CAR_Public/071228.mbx ÔĽŅ            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

          Friday, December 28, 2007, Vol. 9, No. 256

                            Headlines


AT&T INC: Subsidiaries Accused of Monopoly Conspiracy in TX Suit
BEAR STEARNS: Appellate Court Revives Shareholders' Lawsuit
BIOENVISION INC: Lead Plaintiff in N.Y. Securities Lawsuit Named
DAIMLERCHRYSLER CORP: Part-Timers File Lawsuit in Michigan
ECOST.COM INC: Sued for Labor Code Violations in California

ELECTRONICS COS: Faces FLSA Violations Lawsuit in California
EMPIRE SILVER: Recalls Teething Rings Due to Choking Hazard
HIGHMARK INC: Feb. 2008 Hearing Set for Deal on Rick Love Suit
HSBC FINANCE: Discovery Ongoing in N.Y. Interchange Fee Lawsuit
HSBC FINANCE: Expert Discovery in Ill. Suit to End in December

HSBC FINANCE: Faces Discrimination Lawsuits in Calif. & Mass.
INTUIT INC: QuickBooks Error Caused Huge Data Loss, CA Suit Says
KEY ENERGY: Feb. 2008 Hearing Set for TX Class Action Settlement
KOST TIRE: Agrees to Settle Former Employee's Overtime Lawsuit
MAN'S TRADING: Recalls Super Magnet Toys That Could Be Swallowed

NORTHWEST BIOTHERAPEUTICS: Gives Securities Fraud Suits Update
PC MALL: Calif. Court Order Arbitration, Stay in Hanzy Lawsuit
PC MALL: Calif. Court Order Arbitration, Stay in Whitmill Case
RIVER VALLEY: Faces Suit in Ind. Over Money Lost in Trust Fund
ROGERS INT'L: Watkins Class Action in N.Y. Still Stayed

ROGERS INT'L: Jan. 9, 2008 Status Conference Set for Lanes Suit
ROLLING STONE: Bands File Calif. Litigation Over Cigarette Ads
SPECIALTY MERCHANDISE: Recalls Candle Sets Due to Fire Hazard
SPRINT COMMS: March 3, 2008 Hearing Set for $25M USF Settlement
VALLEY PACIFIC: Faces Calif. Lawsuit Over Unpaid Meal Breaks

VERIZON WIRELESS: Faces Lawsuit in N.J. Over Customer Fraud


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CSK Auto Still Has Product Liability Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Rules Against P.P.C. in Zuluaga Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mont. Court Favors Plaintiff in Kessel Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: N.C. Court Dismisses Ex-inmate's Complaint
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ruling Favoring GE Upheld on Appeal in Ky.   

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Deere & Co. Faces Product Liability Actions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Over 1,000 Suits Are Pending v. Joy Global
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Esterline Subject to Potential Liabilities
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Feldman Mall Accrues $1.71M for Remediation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: SC Junks Deschenes Award in Favor of Reed

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeals Court Favors Garlock in Wright Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ky. Appeals Court Ruling Favors Pneumo Abex
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ky. Couple Sues 14 Companies in W.Va. Court
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Pipes Left in U.K. Road Pose Risks
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ill. Court Cases Up By Over 100 Since 2006

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Research Medical Faces $84T Fine for Breach
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. Widow Not Satisfied with Payout Hike
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CARD Clinic Set to Receive Federal Money
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Woodford to Build 164 Homes on Ex-Akzo Site
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Conn. Firefighters Concerned About Exposure

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Students Exposed to Hazard at Calif. School
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Lawyer to Urge Judge to Nullify Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wis. Residents to Evacuate Homes by Jan. 7
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bridgemarts Ltd. Fined GBP3,442 for Breach
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Forces Closure of Village Hall Area

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Former Judges to be Imprisoned for Bribery
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: N.Y. Sewage Treatment Plant Workers Exposed
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: T.H. Agriculture to Amend Notice of Removal
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Summary Judgment Bids OK'd in Clemens Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Dismisses Preston Action to Favor BAE

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Upholds Board Ruling in Ingram Action


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

WSB FINANCIAL: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Fraud Suit in WA


                            *********  

AT&T INC: Subsidiaries Accused of Monopoly Conspiracy in TX Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, d/b/a/ AT&T Southwest d/b/a
AT&T Texas d/b/a AT&T Datacomm (AT&T Southwest), is facing a
class-action complaint filed Dec. 21 in the U.S. District Court
for the Western District of Texas accusing it of conspiring with
managers of apartments and gated communities in five states to
monopolize Internet, video and voice services in multiple-
dwelling complexes by paying de facto bribes to exclude
competing providers, the CourtHouse News Service reports.

Also named defendants in the complaint:

          -- AT&T Video Services, Inc. d/b/a AT&T Home
             Entertainment
          -- SBC ADvanced Solutions, Inc. d/b/a AT&T Advanced
             Solutions
          -- AT&T, Inc.
          -- Parkmeed Malibu Canyon LLC, II
          -- Parkmeed Malibu Canyon LLC
          -- Richard H. Moran
          -- Robert and Christa Wells as trustees of the Wells
             Revocable Trust dated July 2, 2002
          -- Castle Hills, LP
          -- GE-CWS Pool, LLC
          -- Renaissance at West Avenue Apartments, LP
          -- Buca Weest Avenue Genpar, LLC

Named plaintiffs Wampler and Michael J. Peacock brought the
action pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 on behalf of owners,
residents, and tenants:

     (1) currently residing in or owning a unit or dwelling  
         place in MDU located in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma,
         Kansas or Missouri;

     (2) for which MDU defendants have contracted with the AT&T  
         defendants for exclusive rights, or honored the
         contract.

The Plaintiffs ask the court to rule on:

     (a) whether the exclusive contracts are illegal;

     (b) whether the exclusive contracts are against public
         policy;

     (c) whether the exclusive contracts are void;

     (d) whether the exclusive contracts are unenforceable;

     (e) whether the exclusive contracts violate the antitrust
         laws of the United States of America;

     (f) whether the exclusive contracts constitute an unfair
         and unlawful method of competition;

     (g) whether the AT&T defendants have any valid defenses to
         the violations of antitrust laws resulting from the
         exclusive contracts; and

     (h) whether the MDU defendants have any valid defenses to
         the violations of antitrust laws resulting from the
         exclusive contracts.

The Plaintiffs seek a temporary and permanent injunction to
enjoin the AT&T defendants, the MDU defendants, and their
respective subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, servants,
employees, and attorneys, and all those in active concert or
participation with any of them who receive actual notice of the
injunction by personal service or otherwise from:

     (i) engaging in unlawful conduct of which is complained of;
         or

    (ii) enforcing the exclusive access and provider contracts
         and easements complained of.

The Plaintiffs seek trial by jury.  The Plaintiffs also ask the
Court to enter judgment awarding them:

     -- temporary and permanent injunction;

     -- disgorgement and award of any profits, benefits,
        payments, residuals, or kick-backs received by the MDU
        defendants as a result of these agreements;

     -- disgorgement and award of any profits received by the
        AT&T defendants as a result of these agreements;

     -- actual damages as trebled;

     -- pre-judgment interest;

     -- post-judgment interest;

     -- costs of suit including attorneys' fees;

     -- all writs necessary to effectuate the judgment; and

     -- other and further relief, both general and special,
        at law or in equity, to which plaintiffs may be
        entitled.

The suit is "Lindsey Wampler et al v. Southwestern Bell
Telephone company et al., Cause No. A07CA1039LY," filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Randall A. Pulman, Esq.
          Elliott S. Cappucciom, Esq.
          Lance H. Beshara, Esq.
          Pulman, Cappuccio & Pullen, LLP
          2161 NW Military Highway, Suite 400
          San Antonio, Texas 78213
          Phone: (210) 222-9494
          Fax: (210)892-1610
          E-mail: rpulman@pulmanlaw.com or
                  ecappuccio@pulmanlaw.com or
                  lbeshara@pulmanlaw.com
          Web site: http://www.pulmanlaw.com

          -- and --

          Royal B. Lea, III, Esq.
          Bingham & Lea, PC
          319 Maverick Street
          San Antonio, Texas 78212
          Phone: (210) 224-1819
          Fax: (210) 224-0141
          E-mail: royal@binghamandlea.com


BEAR STEARNS: Appellate Court Revives Shareholders' Lawsuit
-----------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Appeals Court for the Second Circuit revived a class
action against Bear Stearns & Co. after overturning a federal
judge's order granting settlement with shareholders who
implicated the broker in a fraud scheme that led to the collapse
of now-defunct securities firm Sterling Foster & Co., Christine
Caulfield of Securities Law360 reports.

The appeals court vacated the settlement and returned the case
to the lower court, ruling that the settlement was reached
before sufficient inquiry into evidence of Bear Stearns'
wrongdoing and is, accordingly, unfair.

The case was appealed from the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of New York, which denied a 2004 bid by
plaintiffs The Levitt Group to be appointed lead plaintiff and
gave final settlement approval in October 2006, Ms. Caulfield
said.

According to the report, the Second Circuit found that the
District Court had not given adequate consideration to the
likelihood of success against Bear Stearns on the merits.  
The Second Circuit noted that certain Sterling Foster
representatives, who have since been convicted of crimes related
to the case, could now provide additional information against
the firm.

The Second Circuit also vacated the lower court's decision
denying the Levitt Group's bid for lead plaintiff status. After
the claims of the major class were dismissed by the District
Court as time-barred, it had the largest financial stake in the
outcome of the case, the Second Circuit said.

The case is "Robert Levitt et al. v Thomas Rogers et al., case
number 06-cv-5298," in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit.

The Bear Stearns Companies Inc. (NYSE: BSC) --  
http://www.bearstearns.com/-- is the parent company of Bear,  
Stearns & Co. Inc., a global investment banking, securities
trading and brokerage firm.  Headquartered in New York City,
Bear Stearns has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas,
Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Juan.  Bear Stearns
maintains an international presence with offices in Beijing,
Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Lugano, Milan, Sao Paulo, Shanghai,
Singapore, and Tokyo.

Bear Stearns' Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands-based Bear Stearns
High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Master
Fund Ltd. and Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit
Strategies Master Fund Ltd. filed filed winding up petitions
under the Companies Law (2007 Revision) of the Cayman Islands on  
July 30, 2007.  The Bear Stearns Funds are open-ended investment
companies, which sought high income and capital appreciation
relative to the London Interbank Offered Rate, and designed for
long-term investors.

Simon Lovell Clayton Whicker and Kristen Beighton at KPMG were
appointed joint liquidators in the Cayman Islands proceedings.  
The joint liquidators filed for Chapter 15 petitions before the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York the
next day.  On August 30, 2007, the Honorable Burton R. Lifland
denied the Funds protection under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy
Code.

Fred S. Hodara, Esq., Lisa G. Beckerman, Esq., and David F.
Staber, Esq., at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, represent
the liquidators in the United States.  The Funds' assets and
debts are estimated to be more than $100,000,000 each.  (Bear
Stearns Funds Bankruptcy News; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service
Inc.; http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000).


BIOENVISION INC: Lead Plaintiff in N.Y. Securities Lawsuit Named
----------------------------------------------------------------
Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck of the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York has named Gary Thesling as
lead plaintiff in a securities fraud class action against
Bioenvision, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIVN), Daniel Wise of the New York
Law Journal reports.

Judge Peck has selected the shareholder with the largest losses
despite "sloppy drafting" that gave rise to a charge that the
proposed class representative was seeking an inappropriate stake
in the action.

In July, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of persons who sold
shares of Bioenvision between May 1, 2007 and May 28, 2007,
inclusive (Class Action Reporter, July 19, 2007).

The class period may be expanded to extend for some period of
time before May 1, 2007, such that it is possible that those who
sold Company shares for some indefinite period of time before
May 1, 2007, may be included in the class ultimately before the
Court.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period defendants
violated the federal securities laws by issuing a series of
materially false and misleading statements to the market about
the Company and by failing to disclose material information
about the Company's plan to merge with Genzyme and that when the
market learned the truth, the price of Bioenvision securities
increased substantially.

The complaint, filed by Squitieri & Fearon, claimed that
Bioenvision's shareholders had sustained losses because the
biopharmaceutical company had failed to timely disclose "a
definitive" merger agreement, causing them to sell shares at an
"artificially" deflated price.

The class members claim they sold their Bioenvision stock at an
average of $4 per share during periods relevant to the lawsuit
when they could have realized a price of $5.60 had they held
their shares until the merger was completed, said Olimpio Lee
Squitieri. The result, he said, was a loss of approximately 40
percent per share sold.

Bioenvision, Inc. -- http://www.bioenvision.com-- is a product-
orientated biopharmaceutical company primarily engaged in the
acquisition, development, distribution and marketing of
compounds and technologies for the treatment of cancer,
autoimmune disease and infection.


DAIMLERCHRYSLER CORP: Part-Timers File Lawsuit in Michigan
----------------------------------------------------------
DaimlerChrysler Corp. and DaimlerChrysler, LLC are facing a
class-action complaint filed Dec. 21 in the Wayne County Circuit
Court for the State of Michigan alleging the automaker cheated
workers by promising them full-time jobs if they worked as part-
timers for two years, and refusing to make good on the promise,
the CourtHouse News Service reports.

Named plaintiffs John Hyde and John Kawam brought the action on
behalf of a class consisting of all temporary part-time hourly
employees at DaimlerChrysler's facility located at 21500 Mound
Road, Warren, Michigan, who were:

     (i) employed in such capacity between Feb. 1, 2002 and
         Dec. 31, 2002;

    (ii) had been continuously employed in such position from a
         date prior to Dec. 21, 2000; and

   (iii) were denied employment as full-time permanent employees
         following the completion of two years of employment, in
         breach of their contract with defendant.

The Plaintiffs want the court to rule on whether:

     (a) defendant's practice and policy from 1997 through 2002
         was to promise, individuals hired as temporary part-
         time hourly employees, both orally and in writing,
         that, if they worked for defendant in that capacity for
         two years, defendant would hire them as permanent full-
         time hourly employees prior to hiring new full-time
         hourly employees;

     (b) from Feb. 2002 to Dec. 31, 2002, defendant hired in
         excess of 200 individuals as full-time hourly
         employees;

     (c) during the period from Feb. 2002 to Dec. 31, 2002,
         defendant refused to hire or even consider for hire any
         of the temporary part-time employees who had worked for
         defendant for at least two years prior to date
         defendant hired a full-time permanent hourly employee;
         and

     (d) representative plaintiffs and the class are entitled to
         monetary damages, which can be calculated
         arithmetically.

The Plaintiffs request:

     -- acceptance of jurisdiction of this cause;

     -- certification of the case as a class action on behalf of
        the proposed plaintiff class, and designation of the
        plaintiffs as representatives of the class and their
        counsel as class counsel;

     -- judgment that defendant has breached its contract with
        plaintiff class;

     -- an award of back pay, front pay, the value of lost
        benefits and other equitable relief for the plaintiffs
        and the class they seek to represent;

     -- an award of litigation costs and expenses, including
        reasonable attorney fees to the plaintiffs and class
        members;

     -- pre-judgment and post-judgment interest; and

     -- other and further relief as the court may deem just
        and proper.

The suit is "John Hyde et al. v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., Case No.
07-733424," filed in the Wayne County Circuit Court, in the
State of Michigan, under Judge Gershwin A. Drain.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Ronald Reosti, Esq.
          Ralph Sirlin, Esq.
          Reosti, James & Sirlin, PC
          23880 Woodward Avenue
          Pleasant Ridge, Michigan 48069
          Phone: (248) 691-4200

          -- and --

          Barry S. Fagan, Esq.
          Darcie R. Brault, Esq.
          Dib, Fagan, & Brault, PC
          25982 Woodward Avenue
          Royal Oak, Michigan 48067
          Phone: (248) 542-6300


ECOST.COM INC: Sued for Labor Code Violations in California
-----------------------------------------------------------
eCOST.com, Inc., a subsidiary of PFSweb, Inc., faces a purported
class action in the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles
County, entitled, "Darral Frank and Joseph F. Keeley, Jr. v. PC
Mall, Inc. d/b/a eCOST.com and eCOST.com, Inc."

The purported class consists of all of current and former sales
representatives who worked for the defendants in California from
July 24, 2003 through July 24, 2007.

The lawsuit, filed on July 25, 2007, alleges that the defendants
failed to pay overtime compensation and interest, failed to
timely pay compensation to terminated employees and failed to
provide meal and rest periods, all in violation of the
California Labor Code and Business and Professions Code.

The complaint seeks unpaid overtime, statutory penalties,
interest, attorneys' fees, punitive damages, restitution and
injunctive relief, according to PFSweb, Inc.'s Nov. 14, 2007
Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarterly period ended Sept. 30, 2007.  

PFSweb, Inc. -- http://www.pfsweb.com/-- is an international  
provider of integrated business process outsourcing services to
companies seeking to maximize their supply chain efficiencies
and to extend their traditional and e-commerce initiatives.  It
is also a multi-category online discount retailer of new, close-
out and recertified brand-name merchandise.  


ELECTRONICS COS: Faces FLSA Violations Lawsuit in California
------------------------------------------------------------
Nichols, Kaster & Anderson, PLLP filed, on Dec. 19, 2007, a
putative collective action and class action overtime lawsuit on
behalf of current and former employees of Flextronics
International USA, Inc. and Solectron Corporation.

Solectron and Flextronics are both providers of electronics
manufacturing services with locations across the country and the
world. Together the two companies have at least 20 locations in
United States.

The lawsuit alleges that Flextronics and Solectron violated the
federal Fair Labor Standards Act and corresponding state laws by
paying employees by their shift time, rather than the time they
actually worked.

The lawsuit also alleges that the Defendants did not compensate
employees for the time they spent putting on and taking off
protective gear such as smocks, wrist straps and ankles straps,
and the time employees spent going through electro-static
discharge testing.  The lawsuit seeks damages related to
violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and other
state laws.

The lawsuit was brought by four assembly, repair, and technician
employees who worked for the Defendants in California, North
Carolina and Kentucky.  They brought the action as a nationwide
collective action on behalf of themselves and others similarly
situated, as well as a class action in California and Kentucky.

The Plaintiffs' attorney Jessica Clay explained, "These
corporations required their employees to arrive at work early in
order to put on special protective gear and go through electro-
static discharge testing. Although these activities were solely
for the benefit of the employer, Solectron and Flextronics did
not compensate their employees for this time. As a result, we
believe that non-exempt employees of Solectron and Flextronics
across the country were wrongfully denied overtime pay for the
hours they worked."

The suit is "Gil et al v. Solectron Corporation et al., Case
Number: 5:2007cv06414," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California, under Magistrate Judge Howard
R. Lloyd.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          James Kaster
          Jessica Clay
          Matt Helland
          Nichols, Kaster & Anderson, PLLP
          Phone: (612) 256-3202 or (612) 256-3233 or
                 (415) 277-7235


EMPIRE SILVER: Recalls Teething Rings Due to Choking Hazard
-----------------------------------------------------------
Empire Silver Company, of Brooklyn, N.Y., in cooperation with
the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling about
1,000 Sterling Silver Teething Rings.

The company said the silver ball that holds the ring in place
can separate and release the beads inside, posing a choking and
aspiration hazard to infants.  No injuries have been reported.

The recalled sterling silver teething rings were sold in three
styles: single ring with ball, single ring with heart and ball,
and three rings with ball. The hollow ring has small beads
inside that make a rattling sound and a ball soldered between
the rings.

The recalled teething rings were manufactured in the United
States and sold at independent jewelry, gift, specialty and
department stores nationwide during November 2007 for between
$50 and $120.

Picture of recalled teething rings:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08148.jpg

Consumers are advised to immediately take the teething rings
from infants and return them to the store where purchased for a
full refund or replacement.

For additional information, contact Empire Silver Company at
(800) 255-9475 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through
Friday, or visit the company's Web site:
http://www.empiresilver.com


HIGHMARK INC: Feb. 2008 Hearing Set for Deal on Rick Love Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
will hold a fairness hearing on Feb. 11, 2008, at 9:30 a.m. for
the proposed settlement by certain defendants in the class
action, "Rick Love, M.D., et al., v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Association, et al., Case No. 03-21296."

The hearing will be held in the U.S. Courthouse, Courtroom IV,
Tenth Floor, Federal Justice Building, 99 Northeast Fourth
Street, Miami, Florida 33132.

The Defendants involved in the proposed settlement are:

       -- Highmark Inc.,

       -- Keystone Health Plan West, Inc.,

       -- Highmark West Virginia, Inc. (d/b/a/ Mountain
          State Blue Cross Blue Shield), and

       -- Parker Benefits, Inc. (d/b/a/ Super Blue HMO).

The case is over payments to physicians, physicians groups, and
physician organizations.  The suit generally alleges that during
a period of 8-1/2 years beginning in May 1999, Highmark and
other insurers "engaged in a conspiracy to improperly deny,
delay and/or reduce payment to physicians, physician groups and
physician organizations by engaging in several types of
allegedly improperly conduct" (Class Action Reporter, Dec. 3,
2007).

The suit further alleges that the improper conduct violated the
federal statute known as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act.

Though denying all allegations, representatives of Highmark, and
its affiliated companies, including Keystone Health Plan West,
Highmark West Virginia Inc., doing business as Mountain State
Blue Cross Blue Shield, along with Parker Benefits Inc., doing
business as Super Blue HMO, recently opted to settle the matter,
citing significant costs involved in litigating the lawsuit.  

According to a preliminary settlement obtained by The Pittsburgh
Tribune-Review:

       -- Highmark and its affiliated defendants agree to set up
          a settlement fund totaling nearly $10 million.

       -- Highmark and its affiliated defendants agreed to pay
          attorney's fees not to exceed $3.8 million.

       -- The insurers agreed to pay $7,500 per plaintiff.  It's
          unknown how many plaintiffs could be part of this
          agreement.

In a prepared statement, Highmark said that "Like other
commercial insurers and the majority of Blue Cross and Blue
Shield companies and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association,
Highmark has entered into a settlement agreement of a national
class action lawsuit brought by physicians, pending final
approval by the U.S. District Court in Miami."

For more details, contact:

          Highmark/Mountain State
          Settlement Administrator
          P.O. Box 3775
          Portland, OR 97208-3775
          Phone: (866) 486-1725
          Web site: http://www.highmarkphysiciansettlement.com/

          Harley S. Tropin, Esq.
          Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, P.A.
          2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd., 9th Floor
          Coral Gables, FL 33134
          Phone: (305) 372-1800 or (305) 377-0662
          Fax: (305) 372-3508
          E-mail: hst@kttlaw.com

          Archie Lamb, Esq.
          2900 1st Avenue
          Birmingham, AL 35233
          Phone: (205) 324-4644 or (800) 324-4425
          Fax: (205) 324-4649
          E-mail: Alamb@ArchieLamb.com

               -- and --

          Edith M. Kallas, Esq.
          Whatley Drake & Kallas LLC
          1540 Broadway, 37th Floor
          New York, New York 10036
          Phone: 212-447-7070
          Fax: 212-447-7077
          E-mail: ekallas@whatleydrake.com
          Web site: http://www.whatleydrake.com


HSBC FINANCE: Discovery Ongoing in N.Y. Interchange Fee Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is ongoing in the class action "In re Payment Card
Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL-
1720," involving HSBC Finance Corp. and two of its affiliates as
defendants.

Since June 2005, the company, HSBC North America Holdings Inc.,
and HSBC Holdings plc, as well as other banks and the Visa and
Master Card associations, were named as defendants in four class
actions filed in Connecticut and the Eastern District of New
York.

The suits are:

      -- "Photos Etc. Corp. et al. v. Visa U.S.A., Inc., et al.,
         (D. Conn. No. 3:05-CV-01007 (WWE))";

      -- "National Association of Convenience Stores, et al. v.
         Visa U.S.A., Inc., et al. (E.D.N.Y. No. 05-CV 4520
         (JG))";

      -- "Jethro Holdings, Inc., et al. v. Visa U.S.A., Inc. et
         al. (E.D.N.Y. No. 05-CV-4521 (JG))"; and

      -- "American Booksellers Ass'n v. Visa U.S.A., Inc. et al.
         (E.D.N.Y. No. 05-CV-5391 (JG))."

Numerous other complaints containing similar allegations ‚€“ in
which no HSBC entity is named -- were filed across the country
against Visa, MasterCard and other banks.  

The actions principally allege that the imposition of a no-
surcharge rule by the associations or the establishment of the
interchange fee charged for credit card transactions causes the
merchant discount fee paid by retailers to be set at supra-
competitive levels in violation of the Federal antitrust laws.

In response to motions of the plaintiffs on Oct. 19, 2005, the
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order
consolidating these suits and transferred all of the cases to
the Eastern District of New York.

The consolidated case is known as "In re Payment Card
Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL
1720, E.D.N.Y."  The plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended
complaint on April 24, 2006.  Discovery has begun since.

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 "In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant
Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL-1720, Master Docket No. 1:05-
md-01720-JG-CLP," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of New York under Judge John H. Gleeson.

Representing the company is:

         David Sapir Lesser, Esq.
         Wilmer Cutler of Pickering Hale & Dorr, LLP
         399 Park Avenue
         New York, NY 10022
         Phone: 212-230-8800
         Fax: 212-230-8811
         E-mail: david.lesser@wilmerhale.com


HSBC FINANCE: Expert Discovery in Ill. Suit to End in December
--------------------------------------------------------------
Expert discovery in a consolidated securities class action
pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois against HSBC Finance Corp. and other defendants is
expected to end by December 2007.

In August 2002, the company restated previously reported
consolidated financial statements.  The restatement related to
certain MasterCard and Visa co-branding and affinity credit card
relationships and a third-party marketing agreement, which were
entered into between 1992 and 1999.  All were part of the
company's Credit Card Services segment.

In consultation with its prior auditors, Arthur Andersen LLP,
the company treated payments made in connection with these
agreements as prepaid assets and amortized them in accordance
with the underlying economics of the agreements.

Its current auditor, KPMG LLP, advised the company that, in its
view, the payments should have either been charged against
earnings at the time they were made or amortized over a shorter
period of time.

The restatement resulted in a $155.8 million, after-tax,
retroactive reduction to retained earnings at Dec. 31, 1998.  As
a result of the restatement, and other corporate events,
including, e.g., the 2002 settlement with 50 states and the
District of Columbia relating to real estate lending practices,
HSBC Finance Corp., and its directors, certain officers and
former auditors, have been involved in various legal
proceedings, some of which purport to be class actions.

A number of the actions allege violations of federal securities
laws, were filed between August and October 2002, and seek to
recover damages in respect of allegedly false and misleading
statements about the company's common stock.

The legal actions have been consolidated into a single purported
class action, "Jaffe v. Household International, Inc., et al.,
No. 02-C-5893 (N.D. Ill., filed Aug. 19, 2002)."  A consolidated
and amended complaint was filed on March 7, 2003.

On Dec. 3, 2004, the court signed the parties' stipulation to
certify a class with respect to the claims brought under Section
10 and Section 20 of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934.   

The parties stipulated that plaintiffs will not seek to certify
a class with respect to the claims brought under Section 11 and
Section 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 in this action or
otherwise.

The amended complaint purports to assert claims under the
federal securities laws, on behalf of all persons who purchased
or otherwise acquired the company's securities between Oct. 23,
1997 and Oct. 11, 2002, arising out of alleged false and
misleading statements in connection with the company's sales and
lending practices, the 2002 state settlement agreement, the
restatement and the HSBC merger.

The amended complaint, which also names as defendants Arthur
Andersen LLP, Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Merrill Lynch, Pierce,
Fenner & Smith, Inc., did not specify the amount of damages
sought.

In May 2003, the company, and other defendants, filed a motion
to dismiss the complaint.  On March 19, 2004, the court granted
in part, and denied in part the defendants' motion to dismiss
the complaint.

The court dismissed all claims against Merrill Lynch, Pierce,
Fenner & Smith, Inc. and Goldman Sachs & Co.  The court also
dismissed certain claims alleging strict liability for alleged
misrepresentation of material facts based on statute of
limitations grounds.

The claims that remain against some or all of the defendants
essentially allege the defendants knowingly made a false
statement of a material fact in conjunction with the purchase or
sale of securities, that the plaintiffs justifiably relied on
the statement, the false statement caused the plaintiffs
damages, and that some or all of the defendants should be liable
for those alleged statements.

On Feb. 28, 2006, the Court also dismissed all alleged Section
10 Claims that arose prior to July 30, 1999, shortening the
class period by 22 months.  

The bulk of fact discovery concluded on Jan. 31, 2007.  Expert
discovery is expected to conclude on December 2007, 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 "Jaffe v. Household Int'l Inc., et al., Case No.
1:02-cv-05893," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois under Judge Ronald A. Guzman.  

Representing the plaintiffs is:

         Gary L. Specks, Esq.
         Kaplan, Fox & Kilsheimer LLP
         203 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2100
         Chicago, IL 60601
         Phone: (312) 558-1584


HSBC FINANCE: Faces Discrimination Lawsuits in Calif. & Mass.
-------------------------------------------------------------
HSBC Finance Corp., and one or more of its subsidiaries have
been named as defendant in three discrimination class actions
filed in either the U.S. District Court for the Central District
of California or the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, 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.  

Since July 2007, the company and its subsidiaries have been
facing these purported class actions:

       -- "National Association for the Advancement of Colored
          People ("NAACP") v. Ameriquest Mortgage Company, et
          al. including HSBC Finance Corporation (C.D. Ca., No.
          SACV07-0794AG(ANx)),"

       -- "Toruno v. HSBC Finance Corporation and Decision One
          Mortgage Company, LLC (C.D. Ca., No. CV07-
          05998JSL(RCx)," and

       -- "Suyapa Allen v. Decision One Mortgage Company, LLC,
          HSBC Finance Corporation, et al. (D. Mass., C.A. 07-
          11669)."

Each suit alleges that the defendants racially discriminated
against their customers by using loan pricing policies and
procedures that have resulted in a disparate impact against
minority customers.  

Violations of various federal statutes, including the Fair
Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, are claimed.

HSBC Finance Corp. -- http://www.hsbcusa.com/-- is an indirect  
subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc., a bank holding
company, and an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC
Holdings plc.  The Company provides middle-market consumers in
the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada and the Republic of Ireland
with several types of loan products.  HSBC Finance Corp. is the
principal fund raising vehicle for the operations of its
subsidiaries.


INTUIT INC: QuickBooks Error Caused Huge Data Loss, CA Suit Says
----------------------------------------------------------------
Intuit, Inc. is facing a class-action complaint filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
alleging that the company sent a faulty code to its "QuickBooks
for Macintosh" users on Dec. 15, which deleted all of the
QuickBooks data and all other data on users' computers when they
opened the program, the CourtHouse News Service reports.

Named plaintiffs Create-A-Card, Inc., AGSJ, Inc. and
Philanthropic Focus, LLC claim that the faulty code was sent "to
all QuickBooks for Macintosh users" on Saturday, Dec. 15.
"Though the cause of the faulty code sent out by Intuit is still
unclear, the impact on users was uniform - upon opening
Quickbooks, users received a message that an update was
available, and were asked whether the used wished to download
the update. Regardless of whether the user clicked 'yes' or
'no,' the damage had already been done - the faulty code had
already deleted all files on the user's desktop. Intuit has
represented that there was no update available, and that its
server simply sent out a code. Intuit has provided no
explanation for why the code was sent out from its servers.

"The resulting loss of data was catastrophic to members of the
Class." It was even more devastating because the data wipeout
came at the end of the accounting year, during the Christmas
rush, the complaint states. It claims that Intuit was barraged
with emails from horrified customers, telling them of the
destruction of data and begging Intuit to close down its server,
but that Intuit ignored their pleas until Wednesday, Dec. 19,
when it told them to go to an Apple store and offered to
reimburse them for a $99 data recovery program.

The Plaintiffs brought the action on behalf of all individuals
and entities whose files or data became inaccessible or were
damaged, corrupted, or lost, whether temporarily or permanently,
as a result of pending QuickBooks and receiving Intuit's Dec.
2007 faulty code.

They want the court to rule on:

     (a) whether Intuit took proper steps to avoid catastrophic
         data losses for its customers;

     (b) whether Intuit trespassed by creating and allowing its
         code to enter users' computers and destroy data and
         files;

     (c) whether Intuit breached warranties of merchantability
         and fitness for a particular purpose;

     (d) whether Intuit's failure to warn its users to avoid
         opening QuickBooks or Intuit's failure to shut down its
         server before catastrophic losses constituted an unfair
         business practice;

     (e) whether Intuit's creation of a code that destroyed data
         on users' desktops, its allowing such code to intrude
         into users' computers without the consent of the users,
         its failure to warn its users to avoid opening
         QuickBooks or its failure to shut down its server
         before catastrophic losses, constituted negligence; and

     (f) whether Intuit is liable under a theory of products
         liability for its creation of a code that destroyed
         data on users' desktops, its allowing such code to
         intrude into users' computers without the consent of
         the users, its failure to warn its users to avoid
         opening QuickBooks or its failure to shut down its
         server before catastrophic losses.

The Plaintiff seek:

     -- certification of the class and any subclasses the court
        deems appropriate;

     -- compensatory damages in an amount sufficient to
        compensate all class members for lost data, and time and
        money spent attempting to recover lost data, according
        to proof;

     -- an injunction requiring Inuit to take institute policies
        and practices to:

        (a) prevent codes such as the Dec. 2007 QuickBoooks code
            from being disseminated to the public; and

        (b) immediately address any further catastrophic data
            loss events, through warning customers or shutting
            down its server;

     -- prejudgment interest at the maximum legal rate;

     -- punitive damages according to proof;

     -- reasonable costs and attorney fees, as allowed by law,
        or from the common fund and for all costs associated
        with administration of the common fund;

     -- a declaration of financial responsibility on the part of
        Intuit for the costs of class notification regarding the
        defective QuickBooks software and the Dec. 2007
        destruction code, and for the costs of repair and
        replacement of all affected files; and

     -- other and further relief as the court deems just and
        proper.

The suit is "Create-A-Card v. Intuit, Inc., Case No. CV 07
6452," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Michael W. Sobol, Esq.
          Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
          275 Battery Street, 30th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94111-3339
          Phone: (415) 956-1000
          Fax: (415) 956-1008
          E-mail: msobol@lchb.com

          James A. Quadra, Esq.
          Moscone, Emblidge & Quadra, LLP
          Mills Tower
          220 Montgomery Street, Ste. 2100
          San Francisco, California 94104
          Phone: (415) 3599
          Fax: (415) 362-2006
          E-mail: quadra@meqlaw.com

          -- and --

          Jonathan D. Selbin, Esq.
          Rebcca Bedwell-Coll, Esq.
          Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
          780 Third Avenue, 48th Floor
          New York, NY 10017-2024
          Phone: (212) 355-9500
          Fax: (212) 355-9592
          E-mail: jselbin@lchb.com or rbcoll@lchb.com


KEY ENERGY: Feb. 2008 Hearing Set for TX Class Action Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas will
hold a fairness hearing on Feb. 26, 2008 for the proposed
$15,425,000 settlement of a consolidated securities fraud class
action filed against Key Energy Services, Inc.

The hearing will be held before Judge A. Junell in Courtroom 3
of the District Court for the Western District of Texas,
Midland-Odessa Division, U.S. Courthouse, 200 East Wall,
Midland, Texas.

Any objections or exclusions to and from the settlement must be
made on or before Jan. 25, 2008.  Deadline for the submission of
a proof of claim is on April 4, 2008.  

                        Case Background

Since June 2004, the company has been named as a defendant in
six class action complaints for alleged violations of federal
securities laws, which have been filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Western District of Texas (Class Action Reporter,
Oct. 3, 2007).

The six actions have been consolidated: On Nov. 1, 2005, the
plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended class action complaint
on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock from
May 29, 2003 to June 4, 2004.

The complaint generally alleges that the company made false and
misleading statements and omitted material information from the
company's public statements and SEC reports during the class
period in violation of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
including alleged:

       -- overstatement of revenues, net income, and earnings
          per share,

       -- failure to take write-downs of assets, consisting of
          primarily idle equipment,

       -- failure to amortize the Company's goodwill,

       -- failure to disclose that the Company lacked adequate
          internal controls and therefore was unable to
          ascertain the true financial condition of the Company,

       -- material inflation of the Company's financial results
          at all relevant times,

       -- misrepresentation of the value of acquired businesses,
          and

       -- failure to disclose misappropriation of funds by
          employees.

On Sept. 7, 2007, the Company reached agreements in principle to
settle all pending securities class actions and some derivative
lawsuits in consideration of payments totaling $16.6 million in
exchange for full and complete releases for all defendants.  

The Company's contribution to the settlement, net of payments by
its insurers and contributions from other defendants, will
amount to $1.0 million.  

The suit is "Kaltman v. Key Energy Serv., In, et al., Case No.
7:04-cv-00082-RAJ," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Texas under Judge Robert A. Junell.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Stuart L. Berman, Esq.
          Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP
          280 King of Prussia Road
          Radnor, PA 19087
          Phone: (610) 667-7706
          Fax: (610) 667-7056

               -- and --

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

Representing the defendants are:

          James Devin Alsup, Esq.
          Lynch Chappell & Alsup
          300 North Marienfeld, Suite 700
          Midland, TX 79701
          Phone: (432) 683-3351
          Fax: 432/683-2587
          E-mail: dalsup@lcalawfirm.com

               -- and --

          Robert R. Burford, Esq.
          Gibbs & Bruns, L.L.P.
          1100 Louisiana Street, Suite 5300
          Houston, TX 77002
          Phone: (713) 650-8805
          Fax: (713) 750-0903
          E-mail: rburford@gibbs-bruns.com


KOST TIRE: Agrees to Settle Former Employee's Overtime Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kost Tire and Muffler has agreed to settle a class-action
lawsuit filed by a former employee alleging the company
improperly calculated payments for hours worked, Terrie Morgan-
Besecker of the Law & Order reports.

The settlement impacts persons who worked at Kost locations
between July 1, 2005, and Aug. 30, 2007, who were paid overtime
under the calculation method in dispute or who worked through
unpaid lunch breaks.

In May, Brandon Malec of Larksville filed the suit, alleging
Kost calculated overtime pay based on an employee's hourly rate
without figuring into that calculation the commissions they
earned for sales.

He also alleged he was required to work through unpaid lunch
breaks.

Mr. Malec alleged both acts violated the Fair Labor Standards
Act.

According to the report, the proposed settlement calls for Mr.
Malec to receive $2,500 to compensate him for bringing the case
forward.

According to the settlement, Kost continues to dispute the
allegations and does not admit any liability.  It says the
company has agreed to settle the case because it believes the
agreement is fair and reasonable and will avoid prolonged
litigation.

Other employees, who are still being identified, will be
eligible for a one-time payment that will be calculated by a
company named by both parties to be the settlement
administrator.

Ms. Morgan-Besecker said the proposal was submitted by Mr.
Malec's attorney, Peter Winebrake of Dresher, and attorneys for
Kost.

The settlement must approved by a federal judge before it takes
effect.

To contact Mr. Winebrake:

          Peter D. Winebrake
          The Winebrake Law Firm, LLC
          Twining Office Center, Suite 114
          715 Twining Road
          Dresher, PA 19025-1831
          Phone: (215) 884-2491 or (570) 343-4308
          Fax: (215) 884-2492


MAN'S TRADING: Recalls Super Magnet Toys That Could Be Swallowed
----------------------------------------------------------------
Man's Trading Company, of Brisbane, California, in cooperation
with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling
about 2,800 Super Magnets.

The company said the magnet attached to the bottom of a small
toy panda can detach. If swallowed or aspirated by young
children, the magnets can attract each other internally and
cause intestinal perforations or blockages, which can be fatal.  
No injuries have been reported.

The toys are shaped and painted to resemble panda bears. A small
magnet is attached to the bottom of the toy. "Super Magnets" and
the MTC logo are printed on the front of the packaging. The
magnet toys are sold eight to a package.

The super magnets were manufactured in China and sold at dollar
and gift stores nationwide from September 2005 through November
2007 for about $1.

Picture of recalled super magnets:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08149.jpg

Consumers should take the recalled toy away from children
immediately and return them to the store where purchased for a
full refund.

For additional information, contact MTC at (800) 388-7228
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday. Consumers
can also e-mail: mtcmans@aol.com


NORTHWEST BIOTHERAPEUTICS: Gives Securities Fraud Suits Update
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
has yet to rule on motions seeking for the consolidation of
several purported securities fraud class actions filed against
Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc.

On Aug. 13, 2007, a complaint was filed, naming the Company, the
Chairperson of its Board of Directors, Linda Powers, and its
Chief Executive Officer, Alton Boynton as defendants in a class
action for violation of federal securities laws.

After the complaint was filed, five additional complaints were
filed in other jurisdictions alleging similar claims.  

The complaints were filed on behalf of purchasers of the
Company's common stock between July 9, 2007 and July 18, 2007
and allege violations of Section 10(b) of the U.S. Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

The complaints seek unspecified compensatory damages, costs and
expenses.

Motions are currently pending to consolidate the complaints into
a single action and to designate a lead plaintiff, 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 "Michael C. Rosenblat, et al. v. Northwest
Biotherapeutics Inc., et al., Case No. 07-CV-01254," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
          1301 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2900
          Seattle, WA 98101
          Phone: 206-623-7292
          Fax: 206-623-0594
          E-mail: info@hbsslaw.com

          Law Offices of Bernard M. Gross
          1515 Locust Street, 2nd Floor
          Philadelphia, PA 19102
          Phone: 215-561-3600
          Fax: 215-561-3000
          E-mail: bmgross@bernardmgross.com

          Law Offices of Clifford A. Cantor, P.C.
          627 208th Ave. SE
          Sammamish, WA 98074
          Phone: 425.868.7813
          Fax: 425.868.7870

          The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
          350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 5508
          New York, NY 10118
          Phone: 212.686.1060
          Fax: 212.202.3827
          E-mail: lrosen@rosenlegal.com


PC MALL: Calif. Court Order Arbitration, Stay in Hanzy Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles has
ordered the action, "Lee Hanzy, individually and on behalf of
others similarly situated, Plaintiff, vs. PC Mall, Inc., a
Delaware corporation dba MACMALL, and Does 1 through 200,
inclusive, Defendants, Case No., BC373935," to arbitration and
stayed all proceedings in the matter.

The suit was filed on July 6, 2007 by Lee Hanzy as a purported
class action lawsuit.

The potential class consists of current and former account
executives in California who worked for PC Mall, and in
particular, the MacMall operating division of PC Mall.

The lawsuit alleges that PC Mall improperly classified members
of the putative class as "exempt" employees and failed to
provide putative class members with meal and rest breaks.

The Complaint asserts three causes of action:

       -- failure to pay wages, including overtime, in violation
          of California Labor Code sections 201 through 203, and
          section 1194(a);

       -- failure to provide meal and rest periods in violation
          of California Labor Code section 226.7; and

       -- violation of section 17200 of the California Business
          and Professions Code.

The lawsuit seeks unpaid overtime, statutory penalties,
interest, attorneys' fees, punitive damages, restitution and
injunctive relief.

While the case was originally filed in Los Angeles Superior
Court, on Aug. 30, 2007, the Superior Court ordered the action
to arbitration and stayed all proceedings in superior court,
according to the PC Mall, Inc.'s Nov. 14, 2007 Form 10-Q Filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended Sept. 30, 2007.

PC Mall, Inc. -- http://www.pcmall.com-- is a direct marketer  
of computer hardware, software, peripherals, electronics, and
other consumer products and services.  It offers products and
services to businesses, government and educational institutions,
as well as individual consumers, through outbound and inbound
telemarketing account executives, the Internet, direct marketing
techniques, direct response catalogs, a direct sales force and
three retail showrooms.


PC MALL: Calif. Court Order Arbitration, Stay in Whitmill Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles has
ordered the action, "Zekiya Whitmill and Lee Hanzy, individually
and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, vs. PC
Mall Gov, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and Does 1 through 200,
inclusive, Defendants, Case No., BC373934," to arbitration and
stayed all proceedings in the matter.

The suit was filed on July 6, 2007 by Zekiya Whitmill and Lee
Hanzy as a purported class action.

The potential class consists of current and former account
executives in California who worked for PC Mall Gov, Inc., one
of the PC Mall, Inc.'s wholly-owned subsidiaries.  

The lawsuit alleges that PC Mall Gov. improperly classified
members of the putative class as "exempt" employees and failed
to provide putative class members with meal and rest breaks.

The complaint asserts three causes of action:

       -- failure to pay wages, including overtime, in violation
          of California Labor Code sections 201 through 203, and
          section 1194(a);

       -- failure to provide meal and rest periods in violation
          of California Labor Code section 226.7; and

       -- violation of section 17200 of the California Business
          and Professions Code.

The lawsuit seeks unpaid overtime, statutory penalties,
interest, attorneys' fees, punitive damages, restitution and
injunctive relief.  

While the case was originally filed in Los Angeles Superior
Court, on Sept. 26, 2007, the Superior Court ordered the action
to arbitration and stayed all proceedings in superior court,
according to the PC Mall, Inc.'s Nov. 14, 2007 Form 10-Q Filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended Sept. 30, 2007.

PC Mall, Inc. -- http://www.pcmall.com-- is a direct marketer  
of computer hardware, software, peripherals, electronics, and
other consumer products and services.  It offers products and
services to businesses, government and educational institutions,
as well as individual consumers, through outbound and inbound
telemarketing account executives, the Internet, direct marketing
techniques, direct response catalogs, a direct sales force and
three retail showrooms.  


RIVER VALLEY: Faces Suit in Ind. Over Money Lost in Trust Fund
--------------------------------------------------------------
River Valley Financial Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of River
Valley Bancorp, faces a purported class action in Superior Court
in Marion County Circuit in Indiana over the loss of money in a
trust fund.

Jefferson county resident Cecilia Means on behalf of herself and
thousands of Madison, Indiana residents, who paid money in trust
for burial services and merchandise to be provided upon their
death, filed the lawsuit (Class Action Reporter, April 25,
2007).

Specifically, the suit named as defendants:

     -- River Valley Financial Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary
        of River Valley Bancorp;

     -- The Friendship State Bank;

     -- Monroe Bank;

     -- National City Bank f/k/a First America Bank Corp.;

     -- Carriage Cemetery Services, Inc. f/k/a Carriage Funeral
        Services of Indiana, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of
        Carriage Services, Inc.;

     -- Madison Funeral Service, Inc.; and

     -- Grandview Memorial Gardens, LLC

National City Bank, River Valley National Bank, The Frienship
State Bank and Monroe Bank have served as trustees of the
cemetery trust fund since 1992.

The complaint alleges that owners and operators of Carriage
Cemetery Services and Grandview Memorial Gardens swiped more
than $4 million from "thousands" of people who deposited money
as advance payments for burial services.

The Plaintiff allege that the defendants did not deposit the
money in trust accounts at all, or deposited it and then
withdrew it themselves in return for bogus services they
provided for funerals that never took place.

The alleged frauds were revealed when the Plaintiff sought trust
funds to buy a casket for her husband, only to be told she
already had bought that casket.

The Plaintiff, represented by attorneys at Cohen & Malad, LLP,
claims that when the fraudulent actions came to light, the
cemetery office and its records were destroyed in an arson on
April 1, 2007.

The Plaintiff brought the suit on behalf of a class of all
persons who purchased burial services or burial merchandise to
be provided upon death at the Grandview Memorial Gardens
cemetery.

The complaint did not specify the amount of damages sought.  The
Plaintiff believes the trust fund has an estimated $4 million in
unfunded liabilities, River Valley Bancorp says 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 Plaintiff asks the Court to find:

     (a) whether the Cemetery Owner Defendants failed to hold
         money in trust and failed to deposit trust funds into
         the cemetery trust fund;

     (b) whether the Cemetery Owner Defendants improperly
         withdrew funds from the cemetery trust fund in
         violation of Indiana law;

     (c) whether the Cemetery Owner Defendants breached their
         pre-arrangement contracts with plaintiff and class
         members;

     (d) whether the Trustee Defendants owed a fiduciary duty to
         plaintiff and class members;

     (e) whether the Trustee Defendants breached their fiduciary
         duty to plaintiff and class members;

     (f) whether the Cemetery Owner Defendants participated in
         what they knew or should have known was a breach of
         fiduciary duty to plaintiff and class members;

     (g) whether defendants violated Indiana law regarding the
         sale of burial services and merchandise in advance of
         need; and

     (h) the type and amount of relief to which class members
         are entitled.

The Plaintiff asks the Court:

     -- to enter judgment against trustee defendants in favor of
        the plaintiff and the class members requiring them to
        provide an accounting of the Grandview Pre-Arrangement
        Trust Fund since 1992, and to remedy any deficiency in
        the assets of the Grandview Pre-Arrangement Trust Fund;

     -- to enter judgment against Cemetery Owner Defendants and
        in favor of the plaintiff and class members in an amount
        equal to the greater of three times actual damages or
        $1,000 per class member per violation;

     -- to enter judgment against Cemetery Owner Defendants and
        in favor of the plaintiff and class members in an amount
        sufficient to compensate the plaintiff and the class
        members for damages caused by the breach of contract;

     -- to enter judgment against all defendants and in favor of
        the plaintiff and class members in an amount sufficient
        to compensate the plaintiff and class members for the
        damages caused by the negligence per se of all
        defendants;

     -- to enter judgment against all defendants and in favor of
        the plaintiff and class members in an amount sufficient
        to compensate the plaintiff and class members for the
        damages caused by the breaches of fiduciary duties owed
        by defendants; and

     -- for an award for prejudgment interest, attorneys' fees,
        the costs of the action and for other relief as the
        court finds just and proper;

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

            http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?1dc7

For more details, contact:

        Irwin B. Levin, Esq.
        Richard E. Shevitz, Esq.
        Vess A. Miller, Esq.
        Cohen & Malad, LLP
        One Indiana Square, Ste. 1400
        Indianapolis, IN 46204
        Phone: (317) 636-6481
        Fax: (317) 636-2593


ROGERS INT'L: Watkins Class Action in N.Y. Still Stayed
-------------------------------------------------------
A class and derivative action filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York against Rogers
International Raw Materials Fund, L.P. (Partnership) remains
stayed.

Beeland Management Company, L.L.C., Walter Thomas Price III,
James Beeland Rogers, Jr., Robert Mercorella and Allen Goodman
have been named as defendants, and the Partnership as a nominal
defendant in a lawsuit filed by Connie M. Watkins and John V.
Watkins.

The complaint alleges that the defendants breached their
fiduciary obligations to the Partnership in causing or allowing
the transfer of Partnership assets to Refco Capital Markets.  
The Watkinses seek judgment and other relief declaring the
defendants responsible for the loss of any Partnership assets,
or, alternatively, compensatory damages in an unspecified
amount, the plaintiffs' costs and attorneys' fees and other
relief.

Following several status hearings, the Court set April 2, 2007,
for the Watkinses to file any further amendments to their
complaint, and May 15, 2007 for the defendants to respond.

On April 9, 2007, the case was stayed at the Watkinses' request
pending the resolution of personal jurisdiction issues in a
similar case filed by Steven L. Lane and Pamela I. Lane, as
Trustees of the Lane Family Trust, in the Circuit Court of Cook
County, Illinois.

                         The Lane Case

The Lanes filed a class action and derivative action in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The complaint alleges that the defendants breached their
fiduciary duties to the Partnership in the management of the
Partnership and were negligent in connection with the transfer
of Partnership assets to Refco Capital Markets and seeks
judgment for damages in an unspecified amount, costs and
attorneys' fees and class certification of the Partnership's
limited partners.

Following the defendants' motion to dismiss, the Lanes
voluntarily withdrew their complaint from federal court and
filed a similar complaint in the Law Division of the Circuit
Court of Cook County, Illinois.  

The Defendants also filed a motion to stay the Lanes' suit in
light of the Watkinses' case pending in the Southern District of
New York.  

On March 1, 2007, the Court granted the Lanes certain discovery
related to personal jurisdiction over defendant James Rogers.

On May 4, 2007, the Court granted the Lanes leave to file an
amended complaint.  A status hearing is scheduled for Aug. 8,
2007.

The Partnership reported no development in the Watkins dispute
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.


ROGERS INT'L: Jan. 9, 2008 Status Conference Set for Lanes Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A Jan. 9, 2008 status conference has been set for a purported
class action pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County,
Illinois against Rogers International Raw Materials Fund, L.P.
(Partnership).

Beeland Management Company, L.L.C., Walter Thomas Price III,
Allen D. Goodman and James Beeland Rogers, Jr. have been named
as defendants, and the Partnership as a nominal defendant, in a
class action and derivative action filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois by Steven L. Lane
and Pamela I. Lane, as Trustees of the Lane Family Trust dated
April 10, 2001.

The complaint alleges that the defendants breached their
fiduciary duties to the Partnership in the management of the
Partnership and were negligent in connection with the transfer
of Partnership assets to Refco Capital Markets and seeks
judgment for damages in an unspecified amount, costs and
attorneys' fees and class certification of the Partnership's
limited partners.

Following defendants' motion to dismiss, the Lanes voluntarily
withdrew their complaint from federal court and filed a similar
complaint in the Law Division of the Circuit Court of Cook
County, Illinois.  

Walter Thomas Price was not named as a defendant in the state
court complaint.

The Defendants successfully moved to have the case reassigned to
the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County,
Illinois.

The Defendants also filed a motion to stay the Lanes' suit in
light of a related case pending in the Southern District of New
York.  

On March 1, 2007, the Court granted the Lanes certain discovery
related to personal jurisdiction over defendant James Rogers.

On May 4, 2007, the Court granted the Lanes leave to file an
amended complaint.  On June 1, 2007, plaintiffs filed a
consolidated amended complaint in which the Watkins joined as
plaintiffs and added additional breach of fiduciary duty
allocations and related claims.  

A status hearing is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2008, according to the
Partnership's Nov. 14, 2007 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended Sept. 30, 2007.


ROLLING STONE: Bands File Calif. Litigation Over Cigarette Ads
--------------------------------------------------------------
Rolling Stone magazine, and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. face a
purported class action in Alameda County Superior Court, filed
by two bands alleging that their names were used in a cigarette
ad in a magazine insert without their authorization.

The suit was filed by the popular Toronto-based punk band Fucked
Up and the experimental San Francisco group Xiu Xiu over a four-
page spread that appeared in the magazine's Nov. 15 issue.

The Plaintiffs claim that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, which makes the
Camel cigarettes featured in the ads, and Wenner Media, which
publishes Rolling Stone, used the bands' names for commercial
advantage and unfair business practices.

Christopher Hunt, a San Francisco attorney for the two bands,
said that he and his clients are seeking class action status for
the case, which, if granted, would allow members from the more
than 150 bands featured in the ad to join the suit.

The suit claims that R.J. Reynolds and Rolling Stone used the
names of the groups "without their authorization, consent or
even prior knowledge in the four-page foldout centerpiece of a
bannered 'Indie Rock Universe' and hawking Camel cigarettes,
which occupied a prominent place in the Nov. 15, 2007, fortieth
anniversary issue of Rolling Stone."

The use of the bands' names "was illegal under settled,
unambiguous California statutory and common law," according to
the complaint.  The suit also alleges that members of the two
groups have suffered "embarrassment, shock and anger" because
the ad makes it seem like they are endorsing a commercial
product -- cigarettes -- that many of them have taken a stand
against.

The ads make the band members appear to be hypocrites and have
caused a loss of goodwill and reputation, the suit states.

According to the suit, venue is proper in Alameda County
"because the offending issue of Rolling Stone was at all
material times marketed, distributed and sold in Alameda
County."

In general, the lawsuit aims to hold the cigarette maker and the
magazine to account "to the artists whose names they wrongfully
traded on for their own commercial advantage" and also seeks
unspecified monetary damages.

For more details, contact:

          Christopher J. Hunt, Esq.
          Bartko, Zankel, Tarrant & Miller,
          900 Front Street, Suite 300
          San Francisco, CA 94111-1427
          Phone: 415-956-1900
          Fax: 415-956-1152
          Web site: http://www.bztm.com


SPECIALTY MERCHANDISE: Recalls Candle Sets Due to Fire Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------------
Specialty Merchandise Corporation, of Simi Valley, California,
in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,
is recalling about 13,000 Christmas Candle Sets.

The company said the snowman candle could tip over and the
exterior coating on both candles can ignite, posing a fire
hazard.  No injuries have been reported.

The recall involves the 2-pieced Snowman and Christmas tree
candle set. The snowman candle measures about 6 inches high and
the Christmas tree candle measures 7 inches high.

The recalled Christmas candle sets were manufactured in China
and sold though SMC's catalog from October 2003 through
September 2007 for between $4 and $13.

Picture of recalled Christmas candle sets:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08144.jpg

Consumers are advised to stop using the candles immediately and
contact SMC to return the candle for a refund of the original
purchase price.

For additional information, contact SMC at (888) 839-8757 or
visit the company's Web site: http://www.smcorp.com/recall


SPRINT COMMS: March 3, 2008 Hearing Set for $25M USF Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas will hold a
fairness hearing on March 3, 2008 at 10:30 a.m. for the proposed
$25,000,000 settlement by Sprint Communications Co., L.P. in the
matter, "In re Universal Service Fund Telephone Billing
Practices Litigation, MDL No. 1468."

The hearing will be held at the U.S. District Court for the
District of Kansas, U.S. Courthouse, 500 State Avenue, Room 517,
Kansas City, Kansas.

Any objections or exclusions to and from the settlement must be
made on or before Jan. 21, 2008.  Deadline for the submission of
a proof of claim is on July 1, 2008.

                        Case Background

The multi-district litigation, which involves billions of
dollars in alleged overcharges by long distance carriers, is a
consolidation of dozens of lawsuits filed throughout the U.S.
since November 2001.

The claims in "In re Universal Service Fund Telephone Billing
Practices Litigation," relate to charges by Sprint, AT&T Corp.,
and MCI Worldcom Network Services, Inc., and others for
contributions the carriers make to the federal Universal Service
Fund, which Congress created to subsidize telecommunications
services for rural, low-income, and public service customers.

The Plaintiffs allege that the long distance carriers bill
customers for a percentage of charges for interstate and
international calls but pay a far lower percentage into the
Universal Service Fund, pocketing the difference.

In general, the plaintiffs allege:

       -- that defendants violated the antitrust laws by
          engaging in an illegal scheme and conspiracy to
          inflate the Universal Service Fund (USF) charges paid
          by their customers and to include arbitration clauses
          in their customer contracts;

       -- Sprint and AT&T breached their contracts with Class
          Plaintiffs and the class members by overcharging
          customers for USF charges;

       -- Sprint violated the Kansas Consumer Protection Act by
          making misleading and deceptive statements regarding
          the USF charge; and

       -- AT&T violated state consumer protection acts by making
          misleading and deceptive statements regarding the USF
          charge.

The Plaintiffs argue that Sprint and AT&T are liable for
compensatory, statutory, and related damages, and attorneys'
fees and costs under various statutory and common law theories,
and they seek to prevent Sprint and AT&T from continuing their
practices in the future.

For more details, contact:

          USF Telephone Billing Practices Litigation
          Claims Administrator
          c/o Gilardi & Co LLC
          P.O. Box 8060
          San Rafael, CA 94912-8060
          Phone: 1-800-961-7416.
          Web site: http://www.usflitigation.com/

          Vincent J. Esades, Esq.
          Heins Mills & Olson, P.L.C.
          3550 IDS Center, 80 South Eighth Street
          Minneapolis, MN 55402
          Phone: (612) 338-4605
          Fax: (612) 338-4692
          Web site: http://www.heinsmills.com

               - and -

         Mark D. Hinderks, Esq.
         Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
         12 Corporate Woods, 10975 Benson, Suite 550
         Overland Park, KS 66210
         Phone: (913) 344-6706
         Fax: (913) 344-6794
         E-mail: mhinderks@stinson.com
         Web site: http://www.stinson.com/


VALLEY PACIFIC: Faces Calif. Lawsuit Over Unpaid Meal Breaks
------------------------------------------------------------
Valley Pacific Petroleum is facing a class-action complaint
filed in the Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin
alleging it stiffed workers for overtime and two of its Mormon
mangers, Mike Eliason and Dan Elmer, the CourtHouse News Service
reports.

Ms. Langston claims that she would never advance in the company
unless she converted to their religion and wore more "revealing
clothing," CourtHouse News Service says.

She claims Valley Pacific has routinely violated state labor
laws, on a workforce-wide basis, by failing to:

     (i) provide uninterrupted meal periods, pay premium
         compensations for missed meal periods;

    (ii) maintain records of hours actually worked;

   (iii) provide employees with accurate itemized statements of
         earnings, including premium pay; and

    (iv) pay final wages due.

The Plaintiff brought the action pursuant to California Code of
Civil Procedure Section 382 on behalf of all current or former
employees of Valley Pacific Petroleum who worked throughout
California, at any time during the past four years, in a
professional, semi-professional, technical, clerical, mechanical
position or other kindred position -- that is, accountant,
account managers, attendants, bookkeepers, clerks, distributors,
sales persons, sales agents, secretaries, solicitors, typists --
and were not exempt from overtime.

The Plaintiff asks the court to rule on:

     (a) whether Valley Pacific's pay practices conform to the
         requirements of the California Labor Code;

     (b) whether Valley Pacific failed to pay members of the  
         plaintiff class their full wages when due in violation
         of Labor Code Sections 201, 202, 204, and 1194;

     (c) whether Valley Pacific failed to pay waiting time
         penalties for class members whose employment was
         terminated as required by Labor Code Section 203;

     (d) whether Valley Pacific violated Labor Code by failing
         to pay minimum and overtime wages as required by Wage
         Order 4-2001, and Labor Code Section 558, 1197, and
         1198;

     (e) whether Valley Pacific failed to provide accurate
         itemized wage statements to members of the plaintiff
         class, as required by Labor Code Section 226;

     (f) whether Valley Pacific violated Labor Code Section 1174
         by failing to keep accurate records of employees' hours
         of work and other required documentation;

     (g) what relief is necessary to remedy Valley Pacific's
         unfair and unlawful conduct as alleged; and

     (h) other questions of law and fact.

The Plaintiff seeks:

     -- certification of the action as a class action on behalf
        of the proposed class as to the causes of action;

     -- an injunction requiring defendants to immediately cease
        and desist from engaging in the unlawful and unfair
        business practices complained of;

     -- restitution of all unpaid wages, including unpaid
        premium compensation owed to members of the plaintiff
        class in an amount according to proof;

     -- waiting time penalties on monies due upon termination to
        plaintiff and members of the plaintiff class who quit or
        have been discharged, pursuant to Labor Code Section
        203, in an amount according to proof;

     -- restitution of all other wages and benefits due and
        restitution of all profits acquired by means of any
        unfair business practice, in an amount according to
        proof;

     -- actual or liquidated damages pursuant to Labor Code
        Section 226(e);

     -- interest accrued on damages and penalties pursuant to
        Labor Code Section 21806 and Civil Code Section 3287;

     -- all applicable civil penalties pursuant to Labor Code
        Sections 225.5, 226.3, 558, 1174.5 and 1197.1;

     -- attorneys' fees, statutory costs, and litigation
        expenses in an amount the court determines to be
        reasonable, pursuant to Labor Code Sections 218.5, 226,
        226.7, and Code of Civil Procedure Section 1021.5;

     -- for special damages according to proof;

     -- punitive damages; and

     -- for other and further relief as the court may deem
        just and proper, including by not limited to injunctive
        relief.

The suit is "Alice Langston et al v. Valley Pacific Petroleum et
al., Case No CV034246," filed in the Superior Court of
California, County of San Joaquin.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          William J. Smith, Esq.
          Shelley G. Bryant, Esq.
          Amanda B. Newell, Esq.
          W.J. Smith & Associates
          2350 West Shaw Avenue, Suite 132
          Fresno, California 93711
          Phone: (559) 432-0986
          Fax: (559) 432-4871


VERIZON WIRELESS: Faces Lawsuit in N.J. Over Customer Fraud
-----------------------------------------------------------
Cellco Partnership, d/b/a Verizon Wireless is facing a class-
action complaint filed Dec. 19 in the U.S. District Court for
the District of New Jersey alleging it defrauds customers, the
CourtHouse News Service reports.

The class action lawsuit alleges statutory violations of the New
Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, NJSA Section 56:8-1, et seq., as a
result of defendant's uniform misrepresentations and omissions
of material fact directed to purchasers of mobile telephones
regarding the secret locking of mobile phone handsets, which
makes it impossible for purchasers to use the handsets when they
switch cell phone service providers.

Named plaintiff Theresa Simpson alleges Verizon sells cell
phones through misrepresentations and omissions, CourtHouse News
Service relates.  The Plaintiff says the company fails to
disclose that if customers change to another service company,
the "mobile phone handsets" lock out the new service and become
useless.

The Plaintiff brought the action pursuant to Rule 23 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on behalf of all purchasers
of mobile telephones from defendant in the United States since
Dec. 19, 2001.

The Plaintiff asks the court to rule on:

     (a) whether Verizon made misrepresentations to consumers
         about the Verizon handsets' inability to be used with
         other service providers;

     (b) whether Verizon concealed facts from consumers about
         the Verizon handsets' inability to be used with other
         service providers;

     (c) whether Verizon had a duty to disclose to consumers the
         facts relating to the locking of the handsets;

     (d) whether Verizon's misrepresentations and omissions were
         material;

     (e) whether Verizon's misrepresentations and omissions were  
         likely to deceive the public; and

     (f) whether plaintiff and the other members of the class
         have suffered an ascertainable loss.

The Plaintiffs asks the court to enter an order:

     -- certifying the case as a class action and appointing
        plaintiff and her counsel to represent the class;

     -- awarding plaintiff and other members of the class
        damages and all other relief available under the claims
        alleged;

     -- awarding plaintiff and other members of the class
        statutory damages;

     -- awarding plaintiff and other members of the class pre-
        judgment and post-judgment interest as a result of the   
        wrongs complained of;

     -- awarding plaintiff and other members of the class their
        costs and expenses in this litigation, including
        reasonable attorneys' fees and other costs of
        litigation;

    -- enjoining defendant from engaging in the conduct
       described; and

    -- awarding other and further relief as the court deems   
       just and proper.

The suit is "Theresa Simpson et al v. Cellco Partnership," filed
in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          James C. Shah
          Nathan C. Zipperian
          Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLC
          475 white HOrse Pike
          Collingswood, NJ 08107
          Phone: (856) 858-1770
          Fax: (856) 7012
          E-mail: jshah@sfmslaw.com or nzipperian@sfmslaw.com

          -- and --

          Roger J, Bernstein
          Jeffey S. Feinberg
          Bernstein Nackman & Feinberg, LLP
          The Woolworth Building
          233 Broadway, Suite 2701
          New York, NY 10279
          Phone: (212) 748-4800
          Fax: (646) 417-7890
          E-mail: rbernstein@bnfcounsel.com or
                  jfeinberg@bnfcounsel.com


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CSK Auto Still Has Product Liability Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
CSK Auto Corp. is involved in litigation incidental to the
conduct of its business, including but not limited to asbestos
and similar product liability claims, according to the Company‚€™s
quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on Dec. 19, 2007.

The Company, currently and from time to time, also faces slip
and fall and other general liability claims, discrimination and
employment claims, vendor disputes, and miscellaneous
environmental and real estate claims.

The damages claimed in some of this litigation are substantial.

Phoenix-based CSX Auto Corp. is a holding company that owns CSK
Auto Inc. Auto is a specialty retailer of automotive aftermarket
parts and accessories. At Nov. 4, 2007, the Company operated
1,342 stores in 22 states, with its principal concentration of
stores in the Western United States.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Rules Against P.P.C. in Zuluaga Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New
York considered the remaining arguments of P.P.C. Construction
LLC, in an action filed by Cesar Zuluaga involving asbestos-
removal work, and found them unavailing.

The suit was styled Cesar Zuluaga, Plaintiff-Respondent, v.
P.P.C. Construction LLC, Defendant-Appellant, Parkchester
Preservation Co. LP, Defendant.

Judges Tom, Mazzarelli, Saxe, Marlow, and Williams entered
judgment of the case on Nov. 27, 2007.

An Aug. 7, 2006 Supreme Court, Bronx County, ruling granted Mr.
Zuluaga's motion for partial summary judgment on his Labor Law
causes of action, and denied PPC's cross motion for summary
judgment dismissing the complaint as against it.

The Supreme Court, Bronx County, on May 17, 2007, also denied
PPC's motion to renew.

Partial summary judgment was properly granted to Mr. Zuluaga on
his Labor Law claim in this action where he, while performing
asbestos removal work on the building's first floor, was injured
when he was struck by a six-foot long pipe that fell from
several floors above where other workers were performing
demolition work, including the cutting and removal of pipes from
the pipe chase.

Partial summary judgment was properly granted to Mr. Zuluaga on
his Labor Law cause of action based on sufficiently specific
violations of the Industrial Code.

The motion to renew was properly denied because PPC did not
offer a reasonable justification for the failure to obtain
foundation evidence for the accident report until after the
court's decision on the underlying motion and nearly five years
after Mr. Zuluaga's accident.

Miller & Associates P.C., New York (William C. Mahlan, Jr. of
counsel), represented P.P.C. Constuction LLC.

Monaco & Monaco LLP, Brooklyn (John Tumelty of counsel),
represented Cesar Zuluaga.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mont. Court Favors Plaintiff in Kessel Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Montana affirmed the Montana Workers'
Compensation Court ruling, which denied Liberty Northwest
Insurance Corp. summary judgment, in an asbestos-related
compensation action filed by Duane J. Kessel.

The suit is styled Duane J. Kessel, Petitioner and Appellee, v.
Liberty Northwest Insurance Corp., Respondent, Insurer and
Appellant.

Justices Patricia O. Cotter, John Warner, James C. Nelson, Jim
Rice, and W. William Leaphart entered judgment of Case No. DA
06-0531 on Nov. 27, 2007.

This was an appeal from Montana Workers' Compensation Court, WCC
No.2004-1189.

Mr. Kessel worked for Stimson Lumber Co. in Libby, Mont., from
1993 until January 2001 during which time he asserted he
contracted asbestos-related lung disease. He submitted a claim
for occupational disease benefits on Dec. 3, 2001.

On Aug. 2, 2002, an adjuster for Liberty wrote a letter to Mr.
Kessel. The letter stated, ‚€œBased on the healthcare information
received as of this date, this letter is to notify you that your
claim for asbestos related disease is denied. It is our opinion
there is not sufficient evidence to indicate this is related to
your employment at Stimson Lumber Co.‚€

On Aug. 22, 2002, the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI)
notified Mr. Kessel and Liberty that a medical panel examination
of Mr. Kessel had been scheduled for Sept. 20, 2002. Mr. Kessel
contacted Liberty and requested cancellation of the evaluation.

On Aug. 2, 2004, Mr. Kessel submitted a Petition for Workers'
Compensation Mediation Conference to the DOLI. The conference
took place on Aug. 27, 2004. The mediator issued a
recommendation on Aug. 31, 2004, and mailed it to the parties on
Sept. 2, 2004.

On Oct. 18, 2004, Mr. Kessel underwent an occupational disease
panel evaluation. The doctor who conducted the evaluation
concluded that Mr. Kessel was suffering from asbestos- related
lung disease as a result of his employment.

On Nov. 12, 2004, Mr. Kessel filed a Petition for Hearing with
the WCC. On Jan. 31, 2005, Liberty moved for summary judgment on
the ground that the two-year statute of limitations period had
run prior to Mr. Kessel filing his Petition.

Liberty requested a hearing on its motion which was held on
March 28, 2005. On Aug. 4, 2005, the WCC denied Liberty's motion
and ruled that Mr. Kessel's Petition had been filed within the
applicable statute of limitations period.

The trial scheduled for the week of Oct. 31, 2005, was vacated
by agreement of counsel so that the parties could resolve the
statute of limitations issue before proceeding to trial.

Counsel stipulated to certification, and on July 10, 2006,
current-WCC Judge Shea ordered that the Aug. 4, 2005 ruling
denying Liberty's motion for summary judgment be certified as
final for purposes of appeal.

Liberty filed a Notice of Appeal with the Supreme Court on July
12, 2006.

The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the Workers'
Compensation Court.

Larry W. Jones, Law Offices of Larry W. Jones, Missoula, Mont.,
represented Liberty Northwest Insurance Corp.

Laurie Wallace, Bothe & Lauridsen PC, Columbia Falls, Mont., Jon
Heberling, McGarvey, Heberling, Sullivan & McGarvey, Kalispell,
Mont., represented Duane J. Kessel.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: N.C. Court Dismisses Ex-inmate's Complaint
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court, M.D. North Carolina, dismissed an
asbestos-related action in the defendants‚€™ favor, in which the
case was filed by Timothy John Pulliam, a former prisoner of the
State of North Carolina and current federal inmate.

The suit was styled Timothy John Pulliam, Plaintiff, v.
Superintendent of Hoke Corrections, Doctor Wilson, P.A. Mackey,
Sgt. Croff, Lieutenant Jacobs, Asst. Supt. Webb, Defendants.

Magistrate Judge Eliason entered judgment of Case No.
1:05CV01000 on Nov. 20, 2007.

Mr. Pulliam was housed in the Hoke Correctional Institution from
Feb. 11, 2003 until May 29, 2003. During most of that time, he
had a prison job cleaning and mopping. As part of his job, he
washed and rinsed mops in a small room with overhead pipes. He
alleged that those pipes were covered with asbestos, which was
knocked loose on a regular basis whenever mop handles
inadvertently struck it.

According to Mr. Pulliam, he began suffering from various
symptoms like sore throat, nasal sores, chest pain, and
breathing difficulties. A grievance form dated April 30, 2003,
asserted that Mr. Pulliam filed a request to be seen on April
26, 2003, but had not been seen.

Medical records attached to the complaint indicated that Mr.
Pulliam was seen by medical personnel on May 2, 2003 and that he
was given several prescriptions to help with sores, a sore
throat, a cough, and headaches. He was also seen on May 6, 2003,
May 13, 2003, and May 23, 2003.

Mr. Pulliam blamed the Defendants for various forms of inaction
in relation to his alleged suffering. Dr. Wilson was previously
dismissed from the case.

Ms. Mackey has now filed a motion to dismiss while the remaining
Defendants have filed a separate motion to dismiss.

The District Court ordered that Ms. Mackey's motion to dismiss
is granted and that the motion to dismiss filed by the
Superintendent, Asst. Supt. Webb, Sgt. Groff, and Lieutenant
Jacobs is granted.

The District Court dismissed the action.

Timothy John Pulliam, Petersburg, Va., pro se.

James Philip Allen, N.C. Department of Justice, Elizabeth Pharr
McCullough, Young, Moore and Henderson PA, Raleigh, N.C.,
represented the Defendants.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ruling Favoring GE Upheld on Appeal in Ky.   
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Kentucky upheld the Greenup Circuit
Court‚€™s ruling, which granted summary judgment to General
Electric Co., in an asbestos-related action filed by Ballard
Wright and Faye Wright.

The case is styled Ballard Wright; Faye Wright, Appellants v.
General Electric Co., Appellee.

Judges Rosenblum, Acree, and Thompson entered judgment of Case
No. 2006-CA-000080-MR on Nov. 30, 2007.

Robert H. Miller II of Charleston, W.V., represented Ballard
Wright and Faye Wright.

Scott T. Dickens, Gregory Scott Gowen, Louisville, Ky.,
represented General Electric Co.

Mr. Wright worked for CSX Transportation Inc. and its
predecessor Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Co. in Shelby, Ky., from
1947 to 1982. During his first four years of employment, he
worked as a helper on Chesapeake‚€™s steam engines.

Mr. Wright‚€™s duties during this period included servicing the
coal tenders on the engines, including removing and installing
gaskets from the journal boxes, and removing and installing pipe
insulation on the steam pipes.

Mr. Wright worked with and around pipe insulation on the steam
engines on a daily basis from about 1947 to 1951. As a helper,
he also assisted with oil changes, handled oil pan gaskets, and
worked on manifolds and gear boxes, which the Wrights also
claimed exposed him to asbestos.

>From about 1951 to 1982, Mr. Wright worked as a Freight Car
Inspector. In that capacity, one of his primary jobs was testing
air brakes. General Electric was one of the manufacturers of the
air brakes used on the cars.

According to Mr. Wright, the General Electric steam locomotives
were heavily insulated with asbestos. The diesel locomotives
used by Chesapeake and CSX from the 1950s through Mr. Wright‚€™s
retirement were likewise manufactured by General Electric.

Mr. Wright alleged that these locomotives, too, contained
asbestos-containing products, such as oil pan gaskets.

In January 2001, Mr. Wright was diagnosed with lung cancer. He
attributed the disease to his exposure to asbestos during his
employment by Chesapeake, including his exposure to the steam
and diesel locomotives designed and manufactured by General
Electric.

On Jan. 16, 2002, the Wrights filed a Complaint in Greenup
Circuit Court seeking damages for his lung cancer. The Complaint
named 18 defendants, including CSX, General Electric, Pneumo
Abex Corp. and Garlock Sealing Technologies Inc.

The Complaint alleged that General Electric was negligent in
that even though it knew of the dangers of exposure to asbestos,
it failed to warn Mr. Wright of the dangers and inform him of
the precautions which should be taken to avoid injury.

The Complaint also alleged that General Electric was subject to
strict liability on the basis that General Electric placed into
the stream of commerce an asbestos-containing product (a)
exposure to which caused lung cancer, and (b) with no or
inadequate warning to users or persons exposed to the product.

In due course General Electric moved for summary judgment. On
Dec. 6, 2005, the circuit court entered an order granting the
motion. The order concluded that General Electric was entitled
to summary judgment on the basis that its common law tort claims
sounding in negligence and strict liability were barred in that
they were preempted by the federal Locomotive Boiler Inspection
Act. This appeal followed.

The Appeals Court agreed that the claims are preempted and
affirmed the judgment of the Greenup Circuit Court.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Deere & Co. Faces Product Liability Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------
Deere & Co. is subject to unresolved legal actions that are
linked to product liability, including asbestos-related
liability, according to the Company‚€™s annual report filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 20, 2007.

The Company is also subject to legal actions involving retail
credit, software licensing, patent, and trademark matters.

Moline, Ill.-based Deere & Co. makes farm equipment and also
produces industrial, forestry, and lawn-care equipment. The
Company‚€™s farm equipment includes tractors, tillers, harvesting
machinery, and soil-preparation machinery. The construction
equipment includes backhoes and excavators. The Company also
makes drivetrain components, diesel engines, chain saws, and
leaf- and snowblowers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Over 1,000 Suits Are Pending v. Joy Global
----------------------------------------------------------------
Product liability cases, including over 1,000 asbestos- and
silica-related cases, are still pending against Joy Global Inc.,
according to the Company‚€™s annual report filed with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 21, 2007.

The Company is also involved in employment and commercial
matters.

Milwaukee-based Joy Global Inc. manufactures and services high
productivity mining equipment for the extraction of coal and
other minerals and ores. The Company operates in two business
segments: underground mining machinery (Joy Mining Machinery)
and surface mining equipment (P&H Mining Equipment).


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Esterline Subject to Potential Liabilities
----------------------------------------------------------------
Esterline Technologies Corp. is subject to potential liabilities
relating to certain products it manufactured containing
asbestos, according to the Company‚€™s annual report filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 21, 2007.

To date, the Company‚€™s insurance has covered claims against it
relating to those products. Commencing Nov. 1, 2003, insurance
coverage for asbestos claims has been unavailable.

However, the Company continues to have some insurance coverage
for exposure to asbestos contained in its products before Nov.
1, 2003.

The Company continues to manufacture for one customer a product
that contains asbestos. The Company has an agreement with the
customer for indemnification for certain losses the Company may
incur as a result of asbestos claims relating to that product.


COMPANY PROFILE:

Esterline Technologies Corp.
City Center Bellevue
500 108th Ave. NE, Ste. 1500
Bellevue, Wash.
Phone: 425-453-9400
Fax: 425-453-2916
http://www.esterline.com

Description:
Formed in 1967, Esterline Technologies Corp. is a specialized
manufacturing company principally serving aerospace and defense
customers. The Company designs, manufactures, and markets highly
engineered products and systems for application within the
industries the Company serves.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Feldman Mall Accrues $1.71M for Remediation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Feldman Mall Properties Inc. accrued about US$1,711,000 for the
cost of asbestos remediation for a parcel of land it acquired in
July 2007, of which amount was added to the book value of the
land, according to the Company's quarterly report filed with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 24, 2007.

The Company owns certain properties that contain asbestos and
could require it to perform future remediation. In July 2007,
the Company purchased the land and building adjacent to its
Northgate Mall for US$1.5 million in cash.

The Company is in the process of demolishing the existing
building with the intention of replacing it with a movie
theater.

The Company expects that the demolition and asbestos removal
will be completed by March 30, 2008.

COMPANY PROFILE:

Feldman Mall Properties Inc.
1010 Northern Blvd., Ste. 314
Great Neck, N.Y. 11021
Phone: 516-684-1239
Fax: 516-684-1059
http://www.feldmanmall.com

Description:
Feldman Mall Properties Inc. and its affiliates and subsidiaries
are principally engaged in the acquisition and management of
retail malls. Tenants include national and regional retail
chains as well as local retailers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: SC Junks Deschenes Award in Favor of Reed
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Connecticut reversed the Compensation
Review Board's ruling, which awarded compensation for a 25
percent permanent partial disability in each lung to George
Deschenes, to favor Reed and Greenwood Insulation Co. and AC&S
Inc.

The case is styled George Deschenes v. Transco Inc., et al.

Judges Rogers, Norcott, Katz, Palmer and Zarella entered
judgment of Case Nos. Nos. 17852 and 17853 on Nov. 27, 2007.

Mr. Deschenes, who was born in 1945, joined Local 33 of the
International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and
Asbestos Workers in 1967. After he joined the union, he worked
until 1985 as an insulator on numerous commercial construction
sites for multiple employers, including Reed and AC&S.

During that time, Mr. Deschenes was exposed to significant
amounts of asbestos, with his last exposure occurring in 1985,
while he was employed by Transco Inc. He has not been able to
work full-time since 1994, when he was diagnosed with asbestos
related pleural lung disease.

However, asbestos is not the only toxic substance to which Mr.
Deschenes‚€™ lungs have been exposed. He started smoking
cigarettes at the age of 17 or 18, and he smoked one and one-
half to two packs per day from the age of 25 until 1991, when he
had a heart attack requiring coronary artery bypass surgery.

At that point, Mr. Deschenes reduced his smoking, and currently
is down to one cigarette after each meal. However, he had
developed emphysema as a result of his cigarette smoking.

Mr. Deschenes filed a claim for compensation with the workers'
compensation commission in 1994. After a hearing held in 2003,
the commissioner for the 8th district, Amado Vargas, found that
Mr. Deschenes had suffered a lung injury as a result of his
asbestos exposure at work, and "another lung injury" that
resulted from his "long history of cigarette smoking...."

Reed and AC&S appealed from the decision of the Board affirming
the decision of the workers' compensation commissioner for the
2nd district, Stephen Delaney.

The Supreme Court concluded that further findings of fact are
required because apportionment of benefits is appropriate when a
respondent employer is able to prove that:

(1) a disability has resulted from the combination of two
concurrently developing disease processes, one that is
nonoccupational, and the other that is work related; and

(2) the conditions of the claimant's occupation have no
influence on the development of the nonoccupational disease.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the
board and remanded the case for further proceedings.

Lucas D. Strunk, with whom was John W. Greiner, represented the
appellants in each case (defendant Reed and Greenwood Insulation
Co. et al.).

Christopher Meisenkothen represented George Deschenes.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeals Court Favors Garlock in Wright Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Kentucky upheld the Greenup Circuit
Court's ruling, which granted summary judgment to Garlock
Sealing Technologies Inc., in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed
by Ballard Wright and Faye Wright.

The case is styled Ballard Wright; Faye Wright, Appellants v.
Garlock Sealing Technologies Inc., Appellee.

Judges Roseblum, Acree, and Thompson entered judgment of Case
No. 2006-CA-000206-MR on Nov. 30, 2007.

Mr. Wright worked for CSX Transportation Inc. and its
predecessor Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Co. in Shelby, Ky., from
1947 to 1982.

During his first four years of employment, Mr. Wright worked as
a Helper on Chesapeake's steam engines. His duties during this
period included servicing the coal tenders on the engines,
including removing and installing gaskets from the journal
boxes, and removing and installing pipe insulation on the steam
pipes. He worked with and around pipe insulation on the steam
engines on a daily basis from about 1947 to 1951.

>From about 1951 to 1982, Mr. Wright worked as a Freight Car
Inspector. Garlock was one of the manufacturers of the gaskets
and similar materials used on the cars.

Mr. Wright state that during his employment with CSX, he was
never given any kind of protective breathing equipment.

In January 2001, Mr. Wright was diagnosed with asbestos-related
lung cancer. He attributed the disease to his exposure to
asbestos during his employment by CSX/Chesapeake, including his
exposure to the gaskets and similar materials made by Garlock.

On Jan. 16, 2002, the Wrights filed a Complaint in Greenup
Circuit Court seeking damages for his lung cancer. The Complaint
named 18 defendants, including CSX, Garlock, General Electric
Co., and Pneumo Abex Corp.

The Complaint alleged that Garlock was negligent in that even
though it knew of the dangers of exposure to asbestos, it failed
to warn Mr. Wright of the dangers and/or inform him of the
precautions which should be taken to avoid injury.

In due course Garlock moved for summary judgment. On Dec. 29,
2005, the circuit court entered an order granting the motion.

The order concluded that Garlock was entitled to summary
judgment on the basis that its common law tort claims sounding
in negligence and strict liability were barred in that they were
preempted by the federal Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act.

The Wrights appealed from an order of Greenup Circuit Court
granting summary judgment to Garlock upon their common law tort
claims for injuries allegedly sustained by Mr. Wright from
exposure to asbestos during his employment as a railroad worker
for CSX and Chesapeake.

The circuit court granted summary judgment to Garlock based upon
its conclusion that common law tort claims against railroad
component parts manufacturers, such as Garlock, are preempted by
the Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act.

The Appeals Court agreed that the claims are preempted and
affirmed the judgment of the Greenup Circuit Court.

Robert H. Miller II, Charleston, W.Va., represented Ballard
Wright and Faye Wright.

John K. Gordinier, Louisville, Ky., represented Garlock Sealing
Technologies.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ky. Appeals Court Ruling Favors Pneumo Abex
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Kentucky upheld the Greenup Circuit
Court's ruling, which granted summary judgment to Pneumo Abex
LLC, in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed by Ballard Wright and
Faye Wright.

The case is styled Ballard Wright; Fay Wright, Appellants v.
Pneumo Abex LLC, Appellee.

Judges Rosenblum, Acree, and Thompson entered judgment of Case
No. 2006-CA-000081-MR on Nov. 30, 2007.

Mr. Wright worked for CSX Transportation Inc. and its
predecessor Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Co. in Shelby, Ky., from
1947 to 1982. During his first four years of employment, he
worked as a Helper on Chesapeake's steam engines.

Mr. Wright's duties during this period included servicing the
coal tenders on the engines, including removing and installing
gaskets from the journal boxes, and removing and installing pipe
insulation on the steam pipes.

Mr. Wright worked with and around pipe insulation on the steam
engines on a daily basis from about 1947 to 1951. As a Helper,
he assisted with oil changes, handled oil pan gaskets, and
worked on manifolds and gear boxes, which the Wrights also
claimed exposed him to asbestos.

>From about 1951 to 1982, Mr. Wright worked as a Freight Car
Inspector. In that capacity, one of his primary jobs was testing
air brakes. Abex was one of the manufacturers of the brake shoes
used on the cars.

During his years as an inspector, Mr. Wright, on a daily basis,
observed from close proximity while other employees serviced
diesel locomotive engines, including while they worked on the
engines' intercoolers, crankcases, manifolds and bearings.

Mr. Wright stated that during his employment with CSX, he was
never given any kind of protective breathing equipment.

In January 2001, Mr. Wright was diagnosed with asbestos-related
lung cancer. He attributed the disease to his exposure to
asbestos during his employment by Chesapeake, including his
exposure to the brake shoes manufactured by Abex.

On Jan. 16, 2002, the Wrights filed a Complaint in Greenup
Circuit Court seeking damages for his lung cancer. The Complaint
named 18 defendants, including CSX, Abex Corp., General Electric
Co., and Garlock Sealing Technologies Inc.

The Complaint alleged that Abex was negligent in that even
though it knew of the dangers of exposure to asbestos, it failed
to warn Mr. Wright of the dangers and/or inform him of the
precautions which should be taken to avoid injury.

The Complaint also alleged that Abex was subject to strict
liability on the basis that Abex placed into the stream of
commerce an asbestos-containing product (a) exposure to which
caused lung cancer, and (b) with no or inadequate warning to
users or persons exposed to the product.

In due course Abex moved for summary judgment. On Dec. 22, 2005,
the circuit court entered an order granting the motion. The
order concluded that Abex was entitled to summary judgment on
the basis that its common law tort claims sounding in negligence
and strict liability were barred in that they were preempted by
the federal Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act. This appeal
followed.

The Appeals Court agreed that the claims are preempted and
affirmed the Greenup Circuit Court's decision.

Robert H. Miller II, Charleston, W.Va., represented Ballard
Wright and Faye Wright.

J. Christian Lewis, Lexington, Ky., represented Pneumo Abex LLC.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ky. Couple Sues 14 Companies in W.Va. Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Flatwood, Ky.-based couple, Phyllis Mae and Harold Dean
Branham, on Dec. 5, 2007, filed an asbestos-related lawsuit
against 14 companies in Kanawha Circuit Court, The West Virginia
Record reports.

The Branhams claim that the defendants are responsible for the
illness Mrs. Branham developed.

Some of the defendants include Nitro Industrial Coverings Inc.,
UB West Virginia Inc. (f/k/a Union Boiler Co.), and Vimasco
Corp.

Mr. Branham worked for CSX Transportation Inc. as a railroad
fireman and engineer from 1946 to 1991. He also worked for Ford
Motor Co. as an inspector and in various other industrial
settings.

During that time, Mr. Branham was exposed to dust from the use
and removal of asbestos-containing products manufactured,
distributed, supplied, used and installed by the defendants.

Mrs. Branham claims she was exposed to the dust brought home by
her husband.

In the seven-count suit, Mr. Branham claims he has lost the
general services, companionship and society of his wife. Mrs.
Branham claims she suffered medical expenses, extreme
nervousness and mental anguish, and her enjoyment of life has
been greatly impaired.

The Branhams seek compensatory and punitive damages against all
the defendants.

Attorney R. Scott Marshall represents the Branhams.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case No. 07-C-2600 will be assigned to a
visiting judge.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Pipes Left in U.K. Road Pose Risks
----------------------------------------------------------------
Broken asbestos water pipes were left lying beside a residential
street in Holmes Chapel, U.K., for more than a week, this is
Cheshire.co.uk reports.

United Utilities dug up asbestos cement pipes, which would have
been installed in the 1960s, after a water main burst in
Sandiford Avenue, Holmes Chapel.

However, United Utilities did not take them away until about a
week later because it was waiting for guidance on disposing of
the debris.

John Coote, who lives on nearby Alumbrook Avenue, complained to
Congleton Borough Council, United Utilities, and the Health and
Safety Executive.

An unnamed neighbor also pursued the authorities and was told
that workmen were seeking approval to remove the pipes.

The Environment Agency says asbestos material should be double-
bagged and labeled. It cannot be taken to an ordinary landfill
site.

Mr. Coote said he thought United Utilities had not followed the
correct procedure when they removed the pipes.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ill. Court Cases Up By Over 100 Since 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos-related cases have increased by more than 100 in
Madison County Circuit Court, Ill., since 2006, Belleville News-
Democrat reports.

In 2007, 444 asbestos cases were filed, an increase of more than
a third from the 325 filed the previous year.

Ed Murnane, president of the pro-business Illinois Civil Justice
League, said, ‚€œThe numbers don't always tell the whole story.
The fact is that any attorney can file a suit, but it is the
court that decides what it is going to do with that suit.‚€

As for the number of asbestos cases, attorney Kevin Conway,
former president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, said
the numbers have actually shown to be going down across the
nation.

Mr. Conway credited the use of a plural registry in Madison
County, which allows people to place their name on the list as
soon as they gain first knowledge of an asbestos-related
illness, as required by statute. He said the use of a plural
registry has become more common throughout the country.

Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis said, ‚€œAs to asbestos, if
you look back to 2001-2003, there were approximately 800-900
asbestos cases filed per year. In 2006 and 2007, it is close to
half of those previous years, so I believe the trend is still
decreased filings in asbestos.‚€


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Research Medical Faces $84T Fine for Breach
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kansas City, Mo.-based Research Medical Center faces a US$84,000
federal fine for allowing some of its workers to be exposed to
asbestos contamination, Associated Press reports.

A Kansas City Health Department inspector found the asbestos
problem last June 2007, noticing what appeared to be asbestos in
construction debris.

Research Medical has 15 days to respond to findings by the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA described the hospital's violations as "serious" and
"willful." The hospital can either pay the fine, dispute the
findings or seek a lower penalty.

The hospital said it notified 85 of its workers that they had
potentially been exposed to asbestos after receiving OSHA's
report.

It is not clear whether hospital patients and visitors were
exposed, because OSHA's investigation only covered employee
exposure.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. Widow Not Satisfied with Payout Hike
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ann Craig, a South Tyneside, U.K., widow, on Dec. 21, 2006,
stated that a GBP1,800 increase in asbestos bereavement
compensation as ‚€œa slap in the face,‚€ The Shields Gazette
reports.

Mrs. Craig received GBP10,000 in compensation after her husband
David Craig died from mesothelioma in February 2002. However,
she says she finds it "shocking" that people in Scotland receive
tens of thousands of pounds more in compensation.

Mrs. Craig's comments follow the U.K. Government's decision to
increase bereavement compensation by GBP1,800 in England and
Wales to GBP11,800.

However, Scottish widows and widowers of mesothelioma victims
receive up to GBP30,000 compensation for bereavement.

Mrs. Craig has backed a campaign by Newcastle-based Thompsons
Solicitors to bridge the compensation gap between England, Wales
and Scotland.

Mr. Craig was 54 years old when he died from the disease he
contracted after working as an electrician at Swan Hunter,
Wallsend. However, he did not discover he had the killer disease
until more than 30 years after his initial exposure to asbestos
dust.

Ian McFall, head of asbestos policy at Thompsons Solicitors, has
slammed the GBP1,800 increase in compensation for bereavement in
England and Wales as "an insult."

This follows an announcement by the Government that the level of
bereavement damages paid under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 will
rise from GBP10,000 to GBP11,800 from Jan. 1, 2007, the first
increase since 2002.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CARD Clinic Set to Receive Federal Money
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Center for Asbestos-Related Disease (CARD) Clinic, which is
located in Libby, Mont., is set to receive federal money,
Montana News Station reports.

Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester made the
announcement. The funding will be used by the CARD Clinic to
continue serving victims of asbestos related diseases in the
Libby area.

The CARD Clinic tests and cares for victims of asbestos
poisoning and is regarded as a national leader in the field of
asbestos-related disease research.

Asbestos has killed and sickened hundreds of Libby residents who
were exposed to the substance until W.R. Grace & Co.'s nearby
vermiculite mine closed in down 1990.

The US$248,580 in funding for the CARD Clinic is contained in an
overall spending bill that's now headed to President George W.
Bush's desk.

Sen. Baucus said, ‚€œIt's good to see that my friends at the CARD
Clinic will get the dollars they need to continue their work.
You can bet that Jon and I are doing everything we can in
Washington to help out Libby.‚€


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Woodford to Build 164 Homes on Ex-Akzo Site
----------------------------------------------------------------
Woodford Land, a subsidiary of Woodford Group PLC and the firm
hoping to build more than 164 homes on a former Akzo Nobel N.V.
plant site, has sought to quell asbestos-related concerns about
its proposals, Rochdale Observer reports.

Bosses at Woodford Land say they are ‚€œvery confident‚€ measures
they intend to put in place will protect the public from
asbestos contamination on the former Akzo Nobel plant in
Littleborough, U.K.

The Company has applied for outline planning permission to build
164 homes, a pub/restaurant, hotel and retail units at the
Hollingworth Road site.

However, the proposals have sparked protests from residents, who
fear measures to decontaminate the land do not go far enough.

Speaking a public meeting called by MP Paul Rowen to discuss the
concerns, Dave Rix, managing director of Woodford Remediation,
said any contaminated soil which could not be treated would be
taken away to a hazardous waste tip with the rest being buried
under a capping layer of soil and stone.

Woodford‚€™s assurances were backed up by Rochdale Council‚€™s
contaminated land officer Mark Brown.

Roger Chadwick, chairman of the Spotland Area Forum, is involved
with the campaign against plans to build on the former Turner
Brothers asbestos factory.

The planning application is expected to go before committee in
January 2008.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Conn. Firefighters Concerned About Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
The City of New Haven, Conn., and fire union officials are
concerned that several firefighters were exposed to asbestos
while fighting a Dec. 12, 2007 fire at the former Kresge
department store building, Associated Press reports.

As many as 60 firefighters who fought the Dec. 12 blaze at the
site were exposed to thick, acrid smoke for several hours.
Firefighters have air packs to protect them from smoke, but the
packs last only 30 minutes.

Two of a dozen samples of debris sent to the state Department of
Public Health were positive for asbestos, said Andy Rizzo, the
head of New Haven's Livable City Initiative. Daily monitoring
since the fire has shown safe air quality levels, he said.

Rick Scavetta, spokesman for the Hospital of Saint Raphael, said
seven city firefighters were checked after the fire.

Firefighter Patrick Egan, the union's president, said the union
is considering filing a blanket claim to put the asbestos
exposure on record in the event of future illness.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Students Exposed to Hazard at Calif. School
----------------------------------------------------------------
Victoria DeLuca, a speech therapist at Highlands Elementary
School in San Mateo, Calif., has complained that she and
students she works with had been exposed to high levels of
asbestos in a room and that the school did not act quickly
enough to warn them, San Mateo County Times reports.

The district confirmed surface asbestos was found in the room
used by Ms. DeLuca.

However, testing before and after abatement actions were taken
indicated no airborne asbestos, said Joan Rosas, San Mateo-
Foster City School District assistant superintendent of student
services.

Ms. DeLuca has taken issue with the district's testing methods,
and at least one asbestos expert familiar with the case
recommends the room undergo a more involved follow-up
examination. She has also lodged a complaint with the state
Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Cal-OSHA spokesman Dean Fryer said an investigation started Nov.
6, 2007 and could take up to several months.

Ms. DeLuca, who joined Highlands this school year but has served
the district for 21 years, said she first spotted what appeared
to be asbestos on a cut pipe along the ceiling in her room on
Aug. 28, 2007 and reported it to the principal. She said a
nearby vent was blowing air on the pipe, sending dust particles
‚€œall over the room.‚€

An Oct. 26, 2007 analysis report ordered by the district
confirmed the substance in the room to be asbestos. However, Ms.
DeLuca said she was not notified of that result until Nov. 6,
2007.

Ms. DeLuca said she works with about 30 kindergarten pupils to
fifth-graders. On average, she meets with a student twice a week
in the room.

The room has not been used since Nov. 6, 2007.

In a Nov. 14, 2007 letter, Highlands Principal Mary Pat
O'Connell told parents asbestos was found in the insulation
surrounding a ceiling pipe.

Ms. Rosas said, ‚€œBottom line, any school or any district is
responsible for creating a safe environment for staff and
students. When we learned there was asbestos in the speech room,
we followed (Cal-OSHA) process to do air testing and abatement.
The air samples taken of the room prior and after abatement
showed there was no airborne asbestos.‚€

However, Ms. DeLuca argued that a more aggressive type of
testing should have been done to measure potential airborne
asbestos.

Arnold Den, a senior science adviser for the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency who specializes in asbestos issues, said that
kind of testing requires stirring up the air with a leaf-blower
and fans to mimic people's movements in a room and then taking
samples.

Mr. Den recommended that strategy based on results that Ms.
DeLuca got after she independently sent samples to Asbestos TEM
Laboratories Inc. in Berkeley, Calif.

Ms. DeLuca said she got her own samples by wiping a printer and
shelf. She also got samples from a foil cap she used to cover
the pipe.

According to the results from the Berkeley lab, Ms. DeLuca's
samples revealed 610,000 asbestos particles per square
centimeter.

Mr. Den described wiped samples showing 10,000 particles per
square centimeter as a "warning flag."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Lawyer to Urge Judge to Nullify Cases
----------------------------------------------------------------
David Bernick, the lawyer for W.R. Grace & Co., in a hearing set
for January 2008, will try to persuade a Delaware bankruptcy
judge to value as worthless tens of thousands of asbestos-
related claims, Forbes reports.

Grace used asbestos in spray-on fireproofing and Zonolite
insulation and other fireproofing products.

Mr. Bernick is mounting a frontal assault on the system that has
driven Grace and many other asbestos-tainted companies into
bankruptcy and enriched plaintiff lawyers who recruited
thousands of clients with mass X-ray screenings and quickie
medical diagnoses.

Plaintiffs put the Company's liability at US$6 billion, making
it insolvent, while Grace says it can settle the mess for as
little as US$500 million.

Mr. Bernick argues that many of the claimants have not submitted
evidence that they handled Grace's building materials, and if
they did they often provided questionable or no evidence of a
link between asbestos and any medical problems.

If Mr. Bernick succeeds, he could win rulings making it harder
to press dubious claims in court. If he fails, Grace's US$1.8
billion in shareholder value, up tenfold over the past five
years, likely will be wiped out and handed over to asbestos
claimants.

The Columbia, Md.-based Company tried to avoid bankruptcy
throughout the 1990s by settling some 150,000 cases, many for as
little as US$3,000. However, after getting hit with a wave of
tens of thousands of new lawsuits between 1999 and 2001, the
Company filed for protection in 2001, joining many other
companies that have paid out an estimated US$80 billion to
settle asbestos claims.

Lester Brickman, a professor at Yeshiva University's law school,
said, ‚€œMy research suggests something like 90 percent of the
last 200,000 to 300,000 asbestosis claims that have been paid
are bogus.‚€

Grace has commissioned reports that attempt to make the same
point. In a September 2007 filing, for example, Dr. Howard
William Ory, an epidemiologist retired from the Centers for
Disease Control & Prevention, contended there were no more than
28,000 medically plausible cases of asbestosis in the U.S. male
population between 1989 and 2001--a period when Grace was hit
with more than 200,000 lawsuits. His conclusion was based on a
U.K. database that showed asbestosis was quite rare.

Grace also hired three academic lung experts to examine X-rays
of 471 plaintiffs who said they had contracted lung cancer from
asbestos. Plaintiff experts diagnosed asbestos exposure in 82
percent of the plaintiffs, yet the academics could only find
opacities, a possible indication of calcified asbestos fibers,
in seven percent of the films.

Under special rules for asbestos bankruptcies, 75 percent of the
claimants must approve Grace's plan of reorganization.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wis. Residents to Evacuate Homes by Jan. 7
----------------------------------------------------------------
At a Dec. 20, 2007 meeting, city inspectors in New London, Wis.,
told residents to evacuate the Villa Apartments by Jan. 7, 2007
due to the presence of asbestos, WBAY reports.

What started out as a heating problem, now forced an evacuation.
There is a lot of anger at the Villa Apartments, where tenants
of the apartment complex were told to vacate after high levels
of asbestos were found.

Resident Sharon Blink said, ‚€œI was kind of shocked because I
only got three weeks' notice to find a different shelter, a
different house to live in, so I was a little bit upset.‚€

Sandy Kurth, a former complex manager, said, ‚€œHis position was,
if you don't change the boiler, which is the steam system, he
didn't think any permits but as soon as he started cutting on
1930 pipes, which were asbestos pipes, I think that caused the
problem.‚€

Once the building is vacated, city inspectors say it should be
empty for 30 to 60 days for cleaning. Then it's up to residents
to decide if they will move back.

Tenants were also told to decontaminate their clothing,
furniture, and other personal possessions.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bridgemarts Ltd. Fined GBP3,442 for Breach
----------------------------------------------------------------
A ‚€œforgotten‚€ skipload of asbestos waste has landed Bridgemarts
Ltd., d/b/a Gowing and Pursey, with a GBP3,442 bill, Materials
Handling World reports.

On Dec. 18, 2007, Bridgemarts pleaded guilty to keeping waste
without a waste management license and was fined GBP1,500. The
Company also pleaded guilty to contravening their waste
management license by storing the hazardous waste on the site
and was fined a further GBP500. The Company was also ordered to
pay GBP1,442 costs.

Uxbridge Magistrates Court heard how Environment Agency officers
discovered the skip on the premises of Bridgemarts on routine
inspections at the Hillingdon Waste Transfer Station, in Civic
Way, South Ruislip, U.K.

The skip had been stored for nearly a month in an unlicensed
area designed to hold empty skips. During interview, the Company
director said the skip, collected from a site in London SW19,
should have been taken to a landfill site but it was closed due
to high winds on Jan. 16, 2007.

The skip was brought back to their site for storage until the
landfill reopened. However, a letter from the company
contradicted this saying that the driver simply did not have
time to take the skip to the landfill.

The skip of hazardous waste was brought on to the site, stored
illegally and forgotten about until it was discovered on Feb. 9,
2007 by the Environment Agency officers.

Environment Officer Jackie Lawrence said, ‚€œBridgemarts Ltd. made
a catalog of errors that has seen them in court. They stored the
waste illegally, failed in their duty to turn the waste away,
failed to store it properly when it was on site and then failed
to remove it.

‚€œThis situation was unacceptable as who knows how long an open
skip containing asbestos would have remained unsecured if we had
not found it on our routine inspections. There was no paperwork
of its existence and it had simply been forgotten.‚€

The skip was safely disposed of on Feb. 13, 2007.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Forces Closure of Village Hall Area
----------------------------------------------------------------
Assistant Administrator Blaine Wing said that a bathroom at
Cary's village hall in Chicago remained closed on Dec. 19, 2007
after workers found asbestos in the flooring, Daily Herald
reports.

On Dec. 18, 2007, workers found the hazardous substance in the
bathroom while repairing the floor's tiling, Mr. Wing said. The
asbestos was underneath the floor within resin glued to tiles.

Mr. Wing said that this particular bathroom is situated in the
part of village hall that houses the police department. Police
officers primarily use this main-floor bathroom.

Removal was scheduled for Dec. 21, 2007.

Mr. Wing said, ‚€œWe just took the appropriate precautions. We
realized with our building being so old it wasn't as simple as
gluing the tile back to the floor.‚€

Five years ago, the village hired an asbestos abatement team to
remove all known traces of the substance in the 100-year-old
building that was formerly a farmhouse, Mr. Wing said. However,
the team missed the asbestos because it was hidden under the
floor.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Former Judges to be Imprisoned for Bribery
----------------------------------------------------------------
Former Circuit Judge John Whitfield and former Chancery Judge
Wes Teel, both of Harrison County, Miss., were set to report to
federal prison on Dec. 27, 2007 to begin serving sentences for
their roles in a judicial bribery scandal, Associated Press
reports.

Mr. Whitfield and Mr. Teel were convicted in March 2007 of
bribery and mail fraud. The 45-year-old Mr. Whitfield was
sentenced to more than nine years. The 57-year-old Mr. Teel was
sentenced to almost six years.

Paul Minor, who was convicted of bribing the judges, is already
serving an 11-year sentence in a federal prison in Tallahassee,
Fla. The 61-year-old Mr. Minor was once considered among the top
trial lawyers in Mississippi, amassing a fortune from tobacco,
asbestos and other litigation.

Prosecutors say Mr. Minor orchestrated a complicated scheme in
which he guaranteed loans for the judges, then used cash and
third parties in an attempt to conceal the fact that Mr. Minor
paid off the loans. The judges were convicted of giving Mr.
Minor's clients favorable rulings in civil cases in exchange for
the money.

The men were all sentenced in September 2007. However, U.S.
District Judge Henry T. Wingate allowed the former judges to
report to prison after Christmas so they could get their affairs
in order.

As of Dec. 26, 2007, it was not clear where Mr. Whitfield and
Mr. Teel will serve their time.

Mike Truman, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said
that information would not be made public until the two were
processed into a facility.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: N.Y. Sewage Treatment Plant Workers Exposed
----------------------------------------------------------------
Six or seven government employees in Amherst, N.Y., were exposed
to asbestos earlier in December 2007 while doing demolition work
as part of a US$5 million upgrade to the town‚€™s Sewage Treatment
Plant, The Buffalo News reports.

Meanwhile, town officials said no plant administrators were
aware that asbestos concrete pipe was in the building. They have
since sealed off the asbestos-contaminated area and received
Town Board approval on Dec. 24, 2007 to hire an asbestos removal
contractor for US$16,482.

Town Engineer Jeffrey Burroughs said that the work the employees
were doing is part of a larger project to replace six failing
filters at the treatment plant.

Mr. Burroughs said there was a backwash pipe assembly attached
to each filter that is made of asbestos concrete pipe. A work
crew spent a couple of hours taking out the pipe before
realizing that it probably contained asbestos, he said.

When an employee complained, Mr. Burroughs added, plant managers
referred to a manual for the filter equipment that confirmed
that the type of pipe attached to the filters was made with
concrete mixed with asbestos.

Mr. Burroughs said none of the plant managers was aware that
asbestos was in the pipe until that moment. He added that
asbestos concrete pipe is usually buried.

When Mr. Burroughs talked with employees a few days later, he
said, a few were angry that their health may have been
compromised since none of the employees wore protective
equipment to shield them from asbestos exposure.

Mr. Burroughs said that as far as he understands, the asbestos
found in the pipe is not the most hazardous kind and does not
break into tiny pieces that can be easily inhaled.

Mr. Burroughs denied accusations that employees were exposed to
the asbestos because the town was trying to do demolition work
on the cheap by having its own work crews remove the old filter
systems instead of hiring professional contractors to do the
work.

Mr. Burroughs said Empire Building Diagnostics Inc. finished
removing the asbestos concrete piping.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: T.H. Agriculture to Amend Notice of Removal
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court, S.D. Illinois, ordered T.H. Agriculture
& Nutrition L.L.C. to file an amended notice of removal, in an
asbestos-related case filed by Sylvia Pruitt.

The case is styled Sylvia Pruitt, individually and as Special
Administrator of the Estate of Chester Black, Deceased,
Plaintiff, v. Kelly Moore Paint Co., R.T. Vanderbilt Company
Inc. and T.H. Agriculture & Nutrition L.L.C., Defendants.

District Judge Murphy entered judgment of Civil Case No. 07-768-
GPM on Nov. 13, 2007.

This case is an action for wrongful death brought by Ms. Pruitt,
under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, in connection with
Chester Black's death from mesothelioma allegedly as a result of
employment-related exposure to asbestos.

T.H. Agriculture has removed the case from the Circuit Court of
the 3rd Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Ill., to the District
Court in federal diversity jurisdiction. R.T. Vanderbilt Company
Inc. has consented to the removal.

Kelly Moore Paint Co., which, according to T.H. Agriculture's
notice of removal, has not been served with summons in this
case, has not consented to the removal.

By order entered Nov. 13, 2007, the District Court directed T.H.
Agriculture to file an amended notice of removal correcting
various defects in its allegations regarding the citizenship of
certain parties to this case for purposes of federal diversity
jurisdiction.

Randy L. Gori, Goldenberg, Heller, et al., Edwardsville, Ill.,
represented Sylvia Pruitt.

James Tomaska, John D. Wendler, Lathrop & Gage, St. Louis,
represented Kelly Moore Paint Co., R.T. Vanderbilt Company Inc.,
and T.H. Agriculture & Nutrition L.L.C.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Summary Judgment Bids OK'd in Clemens Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex County, allowed
Vermont Mutual Insurance Co. and ServiceMaster their motions for
summary judgment, in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed by
Richard Clemens.

Final judgment shall be entered for each defendant.

The case is styled Richard Clemens v. Vermont Mutual Insurance
Co. et al.

Justice Thayer Fremont-Smith entered judgment of Case No. 061632
on Nov. 13, 2007.

After oral arguments and careful review of the record on summary
judgment, the Superior Court found that that there was no
evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that the
powdery substance of which Mr. Clemens complained was asbestos.

Mr. Clemens had not submitted an air quality report, or any
other evidence of professional investigation. Thus, the only
evidence that Mr. Clemens offered of asbestos in the basement
besides that on the boiler and piping, was his own lay opinion.

The Superior Court found it questionable as to whether Mr.
Clemens had the technical qualification to make such a
determination.

Even if it were assumed that the powdery substance in the cellar
was asbestos, there was nothing but surmise and conjecture upon
which it could be concluded that the fans placed in the basement
by ServiceMaster had spread any asbestos dust around the
basement.

Mr. Clemens did not dispute that he himself repositioned the
fans in the basement several times, as he had been instructed by
ServiceMaster.

There was no expert testimony offered to indicate that any
actions of ServiceMaster caused any diminution in the value of
Mr. Clemens' real estate.

Although the real estate was sold for less than the price at
which it was originally listed, the buyer has provided an
affidavit that he observed no asbestos which had been spread
around the basement, and that his observation of asbestos on the
premises was limited to that observed on the boiler and piping.

Accordingly, there was no evidence (other than Mr. Clemens' own
conjecture) that the alleged powdery substance in the cellar,
other than that on the boiler and pipes, caused any diminution
in value.

With respect to Vermont Mutual's motion for summary judgment,
Mr. Clemens did not dispute that he denied Vermont Mutual's
request to re-inspect a boiler and cellar to determine the cause
and effects of the boiler leak.

By conditioning Vermont Mutual's re-inspection of the boiler on
its prior removal of the asbestos, Mr. Clemens interfered with
Vermont Mutual's investigation as to the cause of the boiler
failure and any resultant damage.

That interference constituted a breach of Mr. Clemens'
obligation under the insurance contract to cooperate with
Vermont Mutual, i.e. a material breach of contract.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Dismisses Preston Action to Favor BAE
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court, N.D. California, granted BAE Systems
San Francisco Ship Repair Inc.'s motion to dismiss an asbestos-
related action filed by Kari Preston.

The case was styled Kari Preston, Plaintiff, v. United States of
America, et al., Defendant.

District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton entered judgment on Case No.
C 07-3861 PJH on Dec. 3, 2007.

This was a maritime case, brought under the Jones Act, the
Public Vessels Act, and the Suits in Admiralty Act, and general
maritime law, and also alleging claims of unseaworthiness, and
maintenance and cure.

Ms. Preston was employed as a member of the crew of the M/V Cape
Mohican, which was owned by the United States of America, and
managed on behalf of the U.S. Maritime Administration, by
MARAD's ship manager, Ocean Duchess Inc.

Ms. Preston filed this action on July 27, 2007, alleging that
during the course of her employment aboard the vessel, from Aug.
3, 2006 through Nov. 11, 2006, while the vessel was berthed in
Alameda, Calif., she was injured following her exposure to
various hazardous substances.

Ms. Preston also asserted a claim against BAE and 10 DOE
defendants, which Ms. Preston alleged were engaged in removing
asbestos from the vessel during the time it was berthed in
Alameda, under a contract with the United States.

Ms. Preston alleged that BAE did not perform its work in a
workmanlike manner, and that she was a third-party beneficiary
of the contract between the United States and BAE.

On Oct. 22, 2007, the United States answered the complaint, and
included cross-claims against BAE. On Nov. 5, 2007, BAE filed
its motion to dismiss.

The complaint was dismissed for failure to state a claim. The
dismissal is with leave to amend.

Ronald H. Klein, Lyle C. Cavin, Jr., Law Offices of Lyle C.
Cavin, Jr., Oakland, Calif., represented Kari Preston.

Geoffrey David Owen, U.S. Department of Justice, San Francisco,
Madeline L. Buty, Buty & Curliano LLP, Oakland, Calif.,
represented the United States of America and the other
Defendants.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Upholds Board Ruling in Ingram Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld the Workers'
Compensation Appeal Board's ruling, which was in favor of Ford
Electronics & Refrigeration Corp., in an action involving
asbestos filed by Mark A. Hicks, Sr.

The case is styled Marie Ingram, deceased employee, and Mark A.
Hicks, Sr., parent and natural guardian of minor dependent,
claimant, Mark A. Hicks, Jr., Petitioners v. Workers'
Compensation Appeal Board (Ford Electronics & Refrigeration
Corp. and Ford Electronics/Self-Insured), Respondents.

Judge Rochelle S. Friedman, Judge Robert Simpson, and Senior
Judge Joseph F. McCloskey entered judgment of Case Nos. 491 CD
2007, 492 CD 2007, 493 CD 2007 on Dec. 12, 2007.

In 1989 and 1995, Marie Ingram sustained separate wrist/carpal
tunnel injuries. In 1990, Ford Electronics issued a notice of
compensation payable for an injury described as bilateral wrist
pain. In 1995, Ford Electronics issued a separate NCP for an
injury described as bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and left
shoulder pain.

Ms. Ingram's last day of work was May 16, 1995. Four months
later, she filed a claim petition alleging she contracted an
asbestos-related occupational disease. She claimed she
contracted the disease as a result of exposure to hazardous
fumes.

In March 1998, Workers' Compensation Judge Scott M. Olin
circulated a decision approving a compromise and release
agreement (C&R) between Ms. Ingram and Ford Electronics that
resolved liability for the accepted carpal tunnel injuries.

The C&R stated Ms. Ingram had no widower, children or
dependents. It also resolved Ms. Ingram's pending occupational
disease claim. Under the C&R, Ford Electronics paid Ms. Ingram
US$84,000. Neither party appealed Judge Olin's decision.

More than 300 weeks after her last day of work, Ms. Ingram died
from lung cancer on Oct. 31, 2001. Shortly before her death, she
adopted Mark A. Hicks, Jr. as a grandson.

Mark A Hicks, Sr. timely filed a fatal claim petition on Oct.
28, 2004, which the Bureau assigned to Workers' Compensation
Judge Susan E. Kelley (Second WCJ).

In response, Ford Electronics filed a motion to dismiss.

Because no one established a compensable disability within 300
weeks of Ms. Ingram's last hazardous occupational exposure, and
her death occurred more than 300 weeks after her last exposure,
Judge Kelley granted Ford Electronics' motion to dismiss Mark A.
Hicks, Sr.'s fatal claim petition.

The Commonwealth Court affirmed the Board's ruling.

James B. Mogul, Bala Cynwyd, Pa., represented decedent Marie
Ingram, Marc A. Hicks, Sr., and Marc A. Hicks, Jr.

Jane A. Lombard, Philadelphia, represented Ford Electronics and
Refrigeration Corp.


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

WSB FINANCIAL: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Fraud Suit in WA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. has
filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Washington on behalf of its client and on
behalf of other similarly situated purchasers of WSB Financial
Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: WSFG) common stock pursuant or traceable to
the Company's December 13, 2006 Initial Public Offering from
between November 3, 2005 and May 10, 2007, inclusive. WSB
Financial is the holding company for Westsound Bank, a
Bremerton, Washington based financial institution that serves
the Puget Sound area.

The complaint charges WSB Financial and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of the Securities Act of 1933. The
complaint also alleges that D.A. Davidson -- who acted as acted
as "Lead Underwriter" of the IPO -- violated the Securities Act.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that, in connection with the
IPO, defendants issued numerous materially false and misleading
statements which caused WSB Financial's securities to trade at
artificially inflated prices.  As alleged in the complaint, the
Company's registration statement for the IPO failed to disclose
that the Company had been violating certain banking laws and
regulations relating to the origination, administration and
monitoring of construction and mortgage loans.  Due to the
Company's misleading statements, WSB Financial's stock hit an
intra-day high of $21 per share during the Class Period.

According to the complaint, beginning in September 2007, a
series of announcements and investigations into the Company's
lending practices caused WSB Financial's stock to plummet. For
example, in late September, the Company announced that due to
the reduced demand of mortgage loans, the Company was
eliminating thirty-three jobs in its mortgage division.

Moreover, the Company announced that its Executive Vice
President of Sales and Lending at Westsound Bank had been
terminated. The complaint alleges that as a result of these
announcements, the Company's stock fell from $15.30 per share to
$12.40 per share. Then, the Company announced that state and
federal regulators were looking into possible fraud and
misconduct in its real estate lending practices. Within two days
of this announcement the Company's stock dropped nearly 60
percent, from $11.20 on October 24, 2007 to $4.73 on October 25,
2007.

Interested parties may move the court no later than January 2,
2007 for lead plaintiff appointment.

For more information, contact:

          Steven J. Toll, Esq.
          Scott Evans
          Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C.
          1100 New York Avenue, N.W.
          West Tower, Suite 500
          Washington, D.C. 20005
          Telephone: (888) 240-0775 or (202) 408-4600
          Email: stoll@cmht.com or sevans2@cmht.com


                           *********

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

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


                           *********


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

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