CAR_Public/070105.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, January 5, 2007, Vol. 9, No. 4

                            Headlines

ABM INDUSTRIES: Accused of Violating Labor Laws in California
AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES: Appeals Court Decertifies IPO "Test Cases"
BALLY TECHNOLOGIES: Enters Deal to Settle Nev. Securities Suit
BRANTLEY CAPITAL: Faces Securities Fraud Litigation in N.Y.
CABLE & WIRELESS: Overcharging Suit Presented to Panama Court

CC-LA JOLLA: Senior Citizens File Fraud litigation in Calif.
CHEMTURA CORP: Conn. Court Mulls Dismissal of Securities Suit
CHEMTURA CORP: Pa. Court Affirms "Petrolia" Class Status Opinion
CHEMTURA CORP: Still Faces Litigation Over May 2004 Fire in Ga.
CLARION CORP: Recalls Batteries Due to Burn and Fire Hazards

COCA-COLA: Class Status Denied For Ill. Diet Coke Drinkers Suit
COOPER COS: Hearing Set for Dismissal Motion v. Securities Suit
COSTCO WHOLESALE: Faces New Employment Lawsuit in California
COSTCO WHOLESALE: Files Motion to Dismiss Suit by Club Members
COSTCO WHOLESALE: Still Faces Gender Bias Suit by Calif. Manager

DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Insurers to Help Pay 2003 Merger Suit Deal
CS HOTELS: Banquet Workers File Mass. Suit Over Unremitted Tips
ENCINO-TARZANA MEDICAL: Faces Sexual Harassment Suit in Calif.
FEDEX EXPRESS: February Trial Set for Calif. Racial Bias Suit
FRANKLIN RESOURCES: High Court Review Sought for Ill. Lawsuits

FRANKLIN RESOURCES: Md. Court Mulls Nixing of Mutual Funds Suits
FRANKLIN TEMPLETON: Faces Three Market-Timing Suits in Canada
FRONT SIGHT: Calif. Court Preliminarily Approves RICO Suit Deal
HIENERGY TECHNOLOGIES: Stock Suit Pre-Trial Conference Scheduled
ILLINOIS: Lake County Sheriff's Office Sued for Overtime Wages

INTERLINK ELECTRONICS: Still Faces Stock Fraud Lawsuit in Calif.
INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Faces Labor Laws Violations Suit in N.J.
LEAD PAINT LITIGATION: Mo. High Court to Review St. Louis' Suit
MARRIOTT HOTEL: Resolves Calif. Minimum Wage Ordinance Lawsuit
MARTHA STEWART: Faces Wash. Litigation Over Hot Coffee Cups

MERRILL LYNCH: SEC Considers Backing Firm in Enron Damages Case
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Plaistow to Pay $250T for Kelley Road Pollution
NEW YORK: Court Blocks Ex-Inmate's Lawsuit Over Jail Conditions
OKLAHOMA: Court Upholds Ruling on Dickson's Traffic Penalties
QUICKLOGIC CORP: Awaits Final Approval of IPO Suit Settlement

QUOVADX INC: Settles Legacy Shareholder Litigation for $7.8M
RAM ENERGY: Still Faces Royalty Owners' Litigation in Okla.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Law Firm Gets $115T in School Drug Raid Suit
TAN TAN: Recalls Soybean Juice Over Undeclared Peanut Content
UNITED STATES: Miami Judge Green Lights Rights Violations Suit

* Scientists Caution Class Litigation Can Baffle Medical Science


                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Removal Work at Fla. Park Nears Completion
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fla. Retiree Names 111 Firms in Ill. Court
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Delays N.J. Public Library Reopening
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alpha-Omega Fined $4T for Removal Breaches
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Housing Co, Council Argue Over GBP3.5M Bill

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: N.Y. County Taxpayers May Pay Removal Bill
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Warning for Mechanics Stays on OSHA Website
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scottish Kin Celebrates Win in Payout Fight
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japan Gov't. Refuses to Reveal Firms' Names
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: JT Thorpe Co Emerges From Ch. 11 Bankruptcy

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dutch Ship Denies 77-Ton Asbestos Onboard
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Widow Seeks GBP150T in Lawsuit v. Pinewood
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Man Charged for Bank Asbestos Stunt
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Junks Tisdel Suit v. DaimlerChrysler
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeals Court Favors Agent in Geske Suit

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Rules v. Caterpillar in Phillips Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Upholds Ruling to Favor Bowling Green
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Calif. Court Drops Case v. Project Manager
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Melbourne Factory Fire Sets Off Toxic Alert
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cumbria Tourist Attraction Contains Hazard

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.S. EPA Reexamines Wyoming Lot for Hazards
ASBESTOS ALERT: Court Denies Speakman Motion in Roberts Lawsuit
ASBESTOS ALERT: Malta Court Favors Fenech in Suit v. Drydocks


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

HANSEN NATURAL: Gutride Safier Files Securities Suit in Calif.


                            *********


ABM INDUSTRIES: Accused of Violating Labor Laws in California
-------------------------------------------------------------
ABM Industries Inc. is a defendant in several purported class
actions related to alleged violations of federal or California
wage-and-hour laws.  The suits are:

      -- the consolidated cases of Augustus, Hall and Davis v.
         American Commercial Security Services (ACSS) filed July
         12, 2005, in the Superior Court of California, Los
         Angeles County;

      -- "Augustus and Hernandez v. ACSS" filed on Feb. 23,
         2006, in Los Angeles Superior Court;

      -- "Bucio, Morales and Salcedo v. ABM Janitorial Services"
         filed on April 7, 2006, in the Superior Court of
         California, County of San Francisco;

      -- the recently consolidated cases of "Batiz v. ACSS" and
         "Heine v. ACSS," filed on June 7, 2006 and Aug. 9,
         2006, respectively, in the U.S. District Court for the
         Central of California;

      -- "Martinez, Lopez, Rodriguez and Godoy v. ABM Janitorial
         Services" filed on Nov. 28, 2006 in Los Angeles
         Superior Courtt; and

      -- "Joaquin Diaz v. Ampco System Parking" filed on Dec. 5,
         2006, in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The named plaintiffs in these lawsuits are current or former
employees of ABM subsidiaries who allege, among other things,
that they were required to work "off the clock," were not paid
for all overtime and were not provided work breaks or other
benefits.  The plaintiffs generally seek unspecified monetary
damages, injunctive relief, or both.  


AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES: Appeals Court Decertifies IPO "Test Cases"
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed an order by
a district court certifying a class in several "test cases" that
had been selected by the underwriter defendants and plaintiffs
in the coordinated proceeding in "re Initial Public Offering
Securities Litigation."  

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York  
has yet to issue an order with respect to the final approval of  
the settlement in a consolidated securities class action against  
Agilent Technologies, Inc., according to the company's Sept. 6,  
2006 form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange  
Commission for the period ended July 31, 2006.

In November 2001, a securities class action, "Kassin v. Agilent  
Technologies, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 01-CV-10639," was  
filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New  
York against certain investment bank underwriters for Agilent's  
initial public offering, Agilent and various of its officers and  
directors at the time of the IPO.  

On Feb. 19, 2003, the Southern District Court of New York  
granted Agilent's motion to dismiss the claims against the  
company based on Section 10 of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act
of 1934, as amended, but denied Agilent's motion to dismiss the  
claims based on Section 11 of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933,  
as amended.

Agilent and more than 200 other issuer defendants reached an
agreement in principle for a settlement with plaintiffs.  Under  
the settlement, plaintiffs' claims against the company and its  
directors and officers would be released, in exchange for a  
contingent payment and an assignment of certain potential  
claims.  

On June 14, 2004, papers formalizing the settlement among the  
plaintiffs, issuer defendants and insurers were presented to the  
Southern District Court of New York.  

On Feb. 15, 2005, the court granted preliminary approval of  
the settlement conditioned upon the parties' modification of a  
proposed bar order contained in the settlement.  On Aug. 31,  
2005, the court confirmed its preliminary approval of the  
settlement.   

On April 24, 2006, the court held a fairness hearing in  
connection with the motion for final approval of the settlement.  
The court did not issue a ruling on the motion for final  
approval at the fairness hearing.  Plaintiffs continue to  
prosecute their claims against the underwriter defendants, and  
discovery is now underway.

On Dec. 5, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit reversed the court's order certifying a class in several
"test cases" that had been selected by the underwriter
defendants and plaintiffs in the coordinated proceeding in "re
Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation."  The settlement
remains subject to a number of conditions, including final
approval of the Court.


BALLY TECHNOLOGIES: Enters Deal to Settle Nev. Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Parties in securities fraud suits filed against Bally
Technologies, Inc., formerly known as Alliance Gaming Corp., in
the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada have reached
an agreement in principle and are negotiating settlement.

In June and July 2004, putative class actions were filed against
Bally and its officers, Robert Miodunski, Robert Saxton, Mark
Lerner and Steven Des Champs, in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Nevada.  

The nearly identical complaints alleged violations of the U.S.
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, stemming from
revised earnings guidance, declines in the stock price and sales
of stock by insiders.  The complaints sought damages in
unspecified amounts.

The court granted the plaintiffs' unopposed motions to
consolidate the cases and to appoint a lead counsel and a lead
plaintiff, and the plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint,
all as is customary in such cases.  Bally and the other
defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint.

Thereafter, activity in the case was suspended and the parties
participated in a mediation process.  The parties have reached
an agreement in principle and are negotiating settlement
documents, which will require court approval, according to the
company's Dec. 21 Form 10-Q filing for the quarter ended Sept.
30.

The first identified complaint is "Tyler, et al. v. Alliance
Gaming Corporation, et al., Case No. 04-CV-821," filed in the
U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada under Judge Kent
J. DawsonHon.

The plaintiff firms in this or similar case:

     (1) Brian Felgoise, 230 South Broad Street, Suite 404,
         Philadelphia, PA, 19102, Phone: 215.735.6810, Fax:
         215/735.5185;

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

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

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

     (5) Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbin, (San
         Francisco), 100 Pine Street, Suite 2600, San Francisco,
         CA, 94111, Phone: 415.288.4545, Fax: 415.288.4534, E-
         mail: info@lerachlaw.com;

     (6) Wechsler Harwood, LLP, 488 Madison Avenue 8th Floor,
         New York, NY, 10022, Phone: 212.935.7400, E-mail:
         info@whhf.com; and

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


BRANTLEY CAPITAL: Faces Securities Fraud Litigation in N.Y.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Brantley Capital Corp. is a defendant in a purported securities
fraud class action currently pending in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York, The Phil Law Weblog
reports.

The suit was filed on behalf of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired the common stock of Brantley Capital between
Aug. 14, 2003 and Oct. 24, 2005.

It alleges that the company and certain officers and directors
violated federal securities laws by issuing a series of
materially false statements concerning the company's valuation.

Interested parties may move the court no later than Jan. 16,
2007 for lead plaintiff appointment.

The suit is "Strougo v. Brantley Capital Corporation et al.,
Case No. 1:06-cv-13315-LTS," filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York under Judge Laura Taylor
Swain.

Representing plaintiffs is Robert I. Harwood of Wechsler Harwood
LLP, 488 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10022, Phone:
212-935-7400, Fax: 212 753-3630, E-mail: rharwood@whesq.com.


CABLE & WIRELESS: Overcharging Suit Presented to Panama Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
Panamanian consumer protection group Union Nacional de
Consumidores (Uncurepa) has formally presented in a civil court
in Panama a $45 million class action against Cable & Wireless
PLC (C&WP), over alleged overcharging, BNamericas.com reports.

Originally filed in 2005, the suit was filed because C&WP has
stalled on a July 2005 pay back order from former public
services regulator Ente Regulador de los Servicios Poblicos
(ERSP) with injunctions.

In October 2006, a civil court in Panama has accepted a class
action against the country's largest telecommunications company
C&WP, filed by Uncurepa, on behalf of customers alleging
overcharging (Class Action Reporter, Oct. 23, 2006).  The suit
has only been formally presented in court, this week.

According to the ERSP, from January 2003 to May 2005 C&WP was
charging $0.15 for every 40-second pulse, when the regulator
alleges it was charging per minute.

C&WP then claimed that only 40 seconds of each minute had been
used and applied an additional charge for what it perceived as
the 20 seconds of each minute not initially charged for. The
billing error applied to local, national and international
calls.

The ERSP's statutes were changed in February 2006 when it became
the national public services authority (ASEP).

However, C&WP's corporate affairs director Roberto Mendoza said
the company is in possession of a letter from ERSP confirming
that the 40-second billing method was valid.

Uncurepa though argued that the 40-second billing method could
only prove valid if there had been a formal ERSP resolution, and
that a letter was not enough evidence in this case.

Uncurepa first presented the suit in the name of 246 individuals
seeking damages of $3,000 for every consumer wrongly billed.
However, since then other subscribers that claim they were
wrongly billed have come on board.  According to Uncurepa, the
filing is the first class action suit brought before Panama's
courts.

Uncurepa lawyer Giovani Fletcher represents the plaintiffs.

Cable & Wireless PLC on the Net: http://www.cw.com/new/.


CC-LA JOLLA: Senior Citizens File Fraud litigation in Calif.
------------------------------------------------------------
La Jolla Village Towers resident Donald R. Short, filed a class
action in the Superior Court of the State of California for the
County of San Diego, claiming the "continuing care resident
community" are defrauding senior citizens by charging for
services they do not provide and filing false financial
statements to whack residents with unjustified fee increases,
The Courthouse News Service reports.

The suit claims fraud, deceit, elder abuse, misrepresentation
and health and safety violations at the towers run by defendant
CC-La Jolla, Inc.

Mr. Short claims, among other things, that La Jolla promises and
charges for, but fails to deliver, round-the-clock emergency
call response.

The class consists of all past and present residents of the La
Jolla Village Towers.

The questions of law and fact common to the class are
substantially similar and predominate over those questions that
affect individual members. These common questions include:

     -- whether defendants violated provisions of the Health and
        Safety Code expressly designed for the protection of the
        plaintiff and the plaintiff class;

     -- whether the defendants' representations to residents are
        false;

     -- whether the defendants have filed false financial
        statements and provided other false information to
        residents in order to justify monthly fee increases;

     -- whether the defendants have purposely entered into a
        number of transaction with related entities in order to
        obfuscate and carry out a scheme to defraud the
        residents of La Jolla Village Towers out of their life
        savings;

     -- whether the plaintiff class is entitled to injunctive
        relief;

     -- whether the plaintiff class is entitled to pre-judgment
        interest; and

     -- whether the plaintiff class is entitled to attorney
        fees.

Plaintiff prays that he and the class of those past and present
residents of La Jolla Village Towers be awarded:

     -- general and special damages;
     -- punitive damages on some causes of action;
     -- injunctive relief on a cause of action;
     -- costs;
     -- attorney fees; and
     -- such other and further relief as it deems necessary and
        proper.

A copy of the complaint is available free of charge at:
              http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?1805

The suit is "Short et al v. La Jolla et al, Case No. 877707,"
filed in the Superior Court of the State of California for the
County of San Diego.

Representing plaintiffs is Michael A. Conger, Esq. of the Law
Office of Michael A. Conger, 16236 San Dieguito Road, Suite 4-
14, P.O. Box 9374, Rancho Santa Fe, California 92067, Phone:
(858) 759-0200, Fax: (858) 759-1906.


CHEMTURA CORP: Conn. Court Mulls Dismissal of Securities Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for District of Connecticut has yet to
rule on Chemtura Corp.'s motion to dismiss a consolidated
securities class action filed against it and certain of its
former officers and directors (Crompton Individual Defendants),
and certain former directors of the company's predecessor Witco
Corp.

Filed on July 20, 2004, the suit was brought by plaintiffs on
behalf of themselves and a class consisting of all purchasers or
acquirers of the company's stock between October 1998 and
October 2002.  

The consolidated amended complaint principally alleges that the
company and the Crompton Individual Defendants caused the
company to issue false and misleading statements that violated
the federal securities laws by reporting inflated financial
results resulting from an alleged illegal, undisclosed price-
fixing conspiracy.

The putative class includes former Witco Corp. shareholders who
acquired their securities in the Crompton Corp.-Witco merger
pursuant to a registration statement that allegedly contained
misstated financial results.

The complaint asserts claims against the company and the
Crompton Individual Defendants under Section 11 of the
Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the U.S. Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

Plaintiffs also assert claims for control person liability under
Section 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 20 of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against the Crompton Individual
Defendants.  

The complaint also asserts claims for breach of fiduciary duty
against certain former directors of Witco Corp. for actions they
allegedly took as Witco Corp. directors in connection with the
Crompton-Witco merger.

The plaintiffs seek, among other things, unspecified damages,
interest, and attorneys' fees and costs.

The company and the Crompton Individual Defendants filed a
motion to dismiss on Sept. 17, 2004, which is now fully briefed
and pending.  The former directors of Witco Corp. filed a motion
to dismiss in February 2005, which is pending.

On July 22, 2005, the court granted a motion by the company and
the Crompton Individual Defendants to stay discovery in the
related Connecticut shareholder derivative lawsuit, pending
resolution of the motion to dismiss by the company and Crompton
Individual Defendants.

The suit is "In Re Crompton Corp Securities Litigation, Case No.
3:03-cv-01293-EBB, filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Connecticut under Judge Ellen Bree Burns.  

Representing the plaintiffs are, Nancy A. Kulesa, Jeffrey S.
Nobel and Andrew M. Schatz of Schatz & Nobel, One Corporate
Center, 20 Church St., Suite 1700, Hartford, CT 06103, Phone:
860-493-6292, Fax: 860-493-6290, E-mail: nancy@snlaw.net,
jnobel@snlaw.net and firm@snlaw.net.

Representing the defendants are:

     (1) Bradford S. Babbitt of Robinson & Cole, 280 Trumbull
         St., Hartford, CT 06103-3597, Phone: 860-275-8209, Fax:
         860-275-8299, E-mail: bbabbitt@rc.com;

     (2) Andrew J. Frackman of O'Melveny & Myers, LLP, 7 Times
         Square, New York, NY 10033, Phone: 212-326-2000, Fax:
         212-326-2061, E-mail: afrackman@omm.com; and

     (3) Thomas D. Goldberg of Day, Berry & Howard, One
         Canterbury Green, Stamford, CT 06901-2047, Phone: 203-
         977-7383, Fax: 203-977-7301, E-mail:
         tdgoldberg@dbh.com.


CHEMTURA CORP: Pa. Court Affirms "Petrolia" Class Status Opinion
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Pennsylvania Superior Court Plaintiffs affirmed a ruling by
the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, which denies class
certification for the toxic tort class action against Chemtura
Corp. and other entities that conduct or conducted business near
the company's Petrolia, Pennsylvania facility.

In April 2004, the suit was filed against the company and other
defendants claiming damages allegedly arising from alleged
contamination in and around the Bear Creek Area Chemical Site,
(Class Action Reporter, June 7, 2005).

In addition to seeking property damage, damages for personal
injury, punitive damages and other compensatory damages,
plaintiffs also seek injunctive relief to cleanup up the alleged
contamination, response costs and medical monitoring.  They have
not yet set out in their pleadings a claim for a specific amount
of damages.   

On Oct. 18, 2005, the court issued its memorandum opinion and
order denying the plaintiffs' motion for class certification,
and the plaintiffs have appealed the decision.

On August 2, 2006, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the
lower court's opinion, according to company's Nov. 9, 2006 Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the period ended Sept. 30, 2006.


CHEMTURA CORP: Still Faces Litigation Over May 2004 Fire in Ga.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chemtura Corp. remains a defendant in several purported class
actions in connection with the May 25, 2004 fire that struck its
Conyers, Georgia warehouse, according to company's Nov. 9, 2006
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the period ended Sept. 30, 2006.

The company and certain of its former officers and employees
were named as defendants in five putative state class actions
filed in three counties in Georgia and one putative class action
lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia pertaining to the fire.

These suits seek recovery for economic and non-economic damages
allegedly suffered as a result of the fire (Class Action
Reporter, May 1, 2006).

Of the five putative state class actions, plaintiffs in two
cases voluntarily dismissed theirs, leaving three such lawsuits
remaining.  

These remaining putative state class actions, as well as the
putative class action pending in federal district court seek
recovery for economic and non-economic damages allegedly arising
from the fire.

Punitive damages are sought in the Davis case in Rockdale
County, Georgia and the Martin case in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of Georgia.  The Martin case also
seeks a declaratory judgment to reform certain settlements, as
well as medical monitoring and injunctive relief.


CLARION CORP: Recalls Batteries Due to Burn and Fire Hazards
------------------------------------------------------------
Clarion Corporation of America, of Cypress, California, in
cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is
recalling about 2,500 units of batteries in Clarion N.I.C.E.
P200 Navigation and Entertainment Systems.

The company said the lithium-ion batteries in these units can
melt or overheat posing burn and fire hazards to consumers.

Clarion has received four reports of the unit melting or
overheating. No injuries have been reported.

The N.I.C.E. P200 is a black portable navigation and
entertainment device that can be attached to a vehicle's
windshield.  

The device has a 4-inch touch screen LCD monitor and contains
one lithium battery. "Clarion" and "N.I.C.E. P200" are printed
on the device.  "Clarion NAVBATTERY," "Rechargeable Li-Polymer
Battery," and "Made in Korea" are printed on the battery.  Only
N.I.C.E. P200 units with serial numbers ending in "UE" or "UF"
are affected by this recall.  The serial number is located on a
white label on the back of the device.

These recalled lithium-ion batteries were manufactured by
Kiryung Electronics of Seoul, South Korea and are being sold at
car audio and mobile electronics stores from May 2006 through
December 2006 for about $900.

Picture of the recalled lithium-ion batteries:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07056.jpg

Consumers are advised to stop using the recalled batteries
immediately and contact Clarion Corp. to receive a free
replacement battery and a postage-paid envelope to return the
recalled battery.

For more information, contact Clarion Corp. at (800) 347-8667
Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, or visit the
firm's Web site: http://www.clarion.com.


COCA-COLA: Class Status Denied For Ill. Diet Coke Drinkers Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit refused to
certify a class of Diet Coke drinkers in Illinois who claimed
Coca-Cola deceived them by failing to disclose differences
between fountain and bottled versions of Diet Coke, The
Courthouse News Service reports.

The complaint alleges the Coca-Cola Co. (Coke) deceived Diet
Coke consumers in Illinois by failing to disclose that fountain
Diet Coke and bottled Diet Coke are not the same product.

Fountain Diet Coke contains a blend of the sweeteners aspartame
and saccharin, while bottled Diet Coke is sweetened only with
aspartame.

The plaintiff's lawyers, on behalf of a prior named class
representative and a class of all Illinois purchasers of
fountain Diet Coke from March 12, 1999 forward, initially filed
the lawsuit in Illinois state court alleging that Coke violated
the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act (ICFA)
and was unjustly enriched.

The complaint sought several types of damages:

     -- actual damages;

     -- disgorgement of Coke's profits from the sale of fountain
        Diet Coke in Illinois; and

     -- attorneys' fees.

Coke removed the lawsuit to federal court, defeated class
certification, and eventually offered a substituted named
plaintiff, Carol Oshana, a judgment of $650, which she accepted.

Coke asked Ms. Oshana to admit in formal Requests for Admission
that in the event the class was not certified, she would not
personally seek:

      -- disgorgement of Coke's profits;

      -- punitive damages in excess of $75,000;

      -- attorneys' fees in excess of $75,000;

      -- an award of compensatory and punitive damages and
         attorneys' fees in excess of $75,000; or

      -- an award of disgorgement, punitive damages, and
         attorneys' fees in excess of $75,000.

Ms. Oshana reserved the right to challenge on appeal the
district court's jurisdiction and the order denying class
certification.

The circuit affirmed, saying plaintiffs cast too wide a net
because the proposed class included people who bought fountain
Diet Coke knowing it contained saccharin.

Ms. Oshana reserved the right to recover more than $75,000 in
damages, but accepted Coke's offer of $650, which the circuit
affirmed.

A copy of the circuit's ruling is available free of charge at:
             http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?1804

The suit is "Oshana et al v. Coca-Cola Co., Case No. 05-3640,"
on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit.


COOPER COS: Hearing Set for Dismissal Motion v. Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A Jan. 22, 2007 hearing was scheduled for a motion to dismiss
the consolidated securities fraud class action filed against The
Cooper Cos., Inc., and certain of its officials, according to
company's Dec. 22, 2006 Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
Oct. 31, 2006.

On Feb. 15, 2006, Alvin L. Levine filed a putative securities
class action in the U.S. District Court for the Central District
of California, Case No. SACV-06-169 CJC, against:

     -- the company;

     -- A. Thomas Bender, its chairman of the board, president
        and chief executive officer and a director;

     -- Robert S. Weiss, its executive vice president, chief
        operating officer and a director; and

     -- John D. Fruth, a director.

Shortly after the filing of the Levine lawsuit, two similar
putative class action lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Central District of California, Case Nos. SACV-06-
306 CJC and SACV-06-331 CJC.

On May 19, 2006, the court consolidated all three actions under
the heading, "In re Cooper Companies, Inc. Securities
Litigation," and selected a lead plaintiff and lead counsel
pursuant to the provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995, 15 U.S.C. Section 78u-4.

The lead plaintiff filed a consolidated complaint on July 31,
2006.  The consolidated complaint was filed on behalf of all
purchasers of the company's securities between July 28, 2004 and
Dec. 12, 2005, including persons who received company securities
in exchange for their shares of Ocular in the January 2005
merger pursuant to which the company acquired Ocular.

The consolidated complaint names as defendants:

      -- the company,

      -- Messrs. Bender, Weiss, and Fruth, and also

      -- Steven M. Neil, the company's vice president and chief
         financial officer;

      -- Gregory Fryling, the president and chief operating
         officer of CooperVision;

      -- Carol R. Kaufman, the company's senior vice president
         of legal affairs, secretary and chief administrative
         officer;

      -- B. Norris Battin, the company's vice president of
         investor relations and communications;

      -- John J. Calcagno, CooperVision's chief financial
         officer and vice president of business development;

      -- James M. Welch, the former president of international
         operations for Coopervision;

      -- John A. Weber, CooperVision's vice president of
         Worldwide Manufacturing & Distribution;

      -- Nicholas J. Pichotta, chief executive officer of
         CooperSurgical; and

      -- directors Moses Marx and Steven Rosenberg.

The consolidated complaint purports to allege violations of
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Act
of 1934 by, among other things, contending that:

      -- the company improperly accounted for assets acquired in
         the Ocular merger by improperly allocating $100 million
         of acquired customer relationships and manufacturing
         technology to goodwill (which is not amortized against
         earnings) instead of to intangible assets other than
         goodwill (which are amortized against earnings);

      -- the company's earnings guidance reflected the improper
         accounting for intangible assets and was inflated by
         (among other things) the amount of the understated
         amortization expense;

      -- contrary to certain alleged statements, Ocular had
         "flooded the trade channel" with its older products as
         its Premier lenses were not being well received by
         customers;

      -- the company's aggressive revenue and growth targets for
         2005 and beyond lacked any reasonable basis when made
         and did not reflect realistically achievable results
         primarily because of the absence of a two-week silicone
         hydrogel product;

      -- the company's internal controls were inadequate making
         it possible to misstate earnings by improperly
         accounting for the merger with Ocular; and

      -- sales force integration was not materializing and was
         fraught with dissension and acrimony.

This lawsuit, which is in a very preliminary stage, seeks
unspecified damages.  


On Sept. 29, 2006, the company and the individual defendants
moved to dismiss the consolidated complaint.  A hearing on the
motion is currently scheduled for Jan. 22, 2007.

The suit is "In re Cooper Companies Inc. Securities Litigation,
Case No. 8:06-cv-00169-CJC-RNB," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Central District of California under Judge Cormac
J. Carney with referral to Judge Robert N. Block.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) X Jay Alvarez of Rudman and Robbins, 655 West Broadway,
         Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101, US, Phone: 619-231-
         1058.

     (2) Michiyo Michelle Furukawa of Stull Stull and Brody,
         10940 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 2350, Los Angeles, CA
         90024, Phone: 310-209-2468, E-mail:
         mfurukawa@ssbla.com; and

     (3) Eben O. McNair of Schwarzwald and McNair, 1330 East
         Ninth Street, 616 Penton Media Building, Cleveland, OH
         44114-1503, US, Phone: 216-566-1600.

Representing the defendants is Charles W. Cox, II of Latham and
Watkins, 633 West Fifth Street, Suite 4000, Los Angeles, CA
90071-2007, Phone: 213-485-1234, E-mail: chuck.cox@lw.com.


COSTCO WHOLESALE: Faces New Employment Lawsuit in California
------------------------------------------------------------
An action was purportedly brought as a class action on behalf of
present and former hourly employees in California, in which the
plaintiff principally alleges that Costco Wholesale Corp. did
not properly compensate and record time worked by employees
during the security searches and routine closing procedures.  

The suit is:

      -- "Elizabeth Alvarado v. Costco Wholesale Corp.," United
         States District Court (San Francisco), Case No. C-06-
         04015-MJJ.

Two actions were purportedly brought as class actions on behalf
of certain present and former Costco managers in California, in
which plaintiffs principally allege that they have not been
properly compensated for overtime work.  The suits are:

      -- "Scott M. Williams v. Costco Wholesale Corp.," United
         States District Court (San Diego), Case No. 02-CV-2003
         NAJ (JFS);

      -- Superior Court for the County of San Diego, Case No.
         GIC-792559;

      -- "Greg Randall v. Costco Wholesale Corp., Superior Court
         for the County of Los Angeles, Case No. BC-296369.

An overtime compensation case was brought as a class action on
behalf of present and former hourly employees in California, in
which plaintiffs principally allege that Costco's semi-annual
bonus formula is improper with regard to retroactive overtime
pay.  The suit is:

      -- "Anthony Marin v. Costco Wholesale Corp.," Superior
         Court for the County of Alameda, Case No. RG-04150447.

An action was purportedly brought as a class action on behalf of
present and former hourly employees in California, in which
plaintiffs principally allege that Costco did not properly
compensate and record hours worked by employees and failed to
provide meal and rest breaks.  The suit is:

      -- "Kevin Doty and Sarah Doty v. Costco Wholesale Corp.,"
         United States District Court (Los Angeles), Case No.
         CV-05-3241 FMC (JWJ).

Claims in these five actions are made under various provisions
of the California Labor Code and the California Business and
Professions Code.  

Plaintiffs seek restitution/disgorgement, compensatory damages,
various statutory penalties, punitive damages, interest, and
attorneys' fees.


COSTCO WHOLESALE: Files Motion to Dismiss Suit by Club Members
--------------------------------------------------------------
Costco Wholesale Corp. has filed a motion to dismiss a class
action filed in the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles
on behalf of certain present and former Costco warehouse club
members.

In the suit, "Barmak v. Costco Wholesale Corp., et al., No.
BC348857," the company is accused of violating various
provisions of the common law and California statutes in
connection with its former practice of paying executive members
of its warehouse clubs who downgraded or terminated their
memberships a 2% reward for less than twelve months of eligible
purchases.

Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, restitution, injunctive
relief, attorneys' fees and costs, prejudgment interest, and
punitive damages.  

The company has filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the
ground that the challenged practice, while it was still in
effect, was appropriately disclosed to executive members.  

Counsel for the plaintiff in "Barmak" has also sent a letter
purporting to invoke consumer protection statutes in
Massachusetts and Texas.


COSTCO WHOLESALE: Still Faces Gender Bias Suit by Calif. Manager
----------------------------------------------------------------
Costco Wholesale Corp. continues to face a gender bias suit that
was filed on behalf of former female managers of the company and
is now pending the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of California.

An action purportedly brought as a class action on behalf of
certain present and former female managers, in which plaintiffs
allege denial of promotion based on gender in violation of Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California state law.

Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages, punitive damages,
injunctive relief, interest and attorneys' fees.  The company
reported no development in the case at its Dec. 22 form 10-Q
filing for the quarter ended Nov. 26, 2006.

The suit is "Shirley "Rae" Ellis v. Costco Wholesale Corp., Case
No. C-04-3341-MHP," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California under Judge Marilyn H. Patel.

Representing the plaintiffs is Bill Lann Lee of Leiff Cabraser
Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, 275 Battery Street, 30th Floor, San
Francisco, CA 94111-3339, Phone: 415-956-1000, Fax: 415-956-
1008, E-mail: blee@lchb.com.

Representing the defendants is David D. Kadue of Seyfarth Shaw,
LLP, 2029 Century Park East, Suite 3300, Los Angeles, CA 90067,
Phone: 310-201-5211, Fax: 310-201-5219, E-mail:
dkadue@seyfarth.com.


DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Insurers to Help Pay 2003 Merger Suit Deal
--------------------------------------------------------------
DaimlerChrysler AG and insurance companies, led by ACE Ltd.,
reached an agreement late last year regarding the latter's
contribution to a $300 million settlement of an investor lawsuit
over the 1998 "merger of equals" between Chrysler Corp and
Daimler-Benz AG in 1998, Associated Press reports.

The insurers would contribute EUR168 million euros ($222
million), out of an outstanding EUR175 million ($231 million)
stemming from the 2003 settlement, the report stated citing the
Financial Times Deutschland newspaper.

DaimlerChrysler sued the insurers claiming that its Directors'
and Officers' Liability Insurance for EUR200 million should
cover part of the settlement paid in 2003.  Chrysler
shareholders in the U.S., who claim fraud against the companies
for falsely presenting the deal as merger of equals, filed the
suit.

The investors had sought $22 billion in damages.  Financial
Times Deutschland said U.S. insurer AIG already had paid $25
million (EUR18.9 million) and that DaimlerChrysler had paid the
balance.


CS HOTELS: Banquet Workers File Mass. Suit Over Unremitted Tips
---------------------------------------------------------------
Servers, bussers and bartenders in a hotel banquet department
filed a class action in Middlesex County Court over alleged
violations of the Mass. Gen. L.c. 149 Section 152A and Mass.
Gen. L.c. 151 Sections 1 and 7.

Named defendants in the suit are Columbia Sussex Corp. and CS
Hotels Limited Partnership, which owns and operates the Hilton
Boston/Woburn -- formerly the Crowne Plaza Woburn-Boston.

Lead plaintiff Caroline Frye, who works as a banquet bartender
at the Crowne Plaza Boston-Woburn, claims the defendants add a
service charge of 21 percent to 22 percent of the food and drink
tab at all private parties, but distribute only 12 percent of
that to the employees.

The complaint alleges that the hotel does this while paying less
than minimum wage, or "no base hourly pay at all."

Plaintiff requests that the court enter the following relief:

     -- restitution for all service charges not properly
        distributed to employees;

     -- restitution for the portion of the minimum wage that
        defendants did not pay their employees in base pay i.e.,
        restitution for the "tip credit" the employee  
        inappropriately claimed);

     -- statutory trebling of all damages;

     -- attorneys' fees and costs; and

     -- any other relief to which the employees may be entitled.

A copy of the complaint is available free of charge at:
              http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?180c

The suit is "Frye et al v. Columbia Sussex Corp et al., Case No.
06-4622," filed in Middlesex County Court.

Representing plaintiffs is Shannon Liss-Riordan and Hillary
Schwab both of Pyle, Rome, Lichten, Ehrenberg & Liss-Riordan,
P.C., 18 Tremont Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02108, Phone:
(617) 367-7200.


ENCINO-TARZANA MEDICAL: Faces Sexual Harassment Suit in Calif.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Encino-Tarzana Medical Center and Tenet Healthcare are named
defendants in a class action filed in Superior Court over
alleged sexual harassment, The Courthouse News Service reports.

The class of women who seek medical services, accuses the
defendants of failing to check the credentials and criminal
histories of men it hires, who sexually molest patients when
left alone with them.

Plaintiffs further claim that Tenet and Encino fail to
investigate after their employees are accused of sexual
improprieties, including sexual molestation, rape and attempted
rape.

Defendants allegedly allowed certified nurse's assistants,
including Ramon Eduardo Gaspar, to continue to prey upon women
who are ill and dressed only in hospital gowns.

Plaintiffs allege numerous supervisors knew of Mr. Gaspar's
depredations but failed to stop him for more than two years.

Representing plaintiffs is Maryann P. Gallagher of the Law
Offices of Maryann Gallagher, 205 S. Broadway, Ste. 702, Los
Angeles, CA 90012-3600, Phone: (818) 992-6977, Fax:  213-626-
0961.


FEDEX EXPRESS: February Trial Set for Calif. Racial Bias Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in a racial discrimination class action, "Satchell v.
FedEx Express, Case No. 03-2659," is currently scheduled for
February 2007.  

FedEx Express, a unit of FedEx Corp., is named as a defendant in
the suit, which was filed in the District Court for the Northern
District of California.  

Generally, the suit alleges that the company has a culture of
hostility toward minorities and that the company turns "a blind
eye," allowing racial bias to infect performance evaluation,
promotion, compensation, and discipline decisions, according to
court documents.

Plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief as well as money in the
form of front pay, back pay and compensatory and punitive
damages.

On Sept. 28, 2005, the court granted class certification to the
case, which is specifically alleging discrimination by the
company in the Western region of the U.S. against certain
current and former minority employees in pay and promotion.

The suit is "Satchell v. FedEx Express, Case No. 03-2659," filed
in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California under Judge Susan Illston.  

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Guy B. Wallace of Schneider & Wallace, 180 Montgomery
         Street, Suite 2000, San Francisco, Ca 94109, Phone:
         415-421-7100, Fax: 415-421-7105, E-mail:
         gwallace@schneiderwallace.com;  

     (2) Michael S. Davis of The Law Offices of Michael S.
         Davis, 345 Hill Street, San Francisco, CA 94114, Phone:
         (415) 282-4315, Fax: (415) 358-5576, E-mail:
         msdlegal@comcast.net; and

     (3) Waukeen Q. Mccoy of The Law Offices of Waukeen Q.
         McCoy, 703 Market Street, Suite 1407, San Francisco, CA
         94103, Phone: 415-675-7705, Fax: 415-675-2530, E-mail:
         mccoylawsf@yahoo.com.  

Representing the company are Gilmore F. Diekmann, Jr. and
Francis J. Ortman, III of Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, 560 Mission
Street, Suite 3100, San Francisco, CA 94105, Phone: 415-397-
2823, Fax: 415-397-8549, E-mail: gdiekmann@sf.seyfarth.com; and
fortman@sf.seyfarth.com.


FRANKLIN RESOURCES: High Court Review Sought for Ill. Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------
A petition for certiorari was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court
in regards to the dismissal of several class actions filed
against various subsidiaries of Franklin Resources, Inc. as well
as certain Templeton Fund registrants.

The suits are alleging breach of duty with respect to the
valuation of the portfolio securities of certain Templeton Funds
managed by such subsidiaries and seeking, among other relief,
monetary damages and attorneys' fees and costs.

Several suits were initially filed in Illinois state courts,
styled:

      -- Bradfisch v. Templeton Funds, Inc., et al., Case No.
         2003 L 001361, filed on October 3, 2003 in the Circuit
         Court of the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County,
         Illinois;  

      -- Woodbury v. Templeton Global Smaller Companies Fund,
         Inc., et al., Case No. 2003 L 001362, filed on October
         3, 2003 in the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial
         Circuit, Madison County, Illinois;  

      -- Kwiatkowski v. Templeton Growth Fund, Inc., et al.,
         Case No. 03 L 785, filed on December 17, 2003 in the
         Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit, St.
         Clair County, Illinois; and

      -- Parise v. Templeton Funds, Inc., et al., Case No. 2003   
         L 002049, filed on December 22, 2003 in the Circuit
         Court of the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County,
         Illinois

In April 2005, defendants removed these lawsuits to the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. On July
12, 2005, the court dismissed with prejudice one of these
lawsuits, "Bradfisch v. Templeton Funds, Inc., et al.," and
dismissed the remaining three lawsuits on August 25, 2005.

Plaintiffs appealed the dismissals to the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Seventh Circuit (Bradfisch v. Templeton Funds, Inc., et
al., Case No. 05-3390, Woodbury v. Templeton Global Smaller
Companies Fund, Inc., et al., Case No. 05-3559, Kwiatkowski v.
Templeton Growth Fund, Inc., et al., Case No. 05-3558, Parise v.
Templeton Funds, Inc., et al., Case No. 05-3586).

On May 19, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh
Circuit affirmed the dismissals.  Plaintiffs' subsequent
requests to the Seventh Circuit for reconsideration were also
denied.  

On Nov. 13, 2006, plaintiffs filed a petition for certiorari to
the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the company's Dec. 20, 2006
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2006.


FRANKLIN RESOURCES: Md. Court Mulls Nixing of Mutual Funds Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland has yet to
rule on motions seeking to dismiss the consolidated market
timing/late trading class action filed against Franklin
Resources, Inc. and certain of the Franklin Templeton  
mutual funds, current and former officers, employees, and  
directors.

The defendants have been named in multiple lawsuits in different  
federal courts in Nevada, California, Illinois, New York, and  
Florida.  Generally, the cases alleged violations of various
federal securities and state laws.  

Plaintiffs are seeking, among other relief, monetary damages,
restitution, removal of fund trustees, directors, advisers,
administrators, and distributors, rescission of management
contracts and 12b-1 plans, and/or attorneys' fees and costs.

Specifically, the lawsuits claim breach of duty with respect to  
alleged arrangements to permit market timing and/or late trading  
activity, or breach of duty with respect to the valuation of the  
portfolio securities of certain Templeton Funds managed by the  
company's subsidiaries, allegedly resulting in market timing  
activity.  

The majority of these lawsuits duplicate, in whole or  
in part, the allegations asserted in the administrative  
complaint and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's  
findings regarding market timing in the SEC Order.  The lawsuits  
are styled as class actions, or derivative actions on behalf of  
either the named funds or the company.

To date, more than 400 similar lawsuits against at least 19  
different mutual fund companies have been filed in federal  
district courts throughout the country.  

Because these cases involve common questions of fact, the
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered the creation
of a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Maryland, entitled "In re Mutual Funds Investment
Litigation."  

The Judicial Panel then transferred similar cases from different
districts to the MDL for coordinated or consolidated pretrial  
proceedings.

As of Dec. 20, 2006, these market timing lawsuits are pending  
against the company and certain of its subsidiaries, and in some  
instances, name certain officers, directors and/or Funds.  The  
suits that have been transferred to the MDL include:

      -- "Kenerley v. Templeton Funds, Inc., et al., Case No.   
         03-770 GPM," filed on Nov. 19, 2003 in the U.S.
         District Court for the Southern District of Illinois;  

      -- "Cullen v. Templeton Growth Fund, Inc., et al., Case
         No. 03-859 MJR," filed on Dec. 16, 2003 in the U.S.
         District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
         and transferred to the U.S. District Court for the
         Southern District of Florida on March 29, 2004;   

      -- "Jaffe v. Franklin AGE High Income Fund, et al., Case  
         No. CV-S-04-0146-PMP-RJJ," filed on Feb. 6, 2004 in  
         the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada;   

      -- "Lum v. Franklin Resources, Inc., et al., Case No. C 04  
         0583 JSW," filed on Feb. 11, 2004 in the U.S. District  
         Court for the Northern District of California;

      -- "Fischbein v. Franklin AGE High Income Fund, et al.,  
         Case No. C 04 0584 JSW," filed on Feb. 11, 2004 in  
         the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of  
         California;   

      -- "Beer v. Franklin AGE High Income Fund, et al., Case
         No. 8:04-CV-249-T-26 MAP," filed on Feb. 11, 2004 in
         the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of
         Florida;

      -- "Bennett v. Franklin Resources, Inc., et al., Case No.  
         CV-S-04-0154-HDM-RJJ," filed on Feb. 12, 2004 in the  
         U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada;   

      -- "Dukes v. Franklin AGE High Income Fund, et al., Case  
         No. C 04 0598 MJJ," filed on Feb. 12, 2004, in the  
         U.S. District Court for the Northern District  
         of California;  

      -- "McAlvey v. Franklin Resources, Inc., et al., Case No.
         C 04 0628 PJH," filed on Feb. 13, 2004 in the U.S.  
         District Court for the Northern District of
         California;

      -- "Alexander v. Franklin AGE High Income Fund, et al.,  
         Case No. C 04 0639 SC," filed on Feb. 17, 2004 in the  
         U.S. District Court for the Northern District of  
         California;   

      -- "Hugh Sharkey IRA/RO v. Franklin Resources, Inc., et  
         al., Case No. 04 CV 1330," filed on Feb. 18, 2004 in  
         the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of  
         New York;  

      -- "D'Alliessi, et al. v. Franklin AGE High Income Fund,
         et al., Case No. C 04 0865 SC," filed on March 3, 2004
         in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
         California;

      -- "Marcus v. Franklin Resources, Inc., et al., Case No. C  
         04 0901 JL," filed on March 5, 2004 in the U.S.  
         District Court for the Northern District of
         California;

      -- "Banner v. Franklin Resources, Inc., et al., Case No. C
         04 0902 JL," filed on March 5, 2004 in the U.S.  
         District Court for the Northern District of
         California;  

      -- "Denenberg v. Franklin Resources, Inc., et al., Case
         No. C 04 0984 EMC," filed on March 10, 2004 in the  
         U.S. District Court for the Northern District  
         of California; and

      -- "Hertz v. Burns, et al., Case No. 04 CV 02489," filed
         on March 30, 2004 in the U.S. District Court for the
         Southern District of New York.

Plaintiffs in the MDL filed consolidated amended complaints on  
Sept. 29, 2004.  On Feb. 25, 2005, defendants filed motions to  
dismiss, which are currently under submission with the court,  
according to the company's Dec. 20, 2006 10-K filing with the  
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended Sept. 30, 2006.

The suit is "In re Mutual Funds Investment Litigation, Case No.  
1:04-md-15862-AMD," filed in the U.S. District Court for the  
District of Maryland under Judge Andre M. Davis.   

Representing the plaintiffs is H. Adam Prussin of Pomerantz  
Haudek Block Grossman and Gross, LLP, 100 Park Ave., 26th Fl.,  
New York, NY 10017-5516, Phone: 1-212-661-1100, Fax: 1-212-661-
8665, E-mail: haprussin@pomlaw.com.

Representing the company is Meredith Nelson Landy of O'Melveny  
and Myers, LLP, 2765 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025, Phone:  
16504732671, Fax: 16504732601, E-mail: mlandy@omm.com.


FRANKLIN TEMPLETON: Faces Three Market-Timing Suits in Canada
-------------------------------------------------------------
Franklin Templeton Investments Corp., a subsidiary of Frabklin
Resources, Inc., remains a defendant in three market-timing
class actions filed in Canada, according to the company's Dec.
20, 2006 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2006.

Franklin Templeton is a subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc.,  
and the investment manager of Franklin Templeton's Canadian  
mutual funds.

The suits are seeking, among other relief, monetary damages, an  
order barring any increase in management fees for a period of  
two years following judgment, and/or attorneys' fees and costs.

The suits are:

      -- "Huneault v. AGF Funds, Inc., et al., Case No. 500-06-
         000256-046," filed on Oct. 25, 2004 in the Superior  
         Court for the Province of Quebec, District of Montreal;  

      -- "Heinrichs, et al. v. CI Mutual Funds, Inc., et al.,
         Case No. 04-CV-29700," filed on Dec. 17, 2004 in  
         the Ontario Superior Court of Justice; and  

      -- "Fischer, et al. v. IG Investment Management Ltd., et  
         al. Case No. 06-CV-307599CP," filed on March 9, 2006 in  
         the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.


FRONT SIGHT: Calif. Court Preliminarily Approves RICO Suit Deal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
gave preliminary approval to the settlement of purported class
action filed against operators of the Front Sight Firearms
Training Institute, a gun training facility, KLAS-TV reports.

Michael Schriber, Stacy James and William Haag, who were members
of Front Sight, filed the suit, which alleges violations of the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in
relation to membership benefits and promises made by Front Sight
that were allegedly not fulfilled.  

The three, who are demanding a jury trial under RICO, named as
defendants founder Dr. Ignatius Piazza and Front Sight
Management, Inc.

The 26-page complaint against Front Sight centers on membership
benefits and promises.  At the organization's inception in 1998,
memberships were sold to fund construction of shooting ranges,
(Class Action Reporter, Nov. 23, 2005).  

Free classes for life were offered with the memberships, which
could be willed to family members.  Additional benefits like
home sites were promised for higher priced memberships.

The plaintiffs, who filed the class action back in Nov. 7, 2005,
accused Dr. Piazza and the organization of committing fraud,
racketeering and misappropriation of funds.  Their goal in
filing the suit is to ensure the survival of the organization
while forcing it to make good on its promises.

After several months of litigation a federal judge recently
ruled that the Front Sight could no longer sell memberships
without court approval.  Thus, settlement discussions started
after that ruling (Class Action Reporter, July 19, 2006).

The settlement is the second attempt at resolving the matter.  
It could mean millions for members.  The first settlement fell
apart when the sale of the facility failed to close escrow.

At the last hearing the judge temporarily suspended membership
sales when Front Sight failed to live up to the previous
settlement.

Under the new deal, Front Sight has agreed to pay $8 million to
settle the case plus an additional 20-percent of its monthly
revenue to a capital improvement fund to maintain the facility.

The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for the end of
February at which time the judge may approve the settlement.

The suit is "James et al. v. Ignatius A. Piazza et al., Case No.
5:05-cv-04532-JW," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California under Judge James Ware with
referral to Judge Patricia V. Trumbull.

Representing the plaintiffs is Curtis Keith Greer of Greer &
Associates, 16787 Bernardo Center Drive, Suite 14, San Diego, CA
92128, Phone: 858-613-6677, Fax: 858-613-6680, E-mail:
greerkeith@aol.com.

Representing the defendants is Eric L. Webb of Bartsch & Webb,
317 Rosecrans Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, Phone: 310-546-
4004, Fax: 310-546-4033, E-mail: ewebb@elwlaw.com.


HIENERGY TECHNOLOGIES: Stock Suit Pre-Trial Conference Scheduled
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Sept. 11, 2007 pre-trial conference was scheduled for the
second amended securities class action filed in the U.S. States
District Court for the Southern District of California against
Hienergy Technologies, Inc. and certain of its officers.

In January 2005, the company was served with a summons and class
action complaint for violations of federal securities laws.  The
complaint named the company, its chairman, among other named
defendants on behalf of a class of persons who acquired the
stock of the company from February 22, 2002 to July 8, 2004.  

In February 2005, plaintiff's counsel filed a first amended
complaint in "In re: HiEnergy Technologies, Inc. Securities
Litigation, Master File No. 8:04-CV-01226-DOC (JTLx)," alleging
various violations of the federal securities laws.  It generally
asserts the same claims involving Philip Gurian, Barry Alter,
and the company's failure to disclose their various securities
violations including, without limitation, allegations of fraud.  

The first amended complaint seeks, among other things, monetary
damages, attorney's fees, costs, and declaratory relief.

On Friday, March 25, 2005, the company timely filed responsive
pleadings as well as motions to dismiss the plaintiffs' first
amended complaint arguing that it failed to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.  

On June 17, 2005, the court issued an order granting the motions
to dismiss, finding:

     -- that the first amended complaint failed to allege
        causation of loss resulting from any alleged omissions
        and/or misrepresentations of the company or Dr. Maglich,
        to sustain a cause of action for securities fraud under
        Section 10(b) of the U.S. Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 of
        the Securities and Exchange Commission;

     -- that the plaintiffs had failed to plead actual reliance
        on any allegedly false or misleading filings of the
        company to sustain a claim under section 18 of the U.S.
        Exchange Act; and

     -- that the plaintiffs had failed to allege a primary
        violation of any securities laws to sustain a claim for
        a violation of Section 20(a) of the U.S. Exchange Act.

On July 5, 2005, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint
in compliance with the court's order, as anticipated.  On
Oct. 24, 2005, the court issued a Minute Order granting in part
and denying in part motions to dismiss filed by the company,
finding that the plaintiffs failed in the second amended
complaint to sustain a cause of action for securities fraud
under Section 10(b) of the U.S. Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 of
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against Dr. Maglich
and for claims that the company filed false and misleading
financial statements and executed suspicious stock sales.  

On Nov. 14, 2005, the court held a scheduling conference at
which the plaintiff informed the company that it would not file
a third amended complaint.  

In accordance with the scheduling order from the court, class
representative motions are to be filed within 90 to 120 days and
pre-trial conference was scheduled for Sept. 11, 2007, according
to company's Dec. 20, 2006 Form 10QSB filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended Oct. 31, 2006.

The suit is "In re: HiEnergy Technologies, Inc. Securities
Litigation, Master File No. 8:04-CV-01226-DOC (JTLx)," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California,
under Judge David O. Carter.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Kenneth J Catanzarite and Jim T. Tice, Catanzarite Law
         Offices 2331 W Lincoln Ave Anaheim, CA 92801, Phone:
         714-520-5544, E-mail: kcatanzarite@catanzarite.com and
         jtice@catanzarite.com; and

     (2) Laurence M. Rosen, Rosen Law Firm 350, Fifth Avenue,
         Suite 5508 New York, NY 10118 Phone: 212-686-1060, E-
         mail: lrosen@rosenlegal.com.

Representing the company are:

     (i) Jason D. Annigian, Robert J. Feldhake, Daniel M.
         Hawkins, and Lisa A. Roquemore, Feldhake and Roquemore,
         19900 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 850 Irvine, CA 92612,
         Phone: 949-553-5000, E-mail: jannigian@far-law.com and
         rfeldhake@far-law.com; and

    (ii) C. William Kircher, Jr., C William Kircher Jr. Law
         Offices 2 Park Plaza, Ste. 300, Irvine, CA 92614-8513,
         Phone: 949-474-2310, Fax: 949-261-1085.


ILLINOIS: Lake County Sheriff's Office Sued for Overtime Wages
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lake County Sheriff's Office faces a purported class action in
relation to overtime wages in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Former marine patrol deputy Jack Manley, who resigned from the
sheriff's office two years ago, filed the suit.  Ryan Stephan,
Mr. Manley's legal representative, said that their case
basically claims a failure to pay overtime.

Mr. Manley's lawsuit, which was assigned to Judge Matthew F.
Kennelly, claims deputies from the roughly 50-officer marine
unit routinely worked more than 40 hours a week without getting
appropriate overtime pay.  The sheriff's marine unit patrols
Lake Michigan and the Chain o' Lakes.

Commenting on the class action, Meg Marcouiller, chief of the
civil division of the state's attorney's office, pointed out
that no one besides Mr. Manley has come forward to join the case
since it's filing last September.  A trial date has not been
set, she said.

According to Ms. Marcouiller, they are examining thousands of
records, but they don't really expect to see a class of marine
unit deputies who are working more than 40 hours per week.

The suit is "Manley v. Curran, Case No. 1:06-cv-05303," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
under Judge Matthew F. Kennelly.

Representing the plaintiff is Ryan F. Stephan of Touhy & Touhy,
Ltd., 161 North Clark Street, Suite 2210, Chicago, IL 60601,
Phone: (312) 372-2209, Fax: (312) 456-3838, E-mail:
rstephan@touhylaw.com.


INTERLINK ELECTRONICS: Still Faces Stock Fraud Lawsuit in Calif.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Interlink Electronics, Inc. remains a defendant in a purported
securities fraud class action filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Central District of California.

Filed on Nov. 15, 2005, the suit, "Roger Brooks, et al. v.
Interlink Electronics, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:05-cv-08133-PA-
SH," was brought against the company and two of its current and
former officers.  

It alleges that between April 24, 2003 and Nov. 1, 2005, the
company and two of its current and former officers made false
and misleading statements and failed to disclose material
information regarding the company's results of operations and
financial condition.  

The complaint also alleges violations of federal securities
laws, Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S. Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, including allegations of issuing a
series of material misrepresentations to the market which had
the effect of artificially inflating the market price.

The court has not certified a class, and the litigation remains
in its early stages, according to the company's Dec. 22, 2006
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006.

The suit is "Roger Brooks, et al. v. Interlink Electronics,
Inc., et al., Case No. 2:05-cv-08133-PA-SH," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California under
Judge Percy Anderson with referral to Judge Stephen J. Hillman.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Timothy J. Burke of Stull Stull and Brody, 10940
         Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 2300, Los Angeles, CA 90024,
         Phone: 310-209-2468, E-mail: service@ssbla.com;

     (2) Lionel Z. Glancy of Glancy Binkow and Goldberg, 1801
         Avenue of the Stars, Suite 311, Los Angeles, CA 90067,
         Phone: 310-201-9150; and

     (3) Roy L. Jacobs of Roy L. Jacobs and Associates, 60 East
         42nd Street, 46th Floor, New York, NY 10165, Phone:
         212-867-1156.

Representing the defendants is Daniel S. Floyd of Gibson Dunn &
Crutcher, 333 S. Grand Ave., 45th Fl., Los Angeles, CA 90071-
3197, Phone: 213-229-7000, E-mail: dfloyd@gibsondunn.com.


INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Faces Labor Laws Violations Suit in N.J.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Interstate Bakeries Corp. is named in two wage and hour cases in
New Jersey that have been brought under state law, one of which
has been brought on behalf of a putative class of route sales
representatives.  

The case involving the putative class is:

      -- "Ruzicka, et al. v. Interstate Brands Corp., et al.,
         No. 03-CV 2846 (FLW) (Superior Court, Ocean City, New
         Jersey).

The other case is:

      -- "McCourt, et al. v. Interstate Brands Corp., No. 1-03-
         CV-00220 (FLW) (D.N.J.)."  

These cases are in their preliminary stages.  As a result of the
company's Chapter 11 filing, these cases have been automatically
stayed.

The named plaintiffs in both cases have filed a proof of claim
in our bankruptcy case for unpaid wages.

The company is named in an additional wage and hour case brought
on behalf of a putative class of bakery production supervisors
under federal law.  The suit is "Anugweje v. Interstate Brands
Corp., 2:03 CV 00385 (WGB) (D.N.J.)."  

This action is in the preliminary stages.  As a result of the
company's Chapter 11 filing, this case has been automatically
stayed.


LEAD PAINT LITIGATION: Mo. High Court to Review St. Louis' Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------  
Judges for the Missouri Court of Appeals have sent to the state
Supreme Court for consideration a suit holding all paint
manufacturers responsible for contaminating homes in St. Louis
with paint containing lead, Associated Press reports.

The city is suing the paint manufacturers to make them pay for
the costs to remove the paint.

Defendants in the suit includes:

     -- Benjamin Moore & Co.,
     -- Millennium Chemicals Inc.,
     -- NL Industries Inc.,
     -- XBD Inc.,
     -- PPG Industries Inc., and
     -- The Sherwin-Williams Co.

The city alleges that the companies knew lead paint was
dangerous and unfit for homes.  It said in the suit it could not
identify the manufacturer of any lead paint or lead pigment at
properties where abatement has occurred, but it is enough to
show that the companies substantially contributed to the lead
paint problem in St. Louis to hold them responsible.

The companies said product identification was necessary to hold
them liable.  A judge initially ruled against the city's "public
nuisance" claim.  The city appealed.

In a ruling issued late last month, judges for the Missouri
Court of Appeals sent the case to the state Supreme Court for
consideration whether the paint and pigment makers can be held
responsible absent proof that they made the paint used in the
homes.

"...[W]e transfer[ed] the case to the Supreme Court because of
the general importance of and interest in this issue and so that
the Supreme Court can re-examine existing law relating to this
issue," the appeals court wrote.


MARRIOTT HOTEL: Resolves Calif. Minimum Wage Ordinance Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Gonzalez and Leigh announced that it has settled
a class action claim against the Marriott Hotel over alleged
violations of San Francisco's minimum wage ordinance, Beyond
Chron reports.

The parties agreed to a settlement in the amount of $1.35
million.

According to former Marriott Supervisor Matt Gonzalez and the
lawyer for the workers, they appreciate Marriott's cooperation
in reaching an amicable resolution in this matter.  

They explained that the settlement affords the plaintiffs
appropriate relief and serves as a reminder to employers that
all workers in San Francisco must be paid the city's minimum
wage.

As part of the negotiated settlement, funds that are not
distributed to employees will be contributed to the City's
Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement for enforcement of the
local minimum wage ordinance.

In 2005, Marriott Corp. was named defendant in a lawsuit filed
in San Francisco Superior Court by four employees, accusing the
hotel of violating San Francisco's minimum-wage ordinance and of
discriminating against older sales managers who failed to fit
the company's purported goal of a younger, hipper image.

The suit, a proposed class action, was filed on behalf of
affected workers at all seven company-affiliated hotels in the
city, including the San Francisco Marriott, the Stanford Court
and the Ritz-Carlton.

The complaint alleged that the hotel chain ignored the city's
minimum wage ordinance - and retaliated against the lead
plaintiff, Joseph Aubrey, when he complained to management.

Mr. Gonzalez said it was the first private class-action suit
seeking to enforce the wage ordinance, Proposition L, since it
was passed by city voters in November 2003 and took effect the
following February.

The ordinance initially set the minimum wage at $8.50 an hour
and increased it in January to $8.62, or $7.75 for nonprofit
groups and companies with fewer than 10 employees.  The state
minimum wage is $6.75 an hour and the federal minimum is $5.15.

Representing plaintiffs is Matt Gonzalez of Gonzalez & Leigh
LLP, Two Shaw Alley, San Francisco, CA 94105, Phone:
415.512.2000, Fax: 415.512.2001, Web site:
http://www.gonzalezleigh.com/news.html.


MARTHA STEWART: Faces Wash. Litigation Over Hot Coffee Cups
-----------------------------------------------------------
A February trial is slated for a class action filed against
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., and K-Mart in Spokane
Superior Court in Washington over its potentially not-microwave-
safe coffee cups that it sold, KXLY reports.

Kamilia Nemri, a college math instructor who bought her Martha
Stewart plateware, including several microwave safe coffee cups,
in 2001, filed the suit.

According to her attorney, Darrell Scott, Ms. Nemri put water
and tea in a cup, put it in the microwave for a minute and a
half, tried to pick up the cup with the handle and ended up
getting some really serious burns to her hands.

Laboratory testing allegedly revealed that the coffee cups were
made of a material that absorbs microwaves, especially after
they've been in the dishwasher.

Ms. Nemri's suit allegedly uncovered internal documents that
show Martha Stewart knew about the overheating problem just
months after they were put on K-Mart shelves, but kept the
product in the market.  She is demanding in her suit for a
recall of the coffee cups, but no monetary damages.


MERRILL LYNCH: SEC Considers Backing Firm in Enron Damages Case
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering
the possibility of siding with Merrill Lynch & Co. in a case
involving Enron Corp. shareholders seeking damages from big
investment banks, including Merrill, over their alleged role in
Enron's accounting fraud, The Associated Press reports.

Recently, an unnamed SEC official revealed that attorneys for
the company had asked the SEC to file a brief in a federal
appeals court in support of the firm's position that on legal
grounds, it should not be held liable in the case.  The official
adds that the agency staff was considering doing so.  

Merrill Lynch maintains in the case that in granting class-
action status to the shareholders, a federal judge accepted an
"expansive" theory put forward by their lawyers that wrongly
holds all parties, including those that aided Enron's scheme,
but did not know its true purpose liable for losses incurred by
investors.

Previously, the federal judge presiding over the shareholder
litigation, Judge Melinda Harmon, granted class action status to
the case against Merrill Lynch and others.  The U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is reviewing that decision.  If
the appeals court overturned Judge Harmon's ruling, the suit
against the investment banks could be tossed out.

However, lawyers for Enron shareholders argued that the
investment banks played key roles in Enron's "scheme to
defraud."  Under a 1995 law, a single defendant can be held
liable for paying the entire amount of damages if the judge
determines athat the defendant knowingly violated the securities
laws.

Other defendants in the shareholders' suit are Royal Bank of
Canada, Royal Bank of Scotland, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Credit
Suisse First Boston.


NEW HAMPSHIRE: Plaistow to Pay $250T for Kelley Road Pollution
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Plaistow city council has approved the payment of $250,000
to the Environmental Protection Agency as fine for its part in
the Beede Waste Oil contamination, The Eagle-Tribune reports.

Prior to 1970, the city paid waste treatment company Beede Waste
Oil to accept and dispose of used oil from city schools,
municipal buildings and vehicles.  But instead of treating the
oil, the company dumped the oil onto the ground, contaminating
soil and nearby wells at its site in Kelley Road, Plaistow.

In 2001, the government filed a class action to make those
responsible for polluting the area pay for the cleanup of the
site.  

Listed as defendants are Haverhill, the cities of Boston,
Chicopee, Gloucester and Peabody, and the towns of Andover,
Ipswich, Marshfield, Saugus, and Salem as well as the Navy, the
Air Force and the U.S. Postal Service.


NEW YORK: Court Blocks Ex-Inmate's Lawsuit Over Jail Conditions
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
blocked a former inmate's efforts to bring a $5.5 million class
action claiming poor living conditions at the Albany County
Correctional Facility, because the plaintiff represents himself,
Michele Morgan Bolton of Timesunion.com reports.

In a recently issued ruling, Judge Lawrence E. Kahn said that
Brian Brodhead can make a case on behalf of himself, with no
lawyer, but can't include any of the other 14 men who have
joined with him.

The former Albany County jail inmate filed his suit in on Sept.
5, 2006. The suit claims correction officials ignored repeated
requests by inmates to exterminate an infestation of mosquitoes
in the east and west cellblocks and worms that foul showers
(Class Action Reporter, Sept. 18, 2006).  

Furthermore, it stated that lack of air-conditioning in the jail
this summer bred microorganisms that caused many inmates to
develop rashes.

Mr. Brodhead sued under the Eighth Amendment prohibition of
cruel and unusual punishment that is supposed to guarantee some
minimum standards of living.

The suit named as defendants Chief Correction Officer Mark
Kramek, Assistant Superintendent John Teabout and one other jail
employee.  

It seeks improvement in living conditions, damages of $5.5
million and class-action status for the suit.  Mr. Brodhead is
filing the suit without a lawyer, an earlier report indicated.

The suit is "Brodhead et al. v. Muhammad et al., Case No. 9:06-
cv-01066-LEK-DEP," filed under Judge Lawrence E. Kahn with
referral to Judge David E. Peebles.


OKLAHOMA: Court Upholds Ruling on Dickson's Traffic Penalties
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals has upheld a lower-court
decision that restricts how much the town of Dickson can fine
motorists for traffic violations, KTEN reports.

The court's decision came in a lawsuit filed against the
southern Oklahoma town on behalf of a Sulphur physician who was
ticketed for reckless driving for going 65 in a 45 mile-per-hour
zone and was fined $398.

Attorney David Pyle, legal representative for Dr. Franklin
House, says the town hadn't re-approved its town laws since
1992.

Earlier, a Carter County judge ruled that towns and cities are
required to re-approve or re-codify their laws every 10 years.  
If that's not done, a community may only impose a maximum fine
of $50.

The appeals court also says House could proceed with a class
action against the town.


QUICKLOGIC CORP: Awaits Final Approval of IPO Suit Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
has yet to finally approve a settlement in a suit filed against
Quicklogic Corp. and consolidated in "In re Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation."

On Oct. 26, 2001, a putative securities class action was filed
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
against certain investment banks that underwrote QuickLogic's
initial public offering, QuickLogic and some of QuickLogic's
officers and directors.

The complaint alleges excessive and undisclosed commissions in
connection with the allocation of shares of common stock in
QuickLogic's initial and secondary public offerings and
artificially high prices through "tie-in" arrangements which
required the underwriters' customers to buy shares in the
aftermarket at pre-determined prices in violation of the federal
securities laws.

Plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of damages on behalf of
persons who purchased QuickLogic's stock pursuant to the
registration statements between Oct. 14, 1999 and Dec. 6, 2000.  

Various plaintiffs have filed similar actions asserting
virtually identical allegations against over 300 other public
companies, their underwriters, and their officers and directors
arising out of each company's public offering.

These actions, including the action against QuickLogic, have
been coordinated for pretrial purposes and captioned "In re
Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, 21 MC 92."  A
stipulation of settlement for the claims against the issuer
defendants, including the Company, has been signed and was
submitted to the court.

Under the stipulation of settlement, the plaintiffs will dismiss
and release all claims against participating defendants in
exchange for a contingent payment guaranty by the insurance
companies collectively responsible for insuring the issuers in
all the related cases, and the assignment or surrender to the
plaintiffs of certain claims the issuer defendants may have
against the underwriters.

Under the guaranty, the insurers will be required to pay the
amount, if any, by which $1.0 billion exceeds the aggregate
amount ultimately collected by the plaintiffs from the
underwriter defendants in all the cases.  

On Feb. 15, 2005, the court preliminarily approved the
settlement contingent on specified modifications.  The
settlement is still subject to court approval and a number of
other conditions.  

For more details, visit http://www.iposecuritieslitigation.com/.


QUOVADX INC: Settles Legacy Shareholder Litigation for $7.8M
------------------------------------------------------------
Quovadx, Inc. reached an agreement to settle for $7.8 million
the last of three legacy lawsuits that arose from the company's
2004 restatement of historical financial results.

On Dec. 26, 2006, the company entered into a memorandum of
understanding (MOU) with lead plaintiffs to settle claims
brought in the class action originally entitled, "Henderson v.
Quovadx, Inc. et al.," filed on May 17, 2004.

The suit, subsequently consolidated under the caption, "Special
Situations Fund III, L.P. et al. v. Quovadx, Inc.," is pending
in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.  

Under the terms of the MOU, Quovadx will pay $7.8 million, by
Jan. 15, 2007, into a settlement fund established by the lead
plaintiffs' counsel in exchange for a release with prejudice of
all claims that were or could have been asserted by the
plaintiffs against the company and the former individual
defendants arising out of or relating to the acquisition of
Quovadx common stock in connection with Quovadx's December 2003
exchange offer for all outstanding shares of Rogue Wave
Software, Inc.

The lead plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and expenses, in amounts
approved by the court, as well as the cost of administering the
settlement, will be paid from the settlement fund.  The
agreement is subject to, among other things, approval by the
court.

"I am very pleased that these lawsuits are now resolved,
allowing us to focus fully on moving the company forward and
achieving our stated objectives for 2007," said Harvey A.
Wagner, president and CEO.

The company previously accrued $3.3 million dollars in the first
quarter of 2006, or approximately $0.08 per share, as a
preliminary estimate of the settlement amount.

Based on the MOU, the company expects to accrue an additional
settlement expense of $4.5 million, or approximately $0.11 per
share, in its fourth quarter 2006 results of operations.

Earlier this year, Quovadx reached agreements in two other
legacy class actions, "In re Quovadx, Inc. Derivative
Litigation," and "Heller v. Quovadx, Inc. et al."   

The Derivative Suit settlement is final.  The Heller class
action settlement has been paid and is pending final approval by
the court.

For more details, contact Rebecca Winning, Investor Contact,
Phone: 720-554-1346, E-mail: rebecca.winning@quovadx.com or
Andrea Lashnits, Media Contact, Phone: 720-554-1246, E-mail:
andrea.lashnits@quovadx.com, Web site: http://www.quovadx.com.


RAM ENERGY: Still Faces Royalty Owners' Litigation in Okla.
-----------------------------------------------------------
RAM Energy Resources, Inc. (formerly Tremisis Energy Acquisition
Corp.) remains a defendant in a purported class action filed by
royalty owners that was filed in the District Court for Woods
County, Oklahoma, according to company's Dec. 19, 2006 Form 10-
Q/A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarterly period ended June 30, 2006

In April 2002, a lawsuit was filed against RAM Energy, Inc.,
certain of its subsidiaries and various other individuals and
unrelated companies, by a lessor of certain oil and gas leases
from which production was sold to a gathering system owned and
operated by Magic Circle Energy Corp. or its wholly-owned
subsidiary, Carmen Field Limited Partnership.  The lawsuit
covers the period from 1977 to a current date.

In 1998, both Magic Circle and CFLP became wholly owned
subsidiaries of RAM Energy, Inc.  The lawsuit was filed as a
class action on behalf of all royalty owners under leases owned
by any of the defendants during the period Magic Circle or CFLP
owned and operated the gathering system.

The petition claims that additional royalties are due because
Magic Circle and CFLP resold oil and gas purchased at the
wellhead for an amount in excess of the price upon which royalty
payments were based and paid no royalties on natural gas liquids
extracted from the gas at plants downstream of the system.

Other allegations include under-measurement of oil and gas at
the wellhead by Magic Circle and CFLP, failure to pay royalties
on take or pay settlement proceeds and failure to properly
report deductions for post-production costs in accordance with
Oklahoma's check stub law.

RAM Energy, Inc. and other defendants have filed answers in the
lawsuit denying all material allegations set out in the
petition.

In the event the court should find RAM Energy, Inc. and its
related defendants liable for damages in the lawsuit, a former
joint venture partner is contractually obligated to pay a
portion of any damages assessed against the defendant lessees up
to a maximum contribution of approximately $2.8 million.

RAM Energy Resources, Inc. on the Net:
http://www.ramenergy.com/.


SOUTH CAROLINA: Law Firm Gets $115T in School Drug Raid Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Motley Rice LLC received $115,000 in legal fees
under a settlement of a suit filed over the 2003 Stratford High
School drug raid, according to The Charleston Post Courier.

Last year, the U.S. District Court for the District Court of
South Carolina approved a $1.6 million settlement.  The lawsuit
was initiated by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of
students' families.  

The suit charged police and school officials with violating the
students' right to be free from unlawful search and seizure and
use of excessive force.  It challenges police tactics in the
high-profile drug raid of Stratford High School in Goose Creek,
South Carolina.

The settlement includes a consent decree that sets a new
standard for students' rights to be free from unreasonable
search and seizure.  

In addition, the settlement establishes a $1.6 million dollar
fund to compensate the students and help cover medical and
counseling costs from the incident.

Both sides agreed to the terms of the settlement earlier last
year.  The agreement received judicial approval on July 10,
2006.

The suit is "Alexander, et al v. Goose Creek PD, et al., Case
No. 2:03-cv-03943-PMD," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of South Carolina under Judge Patrick Michael Duffy.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Badge Humphries of Ducks Unlimited Inc, 3896 Leeds
         Ave., Charleston, SC 29464, Phone: 843-745-9110, Fax:
         843-745-9112, E-mail: badgehumphries@yahoo.com;

     (2) Gregg Meyers of The Gregg Meyers Law Firm, 39 Broad
         Street, Suite 300, Charleston, SC 29401-2247, Phone:
         843-720-8714, Fax: 843-720-8704, E-mail:
         attygm@aol.com;

     (3) Antonio Ponvert of Koskoff Koskoff and Bieder, 350
         Fairfield Avenue, 5th Floor, Bridgeport, CN 06604,
         Phone: 203-336-4421;

     (4) David Rudovsky of Kairys Rudovsky Epstein and Messing,
         924 Cherry Street, Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19107;
         and

     (5) Graham A Boyd of The ACLU Drug Policy Litigation
         Project, 85 Willow Street, New Haven, CT 06511.

Representing the defendants are:

     (i) Stephen L Brown and Duke Raleigh Highfield both of
         Young Clement Rivers and Tisdale, PO Box 993,
         Charleston, SC 29402, Phone: 843-577-4000, Fax: 843-
         579-1351 or 843-724-6600, E-mail: sbrown@ycrlaw.com and
         dhighfield@ycrlaw.com;

    (ii) Kenneth Lendrem Childs, Kathryn Long Mahoney and John M
         Reagle all of Childs and Halligan, PO Box 11367,
         Columbia, SC 29211-1367, Phone: 803-254-4035, Fax: 803-
         771-4422, E-mail: kchilds@childs-halligan.net and
         kmahoney@childs-halligan.net and
         jreagle@childs-halligan.net;

   (iii) Donna Seegars Givens of Woods and Given, PO Box 2444,
         Lexington, SC 29071-2444, Phone: 803-808-8088, Fax:
         803-808-8090, E-mail: dgivens@woodsgivens.com; and

    (iv) Daryl G Hawkins of Daryl G Hawkins Law Office, PO Box
         11906, Columbia, SC 29211, Phone: 803-733-3531, Fax:
         803-799-9202, E-mail: dgh@dghlaw.net.


TAN TAN: Recalls Soybean Juice Over Undeclared Peanut Content
-------------------------------------------------------------
Tan Tan Tofu of Westminster, California is recalling its 64 FL
OZ/1.890 L "All Natural Tan Tan Tofu Panda Flavor Soybean Juice"
because it may contain undeclared peanuts.

People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to peanuts run
the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if
they consume these products.

The Panda Flavor Soybean Juice in a 64 Fl. Oz/ 1.890 L opaque
plastic container with no lot number or expiration date is only
distributed in California.

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

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that the
peanut-containing product was distributed in packaging that did
not reveal the presence of peanuts.  

Subsequent investigation indicates the problem was caused by a
typographical error in the ingredient statement on the product
label, which lists bean nuts instead of peanuts.

Production of the product has been suspended until FDA and the
company is certain that the problem or label has been corrected.

Consumers who have purchased 64 FL OZ/1.890 L "All Natural Tan
Tan Tofu Panda Flavor Soybean Juice" are urged to return them to
the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with
questions may contact the company at (714) 895-3565.


UNITED STATES: Miami Judge Green Lights Rights Violations Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida under
Judge Paul C. Huck permitted a class action lawsuit to proceed
against the federal government over the deportation of
undocumented immigrants/parents of U.S.-born children for civil
rights violations, Efe News Service reported.

The judge has agreed to listen to the arguments, and on Jan. 16
will study the revision of the case to be presented on behalf of
the plaintiffs, according to Alfonso Oviedo, president of the
advocacy group American Fraternity, one of Miami's leading
community organizations.

The judge further allowed an extension in order to ready the
case with more forceful arguments in "denouncing the violation
and discrimination" against these children of foreigners,
Nora Sandigo, president of Guardian ad Litem said.

Guardian ad Litem, an organization dedicated to the protection
of children, said in the lawsuit that "the deportation of the
parents," most of them Hispanics, would cause their children an
"irreparable loss" and the destruction of their families.

"We want the children's suffering to be acknowledged" and
consequently that the "deportation of their parents be stopped,"
said Ms. Sandigo, who expressed her satisfaction at the judge's
decision.

The important thing is that the judge said "no" to the attorney
of President George W. Bush, who "wanted the case closed," Ms.
Sandigo said, adding that in the U.S. some 4 million children
are living in similar situations.

                         Case Background

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
Florida, the suit argues that the constitutional rights of those
young citizens are being violated by their families' precarious
status, and that deportations of the parents of U.S. citizen
children should stop until congress passes comprehensive
immigration reform (Class Action Reporter, Oct. 6, 2006).

The suit, filed on Oct. 4, 2006, seeks class action status for
60 families in South Florida.  It also seeks from the court an
emergency injunction to halt deportations (Class Action
Reporter, Oct. 16, 2006).

Aside from violating the children's constitutional rights, the
suit claims U.S. immigration laws that force families apart
violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Ms. Sandigo, who also heads the Nicaraguan Fraternity, is the
named plaintiff in the suit, which was brought on behalf of
children whose parents hail from China, Colombia, Honduras,
Nicaragua, Poland, Venezuela as well as other countries.

Included as defendants in the case are:

      -- President George W. Bush,
      -- the Department of Justice,
      -- the Department of Homeland Security, and
      -- the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
         Services, Emilio Gonzalez.

The case's premise is that the U.S. government did not enforce
its own immigration laws, thus allowing millions of undocumented
immigrants to live and work here for many years, eventually
forming families that include children who are American
citizens.

The suit argues that the government has since lost its right to
deport those parents, since it failed to do so for a long time,
and now the rights of the U.S.-born children trump the long-
unenforced laws that would break up their families.

Though the suit enjoys a modicum of support from the community,
advocates of stricter immigration enforcement laws, argue that
parenthood should not give undocumented immigrants special
status.

According to John Keeley of the Center for Immigration Studies,
the parents have made "breathtakingly bad decisions."  He points
out that "nobody forced them to come here illegally.  This is
their burden.  If they have a duty to care for their children,
they must do so in their home countries."

The suit started with a roster of 60 families, and now has
roughly 200, but attorneys behind the suit announced that they
would add 63 Illinois families to the case (Class Action
Reporter, Dec. 18, 2006).

Mr. Oviedo stressed that the case does not seek an outright ban
on deporting the parents of U.S. citizens, but asks a judge to
suspend those removals until Congress decides whether to
legalize undocumented immigrants.  He and others are seeking
class-action status for the case, and expects a decision on the
request in January.

The suit is "Sandigo v. Bush, et al., Case No. 1:06-cv-22484-
PCH," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of Florida under Judge Paul C. Huck.

Representing the plaintiff are:

     (1) Michael Feldenkrais of Becker & Poliakoff, 5201 Blue
         Lagoon Drive, Suite 100, Miami, FL 33126, Phone: 305-
         262-1017, Fax: 262-4504;

     (2) Irving Joseph Gonzalez, 80 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL
         33130, Phone: 305-374-4343, Fax: 374-4348; and

     (3) Alfonso E. Oviedo-Reyes, 8370 W. Flagler Street, Miami,
         FL 33144, Phone: 305-221-6433, Fax: 221-6519.


* Scientists Caution Class Litigation Can Baffle Medical Science
----------------------------------------------------------------
A team of scientists and lawyers warn in the journal Neurology
that class actions can significantly slow or halt science's
ability to establish links between neurological illness and
environmental factors produced by industry, Mednews.ustl.edu
reports.

The authors caution that litigation's effects could seriously
impair efforts to identify compounds that contribute to a wide
variety of diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's
disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

They provide suggestions for policy changes to help shield
scientists and their research. Recommendations include enhancing
privacy protections for patient data obtained in research
projects and eliminating financial conflicts-of-interest for
scientists actively involved in research related to the
litigation.

The lead author, Brad A. Racette, M.D., associate professor of
neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Louis, writes from personal experience: His studies tentatively
linking welding to increased risk of Parkinson's disease
resulted in a torrent of subpoenas for research data. Responding
to them slows or stops his follow-up research.

"Participation in the legal system can be a huge burden on a
researcher's schedule," Dr. Racette says. "There comes a point
where a scientist needs the right to be able to say, testifying
in court is not what I'm supposed to be doing, I'm supposed to
be studying disease."

In addition to the scheduling challenges, parties involved in
lawsuits often demand extensive disclosure of scientific data
that disrupts research and threatens the privacy of patients and
research volunteers.

The two lawyers who are coauthors on the Neurology article, Ann
Bradley and Carrie A. Wrisberg, worked with Dr. Racette to
defend his data from unreasonable disclosure requests.

"I'm fortunate in that I work for a university that was willing
to defend the value and privacy of our research data," Dr.
Racette says. "Other scientists aren't so lucky."

The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
(HIPAA) prohibits release of data that can be used to identify
patients, he notes.

However, in many instances the extensive volume and
particularity of data demanded by lawyers may still permit
research subjects to be identified.

"To protect patient privacy and the value of our research data,
we need specific, across-the-board restrictions on information
that can be released in the courtroom," he says. "For example,
Illinois has a law that designates medical research data as
protected. That should be a model for other states."

The authors note that the substantial financial interests at
stake in lawsuits often leads to biased research by well-paid
expert witnesses. They cite the example of a Texas doctor found
to be overdiagnosing a disease known as silicosis. The doctor
had a financial interest in the number of patients diagnosed.

Peer review is of course a part of the regular scientific
process, Dr. Racette notes, but a knowledgeable expert can
design a study with a predetermined goal of discrediting earlier
studies that linked a suspected toxin to a disease.

Industries on the defensive have also attempted to impugn the
credibility of researchers. As an example, the authors cite the
case of Herbert Needleman, M.D., professor of psychiatry and
pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh and the first
scientist to link lead exposure to low IQ levels in children.

The lead industry attacked Needleman's integrity, alleging
academic fraud and triggering investigations by the Federal
Scientific Integrity Board and his university. The
investigations failed to find any evidence of academic fraud,
and Needleman's results were later replicated, leading to
beneficial changes such as the removal of lead from gasoline.

"It's really quite an eye-opener," Racette says. "Herb Needleman
had to endure great personal and financial hardships, including
the prospect of career loss and $85,000 in personal legal fees,
all because he dared to study something produced by a powerful
industry that might be harmful to people."

Dr. Racette admits that the difficulties litigation has imposed
on his research has, at times, made the thought of switching his
focus to a different area tempting. But he says he's much too
stubborn to ever seriously consider such a step.

"To cure or prevent intractable disorders like the one I focus
on, Parkinson's disease, scientists need to be free to
investigate many different potential causes, including
environmental factors produced by industry," he says. "We hope
to get a national dialogue going about how we can create an
environment where scientists are as free as possible to do good,
unbiased research."

Dr. Racette's frequent collaborator Joel S. Perlmutter, M.D.,
professor of neurology, radiology and physical therapy and
associate professor of neurobiology, is senior author of the
paper.


                         Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Removal Work at Fla. Park Nears Completion
---------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos removal work on a future park site in Marco Island
City, Fla. is nearly complete, Naples Daily News reports.

City spokeswoman Lisa Douglass said that excavation has ended
pending soil sample results and air quality reports from the
City's environmental consultant.

The work at what is known as Site C at the corner of Elkcam and
Joy circles began under the direction of American Management
Resources Corp.

The cleanup is the third the City has attempted since March
2006. In April 2006, AMRC certified a cleanup; however, more
asbestos was uncovered in October 2006.

Ms. Douglass added that more work could be necessary, depending
on the test results.

An investigation by the Marco Island Police Department into
suspected asbestos dumping on the site is ongoing.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fla. Retiree Names 111 Firms in Ill. Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Louis Holzworth of Florida, on Dec. 21, 2006, sued 111 defendant
corporations in Madison County Circuit Court in Illinois,
claiming that those firms were responsible for his mesothelioma,
The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

Mr. Holzworth claimed he was employed from 1943 to 1985 as a
molder, manager, factory worker, warehouse foreman, cab driver
and postal carrier at various sites. He claimed he also was
exposed to asbestos during non-occupational work projects
including home and automotive repairs, maintenance and
remodeling.

Mr. Holzworth further claimed that his wife, Joan, worked from
1959 to 1985 as an inspector with Amphenol Corp. and that she
would carry home asbestos dust on her clothes that would become
airborne again when she came home.

The complaint stated, "Dust created by working with and around
asbestos and asbestos-containing products would permeate the
person and clothing of the plaintiff's family members. This dust
contained asbestos fiber."

The lawsuit claimed that Mr. Holzworth was diagnosed with
mesothelioma in August 2006 and subsequently became aware his
illness was wrongfully caused.

The complaint alleged that defendants failed to require and
advise their employees of hygiene practices designed to reduce
or prevent carrying asbestos fibers home. As a result of the
alleged negligence, Mr. Holzworth claimed he was exposed to
fibers with asbestos and developed a disease caused by asbestos,
which disabled and disfigured him.

Mr. Holzworth also claimed that he has sought, but has been
unable to obtain, full disclosure of relevant documents and
information from the defendants leading him to believe the
defendants destroyed documents related to asbestos.

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

Mr. Holzworth seeks compensatory and punitive damages in excess
of US$700,000, plus punitive damages.

Nicholas Angelides, Perry Browder, John Barnerd, Tim Thompson,
and Richard Saville of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill.
represent the Holzworths.

Mr. Holzworth's case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Dan
Stack.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Delays N.J. Public Library Reopening
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Red Bank Public Library in New Jersey, in a press release,
stated that the discovery of asbestos and the need to move a
sewer drain line have extended the library's limited reopening
to March 1, 2007, the hub reports.

After being closed Oct. 23, 2006, the library located at 84 W.
Front St. had been due to reopen in mid-December 2006.

The release stated, "The revised plan requires moving the sewer
drain line and part of the heating system in order to excavate
the flooring for the new elevator shaft. In addition, demolition
of two chimneys in the old building revealed asbestos lining
that has to be removed. As a result, there will be no heat in
most of the building for a period of about four weeks. Water
service will have to be turned off soon to prevent pipes from
freezing."

Mayor Edward J. McKenna Jr. said that he does not expect that
the additional work will add any significant change to the cost
of the project as a whole.

Librarian Jane Eigenrauch said that aside from the setbacks, the
work is moving along and although no particular piece of the
renovation work is completed, many aspects of the work are well
underway.

The renovations of the library, which was built in 1937, are a
result of a lawsuit brought against the borough for violations
of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In 2002, a complaint had been filed against the borough because
of the lack of accessibility for people with disabilities in
certain borough facilities, including the library and Count
Basie Park.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alpha-Omega Fined $4T for Removal Breaches
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said that it has
imposed a US$4,000 fine on Alpha-Omega Chemical Co. in
connection with asbestos removal violations in a building in
Dayton, Ohio, Dayton Daily News reports.

The fine was related to the demolition of the abandoned NIBCO
Foundry building on 1800 McCall St. The building is part of
Dayton's WestView redevelopment brownfield project.

The Company, a subcontractor of Titan Wrecking & Environmental
LLC told the city and the Regional Air Pollution Control
Authority (RAPCA) that all the asbestos was removed.

However, a check by RAPCA found there was still asbestos in the
building before demolition. The Company then returned and
removed the asbestos before the building was demolished.

OEPA said the fine could have been higher but remained low
because the Company had few assets.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Housing Co, Council Argue Over GBP3.5M Bill
----------------------------------------------------------------
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and housing company Twin
Valley Homes in the United Kingdom are still in negotiations
over the GPB3.5 million bill for removing asbestos from more
than 100 homes, The Citizen reports.

The Council and Twin Valley have been locked in negotiations
since 2002, 18 months after the council handed its housing stock
to the housing association. In September 2005, Council bosses
admitted they did not know the homes in the Delph Lane area of
Blackburn contained asbestos.

Previously, Twin Valley had claimed that it was given an
assurance by the Council that none of the homes contained the
potentially lethal building material, although the Council has
disputed this.

Twin Valley wants the Council to meet the cost of removing the
asbestos but both sides have said they want to resolve the
matter without going to court.

Twin Valley has started taking samples from 56 homes in Ashworth
Street, Clarendon Road, Peel Close, and Queens Road, before
improvement work.

The housing company had previously warned it would resort to
legal action against the Council to cover its costs but the
council has said it would fight any such action.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: N.Y. County Taxpayers May Pay Removal Bill
---------------------------------------------------------------
Auburn, N.Y. Republican David Pappert, chairman of Cayuga County
Legislature's Ways and Means Committee said that County
taxpayers, not insurance underwriters, could be liable for
expenses, fines or lawsuits from alleged improper removal and
disposal of asbestos from the County Board of Elections, The
Post-Standard reports.

Mr. Pappert said it is premature to speculate about whether the
insurance would cover any of the costs because the County had
not filed a claim.

New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal handles the County's
property and liability insurance coverage.

In February 2006, County workers and jail inmates dismantled an
old furnace and piping in the Board of Elections building on
Court Street and hauled the debris to the Auburn City landfill.

State and federal authorities are investigating whether the
County violated laws governing the removal and disposal of
asbestos. More than 30 people have since filed notices of claim
against the County over possible exposure to asbestos.

On Dec. 20, 2006, County employee John Chick was charged in a
10-count federal indictment related to the asbestos removal and
disposal. Mr. Chick, a carpenter in the building and grounds
department, is alleged to have supervised the furnace project.

Mr. Chick faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to
US$250,000 on each count of the indictment. He also could get up
to 20 years in federal prison.

In December 2006, County Legislature Clerk Lee Brew reported
that the asbestos problem at the Board of Elections building has
cost taxpayers US$169,417. The cost includes cleanup, attorney
fees and replacement of furniture, equipment and paperwork.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Warning for Mechanics Stays on OSHA Website
----------------------------------------------------------------
A U.S. Government warning to mechanics that exposure to asbestos
in brakes can cause disease will not be removed from the website
of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, TUC
reports.

OSHA head Edwin Foulke Jr. decided to keep the five-page
warning, called a Safety and Health Information Bulletin, on the
agency's website. The safety bulletin was posted on an OSHA
website in July 2006, but subsequently faced an industry
challenge.

Michael Palese, a spokesperson for DaimlerChrysler Corp.'s legal
communications, said, "There is no proof of asbestos in brakes
ever harming those working on or around them. Not a single case
has ever been documented. Not one."

However, Richard Lemen, former acting director of the U.S.
Govt.'s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,
and other public health experts have presented case studies and
medical records of scores of brake and friction-material workers
who were reportedly sickened or killed by asbestos-related
diseases.

Ira Wainless, the OSHA scientist who wrote the bulletin, was
told last December 2006 that he would be suspended without pay
for 10 days because he refused requests by supervisors to add
references to industry-friendly asbestos studies that he and
other asbestos experts said lacked credibility.

After negotiations between the American Federation of Government
Employees and OSHA officials, the agency signed an agreement to
withdraw its proposed suspension of Mr. Wainless.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scottish Kin Celebrates Win in Payout Fight
----------------------------------------------------------------
Families of Scottish asbestos disease victims celebrate an early
victory in their fight for compensation, TUC reports.

The Scottish Executive has announced that changes in Scottish
law to help people with asbestos-related cancer claim
compensation have been brought forward.

Until now, asbestos disease victims have been forced to choose
between claiming damages for themselves or waiting so that
relatives can possibly claim more after their death.

Deputy justice minister Johann Lamont said the Mesothelioma
Damages Bill would be amended to enable people with the disease
to benefit from its provisions from Dec. 20, 2006, rather than
waiting for it to become law.

Minister Lamont said, "When mesothelioma strikes, we must ensure
families receive the support they need and are not worried about
legal choices. This legislation is designed to deliver exactly
that."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japan Gov't. Refuses to Reveal Firms' Names
----------------------------------------------------------------
Victim support groups said that Japan's Health, Labor and
Welfare Ministry has refused to disclose the names of companies
found is fiscal 2005 and later to have caused asbestos-related
illnesses to employees, Mainichi Daily News reports.

A group official said, "Disclosing the companies' names would
help in extending relief to nearby residents and former workers.
Refusal to disclose their names represents a retreat from its
earlier policy toward supporting patients with asbestos-related
illnesses."

A Ministry official said, "We're carefully considering the
advantages and disadvantage of disclosure. We have no intention
of disclosing the names of firms concerned any more. Following
our disclosure last year and news reports, there was an increase
in the number of applications for compensation under the work-
related accident compensation program. We've sufficiently
informed the public of problems related to asbestos."

In July 2005 and August 2005, the Ministry released the names of
415 companies responsible for 539 cases of mesothelioma and lung
cancer caused by asbestos from fiscal 1999 to 2004 and 200 cases
before that period.

Following the move, the number of applications for compensation
for asbestos-related accidents under the Government-backed work-
related accident insurance program increased.

Between April 2004 and September 2006, labor standards
inspection offices recognized 1,562 cases of those illnesses as
the result of asbestos inhalation.

The Government also paid compensation to the families of 623
patients who died of cancer caused by asbestos under a special
law aimed at extending relief to the bereaved families of
asbestos victims after the five-year statute of limitations for
paying compensation under the insurance program had run out.

In total, the Ministry recognized 2,185 cases of work-related
accidents caused by asbestos.

Since June 2006, the Japan Occupational Safety and Health
Resource Center, comprising groups supporting asbestos victims
has repeatedly asked the ministry to disclose the names of firms
found since fiscal 2005 to have caused asbestos-related
illnesses.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: JT Thorpe Co Emerges From Ch. 11 Bankruptcy
----------------------------------------------------------------
JT Thorpe Co., after filing for Chapter 11 protection in October
2002, has emerged from bankruptcy, bizjournals.com reports.

The Houston, Tex.-based Company continued to operate while it
was dealing with asbestos-related lawsuits. The Company had
received more than 80,000 claims alleging bodily injury.

The industrial contractor said at that time that although it
installed, maintained and sold insulation or refractory lining
products, many of which had asbestos, it never made the
products.

The Company was able to consummate its Plan of Reorganization on
April 21, 2006 and can now operate its business in the usual
manner under Court protection from existing and future asbestos-
related suits.

Headquartered in Houston, Tex., JT Thorpe Co. designs, installs,
maintains, and repairs refractory and acid masonry linings and
related products in industrial settings. The Company has offices
and warehouses in Houston, Beaumont, and in Sulphur, La.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dutch Ship Denies 77-Ton Asbestos Onboard
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Dutch environment minister Pieter van Geel told Members of
Parliament that the ship Otapan carried almost 77 tons of
asbestos and not one ton was stated on the original export
document, DutchNews.nl reports.

Earlier estimates that the ship was carrying 54 tons of asbestos
have been upgraded again following new research.

Reuters had stated that the Otapan, on Oct. 16, 2006, returned
to the port of Amsterdam, The Netherlands after a Turkish wharf
rejected it for the asbestos onboard. (Class Action Reporter,
Oct. 20, 2006)

Mr. Van Geel told MPs he would know more about the cost of
dismantling the ship later in January 2007. Three shipyards have
put in tenders for the job.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Widow Seeks GBP150T in Lawsuit v. Pinewood
---------------------------------------------------------------
Barbara Sharp seeks GBP150,000 from Pinewood Studios for the
death of her husband, Ronald, from mesothelioma, an asbestos-
related cancer, The Times reports.

The claim is against Rank Film Productions, owners of Pinewood,
which is now a listed company, when Mr. Sharp was working there.

A spokeswoman for Zurich UK Commercial, Rank's insurers, said,
"Rank Film Productions ceased trading in 1989. Our solicitors
are working through the process of the claim. They have recently
been notified."

Mr. Sharp worked on Goldfinger and the Carry On movies and other
classics from the 1960s and 1970s when asbestos was used as a
fire retardant and lagging in pipes.

According to Mrs. Sharp's writ, Mr. Sharp was exposed to
asbestos while working next to carpenters who cut up the
asbestos boards that lined the sets.

Mr. Sharp, who was employed by the Buckinghamshire studios, died
in 2004 at the age of 59. Mrs. Sharp's writ said that his
employer breached regulations on providing protective equipment
and keeping an environment free of asbestos dust.

The writ detailed the apparent breaching of regulations under
the Factories Act 1961 and the Asbestos Regulations 1969.

Mr. Sharp was a member of the Broadcasting Entertainment
Cinematograph and Theatre Union, which is supporting the
compensation claim.

BECTU is now trying to track down other technicians who worked
at Pinewood in the 1960s and 1970s and who may also have been
exposed to asbestos.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Man Charged for Bank Asbestos Stunt
---------------------------------------------------------------
An unnamed man, who was upset about a Cyclone Larry insurance
payout, threatened staff at an Innisfail, Queensland, Australia
bank with a piece of fibro that had asbestos, the Australian
Associated Press reports.

Wearing a respiratory mask, the 30-year-old man marched into the
Commonwealth Bank branch with the piece of fibro and a bottle of
water at Jan. 3, 2007.

The man shouted at staff, splashed water onto the ceiling and
threw the fibro onto the floor, shattering it. Tests later
confirmed the fibro had asbestos.

Police said the man was upset over an insurance claim relating
to Cyclone Larry, which devastated the Innisfail area in March
2006.

The man has been charged with entering with intent and demanding
service by threat. He will appear in Innisfail Magistrates Court
on Jan. 15, 2007.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Junks Tisdel Suit v. DaimlerChrysler
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle County, affirmed
DaimlerChrysler Corp.'s motion for summary judgment in an
asbestos-related lawsuit filed by Wayne Tisdel.

Judge Joseph R. Slights III handed down the decision of C.A. No.
04C-03-255-ASB on Nov. 28, 2006.

On March 22, 2004, Mr. Tisdel sued DaimlerChrysler. He alleged
that he suffers from asbestosis as a result of his exposure to
asbestos-containing automobile parts made by Chrysler.

Mr. Tisdel, on Sept. 8, 2004, filed his Answers to
Interrogatories. He did not identify any Chrysler vehicles or
any Chrysler parts. On Jan. 13, 2006, Chrysler heard Mr.
Tisdel's deposition.

On March 15, 2006, Chrysler moved for summary judgment arguing
that the record failed to establish that Mr. Tisdel was exposed
to any asbestos-containing product associated with Chrysler.

Specifically, Chrysler argued that Mr. Tisdel had failed to
identify exposure to Chrysler products. Chrysler argued that it
was entitled to judgment.
      
On March 16, 2006, Mr. Tisdel submitted an errata sheet for his
Jan. 13, 2006 deposition. In his errata sheet, he stated for the
first time that he removed original Chrysler gaskets from his
"1969 Dodge Step Van."
      
On April 3, 2006, Mr. Tisdel signed an affidavit in which he
further addressed his work on the Dodge Van. The Affidavit was
filed with the Court and served upon Chrysler along with Mr.
Tisdel's Answering Brief in response to Chrysler's motion for
summary judgment.

On April 12, 2006, Chrysler filed its Reply Brief. Chrysler
argued that the Court should not consider Mr. Tisdel's errata
sheet and Affidavit because both were prepared for the purpose
of creating a sham issue of fact to defeat summary judgment.

Mr. Tisdel has failed to answer Chrysler's motion for summary
judgment by demonstrating the existence of a genuine issue of
material fact. Consequently, the Court granted Chrysler's motion
for summary judgment.

Robert Jacobs and Thomas C. Crumplar of Jacobs & Crumplar in
Wilmington, Del. represented Wayne Tisdel.

Somers S. Price Jr. of Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP in
Wilmington, Del. represented DaimlerChrysler Corp.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeals Court Favors Agent in Geske Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Mississippi upheld the Circuit Court of
Covington County's decision, which ruled in favor of insurance
agent David R. Williamson, in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed
by Virginia Geske for her husband Jerald J. Geske.

The Panel, comprised of Judges Myers, Griffis, and Barnes,
handed down the decision of Case No. 2004-CA-01730-COA on Dec.
12, 2006.

Before 2001, Jerald Geske worked for Mike Barnes Trucking Co.
where he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which rendered him
unable to work. However, he maintained his health insurance at
MBTC for himself and his wife through COBRA payments.

In January 2001, Mr. Williamson called MBTC to inquire about the
status of its group health insurance. Mike Barnes, the owner of
MBTC, told Mr. Williamson he had decided to drop his company's
current group health insurance policy.

Mrs. Geske, in her appeal, argued that the Circuit Court erred
in allowing Mr. Williamson to admit evidence at trial regarding
the Geskes' collateral sources of recovery and testimony of
related pending litigation.

A Circuit Court jury returned a verdict in Mr. Williamson's
favor. The Appeals Court affirmed the judgment of the Circuit
Court. All costs of the appeal were assessed to Mrs. Geske.

Larry O. Norris and John D. Smallwood represented Virginia
Geske.

Lara A. Coleman and David A. Barfield represented Danny R.
Williamson.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Rules v. Caterpillar in Phillips Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Rhode Island Superior Court, Providence County, denied
Caterpillar Inc.'s motion for summary judgment in an asbestos-
related lawsuit filed by Ray and Emily Phillips.

Judge Alice Bridget Gibney handed down the decision of Case No.
C.A. PC 06-1985 on Dec. 6, 2006.

On April 10, 2006, the Phillips couple filed a complaint in this
Court, alleging that they suffered injuries from Mr. Phillips'
exposure to asbestos and asbestos-containing products that were
made, supplied, or sold by Caterpillar.

In response, Caterpillar has moved for summary judgment, arguing
that the Phillips couple has not established their case.

Caterpillar argued that the Phillips did not give sufficient
evidence to indicate that Mr. Phillips was exposed to a
Caterpillar product. It has produced portions of Mr. Phillips'
deposition in which Mr. Phillips stated that he did not remember
if he had been present when people were working with Caterpillar
products.

Caterpillar argued that this deposition testimony, combined with
a lack of other evidence that Mr. Phillips had been exposed to
asbestos while working on Caterpillar products, entitled
Caterpillar to summary judgment.

Here, the Phillips couple countered Caterpillar's evidence by
offering other portions of Mr. Phillip's deposition, which
contradict the sections put forth by Caterpillar.

In this portion of his deposition, Mr. Phillips testified that
he worked on Caterpillar bulldozers during the course of his
work at an oil and gas company.

The contradicting evidence presented by the parties indicated
that this case does not warrant summary judgment. Accordingly,
the Court denied Caterpillar's motion for summary judgment.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Upholds Ruling to Favor Bowling Green
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Kentucky upheld a Warren Circuit Court
decision, which dismissed the claim of Eleanor Jean Hunton,
representing Bobby Gene Hunton, for negligent exposure to
asbestos against the City of Bowling Green.

The Panel, comprised of Judges William L. Knopf, Donna Dixon,
and Jeff S. Taylor, handed down the decision of Case No. 2005-
CA-002164-MR on Dec. 15, 2006.
      
In June 1964, the City bought real property in Warren County for
the construction of a Cutler-Hammer Inc. manufacturing plant. On
June 1, 1964, the City and Cutler-Hammer entered into a lease
agreement.

From 1965 to 1977, Mr. Hunton worked for Cutler-Hammer in the
maintenance department at the Bowling Green Plant. While working
at the plant, Mr. Hunton alleged he was exposed to asbestos from
various products including pipe insulation and block insulation.
He eventually contracted mesothelioma.

Mr. Hunton sued the City claming he was exposed to asbestos at
the Cutler-Hammer plant. During the pendency of the litigation,
Mr. Hunton died and Mrs. Hunton was substituted.

On June 13, 2005, the Circuit Court entered summary judgment
dismissing all claims against the City. On Sept. 14, 2005, the
judgment was final and appealable. Mrs. Hunton appealed.
      
In the summary judgment, the Circuit Court found that Cutler-
Hammer was put in complete and unrestricted possession of the
factory and that the City "clearly relinquished complete and
total possession of the premises while merely maintaining
ownership."

Upon the whole, the Appeals Court agreed with the Circuit Court
that Cutler-Hammer was put in complete and unrestricted
possession and control of the factory.

Mr. Hunton had also alleged that the asbestos constituted a
latent defect and that the City had a duty to disclose the
defect.

The Appeals Court ruled that the Circuit Court properly entered
summary judgment dismissing all claims against the City. Thus,
the summary judgment of the Circuit Court is affirmed.

Kenneth L. Sales, Joseph D. Satterley, and D. Matthew Kannady of
Louisville, Ky. represented Eleanor Jean Hunton, for Bobby Gene
Hunton.

H. Eugene Harmon and Dixie R. Satterfield of Satterfield Law
Firm in Bowling Green, Ky. represented the City of Bowling
Green, Ky.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Calif. Court Drops Case v. Project Manager
---------------------------------------------------------------
California State prosecutors, on Jan. 2, 2007, dismissed
criminal charges against Seth Henderson, the project manager
accused of mishandling asbestos at the Monterey County
Courthouse in Salinas, Calif., monetereyherald.com reports.

The state Attorney General's Office asked that the charges be
dismissed "in the interests of justice" after Mr. Henderson
agreed to testify at the upcoming trial of his employer, Nova
Partners Inc.

Nova Partners, which is managing the renovation of the north
wing of the courthouse, is accused of ignoring warnings and
initiating demolition work that allegedly released asbestos into
the building's ventilation system.

After closures because of elevated asbestos levels during a two-
year period, the north wing was completely closed in September
2006.

On March 2006, the Attorney General's Office indicted Nova
Partners, Mr. Henderson, Skanska USA Building Inc. and its
project manager, Anthony Jones, on eight felony and five
misdemeanor charges related to illegal handling of asbestos.

Skanska, the project's construction manager, pleaded no contest
to four misdemeanor charges in November 2006 in return for a
US$750,000 fine.

Deputy District Attorney Brett Morris said that charges against
Mr. Jones were dismissed after he agreed to testify for the
prosecution.

Prosecutor Janill Richards said that visiting Judge Barry Hammer
previously dismissed some of the charges, and prosecutors
dropped one misdemeanor charge on Jan. 2, 2007.

Nova Partners now faces three felony and three misdemeanor
charges. According to testimony before a grand jury in March
2006, Mr. Henderson and Mr. Jones ignored warnings by the
county's former asbestos abatement contractor and instructed
workers to jackhammer and saw through the concrete floor of the
second story of the north wing, knocking asbestos loose onto the
ceiling of the first story.

Mr. Henderson continues to manage work at the courthouse for
Nova Partners.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Melbourne Factory Fire Sets Off Toxic Alert
----------------------------------------------------------------
Toxins from asbestos sheeting and thick smoke poured from a fire
at a derelict factory in Melbourne, Australia's inner west, The
Age reports.

Police evacuated residents from the industrial complex in
Hobsons Road, Kensington, after it went up in flames early in
Jan. 3, 2007.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade used cranes to spray water on the
factory. It took more than 70 firefighters about 90 minutes to
control the blaze.

Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and advised nearby
residents to remain inside with their windows closed because of
thick smoke and toxins from asbestos cement sheeting on the
roof.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cumbria Tourist Attraction Contains Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
A tourist attraction seen by thousands of visitors at a
Whitehaven, Cumbria, U.K. museum has potentially deadly
asbestos, Lancashire Evening Post reports.

An inspection of the Askham Hall steam engine, which is stored
and displayed at the Haig Colliery Mining Museum, confirmed that
the insulation to the engine's boiler, firebox and pipework
gaskets all have asbestos, which urgently needs to be removed.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.S. EPA Reexamines Wyoming Lot for Hazards
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stepped in to
resample an unnumbered Wyoming property, which has buried
asbestos and construction debris, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle reports.

Neighbors, the county and the Wyoming Department of
Environmental Quality have scrutinized the property, situated
between Lupe Road and East Four Mile Road near Yellowstone Road,
since spring 2006.

State health and environmental experts have said that, based on
past sampling by the Department of Environmental Quality, it is
unlikely that the asbestos buried on the lot poses a health
hazard.

Neighbors are concerned that the asbestos on the lot could be
further spread by floodwater washing it into Childs Draw, and by
what they say are buried boilers on the southwest corner of the
property.

The decision to get the U.S. EPA involved was held at a Dec. 14,
2006 meeting between the Wyoming Department of Environmental
Quality, the U.S. EPA and Laramie County officials.

DEQ spokesman Keith Guille said the meeting grew out of a County
Commission meeting in November 2006 where the department offered
to sit down with other agencies to discuss the property further.

Mr. Guille said the U.S. EPA became involved because of its
experience with similar past cases and because it has the
equipment to do the sampling.

The result was a plan for the U.S. EPA to develop draft site
sampling plan within 60 days, which will be about Feb. 15, 2007.

M. Lee Hasenauer, who has spearheaded much of the effort by
neighbors to have the property cleaned up, said he was pleased
by the result of the meeting.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Court Denies Speakman Motion in Roberts Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle County, denied
Speakman Corp.'s motion for summary judgment in an asbestos-
related lawsuit filed by a certain Mr. Roberts.

Judge Joseph R. Slights III handed down the decision of C.A. No.
01C-08-225-ASB on Oct. 26, 2006.

On Sept. 11, 2006, Speakman Co. presented its motion for summary
judgment. The Court reserved decision on the motion and
requested the parties to present supplemental briefing to
address the state of Speakman's knowledge regarding the hazards
associated with asbestos at the time of Mr. Roberts' alleged
exposure.

On Sept. 20, 2006 and Oct. 1, 2006, the Court received the
supplemental submissions.

Mr. Roberts' counsel represented that Speakman had actual
knowledge of the hazards of asbestos at or prior to Mr. Roberts'
alleged exposure to asbestos products distributed by Speakman.

The Court was satisfied that Mr. Roberts has established
sufficient facts in the record to create a genuine issue as to
whether Speakman knew or should have known of the hazards of
asbestos at the time of or prior to plaintiff's alleged
exposure.

Accordingly, the Court denied Speakman's motion for summary
judgment.

Lawyers involved in the case were Thomas C. Crumplar of Jacobs &
Crunplar in Wilmington, Del. and Matthew P. Donelson of Elzufon,
Austin, Reardon, Tarlov & Mondell, P.A. in Wilmington, Del.


COMPANY PROFILE
Speakman Corp.
Telephone: 800-537-2107
Fax: 800-977-2747
Shipping Address:  
400 Anchor Mill Road
New Castle, Del. 19720  
Mailing Address:
PO Box 191
Wilmington, Del. 19899  
Email: sales@speakmancompany.com
http://www.speakmancompany.com/

Description:
The Company makes showerheads, mechanical & electronic faucets,
shower valves, and emergency showers & eyewashes.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Malta Court Favors Fenech in Suit v. Drydocks
-------------------------------------------------------------
The First Hall Civil Court in Malta ruled in favor of Carmena
Fenech in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed against the Malta
Drydocks, The Malta Independent Online reports.

Judge Philip Sciverras handed down the decision of the Case on
Dec. 6, 2006.

In 1997, Joseph Fenech died, leaving a wife and two children. He
had worked at the Drydocks as a yard boy, skilled laborer and
boilermaker, and was exposed to asbestos and had to leave his
job earlier than expected in January 1995.

Mrs. Fenech requested that the Court declare that Mr. Fenech's
early retirement and death were the result of asbestos poisoning
at the Drydocks, and that the Drydocks was responsible for
damages.

Mrs. Fenech also requested the Court to liquidate the damages
and condemn the Drydocks to the payment of those damages.

In 1992, Mr. Fenech started suffering from a shortage of breath
and a cough, and at the insistence of a doctor, underwent
medical tests leading to a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma.
He died at the age of 55.

When Mr. Fenech was employed, a contractual agreement imposed an
obligation upon the Drydocks to take precautions for the safety
of the worker and this included not only such imposed by law but
also any precautions deemed necessary from experience.

The Court was satisfied with the proof provided that established
the link between the damage suffered and the work environment.

The Drydocks failed to show that it had taken all the necessary
measures to ensure safety.

The Court, declining to quantify damages, gave the parties until
Jan. 31, 2007 to reach an out-of-court agreement. In the event
the parties fail, the Court will decide on the sum.


                   New Securities Fraud Cases


HANSEN NATURAL: Gutride Safier Files Securities Suit in Calif.
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm Gutride Safier LLP commenced a class action in the
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on
behalf of purchasers of the publicly traded common stock of
Hansen Natural Corp. between Nov. 12, 2001 and Nov. 9, 2006.

The complaint alleges that Hansen and certain of its officers
and directors violated the federal securities law.

The complaint specifically alleges that:

      -- defendants engaged in the backdating of stock option
         grants for certain key executives of the company;

      -- that the company lacked adequate internal controls and
         was therefore unable to ascertain its true financial
         condition; and

      -- that as a result of the foregoing, defendants engaged
         in improper accounting practices.

Overall, as a result of a series of disclosures from Oct. 31,
2006 to Nov. 9, 2006 regarding the company's stock option
backdating practices, the company's stock price fell
approximately 22%, costing its shareholders approximately $500
million in market capitalization.

Interested parties may move the court no later than Jan. 29,
2007 for appointment as lead plaintiff.

For more information on the suit, contact Michael Reese, Esq. of
Gutride Safier LLP, 230 Park Avenue, Suite 963, New York, New
York 10169, Phone: 212-579-4625, E-mail:
michael@gutridesafier.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 2007.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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