CAR_Public/070202.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, February 2, 2007, Vol. 9, No. 24

                            Headlines

AG-MART PRODUCE: Workers File Fla. Suit for Damages, Back Wages
APPLIED SIGNAL: Calif. Court Mulls Appeal of Nixed Stock Suit
BIOPURE CORP: Court Mulls Class Certification in Securities Suit
CITIBANK N.A.: Feb. 2007 Hearing Set for FCRA Suit Settlements
CNET NETWORKS: N.Y. Judge Stays Proceedings in Securities Suit

EBAY INC: Feb. 13 Hearing Set for "Rockers" Suit Settlement
ENTROPIN INC: Still Faces Stock Suit in Calif. Superior Court
FINE LAND: Recalls Ying Feng Foodstuffs Over Undeclared Sulfites
FORD MOTOR: Faces Suit in Ill. Over Defective Speed Switches
FRANCE: Class Action Legislation Withdrawn From Parliament

GAMEWELL-FCI: Recalls Faulty Fire Alarm System Control Boards
GOLD FIELDS: Continues to Face Suits by Quapaw Tribes in Okla.
HEALTH MANAGEMENT: Consejo Settles Price Gouging Lawsuit in Fla.
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS: Continues to Face Calif. Labor Lawsuit
ITT CORP: Recalls 500 Units of Flojet VAC Pumps for Shock Hazard

JANUS CAPITAL: Still Faces Consolidated MDL-1586 Lawsuit in Md.
LATTICE SEMICONDUCTOR: No Ruling Yet in $3.5M Stock Suit Deal
MERCK & CO: N.J. Third-Party Payors Lawsuit Over Vioxx Stayed
MERCK & CO: Seeks to Dismiss N.J. Shareholder Suit Over Vioxx
MERRILL LYNCH: $40.3M Securities Suit Deal Gets Final Approval

NATIONAL CITY: Still Faces N.Y. Lawsuit Over "Interchange Fees"
NESTOR TRAFFIC: Continues to Face Suits Over Ohio Speed Program
NORTEL NETWORKS: Court Approves N.Y. Securities Suit Settlement
OLD WILLIAMSBURGH: Recalls Jar Candles at Risk of Breakage
PHILIPPINES: First Gentleman Seeks Dismissal of Reporters' Suit

QUALCOMM INC: Continues to Face Suits Over Cellular Phone Sales
RYAN'S RESTAURANT: S.C. Court Mulls Approval of Merger Suit Deal
TAM SA: Brazilian Airline Faces Overbooking Practices Lawsuit
TELAXIS COMMS: N.Y. Court Mulls Final OK for IPO Suit Settlement
TENET HEALTHCARE: Continues to Face Calif. Wage, Hour Lawsuits

TENET HEALTHCARE: Faces Three Medical Malpractice Suits in La.
TENNESSEE: Employees Need More Funding to Finish Case v. City
TJX COS: Faces Second Mass. Suit Over Client Information Leak
TJX COS: Faces Litigation in Ala. Over Client Information Leak
UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Settles N.Y. Suit Over Claim Terminations

UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Motion to Remand N.J. Suit to Fla. Pending
WASHINGTON: Seattle to Appeal Verdict in WTO Protesters' Suit
XTO ENERGY: No Ruling Yet on Kans. Antitrust Suit Certification
XTO ENERGY: No Certification Yet in Kan. Gas Royalty Owners Suit


                        Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tokyo Moves to Prevent Illegal Demolitions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Somerset Deaths on the Rise, Coroner Says
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Coroner Links Newsagent's Death to Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ampco Records $25.4M Net Charge for Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Baldor Records $487T Adjustments for Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GenCorp Inc. Has 154 Claims in Fiscal 2006
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hartford Fin'l Has $2.24B Liability in 4Q06
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio Court Reverses Ruling to Favor Wilsons
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Rockwell Continues to Face Injury Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sensus Metering Still Faces 3rd Party Suits

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dow Chemical Has $1.079B Liability in 4Q06
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Saint-Gobain Notes 7T Claims v. CertainTeed
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Locals of Malvern Hills Exposed to Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DEQ to Impose Higher Penalty on Contractor
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ill. AG Sues Chippewa Loft LLC for Release

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Seoul Metro to Remove Hazard on 17 Subways
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Co. Records $459.5M Liability in 4Q06
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Records 85,941 Pending Claims in 4Q06
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane's Appeal in Norris Litigation Pending
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Conn. Insurance Suit v. Crane Still Pending

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Open Claims v. BNS Holding Inc. Drop to 196
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allis-Chalmers Still Faces Liability Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Graham Corp. Continues to Face Injury Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sealed Air Liability Stays at $512.5M in 4Q


                            *********


AG-MART PRODUCE: Workers File Fla. Suit for Damages, Back Wages
---------------------------------------------------------------
AG-Mart Produce Inc. faces a lawsuit seeking class-action status
that was filed by more than 170 workers on behalf of 3,000
Mexican and Central American workers who picked tomatoes for the
company, The FOX 10 Mobile reports.

The suit, "Mesa et al v. Ag-Mart Produce Inc.," was filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on Jan.
26.

It states that workers are seeking back wages and damages up to
$500,000 as allowed under the federal law.  The workers were
hired by the company at piecework rates to pick tomatoes, lay
plastic, operate irrigation and perform other post-harvest jobs.

The complaint alleges that:

      -- Ag-Mart failed to accurately record the number of
         compensable hours of the plaintiffs and other class
         members, and

      -- Ag-Mart altered the hours worked of the plaintiffs.

According to plaintiffs' attorney Greg Schell, the workers work
at piecework rates but if the piecework doesn't equal minimum
wage, the workers should make up for it.  The company does this
by writing down fewer hours than the workers had actually
worked.

The suit is "Mesa et al v. Ag-Mart Produce Inc., Case No. 2:07-
cv-00047-UA-DNF," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Middle District of Florida with referral to Judge Douglas N.
Frazier.

Representing the plaintiffs is Gregory Scott Schell of Migrant
Farmworker Justice Project, Florida Legal Services, 508 Lucerne
Ave., Lake Worth, FL 33460-3819, Phone: 561/582-3921, Fax:
561/582-4884, E-mail: Greg@Floridalegal.Org.


APPLIED SIGNAL: Calif. Court Mulls Appeal of Nixed Stock Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
has yet to rule on an appeal in relation to the dismissal of the
consolidated securities class action against Applied Signal
Technology, Inc.

On March 11 and July 19, 2005, purported securities class
actions were filed against the company.  Later, these suits were
consolidated as, "In re Applied Signal Technology Inc.
Securities Litigation, Master File No. 4:05-cv-1027 (SBA)."

The amended consolidated complaint is brought on behalf of a
putative class of persons who purchased the company's company's
securities from Aug. 24, 2004 to Feb. 22, 2005.

The complaints name the company, its chief executive officer,
and its chief financial officer as defendants, and allege that
false and misleading statements regarding the company were
issued during the class period.

On Feb. 8, 2006, the court dismissed the case with prejudice and
entered judgment in defendants' favor.

Plaintiffs appealed the dismissal on March 23, 2006.  The
company said any future unfavorable outcome of the litigation
could have an adverse impact on the company's business,
financial condition, and results of operation.

The suit is "In Re: Applied Signal Technology, Inc. Securities
Litigation, Case No. 05-CV-01027," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of California under Judge
Saundra Brown Armstrong.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser, LLP, 2125 Oak
         Grove Road, Suite 120, Walnut Creek, CA, 94598, Phone:
         (925) 945-0200, Fax: (925) 945-8792, E-mail:
         info@bramsonplutzik.com;

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

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

Representing the defendants is David A. Priebe of DLA Piper US,
LLP, 2000 University Avenue, East Palo Alto, CA 94303-2248,
Phone: 650-833-2000, Fax: 650-833-2001, E-mail:
david.priebe@dlapiper.com.


BIOPURE CORP: Court Mulls Class Certification in Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has
yet to certify a class in the consolidated securities litigation
against Biopure Corp.

Following the announcement in December 2003 that Biopure was
being investigated by the U.S Securities and Exchange
Commission, the company, two directors (one a former director),
its former chief executive officer, former chief technology
officer and former chief financial officer were named as
defendants in a number of similar, purported class action
complaints, filed between Dec. 30, 2003 and Jan. 28, 2004 by
alleged purchasers of the company's common stock.

According to the complaint, Biopure artificially inflated its
stock price by misrepresenting the prospects for U.S. Food and
Drug Administration approval of the marketing of the company's
main product, Hemopure.

The lawsuit says that the company knew by virtue of its ongoing
communications with the FDA that regulators had strong
reservations about Hemopure's safety but continued to publicly
hype the product throughout the class period.

Hemopure is an investigational product for the treatment of
acutely anemic surgical patients and for the elimination, delay
or reduction of red blood cell transfusions in these patients.

It is a human blood substitute derived from cow's blood, which
acts like red blood cells to deliver oxygen to the body.  Unlike
donated blood, Hemopure does not have to be matched to a
patient's blood type.

The truth about Hemopure began to emerge on Dec. 24, 2003.
After the close of the markets on Christmas Eve, Biopure
announced a potential SEC inquiry for securities fraud and, for
the first time, disclosed substantial problems with its Hemopure
product and the FDA approval process.

Those complaints have since been consolidated in a single action
as, "Biopure Corp. Securities Litigation."

On July 23, 2004, Lead Plaintiff filed a consolidated amended
complaint on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or
entities who acquired the common stock of Biopure during the
period of March 17, 2003 through Dec. 24, 2003 and names as
additional defendants Ronald F. Richards, Howard P. Richman,
Charles A. Sanders and J. Richard Crout.

On Oct. 6, 2004, defendants filed their motions to dismiss the
amended complaint and on Dec. 7, 2004 lead plaintiff filed an
opposition to defendants' motions.  Defendants filed their
replies in further support of their motions on Jan. 24, 2005.

On Feb. 2, 2006 the Judge heard oral arguments on all
outstanding motions.  On March 28, 2006 Judge Nancy Gertner
issued an order denying the motions to dismiss and on the same
date the plaintiffs filed their second amended complaint, which
the defendants filed answers to on April 28, 2006.

On May 5, 2006, plaintiffs filed a motion for class
certification.  Defendants filed their opposition to plaintiff's
motion for class certification on July 25, 2006.

A class has not yet been certified, according to the company's
Jan. 29, 2006 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2006.

The suit is "In Re Biopure Corp. Securities Litigation, Case No.
1:03-cv-12628-NG," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Massachusetts under Judge Nancy Gertner.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Stull, Stull & Brody, 6 East 45th Street, New York, NY
         10017, Phone: 212-687-7230;

     (2) Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP, 53 State Street, Boston, MA
         02108, Phone: 617-439-3939, Fax: 617-439-0134, E-mail:
         ted@shulaw.com; and

     (3) Gilman and Pastor, LLP, Suite 500, Stonehill Corporate
         Center, 999 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906, Phone: 781-231-
         7850, Fax: 781-231-7840 (fax) E-mail:
         palagorio@gilmanpastor.com or dpastor@gilmanpastor.com.

Representing the defendants are:

     (i) Bingham McCutchen LLP, 150 Federal Street, Boston, MA
         02110, Phone: 617-951-8717, Fax: 617-951-8736, E-mail:
         robert.buhlman@bingham.com, eunice.lee@bingham.com and
         raquel.webster@bingham.com; and

    (ii) Mary P. Cormier of Edwards & Angell, LLP, 101 Federal
         St., Boston, MA 02110, Phone: 617-951-2225, Fax: 617-
         439-4170, E-mail: mcormier@edwardsangell.com.


CITIBANK N.A.: Feb. 2007 Hearing Set for FCRA Suit Settlements
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota will
hold a fairness hearing on Feb. 12, 2007, at 1:30 p.m., for the
proposed settlement in the matters:

      -- "Nienaber v. Citibank (South Dakota), N.A., Case No.
          04-4054," and

      -- "Romanelli v. Associates National Bank, Case No. 05-
         4130."

The hearing will be held in Courtroom 1 of the U.S. District
Court for District of South Dakota (Southern Division), located
at 400 S. Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57104.

The deadline to file for objections and exclusions top and from
the settlement is on Jan. 4, 2007. Deadline to file claims is on
March 16, 2007.

The purpose of this notice is to describe the proposed
settlement and provide notice to the settlement class, which
includes Each and every person who had one or more account(s),
including any cosigner, joint or authorized user on such
account(s), with Citibank (South Dakota), N.A., Associates
National Bank (Delaware) and/or Universal Bank, N.A.
(collectively Citibank), for which consumer report information,
in the form of account review inquiries, was pulled, obtained or
accessed on such account(s) by or on behalf of Citibank at any
time during the period beginning April 27, 2002 through Sept.
29, 2006 at a time when Citibank allegedly did not have a
permissible purpose for doing so pursuant to 15 U.S.C. Section
1681b(a) because Citibank and the person purportedly had no
relationship as described in 15 U.S.C. Section 1681b(a)(3)(A)-
(F).

                        Case Background

Plaintiffs Karey Nienaber and Lisa Romanelli filed separate
class action complaints against Citibank (South Dakota), N.A.
and Associates National Bank (Delaware), alleging that the banks
purportedly violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in
connection with account review inquiries by supposedly accessing
consumer report information on certain accounts without a
permissible purpose.

On Sept. 29, 2006, this Court gave preliminary approval for
settlement of the actions listed above.

For more details, contact:

     (1) FCRA Claim Form, PO Box 44034, Jacksonville, Florida
         32231-4034, E-mail: case044054@stroock.com;

     (2) Daniel R. Fritz, II of Lynn, Jackson, Shultz & Lebrun,
         P.C., PO Box 1920, Sioux Falls, SD 57101-3020, Phone:
         332-5999, Fax: 332-4249, E-mail:
         dfritz@lynnjackson.com;

     (3) James A. Francis of Francis and Mailman, PC, Land Title
         Bldg., 19th Floor, 100 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA
         19110, Phone: (215) 735-8600, Fax: (215) 940-8000, E-
         mail: jfrancis@consumerlawfirm.com; and

     (4) Michael D. Donovan of Donovan Searles, LLC, 1845 Walnut
         St., Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone: (215)
         732-6067, Fax: (215) 732-8060.


CNET NETWORKS: N.Y. Judge Stays Proceedings in Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Shira Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York stayed all proceedings in a
securities fraud class action involving CNET Networks, Inc.

Two shareholder class actions were filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York on Aug. 16, 2001 and
Sept. 26, 2001, against Ziff-Davis, Eric Hippeau and Timothy
O'Brien, and investment banks that were the underwriters of the
public offering of ZDNet series of Ziff-Davis stock (ZDNet
Offering).

One of the complaints also names CNET Networks as a defendant,
as successor in liability to Ziff-Davis.

The complaints are similar and allege violations of the U.S.
Securities Act of 1933, and one of the complaints also alleges
violations of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The complaints allege the receipt of excessive and undisclosed
commissions by the underwriters in connection with the
allocation of shares of common stock to certain investors in the
ZDNet Offering and agreements by those investors to make
additional purchases of stock in the aftermarket at pre-
determined prices. Plaintiffs allege that the prospectus for the
ZDNet Offering was false and misleading and in violation of the
securities laws because it did not disclose the arrangements.

A consolidated amended complaint, which is now the operative
complaint, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York on April 19, 2002.

The action seeks damages in an unspecified amount.  The action
is being coordinated with over 300 nearly identical actions
filed against other companies and their underwriters.

On Feb. 19, 2003, the court granted the company's motion to
dismiss the Section 10(b) claim with leave to replead, and
denied the motion to dismiss the Section 11 claim.  Plaintiffs
did not replead the Section 10(b) claim, and the time to replead
that claim has expired.

On Oct. 13, 2004, the court certified a class in six of the
approximately 300 other nearly identical actions (Focus Cases)
and noted that the decision is intended to provide strong
guidance to all parties regarding class certification in the
remaining cases.

The underwriter defendants appealed the decision and the second
Circuit vacated the district court's decision granting class
certification in those six cases on Dec. 5, 2006.  Plaintiffs
have not yet moved to certify a class in the CNET Networks case.

The majority of the issuers, including CNET Networks, and their
insurers have approved a settlement agreement and related
agreements.

The agreements set forth the terms of a settlement between CNET
Networks, the plaintiff class and the vast majority of the other
approximately 300-issuer defendants.

It is unclear what impact the Second Circuit's decision vacating
class certification in the six focus cases will have on the
settlement, which has not been finally approved by the court.

Plaintiffs are expected to file a petition for rehearing and
rehearing en banc.

On Nov. 14, 2006, Judge Scheindlin held a hearing and stayed all
proceedings, including a decision on final approval of the
settlement and any amendments of the complaints, pending the
Second Circuit's decision on plaintiffs' expected petition for
rehearing.

CNET Networks, Inc. on the Net: http://www.cnet.com/.


EBAY INC: Feb. 13 Hearing Set for "Rockers" Suit Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of the State of California, County Of Santa
Clara will hold a fairness hearing on Feb. 13, 2007, at 9:00
a.m., for the proposed settlement in the matter, "Rockers v.
eBay, Inc., Case No. 1:05-CV-035930."

The hearing will be held before Judge Jack Komar in Department
17C at the Santa Clara Superior Old Courthouse, 161 North First
Street, San Jose, California 95113.

The settlement covers all eBay users from Feb. 16, 2001 to the
present, who claim to have been harmed by eBay raising the eBay
bidder's existing bid where no higher competing bid had been
made and where raising the bid was not necessary to meet a
reserve minimum.

Generally, the suit is alleging that eBay would automatically
increase in certain circumstances an existing bid where no
competing bid had been made and where it was not necessary to
meet a reserve minimum.

                        Case Background

On Feb. 17, 2005, a complaint was filed by plaintiff Glenn Block
in the Superior Court of the State of California County of Santa
Clara as a class action, alleging that eBay's automatic increase
in certain circumstances of an existing bid where no competing
bid had been made and increasing the bid was not necessary to
meet a minimum reserve was improper and artificially inflated
the bids of eBay buyers, thus causing damage to eBay buyers.

On April 17, 2006, an amended complaint which, among other
things, substituted plaintiffs John Rockers, Mark Rawling and
Brian Mork, for the original plaintiff was filed under the
caption, "Rockers v. eBay, Inc., et al., Case No. 1:05-CV-
035930."

For more details, contact Jeffrey D. Light of Lerach Coughlin
Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP, 655 West Broadway, Suite
1900, San Diego, CA 92101, Phone: (619) 231-1058, Fax: (619)
231-7423.


ENTROPIN INC: Still Faces Stock Suit in Calif. Superior Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
Entropin, Inc., along with two of its former officers and
directors, remain a defendant in a securities class action that
is pending in California Superior Court.

The allegations and parties in this lawsuit are largely
identical to a securities fraud class action that is pending in
the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The plaintiffs in the suit are a class of shareholders who
purchased Entropin securities in the Company's March 15, 2000
public offering.

In the lawsuit, Entropin is accused of violating Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by making
false and misleading statements in the its March 15, 2000
registration statement regarding the scientific and regulatory
development of its developmental drug Esterom.

Specifically, the company and the individual defendants are
accused of making false and misleading statements regarding:

     -- the results of its Phase II clinical study of Esterom;

     -- the Phase III clinical study of Esterom; and

     -- Entropin's intention to file a new drug application for
        Esterom in early 2001.

In June 2004, the California Superior Court dismissed this
lawsuit as having been filed after the statutes of limitations
had expired.

However, the California Court of Appeals has reversed the
California Superior Court's order of dismissal and has taken
actions to remand the matter back to the California Superior
Court for further deliberations.


FINE LAND: Recalls Ying Feng Foodstuffs Over Undeclared Sulfites
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fine Land Corporation, 376 Vernon Avenue, Brooklyn, New York is
recalling "Ying Feng Foodstuffs brand Melon Candy" due to the
presence of undeclared sulfites.

People who have severe sensitivity to sulfites may run the risk
of serious or life-threatening reactions if they consume this
product.

The recalled "Ying Feng Foodstuffs brand Melon Candy" is
packaged in a 12-ounce, un-coded plastic bag.  It was sold in
the New York City area.  It is a product of China.

Routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets Food Inspectors and subsequent analysis of the product
by Food Laboratory personnel revealed the product contained high
levels of sulfites, which were not declared on the label.

The consumption of 10 milligrams of sulfites per serving has
been reported to elicit severe reactions in some asthmatics.
Anaphylactic shock could occur in certain sulfite sensitive
individuals upon ingesting 10 milligrams or more of sulfites.

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

Consumers who have purchased "Ying Feng Foodstuffs brand Melon
Candy" should return them to the place of purchase.


FORD MOTOR: Faces Suit in Ill. Over Defective Speed Switches
------------------------------------------------------------
The Ford Motor Co. is a defendant in a purported class action
claiming that certain Ford vehicles have defective and unsafe
speed control deactivation speed switch (SCD Switch), The
Madison County Record reports.

Paul Sharwell whose Ford F-150 truck was burned said that he and
the putative class members have suffered damages and monetary
losses of the use of their Ford vehicles while these are on
repair and additional damages for the destruction of theses
vehicles by fire.

Mr. Sharwell filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Illinois on Jan. 26.  In it, he alleges
that the Ford vehicles in questions are defective because:

      -- the SCD Switch is located in a circuit that is always
         energized with electricity even when the vehicle is off
         or in parked position,

      -- SCD Switch's circuitry does not contain a fused wiring
         harness as the switch's power interrupter it starts to
         overheat,

      -- the SCD switch has two switches, the hydraulic, which
         contains the brake fluid, and the electrical, which
         contains always-energized electric components,

      -- the SCD switch which is typically mounted on the brake
         proportioning valve, is mounted in the master cylinder
         in a vertically angled up and down so that metallic
         corrosion products can settle in a way that dendrite
         growth can develop.

The claims that the positioning of the SCD Switch creates a
significant fire risk not only to the Ford vehicles but also to
other properties where these vehicles are parked.

It further alleged that Ford knew of these problems nevertheless
Ford still used similar designs in vehicles that are the subject
of the lawsuit.

Mr. Sharwell and the class are seeking an amount to be
determined at the trial plus punitive damages in an amount to be
proven at trial.

The suit is "Sharwell v. Ford Motor Company, Case No. 3:07-cv-
00068-DRH-PMF," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Illinois under Judge David R. Herndon with
referral to Judge Philip M. Frazier.

Representing the plaintiffs is Jeffrey J. Lowe of Jeffrey J.
Lowe, P.C., Generally Admitted, 8235 Forsyth, Suite 1100, St.
Louis, MO 63105, 314-678-3400, Phone: 314-678-3401, Fax:
jeff@jefflowepc.com.


FRANCE: Class Action Legislation Withdrawn From Parliament
----------------------------------------------------------
The French government has finally withdrawn a bill that would
have introduced class-action-style lawsuits in France, The
Business Insurance reports.

The class action action bill was initially set for debate in
early February but was finally taken off the Parliament's list
of items to consider.

The withdrawal of the bill from the list was requested my
Minister of Health Xavier Bertrand due to his absence for the
discussion in Parliament.  Another reason cited for such
withdrawal is the heavy workload of the parliament.

Under the proposed bill, a lawsuit could only be brought by a
national customer association, on products and services with a
value of less than $2,550 (Class Action Reporter, Feb. 2, 2007).

Consumer associations who pushed for the change said the bill
would allow the consumers who are wronged and cheated to take
companies to court collectively, rather than being forced to
bring individual lawsuits.

However, business representatives have expressed opposition
citing concerns over its potential impact on the economy.

The bill was to be debated on Feb. 6, however legislators
cancelled it.  The schedule change means that the next
government will likely have control over the bill.  The
Parliament will close later this year.

Leading Presidential candidate Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy
recently said that he had strong reservations about allowing
class actions in the country.


GAMEWELL-FCI: Recalls Faulty Fire Alarm System Control Boards
-------------------------------------------------------------
Gamewell-FCI, of Northford, Connecticut, in cooperation with the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling about 700
units of Gamewell-FCI Electronic Control Boards by Honeywell.

The company said incoming and outgoing messages to and from the
control board could interfere with each other, preventing it
from sending a message to the command center in the event of
fire.

Gamewell-FCI has received one report of failed communications
during an electrical short that was not due to a fire.  There
have been no reports of property damage or injury.

The software upgrade involves Gamewell-FCI model ILI-MB-E3 and
ILI-S-E3 loop control boards.  These boards are components of
the Gamewell-FCI E3 Series fire alarm system.  They provide the
signaling line circuits and display information for the system.

These recalled fire alarm system control boards were
manufactured in the U.S. and are being sold through authorized
distributors nationwide from October 2005 through September
2006.

Authorized distributors resell and install loop control boards
for commercial end users in facilities such as hotels and office
buildings.

Picture of recalled fire alarm system control boards:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07526.jpg

Gamewell-FCI is contacting customers directly and is providing a
free firmware software upgrade.

For more information, contact Gamewell-FCI at (800) 633-1311
between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit
their distributor's Web site: http://www.gamewell-fci.com.


GOLD FIELDS: Continues to Face Suits by Quapaw Tribes in Okla.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Gold Fields Mining, LLC, a subsidiary of Peabody Energy Corp.,
and two other companies continue to face two class actions
seeking medical monitoring and relocation programs for people
allegedly exposed to lead.

Plaintiffs have asserted claims predicated on allegations of
intentional lead exposure by the defendants and are seeking
compensatory damages, punitive damages and the implementation of
medical monitoring and relocation programs for the affected
individuals.

Gold Fields is also a defendant, along with other companies, in
several personal injury lawsuits involving over 50 children,
arising out of the same lead mill operations.

Plaintiffs in these actions are seeking compensatory and
punitive damages for alleged personal injuries from lead
exposure.

In December 2003, the Quapaw Indian tribe and certain Quapaw
land owners filed a class action lawsuit against Gold Fields and
five other companies.  Plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and
punitive damages based on a variety of theories.

Gold Fields has filed a third-party complaint against the United
States, and other parties.  In February 2005, the state of
Oklahoma on behalf of itself and several other parties sent a
notice to Gold Fields and other companies regarding a possible
natural resources damage claim.

All of the lawsuits are pending in the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of Oklahoma, according to Peabody Energy's
Form 10-Q filing for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006.

The suit is "Cole, et al v. Asarco Incorporated, et al., case
no. 4:03-cv-00327-JOE-PJC," filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of Oklahoma under Judge James O. Ellison.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Tammy R. Dodson, Donnamarie Antoinette Landsberg of
         Speer Law Firm PA, 104 W 9th St, Ste 305, Kansas City,
         MO 64105, Phone: 816-472-3560, Fax: 816-421-2150, E-
         mail: tdodson@speerlawfirm.com; and

     (2) Tony Wayne Edwards, Stipe Law Firm (McAlester), P O BOX
         1369, Mcalester, OK 74501-1369, Phone: 918-423-0421,
         Fax: 918-423-0266, E-mail: twedwards@stipelaw.com.

Representing the Company are:

     (1) Stacy L. Acord, Robert Joseph Joyce, Archer Scott
         McDaniel, Chris A. Paul, Joyce Paul & McDaniel PC, 1717
         S Boulder, Ste 200, Tulsa, OK 74119, Phone: 918-599-
         0700, Fax: 918-732-5370, E-mail: sacord@jpm-law.com,
         rjoyce@jpm-law.com, Smcdaniel@jpm-law.com,
         cpaul@jpm-law.com; and

     (2) Mark Douglas Anstoetter, Stanley D. Davis, John K.
         Sherk, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP (Kansas City), 2555
         Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108-2613, Phone: 816-
         474-6550, Fax: 816-421-5547, E-mail:
         manstoetter@shb.com or sddavis@shb.com.


HEALTH MANAGEMENT: Consejo Settles Price Gouging Lawsuit in Fla.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Consejo de Latinos Unidos announced a settlement with Naples-
based hospital operator Health Management Associates that will
lower costs for patients without insurance.

Under the settlement, uninsured patients who receive services
from an HMA facility will now be charged the average managed
care rate by hospital.

When calculating the average managed care rate, the rate will be
weighed by the volume of business that each managed care company
provides to the HMA hospital.

"The average rate being weighed accordingly establishes a truly
fair and equitable pricing structure," said K.B. Forbes,
Executive Director of the Consejo.

According to published reports, HMA will offer discounts and
refunds of up to 60 percent.

"This victory for the uninsured would not have happened without
the outstanding legal work of nationally recognized healthcare
attorney Archie Lamb," said Mr. Forbes.

"In 2004, we established an alliance with Mr. Lamb to help those
who did not have a voice -- uninsured minorities. Today,
together, we can claim a resounding victory for uninsured
patients and applaud HMA for turning a potential black eye into
a golden fair pricing policy."

Archie Lamb, nationally recognized class action attorney who led
a coalition of lawyers which were instrumental in major reforms
among the largest HMO insurance companies in the nation, and a
team of lawyers from across the country, have filed a proposed
class-action lawsuit in a Florida district court on behalf of
victims of for-profit hospitals' unconscionable billing
practices of the uninsured (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 9,
2004).

The lawsuit charged national for-profit hospital chain Health
Management Associates, Inc. (HMA) with billing uninsured
patients amounts substantially greater than amounts accepted by
the hospital from Medicare and insurance companies for the same
procedures.

Hospitals traditionally have charged uninsured patients three or
four or five times more than what they would accept as payment
in full from an insurance company.

Jose Manuel Quintana, who contacted the Consejo in 2003 and
attended a Consejo workshop in Miami, was charged $3,040 by an
HMA hospital after visiting the hospital for chest pain.

An insurance company would have paid no more that $1,000 for the
exact same care. Mr. Quintana was the class representative in
the class action lawsuit that was filed in 2005 by Mr. Lamb.

For more details, contact:

     (1) Archie C. Lamb, Jr. of the Law Offices of Archie Lamb,
         LLC, 2017 2nd Ave., N. Birmingham, AL 35203, Phone:
         205-324-4644 or 1-800-324-4425, Fax: 205-324-4649, E-
         mail: alamb@archielamb.com; and

     (2) Darren Spinck and K.B. Forbes, both of Consejo de
         Latinos Unidos, Phone: +1-202-486-2008 or +1-202-320-
         1212.


INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS: Continues to Face Calif. Labor Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
International Business Machines Corp. or IBM remains a defendant
in a nationwide overtime pay class action filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California.

On Jan. 24, 2006, a putative class action was filed against IBM
on behalf of technical support workers whose primary
responsibilities are or were to install and maintain computer
software and hardware.

The complaint was subsequently amended on March 13, 2006.  The
first amended complaint, among other things, adds four
additional named plaintiffs and modifies the definition of the
workers purportedly included in the class.

The suit alleges the company failed to pay overtime wages
pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act and state law, and
asserts violations of various state wage requirements, including
record keeping and meal-break provisions.  It also asserts
certain violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security
Act.

Specifically, the suit charges that IBM deprives its employees
who install, maintain, and support computer software and
hardware by unlawfully characterizing them as "exempt" from
state and federal labor law protections.

The proposed classes consist of current and former IBM technical
support workers with the primary duties of installing and/or
maintaining computer software and hardware for IBM who were
wrongly classified by the company as exempt from the overtime
provisions of federal law and/or applicable state wage and hour
laws.

Relief sought includes: back wages, corresponding 401K and
pension plan credits, interest, and attorneys' fees.

The company reported no development in the case at its Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006.

The suit is "Rosenburg et al. v. International Business Machines
Corporation, Case No. 3:06-cv-00430-PJH," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California under
Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) James M. Finberg of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein,
         LLP, Phone: 415-956-1000;

     (2) Todd F. Jackson of Lewis Feinberg Renaker & Jackson,
         P.C., Phone: 510-839-6824;

     (3) Steven G. Zieff of Rudy, Exelrod & Zieff, LLP, Phone:
         415-434-9800 or 800-869-0165;

     (4) Adam T. Klein of Outten & Golden LLP, Phone: 212-245-
         1000;

     (5) Ira Spiro of Spiro, Moss, Barness, Harrison & Barge,
         LLP, Phone: 310-235-2468;

     (6) J. Derek Braziel of Lee & Braziel, LLP, Phone: 214-749-
         1400;

     (7) Richard Burch of Bruckner Burch, PLLC, Phone: 713-877-
         8065;

     (8) David Borgen of Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen &
         Dardarian, Phone: 510-763-9800.

Representing the company is Donna M. Mezias of Jones Day, 555
California Street, 26th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104, Phone:
415-875-5822, Fax: 415-875-5700, E-mail: dmezias@jonesday.com.

For more details, call: 1-866-397-1008 or visit the Web site:
http://www.overtimepaylawsuitagainstIBM.com.


ITT CORP: Recalls 500 Units of Flojet VAC Pumps for Shock Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
ITT Corp.'s Flojet Division, of Santa Ana, California, in
cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is
recalling about 500 units of Flojet duplex II 115 VAC pump, a
component of the LeBleu Automatic 50 Gallon Bottled Water
System.

The company said a manufacturing defect could cause consumers to
receive an electric shock when the metal housing is touched.  No
injuries have been reported.

The recall involves Duplex II 115 VAC Pumps sold as a component
of the LeBleu Automatic 50 Gallon Bottled Water System.  Model
numbers included in this recall are D08X000A and D08X000B.

A silver Flojet label that includes the model number is affixed
to the front of the pump.  The pumps are installed exclusively
in 50 gallon bottled water that were sold, installed, and
maintained by LeBleu Corp. or its licensees.

These recalled Flojet duplex II 115 VAC pumps were manufactured
in the United States and are being sold through LeBlue
Corporation directly and through its licensees from June 2004 to
November 2006.

Pictures of the recalled Flojet duplex II 115 VAC pumps:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07524a.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07524b.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07524c.jpg

A representative of the LeBleu Corp. or a trained licensee will
inspect all installed pumps to determine if the defect is
present, and, if so, the pump will be replaced.  All products
installed in new home construction, which have not yet been
started up will be removed and replaced.

For more information, call Diane Forsdic collect at (714) 628-
8113 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or
visit the firm's Web site: http://www.flojet.com.Or the firm's
media contact, Glenn Leibowitz at (714) 628-8223.


JANUS CAPITAL: Still Faces Consolidated MDL-1586 Lawsuit in Md.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Janus Capital Group Inc. and certain affiliates were named as
defendants in a consolidated lawsuit, "In re: Alger, Columbia,
Janus, MFS, One Group, Putnam, Allianz Dresdner, Case Number MDL
No. 1586, 04-MD-15863," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Maryland, according to the company's July 27, 2006
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the period ended June 30, 2006.

The suit came in the wake of market timing investigations by
both the New York Attorney General and the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission.

Five amended complaints were filed in these coordinated
proceedings, including:

     (1) claims by a putative class of Janus fund investors
         asserting claims on behalf of the investor class;

     (2) derivative claims by investors in the Janus funds
         ostensibly on behalf of the Janus funds;

     (3) claims on behalf of participants in the Janus 401(k)
         plan;

     (4) claims brought on behalf of shareholders of Janus on a
         derivative basis against Janus' board of directors; and

     (5) claims by a putative class of Janus shareholders
         asserting claims on behalf of the shareholders.

On Aug. 25, 2005, the court entered orders dismissing most of
the claims asserted against the company and its affiliates by
fund investors -- actions (1) and (2) -- except certain claims
under Section 10(b) of U.S. the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940.

The complaint in the 401(k) plan class action -- action (3) --
was voluntarily dismissed, but was refiled using a new named
plaintiff, "Wangberger v. Janus Capital Group Inc., et al., 05
CV-02711, D. Maryland," and asserting claims similar to the
initial complaint.

On June 2, 2006, the plaintiffs asserting claims on behalf of
Janus corporate shareholders -- action (5) -- filed an amended
complaint, which asserts similar claims to the initial
complaint.

As a result of the above events, the company, Janus Capital
Management, LLC, the Advisory Committee of the Janus 401(k)
plan, and the current or former directors of the company are the
remaining defendants, in some capacity, in one or more of the
actions described above.

The company reported no development in the case at its Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006.

The suit is "In re: Alger, Columbia, Janus, MFS, One Group,
Putnam, Allianz Dresdner, case no. 1:04-md-15863-JFM," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, under
Judge J. Frederick Motz.

Representing the plaintiffs is Christopher S. Hinton of Wolf
Haldenstein Adler Freeman and Herz LLP, 270 Madison Ave, New
York, NY 10016, Phone: 12125454663, Fax: 12125454653.

Representing the company is Andrew Santo Tulumello, Gibson Dunn
and Crutcher LLP, 1050 Connecticut Ave NW Ste 300, Washington,
DC 20036-5306, Phone: 12029558657, Fax: 12024670539, E-mail:
atulumello@gibsondunn.com.


LATTICE SEMICONDUCTOR: No Ruling Yet in $3.5M Stock Suit Deal
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon has yet to
grant final approval to a $3.5 million settlement of a
securities fraud suit filed against Lattice Semiconductor Corp.

In September and October 2004, three putative class action
complaints were filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Oregon against Lattice Semiconductor Corp., the
company's chief executive officer and president Stephen A.
Skaggs, and former chief executive officer Cyrus Y. Tsui.

These complaints were filed on behalf of a putative class of
investors who purchased our stock between April 22, 2003 and
April 19, 2004.

They generally alleged violations of federal securities laws
arising out of the company's previously announced restatement of
financial results for the first, second and third quarters of
2003.

Consistent with the usual procedures for cases of this kind,
these cases were amended and consolidated into a single action.
In an amended and consolidated complaint filed Jan. 27, 2005,
the company's former president and our former controller were
added as defendants.  The complaints generally sought an
unspecified amount of damages, as well as attorney fees and
costs.

The company has entered into an agreement with the plaintiffs to
settle the consolidated action.  The agreement, which has
preliminary court approval, does not contain any admission of
fault or wrongdoing on the part of the company or any of the
individual defendants in the litigation.

The agreement is subject to, and conditioned upon, final court
approval.  The agreement provides that plaintiffs will receive
an aggregate amount of $3.5 million, inclusive of fees and
expenses of counsel, in exchange for a release of the company
and the individual defendants from all claims asserted in the
litigation.  Insurance carriers have agreed to pay the entire
$3.5 million settlement amount.

The company reported no development in the case at its form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006.

The suit is "Autumn Partners, LLC v. Lattice Semiconductor
Corporation et al., case no. 6:04-cv-01255-AA," filed in the
U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, under Judge Ann
L. Aiken.

Representing the Company is Lois O. Rosenbaum, Timothy W.
Snyder, Stoel Rives, LLP, 900 S.W. Fifth Avenue, Suite 2600,
Portland, OR 97204, Phone: (503) 294-9293, Fax: (503) 294-9113,
E-mail: lorosenbaum@stoel.com or
twsnider@stoel.com.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Tamara J. Driscoll, Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman
         & Robbins, LLP 1700 7th Avenue, Suite 2260, Seattle, WA
         98101, Phone: (206) 749-5544, Fax: (206) 749-9978, E-
         mail: tdriscoll@lerachlaw.com; and

     (2) Dennis J. Herman, William S. Lerach, Lerach Coughlin
         Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLC, 100 Pine Street,
         Suite 2600, San Francisco, CA 94111, Phone: (415) 288-
         4545, Fax: (415) 288-4534, E-mail:
         dennish@lerachlaw.com.


MERCK & CO: N.J. Third-Party Payors Lawsuit Over Vioxx Stayed
-------------------------------------------------------------
The New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division ordered a stay
on a lawsuit filed by third-party payors against Merck & Co.
pending a ruling on an appeal of the certification of the suit
by the Supreme Court.

On July 29, 2005, a New Jersey state trial court certified a
nationwide class of third-party payors (such as unions and
health insurance plans) that paid in whole or in part for the
Vioxx used by their plan members or insureds.

The named plaintiff in that case seeks recovery of certain Vioxx
purchase costs (plus penalties) based on allegations that the
purported class members paid more for Vioxx than they would have
had they known of the product's alleged risks.  Merck believes
that the class was improperly certified.

The trial court's ruling is procedural only; it does not address
the merits of plaintiffs' allegations, which the company intends
to defend vigorously.

On March 31, 2006, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate
Division, affirmed the class certification order.  On July 19,
2006, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided to exercise its
discretion to hear the company's appeal of the Appellate
Division's decision.

On Aug. 24, 2006, the Appellate Division ordered a stay of the
proceedings in Superior Court pending a ruling by the Supreme
Court.

The company has also been named as a defendant in separate
lawsuits brought by the Attorneys General of Alaska, Louisiana,
Mississippi, Montana, Texas and Utah.

These actions allege that the company misrepresented the safety
of Vioxx and seek:

     -- recovery of the cost of Vioxx purchased or reimbursed by
        the state and its agencies;

     -- reimbursement of all sums paid by the state and its
        agencies for medical services for the treatment of
        persons injured by Vioxx;

     -- damages under various common law theories; and/or

     -- remedies under various state statutory theories,
        including state consumer fraud and/or fair business
        practices or Medicaid fraud statutes, including civil
        penalties.


MERCK & CO: Seeks to Dismiss N.J. Shareholder Suit Over Vioxx
-------------------------------------------------------------
Defendants in the Vioxx Securities Lawsuits are seeking to
dismiss a consolidated action pending in the U.S. District Court
for the District of New Jersey.

In addition to the Vioxx Product Liability Lawsuits, the company
and various current and former officers and directors are
defendants in various putative class actions and individual
lawsuits under the federal securities laws and state securities
laws.

All of the Vioxx Securities Lawsuits pending in federal court
have been transferred by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation to the U.S. District Court for the District of New
Jersey before District Judge Stanley R. Chesler for inclusion in
a nationwide multidistrict litigation.

Judge Chesler has consolidated the Vioxx Securities Lawsuits for
all purposes.  Plaintiffs request certification of a class of
purchasers of company stock between May 21, 1999 and October 29,
2004.

The complaint alleges that the defendants made false and
misleading statements regarding Vioxx in violation of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and
seeks unspecified compensatory damages and the costs of suit,
including attorneys' fees.

The complaint also asserts a claim under Section 20A of the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Act against certain defendants relating
to their sales of Merck stock.

In addition, the complaint includes allegations under Sections
11, 12 and 15 of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 that certain
defendants made incomplete and misleading statements in a
registration statement and certain prospectuses filed in
connection with the Merck Stock Investment Plan, a dividend
reinvestment plan.

Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, which
is pending, according to the company's Form 10-Q filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
Sept. 30, 2006.

The suit is "Merck & Co. Inc. Securities Litigation in
Re: MDL1658, case no. 3:05-cv-02367-SRC-TJB," filed in the
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey,
under Judge Stanley R. Chesler.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) David A.P. Brower, Milberg Weiss Bershad Schulman, LLP,
         One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10119, Phone:
         (212) 594-5300, E-mail: dbrower@milbergweiss.com

     (2) Mark Levine, Stull, Stull & Brody, ESQS., 6 East 45th
         Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 07661, Phone: (212)
         687-7230

     (3) Peter S. Pearlman, Cohn, Lifland, Pearlman, Herrmann &
         Knopf, LLP, Park 80 Plaza West One, Saddle Brook, NJ
         07663, Phone: (201) 845-9600, E-mail:
         PSP@njlawfirm.com.

Representing the company is Robert H. Baron of Cravath Swaine &
Moore, LLP, World Wide Plaza 825 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY
10019, Phone: (212) 474-1000, E-mail: merck@cravath.com.


MERRILL LYNCH: $40.3M Securities Suit Deal Gets Final Approval
--------------------------------------------------------------
Judge John F. Keenan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York has given final approval to a $40.3 million
settlement in the matters:

      -- "In re Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Research Reports
         Securities Litigation, Case No. 02 MDL 1484 (JFK);"

      -- "In re Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Internet Strategies
         Fund Securities Litigation, Case No. 02 CV 3176 (JFK);"

      -- "In re Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Global Technology Fund
         Securities Litigation, Case No. 02 CV 7854 (JFK);" and

      -- "In re Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Focus Twenty Fund
         Securities Litigation, Case No. 02 CV 10221 (JFK),"

According to the an AP WorldStream report, an order issued by
Judge Keenan, certified the class and granted attorney's fees
and expenses of about $9.37 million.

"The court finds that the settlement is substantively fair and
reasonable," the judge wrote in a 73-page opinion.

The settlement covers all persons who purchased or otherwise
acquired shares of the:

      -- "Merrill Lynch Internet Strategies Fund, Inc. (ISF)
         from March 16, 2000 through and including Oct. 12, 2001
         (ISF Class);"

      -- "Merrill Lynch Global Technology Fund, Inc. (Global
         Technology Fund) From Oct. 2, 1999 through and
         including Oct. 1, 2002 (Global Technology Fund Class);
         and/or

      -- Merrill Lynch Focus Twenty Fund, Inc. (Focus Twenty
         Fund) from March 3, 2000 through and Including Dec. 23,
         2002 (Focus Twenty Fund Class) (Class Action Reporter,
         Oct. 25, 2006).

                      Litigation Background

The Global Technology Fund Litigation

On or about Oct. 1, 2002, Michal N. Merritt filed a class action
complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of New York on behalf of herself and the Global Technology Fund
Class alleging violations of sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the
U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and section 34(b) of the Investment
Company Act of 1940 (ICA) against Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. (ML
& Co.), Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., (MLPF&S),
Global Technology Fund, Princeton Funds Distributor, Inc., FAM
Distributors, Inc., Princeton Services, Inc., Merrill Lynch
Asset Management, L.P., Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, L.P.
(MLIM) and the Global Technology Fund's officers and directors
Terry K. Glenn, Donald C. Burke, Donald Cecil, Roland M.
Machold, Edward H. Meyer, Charles C. Reilly, Richard D. West,
Arthur Zeikel, Edward D. Zinbarg, Roscoe S. Suddarth, Ronald W.
Forbes, Cynthia A. Montgomery and Kevin A. Ryan (Global
Technology Fund Defendants).

On Feb. 5, 2003, the court appointed Michal N. Merritt as lead
plaintiff for the Global Technology Fund Class (Global
Technology Fund Lead Plaintiff) and appointed Wolf Haldenstein
Adler Freeman & Herz, LLP, as lead counsel (Global Technology
Fund Lead Counsel).

On or about March 14, 2003, the Global Technology Fund Lead
Plaintiff filed a consolidated amended class action complaint
(Global Technology Fund Complaint), asserting claims under
sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the U.S. Securities Act, section
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange
Act) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and section 34(b) of
the ICA.

She alleged that the Registration Statement/Prospectus for the
Global Technology Fund failed to disclose that:

      -- a material percentage of the companies in which Global
         Technology Fund invested were companies which defendant
         MLPF&S had represented as lead or co-lead underwriter
         or investment banker;

      -- MLPF&S allegedly issued misleading research reports on
         many of the securities held in Global Technology Fund's
         portfolio;

      -- Global Technology Fund invested in companies at prices
         allegedly inflated by MLPF&S' research reports in order
         to enhance MLPF&S' ability to obtain investment banking
         business from those companies;

      -- MLPF&S allegedly issued research reports on over 80% of
         the companies whose securities were in the Global
         Technology Fund; and

      -- MLPF&S research analysts allegedly received the
         majority of their compensation from generating
         investment banking business.

The Global Technology Fund Lead Plaintiff asserted that the
Global Technology Fund Defendants were liable for the decline in
the trading price of the Global Technology Fund, which allegedly
resulted from the conduct alleged in the Global Technology Fund
Complaint.

On July 2, 2003, the district court granted the Global
Technology Fund Defendants' motions under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) and dismissed the Global Technology Fund
Complaint with prejudice on the grounds that:

      -- there was no duty to disclose the allegedly omitted
         information;

      -- the claims were barred by the statute of limitations;

      -- the Global Technology Fund Lead Plaintiff could not
         plead loss causation;

      -- the Global Technology Fund Lead Plaintiff lacked
         standing to assert a violation of section 12(a)(2) of
         the Securities Act;

      -- there is no private right of action under section 34(b)
         of the ICA and even if there was, it would have to be
         brought derivatively;

      -- the claims under section 10(b) of the Exchange Act
         failed for the additional reasons that the claims were
         insufficiently particularized and no facts supporting
         an intent to defraud had been pled.

On July 17, 2003, the Global Technology Fund Lead Plaintiff
moved the Court to alter its judgment and allow her to file a
second consolidated amended complaint on the ground that the
claims were not barred by the statute of limitations.  That
motion was denied.

On Sept. 17, 2003, the Global Technology Fund Lead Plaintiff
filed her notice of appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit.  That appeal was fully briefed and the parties
were awaiting oral argument at the time this proposed settlement
was reached.

The ISF Litigation

Beginning on April 24, 2002, at least nine securities class
actions relating to ISF were filed in the district court against
the ISF Defendants alleging violations of sections 11, 12(a)(2)
and 15 of the U.S. Securities Act.

On June 25, 2002, five motions for the consolidation of all the
related ISF cases, and for the appointment of lead plaintiff and
lead counsel were filed.

On Feb. 5, 2003, the court appointed Ruth Manton as lead
plaintiff for the ISF class and appointed Abbey Gardy, LLP as
lead counsel. Subsequently, Abbey Gardy, LLP, changed its name
to Abbey Spanier Rodd Abrams & Paradis, LLP.

On March 14, 2003, the ISF Lead Plaintiff filed a consolidated
amended class action complaint asserting claims under sections
11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act and section 34(b) of
the ICA on behalf of herself and the ISF class against ML & Co.,
MLPF&S, ISF, Master Internet Strategies Trust, Global Technology
Fund, Fund Asset Management, L.P., Princeton Services, Inc., FAM
Distributors, Inc., Paul G. Meeks, and the Fund's officers and
directors, Donald C. Burke, Terry K. Glenn, Charles C. Reilly,
Roscoe S. Suddarth, Richard R. West, Edward D. Zinbarg and
Arthur Zeikel.

The ISF Lead Plaintiff alleged, among other things that the
Registration Statement/Prospectus for the ISF failed to disclose
that:

      -- the ISF allegedly invested in the securities of
         companies with which MLPF&S had or sought investment
         banking business;

      -- that MLPF&S allegedly issued misleading research
         reports on many of the securities held in the ISF's
         portfolio; and

      -- that the ISF invested in companies at prices allegedly
         inflated by MLPF&S' research reports in order to
         enhance MLPF&S' ability to obtain investment banking
         business from those companies.

The ISF Lead Plaintiff further alleged that the ISF Defendants
were liable for the decline in the trading price of the ISF
shares, which allegedly resulted from the alleged conduct of the
ISF Defendants.

On Oct. 29, 2003, the district court, pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), dismissed the ISF Complaint with
prejudice on the grounds that:

      -- there was no duty to disclose the allegedly omitted
         information;

      -- the claims were barred by the statute of limitations;

      -- the ISF Lead Plaintiff failed to allege losses
         recoverable under sections 11 or 12(a)(2);

      -- there is no private right of action under section 34(b)
         of the ICA and even if there was, it would have to be
         brought derivatively.

On Nov. 24, 2003, the ISF Lead Plaintiff filed her notice of
appeal from the district court's Oct. 29, 2003 decision in the
Second Circuit.  That appeal was fully briefed and the parties
were awaiting oral argument at the time this proposed settlement
was reached.

The Focus Twenty Fund Litigation

On Dec. 23, 2002, Cynthia McGinnes filed the first class action
complaint involving the Focus Twenty Fund in the district court,
alleging violations of the Securities Act and the Exchange Act.

By order dated July 22, 2003, the court consolidated the
McGinnes complaint with several other actions alleging
violations of the securities laws in connection with purchases
of Focus Twenty Fund.

On July 22, 2003, the court appointed Archie Lofberg as Lead
Plaintiff for the Focus Twenty Fund class (Focus Twenty Fund
Lead Plaintiff) and appointed Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman &
Herz, LLP, as Lead Counsel (Focus Twenty Fund Lead Counsel).

On or about Aug. 25, 2003, the Focus Twenty Fund Lead Plaintiff
filed a consolidated amended class action complaint (Focus
Twenty Fund Complaint), against ML & Co., MLPF&S, Focus Twenty
Fund, Fund Asset Management, L.P., Princeton Funds Distributor,
Inc., FAM Distributors, Inc. and Princeton Services, Inc.
(collectively the Focus Twenty Fund Defendants), making
essentially the same allegations as made in the Global
Technology Fund Complaint by the Global Technology Fund Lead
Plaintiff.

The Focus Twenty Fund Defendants subsequently moved to dismiss
the Focus Twenty Fund Complaint on the basis of the district
court's decisions in the coordinated cases, particularly the
decisions on essentially the same grounds as in the Global
Technology Fund action.

In its Oct. 22, 2003 decision on defendants' motions to dismiss,
the court struck certain allegations as irrelevant and
dismissed, without prejudice, those portions of the Amended
Complaint that were not stricken.

The Focus Twenty Fund Lead Plaintiff filed his Second Amended
Complaint on Nov. 5, 2003, which defendants moved to dismiss.
That motion was fully briefed and was awaiting oral argument at
the time the parties reached this proposed settlement.

During the spring and summer of 2006, settlement negotiations
occurred between Lead Counsel and counsel for Defendants.  On
Sept. 22, 2006, the parties presented to the district court a
proposed Stipulation of Settlement between Lead Plaintiffs and
Defendants.

For more details, contact:

     (1) Jill S. Abrams, Esq. of Abbey Spanier Rodd Abrams &
         Paradis, LLP, 212 East 39th Street, New York, New York,
         10016, Phone: (212) 889-3700;

     (2) Jeffrey G. Smith, Esq. of Wolf Haldenstein Adler
         Freeman & Herz, LLP, 270 Madison Avenue, New York, New
         York 10016, Phone: (212) 545-4740; and

     (3) Merrill Lynch Funds Securities Litigation, c/o The
         Garden City Group, Inc., Claims Administrator, P.O. Box
         9000 #6449, Merrick, NY 11566-9000, Phone: 1-800-327-
         3664 or 631-470-5000, Fax: 631-470-5100, E-mail:
         info@gardencitygroup.com, Web site:
         http://www.gardencitygroup.com/.


NATIONAL CITY: Still Faces N.Y. Lawsuit Over "Interchange Fees"
---------------------------------------------------------------
National City Corp. remains a defendant in a consolidated class
action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of New York in relation to "interchange fees."

Beginning on June 22, 2005, a series of antitrust class action
lawsuits were filed against Visa, MasterCard, and several major
financial institutions, including eight cases naming the company
and its subsidiary, National City Bank of Kentucky, since merged
into National City Bank.

The plaintiffs, merchants operating commercial businesses
throughout the U.S. and trade associations, claim that the
interchange fees charged by card-issuing banks are unreasonable
and seek injunctive relief and unspecified damages.

The cases have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York under
the caption, "In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant
Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL-1720, Case No. 1:05-md-01720-
JG-JO."

The company recorded no new developments in this matter in its
Nov. 14, 2006 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the period ended Sept. 30, 2006.

The suit is "In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant
Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL-1720, Case No. 1:05-md-01720-
JG-JO," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of New York under Judge John Gleeson with referral
James Orenstein.

Representing some of the plaintiffs:

     (1) Darla Jo Boggs of Lockridge Grindal Nauen, P.L.L.P.,
         100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 2200, Minneappolis,
         MN 55401, US, Phone: 612-339-6900, Fax: 612-339-0981,
         E-mail: djboggs@locklaw.com;

     (2) Christopher M. Burke of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller
         Rudman & Robbins, 655 W. Broadway, Suite 1900, San
         Diego, CA 92101, US, Phone: 619-231-1058, Fax: 619-231-
         7423, E-mail: chrisb@lerachlaw.com; and

     (3) Jason S. Cowart of Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman &
         Gross, LLP, 100 Park Avenue, 26th Floor, New York, NY
         10017, Phone: 212-661-1100, Fax: 212-661-8665, E-mail:
         jasoncowart@yahoo.com.

Representing the defendants is John M. Majoras of Jones Day, 51
Louisiana Ave., NW Washington, DC 20001, Phone: 202-879-3939,
Fax: 202-626-1700, E-mail: jpcooney@jonesday.com.


NESTOR TRAFFIC: Continues to Face Suits Over Ohio Speed Program
---------------------------------------------------------------
Nestor Traffic Systems, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of
Nestor, Inc., and the City of Akron, remain defendants in class
actions that were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of Ohio.

Initially, two purported class actions were filed that seek
damages and injunction against the city's speed program.
These cases, which have been consolidated in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of Ohio, are:

      -- "Mendenhall v. City of Akron, et al., Case No. 5:06-cv-
          00139-DDD;" and

      -- "Sipe, et al. v. Nestor Traffic Systems, Inc., et al.,
         Case No. 5:06-cv-00154-DDD."

Both actions were originally filed in the Summit County Court of
Common Pleas, but were later removed to federal court.

In "Mendenhall," which was filed on Jan. 19, 2006, plaintiff
brought a complaint and class action for declaratory judgment,
injunctive relief and for a money judgment in an unspecified
amount against city of Akron and all of its city council members
in their official capacity and the company, alleging federal and
state constitutional violations.

On Feb. 17, 2006, defendants filed a joint motion for judgment
on the pleadings.  Plaintiff filed an opposition to that motion
on March 24, 2006.

On May 19, 2006, the court ruled that the Akron ordinance
permitting photo enforcement of speeding laws was a proper
exercise of municipal power under the Ohio Constitution, but
deferred ruling on the alleged due process violations pending an
opportunity for discovery by the plaintiff, which was completed
on Oct. 20, 2006.

The plaintiff amended her complaint on Aug. 8, 2006 to include
equal protection violations among her federal constitutional
claims.

The company filed an answer to that amended complaint on Aug.
18, 2006.  Dispositive motions in the case are due by Nov. 22,
2006.

In "Sipe," which was filed on Jan. 23, 2006, plaintiffs filed a
complaint and class action for declaratory judgment, injunctive
relief and for a money judgment in an unspecified amount against
the company, various past and present employees of the company
and the city of Akron and alleging fraud, civil conspiracy,
common plan to commit fraud, violations of the Consumer Sales
Practices Act, nuisance, conversion, invasion of privacy,
negligence, and federal constitutional violation.

For more details, contact:

     (1) [Mendenhall Plaintiff] Jacquenette Geggus Corgan, Ste.
         201, 190 North Union Street, Akron, OH 44304, Phone:
         330-535-8160, Fax: 330-762-9743, E-mail:
         j.corgan@justice.com;

     (2) [Sipe Plaintiff] Antoni Dalayanis, 5th Floor, 12 East
         Exchange Street, Akron, OH 44308, Phone: 330-315-1060,
         Fax: 800-787-4089, E-mail: lawyer@bright.net.

     (3) [Mendenhall & Sipe Defendant] Michael J. Defibaugh of
         City of Akron, Law Department, Ste. 202, 161 South High
         Street, Akron, OH 44308, Phone: 330-375-2030, Fax: 330-
         375-2041, E-mail: defibmi@ci.akron.oh.us; and

     (4) [Mendenhall & Sipe Defendant] Richard Gurbst and Donald
         W. Herbe of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, 4900 Key Tower,
         127 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44114, Phone: 216-479-
         8607 and 216-479-8312, Fax: 216-479-8777, E-mail:
         rgurbst@ssd.com and dherbe@ssd.com.


NORTEL NETWORKS: Court Approves N.Y. Securities Suit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Richard Berman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York has approved a $438.7 million settlement in
a class-action securities claim against Nortel Networks,
including $16.7 million in attorneys' fees, The Courthouse News
Service reports.

In 2006, Nortel reached a proposed settlement in the class
action, "In Re Nortel Networks Corp. Securities Litigation,
Consolidated Civil Action No.: 2001-CV-1855 (RMB)" in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York (Class
Action Reporter, Aug. 17, 2006).

                Terms of Proposed Settlement

The settlement will provide total proceeds consisting of
approximately $438,667,428 in cash, which is already on deposit
and earning interest, to provide for benefit of the class of
314,222,875 Nortel shares.

In addition, Nortel will adopt certain corporate governance
enhancements.  The settlement resolves lawsuits over whether
Nortel misled investors about its historic and future earnings
during the class period.

The settlement constitutes a full and final resolution of claims
and causes of action raised by members of the classes in the
Nortel I Actions and encompassed in the settlement.

              Notice of Certification of Classes

The U.S. Action was certified in 2004 to proceed as a class
action on behalf of persons and entities, wherever located, who
bought Nortel common stock or call options on Nortel common
stock or who wrote (sold) put options on Nortel common stock
during the period Oct. 24, 2000 through Feb. 15, 2001,
inclusive, and suffered damages thereby, including, but not
limited to, those persons or entities who traded in Nortel
Securities on the New York Stock Exchange and/or the Toronto
Stock Exchange (U.S. Global Class).

A copy of the judge's order is available free of charge at:
              http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?193f

The suit is "In Re Nortel Networks Corp. Securities Litigation,
Case No. 1:01-cv-01855-RMB-MHD," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York under Judge Richard
M. Berman, with referral to Judge Michael H. Dolinger.

Lead plaintiff's counsel are George A. Bauer III of Milberg
Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP, One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York,
New, York 10119-0165; and Murray Gold of Koskie Minsky LLP, 20
Queen Street West, Suite 900, Toronto, Ontario M5H 3R3.


OLD WILLIAMSBURGH: Recalls Jar Candles at Risk of Breakage
----------------------------------------------------------
Old Williamsburgh Candle Corp., of Brooklyn, New York, in
cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is
recalling about 3.7 million units of Old Williamsburgh Mason Jar
Candles, sizes 3.5 to 5.0 oz.

The company said the wick can move from the center of the jar to
the side causing the glass to overheat and possibly crack or
shatter.  Exposure to broken glass and molten wax poses
laceration and burn hazards to consumers.

Old Williamsburgh Candle Corp. has received 11 reports of the
candles cracking or shattering, including one laceration injury.

This recall involves all scents and colors of Mason Jar Candles
in 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, and 5.0 oz. sizes.  The size of the candle is
specified on the label at the bottom of the jar, on the last
line of the label.  Replacement Mason Jar Candles, which are not
included in the recall, have a "Q" on either side of the label.

These recalled jar candles were manufactured in the United
States and are being sold through Dollar stores, discount
stores, and grocery stores nationwide from May 2006 through
December 2006 for between $1 and $1.50.

Pictures of recalled jar candles:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07092a.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07092b.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07092c.jpg

Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the candles and
return them to the place of purchase for an exchange or full
refund.

For additional information, call Old Williamsburgh Candle Corp.
toll-free at (866) 564-1500 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday
through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site:
http://www.oldwilliamsburgh.com.


PHILIPPINES: First Gentleman Seeks Dismissal of Reporters' Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers for the Philippines' First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo
asked the Makati Regional Trial Court to drop the PHP15 million
civil class action brought by dozens of Filipino journalists who
are facing libel suits filed by Mr. Arroyo, The Manila Mall
reports.

At the same time, Jesus Santos, Mr. Arroyo's spokesman, said
that the media would never bully the First Gentleman into
dropping the libel cases he had filed against journalists.

Mr. Santos adds that his boss will not be deterred from seeking
legal redress whenever irresponsible journalists malign the
First Gentleman's honor and reputation with lies and unfair
reporting.

According to Mr. Santos it is totally unfair for the
complainants to try and stop the First Gentleman from further
filing libel cases against journalists who fabricate malicious
lies and to make him withdraw libel cases he had filed.

On Dec. 28, 2006, dozens of Filipino journalists who are facing
libel suits filed by Mr. Arroyo filed a civil class action
against the presidential spouse at the Makati Regional Trial
Court (Class Action Reporter, Dec. 29, 2006).

Plaintiffs most of whom are charged by Mr. Arroyo with libel are
backed by other journalists, media, and journalists'
organizations.  Such groups include the Philippine Center for
Investigative Journalism and Center for Media Freedom and
Responsibility.

They are contesting the First Gentleman's claim that he has been
maligned as a private citizen, for which he is seeking at least
$2,872,275.41 (P141 million) in damages.

The libel cases were in connection with reports of alleged
election fraud and corruption involving Mr. Arroyo.  The
journalists are accusing Mr. Arroyo of trying to stifle freedom
of the press (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 21, 2006).

Retaliating against the charges filed against them, the
journalists are in turn suing Mr. Arroyo for abuse of power and
for seeking to undermine civil liberties.

The suit is asking for about $305,561.21 (PHP15 million) in
damages for the anxiety, loss of income, and other
inconveniences Mr. Arroyo's libel suits have allegedly caused.

Earlier, Mr. Arroyo filed a counterclaim against dozens of
Filipino journalists who filed a class suit against him in
December (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 10, 2007).

Mr. Arroyo's lawyer, Ruy Rondain, said the class suit, was
defective, claiming that other plaintiffs did not sign the class
suit while those who joined had nothing to do with the case as
they are not facing libel charges filed by Mr. Arroyo.


QUALCOMM INC: Continues to Face Suits Over Cellular Phone Sales
---------------------------------------------------------------
QUALCOMM, Inc. along with many other manufacturers of wireless
phones, wireless operators and industry-related organizations,
was named as a defendant in several purported class actions, and
several individually filed actions pending in Maryland,
Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and Louisiana, seeking monetary
damages arising out of its sale of cellular phones.

The courts that have reviewed similar claims against other
companies to date have held that there was insufficient
scientific basis for the plaintiffs' claims in those cases.

QUALCOMM, Inc. -- http://www.qualcomm.com-- designs,
manufactures, and markets digital wireless telecommunications
products and services based on its code division multiple access
technology and other technologies.


RYAN'S RESTAURANT: S.C. Court Mulls Approval of Merger Suit Deal
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Common Pleas in Greenville, South Carolina has yet
to give final approval to a proposed settlement in a putative
shareholder class action against Ryan's Restaurant Group in
connection with the anticipated merger between Ryan's and
Buffets, Inc.

On July 28, 2006, Ryan's shareholder Marjorie Fretwell, with the
help of law firm Motley Rice LLC, filed a class action in the
Court of Common Pleas in Greenville, South Carolina alleging the
purchase price didn't result from a fair and open process.

The deal would combine Ryan's 340 restaurants with Buffet's 337
to form what the two companies said would be the nation's
largest buffet restaurant chain.

The suit alleges Ryan's and its directors breached their
fiduciary duty to shareholders by failing to disclose material
information about the sale.

On Aug. 28, Ryan's and its directors filed an answer denying the
substantive claims of the shareholder action, and also filed a
motion to dismiss the case.

On Sept. 14, the first amended class action complaint was filed
in the shareholder action.

Ryan's has reached an agreement in principle with plaintiff's
counsel, subject to court approval, to resolve the litigation by
responding to certain allegations in the amended complaint.

Although plaintiff believes the information is material, Ryan's
does not consider any of such information to be material to the
merger or otherwise.

The settlement is pending court approval, according to the
company's Jan. 29, 2007 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the period ended Dec. 13,
2006.


TAM SA: Brazilian Airline Faces Overbooking Practices Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Brazilian Consumer Relations Defense and Study Institute
(Ibedec) filed a civil class action against airline TAM SA on
behalf of passengers from Brasilia for overbooking practices,
The Investnews (Brazil) reports.

Ibedec requested the application of about $472 in fines for each
new overbooking case.  According to Ibedec, the practice of
overbooking harms passengers' rights.

TAM SA -- http://www.tam.com.br/-- operates regular flights to
47 destinations throughout Brazil.  It serves 72 different
cities in the domestic market through regional alliances.
Additionally, it maintains code-share agreements with
international airline companies that allow passengers to travel
to a large number of destinations throughout the world.  TAM was
the first Brazilian airline company to launch a loyalty program.
The program has over 3.3 million subscribers and has awarded
more than 3.6 million tickets.


TELAXIS COMMS: N.Y. Court Mulls Final OK for IPO Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
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 of a consolidated securities class action against
Telaxis Communications Corp., a predecessor Company to Terabeam,
Inc.

During the period from June 12 to Sept. 13, 2001, four purported
securities class actions were filed against the company in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York under
the captions:

      -- "Katz v. Telaxis Communications Corp., et al.;"

      -- "Kucera v. Telaxis Communications Corp., et al.;"

      -- "Paquette v. Telaxis Communications Corp., et al.;" and

      -- "Inglis v. Telaxis Communications Corporation, et al."

The lawsuits also named one or more of the underwriters in the
Telaxis initial public offering and certain of its officers and
directors.

On April 19, 2002, the plaintiffs filed a single consolidated
amended complaint, which supersedes the individual complaints
originally filed.

The amended complaint alleges, among other things, violations of
the registration and antifraud provisions of the federal
securities laws due to alleged statements in and omissions from
the company's initial public offering registration statement
concerning the underwriters' alleged activities in connection
with the underwriting of the company's shares to the public.

The amended complaint seeks, among other things, unspecified
damages and costs associated with the litigation.  These
lawsuits have been assigned along with, the company understands,
approximately 1,000 other lawsuits making substantially similar
allegations against approximately 300 other publicly traded
companies and their public offering underwriters to a single
federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York for consolidated pre-trial purposes.

The company believes the claims against it are without merit and
have defended the litigation vigorously.  The litigation process
is inherently uncertain, however, and there can be no assurance
that the outcome of these claims will be favorable for the
company.

On July 15, 2002, together with the other issuer defendants, the
company filed a collective motion to dismiss the consolidated
amended complaint against the issuers on various legal grounds
common to all or most of the issuer defendants.  The
underwriters also filed separate motions to dismiss the claims
against them.

In October 2002, the court approved a stipulation dismissing
without prejudice all claims against the company directors and
officers who had been defendants in the litigation.

On Feb. 19, 2003, the court issued its ruling on the separate
motions to dismiss filed by the issuer defendants and the
underwriter defendants.  The court granted in part and denied in
part the issuer defendants' motions.

The court dismissed, with prejudice, all claims brought against
the company under the anti-fraud provisions of the securities
laws.

The court denied the motion to dismiss the claims brought under
the registration provisions of the securities laws (which do not
require that intent to defraud be pleaded) as to the company and
as to substantially all of the other issuer defendants.  The
court denied the underwriter defendants' motion to dismiss in
all respects.

In June 2003, the company elected to participate in a proposed
settlement agreement with the plaintiffs in this litigation.
The company understands that virtually all of the other non-
bankrupt issuer defendants have also elected to participate in
this proposed settlement.

If ultimately approved by the court, this proposed settlement
would result in the dismissal, with prejudice, of all claims in
the litigation against the company and against the other issuer
defendants who have elected to participate in the proposed
settlement, together with the current or former officers and
directors of participating issuers who were named as individual
defendants.

The proposed settlement does not provide for the resolution of
any claims against the underwriter defendants.  The proposed
settlement provides that the insurers of the participating
issuer defendants will guarantee that the plaintiffs in the
cases brought against the participating issuer defendants will
recover at least $1 billion.

If recoveries totaling $1 billion or more are obtained by the
plaintiffs from the underwriter defendants, however, the
monetary obligations to the plaintiffs under the proposed
settlement will be satisfied.

In addition, the company and the other participating issuer
defendants will be required to assign to the plaintiffs certain
claims that the participating issuer defendants may have against
the underwriters of their IPOs.

The proposed settlement contemplates that any amounts necessary
to fund the guarantee contained in the settlement or settlement-
related expenses would come from participating issuers'
directors and officers liability insurance policy proceeds as
opposed to funds of the participating issuer defendants
themselves.

A participating issuer defendant could be required to contribute
to the costs of the settlement if that issuer's insurance
coverage were insufficient to pay that issuer's allocable share
of the settlement costs.

The company currently expects that its insurance proceeds will
be sufficient for these purposes and that the company will not
otherwise be required to contribute to the proposed settlement.

Consummation of the proposed settlement is conditioned upon
obtaining approval by the court.  On Sept. 1, 2005, the court
preliminarily approved the proposed settlement, directed that
notice of the terms of the proposed settlement be provided to
class members, and scheduled a fairness hearing for April 24,
2006, at which objections to the proposed settlement will be
heard.  The court will determine whether to grant final approval
to the proposed settlement.

After the fairness hearing, the court took under advisement
whether to grant final approval to the proposed settlement.

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


TENET HEALTHCARE: Continues to Face Calif. Wage, Hour Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tenet Healthcare Corp. remains a defendant in a proposed class
action alleging that Tenet hospitals violated certain provisions
of the California Labor Code and applicable California
Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders.

The alleged violations were with respect to:

     -- meal breaks;

     -- rest periods;

     -- the payment of compensation for meal breaks and rest
        periods not taken;

     -- the payment of compensation and appropriate premiums for
        overtime, including the California Differential
        payments;

     -- "rounding off" practices for time entries on timekeeping
        records; and

     -- the information shown on pay stubs.

Plaintiffs are seeking back pay, statutory penalties and
attorneys' fees, and seek to certify this action on behalf of
virtually all non-exempt employees of the company's California
subsidiaries.

Two other proposed class actions pending in Southern California
involve allegations regarding unpaid overtime.  The lawsuits
allege that our pay practices since 2000 for California-based
12-hour shift employees violate California and, in one of the
cases, federal overtime laws by virtue of the alleged failure to
include certain payments known as Flexible (or California)
Differential payments in the regular rate of pay that is used to
calculate overtime pay.

Plaintiffs in both cases are seeking back pay, statutory
penalties and attorneys' fees.

The company has recorded an accrual of $24 million ($18 million
in the three months ended June 30, 2006 and $6 million in prior
years) as an estimated liability for the wage and hour actions
and other unrelated employment matters.


TENET HEALTHCARE: Faces Three Medical Malpractice Suits in La.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tenet Healthcare Corp. hospitals are defendants in three medical
malpractice cases filed as purported class actions by former
patients of Memorial Medical Center and Lindy Boggs Medical
Center in New Orleans.

In each case, family members allege, on behalf of themselves and
a purported class of other patients and their family members,
damages as a result of injuries sustained during Hurricane
Katrina.

Tenet Healthcare Corp. -- http://www.tenethealth.com/-- is an
investor-owned health care services company whose subsidiaries,
and affiliates operate general hospitals and related health care
facilities, and hold investments in other companies, including
health care companies.


TENNESSEE: Employees Need More Funding to Finish Case v. City
-------------------------------------------------------------
Representatives for city workers involved in a class action
against the City of Columbia, Tennessee, say that they need more
money to finish the suit, The Columbia Daily Herald reports.

Spokesman Pat Prince told a gathering at the American Legion
Building that the court ruled in favor of the employees, however
to avoid a contempt of court ruling the plaintiffs must pay a
special accountant about $12,000.

According to plaintiffs' attorney, Phillip Davidson, the money
should be the last that will be needed to see the case through.

Columbia Police Officers Brad Collins, and John Ussery filed the
suit in 2000, claiming a personnel handbook promising merit-
based pay raises constituted a contract between the employees
and the city.

In general, the suit contends that the city breached its
contract with the police officers and the firefighters by not
giving them a pay increase as required by the city's policy
manual (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 3, 2001).

In 2004, after several delays and three contempt of court
rulings against the city, Judge Stella L. Hargrove ruled the
city had breached a contract with employees promising merit-
based pay raises.

The case covers most employees working for the city from Sept. 5
1994-Sept. 5 2000.  Employees did receive raises during this
period, but they were based on service time and cost of living.

Since 2004, the city and employees have been arguing over the
amount of damages.  Judge Hargrove appointed a special master to
the court, a lawyer with accounting credentials, to devise a
formula for assessing damages.  During this time the plaintiffs
have been accruing 10 percent interest on any potential damages.

Though the now fired city manager Mike Miller said in 2004 that
the city would appeal the decision to the Tennessee Court of
Appeals, many plaintiffs believe that the city would be more
willing not to pursue an appeal.

Mr. Davidson projected that if an appeal was ever made, the case
could continue for another nine months.  He pointed out that
during that time the plaintiffs would continue to earn interest
on the damages.

At the gathering, Mr. Prince said that any employee who is
eligible for the suit is encouraged to come forward with funds
to pay for the legal expenses.

Mr. Said that those who will contribute will get their money
back.  He adds that before any damages are paid out those who
paid the costs will be reimbursed.


TJX COS: Faces Second Mass. Suit Over Client Information Leak
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Lamb Firm, LLC and the law firm of Whatley Drake & Kallas,
LLC filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District
Court of Massachusetts against TJX Companies and Fifth Third
Bank on behalf of AmeriFirst Bank of Union Springs, Alabama over
the companies' collective failure in securing the personal data
of millions of consumers.

It seeks protection and damages for the millions of unwitting
customers injured by the failure of the defendants as well as
protection and indemnification for the hundreds of banks
affected.

"The magnitude of this failure by TJX and the Fifth Third Bank
is international in its reach with the full extent of damages
unknown until independent experts can investigate all of the
issues.  It is apparent the costs to customers and banks will be
enormous," noted Archie Lamb, who along with Joe Whatley is
primary counsel in the litigation.

Mr. Whatley concurred, noting that this litigation seeks to
ensure that those responsible for this massive failure to secure
private information of unwitting consumers are also responsible
for the cost to remedy the problem.

In May 2006, an "unauthorized intruder" penetrated the network
of TJX Corp. -- owners of TJ Maxx, Bob's Goods, HomeGoods, and
Marshalls.

In January 2007, TJX issued a statement acknowledging the
breach.  TJX spokeswoman Sherry Lang indicated the data breach
was discovered sometime in mid-December.

Ms. Lang, however, denied notification was delayed because of
the impending holiday shopping season.  TJX's statement occurred
just hours after The Wall Street Journal reported TJX's security
breach.

Earlier, the law firms of Berger & Montague, P.C., and Stern
Shapiro Weissberg & Garin, LLP, filed a similar class action on
behalf of all consumers in the U.S. who had personal, and
financial data stolen from the computer network of TJX
Companies, Inc., and were damaged thereby (Class Action
Reporter, Jan. 30, 2007).

The recent suit is "Amerifirst Bank v. TJX Companies, Inc. et
al., Case No. 1:07-cv-10169-JLT," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Massachusetts under Judge Joseph L.
Tauro.

Representing plaintiffs is Patrick Sheehan of Whatley Drake &
Kallas, 1540 Broadway, 37th Floor, New York, NY 10036, Phone:
212-447-7070.


TJX COS: Faces Litigation in Ala. Over Client Information Leak
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Lamb Firm, LLC and the law firm of Whatley Drake & Kallas,
LLC filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District Court of Alabama against TJX Companies and Fifth Third
Bank over the companies' collective failure in securing the
personal data of millions of consumers.

The suit was filed on behalf of Jo Wood and Kate Willoughby of
Birmingham, Alabama.  It seeks protection and damages for the
millions of unwitting customers injured by the failure of the
defendants as well as protection and indemnification for the
hundreds of banks affected.

"The magnitude of this failure by TJX and the Fifth Third Bank
is international in its reach with the full extent of damages
unknown until independent experts can investigate all of the
issues. It is apparent the costs to customers and banks will be
enormous," noted Archie Lamb, who along with Joe Whatley is
primary counsel in the litigation.

Mr. Whatley concurred noting that this litigation seeks to
ensure that those responsible for this massive failure to secure
private information of unwitting consumers are also responsible
for the cost to remedy the problem.

In May 2006, an "unauthorized intruder" penetrated the network
of TJX Corporation -- owners of TJ Maxx, Bob's Goods, HomeGoods,
and Marshalls.

In January 2007, TJX issued a statement acknowledging the
breach.  TJX spokeswoman Sherry Lang indicated the data breach
was discovered sometime in mid-December.

However, Ms. Lang denied that notification was delayed because
of the impending holiday shopping season.  TJX's statement
occurred just hours after The Wall Street Journal reported TJX's
security breach.

The suit is "Wood et al v. TJX, Inc et al., Case No. 2:07-cv-
00147-RDP," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Alabama under Judge R. David Proctor.

Representing plaintiffs are:

     (1) Andrew C. Allen, Richard P. Rouco and Joe R. Whatley,
         Jr., all of Whatley Drake & Kallas LLC, 2323 Second
         Avenue North, Post Office Box 10647, Birmingham, AL
         35202-0647, Phone: 205-328-9576, Fax: 205-328-9669, E-
         mail: ecf@whatleydrake.com or
         jwhatley@whatleydrake.com; and

     (2) Archie C. Lamb, Jr. and F. Inge Johnstone, both of The
         Lamb Firm, 2017 Second Avenue North, Suite 200,
         Birmingham, AL 35203, Phone: 205-324-4644, Fax: 205-
         324-4649, E-mail: alamb@archielamb.com or
         ijohnstone@archielamb.com.


UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Settles N.Y. Suit Over Claim Terminations
-------------------------------------------------------------
UnumProvident Corp. settled a purported class action, "Jeffrey
A. Weiller v. New York Life Insurance Company, UnumProvident
Corporation, and The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company,"
pending before the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

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

On Feb. 18, 2005, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss this
action.  On June 20, 2005, the plaintiff filed a motion seeking
certification of a putative class.

On April 27, 2006, the court denied class certification and
dismissed all claims except the individual contract claim of
plaintiff.  Plaintiff has appealed these orders.

The parties have reached a settlement of the case while this
appeal was pending.  Under the terms of the settlement, the
plaintiff will release all claims and withdraw his appeal.  The
amount of settlement was immaterial.


UNUMPROVIDENT CORP: Motion to Remand N.J. Suit to Fla. Pending
--------------------------------------------------------------
The District Court of New Jersey has yet to rule on a motion to
remand the suit, "Palm Tree Computers Systems, Inc. v. ACE USA,
et al." to a Florida state court.

The company is a defendant in the action, which was originally
filed in the Florida state Circuit Court on Feb. 16, 2005.

The complaint is a putative class action and alleges violations
of the Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act of Florida and
other states, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment.

The allegations are brought against numerous broker
organizations and insurers and assert the company and its
subsidiaries engaged in illegal and unethical contingent
commission arrangements.

The case was removed to federal court and, on Oct. 20, 2005, the
case was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the District
of New Jersey multidistrict litigation.

A motion to remand the case to the state court in Florida
remains pending, but no further action has been taken in the
case subsequent to the transfer, according to the company's Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006.


WASHINGTON: Seattle to Appeal Verdict in WTO Protesters' Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys for the city of Seattle vowed to appeal a split
federal court verdict in the purported class action, "Hankin et
al. v. Seattle City of, et al.," which was in relation to the
arrests of about 200 protesters during a 1999 World Trade
Organization (WTO) meeting in the city, The United Press
International reports.

After three days of deliberation, a federal court jury issued a
mixed verdict in the purported class action, "Hankin et al. v.
Seattle City of, et al.," which was in relation to the arrests
of about 200 protesters during a 1999 World Trade Organization
(WTO) meeting in the city, according to a report by The Seattle
Times (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 31, 2007).

The jury found that the city violated the Fourth Amendment
rights of roughly 200 protesters arrested at Westlake Park
during the WTO upheaval on Dec. 1, 1999, but determined the city
was not guilty of violating the plaintiffs' free-speech rights.

City attorneys say that split verdict, which could lead to a
multimillion-dollar award against, shows that the jurors were
confused by their instructions.

Previously, in testimony before the U.S. District Court for the
District Court of Washington, former Seattle Police Chief Norm
Stamper said that the city did not establish a policy on Dec. 1,
1999, to arrest protesters.  In addition, the former police
chief said that he would have resigned rather than enforce such
a directive (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 22, 2007).

The case centers on an emergency ordinance that took effect on
Dec. 1, 1999, imposing downtown as off-limits to ensure public
safety amidst protests while the conference is ongoing.  Eight
people arrested on Dec. 1, 1999 are serving as lead plaintiffs
(Class Action Reporter, Jan. 12, 2007).

Plaintiffs contend that the city violated their First Amendment
right to free speech by arresting them because they were
espousing anti-WTO sentiments.  They also say the city violated
their Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search
and seizure.

Previously, Judge Barbara Rothstein, who presided over the case
back then, threw out protesters claims, saying the city had
imposed a proper "time, place or manner" restriction to ensure
public safety (Class Action Reporter, June 6, 2005).

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth upheld the
ordinance, it pointed out, however, that the city might have
gone too far in targeting only anti-WTO protesters within the
restricted zone, raising questions about discrimination.

In his opening statement, plaintiffs' attorney Michael Withey
told jurors that his clients were arrested merely for speaking
out against WTO.

The matter to be decided now is whether police singled out
people because of their views and illegally arrested them as
part of a city policy to go after protesters.

To prevail, the plaintiffs must demonstrate that such
unconstitutional acts were made in accordance with official city
policy, or that city leaders such as Mr. Stamper were aware of
and authorized the improper behavior.

Ted Buck, an attorney representing the city, asked Mr. Stamper
if then-Mayor Paul Schell instructed the police to seek out and
arrest protesters.

Mr. Stamper denied that the former mayor issued such a
directive.  He adds that if the mayor had given him such orders,
"I would have fought it.  If I had lost that battle, I would
have offered my resignation."

Mr. Withey had sought to establish that then-Assistant Chief Ed
Joiner, acting with Mr. Stamper's authority, declared a "no-
protest zone" in the downtown area near the Seattle Convention
Center, where WTO meetings were taking place.

During a 7 a.m. news conference Dec. 1, 1999, Mr. Joiner
declared that "anyone that goes into that area to protest will
be arrested immediately," according to a transcript Mr. Withey
introduced into evidence.

Mr. Stamper explains that he delegated Mr. Joiner to plan the
department's tactics and strategy ahead of the WTO meetings and
gave him operational command during the meetings.  However, Mr.
Stamper added that Mr. Joiner never had authority to set policy
for the department.

On Nov. 30, 1999, Seattle erupted in chaos as some 50,000 people
arrived to protest the policies of the WTO.  In a bid to avoid a
second day of unrest, Mayor Schell in the early hours of Dec. 1,
1999, issued "Emergency Order No. 3," which declared parts of
downtown Seattle off-limits to all but a handful of people.

Among the exempt groups: WTO delegates and workers; residents of
the area; business owners and employees; and safety personnel.
The order said nothing about banning protesters from the area.

                        Case Background

On Oct. 2, 2000, the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice filed the
original suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Washington.  The class action was brought on behalf
of anyone detained during mass arrests at Westlake Park between
6 a.m. and noon on Dec. 1, 1999.

Specifically, plaintiffs' lawyers alleged that the city engaged
in a policy of suppressing First Amendment rights by arresting
protesters without being ordered to disperse and jailing them
using an incorrect arrest record.

The complaint, thus seeks damages from the city, Mayor Schell,
and former Police Chief Norman Stamper on behalf of more than
600 protesters and others arrested and imprisoned on Dec. 1 and
2, 1999, pursuant to the city's "no-protest zone" policy.

The suit is "Hankin et al. v. Seattle City of, et al., Case No.
2:00-cv-01672-MJP," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Washington under Judge Marsha J. Pechman.

Representing the plaintiffs is Michael E. Withey of Law Office
Of Mike Withey, Two Union Square, 601 Union St., Ste. 4200,
Seattle, WA 98101, Phone: 206-405-1800, E-mail:
mike@witheylaw.com.

Representing the defendants is Theron A. Buck of Stafford Frey
Cooper, 601 Union St., 3100 Two Union Sq., Seattle, WA 98101,
Phone: 206-623-9900, Fax: 624-6885, E-mail:
tbuck@staffordfrey.com.


XTO ENERGY: No Ruling Yet on Kans. Antitrust Suit Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
XTO Energy, Inc. is awaiting the decision of the District Court
of Stevens County, Kansas on a motion to certify a new class
action, styled "Price, et al. v. Gas Pipelines, et al.," which
was filed against one of the company's subsidiaries.

The action was filed in the District Court of Stevens County,
Kansas, against natural gas pipeline owners and operators. It
seeks to represent a class of plaintiffs consisting of all
similarly situated gas royalty owners either from whom the
defendants had purchased natural gas or measured natural gas
since January 1, 1974 to the present.

The new petition alleges the same improper analysis of gas
heating content that had previously been alleged in "Price"
until it was removed from the case by the filing of the amended
class action petition.

The previous "Price" case is styled, "Price, et al. v. Gas
Pipelines, et al. (formerly "Quinque" case)."  It was filed in
June 2001, on behalf of a class of plaintiffs consisting of all
similarly situated gas working interest owners, overriding
royalty owners and royalty owners either from whom the
defendants had purchased natural gas or who received economic
benefit from the sale of such gas since Jan. 1, 1974.

In all other respects, the new petition appears to be identical
to the amended class action petition in that it has a proposed
class of only royalty owners, alleges conspiracy, unjust
enrichment and accounting, and only applies to gas measured in
Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.

The court held an evidentiary hearing in April 2005 to determine
whether the amended class should be certified, and the Company
is awaiting the Court's decision.

The company reported no development in the case at its Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006.


XTO ENERGY: No Certification Yet in Kan. Gas Royalty Owners Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The District Court of Stevens County, Kansas has yet to rule on
a motion to certify a lawsuit filed by gas royalty owners
against a subsidiary of XTO Energy, Inc.

On August 5, 2003, plaintiffs in "Price, et al. v. Gas
Pipelines, et al.," served one of the company's subsidiaries
with a new original class action petition, "Price, et al. v. Gas
Pipelines, et al."  The action was filed in the District Court
of Stevens County, Kansas, against natural gas pipeline owners
and operators.

The plaintiffs seek to represent a class of plaintiffs
consisting of all similarly situated gas royalty owners either
from whom the defendants had purchased natural gas or measured
natural gas since Jan. 1, 1974 to the present.

The new petition alleges the same improper analysis of gas
heating content that had previously been alleged in the Price
case discussed above until it was removed from the case by the
filing of the amended class action petition.

In all other respects, the new petition appears to be identical
to the amended class action petition in that it has a proposed
class of only royalty owners, alleges conspiracy, unjust
enrichment and accounting, and only applies to gas measured in
Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.

The court held an evidentiary hearing in April 2005 to determine
whether the amended class should be certified, and the company
is awaiting the decision of the court.  The amount of damages
was not specified in the complaint.

The company reported no development in the case at its Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006.


                        Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tokyo Moves to Prevent Illegal Demolitions
---------------------------------------------------------------
The government of Chiyoda Ward in Tokyo has decided to inspect
buildings slated for demolition to check whether they contain
asbestos, The Daily Yomiuri reports.

Due to start in April 2007, the inspections are a step toward
preventing illegal demolitions. When a contractor is found to
have attempted to raze a building without permission, the Ward
Govt. could file criminal complaints under the Construction
Waste Recycling Law.

According to the Construction Waste Recycling Law, when planning
to tear down those buildings, a contractor must file an
application with the labor standards supervision office and the
local government.

Containing asbestos during demolition is expensive, and many
contractors are thought to simply sidestep the application
process.

According to the Construction and Transport Ministry, more than
250,000 buildings with a floor space of 1,000 square meters or
more were built between 1955 and the late 1980s, when asbestos
was used in buildings as a fire retardant.

In fiscal 2005, in Chiyoda Ward, 269 buildings with a floor
space of 80 square meters or more were pulled down, 34 of which
were suspected of having asbestos. A total of six applications
were recorded to have been submitted by contractors.

A Ward official said, "It's highly possible that the other
buildings also included asbestos, but no measures were taken
[during demolition]. This could have posed health risks to
workers and those living in the area."

The Ward Govt. has decided to dispatch officials to inspect all
buildings with a floor space of 80 square meters or more,
contractors claim are asbestos-free.

The demolition of buildings thought to contain asbestos will
peak between 2010 and 2020.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Somerset Deaths on the Rise, Coroner Says
--------------------------------------------------------------
West Somerset, U.K. coroner Michael Rose said that asbestos
deaths have increased dramatically in recent years, Burnham &
Highbridge Weekly News reports.

Mr. Rose made the comments at an inquest into the death of 72-
year-old Victor Deane, a former Royal Marine from Berrow,
Somerset.

Mr. Rose revealed that mesothelioma was virtually unheard of in
the area 20 years ago, but said he now deals with about 14 cases
where it has proved fatal.

During the hearing, Mr. Rose revealed that two Somerset sites
are often the source of the poisoning - the former Royal
Ordnance plc factory at Puriton, and Hinkley Point Power
Station.

Although Mr. Rose heard that Mr. Deane had worked in an asbestos
mining town while serving with the Marines in Cyprus in 1955 to
1956, he said he doubted that that had been the cause of Mr.
Deane's death. Instead, it was suggested that a later career in
oven manufacturing and an incident with a fire extinguisher
might have been the cause.

Mr. Deane's friend Giovanni Pooley recalled how he Mr. Deane had
lived in the Cyprus mining village of Troodos in the 1950s.

Mr. Pooley revealed that, in 2004, Mr. Deane had used a fire
extinguisher to put out a small electrical fire in his home. He
revealed that fire officers had told Mr. Deane the old type of
extinguisher he had used was "effective, but lethal."

Mr. Rose said the asbestos disease usually manifests within 30
years of exposure. For that reason, the coroner said he believed
it was unlikely to have stemmed from Mr. Deane's days as a
Marine. Instead, he suggested Mr. Deane's time making ovens
might have been a factor, perhaps accelerated by the fire
extinguisher incidents.

Mr. Rose concluded that Mr. Deane died of an industrial disease.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Coroner Links Newsagent's Death to Asbestos
----------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Rose, the coroner of West Somerset in the United
Kingdom, recorded a verdict that newsagent Peter York died from
the industrial disease, mesothelioma, This is Somerset reports.

An inquest heard that the 57-year-old Mr. York probably breathed
in asbestos fibers while serving in the Royal Navy between 1966
and 1969, when he was an Engineering Mechanic First Class
working in the boiler room of HMS Eagle.

Mr. York's daughter, Natalie, said he then joined the Merchant
Navy and later worked for a Norwegian shipping company before
going into pub management in the London area. He later worked as
a relief manager for a betting company before buying The Paper
Shop.

Mr. York was a moderate smoker until 2000. In April 2006, he was
diagnosed with mesothelioma and died later that year.

Mr. Rose said he had no doubt that Mr. York had been in contact
with asbestos during his Navy service.

Although the risks from asbestos disease were known long ago,
precautions were not started until about 1970.

"I have had officers and men here with similar histories. It
normally takes 20-30 years between contacting asbestos and the
illness," Mr. Rose said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ampco Records $25.4M Net Charge for Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ampco-Pittsburgh Corp. recorded an asbestos-related net charge
of about US$25,467,000 that, after provision for income tax,
reduced net income for the year and quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006
by about US$15,888,000 or US$1.62 a share, according to a
Company news release, dated Jan. 25, 2007, reported to the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.

The claims resulted from alleged personal injury from exposure
to asbestos-containing equipment made decades ago by certain
subsidiaries within the Company's Air and Liquid Processing
group. The Corporation determined that it could reasonably
estimate those costs for a period of seven years ending December
2013.

Based in Pittsburgh, Ampco-Pittsburgh Corp. makes various metal
products. The Company's forged steel rolls unit (Union Electric
Steel, Davy Roll Co.) makes forged hardened-steel rolls for the
steel and aluminum industries. The air and liquid processing
segment (Buffalo Pumps, Aerofin, Buffalo Air Handling) makes
centrifugal pumps for refrigeration and power generation,
finned-tube heat-exchange coils, and air-handling systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Baldor Records $487T Adjustments for Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Baldor Electric Co. recorded US$487,000 for the nine months
ended June 30, 2006 related to costs incurred to defend asbestos
product liability claims, according to a U.S Securities and
Exchange Commission report dated Jan. 25, 2007.

The pro forma adjustments included in the unaudited pro forma
condensed combined statements of earnings reflect the exclusion
of US$562,000 in Selling and administrative for the year ended
Sept. 30, 2005.

The adjustments also included US$487,000 for the nine-months
ended June 30, 2006 in relation to costs incurred to defend
asbestos product liability claims the liabilities for which will
be indemnified by Rockwell Automation Inc.

Based in Fort Smith, Ark., Baldor Electric Co. makes industrial
electric motors, controls, and drives that power products like
giant rock tumblers to industrial pumps. The Company has agreed
to acquire most of Rockwell Automation Power Systems for about
US$1.8 billion.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GenCorp Inc. Has 154 Claims in Fiscal 2006
---------------------------------------------------------------
GenCorp Inc., for the year ended Nov. 30, 2006, recorded 154
pending asbestos-related claims filed against it, compared with
152 claims for the year ended Nov. 30, 2005, according to the
Company's annual report, on Form 10-Q, reported to the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 25, 2007.

For the nine months ended Nov. 30, 2006, the Company had 155
pending asbestos-related cases. (Class Action Reporter, Oct. 13,
2006)

The Company has been named a defendant in suits alleging
personal injury or death due to exposure to asbestos in building
materials, products or in manufacturing operations.

Most of the claims have been filed in Madison County, Ill. and
San Francisco. Since 1998, more than 200 of these suits have
been resolved with the majority being dismissed.

For the year ended Nov. 30, 2006, the Company recorded 62 claims
filed, 55 claims dismissed, and five claims settled. The
aggregate settlement costs were US$67,000 and the average
settlement costs were US$14,000.

For the year ended Nov. 30, 2005, the Company recorded 149
claims filed, 65 claims dismissed, and two claims settled. The
average settlement costs were US$50,000 and the average
settlement costs were US$25,000.

For fiscal years 2006 and 2005, legal and administrative fees
for the cases were US$500,000 and US$1 million for fiscal year
2004.

Based in Rancho Cordova, Calif., GenCorp Inc. is a technology-
based maker of aerospace and defense systems with a real estate
business segment that includes activities related to the
entitlement, sale, and leasing of its excess real estate assets.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hartford Fin'l Has $2.24B Liability in 4Q06
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., for the three and 12
months ended Dec. 31, 2006, recorded US$2.242 billion as net
asbestos-related liability, according to a U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission filing reported on Jan. 25, 2007.

For the three and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2006, the Company
estimated its net asbestos-related liability at US$2.254
billion. (Class Action Reporter, Dec. 1, 2006)

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2006, the Company incurred
US$42 million in losses and loss adjustment expenses and paid
US$44 million for losses and LAE.

For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2006, the Company incurred
US$314 million in losses and LAE and paid US$363 million for
losses and LAE.

Based in Hartford, Conn., The Hartford Financial Services Group
Inc. offers personal and commercial property-casualty insurance
products, including homeowner, auto, and workers' compensation.
Since 1810, the Company has been selling its products through
about 11,000 independent agencies and more than 100,000
registered broker-dealers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio Court Reverses Ruling to Favor Wilsons
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Ohio, 12th District, Butler County,
reversed a decision against the defendants in an asbestos-
related lawsuit filed by Barbara Wilson, who represented her
deceased husband Chester.

The matter has been remanded for further proceeding consistent
with the Appeals Court's opinion and in accordance with Ohio
law.

The Panel, comprised of Judges William W. Young, Stephen W.
Powell, and H.J. Bressler, handed down the decision of Case No.
CA2006-03-056 on Dec. 18, 2006.

From 1964 to April 2000, Chester Wilson worked for A.K. Steel
Corp., f/k/a Armco Steel Corp., in Butler County, Ohio. He
worked in various jobs around the plant, including the position
of furnace tender. A two-or-three-pack-a-day smoker, Mr. Wilson
was diagnosed with lung cancer on Aug. 4, 2000.

On Dec. 14, 2001, Mr. Wilson sued a number of companies that
have been engaged in the mining, processing, manufacturing, or
sale, and distribution of asbestos or asbestos-containing
products or machinery.

The defendants-appellants in this case are 3M Co., Oglebay
Norton Co., Certainteed Corp., Union Carbide Corp., CBS Corp.,
Ingersoll-Rand Corp., Uniroyal Inc., Georgia-Pacific Corp.,
Cleaver-Brooks Inc., Riley Stoker Corp., Garlock Sealing
Technologies LLC, and Rapid American Corp.

On April 15, 2003, Mr. Wilson died of lung cancer. Mr. Wilson's
wife, Barbara Wilson, was substituted as the party in interest
for the deceased Mr. Wilson.

On Sept. 2, 2004, H.B. 292 went into effect. The key provisions
require a plaintiff bringing an asbestos claim to make a prima
facie showing that the exposed person has a physical impairment
resulting from a medical condition and that the person's
exposure to asbestos was a factor to the illness.

In March 2005, Mrs. Wilson sought to establish the prima facie
showing required under H.B. 292. Appellants opposed.

On Aug. 30, 2005, the Butler County Court of Common Pleas heard
the parties' assertions regarding Mrs. Wilson's asbestos claim.
At the hearing, she acknowledged that her evidence was
insufficient to establish the prima facie showing required under
H.B. 292. Nevertheless, she argued that H.B. 292 should not
apply to her asbestos claim.

On Feb. 24, 2006, the Trial Court held that the retroactive
application of H.B. 292 was substantive rather than merely
remedial in its effect and therefore violated the Ohio
Constitution. On March 7, 2006, the Trial Court journalized its
order. Appellants appealed from the Trial Court's March 7, 2006
order.

The Trial Court ruled that statutes addressing asbestos
liability claims could be applied retroactively to Mrs. Wilson's
action. She appealed.

The Appeals Court held that statutes addressing prima facie
showing of asbestos liability were remedial, and thus,
retroactive application of statutes did not violate state
constitutional provision generally prohibiting retroactive laws.

William N. Riley and Christopher Moeller of Price Waicukauski &
Riley LLC, John J. McConnell and Vincent L. Greene of Motley,
Rice LLC represented Barbara Wilson.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Rockwell Continues to Face Injury Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rockwell Automation Inc. and its subsidiaries continue to face
lawsuits alleging personal injury from exposure to asbestos used
in certain Company products, according to the Company's
quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on Jan. 26, 2007.

Thousands of claimants are involved in suits that name the
Company a co-defendant. However, most of the complaints do not
identify any Company product or specify which of these claimants
were exposed to asbestos attributable to its products.

Moreover, when products appear to be identified, in some cases
they are from divested businesses, the Company is indemnified
for most of the costs. The Company has agreed to defend and
indemnify against asbestos claims associated with products made
or sold by its Dodge mechanical and Reliance Electric motors and
motor repair services businesses before divestiture by the
Company, which is expected to occur on or about Jan. 31, 2007.

Historically, the Company has been dismissed from most of these
claims with no payment to claimants. The Company has maintained
insurance coverage that covers indemnity and defense costs, over
and above self-insured retentions, for most of these claims.

On Feb. 12, 2004, the Company initiated litigation in the
Milwaukee County Circuit Court to enforce the insurance policies
against Nationwide Indemnity Co. and Kemper Insurance, the
insurance carriers that provided liability insurance coverage to
the Company's former Allen-Bradley subsidiary.

As a result, the insurance carriers have paid some past defense
and indemnity costs and have agreed to pay most of future
defense and indemnity costs for Allen-Bradley asbestos claims.

Based in Milwaukee, Rockwell Automation Inc. operates through
two segments. Its control systems unit makes industrial
automation products. The power systems unit offers power
transmission products, bushings, clutches, motor brakes,
conveyor pulleys, couplings, bearings, and mechanical drives.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sensus Metering Still Faces 3rd Party Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sensus Metering Systems Inc. and other third parties still face
several lawsuits related to illnesses from exposure to asbestos
or asbestos-containing products, according to the Company's
latest quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission on Jan. 26, 2007.

The complaints did not specify which plaintiffs allegedly were
involved with the Company's products. Since the cases are in its
initial stages, it is uncertain whether any plaintiffs have
asbestos-related illnesses or dealt with the Company's products.

It is also uncertain whether any plaintiffs were exposed to an
asbestos-containing component part of the Company's product or
whether that part could have been a contributing factor to the
alleged illness.

At this time, the Company is unable to estimate the amount of
its exposure related to these claims.

Based in Raleigh, N.C., Sensus Metering Systems Inc. provides
metering and related communications solutions to the utility
industry. The Company makes water, gas, heat, and electric
meters. The Company was formed on Dec. 17, 2003 through the
acquisition of the metering systems and certain other businesses
of Invensys plc.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dow Chemical Has $1.079B Liability in 4Q06
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Dow Chemical Co.'s non-current asbestos-related liabilities,
in the 2006-4th quarter, were US$1.079 billion, compared with
US$1.384 billion in the 2005-4th quarter, according to a Company
press release dated Jan. 25, 2007.

The Company's non-current asbestos-related liabilities, in the
2006-3rd quarter, were US$1.273 billion. (Class Action Reporter,
Nov. 10, 2006)

In the 2006-4th quarter, the Company's non-current asbestos-
related insurance receivables were US$725 million, compared with
US$818 million in the 2005-4th quarter.

The Company's non-current asbestos-related insurance
receivables, in the 2006-3rd quarter, were US$750 million.
(Class Action Reporter, Nov. 10, 2006)

In December 2006, Union Carbide Corp., a Company subsidiary,
reduced its asbestos-related liability by US$177 million based
on a new study completed in the 2006-4th quarter by Analysis,
Research & Planning Corp.

Based in Midland, Mich., The Dow Chemical Co. offers products
and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping
them to provide everything from fresh water, food and
pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products.
The Company has annual sales of US$49 billion and employs 43,000
people worldwide.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Saint-Gobain Notes 7T Claims v. CertainTeed
----------------------------------------------------------------
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain said that about 7,000 asbestos-related
claims were filed against its subsidiary CertainTeed Corp. in
2006, up from 2,800 claims in 2005, AFX News reports.

The Company in 2006 recorded US$95 million in additional
provision, compared with US$100 million in 2005.

The average cost per claim was US$3,000.

Based in Courbevoie, France, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain produces
glass and controls more than 1,000 firms in five sectors:
Building Distribution, Construction products, Flat Glass,
Packaging, and High-Production Materials. The Company makes 30
billion glass containers annually and provides insulation for 20
percent of U.S. homes.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Locals of Malvern Hills Exposed to Asbestos
----------------------------------------------------------------
A fly-tipper, on Jan. 22, 2007, dumped asbestos on Link Common
in Malvern Hills in the United Kingdom, Malvern Gazette reports.

Malvern Hills Conservators, who had to employ a specialist firm
to collect it, said it looked like the asbestos had come from a
garage, which had been disturbed by strong gales.

To dispose of the asbestos properly would cost money, so it was
dumped when no one was around.

Val Moore, of the Conservators, said, "It's a problem we get a
lot on the Hills, with people dumping rubbish that they would
otherwise have to pay to dump."

Although the asbestos was not considered dangerous to people or
surrounding wildlife, the Conservators said there was always a
risk.

The Conservators urge people to be vigilant and to keep an eye
out for fly-tippers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DEQ to Impose Higher Penalty on Contractor
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality had agreed to
settle an asbestos-related case against Paul Siewert, the owner
of Siewert Construction in Billings, Mont., for a lower sum but
he was late with payments and had missed a final deadline,
prompting the higher penalty, Billings Gazette reports.

The Billings Outpost reported that the Montana 13th Judicial
District Court in Yellowstone County ordered Mr. Siewert to pay
US$105,575 in civil penalties and interest for violating the
Montana Asbestos Control Act. (Class Action Reporter, May 26,
2006)

With interest, the penalty has risen to US$109,312.

In Billings about four years ago, Mr. Siewert's demolition of
five buildings affected more than 5,000 square feet of asbestos
material, the DEQ said.

The DEQ said Mr. Siewert did not obtain an asbestos-abatement
permit, use an accredited contractor for asbestos work or use
proper methods for removing asbestos-laced material, like attic
insulation.

As a result, the DEQ said, people in the area may have been
exposed to dispersed asbestos. After evaluating Mr. Siewert's
assets, the DEQ agreed to a smaller settlement.

The DEQ said that Mr. Siewert did pay US$6,500. He did not come
through with the additional US$500 necessary to end the matter,
and enforcement specialist Chad Anderson said that Mr. Siewert
did not respond to the DEQ's communication about the unpaid sum.

DEQ asbestos specialist Pierre Amicucci estimated that
compliance with asbestos-control requirements in Montana
demolition and renovation projects is less than 10 percent.

Mr. Amicucci said that the DEQ lacks the staff for comprehensive
enforcement. The trigger for investigations sometimes comes when
the unsuccessful bidder for a project checks on work by the
winning bidder, observes violations and contacts the DEQ, he
said.

Over the years, the Montana Contractors' Association has
collaborated with the DEQ in providing programs to inform
contractors about asbestos removal and abatement, said Cary
Hegreberg, executive director of the association.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ill. AG Sues Chippewa Loft LLC for Release
---------------------------------------------------------------
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, on Jan. 25, 2007, said
that her office has filed a complaint with the Illinois
Pollution Control Board alleging that Chippewa Loft LLC may have
allowed dangerous asbestos fibers to be released into the air
during renovation of a downtown building, the Illinois Attorney
General's office reports.

Filed on Jan. 22, 2007, Ms. Madigan's complaint seeks an order
prohibiting Chippewa from further violations of the law, a civil
penalty of US$50,000 for each violation and an additional
penalty of US$10,000 for each day the violations continued.

In March 2005, Chippewa began renovating its building at 113
East Clay Street. About 3,700 square feet of asbestos-containing
floor tiles were removed. However, Chippewa failed to file the
required 10-day written notification with the Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency prior to beginning work.

Soon after renovation began, an IEPA inspection revealed debris
within and on the ground around two open dumpsters at the rear
of the building. The inspection showed that machines had been
used to chip and crush the debris, which allegedly had not been
wetted. An IEPA analysis of five samples revealed asbestos in
the range of six to 12 percent.

Regulated asbestos containing material (RACM) contains more than
one percent asbestos and is generally friable, or, when dry, can
be crumbled and reduced to powder. National Emission Standards
for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) require that RACM must be
adequately wetted during removal and collected in leak-tight
wrapping for disposal.

Ms. Madigan's complaint alleges that Chippewa violated these
regulations as well as air pollution laws. Her complaint also
alleges that Chippewa failed to pay the required NESHAP fee
prior to beginning renovation.

Assistant AG Jennifer Bonkowski is handling the case for Ms.
Madigan's Environmental Bureau.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Seoul Metro to Remove Hazard on 17 Subways
---------------------------------------------------------------
Seoul Metro, the subway operator owned by the City of Seoul,
South Korea, said, on Jan. 22, 2007, that it will remove all
asbestos-containing materials in subway stations after the walls
and ceilings of many subway stations were coated with asbestos,
The Hankyoreh reports.

The Korea Times reported that inspections conducted by Seoul
Metro on 30 Korean subway stations, in November 2006, revealed
that 17 stations had asbestos in the ceilings and platforms.
(Class Action Reporter, Jan. 26, 2007)

However, experts said that it is almost impossible for South
Korean officials to safely remove all asbestos materials in
subway stations due to a lack of specialists trained to do so.

Moreover, no official license exists in South Korea certifying
that a company is trained to remove asbestos materials.

Since 2003, the Ministry of Labor has passed legislation that
would require a company or workers to receive the government's
official permission in order to remove asbestos materials, in
the form of a special license denoting they had received proper
training to perform the task.

Seok Mi-hi, CEO of ETS Consulting said, "No South Korean company
exists right now to remove asbestos on the walls and ceilings of
a subway station with the guarantee of safety."

Mr. Seok said foreign companies with such expertise should help
Seoul Metro remove the asbestos.

Moreover, there is no South Korean workforce to remove asbestos.
Therefore, workers' expertise is critical to removing the
asbestos with safety. However, no training program exists in
South Korea to teach such skills.

According to Choi Sang-jun, a researcher at the Wonjin Institute
for Occupational and Environmental Health, "There are only three
to five institutions in South Korea that can appropriately
assess the content of asbestos."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Co. Records $459.5M Liability in 4Q06
----------------------------------------------------------------
Crane Co.'s long-term asbestos-related liability, as of Dec. 31,
2006, was US$459,567,000, compared with US$536,830,000 as of
Dec. 31, 2005, according to a Company report, on Form 10-K,
filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan.
29, 2007.

As of Sept. 30, 2006, the Company's long-term asbestos liability
was US$486,899,000. (Class Action Reporter, Dec. 15, 2006)

As of Dec. 31, 2005, the Company's current asbestos-related
liability was US$70 million, compared with US$55 million as of
Dec. 31, 2005.

As of Dec. 31, 2006, the Company's long-term asbestos-related
insurance receivable was US$170,400,000, compared with
US$224,600,000 as of Dec. 31, 2005.

As of Sept. 30, 2006, the Company's asbestos-related insurance
receivable was US$214,626,000. (Class Action Reporter, Dec. 15,
2006)

As of Dec. 31, 2006, the Company's current asbestos-related
insurance receivable is US$52,500,000, compared with US$10
million as of Dec. 31, 2005.

Asbestos-related payments, net of insurance recoveries, for the
three months ended Dec. 31, 2006 was US$10,606,000, compared
with US$20,782,000 as of Dec. 31, 2005.

Asbestos-related payments, net of insurance recoveries, for the
year ended Dec. 31, 2006 was US$40,563,000, compared with
US$45,338,000 for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005.

Based in Stamford, Conn., Crane Co. makes various industrial
products, including fluid handling equipment, aerospace
components, engineered materials, merchandising systems, and
controls. The Company serves the power generation, general
aviation, commercial construction, food and beverage, and
chemical industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Records 85,941 Pending Claims in 4Q06
----------------------------------------------------------------
Crane Co., as of Dec. 31, 2006, recorded 85,941 claims filed
against it, compared with 89,017 claims as of Dec. 31, 2005,
according to a Company report, on Form 8-K, filed with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 29, 2007.

As of Dec. 31, 2006, the Company noted 4,853 new claims, 1,043
settlements, and 6,886 dismissals. As of Dec. 31, 2005, the
Company noted 7,986 new claims, 1,829 settlements, and 2,117
dismissals.

Of the 85,941 pending claims as of Dec. 31, 2006, about 25,000
claims were pending in New York, about 28,000 claims were
pending in Mississippi, about 9,000 claims were pending in
Texas, and about 4,000 claims were pending in Ohio.

Since the termination of the comprehensive master settlement
agreement on Jan. 24, 2005, the Company has been resolving
claims filed against it in the tort system. Substantially all of
the claims the Company resolved are through settlements.

The gross settlement and defense costs incurred, before
insurance and tax effects, for the Company in the year ended
Dec. 31, 2006 was US$69.1 million, US$45.1 million in the year
ended Dec. 31, 2005, and US$40.9 million in the year ended Dec.
31, 2004.

The Company's total pre-tax cash payments for settlement and
defense costs, net of payments from insurers and including
certain legal fees and expenses relating to the terminated MSA
in the year ended Dec. 31, 2006 was US$40.6 million, US$45.3
million in the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, and US$28.1 million in
the year ended Dec. 31, 2004.

On July 22, 2005, the Company entered into an agreement to
settle its insurance coverage claims for asbestos and other
liabilities against certain underwriters at Lloyd's of London
reinsured by Equitas Ltd. for US$33 million. Under the
agreement, US$1.5 million was paid to the Company in 2005-3rd
quarter. The balance was placed into escrow for the payment of
future asbestos claims and funds remaining in escrow were paid
to the Company on Jan. 4, 2007.

Effective March 1, 2006, the Company entered into two agreements
with Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co. and certain affiliated
firms settling all outstanding claims under the Company's
primary policies with Hartford for a final payment of US$1.3
million. The agreements were also to establish a coverage-in-
place arrangement for asbestos claims under the Company's excess
policies with Hartford, including a payment of US$2.6 million
for claims billed to Hartford through Sept. 1, 2005.

Effective April 10, 2006, the Company and Everest Reinsurance
Co. and Mt. McKinley Insurance Co. reached a settlement
agreement under which Everest's insurance coverage obligations
for asbestos claims under three historical Everest policies
issued to the Company were released. On April 21, 2006, the
Company received a US$3.8 million cash payment under this
settlement agreement.

On June 30, 2006, the Company and Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.
entered into an agreement, effective July 3, 2006, establishing
a coverage-in-place arrangement for asbestos claims under the
Company's excess policies with Fireman's Fund. The agreement
included a payment of US$2.3 million for claims billed to
Fireman's Fund through June 26, 2006, which was received by the
Company in August 2006.

Effective Sept. 7, 2006, the Company entered into a coverage-in-
place agreement with Sentry Insurance, regarding an excess
policy issued by Sentry's predecessor, Dairyland Insurance Co.

Effective Dec. 20, 2006, the Company entered into a coverage-in-
place agreement with Employers Insurance of Wausau and
Nationwide Indemnity Co. in its capacity as claims administrator
for Wausau, establishing an arrangement for asbestos claims
under the Company's excess policies with Wausau, and providing
for initial payments totaling US$2.6 million for claims billed
to Wausau through Nov. 30, 2006. The Company has received US$1.5
million of that amount, with the balance to be paid in February
2007.

Effective Dec. 22, 2006, the Company and Century Indemnity Co.
and ACE Property and Casualty Co. entered into an agreement,
which established a coverage-in-place arrangement for asbestos
claims under the Company's excess policies with Century
Indemnity and ACE.

Based in Stamford, Conn., Crane Co. makes various industrial
products, including fluid handling equipment, aerospace
components, engineered materials, merchandising systems, and
controls. The Company serves the power generation, general
aviation, commercial construction, food and beverage, and
chemical industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane's Appeal in Norris Litigation Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
Crane Co.'s appeal to a judgment in an asbestos-related lawsuit
filed by Joseph Norris against it remains pending, according to
a Company report, on Form 8-K, filed in the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission on Jan. 29, 2007.

Attorneys for the family of Mr. Norris said the former U.S. Navy
gunner's mate died in August 2006 of mesothelioma caused by
exposure to asbestos in the gaskets and packing materials while
aboard the U.S.S. Bremerton in the 1950s. (Class Action
Reporter, Sept. 22, 2006)

The Company tried the Norris claim to verdict in the Los Angeles
Superior Court, however, and received an adverse jury verdict on
Sept. 15, 2006.

On Oct. 10, 2006 the Court entered judgment on this verdict
against the Company in the amount of US$2.15 million, together
with interest at the rate of 10 percent per annum until paid.

The Company's post-trial motions were denied by order dated Dec.
15, 2006. On Jan. 3, 2007, the Company appealed the judgment.
The appeal is pending.

Based in Stamford, Conn., Crane Co. makes various industrial
products, including fluid handling equipment, aerospace
components, engineered materials, merchandising systems, and
controls. The Company serves the power generation, general
aviation, commercial construction, food and beverage, and
chemical industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Conn. Insurance Suit v. Crane Still Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
Crane Co. continues to face an asbestos-related insurance suit,
filed on Jan. 21, 2005, by five of its insurers within two
corporate insurer groups, in which Everest Reinsurance Co. and
Mt. McKinley Insurance Co. are two of the plaintiffs.

Filed in Connecticut state court, the suit sought injunctive
relief against the Company and declaratory relief against the
Company and dozens of the Company's other insurers.

On April 8, 2005, the insurer plaintiffs filed an Amended
Complaint raising five counts against the Company. The Amended
Complaint sought:

(i) Declaratory relief regarding the Company's rights to
coverage under the policies;

(ii) Declaratory relief regarding the Company's alleged breaches
of the policies in connection with an alleged increase in
asbestos claim counts;

(iii) A declaration of no coverage in connection with allegedly
time-barred claims;

(iv) Declaratory relief against the Company and the other
insurer defendants for allocation of damages that may be covered
under the insurance policies; and

(v) Preliminary and permanent injunctive relief.

On April 18, 2005, the Company moved to dismiss the claims for
injunctive relief on the grounds that the Court had no
jurisdiction to consider the claims because they were
speculative and unripe.

On Oct. 19, 2005, the Court denied the Company's motion to
dismiss, ruling that the injunctive claims were not unripe.
Nonetheless, the Court noted that the Company later could seek
summary judgment in connection with the injunctive claims if
discovery shows them to be without factual basis.

Effective April 10, 2006, the Company and Everest reached a
settlement agreement pursuant to which Everest's insurance
coverage obligations for asbestos claims under the three
historical Everest policies issued to Crane Co. were released in
exchange for a US$3.8 million cash payment, which was received
by the Company on April 21, 2006.

Effective Dec. 22, 2006, the Company and two of the other
plaintiffs in the action, Century Indemnity Co. and ACE Property
and Casualty Co., reached an agreement pursuant to which they
established a coverage-in-place arrangement for asbestos claims
under the Company's excess policies with Century Indemnity and
ACE.

Based in Stamford, Conn., Crane Co. makes various industrial
products, including fluid handling equipment, aerospace
components, engineered materials, merchandising systems, and
controls. The Company serves the power generation, general
aviation, commercial construction, food and beverage, and
chemical industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Open Claims v. BNS Holding Inc. Drop to 196
----------------------------------------------------------------
BNS Holding Inc., as of Jan. 26, 2007, recorded 196 known open
and active asbestos-related claims, according to the Company's
quarterly report, on Form 10-QSB, filed with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission on Jan. 29, 2007.

As of Oct. 31, 2006, the Company recorded 234 known open and
active asbestos-related claims. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 24,
2006.

As of Jan. 26, 2007, the Company's BNS Co. subsidiary has been
notified that it has been named a defendant in 669 known
asbestos-related toxic-tort claims since 1994.

In many cases, these claims involve more than 100 other
defendants, in which 54 claims were filed before Dec. 31, 2001.
In 2006, 64 claims were filed. As of Jan. 26, 2007, five more
claims were filed.

As of Dec. 31, 2006, six more claims were granted summary
judgment and were closed, five claims were settled for an
aggregate of US$2,600 and 119 more claims have been dismissed.

The Company receives claims from time to time for toxic-tort
injuries related to the alleged use of asbestos in pumps sold by
its former pump division, which was sold in 1992. Most of these
suits are toxic-tort claims from the use of small internal seals
that allegedly had asbestos and were used in small fluid pumps
made by the Company's former pump division.

BNS Co. annually receives retroactive billings or credits from
its insurance carriers for any increase or decrease in claims
reserves as claims are filed, settled or dismissed, or as
estimates of the ultimate settlement and defense costs for the
then-existing claims are revised.

Moreover, the Company has recorded a liability of US$569,000 on
the consolidated balance sheet relating to the open and active
claims against BNS Co. as of Oct. 31, 2006.

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


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allis-Chalmers Still Faces Liability Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Allis-Chalmers Energy Inc. continues to face product liability
lawsuits alleging personal injuries, involving asbestos, from
its activities before its reorganization, according to a Company
report, on Form 8-K, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on Jan. 29, 2007.

These claims are referred to and handled by a special products
liability trust formed to be responsible for those claims in
connection with the Company's reorganization.

Based in Houston, Allis-Chalmers Energy Inc. provides services
and equipment to oil and natural gas exploration and production
companies. The Company operates in six sectors: rental tools,
directional drilling services, casing and tubing services,
compressed air drilling services, international drilling, and
production services.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Graham Corp. Continues to Face Injury Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Graham Corp. continues to defend against certain lawsuits
alleging personal injury from exposure to asbestos in its
products, according to the Company's quarterly report, on Form
10-Q, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on
Jan. 30, 2007.

The Company is a co-defendant with other defendants in these
suits. The claims are similar to previous asbestos suits that
named the Company as a defendant.

Those previous suits either were dismissed when it was shown
that the Company had not supplied products to the plaintiffs'
places of work or were settled by the Company for minimal
amounts below expected defense costs.

Based in Batavia, N.Y., Graham Corp. makes vacuum systems,
pumps, compressors, and heat exchangers designed to create
vacuums, condense steam, or produce heat. The Company sells its
equipment to manufacturers in the petroleum, plastics,
chemicals, food processing, and other industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sealed Air Liability Stays at $512.5M in 4Q
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sealed Air Corp., as of Dec. 31, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2005,
recorded an asbestos-related liability of US$512.5 million,
according to a Company press release, on Form 8-K, filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 31, 2007.

As of Sept. 30, 2006, the Company recorded a US$512.5 million
asbestos settlement liability, unchanged from Sept. 30, 2005.
(Class Action Reporter, Nov. 3, 2006)

For the quarters and the years ended Dec. 31, 2006 and Dec. 31,
2005, the Company's effect of assumed issuance of asbestos
settlement shares was US$9 million.

Based in Elmwood Park, N.J., Sealed Air Corp.'s Food Packaging
segment produces Cryovac shrink films, absorbent pads, and foam
trays. The Company's Protective Packaging segment produces
Bubble Wrap, Instapak foam, Jiffy envelopes, and Rapid Fill
inflatable packaging systems.


                            *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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