 18, 2005, the court
entered an order dismissing the derivative action with
prejudice.

The suit is styled "The Archdiocese of Milwaukee Supporting
Fund, Inc., et al v. Halliburton Company, et al., case no. 3:02-
cv-01152," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Texas, under Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn.  Representing
the Company is Thomas E Bilek of Hoeffner & Bilek, 1000
Louisiana St, Suite 1302, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: 713/227-
7720, Fax: 713/227-9404, E-mail: tbilek@hb-legal.com.
Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Richard S Schiffrin, Schiffrin & Barroway - Radnor, 280
         King of Prussia Rd, Radnor, PA 19087, Phone: 610/667-
         7706, Fax: 610/667-7056,

     (2) Marc R. Stanley, Stanley Mandel & Iola, 3100 Monticello
         Ave, Suite 750, Dallas, TX 75205, Phone: 214/443-4301,
         Fax: 214/443-0358, E-mail: mstanley@smi-law.com,

     (3) Thomas Burt, Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, 270
         Madison Ave, Ninth Floor, New York, NY 10016, Phone:
         212/545-4600


HARLEY-DAVIDSON: Asks Wis. High Court to Review Cam Bearing Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Harley-Davidson, Inc. requested the Wisconsin Supreme Court to
review a consumer class action filed against the Company over
its 1999 and early-2000 model year Harley-Davidson motorcycles
equipped with Twin Cam 88 and Twin Cam 88B engines.

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

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

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

     (1) unspecified compensatory damages,

     (2) an order compelling the Company to repair the engines,
         and

     (3) other relief.

On September 23, 2002, the Company's motion to dismiss was
granted by the Court, the complaint was dismissed in its
entirety, and no appeal was taken.

On January 14, 2003, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals reversed the
trial court's February 27, 2002 dismissal of the complaint in
the first action, and the Company petitioned the Wisconsin
Supreme Court for review.  On March 26, 2004, the Wisconsin
Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and dismissed the
remaining claims in the action.  On April 12, 2004, the same
attorneys filed a third action in the state court in Milwaukee
County, on behalf of the same plaintiffs from the action
dismissed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  The court dismissed
this third action on July 26, 2004.

In addition, the plaintiffs in the original case moved to reopen
that matter and amend the complaint to add new causes of action,
which motion was denied on August 23, 2004.  The plaintiffs
filed a notice of appeal to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals from
the latter dismissal.

On September 9, 2004, Milwaukee County Circuit Court refused to
allow the reopening or amendment.  Plaintiffs again appealed to
the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, and on December 13, 2005, the
Court of Appeals again reversed the trial court.  The Company
has filed a petition for review with the Wisconsin Supreme
Court, asking it to reinstate the trial court's decision.  The
Company believes that the 5-year/50,000 mile warranty extension
it announced in January 2001 adequately addressed the condition
for affected owners.


HARLEY-DAVIDSON: Shareholders File Stock Fraud Lawsuit in Wis.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Harley-Davidson, Inc. faces several shareholder class actions
filed between May 18, 2005 and July 1, 2005 in the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.  The suits also
named as defendants several Company officers, including:

     (1) Jeffrey L. Bleustein,

     (2) James M. Brostowitz,

     (3) R. Jon Flickinger,

     (4) John A. Hevey,

     (5) Ronald M. Hutchinson,

     (6) Gail A. Lione,

     (7) James A. McCaslin,

     (8) W. Kenneth Sutton, Jr.,

     (9) Donna F. Zarcone and

    (10) James L. Ziemer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


HARLEY-DAVIDSON: Workers Launch ERISA Violations Lawsuit in Wis.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Harley-Davidson, Inc. faces a purported class action alleging
violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
(ERISA) that was in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Wisconsin.

Filed on August 25, 2005, the suit was specifically brought
against the Company, the Administrative Committee of Harley-
Davidson, Inc., and the following Company employees, officers,
and directors:

     (1) Harold A. Scott,

     (2) James M. Brostowitz,

     (3) James L. Ziemer,

     (4) Gail A. Lione,

     (5) Barry K. Allen,

     (6) Richard I. Beattie,

     (7) Jeffrey L. Bleustein,

     (8) George H. Conrades,

     (9) Judson C. Green,

    (10) Donald A. James,

    (11) Sara L. Levinson,

    (12) George L. Miles, Jr., and

    (13) James A. Norling.

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

The suit is styled, "Bosman v. Harley-Davidson Inc., et al.,
Case No. 2:05-cv-00912-CNC," filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Wisconsin under Judge Charles N.
Clevert, Jr.  Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (i) Noah M. Golden-Krasner of Law Offices of Noah Golden-
         Krasner, 354 W. Main St., Madison, WI 53703, Phone:
         608-441-8924, Fax: 608-442-9494, E-mail:
         noah@mainstreetjustice.com;

    (ii) Thomas J. McKenna of Gainey & McKenna, 485 5th Ave. -
         3rd Fl., New York, NY 10017, Phone: 212-983-1300; and

   (iii) Mark C. Rifkin of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman &
         Herz, LLP, 270 Madison Ave. - 10th Fl., New York, NY
         10016, Phone: 212-545-4762, Fax: 212-545-4653, E-mail:
         rifkin@whafh.com.

Representing the defendants are, Charles C. Jackson of Morgan
Lewis & Bockius, LLP, 77 W. Wacker Dr. - 5th Fl., Chicago, IL
60601, Phone: 312-324-1156, Fax: 312-324-1001, E-mail:
charles.jackson@morganlewis.com; and Nancy J. Sennett and
Rebecca E. Wickhem of Foley & Lardner, LLP, 777 E. Wisconsin
Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202-5300, Phone: 414-297-5522 and 414-297-
5681, Fax: 414-297-4900 and 414-297-4900, E-mail:
nsennett@foley.com and rwickhem@foley.com.


HERCULES INC: Pa. Court Combines ERISA Lawsuits, Sets Trial Date
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
consolidated for discovery and trial purposes two lawsuits filed
against Hercules, Inc., which are alleging violations of the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and scheduled a
March 27, 2006 trial date.

In June 2004, a purported class action captioned, "Charles
Stepnowski v. Hercules Inc.; The Pension Plan of Hercules Inc.;
The Hercules Inc. Finance Committee; and Edward V. Carrington,
Hercules' Vice President Human Resources, Civil Action No. 04-
cv-2296," was filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District
of Pennsylvania.  The Stepnowski lawsuit seeks the payment of
benefits under the Pension Plan of Hercules Incorporated (the
"Plan"), and alleges violations of ERISA, 29 U.S.C. 1001 et
seq. Under the Plan, eligible retirees of the Company may opt to
receive a single cash payment of 51% of the present value of
their accrued benefit (with the remaining 49% payable as a
monthly annuity).

In the Stepnowski lawsuit, it is alleged that the Company's
adoption of a new interest rate assumption used to determine the
51% cash payment constitutes a breach of fiduciary duty and a
violation of the anti-cutback requirements of ERISA, the
Internal Revenue Code and the terms of the Plan, and that its
communications to employees concerning the new interest rate
assumption constitute a breach of fiduciary duty.  The suit
seeks the payment of additional benefits under ERISA (as well as
costs and attorneys fees), seeks to compel the Company to use an
interest rate assumption that is more favorable to eligible
retirees, and seeks to establish a class comprised of all Plan
participants who retired (or who will retire) on or after
December 1, 2001.

By Memorandum and Order dated May 26, 2005, the Court denied
without prejudice plaintiff's motion for class certification and
dismissed plaintiff's anti-cutback claim, but allowed
plaintiff's claim for benefits and breach of fiduciary duty to
proceed.  In December 2005, a virtually identical purported
class action was filed in the same Court in a matter captioned,
"Samuel J. Webster, et al. v. Hercules, Inc.; The Pension Plan
of Hercules Inc.; The Hercules Inc. Finance Committee; and
Edward V. Carrington, Hercules' Vice President Human Resources,
Civil Action No. 05-6404."

In January 2006, the Court consolidated both the Stepnowski and
Webster lawsuits for discovery and trial and set both cases for
trial on March 27, 2006.  The Company denies all liability, and
intends to vigorously defend this action.

The suits are styled, "Stepnowski v. Hercules, Inc., et al.,
Case No. 2:04-cv-02296-JF," and "Webster v. Hercules,
Incorporated et al., Case No. 2:05-cv-06404-JF," which are both
pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Pennsylvania under Judge John P. Fullam.

In "Stepnowski," the plaintiff is represented by Alice W.
Ballard of Law Office of Alice W. Ballard, PC, 1616 Walnut St.,
Suite 2205, Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone: 215-893-9708, Fax:
215-893-9997, E-mail: awballard@awballard.com; and Mervin m.
Wilf of Mervin M. Wilf, Ltd., One South Broad Street, Suite
1630, Philadelphia, PA 19107, Phone: 215-568-4842.

In "Webster," the plaintiff is represented by Robert J. Larocca
of Kohn Swift & Graf, P.C., One South Broad Street, Suite 2100,
Philadelphia, PA 19107, Phone: 215-238-1700, E-mail:
rlarocca@kohnswift.com.

Representing the Company in both cases are David S. Fryman and
Allison V. Kinsey of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLPP,
1735 Market St., 51ST FL., Philadelphia, PA 19103-7599, Phone:
215-864-8105 and 215-864-8782, Fax: 215-864-9743, E-mail:
fryman@ballardspahr.com and kinseya@ballardspahr.com.


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

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

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


HERCULES INC: Plaintiffs Appeal Vietnamese Lawsuit's Dismissal
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has yet to rule
on plaintiffs' appeal on the dismissal of their class action,
styled, "The Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent
Orange/Dioxin, et al. v. The Dow Chemical Company, et al., (Case
No. 04-0400)."

In January 2004, Hercules, Inc., along with several other
companies were sued in a purported class action filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York by The
Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin and
several individuals who claim to represent between two and four
million Vietnamese who allege that Agent Orange used by the U.S.
during the Vietnam War caused them or their families to sustain
personal injuries.  The suit alleges violations of international
law and war crimes, as well as violations of the common law for
products liability, negligence and international torts.

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

The suit is styled, "Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent
Orange/Dioxin, et al. v. Dow Chemical Company, et al.," on
appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
New York under Judge Jack B. Weinstein with referral to judge
Joan M. Azrack.  Representing the plaintiffs are, Mary Ellen
Bates of Hardin, Nomberg & Bates, LLP, 2151 Highland Ave., Suite
120, Birmingham, Al 35205, Phone: 205-930-690; and Richard Bress
Latham & Watkins, LLP, 555 Eleventh Street N.W., Suite 1000,
Washington, DD 20004, Phone: 202-637-2137, E-mail:
rick.bress@lw.com.

Representing the defendants are, Steven R. Brock of Rivkin
Radler, LLP, EAB Plaza, 10th Floor, Uniondale, NY 11556-0111,
Phone: 516-357-3315, Fax: 516-357-3333, E-mail:
steve.brock@rivkin.com; and Chryssa V.B. Valletta of McDermott,
Will, Emery, 50 Rockefller Plaza, New York, NY 10020, Phone:
212-547-5400, Fax: 212-547-5444, E-mail: cvalletta@mwe.com.


HERCULES INC: Reaches $1.412M Settlement for La. Pollution Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hercules, Inc. along with other defendants reached a settlement
for purported class actions, which are pending in Louisiana
state court, over the contamination of potable water supply at
Georgia Gulf.

The Company is one of several defendants that were sued by over
2,000 individuals in a series of lawsuits, including purported
class actions that were all brought in the 18th Judicial
District Court, Parish of Iberville, Louisiana, and captioned:

     (1) "Jerry Oldham, et al. v. The State of Louisiana, et
         al., Civil Action No. 55,160;"

     (2) "John Capone, et al. v. The State of Louisiana, et al.,
         Civil Action No. 56,048C;" and

     (3) "Georgenner Batton, et al. v. The State of Louisiana,
          et al., Civil Action No. 55,285."

The "Oldham" case is a purported class action comprised of
approximately 2,000 plaintiffs who are or were direct employees
of Georgia Gulf, and the "Capone" case is a consolidated action
by approximately 44 plaintiffs who are or were contract
employees at Georgia Gulf.  Both actions assert claims against
the State of Louisiana, the Company, American PetroFina, Inc.,
Hercofina, Ashland Oil, International Minerals and Chemicals,
Allemania Chemical, Ashland Chemical and the Parish of
Iberville.

The purported class members and plaintiffs, who claimed to have
worked or lived at or around the Georgia Gulf facility in
Iberville Parish, Louisiana, alleged injury and fear of future
illness from the consumption of contaminated water and,
specifically, elevated levels of arsenic in that water.  As to
the Company, plaintiffs alleged that the Company itself and as
part of a joint venture operated a nearby plant and, as part of
those operations, used a groundwater injection well to dispose
of various wastes, and that those wastes contaminated the
potable water supply at Georgia Gulf.

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

In January 2005, plaintiffs filed a motion to add the Company
and other defendants to the "Batton" case.  The Court granted
that motion in February 2005.  The "Batton" lawsuit is a
purported class action comprised of plaintiffs who are or were
contract employees of Georgia Gulf since 1995 and who are
asserting nearly identical allegations as the plaintiffs in the
"Oldham" lawsuit.  Plaintiffs have filed a motion to certify the
purported classes of plaintiffs in the "Oldham" and "Batton"
matters, and a hearing is set for December 5-7, 2005.

In August 2005, the Company and several other defendants entered
into an agreement in principle to settle these matters with the
Company agreeing to pay $1,412,000.  That settlement, which will
be structured as a class action settlement and which the Company
without any admission of liability agreed to, is pending Court
approval.


H&R BLOCK: New York Files $250M Lawsuit Over Retirement Plan
------------------------------------------------------------
H&R Block, Inc. is facing a civil suit filed by New York State
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer against the firm's savings plan
offering, according to Forbes.

The suit, filed in New York State Supreme Court on March 15, is
seeking $250 million in damages.  It alleges that Kansas-based
H&R Block failed to adequately disclose fees related to its
Express IRA product, failed to warn that the interest paid would
not cover the fees in certain instances, and misleadingly
described the interest rates as "great."

The misleading and incomplete disclosure allegedly violated New
York's consumer fraud law and was a breach of the company's
fiduciary duty to its clients.  The violation affected hundreds
of thousands of clients, including almost 30,000 New Yorkers,
the lawsuit claims.  It seeks injunction from further violations
of New York law, damages and civil penalties.

In a statement defending the product, H&R Block admitted that it
received in February a Notice of Intent to Sue followed by a
settlement demand letter from the Attorney General's office for
alleged damages related to the product.

H&R Block is represented by:

     Robert Abrams
     Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP
     180 Maiden Lane
     New York, New York 10038-4982
     (New York Co.)
     Phone: 212-806-5400
     Telecopier: 212-806-6006


H&R BLOCK: Lerach Coughlin Alleges Fraud in Retirement Plan
-----------------------------------------------------------
Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins filed a consumer
fraud class action against H&R Block, Inc., an internal provider
of tax, and business consulting services and products, Forbes
reports.

The suit is filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City,
Missouri on March 15.  It alleges that Express IRAs were
"uniformly marketed and sold to consumers without regard to the
consumer's tax, investment, and income requirements, and without
adequate disclosure of the significant referral fees and
commissions received by the tax preparers at H&R Block for
pushing these Express IRA accounts."

According to the report, the suit makes similar allegations with
a civil suit filed by New York State Attorney General Eliot
Spitzer in the New York State Supreme Court.  The suit alleges
that H&R Block failed to adequately disclose fees related to its
Express IRA product to its customers, failed to warn that the
interest paid would not cover the fees in certain instances, and
misled clients regarding the true financial standing of its
interest rates.  This misleading and incomplete disclosure
allegedly violated New York's consumer fraud law and was a
breach of the company's fiduciary duty to its clients.

The Attorney General's suit is seeking $250 million in damages.
According to the report, the Lerach suit did not specify
damages, but Jonathan Stein, partner at Lerach Coughlin said the
damages sought would be much larger because his firm's suit
represents all Express IRA holders around country.

The suit is styled, "Terrelonge v. H & R Block Inc. (4:06-cv-
00222-RED)," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Missouri under Judge Richard E. Dorr.  Representing
the plaintiff are:

     (1) Paul J. Geller and Jonathan M. Stein of Cauley & Geller
          LLP, 2255 Glades Road Suite 421A, Boca Raton, FL
          33431, Phone: 561-750-3000;

     (2) Don R. Lolli of Dysart Taylor Lay Cotter & McMonigle,
         PC, 4420 Madison Avenue, Kansas City, MO 641111, Phone:
         (816)931-2700; Fax: (816)931-7377; E-mail:
         dlolli@dysarttaylor.com;

     (3) Manual Rodriguez of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman
         & Robbins LLP, 192 S. Federal Highway, Suite 200, Boca
         Raton, FL 33432 U.S., Phone: (561) 750-3000; Fax: (561)
         750-3364.


H&R BLOCK: Brodsky & Smith Probes Alleged Retirement Plans Fraud
----------------------------------------------------------------
Brodsky & Smith, LLC is investigating possible civil claims
against H&R Block, Inc.  These claims result from a lawsuit
filed by the New York State Attorney General.

The suit alleges that H&R Block steered roughly 500,000 tax
return customers to invest in individual retirement accounts,
but failed to disclose high hidden fees that actually outpaced
interest earned on the accounts.  It is also alleged that 85
percent of those customers who invested in the Express IRA lost
money.  The civil complaint, filed in Manhattan state court,
alleges that the company knew that many of its customers were
losing money.

Based in Kansas City, Missouri, H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE:HRB) --
http://www.hrblock.com/-- prepares tax return in the U.S.
Canada, Australia, and the U.K.

For more information, contact Jason L. Brodsky, Esquire or Evan
J. Smith, Esquire at Brodsky & Smith, L.L.C., Two Bala Plaza,
Suite 602, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, E-mail: clients@brodsky-
smith.com, Phone: 877-LEGAL-90 (toll-free).


H&R BLOCK: Express IRA Has Helped Thousands of Americans Save
-------------------------------------------------------------
H&R Block, Inc. refutes the New York State Attorney General's
attack on the company's Express IRA product, saying it has
helped more than half a million Americans take a critical and
often first step toward saving for their future.

"Make no mistake -- we believe in the Express IRA product and
are proud of the opportunities it presents for our clients.  At
a time when the country's personal savings rate has declined to
minus 0.7 percent, we've helped 596,000 of our clients begin
saving for their future, and more than 40 percent of them had
never saved before," said H&R Block Chairman and CEO Mark A.
Ernst.

"Currently, our Express IRA savers have accumulated more than
$360 million in their accounts plus Saver's Credit tax benefits
of over $50 million.  That's a powerful first step toward
ensuring a secure financial future," Mr. Ernst said.

"If in the unfortunate event this matter does end up in court,
H&R Block will fight vigorously to defend the Express IRA
product and ensure it remains available to our many clients who
rely on it as a helpful savings option."

Last month the Company received a Notice of Intent to Sue
followed by a settlement demand letter from the Attorney
General's office for alleged damages related to the product.  In
a response, H&R Block Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Nick Spaeth, a former Attorney General of North Dakota,
challenged the allegations, noting that the product provides a
compelling incentive for lower-income Americans to save for the
future, with benefits that include:

-- A safe, FDIC-insured money market account with no financial
   market risk;

-- Competitive interest rates;

-- Low minimum deposit requirements - either $300 up front or
   $25 a month, which is less than most banks and other
   financial institutions;

-- Immediate income tax benefits, including access to the
   Retirement Saver's Credit, for eligible individuals below
   certain income levels; and

-- Ease and convenience of beginning to save at a time when
   clients are about to receive a lump sum of cash via their tax
   refund.

"We have cooperated fully and provided volumes of data and
detailed analyses to the Attorney General's office, but it has
ignored all of the positives and has chosen to launch this
attack," said Mr. Spaeth.  "Some clients do withdraw their funds
early and incur IRS penalties; that's true with any IRA product.
However, it should not detract from the enormously positive
impact of this program, particularly on first-time savers."

The information shared reflects a case-by-case evaluation of
data available for all Express IRA accounts opened between 2001
and 2005.  "We will continue to communicate directly with the
Attorney General's office to help them understand that this
product is an innovative and sound savings choice," Mr. Spaeth
said.

The company is represented by the New York law firm Stroock &
Stroock & Lavan through Robert Abrams, former New York Attorney
General.

"H&R Block has been a pioneer in creating a unique product, the
Express IRA, which has provided the opportunity for hundreds of
thousands of Americans to start a pattern of savings," said Mr.
Abrams.  "Block has worked with scholars, policymakers in the
federal government, and leaders in non-profit organizations,
such as the Brookings Institution and the Aspen Institute, to
provide low- and moderate-income people the chance to open
retirement savings accounts and take advantage of tax savings
incentives.

"Out of all the Express IRA accounts opened between 2001 and
2005, 78% have experienced positive net tax savings benefits and
interest earnings.  This is a positive and powerful statement of
achievement.  Further, this effort has not created windfall
profits for H&R Block -- indeed the company has lost money
operating this program," Mr. Abrams concluded.

The company said nearly half of the Express IRA clients have
been able to save more than $50 million in taxes because H&R
Block helped them claim the Retirement Saver's Credit, a low-
income retirement savings incentive enacted by Congress in 2002.
Since the debut of the Saver's Credit, H&R Block has helped more
than 4 million of its total clients save more than $715 million
via the tax credit, representing approximately 25 percent of all
Saver's Credits claimed.

For more information, contact Nick Iammartino of H&R Block,
Phone: 816-932-4835, E-mail: nick.iammartino@hrblock.com;
Linda McDougall, Phone: 816-932-7542, E-mail:
lmcdougall@hrblock.com; or Robert Abrams of Stroock & Stroock &
Lavan, LLP, 180 Maiden Lane, New York, New York 10038-4982 (New
York Co.), Phone: 212-806-5400, Telecopier: 212-806-6006.


ILLINOIS: Racial Bias Suit V. Elgin School Denied Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers in a discrimination lawsuit against Elgin School
District U46 have until May 12 to amend their complaint in the
case, according to The Courier News Online.

A federal court denied certification to the lawsuit earlier this
month, saying the complaint must be narrowed, or else plaintiff
list must be expanded to accommodate all of the issues listed to
get class certification.

A black family and a Hispanic family in Elgin filed the suit in
2005 to complain about the closure of Illinois Park Elementary
School in 2004.  Aside from racial discrimination allegation,
the suit also claims the district's program to teach English to
Hispanic students is not sufficient.

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 plaintiff families in the case are seeking class-action
status for the lawsuit.  They request 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.

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.


MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL: Disabled Customers to Get Special Carts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ocean Colony, owner of Peninsula golf course Half Moon Bay Golf
Links, will provide two modified carts for disabled players as
part of a class action settlement, Associated Press reports.

The lawsuit was filed in October by two players that use
wheelchairs, U.S. Army veteran Larry Celano of Arizona and Ann
Rich Thesing of Atherton.

Resort owner Marriott International remains a defendant in a
suit demanding it to provide the carts at 80 courses affiliated
with the hotel chain around the country.

The plaintiffs are represented by Disability Rights Advocates of
Oakland and Chavez & Gertler of Mill Valley
(http://www.lawyers.com/cglaw/).


NASHBAR DIRECT: Recalls Defective Bicycle Resistance Trainers
-------------------------------------------------------------
Nashbar Direct of Canfield, Ohio, in cooperation with the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling about 2,500
units of 2006 Nashbar Bicycle Trainers.

The company said the base of the trainer has a blocking
mechanism that can break causing the bicycle to disengage from
the stand, posing a fall hazard.  Nashbar Direct has not
received any reports of incidents or injuries.

The Nashbar Watt Master and 2006 Fluid trainers are metallic
gray with graphic Nashbar "N" decals running vertically along
the rear face of the right rear support leg.  The recalled item
number is printed on the bottom of the last page of the owner's
manual.  The recalled models are:

Trainer Models  Item Number
Nashbar Watt Master Fluid  NB-WMF5
Nashbar Watt Master Magnetic  NB-WM5
Nashbar 2006 Fluid Adjustable  NB-FTA5
Nashbar 2006 Fluid  NB-FT5
Nashbar 2006 Fluid/HRM  NB-FT5H

The products were made in Italy and sold in catalogs and Web
site nationwide from August 2005 through February 2006 for about
$300.  Consumers are advised to stop using the bicycle trainers
immediately until repaired.

Picture of the recalled product:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06533.jpg

Consumer Contact: Nashbar, Phone: 800) 888-2710 between 9 a.m.
and 8 p.m. CT Monday through Friday; Web site:
http://www.nashbar.com.


NC SOFT: Police Says Victims of Korean ID Theft May Reach 1.22M
---------------------------------------------------------------
South Korea's National Police Agency said that the number of
victims of identity theft by hackers using the popular online
game "Lineage" may reach as many as 1.22 million people, The
Korea Herald reports.

Police are investigating the possibility that NC Soft, the
developer and operator of the game, was aware of the thefts when
the number of its members hugely rose last October, yet didn't
take any actions.  The revelations were part of police agency's
interim result of its one-month investigation into the nation's
largest online ID theft case.

Lineage is a multiplayer online role-playing game in which
gamers can explore a mythical fantasy world and befriend new
people while also engaging in combat.

The numbers of victims are estimated to be between 980,000 and
1.22 million, according to the investigation.  As of the moment,
175,877 people reported to the company claiming to be victims of
identity theft.

Police have analyzed 1.67 million member accounts registered
from October 2005 to Feb. 14, when the cases were first
reported.  Of them, 980,000 identity numbers had been registered
to the game site using seven e-mail addresses repeatedly.

Police said six of these e-mail addresses are Chinese owned,
narrowing down the hacking suspects to Chinese online item
traders.  They tracked down 1,449 Internet protocol addresses
that may have been used by the Chinese.

Police told The Korea Herald that the identity numbers might
have been hacked through websites selling used cars in Korea and
online travel agencies.  Another possibility is that the
identity numbers were leaked by online item manufacturers in
Korea who gave the personal information of the registered
members while handing out subcontracts to the Chinese people.
They suspect that NC Soft may have neglected taking action
despite knowing of the Chinese hacking.

NC Soft officials though told The Korea Herald that such
allegations stem from misunderstandings and that it will
cooperate in the police investigation.

More than 3,500 people have joined the class action against NC
Soft, which was brought by Lawmarket Asia, together with the
K.R. law firm.  The suit is seeking to sue NC Soft for damages
incurred from massive identification thefts, accusing the
company of failing to verify the identifications of members when
they registered.  The case will be the largest ever class action
in South Korea's legal history.

Previously, Lawmarket and the K.R. law firm told The Korea
Herald that it would lead a class action against Korean online
game maker N.C. Soft and its blockbuster game, to demand
compensation for massive identification thefts.  They accuse the
company of failing to verify the identifications of members when
they registered, (Class Action Reporter, Feb. 27, 2006).

Lawmarket is planning to demand that NC Soft compensate each
I.D. theft victim with about $1,034.3 for violating personal
information protection.  "It will only cost each victim 10,000
won ($10.34) to join the group lawsuit, so it is practically a
lawsuit with no charge, for the public interest," the Lawmarket
spokesperson told The Korea Herald, (Class Action Reporter, Feb.
27, 2006).


NEW JERSEY: $11.1M Settlement Reached in Teachers' Exam Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A federal court gave preliminary approval to the $11.1 million
settlement entered by the Educational Testing Service over
errors in the scoring of its teacher licensing examination, the
New York Times reports.

The Praxis series exams are designed, administered and scored by
the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, N.J.  They are
used by 39 states and U.S. jurisdictions to grant licenses to
teachers.  Errors in the test emerged after a state that used
the test questioned the results, the report said citing
settlement papers.

An investigation by the testing service found that it had graded
some answers too stringently during a part of the test series
given from January 2003 to April 2004.  As a result, about
27,000 people who took the exam received lower scores than they
should have, and 4,100 of them were wrongly told they had
failed.

A statement from the testing service said an $11.1 million fund
"will be used to provide cash payments to plaintiffs.  Test
takers who were falsely told they had failed will be able to
file papers to receive about $500 each, or they can try to show
that they suffered greater damages. Those whose scores were
passing but lower than they should have been will also be
eligible to file for damages.

The suit was under Judge Sarah S. Vance of the Federal District
Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.  Robert A.
Schaeffer served as an expert for the plaintiffs.  Shawn M.
Raiter, a lawyer in St. Paul represented families in a lawsuit.

Serving as expert for the plaintiffs is Robert A. Schaeffer of
3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, Florida, (Palm Beach Co.).
Representing families is Shawn M. Raiter of Larson King, LLP,
2800 Wells Fargo Place, 30 East Seventh Street, St. Paul,
Minnesota 55101, (Ramsey Co.), Phone: 651-312-6500; Phone: 877-
373-5501 (toll-free); Telecopier: 651-312-6618.


NORTHWESTERN CORP: Court to Hear Injunction Request in "Livonia"
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota set a
tentative March 21, 2006 trial date on plaintiffs' request for a
permanent injunction in a shareholder class action and
derivative action, entitled, "City of Livonia Employee
Retirement System v. Draper, et al.," which was filed against
NorthWestern Corporation and its directors.

The suit, which was filed November 2005, claims, among other
things, that the directors breached their fiduciary duties by
not sufficiently negotiating with Montana Public Power Inc. and
Black Hills Corporation, two entities that had made public,
unsolicited offers to purchase the Company.

In the lawsuit, Livonia officials claim that the board acted in
its own interest and ignored its fiduciary duty to shareholders
by refusing the possible deal.  It stated, "Plaintiff seeks to
prevent further harm to NorthWestern and its public shareholders
by compelling (the board) to fulfill their fiduciary
responsibility as directors and prevent (the board) from ...
taking any additional actions that will (impede) the
maximization of shareholders' value," (Class Action Reporter,
Dec. 6, 2005).

After the Board of Directors adopted the Company's shareholders'
rights plan on December 5, 2005, the plaintiff also sought a
temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to
prevent the implementation of the rights plan or any other
defensive measures.  On December 16, 2005, the Federal District
Court denied the plaintiff's application.  The Federal District
Court has scheduled a trial on plaintiffs' request for a
permanent injunction against the rights plan and other measures,
which will commence on March 21, 2006.  The Company intends to
vigorously defend against the plaintiffs' claims, however the
Company cannot currently predict the ultimate impact of this
litigation.

The suit is styled, "City of Livonia Employees' Retirement
System v. Draper, et al., Case No. 4:05-cv-04178-LLP," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota under
Judge Lawrence L. Piersol.  Representing the plaintiffs are
Randall J. Baron and Darren J. Robbins of Lerach Coughlin Stoia
Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP, 655 W. Broadway, Suite 1900, San
Diego, CA 92101, Phone: (619) 231-1058, Fax: 231-7423; and
Timothy J. Dougherty of Dougherty & Dougherty, P.O. Box 1004,
Sioux Falls, SD 57101-1004, Phone: 335-8586.

Representing the defendants are, Filiberto Agusti, Scott T.
Bielicki, David F. Rifkind and Andrew Sloniewsky of Steptoe and
Johnson, LLP, 1330 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC 20036,
US, Phone: 202-429-6428, 202-429-6751, 202-429-8094 and 202-429-
6759, E-mail: fagusti@steptoe.com, sbielicki@steptoe.com,
drifkind@steptoe.com and asloniewsky@steptoe.com; and Roberto
Antonio Lange of Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, P.O. Box
1030, Sioux Falls, SD 57101-1030, Phone: 336-2880, Fax: 335-
3639, E-mail: rlange@dehs.com.


OIL COMPANIES: Tex. Lawyer Urges Residents to Join MTBE Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Attorney Cary McDougal of the Texas law firm Baron & Budd told
residents of Freedom, Wisconsin, who have ingested water from
chemically contaminated wells that they can choose to
participate in a class action against U.S. oil companies.

The octane enhancer methyl tertiary-butyl ether, or "MtBE,"
infiltrated a cross-section of Freedom's wells after leaching
into groundwater from an underground gasoline storage tank at
the northwest corner of Outagamie County highways S and E.  Many
residents, while waiting for the town to implement its newly
planned municipal water system, have been using bottled drinking
water since 2000.

The visiting attorney told resident that that he couldn't
predict the duration or outcome of the lawsuit, which is part of
an attempt by at least 200 communities nationwide to seek
reparations from about 30 oil companies that manufacture the
chemical.  He went on to say, "I can only assure you, you will
have the finest lawyers in the country on this issue diligently
representing your interests."  Mr. McDougal invited residents to
join the town and the Freedom Sanitary District in filing a
claim by next week.

Karleen Barker, 46, stood in line to learn whether she
qualified.  She told The Appleton Post-Crescent, "We were
drinking the water for two months before we knew we couldn't."

Darcie Bevers, 23, and her husband Mike, 27, pay an annual fee
to share the Barkers' well.  The couple told The Appleton Post-
Crescent that they worry the contamination could affect their 3-
month-old daughter's health.  Mrs. Bevers adds, "It's the bath
part of it, how much is ingested in your skin."

For more details, contact Cary L. McDougal of Baron & Budd,
P.C., 3102 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite 1100, Dallas, Texas 75219
(Collin, Dallas & Denton Cos.), Phone: 214-521-3605, Fax: 214-
520-1181, Web site: http://www.baronandbudd.com/.


PATINA OIL: Colo. Court Refuses to Review Class Certification
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Colorado Supreme Court denied the Patina Oil and Gas
Corporation's petition for review of the District Court for Weld
County, Colorado's granting of class certification to the
lawsuit filed against the Company, which is styled, "Jack
Holman, et al v. Patina Oil & Gas Corporation, Case No. 03-CV-
09."

The suit was initially filed in January 2003, which plaintiff
sought to certify as a class action, based upon the Colorado
Supreme Court's ruling in "Rogers v. Westerman Farm Co.,"
alleging that the Company had improperly deducted certain costs
in connection with its calculation of royalty payments relating
to its Colorado operations.  Essentially, the ruling by the
Colorado Supreme Court in "Rogers," back in July 2001 resulted
in uncertainty regarding the deductibility of certain post-
production costs from payments to be made to royalty interest
owners.

In May 2004, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint narrowing
the class of potential plaintiffs, and thereafter filed a motion
seeking to certify the narrowed class as described in the
amended complaint.   The class certification motion was heard on
September 22, 2005 and granted on October 13, 2005.  The
Colorado Supreme Court denied the Company's petition for review
on November 23, 2005.


RELATED COS: Icon Condominium Buyers Launch Federal Suit in Nev.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Several buyers at the Icon high-rise condominium project filed a
class action against developer Related Cos., after their
purchase contracts were unilaterally canceled in January when
the Company revealed that it would not proceed with the project,
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

According to attorney Craig Anderson of Marquis & Aurbach,
"Unlike similar projects where the developer only executed
reservation agreements, here the developer entered into
enforceable purchase contracts and simply failed to perform.
The purchasers believe that the project may eventually go
forward.  The developer can't simply renege on hundreds of
purchase contracts simply to make a larger profit."

The lawsuit was originally filed in January and expanded in
March 2 with an amended complaint adding new legal theories
against the developers.  The suit asks the court to require the
developer to go forward and to sell the condos at the price
specified in their purchase agreements.

In a Jan. 5 letter to buyers, the developer stated that it is
refunding the purchaser's escrow deposits and that by cashing
the refund check, the purchaser is releasing all claims against
it.

However, Mr. Anderson warns buyers, "We advise purchasers not to
cash or deposit the refund check, without first seeking legal
advice."

The class action, whish was filed in the U.S. District Court for
the District of Nevada, is the first class action filed against
the Company by Icon purchasers.  The court at a later date will
determine whether or not it will certify the case as a class
action.

The suit is styled, "Scott v. Related CCD, LLC, et al.," filed
in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada under
Judge James C. Mahan.  Representing the plaintiff is Craig R.
Anderson of Marquis & Aurbach, 10001 Park Run Drive, Las Vegas,
NV 89145, Phone: 702-382-0711, Fax: 702-382-5816, E-mail:
canderson@marquisaurbach.com.


RENAISSANCERE HOLDINGS: Faces Consolidated Stock Lawsuit in N.Y.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs commenced a consolidated amended securities complaint
against RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York, naming the Company and
certain of its present and former executive officers and
directors as defendants.

Beginning in July 2005, seven putative class actions were filed
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
by purchasers of the Company's common stock.  On December 19,
2005, these actions were consolidated under the name, "In re
RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. Securities Litigation, No. 05-Civ.-
6764 (WHP)," District No. 9, I.A. of M. & A.W. Pension Trust
Fund for Operating Engineers and Joseph Moss were appointed co-
lead plaintiffs; and Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman &
Robbins LLP and Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP were appointed co-lead
counsel.

On February 14, 2006, co-lead plaintiffs filed a Consolidated
Amended Complaint, which purports to have been filed on behalf
of all persons who purchased and/or acquired the publicly traded
securities of the Company between April 22, 2003 and July 25,
2005.  The Consolidated Amended Complaint names, in addition to
the Company, current and former officers of the Company as
defendants (Messrs. Stanard, Riker, Lummis, Cash and Merritt).
The Consolidated Amended Complaint alleges that the Company and
the other named defendants violated the U.S. federal securities
laws by making material misstatements and failing to state
material facts about the Company's business and financial
condition in, among other things, Securities Act filings and
public statements.  The suit, which is at an early stage, seeks
compensatory damages without specifying an amount.  The
Company's response to the Consolidated Amended Complaint is due
on April 17, 2006.

The suit is styled, "In re RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.
Securities Litigation, No. 05-Civ.-6764 (WHP)," filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York under
Judge William H. Pauley, III.  Representing the plaintiffs are,
Samuel Howard Rudman of Lerach, Coughlin, Stoia, Geller, Rudman
& Robbins, LLP, 58 South Service Road, Suite 200, Melville, NY
11747, Phone: 631-367-7100, Fax: 631-367-1173, E-mail:
srudman@lerachlaw.com; and Christopher J. Keller of Labaton
Rudoff & Sucharow, LLP, 100 Park Avenue, 12th Floor, New York,
NY 10017, Phone: (212) 907-0853, Fax: (212) 883-7053, E-mail:
ckeller@labaton.com.

Representing the defendants are, Steven Robert Paradise of
Vinson & Elkins, L.L.P., 666 Fifth Avenue, 26th Floor, New York
10103, Phone: (917) 206-8000, Fax: (917) 849-5338, E-mail:
sparadise@velaw.com.


RENT-A-CENTER: High Court Revives Suit Over Rent-to-Own Deals
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of New Jersey reinstated claims made by the
plaintiff in a matter entitled Hilda Perez v. Rent-A-Center,
Inc., and remanded the matter to the trial court for further
proceedings.

This decision reversed a trial court ruling in favor of the
Company dismissing all of the plaintiff's claims.  The New
Jersey Appellate Division had also ruled in favor of the
Company, affirming the trial court's ruling.  In its ruling, the
Supreme Court of New Jersey found that the Company's rent-to-own
transactions in New Jersey are subject to the New Jersey Retail
Installment Sales Act and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, and
that such transactions are subject to a 30% interest rate cap.
No class has been certified in the matter, and no finding of
liability or damages against the Company has been made.

"While we are clearly disappointed in the Supreme Court's ruling
[], particularly in light of the two favorable decisions we
previously received in this matter," commented Mark E. Speese,
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the
Company.  "We look forward to defending ourselves on the
substance of the plaintiff's claims in the trial court.  New
Jersey is one of only three states that does not have rental
purchase legislation," continued Mr. Speese.

"...[W]e do not believe this decision will impact our operations
in any other state.  We will review the impact that this
decision may have on our operations in New Jersey, and will
evaluate any changes in our business practices that may be
necessary to continue to do business in that state," Mr. Speese
said.  The Company operates 43 stores in New Jersey.

Rent-A-Center, Inc., (NASDAQ/NNM: RCII), headquartered in Plano,
Texas, operates 2,762 company-owned stores nationwide and in
Canada and Puerto Rico.  For more information, contact David E.
Carpenter, Phone: 972-801-1214, E-mail: dcarpenter@racenter.com.


ROBERTSON STEPHENS: NaviSite Shareholders Urged to File Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A.
(K&T) advises all Robertson Stephens customers who are eligible
to participate in the Settlement of "In Re Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation, No. 21 MC 92 (SAS)", to explore
all of their legal options against Robertson Stephens, one of
the non-settling defendant underwriters.

According to K&T, investors should strongly consider pursuing an
individual securities arbitration claim as a means to recovering
their financial losses.

According to the IPO Securities Litigation, various issuers and
underwriters caused securities to trade at artificially inflated
prices, in connection with the initial public offering of the
securities, causing customers to lose billions of dollars.
Investors who may have a claim against Robertson Stephens, a
non-settling defendant underwriter, include those who suffered
net losses as a result of their purchase and/or receipt of these
stocks through Robertson Stephens, during:

NaviSite, Inc.                 (NAVI) Oct. 22, 99 - Dec. 6, 00
Network Engines, Inc.          (NENG) Jul. 13, 00 - Dec. 6, 00
OmniVision Technologies, Inc.  (OVTI) Jul. 14, 00 - Dec. 6, 00
ON Semiconductor Corp.         (ONNN) Apr. 27, 00 - Dec. 6, 00

Several defendant underwriters, including Robertson Stephens,
have not settled with the Class Members of the Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation.  Therefore, K&T urges investors
who suffered substantial losses to proceed with a securities
arbitration claim against Robertson Stephens, rather than
waiting for a potential class action settlement.  Empirical
evidence shows that investors may achieve an overall higher rate
of recovery by filing an individual securities arbitration
claim.

Accordingly, K&T -- http://www.nasd-law.com-- plans to assist
individual investors who purchased and/or received an allocation
of shares through an IPO to recover their financial losses from
Robertson Stephens, in securities arbitration claims before the
National Association of Securities Dealers and the New York
Stock Exchange.  Additionally, because the IPO Litigation is not
the exclusive remedy for injured investors, K&T strongly
encourages all eligible IPO Settlement recipients to contact
Lawrence L. Klayman, Esquire, at 888-997-9956 to discuss their
legal options and/or the possibility of pursuing an individual
securities arbitration claim.


ROBERTSON STEPHENS: Digimarc Shareholders Urged to File Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A.
(K&T) advises all Robertson Stephens customers who are eligible
to participate in the Settlement of "In Re Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation, No. 21 MC 92 (SAS)", to explore
all of their legal options against Robertson Stephens, one of
the non-settling defendant underwriters.

According to K&T, investors should strongly consider pursuing an
individual securities arbitration claim as a means to recovering
their financial losses.

According to the IPO Securities Litigation, various issuers and
underwriters caused securities to trade at artificially inflated
prices, in connection with the initial public offering of the
securities, causing customers to lose billions of dollars.
Investors who may have a claim against Robertson Stephens, a
non-settling defendant underwriter, include those who suffered
net losses as a result of their purchase and/or receipt of these

Digimarc Corp.              (DMRC) Dec. 1, 99 - Dec. 6, 00
Digital River               (DRIV) Aug. 11, 98 - Dec. 6, 00
eGain Communications Corp.  (EGAN) Sep. 23, 99 - Dec. 6, 00
Extreme Networks, Inc.      (EXTR) Apr. 8, 99 - Dec. 6, 00

Several defendant underwriters, including Robertson Stephens,
have not settled with the Class Members of the Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation.  Therefore, K&T urges investors
who suffered substantial losses to proceed with a securities
arbitration claim against Robertson Stephens, rather than
waiting for a potential class action settlement.  Empirical
evidence shows that investors may achieve an overall higher rate
of recovery by filing an individual securities arbitration
claim.

Accordingly, K&T -- http://www.nasd-law.com-- plans to assist
individual investors who purchased and/or received an allocation
of shares through an IPO to recover their financial losses from
Robertson Stephens, in securities arbitration claims before the
National Association of Securities Dealers and the New York
Stock Exchange.  Additionally, because the IPO Litigation is not
the exclusive remedy for injured investors, K&T strongly
encourages all eligible IPO Settlement recipients to contact
Lawrence L. Klayman, Esquire, at 888-997-9956 to discuss their
legal options and/or the possibility of pursuing an individual
securities arbitration claim.


ROBERTSON STEPHENS: Oplink Shareholders Urged to File Claims
------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A.
(K&T) advises all Robertson Stephens customers who are eligible
to participate in the Settlement of "In Re Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation, No. 21 MC 92 (SAS)", to explore
all of their legal options against Robertson Stephens, one of
the non-settling defendant underwriters.

According to K&T, investors should strongly consider pursuing an
individual securities arbitration claim as a means to recovering
their financial losses.

According to the IPO Securities Litigation, various issuers and
underwriters caused securities to trade at artificially inflated
prices, in connection with the initial public offering of the
securities, causing customers to lose billions of dollars.
Investors who may have a claim against Robertson Stephens, a
non-settling defendant underwriter, include those who suffered
net losses as a result of their purchase and/or receipt of these

Onvia, Inc.                  (ONVI) Feb. 29, 00 - Dec. 6, 00
Oplink Communications, Inc.  (OPLK) Oct. 3, 00 - Dec. 6, 00
Packeteer, Inc.              (PKTR) Jul. 27, 99 - Dec. 6, 00
Primus Knowledge Solutions   (PKSI) Jul. 1, 99 - Dec. 6, 00

Several defendant underwriters, including Robertson Stephens,
have not settled with the Class Members of the Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation.  Therefore, K&T urges investors
who suffered substantial losses to proceed with a securities
arbitration claim against Robertson Stephens, rather than
waiting for a potential class action settlement.  Empirical
evidence shows that investors may achieve an overall higher rate
of recovery by filing an individual securities arbitration
claim.

Accordingly, K&T -- http://www.nasd-law.com-- plans to assist
individual investors who purchased and/or received an allocation
of shares through an IPO to recover their financial losses from
Robertson Stephens, in securities arbitration claims before the
National Association of Securities Dealers and the New York
Stock Exchange.  Additionally, because the IPO Litigation is not
the exclusive remedy for injured investors, K&T strongly
encourages all eligible IPO Settlement recipients to contact
Lawrence L. Klayman, Esquire, at 888-997-9956 to discuss their
legal options and/or the possibility of pursuing an individual
securities arbitration claim.


STOCK EXCHANGES: May Hearing Set for Antitrust Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
announces pendency and proposed settlement of claims asserted
against certain defendants in the class action "In re Stock
Exchanges Options Trading Antitrust Litigation, 99 CIV. 0962
(RCC) (And All Other Consolidated Actions), MDL No. 1283, Master
Docket No. M-21-79 (RCC)."

The Settling Defendants are listed in the full notice of
pendency and proposed settlement of claims in the Class Action
that was mailed on February 24, 2006 to potential members of the
Settlement Class.

This Summary Notice relates to proposed settlements that in the
aggregate provide $43,899,798 plus interest to the Class (less
administrative costs, and any expenses, attorneys' fees and
incentive awards approved by the Court) in exchange for a
release of claims against the Settling Defendants in this Class
Action.  For settlement purposes, the Court has certified a
Settlement Class consisting of all persons, firms, corporations,
and other entities (excluding the defendants and their parents,
subsidiaries, affiliates, predecessors, successors, partners,
members, and principals) that, during the period January 22,
1990 through April 30, 2003:

     (1) purchased and/or sold one or more Class Option
         Contracts and/or

     (2) paid transaction costs, including without limitation
         all fees and other charges, incurred in connection
         with the purchase and/or sale of one or more Class
         Option Contracts.

For purposes of these Settlements, the term "Class Option
Contract" means an Equity Option Contract (other than a
warrant), that is a security that bestows the right to purchase
or sell a set amount of publicly traded equity securities of,
equity interests in, shares of, or other interests in a
corporation, legal entity, fund, index, or basket of securities,
that was listed and traded at any time during the Class Period
exclusively on any National Securities Exchange, as that term is
defined in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C.
Sections 78a, et seq., that was owned and/or operated by:

     (i) Pacific Exchange, Inc.,

    (ii) New York Stock Exchange Inc.,

   (iii) American Stock Exchange LLC,

    (iv) Chicago Board Options Exchange,

     (v) Philadelphia Stock Exchange Inc.

A Non-Exhaustive, Illustrative List of Class Option Contracts is
at http://www.berdonllp.com/claims. A hard copy of the List is
also available from the Claims Administrator, Phone: (516) 806-
3493.

The Court has scheduled a Hearing for May 22, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.
to consider the final approval of the proposed Settlement
Agreements.  Filing for exclusion is until May 1, 2006.

For more information, contact Options Trading Antitrust
Litigation, c/o Berdon Claims Administration LLC, P.O. Box 9007,
Jericho, NY 11753-8917, Phone: 866) 208-0188 (toll-free);
Customer Service, Phone: 800-766-3330.


THAXTON GROUP: Appeals Court Decertifies Suit Over Junk Bonds
-------------------------------------------------------------
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia has
decertified the class action brought by the holders of junk
bonds in bankrupt investment firm Thaxton Group, The State.com
reports.

According to the report, investors who lost money when the firm
collapsed can now proceed with lawsuits against the company's
largest creditor.  Thaxton's bankruptcy proceedings are expected
to resume in the next few months.  Its legal process was held
pending resolution of the class action.

South Carolina District Judge Robert Anderson granted class
action status for a lawsuit against three defendants in the
Thaxton Group bankruptcy case in June, The Associated Press
reports (Class Action Reporter, June 29, 2005).

The judge approved the motion on June 8 in a suit filed by
investors against Finova Capital Corporation, accountants Cherry
Bekaert and Holland, and the law firm of Moore and Van Allen.
The suit alleges the defendants committed securities fraud that
led to Thaxton's collapse.

Previously, attorneys for Thaxton argued that the investors
should not get class action status, since they stand to get back
all of their losses in Delaware bankruptcy court. They also
argued that the defendants don't want to group together
investors from different states, which might have different
information.

As previously reported in the April 28, 2005 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, investors initiated a lawsuit against the
Thaxton Group over the company's bankruptcy and had asked a
federal judge to give their suit class action status.

Bankruptcy court documents show that a subsidiary of the
Lancaster-based company, which offered high-interest loans and
insurance products to people with poor credit histories, owes
more than $120 million to about 3,800 people who invested in its
subordinated note program. The company, which filed for
bankruptcy in October, discontinued the program last fall at the
request of the attorney general's office.

In December, the South Carolina State Grand Jury issued an
indictment charging James T. Garrett Jr. with 10 counts of
securities fraud for his role in the Company's collapse that
left investors owed $120 million (Class Action Reporter, Dec.
21, 2005).  Mr. Garrett's Carolinas First Investments Inc. sold
the junk bonds that kept the Thaxton Group alive even as its
debt level soared past $100 million.  Gilbert Bagnell is lawyer
for the investors.


UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Insurance Suit Pre-trial Schedule Drags On
--------------------------------------------------------------
UnumProvident Corporation is a defendant in a purported class
action filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York,
styled, "Jeffrey A. Weiller v. New York Life Insurance Company,
UnumProvident Corporation, and The Paul Revere Life Insurance
Company."

This complaint, filed in December 2004, is brought by the
plaintiff on behalf of himself and a purported class alleging
that the Company schemed to improperly deny or terminate
legitimate claims filed under policies issued by several non-
UnumProvident insurers on behalf of whom the Company administers
claims.

On February 18, 2005, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss
this action.  On June 20, 2005, the plaintiff filed a motion
seeking certification of a putative class.  These motions remain
pending.  The court entered a schedule providing for the
completion of all pretrial proceedings in these actions by
December 2005.  The parties are in the process of discussing an
amendment to that schedule which will likely extend the period
for pre-trial proceedings.


UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Mediations Hold Off Summary Judgment Rulings
----------------------------------------------------------------
UnumProvident Corporation is a defendant in several policyholder
class actions that are pending in both state and federal courts
in Tennessee.

On July 15, 2002, the suit captioned, "Rombeiro v. Unum Life
Insurance Company of America, et al.," was filed in the Superior
Court of California and subsequently was removed to federal
court, alleging that the plaintiff was wrongfully denied
disability benefits under a group long-term disability plan.  On
January 21, 2003, an Amended Complaint was filed on behalf of a
putative class of individuals that were denied or terminated
from benefits under group long-term disability plans, seeking
injunctive and declaratory relief and payment of benefits.  On
April 30, 2003, the court granted in part and denied in part the
defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint.  On May 14, 2003,
the plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint seeking similar
relief.

Between November 2002 and November 2003, six additional similar
putative class actions were filed in (or later removed to)
federal district courts in Illinois, Massachusetts, New York,
Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.  The complaints alleged that the
putative class members' claims were evaluated improperly and
allege that the Company and its insurance subsidiaries breached
certain fiduciary duties owed to the class members under the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Racketeer
Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and/or various
state laws.  The complaints sought various forms of equitable
relief and money damages, including punitive damages.

These actions were all transferred to the Eastern District of
Tennessee in a multidistrict litigation.  On December 22, 2003,
the Tennessee Federal District Court entered an order
consolidating all of the above actions for all pretrial purposes
under the caption, "In re UnumProvident Corp. ERISA Benefit
Denial Actions," and appointed a lead plaintiff.  A consolidated
amended complaint was filed on February 20, 2004.  On March 26,
2004, the defendants answered the complaints and simultaneously
filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings in the ERISA
Benefit Denial Actions.  The court has not yet ruled upon that
motion.

On April 30, 2003, a separate putative class action, "Taylor v.
UnumProvident Corporation, et al.," was filed in the Tennessee
Circuit Court and subsequently removed to federal court.  The
complaint alleges claims against the Company and certain
subsidiaries on behalf of a putative class of long-term
disability insurance policyholders who did not obtain their
coverage through employer sponsored plans and who had a claim
denied, terminated, or suspended by a Company subsidiary after
January 1, 1995, seeking equitable and monetary relief.
Plaintiff alleges that the defendants violated various state
laws by engaging in unfair claim practices and improperly
denying claims.

On April 9, 2004, the plaintiffs in Taylor and in the ERISA
Benefit Denial Actions separately filed motions seeking
certification of a plaintiff class.  On July 1, 2005, the
defendants also filed motions for summary judgment in each
action.

On December 14, 2005, the court granted in part the defendants'
motion for summary judgment in Taylor, dismissing plaintiff's
request for equitable relief on her breach of contract claim and
dismissing any claim plaintiff may make for punitive damages
under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.  The former claim
is the principal claim upon which class certification is sought.
The court reserved ruling on the remainder of the pending motion
for summary judgment pending further mediation of the Taylor and
ERISA Benefits actions.

The federal suit is styled "In re UnumProvident Corporation
ERISA Benefit Denial Actions, Case No. 1:03-md-01552," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
under Judge Curtis L. Collier.  Representing the plaintiffs is
Robert I. Harwood of Wechsler Harwood LLP, 488 Madison Avenue,
Eight Floor, Suite 801, New York, NY 10022, Phone: 212-935-7400,
Fax: 212-753-3630, E-mail: rharwood@whesq.com.


UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Transfer Ruling Pending in Antitrust Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
UnumProvident Corporation and certain of its subsidiaries, along
with many other insurance brokers and insurers, were named as
defendants in a series of putative state and federal class
actions that were transferred to the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey for coordinated or consolidated pre-trial
proceedings as part of multidistrict litigation, "In re
Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1663."

The plaintiffs in MDL No. 1663 filed a consolidated amended
complaint in August 2005, which alleges, among other things,
that the defendants violated federal and state antitrust laws,
Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), Employee
Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and various state common
law requirements by engaging in alleged bid rigging and customer
allocation and by paying undisclosed compensation to insurance
brokers to steer business to defendant insurers.  Defendants
filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on November 29, 2005,
and that motion is pending.  Plaintiffs filed a motion for class
certification on February 13, 2006, and the Company will oppose
class certification on or before April 14, 2006 in accordance
with the present scheduling order in this matter.

The Company is a defendant in an action styled, "Palm Tree
Computers Systems, Inc. v. ACE USA, et al.," which was filed in
the Florida State Circuit Court on February 16, 2005.  The
complaint is a putative class action and alleges violations of
the Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act of Florida and
other states, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment.

The allegations are brought against numerous broker
organizations and insurers and assert the Company and its
subsidiaries engaged in illegal and unethical contingent
commission arrangements.  The case was removed to federal court
and, on October 20, 2005, the case was transferred to the
District of New Jersey multidistrict litigation, "In re
Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1663."  A
motion to remand the case to the state court in Florida remains
pending, but no further action has been taken in the case
subsequent to the transfer.

The Company is a defendant in an action entitled, "Bensley
Construction, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., et al.,"
filed in Massachusetts Superior Court by the same counsel as in
Palm Tree.  The complaint names numerous insurance brokers and
insurers and purports to be brought on behalf of Massachusetts
insureds, alleging violations of breach of fiduciary duty and
unjust enrichment under Massachusetts law.  The case was removed
to Federal Court and a tag-along notice filed seeking transfer
to MDL No. 1663.  The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
has the request to transfer the matter to MDL No. 1663 under
advisement, and the District Court in Massachusetts has stayed
further proceedings, including a ruling on plaintiff's motion to
remand the matter to state court, pending a ruling on the
transfer motion.

The suit is styled, "In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust
Litigation, MDL No. 1663," filed in the U.S. District Court for
the District of New Jersey under Judge Faith S. Hochberg with
referral to Judge Patty Shwartz.  Representing the plaintiff
are:

     (1) Thomas M. Louis of Wells Marble & Hurst, PLLC, P.O. BOX
         131, JACKSON, MS 39205-0131, Phone: (601) 355-8321, E-
         mail: tlouis@wellsmar.com;

     (2) H. Alan Mccall of Stockwell Sievert, P.O. Box 2900,
         Lake Charles, LA 70601, US, Phone: 337-436-9491;

     (3) Ellen Meriwether of Miller Faucher & Cafferty, LLP, One
         Logan Square, Suite 1700, 18TH & Cherry Streets,
         Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone: 215-864-2800, E-mail:
         emeriwether@millerfaucher.com; and

     (4) Douglas A. Millen, Counsel Not Admitted to USDC-NJ Bar
         Much, Shelist, Freed, Denenberg, Ament & Rubenstein,
         PC, 191 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1800, Chicago, IL 60605-
         1615, Phone: (312) 521-2100.

Representing the defendants are, Steven Paul Del Mauro of
Mcelroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter, 1300 mt. Kemble avenue,
P.O. BOX 2075, MORRISTOWN, NJ 07962-2075, Phone: (973) 993-8100,
Fax: (973) 425-0161, E-mail: sdelmauro@mdmc-law.com; and Deborah
E. HYRB, Counsel Not Admitted to USDC-NJ Bar, Paul Hastings,
Janofsky & Walker, LLP, 1055 Washington Boulevard, 9th Floor
Stamford, CT 06901, US, Phone: (203) 961-7400.


UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of CorTs Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
UnumProvident Corporation reports on the status of several
securities fraud class actions that were filed against the
Company, several of its subsidiaries, and some of their officers
in various courts.

The Judicial Panel on the Multidistrict Litigation entered an
order back in September 2, 2003, transferring numerous federal
cases pending in New York and Tennessee to the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee for coordinated or
consolidated pretrial proceedings.

On February 12, 2003, the first of six virtually identical
putative securities class actions was filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.  In two orders
dated May 21, 2003, and January 22, 2004, the district court
consolidated these actions under the caption, "In re
UnumProvident Corp. Securities Litigation."

On January 9, 2004, the Lead Plaintiff filed its consolidated
amended complaint on behalf of a putative class of purchasers of
Company stock between March 30, 2000 and April 24, 2003. The
amended complaint alleges, among other things, that the Company
issued misleading financial statements, improperly accounted for
certain impaired investments, failed to properly estimate its
disability claim reserves, and pursued certain improper claims
handling practices.  The complaint asserts claims under Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5 thereunder.  On March 19, 2004, the defendants filed a
motion to dismiss the consolidated amended complaint.

On September 12, 2005, the court issued a Memorandum and Order
denying in part, and granting in part, the motion to dismiss.
The court granted the motion with respect to Lead Plaintiff's
claims concerning the Company's investments and denied the
motion challenging the other alleged misstatements.  Discovery,
which has been stayed in this action pursuant to the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, has now begun.

On May 7, 2003 the first of three identical putative securities
class actions was filed in the Southern District of New York,
which were later consolidated under the caption, "Azzolini v.
CorTs Trust II for Provident Financial Trust, et al."  This
action alleges claims on behalf of a putative class of
purchasers of UnumProvident Corporate-Backed Trust Securities
(CorTs) certificates that were issued by certain underwriter
defendants unaffiliated with the Company.

Plaintiff alleges that the Company and certain of its officers
violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and that the
underwriter defendants violated the Securities Act of 1933, all
premised on the same factual allegations as the earlier-filed
putative securities class action.  A fourth action, styled,
"Bernstein v. CorTs for Provident Financing Trust I, et al.,"
was filed in the Eastern District of New York on July 7, 2003.
The Bernstein action makes identical allegations, but with
respect to a different series of CorTs securities.  These
actions all were transferred to the Eastern District of
Tennessee for coordinated pre-trial proceedings.

On March 19, 2004, amended complaints were filed in both the
Azzolini and Bernstein actions.  The amended complaints assert
claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder against UnumProvident and
one of its officers.  The Azzolini plaintiff seeks to represent
a putative class of purchasers of certain CorTs certificates
between March 21, 2001 and March 24, 2003.  The Bernstein
plaintiff seeks to represent a putative class of purchasers of a
different series of CorTs certificates between February 8, 2001
and March 10, 2003.  On April 19, 2004, the defendants moved to
dismiss the complaints in each of these actions.  On September
12, 2005, the court issued a Memorandum and Order granting the
motion to dismiss filed by the Company.  On January 12, 2006,
plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal regarding the court's
decision dismissing this action.


UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Tenn. Court Sets Pretrial Discovery Deadline
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
set an October 17, 2006 deadline for the completion of pretrial
discovery in the consolidated class action filed against
UnumProvident Corporation, which is alleging violations of the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

On April 29, 2003, the case, captioned, "Gee v. UnumProvident
Corporation, et al.," was filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of Tennessee on behalf of a putative class
of participants and beneficiaries of the Company's 401(k)
Retirement Plan  (Plan).  On May 16, 2003, a similar action,
styled, "Scanlon v. UnumProvident Corp., et al.," was filed in
the Eastern District of Tennessee.

On October 2, 2003, the court issued an order consolidating
these cases for all purposes.  On January 9, 2004, plaintiffs
filed their consolidated amended complaint against the Company,
several of its Officers and Directors, and several Plan
fiduciaries, purportedly on behalf of a putative class of Plan
participants and beneficiaries during the period since November
17, 1999.  Plaintiffs allege that the named defendants violated
the fiduciary provisions of ERISA by making direct and indirect
communications to Plan participants that included material
misrepresentations and omissions regarding investment in
UnumProvident stock.  Further, the plaintiffs allege the
defendants failed to take action to protect participants from
losses sustained from investment in the Plan's UnumProvident
Stock Fund.  On February 26, 2004, the defendants filed a motion
to dismiss contending that the complaint failed to state a valid
claim under ERISA.

On January 13, 2005, the court denied that motion. The
defendants filed an answer to the complaint denying all material
allegations on February 28, 2005.  On March 10, 2005, the
plaintiffs filed a motion to certify the class.  The defendants
filed an opposition on June 10, 2005, and the matter is under
submission with the court.  On November 30, 2005, the court
entered a schedule providing for the completion of pretrial
discovery by October 17, 2006.  No trial date has been set for
the action.

The suit is styled "Gee v. Unumprovident Corp., et al., Case No.
1:03-cv-00147," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Tennessee under Judge Curtis L. Collier with
referral to Judge C. Clifford Shirley.  Representing the
plaintiffs are:

     (1) Tony R. Dalton, Woolf, McClane, Bright, Allen &
         Carpenter, P.O. Box 900, Knoxville, TN 37901-0900,
         Phone: 865-215-1000, Fax: 865-215-1001, E-mail:
         daltont@wmbac.com;

     (2) Andrew L. Berke and Ronald J. Berke of Berke, Berke &
         Berke, P.O. Box 4747, Chattanooga, TN 37405-4747,
         Phone: 423-266-5171, Email: andrew@berkeattys.com and
         ronnie@berkeattys.com; and

     (3) Edward W. Ciolko, Joseph H. Meltzer and Katherine
         Bornstein of Schiffrin & Barroway LLP, Three Bala Plaza
         East Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, Email:
         eciolko@sbclasslaw.com, jmeltzer@sbclasslaw.com and
         kbornstein@sbclasslaw.com.

Representing the Company is John P. Konvalinka, Grant,
Konvalinka & Harrison, PC, 633 Chestnut Street, Suite 900 One
Republic Centre, Chattanooga, TN 37450, Phone: 423-756-8400,
Fax: 423-756-6518, Email: jkonvalinka@gkhpc.com.


WATTS WATER: Md. Appeals Court Reaffirms Dismissal of Valve Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals reaffirmed a lower court
ruling that dismisses a purported class action that was filed
against Watts Water Technologies Inc. by North Carolina
Hospitality Group, Inc. over defective commercial valve models.

On or about March 26, 2003, the class action complaint was filed
in the Circuit Court of Maryland, Prince George's County.  It
alleges that certain commercial valve models contain a design
defect that causes them to fail prematurely.

On June 7, 2004, the trial court issued an opinion and order
that denied the plaintiff's request for class certification.
That ruling was appealed at the end of 2004, and on January 17,
2006, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed this
ruling.


                         Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PepsiAmericas Accrues $7M for Liabilities
--------------------------------------------------------------
At the end of fiscal year 2005, PepsiAmericas Inc. accrues US$7
million related to product liability, particularly to probable
asbestos claim settlements and legal defense costs, according to
a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

In addition to the known and probable asbestos claims, the
Company may be subject to additional asbestos claims that are
possible for which no reserve has been established at the end of
fiscal year 2005. The aggregate exposure related to these
possible claims is estimated to be in the range of US$6 million
to US$17 million.

In fiscal year 2004, the Company noted that three mass-filed
lawsuits accounted for thousands of claims for which former
subsidiary Pneumo Abex claimed indemnification.

At the end of fiscal year 2005, these and other related claims
were resolved for an amount the Company deemed as reasonable.
The Company is faced with less than 7,500 claims for which
indemnification is claimed.

Of these claims, about 4,900 are filed in federal court and are
subject to orders issued by the Multi-District Litigation panel,
which effectively stay all federal claims, subject to specific
requests to activate a particular claim or a discrete group of
claims.

The remaining cases are in state court and some are in "pleural
registries" or other similar classifications that cause a case
not to be allowed to go to trial unless there is a specific
showing as to a particular plaintiff.

Over 50% of the state court claims were filed prior to or in
1998.

Minneapolis, MN-based PepsiAmericas Inc., a major Pepsi bottler
behind Pepsi Bottling Group, operates in 19 US states and holds
about 20% of the US market for Pepsi products. The Company also
distributes drinks in the Bahamas, Barbados, the Czech Republic,
Hungary, Jamaica, Poland, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, and Trinidad
and Tobago. PepsiCo owns about 41% of PepsiAmericas.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PepsiAmericas, Others to Answer Cooper Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
PepsiAmericas Inc., with Pneumo Abex LLC and a certain trustee,
will answer to an asbestos-related claim filed on May 31, 2005
by Cooper Industries LLC in Illinois, according to a Securities
and Exchange Commission report.

In 2002, as part of a comprehensive program concerning
environmental liabilities related to former Whitman Corp.
subsidiaries, PepsiAmericas bought new insurance coverage
related to the sites previously owned and operated or impacted
by Pneumo Abex and its subsidiaries.

A trust, which was established in 2000 with the proceeds from an
insurance settlement, purchased insurance coverage and funded
coverage for remedial and other costs related to the sites
previously owned and operated or impacted by Pneumo Abex and its
subsidiaries.

In the claim, Cooper asserts that it was entitled to access
US$34 million that previously was in the Trust and that was
spent to purchase the insurance policy.

Cooper claims that Trust funds should have been distributed for
underlying Pneumo Abex asbestos claims indemnified by Cooper.

Cooper complains that PepsiAmericas deprived it of access to
money in the Trust because of the Trustee's decision to use
Trust money to purchase the insurance policy described.

PepsiAmericas has joined a motion by the Trustee to dismiss the
suit on the grounds that Cooper lacks standing to pursue its
claims because it is not a beneficiary under the Trust.

Minneapolis, MN-based PepsiAmericas Inc., a major Pepsi bottler
behind Pepsi Bottling Group, operates in 19 US states and holds
about 20% of the US market for Pepsi products. The Company also
distributes drinks in the Bahamas, Barbados, the Czech Republic,
Hungary, Jamaica, Poland, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, and Trinidad
and Tobago. PepsiCo owns about 41% of PepsiAmericas.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ameren Utilities Face 11 More Suits in 4Q05
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ameren Corporation revealed that, from October 1, 2005 through
December 31, 2005, 11 asbestos-related lawsuits were filed
against utilities Union Electric Co., Central Illinois Public
Service Co., Central Illinois Light Co., and Illinois Power Co.,
mostly in the Circuit Court of Madison County, Illinois,
according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

Two of the lawsuits were dismissed and three were settled.

From July 1, 2005 through September 30, 2005, five additional
asbestos-related lawsuits were filed against UE, CIPS, CILCO and
IP. Eighteen lawsuits were dismissed and 16 were settled. (Class
Action Reporter, November 18, 2005)

Ameren, Ameren Energy Generating Co., UE, CIPS, CILCO and IP co-
defend against suits filed by plaintiffs claiming injury from
asbestos exposure. As many as 166 parties are named in some
pending cases and as few as five in others. In the cases that
were pending as of December 31, 2005, the average number of
parties is 65.

The claims filed against Ameren and its utilities allege injury
from asbestos exposure during the plaintiffs' activities at
Ameren's present or former electric generating plants.

Genco now owns former CIPS plants, and Ameren Energy Resources
Generating Co. now owns most former CILCO plants. Most of IP's
plants were transferred to a Dynegy Inc. subsidiary prior to
Ameren's acquisition of IP.

CIPS or CILCO has contractually agreed to indemnify Genco or
AERG for liabilities associated with asbestos-related claims
arising from activities prior to the transfer. Each suit seeks
unspecified damages in excess of US$50,000, which, if proven,
would be shared among the defendants.

In January 2005, UE sued in the Circuit Court of Madison County,
alleging that four of its historic liability insurers have
failed to pay more than US$2 million in fees and costs relating
to the defense and investigation of more than 120 asbestos
lawsuits filed against UE.

The defendant insurers are American Automobile Insurance Co.,
Pacific Insurance Co., Royal Insurance Co. of America, and Royal
Indemnity Co. These insurers covered UE from the late 1940s
through the early 1970s for liability arising out of the work of
independent contractors working at UE's facilities.

As of December 31, 2005, four asbestos-related lawsuits were
pending against subsidiary Electric Energy Inc. The general
liability insurance maintained by EEI provides coverage with
respect to liabilities arising from asbestos-related claims.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Ameren Corporation
distributes electricity to 2.3 million customers and natural gas
to more than 900,000 in Missouri and Illinois through utility
subsidiaries AmerenUE, AmerenCIPS, AmerenCILCO, and AmerenIP.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ADEQ Seeks Less Than $1M for El Paso Breach
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality proposed less
than US$1 million as penalty for El Paso Corporation's asbestos
and environmental violation, according to the Company's 2005
annual report to the SEC.

In September 2005, the ADEQ issued a Notice of Violation for
alleged regulatory violations related to the Company's handling
of asbestos-containing asphaltic pipe coating.

The Company has been informed by Arizona's Attorney General, on
behalf of the ADEQ, of its intent to assess a civil penalty and
require preventive actions by the Company to resolve the NOV.

The Houston, TX-based Company is engaged in ongoing talks with
the state in an effort to resolve this matter.

El Paso Corporation is primarily engaged in gas transportation
and storage, oil and gas exploration and production, and gas
gathering and processing. The Company has interests in more than
56,000 miles of interstate pipeline.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Curtiss-Wright Seeks Dismissal of 60 Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Curtiss-Wright Corporation is seeking dismissal without
prejudice of about 60 asbestos-related lawsuits, according to
the Company's 2005 annual report to the Securities and Exchange
Commission.

The Company is engaged in discussions for similar dismissals in
several other suits, and has not been found liable or made any
monetary settlements in any case.

The Roseland, NJ-based Company has been named in about 100
lawsuits that allege injury from asbestos exposure.

The Company stated that the minimal use of asbestos in its past
and current operations and the relatively non-friable condition
of asbestos in the Company's products makes it unlikely that it
will face material liability in any asbestos litigation. The
Company maintains insurance coverage for these suits and
believes adequate coverage exists to cover any unanticipated
asbestos liability.

Curtiss-Wright Corporation makes special valves for military and
commercial uses, including nuclear submarines, nuclear power
plants, and refineries. The Company also makes actuation
systems, electronic control products for military ground
vehicles, and ruggedized computer systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FMC Corporation Burdened With 34T Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
FMC Corporation defends against an average 34,000 premises and
product asbestos claims in several U.S. jurisdictions as of
December 31, 2005, according to a Securities and Exchange
Commission report.

To date, the Company has had discharged before trial about
65,000 asbestos claims against it, most of which have been
dismissed without any payment to the plaintiff. The Company has
settled a total of about US$7 million with claimants.

The Company has been named as one of many defendants in
asbestos-related personal injury litigation. These cases, which
involve between 25 and 200 defendants, allege personal injury or
death resulting from exposure to asbestos in FMC's premises or
to asbestos-containing components installed in machinery or
equipment manufactured or sold by discontinued operations.

The machinery and equipment businesses the Company owned or
operated did not fabricate the asbestos-containing components at
issue in the litigation and neither the U.S. Occupational Safety
and Health Administration nor the EPA has banned the use of
these components.

The asbestos-containing materials were housed inside of
machinery and equipment and accessible only at the time of
repair and maintenance.

The Company believes that the claims against it are without
merit and considers it to be a peripheral defendant in these
matters. To date, the bulk of the claims against the Company
have been dismissed without payment.

Philadelphia, PA-based FMC Corporation focuses on industrial,
specialty, and agricultural chemicals. The Company's industrial
chemicals include soda ash, hydrogen peroxide, and phosphorus
chemicals. The rest of its sales come from agricultural products
and specialty chemicals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Midwest Generation Posts $67.4M Liability
--------------------------------------------------------------
Midwest Generation LLC recorded a US$67.4 million liability for
asbestos-related matters at December 31, 2005, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

There were between 185 and 195 cases for which the Company was
potentially liable and that had not been settled and dismissed
at December 31, 2005.

Midwest Generation faces between 170 and 190 cases for which the
Company is potentially liable and that had not been settled and
dismissed at September 30, 2005. At September 30, 2005, the
Company had recorded a US$68 million liability. (Class Action
Reporter, November 11, 2005)

On February 20, 2003, Midwest Generation entered into a
supplemental agreement with Commonwealth Edison and Exelon
Generation Co. to resolve a dispute regarding interpretation of
its reimbursement obligation for asbestos claims under the
environmental indemnities set forth in the Asset Sale Agreement.

Under this agreement, Midwest Generation agreed to reimburse
Commonwealth Edison and Exelon Generation for 50% of specific
existing asbestos claims and expenses less recovery of insurance
costs, and agreed to a sharing arrangement for liabilities and
expenses associated with future asbestos-related claims as
specified in the agreement.

Commonwealth Edison and Midwest Generation apportion
responsibility for future asbestos-related claims based upon the
number of exposure sites that are Commonwealth Edison locations
or Midwest Generation locations.

Chicago, IL-based Midwest Generation LLC sells wholesale
electricity to Midwest markets. The power producer has a
generating capacity of more than 7,000 MW from its six coal-
fired power plants in Illinois. Midwest Generation is a
subsidiary of Edison International's merchant energy business,
Edison Mission Energy.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BNS Holds 275 Open Claims at End of 2005
-------------------------------------------------------------
As of January 31, 2006, a subsidiary of BNS Holding Inc., BNS
Co., has incurred a total of 601 known asbestos-related toxic-
tort claims since 1994, according to a Securities and Exchange
Commission report. BNS received 76 claims in 2005.

There were 275 known claims open and active as of January 31,
2006. However, some of the settled claims may be reopened.

As of January 31, 2006, BNS received one more claim.

In many cases these claims involve more than 100 other
defendants. Fifty-four of those claims were filed before
December 31, 2001. In 2002, BNS incurred 98 claims, 194 claims
in 2003, and 178 claims in 2004.

In 2005, six claims were granted summary judgment and were
closed, 107 claims were dismissed and 6 were settled for US$500
each. In October 2005, BNS Holding and its insurers settled two
claims for an aggregate of US$150,000.

In 2004, eight claims were granted summary judgment and were
closed, and 144 claims were dismissed, and seven claims were
settled for US$500 each.

In 2003, three claims were granted summary judgment, and one
claim was dismissed and closed. In 2002, 42 claims were settled
for an aggregate of about US$30,000 exclusive of attorney's
fees.

BNS Holding Inc. became a holding company for BNS Co. in
December 2004. BNS Co. was engaged in the metrology business and
the design, manufacture, and sale of precision measuring tools
and instruments, and manual and computer controlled measuring
machines. BNS Co. sold its remaining assets in June 2004. BNS
Holding is headquartered in Middletown, Rhode Island.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ladish Dismissed From Majority of MS Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ladish Co. Inc. has been dismissed from a majority of the
asbestos-related cases in Mississippi and several of the cases
in Illinois, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission
report.

Although the Company believes that there are no material legal
proceedings pending or threatened it or any of its properties,
the Company has been named as a defendant in a number of
asbestos cases in Mississippi and a few asbestos cases in
Illinois.

The Company has never manufactured or processed asbestos. Its
only exposure to asbestos involves products the Company
purchased from third parties.

The Company has notified its insurance carriers of these claims
and is vigorously defending these actions.

Headquartered in Cudahy, Wisconsin, Ladish Co. Inc. designs and
manufactures high-strength forged and cast metal components for
aerospace and industrial markets. The Company derives 55% of its
sales from aerospace industry giants Rolls-Royce, United
Technologies, and General Electric.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bowater Inc. Tackles 785 Remaining Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bowater Inc. notes that it has about 785 pending asbestos-
related claims, according to a Securities and Exchange
Commission report.

Filed by about 1,775 claimants, these asbestos-related suits
sought compensation in actions that are pending in state courts
in Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, New York,
Tennessee and Texas. About 990 of these claims have been
dismissed.

In the April 1, 2005 Class Action Reporter edition, 1,238
claimants filed suit in various state courts. About 982 of these
claims have been dismissed and about 256 claims remain.

Since late 2001, Bowater, several other paper companies, and
numerous other companies have been named as defendants in
asbestos personal injury actions. These actions generally allege
occupational exposure to numerous products.

The Company has denied the allegations and no specific product
of the Company has been identified by the plaintiffs in any of
the actions as having caused or contributed to any individual
plaintiff's alleged asbestos-related injury.

The Company believes that all of these asbestos-related claims
are covered by insurance, subject to any applicable deductibles
and our insurers' rights to dispute coverage.

Greenville, South Carolina-based Bowater Inc. manufactures
newsprint, churning out nearly 3 million tons of newsprint a
year. Other products include coated and uncoated groundwood
papers, market pulp, and lumber. The Company operates 12 pulp
and paper mills in the US, Canada, and South Korea.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Pepco Notes 265 Pending Claims in MD Courts
----------------------------------------------------------------
As of December 31, 2005, about 265 asbestos-related cases are
still pending against Pepco Holdings Inc. in Maryland state
courts, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission
report.

Of those 265 cases, about 85 cases were filed after December 19,
2000, and have been tendered to Mirant Corp. for defense and
indemnification pursuant to the terms of the Asset Purchase and
Sale Agreement.

Mirant's Plan of Reorganization does not alter Mirant's
indemnification obligations. However, litigation relating to
Mirant's efforts to reject its contract obligations under the
Asset Purchase and Sale Agreement is continuing.

While the aggregate amount of monetary damages sought in the
remaining suits (excluding those tendered to Mirant) exceeds
US$400 million, Pepco believes the amounts claimed by current
plaintiffs are greatly exaggerated.

In 1993, Pepco was served with Amended Complaints filed in
Maryland courts. Pepco and other corporate entities were brought
into these cases on a theory of premises liability.

The plaintiffs argued that Pepco did not provide a safe work
environment for employees or its contractors, who allegedly were
exposed to asbestos while working on Pepco's property.
Initially, a total of about 448 individual plaintiffs added
Pepco to their complaints.

While the pleadings are not entirely clear, it appears that each
plaintiff sought US$2 million in compensatory damages and US$4
million in punitive damages from each defendant.

Since the initial filings in 1993, additional individual suits
have been filed against Pepco with significant numbers of cases
dismissed. Pepco has had about 400 of these cases dismissed with
prejudice.

Washington, DC-based Pepco Holdings Inc. distributes electricity
to more than 1.8 million customers and natural gas to nearly
120,000 customers through its utility subsidiaries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W.R. Berkley Puts Up $37M A&E Net Reserves
---------------------------------------------------------------
W.R. Berkley Corp.'s net reserves for losses and loss adjustment
expenses relating to asbestos and environmental claims were
US$37,453,000 and US$38,258,000 at December 31, 2005 and 2004,
respectively, according to a SEC report.

The Company's gross reserves for losses and LAE relating to
asbestos and environmental claims were US$53,731,000 and
US$54,971,000 at December 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively.

Net incurred losses and loss expenses for reported asbestos and
environmental claims were about US$1,853,000, US$9,194,000 and
US$4,749,000 in 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively.

Net paid losses and loss expenses for reported asbestos and
environmental claims were about US$2,658,000, US$2,802,000 and
US$1,391,000 in 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively.

Greenwich, CT-based W. R. Berkley Corp.'s specialty insurance
segment underwrites complex third-party liability risks,
especially excess and surplus lines, professional liability, and
commercial transportation insurance. Regional subsidiaries offer
commercial insurance in 27 states focusing on small to mid-sized
business customers and state and local governments.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Harsco Records 27,216 Pending Suits in 4Q05
----------------------------------------------------------------
As of December 31, 2005, Harsco Corporation noted 27,216 pending
asbestos personal injury claims filed against the Company, with
26,239 claims pending in New York State and 622 claims pending
in Mississippi courts, according to a Securities and Exchange
Commission report.

The other claims, totaling about 355, are filed in various
counties in a number of state courts and certain Federal
District Courts. Those complaints assert lesser amounts of
damages than the New York cases or do not state any amount
claimed.

As of September 30, 2005, the Company noted 31,393 pending
asbestos personal injury claims filed against it. (Class Action
Reporter, November 11, 2005)

The Company has been named as one of many defendants, with about
90 or more in most cases, in litigation alleging personal injury
from exposure to airborne asbestos over the past several
decades. The plaintiffs have named as defendants manufacturers,
distributors and installers of numerous types of equipment or
products that allegedly contained asbestos.

The Company has never produced, manufactured, or processed
asbestos fibers. Any component within a Company product, which
may have contained asbestos, would have been purchased from a
supplier.

Most of the complaints pending against the Company have been
filed in either New York or Mississippi. Almost all of the New
York complaints contain a standard claim for damages of US$20
million or US$25 million against about 90 defendants, regardless
of the individual's alleged medical condition, and without
specifically identifying any Company product as the source of
plaintiff's asbestos exposure.

With respect to the Mississippi complaints, most contain a
standard claim for an unstated amount of damages against the
numerous defendants, typically 240 to 270, without identifying
any Company product as the source of plaintiff's alleged
asbestos exposure.

As of December 31, 2005, the Company has obtained dismissal in
16,114 cases. For the same period, the Company has been listed
as a defendant in 262 Active or In Extremis asbestos cases in
New York County.

To date, the Camp Hill, PA-based Company's insurance carrier has
paid all legal and settlement costs and expenses. The Company
has liability insurance coverage available under various primary
and excess policies that the Company believes will be available
to substantially cover any liability that might ultimately be
incurred on these claims.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Eastman Chemical Faces 1.5T Pending Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Eastman Chemical Corporation intends to defend itself, or to
settle on acceptable terms, an average of 1,500 pending
asbestos-related claims, according to a Securities and Exchange
Commission report.

The Company had reported about 3,000 pending asbestos-related
claims in the 2005-3rd quarter. (Class Action Reporter, November
4, 2005)

Over the years, Eastman has been named as a defendant in multi-
defendant lawsuits in various state courts in which plaintiffs
alleged injury due to exposure to asbestos at Eastman's
manufacturing sites and sought unspecified monetary damages and
other relief. These cases have been dismissed or settled without
a material effect on Eastman's financial condition, results of
operations, or cash flows.

In recently filed cases, plaintiffs allege exposure to asbestos-
containing products allegedly made by Eastman. The Company has
information that it manufactured limited amounts of an asbestos-
containing plastic product between the mid-1960s and the early
1970s. The Company's investigation has found no proof that any
of the plaintiffs worked with or around any such product alleged
to have been manufactured by the Company.

The Company has finalized an agreement with an insurer that
issued primary general liability insurance to certain
predecessors of the Company prior to the mid-1970s, pursuant to
which that insurer will provide coverage for a portion of
certain of the Company's defense costs and payments of
settlements or judgments in connection with asbestos-related
lawsuits.

Headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, Eastman Chemical
Corporation has developed into a producer of chemicals, fibers,
and plastics.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: SCC Affiliates Named in Asarco Litigation
--------------------------------------------------------------
Southern Copper Corporation's direct and indirect parent firms,
including Americas Mining Corp. and Grupo M‚xico, have been
named parties in Asarco LLC litigation. In March 2003, AMC
purchased its interest in SCC from Asarco.

In August 2002 the US Department of Justice filed a claim
alleging fraudulent conveyance in connection with Asarco's
environmental liabilities and AMC's then-proposed purchase of
SCC from Asarco. That action was settled pursuant to a Consent
Decree, which is binding solely on the US government, dated
February 2, 2003.

In October 2004, AMC, Grupo M‚xico, Mexicana de Cobre and other
parties, not including SCC, were named in a suit filed in New
York in connection with alleged asbestos liabilities, in which
the suit claims that AMC's purchase of SCC from Asarco should be
voided as a fraudulent conveyance.

In 2005, certain subsidiaries of Asarco filed bankruptcy
petitions in connection with alleged asbestos liabilities. In
July 2005, the unionized workers of Asarco commenced a work
stoppage, which was settled in November 2005 with the extension
of the existing contract for an additional thirteen-month period
until December 31, 2006.

As a result of various factors, including the August 9, 2005
work stoppage, Asarco filed a voluntary petition for relief
under Chapter 11 before the US Bankruptcy Court of Corpus
Christi, Texas.

Asarco's bankruptcy case is being joined with the bankruptcy
cases of its subsidiaries. Asarco is in continuing possession of
its properties and is operating and managing its businesses as a
debtor in possession.

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


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UIC, Detroit Stoker Claims Drop to 11,059
--------------------------------------------------------------
As of December 31, 2005, United Industrial Corp. and subsidiary
Detroit Stoker Co. face about 11,059 total pending asbestos-
related claims asserted in lawsuits, compared to about 21,123
claims as of December 31, 2004, according to a Securities and
Exchange Commission report.

As of September 30, 2005, United Industrial and Detroit Stoker
defended against 12,897 pending asbestos-related claims. (Class
Action Reporter, November 11, 2005)

The claims decrease was mainly attributable to dismissal of
cases initially brought in Mississippi in 2002-2003. In 2004,
Detroit Stoker was named as a defendant in two cases in Arkansas
alleging personal injuries to one and about 199 plaintiffs
(subsequently reduced to 42), respectively, from silica or
refractory ceramic fiber exposure, aside from asbestos exposure.
The pleadings in these cases name about 32 and 68 defendants,
respectively.

As of December 31, 2005, United Industrial and/or Detroit Stoker
were named in suits pending in Arkansas, California, Louisiana,
Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North
Dakota and Rhode Island.

United Industrial and Detroit Stoker made several products, some
of the parts and components of which used asbestos-containing
material fabricated and provided by third parties. The use of
asbestos-containing materials ceased around 1981.

As of this date, United Industrial and Detroit Stoker have not
gone to trial with respect to any asbestos-related personal
injury claims, although there is no assurance that trials may
not occur in the future. Neither company has been required to
pay any punitive damage awards. In addition, some previously
pending claims have been settled or dismissed.

As of December 31, 2005, United Industrial recorded an estimated
insurance recovery of US$20,186,000 reflecting the estimate
determined to be probable of being available to mitigate United
Industrial's and Detroit Stoker's potential asbestos liability
through 2015.

The Company recorded an undiscounted liability for its best
estimate of liabilities for asbestos-related matters amounting
to US$31,450,000 as of December 31, 2005 and US$31,852,000 as of
December 31, 2004, respectively, including damages and defense
costs. Its insurance receivables for asbestos-related
liabilities were US$20,186,000 and US$20,343,000 at December 31,
2005 and 2004, respectively.

Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, United Industrial
Corporation, through subsidiary AAI Corp., makes automatic test
equipment for avionics, electronic warfare test and training
systems, training simulators for combat systems and aircraft
maintenance, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PNM Resources Cleared in 19 of 21 Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
PNM Resources Inc. states that it has been dismissed with
prejudice from all but two of 21 asbestos-related lawsuits
asserted against it, according to a Securities and Exchange
Commission report.

In 2003, PNM was named as one of a number of defendants in the
21 asbestos-related personal injury lawsuits. All of these cases
involve claims of individuals, or their descendents, who worked
for contractors building, or working at, PNM power plants.

Some of the claims relate to construction activities during the
1950s and 1960s, while other claims generally allege exposure
during the last 30 years. The Company has never manufactured,
sold or distributed asbestos-containing products.

PNM was insured by a number of different insurance policies
during the time period at issue in these cases.

Headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, PNM Resources Inc.,
through utility unit Public Service Company of New Mexico,
transmits and distributes electricity to more than 412,000
residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the state.
PNM Resources also distributes natural gas to more than 468,000
customers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Noble Unit Challenges 3 Suits in MS Courts
---------------------------------------------------------------
An indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Noble Corporation
contends with three lawsuits pending in Mississippi courts,
according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

In August 2004, the subsidiary was served as a named defendant
in two lawsuits filed in Mississippi Circuit Courts involving
numerous other unaffiliated companies as co-defendants.

In December 2004, the same subsidiary was served as a named
defendant in a third lawsuit filed in Mississippi Circuit Court.

The suits seek an unspecified amount of monetary damages on
behalf of about 131 individuals alleging personal injury,
including claims under the Jones Act, purportedly resulting from
exposure to asbestos on drilling rigs and associated facilities
during the period 1965 through 1986.

Although the suits continue to be in procedural stages, added
pleadings recently filed by plaintiffs reflect that only about
23 or fewer of the about 131 named individuals may have claims
that they were employed by the Company's subsidiary or otherwise
associated with its drilling operations.

Headquartered in Sugar Land, Texas, Noble Corporation, which
used to be known as Noble Drilling, operates in waters off the
coasts of five continents and has a fleet of 60 offshore
drilling units. The Company also provides labor contract
drilling, well site, and project management services.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OfficeMax, Units Contend With Injury Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Over the past several years and continuing into 2006, OfficeMax
Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries defend against a number of
cases where the plaintiffs allege asbestos-related injuries from
exposure to asbestos products or exposure to asbestos while
working at job sites, according to a SEC report.

The claims vary widely and often are not specific about the
plaintiffs' contacts with the Company. None of the claims seeks
damages from the Company individually, and the Company is
generally one of numerous defendants.

Many of the cases filed against OfficeMax have been voluntarily
dismissed, although the Company has settled some cases. The
settlements the Company has paid have been covered mostly by
insurance, and the Company believes any future settlements or
judgments in these cases would be similarly covered.

To date, no asbestos case against OfficeMax has gone to trial.

Headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, OfficeMax Inc., which is
formerly known as Boise Cascade, operates as an office products
retailer with about 930 superstores in the US, Mexico, Puerto
Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The Company also sells directly
to business and government customers through field agents,
telesales, and catalogs.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PMA Capital Corp Notes $26.9M Loss Reserves
----------------------------------------------------------------
PMA Capital Corporation states that, at December 31, 2005, 2004,
and 2003, its gross reserves for asbestos-related losses were
US$26.9 million, US$27.9 million, and US$37.8 million,
respectively, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission
report.

At December 31, 2005, 2004, and 2003, the Company's reserves for
asbestos-related losses were US$13.2 million, US$14 million, and
US$17.8 million, net of reinsurance, respectively.

Of the net asbestos reserves, about US$10.2 million, US$10.3
million and US$14.9 million were related to incurred but not
reported losses at December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003,
respectively.

All incurred asbestos and environmental losses were for accident
years 1986 and prior.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, PMA Capital
Corporation sells property and casualty insurance primarily in
the eastern US. The Company underwrites workers' compensation,
integrated disability, and commercial insurance (including
commercial automobile and multi-peril).


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Quaker Unit Reaches $15M Deal with Insurer
---------------------------------------------------------------
An inactive subsidiary of Quaker Chemical Corporation reached a
settlement agreement and release with one of its insurance
carriers for US$15.0 million in December 2005, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

The subsidiary received US$7.5 million in December 2005 that was
deposited into an interest bearing account. The subsidiary will
receive an additional US$7.5 million in December 2006 unless
federal asbestos legislation is adopted.

The settlement's proceeds are restricted and can only be used to
pay claims and costs of defense associated with the subsidiary's
asbestos litigation.

Acquired by Quaker Chemical in 1978, the subsidiary sold certain
asbestos-containing products, mainly on an installed basis, and
is among the defendants in numerous suits alleging injury due to
asbestos exposure. The subsidiary ceased operations in 1991 and
has no remaining assets other than its existing insurance
policies and proceeds from the settlement received in late 2005.

Although the Company has also been named as a defendant in
certain of these cases, no claims have been actively pursued
against the Company and the Company has not contributed to the
defense or settlement of any of these cases pursued against the
subsidiary.

To date, the overwhelming majority of these claims have been
disposed of without payment and there have been no adverse
judgments against the subsidiary.

Headquartered in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, Quaker Chemical
Corporation produces rolling lubricants used in making aluminum
products and hot- and cold-rolled steel products. The Company
also makes corrosion preventives, metal finishing compounds,
hydraulic fluids, and machining, grinding, and forming
compounds.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton Gets $1B Insurance Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton Co. received a US$1.032 billion settlement in 2005
related to its asbestos and silica receivables, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

In 2004, the Company settled insurance disputes with
substantially all the insurance companies for asbestos and
silica claims and all other claims under the applicable
insurance policies and terminated all the applicable insurance
policies.

Under the terms of the insurance settlements, the Company would
receive cash proceeds with a nominal amount of about US$1.5
billion and with a then present value of about US$1.4 billion
for its asbestos and silica insurance receivables.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the Company will
receive cash payments of the remaining amounts, totaling US$427
million at December 31, 2005, in several installments through
2010.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Halliburton Co. operates as an
engineering/construction and oilfield services firm. Its KBR
division has two segments: Government and Infrastructure, and
Energy and Chemicals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EnPro Records US$271M Liability for Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
EnPro Industries Inc. recorded at December 31, 2005, a liability
of US$271 million for advanced-stage asbestos-related cases and
settled claims, and US$166 million for early-stage and
unasserted claims, according to a SEC report.

For the settled claims, the liability includes US$10.7 million
of accrued legal and other fees already incurred.

As of the end of 2005, the Company had remaining solvent
insurance coverage of US$570 million that it believes will be
available for the payment of asbestos-related claims. At that
time, the Company had paid out US$232 million in insured claims
and expenses in excess of amounts recovered from insurance.

These amounts, which are recoverable under its insurance
policies, have been billed to the insurance carriers and will be
recovered in the future from the US$570 million of remaining
insurance under agreements and arrangements in place with the
carriers.

Charlotte, NC-based EnPro Industries Inc. has two segments: the
Sealing Products segment and the Engineered Products segment.
The Company also makes heavy-duty, medium-speed diesel and
natural gas engines under the Fairbanks Morse brand name. EnPro
serves 50,000 customers worldwide.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Trizec Properties Named as Defendant in CA Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
As a result of a 1980 merger, Trizec Properties Inc. has been
named as a defendant in several asbestos-related personal injury
lawsuits in Southern California regarding asbestos-containing
materials at various retail properties that the merged entity
developed or constructed, the Company states in its 10-K report
to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Company could be named as a defendant in more similar
lawsuits in the future. The merged entity, of which the Company
is the successor, carried insurance that did not exclude
asbestos-related claims for its coverage.

However, if the Company experiences losses that are uninsured or
that exceed policy limits, the amount of damages could be
material and in such event, its operating results will be
materially adversely affected.

Asbestos-containing material is present in some of the Company's
properties.


COMPANY PROFILE

Trizec Properties, Inc.
10 S. Riverside Plaza, Ste. 1100
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 312-798-6000
Fax: 312-798-6270
http://www.trz.com

Fiscal Year-End:                  December
2005 Sales (mil.):                US$728.6
1-Year Sales Growth:              1.0%
2005 Net Income (mil.):           US$204.4
1-Year Net Income Growth:         37.4%
2004 Employees:                   740
1-Year Employee Growth:           (19.6%)

Description:
The Company operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT).
It owns more than 50 commercial properties totaling some 37
million sq. ft. in metropolitan markets across the US.


ASBESTOS ALERT: GlobalSantaFe, Subsidiaries Fight Injury Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Drill rig operator GlobalSantaFe Corp. and its subsidiaries co-
defend against asbestos-related injury claims, which are pending
in various jurisdictions, according to a Securities and Exchange
Commission report.

In August 2004, several GlobalSantaFe's subsidiaries were named
as defendants in six lawsuits filed in Mississippi, alleging
that plaintiffs aboard the Company's offshore drilling rigs had
been exposed to asbestos. The defendants are alleged to have
manufactured, distributed or utilized asbestos-containing
products.

These suits are part of a group of 23 suits filed on behalf of
about 800 plaintiffs against a large number of unrelated
defendants. The subsidiaries have not been named as defendants
in any of the other 17 lawsuits.

One of GlobalSantaFe's subsidiaries filed suit in February 2004
against its insurance underwriters in a California Court,
seeking its rights to insurance coverage and the proper
allocation among its insurers of liability for claims payments
in order to assist in the future management and disposition of
certain claims.

The Company historically has maintained insurance which it
believes will be available to address any liability arising from
these claims. The coverage relates to suits filed against the
subsidiary arising out of its involvement in the design,
construction and refurbishment of major industrial complexes.

As of December 31, 2005, the subsidiary had been named as a
defendant in about 4,000 lawsuits, the first of which was filed
in 1990, and a substantial number of which are currently
pending. The Company believes that as of December 31, 2005, from
US$30 million to US$40 million had been expended to resolve
claims, with the subsidiary having expended US$4 million of that
amount due to insurance deductible obligations, all of which
have now been satisfied.

The subsidiary has been a defendant in a suit filed by Union Oil
Co. of California in Illinois. The suit arises out of claims
alleging personal injury caused by exposure to asbestos at a
refinery owned by Union and constructed by the Company's
subsidiary. Union has alleged that the subsidiary is required to
defend and indemnify it pursuant to the terms of contracts
entered into for the construction of the refinery.

GlobalSantaFe has also been named as a defendant in the pending
litigation.


COMPANY PROFILE

GlobalSantaFe Corporation
15375 Memorial Dr.
Houston, TX 77079-4101
Phone: 281-925-6000
Fax: 281-925-6010
http://www.gsfdrill.com

Fiscal Year-End:                  December
2005 Sales (mil.):                US$2,263.5
1-Year Sales Growth:              31.3%
2005 Net Income (mil.):           US$423.1
1-Year Net Income Growth:         194.4%
2004 Employees:                   7,080
1-Year Employee Growth:           (0.3%)

Description:
The Company operates a fleet of 60 offshore rigs (premium and
heavy-duty), harsh-environment jackups, semi submersibles, and
ultra-deepwater drill ships. The Company was established in
2001.


ASBESTOS ALERT: NRG Energy Inc. Challenges Third-Party Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
NRG Energy Inc. faces personal injury lawsuits alleging asbestos
exposure, which are brought by third party claimants who
participated in the construction, renovation or repair of
various industrial plants, including power plants, according to
a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

While many of the claimants have never worked at or near the
Company's plants, some of the claimants have worked at locations
owned by the Company. While the Company has been dismissed from
many of these suits without making any payment to claimants, the
Company has incurred and it expects to incur costs associated
with these claims.

The Company is also subject to claims for asbestos exposure in
certain of its facilities, as well as claims for indemnity from
previous owners of those facilities.

NRG Energy aggressively defends against these claims. It has
incurred and expects to incur defense costs as a result of such
claims.


COMPANY PROFILE

NRG Energy, Inc.
211 Carnegie Center
Princeton, NJ 08540-6213
Phone: 609-524-4500
Fax: 609-524-4520
http://www.nrgenergy.com

Fiscal Year-End:                  December
2005 Sales (mil.):                US$2,708.0
1-Year Sales Growth:              14.7%
2005 Net Income (mil.):           US$84.0
1-Year Net Income Growth:         (54.7%)
2005 Employees:                   3,682
1-Year Employee Growth:           39.3%

Description:
The Company generates power with a capacity of 154,000 MW. The
bulk of NRG's primarily fossil-fueled power plants are in North
America, but it also has power projects in Australia and
Germany. It also markets natural gas, oil, and other commodities
and invests in district heating and cooling and alternative
energy projects.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Temple-Inland's Annual Settlements Average US$1M
----------------------------------------------------------------
Temple-Inland Inc. states that, historically, its aggregate
annual settlements related to asbestos claims have been about
US$1 million, according to the Company's 2005 annual report to
the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Company defends against various lawsuits involving alleged
workplace asbestos exposure. These cases involve exposure to
asbestos in premises owned or operated by the Company.

Temple-Inland does not manufacture asbestos-containing products
and all its asbestos-related cases are limited to workplace
exposure claims.

The Company has experienced a surge in asbestos claims asserted
against it, and these claims are on the rise generally in the
U.S. against owners or operators of premises allegedly
containing asbestos.


COMPANY PROFILE

Temple-Inland Inc.
1300 S. Mopac Expwy.
Austin, TX 78746
Phone: 512-434-5800
Fax: 512-434-3750
http://www.templeinland.com

Fiscal Year-End:                  December
2005 Sales (mil.):                US$4,888.0
1-Year Sales Growth:              2.9%
2005 Net Income (mil.):           US$176.0
1-Year Net Income Growth:         6.7%
2004 Employees:                   16,000
1-Year Employee Growth:           (11.1%)

Description:
Temple-Inland Inc. is a packaging, banking, and forest products
company. The Company derives most of its sales from the U.S.


ASBESTOS ALERT: BJ Services Co. Defends Against Four Suits in MS
----------------------------------------------------------------
BJ Services Co. confronts four asbestos-related lawsuits filed
in the Circuit Courts of Jones and Smith Counties in
Mississippi, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission
report.

In August 2004, certain predecessors of the Company were named
as defendants in the suits, which include 118 individual
plaintiffs alleging that they suffer illnesses for asbestos
exposure.

The suits assert claims of unseaworthiness, negligence, and
strict liability, all based upon the status of the Company's
predecessors as Jones Act employers.

These cases include numerous defendants, who are all alleged to
have been the Jones Act employers of these plaintiffs or
manufactured, distributed or utilized asbestos-containing
products.

To date, no plaintiffs have identified that the Company's or its
predecessors' products contained any asbestos. About 24
plaintiffs have identified the Company or its predecessors as
their employer.

The Company expects that it will be dismissed from any case
where it is not identified as the employer. The Company and its
predecessors in the past maintained insurance which it believes
will be available to respond to these claims.

The Company has been named in a small number of additional
asbestos cases in addition to the Jones Act cases. The
allegations generally include claims that the Company provided
some unspecified product or service which contained or utilized
asbestos.

To date, the Company has been successful in gaining dismissals
of such cases without any payment in settlements or judgments,
although some remain pending at the present time.


COMPANY PROFILE

BJ Services Company
5500 NW Central Dr.
Houston, TX 77092
Phone: 713-462-4239
Fax: 713-895-5898
http://www.bjservices.com

Fiscal Year-End:                  September
2005 Sales (mil.):                US$3,243.2
1-Year Sales Growth:              24.7%
2005 Net Income (mil.):           US$453.0
1-Year Net Income Growth:         25.5%
2004 Employees:                   12,825
1-Year Employee Growth:           7.0%

Description:
BJ Services Co. provides pressure-pumping services used to
protect oil formation, wellbore, and casing pipe during drilling
and well completion. The Company operates onshore and offshore
in most of the world's major oil and gas producing regions.


ASBESTOS ALERT: XL Capital Ltd. Records 878 Open Claims in 2005
---------------------------------------------------------------
As of December 31, 2005, XL Capital Ltd. notes about 878 open
claim files for potential asbestos exposures and 414 open claim
files for potential environmental exposures on business written
prior to 1986, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission
report.

About 49% of the open claim files in both 2005 and 2004 are due
to precautionary claim notices. The ceding companies submit
precautionary claim notices in order to preserve their right to
receive coverage under the reinsurance contract.

The Company's exposure to asbestos and environmental claims
arises from policies written, both on a proportional and excess
basis, after 1972. The Company discontinued writing policies
with these exposures in 1985.

Business written was across many different policies, each with a
relatively small contract limit. The Company's reported asbestos
claims related to both traditional products and premises and
operations coverage.


COMPANY PROFILE

XL Capital Ltd.
XL House, 1 Bermudiana Rd.
Hamilton, HM 11, Bermuda
Phone: 441-292-8515
Fax: 441-292-5280
http://www.xlcapital.com

Fiscal Year-End:                  December
2005 Sales (mil.):                US$11,352.8
1-Year Sales Growth:              11.6%
2005 Net Income (mil.):           (US$1,252.0)
2004 Employees:                   3,527
1-Year Employee Growth:           5.3%

Description:
XL Capital Ltd. writes liability insurance and reinsurance
worldwide, specializing in low frequency, high-severity risks.
Its coverage includes general and executive liability, property,
and political risk insurance. The Company's reinsurance covers
property, aviation, energy, nuclear accident, and professional
indemnity.


ASBESTOS ALERT: State Auto Financial Notes US$3.7M for Reserves
---------------------------------------------------------------
State Auto Financial Corporation records its asbestos reserves
at US$3.7 million. The Company has environmental reserves of
US$5.5 million for a total of US$9.2 million, or 1.3% of net
losses and loss expenses payable, according to a SEC report.

The property and casualty industry has had significant loss
experience from claims related to asbestos, environmental
remediation, product liability, mold and other mass torts.

Because the Company has mainly insured product retailers and
distributors, not manufacturers, incurred losses have not been
significant from asbestos and environmental claims activity.


COMPANY PROFILE

State Auto Financial Corporation
518 E. Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43215-3976
Phone: 614-464-5000
Fax: 614-464-5325
Toll Free: 800-444-9950
http://www.stateauto.com

Fiscal Year-End:                  December
2005 Sales (mil.):                US$1,139.5
1-Year Sales Growth:              4.3%
2005 Net Income (mil.):           US$125.9
1-Year Net Income Growth:         14.5%
2004 Employees:                   2,029
1-Year Employee Growth:           (1.5%)

Description:
State Auto Financial Corp. sells property/casualty policies
through several subsidiaries, writing personal and commercial
automobile, homeowners, commercial multi-peril, and workers'
compensation insurance. The Company sells its products in about
25 states in the midwestern and eastern US.


                   New Securities Fraud Cases


BAUSCH & LOMB: Murray Frank Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Murray, Frank & Sailer, LLP, initiated a class action in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, on
behalf of shareholders who purchased or otherwise acquired the
securities of Bausch & Lomb, Inc. between January 27, 2005 and
December 22, 2005, inclusive.  Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP
charges Bausch & Lomb and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Bausch &
Lomb engages in the development, manufacture, and marketing of
eye health products.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
made positive but false statements about Bausch & Lomb's results
and business, while concealing material adverse information
about the true nature of the Company's revenues, the lack of
adequate internal controls and the underpayment of taxes
resulting in tens of millions of dollars in penalties, which
ultimately resulted in the restatement of the Company's
financials over a period of five years.

On December 22, 2005, after the markets closed, the Company
provided an update on an internal investigation related to its
Brazil subsidiary and announced that it would restate its
financial results for 2000 through the first half of 2005.
On this disclosure, Bausch & Lomb's stock price dropped to as
low as $71.54 per share, a 9% decline from its close on December
22, 2005 -- the equivalent of a $374 million market
capitalization loss.  However, according to the complaint, prior
to these revelations of accounting fraud the Company's top
officers and directors illegally reaped over $29 million in
insider trading proceeds.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi and Bradley P. Dyer of
Murray, Frank & Sailer, LLP, Phone: (800) 497-8076 and (212)
682-1818, Fax: (212) 682-1892, E-mail: info@murrayfrank.com, Web
site: http://www.murrayfrank.com/CM/NewCases/NewCases.asp.


BAUSCH & LOMB: Schiffrin Barroway Files Securities Suit in N.Y.
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, initiated a class
action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf of all securities purchasers of Bausch &
Lomb, Inc. (NYSE: BOL) between January 27, 2005 and December 22,
2005, inclusive.

The complaint charges Bausch & Lomb, Ronald L. Zarrella, Stephen
C. McCluski, John M. Loughlin, Dwain L. Hahs, Angela J.
Panzarella, Robert B. Stiles, Kamal Sarbadhikari, Geoffrey F.
Ide and William H. Waltrip with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.  Bausch & Lomb engages in the development,
manufacture, and marketing of eye health products.  The company
offers its products in five product categories: contact lens,
lens care, pharmaceuticals, cataract and vitreoretinal, and
refractive.  The Complaint alleges that the Company failed to
disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse
facts, which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded
by them:

     (1) that the Company's Brazilian subsidiary engaged in
         fraudulent management and accounting practices, which
         resulted in tax assessments against the Company by
         Brazilian authorities;

     (2) that the Company's Korean subsidiary engaged in
         improper sales practices, thereby causing Bausch & Lomb
         to improperly recognize revenue from such sales;

     (3) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls;

     (4) that the Company's financial results were materially
         inflated at all relevant times; and

     (5) that the Company's financial results were in violation
         of Generally Accepted Accounting Principals ("GAAP").

On October 26, 2005, Bausch & Lomb announced that the Company's
Audit Committee of the Board of Directors (the "Audit
Committee") commenced an independent investigation into
allegations of misconduct by the management of the Company's
Brazilian subsidiary, BL Industria Otica Ltda. ("BLIO").  The
Audit Committee determined that the general manager, the
controller and other employees of the Brazilian subsidiary
engaged in improper management and accounting practices.  On
this news, shares of Bausch & Lomb fell $2.74 per share, or 3.7
percent, to close, on October 27, 2005 at $71.36 per share.

On December 22, 2005, Bausch & Lomb provided investors with an
update of its investigation into allegations of improper conduct
by management of its Brazilian subsidiary and tax assessments
against BLIO by Brazilian taxing authorities.  The Company had
concluded that certain prior-period financial statements would
be required to be restated.  In addition, the Company had
preliminarily identified a material weakness in its controls
over financial reporting.  Bausch & Lomb also announced that the
Audit Committee had commenced an independent investigation into
revenue recognition practices in its Korean subsidiary.  On this
news, shares of Bausch & Lomb fell $7.07 per share, or 8.94
percent, on December 23, 2005, to close at $72.00 per share.

For more details, contact Darren J. Check, Esquire and Richard
A. Maniskas, Esquire of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 280 King of
Prussia Road, Radnor, PA  19087, Phone: 1-800-299-7706 or 1-610-
667-7706, E-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com.


COOPER COMPANIES: Charles Johnson Lodges Calif. Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Charles H. Johnson & Associates initiated a class action on
behalf of all purchasers of The Cooper Companies between July
29, 2004 and November 21, 2005, including persons who received
Cooper shares in exchange for shares of Ocular Sciences in the
January 2005 merger between Cooper and Ocular Sciences, Inc.,
inclusive, has been filed.

The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central
District of California, Southern Division, against defendant
Cooper and one or more of its officers and/or directors.  The
action charges that defendants violated federal securities laws
by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period, which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more details, contact Neil Eisenbraun, Esq. of Charles H.
Johnson & Associates, 2599 Mississippi Street, New Brighton, MN
55112, Phone: (651) 633-5685, E-mail: cjohnsonlaw@gmail.com.


OMNICARE INC: Smith & Smith Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in Ky.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Smith & Smith, LLP, initiated a securities class action on
behalf of shareholders who purchased securities of Omnicare,
Inc. (NYSE:OCR) from August 3, 2005 through January 27, 2006.
The class action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Kentucky.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period
concerning the Company's operations and financial performance,
thereby artificially inflating the price of Omnicare securities.
No class has yet been certified in the above action.

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


                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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