CAR_Public/071221.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Friday, December 21, 2007, Vol. 9, No. 253

                            Headlines


AMERICAN HONDA: Recalls Lawn Mowers Due to Laceration Hazard
AUSTRALIA: Eyre Peninsula Bushfires Victims Plan to File Lawsuit
BLUE SHIELD: Appeals Court Revives Suit Over Canceled Insurance
CHASE HOME: Denied Summary Judgment in Cal. Loan Servicing Suit
CHEVRON CORP: Computer Data on Ecuadorian Pollution Suit Stolen

DUKE ENERGY: Discovery Continues in Ohio Air Pollution Lawsuit
DUKE ENERGY: Time to Serve Canadian Environmental Suit Lapses
DUKE ENERGY: Still Faces Environmental Emissions Suit in Canada
DYNEX CAPITAL: Court Mulls Appeal on Securities Suit's Dismissal
FORTUNE BRANDS: Nixed Underage Drinking Lawsuits Still on Appeal

GLOBALSTAR INC: Faces Consolidated Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
GLOBALSTAR INC: Calif. Consumer Fraud Suit Partly Dismissed
GLOBALSTAR INC: New Rep Named in Canadian Consumer Fraud Suit
GLS CAPITAL: Stay on Pa. Suit Over Delinquency Fees Continues
HEALTHMARKETS INC: Securities Suit Settlement Hearing Set 2008

INFANTINO LLC: Recalls Infant Teethers Due to Choking Hazard
INTELLIGROUP INC: Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.J. Dismissed
LA MODELS: Sued for Alleged Illegal “Service Charge” on Models
MISSOURI: Wireless Phone Providers Settle Municipality Tax Suit
MORGAN KEEGAN: Klayman & Toskes Files Suit Over Bond Funds

MORTGAGE COS: Pa. Judge Refuses to Send Suit to Bankruptcy Court
NEW YORK: Discovery Ongoing in Labor Laws Violation Lawsuit
OHIO: Suit Alleges Group Premium Rating Plan Unconstitutional
OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES: $14M Securities Suit Settlement Okayed
SEARS ROEBUCK: Ill. Court Sets Jan. 10, 2008 Exclusion Deadline

UNICO INC: Faces Calif. Suit Over “Illegal” Reverse Stock Split
UNITED SCIENTIFIC: Recalls Magnets on Paint's High Lead Level
VICTORIA'S SECRET: Recalls Stuffer Bear Due to Choking Hazard


                      Asbestos Alerts


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fisher Scientific Motion to Strike Affirmed
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mass. Court Junks Gonzalez's Injury Claim
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio Appeals Court Affirms Award for Marks
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Denies Remand Motion in Contois Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mallinckrodt Faces 10,398 Pending Cases

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: J.C. Penney Records $63M Liability at Feb.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 48 Cos. Sued in Ill. For Laborer's Death
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Developer to Pay $450T Fine to Mo. State
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ore. Hazard Cleanup Lacks Funding, EPA Says
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ship-Breakers Mull “Outsourcing” of Removal

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wear Valley Asbestos Scandal Probe Underway
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Australian Defense Officers' Health at Risk
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Board Ruling in Karolowski Action Affirmed
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Upholds Board Ruling in Colella Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeal Court Junks Rosen Suit v. University

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeals Court Favors Isley in Casper Action
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Issues Split Ruling in Brumley Action
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NL Ind. Granted Defense Verdict in Madison
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. Widow Settles with Wiltshire Council
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Melbourne Power Station Set for Demolition

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 6 Scotland Families Flee Due to Poisoning
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Records 16 Actions v. Maryland Schools
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ADAO Set to Reveal Product Testing Results
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Geologist Says Ariz. Mine is Asbestos-free
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Guyana Univ. Awaits Approval of Removal Bid

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. School Closed After Routine Inspection
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scottish Gov't. to Overturn Asbestos Ruling
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Texas Bldg. Demolished Using Wet Method
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: More Fears Raised at Silverhill School
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Conn. Officials Recall CSI Toys from Stores

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Reaches Deal with Gov't. Over Cleanup
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ill. Court Awards $2.6M in Damages to Widow
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: N.Y. County to Pay $10T Fine for DEC Breach
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Halts Jail Construction in Texas
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Md. Schools May Face Major Hazard Expenses

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal-Mogul to Exit Bankruptcy on Dec. 27
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court OKs NJI’s Move in Case v. Lumbermens
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Texas Court Junks Spencer Action v. Warden
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Matter in Harper Action Set Aside, Remanded


                      New Securities Fraud Cases

HUNTINGTON BANCSHARES: Coughlin Stoia Files Securities Lawsuit


                            *********  


AMERICAN HONDA: Recalls Lawn Mowers Due to Laceration Hazard
------------------------------------------------------------
American Honda Motor Corp., of Torrance, California, in
cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is
recalling about 167,000 Honda Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers.

The company said the cutting blades could rotate under power
when the control lever is released. The lawn mowers do not
comply with mandatory federal safety standards for lawn mowers.
The spinning blade poses a serious laceration hazard to
consumers. No injuries have been reported.

The recall involves Honda walk-behind lawn mowers with model
numbers HRB217HXA, HRX217HXA and HRX217HMA. The model and serial
number are printed on a label located on the upper rear of the
mower deck. The lawn mowers are dark gray with a red fan cover.

The following serial numbers are included in the recall:

                  Models        Serial Numbers
                  
                  HRB217HXA        All
                  HRX217HXA and
                  HRX217HMA        1000001 - 1513628

These recalled lawnmowers were manufactured in the United States
and are being sold by Honda Lawn and Garden dealers and The Home
Depot stores nationwide from January 2003 through November 2007
for between $760 and $900.

Pictures of recalled lawnmowers:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08140a.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08140b.jpg

Consumers are advised to stop using these recalled lawn mowers
immediately and contact any Honda Lawn and Garden dealer for a
free repair. Registered owners will be mailed a direct notice.

For additional information, contact Honda at (800) 426-7701
between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit
the firm's Web site: http://www.hondapowerequipment.com


AUSTRALIA: Eyre Peninsula Bushfires Victims Plan to File Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
About 50 people who are Victims of the Eyre Peninsula bushfires
in South Australia in early 2005 have met and agreed to pursue a
class action for damages, ABC News reports.  The fire on June 10
to 11, 2005 claimed the lives of nine people.

Lawyer Peter Humphries says there has been unanimous support to
seek damages.  A suit could be filed by early next year,
according to him.  

The findings into the Wangary Bushfire stated: "The fact of the
matter was that no adequate measures were put in place or
attempted which meant that opportunities to alter the outcome
were not taken. Because the risk to the public was never
properly addressed or appreciated... none of those measures were
ever adequately considered. For the same reason, no adequate
warning was given."

Mr. Humphries said that the findings backs their case for
compensation against the Country Fire Service and the insurance
company of the man whose vehicle was the source of the fire.


BLUE SHIELD: Appeals Court Revives Suit Over Canceled Insurance
---------------------------------------------------------------
The California 2nd District Court of Appeal revived a proposed
class action accusing Blue Shield of California Life & Health
Insurance Co. of improper cancellation of individual insurance,
Gian Keating of Reuters reports.

The court said a Los Angeles trial court had erred in denying
class certification to a suit accusing the company of trying to
avoid paying claims by retroactively canceling policies of
insured individuals it accused of lying on their applications.
The court remanded the case to the trial court to reconsider its
class certification ruling based on the opinion.

The suit was filed by Augusto Ticconi and others who had health
insurance policies canceled after they made claims.  In his
lawsuit,  Mr. Ticconi said he had more than $100,000 in medical
bills before Blue Shield canceled his policy.  

Mr. Ticconi claims that the insurer failed to attach a copy of
his application to his policy, as required by state law, and so
could not use his prior statement to say he lied about his
health status.  The Second District Court of Appeal wrote in the
opinion that "the insurer may not raise a defense based on
misstatements made in unattached and unendorsed applications."

The suit claims the insurer illegally voided the policy after a
10-day cancellation period.  It seeks to bar Blue Shield from
other retroactive cancellations based on unattached applications
and to reinstate improperly rescinded policies.

The proposed class would include all California residents who
had health insurance policies rescinded by Blue Shield Life
since March 28, 2001 based on alleged misrepresentations in
their policy applications.

Of the nearly 250,000 short-term health insurance policies Blue
Shield Life issued between Jan. 1, 2000 and June 30, 2005, it
rescinded 207 for misrepresentation, the court said.

Representing Mr. Ticconi is attorney Timothy Morris.


CHASE HOME: Denied Summary Judgment in Cal. Loan Servicing Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
has denied Chase Home Finance's request for summary judgment in
a class-action complaint that alleges Chase's mortgage policies
violate California law and constitute conversion, unfair
competition and false advertising.

This class action for damages, restitution, and injunctive
relief alleges that certain of Defendant Chase Home Finance's
practices relating to the way it services mortgages violates
California's consumer Legal Remedies Act, cal. civil code gg
1750e t seq. (CLRA), the False Advertising Act, cal. Business
and professions Act gg 17500 er seq., the Unfair Competition
Law, Cal. Bus. &  prof. Code gg 17200e t seq. (UCL), and
constitute conversion under California law.

The suit was filed by T.C. Jefferson, who refinanced his Oakland
Home in February 2003, signing a promissory note.  In July 2003,
Chase Home Finance LLC began servicing plaintiff's loan.  In
December 2004, the plaintiff asked Chase regarding a possible
occasional prepayments.  He was told any prepayment from him
would be used to pay principal, with no mention about special
requirements for payment.  He afterwards began making additional
monthly prepayments of $167.00 per month, using the automatic
"bill pay" service of his own bank.  He also continued to pay
his regular monthly principal and interest.

Later, Chase allegedly failed to apply the prepayment and
subsequent prepayments.

Plaintiff's First Cause of Action alleges that Chase violated
the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civil Code $ 1750 et seq.  
Specifically, plaintiff claims that by making representations:

     (1) in each monthly loan statement coupon that
         "[u]ndesignated funds first pay outstanding late
         charges and fees then principal,

     (2) in the Deed about the application of payments, and

     (3) (as to Plaintiff only) through customer service         
         representatives about how prepayments would be  
         credited.

Chase allegedly represented that is services had sponsorship
approval, characteristics or benefits id did not have, in
violation of S 1770(a)(9); and represented that a transaction
conferred or involved rights, remedies or obligations which it
did not have, in violation of S1770(a)(14).

Plaintiff's Second Cause of Action alleges that Chase violated
California's False Advertising Act, Business and Professions
Code S 17500 et seq. by disseminating false or misleading
statements about its services.  

Plaintiff's Third Cause of Action claims that Chase engaged in
unfair, fraudulent, and unlawful practices in violation of
California's Unfair Competition Law, Business and Professions
Code S 17200 et seq.  

Plaintiff's Fourth Cause of Action is for conversion.  To state
a claim for conversion, Plaintiff must show "plaintiffs
ownership or right to possession of property; defendant's
wrongful act toward or disposition of the property, interfering
with plaintiffs possession; and damage to plaintiff."

The court finds that plaintiff's state law claims are not
preempted by the National Bank Act and regulations promulgated
thereunder.  Chase argued that plaintiff's state law claims are
preempted because they are either expressly preempted by or
conflict with the provisions of the NBA and 12 CFF gg 7.4009 and
34.4(a) which provide that banks may make real estate loans
without state law limitations regarding terms of credit,
disclosure and advertising, processing and servicing of
mortgages, repayments, and rates of interest on loans.

But plaintiff asserts only that Chase made misrepresentations
about how it would apply prepayments, in violation of the CLRA
and the False Advertising Act, and therefore the UCL.  The court
holds that such laws of general application, which merely
require all businesses (including banks) to refrain from
misrepresentations and abide by contracts and representations to
customers do not impair a bank's ability to exercise its lending
powers.  They only "incidentally affect" the exercise of a
bank's powers, do not fall into the enumerated categories of
$34.4(a), and are therefore not preempted.

Moverover, Chase has not shown it is entitled to summary
judgment on any of plaintiff's causes of action.  Accordingly,
the court denied Chase's motion for summary judgment.

Plaintiff was ordered to file an amended complaint no later than
2l calendar days from the date of the court order (dated Dec.
14, 2007).  The hearing on Plaintiff s Motion for Class
Certification, currently set for January 14, 2008, is vacated. A
Status Conference is set for Monday, February 4, 2008, at 1:30
p.m.  Parties are to file a Joint Status Conference Statement no
later than January 28, 2008, and should be prepared to discuss
ADR options and a subsequent motion schedule.

The suit is "T.C. Jefferson, et al. v. Chase Home Finance, et
al., Case No. C 06-6510 TEH," filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California before Judge Thelton E.
Henderson.


CHEVRON CORP: Computer Data on Ecuadorian Pollution Suit Stolen
---------------------------------------------------------------
Amazon Watch said in a statement that the office of a court-
appointed expert tasked with calculating the damages against
Chevron (formerly Texaco) for dumping 18 billion gallons of
toxic wastewater into the Ecuadorian Amazon has been robbed of
information relating to the case.

On the night of December 13-14, a laptop computer and files went
missing from his office in Quito, the official, Richard Cabrera
said. He added that the information in the files was vital to
his work assessing the damages.

The burglary appears to be just the latest chapter in a pattern
of harassment against Mr. Cabrera and his team since he began
his work for the court. It comes in the final stages of a
landmark, class-action environmental lawsuit against Chevron in
Ecuador. Amazon Watch Executive Director Atossa Soltani called
for Chevron to launch an independent investigation into the
apparent intimidation.

In the court-case, 30,000 impoverished inhabitants, many
indigenous, of a vast area of the Ecuadorian Amazon are
demanding an environmental remediation they have calculated at
$6.1 billion. The region is racked by cancers, birth defects and
miscarriages after Texaco operated there from the 1960s to the
1990s.

Now that the judge has heard the evidence against Chevron, it is
Mr. Cabrera’s job, on behalf of the court, to come up with an
independent estimation of what the damages would cost.

He told Ecuadorian news portal Ecuador Inmediato: “The
seriousness of this matter lies in the fact that this is not the
robbery of just any office. Rather, it involves the office in
which resides all the information compiled in the field and
different statements, which would support the drafting of the
report regarding the forensic work that I have been tasked with
in the aforementioned lawsuit.”

Last month, in a written submission to the judge, dated November
5, Mr. Cabrera told the court Chevron’s public campaign against
him: “... makes me presume that my life, the lives of my family
and the lives of the technicians and other helpers working on
the forensic investigation are in grave danger.”

Mr Cabrera added: He and his staff had been followed and
threatened; His telephone may be tapped; He needs police
protection.

The burglary now places Chevron and its dubious defense
strategy, in and out of court, in the spotlight. In the last
three years, the plaintiffs’ lawyers and leaders have suffered
death threats, assaults, an attempted kidnapping and the theft
of legal files.

The pattern of human rights abuses has prompted both the Inter-
American Commission on Human Rights and United Nations’ human
rights officials to publicly intervene in the case, calling for
the culprits to be brought to justice and for the Ecuadorian
authorities to guarantee the plaintiffs’ safety.

“This is a deeply disturbing incident,” said Amazon Watch
Executive Director Atossa Soltani. “We call on Chevron’s global
management in California to immediately make a public statement
denouncing this apparent harassment and committing to supporting
the integrity of the judicial process in Ecuador.

“We also call on Chevron CEO David O’Reilly to guarantee the
safety of the plaintiffs and the court officials and to
personally launch a transparent investigation to ascertain what
involvement Chevron employees or agents may have had in this
burglary. Anything less puts the commitment of Chevron’s senior
management to a lawful, ethical defense strategy in this
landmark case in grave doubt.”

The break-in comes two weeks after the communities’ lead lawyer
Pablo Fajardo made international headlines by being awarded
CNN’s new Hero award in the Fighting for Justice category.
Fajardo was chosen from more than 7,000 nominations from 93
countries submitted by viewers to CNN over five months. The
international cable news station established the Fighting for
Justice category to recognize leaders “advancing the cause of
civil or equal rights”.


DUKE ENERGY: Discovery Continues in Ohio Air Pollution Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery continues in a purported class action alleging
violations of the Clean Air Act by Duke Energy Ohio, Inc., a
wholly owned subsidiary of Cinergy Corp.  

The suit is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Ohio against the company, which is formerly known as
Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co.

A citizen of the Village of Moscow, Ohio, the town adjacent to
the company's Zimmer Station filed the suit in November 2004.
The case seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief against
the company for alleged violations of the CAA, the Ohio State
Implementation Plan, and Ohio laws against nuisance and common
law nuisance.

The plaintiffs have filed a number of additional notices of
intent to sue and two lawsuits raising claims similar to those
in the original claim.

One lawsuit was dismissed on procedural grounds, and the
remaining two have been consolidated.  On Dec. 28, 2006, the
District Court certified this case as a class action.

Discovery in the case continues, according to the company's Nov.
14, 2007 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarterly period ended Sept. 30, 2007.

The suit is “Freeman v. Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co., Case No.
1:04-cv-00781-SJD,” filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Ohio under Judge Susan J. Dlott.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

         Paul Alley and John Charles Greiner, Esqs.
         Graydon Head & Ritchey
         2500 Chamber Center Drive, P.O. Box 17070, Suite 300
         Ft. Mitchell, KY 41017
         Phone: 859-282-8800
         E-mail: palley@graydon.com and jgreiner@graydon.com

Representing the company are:

         Louis Francis Gilligan, Esq.
         Keating Muething & Klekamp
         One E Fourth Street, Suite 1400
         Cincinnati, OH 45202
         Phone: 513-579-6400
         Fax: 513-579-6523
         E-mail: lgilligan@kmklaw.com

              - and -

         Ariane Johnson
         Cinergy Services, Inc.
         1000 East Main Street
         Plainfield, IN 46168


DUKE ENERGY: Time to Serve Canadian Environmental Suit Lapses
-------------------------------------------------------------
Duke Energy Ohio said it has not been served with a purported
class action in connection to environmental emissions from its
coal-fired power generation facilities in the U.S. and Canada by
a July deadline for it to be served with the suit.

Duke Energy Ohio, formerly known as Cincinnati Gas & Electric
Co., understands that a class action was filed in Superior Court
in Ontario, Canada on July 3, 2005 against it, and approximately
20 other utility and power generation companies.

The suit is alleging various claims relating to environmental
emissions from coal-fired power generation facilities in the
U.S. and Canada and damages of approximately $50 billion, with
continuing damages in the amount of approximately $4 billion
annually.

Duke Energy Ohio understands that the lawsuit also claims
entitlement to punitive and exemplary damages in the amount of
$1 billion.

Duke Energy Ohio had not yet been served in this lawsuit by the
deadline of July 3, 2007.  However, if served, Duke Energy Ohio
intends to defend this lawsuit vigorously in court.

At this time, Duke Energy Ohio is not able to predict whether
resolution of this matter would have a material effect on its
consolidated financial position, cash flows or results of
operations.

Duke Energy Ohio, Inc. -- http://www.duke-energy.com/-- is a  
combination of electric and gas public utility company that
provides service in the southwestern portion of Ohio and through
Duke Energy Kentucky, Inc. in nearby areas of Kentucky.  The
Company’s principal lines of business include generation,
transmission and distribution of electricity, the sale of and/or
transportation of natural gas, and energy marketing.  The
Company operates in two segments: Franchised Electric and Gas,
and Commercial Power. Its principal subsidiary is Duke Energy
Kentucky.


DUKE ENERGY: Still Faces Environmental Emissions Suit in Canada
---------------------------------------------------------------
Duke Energy Indiana, Inc., a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corp.,
continues to face a purported class action that was filed in
Superior Court in Ontario, Canada.

The suit was brought against Duke Energy Indiana, formerly PSI
Energy, Inc., and approximately 20 other utility and power
generation companies.  It alleges various claims relating to
environmental emissions from coal-fired power generation
facilities in the U.S. and Canada and damages of approximately
$50 billion, with continuing damages in the amount of
approximately $4 billion annually.

Duke Energy Indiana understands that the lawsuit also claims
entitlement to punitive and exemplary damages in the amount of
$1 billion.

Duke Energy Indiana had not been served in this lawsuit by the
deadline of July 3, 2007.  However, if served, Duke Energy
Indiana intends to defend this lawsuit vigorously in court.

Duke Energy Indiana, Inc. -- http://www.duke-energy.com/--  
transmits and distributes electricity to 69 of the state's 92
counties (approximately 766,000 customers).  It also owns power
plants (7,275 MW of primarily fossil-fueled capacity), which are
operated by its parent's merchant energy division.  Although
Duke Energy Indiana and fellow Duke subsidiary, Duke Energy Ohio
had an option to acquire a 512-MW generating facility located in
Indiana from Allegheny Energy, Duke Energy Indiana has been
given ownership.


DYNEX CAPITAL: Court Mulls Appeal on Securities Suit's Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has yet to rule
on an appeal regarding a dismissal of certain defendants in a
securities fraud class action filed against Dynex Capital, Inc.
and its subsidiary MERIT Securities Corp.

On Feb. 11, 2005, a putative class-action complaint alleging
violations of the federal securities laws and various state
common law claims was filed against:

     -- Dynex Capital, Inc.,

     -- subsidiary MERIT Securities Corp.,

     -- Stephen J. Benedetti, the company's executive vice    
        president, and

     -- Thomas H. Potts, the company's former president and a
        former director.

The Teamsters Local 445 Freight Division Pension Fund filed the
suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York.

The lawsuit purported to be a class action on behalf of
purchasers of MERIT Series 13 securitization financing bonds,
which are collateralized by manufactured housing loans.  

On May 31, 2005, the Teamsters filed an amended class action
complaint.  The amended complaint dropped all state common law
claims but added federal securities claims related to the MERIT
Series 12 securitization financing bonds.  On July 15, 2005, the
defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint.  

On Feb. 10, 2006, the court dismissed the claims against Messrs.
Benedetti and Potts, but did not dismiss the claims against
Dynex and MERIT.  

The remaining defendants moved to certify an interlocutory
appeal of this order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit.

On June 2, 2006, the court granted the defendants' motion.  On
Sept. 14, 2006, the Second Circuit granted the defendants'
petition to accept the certified order for interlocutory appeal.

On March 2, 2007, the parties completed briefing in the Second
Circuit and are awaiting oral argument.

The company reported no development in the matter in its Nov.
14, 2007 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarterly period ended Sept. 30, 2007.

The suit is “Teamsters Local 445 Freight Division Pension Fund
et al v. Dynex Capital, Inc. et al., Case No. 1:05-cv-01897-HB,”
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York, under Judge Harold Baer.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Joel P. Laitman, Esq.
          Christopher Lometti, Eqs.
          Samuel P. Sporn, Esq.
          Schoengold & Sporn, P.C., Esq.
          19 Fulton Street, Suite 406
          New York, NY 10038
          Phone: 212-964-0046
          Fax: 212-267-8137
          E-mail: chris@spornlaw.com

Representing the company are:

          Monica Shelton Call, Esq.
          Eric Harrison Feiler, Esq.
          Edward Joseph Fuhr, Esq.
          Terence James Rasmussen, Esq.
          Joseph John Saltarelli, Esq.
          Hunton & Williams, LLP
          951 East Byrd Street
          Richmond, VA 23219
          Phone: (804)-788-8632
          Fax: (804)-788-8218
          E-mail: trasmussen@hunton.com
                  jsaltarelli@hunton.com


FORTUNE BRANDS: Nixed Underage Drinking Lawsuits Still on Appeal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs continue to appeal dismissals of several class
actions filed against Fortune Brands, Inc., its Spirits and Wine
business, and numerous other manufacturers and importers of
beer, spirits and wine over alleged marketing of beverage
alcohol to people under the legal purchase age for alcohol.

The purported class action lawsuits were filed in Michigan,
Ohio, Wisconsin and West Virginia.  They are seeking damages and
declaratory and/or injunctive relief.

All of these actions were dismissed at the trial court level.

The Michigan and Ohio cases were remanded to the trial court to
be dismissed and vacated for lack of standing, the dismissal of
the Wisconsin case was affirmed by the Wisconsin appellate
court, and the West Virginia case is currently pending on
appeal.

Plaintiffs in the Ohio and Michigan cases filed a motion seeking
review by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the company's
Nov. 14, 2007 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended Sept. 30,
2007.

Fortune Brands, Inc. -- http://www.fortunebrands.com-- is a  
holding company with subsidiaries engaged in the manufacture,
production and sale of home and hardware products, spirits and
wine, and golf products.  The Company operates through three
segments: Home and Hardware, Spirits and Wine, and Golf.  


GLOBALSTAR INC: Faces Consolidated Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Globalstar, Inc. faces a consolidated securities fraud class
action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York.

On Feb. 9, 13, and 21, 2007, plaintiffs Ladmen Partners, Israel
Bollag and Margueritte Sherrard, respectively filed purported
class actions against the company, its chief executive officer
and its chief financial officer (Class Action Reporter, April
25, 2007).

The actions allege that the company's registration statement
related to its initial public offering in November 2006
contained material misstatements and omissions.  

The actions cited a drop in the trading price of the company's
common stock that followed its filing, on Feb. 5, 2007, of a
current report of Form 8-K relating in part to changes in the
condition of the company's satellite constellation.

The Court consolidated the three cases as, “Ladmen Partners,
Inc. v. Globalstar, Inc., et al., Case No. 1:07-CV-0976 (LAP),”
and appointed Connecticut Laborers’ Pension Fund as lead
plaintiff. On August 15, 2007, the lead plaintiff filed its
Securities Class Action Consolidated Amended Complaint.

The Amended Complaint reasserts claims against the Company and
the Company’s chief executive and chief financial officer, and
adds as defendants the three co-lead underwriters of the IPO,
Wachovia Capital Markets, LLC, JPMorgan Securities, Inc., and
Jefferies & Company, Inc.

It seeks, on behalf of a class of purchasers of the Company’s
Common Stock who purchased shares in the IPO or traceable to the
IPO from Nov. 2, 2006 through Feb. 6, 2007, recovery of damages
under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933, and
rescission under Section 12(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933.

The first identified complaint is “Ladmen Partners, Inc., et al.
v. Globalstar, Inc., et al.,” filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York.

Plaintiff firms in this or similar case:

         Abraham, Fruchter & Twersky
         One Pennsylvania Plaza, Suite 1910
         New York, NY 10119
         Phone: 212.279.5050
         Fax: 212.279.3655
         E-mail: JFruchter@FruchterTwersky.com

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

         Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP
         58 South Service Road, Suite 200
         Melville, NY 11747
         Phone: 631.367.7100
         Fax: 631.367.1173

              - and -

         Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP
         2125 Oak Grove Road, Suite 120
         Walnut Creek, CA 94598
         Phone: 925.945.0200
         Fax: 925.945.8792
         E-mail: info@sbtklaw.com


GLOBALSTAR INC: Calif. Consumer Fraud Suit Partly Dismissed
-----------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
partially dismissed a purported class action filed against
Globalstar, Inc. alleging violations of the California Business
& Professions Code Section 17200 and California Civil Code
section 1750, et seq., the Consumers’ Legal Remedies Act.

The suit was filed on April 7, 2007 by Kenneth Stickrath and
Sharan Stickrath, under Case No. 07-CV-01941 THE.

Plaintiffs allege that members of the proposed class suffered
damages from March 2003 to the present because Globalstar did
not perform according to its representations with respect to
coverage and reliability.

They claim that the amount in controversy exceeds $5.0 million
but do not allege any particular actual damages incurred.

Plaintiffs amended their complaint on June 29, 2007, and the
Company filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on July 6, 2007.

On Sept. 25, 2007, the court issued an order granting in part
and denying in part the Company’s motion.

Subsequently, on Oct. 17, 2007, the plaintiffs filed their
Second Amended Complaint.

The suit is “Stickrath et al v. Globalstar, Inc., Case No. 3:07-
cv-01941-TEH,” filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California under Judge Thelton E. Henderson with
referral to Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte.

Representing the plaintiff is:

          Michael Andrew McShane, Esq.
          Audet & Partners LLP
          221 Main Street, Suite 1460
          San Francisco, CA 94105
          Phone: 415-568-2555
          Fax: 415-568-2556
          E-mail: mmcshane@audetlaw.com

Representing the defendant is:

          Elizabeth I. Rogers, Esq.
          Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP
          1117 California Avenue
          Palo Alto, CA 94304
          Phone: (650) 858-6000
          Fax: (650) 858-6100
          E-mail: elizabeth.rogers@wilmerhale.com


GLOBALSTAR INC: New Rep Named in Canadian Consumer Fraud Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
A new class representative has been designated in a purported
consumer fraud class action filed against a unit of Globalstar,
Inc. in Quebec, Canada, Superior Court.

On April 24, 2007, Mr. Jean-Pierre Barrette filed a motion for
Authorization to Institute a Class Action in Quebec, Canada,
Superior Court against Globalstar Canada.

Mr. Barrette asserts claims based on Quebec law related to his
alleged problems with Globalstar Canada’s service.  

The Company moved to disqualify Mr. Barrette because of his
association with the law firm representing plaintiffs and to
transfer the case to the district of Montreal.

The court recently granted the Company’s motion for a change of
venue, and plaintiff’s counsel substituted a new designated
representative of the purported class, according to the
company's Nov. 14, 2007 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended Sept. 30, 2007.

Globalstar, Inc. -- http://www.globalstar.com/-- is a provider  
of mobile voice and data communication services via satellite.  
Using in-orbit satellites and ground stations, which it refers
to as gateways, the Company offers voice and data communications
services to government agencies, businesses and other customers
in over 120 countries.


GLS CAPITAL: Stay on Pa. Suit Over Delinquency Fees Continues
-------------------------------------------------------------
A purported class action filed in the Court of Common Pleas of
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania against GLS Capital, Inc., a
subsidiary of Dynex Capital Inc., remains stayed.

Plaintiffs allege that GLS illegally charged the taxpayers of
Allegheny County certain attorney fees, costs and expenses, and
interest in the collection of delinquent property tax
receivables owned by GLS.   

Plaintiffs were seeking class certification status, and in
October 2006, the Court of Common Pleas certified the case as a
class action.

In its Order certifying the class action, the Court of Common
Pleas left open the possible decertification of the class if the
fees, costs and expenses charged by GLS are in accordance with
public policy considerations as well as Pennsylvania statute and
relevant ordinance.  

The Company successfully sought the stay of this action pending
the outcome of other litigation before the Pennsylvania Supreme
Court in which GLS is not directly involved but has filed an
Amicus brief in support of the defendants.  

Several of the allegations in that lawsuit are similar to those
being made against GLS in this litigation.  

Dynex Capital reported no development in the matter in its Nov.
14, 2007 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarterly period ended Sept. 30, 2007.

Dynex Capital, Inc. -- http://www.dynexcapital.com-- together  
with its subsidiaries, is a specialty finance company organized
as a real estate investment trust that invests in loans and
securities consisting principally of single-family residential
and commercial mortgage loans.


HEALTHMARKETS INC: Securities Suit Settlement Hearing Set 2008
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas set a
Jan. 23, 2008 hearing for a proposed settlement of a
consolidated securities fraud class action filed against
HealthMarkets, Inc., formerly known as UICI.

In May and June 2004, the company and certain current and former
officers and directors of the company were named as defendants
in four separate class actions filed in federal court in Texas.  
The suit arises out of the company's announcement in July 2003
of a shortfall in the type and amount of collateral supporting
securitized student loan financing facilities of Academic
Management Services Corp., (AMS) formerly a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the company until its disposition in November
2003.

On Oct. 18, 2004, the four separate cases were consolidated as a
single action under, “In re HealthMarkets Securities Litigation,
Case No. 3-04-CV-1149-P,” in.

On May 27, 2005, plaintiffs on behalf of the purported class of
similarly situated individuals who purchased the company's
common stock during the period commencing Feb. 7, 2002 and
ending on July 21, 2003, filed a first amended consolidated
complaint alleging among other things that the company, AMS, the
company's former chief financial officer, the company's former
chief executive officer and AMS' former president failed to
disclose all material facts relating to the condition of AMS, in
violation of Section 10(b) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

On July 11, 2005, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the
consolidated complaint.  On Sept. 29, 2006, the court denied the
motion to dismiss the complaint.

On Jan. 10, 2007, the parties participated in a mediation of the
matter, but a resolution was not reached.

On Oct. 4, 2007, the parties executed a settlement agreement
and, on Oct. 11, 2007, the Court entered an order preliminarily
approving the settlement.  

The final settlement hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 23,
2008.

The suit is “In re HealthMarkets Securities Litigation, Case No.
3-04-CV-1149-P,” filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division under Judge Jorge A.
Solis.  

Representing the plaintiffs are:

         Thomas E. Bilek, Esq.
         Hoeffner & Bilek
         1000 Louisiana St., Suite 1302
         Houston, TX 77002
         Phone: 713-227-7720
         Fax: 713-227-9404
         E-mail: tbilek@hb-legal.com

         Douglas R. Britton, Esq.
         Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
         655 W. Broadway, Suite 1900
         San Diego, CA 92101
         Phone: 619-231-1058
         E-mail: DougB@Lerachlaw.com

              - and -

         Eric G. Calhoun, Esq.
         Travis & Calhoun
         1000 Providence Towers East, 5001 Spring Valley Rd.
         Dallas, TX 75244
         Phone: 972/934-4100
         Fax: 972/934-4101
         E-mail: eric@travislaw.com

Representing the defendants are:

         Ralph I. Miller, Esq.
         Robert R. Summerhays, Esq.
         Weil Gotshal & Manges
         200 Crescent Court, Suite 300
         Dallas, TX 75201
         Phone: 214/746-7756 and 214/746-7727
         Fax: 214/746-7700 and 214/746-7777
         E-mail: ralph.miller@weil.com
                 bob.summerhays@weil.com


INFANTINO LLC: Recalls Infant Teethers Due to Choking Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------------
Infantino LLC, of San Diego, California, in cooperation with the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling about
28,000 Infantino Lion Teethers.

The company said the plastic nose can detach, posing a choking
hazard to young children.  Infantino has received eight reports
of the nose detaching, including one report of a child gagging
on the bitten off nose.

This recall involves Infantino lion teethers. The yellow and
orange plastic teethers have date codes 6116, 6129, 6158, 6137,
0606, 0806, 0906, and 1006. The date codes are located on the
back of the lion?s head, above the Infantino® logo. Lion
teethers with other date codes are not included in this recall.

These recalled teethers were manufactured in China and are being
sold at Babies “R” Us, Pottery Barn Kids and other specialty
stores nationwide from June 2006 through December 2007 for about
$5.

Picture of recalled lion teethers:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08135.jpg

Consumers are advised to take the recalled toys away from young
children immediately and contact Infantino for a replacement
teether or a product of equal value.

For additional information, contact Infantino toll-free at (888)
808-3111 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or
visit the firm's Web site: http://www.service.infantino.com


INTELLIGROUP INC: Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.J. Dismissed
------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey,
dismissed all plaintiff's claims against Intelligroup Inc. and
certain former officers in a consolidated shareholder class
action filed in October 2004.

The plaintiffs have not appealed the court's order dismissing
the action.

"The court's decision to dismiss the case supports our long-
standing position that the lawsuits were without merit," said
Vikram Gulati, Chief Executive Officer and President of
Intelligroup. "We look forward to putting this issue completely
behind us and continuing to move forward with our business
efforts."

                        Case Background

On or about Oct. 12, 2004, the first of six class actions was
filed on behalf of a purported class of investors who purchased
the company's common stock against the company and former
officers Arjun Valluripalli, Nicholas Visco, Edward Carr and
David Distel.

In August 2005, the court consolidated the six class actions and
appointed a lead plaintiff.  Plaintiffs subsequently dropped Mr.
Distel and Mr. Carr from the shareholder class action, failing
to name either of them as a defendant in the amended
consolidated complaint filed on or about Oct. 10, 2005.   

The shareholder class action generally alleges violations of
federal securities laws, including allegations that the
defendants made materially false and misleading statements
regarding the company's financial condition and that the
Defendants materially overstated financial results by engaging
in improper accounting practices.   

The class period proposed was May 1, 2001 through Sept. 24,
2004.  The shareholder class action generally seeks relief in
the form of unspecified compensatory damages and reasonable
costs, expenses and legal fees.   

On Dec. 5, 2005, defendants filed motions to dismiss the amended
consolidated complaint.  On Feb. 10, 2006, prior to the hearing
on defendants' motions to dismiss, plaintiffs filed a second
amended consolidated complaint.   

On Feb. 10, 2006, lead plaintiffs filed a second amended
consolidated class action complaint.  On March 27, 2006,
defendants filed their motions to dismiss the complaint.  

Lead plaintiffs filed their opposition to defendants' motions on
May 11, 2006, and beginning June 9, 2006 defendants filed
further briefing in support of their motions.  

On Dec. 20, 2006, Judge Garrett Brown granted the motion to
dismiss.

On or about Jan. 25, plaintiffs filed the third consolidated
amended complaint.  On or about March 5, defendants filed a
motion to dismiss the third consolidated amended complaint.

In April, Intelligroup sought the dismissal of a third amended
complaint in the consolidated securities fraud class action
pending (Class Action Reporter, April 12, 2007).

On November 13, 2007, the court dismissed the suit.

The suit is "Lydia Garcia, et al. v. Intelligroup Inc., et al.,
Case No. 04-CV-4980," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey under Judge John C. Lifland with referral
to Judge Mark Falk.  

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Joseph J. DePalma
          Lite, DePalma, Greenberg & Rivas, LLC
          Two Gateway Center, 12th Floor
          Newark, NJ 07102-5003
          Phone: (973) 623-3000
          E-mail: jdepalma@ldgrlaw.com

          Gary S. Graifman
          Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, Esqs.
          210 Summit Avenue
          Montvale, NJ 07645
          Phone: (201) 391-7000
          E-mail: ggraifman@kgglaw.com

          - and -

          Lisa J. Rodriguez
          Trujillo Rodriguez & Richards, LLP
          8 Kings Highway West
          Haddonfield, NJ 08033
          Phone: (856) 795-9002
          E-mail: lisa@trrlaw.com

Representing the defendants are:

          Dennis J. Drasco
          Kevin J. O'Connor
          Lum, Danzis, Drasco & Positan, LLC
          103 Eisenhower Parkway
          Roseland, NJ 07068-1049
          Phone: (973) 403-9000
          E-mail: ddrasco@lumlaw.com and koconnor@lumlaw.com


LA MODELS: Sued for Alleged Illegal “Service Charge” on Models
--------------------------------------------------------------
L.A. Models in Los Angeles is facing a class action alleging the
company cheats on its independent contractors by deducting an
extra "service charge" from their modeling fees.  The company
allegedly takes 20% extra charge on top of a 20% commission it
gets from the party that hires the models.

The suit was filed by Federico Galavis in Superior Court.  He is
represented by Douglas Johnson of Beverly Hills.

For more information, contact:

          Douglas L. Johnson, Esq.
          Johnson & Johnson, LLP
          439 N. Canon Drive, Suite 200
          Beverly Hills, CA 90210
          Phone: (310) 975-1095
          E-mail: djohnson@jjllplaw.com
          Web site: http://www.jjllplaw.com


MISSOURI: Wireless Phone Providers Settle Municipality Tax Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Cellular, AT&T and Sprint, three of Missouri's largest
wireless phone providers, have settled class actions filed by
Missouri municipalities claiming the companies owe them back
taxes, Elizabeth Schlee of the Columbia Missourian reports.

The suit was filed by the municipalities in 2004.  The
plaintiffs claimed the wireless companies owed back taxes on
gross receipts from Sept. 1, 2005, to Aug. 31, 2007.  The
companies had argued they didn’t need to pay the taxes because
they didn’t provide the same services as land-line phone
companies.

Recently, U.S. Cellular and AT&T reached a settlement in the
case.  The first settlement is with U.S. Cellular.  The U.S.
Cellular settlement is expected to be presented to the City
Council on Jan. 7.  If approved, the city would receive more
than $580,000 from the settlement and U.S. Cellular would be
required to pay all future taxes.  The AT&T settlement would
give Columbia a little more than $2 million, according to John
Mulligan, an attorney representing several municipalities in the
suit.

The Sprint suit is expected to be settled by early January,
according to the report.

Mr. Mulligan reportedly said that Columbia would have until Feb.
25 to approve the settlement amount, and the final approval
hearing would not begin until April.

For more information, contact:

          John Mulligan & Associates Inc.
          271 Jericho Turnpike
          Floral Park, New York 11001
          Phone: (516) 775-3233
          Fax: (516) 775-3315
          E-mail: info@johnmulligan.com


MORGAN KEEGAN: Klayman & Toskes Files Suit Over Bond Funds
----------------------------------------------------------
The Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A. announced that a class
action was filed against Morgan Keegan, in the United States
District Court Western District of Tennessee, captioned
“Atkinson, M.D. et al. v. Morgan Asset Management, Inc. et al.,
Case No. 2007cv02784.”

Specifically, the two Morgan Keegan Bond Funds at issue in the
class action are the Regions MK Select High Income Bond Fund-I
and the Regions MK Select Intermediate Bond Fund-A. However, the
firm continues to investigate other Morgan Keegan Bond Funds
which also sustained heavy losses, including the following:


                                               Y-T-D Return as
Ticker  Bond Fund                                 of 11/20/07
------  ---------                              ---------------

RIBCX   Regions MK Select Intermediate Bond Fund-C    -42.96%
RIBIX   Regions MK Select Intermediate Bond Fund-I    -42.50%

These bond funds sustained heavy losses due to the fact that
they were over-concentrated in risky collateralized debt
obligations ("CDOs") and other mortgage backed securities.

Morgan Keegan may have misrepresented these bond funds to be
safe, conservative investments. However, they may have been
unsuitable for many Morgan Keegan customers in light of the
funds' level of exposure to the CDO and mortgage backed
securities markets which have plummeted in recent months.

The suit is “Atkinson, M.D. et al v. Morgan Asset Management,
Inc. et al, Case Number: 2:2007cv02784,” filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of Tennessee under,
Magistrate Judge Diane K. Vescovo.

Plaintiffs counsel is:

          Jahan K. Manasseh, Esquire
          Klayman & Toskes, P.A.
          Phone: 888-997-9956
          Website: http://www.nasd-law.com


MORTGAGE COS: Pa. Judge Refuses to Send Suit to Bankruptcy Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge in Philadelphia denied a request by victims in
the collapse of Wesley A. Snyder's mortgage businesses to move
their class action against 27 mortgage companies from federal
court to U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Reading, Patrick Burns of
Intelligencer Journal reports.

Judge James T. Giles said in a Dec. 13 ruling that the move
would exacerbate an already confused process.  Further, Judge
Giles also said he's not likely to certify the case as a class
action against the mortgage companies, according to the report.  
But he said he will wait until the borrowers' attorneys file all
their arguments before making his decision.

                    Case Background

OPFM filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 18.  On Sept. 25, the law
firm O'Keefe & Sher filed a suit against Personal Financial
Management Inc. (OPFM Inc.) in Berks County court on behalf of
more than 800 homeowners.  O'Keefe & Sher filed the suit against
the mortgage lenders, claiming they didn't follow standard
banking procedures when they did business with OPFM.  The case
seeks to void mortgages of 25 lenders named in the suit.  The
company allegedly brokered the mortgages without the knowledge
of the customers, who thought they were signing on for lower
mortgages.

Recently, in a 29-page amended complaint filed in federal court,
attorney Joseph O'Keefe claimed that affiliates of OPFM, as
agents of the mortgage companies, did not turn over to the banks
nearly $30 million the customers had paid them, much of it
prepayments on mortgages, the report said.

Defendants in the suit are:

   -- ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc.,
      -- Chase Home Mortgage Corporation,
      -- Citimortgage, Inc.,
      -- Citicorp Home Mortgage Services, Inc.,
      -- Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.,
      -- Fifth Third Mortgage Company,
      -- Florida Capital Bank Mortgages,
      -- GMAC mortgage Corporation,
      -- GMAC Mortgage Asset Management, Inc.,
      -- GMAC Mortgage Group, Inc.,
      -- HSBC Mortgage Corporation (USA),
      -- Indymac Financial Services Corp.,
      -- Moorequity Inc.,
      -- National City Mortgage Inc.,
      -- Nbank, NA,
      -- Provident Funding Group, Inc.,
      -- Saxon Home Mortgage,
      -- Sovereign Bank,
      -- Suntrust Mortgage, Inc.,
      -- U.S. Bank N.A., Wachovia Mortgage Corporation,
      -- Washington Mutual Home Loans, Inc.,
      -- Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. and
      -- John Doe Mortgage Companies

Judge Giles earlier granted a request by the mortgage companies
to move the case to federal court (Class Action Reporter, Oct.
30, 2007).  But it refused a request to move it to bankruptcy
court.

OPFM Inc. operated as Personal Financial Management and Image
Masters Inc.

The suit is “Jone et al. v. ABN AMRO Mortgage Corp. Inc. et al.,
Case No. 2:2007cv04328,” filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, under Judge James T.
Giles.

For more information, contact:

          Joseph O'Keefe, Esq.
          O'Keefe & Sher PC
          15019 Kutztown Rd.
          Kutztown, PA 19530-9276
          Phone: 610) 683-0771
          Fax: (610) 683-0777


NEW YORK: Discovery Ongoing in Labor Laws Violation Lawsuit
-----------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is ongoing in a purported class action filed against
New York Mortgage Trust, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York over alleged violations of the
Fair Labor Standards Act and New York State law.

On Dec. 13, 2006, Steven B. Yang and Christopher Daubiere, filed
suit against Hypotheca Capital, LLC (formerly known as The New
York Mortgage Company, LLC), and the Company.

The suit is alleging that defendants failed to pay plaintiffs,
and similarly situated employees, overtime in violation of FLSA
and New York State law.

Plaintiffs, former employees in the company's discontinued
Mortgageline division who purport to bring a FLSA “collective
action” on behalf of similarly situated loan officers in its now
discontinued mortgage lending operations, are seeking
unspecified amounts for alleged unpaid overtime wages,
liquidated damages, attorney's fees and costs.

Because the parties have agreed to attempt mediation, as of Nov.
9, 2007, Plaintiffs have not applied to the Court for permission
to certify the class or send notice of the collective action to
prospective collective action members.

This case involves complex issues of law and fact and has not
yet progressed to the point where the Company can:

       -- predict its outcome;
   
       -- precisely estimate damages that might result from such
          case due to the uncertainty of the class certification
          and the number of potential participants in any class
          that may be certified;

       -- predict the effect that final resolution of this
          litigation might have on it, its business, financial
          condition or results of operations, although such
          effect could be materially adverse.

The company is  currently engaged in discovery and continue to
investigate Plaintiffs' claims, according to the company's Nov.
14, 2007 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarterly period ended Sept. 30, 2007.

The suit is “Yang et al v. New York Mortgage Company, LLC. et
al., Case No. 1:06-cv-14429-GEL,” filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York under Judge Gerard
E. Lynch.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

         Erik H. Langeland, Esq.
         500 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1610
         New York, NY 10110
         Phone: 212-354-6279
         Fax: 212-898-9086

Representing the defendants is:

         Wendy J. Mellk, Esq.
         Jackson Lewis LLP
         58 South Service Road
         Melville, NY 11747
         Phone: 631-247-0404
         Fax: 631-247-0417
         E-mail: mellkw@jacksonlewis.com


OHIO: Suit Alleges Group Premium Rating Plan Unconstitutional
------------------------------------------------------------
Three businesses have filed a class-action complaint in the
Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio claiming the Ohio
Attorney General and the state Bureau of Workers Compensation
illegally charge non-group rated businesses 20 percent more for
workers comp insurance, to subsidize group-rated employers, the
CourtHouse News Service reports.

Plaintiffs bring this action in equity on behalf of all Ohio
private employers who have at any time since 1991 paid workers'
compensation premiums as a non-group rate employer.

They want the court to rule on:

     (a) whether the Plan violates Section 35, Article II of the
         Ohio Constitution, by imposing premiums on non-group
         rated employers that exceed, and in fact subsidize, the
         discounted premiums charged group-rated employers, who
         fall within the same occupational classification;

     (b) whether the Plan violates Section 35, Article II of the
         Ohio Constitution, by requiring non-group rated
         employers to subsidize discounted premiums afforded
         group-rated employers in the same occupational
         classification;

     (c) whether the Plan violates Section 2, Article I of the
         Ohio Constitution, by arbitrarily imposing burdens on
         non-group rated employers without a rational basis, by
         requiring non-group rated employers to pay inflated
         workers' compensation premiums in order to subsidize
         discounted premiums afforded identically situated
         group-rated employers; and

     (d) whether the defendant's implementation of the Plan
         violated the statutory mandate granted to defendant
         under ORC Section 4123.29, by requiring similarly
         situated and occupational classified non-group rated
         employers, and instituting an experience rated group
         rating system instead of a retrospective rated group
         rating system.

Plaintiffs demand that the court grant the following relief:

     -- certify this action as a class action pursuant to Rule
        23 of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure;

     -- declare that the Ohio Group Rating Plan, as implemented
        by defendant, is unconstitutional as violating Section
        2, Article I and Section 35, Article II of the Ohio
        Constitution, and also violates Ohio Revised Code
        Section 4123.29;

     -- issue an Order in equity requiring defendant to repay to
        the class members all excessive premiums collected by
        defendant pursuant to the unconstitutional group rating
        Plan;

     -- award plaintiffs and the class members pre-judgment and
        post-judgment interest;

     -- award plaintiffs and the class members the costs of this
        action together with reasonable attorney fees, and such
        other and further relief as the court may deem just and
        necessary.

The suit is "San Allen, Inc. et al v. Marsha P. Ryan, et al.,
Case No. CV07644950," filed in the Court of Common Pleas,
Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Representing plaintiffs are:

          Stuart I. Garson
          James A. DeRoche
          David L. Meyerson
          David H. Krause
          Garson & Associates co., LPA
          614 W. superior Avenue, Suite 1600
          Cleveland, Ohio 44113
          Phone: (216) 696-9330
          Fax: (216) 696-8558


OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES: $14M Securities Suit Settlement Okayed
---------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Samuel Conti of the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California finalized a $13.75 million class action
settlement in the matter, "In re OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
Securities Litigation, Case No. 04-CV-2297," Shannon Henson of
the CourtHouse News Service reports.

Judge Conti finalized the agreement, which calls for the money
to be placed in a settlement fund. The plaintiffs' counsel,
Milberg Weiss LLP and Girard Gibbs LLP, will receive 28% of the
fund or about $3.8 million and about $560,489 in fees.

                          Case Background

On June 10, 2004, the first of several putative class actions
were filed against the company and certain of its present and
former directors and officers on behalf of investors who
purchased the company's common stock at various times from
February 2003 to June 9, 2004.

Those actions were consolidated as, "In re OmniVision
Technologies, Inc., No. C-04-2297-SC."  It asserts claims on
behalf of purchasers of the company's common stock between June
11, 2003 and June 9, 2004.  It is seeking unspecified damages.

The suit generally alleges that defendants violated Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by
allegedly engaging in improper accounting practices that
purportedly led to the company's financial restatement.  

On July 29, 2005, the court denied the company's motion to
dismiss the complaint and discovery commenced thereafter.  

The parties engaged in settlement discussions and in November
2006, the parties reached an agreement in principle to settle
this litigation (Class Action Reporter, March 26, 2007).

For more details, contact:

          In re OmniVision Securities Litigation
          c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC, Claims Administrator
          P.O. Box 990 Corte Madera, CA 94976-0990
          Phone: (800) 447-7657
          Web site: http://www.gilardi.com  

The suit is "In re OmniVision Technologies, Inc. Securities
Litigation, Case No. 04-CV-2297," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of California under Judge Samuel
L. Conti with referral to Judge Joseph C. Spero.

Representing the plaintiff is:

          Jeff S. Westerman, Esq.
          Milberg Weiss & Bershad LLP
          One California Plaza, 300 South Grand Ave., Ste. 3900
          Los Angeles, CA 90071
          Phone: (213) 617-1200
          Fax: (213) 617-1975


SEARS ROEBUCK: Ill. Court Sets Jan. 10, 2008 Exclusion Deadline
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
set a Jan. 10, 2008 exclusion deadline for potential class
members in the class action, “Maurice Levie, et al. v. Sears,
Roebuck & Co., et al.,” a case that was filed in connection with
Sears' merger with Kmart Holding Corp.

                        Case Background

Sears Holdings was formed as a Delaware corporation in 2004 in
connection with the merger of Kmart and Sears that was announced
on Nov. 17, 2004.  

The suit asserts claims under the federal securities laws on
behalf of a purported class of Sears' stockholders against Sears
and Alan J. Lacy, for allegedly failing to make timely
disclosure of merger discussions with Kmart during the period
Sept. 9, 2004 through Nov. 16, 2004, and seeks damages.

On July 17, 2007, the Court granted in part and denied in part
plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, certifying a class
of Sears stockholders who sold shares of Sears stock between
Sept. 9, 2004 and Nov. 16, 2004, excluding short sellers who
covered their positions during the class period.

On July 30, 2007, defendants filed a petition for leave to
appeal the class certification with the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Seventh Circuit.  

Plaintiffs have filed their response to the petition.  The
parties await a ruling from the Court of Appeals.  Meanwhile,
written discovery is underway.

The suit is “Levie v. Sears Roebuck Co., et al., Case No. 1:04-
cv-07643,” filed in  the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois under Judge Robert W. Gettleman with
referral to Judge Arlander Keys.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Mark Richard Miller, Esq.
          Wexler Toriseva Wallace LLP
          One North LaSalle, Suite 2000
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Phone: (312) 346-2222
          E-mail: mrm@wtwlaw.us

               - and -

          Charles J. Piven, Esq.
          Brower Piven, A Professional Corporation
          The World Trade Cener, 401 East Pratt St., Suite 2525
          Baltimore, MD 21202
          Phone: (410) 332-0030

Representing the defendants are:

          Mark A. Flessner, Esq.
          Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, LLP
          233 South Wacker Drive, 7800 Sears Tower
          Chicago, IL 60606
          Phone: (312) 876-8000
          E-mail: mflessner@sonnenschein.com

               - and -

          Alexander Dimitrief, Esq.
          Kirkland & Ellis LLP
          200 East Randolph Drive, Suite 6100
          Chicago, IL 60601
          Phone: (312) 861-2000
          E-mail: alex.dimitrief@kirkland.com


UNICO INC: Faces Calif. Suit Over “Illegal” Reverse Stock Split
---------------------------------------------------------------
Unico Inc. is facing a class-action complaint filed Dec. 14 in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California,  
alleging it is planning an illegal reverse stock split that will
dilute shareholders' ownership from 96 percent of common shares
to less than 1 percent, and increase company directors'
ownership from 1 percent to nearly 50 percent, the CourtHouse
News Service reports.

According to the complaint, on Nov. 20, Unico filed a Definitive
Proxy Statement with the SEC disclosing that it will hold a
special shareholders meeting on Dec. 21 in San Diego,
California, at which time, the shareholders witll vote on a
reverse stock split. According to the Proxy Statement, an
approval of the reverse split will enable Unico to effect,
during a six-month period, a reserve stock split whereby every
500 currently outstanding shares would be exchanged for one new
share.

Unfortunately, Unico has not given the shareholders notification
of the Special Shareholder Meeting in violation of Section 14(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and in violations of
Arizona corporation law.

Named plaintiff Legacy Trading Group, LLC, seek, on behalf of a
class of Unico, Inc. common shareholders, a temporary
restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunction to
enjoin Unico's holding of the Special Shareholders Meeting or
alternatively to enjoin the implementation of the reserve stock
split until proper notice has been given t all the shareholders.

Plaintiff brings this class action pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 23(b)(2) on behalf of all Unico, Inc. common
shareholders, who were shareholders entitled to vote at Unico's
Dec. 21 Special Shareholder Meeting, excluding Unico's
directors, officers, and employee, or legal representatives.

Plaintiff prays for the following relief:

     -- for a temporary restraining order and preliminary and
        permanent injunction enjoining the Dec. 21, 2007
        meeting, or alternatively;

     -- for a temporary restraining order and preliminary and
        permanent injunction enjoining Unico from effecting the
        reverse stock split;

     -- for costs of suit; and

     -- for any further relief that the court may deem necessary
        and proper.

The suit is "Legacy Trading Group, LLC et al. v. Unico, Inc.,
Case No. 07 CV 2344 L RBB," filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of California.

Representing plaintiffs are:

          Eric J. Benink, Esq.
          Vincent D. Slavens, Esq.
          Krause Kalfayan Benink & Slavens, LLP
          625 Broadway, Suite 635
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Phone: (619) 232-0331
          Fax: (619) 323-4019


UNITED SCIENTIFIC: Recalls Magnets on Paint's High Lead Level
-------------------------------------------------------------
United Scientific, of Waukegan, Illinois, in cooperation with
the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling about
153,000 Horseshoe Magnets.

The company said the surface paint on the magnets contains high
levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standards. No
injuries have been reported.

This recall involves horseshoe-shaped magnets sold in five
sizes. The horseshoes have red paint on the surface of the
magnet. Product numbers included in the recall are: SHM020 (two
inch), SHM030 (three inch), SHM040 (four inch), SHM050 (five
inch), and SHM060 (six inch).

These recalled magnets were manufactured in India and are being
sold by independent distributors nationwide from March 1995
through September 2007 for about $1. Distributors sold the
products to schools for use in science classes.

Picture of recalled magnets:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08128.jpg

Consumers are advised to immediately stop using these products
and contact United Scientific to receive a replacement product.

For additional information, contact United Scientific toll-free
at (888) 284-8570 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through
Friday, or email: consumeraffairs@unitedsci.com.


VICTORIA'S SECRET: Recalls Stuffer Bear Due to Choking Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------------
Victoria's Secret, of Columbus, Ohio, in cooperation with the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling about 80
Holiday Cosmetics Stuffer Bears.

The company said the neck medallion zipper pull can detach,
posing a choking hazard to young children. No injuries have been
reported.

The cosmetic stuffer bear was designed to hold cosmetics and/or
gift cards. It is a plush bear with a zipper down the body. A
“VS” neck medallion serves as the zipper pull. The bear was sold
in pink and leopard.

These recalled stuffer bears were manufactured in China and are
being sold by Victoria's Secret Web site:   
http://www.victoriassecret.comduring October 2007 for about $8.

Picture of recalled stuffer bears:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08529.jpg

Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the stuffer
bears and keep out of the reach of young children. Victoria's
Secret has sent consumers a postage paid return mailer enclosed.
Customers returning the bear will receive a refund, postage and
a $10 gift certificate.

For additional information, contact Victoria's Secret toll-free
at (877) 260-8419 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through
Friday or visit the firm's Web site:
http://www.victoriassecret.com.


                        Asbestos Alerts


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fisher Scientific Motion to Strike Affirmed
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of
Hartford, affirmed the motion to strike filed by Fisher
Scientific Co. and its alleged successors (Fisher), in an
asbestos-related insurance action filed by First State Insurance
Co.

The suit was styled First State Insurance Co. v. Fisher
Scientific Company LLC et al.

Judge Dubay entered judgment of Case No. CV074030045S on Oct 23,
2007.

This action sought a declaratory relief relating to certain
liability insurance policies issued by First State and five
other Defendant-Insurers to Fisher.

Hundreds of Underlying Asbestos Suits have been filed against
Fisher Scientific Co. LLC in jurisdictions across the country,
including Connecticut.

One of the Underlying Asbestos Suits is Jagid v. Bell Asbestos
Mines Ltd., et al., Docket No. L-2365-02-AS (N.J.Super.Ct.,
Middlesex County), which Fisher Scientific Co. LLC settled on or
about April 20, 2007 for a confidential settlement amount.

Fisher Scientific Co. LLC has demanded that First State, an
excess earner that issued a single excess liability policy for
the policy period July 1, 1981 to July 1, 1982, fund the entire
settlement amount.

First State sought declarations regarding:

(i) Whether and to what extent Fisher Scientific Co. LLC, Fisher
Scientific International Inc., and/or Fisher Scientific
Operating Co. have rights to coverage under the First State
excess liability policy issued to Fisher Scientific Co.;

(ii) Whether and to what extent First State is obligated to
indemnify Fisher Scientific Co. LLC, for the Jagid settlement;

(iii) Whether and to what extent First State is obligated to pay
defense or indemnity costs incurred in connection with the other
Underlying Asbestos Suits;

(iv) Whether and to what extent First State is entitled to
contribution from any or all of the named defendants to the
extent First State is required to pay more than its appropriate
pro rata share of covered defense or indemnity costs incurred in
the Underlying Asbestos Suits, including without limitation
Jagid;

(v) Whether and to what extent First State is entitled to
recover the attorneys fees, expenses and costs incurred in
connection with this action; and

(vi) Such other and further relief as the Court may deem just
and proper.

By motion date June 26, 2007, Fisher has moved to strike the
entire complaint of First State.

Because the Superior Court found that First State's complaint
should be stricken in its entirety due to the failure of First
State to append the certification required in Practice Book s
17-56(b) and due to the court's ruling of same date on Fisher's
Motion To Stay, the Court put off for another day the other
grounds set forth in Fisher's motion.

PHV Ruggeri James P., Hogan & Hartson, Washington, D.C., Tinley
Nastri Renehan & Dost, Waterbury, represented First State
Insurance Co.

Murtha Cullina LLP, Hartford, Conn., PHV Tucker Seth A.,
Covington & Burling LLP, Washington, D.C., represented Fisher
Scientific Company LLC, Fisher Scientific International
Inc. and Fisher Scientific Operating Co.

Morrison Mahoney LLP, Hartford, Conn., represented Continental
Casualty Co.

Cooney Scully & Dowling, Hartford, Conn., represented Fireman's
Fund Insurance Co.

Dwight Kern, Singer & Mahoney Ltd., New York, represented
National Union Fire Insurance Co of Pittsburgh PA.

Day Pitney LLP, Hartford, Conn., represented Travelers Casualty
& Surety Co.

Pullman & Comley LLC, Bridgeport, Conn., represented Century
Indemnity Co. successor.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mass. Court Junks Gonzalez's Injury Claim
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex County, granted
the dismissal motion filed by defendants Steven Johnson, DEC-TAM
Corp., and Michael Morris, in an injury action involving
asbestos removal filed by Ramon Gonzalez.

The suit was styled Ramon Gonzalez, Individually and as Father
and Next Friend of Rosemary Gonzalez et al. v. Steven Johnson et
al.

Justice H.J. Smith, Jr. entered judgment of Case No.
MICV200602871C on Oct. 20, 2007.

On Aug. 29, 2004, Mr. Gonzalez was performing asbestos removal
work in New Canaan, Conn., when he fell from scaffolding and
sustained injuries.

At the time of the accident, Mr. Gonzalez was working for
Methuen Abatement Staffing Inc., which DEC-TAM had engaged to
conduct the asbestos removal.

In his complaint, Mr. Gonzalez alleged that DEC-TAM, Mr.
Johnson, and Mr. Morris were negligent by failing to maintain a
safe construction site and by failing to comply with the safety
requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration and Connecticut law.

Mr. Gonzalez brought three negligence counts and one count for
loss of consortium on behalf of his children, Rosemarie Gonzalez
and Randy Gonzalez.

According to Mr. Gonzalez's complaint, Mr. Johnson is a DEC-TAM
supervisor and Mr. Morris is a DEC-TAM foreman.

The defendants moved to dismiss under Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) on
the basis that Mr. Gonzalez's complaint is barred under
Connecticut's statute of limitations on negligence claims.

The Superior allowed the defendants' motion to dismiss.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio Appeals Court Affirms Award for Marks
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Ohio, 11th District, Trumbull County,
affirmed the judgment entry of the Trumbull County Court of
Common Pleas, which entered a verdict in favor of Ronald Marks,
in an action filed against Dean E. Swartz that involved asbestos
litigation.

The suit is styled Ronald Marks, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Dean E.
Swartz, Defendant-Appellant. It is a Civil Appeal from the Court
of Common Pleas, Case No. 04 CV 1613.

Judges Cynthia Westcott Rice, Colleen Mary O'Toole and Timothy
P. Cannon entered judgment of Case No. 2007-T-0008 on Nov. 9,
2007.

In 1998, Mr. Marks was contacted by Mr. Swartz, an attorney from
Washington D.C. Mr. Swartz indicated he was pursuing several
cases involving asbestos litigation in the Trumbull County Court
of Common Pleas.

Mr. Marks advised Mr. Swartz that had no experience in asbestos
litigation. Mr. Swartz was not concerned with Mr. Marks' lack of
experience in this area of tort and indicated he would shoulder
primary responsibility for all aspects of the litigation.

Mr. Swartz agreed to pay Mr. Marks 25 percent of all attorney
fees generated from the cases in which he served as local
counsel. The agreement was memorialized on May 13, 1998, by a
letter sent by Mr. Swartz.

Shortly thereafter, Mr. Marks received a large box of materials
from Mr. Swartz containing documents related to a pending case
involving the death of one Michael Missik. Mr. Marks reviewed
the materials and began acquainting himself with issues which
arise in asbestos litigation.

During Mr. Marks' involvement in the Missik case, he also became
involved in three other asbestos related cases with Mr. Swartz:
the Kubik case, the Lukac case, and the Barone case.

On June 22, 1999, the parties entered into a second agreement,
similar to the Missik agreement regarding the Lukac case.

The Missik Case ultimately went to trial and resulted in a large
verdict for Mr. Marks. Mr. Swartz expressed appreciation to Mr.
Marks for his assistance and paid him the agreed 25 percent of
the attorney fees for his services.

In a letter dated Jan. 9, 2003, Mr. Swartz sent Mr. Marks
another check representing 25 percent of the attorney fees
arising from settlements with defendants in the Kubik case and
Lukac case.

In February 2003, the Kubik claim against John Crane Co. came
for trial which resulted in a defense verdict.

In May 2003, the trial of Lukac v. John Crane Co. was scheduled
to commence. That case was scheduled for a trial in June 2003.
After deliberations, the jury awarded a verdict in Mr. Lukac's
favor for US$1,250,000 in compensatory damages and US$500,000 in
punitive damages.

After the verdict was announced, the parties and Mr. Lukac went
to a local pub for a drink. After ordering, Mr. Swartz asserted,
in front of Mr. Lukac, that he wanted to speak with Mr. Marks
regarding his unethical conduct at trial.

Mr. Marks maintained he had no idea what Mr. Swartz was
referencing. Mr. Marks demanded Mr. Swartz retract his
allegation; Mr. Swartz refused and, seven days later, Mr. Marks
announced he would no longer serve as "co-counsel" with Mr.
Swartz.

On Aug. 18, 2003, Mr. Swartz formally fired Mr. Marks thereby
relieving him of his obligations as local counsel. At this
point, motions for JNOV and new trial were still pending in the
Lukac matter.

Once the motions were overruled, Mr. Swartz was able to
negotiate a post-verdict settlement with the defendant in the
Lukac matter. Mr. Swartz received US$500,000 in fees resulting
from the settlement. Mr. Marks was never paid for his work in
the Lukac litigation.

On Jan. 12, 2004, Mr. Marks sued Mr. Swartz for breach of
contract. Mr. Swartz moved to dismiss the matter. After Mr.
Swartz's motion to dismiss was denied, he filed his answer that
included a jury demand.

During the pendency of the action, Mr. Swartz filed a motion for
summary judgment repeating the jurisdictional arguments. This
motion was denied.

The case proceeded to a jury trial on Nov. 6, 2006. After Mr.
Marks rested, Mr. Swartz moved for directed verdict, again
asserting his jurisdictional challenge.

The motion was overruled and the jury returned a verdict in Mr.
Marks' favor and awarded him damages in the amount of
US$155,000. On Nov. 8, 2006, the trial court entered judgment on
the verdict.

On Nov. 13, 2006, Mr. Marks filed a motion for prejudgment
interest. On Feb. 8, 2007, the trial court granted the motion
and awarded Mr. Marks US$18,125 in prejudgment interest.

The judgment entry of the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas
endorsing the jury's verdict is hereby affirmed.

Martin F. White, Warren, Ohio, represented Ronald Marks.

Dean E. Swartz, pro se, New Albany, Ohio.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Denies Remand Motion in Contois Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court, D. Connecticut, denied Laura Contois'
motion to remand in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed against
Buffalo Pumps Inc., General Electric Co., and other defendants.

The suit is styled Laura Contois, Executrix of the Estate of
Hugo Mortenson, Plaintiff, v. Able Industries Inc., et al.,
Defendants.

U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson entered judgment of Civil
Case No. 3:07CV01328(AWT) on Nov. 13, 2007.

By a complaint dated Sept. 10, 2004, and amended on Dec. 30,
2004, Ms. Contois initiated an action in Connecticut Superior
Court seeking damages for injuries allegedly sustained as a
result of Mr. Mortenson being exposed to asbestos-containing
materials.

Mr. Mortenson had been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in
August 2002 and died on Dec. 27, 2002.

On Aug. 31, 2007, Buffalo Pumps Inc. filed a notice of removal
of the case to federal court under the federal officer
jurisdiction statute. The petition for removal was subsequently
joined by General Electric Co.

Ms. Contois has moved to remand the case to state court on the
grounds that (1) the notice of removal was untimely filed, and
(2) the defendants have failed to satisfy the requirements for
federal officer jurisdiction.

Accordingly, the District Court denied Ms. Contois' motion to
remand.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mallinckrodt Faces 10,398 Pending Cases
----------------------------------------------------------------
Covidien Ltd. states that, as of Sept. 28, 2007, about 10,398
asbestos liability cases were pending against its subsidiary
Mallinckrodt Inc., according to the Company's annual report
filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec.
13, 2007.

As of June 29, 2007, Mallinckrodt had about 10,370 asbestos
liability cases pending against it. (Class Action Reporter, Aug.
31, 2007)

Mallinckrodt is named as a defendant in personal injury lawsuits
based on alleged exposure to asbestos-containing materials.
Consistent with the national trend of increased asbestos-related
litigation, the Company has observed an increase in the number
of these lawsuits in the past several years.

Most of the cases involve product liability claims, based
principally on allegations of past distribution by a former
Mallinckrodt business of heat-resistant industrial products
incorporating asbestos. A limited number of the cases allege
premises liability, based on claims that individuals were
exposed to asbestos while on Mallinckrodt’s property.

Each case typically names dozens of corporate defendants in
addition to Mallinckrodt. The complaints seek monetary damages
for personal injury or bodily injury resulting from alleged
exposure to products containing asbestos.

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

Hamilton, Bermuda-based Covidien Ltd. develops, manufactures,
and sells healthcare products for use in clinical and home
settings. The Company operates through five segments: Medical
Devices, Pharmaceutical Products, Imaging Solutions, Medical
Supplies, and Retail Products. For fiscal 2007, the Company
generated net sales of US$10.2 billion and a net loss of US$342
million.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: J.C. Penney Records $63M Liability at Feb.
----------------------------------------------------------------
J.C. Penney Company Inc., as of Feb. 3, 2007, recorded US$63
million as management’s best estimate for the Company’s total
potential environmental liabilities, including asbestos
liabilities, according to the Company's quarterly report filed
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 12,
2007.

As of Feb. 3, 2007, the Company estimated its total potential
environmental liabilities to range from US$52 million to US$87
million.

This estimate covered potential liabilities primarily related to
underground storage tanks, remediation of environmental
conditions involving the Company’s former Eckerd drugstore
locations, and asbestos removal in connection with approved
plans to renovate or dispose of Company facilities.

Through the 2007-3rd quarter, environmental reserves were
reduced by about US$14 million due to the completion of certain
renovations, the sale of certain properties and changes in plans
to renovate certain facilities.

Plano, Tex.-based J.C. Penney Company Inc. is a department
store, catalog, and e-commerce retailer operating in the U.S. In
2004, J.C. Penney Co. sold its Eckerd drugstores chain to The
Jean Coutu Group and CVS for US$4.5 billion. The retailer runs
more than 1,000 JCPenney department stores throughout the U.S.
and Puerto Rico.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 48 Cos. Sued in Ill. For Laborer's Death
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lawrence J. McTaggart's estate, on Dec. 11, 2007, filed an
asbestos suit against 48 defendant corporations in Madison
County Circuit Court, Ill., The Madison St. Clair Record
reports.

The estate claims Mr. McTaggart was exposed to asbestos while
employed as a steamfitter, mechanic, construction worker,
laborer and truck driver at various locations in Illinois and
Missouri from 1941 to 1981.

The suit brought by his son, Lawrence E. McTaggart, states that
the elder Mr. McTaggart resided somewhere in Illinois and was
diagnosed with mesothelioma on Oct. 13, 2006.

The suit claims the elder McTaggart's exposure to asbestos
fibers was completely foreseeable and could or should have been
anticipated by the defendants.

Some of the defendants include American Standard Companies Inc.,
Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Co., General Electric Co., General
Motors Corp., John Crane Inc., Owens-Illinois Inc., and Young
Insulation Group of St. Louis.

The younger Mr. McTaggart claims that during the course of his
father's employment and during home and automotive repairs, he
was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed
asbestos fibers emanating from certain products he was working
with and around.

The younger Mr. McTaggart claims the defendants knew or should
have known that the asbestos fibers contained in their products
had a toxic, poisonous and highly deleterious effect upon the
health of people.

The younger Mr. McTaggart alleges that the defendants included
asbestos in their products even when adequate substitutes were
available and failed to provide any or adequate instructions
concerning the safe methods of working with and around asbestos.

The younger Mr. McTaggart also claims that the defendants failed
to require and advise employees of hygiene practices designed to
reduce or prevent carrying asbestos fibers home.

As a result of the alleged negligence, the younger Mr. McTaggart
claims his father was exposed to fibers containing asbestos. He
developed a disease caused only by asbestos which has disabled
and disfigured him, prior to his death, the complaint states.

The younger Mr. McTaggart also claims his father's next-of-kin
have been deprived of his means of support and have lost his
society in addition to spending substantial sums of money for
the funeral and burial.

The complaint states that the younger Mr. McTaggart claims his
dad suffered "great physical pain and mental anguish which
hindered and prevented him from pursuing his normal course of
employment, thereby losing large sums of money."

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

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

Represented by Shane Hampton of SimmonsCooper in East Alton,
Ill., the younger Mr. McTaggart seeks compensatory damages in
excess of US$700,000, plus punitive damages.

Case No. 07 L 1054 has been assigned to Circuit Judge Dan Stack.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Developer to Pay $450T Fine to Mo. State
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to a settlement agreement with the State of Missouri,
it will cost Community Development Corporation of Kansas City
(CDC-KC), a developer of a large retail and residential project
in Kansas City, US$450,000 for violating Missouri asbestos laws,
The Kansas City Star reports.

Of the US$450,000, US$100,000 will go into green initiatives
that could turn Citadel Plaza from a contaminated tract into one
of the most visionary environmental projects in the city.

CDC-KC also will pay a civil penalty of US$50,000 and will spend
US$300,000 removing the asbestos that remains at the site,
according to the agreement. The US$50,000 will be paid to the
Jackson County School Fund.

CDC-KC is the nonprofit developer of the financially troubled
Citadel Plaza, an US$85 million redevelopment project that
includes a 35-acre shopping center promising a full-service
grocery, restaurants and other retailers. It has been in the
planning stage since the 1990s.

The firm was accused in 2006 of tearing down more than 100 homes
and burying tons of asbestos-containing materials at the
construction site. Tons of asbestos debris also were left lying
around the neighborhood where children often played.

A federal case also is pending, according to a memo written in
December 2007 by City Manager Wayne Cauthen for Mayor Mark
Funkhouser. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
would not publicly confirm the investigation, Mr. Cauthen’s memo
said “the investigation is still open.”

Bill Threatt, CDC-KC chief executive officer, in 2006 said in an
interview that he never knew that federal, state and local laws
required asbestos inspections. In a letter to Mr. Cauthen, he
wrote that CDC-KC was “completely flabbergasted” after learning
about the asbestos laws.

As part of the settlement, CDC-KC will spend at least US$100,000
on environmentally friendly projects. In addition, CDC-KC must
incorporate energy efficiency into the Citadel Plaza design.
That would include using highly reflective roofing materials and
capturing rainwater from rooftops for watering plants.

Initially the Missouri Department of Natural Resources wanted
CDC-KC to pay a cash penalty of US$250,000. However, CDC-KC
appealed to the attorney general’s office and reached a
settlement that reduced the cash penalty to US$50,000.

CDC-KC will spend at least US$300,000 to implement a plan that
“provides for the safe and lawful removal” of the asbestos that
was buried at the site.

Besides CDC-KC, several others were cited by the state for their
part in handling the debris. Delroy Fadell, who was tearing down
some of the houses and hauling some of the waste for CDC-KC, was
cited but has never been found, and neither have several other
subcontractors, the attorney general’s office said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ore. Hazard Cleanup Lacks Funding, EPA Says
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says there may not be
enough funds to pay for asbestos cleanup at the North Ridge
Estates subdivision near Klamath Falls, Ore., the Associated
Press reports.

The asbestos is from wall boards of three military barracks used
several decades ago. The barracks were torn down. However, the
asbestos remained.

The EPA had hoped to pay for the cleanup by selling the 19
houses that are in receivership at the subdivision.

The cost of a potential cleanup is unknown because the EPA is
still in the process of deciding what method it will choose to
remove the asbestos.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ship-Breakers Mull “Outsourcing” of Removal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ship-breakers working in Asia's largest ship-breaking yard in
Alang, India, are considering a proposal to “outsource” the
asbestos removal process to a specialized agency, The Times of
India reports.

If this happens, hundreds of laborers in the Alang shipyard may
be saved from the hazards of asbestosis.

Nikhil Gupta, joint secretary, Ship Re-cyclers Association of
India, said, “We are trying to tie-up with two or three
companies and outsource the asbestos removal process
completely.” He added that nailing the deal may take some time.

Alang has been criticized by environmentalists for its dangerous
ship-breaking practices. A number of workers have fallen prey to
asbestosis.

Alang’s notoriety has started affecting business of late. The
beaching and breaking of two ships in the last two years was
stalled.

French warship La Clemenceau returned from the shores following
a major controversy over its asbestos content, while the world’s
longest cruise-liner Blue Lady’s arrival triggered a major legal
battle which went up to the Supreme Court.

Moreover, a rise in ship-breaking activities in Pakistan and
Bangladesh, Alang’s two main rivals, and sharp fall in steel
prices have hit business.

However, sources say there are already 35 ships awaiting cutting
permission from the government and 20 are on their way.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wear Valley Asbestos Scandal Probe Underway
----------------------------------------------------------------
The inquiry into an asbestos scandal involving the Wear Valley
District Council's role in the asbestos matters at Woodhouse
Close Leisure Complex in Bishop Auckland, U.K., has commenced.

Independent assessors will try to establish why the Council
ignored reports about asbestos levels at Woodhouse Close.

In August 2007, the Council was fined GBP18,000 by Government
health inspectors after staff were allowed to work unprotected
in the center's boiler room for five years, even though bosses
had been warned of the danger.

The inquiry is ongoing at the Council's Civic Centre
headquarters, in Crook, County Durham.

The Council was told about the asbestos in 2001, but did nothing
to treat it, or to protect staff from the danger, until January
2005, when a maintenance worker found out about the report and
complained to the Health and Safety Executive.

Richard Bishop, the inspector who led the investigation,
described the breach as the worst he had ever seen.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Australian Defense Officers' Health at Risk
----------------------------------------------------------------
Health groups and unions say that Australian defense personnel
are at risk of exposure to asbestos because the defense forces
still use it, The Age reports.

The army, navy and air force will continue to use asbestos in
equipment like vehicle brake linings, engine gaskets, and door
seals until 2010 after winning a three-year extension to its
exemption.

The Australian Defence Force says it has to use asbestos
products but critics say there are non-asbestos alternatives.

Leigh Hubbard, the executive director of Asbestos Diseases
Society of Victoria, told The Age that the exemption was likely
to see “another 10, 20, 30, who knows how many people, contract
a asbestos-related disease.”

In 2001, the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission
prohibited the use of asbestos in all Australian workplaces from
January 2004.

The Defence Force, along with other industries in which asbestos
use was widespread, was given a three-year exemption by the
commission's successor, the Australian Safety and Compensation
Council.

With its new exemption, the Defence Force now has until December
2010 to stop using chrysotile, or white asbestos.

The navy uses asbestos in more than 130,000 pieces of equipment,
mostly in insulation, packaging and gaskets. Some ship bulkheads
also contain asbestos.

The air force's Orion P3 aircraft and F-111 fighter jets have
asbestos in gaskets, brake linings, seals and fire barriers,
while the army's Kiowa helicopters. Some of its Black Hawks
still contain asbestos.

The Defence Force also uses asbestos parts like brake linings in
general vehicles such as Land Rovers and trailers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Board Ruling in Karolowski Action Affirmed
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 3rd Department, New York,
upheld a Workers’ Compensation Board ruling, which ruled that
Peter Karolowski sustained two asbestos-related occupational
diseases.

The suit is styled In the Matter of the Claim of Peter
Karolkowski, Claimant, v. Wolff & Munier Inc., et al.,
Appellants, and Employers Insurance Company of Wausau et al.,
Respondents. Workers' Compensation Board, Respondent.

Judges Mercure, Peters, Spain, Carpinello, and Mugglin entered
judgment of the case on Nov. 15, 2007.

This was an appeal from a decision of the Workers' Compensation
Board, filed Dec. 30, 2005, which ruled that Mr. Karolowski
sustained two causally related occupational diseases.

Mr. Karolowski, a sheet metal worker, was exposed to asbestos in
the course of his employment with Wolff & Munier Inc.

Employers Insurance Company of Wausau was Wolff's workers'
compensation carrier from January 1988 until February 1994.

The State Insurance Fund (hereinafter the carrier) was Wolff's
carrier from April 14, 1994 until Wolff ceased its business
operations later in 1994.

When Mr. Karolowski was diagnosed with colon cancer on July 21,
1992, he stopped working and never resumed employment. In March
1994, he filed a claim for workers' compensation benefits,
listing both asbestos related colon cancer and asbestosis as his
injuries.

On June 13, 1995, Mr. Karolowski was evaluated by internist
Susan Daum, who diagnosed him with pleural asbestosis and
informed him that his exposure to asbestos was a contributing
factor in the development of his colon cancer.

After a hearing at which Mr. Karolowski and three physicians
testified, the Workers' Compensation Law Judge (WCLJ) determined
that there was sufficient proof that Mr. Karolowski suffers from
an occupational disease of "asbestos related pleural disease,"
but insufficient proof of asbestos related colon cancer.

After a review of that decision by the Workers' Compensation
Board, the WCLJ decision was modified to find sufficient
evidence of asbestos related colon cancer.

The Board set a date of disablement for each of the two
conditions: July 21, 1992 for colon cancer and June 13, 1995 for
asbestos related pleural disease.

Contending that the Board erred, in setting two dates of
disablement, State Insurance noted Mr. Karolowski's filing of
one C-3 claim form and the fact that the colon cancer is the
only disabling disease.

The Supreme Court has noted and State Insurance acknowledged
that "there is no provision in the Workers' Compensation Law
which specifically requires the filing of separate claims for
discrete occupational diseases."

The Supreme Court found no legal authority to support State
Insurance's position and no evidence that either of these dates
is erroneous.

As to the carrier's contention that Mr. Karolowski’s failure to
file a second claim resulted in its potential loss of defenses,
the Supreme Court found such claim both speculative and
premature.

The Supreme Court affirmed.

Gregory J. Allen, State Insurance Fund, N.Y., (Vickie R. Cassidy
of counsel), represented Wolff & Munier Inc. and the other
appellants.

Stewart, Greenblatt, Manning & Baez, Syosset (Patrick M. Conroy
of counsel), represented Employers Insurance Company of Wausau
and another respondent.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Upholds Board Ruling in Colella Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 3rd Department, New York,
upheld the Workers’ Compensation Board ruling, which favored
Brian Charles Colella, in an asbestos-related compensation
action filed against New York City Health and Hospitals Corp.

Judges Cardona, Crew III, Peters, Spain, and Carpinello entered
judgment of the case on Nov. 15, 2007.

Appeal from a decision of the Workers' Compensation Board, filed
on May 23, 2006, which ruled that Mr. Colella was discriminated
against by New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. in violation
of Workers' Compensation Law ss 120.

Mr. Colella, an electrician with provisional employee status,
was exposed to asbestos during a hospital renovation project. He
thereafter filed with his employer New York City Health and
Hospitals Corp. an occupational injury report regarding the
exposure and discussed his intention to assert a workers'
compensation claim.

Three days later, Mr. Colella received a work performance
assessment which indicated that he met the standards in all
respects. Five days after that, he was terminated.

Mr. Colella testified that, when he asked New York City Health
and Hospitals why he was fired, he was told "we don't have to
tell you." Alleging that he was wrongly discharged for asserting
a workers' compensation claim, he filed a complaint under
Workers' Compensation Law ss 120.

Following a hearing at which New York City Health and Hospitals
failed to appear, a Workers' Compensation Law Judge upheld the
complaint and the Workers' Compensation Board thereafter
affirmed that decision.

New York City Health and Hospitals now appealed.

The Supreme Court affirmed the Workers’ Compensation Board
decision.

Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel, N.Y., represented New
York City Health and Hospitals Corp.

Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General, New York City (Steven Segall
of counsel), represented Workers' Compensation Board.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeal Court Junks Rosen Suit v. University
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeal, 1st District, Division Four, California,
affirmed the judgment of the Alameda County Superior Court in
favor of the Regents of the University of California, in an
asbestos-related action filed by Debora Rosen and her family on
behalf of Sherwin “Sandy” Rosen.

The suit is styled Debora Rosen, Individually and as Personal
Representative, etc., et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v.
Regents of the University of California, Defendant and
Respondent.

Judges Reardon, Sepulveda, and Rivera entered judgment of Case
No. A113267 on Nov. 14, 2007.

Dr. Rosen was born in 1938. When he was five or six years old in
1943 and 1944, his father worked with asbestos as an upholsterer
at a naval shipyard. The father wore his often dirty work
clothes home at the end of the day and sometimes hugged his son
when he arrived at home.

The child's mother would wash these clothes, sometimes in her
son's presence. In this manner, Dr. Rosen experienced bystander
exposure to asbestos as a child.

From 1958 through July 1962, Dr. Rosen was a dental student at
the University of California, San Francisco, in premises
maintained by the Regents. While at dental school, over the
course of four years, he used asbestos dental tape supplied by
the school bookstore for use in dental casting.

During the first two years of dental school, students handled
asbestos tape for about five minutes once every two or three
weeks. During the last two years of school when students were
working with patients, the asbestos tape was used more
frequently. In this manner, Dr. Rosen was also exposed to
asbestos.

In August 1960, Dr. Rosen married Debora Ann Semenov, now Debora
Rosen. He practiced dentistry from 1962 until 2001. In July
2001, Dr. Rosen was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He died three
months later of complications from mesothelioma.

In April 2002, the Rosens filed a wrongful death complaint and
survival action against the Regents and others, alleging causes
of action against the Regents for negligence, products
liability, and premises liability.

A first amended complaint was filed in May 2002, adding causes
of action against the Regents for making false representations
and for loss of consortium. The Regents answered this complaint
in July 2002.

In July 2003, the Rosens filed a second amended complaint. By
the time the case against the Regents went to trial in October
2005, the only causes of action remaining to be determined by
the jury were negligence and products liability claims.

In October 2005, the Regents moved for nonsuit on all remaining
causes of action, arguing that the Rosens had not established
sufficient evidence of causation to permit the issues to be
presented to the jury. The products liability causes of action
went to the jury.

In November 2005, judgment entered for the Regents and against
the Rosens, consistent with this strict liability verdict and
its order granting nonsuit on negligence.

In January 2006, the trial court denied the Rosens' motions for
new trial and for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. Orders
denying these motions were filed in February 2006.

The Rosens appealed from the judgment. The Appeals Court
affirmed the trial court's judgment.

Mary Elizabeth Pougiales, Nancy Bridget Thorington, Brayton
Purcell LLP, Novato, Calif., represented Debora Rosen and other
Plaintiffs and Appellants.

Patrick Lee Moore, Denise Serra, Gary A. Watt, McNamara, Dodge,
et al., Walnut Creek, Calif., represented Regents of the
University of California.

Clarke Benbow Holland, LHB Pacific Law Partners LLP, Berkeley,
Calif., Lisa L. Kirk, LHB Pacific Law Partners LLP, Emeryville,
Calif., Keith Reyen, Quim Reyen & Pryor, San Francisco,
represented Kerr Corp.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeals Court Favors Isley in Casper Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Indiana affirmed the Full Worker's
Compensation Board of Indiana's order, which dismissed the
asbestos-related claim of William Pete Casper's estate against
his former employer L.E. Isley & Sons Inc.

The suit is styled William Pete Casper, Appellant-Plaintiff, v.
L.E. Isley & Sons Inc., Appellee-Defendant.

Judges Sharpnack, Riley, and Friedlander entered judgment of
Case No. 93A02-0702-EX-179 on Nov. 20, 2007.

Appeal from the Indiana Worker's Compensation Board; The
Honorable Linda Peterson Hamilton, Chairman; Cause No. C-173494.

Mr. Casper was employed by Isley from 1961 until January 2005,
when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. On March 1, 2005, he
filed an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Board.

On March 7, 2005, Mr. Casper filed suit in Marion County
Superior Court against multiple defendants who he alleged were
responsible for his exposure to asbestos. He died from
mesothelioma on Oct. 26, 2005.

The Estate settled its claims with some of the defendants in
November 2005. It then filed with the Board a Motion for a
Finding of Bad Faith on the Part of Isley and/or Isley's
Insurance Carrier.

On March 16, 2006, Isley filed a motion to dismiss the Estate's
Application for Adjustment of Claim. After a hearing held on May
16, 2006, the Single Hearing Member entered findings of fact and
conclusions.

The Board ruled that the matter be dismissed.

The Estate raised one issue, which the Appeals Court revised and
restated as whether the Board's dismissal of the Estate's
application for worker's compensation was premature.

The Appeals Court affirmed the Board's grant of Isley's motion
to dismiss.

Linda George, W. Russell Sipes, Aaron T. Milewski, George &
Sipes, Indianapolis, represented William Pete Casper.

Michael Patrick Dugan, Sally A. Voland Dugan Voland & Meagher,
Indianapolis, represented L.E. Isley & Sons Inc.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Issues Split Ruling in Brumley Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeal, 1st District, Division 1, California,
issued various rulings in the asbestos-related case filed by
Carol Brumley against FDCC California Inc. and other defendants.

The suit is styled Carol Brumley et al., Plaintiffs and
Appellants, v. FDCC California Inc., et al., Defendants and
Respondents.

The Court handed down the ruling of Case No. A114840 on Nov. 19,
2007.

The Court ordered that an opinion filed on Oct. 22, 2007 be
modified. Plaintiffs conceded that the original non-cancer
survivorship claims were barred by the five-year rule, but they
contended that the wrongful death claims, Mrs. Brumley's loss of
consortium claim, and the cancer survivorship claim should not
have been dismissed.

Plaintiffs conceded that the survivorship claims seeking
recovery for William Brumley's non-cancer asbestos disease are
barred by the five-year rule, but they argue that the remaining
claims, including the wrongful death claims and the cancer
survivorship claim, should not have been dismissed because those
causes of action did not relate back to Mrs. Brumley's original
personal injury claims.

Plaintiffs also contended that the cancer survivorship claim
should not have been dismissed because it does not relate back
to the original claims for asbestosis and pleural disease.

The trial court's judgment is reversed in part. Although Mrs.
Brumley's original asbestosis and pleural disease claims, now
asserted as survivorship claims are barred, plaintiffs' wrongful
death claims, Mrs. Brumley's loss of consortium claim, and the
cancer survivorship claim are not barred.

The matter is remanded for further proceedings consistent with
this decision. Appellants' petition for rehearing is denied.

Nance Becker, Brayton Purcell, Novato, Calif., represented Carol
Brumley and the other Plaintiffs and Appellants.

Richard D. Dumont, Vasquez & Estrada, San Rafael, Calif.,
Theodore Thomas Cordery, Imai Tadlock Keeney & Cordery LLap, San
Francisco, represented FDCC California Inc. and the other
Defendants and Respondents.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NL Ind. Granted Defense Verdict in Madison
----------------------------------------------------------------
During a rare Madison County, Ill., asbestos trial, NL
Industries Inc. was granted a defense verdict last Dec. 14,
2007, The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

Jurors rejected a claim brought by Harry Glass, who had asked
for US$6,035,000 to compensate him for the asbestos exposure and
fatal illness suffered by his wife, Mary Glass. He claimed she
was exposed to asbestos dust he brought home from work decades
ago at a Granite City, Ill., lead plant.

Mr. Glass worked from 1952 to 1978 at National Lead Industries
Inc., a predecessor of NL Industries. National Lead closed down
in 1979. Mr. Glass claimed that the dust on his clothes led to
his wife's mesothelioma which caused her death in 2004.

Represented by Joe Vallort and Chauncey Cassidy of Chilton
Yambert Porter & Young in Chicago, NL Industries not only chose
not to call any witnesses at trial, it admitted only one exhibit
and never retained an expert through the course of litigation.

According to Mr. Vallort, a strategic decision was made well
before trial that Mr. Glass's case involved relatively straight
forward concepts and evidence which did not require expert
testimony.

Mr. Glass's team of lawyers, including Christian Hartley of
Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC in Charleston,
S.C., and Randy Gori and Allyson Romani of Goldenberg Heller
Antognoli Rowland Short & Gori, P.C. in Edwardsville, Ill.,
argued that the hazards of secondary asbestos exposure were well
known at least by the 1960s and that National Lead made no
effort to limit asbestos exposure to its employees during the
time Mr. Glass worked at the plant.

According to Mr. Glass, the products he worked with included
generic pipe covering and block insulation, muds and cements,
asbestos rope, asbestos cloth, asbestos seals, asbestos
blankets, gummites, refractory materials and bricks, asbestos
gloves and apparel, gaskets and packing, asbestos cement board,
and pipe and friction materials.

NL Industries argued that the risks of secondary exposure to
asbestos were not well known during Mr. Glass's career and
therefore, National Lead did not have to take the steps listed
by Mr. Glass's expert.

Associate Judge Tom Chapman presided over the Glass trial.

The Glass case was tried using Illinois law which invokes the
Lipke Rule.

"Lipke" bars evidence that a plaintiff might have other possible
sources of exposure. Evidence that Mary Glass may have been
exposed from her own work career, or from asbestos furnace
insulation installed by Mr. Glass at the family residence, could
not be introduced at trial.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. Widow Settles with Wiltshire Council
----------------------------------------------------------------
Audrey Love, the widow of a Wiltshire, U.K. local, Derek Love,
has reached an out-of-court settlement in her favor with the
North Wiltshire Council, following Mr. Love's death that was
linked to asbestos, Swindon Advertiser reports.

Mr. Love died in 2006 after a lengthy illness linked to
asbestos.

Mrs. Love brought the claim because Mr. Love, during the course
of his work as a plumber for the Council, was exposed to
asbestos for long periods of time.

Between 1960 and 1970, Mr. Love was employed by Calne and
Chippenham Rural Council, which is now part of North Wiltshire
district council.

During the construction of houses in Corsham, Wiltshire, he had
to install cold water tanks, drilling through asbestos and
brushing away asbestos dust.

Brigitte Chandler, Mrs. Love's lawyer, and a partner at Swindon
law firm Charles Lucas and Marshall, said, “Mr. Love was exposed
to asbestos regularly, often for up to five hours per day.”


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Melbourne Power Station Set for Demolition
----------------------------------------------------------------
Melbourne, Australia's power station, which was once riddled
with asbestos, is set for demolition, with its 105-meter chimney
on Lonsdale Street the first part of the building to go, The Age
reports.

Demolition will commence on Jan. 8, 2008.

A Russian consortium, Soldis Capital, paid AUD7.6 million for
the site in 2006. They have cleared the site of asbestos and are
now clearing it of old buildings.

The power station, with two other sites, is now in the running
for Telstra Corporation Ltd.'s proposed new AUD1 billion
headquarters, which will house 11,000 local employees under one
roof.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 6 Scotland Families Flee Due to Poisoning
----------------------------------------------------------------
Six families in Scotland face a desperate Christmas after an
asbestos poisoning scare forced them to flee their homes, Daily
Record reports.

The evacuated families were put up in a hotel after the scare on
Nov. 21, 2007.

Nine adults and four children will spend a bleak festive season
in temporary accommodation after workmen disturbed the lethal
dust.

Their homes have been gutted. Most of their belongings,
including furniture and clothing, were destroyed and they have
no idea when they will be able to return.

Twelve flats were evacuated in Fraser Avenue, Inverkeithing,
Fife, Scotland, after workers from Blantyre, Scotland-based ECG
Group, a plumbing firm, disturbed the asbestos. They had been
removing water tanks from attics.

Following tests, six of the homes were ruled safe enough for
residents to return.

The families are still uncertain if they will be compensated for
the loss of their possessions.

Councilor Alice McGarry said the local authority is
investigating the scare, adding that either the council or the
contractors “will be liable, but that has not been established.”


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Records 16 Actions v. Maryland Schools
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recorded 16
asbestos-related enforcements against Maryland schools since
September 2006, up from less than one per year from 2001 to
2006, Capital News Service reports.

The 16 actions filed between September 2006 and September 2007
included everything from small private schools to some of the
largest school systems in the state, according to a Capital News
Service analysis of EPA data.

The actions mostly involve problems with the paperwork schools
must keep to track asbestos, and the increase is due to a rise
in state inspections and stricter enforcement.

However, the EPA does not take violations lightly. Penalties for
schools in violation run up to US$6,500 per day, or schools can
escape the fine by spending the same amount to bring themselves
up to code.

Major violators include school systems in Baltimore City and
county. The EPA reported in September 2006 that the city spent
US$305,730 to bring schools up to code, while the county spent
US$245,538, all for violations related to record keeping.

Mardel Knight, head of Maryland's asbestos inspection unit, said
that schools are supposed to maintain asbestos management plans,
but it is often not a top priority for busy educators.

Ms. Knight's inspectors often find plans are missing or not
updated. Sometimes school officials say they sent out a required
annual notification, but cannot find a copy of it. Others do not
have records of recent inspections.

In the past, the EPA let the state give some schools a chance to
bring themselves up to code before sending the inspections on to
the federal agency, said Harry Daw, with the EPA's region III
enforcement office.

But in fiscal 2007, the EPA began requiring states send it all
inspections directly for enforcement, Mr. Daw said.

All schools containing asbestos, and that includes any school
built before October 1998, are required to have asbestos
management plans outlining where the material is and what steps
are being taken to contain it.

Schools must also annually notify parents and staff of the
plans, train maintenance staff for asbestos safety and regularly
inspect areas with asbestos.

Since those regulations took effect, there has not been "one
single record of a building occupant coming to harm from release
of asbestos," said David Lever, director of Maryland's public
school construction program.

In 2005 and 2006, the Catholic school system spent US$72,000 to
bring dozens of elementary schools up to code, according to EPA
records.

Ms. Knight said schools have no excuse for not complying with
asbestos regulations. Maryland offers free workshops around the
state that teach schools how to stay up to code. Ms. Knight said
this year's workshops aimed at small schools, which make up a
large portion of violations, were poorly attended.

Ms. Knight suggested that any schools unsure of their compliance
with asbestos regulations contact her unit in the Maryland
Department of the Environment for advice.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ADAO Set to Reveal Product Testing Results
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, on Dec. 17, 2007,
announced that they have received a request from the U.S. House
of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce's
Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials for the
results of consumer products testing conducted by ADAO and
announced at a Nov. 28, 2007 press conference at the National
Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The ADAO tested over 350 products including foods, drugs,
toiletries, cosmetics, hardware, cleaning products and
children's toys. Over 250 individual tests have been conducted,
in which asbestos fibers were found in 18 products.

Five products were confirmed by three independent, government
certified laboratories to contain asbestos, including CSI
Fingerprint Examination Kit, DAP 33 Window Glazing, DAP Crack
Shot Spackling Paste, Gardner Leak Stopper Roof Patch and Scotch
High Performance Duct Tape.

Products were purchased from major retailers including Wal-Mart;
CVS; Macy's; Toys-R-Us; and Bed, Bath, & Beyond.

Congressman Albert Wynn (D-MD), Chairman of the Subcommittee on
Environment and Hazardous Materials, requested a copy of the
full report in a letter dated Dec. 4, 2007.

Congressman Wynn's letter states, “I understand that the full
report entitled 'The ADAO Product Testing Report' contains
additional information on test results of products that was not
publicly released.

Therefore, as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and
Hazardous Materials that has jurisdiction over the Toxic
Substances Control Act (TSCA), I request a copy of the full
report. This will assist the Subcommittee in carrying out its
legislative responsibilities with respect to a number of pending
bills regulating the import, manufacture, and use of asbestos.”

Congressman Wynn's letter goes on to state, “I also understand
that the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization has provided
information about the asbestos content in products to the
Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety
Commission.”

ADAO has not received a response from the Environmental
Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission in
reference to the Product Testing Report sent on Nov. 28, 2007
and exposure continues, with toys continuing to be sold in
various retail stores.

ADAO, which is funded through voluntary contributions and
staffed by volunteers, was founded by asbestos victims and their
families in 2004.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Geologist Says Ariz. Mine is Asbestos-free
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mimi Diaz, of the Arizona Geological Survey, says that there is
no asbestos associated with mining operations in the Agua Fria
River bed, The Arizona Republic reports.

Ms. Diaz addressed concerns at a Maricopa County Mining District
Recommendation Committee meeting that sand and gravel mines may
be sending asbestos into the air.

Ms. Diaz said that six kinds of minerals that form long, fibrous
crystals fall into the category of asbestos and "not all are bad
and cause lung cancer."

Lyle Tuttle of Surprise, Ariz., said residents are concerned
that mining companies are crushing used concrete that might
contain asbestos.

There are more than 20 mining operations in the Agua Fria, which
is near communities like Surprise and Sun City, Ariz.

Ms. Diaz said that when companies manufacture concrete, it is
generally transported to a building site within 20 miles because
of the expense of trucking it. So, if there no asbestos in the
Agua Fria, the concrete from it is clean, she said.

Ms. Diaz said Arizona ranked 31st out of 50 states for asbestos-
related deaths, according to 2004 data.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Guyana Univ. Awaits Approval of Removal Bid
----------------------------------------------------------------
Melvyn Sankies, University of Guyana's head of the technical
team, on Dec. 13, 2007, said that the university is still
awaiting the Ministry of Education's response to an asbestos
report submitted more than three months ago, Starbroek News
reports.

Mr. Sankies said he did not know whether the ministry might have
responded to Vice-Chancellor Dr. James Rose, but the technical
team, which he heads is still awaiting word.

Mr. Sankies said the team estimated the cost for the removal and
replacement of material from the affected buildings at the
university at some GYD200 million. He said some persons had
suggested that the material be covered instead of removed and
replaced as this would be a much cheaper exercise.

However, Mr. Sankies said his team opted for the removal and
replacement process, since covering the material would mean that
the problem would remain and be a problem in the future.

Mr. Sankies had also proposed that persons work through some
weekends, with his team supervising, at the university doing
what is known as "rendering" which is really closing up the
damaged parts of the asbestos-affected areas to make the
buildings safer until the dangerous material was removed.
However, when the proposal was submitted, the bursary bluntly
refused to release any money for payment.

In August 2007, the university had announced that test results
on material taken from buildings at UG had shown that many of
the samples contained more than trace amounts of asbestos and a
decision had been made for the urgent removal of all ceilings
with the dangerous fibrous material.

The UG release had said that Canadian laboratory, Resource
Environmental Associates Limited (REA) to which some 131 samples
were sent for testing had found that "many of the samples
contain more than trace amounts of asbestos."

The samples were taken from the older buildings that were built
since around 1968, and these include the Faculties of
Technology, Natural Sciences, Humanity, Health, Social Sciences,
the library and the cafeteria.

In examining the report, the team headed by Mr. Sankies, had
indicated that two types of asbestos (amosite and chrysotile)
had been found mainly in the ceiling and except for two panels,
the walls did not contain asbestos.

Head of the Department of Business and Management Studies Hector
Edwards said that staff members were upset at the length of time
the administration had taken to respond to their concerns.

Mr. Edwards had said that the asbestos problem in the building
was first noted in the 1980s and he had seen a 1998 report in
which the university was urged to take action on the issue.

Mr. Edwards had said that report came from the Ministry of Labor
and there were earlier reports done, therefore the issue was not
new to the university community. He said that the matter was
raised again in 2005 but nothing was done.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. School Closed After Routine Inspection  
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Marjorie Mclure School in Hawkwood Lane, Chislehurst,
Bromley, U.K., was closed after a routine inspection found
asbestos in the school kitchen, News Shopper reports.

A spokesman for the Council said, “A routine inspection showed
that there was some damage to an asbestos tile in the kitchen
area and an air test was taken.

“That showed there were fibers in the air and that has prompted
a cleaning of the environment.

“The cleansing is being done by a qualified contractor subject
to HSE recommendations.”

The school's head teacher, Denise James-Mason, did not want to
comment about the situation.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scottish Gov't. to Overturn Asbestos Ruling
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Scottish Parliament has vowed to pass a law to overturn a
court ruling that will prevent payouts to sufferers of “pleural
plaques,” a scarring of the lungs caused by inhaling asbestos
fibers, News & Star reports.

However, the Westminster government has angered Labor MPs by
refusing to change the law to get round a Law Lords judgment in
October 2007.

MPs said it would be “absurd” for Cumbrian residents who worked
in Scotland to be denied compensation, while a Scot who worked
in England received it.

Insurance firms argued successfully that they should not be
liable because pleural plaques had no symptoms and was,
therefore, not a disease.

The ruling was described as “outrageous” by Labour MPs, who
argue the condition leads to serious respiratory diseases,
including mesothelioma and lung cancer.

The Scottish National Party-led government in Edinburgh will
bring forward a Bill to deliver justice to sufferers, but only
to those north of the border.

Carlisle MP Eric Martlew is supporting a parliamentary campaign
pressurizing the Government to take action.

At least 160 people in Cumbria have died from asbestos-related
disease since 2000. But the death toll is expected to rise,
peaking as high as 2,450 deaths across Britain by 2015, compared
with 1,922 in 2003.

High-profile asbestos victims have included two former Cumbrian
mayors – Alfred Brumwell from Carlisle and former steel worker
and Copeland mayor James Johnston.

In a Commons debate to counter the anger of MPs, the Government
announced plans for a register of all pleural plaques sufferers.
To be partly funded by insurance companies, the register would
encourage victims to come forward for testing, ministers
believe.

The ruling applied to sufferers of pleural plaques, leaving
insurance firms still liable to pay out on other asbestos-
related compensation cases.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Texas Bldg. Demolished Using Wet Method
----------------------------------------------------------------
The City of Fort Worth, Tex., and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency demolished an asbestos-laden building on Dec.
17, 2007 using a controversial "wet" demolition method, Star-
Telegram reports.

The demolition at the Oak Hollow apartments on Fort Worth's east
side was the first test of the new method in a populated area.
The city notified the media about the demolition after work had
begun.

A spokesman for a national environmental group called the test
"the height of irresponsibility," but a City Council member
defended it.

City Councilman Danny Scarth, whose district includes the
building, said, “The tests have been done a couple of times
before. If they didn't feel, from those tests, it was safe to
bring into a populated area, they wouldn't be here.”

Only one building, the complex's office building, was
demolished. The rest of the complex will be taken down using
methods already approved by the EPA.

Dave Bary, an EPA spokesman, said the EPA and the Department of
State Health Services agreed not to enforce regulations so that
Monday's test could take place.

The Dec. 17, 2007 test is the latest in a long-running national
debate over how best to demolish asbestos-contaminated
structures. The city wanted to use a similar process to demolish
the Cowtown Inn in 2005, but called off that project because of
concerns from environmentalists and health officials.

The federal government now requires that asbestos be removed
from buildings before they are demolished. The alternative
method used in the Oak Hollow demolition calls for soaking the
walls and ceilings with a special foam and tearing down the
building with heavy equipment without removing the asbestos.

If proven effective, the alternative method would make it much
less costly for municipalities across the country to demolish
old asbestos-laden buildings that attract crime and lower
property values.

Two previous tests have been conducted in relatively isolated
areas in Fort Smith, Ark.

Demolition work began at about seven in the morning as people
nearby walked to school and work on Boca Raton Boulevard. An
hour later, an excavator began flattening the building. The EPA
had set up rows of air-sampling monitors at the site. The crews
planned to remove about three inches of dirt to catch any fibers
that soaked into the ground.

It would have taken a specially trained crew two days just to
remove the asbestos under the old method, said EPA project
manager Adele Cardenas Malott.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: More Fears Raised at Silverhill School
----------------------------------------------------------------
A new report states that pupils, teachers and workers involved
in one of Derby, England's worst cases of asbestos contamination
could have been at more risk than first thought and that the
incident should be reviewed again, Evening Telegraph reports.

A campaigning widower, who lost his wife to an asbestos disease,
and one of Britain's leading health experts have joined forces
to highlight their concerns about the Silverhill school
contamination.

Michael Lees, backed by Robin Howie, fears the risks may have
been underestimated. Mr. Lees says that, as a result, parents
and others caught up in it may not have been given the right
advice.

Mr. Lees, whose wife died in 2000 from mesothelioma is working
closely with occupational hygienist and asbestos expert Mr.
Howie.

They are seeking urgent talks with the officials who looked into
the original incident, in the hope that a more accurate risk
assessment can be arrived at.

Routine window replacement at the school led to one of the
biggest asbestos contamination incidents in Derby.

Workmen replacing windows at the school in Draycott Drive
released millions of asbestos fibers into the air. Work went on
for three weeks before anyone realized what was happening.

Derby City Council commissioned air tests and the Institute of
Occupational Medicine was asked to assess the likely future
risks to the health of pupils, school staff and the workmen.

Mr. Lees concedes that the levels of asbestos exposure of the
staff and pupils were low when compared to industrial exposure
levels. However, he argues that the air tests that were carried
out after the contamination was discovered would not have given
a true picture of the level of airborne fibers which would have
been present when the work was being carried out.

Mr. Lees also has concerns about whether enough has been done to
warn people in the incident that it was particularly important
for them to avoid any danger of asbestos exposure in the future.

Mr. Howie is particularly concerned that the Institute did not
recommend that records of the incident should be kept on
people's health or personnel records.

In September 2007, the Health and Safety Executive supplied its
own risk assessment and this contained criticism of some aspects
of the Institute's report as well. This also showed that the
risks for the window workers and teachers were higher than the
institute had estimated.

However, John Cherrie, the Institute of Occupational Medicine's
research director, refutes Mr. Howie's findings. He said, “Mr.
Howie has overestimated the level and duration of exposure. He
has relied on written information about the incident and
misunderstood the real circumstances.”

Meanwhile, city teaching unions are watching the debate
carefully and are concerned that their members have been given
the correct advice.

Dave Wilkinson, Derby branch secretary of the National
Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said, “"We
would like to see all sides sit down and debate these findings
more fully to finally put the matter to rest.”


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Conn. Officials Recall CSI Toys from Stores
----------------------------------------------------------------
Connecticut state officials have pulled the CSI Fingerprint
Examination Kit off store shelves statewide because it may
contain asbestos, WFSB.com reports.

On Dec. 19, 2007, the state Department of Consumer Protection
announced that state officials are pulling the CSI Fingerprint
Examination Kit off store shelves, which could take as many as
two days.

The state said department inspectors have gone to stores
statewide to remove the product, including Sears, Toys 'R Us,
Kay-Bee Toys, Walgreen's, Walmart, Costco and other stores.

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization compiled test
results and sent them to the DCP. The state is sending
information it collects to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission, which may choose to issue a national recall, state
officials said.

State Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell, Sr. said,
“We know that asbestos can create a lifelong health problem for
anyone that gets it into their respiratory system.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
officials said the toy has a type of asbestos called tremolite,
a durable type of asbestos fiber.

Mr. Farrell said the substance is present in the toy's
fingerprint powder. He said children who use the powder could
blow on the fingerprint slide while playing with the toy.

State officials recommend that anyone who has the toy should
return in to the store from where the it was purchased.

Mr. Farrell said, “We are now investigating how the
manufacturer, Planet Toys Inc. from New York, and various
retailers responded to the results of the original 18-month
scientific study.”


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Reaches Deal with Gov't. Over Cleanup
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to documents filed on Dec. 21, 2007 in the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court, W.R. Grace & Co. reached an agreement with
federal regulators over environmental cleanup costs at 33
contaminated sites, The Associated Press reports.

The proposed deal would cancel bankruptcy claims seeking to
recoup the costs of eradicating contamination from 33 sites
filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of the Interior,
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers.

The Company has been operating under Chapter 11 protection since
2001 after being swamped with claims for damages from toxic
products.

On Dec. 19, 2007, Denver-based lawyers for the U.S. Department
of Justice environmental enforcement section said several
government agencies had agreed to settle claims filed in the
Company's bankruptcy case.

Terms of the bankruptcy settlement grant the United States a
general unsecured claim of US$34 million in the Company's
Chapter 11 case, and a top-level priority claim of US$2.3
million, court documents say.

Hearings are slated to start in January 2008 on how much the
Company owes people with injuries linked to its asbestos
products. The outcome of that proceeding will determine whether
the Company can make good on its pledge to pay all bills or
whether, as asbestos plaintiffs' lawyers contend, the Company's
asbestos damages exceed the value of the company.

Sites involved in the settlement announced on Dec. 19, 2007 are
located in Wisconsin, South Carolina, California, Maryland,
Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Utah, Illinois, New York, Texas,
Michigan, Colorado, North Dakota, Connecticut, Washington,
Minnesota and New Jersey.

A portion of the settlement funds will also pay for costs of the
probe by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at
Grace's Libby, Mont., vermiculite mining operation, according to
documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.

Columbia, Md.-based W.R. Grace & Co. engages in specialty
chemicals and specialty materials businesses through two
operating segments: “Grace Davison,” which includes silica- and   
alumina-based catalysts and materials used in a wide range of
industrial applications; and “Grace Performance Chemicals,”
which includes specialty chemicals and materials used in
commercial and residential construction and in rigid food and
beverage packaging. The Company conducts its business through
W.R. Grace & Co.-Conn., a direct, wholly owned subsidiary.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ill. Court Awards $2.6M in Damages to Widow
----------------------------------------------------------------
A jury in McLean County, Ill., has awarded US$2.6 million to
Ruth Watkins, the widow of John Watkins who died of asbestos-
related disease, WJBC reports.

According to the lawsuit, Mr. Watkins was exposed to asbestos
when he worked at the Union Asbestos & Rubber Co., later known
as Unarco Industries Inc., in Bloomington, Ill., during the
summer of 1962 and 1963. He was not warned of the dangers of
asbestos, the plaintiffs contend.

The jury found that Honeywell International Inc. “had conspired
with other companies, including Unarco, Johns-Manville Corp.,
Raybestos-Manhattan, Owens-Illinois Inc., Owens Corning, and
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. to suppress information about
the hazards of asbestos, including an agreement not to warn
their employees and customers about the hazards of asbestos,”
the Watkins family’s lawyers said after the verdict.

Honeywell merged with Bendix, a company that owned the Unarco
asbestos plant that used to be on West Perry Street.

The 64-year-old Mr. Watkins first experienced mesothelioma in
2004 and he died on Sept. 23, 2005.

Lawyer Lisa Corwin says Mr. John Watkins died a painful, long
death in which his body slowly deteriorated.

Central Illinois Railroad, which hauled in the asbestos, will
also pay a portion of the damages for allegedly knowing about
hazards and doing nothing to warn workers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: N.Y. County to Pay $10T Fine for DEC Breach
----------------------------------------------------------------
Legislators in Cayuga County, N.Y., have agreed to pay US$10,000
for state Department of Environmental Conservation violations
linked to illegal asbestos removal at the County Board of
Elections building in March 2006, The Citizen reports.

The DEC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will not
take further action in a case that led to the conviction of John
Chick, who pleaded guilty to Clean Air Act violations this year.

According to County Attorney Fred Westphal, maximum fines varied
between US$250,000 for one violation to US$25,000 per day in the
months the incident went unreported.

The County still faces several class-action suits brought by
employees and members of the public who contend they were
exposed to asbestos. Federal prosecutors have indicated they
will not file criminal charges against the County.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Halts Jail Construction in Texas
----------------------------------------------------------------
The discovery of asbestos has stopped renovation works on the
Matagorda County Jail project in Texas until January 2008, The
Bay City Tribune reports.

The building where the asbestos was discovered was built in
1982.

Tests returned positive for asbestos in the glue in floor tiles
and some plumbing pipes, and Bass Construction crews shut down
demolition of the building, said George Deshotels, Pct. 2
commissioner, during Commissioner’s Court on Dec. 17, 2007.

Russell McCown, project manager with Bass Construction, applied
on Dec. 13, 2007 for a state permit to remove the asbestos from
the building, Mr. Deshotels said.

The state needs 10 business days to issue a permit. Construction
will not resume before about Jan. 20, 2007, Mr. Deshotels said.

Mr. McCown said that a certified asbestos removal contractor
will be hired by the county to remove the asbestos at a cost of
about US$70,000.

In a later interview, Mr. Deshotels said that the asbestos
removal is an added expense to the jail project.

Originally, commissioners earmarked US$6.3 million for the
construction project. Bids for the project came in at US$4.8
million, US$1.5 million less than commissioners planned.

Mr. McCown said the asbestos found at the jail site is not
airborne. It was found in the glue that holds the floor tiles to
the floor and in hard-cased pipefittings.

Commissioners discussed alternative strategies, including
encasing the asbestos, particularly on the floor, but agreed
that complete removal would prevent problems and save taxpayers
money in the future.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Md. Schools May Face Major Hazard Expenses
----------------------------------------------------------------
Maryland schools systems could be faced with major expenses if a
new interpretation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
stands, Cumberland Times News reports.

According to EPA spokeswoman Donna Heron, in 2006, Maryland
schools were notified that manufacturers' sheets could not be
used to determine whether products contain asbestos.

The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, which was founded in
1986 and clarified in 1999, allows schools to use those data
safety sheets to determine whether products contain asbestos,
according to Vince Montana, director of facilities for the
Allegany County Board of Education.

The EPA said it never accepted the data sheets under asbestos
regulation. Schools were notified that the sheets could not be
used in September 2006 after the Maryland Department of the
Environment asked the EPA a "clarifying question," according to
Ms. Heron.

David Lever, executive director of the state public school
construction program, has written a letter requesting some
clarification on the issue, said Mr. Montana.

Mr. Lever said, “If you assume there is asbestos, the smallest
repair you make you either have to abate asbestos, which might
not be there, or you might have to set up very involved
protection. The new structure, which does not allow for MSDS
(manufacturers' data) sheets, has huge consequences on school
systems and buildings.”

According to Mr. Montana, the interpretation applies to EPA
region 3, which includes Maryland, Delaware, Virginia,
Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Washington.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal-Mogul to Exit Bankruptcy on Dec. 27
----------------------------------------------------------------
Federal-Mogul Corp., on Dec. 18, 2007, said that it expects to
emerge from bankruptcy on Dec. 27, 2007, Detroit Free Press
reports.

The Company has been in bankruptcy more than six years, settling
hundreds of thousands of asbestos lawsuits stemming from
companies that the Company had acquired.

When the Company emerges, it plans to allocate 50.1 percent of
the stock in the reorganized company to pay asbestos claims.
Financier Carl Icahn is expected to then buy 43 percent of the
Company from the asbestos trust, supplying the trust with cash
to distribute and making Mr. Icahn the controlling shareholder.

The Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 1,
2001.

Southfield, Mich.-based Federal-Mogul Corp. makes components for
cars, trucks, and construction vehicles. Its products include
chassis and engine parts, pistons, and sealing systems sold
under brand names like Federal-Mogul, Glyco, and Signal-Stat.
The Company also distributes auto parts to aftermarket
customers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court OKs NJI’s Move in Case v. Lumbermens
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Massachusetts, Worcester County, granted
Neles-Jamesbury Inc.’s (NJI) motion to compel production of
documents, in an asbestos-related insurance action in which
Lumberbens Mutual Insurance Co. is a defendant.

The case is styled Neles-Jamesbury Inc. v. Liberty Mutual
Insurance Co. et al.

Justice Peter W. Agnes, Jr. entered judgment of Case No. 020982A
on Oct. 15, 2007.

This is an insurance coverage action in which NJI alleged that
the defendant insurers are obligated to defend and indemnify NJI
against underlying claims arising from NJI's alleged manufacture
and sale of asbestos-containing products.

Initially, NJI sued three insurers. Two of the insurers, Liberty
Mutual Insurance Co. and Employers Insurance Company of Wausau
settled with NJI. Before that settlement the court had dismissed
several policies because those policies appeared to contain an
asbestos exclusion or because no insurance policy was issued.

Three defendants remained in this case. Those three are
Lumbermens, Century Indemnity Co., and St. Paul Fire and Marine
Insurance Co.

NJI’s discovery motion sought to compel Lumbermens to produce
all documents responsive to NJI’s Document Request dated July
17, 2007.

NJI claimed that the discovery was necessary to establish the
liability of Lumbermens and added that it also is relevant
because Lumbermens has publicly expressed concerns raising the
potential that it may become insolvent.

Lumbermens denied that they are insolvent and asserted that the
failure to pay NJI up to this point has been the result of the
unreasonableness of the demands of NJI and limitation of
coverage under the policy itself.

Lumbermens also claimed that they have paid, and continue to
pay, a share of NJI’s defense costs. Additionally, Lumbermens
claimed that NJI sought reimbursement of costs before the time
NJI notified Lumbermens, which costs Lumbermens is not
responsible for.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Texas Court Junks Spencer Action v. Warden
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court, W.D. Texas, El Paso Division, dismissed
an action, which involved exposure to asbestos, filed by
Fernando Spencer against Warden M. Travis Bragg.

The case was styled Fernando Spencer, Petitioner, v. Warden M.
Travis Bragg, Respondent.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone entered judgment of Case
No. EP-07-CA-160-KC on Nov. 9, 2007.

Before the Court is Mr. Spencer’s application for habeas corpus.
Therein, Mr. Spencer, a federal prisoner incarcerated at the
Federal Correctional Institution--La Tuna, asserted Mr. Bragg
violated his constitutional rights when Mr. Bragg:

(1) Assigned Mr. Spencer to work in a laundry facility where he
was exposed to friable asbestos;

(2) Denied Mr. Spencer adequate medical care after his asbestos
exposure;

(3) Reclassified and transferred Mr. Spencer to a higher
security facility without justification; and

(4) Confiscated Mr. Spencer's personal property, including legal
materials, before he placed Mr. Spencer in a special housing
unit.

Mr. Spencer sought “relief to which he may be entitled.” Mr.
Bragg countered with a “Motion to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment.”

Mr. Spencer claimed that Mr. Bragg was deliberately indifferent
to Mr. Spencer’s medical and dental needs, and interfered with
collateral proceedings in Mr. Spencer's criminal case.

Accordingly, the Court granted Mr. Bragg’s “Motion to Dismiss
or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment.” The Court
denied Mr. Spencer’s “Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus.”

The Court also dismissed Mr. Spencer’s cause without prejudice
for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

Fernando Spencer, Anthony, N.M., pro se.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Matter in Harper Action Set Aside, Remanded
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims set aside and
remanded a matter in which the Board of Veterans’ Appeals denied
U.S. Navy and Army veteran Charles Harper service connection for
depression, in an action that involves asbestos exposure.

The case is styled Charles Harper, Appellant, v. Gordon H.
Mansfield, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Appellee.

Judge Davis entered judgment of Case No. 05-2737 on Nov. 21,
2007.

Mr. Harper appealed pro se from a June 22, 2005  Board decision
denying service connection for diabetes, tinnitus, hearing loss,
neuropathy involving both legs and hands, depression, a urinary
disorder, a pulmonary disorder as a result of asbestos exposure,
and a heart disorder to include hypertension.

This appeal was timely.

Mr. Mansfield argued that the appeal should be dismissed because
Mr. Harper failed to contest the issues decided by the Board.
However, the Court noted that Mr. Harper was proceeding pro se.

Because Mr. Harper, in his informal brief, loosely asserted that
he suffers from a mental illness and seeks a medical
examination, the Court construed the arguments as an appeal of
the Board's denial of service connection for depression.

Since Mr. Harper neither identified other error in the Board's
decision now before the Court, nor referred to any other aspect
of the Board's decision, the Court considered abandoned all
other issues decided by the Board.

After consideration of the parties' briefs and a review of the
record, the part of the Board's June 22, 2005, decision denying
service connection for depression was set aside and remanded.


                  New Securities Fraud Cases


HUNTINGTON BANCSHARES: Coughlin Stoia Files Securities Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP and David P. Meyer &
Associates Co., LPA announced that a class action has been
commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Ohio on behalf of purchasers of Huntington
Bancshares Incorporated ("Huntington") common stock during the
period between July 20, 2007 and November 16, 2007.

The complaint charges Huntington and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.

Huntington operates as the holding company for The Huntington
National Bank ("Huntington National"), which provides retail and
commercial financial products and services.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the
Company's business and financial results. Huntington had
acquired more than $1.5 billion in exposure to subprime
mortgages with its July 2007 acquisition of Sky Financial Group,
Inc. ("Sky Financial").

As the real estate and credit markets continued to soften,
defendants repeatedly assured Huntington investors that the
Company had undertaken significant preparations and implemented
defensive measures to weather the deteriorating real estate and
credit markets. By the time Huntington closed the merger with
Sky Financial, the housing and credit crisis had deepened, yet
defendants continued to conceal Huntington's growing exposure to
these problems so as to not acknowledge the acquisition was a
debacle so soon after it closed. As a result of defendants'
false statements, Huntington stock traded at an artificially
inflated price of approximately $18 per share during much of the
Class Period.

Then, on November 16, 2007, Huntington announced its fourth
quarter 2007 financial results, stating that as a result of the
recently announced actions of Franklin Credit Management
Corporation, which had a commercial lending relationship with
Sky Financial, and related deterioration in Franklin's mortgage
portfolios, 2007 fourth quarter results for Huntington were
expected to include an after-tax charge of up to $300 million,
or $0.81 per common share. As a result of this charge,
Huntington would report a 2007 fourth quarter net loss.

On this news, Huntington's stock dropped from $16.08 per share
to as low as $14.38 per share, closing at $14.75 per share on
November 16, 2007 on volume of over 10 million shares.

According to the complaint, the true facts, which were known by
defendants but concealed from the investing public during the
Class Period, were as follows:

     (a) the Company had far greater exposure to anticipated
         losses and defaults in its home loan portfolio,
         particularly with subprime debt exposure arising from
         Sky Financial, than it had previously disclosed; and

     (b) defendants' Class Period statements about the Company's
         financial results were materially false due to its
         failure to record timely and adequate accruals for
         losses on its exposure to delinquent subprime
         mortgages.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers
of Huntington common stock during the Class Period.

For more information, contact:

          Darren Robbins
          Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP
          Phone: 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058
          E-mail: djr@csgrr.com


                           *********


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

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

Copyright 2007.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
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