CAR_Public/060324.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, March 24, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 60

                            Headlines

APPLICA INC: Faces Several Securities Fraud Suits in S.D. Fla.
ARIZONA: Public Schools to Benefit from State's $21M Penalty
BANK OF AMERICA: Awaits Calif. Court Ruling on Miller Complaint
BANK OF AMERICA: September ERISA Fraud Suit Trial Set in N.C.
BANK OF AMERICA: Filed Feb. Answer to N.Y. Securities Fraud Suit

BANK OF AMERICA: Faces Interchange Antitrust Suit in E.D. NY
BIOLASE TECHNOLOGY: Faces Third Amended Stock Lawsuit in Calif.
BIOMEDICAL TISSUE: Ont. Lawyer Files $210M Suit V. Tissue Firms
CALIFORNIA: LA Files $1.6M Suit Over Contract Breaches by Police
CALIFORNIA: More Coachella Valley Residents Join Suit V. Realtor

CANADIAN PACIFIC: Asks For New Trial Date for $1.9M Minn. Suit
CHIRON CORP: Plaintiffs Consolidate Calif. Suit V. Novartis' Bid
CHIRON CORP: Trial in California Securities Suit Set May 1, 2006
CITIZENS INC: Awaits Tex. Supreme Court Decision on Stock Suit
COCA-COLA: Gets $7M Windfall From Corn Syrup Antitrust Agreement

FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Faces ERISA Fraud Allegation in Conn.
FLORIDA: Watchdog Group Calls for Reform to Address 'Suit Abuse'
FREEPORT MCMORAN: April Trial Set for Securities Suit Settlement
GEICO: Plaintiffs Get Extra Time to Block Suit's Decertification
GOODYEAR TIRE: Federal Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Lawsuit

GUIDANT CORP: Faces Lawsuits Over Defibrillator in Minn., Conn.
HANGER ORTHOPEDIC: N.Y. Court OKs Transfer of Stock Suit to Md.
INCO LTD: Appeals Class Status of Suit V. Port Colborne Refinery
LUFKIN INDUSTRIES: Fifth Circuit Considers Tex. Race Bias Suit
MURPHY OIL: La. Court Consolidates Suits Over Meraux Oil Spill

NASH FINCH: Minn. Suit Voluntarily Dismissed, One More Remains
NATIONWIDE FINANCIAL: Conn. Court Allows ERISA Suit to Proceed
NEVADA: Sues to Obtain Proof of Yucca Nuclear Project's Hazards
NL INDUSTRIES: Faces Suit Over Lead Smelting Operation in Mich.
NL INDUSTRIES: Okla. Court Stays Proceedings in Quapaw Lawsuit

NORTHERN NATURAL: Nebr. Court Dismisses ERISA Violations Suit
OMNICARE INC: Faces Securities Fraud Litigations in E.D. Ky.
OSI PHARMACEUTICALS: Faces Consolidated Stock Fraud Suit in N.Y.
PORTLAND GENERAL: County Court Mulls Customer Liability Suits
PORTLAND GENERAL: Ore. Court Sets June 2006 Fairness Hearing

PUBLIC STORAGE: Calif. Court Keeps Consumer Liability Lawsuit
SEI INVESTMENTS: Continues to Face Mutual Fund Suit in Md. Court
SOUTH DAKOTA: ACLU Blasts HEA for Students With Drug Convictions
TERAYON COMMUNICATION: Settles Calif. Shareholder Suit for $15M
UNITED STATES: Research Firm Offers Guide to Multi-Party Suits

UNIVERSAL AMERICAN: Continues to Face Securities Suits in N.Y.
UTAH: Allows Waivers Dissipating Possible Lawsuits V. Lenders

                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: KeySpan Units Defend Against Injury Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cleco Corp Fights Claims by LA Site Workers
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lockheed Martin Notes Optimistic Outcomes
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ArvinMeritor Faces Rockwell Product Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US Steel Corp.'s Active Claims Surge to 500

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: TODCO Faces Workers' Suits in Miss. Courts
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Coca-Cola Fends Off Aqua-Chem's $10M Demand
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cytec Records US$47.8Mil Liability in 4Q05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Huntsman Accrues $12.5M Liability for Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Oglebay Norton Faced with 46,585 Claimants

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IntriCon Carries 122 Pending Suits in 4Q05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell Deals With NARCO, Bendix Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Albany Int'l. Carries 20,023 Injury Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EnPro Industries Notes 120,500 Open Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Garlock Initiates 13 Asbestos Trials in `05

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Garlock Reserves $570M for Claims Coverage
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W.R. Grace Notes 990 Property Damage Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Expects Delay in Estimation Hearings
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Berkshire Hathaway Notes $5.4B Liabilities
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tenneco Says Most Claims Lack Information

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fairmont Carries 26,300 Claims in 7 States
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PolyOne Corp. Reserves US$0.5Mil for Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NSW Town Payout Case to Begin in Two Months
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Labor Dept. Cites Buffalo City for Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japanese Govt. Accepts Payout Applications

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AUD222.5M Tax Causes Hardie Shares to Drop
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AXA Ordered to Give Coverage in Murden Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chubb Corp. Records US$35Mil Claims Losses
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Argonaut Group Notes US$86M for IBNR Claims
ASBESTOS ALERT: NewMarket Corp. Defends Against Premises Claims

ASBESTOS ALERT: Crowley Maritime Faces Toxic Claims in MI, OH
ASBESTOS ALERT: KS Court Dismisses Suit to Favor 13 EU Insurers
ASBESTOS ALERT: WC Maloney, Caltrans Fined $7,700 for CAA Breach


                    New Securities Fraud Cases


H&R BLOCK: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
H&R BLOCK: Marc S. Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in Miss.
NORTHFIELD LABORATORIES: Marc S. Henzel Files Stock Suit in Ill.
NORTHFIELD LABORATORIES: Law Firms Lodge Securities Suit in Ill.
PAINCARE HOLDINGS: Goldman Scarlato Lodges Fla. Securities Suit


                            *********



APPLICA INC: Faces Several Securities Fraud Suits in S.D. Fla.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Applica, Inc. is a defendant in several securities class actions
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
Florida.  The suits are styled:

     (1) "Scott Schultz, individually and on behalf of all
         others similarly situated, v. Applica Incorporated,
         Harry D. Schulman and Terry L. Polistina, 06-60149-CIV-
         DIMITROULEAS, which was filed on February 3, 2006," and

     (2) "Joseph Rothman, individually and on behalf of all
         others similarly situated, v. Applica Incorporated,
         Harry D. Schulman and Terry L. Polistina, 06-60230-CIV-
         ZLOCH, which was on February 24, 2006."

These matters are purported complaints filed on behalf of
purchasers of the Company's common stock during the period
between November 4, 2004 and April 28, 2005.  The complaints
charge the Company and certain executive officers with
violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  They allege
that, throughout the class period, the Company issued materially
false and misleading statements regarding its ability to
transform its business and become more profitable.  The
complaints claim that these statements were materially false and
misleading on the asserted basis that they failed to disclose:

     (i) that Applica was experiencing decreasing demand for its
         products; in particular, demand for two key products,
         Tide Buzz Ultrasonic Stain Remover and Home Cafe
         single cup coffee maker, were not meeting internal
         expectations;

    (ii) that Applica was materially overstating its net worth
         by failing to timely write down the value of its
         inventory which had become obsolete and unsaleable;

   (iii) that Applica was experiencing higher product warranty
         returns for which it had not appropriately reserved;
         and

    (iv) that Applica's financial statements issued during the
         class period were not prepared in accordance with GAAP
         and therefore were materially false and misleading.

The plaintiffs seek, among other relief, to be declared a class,
to be awarded compensatory damages, rescission rights,
unspecified damages and attorneys' fees and costs.


ARIZONA: Public Schools to Benefit from State's $21M Penalty
------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge allowed the state to give to public schools the
$21 million fine it paid for missing a deadline to revamp
programs for students learning English, Associated Press
reports.

U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins in Tucson ordered the
distribution of the money to school districts and charter
schools on a per-student basis.  It will benefit approximately
150,000 English Language Learning students.

The state was ordered to improve its offering to students
learning English after Judge Collin's predecessor ruled in 2000
that the state's programs for approximately 150,000 students
were inadequately funded.  The deficiency effectively violated a
federal law that guarantees equal opportunities in education,
the ruling said.  The state was fined $500,000 on Jan. 25 for
missing a deadline to draft ways to improve the program.  The
fine was increased to $1 million in January.

Judge Collins will hear arguments April 3 on the adequacy of a
law passed two weeks ago by the Republican-led Legislature,
according to the report.

Earlier this month, Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano finally
allowed to become law the latest version of a Republican bill
seeking to revamp the programs.  She considered the bill still
inadequate after vetoing three previous versions, but she
allowed it to become a law for Judge Collins to decide (Class
Action Reporter, March 13, 2006).

The suit was styled, "Flores, et al. v. Arizona, State of, et
al., Case No. 4:92-cv-00596-RCC," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Arizona, under Judge Raner C. Collins.
Representing the plaintiffs is Timothy Michael Hogan of Arizona
Center for Law in the Public Interest, 202 E. McDowell Rd., Ste.
153, Phoenix, AZ 85004, Phone: 602-258-8850, Fax: 602-258-8757,
E-mail: thogan@aclpi.org.

Representing the defendants are, Lynne Christensen Adams and
Jose A. Cardenas of Lewis & Roca, LLP, 40 N. Central Ave.,
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4429, Phone: 602-262-5372 and 602-262-5790,
Fax: 602-734-4015 and 602-734-3852, E-mail: ladams@lrlaw.com and
jcardenas@lrlaw.com.


BANK OF AMERICA: Awaits Calif. Court Ruling on Miller Complaint
---------------------------------------------------------------
The California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District has yet
to rule on Bank of America, N.A.'s (BANA) appeal for the case
"Paul J. Miller v. Bank of America, N.A.," which was filed in
the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco.

On August 13, 1998, a predecessor of BANA was named as a
defendant in the purported class action, which is challenging
the Company's practice of debiting accounts that received, by
direct deposit, governmental benefits to repay fees incurred in
those accounts.  The action alleges fraud, negligent
misrepresentation and violations of certain California laws.

On October 16, 2001, a class was certified consisting of more
than one million California residents who have, had or will
have, at any time after August 13, 1994, a deposit account with
BANA into which payments of public benefits are or have been
directly deposited by the government.  The case proceeded to
trial on January 20, 2004.

On March 4, 2005, the trial court entered a judgment that awards
the plaintiff class restitution in the amount of $284 million,
plus attorneys' fees, and provides that class members whose
accounts were assessed an insufficient funds fee in violation of
law suffered substantial emotional or economic harm and,
therefore, are entitled to an additional $1,000 penalty.  The
judgment also includes injunctive relief.

On May 13, 2005, BANA filed with the California Court of Appeal,
First Appellate District, a notice of appeal and, on May 16,
2005, a writ of supersedeas, seeking a stay of the trial court's
judgment pending appeal.  On November 22, 2005, the Court of
Appeal granted BANA's writ, staying the judgment, including the
injunction, pending appeal.  The appeal remains pending.


BANK OF AMERICA: September ERISA Fraud Suit Trial Set in N.C.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Bank of America Corporation is a defendant in a putative class
action entitled, "William L. Pender, et al. v. Bank of America
Corporation, et al. (formerly captioned Anita Pothier, et al. v.
Bank of America Corporation, et al.)."  The suit was initially
filed June 2004 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Illinois and subsequently transferred to the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

The action was brought on behalf of participants in or
beneficiaries of The Bank of America Pension Plan (formerly
known as the NationsBank Cash Balance Plan) and The Bank of
America 401(k) Plan (formerly known as the NationsBank 401(k)
Plan).  The Third Amended Complaint named as defendants the
Corporation, Bank of America, N.A. (BANA), The Bank of America
Pension Plan, The Bank of America 401(k) Plan, the Bank of
America Corporation Corporate Benefits Committee and various
members thereof, and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.  The two named
plaintiffs were alleged to be a current and a former participant
in The Bank of America Pension Plan and 401(k) Plan.

The Third Amended Complaint alleged the defendants violated
various provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security
Act (ERISA), including that the design of The Bank of America
Pension Plan violated ERISA's defined benefit pension plan
standards and that such plan's definition of normal retirement
age is invalid.  In addition, the complaint alleged age
discrimination in the design and operation of The Bank of
America Pension Plan, unlawful lump sum benefit calculation,
violation of ERISA's "anti-backloading" rule, improper benefit
to the Corporation and its predecessor, and various prohibited
transactions and fiduciary breaches.  It further alleged that
certain voluntary transfers of assets by participants in The
Bank of America 401(k) Plan to The Bank of America Pension Plan
violated ERISA.

In addition, the complaint alleged that current and former
participants in these plans are entitled to greater benefits.
It is seeking declaratory relief, monetary relief in an
unspecified amount, equitable relief, including an order
reforming The Bank of America Pension Plan, attorneys' fees and
interest.

                         Trial Schedule

The court has scheduled the case for trial in September 2006.
On September 25, 2005, defendants moved to dismiss the Third
Amended Complaint.  The motion is pending.

On December 1, 2005, the named plaintiffs moved to certify
classes consisting of, among others, all persons who accrued or
who are currently accruing benefits under The Bank of America
Pension Plan and all persons who elected to have amounts
representing their account balances under The Bank of America
401(k) Plan transferred to The Bank of America Pension Plan.
The motion for class certification is pending.

The suit is styled, "William L. Pender, et al. v. Bank of
America Corporation, et al. (formerly captioned Anita Pothier,
et al. v. Bank of America Corporation, et al.), Case No. 3:05-
cv-00238," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of North Carolina under Judge Graham Mullen.
Representing the plaintiffs are, Thomas D. Garlitz of Garlitz &
Williamson, PLLC, Suite 930, The Johnston Building, 212 South
Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28281, Phone: 704-372-1282, Fax:
704-372-1621, E-mail: tgarlitz@gwattorneys.com; and Eli
Gottesdiener of Gottesdiener Law Firm, 498 7th Street, Brooklyn,
NY 11215, Phone: 718-788-1500, Fax: 718-788-1650, E-mail:
eli@gottesdienerlaw.com.

Representing the defendants are:

     (1) Irving Michael Brenner of Helms, Mulliss & Wicker,
         PLLC, Helms Mulliss & Wicker, 201 North Tryon Street,
         Charlotte, NC 28202, Phone: 704-343-2075, Fax: 704-343-
         2300, E-mail: irving.brenner@hmw.com;

     (2) Jason Whitt Callen of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, 200 East
         Randolph Drive, Chicago, IL 60614, Phone: 312-861-8534,
         Fax: 312-846-9218, E-mail: jcallen@kirkland.com;

     (3) William F. Conlon of Sidley, Austin et al. - Chicago,
         10 S. Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60603, Phone: 312-853-7384,
         E-mail: wconlon@sidley.com; and

     (4) Mark William Merritt of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson,
         P.A., 1900 Independence Center, Suite 1900, Charlotte,
         NC 28246, Phone: 704-377-8337, Fax: 704-373-3937, E-
         mail: mmerritt@rbh.com.


BANK OF AMERICA: Filed Feb. Answer to N.Y. Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bank of America Corporation is a defendant in securities
putative class action styled, "Southern Alaska Carpenters
Pension Fund, et al. v. Bonlat Financing Corporation, et al.,"
which is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York.

On March 5, 2004, a First Amended Complaint was filed in the
class action.  The action was brought on behalf of a putative
class of purchasers of Parmalat securities.  The First Amended
Complaint alleged causes of action against the Corporation for
violations of the federal securities laws based upon the
Corporation's alleged role in the alleged Parmalat accounting
fraud.  This action was consolidated with several other putative
class actions filed against multiple defendants, and on October
18, 2004, an Amended Consolidated Complaint was filed.
Unspecified damages are being sought.

On July 13, 2005, the court granted in its entirety the motion
to dismiss filed by the Corporation, Bank of America, N.A.
(BANA) and Banc of America Securities Limited in the
consolidated putative class actions.  The court granted the
plaintiffs a right to file a second amended complaint.  After
the filing of the second amended complaint and the Corporation's
motion to dismiss such complaint, on February 9, 2006, the court
granted the Corporation's motion to dismiss in part, allowing
the plaintiff to proceed on claims with respect to two
transactions entered into between the Corporation and Parmalat.
On February 27, 2006, the Corporation filed its answer to the
second amended complaint.


BANK OF AMERICA: Faces Interchange Antitrust Suit in E.D. NY
------------------------------------------------------------
Bank of America Corporation and certain of its subsidiaries are
defendants in putative class actions that were transferred for
coordinated pre-trial proceedings to the U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of New York.  The suit is styled, "In Re
Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Anti-Trust
Litigation."

Defendants include other financial institutions and, among
others, Visa and MasterCard.  Plaintiffs seek certification of a
class of retail merchants and allege, among other claims, that
defendants conspired to fix the level of interchange and
merchant discount fees and that certain practices that prohibit
merchants from charging cardholders for fees the merchant pays
to the credit card companies violate the federal antitrust laws.
Plaintiffs seek unspecified treble damages and injunctive
relief.

The suit is styled, "In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and
Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 1:05-md-01720-
JG-JO," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of New York under Judge John Gleeson with referral to
Judge James Orenstein.


BIOLASE TECHNOLOGY: Faces Third Amended Stock Lawsuit in Calif.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Biolase Technology, Inc. and certain of its current and former
officers were named as defendants in a third amended securities
complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central
District of California.

The complaints sought unspecified damages on behalf of an
alleged class of persons who purchased the company's common
stock between October 29, 2003 and July 16, 2004.  The
complaints alleged that the Company and its officers violated
federal securities laws by failing to disclose material
information about the demand for the company's products and the
fact that the company would not achieve the alleged forecasted
growth.  The claimed misrepresentations included certain
statements in the company's press releases and the registration
statement the company filed in connection with the company's
public offering of stock, which closed in March 2004.

In January 2006, the Company's motion to dismiss the second
amended consolidated class action complaint was granted and the
action was dismissed, with leave to further amend, by the order
of the Honorable David O. Carter, U.S. District Judge for the
Central District of California.  On March 10, 2006 the
plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint.  The third amended
complaint made the same allegations regarding violations of the
federal securities laws but is limited to an alleged class of
investors who purchased or otherwise acquired the company's
common stock pursuant to or traceable to the public offering of
the company's stock that closed in March 2004.

The suit is styled "Van Dam Holdings Ltd. v. Biolase Technology,
Inc., et al, Case No. 8:04-cv-947," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Central District of California, under Judge David
O. Carter.  Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Dale Joseph MacDiarmid, Lionel Z. Glancy, Peter Arthur
         Binkow of Glancy Binkow and Goldberg, 1801 Avenue of
         the Stars, Suite 311 Los Angeles, CA 90067, USA, Phone:
         310-201-9150;

     (2) Gregory M. Castaldo of Schiffrin & Barroway, 3 Bala
         Plaza E, Ste. 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, Phone: 610-
         667-7706; and

     (3) Samuel H. Rudman of Cauley Geller Bowman Coates &
         Rudman, 200 Broadhollow Rd., Ste. 406, Melville, NY
         11747, Phone: 631-367-7263, E-mail:
         srudman@lerachlaw.com.

Representing the defendants are Theodore K. Bell, Bruce A.
Ericson and Marci A Reichbach of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw
Pittman, Phone: 650-233-4500, 415-983-1000 and 415-983-1422, E-
mail: tbell@pillsburywinthrop.com,
bericson@pillsburywinthrop.com and
marci.reichbach@pillsburylaw.com;


BIOMEDICAL TISSUE: Ont. Lawyer Files $210M Suit V. Tissue Firms
---------------------------------------------------------------
Greg Monforton, President-Elect of the Ontario Trial Lawyers
Association, said his firm filed a $210 million class action in
connection with illegally harvested and unscreened human tissue
and bone used in transplant surgery.  Mr. Monforton is working
on the case together with co-counsel Motley Rice, LLC of Mt.
Pleasant, South Carolina.

The suit, filed in Windsor, Ontario, names Clarence Renaud as
representative plaintiff of the proposed class of plaintiffs.
Mr. Renaud allegedly received illegally harvested and unscreened
bone and tissue as part of a routine back surgery at Hotel-Dieu
Grace Hospital in Windsor on April 27, 2003.

Defendants in the case include allograft (grafts of human
tissue) distributors:

     (1) Zimmer Dental Medical Incorporated,

     (2) Biogenics Inc.,

     (3) Medtronic of Canada Ltd., and

     (4) Biomedical Tissue Services Ltd. (BTS), along with two
         of its founders.

Mr. Monforton said, "It is simply unacceptable that Mr. Renaud
and many other Canadians have been receiving tissue implants
that were illegally acquired and potentially diseased.  These
innocent people now endure the stress and anxiety of not knowing
if they have been infected with various communicable diseases".

While Mr. Renaud has not yet tested positive for diseases, it is
alleged that due to long incubation periods for HIV and other
potentially deadly diseases, he could test positive for an
illness in the future -- thus increasing his emotional distress
and requiring him to undergo repeated testing.

Two of the defendants, Michael Mastromarino and Joseph Nicelli
of BTS, were recently charged in State Supreme Court in
Brooklyn, New York, for operating a corrupt $4.6 million
enterprise to harvest human tissue from funeral homes and sell
it for use in transplants and research.  Hospitals across North
America have reported receipt of the illegally harvested and
potentially dangerous tissue.

Mr. Monforton believes that the problem may extend far beyond
what has been included in the recent BTS case.  Anyone who has
received a tissue transplant or bone graft and has been
inexplicably diagnosed with Hepatitis, HIV, Syphilis or other
infectious diseases should take the necessary steps to protect
their legal rights.

For more information, contact Greg Monforton, Phone: (519) 258-
6490 or (800) 663-1145; Web site: http://www.gregmonforton.com.


CALIFORNIA: LA Files $1.6M Suit Over Contract Breaches by Police
----------------------------------------------------------------
Los Angeles City is suing 53 former Police Department officers
for allegedly leaving the Department earlier than what is
provided in their employment contract, the Los Angeles Times
reports.

LAPD laid down five-year contracts to recruits after a 1996
investigation showed some officers were leaving as early as the
day after graduation to work for other departments.  It is now
going after those who break the contract by leaving before the
five-year deal is over.  It had filed 34 lawsuits against
officers, and reserved 19 more to recover $1.6 million spent on
training.  Police Academy training takes seven months and costs
$60,000 per officer.

Thirty of the officers hired Northern California attorney Jon
Webster to include them in a class counter-suit against the
city.  They contend that federal and state labor laws prohibit
the recovery of training costs.


CALIFORNIA: More Coachella Valley Residents Join Suit V. Realtor
----------------------------------------------------------------
The list of plaintiffs in a class action against a Palm Desert
realtor accused of fraud has grown to 21, according to
NewsChannel 3.

Palm Strings attorney David Lynch, who is suing Haydee Verdugo
for allegedly selling bogus real estate, was reported to have
four clients in February (Class Action Reporter, Feb. 28, 2006).
He is pursuing the case on behalf of Coachella Valley residents
who claim Ms. Verdugo took thousands from them before
disappearing.  Mr. Lynch said Verdugo has until April 17 to
respond to his lawsuit.

Attorneys Lance Archer and John Gallegos of 1800 E. Rahquitz
Canyon Palm Springs, California (Riverside Co.) are representing
another 18 residents to pursue similar allegations, according to
the report.  The Riverside County Sheriffs Department is
currently investigating 30 complaints filed against Ms. Verdugo.


CANADIAN PACIFIC: Asks For New Trial Date for $1.9M Minn. Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys for the Canadian Pacific Railway against filed motions
for new trials in three class action cases, and a stay on all
suits, pending a ruling on an appeal, Dakota's KXMC 13 channel
reports.

The motion for new trial is related to the cases that resulted
in a nearly $1.9 million award by a Minneapolis jury to four
plaintiffs in February.  Lawyers for Canadian Pacific say the
decisions were not supported by evidence, and that Judge Tony
Leung erred in several rulings in the course of the trial, and
in jury instructions.  The attorneys ask that the awards be
reduced.  No hearing date has been set in the motion.

Canadian Pacific's lawyers are requesting a stay until the
Minnesota Court of Appeals rules on the issue of preemption, the
report said.  Judge Leung said that preemption does not apply in
the more than 200 cases pending in his court, a ruling the
attorneys found in direct conflict with recent decisions by at
least two federal judges.  The lawyers cite a ruling by Daniel
Hovland in North Dakota, who threw out the class action against
the railroad on the grounds of preemption.  Judge Leung has
tentatively set March 31st to hear arguments on the stay motion.

According to the report, the ruling will be critical to eleven
cases that are scheduled to begin trial on May 1.

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

The suit is styled, "Mehl, et al. v. Canadian Pacific RR, et
al., Case No. 4:02-cv-00009-DLH-KKK," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of North Dakota under Judge Daniel L.
Hovland with referral to Judge Karen K. Klein.  Representing the
plaintiffs are, Mike J. Miller of Solberg Stewart Miller Johnson
Tjon Kennelly, Ltd., P.O. BOX 1897, FARGO, ND 58107-1897, Phone:
701-237-3166, E-mail: mmiller@solberglaw.com; and Daniel E.
Becnel, Jr. of Daniel E. Becnel, Jr. Law firm, 106 W. 7 ST., PO
Drawer H., Reserve, LA 70084, Phone: 985-536-1186.

Representing the defendants are, James S. Hill of Zuger Kirmis &
Smith, 316 N. 5 ST., P.O. Box 1695, Bismarck, ND 58502-1695,
Phone: 701-223-2711, E-mail: jhill@zkslaw.com; and Kevin M.
Decker of Briggs & Morgan, 2200 IDS Center, 80 S. 8TH ST.,
Minneapolis, MN 55402, Phone: 612-977-8400.


CHIRON CORP: Plaintiffs Consolidate Calif. Suit V. Novartis' Bid
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chiron Corporation, Novartis AG, and members of the Company's
Board of Directors are defendants in a consolidated class action
that is pending in the Superior Court of the State of California
in Alameda County.  The suit opposes Novartis' September 1, 2005
offer to acquire approximately 58% of the Company shares that
Novartis does not yet own for $40 per share.

Between September 1 and September 13, 2005, twelve class actions
were filed against the defendants.  Eight of the suits were
filed in the Superior Court of the State of California in
Alameda County by:

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

     (2) Edith Auman;

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

     (4) William Lattarulo;

     (5) Steven Rosenberg and The Harold Grill IRA;

     (6) Tracie Scotto;

     (7) Albert Stein; and

     (8) William Steiner.

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

     (i) Judy Longcore;

    (ii) Paulena Partners L.L.C.;

   (iii) Sylvia Piven; and

    (iv) the Thomas Stone Irrevocable Trust (the "Delaware
         Plaintiffs").

The eight California Actions were consolidated, as were the four
Delaware Actions.  In January 2006, the California Plaintiffs
filed a consolidated complaint in the California Court, and in
March 2006, the California Plaintiffs and certain of the
Delaware Plaintiffs filed a second amended consolidated
complaint in the California Court against the Defendants
alleging, among other things, that the Company and the
Defendants breached their fiduciary duties in connection with
the merger because the merger price is inadequate, unfair, and
the result of an unfair process.  The Plaintiffs also alleged
that Chiron's definitive proxy materials omit material
information, include materially misleading statements and are
unfairly coercive.

In their prayer for relief, the Plaintiffs seek:

     (a) to enjoin the merger under the terms presently
         proposed;

     (b) to rescind any transaction or be granted rescissory
         damages if a transaction is consummated prior to entry
         of final judgment; and

     (c) to direct the individual defendants and Novartis to
         account to Plaintiffs and members of the purported
         class for all damages caused to them and to account for
         all profits and any special benefits obtained as a
         result of their alleged misconduct.

A hearing on the California Plaintiff's anticipated motion for a
preliminary injunction is currently scheduled for April 4, 2006.


CHIRON CORP: Trial in California Securities Suit Set May 1, 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the consolidated securities class action filed against
Chiron Corporation and certain of its officers is set for May 1,
2006 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California.

Between October 2004 and December 2004, five securities class
actions were filed on behalf of purchasers of Company securities
for class periods ranging from July 23, 2003 through October 13,
2004.  Four of the suits were filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California. One action, although
originally filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania, was later transferred to the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California.

In March 2005, the Court named lead counsel and plaintiff, and
in April 2005, lead plaintiff filed a consolidated complaint.
The consolidated complaint alleges, among other things, that the
defendants violated certain provisions of the federal securities
laws by making false and misleading statements from July 23,
2003 through October 5, 2004 concerning the amount of FLUVIRIN
vaccine the Company projected to produce and its historical and
forecasted financial results, and seeks unspecified monetary
damages and other relief from all defendants.

The consolidated suit is styled, "Richard Gregory, et al. v.
Chiron Corporation, et al., Case No. 04-CV-04293," filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Representing the plaintiffs are, Patrick J. Coughlin and William
S. Lerach of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP,
Phone: 415/288-4545 and 619-231-1058, Fax: 415-288-4534 and 619-
231-7423, E-mail: patc@lerachlaw.com and
e_file_sd@lerachlaw.com.

Representing the defendants are, Stacie Fatka Beckerman, James
E. Lyons and Amy S. Park of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher &
Flom, LLP, Phone: (650) 470-4500, 415/984-6400 and 213-687-5000,
Fax: 415-984-2698, E-mail: sbeckerm@skadden.com,
apark@skadden.com and apark@skadden.com.


CITIZENS INC: Awaits Tex. Supreme Court Decision on Stock Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Citizens, Inc. is a defendant in a class action filed in Texas,
styled, "Citizens Insurance Company of America, Citizens, Inc.,
Harold E. Riley and Mark A. Oliver, Petitioners v. Fernando
Hakim Daccach, Respondent."

A class in the suit was certified by the Texas District Court,
Austin, Texas, and affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the
Third District of Texas.  The Company appealed the grant of
class status to the Texas Supreme Court, and oral arguments
occurred on October 21, 2004.  The Company has not yet received
a decision from the Texas Supreme Court.

The suit names as a class all non-U.S. residents who purchased
insurance policies or made premium payments since August 1996 to
the company's international life insurance subsidiary, CICA, and
assigned policy dividends to two non-U.S. trusts for the
purchase of the company's Class A common stock.  The
beneficiaries of the trusts are approximately 80,000 non-U.S.
policyholders of CICA, who have assigned their life insurance
policy dividends to the two trusts administered by Gala
Management Services, Inc., a Panamanian trust services company.

As of February 26, 2006, this trustee held of record
approximately 35.4% of the Company's Class A common stock on
behalf of the CICA policyholders who were beneficiaries of the
trusts.  The purchases of the Company's Class A common stock by
this trustee to the trusts on behalf of policyholders, all of
which have been made in the open market, were approximately
$15.3 million in 2005, $13.4 million in 2004, and $11.1 million
in 2003.  The elections to assign insurance policy dividends to
the trusts were made by the policyholders in consultation with
independent marketing consultants of CICA.

The suit alleges that the life insurance policies which the
company made available to these non-U.S. residents, when
combined with a policy feature which allows policy dividends to
be assigned to the two non-U.S. trusts for the purpose of
accumulating ownership of the Company's Class A common stock,
along with allowing the policyholders to make additional
contributions to the trusts, were actually offers and sales of
securities that occurred in Texas by unregistered dealers in
violation of the registration provisions of the Texas securities
laws.  The remedy sought is rescission and return of the
insurance premiums.

However, the elections by the policyholders to contribute their
policy dividends and other amounts to the trusts were made
outside of the U.S.  The Company believes, among other things,
that U.S. law, including Texas law, does not apply to the
operations of the trusts, and therefore, no securities
registration provisions neither apply nor do U.S. laws relating
to broker-dealer registration apply.  The Company also believes
the securities claims based on Texas securities laws are not
valid, that no broker-dealer registration is required of the
company or the company's marketing consultants, and the class as
defined is not appropriate for class certification because it
does not meet the legal requirements for class action treatment
under Texas law.


COCA-COLA: Gets $7M Windfall From Corn Syrup Antitrust Agreement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated received proceeds in 2005 as
a result of a settlement of a class action "In re: High Fructose
Corn Syrup Antitrust Litigation Master File No. 95-1477" in the
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois.

The lawsuit was related to purchases of high fructose corn syrup
by several companies, including: The Coca-Cola Company and its
subsidiaries, The Coca-Cola Bottlers' Association and various
Coca-Cola bottlers, during the period from July 1, 1991 to June
30, 1995.  The Company recognized the $7.0 million proceeds
received as a reduction of cost of sales.

The suit is styled, "In Re High Fructose Corn Syrup Antitrust
Litigation, Master File No. 95-1477," filed in the U.S. District
court for the Central District of Illinois, Peoria Division.
Representing the Company are:

     (1) Kathleen S. Hall and James R Eiszner of SHOOK HARDY &
         BACON, One Kansas City Place, 1200 Main Street, Kansas
         City, MO 64105-2118, Phone: (816) 474-6550;

     (2) Michael J. Freed of Much Shelist Freed Denenberg Ament
         & Rubenstein, Suite 1800, 191 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago,
         IL 60606-1615, Phone: 312-521-2000, Fax: 312-521-2200;

     (3) Craig S. Hunter of TODER & HUNTER, Pioneer Bldg., Suite
         1622, 336 N. Robert St., St. Paul, MN 55101, Phone:
         (612) 224-5632; and

     (4) H. Laddie Montague, Jr. of BERGER & MONTAGUE, PC, 1622
         Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone: (215) 875-
         3000.


FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL: Faces ERISA Fraud Allegation in Conn.
------------------------------------------------------------
FleetBoston Financial Corp. is a defendant in a putative class
action, entitled, "Donna C. Richards v. FleetBoston Financial
Corp. and the FleetBoston Financial Pension Plan (Fleet Pension
Plan)."

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District
of Connecticut on behalf of all former and current Fleet
employees who on December 31, 1996 were not at least age 50 with
15 years of vesting service and who participated in the Fleet
Pension Plan before January 1, 1997, and who have participated
in the Fleet Pension Plan at any time since January 1, 1997.

The complaint, filed on September 29, 2004, alleged that the
Company or its predecessor violated the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act (ERISA) by:

     (1) amending the Fleet Financial Group, Inc. Pension Plan
         (a predecessor to the Fleet Pension Plan) to add a cash
         balance benefit formula without notifying participants
         that the amendment significantly reduced their plan
         benefits;

     (2) conditioning the amount of benefits payable under the
         Fleet Pension Plan upon the form of benefit elected;

     (3) reducing the rate of benefit accruals on account of
         age; and

     (4) failing to inform participants of the correct amount of
         their pensions and related claims.

The complaint also alleges that the Fleet Pension Plan violates
the "anti-backloading" rule of ERISA.

The complaint seeks equitable and remedial relief, including a
declaration that the cash balance amendment to the Fleet Pension
Plan was ineffective, additional unspecified benefit payments,
attorneys' fees and interest.

On December 28, 2004, plaintiff filed a motion for class
certification.  On January 25, 2005, the defendants moved to
dismiss the action.  These motions are pending.

The suit is styled, "Richards v. Fleetboston Financial Corp., et
al., Case No. 3:04-cv-01638-JCH," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Connecticut under Judge Janet C. Hall.
Representing the plaintiffs is Thomas G. Moukawsher of
Moukawsher & Walsh - Htfd., Capitol Place, 21 Oak St., Suite
209, Hartford, CT 06106, Phone: 860-278-7000, Fax: 860-548-1740,
E-mail: tmoukawsher@mwlawgroup.com.

Representing the defendants are William F. Conlon, Scott E.
Gross, Brian P. Guarraci and Erin E. Kelly of Sidley, Austin,
Brown & Wood LLP - CH, IL, Bank One Plaza, One South Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60603, Phone: 312-853-7384, 312-853-7011, 312-853-
7917 and 312-853-7272, Fax: 312-853-7036, E-mail:
wconlon@sidley.com, sgross@sidley.com, bguarrac@sidley.com and
ekelly@sidley.com.


FLORIDA: Watchdog Group Calls for Reform to Address 'Suit Abuse'
----------------------------------------------------------------
Floridians are sick and tired of lawsuit abuse and are demanding
relief from the legislature, Florida Stop Lawsuit Abuse (FSLA)
said after the American Tort Reform Association's (ATRA) release
of a list of the nation's biggest "Judicial Hellholes" for 2005.

At a press conference at the South County Court House in Delray
Beach, the grassroots legal watchdog group FSLA pointed to South
Florida's dubious title as a "Judicial Hellhole" as yet another
example of Florida's out-of-control civil justice system.  South
Florida -- particularly Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward
counties -- was identified as a "Judicial Hellhole" by ATRA for
the third consecutive year.

The annual report by ATRA identifies "Judicial Hellholes" areas
across the country as those that have a disproportionately
harmful impact on civil litigation.  Personal injury lawyers
seek out these places because they know that they will produce a
positive outcome, either an excessive verdict or settlement, or
a favorable precedent.

ATRA's report cited South Florida as "a friendly environment for
class actions" that is systematically abused by out-of-state
plaintiffs and personal injury lawyers.  Problems include:

     (1) state laws that facilitate improper class action
         filings;

     (2) abusive legal provisions such as a "joint and several
         liability" law allowing lawsuits to target individuals
         and organizations based on their ability to pay, not
         their degree of responsibility; and

     (3) exorbitant courtroom verdicts.

"Floridians have a real problem with personal injury lawyers and
people who see lawsuits and the company's courts as a way to get
rich," said Slade O'Brien, executive director of FSLA.  "This
greed and lawsuit-happy mentality hurts all of us.  FSLA is
taking the fight against lawsuit abuse to communities across
Florida to ensure that every citizen's voice is heard."

Last month FSLA launched a statewide education campaign to
educate citizens about the problem of lawsuit abuse and what can
be done to stop it.  The group says a critical step in bringing
more fairness to Florida's courts is reforming a current law
that can force a person to pay up to $2 million more in damages
than the person actually caused.

The legislature is considering reform legislation this session
that would change the law so that a person would only be
required to pay for his or her fair share of a loss -- not for
damages caused by another.  The Florida House overwhelming
passed its version of the reform measure (HB 145) by a vote of
93 to 27, and the Senate will begin debate soon on companion
bill S.2006.  Thirty-seven other states have enacted similar
reform legislation, and eight out of ten Floridians would favor
such legislation, according to a statewide survey of voters last
month.

"The Florida legislature has the opportunity to fix the
company's broken legal system by passing reform legislation to
stop abusive lawsuits and inject personal responsibility back
into our courts," stated Mr. O'Brien.  "Florida citizens want to
see fairness in our courts, not more junk lawsuits.  Now is the
time for citizens to urge their elected officials to take
action."

FSLA -- http://www.FloridaStopLawsuitAbuse.com-- is a
grassroots group dedicated to challenging those who abuse
Florida's legal system and educating the public about the costs
and consequences of lawsuit abuse.  FSLA is supported by
individual citizens, small business owners, doctors and
taxpayers.


FREEPORT MCMORAN: April Trial Set for Securities Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware in and for New
Castle County will hold a settlement hearing for the proposed
$17.5 million settlement in the matter, "In Re Freeport Mcmoran
Sulphur, Inc. Shareholder Litigation (Consolidated C.A. No.
16729-NC)."

The case was brought on behalf of all record holders and
beneficial owners of common stock of Freeport Mcmoran Sulphur,
Inc. between August 3, 1998 to and November 17, 1998, inclusive.

The hearing will be on April 20, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. at the Court
at the New Castle County Courthouse, 500 King Street,
Wilmington, Delaware.  Deadline for objecting or applying to be
heard in court is April 10, 2006.

For more information, contact the Freeport McMoRan Sulphur
Settlement, c/o Complete Claim Solutions, Inc., P.O. Box 24624,
West Palm Beach, FL 33416, (877) 741-1232; Web site:
http://www.completeclaimsolutions.com;or Class Counsel: Pamela
S. Tikellis of Chimicles & Tikellis LLP, One Rodney Square, P.O.
Box 1035, Wilmington, DE 19899, Phone: (302) 656-2500.


GEICO: Plaintiffs Get Extra Time to Block Suit's Decertification
----------------------------------------------------------------
Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron on March 9 gave
plaintiffs in a class action against Washington-based insurer
GEICO 21 days to reply to a motion to decertify the case,
according to The Madison St. Clair Record.

Last month, plaintiffs failed to comply with a Feb. 13 deadline
to respond to a motion filed by attorney Sheila Carmody of
Phoenix on Oct. 28 (Class Action Reporter, March 13, 2006).
Judge Byron set a hearing on a decertification March 24.  On
March 6, Gerald Walters of Lakin Law Firm moved to extend the
deadline by 21 days and vacate the hearing.  He said Thomas
Maag, the primary attorney in the case, left, hence the failure
to reply.

GEICO attorney Joshua Grabel of Phoenix opposed, but Byron sided
with the plaintiff.  The company has 15 days to reply to the
response of the plaintiffs.

The suit was filed in 2001 by Myron Billups, whose Pontiac Grand
Am crashed in 1998.  He was joined later by Patricia Singleton,
whose Cadillac was stolen and wrecked.  Jeff Millar of the Lakin
Law Firm in Wood River signed the complaint, which also listed
three Chicago firms and two attorneys from Marion, according to
the report.

The plaintiffs sought to represent drivers whose vehicles GEICO
had paid off as total losses.  In 2004, Madison County Circuit
Judge Nicolas Byron certified their representation in 2004, as
well as a multi-state class on breach of contract claims and an
Illinois class on consumer fraud claims.  In 2002, GEICO asked
Judge Byron to postpone a decision on a class certification
pending the Supreme Court's ruling on Avery vs. State Farm, a
Williamson County class action.  In August, the Court ruled that
Avery and the other plaintiffs failed to prove deception or
damages, throwing out a verdict of more than $1 billion.

The news that plaintiffs failed to send a response emerged in a
Feb. 15 request for a ruling from Judge Byron by attorney Joseph
Brown of Edwardsville.  In court filings, GEICO also recorded
excerpts from depositions of Mrs. Singleton and her son, Khari
Sharp, supporting assertion that the plaintiff suffered no
damage.  Judge Byron has set a March 24 hearing.

GEICO -- http://www.geico.com/-- is a personal lines auto
insurance company based in the U.S.  GEICO stands for Government
Employees Insurance Company.

Contact information for defendant's lawyer: Sheila Carmody and
Joshua Grabel of Snell & Wilmer L.L.P., One Arizona Center,
Phoenix, Arizona 85004-2202, (Maricopa Co.), Phone: 602-382-
6000, Fax: 602-382-6070; Joseph R. Brown, Jr. of Lucco, Brown,
Threlkeld & Dawson, LLP, P.O. Box 539, Edwardsville, Illinois
62025, (Madison Co.), Phone: 618-656-2321; Fax: 618-656-2363.

Contact information for plaintiffs' lawyer: Gerald R. Walters
and Jeffrey A.J. Millar of The Lakin Law Firm, P.C., 300 Evans
Avenue, P.O. Box 229, Wood River, Illinois 62095-0027, (Madison
Co.), Phone: 618-254-1127; Telecopier: 618-254-0193.


GOODYEAR TIRE: Federal Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court Judge John Adams dismissed the class
action alleging securities fraud filed against Goodyear Tire &
Rubber Company (NYSE: GT) and certain of its current and former
officers.  The suit relates to Goodyear's previous restatement
of its financial results.

In its March 22 ruling, the Court found that the plaintiffs
failed to sufficiently set forth particularized facts to support
their claim.

"We are pleased that the Court has dismissed the lawsuit, which
the companyhave always believed to be without merit," said C.
Thomas Harvie, Goodyear senior vice president and general
counsel.

Goodyear has also asked the Court to dismiss two companion cases
pending before Judge Adams: a shareholder derivative action and
an action based on alleged ERISA violations.

On October 23, 2003, a purported class action was filed against
the Company in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of Ohio on behalf of purchasers of its common stock alleging
violations of the federal securities laws (Class Action
Reporter, Feb. 24, 2006).  After that date, a total of 20 of
these purported class actions were filed against the Company in
that court.  These lawsuits also name as defendants several of
the Company's present or former officers and directors,
including:

     (1) current chief executive officer Robert J. Keegan,

     (2) current chief financial officer Richard J. Kramer, and

     (3) former chief financial officer, Robert W. Tieken

The suit alleges, among other things, that the Company and the
other named defendants violated federal securities laws by
artificially inflating and maintaining the market price of the
Company's securities.

Five derivative lawsuits were also filed by purported
shareholders on behalf of the Company in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of Ohio and two similar derivative
lawsuits originally filed in the Court of Common Pleas for
Summit County, Ohio were removed to federal court. The
derivative actions are against present and former directors, the
Company's present and former chief executive officers and its
former chief financial officer.

The suits allege, among other things, breach of fiduciary duty
and corporate waste arising out of the same events and
circumstances upon which the securities class actions are based.
The plaintiffs in the federal derivative actions also allege
violations of Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, by
certain of the named defendants.

Finally, at least 11 lawsuits have been filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Ohio against the
Company, The Northern Trust Company, and current and/or former
officers of the Company asserting breach of fiduciary claims
under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) on
behalf of a putative class of participants in the Company's
Employee Savings Plan for Bargaining Unit Employees and the
Company's Savings Plan for Salaried Employees.

The plaintiffs' claims in these actions arise out of the same
events and circumstances upon which the securities class actions
and derivative actions are based. All of these actions have been
consolidated into three separate actions before the Honorable
Judge John Adams in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Ohio.

On June 28 and July 16, 2004, amended complaints were filed in
each of the three consolidated actions. The amended complaint in
the purported ERISA class action added certain current and
former directors and associates of Goodyear as additional
defendants and the Northern Trust Company was subsequently
dismissed without prejudice from this action.  On November 15,
2004, the defendants filed motions to dismiss all three
consolidated cases and the Court is considering these motions.

Goodyear -- http://www.goodyear.com/corporate/-- manufactures
tires, engineered rubber products and chemicals in more than 90
facilities in 28 countries around the world.  Goodyear employs
more than 80,000 people worldwide.


GUIDANT CORP: Faces Lawsuits Over Defibrillator in Minn., Conn.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Guidant Corp. is facing two more suits alleging malfunctions of
its recalled defibrillator, MarketWatch reports.

One suit was filed in St. Paul, Minnesota, on behalf of Allan
Gohde, a Wisconsin man, who died of a heart attack in July, a
month after the recall of the Guidant Prizm 1861 defibrillator
he received in 2002.  The other suit was filed on behalf of
Donald Whitting, a Norwalk, Connecticut, man who received a 1298
Insignia pacemaker in September 2004 and died just two days
after.

The Gohde suit alleged the patient's doctors were advised not to
replace the device "prior to the normal elective replacement
indicators" and instead check it every three months.  The
Whitting suit says Guidant should have informed patients about
risks posed by the devices after hearing complaints about them
as far back as 2003.

Guidant faces more than 200 individual and class action product
liability suits related to product recalls after the company
disclosed problems with its defibrillators and pacemakers last
year.  But only a small number of cases were identified with
deaths.  Most of the suits involve complaints by living patients
of problems in the device.

According to the report, an independent review of the recalled
product, which was released recently, showed that the company
counted much on the assessment of engineers to guarantee the
safety of its products and not on medical advice; and it allowed
about 4,000 uncorrected defibrillators to be implanted in
patients after the company found a flaw in 2002 that caused
malfunction in rare instances.

Based in Indianapolis, Guidant -- http://www.guidant.com--
manufactures cardiovascular therapeutic devices and related
products.  The firm's vascular products are primarily used to
prop open blocked arteries.  Guidant also makes cardiac and
peripheral vascular repair surgical systems, including less-
invasive devices that reduce pain and speed recovery time.  Its
primary sales markets are the U.S., Europe, and Japan.


HANGER ORTHOPEDIC: N.Y. Court OKs Transfer of Stock Suit to Md.
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
granted Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc.'s motion to transfer the
Consolidated Securities Class Action filed against it to the
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Between June 22, 2004 and July 1, 2004, five putative securities
class action complaints were filed against the Company, four in
the Eastern District of New York and one in the Eastern District
of Virginia:

     (1) "Twist Partners v. Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc., et
         al., No. 1:04-cv-02585 (filed 06/22/2004, E.D.N.Y);"

     (2) "Shapiro v. Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc., et al., No.
         1:04-cv-02681 (filed 06/28/2004, E.D.N.Y.);"

     (3) "Imperato v. Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc., No. 1:04-
         cv-02736 (filed 06/30/2004, E.D.N.Y.);"

     (4) "Walters v. Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc., et al., No.
         1:04-cv-02826 (filed 07/01/2004, E.D.N.Y.); and

     (5) "Browne v. Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc., et al., No.
         1:04-cv-715 (filed 06/23/2004, E.D. Va.)."

The complaints asserted that the Company's reported revenues
were inflated through certain billing improprieties at one of
the Company's facilities.  The plaintiffs in Browne subsequently
dismissed their complaint without prejudice, and the four
remaining cases were consolidated into a single action in the
Eastern District of New York captioned, "In re Hanger Orthopedic
Group, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 1:04-cv-2585 (the
"Consolidated Securities Class Action")."

On February 15, 2005, the lead plaintiffs in the Consolidated
Securities Class Action filed a Consolidated Amended Complaint.
The Amended Complaint asserts that the Company's reported
revenues were inflated through certain billing improprieties at
some of the Company's facilities.  In addition, the Amended
Complaint asserts that the Company violated the federal
securities laws in connection with a restatement announced by
the Company on August 16, 2004, restating certain of the
Company's financial statements during 2001 through the first
quarter of 2004.

The Amended Complaint purports to allege violations of Section
10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, as well as violations of Section 20(a)
of the Exchange Act by certain of the Company's executives as
"controlling persons" of the Company.

On February 28, 2006, the court granted the Company's motion to
transfer the Consolidated Securities Class Action to the
District of Maryland.  The Company has filed a motion to dismiss
the Amended Complaint.

The transferred suit is styled, "Twist Partners v. Hanger
Orthopedic Group, Inc., et al., Case No. 8:06-cv-00579-AW,"
filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
under Judge Alexander Williams, Jr.  Representing the plaintiffs
are, Mario Alba, Jr. of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman and
Robbins, LLP, 58 S. Service Rd., Ste. 200, Melville, NY 11747,
Phone: 16313677100, Fax: 16313671173, E-mail:
malba@lerachlaw.com; and John Bucher Isbister of Tydings and
Rosenberg, LLP, 100 E. Pratt St., 26th Fl., Baltimore, MD 21202,
Phone: 14107529714, Fax: 14107275460, E-mail:
jisbister@tydingslaw.com.

Representing the defendant is James Christian Word of Latham and
Watkins, LLP, 11955 Freedom Dr., Ste. 500, Reston, VA 20190,
Phone: 17034565226, Fax: 17034591001, E-mail:
christian.word@lw.com.


INCO LTD: Appeals Class Status of Suit V. Port Colborne Refinery
----------------------------------------------------------------
Inco Ltd. is appealing the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision
that certified a lawsuit over its Canadian refinery as a class
action to the Supreme Court of Canada.

In late March 2001, the Company's refinery in Port Colborne,
Ontario, Canada was slapped with a purported class action
proceeding in an Ontario court.  The purported class action
proceeding originally filed against the Company and several
other parties under Ontario class action proceedings legislation
claimed about $514,019,674.41 (Cdn.$600 million) in compensatory
damages and 128,511,127.58 (Cdn.$150 million) in punitive
damages covering certain residents who lived in the Port
Colborne area since 1995 and allegedly suffered a decline in
their property values as a result of, and health and other
injuries from exposure to, metals and related emissions from the
refinery.

In June 2002, hearings were held in the Ontario Superior Court
of Justice to consider whether this action, or any portion of
it, should be certified to proceed as a class action.  In July
2002 the court rejected certifying any part of the action as a
class action.  The nominal plaintiff appealed this decision and
the appeal, which revised the original pleadings and focused
only on the plaintiff's claim for damages for property value
diminution, resulting in a significant reduction in the number
of citizens that the plaintiff is purporting to represent, was
heard in June 2003.

In February 2004, the Ontario Divisional Court rejected the
plaintiff's appeal.  The plaintiff subsequently sought
permission to appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal.  Leave to
appeal was granted and the appeal concerning whether this action
should be certified as a class action under applicable Ontario
law was heard in May 2005.  In November 2005, the Ontario Court
of Appeal overturned the decision of the Ontario Divisional
Court and certified the action as a class action, but the
certification was limited to claims for declines in property
values.

The Company filed a motion to the Court of Appeal on January 17,
2006 to correct certain factual errors in the Court's written
decision and to settle the precise terms of the formal order to
be issued.  It also filed a motion in February 2006 for leave to
appeal the Court of Appeal's decision to the Supreme Court of
Canada.  If such appeal were not heard, then this proceeding
would move forward as a class action.


LUFKIN INDUSTRIES: Fifth Circuit Considers Tex. Race Bias Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit informed all
parties that a decision is expected before the end of 2006 in
the federal race discrimination suit styled, "McClain, et al.,
v. Lufkin Industries."

An employee and a former employee of the company filed the class
action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Texas on March 7, 1997, alleging race discrimination.
Certification hearings were conducted in Beaumont, Texas in
February 1998 and in Lufkin, Texas in August 1998.  In April
1999, the District Court issued a decision that certified a
class for this case, which included all black employees employed
by the Company from March 6, 1994, to the present.

The case was closed from 2001 to 2003 while the parties
unsuccessfully attempted mediation.  Trial for this case began
in December 2003, but was postponed by the District Court and
was completed in October 2004.  The only claims made at trial
were those of discrimination in initial assignments and
promotions.

On January 13, 2005, the District Court entered its decision
finding that the Company discriminated against African-American
employees in initial assignments and promotions.  The District
Court also concluded that the discrimination resulted in a
shortfall in income for those employees and ordered that the
Company pay those employees back pay to remedy such shortfall,
together with pre-judgment interest in the amount of 5%.

On August 29, 2005, the District Court determined that the
backpay award for the class of affected employees would be $3.4
million (including interest to January 1, 2005) and provided a
formula for attorney fees that the Company estimates will result
in a total not to exceed $2.5 million.  In addition to back pay
with interest, the District Court enjoined and ordered the
Company to cease and desist all racially biased assignment and
promotion practices and ordered the Company to pay court costs
and expenses.

The Company reviewed this decision with its outside counsel and
on September 19, 2005, appealed the decision to the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  On January 26, 2006, the
Court of Appeals notified the parties that the case had been
docketed and a decision is expected before the end of 2006.

The suit is styled "McClain, et al., v. Lufkin Industries, Case
No. 9:97-cv-00063-HC," on appeals from the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Texas under Judge Howell Cobb.
Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Morris J. Baller, Teresa Demchak, Meetali Jain, Nina
         Rabin, Goldstein Demchak Baller Borgen 300 Lakeside Dr
         Suite 1000 Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: 510-763-9800, Fax:
         15108351417 E-mail: mjb@gdblegal.com, dem@gdblegal.com,
         mjain@gdblegal.com, nrabin@gdblegal.com;

     (2) Timothy Borne Garrigan, Stuckey Garrigan & Castetter
         2803 North Street PO Box 631902 Nacogdoches, TX 75963-
         1902 Phone: 936/560-6020 Fax: 19365609578 E-mail:
         tbgstugar@cox-internet.com; and

     (3) Darci E. Burrell, Linda M. Dardarian, Joshua G.
         Konecky, Saperstein Goldstein Demchak & Baller 300
         Lakeside Dr Ste 1000 Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: 510/763-
         9800 Fax: 15108351417 E-mail: deb@gdblegal.com and
         jgk@gdblegal.com.

Representing the Company are Christopher V. Bacon, Douglas
Edward Hamel and John H. Smither of Vinson & Elkins, 1001 Fannin
St., Suite 2300, Houston, TX 77002-6760, Phone: 713/758-2222,
Fax: 17136155014, E-mail: cbacon@velaw.com and dhamel@velaw.com.


MURPHY OIL: La. Court Consolidates Suits Over Meraux Oil Spill
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
ordered the consolidation of several class actions over the
release of crude oil at Murphy Oil USA, Inc.'s (a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Murphy Oil Corporation) Meraux, Louisiana
refinery.

On September 9, 2005, a class action was filed in Louisiana
Federal Court seeking unspecified damages to the class comprised
of residents of St. Bernard Parish caused by a release of crude
oil at the Company's Louisiana refinery as a result of flooding
damage to a crude oil storage tank following Hurricane Katrina.
Since then additional class actions have been filed in the same
court against Murphy Oil USA, Inc. and/or Murphy Oil Corporation
also seeking unspecified damages related to the crude oil
release.

The suits were consolidated into a single action in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, which held
a class certification hearing on January 12-13, 2006.  The Court
certified the class on January 30, 2006.

The suit is styled, "Turner v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., Case No.
2:05-cv-04206-EEF-JCW," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Louisiana under Judge Eldon E. Fallon with
referral to Judge Joseph C. Wilkinson, Jr.  Representing the
plaintiffs are:

     (1) Mickey P. Landry of Landry & Swarr, LLC, 1010 Common
         St., Suite 2050, New Orleans, LA 70112, Phone: 504-299-
         1214, E-mail: mlandry@landryswarr.com;

     (2) N. Madro Bandaries of Amato & Creely, 901 Derbigny St.,
         P.O. Box 441, Gretna, LA 70054, Phone: (504) 367-8181,
         E-mail: madro@att.net; and

     (3) Daniel E. Becnel, Jr. of Law Offices of Daniel E.
         Becnel, Jr., 106 W. Seventh St., P.O. Drawer H.
         Reserve, LA 70084, Phone: 985-536-1186, E-mail:
         dbecnel@becnellaw.com.

Representing the defendants are, George A. Frilot, III and
Patrick J. McShane of Frilot Partridge Kohnke & Clements, Phone:
337-988-5422 and (504) 599-8000, E-mail: gfrilot@fpkc.com and
pmcshane@fpkc.com.


NASH FINCH: Minn. Suit Voluntarily Dismissed, One More Remains
--------------------------------------------------------------
A purported securities class action filed against Nash Finch
Company and certain of its executive officers in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Minnesota was voluntarily
dismissed, but another one is still pending in the same court.

On December 19, 2005 and January 4, 2006, two purported class
actions were filed against the Company on behalf of purchasers
of its common stock during the period from February 24, 2005,
the date the Company announced an agreement to acquire two
distribution divisions from Roundy's, through October 20, 2005,
the date the Company announced a downward revision to its
earnings outlook for fiscal 2005.

The complaints generally allege that the defendants violated the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing false statements
regarding, among other things, the integration of the
distribution divisions acquired from Roundy's, the performance
of the Company's core businesses, the Company's internal
controls and its financial projections, so as to artificially
inflate the price of Nash Finch common stock.  One of the
complaints was voluntarily dismissed on March 3, 2006.  The
Company continues to fight the remaining complaint.  No damages
have been specified.


NATIONWIDE FINANCIAL: Conn. Court Allows ERISA Suit to Proceed
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut has
allowed a suit alleging pension act violations to proceed
against Nationwide Financial Services, Inc., according to
Mondaq.

In the suit, "Haddock v. Nationwide Fin. Servs., No. 3:01cv1522
(D. Conn. March 7, 2006)," the company is accused of breach of
fiduciary duty and violation of the prohibited transaction rules
under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.  The
plaintiffs are seeking class-action certification for the suit.

According to the report, the court found that: Nationwide
Financial acted as a fiduciary by selecting the investment
option line-up offered to plan sponsors; engaged in prohibited
self-dealing by selecting investment options that favored
Nationwide; and accepted revenue sharing payments that the court
suspects as plan assets.

The investment options it selected include funds that provided
Nationwide with higher revenue sharing payments, according to
the report.

Nationwide Financial filed a motion for summary judgment for a
class action filed in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut
titled "Lou Haddock, as trustee of the Flyte Tool & Die,
Incorporated Deferred Compensation Plan, et al v. Nationwide
Financial Services, Inc. and Nationwide Life Insurance Company"
(Class Action Reporter, Nov. 17, 2003).

The plaintiffs first amended their complaint on September 6,
2001 to include class action allegations, and have subsequently
amended their complaint twice.  In the amended complaint, the
plaintiffs seek to represent a class of retirement plans that
purchased variable annuities from the Nationwide Life Insurance
Company (NLIC) to fund qualified Employee Retirement Income
Security Act (ERISA) retirement plans (Class Action Reporter,
Nov. 17, 2003).

Plaintiffs alleged that the retirement plans purchased variable
annuity contracts from the Company that allowed plan
participants to invest in funds that were offered by separate
mutual fund companies; that the Company was a fiduciary under
ERISA and that the Company breached its fiduciary duty when it
accepted certain fees from the mutual fund companies.  The
complaint seeks disgorgement of some or all of the fees
allegedly received by the Company and other unspecified relief
for restitution, along with declaratory and injunctive relief
and attorneys' fees (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 17, 2003).

On December 3, 2001, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class
certification.  Plaintiffs filed a supplement to that motion on
September 19, 2003 (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 17, 2003).


NEVADA: Sues to Obtain Proof of Yucca Nuclear Project's Hazards
---------------------------------------------------------------
Nevada sued the U.S. Department of Energy, claiming the agency
is hiding a key document pertaining to the safety of the
proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

The suit, brought by Attorney General George J. Chanos under the
Freedom of Information Act, was filed in federal court for the
northern district of Nevada.  The document is the government's
draft license application for the repository, prepared by DOE's
contractors in 2004 for upcoming Nuclear Regulatory Commission
licensing proceedings.  Those proceedings have yet to begin.

"The federal government is required by law to share its
important Yucca information with the host state," Mr. Chanos
said, "and the company are entitled to such information under
the Freedom of Information Act as well.  But DOE has refused to
provide Nevada with this most important document for the past
three years."

Mr. Chanos outlined a host of measures Nevada has taken to
secure the document, including two requests by Governor Kenny
Guinn to the Secretary of Energy and a follow-up request to
President Bush, pending unfulfilled subpoenaed demands by
Representative Jon Porter, litigation before the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission's licensing hearing board, a Freedom of
Information Act request, and administrative appeals within DOE.
All those requests were rebuffed, with DOE claiming the draft
license application was subject to various legal privileges.

"We want to see this document because we believe it will show
that the repository is unsafe after 10,000 years, if not
before," said Robert Loux, executive director of Nevada's Agency
for Nuclear Projects.  "There isn't a privilege in the world
that should shield this from Nevada's citizens."  In July 2003,
a federal appeals court ruled that DOE must demonstrate
repository safety for a period much longer than 10,000 years.

To secure a construction permit for the repository, DOE will
have to submit a license application to the NRC, commencing
several years of formal hearings on various technical and legal
challenges expected by Nevada.  DOE had completed a draft
license application and planned to submit it to NRC by December
2004.  But legal victories by Nevada and technical shortcomings
at the project made that deadline impossible to meet, and no new
deadline has yet been set.

"What are they trying to hide?" Mr. Chanos added. "If the
repository is safe, you'd think they'd be anxious to prove it."

Mr. Chanos is connected with Chanos Escobar Chanos, P.C.
Las Vegas, Nevada, (Clark Co.).


NL INDUSTRIES: Faces Suit Over Lead Smelting Operation in Mich.
---------------------------------------------------------------
NL Industries Inc (NYSE: NL) is facing a purported class action
on behalf of a class of property owners living in the Krainz
Woods Neighborhood of Wayne County, Michigan.  The suit is
styled, "Brown, et al. v. NL Industries, Inc., et al. (Circuit
Court Wayne County, Michigan, Case No. 06-602096 CZ)."

Plaintiffs, who filed the suit on January 2006, alleged causes
of action in negligence, nuisance, trespass, and under the
Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act with
respect to a lead smelting facility formerly operated by the
Company and another defendant.  They seek property damages,
personal injury damages, loss of income and medical expense and
medical monitoring costs.

In February 2006, the Company filed a petition to remove the
case to federal court.  It intends to deny all allegations of
liability.


NL INDUSTRIES: Okla. Court Stays Proceedings in Quapaw Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma
stayed all proceedings in a class action against NL Industries
Inc. (NYSE: NL), which was filed on behalf of the Quapaw Indian
tribe and certain Quapaw owners of interests in land.  The suit
also names as defendants five other companies.

In February 2004, the Company was served in "Evans v. ASARCO,
Inc. (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Oklahoma, Case
No. 04-CV-94 EA (M))," a purported class action on behalf of two
classes of persons living in the town of Quapaw, Oklahoma:  a
medical monitoring class of persons who have lived in the area
since 1994, and a property owner class of residential,
commercial and government property owners.

Four individuals are named as plaintiffs, together with the
mayor of the town of Quapaw, Oklahoma, and the School Board of
Quapaw, Oklahoma.  Plaintiffs allege causes of action in
nuisance and seek a medical monitoring program, a relocation
program, property damages and punitive damages.  The Company
answered the complaint and denied all of plaintiffs'
allegations.  The trial court subsequently stayed all
proceedings in this case pending the outcome of a class
certification decision in another case that had been pending in
the same U.S. District Court, a case from which NL has been
dismissed with prejudice.

The suit is styled, "Evans, et al. v. Asarco Incorporated, et
al., Case No. 4:04-cv-00094-CVE-PJC," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma under judge Claire
V. Eagan with referral to Judge Paul J. Cleary.  Representing
the plaintiffs are, Anthony M. Laizure of Stipe Harper Laizure
Uselton Edwards & Belote, LLP, P.O. BOX 701110, TULSA, OK 74105-
1110, Phone: 918-749-0749, Fax: 918-749-0751, E-mail:
tlaizure@stipelawtulsa.com; and Kevin J. Madonna of Kennedy &
Madonna, LLP, (Woodstock), 109 Mountain Laurel Ln., Woodstock,
NY 12498, Phone: 845-679-0259, Fax: 845-679-9651, E-mail:
kmadonna@kennedymadonna.com.

Representing the defendants are, Paul David Kingsolver of
Johnson Jones Dornblaser Coffman & Shorb, 15 W. 6th St., Ste.
2200, Tulsa, OK 74119-5416, Phone: 918-584-6644, Fax: 918-584-
6645, E-mail: kingsolver@jjdcs.com; and John Phillip Gonsoulin
of Kirkland & Ellis, (Washington DC), 655 15th St., NW Ste.
1200, Washington, DC 20005, Phone: 202-879-5000, Fax: 879-5200.


NORTHERN NATURAL: Nebr. Court Dismisses ERISA Violations Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska dismissed
the class action filed against Northern Natural Gas Company, a
former Enron Corporation pipeline unit, alleging violations of
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  The suit
is captioned, "Lou Geiler, et al. v. Robert W. Jones, et al."

On June 7, 2005, the suit was filed in by, among others, Lou
Geiler and Larry Moore, both former employees of the Omaha,
Nebraska-based Company on behalf of the participants in the
Northern Medical and Dental Plan for Retirees and Surviving
Spouses against former and present members of the Trust
Committee, the Trustee and the participating employers of the
Enron Gas Pipelines Employee Benefit Trust, including
Transwestern and CCES, claiming the Trust Committee and the
Trustee have violated their fiduciary duties under ERISA.

Seeking a jury trial, the suit specifically alleges that the
committee members and plan trustee J.P. Morgan Chase Bank of
Texas violated their fiduciary duties by refusing to transfer
funds from the Enron retiree plan to the retiree plan of
MidAmerican Energy Co., the company that now owns Northern
Natural Gas, or NNG.  Court document revealed that Dynegy Inc.
gained ownership of NNG in February 2002 after a failed merger
with Enron.  The suit also alleges that the fiduciaries failed
or refused to correct improper allocations of retiree plan
participants and their dependents from the Enron plan to NNG's
plan, (Class Action Reporter, June 13, 2005).

The suit is seeking a declaration from the Court binding all
participating employers of an accounting and distribution of the
assets held in the Trust and a complete and accurate listing of
the individuals properly allocated to the Company from the Enron
Plan.  On February 6, 2006 the Nebraska action was dismissed.

The suit is styled, "Geiler, et al. v. Jones, et al., Case No.
8:05-cv-00268-LES-TDT," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Nebraska under Judge Lyle E. Strom with referral to
Judge Thomas D. Thalken.  Representing the plaintiffs are,
Donald L. Swanson, Heather S. Voegele and Gregory C. Scaglione
of KOLEY, JESSEN LAW FIRM, 1125 South 103rd Street, Suite 800,
One Pacific Place, Omaha, NE 68124, Phone: (402) 390-9500, Fax:
(402) 390-9005, E-mail: don.swanson@koleyjessen.com,
heather.voegele@koleyjessen.com and
greg.scaglione@koleyjessen.com.

Representing the defendants are:

     (1) Steven D. Davidson of BAIRD, HOLM LAW FIRM, 1500
         Woodmen Tower, Omaha, NE 68102-2068, Phone: (402) 636-
         8227, Fax: (402) 231-8556, E-mail:
         sdavidson@bairdholm.com;

     (2) Gregory L. Ash of SPENCER, FANE LAW FIRM, 9401 Indian
         Creek Parkway, Suite 700, 40 Corporate Woods, Overland
         Park, KS 66210-2007, Phone: (913) 327-5115, Fax: (913)
         345-0736, E-mail: gash@spencerfane.com; and

     (3) Terry J. Grennan of CASSEM, TIERNEY LAW FIRM, 8805
         Indian Hills Drive, Suite 300, Omaha, NE 68114, Phone:
         (402) 390-0300, Fax: (402) 390-9676, E-mail:
         tgrennan@ctagd.com.


OMNICARE INC: Faces Securities Fraud Litigations in E.D. Ky.
------------------------------------------------------------
Omnicare, Inc. and two of its officers are defendants in two
substantially similar putative securities class actions filed in
the U.S. District Court For the Eastern District of Kentucky.
The suits are styled:

     (1) "Indiana State Dist. Council of Laborers & HOD Carriers
         Pension & Welfare Fund v. Omnicare, Inc., et al., No.
         2:06cv26," and

     (2) "Chi v. Omnicare, Inc., et al., No. 2:06cv31."

The suits, filed on February 2 and 13, 2006, respectively, are
purporting to assert claims for violation of Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.  The complaints, which purport to be
brought on behalf of all Omnicare shareholders, allege that
Omnicare has artificially inflated its earnings by engaging in
improper generic drug substitution and that the defendants have
made false and misleading statements regarding the Company's
business and prospects.  The complaints seek, among other
things, compensatory damages and injunctive relief.


OSI PHARMACEUTICALS: Faces Consolidated Stock Fraud Suit in N.Y.
----------------------------------------------------------------
OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., certain of its executive officers and
the members of its board of directors were named as defendants
in a consolidated shareholder class action filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

On or about December 16, 2004, several purported shareholder
class actions were filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of New York against us, certain of the
company's current and former executive officers, and the members
of the company's Board of Directors.  The lawsuits were brought
on behalf of those who purchased or otherwise acquired the
company's common stock during certain periods in 2004, which
periods differed in the various complaints.

The Court has now appointed a lead plaintiff, and on February
17, 2006, the lead plaintiff filed a consolidated amended class
action complaint seeking to represent a class of all persons who
purchased or otherwise acquired the company's common stock
during the period from April 26, 2004 through November 22, 2004.

The consolidated complaint alleges that defendants made material
misstatements and omissions concerning the survival benefit
associated with the company's product, Tarceva and the size of
the potential market of Tarceva upon FDA approval of the drug.
It alleges violations of Sections 11, and 15 of the Securities
Act of 1933, as amended, and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.  The consolidated complaint seeks
unspecified compensatory damages and other relief.

The first identified suit in this litigation is styled,
"Kassover, et al. v. OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., case no.
04-CV-05505," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of New York under Judge Joanna Seybert.  Plaintiff
firms in this litigation are Dyer & Shuman, LLP, 801 East 17th
Avenue, Denver, CO, 80218-1417, Phone: 303.861.3003, Fax:
800.711.6483, E-mail: info@dyershuman.com; and Schoengold &
Sporn, P.C., 233 Broadway 39Th Floor, New York, NY, 10279,
Phone: 212.964.0046.


PORTLAND GENERAL: County Court Mulls Customer Liability Suits
-------------------------------------------------------------
A decision is pending for two class action suits that were filed
in Marion County Circuit Court against Portland General Electric
on behalf of two classes of electric service customers.

The suits, which were both filed on January 17, 2003, are
styled:

     (1) "Dreyer, Gearhart and Kafoury Bros., LLC v. Portland
         General Electric Company, Marion County Circuit Court
         Case No. 03C 10639;" and

     (2) "Morgan v. Portland General Electric Company, Marion
         County Circuit Court Case No. 03C 10640."

The Dreyer case seeks to represent current Company customers
that were customers during the period from April 1, 1995 to
October 1, 2001 (Current Class) and the Morgan case seeks to
represent Company customers that were customers during the
period from April 1, 1995 to October 1, 2001, but who are no
longer customers (Former Class, together with the Current Class,
the Class Action Plaintiffs).  The suits seek damages of $190
million for the Current Class and $70 million for the Former
Class, from the inclusion of a return on investment of Trojan in
the rates PGE charges its customers.

On April 28, 2004, the plaintiffs filed a Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment and on July 30, 2004, the Company also moved
for Summary Judgment in its favor on all of Class Action
Plaintiffs' claims.  On December 14, 2004, the Judge granted the
Plaintiffs' motion for Class Certification and Partial Summary
Judgment and denied the Company's motion for Summary Judgment.
The Company filed a proposed order certifying the issue for an
interlocutory appeal.

An order rejecting the proposed order was entered on February 1,
2005.  On March 3, 2005, PGE filed a Petition for a Writ of
Mandamus with the Oregon Supreme Court asking the Court to take
jurisdiction and command the trial Judge to dismiss the
complaints or to show cause why they should not be dismissed.
On March 29, 2005, the Company filed a second Petition for an
Alternative Writ of Mandamus with the Oregon Supreme Court
seeking to overturn the Class Certification.  On May 3, 2005,
the Oregon Supreme Court granted both Petitions.  Briefing and
arguments have been completed and a decision is pending.


PORTLAND GENERAL: Ore. Court Sets June 2006 Fairness Hearing
------------------------------------------------------------
The Multnomah County Circuit Court for the State of Oregon set a
late July 2006 final approval hearing for the settlement in the
matter: "David Kafoury, an individual, and Kafoury Brothers,
LLC, an Oregon Limited Liability Corporation, each as
representative of class, etc. v. Portland General Electric
Company, Case No. 0501-00627."

On January 18, 2005, David Kafoury and Kafoury Brothers, LLC
filed a class action in Multnomah County Circuit Court against
the Company on behalf of all PGE customers who were billed on
their electric bills and paid amounts for Multnomah County
Business Income Taxes (MBIT) after 1996.  The plaintiffs allege
that during the period 1997 through the third quarter 2004, PGE
collected in excess of $6 million from its customers for MBIT
that was never paid to Multnomah County.  The charges were
billed and collected under OPUC rules that allow utilities to
collect taxes imposed by the county.  As a member of Enron's
consolidated income tax return, the Company paid the tax it
collected to Enron.  The plaintiffs seek a judgment against the
Company for restitution of MBIT collected from customers.

Plaintiffs also seek interest, recoverable costs, and reasonable
attorney fees.  The Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on
February 25, 2005, adding claims for fraud, unjust enrichment,
conversion, statutory violations, and seeking punitive damages.
On February 24, 2005, the Company requested a declaratory ruling
from the OPUC on this matter.  On May 17, 2005, the OPUC agreed
to consider the question posed by the Company: whether the OPUC
rules authorized PGE collections of the MBIT and, if not,
whether refunds are controlled by the OPUC three-year limitation
for billing adjustments.

On March 24, 2005, the Company filed in the Circuit Court a
motion to abate or in the alternative to dismiss.  On May 23,
2005, the Circuit Court granted the Company's motion for a stay
for all purposes until October 15, 2005, with the opportunity to
renew if the OPUC has not issued its declaratory ruling.

On October 5, 2005, the OPUC issued an order in the declaratory
ruling docket in which it determined that the rules in question
required only that the Company allocate this tax to Multnomah
County customers and did not require that PGE calculate it in
any particular way.  The Company notified the Court of the
Company's intent to voluntarily refund MCBIT (plus interest) to
customers and filed motions requesting the Court's guidance
regarding the number of years for which refunds should be made.

On December 28, 2005, the parties agreed to a settlement by
which the Company will make refunds and payments totaling $10
million, inclusive of interest and plaintiffs' attorney fees,
costs, and expenses as approved by the Court's final order.
Distribution to customers is limited to amounts collected during
the period 1999 through 2005.  The settlement is subject to
final approval by the Multnomah County Circuit Court following a
hearing currently scheduled for late July 2006.


PUBLIC STORAGE: Calif. Court Keeps Consumer Liability Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The California Superior Court for Orange County denied Public
Storage, Inc.'s motion to remove the class action filed against
it in the California Superior Court for Orange County, styled,
"Serrao v. Public Storage, Inc.," to federal court.

The plaintiff in this case filed a suit, which was launched in
April 2003, against the Company on behalf of a putative class of
renters who rented self-storage units from the Company.
Plaintiff alleges that the Company misrepresented the size of
its storage units, has brought claims under California statutory
and common law relating to consumer protection, fraud, unfair
competition, and negligent misrepresentation.  The suit seeks
monetary damages, restitution, and declaratory and injunctive
relief.

On November 3, 2003, the court granted the company's motion to
strike the plaintiff's nationwide class allegations and to limit
any putative class to California residents only.  In August
2005, the Company filed a motion to remove the case to federal
court, but the case has been remanded to the Superior Court.
The Company is vigorously contesting the claims upon, which this
lawsuit is based, including class certification efforts.


SEI INVESTMENTS: Continues to Face Mutual Fund Suit in Md. Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
SEI Investments Distribution Co., or SIDCO, a subsidiary of SEI
Investments Company, is a defendant in a putative consolidated
amended class action complaint (the "PBHG Complaint") filed in
the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland styled,
"Stephen Carey v. Pilgrim Baxter & Associates, LTD, et al."

The PBHG Complaint is purportedly made on behalf of all persons
that purchased or held PBHG mutual funds during the period from
November 1, 1998 to November 13, 2003 and relates generally to
various market timing practices allegedly permitted by the PBHG
Funds.  The suit names as defendants some 36 persons and
entities, including various persons and entities affiliated with
Pilgrim Baxter & Associates, Ltd., various PBHG Funds, various
alleged market timers, various alleged facilitating brokers,
various clearing brokers, various banks that allegedly financed
the market timing activities, various distributors/underwriters
and others.  The PBHG Complaint alleges that the Company was the
named distributor/underwriter from November 1998 until July 2001
for various PBHG funds in which market timing allegedly occurred
during that period.  It generally alleges that the prospectus
for certain PBHG funds made misstatements and omissions
concerning market-timing practices in PBHG funds.

The PBHG Complaint also alleges that the Company violated
Sections 11 and 12(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section
10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
thereunder, and Sections 34(b) and 36(a) of the Investment
Company Act of 1940, and that the Company breached its fiduciary
duties, engaged in constructive fraud and aided and abetted the
breach by others of their fiduciary duties.  It does not name
the Company or any of its affiliates as a market timer,
facilitating or clearing broker or financier of market timers.
The PBHG Complaint seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive
damages, disgorgement and restitution.

The suit is styled, "Carey v. Pilgrim Baxter & Associates, Ltd.
et al., Case No. 1:04-cv-01151-JFM," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Massachusetts under Judge J. Frederick
Motz.  Representing the plaintiffs is Marc A. Topaz of Schiffrin
and Barroway, LLP, 280 King of Prussia Rd., Radnor, PA 19087,
Phone: 16106677706, Fax: 16106677056, E-mail:
mtopaz@sbclasslaw.com.

Representing the defendants are:

     (1) Andrei V. Rado of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes and
         Lerach, LLP, One Pennsylvania Plz., New York, NY 10119-
         0165, Phone: 12125945300;

     (2) Stephanie Glaser Wheeler of Sullivan and Cromwell, LLP,
         125 Broad St., New York, NY 10004, Phone: 12125587384,
         Fax: 12125583354, E-mail: wheelers@sullcrom.com; and

     (3) Susan R. Gross of Law Offices of Bernard Gross, PC,
         1515 Locust St., Second Fl., Philadelphia, PA 19102,
         Phone: 12155613600, Fax: 12155613000.


SOUTH DAKOTA: ACLU Blasts HEA for Students With Drug Convictions
----------------------------------------------------------------
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit
challenging the constitutionality of a federal law that denies
financial aid to any college student convicted of a drug
offense.

"This law creates an unfair and irrational barrier to education
and singles out working class Americans," said Adam Wolf, a
staff attorney with the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project.  "Closing
the campus gates denies these students a crucial chance to get
themselves back on track by staying in school."

The ACLU's lawsuit, "SSDP v. Spellings," asks the court to
strike down a provision of the Higher Education Act (HEA), which
has blocked financial aid to hundreds of thousands of would-be
students since its implementation in 2000.  The HEA was enacted
more than 40 years ago in order to disburse aid for higher
education to students based on need.

The aid elimination provision refuses financial aid to students
convicted of a drug offense while in school and receiving aid.
Prior to the provision's enactment, judges had the ability to
revoke student aid as part of the sentence for a drug
conviction, but chose not to do so in 99.8 percent of cases.
Congress added the aid elimination provision to the HEA in 2000
in order to make denial of aid mandatory in all cases.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, approximately 63
percent of American students attending post-secondary
institutions received financial aid under the HEA during the
2003-04 academic year.  The average award covered three-quarters
of the student's academic expenses.  Approximately 14 million
Americans apply for federal financial aid annually.

The ACLU's legal papers point out that such a ban
unconstitutionally punishes people twice for the same offense,
violating the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution.  According to the ACLU, the ban also
irrationally designates a class of people, those with drug
convictions, as unworthy of educational aid, violating the equal
protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment's due process
clause.  Part of the Bill of Rights, the Fifth Amendment
protects Americans from federal government overreach.

The ACLU brought its lawsuit as a class action on behalf of
thousands of students nationwide who will be denied aid under
the provision.  Among them are several individual students and a
national organization, Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP),
whose membership includes students affected by the law.  SSDP
has lobbied for repeal of the aid elimination provision since
its passage in 2000.

"Young people should not be doubly punished for a single
misstep," said Kris Krane, Executive Director of Students for
Sensible Drug Policy.  "Students who are forced to drop out of
school are more likely to abuse drugs.  Providing continued
access to education is the best way to ensure they become
productive taxpaying members of society."

Another criticism of the law, cited in the ACLU's legal papers,
is its disproportionate effect on working class students, who
rely on financial aid to complete their educations.  Wealthy
students, who can afford tuition, are entirely insulated from
the law, while those less well off, the very people the HEA was
designed to help, risk losing access to education.

The aid elimination provision of the HEA has been roundly
criticized by more than 200 prominent health and education
organizations, including the American Public Health Association,
the American Federation of Teachers, the American Bar
Association and the Association for Addiction Professionals.

"Education is one of the wisest investments we can make in
America's future," said Jennifer Ring, Executive Director of the
ACLU of the Dakotas.  "The aid elimination provision is unfair
and heavy-handed and should be taken off the books completely."

Margaret Spellings, Secretary of the U.S. Department of
Education, is named as the defendant.  Ms. Spellings is
officially charged with implementing the HEA's aid elimination
provision.

The ACLU complaint may be viewed online at:
http://aclu.org/drugpolicy/gen/24712lgl20060322.html

For a list of organizations supporting full repeal of the aid
elimination provision, see:
http://www.raiseyourvoice.com/supporters.shtml

The suit is styled "Students for Sensible Drug Policy Foundation
et al. v. Spellings, " filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of South Dakota under Judge Charles B. Kornmann.
Representing the plaintiffs is Ronald Arthur Wager of Bantz,
Gosch & Cremer, L.L.C. PO Box 970, Aberdeen, SD 57402-0970,
PHone: 225-2232; Fax: 225-2497; E-mail: rwager@bantzlaw.com.


TERAYON COMMUNICATION: Settles Calif. Shareholder Suit for $15M
---------------------------------------------------------------
Terayon Communication Systems, Inc. said it paid in full its
outstanding 5% Convertible Subordinated Notes due 2007, and
settled a shareholder class action filed in April 2000.

The company said that in January, it received a notice of
acceleration from bondholders of Terayon's 5% Convertible
Subordinated Notes due 2007.  On March 21, 2006, the company
paid in full the entire principal amount of the outstanding
Notes, including all accrued and unpaid interest thereon and
related fees, for a total of $65.6 million.

"These two separate business decisions were made in the best
interests of Terayon," said Jerry Chase, CEO, Terayon.  "On the
bond issue, the company reviewed several restructuring options,
and chose the most cost-effective -- paying off the bonds now.
The company has also reached agreement to settle our six-year-
old shareholder suit after determining that it, too, was more
cost-effective to settle rather than continue to litigate.
These were the right decisions to make, and the company intend
to execute on our business plan without the further distraction
of these two issues."

                      Bondholder Repayment

On January 12, 2006, Terayon received a letter from holders of
more than 25% in aggregate principal amount of Notes outstanding
providing written notice to Terayon of default under the
Indenture for the Notes based on the company's failure to file
its Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2005.
Terayon was unable to cure the default within 60 days of the
written notice, March 13, 2006, which triggered an Event of
Default under the Indenture.  The Event of Default enabled the
holders of at least 25% in aggregate principal amount of Notes
outstanding to accelerate the maturity of the Notes by written
notice and declare the entire principal amount of the Notes,
together with all accrued and unpaid interest thereon, to be due
and payable immediately.

                     Shareholder Settlement

On March 17, 2006, Terayon entered into a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) providing for the settlement of the
securities class action "In re Terayon Communication Systems,
Inc. Securities Litigation, Case No. C-00-1967-MHP," pending in
the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.  As
previously disclosed, the amended complaint alleged that Terayon
and certain of its officers and directors violated the federal
securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading
statements and failing to disclose material information
regarding Terayon's technology.  The class action included
claims for damages on behalf of those who purchased or otherwise
acquired Terayon's securities of November 15, 1999 to
April 11, 2000.

In accordance with the settlement outlined in the MOU, the
Defendants shall pay or cause to be paid to the Plaintiff Class
an amount of $15 million.  Payment will be paid within 45 days
of the execution of the MOU or 15 days after court approval of
the Settlement, whichever is later, but in no event earlier than
May 10, 2006.  Terayon expects to pay approximately $2.3 million
of this amount, and its insurance carriers have agreed to pay
the remaining settlement amount.  The settlement is subject to
final approval by the court.

In consideration of the payment of the settlement funds
described above, the Plaintiff Class has agreed, upon final
court approval, to dismiss the class action with prejudice and
release all known and unknown claims arising out of or relating
to, or in connection with the purchase or acquisition of the
Affected Securities during the class period which have been or
could have been asserted by any member of the Plaintiff Class.

All parties have agreed to use their best efforts to finalize
and execute the Stipulation and such other documentation as may
be required or appropriate to obtain court approval of the
settlement upon the terms set forth in the MOU.

Terayon Communication Systems, Inc. -- http://www.terayon.com--  
provides real-time digital video networking applications to
cable, satellite and telecommunication service providers
worldwide, which have deployed more than 6,000 of Terayon's
digital video systems to localize services and advertising on-
demand and brand their programming, insert millions of digital
ads, offer HDTV and other digital video services.  Terayon
maintains its headquarters in Santa Clara, California.

The suit is styled "Mohtadi et al v. Terayon Communications
Systems, Inc. et al, 3:01-cv-01721," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of California under Judge
Marilyn H. Patel.

Lawyers for the defendants are Jordan David Eth, Dorothy
Fernandez, Melvin R. Goldman and Christopher A. Patz of Morrison
& Foerster, 425 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-2482,
Phone: 415-268-7000, Fax: 415-268-7522, E-mail: jeth@mofo.com,
dfernandez@mofo.com, mgoldman@mofo.com or cpatz@mofo.com.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are Gregory A. Hartlett and Jeffrey
R. Krinsk of Finkelstein & Krinsk, 501 West Broadway, Suite
1250, San Diego, CA 92101-3593, Phone: (619) 238-1333


UNITED STATES: Research Firm Offers Guide to Multi-Party Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Research and Markets adds "Class Actions: The Law of 50 States"
to its offering.

The company said "Class Actions: The Law of 50 States" is a
unique step-by-step guide that will show readers how to identify
a potential class action; determine ex parte class
certification; conduct pre-certification discovery; select a
proper class representative; prepare pleadings and pre-
certification motion papers; respond to your adversarys motions
and counterclaims; fulfill requirements for class certification;
deliver timely and proper notice to class members; pursue the
case through discovery and trial, or settle the case and win the
courts approval; and satisfy the rigorous guidelines governing
fee awards.

This comprehensive guide analyzes advantages and disadvantages
of non-cash settlements and provides suggestions for avoiding
problems with class counsel fees.  It also discusses pre-
settlement certification, and contains material and case law on
many recent developments.  This book is updated as needed,
generally two times each year.

Key topics covered include:

     -- Background to Class Action Litigation
     -- Selecting a Proper Class Representative
     -- The Complaint
     -- Pre-Class Certification Litigation Practice
     -- Procedural Aspects of the Motion for Class Certification
     -- Requirements for Class Action Certification
     -- Notice of the Action to Class Members
     -- Discovery and Trial
     -- Settlements
     -- Costs and Attorneys Fees

http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c34661)

For more information, contact Laura Wood of Senior Manager, E-
mail: press@researchandmarkets.com; Fax: +353 1 4100 980; Web
site: http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c34661.


UNIVERSAL AMERICAN: Continues to Face Securities Suits in N.Y.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Universal American Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: UHCO) is a
defendant in several purported securities class actions that are
pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York.

Five actions containing related factual allegations were filed
against the Company and certain of its officers and directors
between November 22, 2005 and February 2, 2006.  Plaintiffs
voluntarily withdrew one of these actions, thus four actions are
now pending.

In the first action, Robert Kemp filed a purported class action
complaint (the "Kemp Action") on November 22, 2005, in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York.  The Kemp
Action is a purported class action asserted on behalf of those
shareholders of the Company who acquired the Company's common
stock between February 16, 2005 and October 28, 2005.
Plaintiffs in the Kemp Action seek unspecified damages under
Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
based upon allegedly false statements by the Company and Richard
A. Barasch, Robert A. Waegelein and Gary W. Bryant (hereinafter,
the "Officer Defendants") in press releases, financial
statements and analyst conferences during the class period.

Another purported class action was recently filed by Western
Trust Laborers-Employers Pension Trust (the "Western Trust
Action"), a putative class member in the Kemp Action who had
filed a motion to be named as lead plaintiff in that action, on
February 2, 2006, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York.  The factual and legal allegations in the
Western Trust Action, which also purports to be a class action,
are similar to those in the Kemp Action.

The cases are at a preliminary stage.  Motions concerning the
appointment of lead plaintiff are pending before the Court. The
defendants were not required to respond to these motions, and
did not do so.  The time for the defendants initially to respond
to the class actions will not expire until at least 45 days
after the Court enters an order concerning the appointment of
lead plaintiff.


UTAH: Allows Waivers Dissipating Possible Lawsuits V. Lenders
-------------------------------------------------------------
Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP has drafted important
legislation that will help banks and finance companies defeat
class actions filed against them throughout the country.
Legislation Chapter 172 was signed into law on March 15, 2006.

Ballard's Consumer Financial Services Group developed and
promoted the legislation, and Jerry Oldroyd, in the firm's Salt
Lake City office, shepherded its enactment through the Utah
Legislature with almost unanimous support.

The company said the new statute is the first in the nation that
validates class action waivers (i.e., language in a contract
saying that the parties relinquish their right to participate in
a class action) in all types of consumer credit card and other
loan agreements.  This new Utah statute is important to all Utah
lenders who use arbitration provisions in their consumer loan
agreements, according to Ballard Spahr.  Not only will the
statute apply to class actions brought in Utah, it should also
apply to class actions filed elsewhere whenever a valid
contractual choice of Utah law provision has been included in
the agreement, it added.

Jerry Oldroyd said: "Given that Utah has dozens of large banks
that extend consumer credit throughout the country, this is very
significant legislation.  This statute will serve as significant
protection against unnecessary and unwarranted class action
suits."

"Over the past several years, arbitration has proven to be the
fairest, fastest and most cost-effective method of resolving
consumer disputes.  No development has done more to change the
legal landscape for the better than arbitration," said Alan
Kaplinsky, Chair of Ballard's Consumer Financial Services Group,
who drafted the legislation and who is widely regarded as the
nation's leading pioneer of consumer arbitration.

Ballard Spahr Andrews -- http://www.ballardspahr.com-- is an
AmLaw 100 firm with more than 460 lawyers in seven offices in
the mid-Atlantic region and the western U.S..  It represents
corporate, institutional, entrepreneurial, and individual
clients.

                          Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: KeySpan Units Defend Against Injury Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
KeySpan Corporation subsidiaries have been named in numerous
multi-defendant proceedings filed by plaintiffs claiming various
degrees of injury from asbestos exposure at generating
facilities formerly owned by Long Island Lighting Co. and
others, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission
report.

As provided in the May 1998 transaction with the Long Island
Power Authority, costs incurred by KeySpan for liabilities for
exposure from the activities of the generating facilities
previously owned by LILCO are recoverable from LIPA through a
1998 Power Supply Agreement between LIPA and KeySpan.

KeySpan believes that its cost recovery rights under the 1998
and 2006 PSA, its indemnification rights against third parties
and its insurance coverage cover its exposure for asbestos
liabilities generally.

Brooklyn, NY-based KeySpan Corporation's Energy Delivery units
bring natural gas to 2.6 million customers in New York,
Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cleco Corp Fights Claims by LA Site Workers
----------------------------------------------------------------
In several lawsuits, Cleco Corporation has been named as a
defendant by individuals who claim asbestos exposure injury
while working at sites in central Louisiana, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

Most of the claimants were workers who participated in the
construction of various industrial facilities, including power
plants, and some of the claimants have worked at locations owned
by Cleco.

Based in Pineville, Louisiana, Cleco Corporation's utility unit,
Cleco Power, generates, transmits, and distributes electricity
to 265,000 residential and business customers in more than 100
communities in Louisiana.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lockheed Martin Notes Optimistic Outcomes
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lockheed Martin Corporation continues its defense against
lawsuits alleging personal injury as a result of exposure to
asbestos integrated into the Company's premises and certain
historical products, according to a Securities and Exchange
Commission report.

The Company has never produced or mined asbestos and no longer
incorporates it in any currently manufactured products. To date,
the Company has been successful in having a significant number
of these claims dismissed without payment.

The remaining resolved claims have been settled for immaterial
amounts. Insurance or other forms of indemnity have covered a
substantial majority of the asbestos-related claims.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin Corporation
operates as a defense contractor. Its business segments include:
Aeronautics, Electronic Systems, Space Systems, Integrated
Systems & Solutions, and Information & Technology Services.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ArvinMeritor Faces Rockwell Product Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
ArvinMeritor Inc. still faces multi-defendant lawsuits alleging
personal injury from exposure to asbestos used in certain
components of Rockwell Automation Inc. products years ago,
according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

Liability for these claims was transferred to ArvinMeritor at
the time of the spin-off of the automotive business to Meritor
from Rockwell Automation, formerly known as Rockwell
International, in 1997.

A significant portion of the claims do not identify any of
Rockwell's products or specify which of the claimants were
exposed to asbestos linked to Rockwell's products. Experience
has shown that the majority of the claimants were never able to
identify any of Rockwell's products.

For those claimants who show that they worked with Rockwell's
products, management believes it has meritorious defenses, in
substantial part due to the integrity of the products involved,
the encapsulated nature of any asbestos-containing components,
and the lack of any impairing medical condition on the part of
many claimants. Historically, ArvinMeritor has been dismissed
from the majority of these claims with no payment to claimants.

Rockwell maintained insurance coverage that management believes
covers indemnity and defense costs for most of these claims.

The Company has initiated claims against these carriers to
enforce the insurance policies. Although the status of one
carrier as a financially viable entity is in question, the
Company expects to recover the majority of defense and indemnity
costs it has incurred to date and a substantial portion of the
costs for defending asbestos claims going forward.

ArvinMeritor has not established reserves for pending or future
claims or for corresponding recoveries for Rockwell-legacy
asbestos-related claims and defense and indemnity costs related
to these claims are expensed as incurred.

Rockwell was not a member of the Center for Claims Resolution
and handled its asbestos-related claims using its own litigation
counsel. As a result, the Company does not have any additional
potential liabilities for committed CCR settlements or shortfall
in connection with the Rockwell-legacy cases.

Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, ArvinMeritor Inc. makes
components for commercial vehicles as well as for light
vehicles. The Company is divesting its light vehicle aftermarket
product businesses on a piecemeal basis. DaimlerChrysler
accounts for 21% of sales, General Motors and Volkswagen each
account for 10%.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US Steel Corp.'s Active Claims Surge to 500
----------------------------------------------------------------
United States Steel Corporation confronts about 500 active
asbestos-related cases, which involve about 8,400 plaintiffs,
according to its annual Securities and Exchange Commission
report. Many of these cases involve multiple defendants, which
are typically from 50 to more than 100 defendants.

More than 8,000, or about 95%, of these claims are pending in
jurisdictions which permit filings with massive numbers of
plaintiffs. Based on U.S. Steel's experience, the Company
believes that the number of plaintiffs who ultimately assert
claims against U.S. Steel will likely be a small fraction of the
total number of plaintiffs.

In the November 4, 2005 Class Action Reporter, U.S. Steel
reported that it challenged about 470 active cases involving
about 8,200 plaintiffs.

These claims against U.S. Steel fall into three major groups:

(1) Claims made under certain federal and general maritime laws
by employees of the Great Lakes Fleet or Intercoastal Fleet,
former operations of U.S. Steel;

(2) Claims made by persons who allegedly were exposed to
asbestos at U.S. Steel facilities (referred to as "premises
claims"); and

(3) Claims made by industrial workers allegedly exposed to
products formerly manufactured by U.S. Steel.

U.S. Steel presently defends against cases in which a total of
about 150 plaintiffs allege that they are suffering from
mesothelioma. In many such cases in which claims have been
asserted against U.S. Steel, the plaintiffs have been unable to
establish any causal relationship to U.S. Steel or its products
or premises.

In 2005, about 42% of the cases filed against U.S. Steel stated
that the damages sought exceeded the amount required to
establish jurisdiction of the court in which the case was filed
(jurisdictional amounts generally range from US$25,000 to
US$75,000). About 33% did not specify any damages at all, about
25% alleged damages of US$1 million and less than half of 1%
alleged damages exceeding US$10 million.

Historically, over 90% of the cases against U.S. Steel did not
specify any damages amount or stated that the damages sought
exceeded the amount required to establish jurisdiction of the
court in which the case was filed.

U.S. Steel aggressively pushes for dismissal from pending cases
and it litigates cases to verdict where it believes litigation
is appropriate. U.S. Steel also makes efforts to settle
appropriate cases, especially mesothelioma cases, for reasonable
and nominal amounts.

Management believes that the ultimate resolution of these
matters will not have a material adverse effect on the Company's
financial condition. Among the factors considered in reaching
this conclusion are:

(1) That U. S. Steel has been subject to a total of about 34,000
asbestos claims over the past 14 years that have been
administratively dismissed or are inactive due to the failure of
the plaintiffs to present any medical evidence supporting their
claims;

(2) That over the last several years, the total number of
pending claims has generally declined;

(3) That it has been many years since U. S. Steel employed
maritime workers or manufactured or sold asbestos containing
products; and

(4) U.S. Steel's history of trial outcomes, settlements and
dismissals, including such matters since the Madison County jury
verdict and settlement in March 2003.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States Steel
Corp. produces sheet and semi finished steel, tubular and plate
steel, and tin products. The Company's customers are primarily
in the automotive, construction, petrochemical, and steel
service center industries. U.S. Steel also offers services such
as mineral resource management, real estate development, and
engineering and consulting.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: TODCO Faces Workers' Suits in Miss. Courts
---------------------------------------------------------------
TODCO continues to face several cases that have been filed in
Mississippi Circuit Courts, in which the cases involve 768
persons that allege personal injury from asbestos exposure while
employed by the defendants between 1965 and 2002, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

The complaints charge certain of the Company's subsidiaries and
certain of Transocean Inc.'s subsidiaries to whom the Company
may owe indemnity and other unrelated defendant firms, including
companies that allegedly made asbestos-containing drilling
products that are the subject of the complaints.

The number of unaffiliated defendant companies involved in each
complaint ranges from approximately 20 to 70.

The complaints claim that the defendant drilling contractors
used such products in offshore drilling operations, land based
drilling operations and in drilling structures, drilling rigs,
vessels and other equipment and assert claims based on
negligence and strict liability, and claims authorized under the
Jones Act. The plaintiffs seek unspecified compensatory and
punitive damages.

Houston, TX-based TODCO provides services to exploration and
production businesses operating in the shallow waters of the
Gulf of Mexico, in the Gulf Coast inland marine region, as well
as in Trinidad and Venezuela.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Coca-Cola Fends Off Aqua-Chem's $10M Demand
----------------------------------------------------------------
Aqua-Chem Inc. demands that The Coca-Cola Co. reimburse it for
about US$10 million for out-of-pocket asbestos litigation-
related expenses, according to a Securities and Exchange
Commission report.

From 1970 to 1981, Coca-Cola Co. owned Aqua-Chem, in which a
division manufactured certain boilers that contained gaskets
that Aqua-Chem purchased from outside suppliers. Years after the
Company sold Aqua-Chem, the former subsidiary received its first
asbestos-related lawsuit, involving a component of some of the
gaskets.

In September 2002, Aqua-Chem notified the Company that it
believes the Company is obligated for certain costs and expenses
associated with its asbestos litigations. Aqua-Chem has also
demanded that the Company must be obliged to Aqua-Chem for any
future liabilities and expenses that are excluded from coverage
under the applicable insurance or for which there is no
insurance.

The parties sought to resolve this dispute, which was stayed by
agreement of the parties pending the outcome of litigation filed
in Wisconsin by certain insurers of Aqua-Chem.

Five plaintiff insurance firms filed a declaratory judgment
action against Aqua-Chem, the Company and 16 defendant insurance
companies seeking a determination of the parties' rights and
liabilities under policies issued by the insurers and
reimbursement for amounts paid by plaintiffs in excess of their
obligations. This litigation remains pending.

Aqua-Chem and the Company subsequently reached a settlement
agreement with five of the insurers in the Wisconsin insurance
coverage litigation, and those insurers will pay funds into an
escrow account for payment of costs arising from the asbestos
claims against Aqua-Chem.

Aqua-Chem has also reached a settlement agreement with an
additional insurer regarding payment of that insurer's policy
proceeds for Aqua-Chem's asbestos claims.

Aqua-Chem and the Company will continue to negotiate with the 15
other insurers that are parties to the Wisconsin insurance
coverage case and will litigate their claims against such
insurers to the extent negotiations do not result in
settlements.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, The Coca-Cola Co. owns four
soft-drink brands: Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta, and Sprite. The
firm sells about 400 drink brands, including coffee, juice,
sports drinks, and tea, in about 200 nations. The Company owns
about 36% of Coke bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cytec Records US$47.8Mil Liability in 4Q05
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cytec Industries Inc.'s asbestos liability was at US$47.8
million and its related insurance receivable was at US$34.7
million at December 31, 2005, according to its 10-K SEC report.

At December 31, 2004, the Company's asbestos liability was at
US$50.4 million and its related insurance receivable was at
US$34.2 million.

The Company anticipates receiving a net tax benefit for payment
of those claims for which full insurance recovery is not
realized.

The West Paterson, NJ-based Company faces multi-defendant suits
filed in the U.S. by persons alleging bodily injury. The
claimants allege exposure to asbestos at facilities that the
Company formerly or currently owns or from products that the
Company used to manufacture for specialized applications.

Historically, the Company has been dismissed from most of the
closed claims without any indemnity payment from the Company.

Cytec Industries Inc. produces chemicals from which it makes
engineered materials, specialty chemicals, and additives used in
treating water and in industrial processes.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Huntsman Accrues $12.5M Liability for Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Huntsman Corporation had an accrued liability of US$12.5
million, as of December 31, 2005, relating to cases wherein it
has been named as a "premises defendant." The Company posted a
corresponding receivable of US$12.5 million relating to its
indemnity protection with respect to these cases.

A "premises defendant" suit refers to a claim by a non-employee
of exposure to asbestos while at a Huntsman facility. These
multi-defendant cases typically had involved multiple
plaintiffs.

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

The prior owner or operator accepts responsibility for the
conduct of the defense of the cases and payment of any amounts
due to the claimants. In the Company's 11-year experience with
tendering these cases, it has not made any payment with respect
to any tendered asbestos cases.

The Company believes that the prior owners or operators have the
intention and ability to continue to honor their indemnities.

The Salt Lake City, UT-based Company paid gross settlement costs
for asbestos exposure cases that are not subject to
indemnification of US$0.1 million, US$1.0 million and US$0.2
million in 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively.

Huntsman Corp. supplies MDI, amines, surfactants, and epoxy-
based polymers. Huntsman's chemicals are sold in more than 100
countries to a variety of customers in the adhesives,
construction products, medical, electronics, and packaging
industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Oglebay Norton Faced with 46,585 Claimants
---------------------------------------------------------------
Oglebay Norton Co. co-defends against asbestos-related
litigation involving claims of about 46,585 claimants as of
December 31, 2005, according to the Company's 10-K report to the
Securities and Exchange Commission.

The plaintiffs in these cases generally seek compensatory and
punitive damages of unspecified sums based upon common law or
statutory product liability claims. Some of these claims have
been brought by plaintiffs against the Company and other product
manufacturer co-defendants, some of whom have also filed for
bankruptcy protection.

Moreover, the Company has been the target of hundreds of suits
relating to the exposure by seamen employees to asbestos on the
Company's vessels. All but two of these seaman claims have been
resolved and dismissed.

The Company has about US$236 million of insurance resources
available to address both current and future asbestos
liabilities. Oglebay Norton has had an average of 12,120
asbestos claims asserted against it each year for the past five
years.

The average cost per claim for settlement or other resolution
for the past five years was about US$1,000.

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


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IntriCon Carries 122 Pending Suits in 4Q05
---------------------------------------------------------------
IntriCon Corp., as of December 31, 2005, confronts about 122
lawsuits, in which the plaintiffs alleged that they may have
contracted asbestos-related diseases from exposure to asbestos
products or asbestos-containing equipment sold by one or more
named defendants, according to a SEC report.

As of December 31, 2004, the Company faced about 123 lawsuits.
Due to the non-informative nature of the complaints, the Company
cannot determine whether any of the complaints state valid
claims against it.

Certain carriers have informed the Company that the primary
policies for the period August 1, 1970-1973, have been exhausted
and that the carriers will no longer provide a defense under
those policies. The Company has requested that the carriers
substantiate this situation.

The Company believes when settlement payments are applied to
these additional policies, the Company will have availability
under the years deemed exhausted.

Management believes that the number of insurance carriers
involved in the defense of the suits and the significant number
of policy years and policy limits, to which these insurance
carriers are insuring the Company, make the ultimate disposition
of these lawsuits not material to the Company's consolidated
financial position or results of operations.

Headquartered in Arden Hills, Minnesota, IntriCon Corp., through
its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development,
engineering, and manufacture of microminiaturized medical and
electronic products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell Deals With NARCO, Bendix Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Honeywell International Inc. continues to tackle the asbestos-
related claims of its Bendix Friction Materials unit and former
subsidiary North American Refractories Co. (NARCO), according to
a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

NARCO, which was Honeywell-owned from 1979 to 1986, produced
refractory products sold to the steel industry in the East and
Midwest. Less than 2% of its products contained asbestos.

When the Company sold NARCO, Honeywell agreed to indemnify NARCO
for personal injury claims for products that had been ceased
prior to the sale. On January 4, 2002, NARCO filed for
reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. As a
result, all of the claims pending against NARCO are
automatically stayed pending reorganization. The bankruptcy
court enjoined both the filing and prosecution of NARCO-related
asbestos claims against Honeywell.

In connection with NARCO's filing, the Company paid NARCO's
parent company US$40 million and agreed to provide NARCO with up
to US$20 million in financing. Honeywell has reached agreement
with the representative for future NARCO claimants and the
Asbestos Claimants Committee to cap its annual contributions to
the trust with respect to future claims.

The Company reports an estimated liability for settlement of
pending and future NARCO-related claims of US$1.8 billion and
US$2.4 billion as of December 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively.
The estimated liability for current claims is based on terms and
conditions in definitive agreements with about 260,000 current
claimants. About US$90 million of payments due pursuant to these
settlements is due only upon establishment of the NARCO trust.

As of December 31, 2005 and 2004, the Company recorded an
insurance receivable corresponding to the liability for
settlement of pending and future NARCO-related asbestos claims
of US$1.1 billion and US$1.2 billion, respectively.

From 1981 through December 31, 2005, the Company has resolved
about 78,000 Bendix asbestos-related claims including trials
covering 122 plaintiffs, which resulted in 116 favorable
verdicts. Bendix made automotive brake pads that contained
chrysotile asbestos in an encapsulated form.

About 30% of the about 77,000 pending claims at December 31,
2005 are on the inactive, deferred, or similar dockets
established in some jurisdictions for claimants who allege
minimal or no impairment. The average 77,000 pending claims also
include claims filed in jurisdictions such as Texas, Virginia
and Mississippi that historically allowed for consolidated
filings.

Honeywell currently has about US$1.9 billion of insurance
coverage remaining with respect to pending and potential future
Bendix related asbestos claims of which US$377 million and
US$336 million are reflected as receivables at December 31, 2005
and 2004, respectively.

The Company also allocates US$1.9 billion in coverage remaining
for Bendix related asbestos liabilities.

Headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey, Honeywell International
Inc.'s largest business segment, Honeywell Aerospace, makes
products such as turbofan and turboprop engines and flight
safety and landing systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Albany Int'l. Carries 20,023 Injury Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Albany International Corp. defends against 20,023 asbestos-
related claims as of February 10, 2006, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

This compares with 24,451 claims as of December 31, 2005, 24,406
claims as of October 21, 2005, 29,411 claims as of December 31,
2004, 28,838 claims as of December 31, 2003, 22,593 claims as of
December 31, 2002, 7,347 claims as of December 31, 2001, 1,997
claims as of December 31, 2000, and 2,276 claims as of December
31, 1999.

Albany defends against suits brought in various US courts by
plaintiffs who allege that they have suffered personal injury as
a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products previously
made by Albany. Albany's production of asbestos-containing paper
machine clothing products was limited to certain synthetic dryer
fabrics marketed from 1967 to 1976 and used in certain paper
mills.

As of February 10, 2006, about 14,378 of the claims pending
against Albany are filed in various Mississippi counties. This
compares to 24,314 claims as of February 11, 2005, 23,569 claims
as of February 13, 2004, and about 18,700 claims as of February
28, 2003.

The Company's insurer, Liberty Mutual, has defended each case
and funded settlements under a standard reservation of rights.
As of February 10, 2006, the Company had resolved 18,577 claims.
The total cost of resolving all claims was US$6,426,000, in
which the Company's insurance carrier paid US$6,391,000, or 99%.

The Company has more than US$130 million in confirmed insurance
coverage that should be available with respect to current and
future asbestos claims, as well as additional insurance coverage
that it should be able to access.

Brandon Drying Fabrics Inc., a subsidiary of Geschmay Corp., is
also a separate defendant in most of the asbestos cases in which
Albany is named as a defendant.

Brandon was defending against 9,564 claims as of February 10,
2006. This compares with 9,566 such claims as of December 31,
2005, 9,608 claims as of October 21, 2005, 9,985 claims as of
December 31, 2004, 10,242 claims as of December 31, 2003, 11,802
claims as of December 31, 2002, 8,759 claims as of December 31,
2001, 3,598 claims as of December 31, 2000, and 1,887 claims as
of December 31, 1999.

The Company acquired Geschmay Corp., formerly known as Wangner
Systems Corp., in 1999. Brandon is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Geschmay Corp.

In 1978, Brandon acquired certain assets from Abney Mills, a
South Carolina textile manufacturer. Among the assets acquired
by Brandon from Abney were assets of Abney's wholly owned
subsidiary, Brandon Sales, Inc., which had sold dryer fabrics
containing asbestos made by its parent, Abney. It is believed
that Abney ceased production of asbestos-containing fabrics
prior to the 1978 transaction.

As of February 10, 2006, Brandon has resolved, by means of
settlement or dismissal, 7,183 claims for a total of US$152,499.
Brandon's insurance carriers initially agreed to pay 88.2% of
the total indemnification and defense costs related to these
proceedings, subject to the standard reservation of rights. The
remaining 11.8% of the costs had been borne directly by Brandon.

The Company is also named both as a direct defendant and as the
"successor in interest" to Mount Vernon Mills, in which the
Company acquired certain assets in 1993. Certain plaintiffs
allege injury caused by asbestos-containing products supposedly
sold by Mount Vernon prior to this acquisition.

Mount Vernon is contractually obligated to indemnify the Company
against any liability arising out of such products. The Company
denies any liability for products sold by Mount Vernon prior to
the acquisition of the Mount Vernon assets. Mount Vernon has
assumed the defense of these claims. On this basis, the Company
has successfully moved for dismissal in a number of actions.

Based in Albany, New York, Albany International Corp. makes
paper machine clothing. The Company produces about 35% of the
monofilament yarn used in its paper machine clothing and relies
on independent suppliers for the remainder. It markets these
products to paper mills in 25 countries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EnPro Industries Notes 120,500 Open Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
EnPro Industries Inc. states that, out of the 120,500 open
asbestos-related claims as of December 31, 2005, it is aware of
about 7,900 claims that involve a claimant with mesothelioma,
lung cancer or some other cancer, according to a SEC report.

Certain of the Company's subsidiaries, mainly Garlock Sealing
Technologies LLC and The Anchor Packing Co., co-defend against
actions filed in various states by plaintiffs alleging injury or
death as a result of exposure to asbestos fibers.

Among the products in these actions are industrial sealing
products, mainly gaskets and packing products. To date, neither
Garlock nor Anchor has been required to pay any punitive damage
awards.

The asbestos-containing products, formerly sold by Garlock and
Anchor, were encapsulated, meaning the asbestos fibers were
incorporated into the product during the manufacturing process
and sealed in a binder. They were also nonfriable, which means
they could not be crumbled by hand pressure.

Since the first asbestos-related suits were filed against
Garlock in 1975, Garlock and Anchor have processed more than
700,000 asbestos claims to conclusion and, together with their
insurers, have paid more than US$1 billion in settlements and
judgments and over US$300 million in fees and expenses.

In about 3% of the resolved claims, plaintiffs alleged
mesothelioma, about 6% have been claims of plaintiffs with lung
or other cancers, and more than 90% have been claims of
plaintiffs alleging asbestosis, pleural plaques or other non-
malignant impairment of the respiratory system.

Garlock's product defenses have enabled it to be successful at
trial, winning defense verdicts in four of five cases tried to
verdict in 2003, five of 11 cases decided in 2004, and three of
eight cases decided in 2005.

In the successful jury trials, the juries determined that
Garlock's products were not defective and that Garlock was not
negligent. In the cases, the judges determined that the claimant
failed to make a sufficient showing of exposure to Garlock's
products.

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.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Garlock Initiates 13 Asbestos Trials in `05
----------------------------------------------------------------
EnPro Industries Inc. reports that subsidiary Garlock Sealing
Technologies LLC has initiated 13 asbestos-related trials in
2005, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

Six of these suits (three in Philadelphia with six plaintiffs,
one in Buffalo, NY, one in New Jersey, and one in Texas) were
all settled during the course of the trials.

A Los Angeles trial involving a living mesothelioma patient
resulted in an adverse verdict, but the claim was settled as
part of a larger group settlement prior to the entry of
judgment.

A Baltimore, MD jury returned a verdict of US$10.4 million
against Garlock and two other defendants in a mesothelioma case,
in which Garlock's share is about US$3.5 million. A Dallas jury
returned a verdict of US$260,000 in another mesothelioma case,
in which Garlock's share is about US$10,000, 4% of the total
verdict.

A Kentucky jury returned a verdict of US$5.0 million in
compensatory damages in a lung cancer case in the 2005-2nd
quarter of 2005, but this verdict was overturned by the judge in
the third quarter of 2005 and a new trial was granted.

A new Kentucky jury awarded compensatory damages of US$275,000
and punitive damages of US$600,000 against Garlock early in
2006. Garlock plans to appeal this verdict.

In a Texas suit, which involved a plaintiff with mesothelioma,
the jury returned with a defense verdict in Garlock's favor just
after the settlement was reached.

An Illinois jury in an asbestosis case returned a verdict
against Garlock of US$225,000, all of which was offset by
settlements with other defendants. Another Illinois jury and a
Washington jury each returned defense verdicts for Garlock in
December 2005.

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.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Garlock Reserves $570M for Claims Coverage
---------------------------------------------------------------
EnPro Industries Inc. notes that, as of December 31, 2005,
Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC had available US$570 million of
insurance and trust coverage that the Company believes will be
able to cover future asbestos claims and expense payments,
according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

Moreover, Garlock classifies US$61 million of otherwise
available insurance as insolvent. The Company believes that
Garlock will recover some of the insolvent insurance over time.

Garlock collected about US$23 million from insolvent carriers
during 2005 (US$10 million of which related to insurance
receivables), bringing total insolvent collections from 2002
through 2005 to US$33 million.

Garlock reduced new settlement commitments from US$180 million
in 2000 to US$94 million in 2001, US$86 million in 2002, US$86
million in 2003, US$84 million in 2004, and US$79 million in
2005.

Before any payment on a settled claim is made, a claimant is
required to submit a medical report acceptable to Garlock
substantiating the asbestos-related illness and meeting specific
criteria of disability. Sworn testimony or other evidence that
the claimant worked with or around Garlock asbestos-containing
products is also required.

The claimant is also required to sign a full and unconditional
release of Garlock, its subsidiaries, parent, officers,
directors, affiliates and related parties from any liability for
asbestos-related injuries or claims.

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 LITIGATION: W.R. Grace Notes 990 Property Damage Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
As of February 21, 2006, W.R. Grace & Co. faces about 990
outstanding property damage claims, according to a Securities
and Exchange Commission report.

The plaintiffs in these suits generally seek to have the
defendants pay for the cost of removing, containing or repairing
the asbestos-containing materials in the affected buildings.

About 4,300 additional property damage claims were filed prior
to the March 31, 2003 claims bar date established by the
Bankruptcy Court. Grace has objected to virtually all property
damage claims.

Before the date of the Chapter 11 filing, Grace noted 380 cases.
Of those cases, 140 were dismissed without payment of any
damages or settlement amounts.

Judgments were entered in favor of Grace in nine cases
(excluding cases settled following appeals of judgments in favor
of Grace). Judgments were entered in favor of the plaintiffs in
eight cases (one of which is on appeal) for a total of US$86.1
million. Two hundred seven cases were settled for a total of
US$696.8 million.

Sixteen cases remain, in which eight relate to Zonolite Attic
Insulation and eight relate to a number of former asbestos-
containing products (two of which are alleged to involve ZAI).

Eight of the ZAI cases were filed as purported class actions in
2000 and 2001. In addition, eight lawsuits were filed as
purported class actions in 2004 and 2005 with respect to persons
and homes in Canada.

Grace's recorded asbestos-related liability at December 31, 2005
assumes the risk of loss from ZAI litigation is not probable.

Based in Columbia, Maryland, W.R. Grace & Co. has restructured
into two major units, each accounting for about half of sales.
Grace's Davison Chemicals makes silica-based products, chemical
catalysts, and refining catalysts that help produce refined
products from crude oil. Its Performance Chemicals makes
concrete and cement additives, packaging sealants, and
fireproofing chemicals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Expects Delay in Estimation Hearings
---------------------------------------------------------------
W.R. Grace & Co. does not expect estimation hearings for its
asbestos-related liability to take place until late 2006 or
early 2007.

Cumulatively through the date of Grace's Chapter 11 filing,
16,354 asbestos personal injury lawsuits involving about 35,720
claims were dismissed without payment of any damages or
settlement amounts and about 55,489 lawsuits involving about
163,698 claims were disposed of for a total of US$645.6 million,
according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

Asbestos personal injury claimants allege adverse health effects
from exposure to asbestos-containing products formerly made by
Grace. As of the date of the Chapter 11 filing, 129,191 claims
for personal injury were pending against Grace.

Prior to the Chapter 11 filing date, Grace endeavored to project
the number and ultimate cost of all present and future personal
injury claims expected to be asserted, based on actuarial
principles, and to measure probable and estimable liabilities
under generally accepted accounting principles.

After the Chapter 11 filing and prior to the filing of the plan
of reorganization, Grace did not change its recorded asbestos-
related personal injury liability.

Under the reorganization plan, Grace is requesting that the
Bankruptcy Court determine the aggregate dollar amount that must
be funded on the effective date of the plan of reorganization
into an asbestos trust to pay all allowed pending and future
asbestos-related personal injury and property damage claims,
including ZAI, and related trust administration costs and
expenses on the later of the effective date of the plan of
reorganization or when allowed.

The Bankruptcy Court has issued separate case management orders
for estimating liability for pending and future personal injury
claims and pending property damage claims, excluding ZAI claims.
The case management orders originally contemplated that
estimation hearings would take place in September 2006.

In connection with the latest extensions of Grace's exclusive
right to propose a POR, the Bankruptcy Court has deferred the
estimation process to provide Grace and the other stakeholders
in the Chapter 11 proceeding with an opportunity to negotiate a
resolution of all or a portion of Grace's asbestos-related
liabilities.

Based in Columbia, Maryland, W.R. Grace & Co. has restructured
into two major units, each accounting for about half of sales.
Grace's Davison Chemicals makes silica-based products, chemical
catalysts, and refining catalysts that help produce refined
products from crude oil. Its Performance Chemicals makes
concrete and cement additives, packaging sealants, and
fireproofing chemicals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Berkshire Hathaway Notes $5.4B Liabilities
---------------------------------------------------------------
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s liabilities for environmental,
asbestos, and latent injury claims and claims expenses, net of
reinsurance recoverables were about US$5.4 billion at December
31, 2005 and US$5.6 billion at December 31, 2004, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

Berkshire Hathaway's liabilities for environmental, asbestos,
and latent injury losses and loss adjustment expenses are
presently believed to be concentrated within retroactive
reinsurance contracts.

These liabilities include US$4.0 billion at December 31, 2005
and US$4.2 billion at December 31, 2004, of liabilities assumed
under retroactive reinsurance contracts written by the Berkshire
Hathaway Reinsurance Group.

Claims paid in 2005 attributable to such losses were about
US$273 million. Berkshire Hathaway, as a reinsurer, does not
regularly receive reliable information regarding numbers of
asbestos, environmental and latent injury claims from ceding
companies on a consistent basis, particularly with respect to
multi-line treaty or aggregate excess of loss policies.

Unpaid environmental, asbestos and mass tort reserves at
December 31, 2005 were about US$1.8 billion gross and US$1.3
billion net of reinsurance.

Such reserves were about US$1.6 billion gross and US$1.3 billion
net of reinsurance as of December 31, 2004. Claims paid
attributable to such losses were about US$93 million in 2005.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.
Warren Buffett, the world's second richest person, owns about
40% of the Company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tenneco Says Most Claims Lack Information
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tenneco Inc., which was formerly known as Tenneco Automotive
Inc., continues to challenge lawsuits initiated by claimants
alleging health problems as a result of exposure to asbestos,
according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

Many of these cases involve numerous defendants, with the number
of each in some cases exceeding 200 defendants from a variety of
industries. Further, many of these cases involve significant
numbers of individual claimants. Only a small percentage of
these claimants allege they were automobile mechanics exposed to
Tenneco's former muffler products.

A significant number appear to involve workers in other
industries or otherwise do not include sufficient information to
determine whether there is any basis for a claim against the
Company.

The Company believes it is unlikely that mechanics were exposed
to asbestos by the Company's former muffler products and that
they would not be at increased risk of asbestos-related disease
based on their work with these products.

The plaintiffs either do not specify any, or specify the
jurisdictional minimum, dollar amount for damages. As major
asbestos manufacturers continue to go out of business or file
for bankruptcy, the Company may experience an increased number
of these claims.

To date, with respect to claims that have proceeded sufficiently
through the judicial process, the Company has regularly achieved
favorable resolution in the form of a dismissal of the claim or
a judgment in its favor.

Headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois, Tenneco Inc. makes
Walker exhaust systems and Monroe ride-control equipment for
vehicle manufacturers and the replacement market. The Company's
product line also includes vibration-control systems, catalytic
converters, and various exhaust system accessories.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fairmont Carries 26,300 Claims in 7 States
---------------------------------------------------------------
A CONSOL Energy Inc. subsidiary, industrial supplier Fairmont
Supply Co., faces about 26,300 asbestos-related claims in state
courts in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, New
Jersey, Michigan, and Mississippi, according to a Securities and
Exchange Commission report.

Fairmont faced about 25,100 asbestos claims in state courts in
Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and
Mississippi. (Class Action Reporter, March 3, 2005)

Because a very small percentage of products made by third
parties, and supplied by Fairmont, in the past may have
contained asbestos and many of the pending claims are part of
mass complaints filed by hundreds of plaintiffs against a
hundred or more defendants, it has been hard for Fairmont to
determine how many of the cases actually involve valid claims or
plaintiffs who were actually exposed to asbestos-containing
products supplied by Fairmont.

While Fairmont may be entitled to indemnity or contribution in
certain jurisdictions from manufacturers of identified products,
the availability of such indemnity or contribution is unclear at
this time and some of the manufacturers named as defendants in
these actions have sought protection from these claims under
bankruptcy laws.

Fairmont has no insurance coverage with respect to these
asbestos cases.

Pittsburgh, PA-based CONSOL Energy Inc. is a coal mining company
with some 4.5 billion tons of proven and probable reserves,
mainly in northern and central Appalachia and the Illinois
Basin. The Company produces about 60 million tons of coal
annually. CONSOL primarily mines bituminous coal and also
engages in natural gas exploration and production.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PolyOne Corp. Reserves US$0.5Mil for Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
PolyOne Corporation, as of December 31, 2005, set aside reserves
amounting to US$0.5 million for asbestos-related claims that are
probable and estimable, according to a Securities and Exchange
Commission report.

The Company has been named in multi-defendant and multi-claimant
suits for alleged asbestos exposure in the past by workers and
contractors and their families at plants owned by the Company or
its predecessors, or on board ships owned or operated by the
Company or its predecessors.

The Company believes that the probability is remote that losses
in excess of the amounts it has accrued could be materially
adverse to its financial condition, results of operations or
cash flows.

This belief is based upon the Company's ongoing assessment of
the strengths and weaknesses of the specific claims and its
defenses and insurance coverage available for these claims, as
well as the probability and expected magnitude of reasonably
anticipated future asbestos-related claims.

The Company's assessment includes: whether the pleadings allege
exposure to asbestos, asbestos-containing products or premises
exposure; the severity of the plaintiffs' alleged injuries from
exposure to asbestos or asbestos-containing products and the
length and certainty of exposure on the company's premises, to
the extent disclosed in the pleadings or identified through
discovery; whether the named defendant related to the company's
manufactured or sold asbestos-containing products; the outcomes
of cases recently resolved; and the historical pattern of the
number of claims.

If the underlying facts and circumstances change in the future,
the Company will modify its reserves. This accrual has not
materially changed over the past several years.

Based in Avon Lake, Ohio, PolyOne Corporation distributes
plastics compounders and resins. PolyOne also distributes about
3,500 resins from some 20 suppliers. It has operations in Asia,
the Americas, Australia, and Europe. The Company was established
in 2000.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NSW Town Payout Case to Begin in Two Months
----------------------------------------------------------------
The legal case for the compensation of the residents of
Baryulgil, a New South Wales town, for the effects of asbestos-
related illnesses, could be initiated within two months, ABC
NewsOnline reports.

Between 1950 and 1979, a James Hardie Industries NV mine
operated in the Aboriginal community near Grafton, leaving at
least 22 residents to suffer the effects of asbestos dust.

David Barron, one of the Sydney barristers representing
Baryulgil, says it is about time something was done for its
residents.

"The recognition that there was a problem in Baryulgil, it goes
back 30 or 40 years. There have been at least two inquiries and
a royal commission about this and nothing's been done. The only
time something's actually going to happen is if private players
take on these people and that's what we've done," Mr. Barron
said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Labor Dept. Cites Buffalo City for Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
The City of Buffalo in New York received a citation from the NY
State Labor Department for exposing workers to hazardous
asbestos fibers at the Buffalo Department of Public Works
garage, WorldNow reports.

The NY Labor Department issued its first findings against
Buffalo, following an incident last week at the Broadway garage.
An unnamed city plumber tasked to fix a leaking pipe discovered
the pipe encased in asbestos.

Public works commissioner Joseph Giambra said that the Labor
Department's notice of violation claims the asbestos removal
company skipped on air monitoring, which is required by state
and federal law.

The report also noted the contractor did not enclose the trouble
area with plastic, and in a follow up inspection, found all the
loose asbestos not cleaned up.

A Labor Department spokesman said that they have not finished
analyzing the air samples.

City officials are now working on a plan to remove most of the
asbestos wrap from the plumbing, which could surpass US$100,000.
A state program could cover about 75% of the cost.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japanese Govt. Accepts Payout Applications
---------------------------------------------------------------
Japan's Government starts accepting applications for benefits
related to asbestos-linked diseases in advance of a new law to
provide financial aid for sufferers, The Yomiuri Shimbun
reports.

Sufferers and their families visited the Environmental
Restoration and Conservation Agency in Kawasaki, a healthcare
center in Amagasaki and other sites to apply for compensation.

Applications will be accepted over the next three years and can
be sent by mail. Those approved by the end of March will begin
receiving monthly compensation by April.

The new law, however, does not entitle everyone for relief as
victims in Amagasaki in Hyogo are expected to be ineligible for
the money.

It was found in June that people living or working near Kubota
Corporation's former Kanzaki factory in Amagasaki were suffering
from mesothelioma cancer purportedly caused by asbestos emitted
by the factory.

The law provides that if the victims or their families are
already receiving compensation, they will be ineligible for the
government income.

Ritsumeikan University Professor Shigeru Kino said, "The new law
is to provide relief for sufferers as a part of the government
social welfare program, unlike compensation based on the
environmental pollution damage compensation law. It means the
government encourages the sufferers to seek compensation via
legal action. So the government shouldn't take the result of the
legal actions into account when deciding whether to provide
relief. The clause is ridiculous."

Tokyo-based Ban Asbestos Network Japan asked the Environment
Ministry to review the clause, saying the money was a form of
consolation payment to the sufferers and their families, and
should not rule out the government compensation.

According to the law, sufferers of mesothelioma and lung cancer
caused by asbestos can receive medical costs not covered by
national health insurance, and about JPY100,000 a month.
Families of those who died from the diseases are eligible to
receive JPY3 million in condolence money.

If they are compensated from a trial or other action, the law
has a clause stating that the Government is not required to pay
compensation.

Kubota paid JPY2 million as consolation or condolence money to
66 sufferers and victims' families. In December 2005, the firm
announced it would secure additional compensation equal to that
received by the firm's employees suffering from asbestos-related
diseases.

However, the firm claims that since it is still unclear whether
the diseases were caused by asbestos from the firm's factory,
the compensation is not a legal obligation.

Hiroshi Iida, director of an Amagasaki-based group supporting
asbestos-sufferers, said, "Kubota's compensation won't cover the
estimated lost earnings and other losses incurred by the
sufferers who only resided near the factory. So the government's
attempt to exclude them from compensation is its way of
hindering the efforts to pursue the responsibility of firms and
seek compensation from them."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AUD222.5M Tax Causes Hardie Shares to Drop
---------------------------------------------------------------
Shares of James Hardie Industries NV slumped nearly 3% after the
Group announced that the Australian Tax Office is demanding at
least AUD222.5 million in back payments and penalties, The Age
reports.

James Hardie shares fell as low as AUD9.31, down AUD0.38, or
3.9%, before settling 2.99% lower at AUD3.40.

According to the ATO, Hardie owes AUD178 million in tax, AUD44.5
million penalties, and unspecified general charges.

The ATO assessment is separate from James Hardie's pursuit of a
tax break on its new AUD1.6 billion compensation fund and tax
deductibility for its payments, due to start in July and
continue for at least 40 years.

The Group has said the assessment will not affect the first
AUD154 million payments to the fund established to pay people
made sick by the Group's asbestos products. The Group hopes
payments to the fund will qualify for tax relief, although it
will be up to the ATO to decide.

The question will be whether the tax breaks apply to asbestos
compensation, which does not meet existing tests for
deductibility because it represents asbestos liabilities
incurred by companies no longer part of the Hardie group.

James Hardie stated that the ATO had told Hardie the ATO was
about to issue an amended assessment in relation to the
calculation of capital gains from that transaction.

James Hardie is still waiting for the passage of legislation
through Federal Parliament to allow a variety of so-called
"black hole" expenditures.

Chief financial officer Russell Chenu said the Group would fight
the assessment. He said the Group expected to pay its tax bill
with adequate cash on hand and existing credit lines. It also
expected to have the cash and facilities to make its initial
payment to the compensation fund.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AXA Ordered to Give Coverage in Murden Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Louisiana Court of Appeals denied a writ filed by AXA
Belgium NV and ruled that AXA's policy should provide coverage
for the asbestos-related personal injuries of John Murden.

The Court, composed of Chief Judge Joan Bernard Armstrong, Judge
Max N. Tobias, Jr. and Judge David S. Gorbaty, heard Case Nos.
2005-CA-0319, 2004-C-2122 on December 14, 2005.

Champion International Corp. and US Plywood Corp. filed motions
for partial summary judgment. In the motions heard on October
19, 2004 and on November 10, 2004, the trial court signed a
judgment, which was final, in favor of Champion and US Plywood
finding coverage and denied AXA's motion.

Led by widow Josephine Musso Murden, Mr. Murden's family sued
Champion and US Plywood, alleging that Mr. Murden died as a
result of his exposure to asbestos-containing materials,
including those made, sold or distributed by Champion, US
Plywood, or its predecessors. The Murdens alleged that Mr.
Murden's exposure occurred while two different Louisiana firms
employed him between 1960 and 1974.

Champion distributed Eternit products in the US from 1958 to
1974, in which the products included wallboard products, which
allegedly had asbestos. When Champion's distribution of
Eternit's products ceased, the termination agreement between
Champion and Eternit required Eternit to buy insurance for
Champion.

The Court ruled that the policy issued by AXA to Eternit and
Champion provides coverage for the injuries sustained by Mr.
Murden.

Robert E. Peyton, Elizabeth S. Cordes, Christovich & Kearney,
LLP, New Orleans, LA, Phil B. Abernethy, Butler, Snow, O'Mara,
Stevens, etc., Jackson, MS, represented Champion International
Corp. and US Plywood Corp.

Derek A. Walker, Parker Harrison, Chaffe McCall LLP, New
Orleans, LA, represented AXA Belgium NV.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chubb Corp. Records US$35Mil Claims Losses
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Chubb Corporation notes that its incurred losses related to
asbestos claims were US$35 million in 2005, according to a
Securities and Exchange Commission report.

Asbestos-related incurred losses were US$75 million in 2004 and
US$250 million in 2003.

Beginning in December 2002, subsidiary Chubb Indemnity Insurance
Co. was named in actions commenced by various plaintiffs against
it and other non-affiliated insurers in the District Courts in
Nueces, Travis and Bexar Counties in Texas. The plaintiffs
alleged that Chubb Indemnity and the other defendants breached
duties to asbestos product end-users and conspired to conceal
risks associated with asbestos exposure.

The plaintiffs sought to impose liability on insurers directly
and sought unspecified monetary and punitive damages. Pursuant
to the asbestos reform bill passed by the Texas legislature in
May 2005, these actions were transferred to the Texas state
asbestos Multidistrict Litigation on December 1, 2005.

Chubb Indemnity has fought all of these actions and has been
successful in getting a number of them dismissed through summary
judgment, special exceptions, or voluntary withdrawal by the
plaintiff.

In June 2003, Chubb Indemnity was also named in a number of
similar cases in Cuyahoga, Mahoning, and Trumbull Counties in
Ohio. The allegations and the damages sought in the Ohio actions
are substantially similar to those in the Texas actions.

In May 2005, the Ohio Court of Appeals sustained the trial
court's dismissal of a group of nine cases for failure to state
a claim. Following the appellate court's decision, Chubb
Indemnity and other non-affiliated insurers were dismissed from
the remaining cases filed in Ohio, except for a single case
which had been removed to federal court and transferred to the
federal asbestos Multidistrict Litigation. There has been no
activity in that case since its removal.

Based in Warren, New Jersey, The Chubb Corporation offers
homeowners insurance for yacht owners. The Company also offers
property/casualty insurance to companies. The Company's other
specialty commercial insurance includes policies written for
marine, surety, and financial institutions.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Argonaut Group Notes US$86M for IBNR Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Argonaut Group Inc. reports that its reserves for incurred but
not reported (IBNR) asbestos and environmental net of
reinsurance was US$86 million at December 31, 2005, according to
a Securities and Exchange Commission report.

This compares to US$89.4 million as of December 31, 2004 and
US$99.6 million as of December 31, 2003.

Management uses various actuarial methods to determine its best
estimate of losses for the run-off lines in total, which
resulted in a range of potential ultimate liability, net of
reinsurance, of $145.4 million to $256.6 million.

The report year method relies most heavily on the Company's
historical claims and severity information while other methods
rely more heavily on industry information.

Total reserves for run-off lines as of December 31, 2005 were
US$183.6 million, net of reinsurance, including reserves for
asbestos and environmental claims of US$154.3 million.

The reserve for incurred but not reported claims for the
remaining run-off lines net of reinsurance was US$12.0 million
as of December 31, 2005, compared to US$12.7 million and US$11.8
million as of December 31, 2004 and 2003, respectively.

Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Argonaut Group Inc. is a
holding company that underwrites specialty property & casualty
insurance products throughout the US.


ASBESTOS ALERT: NewMarket Corp. Defends Against Premises Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
NewMarket Corporation defends against asbestos-related personal
injury lawsuits, which involve exposure in premises owned or
operated, or formerly owned or operated, by NewMarket
subsidiaries, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission
report.

Most of these multiple-defendant cases are pending in Texas,
Louisiana, or Illinois. The Company has never manufactured, sold
or distributed asbestos-containing products.

During the 2005-2nd quarter, the Company agreed with Travelers
Indemnity Co. to resolve certain long standing issues regarding
its coverage for certain premises asbestos claims. The Travelers
agreement provides a procedure for allocating defense and
indemnity costs with respect to certain future premises asbestos
claims.

The Company also settled its outstanding receivable from
Albemarle Corp. for certain premises asbestos liability
obligations. The outstanding amount owed to the Company by
Albemarle was adjusted to US$1.4 million, compared to US$4
million at year-end 2004. Albemarle paid the Company US$1.4
million in the 2005-3rd quarter. These settlements resulted in
an aggregate gain of US$3.9 million.

The Company has provided an undiscounted liability related to
premises asbestos claims of US$10 million at both year-end 2005
and year-end 2004.

The receivable for these recoveries related to premises asbestos
liabilities was US$8 million at December 31, 2005 and US$5
million at December 31, 2004.


COMPANY PROFILE

NewMarket Corporation
330 S. 4th St.
Richmond, VA 23219-4350
Phone: 804-788-5000
Fax: 804-788-5688
Toll Free: 800-625-5191
http://www.newmarket.com

Fiscal Year-End:                  December
2005 Sales (mil.):                US$1,075.5
1-Year Sales Growth:              20.3%
2005 Net Income (mil.):           US$42.4
1-Year Net Income Growth:         28.1%
2005 Employees:                   1,126
1-Year Employee Growth:           (0.8%)

Description:
Restructured in June 2004, NewMarket Corp. became a holding
entity for two operating subsidiaries: Afton Chemical (formerly
Ethyl Petroleum Additives), which manufactures petroleum
additives, and Ethyl, which produces the antiknock additive
tetraethyl lead (TEL).


ASBESTOS ALERT: Crowley Maritime Faces Toxic Claims in MI, OH
-------------------------------------------------------------
Crowley Maritime Corporation presently faces, together with
other ship owners and numerous other defendants, 16,000 maritime
asbestos and other toxic tort cases filed in the Federal Courts
in Cleveland, OH and Detroit, MI, according to a Securities and
Exchange Commission report.

Each of these cases alleges injury or illness based upon
exposure to asbestos or other toxic substances and sets forth a
claim based upon the theory of negligence under the Jones Act
and on the theory of unseaworthiness under the General Maritime
Law.

All Ohio and Michigan cases were transferred to the Pennsylvania
District Court for pretrial processing. On May 1, 1996, the
cases were dismissed subject to reinstatement in the future.
About 31 of the Ohio and Michigan claims have been reinstated
but the plaintiffs' attorneys are not actively pursuing the
cases.

Although nine years have passed since the dismissal, it is not
known whether a plan can be developed that will result in
settlement of the cases. If not settled upon reinstatement, the
cases should be remanded to the Ohio and Michigan Federal
Courts.

The Company is a defendant with others in about 88 asbestosis or
other toxic cases pending in jurisdictions other than the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania. These other jurisdictions
include state and federal courts located in Northern California,
Oregon, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Maryland and New York.

At December 31, 2005, the Company has accrued US$2.8 million as
its best estimate of the liability for pending asbestos and
toxic claims and has recorded a receivable from its insurance
companies of US$1.1 million related to the Company's asbestos
litigation.

In 2004 the Company settled certain asbestos-related claims that
involved seamen employed by the Company for over 30 years. The
Company paid US$2.1 million and US$4.2 million related to this
litigation in the first and second quarters of 2004,
respectively.

In October 2004, the Company submitted demanded, from certain
insurance underwriters, settlement amounts and defense costs
paid. In November 2004, the Company sued the insurance
underwriters, in which the case is currently in discovery.


COMPANY PROFILE

Crowley Maritime Corporation
155 Grand Ave.
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-251-7500
Fax: 510-251-7788
http://www.crowley.com

Description:
Crowley Maritime Corp.'s Liner Services unit provides scheduled
transportation of containers, trailers, and other cargo, mainly
between ports in the US, the Caribbean, and Latin America, plus
logistics services. Other units transport oil and chemical
products and oil field equipment and provide ship escort
services.


ASBESTOS ALERT: KS Court Dismisses Suit to Favor 13 EU Insurers
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Kansas District Court granted 13 insurance firms' motions to
dismiss, on lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue,
asbestos insurance-related litigation against TH Agriculture &
Nutrition LLC.

Judge John Lungstrum heard Case No. 05-2423 JWL, which was
decided on February 17, 2006.

THAN sought damages and declaratory relief for defendants'
alleged breach of insurance policies arising from lawsuits
brought against THAN throughout the US relating to claimants'
exposure to asbestos.

Defendants total 13 insurance firms, including five from The
Netherlands, six from the United Kingdom, one from Germany, and
one of which is incorporated in Belgium with its principal place
of business in The Netherlands.

THAN is a a subsidiary of Philips Electronics North America
Corp., which in turn is a subsidiary of Koninklijke Philips
Electronics NV.

Defendants provided primary and excess coverage to Philips for
the period from December 31, 1997, through December 31, 2001.
THAN is insured under the policies by virtue of its nature as a
direct or indirect subsidiary of Philips.

THAN defended against more than 14,000 asbestos claims filed in
various state and federal courts across the US. Some of those
claims have been dismissed, THAN has settled other claims, and
more than 11,000 claims remain pending against THAN.

The Court further ordered that THAN's motion to strike is
granted in part and denied in part.

Kenneth H. Frenchman, Robin L. Cohen, Dickstein Shapiro Morin &
Oshinsky LLP, New York, NY, Michael J. Abrams, Stacy M. Andreas,
Lathrop & Gage, LC, Kansas City, MO, represented TH Agriculture
and Nutrition LLC.

Karalee C. Morell, Richard A. Ifft, Thomas W. Brunner, Wiley,
Rein & Fielding, Washington, DC, Dan Biles, Gates, Biles,
Shields & Ryan, PA, Michael G. Norris, Norris & Keplinger,
L.L.C., Neely L. Fedde, Timothy M. O'Brien, Shook, Hardy & Bacon
L.L.P., Overland Park, KS, C. Kinnier Lastimosa, Kirk C.
Jenkins, Richard J. Geddes, Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold
LLP, Chicago, IL, represented the Defendants.


ASBESTOS ALERT: WC Maloney, Caltrans Fined $7,700 for CAA Breach
----------------------------------------------------------------
The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a US$7,700
fine to W.C. Maloney Inc. and the California Department of
Transportation (Caltrans) for allegedly violating federal Clean
Air Act asbestos regulations, the Central Valley Business Times
reports.

EPA and California Air Resources Board inspectors found that
Maloney and Caltrans failed to submit a written notification of
its intent to demolish the Adobe Road Overcrossing Bridge at
Interstate 5 and Adobe Road in Red Bluff before demolition
began.

The EPA deemed Maloney and Caltrans' failure to notify a federal
CAA violation.

In 2003, Caltrans hired Maloney to demolish the bridge.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen that the EPA has determined as a
hazardous air pollutant.


COMPANY PROFILE

W.C. Maloney Inc.
Post Office Box 30326
Stockton, California 95213-0326
Phone: (209) 942-1129
Fax: (209) 942-2579
http://www.wcmaloney.com/

Description:
The Company is a concrete sawing, drilling, and demolition
contractor.


                    New Securities Fraud Cases


H&R BLOCK: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP, initiated
a class action on behalf of purchasers of the securities of H&R
Block Inc. (NYSE:HRB), between February 24, 2004 and March 14,
2006, inclusive.  The suit seeks to pursue remedies under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The action, numbered 06-CV-2204, is pending in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York against defendants
H&R, Mark A. Ernst (CEO, Chairman and President), William L.
Trubeck (CFO) and Jeffery W. Yabuki (COO until Dec. 2005).

The Complaint alleges that H&R's Class Period financial
statements, disseminated in press releases and SEC filings, were
materially false and misleading for the following primary
reasons: H&R improperly accounted for its state effective income
tax rate, thereby materially overstating its revenues in 2004
and 2005, which caused its securities to trade at artificially
inflated prices; and H&R derived a material portion of its
revenues from the deceptive marketing of its Express IRA
product.  Such practices were inherently unsustainable,
subjected H&R Block to potential regulatory, civil and criminal
liability, and posed an undisclosed risk to the Company and
investors.

Defendants were motivated to engage in the wrongdoing alleged
herein so that H&R insiders could sell their personally held H&R
stock at artificially inflated prices.  During the Class Period,
H&R insiders sold a total of 1,941,118 shares of H&R stock for
proceeds of $50,610,601.

On February 23, 2006, after the close of ordinary trading, H&R
issued a press release announcing that it would restate
previously issued financial reports for 2004 and 2005 because it
improperly accounted for its corporate taxes.  In response to
this announcement, the price of H&R common stock dropped by 8.6%
in one day, from $25.19 per share on February 23, 2006 to $23.01
per share on February 24, 2006, on unusually heavy trading
volume.

Then, on March 15, 2006, the office of the New York Attorney
General announced the filing of a civil complaint, in New York
State Supreme Court, alleging that H&R failed to disclose fees
and expenses on the Company's "Express IRA" product to
approximately 500,000 clients that signed up for the account.
According to the lawsuit, the retirement accounts at issue
generated more in fees for H&R than interest for the client
account holders.  In response to this announcement, the price of
H&R common stock dropped by $1.37 per share, or 6.2%, to $20.63
per share, on unusually heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman, Peter E. Seidman
and Andrei V. Rado of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP, One
Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl., New York, NY, 10119-0165, Phone:
(800) 320-5081, E-mail: sfeerick@milbergweiss.com, Web site:
http://www.milbergweiss.com.


H&R BLOCK: Marc S. Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in Miss.
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a class action in
the in the U.S. District Court Western District of Missouri,
Western Division, on behalf of all persons who purchased the
common stock of H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) between January 31,
2005 through March 14, 2006, inclusive.  The defendants are HRB
and Mark A. Ernst, the Company's Chairman, President, and CEO.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading
statements throughout the Class Period that had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's
securities.

In particular, in February 2005, California Attorney General
Bill Lockyer sued the Company over its highly publicized
referral anticipation loans (RALs) seeking "hundreds of millions
of dollars" on behalf of customers and $20 million in civil
penalties.  Mr. Lockyer's action joins a long list of lawsuits
that have targeted HRB's RALs -- cash advances that the Company
arranges for customers so they won't have to wait an extra one
to four weeks for a check from the federal government they are
otherwise entitled to receive.  In return for the loans,
customers must agree to give a percentage of their tax refunds
to HRB and its banking partners.

Further, the Company reported inflated earnings during the Class
Period.  As reported on or about February 23, 2006, the Company
must restate results for fiscal 2004 and 2005, plus previous
2006 quarters, because of errors in calculations regarding its
state effective income tax rate.  Reportedly, the errors
resulted in the Company understating state income tax
liabilities by at least $32 million as of the end of April 2005.
Indeed, on March 13, 2006, the Company announced it would delay
filing its quarterly report on SEC Form 10-Q until it has
completely sorted out its problems.

Finally, on March 15, 2006, New York Attorney General Elliot
Spitzer sued HRB alleging that the Company over the last four
years opened more than 500,000 "Express IRA" accounts, an
individual retirement account ("IRA") that can take the form of
either a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, for clients of its tax-
preparation service; but 85% of the customers who opened the
accounts paid the Company fees in excess of what they earned in
interest.  According to Mr. Spitzer's complaint, the program
exploited lower income, working families who were led to believe
the plan presented an excellent opportunity to save for
retirement.

Mr. Spitzer's complaint further avers that Mr. Ernst was aware
of the improper fee practices along with other high-ranking
members of management.

Revelations concerning the Company's improper practices
concerning the Express IRA scheme hammered the Company's stock.
By late afternoon trading on March 15, 2006, the Company's price
per share was down 5.5% at $20.28; earlier, shares traded as low
as $19.80 per share, passing the previous 52-week low of $21.58
set on March 16, 2006.

HRB's use of these improper practices served to artificially
inflate the Company's reported earnings during the Class Period
because the Company's earnings were generated through an
improper and unsustainable business practice.  Accordingly, the
Company's Class Period statements concerning its compliance with
applicable laws and regulations were false.

Also, the Company, having disclosed the existence of -- and
touted the success of -- the Express IRA plan and the RALs
program, was obligated to disclose the risks associated with the
business, including that members of management, e.g., Mr. Ernst,
were aware that these plans (or at least how they were
implemented) ran afoul of certain regulations. Failure to
disclose this information constituted material omissions, the
ultimate disclosure of which harmed the Company's stockholders.

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel, Esq. of The Law
Offices of Marc S. Henzel, 273 Montgomery Ave, Suite 202 Bala
Cynwyd, PA 19004-2808, Phone (888) 643-6735 or (610) 660-8000,
Fax: (610) 660-8080, E-mail: Mhenzel182@aol.com, Web site:
http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182.


NORTHFIELD LABORATORIES: Marc S. Henzel Files Stock Suit in Ill.
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a class action in
the in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois, on behalf of purchasers of Northfield Laboratories,
INC. (NasdaqNM: NFLD) securities during the class period between
February 20, 2004 and February 21, 2006, including purchasers in
the May 2004 and February 2005 stock offerings, who have been
damaged thereby.

The Complaint charges defendants with violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Securities Act of 1933.  The
complaint alleges that during the class period defendants issued
a series of materially false and misleading statements regarding
the safety profile and history of PolyHeme, a blood substitute,
by failing to disclose the data from the ANH study concerning
ten patients who had heart attacks within seven days of taking
PolyHeme, that two of those patients died and that none of the
patients taking real blood experienced heart attacks.

On February 22, 2006, a story in The Wall Street Journal
reported that the data available to defendants from the ANH
clinical trial, but not to the public, revealed that ten of 81
patients who received PolyHeme suffered a heart attack within
seven days, and two of those died.  The data further showed
defendants that none of the 71 patients in the ANH clinical
trial who received real blood were found to have suffered a
heart attack.  In the aftermath of receiving this data,
defendants shut down the ANH clinical study in 2000 and kept
this highly adverse data hidden from the public view.

Defendants in a press release on February 22, 2006, responding
to The Wall Street Journal article, did not dispute the data
concerning the patient heart attacks and deaths from the ANH
clinical trial.  Rather, defendants admit that they did not
publish the data concerning patient heart attacks and deaths,
and defendant Gould stated in the press release that "we believe
that publishing the full data upon closing the study, would have
shown that PolyHeme could not be isolated as the cause of the
observed serious adverse events."

The market was stunned by the disclosure of the secret; adverse
data from the long-closed ANH clinical trial and the market
price of Northfield's common stock fell with the belated
disclosures.  On February 21, 2006, the day before the
disclosure by The Wall Street Journal, Northfield's common stock
closed at a price of $12.23 per share.  On February 22, 2006, on
extraordinary volume of more than 4.1 million shares,
Northfield's common stock closed at a price of $11.64 per share.
The price continued to drop as the market absorbed all of the
news, including the announcement on February 24, 2006, by U.S.
Senator Charles E. Grassley, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance
Committee, that he has begun an inquiry into the matter.

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel, Esq. of The Law
Offices of Marc S. Henzel, 273 Montgomery Ave, Suite 202 Bala
Cynwyd, PA 19004-2808, Phone (888) 643-6735 or (610) 660-8000,
Fax: (610) 660-8080, E-mail: Mhenzel182@aol.com, Web site:
http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182.


NORTHFIELD LABORATORIES: Law Firms Lodge Securities Suit in Ill.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Shalov Stone & Bonner, LLP, and Sarraf Gentile, LLP, initiated a
class action on March 17, 2006, on behalf of investors in
Northfield Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLD), securities between
February 20, 2004, and February 21, 2006.  The lawsuit is
pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois against Northfield Laboratories and Steven A. Gould,
the company's chief executive officer.

The complaint alleges that, throughout the relevant period, the
defendants failed to disclose and misrepresented material
adverse facts which were known to the defendants or recklessly
disregarded by them and which caused the defendants to issue
materially false and misleading financial statements and
projections which, among other things, caused the price of
Northfield Laboratories stock to trade at artificially inflated
prices.

For more details, contact Thomas G. Ciarlone, Jr., at Shalov
Stone & Bonner, LLP, 485 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1000, New York,
New York 10018, Phone: (212) 239-4340, Fax: 212-239-4310, E-
mail: tciarlone@lawssb.com, Web site: http://www.lawssb.com.


PAINCARE HOLDINGS: Goldman Scarlato Lodges Fla. Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Goldman Scarlato & Karon, P.C., initiated a lawsuit in the U.S.
District Court for the Middle District of Florida, on behalf of
persons who purchased or otherwise acquired publicly traded
securities of PainCare Holdings, Inc. (AMEX:PRZ) between August
27, 2002 and March 15, 2006, inclusive.  The lawsuit was filed
against PainCare and certain officers and directors.

The complaint alleges that Defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.  Specifically, the complaint alleges
that Defendants overstated the Company's financial health.
According to the Complaint, PainCare, whose principal growth was
by acquisitions, failed to account for numerous acquisitions in
accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
("GAAP").

On March 15, 2006, the Company announced that it would have to
restate its financials dating back to 2000 in order to rectify
its accounting for its acquisitions.  In reaction to the news,
shares have sunk to $1.87 per share, from a Class Period high of
$5.25 per share.

For more details, contact Brian Penny, Esq. of The Law Firm of
Goldman Scarlato & Karon, P.C., Phone: 888-753-2796, E-mail:
info@gsk-law.com.



                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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

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

Copyright 2006.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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