CAR_Public/060901.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Friday, September 1, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 174

                            Headlines

BAYER AKTIENGES: Faces Suit in Ark. Over Rice Contamination
B.P. AMERICA: Payouts Distributed to Calif. Oil Spill Victims
CHICAGO BOARD: Faces Litigation in Del. Over Restructuring
CINGULAR AMERITECH: Faces Suit in Mich. Over Cell Phone Charges
CITIGROUP GLOBAL: N.Y. Court Refuses to Lift Discovery Stay

DOMINION HOMES: Rescission Motion Denied in Ohio Consumer Suit
DOMINION HOMES: Still Faces Ohio Condominium Homeowners' Suit
DOMINION HOMES: Still Faces Ohio Suit Over Down Payment Program
HOSPITALS: Alaska Hospitals Face Suit Over Billing Practices
KOLE IMPORTS: Recalls Baby 2 Pack Pacifiers for Choking Hazard

LUTRON ELECTRONICS: Recalls Dimming Ballast Posing Shock Hazard
MICROSOFT CORP: Neb. Schools Get Windfall From $22.6M Settlement
NEW YORK: Appeals Court Refutes County Strip Search Suit Ruling
PANTRY INC: N.C. Court Partially Dismisses "Barton" Wage Suit
PETERS AND FREEDMAN: May Face RICO Act Violations Lawsuit

PREMCOR INC: Settles Ground Contamination Suit in Ill. for $8M
SYRATECH CORP: Recalls Lawn Sprinklers After Reports of Breakage
TENNESSEE: Court Okays Class in Suit Over Bail-Setting Process
TIME INC: Sued in Conn. Over Alleged Deceptive Billing Practices
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Plaintiffs in N.C. Lawsuit Settle Squabble

TOYOTA MOTOR: Nov. Hearing Set in Run-Flat Tires Suit Settlement
UNITED STATES: Nun Offers Autopsy as Evidence in WTC Lawsuit
U.S. BANK: Ill. Judge Dismisses Suit Over Mortgage Loan Fees
VEGAS GRAND: Settles Condominium Price Increase Suit in Nevada
WAL-MART STORES: Judge Orders Dismissal of New Jersey RICO Suit

WISCONSIN: County Wants Suit Over School Building Project Junked


                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allstate Corp. Sets Aside $1.32B for Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crown Cork Receives 3,000 New Claims in 2Q
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Pending Cases v. Tyco Int'l. Rise to 15,000
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ashland Reports 49,700 Pending Suits in 2Q
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chubb Corp. Records $1.059B Reserve in 2Q06

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Open Cases v. Allegheny Energy Rise to 842
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Remaining Case v. Altria Group Dismissed
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Maritrans Has 164 Asbestos & Tobacco Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens-Illinois Inc. Resolves 338,000 Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens-Illinois Has $497.4M Liability in 2Q

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exide's French Unit Has 64 Employee Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CBS Corp. Deals With 94,730 Claims in 2Q06
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Claims v. Albany Int'l. Decrease to 20,246
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Brandon Drying Reports 9,399 Injury Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Albany Int'l. Named in Mt. Vernon Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ameren, Utilities Report 72 Pending Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fairchild Still Faces Indemnity Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hanover Insurance Has $24.1M Reserves in 2Q
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chicago Bridge Faces 387 Pending Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: "Premises" Cases v. Huntsman Rise to 1,425

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Everest Re Group Has $542.5M Loss Reserves
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: General Cable Corp Faced With 40,850 Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: All Claims v. PNM Resources Inc. Dismissed
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crowley Has 15.3T Cases Pending in 2 States
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.S. Judge Postpones W.R. Grace & Co. Trial

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Calif. Woman Sues 7 Companies in Ill. Court
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scapa Renegotiates With Insurers for Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Kubota Corp. to Pay 13 Victims for Exposure
ASBESTOS ALERT: A&A Material to Pay JPY25M for Employee's Death


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

APPLE COMPUTER: Schatz & Nobel Announces Securities Suit Filing
J2 GLOBAL: Dyer & Shuman Investigates Stock Backdating Claims
KB HOME: Dyer & Shuman Investigates Stock Backdating Claims
SUNTERRA CORP: Sept. 11 Deadline Set for Lead Plaintiff Filing


                            *********


BAYER AKTIENGES: Faces Suit in Ark. Over Rice Contamination
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Law Firm Emerson Poynter initiated a lawsuit in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western
Division against Bayer Aktienges Ads and subsidiaries Bayer
CropScience U.S., Bayer CropScience LP, and Aventis CropScience
USA, Inc.

The suit, filed on behalf of all rice farmers in the U.S.,
charges the companies with negligence and breach of duty for
contaminating the nation's rice supply with unapproved
genetically engineered rice.

The lawsuit seeks damages on behalf of a class of farmers who
have suffered from the depression of rice prices due to the
contamination of the U.S. rice supply with genetically
engineered rice that is not approved for human consumption.

The complaint alleges that in mid-August 2006, it became public
knowledge that the company's nation's rice crop had been
contaminated with unapproved genetically engineered Bayer
CropScience rice as trace amounts were found in commercial rice
supplies in Arkansas and Missouri.

More than 100 varieties of rice are commercially produced in
primarily six states in the U.S. -- Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana,
Mississippi, Missouri and California -- and it is estimated that
the 2006 crop year would be valued at $1.88 billion with
approximately half being exported.

In 2005, 80% of the rice exported was the long-grain variety...
the type that has been contaminated.  Japan has banned all U.S.
long-grained rice imports and the European Union has said that
all U.S. long-grain rice will have to be tested by an accredited
laboratory using a validated testing method and accompanied by a
certificate before entering any of the member countries of the
EU.

The complaint came after the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
August announcement that genetically modified rice, developed
and tested by Bayer, had been found in samples taken from
commercial long grain rice.  Bayer's genetically modified rice
has not been approved for human consumption, according to a USDA
Press Office Fact Sheet Release No.0306.06 (Class Action
Reporter, Aug. 31, 2006).

Plaintiffs in the suit are Lonnie and Linda Parson.  They are
seeking, among others:

     -- an order certifying the lawsuit as a class action;

     -- an award of compensatory damages and pre- and post-
        judgment interest; and

     -- an order enjoining defendants from further contaminating
        America's rice supply with genetically engineered rice  
        that is not approved for human consumption.

A copy of the complaint is available free of charge at:

           http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?10af

The suit is "Parson et al. v. Bayer CropScience U.S. et al.,
Case No. 4:06-cv-01078-JLH," filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Arkansas under Judge J. Leon Holmes.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

    (1) John G. Emerson of Emerson Poynter LLP - Houston, 830
        Apollo Lane, Houston, TX 77058, Phone: 501-907-2555, E-
        mail: john@emersonpoynter.com; Scott E. Poynter of
        Emerson Poynter LLP - Little Rock, The Museum Center,
        500 President Clinton Avenue, Suite 305, Little Rock, AR
        72201, Phone: 501-907-2555, Fax: 501-907-2556, E-mail:
        Scott@emersonpoynter.com; and

    (2) Terry M. Poynter of Terry M. Poynter, P.A., Post Office
        Box 370, Mountain Home, AR 72654-0370, Phone: (870) 425-
        2196, E-mail: pgatty@mtnhome.com.


B.P. AMERICA: Payouts Distributed to Calif. Oil Spill Victims
-------------------------------------------------------------
Settlement checks were finally mailed this month to more than
200 people who sued B.P. America Inc. and other defendants
responsible for the American Trader tanker oil spill in early
1990, The Orange County Register reports.

Some 160 plaintiffs filed a class action against the defendants
seeking compensation for damages caused to the environment and
their livelihood by an oil spill off the coast of Huntington
Beach in California.

The suit was settled for $4 million in 2003, but it wasn't until
Aug. 10 that the checks were mailed.  After attorneys and other
fees, the plaintiffs were left with about $3.68 million.  Under
the settlement, plaintiffs will get up to $350,000 or generally
92% each of the amount they are owed.

One of the plaintiffs' attorneys is Marc M. Seltzer, partner at
Susman Godfrey L.L.P., Suite 950, 1901 Avenue of the Stars, Los
Angeles, California 90067-6029 (Los Angeles Co.), Phone: 310-
789-3100, Fax: 310-789-3150.


CHICAGO BOARD: Faces Litigation in Del. Over Restructuring
----------------------------------------------------------
CBOT Holdings, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, the Board
of Trade of the City of Chicago, Inc., filed a purported class
action against the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc.

The lawsuit seeks to enforce the rights of the CBOT's full
members to participate in the CBOE's restructuring.  It also
seeks, among other things, an injunction requiring the CBOE to
allow the full members of the CBOT who hold an Exercise Right
and meet certain other requirements to participate equally in
any distribution of CBOE stock, as the CBOT claims are required
by the CBOE's own Certificate of Incorporation and subsequent
agreements between the CBOT and CBOE.

The lawsuit was filed on Aug. 23, 2006 in the Delaware Court of
Chancery.  Besides CBOT Holdings and the CBOT, plaintiffs
include representatives of the class of CBOT full members.  The
CBOE's Board of Directors is also named as defendants.

For more details, contact Hugh R. McCombs, Phone: +1 312 701
7357, Fax: +1 312 706 8653, E-mail: hmccombs@mayerbrownrowe.com,
Web site: http://www.cbot.com.


CINGULAR AMERITECH: Faces Suit in Mich. Over Cell Phone Charges
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cingular Ameritech Mobile Communications, L.L.C. is a defendant
in a purported class action pending in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Michigan over its Roadside
Assistance charge.

Originally, Margaret Moffat filed the suit in Circuit Court in
Wayne County, Michigan, alleging that she was billed monthly
without consent for a Roadside Assistance program for over two
years.  Ms. Moffat was surprised by Roadside Assistance charges
on her monthly bill and claims no knowledge of ordering the
optional service.

The suit, which is being handled by Peter W. Macuga of Macuga
and Liddle, specifically alleges violation of local state
consumer protection act laws, breach of contract, and "unjust
enrichment."  The case was later transferred to the Michigan
federal court.

The case is based on a monthly $3 to $4 itemized charge showing
up on cell phone bills for a third-party service called Roadside
Assistance.  Cingular's Roadside Assistance is a third-party
extra offered by Asurion Insurance Services to Cingular
customers.  The fee is an automobile roadside insurance program.

The suit is "Moffat v. Cingular Ameritech Mobile Communications,
L.L.C., Case No. 2:06-cv-13107-DPH-WC," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan under Judge
Denise Page Hood with referral to Judge Wallace Capel.

Representing the plaintiffs is Peter W. Macuga, II of Macuga &
Liddle (Detroit), 975 E. Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, MI 48207-
3101, Phone: 313-392-0015, Fax: 313-392-0025, E-mail:
pmacuga@mlclassaction.com.

Representing the defendants are:

     (1) Veronica Gomez of Schopf & Weiss (Chicago), 312 W.
         Randolph, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60606, Phone: 312-701-
         9300, Fax: 312-701-9335. E-mail: gomez@sw.com; and

     (2) Alan C. Harnisch of Harnisch & Gadd, 300 E. Long Lake
         Road, Suite 200, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304-2376,
         Phone: 248-644-8600, E-mail: aharnisch@stroblpc.com.


CITIGROUP GLOBAL: N.Y. Court Refuses to Lift Discovery Stay
-----------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
denied plaintiffs' motion to lift a discovery stay to obtain
court documents in the case, "In Re Smith Barney Transfer Agent
Litigation" according to http://securities.stanford.edu.

The court determined that the stay did not unduly prejudice the
class in the case.

Shareholders sued Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. and Smith
Barney Fund Management LLC for securities fraud violations
pursuant to Section 10(b) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also sued Citigroup
and Smith Barney in a similar action that settled for $208
million.  Prior to the settlement, Citigroup and Smith Barney
produced hundreds of thousands of documents to the SEC.

Plaintiffs in the pending case sought to lift a discovery stay
that was imposed pending the defendants' motion to dismiss in
order to obtain the documents provided to the SEC.  Securities
fraud discovery stay mandatory.

Pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act,
pending a motion to dismiss, discovery must be stayed unless the
stay must be lifted to preserve evidence or prevent undue
prejudice to the plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs' discovery requests must be particularized in order
for the stay to be lifted.  Undue prejudice is unfair treatment
amounting to something less than irreparable harm, and a stay
will only be lifted upon showing of exceptional circumstances.  

The suit is "In Re Smith Barney Transfer Agent Litigation, Case
No. 1:05-cv-07583-WHP," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York under Judge William H. Pauley,
III.

Representing the plaintiffs is Joseph R. Seidman, Jr. of
Bernstein, Liebhard & Lifshitz, L.L.P., 10 East 40th Street
New York, NY 10016, Phone: (212) 779-1414, Fax: (212) 779-3218,
E-mail: seidman@bernlieb.com.

Representing the defendants are:

     (1) Robert Bruce McCaw of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (NYC),
         399 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022, Phone: 212-230-
         8810, Fax: 212-230-8888, E-mail:
         robert.mccaw@wilmer.com;

     (2) George Irvin Terrell, Jr. of Baker & Botts, 910
         Lousiana, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: (713) 229-1231,
         Fax: (713) 229-2831, E-mail:
         irv.terrell@bakerbotts.com; and

     (3) Michael O. Ware of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, LLP (NYC),
         1675 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, Phone: (212) 506-
         2500, Fax: (212) 262-1910, E-mail:
         mware@mayerbrownrowe.com.


DOMINION HOMES: Rescission Motion Denied in Ohio Consumer Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Dominion Homes, Inc. and several others were named as defendants
in a class action filed in Ohio over down payment assistance
funds.

On Feb. 21, 2006, a purported class action was filed against the
company, Dominion Homes Financial Services, named and unnamed
appraisers who have worked with the company, and unnamed
charitable organizations that have provided the company's
customers with down payment assistance funds in the last several
years.

Plaintiffs purport to bring the claim on behalf of purchasers of
the company's homes from 1999 to the present that received such
funds.

The complaint alleges that the defendants extended credit
without regard to the actual value of their homes, knowing that
the result would be higher default and foreclosure rates in its
communities.

The complaint seeks injunctive or declaratory relief,
compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorneys' fees and
costs.

On May 2, 2006, the company and DHFS filed a motion for judgment
on the pleadings with respect to plaintiff's claim for breach of
the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act on the grounds that this
claim was barred by the two-year applicable statute of
limitations.

On June 12, 2006, the court granted this motion with respect to
plaintiffs' claims for money damages under the OCSPA, but denied
the motion with respect to plaintiffs' claims for rescission.

Dublin, Ohio-based Dominion Homes, Inc. (NASDAQ: DHOM) --
http://www.dominionhomes.com/-- is a builder of homes in  
Central Ohio (primarily the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical
Area) and in the Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky markets.  
The company's customer-driven focus targets entry-level and
move-up homebuyers.


DOMINION HOMES: Still Faces Ohio Condominium Homeowners' Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Dominion Homes Financial Services, Ltd., and National City
Mortgage Co. remain defendants in a purported class action,
"Stuart, et al. v. Dominion Homes Financial Services, Inc., et
al.," which is pending in filed in the U.S. District Court,
Southern District of Ohio.

Filed on Feb. 21, 2006, the complaint includes claims for breach
of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraudulent
representations and material omissions in connection with the
financing of plaintiffs' condominium homes located in the
Village at Polaris Park (VPP), where the company has been unable
to obtain final Department of Housing and Urban Development
approval for Federal Housing Administration insured mortgages to
be sold to its customers.

The plaintiffs purport to bring the claim on behalf of
homeowners in VPP who purchased FHA mortgages through and from
the defendants.  

The complaint seeks damages, including actual damages, punitive
damages, and attorneys' fees and costs, for, among other things,
the alleged loss of certain FHA-insured mortgage features,
including loan assumability, and for the defendants' failure to
notify plaintiffs of the status of their mortgages.

The suit is "Stuart, et al. v. Dominion Homes Financial
Services, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:06-cv-00137-MHW-MRA," filed
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
under Judge Michael H. Watson with referral to Judge Mark R.
Abel.  

Representing the plaintiffs is Gary Michael Smith, Graham &
Graham Co. L.P.A., Graham Law Building, 17 N. 4th Street, P.O.
Box 340, Zanesville, OH 43702-0340, Phone: 740-454-8585, Fax:
740-454-0111, E-mail: gmsmith@grahamlpa.com.

Representing the defendants are:

     (1) James Edward Arnold of Clark Perdue Arnold & Scott - 2,
         471 East Broad Street, Suite 1400, Columbus, OH 43215,
         Phone: 614-469-1400, E-mail: jarnold@cpaslaw.com;

     (2) James Eugene Burke of Keating Muething & Klekamp - 1,
         One E. Fourth Street, Suite 1400, Cincinnati, OH 45202,
         Phone: 513-579-6400, Fax: 513-579-6429, E-mail:
         jburke@kmklaw.com; and

     (3) Joseph William Ryan, Jr. of Porter Wright Morris &
         Arthur - 2, 41 S. High Street, Suite 2800, Columbus, OH
         43215-6194, Phone: 614-227-2000, Fax: 614-227-2244, E-
         mail: jryan@porterwright.com.


DOMINION HOMES: Still Faces Ohio Suit Over Down Payment Program
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dominion Homes Financial Services, Ltd., its chairman and chief
executive officer, certain affiliates and current and former
officers, and The Nehemiah Corp. of America remain defendants in
a purported class action pending in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of Ohio.

The suit was filed on Feb. 23, 2006, by plaintiff homeowners,
who purchased homes from the company using Nehemiah down payment
assistance funds.

The complaint alleges, among other things, that plaintiffs
suffered financial injuries as a result of the defendants'
participation in fraudulent conduct by the company related to
the Nehemiah down payment assistance program in violation of
Federal statutes and Ohio law.

The complaint further alleges that defendants fraudulently
misrepresented and concealed the cost and operation of the
Nehemiah program from plaintiffs.  

Plaintiffs purport to bring the claim on behalf of customers of
the company who purchased a home from 1999 to present using down
payment assistance from Nehemiah.  They seek monetary damages
and attorneys' fees and costs.

The suit is "Rudawsky, et al. v. Borrer, et al., Case No. 2:06-
cv-00144-ALM-MRA," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Ohio under Judge Michael H. Watson with
referral to Judge Mark R. Abel.  

Representing the plaintiffs are Amy Gullifer and Gary Michael
Smith of Graham & Graham Co., L.P.A., 17 North Fourth Street,
P.O. Box 340, Zanesville, OH 43702-0340, Phone: 740-454-8585,
Fax: 740-454-0111, E-mail: gmsmith@grahamlpa.com and
aegullifer@grahamlpa.com.

Representing the defendants are:

     (1) James Edward Arnold of Clark Perdue Arnold & Scott - 2,
         471 East Broad Street, Suite 1400, Columbus, OH 43215,
         Phone: 614-469-1400, Fax: 614-469-0900, E-mail:
         jarnold@cpaslaw.com; and

     (2) Joseph William Ryan, Jr. of Porter Wright Morris &
         Arthur - 2, 41 S. High Street, Suite 2800, Columbus, OH
         43215-6194, Phone: 614-227-2000, Fax: 614-227-2244, E-
         mail: jryan@porterwright.com.


HOSPITALS: Alaska Hospitals Face Suit Over Billing Practices
------------------------------------------------------------
Two Alaska hospitals face a class action over allegations that
they charge uninsured patients higher prices than uninsured
patients for the same medical care, according to a report by
Margaret Bauman of the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

Alaska Regional Hospital is accused of routinely charging
uninsured patients discriminatory and excessive prices for
medical care.  The suit was filed Aug. 15 in Alaska Superior
Court in Anchorage by local law firm Northern Justice Project on
behalf of Yelka Maderlin Sanchez.

Ms. Sanchez was earlier sued by the hospital in the same
district for failing to pay the balance of her $2,897 bill,
which she believes excessive for the treatment she received for
stomach pain.  She is a full-time housekeeper and her employer
does not provide health insurance.  

Ms. Sanchez's suit asks a declaration that the hospital's
inequitable billing for insured and uninsured patients is
illegal.  It is also demanding damages for violations of
Alaska's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act.

A spokeswoman for Alaska Regional Hospital said the hospital was
aware of the accusations, but officials haven't been officially
served with the legal complaint.

In a separate suit, Providence Alaska Medical Center and
Providence Health Care Systems Alaska are accused of unfair,
unreasonable and excessive billing for medical care to uninsured
patients.  The suit was filed Aug. 16 in Alaska Superior Court
by attorney Bruce Stanford on behalf of Shannon Moran who is
uninsured and Robin Evans, whose minor child had needed
emergency services for complaint of chest pain.

Ms. Moran was billed $1,187 in hospital charges by Providence
Alaska Medical Center when she went to the hospital's emergency
room complaining of nausea.  Both Ms. Moran and the child of
Mrs. Evans were not hospitalized.

The hospital is further accused of engaging in unfair trade
practices and/or deceptive business practices, and breach of
duty.


KOLE IMPORTS: Recalls Baby 2 Pack Pacifiers for Choking Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kole Imports of Carson, California, in cooperation with the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling about 3,600
packages of "Baby 2 Pack" pacifiers.

The company said the pacifier's nipple can easily detach from
the guard, posing a serious choking hazard to young children.  
No injuries were reported.

The recalled pacifiers are rubber nipples attached to a white or
light blue plastic guard.  The cardboard packaging has a picture
of a baby, some toy blocks, a toy train engine and a diaper pin
with a bear on it.  The pacifiers are sold in packs of two.  
Writing on the front of the packaging includes, "Baby," "2 pack
Pacifiers" and "BI194."  The back of the packaging has an
American flag and the writing, "An American Company."

These "Baby 2 Pack" pacifiers were manufactured in China and are
being sold at discount dollar stores nationwide from August 2005
through March 2006 for about $1.

Picture of the recalled "Baby 2 Pack" pacifiers:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06170.jpg

Consumers are advised to take the recalled pacifiers away from
babies immediately and contact the retailer where they purchased
the pacifiers or Kole Imports for a full refund.

For additional information, contact Kole Imports toll-free at
(800) 874-7766 anytime or send an E-mail message to:
recall@koleimports.com


LUTRON ELECTRONICS: Recalls Dimming Ballast Posing Shock Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lutron Electronics Co. Inc., of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, in
cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is
recalling about 28,000 units of Tu-Wire ballasts used with
dimmable compact fluorescent lights.

The company said these ballasts, if not properly grounded in
accordance with the National Electrical Code, can present a risk
of electric shock to persons who come in contact with the
ballast or with a light fixture that incorporates the ballast,
such as when a consumer changes a fluorescent lamp bulb.  No
injuries were reported.

The recalled ballast is used to dim compact fluorescent lighting
fixtures.  The ballasts are not visible once installed.  The
ballasts were included with light fixtures sold under numerous
brand names.  Consumers should not touch these fixtures, since
they could pose a shock hazard.  

The fixtures with these ballasts have a 120 VAC application, the
fixture housing is for a 26W or 32W four-pin plug-in compact
fluorescent lamp installed after July 1998.  Most of the lights
were sold for commercial use, though some were sold for consumer
use.  

This recall does not involve light fixtures containing
incandescent or halogen lamps or fixtures with screw-in compact
fluorescent lamps or straight tube (linear) fluorescent lamps.

These recalled ballasts were manufactured in Puerto Rico and are
being sold by light fixture manufacturers, electrical
distributors and electrical contractors nationwide from July
1998 through May 2006 for about $120.

Pictures of the recalled ballasts:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06235a.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06235b.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06235c.jpg

Consumers are advised not to touch these fixtures, since they
could pose a shock hazard.  Consumers should contact Lutron
Electronics to arrange for free replacement of the recalled
ballasts.

For more information, contact Lutron Electronics toll-free at
(866) 793-4270 anytime, or visit http://www.lutron.com


MICROSOFT CORP: Neb. Schools Get Windfall From $22.6M Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fremont Public Schools in Nebraska received more than $53,000 in
vouchers from the $22.6 million settlement of a consumer class
action against the Microsoft Corp., The Fremont Tribune reports.

The law firm of Yost, Schafersman, Lamme, Hillis, Mitchell and
Schultz filed the suit on behalf of Nebraska schools in Dodge
County District Court.  The suit alleged that company violated
Nebraska's antitrust and unfair competition laws.

Under the settlement, the company agreed to issue up to $22.6
million in vouchers to Nebraska business officials and residents
who bought certain Microsoft products between Feb. 28, 1997, and
Dec. 31, 2002.  Since all individuals and/or businesses that
bought products did not file for vouchers, the unclaimed money
was then dispersed among Nebraska's public schools in need.

According to Mark Shepard, Fremont Public Schools business
director, based on Microsoft products purchased in the specified
time frame, the district originally received $18,000 in vouchers
to be used toward the purchase of any computer hardware and/or
software it chose.

For more details, contact Bob Hillis of Yost, Schafersman,
Lamme, Hillis, Mitchell & Schulz, PC, 81 West 5th St., Fremont,
NE 68025, Phone: (402) 721-6160.


NEW YORK: Appeals Court Refutes County Strip Search Suit Ruling
---------------------------------------------------------------
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court
was wrong in not granting class-action status to a suit filed by
people strip searched on misdemeanor charges in Nassau County,
1010 WINS reports.

The suit was against the Nassau County Correctional Center's
former blanket strip search policy for newly admitted detainees
held on misdemeanor charges.  Ten people contend they were
illegally strip-searched after they were arrested on misdemeanor
charges unrelated to weapons or drugs.  They had asked class-
action status for the suit for liability claims.

In 1999, a lower court judge ruled that the policy of strip-
searching misdemeanor detainees violated the Constitution.  The
county conceded and agreed to stop the strip-searching, and paid
the plaintiffs $35,000 each.  

The judge then said that a class action could free some county
officials named as defendants from liability should it be proven
that they had reasonable suspicion to warrant a search on
certain detainees.

In a recent ruling, the appeals court said that the lower court
was wrong to conclude that the defendants' concession of
liability eliminated common liability issues.  

Representing the plaintiffs is Jeffrey G. Smith.


PANTRY INC: N.C. Court Partially Dismisses "Barton" Wage Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North
Carolina granted in part and denied in part the motion to
dismiss the amended complaint in the purported class action
against, "Barton, et al. v. The Pantry, Inc."

The suit asserted claims on behalf of the company's North
Carolina present and former employees for unpaid wages under
North Carolina Wage and Hour laws.  

It was filed in the Superior Court for Forsyth County, State of
North Carolina in June 2004.  Plaintiffs in the suit are
Constance Barton, Kimberly Clark, Wesley Clark, Tracie Hunt,
Eleanor Walters, Karen Meredith, Gilbert Breeden, LaCentia
Thompson, and Mathesia Peterson, on behalf of themselves and on
behalf of classes of those similarly situated.

The suit sought an injunction against any unlawful practices,
damages, liquidated damages, costs and attorneys' fees.

On Aug. 17, 2004, the case was removed to the U.S. District
Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.  On Jul. 18,
2005, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint asserting certain
additional claims under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act on
behalf of present and former store employees in the southeastern
U.S.  It added one additional plaintiff, Chester Charneski.  

The plaintiffs have filed a motion to remand the case to the
Superior Court for Forsyth County, which is presently pending
before the federal district court.

The company filed a motion to dismiss parts of the amended
complaint on Aug. 23, 2005.  On May 17, 2006, the court granted
in part and denied in part the company's motion, with the result
that the court will now determine if the case may proceed as a
class action under state law and/or a collective action under
federal law and if so, who among the company's present or former
employees will be members of the classes.

The suit is "Barton, et al. v. The Pantry, Inc., Case No. 1:04-
cv-00748-NCT," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle
District of North Carolina under Judge N.C. Tilley, Jr.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Robert M. Elliot and J. Griffin Morgan of Elliot Pishko
         Morgan, P.A., 426 Old Salem Road, Winston-Salem, NC
         27101, Phone: 336-724-2828, Fax: 336-714-4499, E-mail:
         rmelliot@epmlaw.com; and

     (2) Charles Joseph of Joseph & Herzfeld, LLP, 757 Third
         Ave., 25th Floor, New York, NY 10017, Phone: 212-688-
         5640.  
        
Representing the company are Kimberly Jo Korando, Kirk Alan
Parry, Jr., Carl N. Patterson, Kerry A. Shad, Donald Hugh Tucker
of Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan, POB 2611,
Raleigh NC 27602-2611, Phone: 919-821-6671, Fax: 919-821-6800,
E-mail: kkorando@smithlaw.com, aparry@smithlaw.com,
cpatterson@smithlaw.com, kshad@smithlaw.com,
dtucker@smithlaw.com.


PETERS AND FREEDMAN: May Face RICO Act Violations Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------
American Homeowners Resource Center in Los Angeles, California
said at its Web site that a prominent class action lawyer
committed to file a class action under Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act against the law firm of Peters and
Freedman.

Peters and Freedman describes itself as a firm that provides
legal services to community associations.  It has offices in
Palm Desert and Encinitas.

Previously, AHRC said it receives several complaints from people
claiming they have been, among others, "harassed by numerous
threatening letters, statements in front of others, unsigned
letters that are proven to be coming from the same copy machine
as the bill from Peters and Freedman's office..."

AHRC on the Net: http://www.ahrc.com/
Peters and Freedman on the Net: http://www.hoalaw.com/


PREMCOR INC: Settles Ground Contamination Suit in Ill. for $8M
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Madison County Circuit Court granted preliminary approval to
the $8 million settlement of a class action that accuses
Premcor, Inc. and Equilon Pipeline Co. of contributing to the
build up of a 4 million-gallon lake of petroleum under the city
of Hartford, Illinois, according to the Belleville News-
Democrat.

The settlement, which was recently approved by Judge Dan Stack,
stipulates that $3.5 million of it will be legal fees handed
down to Goldenberg, Miller, Heller & Antognoli.  The final
approval for the hearing is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2007.

Seven Missouri attorneys filed the suit against Premcor Refining
Group Inc., Shell Oil and other oil companies in 2003, alleging
that the company's refinery created an underground pool of
gasoline whose vapors are causing damage to Hartford residents'
homes.  They proposed and obtained a positive ruling to make
Katherine Sparks as lead plaintiff in the suit.

In 2004, the Edwardsville firm of Goldenberg Heller Antognoli
Rowland Short & Gori in Illinois sued most of the same companies
for individual damages on behalf of 65 plaintiffs.  The number
has now increased to 120.

The Goldenberg Heller clients did not became part of the
"Sparks" class.  Apex Oil and Sinclair moved for
reconsideration, and Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack
granted it.  He did not decertify Ms. Sparks as class
representative in the Missouri suit.  Afterwards, Goldenberg
Heller negotiated with Premcor and Shell Oil on a settlement
that would apply throughout Hartford.  The parties reached a
settlement.

For more information, contact Teresa Woody at Stueve Siegel
Hanson Woody LLP, 330 West 47th Street, Suite 250, Kansas City,
Missouri 64112 (Cass, Clay, Jackson & Platte Cos.), Phone: 816-
714-7100, Fax: 816-714-7101.

For more details, contact Goldenberg, Heller & Antognoli, P.C.,
2227 S. State Route 157, P.O. Box 959, Edwardsville, Illinois
62025, Phone: (618) 656-5150, Fax: (618) 656-6230, E-mail:
info@ghalaw.com.   


SYRATECH CORP: Recalls Lawn Sprinklers After Reports of Breakage
----------------------------------------------------------------
Syratech Corp., of East Boston, Massachusetts, in cooperation
with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling
about 10,000 units of Elements decorative lawn sprinklers.

The company said the plastic body of the lawn sprinkler can
crack when placed under intense water pressure and pieces of it
can break off and be projected 5 to 10 ft. in the air.  This
could pose a risk of injury to consumers and bystanders.

Syratech has received two reports of the lawn sprinkler cracking
and projecting pieces of the decorative covering in the air.  
The company has no reports of injuries.

The recalled products are Elements lawn sprinklers with a
plastic decorative body mounted on wheels in the shape of a
green frog, blue fish or yellow duck sold under model numbers:

     -- Model No. 4005059 (Duck)
     -- Model No. 4005060 (Frog)
     -- Model No. 4005061 (Fish)

The model numbers are located on the side of the packaging.

Pictures of the recalled lawn sprinklers:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06246a.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06246b.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06246c.jpg

These decorative lawn sprinklers were manufactured in China and
are being sold at discount retailers nationwide from March 2006
through August 2006 for between $15 and $30.

Consumers are advised to stop using these sprinklers immediately
and return them to Syratech Corp. for a full refund.

For additional information, contact Syratech at (800) 471-3986
between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or by e-
mail: consumerservices@syratech.com


TENNESSEE: Court Okays Class in Suit Over Bail-Setting Process
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
granted class-action status to a lawsuit filed by Stephanie
Staley against Wilson County, which alleges that the county's
bail-setting process is unfair and unconstitutional, The
Tennessean reports.

The suit, "Staley v. Wilson County, et al.," was filed on Dec.
20, 2004, alleging that bail was set without any consideration
for plaintiff's particular situation.  

Court documents show that Ms. Staley was arrested three years
ago on a public drunkenness charge in Mt. Juliet.  Judicial
Commissioner Charles Churchwell allegedly set her bail
arbitrarily at $500, and later increased it to $2,500.

Ms. Staley argues that she was treated unfairly because factors
such as her employment and the natures of the offense weren't
considered when setting her bail.  Under state law those factors
must be taken into account as part of the constitutional
prohibition against setting "excessive" bail.

At issue in the case is the Eighth Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution, which forbids "excessive bail."  Tennessee law
also says certain factors must be taken into account in setting
bail, including the defendant's criminal history, the likelihood
that he will flee, his standing in the community, the severity
of the crime and the danger he poses to society if freed.

The suit is "Staley v. Wilson County, et al., Case No. 3:04-cv-
01127," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District
of Tennessee under Judge Aleta A. Trauger.

Representing the plaintiffs is Jerry Gonzalez of Jerry Gonzalez,
P.C., 102 Hartmann Drive, Suite G-157, Lebanon, TN 37087, Phone:
(615) 360-6060, Fax: (615) 360-3333, E-mail: jgonzalez@edge.net.

Representing the defendants are:

     (1) W. Carl Spining of Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford,
         P.O. Box 198985, 200 Fourth Avenue North, Suite 300,
         Nashville, TN 37219-8985, Phone: (615) 256-9999, Fax:
         (615) 726-1494, E-mail: cspining@ortalekelley.com; and

     (2) Kristin Ellis Berexa of Farrar & Bates, 211 Seventh
         Avenue, North Suite 420, Nashville, TN 37219-1823,
         Phone: (615) 254-3060, E-mail:
         kristin.berexa@farrar-bates.com.


TIME INC: Sued in Conn. Over Alleged Deceptive Billing Practices
----------------------------------------------------------------
Time Inc., a subsidiary of Time Warner, and Time's billing
operation in Tampa, Florida were sued by a Sports Illustrated
subscriber, claiming that the magazine sent him renewal letters
disguised as bills, thus tricking him into renewing his
subscription, The Hartford Courant reports.

Connecticut Taw lawyer Michael "Mickey" Lowitt filed the class
action in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut on
Aug. 23, 2006.

According to the suit, as Mr. Lowitt's subscription to Sports
Illustrated was about to expire, he started to receive a series
of letters claiming he owed the company money.  Mr. Lowitt paid
the "bill" in April 2005 but realized later he had unwittingly
renewed his subscription when it was not his intention to do so.

This past spring, Mr. Lowitt received another round of
delinquency notices that later turned out to be solicitations to
renew his subscription.

The suit is "Lowitt v. Time, Inc et al., Case No. 3:06-cv-01312-
AVC," filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Connecticut under Judge Alfred V. Covello.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Nancy A. Kulesa of Schatz & Nobel-Htfd of One Corporate
         Center, 20 Church St., Suite 1700, Hartford, CT 06103,
         Phone: 860-493-6292, Fax: 860-493-6290, E-mail:
         nancy@snlaw.net.

     (2) Samuel H. Rudman of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman
         & Robbins, LLP, Phone: 800-449-4900, E-mail:
         wsl@lerachlaw.com.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Plaintiffs in N.C. Lawsuit Settle Squabble
--------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit between tobacco farmers in North Carolina and lawyers
who represented them in a class action over price fixing in 2003
was settled out of court in August, according to Steeve Reed of
My Daily Record.com.

D. Keith Parrish, one of the original co-defendants in the case,
said the settlement of the follow-up case involved no payment
from defendants.  He said he was dismissed as defendant by the
plaintiffs a week prior to the Aug. 7 settlement.

The other defendants were Alexander J. Pires Jr. of Washington,
D.C.; the Washington-based law firm of Conlon, Frantz, Phelan &
Pires; D. Lamar DeLoach of Statesboro, Ga.; Guy W. Hale of
Alachua, Fla.; William Hyman of Conway, S.C.; and James R. Smith
of Tennessee.  They have been dismissed more than a year ago,
according to Ed Gaskins, the attorney representing them.

The suit by Jimmy K. Lee of Johnston County, William Denny Lee
of Erwin, Dale R. Lucas of Dunn, and Sammy Tant of Rocky Mount
is arguing that the defendants owed them money for participating
in a class action over price fixing.  Their suit was filed in
Johnston County Superior Court in 2004.  

Tobacco farmer Pender Sharp and cigarette makers settled the
price fixing suit in 2003 for $1.2 billion (Class Action
Reporter, May 26, 2003).  The lawsuit claimed that the companies
conspired to depress tobacco prices and dismantle the federal
price support program.   The companies participating in the
settlement are Philip Morris USA, Lorillard Tobacco, Brown &
Williamson Tobacco and three other smaller companies, Universal,
Dimon and Standard.


TOYOTA MOTOR: Nov. Hearing Set in Run-Flat Tires Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Samuel Conti of the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California will hold a fairness hearing on Nov. 17,
2006 at 10:00 a.m. regarding the settlement of the class action,
"Ciabattari v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. et al."

The lawsuit concerns Toyota Sienna vehicles, model year 2004,
2005, or 2006, produced on or before Sept. 17, 2005, that came
factory equipped with run-flat tires.  Dunlop SP Sport 4000 DSST
P225/60R17 and Bridgestone B380 P225/60R17 run-flat tires are
included in the settlement.

The Siennas that came factory-equipped with run-flat tires are
the AWD or mobility models.  The lawsuit says the defendants
should have known about the alleged tire wear problems, that the
tire pressure warning system and/or design of the vehicles cause
tire wear, and that the vehicles lack a spare tire and spare
tire storage space.  Defendants deny these allegations.

Defendants in the suit are:

     -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.;
     -- Toyota Motor North America, Inc.;
     -- Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America LTD; and
     -- Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC.

Lead plaintiffs are Mark Ciabattari, Jess Collinson, Scott
Pollack, Thomas Hunt, Kyle Bressler, Tom Pear, Stanley Monk,
Patricia and Michael Beaird and David Pollack.

The hearing will be at the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California, 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco,
California.

The settlement includes:

     * Toyota's Supplemental Tire Warranty

       Replacement run-flat tires for a period of 3 years or
       36,000 miles from the date of first vehicle use,
       whichever comes first, if the vehicle's run-flat tires
       need to be replaced for uneven or premature tire wear
       under normal use.  This warranty is limited to Class
       Vehicles originally equipped with Dunlop SP Sport 4000
       DSST P225/60R17 and/or Bridgestone B380 P225/60R17 run-
       flat tires.

       To receive coverage under the Supplemental Tire Warranty,
       the work must be done at an authorized Toyota dealer.

     * Reimbursement

       Class members who paid for replacement of their run-flat
       tires due to premature or uneven wear within the
       Supplemental Warranty period and before Aug. 7, 2006 will
       be reimbursed.

Deadline for exclusion and objection is Oct. 16, 2006.

A copy of the settlement agreement is available at:

             http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?10c2

For more details, contact: Run-Flat Tire Settlement, PO Box
6515, Portland, OR 97228, Phone: 1-800-572-1157 (toll free
number).

Class counsels        Mark F. Anderson, Esq.
--------------        Kemnitzer, Anderson, Barron & Ogilvie, LLP
                      445 Bush Street
                      Sixth Floor San Francisco, CA  94108

                      James E. Miller, Esq.
                      Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLC
                      65 Main Street
                      Chester, CT  06412

                      Robin E. Nackman, Esq.
                      Bernstein, Nackman & Feinberg
                      67 Wall Street, 22nd Floor
                      New York, NY 10005

Defense counsel       Thomas M. Riordan, Esq.
---------------       O'Melveny & Myers LLP
                      610 Newport Center Dr.
                      Newport Beach, CA 92660


UNITED STATES: Nun Offers Autopsy as Evidence in WTC Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------------
A nun who worked at Ground Zero after Sept. 11, 2001 asked a
lawyer heading a class action by volunteers made ill by toxic
air in the area to use her eventual autopsy as evidence in the
suit.

Sister Cindy Mahoney, who helped clean up Ground Zero after the
terrorist attack, spoke with attorney David Worby, asking him to
be her guardian, The New York Post reports.

Two class actions have been filed on behalf of individuals
exposed to Ground Zero toxins, according to the Web site of 9-11
Research http://911research.wtc7.net/index.html. One suit was  
filed in March 2004 by Berger & Montague, and names as
defendants:

     -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,

     -- Christine Todd Whitmann, former administrator of EPA,

     -- Marianne L. Horinko, former assistant administrator and    
        then administrator of EPA,

     -- Michael Leavitt, administrator of EPA since November
        2003

The lawsuit asked the court to establish and fund a program for
medical monitoring for conditions resulting from toxic
exposures.

In February, Judge Deborah A. Batts of U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York, ruled that a class action
brought on behalf of residents, workers and office workers in
Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn can proceed with respect to the
plaintiffs' allegations that Ms. violated the proposed class'
Fifth Amendment Constitutional right to be free from bodily harm
when she made materially misleading statements regarding the
safety of the air quality in Lower Manhattan shortly after Sept.
11, 2001 (Class Action Reporter, Feb. 6, 2006).

The Berger firm is working on this matter with Bert A. Blitz of
the New York law firm Shandell, Blitz, Blitz & Bookson, LLP.

In September 2004, the law firm of Worby, Groner, Edelman, &
Napoli, Bern, LLP initiated the first major class action on
behalf of Ground Zero cleanup workers and others against
managers, owners, controllers and leasors of the World Trade
Center complex (Class Action Reporter, Feb. 15, 2004.

Plaintiffs are seeking compensation for victims and to establish
funding for medical testing for all those exposed to these
poisons.

The second suit is "Aalbue et al. v. 1 World Trade Center LLC et
al., Case No. 1:06-cv-04702-AKH," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York under Judge Alvin K.  
Hellerstein.  Representing the defendants is James E. Tyrrell of  
Patton Boggs LLP, One Riverfront Plaza, Newark, NJ 07102, Phone:  
(973) 868-5600, Fax: (973) 639-7298.

Representing the plaintiffs is David E. Worby of Worby Groner  
Edelman LLP, 11 Martine Avenue, White Plains, New York  
10606,Phone: 914-686-3700 or 212-732-3410, Fax: 914-686-8080.


U.S. BANK: Ill. Judge Dismisses Suit Over Mortgage Loan Fees
------------------------------------------------------------
Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack dismissed a suit filed
by Lakin Law Firm over fees that U.S. Bank charges clients
making mortgage loans, The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

Judge Stack ruled on Aug. 18 that plaintiff Robert Shaw failed
to prove fraud or injury in the case.  The suit was filed in
2004, claiming that the $20 facsimile transmission fee and the
$27 fee to record a deed that U.S. Bank charges for clients
closing a mortgage loan is improper.

It turned out during a hearing that U.S. Bank paid more -- a
total of $29.50 -- to its contractor for recording the deed.  
Judge Shaw asked why the plaintiff did not protest against the
fees.  Attorney Paul Marks of the Lakin firm argued that clients
feel they are under duress.

According to the report, in the end, Judge Stack said, "I do not
think plaintiff can show an injury."

"It says they can charge this fax fee if you want it faxed, and
if you don't want it faxed then they don't charge it to you,"
according to him.

Representing the plaintiff is Paul Marks, associate at The Lakin
Law Firm, P.C., 300 Evans Avenue, P.O. Box 229, Wood River,
Illinois 62095-0229 (Madison Co.), Phone: 618-254-1127,
Telecopier: 618-254-0193.

Representing U.S. Bank is Joseph Whyte partner at Heyl, Royster,
Voelker & Allen, Suite 100, Mark Twain Plaza II, 103 West
Vandalia Street, P.O. Box 467, Edwardsville, Illinois 62025
(Madison Co.), Phone: 618-656-4646, Telecopier: 618-656-7940.


VEGAS GRAND: Settles Condominium Price Increase Suit in Nevada
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Brian E. Sandoval of the U.S. District Court for
the District of Nevada gave preliminary approval to a proposed
settlement of a class action brought against Vegas Grand
Condominiums Ltd. Partnership over cancelled contracts and
increase in prices for condo units, the Las Vegas Review-Journal
reports.

The court's preliminary approval allows that all claims asserted
by the purchasers will be settled without admission of any
wrongdoing on the part of Del American or Vegas Grand.

Under the settlement, amount for each class member will be
determined partly by the strength of their legal claims and the
amount of their earnest money deposit, attorneys for the
plaintiffs said.

The settlement stipulates:

     a. Payment of 2.5% of the gross sales proceeds of each
        condominium unit sold and closed at the project into a
        common settlement fund.

        If any or all of the project is sold, defendants
        shall pay $4,000 per unsold unit in buildings currently
        described Bella I or Bella II unit and $2,000) per unit
        in buildings currently described as Ana Capri, Villa
        D;'Este and Villagio;

     b. Payment from the common fund of attorneys fees to class
        counsel equal to 1/3 of the gross funds recovered via
        the settlement;

     c. Payment of costs in the amount of $117,310.22;

     d. Payment of service payment awards in the following
        amounts based on the time and effort each contributed:

        -- Thomas Blinkinsop        $30,000
        -- Trisha Blinkinsop        $25,000
        -- Jack Thompson            $25,000
        -- Maryann Thompson         $ 5,000
        -- Phillip Jorge            $ 5,000
        -- Barry Sands              $ 5,000
        -- Michael Courtney         $ 5,000
        -- Robert Leslie            $ 5,000
        -- Cynthia Leslie           $ 5,000
        -- Robert Dow               $ 5,000
        -- Constance Umidon         $ 5,000

     e. Distribution of the settlement according to the plan of
        allocation dated June 29, 2006 and agreed to by the  
        parties and made part of the settlement.

The court approves the use of CPT Group, Inc., as the settlement
administrator in this action, with administration costs to be
paid by defendants in the amount of $25,000.

Pursuant to the settlement, any costs of settlement
administration over and above the $25,000 paid by defendants
will be deducted from the Common Fund amounts prior to
distribution.

A settlement hearing is set on Nov. 17, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. in
the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, in the
courtroom of Judge Brian E. Sandoval.

On May 2005, Las Vegas attorney George O. West III filed a class
action against the developer of the Vegas Grand condominium
project located near the intersection of Flamingo Road and
Swenson Street (Class Action Reporter, May 24, 2005).

The suit -- filed on behalf of Nevada residents Thomas
Blinkinsop, Trisha Blinkinsop, John Thompson and Maryan Thompson
and California resident Phillip C. George -- contend that
reservation agreements are in full force and effect and that the
defendants' purported cancellation of their agreements is of no
legal force or effect, and they are entitled purchase of the
condominium unit at the project referenced in their agreement at
the price specified in their agreement.

Named defendants in the suit:

     -- Anacapri-D'Este, LLC;
     -- Bella Venezia, LLC;
     -- Capri-Este, LLC;
     -- Del American, Inc.;
     -- Nevada Title Co.;
     -- Vegas Grand Condominium Ltd Partnership;
     -- Vegas Grand Condominiums General Partner, Inc.;
     -- Vegas Grand General, LLC;
     -- Vegas Grand Limited Holding Co., LLC;
     -- Vegas Grand, Ltd.;
     -- VG General Partner, Inc.;
     -- Villa-D'Este, LLC; and
     -- Villaggio-Anacapri Condominium, LLC.

The suit was filed in Clark County District Court.  It alleged
breach of contract, fraud and deceptive trade practices, among
other allegations.

According to the suit, buyers signed reservation agreements and
made deposits of $10,000 to $25,000 possibly as early as
November 2003.  They were notified, however, the suit stated,
that in April 2005, the project was being "reconstituted."

The new option for reservation holders was to accept a discount
on new unit prices or have their deposits refunded, plus a 5
percent bonus.

The lawsuit claims that the new prices were nearly double the
original price and that "the defendants had no intention of
selling the condominium units to plaintiffs and the class
members for the original price."

A copy of the judge's order is available at:

              http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?108c

Details of the settlement will be mailed to everyone who entered
reservation agreements at Vegas Grand before April 25, 2005.

The suit is "Thomas Blinkinsop, et al. v. Vegas Grand
Condominium, LP, et al. Case No. 2:05-cv-00714-BES-RJJ," filed
in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada under
Judge Brian E. Sandoval, with referral to Judge Robert J.
Johnston.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Craig R. Anderson and Albert G. Marquis both of Marquis
         & Aurbach, 10001 Park Run Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89145,
         Phone: 702-382-0711, Fax: 702-382-5816, E-mail:
         canderson@marquisaurbach.com or
         amarquis@marquisaurbach.com;

     (2) Thomas G. Foley of Foley & Bezek, 15 West Carrillo
         Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, Phone: (805) 962-9495,
         E-mail: tfoley@foleybezek.com;

     (3) John M Schaefer of The Law Office of J. Michael
         Schaefer, 3930 Swenson St., Suite 103, Las Vegas, NV
         89119, Phone: 702-792-6710, Fax: 702-792-6721; and

     (4) Alan H. Shifrin of Alan H. Shifrin & Associates LLC,
         3315 Algonquin Rd, Ste 202, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008,
         Phone: 847-222-0500.

Representing the defendants are:

     (1) F. Christopher Austin and Laraine M I Burrell both of
         Greenberg Traurig LLP, 3773 Howard Hughes Pkwy, Suite
         500 North, Las Vegas, NV 89109, Phone: 702-792-3773,
         Fax: 702-792-9002, E-mail: austinc@gtlaw.com or
         burrelll@gtlaw.com;

     (2) David C. Castleberry and Thomas F. Kummer both of
         Kummer Kaempfer Bonner & Renshaw, 3800 Howard Hughes
         Pkwy., 7th Floor, Las Vegas, NV 89109, Phone: 702-792-
         7000, Fax: 702-796-7181, E-mail: dcastleberry@kkbrf.com
         or tkummer@kkbrf.com; and

     (3) Nikola Skrinjaric of The Law Office of Nik Skrinjaric,
         2500 N Buffalo Dr., Suite 150, Las Vegas, NV 89128,
         Phone: 702-251-5000, Fax: 702-000-0000.


WAL-MART STORES: Judge Orders Dismissal of New Jersey RICO Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Joseph A. Greenaway of the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey dismissed the Racketeering Influenced
Corrupt Organizations Act violation suit against Wal-Mart Stores
Inc., The Associated Press reports.

The judge ruled that the illegal immigrants who worked as Wal-
Mart janitors, failed to explain how any violations of U.S.
immigration law caused them economic harm.

According to the judge's 17-page opinion, the janitors failed to
link any immigration violations by the company to their claimed
injuries, saying "the RICO claims for immigration violations and
money laundering, the path from wrongdoing to injury is too
indirect to meet the proximate cause requirement."

In 2003, Wal-Mart was named defendant in a lawsuit, filed in
Newark, seeking class-action status for the janitors.  It
claimed that Wal-Mart conspired with contractors to violate the
RICO act, by systematically depriving the workers of legal
protections.

The suit alleged that Wal-Mart executives conspired with several
contractors to hire the illegal immigrants, who were paid $1,500
a month or less to clean stores seven days a week, with no
overtime or benefits.

According to the report, as part of the litigation, the janitors
obtained a 2003 affidavit by U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, where investigators said testimony and taped
conversations from 2003 showed two executives at Wal-Mart
headquarters knew that contractors and subcontractors cleaning
its stores in several states employed illegal immigrants from
eastern Europe and elsewhere.

A copy of the judge's opinion is available free of charge at:

         http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?10b2

The suit is "Zavala, et al. v. Wal-Mart Corp., et al., Case No.
2:03-cv-05309-JAG-MCA," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey under Judge Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr.,
with referral to Judge Madeline C. Arleo.

Representing the defendants is Robert H. Bernstein of Reed Smith
LLP, One Riverfront Plaza, 1st Floor, Newark, NJ 07102-5400,
Phone: (973) 621-3206, Fax: (973) 621-3199, E-mail:
rbernstein@reedsmith.com.

Representing the plaintiffs are James L. Linsey of Cohen, Weiss
& Simon, 330 West, 42nd Street, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10036,
Phone: 212 356-0214, E-mail: jlinsey@cwsny.com; and Michaelene
Loughlin of Loughlin & Latimer, 131 main Street, Suite 235,
Hackensack, NJ 07601, Phone: (201) 487-9797, E-mail:
mloughlin2@mindspring.com.


WISCONSIN: County Wants Suit Over School Building Project Junked
----------------------------------------------------------------
Walworth County has asked the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Wisconsin to dismiss a class action filed
against it over its plan to build a bigger school for children
with disabilities, The Janesville Gazette reports.

The suit was filed by the Disability Rights Wisconsin against
the county board of supervisors back in July 31, 2006 on behalf
of all school-age children with disabilities in Walworth County.  

It alleged that the building of a bigger Lakeland School
violates American Disability Act standards that require schools
to educate children in the most integrated and least restrictive
environment possible.

Jeffrey Spitzer-Resnick, the attorney representing DRW in the
case argued that building a bigger school further promotes
segregation of disabled students from mainstream society.

Attorneys for the counties contend that Disability Rights
Wisconsin did not identify anyone that was injured by the
proposed building project.  Therefore the DRW cannot bring a
lawsuit as a class action.

Despite the suit's filing the county has gone forward with its
plans to build the larger school.  On Aug. 8, the county board
approved schematic design drawings for the 105,000-square-foot
school.  It also approved a plan to transfer district-wide
special education to local school districts.

The suit is "Disability Rights Wisconsin Inc. v. Walworth County
Board of Supervisors, Case No. 2:06-cv-00813-RTR," filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin under
Judge Rudolph T. Randa.

Representing the plaintiff is Jeffrey D. Spitzer-Resnick of
Disability Rights Wisconsin, 131 W Wilson St. - Ste. 700,
Madison, WI 53703-3263, Phone: 608-267-0214, Fax: 608-267-0368,
E-mail: spitznick@drwi.org.

Representing the defendants are Ronald S. Stadler and Andrew T.
Phillips of Stadler Centofanti & Phillips, SC, 10140 N. Port
Washington Rd., Mequon, WI 53092, Phone: 262-241-1900, Fax: 262-
241-1910, E-mail: RSS@stadler-law.com and atp@stadler-law.com.

                         
                         Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allstate Corp. Sets Aside $1.32B for Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Allstate Corporation's reserves for asbestos claims were
US$1.32 billion, net of reinsurance recoverables of US$780
million, at June 30, 2006.

At Dec. 31, 2005, the Company's reserves for asbestos claims
were US$1.37 billion, net of reinsurance recoverables of US$831
million.

About 66 percent of the total net asbestos and environmental
reserves at June 30, 2006 were for incurred but not reported
estimated losses.

At Dec. 31, 2005, about 68 percent of the total net asbestos and
environmental reserves were for IBNR estimated losses.

Based in Northbrook, Ill., The Allstate Corp. sells auto,
homeowners, and other property & casualty and life insurance
products in Canada and the U.S.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crown Cork Receives 3,000 New Claims in 2Q
----------------------------------------------------------------
Crown Holdings Inc.'s subsidiary, Crown Cork & Seal Co.,
received about 3,000 new asbestos-related claims during the six
months ended June 30, 2006.

During the six months ended June 30, 2006, Crown Cork settled or
dismissed about 3,000 claims for a total of US$4 million and had
about 79,000 claims outstanding at the end of the period.

Crown Cork faces lawsuits filed throughout the United States by
persons alleging bodily injury as a result of exposure to
asbestos. These claims arose from the insulation operations of a
U.S. firm, the majority of whose stock Crown Cork bought in
1963. About 90 days after the stock purchase, this U.S. firm
sold its insulation assets and later merged into Crown Cork.

In May 2006, the State of South Carolina enacted legislation
that limits the asbestos-related liabilities under state law of
firms like Crown Cork that allegedly incurred these liabilities
because they are successors by corporate merger to companies
that had been involved with asbestos.

As of June 30, 2006, Crown Holdings' accrual for pending and
future asbestos-related claims was US$206 million, which
includes US$127 million for unasserted claims and US$5 million
for committed settlements that will be paid over time.

Asbestos-related payments were US$29 million for the full year
of 2005 and US$8 million for the first six months of 2006, and
Crown Holdings expects to pay about US$25 million for the full
year of 2006.

Based in Philadelphia, Pa., Crown Holdings Inc., formerly Crown
Cork & Seal Co., produces consumer packaging like aerosol cans,
food and beverage cans, paint cans, plastic bottles and other
containers, and a variety of metal caps, crowns, and closures.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Pending Cases v. Tyco Int'l. Rise to 15,000
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tyco International Ltd. and its subsidiaries recorded about
15,000 pending asbestos-related liability cases, as of June 30,
2006.

As of March 31, 2006, the Company and its subsidiaries faced
about 14,500 asbestos-related liability cases, an increase from
14,000 cases as of Sept. 30, 2005. (Class Action Reporter, May
26, 2006)

Tyco and some of its subsidiaries face personal injury lawsuits
based on alleged exposure to asbestos-containing materials. Most
of these cases have been filed against units in Healthcare and
Engineered Products and Services.

Most of the cases involve product liability claims, based on
allegations of past distribution of heat-resistant industrial
products with asbestos or the past distribution of industrial
valves that had asbestos-containing gaskets or packing. A number
of the cases alleged premises liability, based on claims that
individuals were exposed to asbestos while on a subsidiary's
property.

The Company's involvement in asbestos cases has been limited
because its subsidiaries did not mine or produce asbestos.

Based in Princeton, N.J., Tyco International Ltd. offers
security and fire-protection systems. The Company has been
reorganized into five main business segments: Fire and Security;
Electronics; Healthcare; Engineered Products and Services; and
Plastics & Adhesives.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ashland Reports 49,700 Pending Suits in 2Q
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ashland Inc. recorded 49,700 active pending asbestos-related
lawsuits as of June 30, 2006, in which plaintiffs have asserted
specific dollar claims for damages in about 5 percent of the
suits.

Ashland is subject to liabilities from claims alleging personal
injury caused by asbestos exposure. Those claims resulted from
indemnification obligations in 1990 related to the sale of Riley
Stoker Corp., a former subsidiary. Most of the suits filed
involve multiple plaintiffs and multiple defendants, with the
number of defendants in many cases exceeding 100.

In these active suits, about 0.3 percent involved claims between
US$0 and US$100,000; about 1.6 percent involved claims between
US$100,000 and US$1 million; less than 1 percent involved claims
between US$1 million and US$5 million; less than 0.2 percent
involved claims between US$5 million and US$10 million; less
than 2 percent involved claims between US$10 million and US$15
million; and less than .02 percent involved claims between US$15
million and US$100 million.

For the nine months ended June 30, 2006, the Company noted 169
open claims, compared with 185 claims for the same period in
2005. For the nine months ended June 30, 2006, the Company noted
four new claims filed, three claims settled, and 16 claims
dismissed.

For the nine months ended June 30, 2006, the Company's asbestos
reserve was US$643 million, compared with US$584 million for the
same period in 2005.

At June 30, 2006, the Company's receivable for recoveries of
litigation defense and claim settlement costs from insurers
amounted to US$476 million, of which US$60 million related to
costs previously paid.

Based in Covington, Ky., Ashland Inc.'s Chemicals unit has two
subsidiaries. Ashland Distribution buys chemicals and plastics,
then blends and repackages them for distribution. Ashland
Specialty Chemical makes specialty resins and polymers,
adhesives, and chemicals for water treatment. Valvoline operates
an oil-change chain and markets Valvoline motor oil and Zerex
antifreeze. APAC makes up the Transportation and Construction
unit and supplies asphalt and highway materials.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chubb Corp. Records $1.059B Reserve in 2Q06
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Chubb Corporation's gross loss reserves, which are related
to asbestos and toxic waste claims, were US$1.059 billion as of
June 30, 2006.

As of March 31, 2006, the Company's gross loss reserves related
to asbestos and toxic waste claims stood at US$1.102 billion,
compared with US$1.121 billion as of Dec. 31, 2005. (Class
Action Reporter, May 19, 2006)

As of June 30, 2006, the Company's net loss reserves, which are
related to asbestos and toxic waste claims, were US$1.010
billion, compared with US$1.071 billion as of Dec. 31, 2005.

The Company's reinsurance recoverable, which is related to
asbestos and toxic waste claims, was US$49 million as of June
30, 2006, compared with US$50 million as of Dec. 31, 2005.

Based in Warren, N.J., The Chubb Corp. is known for
comprehensive homeowners insurance for yacht owners. Chubb also
offers property-casualty insurance to companies. The Company's
specialty commercial insurance includes the lucrative executive
risk business that offers professional liability policies to
executives.



ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Open Cases v. Allegheny Energy Rise to 842
---------------------------------------------------------------
Allegheny Energy Inc. recorded 837 open asbestos-related cases
pending in West Virginia and five open cases pending in
Pennsylvania as of July 18, 2006.

As of March 31, 2006, Allegheny had 801 open asbestos liability
cases remaining in West Virginia and five open cases remaining
in Pennsylvania. (Class Action Reporter, May 26, 2006)

Allegheny's utility units, Monongahela Power Co.; the Potomac
Edison Co.; and West Penn Power Co., co-defend in pending
asbestos cases alleging bodily injury involving multiple
plaintiffs and multiple sites.

These suits have been brought by seasonal contractors' employees
and arise out of historical operations, i.e. the installation
and removal of asbestos-containing materials at Allegheny's
generation facilities.

Various foreign and domestic insurers, including Lloyd's of
London, insured Allegheny's historical operations.

Allegheny is involved in two asbestos insurance-related actions:
Case No. 21-C-03-16733 styled Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's,
London et al. v. Allegheny Energy Inc. et al., which is pending
in Washington County, Md., and Civil Action No. 03-C-281 styled
Monongahela Power Co. et al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's
London and London Market Cos., et al., which is pending in
Monongalia County, W.Va.

The parties in these actions are seeking an allocation of
responsibility for historic and potential future asbestos
liability.

Allegheny and numerous others are plaintiffs in an action filed
against Zurich Insurance Co. in California. Case No. CGC 04
431719 styled Fuller-Austin Asbestos Settlement Trust, et al. v.
Zurich-American Insurance Co., et al. is pending in the Superior
Court of California, County of San Francisco.

On July 3, 2006, Allegheny received the final installment
payment from one of its insurance companies in the amount of
US$625,000. Allegheny released this firm from future liabilities
associated with claims against it alleging asbestos exposure.

Based in Greensburg, Pa., Allegheny Energy Inc.'s Allegheny
Power unit distributes electricity to 1.5 million customers in
five states and natural gas to more than 200,000 customers
through utilities Monongahela Power, Potomac Edison, and West
Penn Power.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Remaining Case v. Altria Group Dismissed
-------------------------------------------------------------
Altria Group Inc.'s lone pending asbestos-related contribution
case, which was pending in a California court, was dismissed on
July 28, 2006 with prejudice.

The Group had faced cases, brought on behalf of former asbestos
manufacturers and affiliated entities against subsidiary Philip
Morris USA Inc. and other cigarette manufacturers. The cases
sought contribution or reimbursement for amounts expended in
connection with the defense and payment of asbestos claims that
were allegedly caused in whole or in part by cigarette smoking.

Based in New York City, N.Y. Altria Group Inc., through
subsidiaries Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris International,
has been selling the Marlboro brand of cigarettes since 1972.
The Group controls about half of the United States' tobacco
market.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Maritrans Has 164 Asbestos & Tobacco Cases
---------------------------------------------------------------
Maritrans Inc. has been named in about 164 cases in which
individuals alleged unspecified damages for exposure to asbestos
and tobacco smoke, according to the Company's quarterly report,
on Form 10-Q, for the period ended June 30, 2006 and filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The status of many of these claims is uncertain. The Company
said that any material liability would be covered by applicable
insurance.

Based in Tampa, Fla., Maritrans Inc. transports crude oil and
refined petroleum products along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of
the US from its main docking facilities in Tampa and
Philadelphia. The Company's vessels have a total carrying
capacity of 3.6 million barrels.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens-Illinois Inc. Resolves 338,000 Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Since receiving its first asbestos-related claim, Owens-Illinois
Inc. has disposed of the claims of about 338,000 plaintiffs and
claimants as of June 30, 2006, at an average indemnity payment
of about US$6,400 per claim.

The Company said that since receiving its first asbestos-related
claim, it has disposed of the claims of about 330,000 plaintiffs
and claimants as of March 31, 2006. The average indemnity
payment per claim was about US$6,500. (Class Action Reporter,
June 16, 2006)

From 1948 to 1958, one of the Company's former business units
produced and sold about US$40 million of a high-temperature,
calcium-silicate based pipe and block insulation material with
asbestos. The Company exited the pipe and block insulation
business in April 1958.  

As of June 30, 2006, the Company has determined that it is a
named defendant in asbestos suits and claims involving about
24,000 plaintiffs and claimants.

Based on an analysis of the claims and suits pending as of Dec.
31, 2005, about 89 percent of plaintiffs and claimants either do
not specify the monetary damages sought, or in the case of court
filings, claim an amount sufficient to invoke the jurisdictional
minimum of the trial court.

About 10 percent of plaintiffs plead damages of US$15 million or
less, and 1 percent of plaintiffs plead damages greater than
US$15 million but less than US$100 million. Less than 1 percent
of plaintiffs plead damages US$100 million or greater but less
than US$123 million.

Moreover, the Company has claims-handling agreements in place
with many plaintiffs' counsel throughout the United States.
The Company said that as of June 30, 2006 there are about 21,500
claims against other defendants and which are likely to be
asserted in the future against the Company.   

The Company also defends in other asbestos-related suits or
claims involving maritime workers, medical monitoring claimants,
co-defendants and property damage claimants. Certain of these
dispositions have included deferred amounts payable over a
number of years. Deferred amounts payable totaled about US$88
million at June 30, 2006, compared with US$91 million at Dec.
31, 2005.  

Beginning with the initial liability of US$975 million
established in 1993, the Company has accrued a total of about
US$2.99 billion through 2005, before insurance recoveries, for
its asbestos-related liability.  

Based in Toledo, Ohio, Owens-Illinois Inc.'s glass containers,
which account for 90 percent of sales, include bottles used to
hold beer, soft drinks, liquor, wine, and other beverages. The
Company also makes plastic healthcare packaging, including
prescription bottles, tamper-proof closures, and plastic medical
devices.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens-Illinois Has $497.4M Liability in 2Q
---------------------------------------------------------------
Owens-Illinois Inc.'s non-current asbestos-related liabilities
totaled US$497.4 million as of June 30, 2006, compared with
US$517.9 million for the same period in 2005 and US$572.1
million as of Dec. 31, 2005.

As of March 31, 2006, the Company's asbestos-related liabilities
were US$534.1 million, compared with US$554.7 million as of
March 31, 2005. (Class Action Reporter, May 5, 2006)

As of June 30, 2006, the Company's current portion of asbestos-
related liabilities were US$152 million, compared with US$162
million for the same period in 2005 and US$158 million as of
Dec. 31, 2005.

Asbestos-related payments for the six months ended June 30, 2006
was US$80.7 million, compared with US$86.3 million for the same
period in 2005.

Based in Toledo, Ohio, Owens-Illinois Inc.'s glass containers,
which account for 90 percent of sales, include bottles used to
hold beer, soft drinks, liquor, wine, and other beverages. The
Company also makes plastic healthcare packaging, including
prescription bottles, tamper-proof closures, and plastic medical
devices.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exide's French Unit Has 64 Employee Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Exide Technologies said that, since 1982, the French
governmental agency responsible for worker illness claims
received 64 employee claims alleging asbestos-related illnesses
from CEAC, the Company's subsidiary in France.

From 1957 to 1982, CEAC operated a plant using crocidolite
asbestos fibers in the formation of battery cases, which
encapsulated the fibers. About 1,500 employees worked in the
plant over the period.

For some of those claims, CEAC is obligated to and has
indemnified the agency in accordance with French law for about
US$378,000 in calendar 2004.

Moreover, CEAC has been adjudged liable to indemnify the French
agency for about US$107,000 during the same period for the
dependents of four of the claimants.

The Company was not required to indemnify or make any payments
in calendar year 2005 and through June 30, 2006.

Based in Alpharetta, Ga., Exide Technologies makes lead-acid
automotive and industrial batteries. The Company makes batteries
for farm equipment, golf carts, boats, and wheelchairs, as well
as back-up power supply batteries for telecommunications,
computer, and power plant systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CBS Corp. Deals With 94,730 Claims in 2Q06
---------------------------------------------------------------
CBS Corporation had about 94,730 pending asbestos-related claims
as of June 30, 2006, compared with about 101,170 claims as of
Dec. 31, 2005 and about 104,700 as of June 30, 2005.

Of the claims pending as of June 30, 2006, about 58,860 were
pending in state courts, 33,210 in federal courts and about
2,660 were third party claims.

In the 2006-2nd quarter, the Company received about 1,550 new
claims and closed or moved to an inactive docket about 5,120
claims.

As of March 31, 2006, the Company had about 98,300 pending
asbestos-related claims, compared with about 114,720 claims as
of March 31, 2005. (Class Action Reporter, May 26, 2006)

The Company defends in lawsuits claiming asbestos-related
personal injuries, which allegedly occurred from exposure caused
by various products made by Westinghouse, a predecessor that did
not make or produce asbestos, before the early 1970s.

The Company is named as one of a number of defendants in both
state and federal cases. In most of the suits, the plaintiffs
have not identified which of the Company's products is the basis
of a claim.

Claims against the Company in which a product has been
identified relate to exposures allegedly caused by asbestos-
containing insulating material in turbines sold for power-
generation, industrial and marine use, or by asbestos containing
grades of decorative micarta, a laminate used in commercial
ships.

Claims are frequently filed and settled in large groups. The
Company does not report as pending those claims on inactive,
stayed, deferred or similar dockets, which some jurisdictions
have established for claimants who allege minimal or no
impairment.

To date, the Company has not been liable for any third party
claims.

The Company spent about US$37.2 million in 2005, compared with
about US$58.4 million in 2004, for settlement and defense of
asbestos claims after insurance recoveries and net of tax
benefits.

Based in New York City, N.Y., CBS Corp. owns the CBS and UPN
broadcast networks (along with about 40 affiliated TV stations),
pay-TV's Showtime, TV production houses CBS Paramount Television
and King World, CBS Radio (180 stations), and the CBS Outdoor
advertising business.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Claims v. Albany Int'l. Decrease to 20,246
---------------------------------------------------------------
Albany International Corporation is faced with 20,246 asbestos-
related claims as of Aug. 4, 2006, compared with 20,726 claims
as of April 21, 2006 and 24,451 claims as of Dec. 31, 2005.

These suits alleged lung and other diseases based on exposure to
products previously made by the Company.

As of Aug. 4, 2006, about 13,641 of the claims pending against
Albany are pending in Mississippi, compared with 19,166 claims
as of July 22, 2005.

Albany produced asbestos-containing paper machine clothing
synthetic dryer fabrics marketed from 1967 to 1976 and used in
certain paper mills. Those fabrics had a useful life of three to
12 months.

The suits against the Company involve claims against about 20 to
more than 200 defendants, and the complaints fail to identify
the plaintiffs' work history or the nature of the plaintiffs'
alleged exposure to the Company's products.

Pleadings and discovery responses in those cases, in which work
histories have been provided, indicate claimants with paper mill
exposure in less than 10 percent of total claims reported. A
portion of those claimants has alleged time spent in a paper
mill to which the Company is believed to have supplied asbestos-
containing products.

A 2004 Mississippi Supreme Court decision rendered resulted in
the dismissal of a number of claims pending against the Company
in Mississippi and may continue to impact the remaining claims.
In about 2,582 cases the plaintiffs arranged for the removal of
their cases to Federal court.

As of Aug. 4, 2006, about 7,466 of the claims against the
Company pending in Mississippi are now in Federal court. Those
Federal Court claims are before the Federal Multidistrict
Litigation Panel for asbestos cases.

As of Aug. 4, 2006, the Company had resolved, by means of
settlement or dismissal, 19,648 claims. The total cost of
resolving all claims was US$6,671,000. Of this amount, 99
percent, or US$6,636,000, was paid by the Company's insurance
carrier.

The Company has about 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.

Based in Albany, New York, Albany International Corp. makes
paper machine clothing, which are custom-made fabric belts that
move paper stock through each phase of production. The Company
makes around 35 percent of the monofilament yarn used in its
paper machine clothing and relies on suppliers for the rest.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Brandon Drying Reports 9,399 Injury Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Albany International Corporation's affiliate, Brandon Drying
Fabrics Inc., recorded about 9,399 asbestos-related claims as of
Aug. 4, 2006, compared with 9,753 claims as of April 21, 2006
and 9,566 claims as of Dec. 31, 2005.

Brandon, a wholly owned Geschmay Corp. subsidiary, is a separate
defendant in many of the asbestos cases in which the Company is
named as a defendant.

In 1999, the Company acquired Geschmay, formerly known as
Wangner Systems 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 with asbestos made by its parent, Abney.

Under the terms of the Assets Purchase Agreement between Brandon
and Abney, Abney agreed to indemnify, defend, and hold Brandon
harmless from any actions or claims on account of products
manufactured by Abney and its related corporations prior to the
date of the sale, whether or not the product was sold subsequent
to the date of the sale.

As of Aug. 4, 2006, Brandon has resolved, by means of settlement
or dismissal, 7,945 claims for a total of US$152,499.

Brandon's insurance carriers initially agreed to pay 88.2
percent of the total indemnification and defense costs related
to these proceedings. The remaining 11.8 percent of the costs
had been borne directly by Brandon.

Based in Albany, New York, Albany International Corp. makes
paper machine clothing, which are custom-made fabric belts that
move paper stock through each phase of production. The Company
makes around 35 percent of the monofilament yarn used in its
paper machine clothing and relies on suppliers for the rest.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Albany Int'l. Named in Mt. Vernon Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
Albany International Corporation is named both as a direct
defendant and as a "successor in interest" to Mount Vernon
Mills, according to the Company's quarterly report, on Form
10-Q, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In 1993, the Company acquired certain assets from Mount Vernon.
Certain plaintiffs alleged injury from asbestos-containing
products sold by Mount Vernon years before the acquisition.

Mount Vernon is contractually obligated to indemnify the Company
against any liability arising out of those products. The Company
denies any liability for products sold by Mount Vernon prior to
the acquisition of the Mount Vernon assets.

Under its contractual indemnification obligations, 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, which are custom-made fabric belts that
move paper stock through each phase of production. The Company
makes around 35 percent of the monofilament yarn used in its
paper machine clothing and relies on suppliers for the rest.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ameren, Utilities Report 72 Pending Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ameren Corporation recorded 72 pending asbestos-related multi-
defendant lawsuits filed against it and its utility companies:
Union Electric Co., Central Illinois Public Service Co., Ameren
Energy Generating Co., Central Illinois Light Co., and Illinois
Power Co.

Most of the suits have been filed in the Circuit Court of
Madison County, Ill. In the cases pending as of June 30, 2006,
the average number of defendants was 67.

The claims filed against Ameren, UE, CIPS, Genco, CILCO and IP
alleged injury from asbestos exposure during the plaintiffs'
activities at Ameren's present or former electric generating
plants.

Genco now owns former CIPS plants, and AmerenEnergy Resources
Generating Co. now owns most former CILCO plants. Most of IP's
plants were transferred to a Dynegy Inc. subsidiary before
Ameren's acquisition of IP. As a part of the transfer of
ownership of the CIPS and CILCO generating plants, CIPS and
CILCO agreed to indemnify Genco and AERG for liabilities for
asbestos-related claims from activities before the transfer.

Each suit seeks unspecified damages in excess of US$50,000,
which would be shared among the named defendants.

From April 1, 2006, through June 30, 2006, seven additional
asbestos-related suits were filed against Ameren, UE, CIPS,
CILCO and IP, in the Circuit Court of Madison County, Ill. The
Court dismissed three suits and settled two. As of June 30,
2006, the Ameren Companies noted 310 suits filed, 95 suits
settled, and 143 dismissed.

The Illinois Commerce Commission order approving Ameren's
acquisition of IP effective Sept. 30, 2004, also approved a
tariff rider to recover the costs of IP's asbestos-related
litigation claims.

Beginning in 2007, 90 percent of cash expenditures in excess of
the amount included in base electric rates will be recovered by
IP from a US$20 million trust fund established by IP and
financed with contributions of US$10 million each by Ameren and
Dynegy.

As of June 30, 2006, six asbestos-related suits were pending
against subsidiary Electric Energy Inc. The general liability
insurance maintained by EEI provides coverage with respect to
liabilities arising from asbestos-related claims.

Based in St. Louis, Mo., Ameren Corp. distributes electricity to
2.3 million customers and natural gas to more than 900,000 in
Missouri and Illinois through its utilities.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fairchild Still Faces Indemnity Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Fairchild Corporation continues to deal with asbestos-
related claims stemming from a certain pump business, which a
defendant purchased from the Company.

On Jan. 21, 2003, the Company and one of its subsidiaries were
served with a third-party complaint in a New York action filed
by a non-employee worker and his spouse alleging personal injury
from exposure to asbestos-containing products.

The defendant, one of many defendants, had purchased a pump
business from the Company, and asserted the right to be
indemnified by the Company under its purchase agreement.

The case was discontinued as to all defendants, and stopping the
indemnity claim against the Company in the instant case.
However, the purchaser has notified the Company of, and claimed
a right to indemnity from the Company in relation to other
asbestos-related claims filed against it.

In the last 32 months, plaintiffs' counsel in 25 cases, linked
to the same pump business, has served the Company. Two of the 19
cases were dismissed as to all defendants.

The Company has been served with a total of 28 separate
complaints in actions filed by non-employee workers, alleging
personal injury or wrongful death from exposure to asbestos-
containing products other than those related to the pump
business. The plaintiffs' complaints did not specify which
products are at issue.

The Company has resolved 11 similar non-pump business asbestos-
related suits that were previously served upon it. In nine
cases, the Company was voluntarily dismissed, without payment of
consideration to plaintiffs. The remaining two cases were
settled for nominal amounts.

The Company's insurance carriers have participated in the
defense of all of the previous asbestos claims, both pump and
non-pump related.

Based in McLean, Va., The Fairchild Corp. used to operate an
aerospace fasteners business, which it sold to prioritize its
Banner Aerospace unit. The Company then bought three firms that
make and distribute motorcycle clothing, helmets, and
accessories. That segment, Fairchild Sports, now accounts for
most of the Company's sales.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hanover Insurance Has $24.1M Reserves in 2Q
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Hanover Insurance Group Inc., formerly Allmerica Financial
Corp., recorded US$24.1 million ending loss and loss adjustment
expenses reserves related to asbestos, environmental damage and
toxic tort liability at June 30, 2006, compared with US$24.3
million at Dec. 31, 2005.

The reserves, net of reinsurance, were US$16 million at June 30,
2006, compared with US$16.2 million at Dec. 31, 2005.

At March 31, 2005, the Company has reserved US$24.1 million for
estimated asbestos and environmental liability. The actuarial
point estimate for those claims was US$20.3 million. (Class
Action Reporter, June 2, 2006)

Moreover, the Company has established US$56.9 million, at June
30, 2006, loss and LAE reserves for assumed reinsurance and pool
business with asbestos, environmental damage and toxic tort
liability, compared with US$49.2 million at Dec. 31, 2005.

These reserves related to pools in which the Company has
terminated its participation. However, the Company continues to
be subject to claims related to years in which it was a
participant. A part of the Company's pool reserves related to
its participation in the Excess and Casualty Reinsurance
Association voluntary pool from 1950 to 1982. In 1982, the pool
was dissolved and since that time, the business has been in
runoff.

The Company's percentage of the total pool liabilities varied
from 1.15 percent to 6 percent during these years. The Company's
participation in this pool has resulted in average paid losses
of US$2 million annually over the past 10 years.

Based in Worcester, Mass., The Hanover Insurance Group Inc.
provides personal and commercial automobile, homeowners,
workers' compensation, and commercial multiple-peril insurance
coverage through its Citizens and Hanover subsidiaries. The
Company was renamed in late 2005.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chicago Bridge Faces 387 Pending Claims
------------------------------------------------------------
Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. N.V. has been named a defendant in
lawsuits alleging exposure to asbestos involving about 2,972
plaintiffs as of June 30, 2006. Of those claims, about 387
claims were pending and 2,585 have been closed through
dismissals or settlements.

As of June 30, 2006, the claims alleging exposure to asbestos
that have been resolved have been dismissed or settled for an
average settlement amount per claim of about US$1,000.

The Company faced suits alleging exposure to asbestos at the
workplace, involving about 2,954 plaintiffs, as of March 31,
2006. Of those claims, about 480 claims were pending and 2,474
have been closed through dismissals or settlements. (Class
Action Reporter, June 9, 2006)

The Company defends in suits wherein plaintiffs alleged exposure
to asbestos due to work the Company may have performed at
various locations. The Company has never made, distributed, or
supplied asbestos products.

With respect to unasserted asbestos claims, the Company cannot
identify a population of potential claimants with certainty to
determine the probability of a loss and to make a reasonable
estimate of liability.

At June 30, 2006, the Company had accrued US$900,000 for
liability and related expenses.

Based in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands, Chicago Bridge & Iron Co.
N.V. is a global specialty engineering and construction firm.
The Company serves the hydrocarbon, energy, power generation,
and water storage and treatment industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: "Premises" Cases v. Huntsman Rise to 1,425
---------------------------------------------------------------
Huntsman Corporation had about 1,425 pending asbestos-related
"premises" claims in the six months ended June 30, 2006,
compared with 461 of these claims for the comparable period in
2005.

For the period ended June 30, 2006, the Company noted 962 cases
tendered and 113 cases resolved. For the period ended June 30,
2005, the Company noted 84 cases tendered and 21 cases resolved.

At the 2006-1st quarter, the Company had about 1,380 asbestos-
related claims, in which the Company is named a "premises
defendant." (Class Action Reporter, May 26, 2006)

The Company has been named as a "premises defendant" in asbestos
exposure cases, usually a claim by a non-employee of exposure to
asbestos while at a facility. These cases have involved multiple
plaintiffs filed against multiple defendants. The complaints
have not indicated which plaintiffs were making claims against
which defendants, where or how the alleged injuries occurred, or
what injuries each plaintiff claimed.

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

In the Company's 11-year experience with tendering these cases,
it has not made any payment with respect to any tendered
asbestos cases.

As of June 30, 2006, the Company had an accrued liability of
US$12.5 million relating to these cases and a corresponding
receivable of US$12.5 million relating to the Company's
indemnity protection with respect to these cases.

Certain cases in which the Company is a "premises defendant" are
not subject to indemnification by prior owners or operators. For
these cases, the Company noted 42 unresolved cases for the six
months ended June 30, 2006, compared with 66 cases for the same
period in 2005.

For the six months ended June 30, 2006, the Company noted 16
cases filed and eight cases resolved. For the six months ended
June 30, 2005, the Company noted 38 cases filed and one case
resolved.

The Company paid gross settlement costs for asbestos exposure
cases that are not subject to indemnification of US$5,000 during
each of the six months ended June 30, 2006 and 2005. As of June
30, 2006, the Company had an accrual of US$500,000 relating to
these cases.

Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Huntsman Corp. makes chemicals
with products including MDI, amines, surfactants, and epoxy-
based polymers. Its chemicals are sold in more than 100
countries to customers in the adhesives, construction products,
electronics, medical, and packaging industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Everest Re Group Has $542.5M Loss Reserves
---------------------------------------------------------------
Everest Re Group Ltd. had US$542.5 million gross asbestos loss
reserves at June 30, 2006, of which US$303.9 million was for
assumed business and US$238.6 million was for direct business.

At March 31, 2006, the Company had US$561.6 million gross
asbestos loss reserves, of which US$306.5 million was for
assumed business and US$255 million was for direct business.
(Class Action Reporter, June 9, 2006)

The Company's asbestos & environmental liabilities stem from Mt.
McKinley's direct insurance business and Everest Re's assumed
reinsurance business.

For the three and six months ended June 30, 2006, the Company
incurred US$619,879,000 gross, US$440,015,000 net, losses with
respect to asbestos & environmental claims, compared with
US$701,756,000 gross, US$490,204,000 net, for the same periods
in 2005.

At June 30, 2006, the gross reserves for A&E losses were
comprised of US$137.8 million representing case reserves
reported by ceding companies, US$157.3 million representing
additional case reserves established by the Company on assumed
reinsurance claims, US$221.4 million representing case reserves
established by the Company on direct excess insurance claims,
including Mt. McKinley, and US$103.4 million representing
incurred but not reported reserves.

The gross incurred losses for asbestos and environmental
exposures increased by US$6.4 million for the three months ended
June 30, 2006, US$16.4 million for the six months ended June 30,
2006, and US$18 million for the six months ended June 30, 2005.

In connection with the acquisition of Mt. McKinley, LM Property
and Casualty Insurance Co. provided reinsurance to Mt. McKinley
covering 80 percent, or US$160 million, of the first US$200
million of any adverse development of Mt. McKinley's reserves as
of Sept. 19, 2000 and The Prudential Insurance Co. of America
guaranteed LM's obligations to Mt. McKinley.

With respect to Mt. McKinley, the Company's litigation posture
and the uncertainties inherent in the asbestos coverage and
bankruptcy litigation have provided an opportunity to engage in
settlement negotiations with a number of those policyholders who
have potentially significant asbestos liabilities. In 2004,
2005, and in 2006, the Company concluded settlements or reached
agreement in principle with 14 of its policyholders.

Based in Hamilton, Bermuda, Everest Re Group Ltd. is the holding
company for Everest Reinsurance Co., an underwriter of property
& casualty reinsurance and insurance. The Company offers
specialized underwriting in several areas, including property &
casualty, marine, aviation, surety, medical malpractice,
directors and officers' liability, and professional errors and
omissions liability.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: General Cable Corp Faced With 40,850 Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
General Cable Corporation had about 40,850 outstanding asbestos-
related claims at June 30, 2006, of which about 7,550 were non-
maritime claims and 33,300 were maritime claims.

At March 31, 2006, the Company listed about 7,800 non-maritime
claims and 33,300 maritime asbestos claims outstanding. (Class
Action Reporter, June 2, 2006)

Company subsidiaries have been named as defendants in lawsuits
alleging exposure to asbestos in products made by the Company.
At June 30, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2005, General Cable had accrued,
on a gross basis, about US$5.6 million for these suits.

At June 30, 2006, General Cable had recorded US$500,000 asbestos
lawsuit-related insurance recoveries, compared with US$3.1
million at Dec. 31, 2005.

During 2006, the recorded insurance recoveries decreased due to
the US$3 million cash settlement for the resolution of an
insurer's obligations for coverage of asbestos liabilities.

Based in Highland Heights, Ky., General Cable Corp. makes
aluminum, copper, and fiber-optic wire and cable products.
General Cable has three segments: industrial and specialty,
energy, and communications.



ASBESTOS LITIGATION: All Claims v. PNM Resources Inc. Dismissed
---------------------------------------------------------------
All 21 asbestos-related personal injury claims against PNM
Resources Inc. had been dismissed with prejudice on May 25,
2006. The matter was dismissed due to plaintiffs' non-compliance
with the case management order and failure to prosecute.

PNM had previously been dismissed with prejudice from all but
two of the remaining cases.

In 2003, PNM was named as one of a number of defendants in the
21 suits relating to alleged asbestos exposure. All of these
cases involve claims of individuals, or their descendants, who
worked for contractors building, or working at, PNM power
plants.

Some of the claims relate to construction activities during the
1950s and 1960s, while other claims alleged exposure during the
last 30 years. PNM has never made, sold or distributed asbestos-
containing products.

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


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crowley Has 15.3T Cases Pending in 2 States
----------------------------------------------------------------
Crowley Maritime Corporation is named as a co-defendant in about
15,300 maritime asbestos cases and other toxic tort cases, in
which most were filed in the Federal Courts in Cleveland, Ohio
and Detroit, Mich.

Filed on behalf of a seaman, these cases alleged injury or
illness from exposure to asbestos or other toxic substances and
set forth a claim based on the theory of negligence under the
Jones Act and on the theory of unseaworthiness under the General
Maritime Law.

Under an order issued by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation dated July 29, 1991, all Ohio and Michigan cases were
transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of Pennsylvania for pretrial processing.

On May 1, 1996, the cases were dismissed subject to
reinstatement. About 33 of the Ohio and Michigan claims, which
name one or more Company entities as defendants have been
reinstated, but the plaintiffs' attorneys are not actively
pursuing the cases.

Moreover, the Company is a co-defendant in about 93 asbestos or
other toxic cases pending in jurisdictions other than the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania. These other jurisdictions
include state and federal courts in Northern California, Oregon,
Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Maryland and New York.

At June 30, 2006, the Company has accrued US$3,112,000 as its
best estimate of the liability for pending asbestos and toxic
claims and has recorded a receivable from its insurance
companies of US$1,176,000 related to the asbestos litigation.

In 2004, the Company settled for about US$6,325,000 certain
asbestos-related claims that involved seamen employed by the
Company for over 30 years. In August 2006, the Company entered
into a settlement agreement with two insurance firms for
recovery of amounts paid by the Company for these asbestos-
related claims.

Based in Oakland, Calif., 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 LITIGATION: U.S. Judge Postpones W.R. Grace & Co. Trial
----------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula, Mont. granted the
delay of W.R. Grace & Co.'s Sept. 11, 2006 asbestos-related
trial, while appeals from the prosecution are pending before the
9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, The Associated Press reports.

Judge Molloy granted the prosecution's request to delay the
trial. He said the prosecution's notice of appeal transfers the
case's jurisdiction and prohibits moving forward with the trial
as scheduled.

Prosecutors are appealing Judge Molloy's dismissal of some key
elements in their case against Grace and seven of its former
managers. A 2005 indictment charged Grace and the seven men with
conspiring to conceal health risks posed years ago by the
Company's Libby vermiculite mine, which was closed since 1990.

Hundreds of people in Libby have fallen sick, some fatally, from
exposure to asbestos in vermiculite.

Judge Molloy agreed to delay the start of the trial. He said
prosecutors must immediately inform him when the 9th Circuit
resolves the appeal or the notice of appeal is withdrawn.

In other Grace matters, Judge Molloy denied William McCaig's
request for a trial postponement. Mr. McCaig used to be general
manager of the Libby, Mont. vermiculite mine.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Calif. Woman Sues 7 Companies in Ill. Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ripsime Darbinian of California sued Bondex International Inc.,
Garlock Inc., Georgia-Pacific Corp., John Crane Inc., Owens-
Illinois Inc., RPM International Inc., and Young Insulation
Group in Madison County Circuit Court, Ill. on Aug. 23, 2006,
The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

Mrs. Darbinian claimed exposure to airborne asbestos fibers from
family members' clothing caused her to develop mesothelioma.

Although her home is in California, Mrs. Darbinian claimed John
Crane is an Illinois corporation, organized and existing
pursuant to Illinois law and is doing business in Madison
County.

Mrs. Darbinian claimed her husband Toros was employed as a truck
driver, technician and repairman at various locations and would
on many occasions work with and around asbestos and asbestos
containing products. She claimed her husband would carry the
dust on his clothing home with him where it would again become
airborne.

Mrs. Darbinian claimed she also was exposed to asbestos during
non-occupational work projects including home and automotive
repairs, maintenance and remodeling.

On Aug. 23, 2005, she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, and
subsequently became aware her illness was wrongfully caused, the
suit claimed. The complaint alleged that defendants failed to
require and advise employees of hygiene practices designed to
reduce or prevent carrying asbestos fibers home.

Mrs. Darbinian also claimed that she has sought, but has been
unable to obtain, full disclosure of relevant documents and
information from the defendants leading her to believe the
defendants destroyed asbestos-related documents.

Mrs. Darbinian claimed as a result of each defendant breaching
its duty to preserve material evidence by destroying documents
and information, she has been prejudiced and impaired in proving
claims against all potential parties.

Mrs. Darbinian is seeking compensatory damages in excess of
US$150,000, plus punitive damages.

Nicholas Angelides, Perry Browder, and John Barnerd of
SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill. represent Mrs. Darbinian.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Dan Stack.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scapa Renegotiates With Insurers for Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Scapa Group PLC said it has renegotiated its agreement with its
U.S. insurance carrier for asbestos-related claims, AFX News
reports.

The agreement covers the sharing of defense costs for personal
injury claims in the U.S. alleging exposure to asbestos from a
business Scapa sold in 1999.

Effective April 21, 2006 and for the next three years, the
Company's share of costs under the new agreement would reduce
from 50 percent to 25 percent.

Based in Blackburn, U.K., Scapa Group PLC makes technical
adhesive tapes and films used by the automotive, aerospace,
graphic arts, sports, electronics, industrial assembly, and
medical markets.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Kubota Corp. to Pay 13 Victims for Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kubota Corporation is set to compensate 13 more mesothelioma
sufferers and their families, based on its recognition of a
greater radius around its defunct Kanzaki factory as an area of
risk for asbestos contact, The Yomiuri Shimbun reports.

Kubota would pay between JPY25 million and JPY46 million
compensation for the 13 mesothelioma victims, 12 of whom have
already died. All lived or worked in areas one to 1.5 kilometers
from Kubota's Kanzaki factory, which leaked asbestos particles
into the air.

The Company is now accepting, on a case-by-case basis, claims by
residents who lived within 1.5 kilometers, up from one
kilometer, from the factory as eligible for the compensation.

Under the Company's regulations, those who lived within 1
kilometer of the factory or worked at offices or attended
schools in the area for a year or more between 1954 and 1995 are
eligible for compensation.


ASBESTOS ALERT: A&A Material to Pay JPY25M for Employee's Death
---------------------------------------------------------------
Officials of A&A Material Corporation said the Company would pay
JPY25 million to the widow of an undisclosed former employee who
died of mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos, The Japan Times
reports.

The officials said the Company determined that it could not deny
a causal relationship between asbestos and the death of the 61-
year-old man last November 2005.

The man had worked at the firm's factory in Tsurumi Ward,
Yokohama, producing asbestos-containing insulating material from
1963 to 1968. In September 2003, he developed mesothelioma after
leaving the company. In October 2004, he qualified for workers'
compensation.

Company officials said A&A Material would also pay JPY14 million
for lost work to a 71-year-old former male employee, who was
diagnosed with lung asbestosis and qualified for workers'
compensation last August.

Moreover, the Company would pay JPY2 million settlement to a 64-
year-old man who used to work for the manufacturer and has been
diagnosed with pleural plaques, the officials added.

Until September 2004, the Company produced asbestos-containing
building materials. It has said that at least 27 of its
employees have died of illnesses caused by asbestos, including
lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Based in Yokohama, Japan, A&A Material Corp. sells
noncombustible construction material and related works. The
Group's operations include the sale of fireproof textile
products, industrial friction materials, sealing materials,
insulating materials, industrial materials and equipment.


                   New Securities Fraud Cases


APPLE COMPUTER: Schatz & Nobel Announces Securities Suit Filing
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. announces that a lawsuit
seeking class-action status was filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California on behalf of all persons
who purchased the securities of Apple Computer, Inc. between
Dec. 1, 2005 and Aug. 11, 2006.

The complaint alleges that Apple, and certain of its officers
and directors, violated federal securities laws by issuing a
series of materially false statements and omissions concerning
Apple's practice of backdating stock options.  This improper
backdating masked the virtually instant profits the option
recipients obtained.

Under generally accepted accounting principles, these profits
were required to be recognized as an expense in the company's
financial statements for the appropriate period, but were not.

Thus, the company's financial statements in its Form 10-K filing
for the fiscal year 2005 and interim financial statements for
2005 and 2006 were materially false and misleading.

In addition, the company's Proxy Statement for its annual
shareholder meeting held in 2006 was materially false and
misleading because it contained statements concealing Apple's
practice of backdating stock options.

Interested parties may no later than Oct. 24, 2006, request the
Court for appointment as lead plaintiff of the class.

For more details, contact Schatz & Nobel, Phone: (800) 797-5499,
E-mail at sn06106@aol.com, Web site: http://www.snlaw.net.  


J2 GLOBAL: Dyer & Shuman Investigates Stock Backdating Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Dyer & Shuman, LLP, is encouraging persons who
own the common stock of J2 Global Communications to contact Kip
B. Shuman of Dyer & Shuman, LLP at 1-800-711-6483 or via email
at KShuman@DyerShuman.com, concerning their rights and interests
regarding the potential stock option backdating at the company.

Dyer & Shuman, LLP is investigating allegations concerning
improper backdating of J2 Global Communications stock options
granted to company employees. On Aug. 11, 2006, the company
reported that it might have to restate earnings back to its July
1999 initial public offering as a result of a review of its past
stock option practices.

For more details, contact Kip B. Shuman of Dyer & Shuman, LLP,
Phone: 1-800-711-6483, E-mail: KShuman@DyerShuman.com, Web site:
http://www.dyershuman.com.


KB HOME: Dyer & Shuman Investigates Stock Backdating Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Dyer & Shuman, LLP, is encouraging persons who
own the common stock of KB Home  to contact Kip B. Shuman of
Dyer & Shuman, LLP at 1-800-711-6483 or via e-mail at
KShuman@DyerShuman.com, or their counsel of choice, concerning
their rights and interests regarding the potential stock option
backdating at the company.

Dyer & Shuman, LLP is investigating allegations concerning
improper backdating of KB Home stock options granted to Chief
Executive Bruce Karatz and other company employees. On Aug. 23,
2006, the company reported that it had initiated a review of
several past stock option grants to its highly paid CEO, Bruce
Karatz.

For more details, contact Kip B. Shuman of Dyer & Shuman, LLP,
Phone: 1-800-711-6483, E-mail: KShuman@DyerShuman.com, Web site:
http://www.dyershuman.com.


SUNTERRA CORP: Sept. 11 Deadline Set for Lead Plaintiff Filing
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Dyer & Shuman, LLP, is encouraging persons who
purchased the common stock of Sunterra Corp. between Aug. 14,
2003 and May 17, 2006 to contact Kip B. Shuman of Dyer & Shuman,
LLP at 1-800-711-6483 or via email at KShuman@DyerShuman.com, or
their counsel of choice, concerning their rights and interests
as potential class members in the shareholder class action
recently filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Nevada against Sunterra Corp. and certain of its officers and
directors.

The firm reminds investors that they have until Sept. 11, 2006
to file for lead plaintiff in the case.

For more details, contact Kip B. Shuman of Dyer & Shuman, LLP,
Phone: 1-800-711-6483, E-mail: KShuman@DyerShuman.com, Web site:
http://www.dyershuman.com.


                            *********


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

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

                            *********


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Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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USA.   Glenn Ruel Senorin, Maria Cristina Canson, and Janice
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Copyright 2006.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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