CAR_Public/080118.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Friday, January 18, 2008, Vol. 10, No. 13

                            Headlines


ANDX CORP: April 3 Hearing Set on $8M Securities Suit Settlement
ARCTIC EXPRESS: New Payment Schedule in Escrow Funds Suit Filed
AUSTRALIA: Man Files Suit Over 2005 Eyre Peninsula Bushfires
BOEING CO: Dismissal of Racial Discrimination Suit on Appeal
CANADA: Disabled War Veterans Denied Appeal in CA$5B Lawsuit
COCA-COLA: Ga. "Selbst" Securities Fraud Suit Dismissal Upheld

COOPER COS: Answers Amended Complaint in Calif. Securities Suit
COSTCO WHOLESALE: Still Faces Calif. Labor-Related Litigation
COSTCO WHOLESALE: Discovery Ongoing in “Alvarado” Labor Lawsuit
COSTCO WHOLESALE: Appeals $5.3M Judgment in “Marin” Labor Suit
COSTCO WHOLESALE: Proceedings Ongoing in Membership Litigation

COSTCO WHOLESALE: Faces Suits in Wash., Colo. Over Organic Milk
ELECTRONIC COS: Tenn. Suit Alleges Computer Monitor Price Fixing
GIFT WRAP: Recalls Frames for Lead Paint Standard Violation
GUIDANT CORP: Denied Appeal in "Heron” Defibrillator Lawsuit
HOVNANIAN ENTERPRISES: Shareholder Seeks Lead Plaintiff Status

MERCK & CO: Faces N.Y. Lawsuit Over Cholesterol Statin Drug
MORGAN STANELY: Eastman Kodak, Xerox Employees File $145M Suit
NBC UNIVERSAL: 'American Gangster' Defamed DEA Agents, Suit Says
QUEBEC NURSES: Settle Suit Over 1999 Labor Strike for $60T
QUICKSILVER INC: Still Faces Calif. FACTA Violations Lawsuit

RAM PUBLISHING: Faces Lawsuit in Penna. Over Missing Phone Books
ST PAUL: Court Allows Appeal in Tissue Screening Process Suit
TOLL BROTHERS: Seeks Dismissal of Pa. Securities Fraud Lawsuit
TOLL BROTHERS: Faces Securities Fraud Litigation in California
TORO CO: Faces Ill. Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Over Lawnmowers  


                       Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 11,117 Actions Pending v. RPM Units at Nov.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RPM Awaits 2008 Ruling on Pending Motions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Injury Suit v. Chase Corp. Remains Inactive
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Abatement Supervisor Gets 60-Days Jail Time
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-DuPont Worker Sues 39 Companies in W.Va.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FMC Worker Sues 30 Companies in W.Va. Court
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Breaches to Dutch Disposal Laws Reported
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Pa. Court Vacates Order, Remands Gregg Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ingersoll-Rand Notes $449M Asbestos Charge
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ingersoll-Rand Faces 100,623 Claims at Dec.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mich. Worker Files FELA Lawsuit v. 15 Firms
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Found in Imported Toys Sold Online
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bilaz Inc. Sentenced to 6 Months For Breach
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio Worker Sues 88 Companies in Ill. Court
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DOL Imposes $1,225 Fine to Sater Electric

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Briggs, B&W Settles with School for GBP3.1M
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mass. District Court Remands Hilbert Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reconsideration Bid Denied for Smith Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Zilco to Pay $36,562 for Disposal Breaches
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Welder Sues 60 A.O. Smith, 59 Firms in Tex.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Broome Suit v. Dow Chemical Pending in Tex.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Widow to Sue Insurers over Husband's Death
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Dust Detected in Seoul Subway
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Okla. Mayor Sentenced for Exposure Breaches
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Spills on Highway in Queens, N.Y.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japanese Subsidy System Utilized 122 Times
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Carpenter Sues A.O. Smith, 68 Firms in Tex.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inquest Links Ex-Engineer's Death to Hazard
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Investigations in Queensland Sites Ongoing
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Salem-Keizer School District Action Ongoing

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Europarl Seeks Better Protection of Workers
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Okla. Worker Sentenced for Cleanup Breaches
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ga. Widower Sues 84 Companies in Ill. Court
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Settles w/ Pima County over Violations
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cascino Vaughan Delivers List of Creditors

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cayuga County to Pay $5T for Removal Breach
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NGOs Sue City in Israel for Waste Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ASARCO LLC to Delay Plan Filing By 2 Months
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inquest Links Decorator's Death to Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Korean Group Urges Commuters' Health Study
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Posen Construction Ordered to Remove Hazard


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

AMBAC FINANCIAL: Coughlin Stoia Files N.Y. Securities Fraud Suit
PZENA INVESTMENT: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Fraud Suit
RAIT FINANCIAL: Donal Lomax Files Securities Fraud Suit in Pa.
SHORETEL INC: KGS Files First Securities Fraud Suit in Calif.
VIRGIN MOBILE: Howard Smith Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.


                            *********  


ARCTIC EXPRESS: New Payment Schedule in Escrow Funds Suit Filed
---------------------------------------------------------------
A judge in a case by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers
Assoc. (OOIDA) against the Arctic Express Inc. over truckers'
escrow funds filed an order on Jan. 14 that included a new
payment schedule, Land Line Magazine reports.

In 1997, OOIDA, with members Carl Harp, Garvin Keith Roberts and
Michael Wiese, filed a suit against Arctic Express and affiliate
leasing company D&A Associates Ltd., claiming violations of the
federal truth-in-leasing regulations for their failure to return
escrow accounts after the termination of the owner-operators'
leases.

The Association requested that the case be certified as a class
action to include thousands of truckers.   Judge Algenon L.
Marbley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
Ohio granted that request in September 2001.

The class includes all independent owner-operators who entered
lease agreements with D&A Associates which purport to lease,
with the option to purchase, trucking equipment under the terms
of D&A's equipment lease-purchase agreement, and leased that
equipment to Arctic Express under the terms of Arctic's
federally regulated lease agreement.

On Aug. 29, 2001, Judge Marbley issued a written summary
judgment in OOIDA's favor finding that Arctic Express had
violated the federal leasing regulations and "absconded" with
the escrow accounts of the owner-operators.

On Oct. 31, 2003, Arctic Express announced it had filed for a
voluntary petition to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Code.  The petition was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court in Columbus, Ohio.  D&A Associates Ltd., also filed a
Chapter 11 at the same time.

After Arctic declared bankruptcy, it had agreed to pay $900,000
on a $5.58 million court-ordered judgment.  The motor carrier
made the first two ($75,000 each) of eight payments in June and
December 2005.  Then Arctic officials stopped writing the
settlement checks.

On April 18, Judge Marbley ordered Arctic to prove that it is
not able to make the ordered payments.  If detailed evidence is
not presented, the judge indicated he will hold Arctic in
contempt.

The company also failed to make payments in June and December of
2006 totaling $250,000.  The judge approved a revised payment
schedule in the summer of 2007, but Arctic defaulted on the
first payment, which was due July 25, 2007.

A Dec. 14, 2007 hearing was scheduled, at which the judge had
said he would find Arctic in civil contempt of court if the
defendants did not show cause why they failed to meet his
previously imposed payment schedule.

Arctic paid $205,000 on Dec. 21, which included payment of
principal interest and penalties under the previous schedule. As
of Jan. 1, Arctic still owed the truckers in the class action
$565,000, according to the report.

The new payment schedule:

Year   2008                  2009                   2010

Month      Amount      Month      Amount      Month      Amount

                       March     $12,500      March     $12,500
April       $5,000     April     $12,500      April     $12,500
May         $5,000     May       $12,500      May       $12,500
June        $5,000     June      $12,500      June      $12,500
July       $10,000     July      $12,500      July      $12,500
August     $10,000     August    $12,500      August    $12,500
September  $10,000     September $12,500      September $12,500
October    $10,000     October   $12,500      October   $12,500
November   $10,000     November  $12,500      November  $12,500
December  $100,000     December $100,000      December  $75,000

The suit is "Owner-Operator Indep, et al. v. Arctic Express
Inc., et al., Case No. 2:97-cv-00750-ALM-NMK," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Under Judge
Algenon L. Marbley with referral to Judge Norah McCann King.

Representing plaintiffs are:

          Joyce E. Mayers, Esq.
          Paul D. Cullen, Sr., Esq.
          Gregory Michael Cork, Esq.
          The Cullen Law Firm
          1101 30th Street NW, Suite 300
          P.O. Box 25806, Washington, DC
          20007-9998
          Phone: 202-944-8600 or 202-944-8600
          E-mail: jem@cullenlaw.com

          James Burdette Helmer, Jr., Esq.
          Paul B. Martins, Esq.
          Helmer Martins, Rice & Popham Co., L.P.A.
          2, 600 Vine Street, Suite 2704
          105 E. 4th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202-4008
          Phone: 513-421-2400
          Fax: 513-421-7902
          E-mail: support@fcalawfirm.com

Representing defendants is:

          Sarah Daggett Morrison, Esq.
          Chester Willcox & Saxbe – 2
          65 E State Street, Suite 1000, Columbus, OH
          43215-4213
          Phone: 614-221-4000
          Fax: 614-221-4012
          E-mail: smorrison@cwslaw.com


ANDX CORP: April 3 Hearing Set on $8M Securities Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
An April 3, 2008 hearing is set in an $8,000,000 settlement of
the securities fraud suit “Jerry Lowry v. Andrx Corp., et al.,
Case No. 05-61640,” filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Florida.

The hearing will be held before the Honorable William P.
Dimitrouleas in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Florida, United States District Court, 299
East Broward Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, at 1:00 p.m., on
April 3, 2008.

The class includes all all persons or entities who purchased on
the open market the common stock of Andrx Corp. between March 9,
2005 and Sept. 5, 2005, inclusive.  Deadline to file Proof of
Claim is no later than April 10, 2008.  The deadline for
submitting objections and requests for exclusions is March 14,
2008.

On October 11, 2005, Jerry Lowry filed a class action complaint
on behalf of purchasers of the Andrx’s common stock during the
class period (March 9, 2005 through September 5, 2005) against
Andrx Corp. and its then Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Rice.

The complaint seeks damages under the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, and alleges that during the class period, Andrx failed to
disclose that its manufacturing facilities were not in
compliance with the U.S. FDA’s current Good Manufacturing
Practices (cGMP). The complaint further alleges that Andrx’s
failure to be cGMP compliant led to the FDA placing Andrx on
Official Action Indicated status, which resulted in not being
eligible for approvals of Andrx’s Abbreviated New Drug
Applications.

On July 24, 2006, the defendants moved to dismiss the action. On
December 8, 2006, the court granted in part and denied in part
the defendants’ motion to dismiss. On April 18, 2007, plaintiffs
filed a motion seeking class certification.

On October 2, 2007, the parties entered into an agreement in
principle settling all outstanding claims. The terms of the
agreement are confidential and are subject to the execution of
definitive documentation and approval of the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of Florida. The settlement is not
expected to materially adversely affect the Company’s business,
results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.

For claims inquiries contact:

          Andrx Corporation Securities Litigation
          c/o Strategic Claims Services
          600 N. Jackson Street - Suite 3
          PO Box 230
          Media, PA 19063
          Tel: (866) 274-4004
          Website: http://www.strategicclaims.net

The suit is "Jerry Lowry, et al. v. Andrx Corp., et al., Case
No. 05-CV-61640," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Florida under Judge William P.
Dimitrouleas.  

Plaintiffs' lead counsel is:

          Jacqueline Sailer
          Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP
          275 Madison Avenue, Suite 801
          New York, NY 10016

Representing the defendants is:

          Louise McAlpin Brais, Esq.
          Holland & Knight
          701 Brickell Avenue, Suite 3000
          Miami, FL 33131
          Phone: 305-789-7715
          Fax: 305-789-7799
          E-mail: louise.brais@hklaw.com


AUSTRALIA: Man Files Suit Over 2005 Eyre Peninsula Bushfires
------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers lodged a statement of claim on behalf of Wayne Griffifth
who lost his wife and grandchildren in a January 2005 Eyre
Peninsula bushfires, Andrew Dowdell of Adelaidenow reports.

The suit was filed against Country Fire Service and truck driver
Marco Visic, whose car, according to a coronial inquest, ignited
and started the fire on January 10, 2005.

The bushfires killed nine people, blackened almost 78,000
hectares of land and cost the community an estimated $100
million, according to the report.

Mr. Visic is accused of negligence in failing to ensure that the
exhaust system of his vehicle was not defective.  The  Country
Fire Service is accused of failing to properly monitor blaze on
all levels from the incident controller through to state
headquarters.

Mr Griffith's claim is being used as a test case for the class
action, which could involve as much as $30 million in
compensation, according to the report.  The claim does not
specify how much compensation is being sought.

Mr Griffith is being represented by lawyer Peter Humphries.


BOEING CO: Dismissal of Racial Discrimination Suit on Appeal
------------------------------------------------------------
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard an appeal against
the dismissal without a trial of a lawsuit alleging that The
Boeing Co. discriminated against African-American employees
because of their race, Joseph Tartakoff of Seattlepi.com
reports.

The suit was filed in 1998 claiming that Boeing had compensated
African-American and white employees differently for similar
work.   Boeing settled the case for $15 million, but the
settlement was thrown out in 2003.  

The case went to trial again in 2004, but the judge decided to
throw out additional claims that Boeing had discriminated in its
pay, in part because it violated the four-year statute of
limitations.  A jury then determined that Boeing had not
racially discriminated in its promotion policies.

Plaintiffs' attorney argued before the appeals court that they
had alleged all the way back to 1998 that Boeing had
discriminated in its pay and therefore the court should not have
thrown out those claims.  And that the years during which the
1999 settlement was on appeal should not count under the statute
of limitations.

Representing Boeing is

          Michael Reiss, Esq.
          Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
          E-mail: mikereiss@dwt.com
          Phone: (206) 757-8130

Representing plaintiffs is:

          Craig Spiegel, Esq.
          Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
          1301 Fifth Avenue, Ste 2900  Seattle, WA, 98101   
          Phone: (206) 268-9328  
          Fax: 206-623-0594


CANADA: Disabled War Veterans Denied Appeal in CA$5B Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Canada has denied disabled veterans leave
to appeal a ruling in a class action involving thousands of
disabled veterans and their dependents.

The disabled veterans, whose class action was certified in 1999,
have been seeking redress from the federal government for years
of failure to properly administer their money -- in some cases,
hundreds of thousands of dollars. These were veterans who were
injured in the service of their country and were deemed, by the
government, incapable of managing their money as a result of
their disability. Veterans in the class include those from the
First World War onwards.

The leave to appeal application, submitted on behalf of the
veterans, followed a July 2007 Decision rendered by the Ontario
Court of Appeal. The Ontario Court of Appeal decision ruled in
favor of the federal government on an appeal following a 2005
decision by Ontario Superior Court Justice John H. Brockenshire.
An earlier decision quantified the damages owing by the federal
government to be CA$5.2 billion.

"We are disappointed with the Court's decision," the lawyers
said. "In 2003, the Supreme Court said: "The prohibition, "Thou
shalt not steal," has no legal force upon the sovereign body",
and the Crown's right to take property from Canadians was
upheld. The Government, for decades, failed to invest these
veterans' funds or pay interest on them - and the veterans had
no recourse but to sue them for this failure. Regrettably, the
Supreme Court, in agreeing with the Ontario Court of Appeal, has
denied justice for these veterans and their families. This is a
sad day for them, and for all Canadians who would seek to
question the actions of their federal government."

"In terms of next steps we will seek direction from our clients.
In the meantime however, we will be considering our options.
Certainly, there is always the option to try and pursue a
political resolution to this lawsuit, but this would require the
assistance of Canadians to impress upon the government the need
to provide restitution to these veterans. While successive
governments have failed them, perhaps this government might see
fit to right this historical wrong," the lawyers noted.

The members of the legal team are David Greenaway and Ray
Colautti, Partners at the Windsor Ontario firm of Raphael
Partners LLP and London, Ontario lawyer Peter Sengbusch.

"This lawsuit sought to address a number of issues fundamental
to our society: fiduciary responsibility; discrimination on the
basis of disability; the application and interpretation of
Federal statutes and important principles of the law of equity,"
the lawyers said.

"Over a period of nearly 90 years, successive governments failed
to exercise their fiduciary responsibility to these veterans and
their families. By 1986, the Auditor General of Canada
recognized that the $53 M of accumulated funds represented a
liability because the government was not investing the funds as
is legally required. The government's failure mounted to a
breach of fiduciary duty and the government does not dispute
this fact," said the legal team.

In 2003 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the federal
government had the power to pass a law limiting its own
liability, and ruled against the veterans who argued that
passage of the 1990 legislation removed their right to property
and thus contravened the Canadian Bill of Rights.

Despite the government's victory, the lawsuit continued on the
basis that Justice Brockenshire ruled the veterans could pursue
damages in the case based on the government's failure to act as
a proper trustee. While it does not contest that it failed to
act as a trustee, the federal government appealed that decision
by Justice Brockenshire, and thus the damages awarded.

Addressing another central aspect of the case the lawyers said,
"On the basis of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,
the Government of Canada passed legislation in 1990 that
discriminated against these veterans on the basis of their
disabilities. The Ontario Court of Appeal ruling (July 2007)
dismissed the Charter argument, depriving these disabled
veterans of protection by the fundamental law of this country.
They fought for our rights and freedoms, and have been denied an
opportunity to challenge a law that fundamentally discriminated
against them."
                     
Eleanor McMahon, Public Relations Raphael Partners LLP, (519)
966-1300 Ext. 560 or Cell: (647) 201-2820 (For information or
copies of the veterans' lawyers memorandum of argument go to
http://www.veteransinterest.org)


COCA-COLA: Ga. "Selbst" Securities Fraud Suit Dismissal Upheld
--------------------------------------------------------------
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the dismissal
of the securities fraud class action, "Selbst v. The
Coca-Cola Co., et al.," according to Alyson M. Palmer of Fulton
County Daily Report.

On May 9, 2005, the putative class action "Selbst v. The Coca-
Cola Co. and Douglas N. Daft," was filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of Georgia, alleging violations
of antifraud provisions of the securities laws by the company
and Mr. Daft, former chairman of the board and chief executive
officer of the company.

The purported class consists of persons, except the defendants,
who purchased company stock between Jan. 30, 2003 and Sept. 15,
2004 and were damaged thereby.  

The complaint alleges, among other things, that during the class
period the company and Mr. Daft made false and misleading
statements concerning the financial condition of the company and
its business outlook, strategy, business model and relationship
with key bottlers in internal corporate memoranda,
analysts' conference calls, press releases and U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission filings.  

The plaintiffs, on behalf of the putative class, seek
compensatory damages in an amount to be proved at trial,
extraordinary, equitable and/or injunctive relief as permitted
by law to assure that the class has an effective remedy, award
of reasonable costs and expenses, including counsel and expert
fees, and such other further relief as the Court may deem just
and proper.

On July 8, 2005, a putative class action, styled "Amalgamated
Bank, et al. v. The Coca-Cola Co., et al." was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against:

      -- the company,
      -- Douglas N. Daft,
      -- E. Neville Isdell,
      -- Steven J. Heyer, and
      -- Gary P. Fayard.

The suit is alleging violations of antifraud provisions of the
federal securities laws.  The purported class consists of
persons, except the defendants, who purchased company stock
between Jan. 30, 2003 and Sept. 15, 2004 and were damaged
thereby.  

The complaint alleges, among other things, that during the class
period the defendants made false and misleading statements
about:

      -- the company's new business strategy/model;

      -- the company's execution of its new business
         strategy/model;

      -- the state of the company's critical bottler
         relationships;

      -- the company's North American business;

      -- the company's European operations, with a particular
         emphasis on Germany;

      -- the company's marketing and introduction of new
         products, particularly Coca-Cola C2; and

      -- the company's forecast for growth going forward.

The plaintiffs claim that as a result of these allegedly false
and misleading statements, the price of the company stock
increased dramatically during the purported class period.  

The complaint also alleges that in September and November 2004,
the company and E. Neville Isdell acknowledged that the
company's performance had been below expectations, that various
corrective actions were needed, that the company was lowering
its forecasts, and that there would be no quick fixes.  

In addition, the complaint alleges that the charge announced by
the company in November 2004 should have been taken early in
2003 and that, as a result, the company's financial statements
were materially misstated during 2003 and the first three
quarters of 2004.

Plaintiffs, on behalf of the putative class, seek compensatory
damages in an amount to be proved at trial, extraordinary,
equitable and/or injunctive relief as permitted by law to assure
that the class has an effective remedy, award of reasonable
costs and expenses, including counsel and expert fees, and such
other further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

In September 2005, the plaintiff filed an amended consolidated
complaint providing, among other things, additional details
concerning the original complaint's allegations about
disclosures regarding the company's operations in Germany.  

On November 21, 2005, the company and the individual parties
filed a motion to dismiss the amended and consolidated
complaint.  The plaintiffs filed their response to that motion
on Jan. 27, 2006.

On Sept. 29, 2006, the court entered its order granting the
company's motion to dismiss the amended complaint in its
entirety and granted the plaintiffs 20 days from its date of
entry within which to seek leave to file a second amended
complaint to attempt to correct deficiencies noted therein.

On Oct. 23, 2006, plaintiffs advised the court that they would
not seek leave to file a second amended complaint.  The court
entered its final order of judgment on March 23, 2007.

On April 16, 2007, plaintiffs filed notice of appeal of the
Court's order dismissing this case to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

In recent developments, according to the Fulton County Daily
Report, an unpublished, unsigned opinion issued Jan. 10 by the
panel of 11th Circuit Judges Stanley F. Birch Jr. and Ed Carnes
and Senior 11th Circuit Judge Emmett Ripley Cox generally
adopted the dismissal ruling of Judge Story.  Judge Story said
that most of the alleged misrepresentations were vague while
other allegations weren't stated specifically enough in the
complaint.

The suit is "Selbst v. The Coca-Cola Co., et al., Case No. 1:05-
cv-01226-RWS," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia under Judge Richard W. Story.  

Representing the plaintiffs are:

         David Andrew Bain, Esq.
         Chitwood Harley Harnes, LLP
         1230 Peachtree Street N.E.
         2300 Promenade II
         Atlanta, GA 30309
         Phone: 404-873-3900
         E-mail: dab@classlaw.com

              - and -

         James A. Caputo, Esq.
         Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
         655 W. Broadway, Suite 1900
         San Diego, CA 92101-4297
         Phone: 619-231-1058

Representing the defendants are:

         Jeffrey S. Cashdan, Esq.
         King & Spalding
         191 Peachtree Street, N.E.
         Atlanta, GA 30303-1763
         Phone: 404-572-4600
         E-mail: jcashdan@kslaw.com

              - and -

         Paul R. Bessette, Esq.
         Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP
         Suite 2100, 300 West 6th Street
         Austin, TX 78701
         Phone: 512-499-6250


COOPER COS: Answers Amended Complaint in Calif. Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Cooper Cos., Inc., along with other defendants, has answered
the amended complaint in a consolidated securities fraud class
action filed against the company in the U.S. District Court for
the Central District of California.

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

     -- the company;

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

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

     -- John D. Fruth, a director.

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

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

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

In addition to the Company, Messrs. Bender, Weiss, and Fruth,
the consolidated complaint names as defendants several of the
Company’s other current officers and directors and one former
officer.

On July 13, 2007, the Court granted Cooper’s motion to dismiss
the consolidated complaint and granted the lead plaintiff leave
to amend to attempt to state a valid claim.

                 Amended Consolidated Complaint

On Aug. 9, 2007, the lead plaintiff filed an amended
consolidated complaint.  As before, the amended consolidated
complaint was filed on behalf of all purchasers of the Company’s
securities between July 28, 2004, and Dec. 12, 2005, including
persons who received Company securities in exchange for their
shares of Ocular in the January 2005 merger pursuant to which
the Company acquired Ocular.

In addition to the Company, the amended consolidated complaint
names as defendants Messrs. Bender, Weiss, Fruth, Steven M.
Neil, the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial
Officer, and Gregory A. Fryling, CooperVision’s former President
and Chief Operating Officer.

The amended consolidated complaint purports to allege violations
of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Act of 1934 by, among other things, contending that the
defendants made misstatements concerning the Biomedics product
line, sales force integration following the merger with Ocular,
the impact of silicone hydrogel lenses and financial
projections.

The amended consolidated complaint also alleges that the Company
improperly accounted for assets acquired in the Ocular merger by
improperly allocating $100 million of acquired customer
relationships and manufacturing technology to goodwill (which is
not amortized against earnings) instead of to intangible
assets other than goodwill (which are amortized against
earnings), that the Company lacked appropriate internal controls
and issued false and misleading Sarbanes-Oxley Act
certifications.

On Sept. 5, 2007, the Company and the individual defendants
moved to dismiss the amended consolidated complaint.

On Oct. 23, 2007, the Court granted in-part and denied in-part
Cooper and the individual defendants motion to dismiss.

The Court dismissed the claims relating to the Sarbanes-Oxley
Act certifications and the Company's accounting of assets
acquired in the Ocular merger.

The Court denied the motion as to the claims related to alleged
false statements concerning the Biomedics® product line, sales
force integration, the impact of silicone hydrogel lenses and
the Company's financial projections.

On Nov. 28, 2007, the Court also dismissed all claims against
Mr. Fruth with leave to amend.  

Plaintiff did not amend their consolidated amended complaint
within the time permitted by the Court.

On Dec. 3, 2007, the Company and Messrs. Bender, Weiss, Neil and
Fryling answered the amended consolidated complaint.

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

Representing the plaintiffs are:

         X. Jay Alvarez, Esq.
         Rudman and Robbins
         655 West Broadway, Suite 1900
         San Diego, CA 92101
         Phone: 619-231-1058

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

              - and -

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

Representing the defendants is:

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


COSTCO WHOLESALE: Still Faces Calif. Labor-Related Litigation
-------------------------------------------------------------
Costco Wholesale Corp. continues to face two lawsuits -- one
currently on hold -- which were purportedly brought as class
actions on behalf of certain present and former managers in
California, who principally allege that they have not been
properly compensated for overtime work.

The suits are:

      -- “Scott M. Williams v. Costco Wholesale Corp., U.S.
         District Court (San Diego), Case No. 02-CV-2003 NAJ
         (JFS);” and

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

The Randall matter is currently in the class certification
briefing phase.  The Williams case has been stayed pending the
class certification outcome in the Randall case.

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

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

Costco Wholesale Corp. -- http://www.costco.com–- operates  
membership warehouses that offer a selection of nationally
branded and private-label products in a range of merchandise
categories in self-service warehouse facilities.


COSTCO WHOLESALE: Discovery Ongoing in “Alvarado” Labor Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is ongoing in the purported class action, “Elizabeth
Alvarado v. Costco Wholesale Corp., Case No. C-06-04015-MJJ,”
which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California.

The case was purportedly brought as a class action on behalf of
present and former hourly employees in California, in which the
plaintiff principally alleges that Costco did not properly
compensate and record time worked by employees during routine
closing procedures, including security searches.  

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

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

Discovery is ongoing, according to the company's Dec. 21, 2007
Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarterly period ended Nov. 25, 2007.

The suit is “Alvarado v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, Case No.  
3:06-cv-04015-MJJ,” filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California under Judge Martin J. Jenkins
with referral to Judge Maria-Elena James.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

         Matthew Roland Bainer, Esq.
         Scott Cole & Associates, APC
         1970 Broadway, Ninth Floor
         Oakland, CA 94612
         Phone: 510-891-9800
         Fax: 510-891-7030
         E-mail: mrbainer@scalaw.com

Representing the defendants are:

         David D. Kadue, Esq.
         Seyfarth Shaw LLP
         2029 Century Park East, Suite 3300
         Los Angeles, CA 90067-3063
         Phone: 310-277-7200
         Fax: 310-201-5219
         E-mail: dkadue@seyfarth.com


COSTCO WHOLESALE: Appeals $5.3M Judgment in “Marin” Labor Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Costco Wholesale Corp. is appealing a $5.3 million judgment
handed down in favor of plaintiffs in the case, “Anthony Marin
v. Costco Wholesale Corp., Case No. RG-04150447,” which was
filed in the Superior Court for the County of Alameda.

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

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

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

Costco has filed an appeal challenging both the entry of a $5.3
million judgment in favor of the class and the accompanying
award of attorneys’ fees.

The company reported no development in the matter in its Dec.
21, 2007 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarterly period ended Nov. 25, 2007.

Costco Wholesale Corp. -- http://www.costco.com-- operates  
membership warehouses that offer a selection of nationally
branded and private-label products in a range of merchandise
categories in self-service warehouse facilities.


COSTCO WHOLESALE: Proceedings Ongoing in Membership Litigation
--------------------------------------------------------------
Proceedings concerning class certification are ongoing in one of  
two purported class actions against Costco Wholesale Corp. in
relation its membership renewal practices.

One of the suits is “Evans, et ano., v. Costco Wholesale Corp.,
Case No. BC351869,” which was filed in the Superior Court for
the County of Los Angeles and later removed to the U.S. District
Court for the Central District of California.

The other suit is “Dupler v. Costco Wholesale Corp., Index No.
06-007555,” which was commenced in the Supreme Court of Nassau
County, New York and removed to the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of New York.

The suits are asserting that the Company violated various
provisions of California and New York common law and statutes in
connection with a membership renewal practice.

Under that practice, members who pay their renewal fees late
generally have their twelve-month membership renewal periods
commence at the time of the prior year’s expiration rather than
the time of the late payment.

Plaintiffs in these two actions seek compensatory damages,
restitution, disgorgement, preliminary and permanent injunctive
and declaratory relief, attorneys’ fees and costs, prejudgment
interest and, in “Evans,” punitive damages.

Proceedings concerning class certification are ongoing in
“Dupler,” according to the company's Dec. 21, 2007 Form 10-Q
Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended Nov. 25, 2007.

Costco Wholesale Corp. -- http://www.costco.com-- operates  
membership warehouses that offer a selection of nationally
branded and private-label products in a range of merchandise
categories in self-service warehouse facilities.


COSTCO WHOLESALE: Faces Suits in Wash., Colo. Over Organic Milk
---------------------------------------------------------------
Costco Wholesale Corp. faces two purported federal class actions
in Washington, and Colorado in relation to sales of organic
milk, according to the company's Dec. 21, 2007 Form 10-Q Filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended Nov. 25, 2007.

The suits are:

       -- “Hesse v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. C07-1975 (W.D.
          Wash.);”

       -- “Snell v. Aurora Dairy Corp., et al., No. 07-CV-2449
          (D. Col.).”

Both actions claim violations of the laws of various states,
essentially alleging that milk provided to Costco by its
supplier Aurora Dairy Corp. was improperly labeled “organic.”

Costco has not yet responded to the complaints; Aurora has
maintained that it has held and continues to hold valid organic
certifications.

The complaints seek, among other things, actual, compensatory,
statutory, punitive and/or exemplary damages in unspecified
amounts, as well as costs and attorneys’ fees.

Costco Wholesale Corp. -- http://www.costco.com-- operates  
membership warehouses that offer a selection of nationally
branded and private-label products in a range of merchandise
categories in self-service warehouse facilities.


ELECTRONIC COS: Tenn. Suit Alleges Computer Monitor Price Fixing
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Ltd. Allegedly conspired with
electronics giants, including:

          -- Tatung Company of America, Inc.,
          -- LG Electronics, Inc.,
          -- LG Philips Display USA, Inc.,
          -- Matsushita Electric Industrial Co,
          -- Panasonic Corporation of North America,
          -- Philips Electronics North America,
          -- Samsung Electronics America, Inc.,
          -- Samsung Electronics, Co.,
          -- Samsung SDI Co., Ltd. f/k/a Samsung Display Device
             Co.,
          -- Toshiba Corporation,
          -- Toshiba America Electronics Components, Inc.,
          -- Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc.,
          -- MT Picture Display Company,
          -- MT Picture Display Corporation of America (New
             York),
          -- MT Picture Display Corporation of America (ohio),
             and
          -- LP Displays

to fix prices for computer display monitors at high levels as
LCD and plasma screen TVs and monitors came onto the market, the
CourtHouse News Service reports.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Tennessee.

Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure on behalf of all persons and business
entities in Tennessee that indirectly purchased CRT Products
manufactured, sold, or distributed by defendants, other than for
resale, from May 1, 1990 to present.

Plaintiff wants the court to rule on:

     (a) whether defendants conspired to fix, raise, maintain,
         or stabilize the prices of CRT Products marketed,
         distributed, and sold in Tennessee;

     (b) whether defendants conspired to manipulate and allocate
         the market for CRT Products marketed, distributed and
         sold in Tennessee;

     (c) the existence and duration of defendants' horizontal
         agreements to fix, raise, maintain, or stabilize the
         prices of CRT Products marketed, distributed and sold
         in Tennessee;

     (d) the existence and duration of defendants' horizontal
         agreements to manipulate and allocate the market for
         CRT Products marketed, distributed, and sold in
         Tennessee;

     (e) whether each defendant was a member of, or participated
         in, the arrangement, contract or agreement to fix,
         raise, maintain, or stabilize the prices of CRT
         Products marketed, distributed, and sold in Tennessee;

     (f) whether each defendant was a member of, or participated
         in, the arrangement, contract or agreement to allocate
         the market for CRT Products marketed, distributed and
         sold in Tennessee;

     (g) whether defendants' conspiracy was implemented;

     (h) whether defendants took steps to conceal their
         conspiracy from plaintiff and the class members;

     (i) whether defendants' conduct caused injury in fact to
         the business or property of plaintiff and the class
         members, and if so, the appropriate classwide measure
         of damages;

     (j) whether the agents, officers or employees of defendants
         and their co-conspirators participated in telephone
         calls, meetings, and other communications in
         furtherance of their conspiracy; and

     (k) whether the purpose and effect of the acts and
         omissions alleged was to fix, raise, maintain, or
         stabilize the prices of CRT Products marketed,
         distributed, and sold in Tennessee, and to manipulate
         and allocate the market for CRT Products marketed,
         distributed and sold in Tennessee.

Plaintiff requests that the court enter judgment as follows:

     -- that this court determine that this action may be
        maintained as a class action under Rule 23 of the
        Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and certify the
        Tennessee class;

     -- that this court rule that defendants' conspiracy
        violated Tennessee law and that compensatory damages,
        including treble damages, are appropriate;

     -- that this court determine that defendants were unjustly
        enriched;

     -- that this court permanently enjoin defendants from
        conspiring to fix CRT Products' prices and allocating
        CRT Products' markets or other injunctive relief as this
        court deems appropriate;

     -- that this court award plaintiff post-jdugment interest,
        his costs, and reasonable attorneys' fees; and

     -- that this court order any other relief as it deems just
        and proper.

The suit is "Charles Benson et al. v. chunghwa Picture Tubes,
Ltd. et al.," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Tennessee.

Representing plaintiffs are:

          Gordon Ball
          Ball & Scott
          Suite 601, 550 Main Ave.
          Knoxville, TN 37902
          Phone: (865) 525-7028
          Fax: (865) 525-4679
          E-mail: gball@ballandscott.com

          - and -

         Daniel R. Karon
         Goldman Scarlato & Karon, P.C.
         55 Public Square, Suite 1500
         Cleveland, OH 44113-1998
         Phone: (216) 622-1851
         Fax: (216) 622-1852
         E-mail: karon@gsk-law.com


GIFT WRAP: Recalls Frames for Lead Paint Standard Violation
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Gift Wrap Co., of Atlanta, Ga., in cooperation with the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling about 600
hanging photo frames.

The company said the surface paint on the photo frames contains
excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint
standard. No injuries have been reported.

This recall involves 4-inch by 6-inch hanging picture frames.
The wooden frames are white with decorations in different
colors, and with a coordinating ribbon attached to the top.

These recalled hanging photo frames were manufactured in China
and were sold at Babies R Us stores nationwide from August 2007
through November 2007 for about $10.

Picture of recalled photo frames:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08165.jpg

Consumers are advised to immediately stop using this photo frame
and contact The Gift Wrap Company for a full refund.

For additional information, contact The Gift Wrap Company at
(800) 443-4429, or visit the company's Web site:
http://www.giftwrapcompany.com


GUIDANT CORP: Denied Appeal in "Heron” Defibrillator Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------------
The Ontario Superior Court denied an appeal against substitution
of plaintiffs in the suit "Heron v. Guidant Corp.," which
concerns the company's pacemakers and defibrillators, the
Canadian Underwriter reports.

According to the report, in August 2005, a class of plaintiffs
launched three actions against the manufacturer of pacemakers
and defibrillators, claiming damages resulting from both
products.  Ontario Court Justice Maurice Cullity consolidated
two defibrillator actions into one so-called 'Defibrillator
Action,' and a third action sued for alleged damages related to
both defibrillators and pacemakers.  

The representative plaintiff in the Pacemaker Action, Herbert
Bruce Heron, had been implanted with a defibrillator, but not a
pacemaker.  In June 2007, Justice Cullity allowed the
plaintiffs' lawyers to amend their initial statement of claim,
removing Heron from the Pacemaker Action and substituting
instead Gerald Lambert (who had a pacemaker installed) and Elsa
Ibbitson (asserting a derivative family law claim).

Heron was made the representative plaintiff in the Defibrillator
Action.

The defense appealed the ruling saying the substitution of the
plaintiffs in the middle of the proceedings deprived them of
mounting a defense based on the limitation period.  But the
Ontario's Superior Court disagreed saying the actions were
substantially similar so as not to deprive the defendant's
"substantive right" to mount a limitations defense.

The suit (05-cv-295 630 cp) was filed against Guidant Corp.,
Guidant Sales Corp., Guidant Canada Corp., and Cardiac
Pacemarkers Inc.

For more information, contact:

          James M. Newland
          Brian P. Moher
          Lerners LLP
          130 Adelaide St. West, Suite 2400
          Toronto, Ontario M511 3P5
          Phone: 416 601 2640
          Fax: 416 867 2398

          Greg Monforton
          Jennifer DeThomasis
          Sandev Purewal
          Greg Monforton & Partner
          1300-100 Ouellette Ave.
          Windsor, Ontario
          Phone: 519-258-6490
          Fax: 519-258-4104


HOVNANIAN ENTERPRISES: Shareholder Seeks Lead Plaintiff Status
--------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiff in a securities fraud class action against
Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. chief financial officer J. Larry
Sorsby is seeking for his appointment as lead plaintiff in the
matter.

In Sept. 14, 2007, a class-action complaint was filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
accusing Mr. Sorsby of inflating the home builder’s share price
through false and misleading statements (Class Action Reporter,
Sept. 19, 2007.

Named plaintiff Herbert Mankofsky brings this securities class
action on behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise
acquired the common stock of Hovnanian between Dec. 8, 2005 Aug.
13, 2007, for defendant's violations of the Securities Act of
1934.

The suit alleges that during the class period, defendant issued
a materially false and misleading statements regarding the
company's business and prospects. As a result of these
misleading statements, Hovnanian stock traded at artificially
inflated prices during the class period, reaching a high of
$54.29 per share in Jan. 2006.

As a result of defendant's misleading statements and failure to
disclose, Hovnanian stock traded at inflated levels during the
class period. However, as a direct result of the market learning
of defendant's wrongdoing, the price of Hovnanian shares
declined and plaintiff and the class suffered a loss on their
investment in Hovnanian.

Plaintiff wants the court to rule on:

     (a) whether the 1934 Act was violated by defendant;

     (b) whether the defendant omitted and/or misrepresented
         material facts;

     (c) whether defendant's statements omitted material facts
         necessary to make the statements made, in light of the
         circumstances under which they were made, not
         misleading;

     (d) whether defendant knew or deliberately disregarded that
         his statements were false and misleading;

     (e) whether the price of Hovnanian common stock was
         artificially inflated; and

     (f) the extent of damage sustained by class members and the
         appropriate measure of damages.

He prays for judgment as follows:

     -- declaring this action to be a proper class action
        pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23;

     -- awarding plaintiff and the members of the class,
        damages, including interest;

     -- awarding plaintiff reasonable costs and attorney's fees;
        and

     -- awarding such equitable/injunctive or other relief as
        the court may deem just and proper.

On Nov. 28, 2007, Plaintiff filed a motion to be appointed Lead
Plaintiff, according to the company's Dec. 26, 2007 Form 10-K
Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2007.

The suit is "Herbert Mankofsky et al. v. J. Larry Sorsby, Case
No. CV07-05994MMM," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California.

Representing plaintiffs is:

          Joon M. Khang
          Lee Hong Degerman Kang & Schmadeka
          660 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 2300
          Los Angeles, California 90017
          Phone: (213) 623-2221
          Fax: (213) 623-2211
          E-mail: jkhang@lhlaw.com


MERCK & CO: Faces N.Y. Lawsuit Over Cholesterol Statin Drug
-----------------------------------------------------------
The law firms of Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, Becnel Law Firm,
LLC, Douglas & London P.C., Levin Simes Kaiser and Gornick LLP,
Bailey Perrin Bailey LLP and Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., filed a
class action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of New York, against Merck & Co., Inc. and Schering-Plough Corp.

The class action seeks, in part, refunds to individuals who were
prescribed and purchased the popular cholesterol statin drug,
Vytorin(R). Vytorin(R) is a single pill combination of two
drugs, Zocor and Zetia, (ezetimibe plus simvastatin).

The lawsuit alleges that Merck & Co., Inc. and Schering-Plough
Corporation, the manufacturers of the prescription drug,
Vytorin(R), made misrepresentations and withheld significant
information in its approval submissions and filings with the
Federal Drug Administration.

It is also alleged that misrepresentations were made to the
general public through marketing efforts as to the effectiveness
of the drug. In reality, studies have shown that it is no better
than other available drugs on the market in lowering
cholesterol.

The suit is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of New York, Docket #08-258, before The Honorable Carol
Bagley Amon.


MORGAN STANELY: Eastman Kodak, Xerox Employees File $145M Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys for former Eastman Kodak and Xerox employees announced
the filing of multi-million-dollar class actions, totaling over
$145,000,000, in New York State Supreme Court against Morgan
Stanley & Company and two of its brokers: Michael J. Kazacos and
David Isabella.

The class actions are brought on behalf of all Morgan Stanley
customers who were falsely promised they could retire early and
safely live off their retirement funds. Many of these customers
now have a fraction of their life savings remaining.

Plaintiffs' attorneys include Robert J. Pearl of Rochester-based
Pearl Malarney Smith, and Joe Peiffer of New Orleans-based
Correro Fishman Haygood Phelps Walmsley & Casteix, L.L.P.

The class actions show that from 1991 through 2001, Morgan
Stanley, Kazacos and Isabella typically targeted blue-collar
employees of Kodak and Xerox who were in their early to mid 50s.
Through extensive advertising and ongoing seminars, class
members were told they could retire early while withdrawing 10%
of their portfolio annually. They were assured by Kazacos and
Isabella that they would still have "a comfortable income for
life."

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has been
investigating the scheme involving Morgan Stanley, Kazacos and
Isabella for more than fourteen months. Pearl, Peiffer and their
clients are cooperating with investigators. They anticipate that
regulators will soon release results of their investigation.
In a response to these suits, Morgan Stanley issued a statement
claiming that previous allegations against these brokers were
determined to be unfounded. Commenting on this statement,
Peiffer said, "That's news to me. A quick look at the public
documents shows that Morgan Stanley has paid out millions of
dollars to former Kazacos customers, and that the regulatory
authorities are investigating his behavior."

The record of Morgan Stanley's payment to Kazacos' former
customers and the regulator attention it generated is available
by searching "Michael James Kazacos" on the Financial Industry
Regulatory Authority's website:
http://www.finra.org/InvestorInformation/InvestorProtection/Chec
ktheBackgroundofYourInvestmentProfessional/index.htm.

Kazacos' CRD number is 708547.

For more information, contact:

          Robert J. Pearl
          Pearl Malarney Smith, P.C.
          Phone: 585-381-3820
          Cell: 239-293-6889

          - and -

          Joe Peiffer
          Correro Fishman Haygood Phelps Walmsley & Casteix,
          L.L.P.
          Phone: 504-586-5259
          Cell: 504-388-3912


NBC UNIVERSAL: 'American Gangster' Defamed DEA Agents, Suit Says
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs Louis Diaz, Gregory Korniloff and Jack Toal filed a
class-action complaint in New York District Court against NBC
Universal claiming it defamed New York agents of the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the movie "American Gangster," the
CourtHouse News Service reports.

They claim that NBC falsely insinuated that most of the agents
in that bureau were convicted criminals.   Plaintiffs demand $55
million.


QUEBEC NURSES: Settle Suit Over 1999 Labor Strike for $60T
----------------------------------------------------------
The Quebec Federation of Nurses and its affiliated unions
reached a $60,000 out-of-court settlement of a suit filed by a
patient whose elective surgery was postponed because of an
illegal strike by Quebec nurses in 1999, according to CBC
Montreal.

The federation and its affiliated unions went on strike on June
26, 1999 to demand a wage increase.  The strike resulted to the
cancellation of exams, tests, treatments and elective surgeries.

The suit was filed by Laval businessman Claude Passaro who said
he didn't suffer health problems because of the delay, but
monetary losses as a business person.

The settlement will grant patients affected by the strike
between $200 and $750 each depending on the length of their
hospital stay, the seriousness of their illness and the number
of claimants, according to plaintiff's lawyer Francois Lebeau.

The out-of-court settlement still has to be approved by the
Quebec Superior Court. A hearing is scheduled for February.

The Settlement on the Net: http://recours-collectifs.ca/.


QUICKSILVER INC: Still Faces Calif. FACTA Violations Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------------
Quicksilver, Inc. continues to face a purported class action in
California, alleging violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit
Transaction Act.

The suit, "Burnis L. Simon, Jr. v. Quicksilver, Inc. (sic), Case
No. CV07-01326," was filed on Feb. 27 in the U.S. District Court
for the Central District of California.  

The company has yet to be served with the complaint.  The suit
specifically alleges willful violation of FACTA based upon
certain of the company's retail stores' alleged electronic
printing of receipts on which appeared more than the last five
digits of customers' credit or debit card number and/or the
expiration of such customers' credit or debit card.

The complaint seeks statutory damages of not less than $100 and
not more than $1,000 for each violation, as well as unspecified
punitive damages, attorneys' fees and a permanent injunction
from further engaging in violations of FACTA.  It does not
allege that any class member has suffered actual damages.  

The company reported no development in the matter in its Dec.
28, 2007 Form 10-K Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2007.

The suit is "Burnis L. Simon, Jr. v. Quicksilver, Inc. (sic),
Case No. CV07-01326," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California under Judge Margaret M. Morrow
with referral to Judge Jeffrey W. Johnson.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

         Herbert Hafif Law Offices
         269 W. Bonita Ave.
         Claremont, CA 91711-4784
         Phone: 909-624-1671
         Web site: http://www.hafif.com


RAM PUBLISHING: Faces Lawsuit in Penna. Over Missing Phone Books
----------------------------------------------------------------
Erie County (Pa.) lawyer Jeff Connelly filed a class action in
Erie County Court seeking damages against Ram Publishing and
owner Robert Melzer of Madison, Ohio, the Erie Times-News
reports.

According to the lawsuit, between the late summer of 2006 and
the early spring of 2007, sales agents for Ram Publishing sold
space in a new phone book that was to be published in May.
Plaintiff claims the checks were all cashed, but the phone books
never came. Mr. Connelly said it's not clear what became of the
money paid out by prospective advertisers.

"It seems to be quite a bit of money that was taken," he said.
"Hopefully, we will start to see what (Melzer) had done with
it."

Although only five plaintiffs are officially named on the suit,
Mr. Connelly said he expects to name others as time goes on. As
a class action, his lawsuit could represent an entire class of
people in addition to specifically named plaintiffs.


ST PAUL: Court Allows Appeal in Tissue Screening Process Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
A B.C. Court of Appeal judge granted leave for defendants to
appeal a ruling approving the addition of new plaintiffs in a
lawsuit alleging negligence in the screening of ear bones and
tissue supplied by the B.C. Ear Bank from 1974 until 2002, the
Vancouver Sun reports.

A Vancouver woman sued a hospital and other entities that are
supposedly responsible for ensuring the safeness of the donor
tissue she received during reconstructive eardrum surgery in
1994 (Class Action Reporter, May 1, 2006).

Margaret Birrell filed the suit in the Supreme Court of B.C.
She asked the court to certify the suit as class action, for
unspecified punitive damage award. Ms. Birrell's lawyer is David
Klein.  Defendants in the suit are:

     -- St. Paul's Hospital,

     -- B.C. Ear Bank,

     -- Providence Health Care,

     -- Vancouver Coastal Health Authority,

     -- University of B.C.,

     -- Vancouver Hospital

The suit alleged the defendants were negligent in the operation
and supervision of the ear bank for failing to confirm the
transplanted materials from cadavers were properly screened and
sterilized and for failing to maintain accurate and complete
records.

Health Canada ordered three years ago to recall all unused
tissue and bone distributed by the B.C. Ear Bank and notify all
recipient institutions.  Last year, Ms. Birrell received a
letter from her surgeon advising her to test, as precautionary
measure, for diseases like HIV and hepatitis.  She found she did
not contract any disease at all, but is pursuing the suit.
There is no reported case where a patient was infected of a
disease as a result of transplanted tissue from the B.C. Ear
Bank.

Later, Ms. Birrell, learned that the health-advisory letter had
been sent to her in error.  She did not receive any products
from the B.C. Ear Bank.  In 2007, Ms. Birrell withdrew from the
suit and have two other plaintiffs, Thomas Little and Robert
Corfield, added.  The request was granted.

Providence and Vancouver Coastal Health recently applied for
leave to appeal a ruling granting the substitution.  In a ruling
released Jan. 15, Appeal Court Justice Pamela Kirkpatrick
granted leave to appeal.

The plaintiffs still seek to have the lawsuit certified as a
class action.

Represent the plaintiffs is:

          David Klein
          Klein Lyons
          Suite 1100
          1333 West Broadway
          Vancouver, BC
          Canada V6H 4C1
          Phone: 604.874.7171
          Phone: 604.874.7171
          E-mail: info@kleinlyons.com


TOLL BROTHERS: Seeks Dismissal of Pa. Securities Fraud Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Toll Brothers, Inc. is seeking for a dismissal of a purported
securities fraud class action filed against it in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

On April 17, 2007, a securities class action was filed against
Toll Brothers, Inc. and Robert I. and Bruce E. Toll, two current
officers of the company, in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The original plaintiff, Desmond Lowrey, has been replaced by two
new lead plaintiffs: The City of Hialeah Employees’ Retirement
System and the Laborers Pension Trust Funds for Northern
California.

On Aug. 14, 2007, an amended complaint was filed on behalf of
the purported class of purchasers of the company's common stock
between Dec. 9, 2004 and Nov. 8, 2005 and the following
individual defendants, who are directors and/or officers of Toll
Brothers, Inc., were added to the suit:

       -- Zvi Barzilay,
       -- Joel H. Rassman,
       -- Robert S. Blank,
       -- Paul E. Shapiro,
       -- Carl B. Marbach,
       -- Richard Braemer, and
       -- Joseph R. Sicree.

The amended complaint on behalf of the purported class alleges
that the defendants violated Sections 10(b), 20(a), and 20A of
the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The company has responded to the amended complaint by filing a
motion to dismiss, challenging the sufficiency of the pleadings,
according to the company's Dec. 21, 2007 Form 10-K Filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended Oct. 31, 2007.

The suit is “Lowrey v. Toll Brothers, Inc. et al., Case No.
2:07-cv-01513-JG,” filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania under Judge James T. Giles.

Representing the plaintiff is:

        Ramzi Abadou, Esq.
        Lerach Coughlin Stoia & Robbins LLP
        655 West Broadway, Suite 1900,
        San Diego, CA 92101
        Phone: 619-231-1058
        E-mail: ramzia@lcsr.com

Representing the defendant is:

        Steven B. Feirson
        Dechert, Price & Rhoads
        1717 Arch Street, 4000 Bell Atlantic Tower
        Philadelphia, PA 19103-2793
        Phone: 215-994-2749
        E-mail: steven.feirson@dechert.com


TOLL BROTHERS: Faces Securities Fraud Litigation in California
--------------------------------------------------------------
Toll Brothers, Inc. faces a purported securities fraud class
action in U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California.

The plaintiff, on behalf of the purported class of shareholders,
alleges that the Chief Financial Officer of the Company violated
federal securities laws by issuing various materially false and
misleading statements during the class period between Dec. 8,
2005 and Aug. 22, 2007.

This suit has not yet been served and, therefore, the company
has not yet responded to it, according to the company's Dec. 21,
2007 Form 10-K Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2007.

Toll Brothers, Inc. -- http://www.tollbrothers.com-- is engaged  
in designing, building, marketing and arranging finance for
single-family detached and attached homes in luxury residential
communities.  The Company is also involved, directly and through
joint ventures, in projects where it is building, or converting
existing rental apartment buildings into high-, mid- and low-
rise luxury homes.


TORO CO: Faces Ill. Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Over Lawnmowers  
----------------------------------------------------------
The Toro Co. faces a consumer fraud class action in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Illinois over  
horsepower labels on its lawnmowers.

On June 3, 2004, eight individuals who claim to have purchased
lawnmowers in Illinois and Minnesota filed a lawsuit in Illinois
state court against the company and eight other defendants
alleging that the horsepower labels on the products the
plaintiffs purchased were inaccurate.

On May 17, 2006, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint to
add 84 additional plaintiffs and an engine manufacturer as an
additional defendant.

The amended complaint asserts violations of the federal
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and
statutory and common law claims arising from the laws of 48
states.

The plaintiffs seek certification of a class of all persons in
the U.S. who, beginning Jan. 1, 1994 through the present,
purchased a lawnmower containing a two-stroke or four-stroke gas
combustible engine up to 30 horsepower that was manufactured or
sold by the defendants.

The amended complaint seeks an injunction, unspecified
compensatory and punitive damages, treble damages under the RICO
Act, and attorneys fees.

In late May 2006, the case was removed to U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of Illinois.

On Aug. 1, 2006, all of the defendants, except MTD Products
Inc., filed motions to dismiss the claims in the amended
complaint.

On Aug. 4, 2006, the plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary
approval of a settlement agreement with MTD Products, Inc., and
certification of a settlement class.  

All remaining non-settling defendants have filed counterclaims
against MTD Products, Inc. for potential contribution amounts,
and MTD Products, Inc. has filed cross claims against the non-
settling defendants.

On Dec. 21, 2006, another defendant, American Honda Motor Co.,
notified the company that it had reached an agreement of
settlement with the plaintiffs.

On March 30, 2007, the court entered an order dismissing
plaintiffs complaint, subject to the ability to re-plead certain
claims pursuant to a detailed written order to follow.

The court has not yet entered the detailed written order,
according to the company's Dec. 21, 2007 Form 10-K Filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended Oct. 31, 2007.

The suit is “Phillips et al v. Sears Roebuck and Company et al.,
Case No. 3:06-cv-00412-GPM-DGW,” filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of Illinois under Judge G.
Patrick Murphy with referral to Judge Donald G. Wilkerson.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

         Isaac L. Diel, Esq.
         Sharp McQueen P.A.
         135 Oak Street, Bonner Springs, KS 66012
         Phone: 913-667-3788
         E-mail: dslawkc@aol.com

         Vincent J. Esades, Esq.
         Heins Mills et al.
         310 Clifton Avenue
         Minneapolis, MN 55403
         Phone: 612.338.4605
         E-mail: vesades@heinsmills.com

              - and -

         JoDee Favre, Esq.
         Favre Law Office, LLC
         5005 West Main Street
         Belleville, IL 62226
         Phone: 618-257-8605
         E-mail: jfavre@favrelaw.com

Representing the defendants is:

         Judy L. Cates, Esq.
         Cates Law Firm-Swansea
         Generally Admitted
         216 West Pointe Drive, Suite A
         Swansea, IL 62226
         Phone: 618-277-3644
         Fax: 618-277-7882
         E-mail: jcates@cateslaw.com


                         Asbestos Alerts


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 11,117 Actions Pending v. RPM Units at Nov.
----------------------------------------------------------------
RPM International Inc. states that its subsidiaries had a total
of 11,117 active asbestos-related cases as of Nov. 30, 2007,
compared with a total of 11,021 cases as of Nov. 30, 2006,
according to the Company's quarterly report filed with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 9, 2008.

The Company recorded a total of 10,957 active asbestos-related
cases filed against its subsidiaries as of Aug. 31, 2007,
compared with a total of 10,934 cases as of Aug. 31, 2006.
(Class Action Reporter, Oct. 12, 2007)

Certain of the Company's wholly owned subsidiaries, principally
Bondex International Inc., are defendants in various asbestos-
related bodily injury lawsuits filed in various state courts
with the vast majority of current claims pending in five states:
Illinois, Ohio, Mississippi, Texas, and Florida.

For the quarter ended Nov. 30, 2007, the subsidiaries secured
dismissals and/or settlements of 292 cases and made total
payments of US$26.1 million, which included defense-related
payments of US$13.8 million.

For the comparable period ended Nov. 30, 2006, dismissals and/or
settlements covered 324 cases and total payments were US$13.8
million, which included defense-related payments of US$6.6
million.

The Company's subsidiaries had higher year-over-year defense-
related payments as a result of implementing various changes to
its management and defense of asbestos claims, including
transitioning to a new claims intake and database service
provider. The Company estimates that its subsidiaries spent
about US$9.1 million more than they otherwise would have spent
due to these added transitional expenses. The subsidiaries
expect to complete these various defense-related initiatives in
the third fiscal quarter.

Excluding defense-related payments, the average payment made to
settle or dismiss a case was about US$42,000 for the quarter
ended Nov. 30, 2007 and US$22,000 for the quarter ended Nov. 30,
2006.

During fiscal 2006, the Company recorded a liability for
asbestos claims in the amount of US$380 million, while paying
out US$59.9 million for dismissals and/or settlements, which
resulted in the Company's accrued liability balance moving from
US$101.2 million at May 31, 2005 to US$421.3 million at May 31,
2006.

This increase was based largely upon the analysis of the
Company's total estimated liability for unasserted potential
future claims through May 31, 2016.

As of Nov. 30, 2007, the Company's total asbestos liability was
about US$305.4 million, of which US$215.9 million was related to
unasserted-potential-future claims, and US$89.5 million was
related to pending known claims.

Medina, Ohio-based RPM International Inc. is a holding company
that owns subsidiaries that deal in specialty coatings and
sealants. The Company's industrial products include roofing
systems, sealants, corrosion control coatings, flooring coatings
and specialty chemicals. The Company's consumer products are
used by professionals and do-it-yourselfers for home maintenance
and improvement, automotive and boat repair and maintenance, and
by hobbyists.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RPM Awaits 2008 Ruling on Pending Motions
----------------------------------------------------------------
Subsidiaries of RPM International Inc. anticipate a ruling on
pending motions in an asbestos-related coverage lawsuit during
the 2008 fiscal year, according to the Company's quarterly
report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on
Jan. 9, 2008.

During fiscal 2004, certain of the Company's subsidiaries'
third-party insurers claimed exhaustion of coverage. Certain of
the Company's subsidiaries have filed a complaint for
declaratory judgment, breach of contract and bad faith against
these third-party insurers, challenging their assertion that
their policies covering asbestos-related claims have been
exhausted.

The coverage litigation involves insurance coverage for claims
arising out of alleged exposure to asbestos containing products
manufactured by the previous owner of the Bondex tradename
before March 1, 1966. On March 1, 1966, Republic Powdered Metals
Inc. (as it was known then), purchased the assets and assumed
the liabilities of the previous owner of the Bondex tradename.

That previous owner subsequently dissolved and was never a
subsidiary of Republic Powdered Metals, Bondex International
Inc., RPM Inc., or the Company. Because of the earlier
assumption of liabilities, however, Bondex has historically
responded, and must continue to respond, to lawsuits alleging
exposure to these asbestos-containing products.

The Company discovered that the defendant insurance companies in
the coverage litigation had wrongfully used cases alleging
exposure to these pre-1966 products to erode their aggregate
limits. This conduct, apparently known by the insurance industry
based on discovery conducted to date, was in breach of the
insurers' policy language.

Two of the defendant insurers have filed counterclaims seeking
to recoup certain monies should the plaintiffs prevail on their
claims. The parties have substantially completed all fact and
expert discovery relating to the liability phase of the case.

The parties have filed dispositive motions (including motions
for summary judgment) and related briefs.

During last year's second fiscal quarter ended Nov. 30, 2006,
Bondex reached a settlement of US$15 million, the terms of which
are confidential by agreement of the parties, with one of the
defendant insurers. The settling defendant has been dismissed
from the case.

The Company's subsidiaries are pursuing their claims against the
remaining insurers based on the terms of their respective
policies.

Medina, Ohio-based RPM International Inc. is a holding company
that owns subsidiaries that deal in specialty coatings and
sealants. The Company's industrial products include roofing
systems, sealants, corrosion control coatings, flooring coatings
and specialty chemicals. The Company's consumer products are
used by professionals and do-it-yourselfers for home maintenance
and improvement, automotive and boat repair and maintenance, and
by hobbyists.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Injury Suit v. Chase Corp. Remains Inactive
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chase Corp. continues to be a defendant in an inactive asbestos-
related lawsuit filed in Ohio, according to the Company's
quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on Jan. 9, 2008.

The Company is one of over 100 defendants in the personal injury
lawsuit, which alleges personal injury from exposure to asbestos
contained in certain Chase products.

The plaintiff in the case issued discovery requests to the
Company in August 2005, to which the Company timely responded in
September 2005.

The trial had initially been scheduled to begin on April 30,
2007. However, that date has since been postponed and no new
trial date has been set.

Bridgewater, Mass.-based Chase Corp. makes tapes and protective
coatings used by the electronic, public utility, and oil
industries. Products include insulating and conducting materials
for electrical wire, electrical repair tapes, protective pipe
coatings, thermoelectric insulation for electrical equipment,
and moisture protective coatings for electronics. The Company
also provides circuit board manufacturing services.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Abatement Supervisor Gets 60-Days Jail Time
----------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Langill of Woburn, Mass., on Jan. 10, 2008, was sentenced
in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Md., to 60 days in prison,
10 months home detention, and two years of supervised release
for violating the Clean Air Act over asbestos abatement at the
U.S. Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, according to a U.S.
Department of Justice press release dated Jan. 10, 2008.

The announcement was made by Ronald J. Tenpas, Assistant
Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and
Natural Resources Division and Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney
for the District of Maryland.

Mr. Langill pleaded guilty on Oct. 26, 2007, before U.S.
District Judge Peter J. Messitte. According to the plea
agreement, from 2001 to 2004, Mr. Langill was employed with a
Maryland asbestos abatement company as an asbestos abatement
project supervisor.

In 2003, the company was contracted by the U.S. Navy to remove
asbestos-containing material from several buildings undergoing
renovation or demolition at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Patuxent
River, Md.

From October 2003 to Jan. 8, 2004, Mr. Langill directed the
removal of transite panels containing asbestos from Buildings
692, 213 and 425 in a manner that violated federal asbestos
abatement work practice standards, in that workers were directed
to remove the panels by smashing them with hammers and crowbars
and allowing the transite to fall to the ground and break,
thereby rendering the asbestos friable and causing a release of
asbestos fibers into the environment.

The transite panels from Building 692 had not been adequately
wet and no notification of the abatement activity had been given
to the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE), the state
authority delegated to receive such notification, prior to the
commencement of the abatement activity.

In addition, unlabeled, improperly sealed bags of the broken
asbestos-containing transite panels from Building 692 were
stored on the grounds of the naval facility overnight in a truck
owned by the company.

Asbestos has been designated by the Environmental Protection
Agency and Congress in the Clean Air Act as a hazardous air
pollutant. Asbestos causes a wide range of illnesses, including
various forms of cancer and asbestosis. The EPA has determined
that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.

The case was investigated by U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency - Criminal Investigation Division and the Naval Criminal
Investigative Service. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney
Noreen McCarthy of the Justice Departments Environmental Crimes
Section and Gina L. Simms, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the
District of Maryland.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-DuPont Worker Sues 39 Companies in W.Va.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Harold E. Cox filed, on Dec. 14, 2007, filed an asbestos-related
lawsuit against 39 companies in Kanawha Circuit Court, W.Va.,
The West Virginia record reports.

Mr. Cox was formerly employed by E. I. du Pont de Nemours and
Co. He filed the suit against DuPont and 38 others, claiming
they caused him to be exposed to asbestos and asbestos-
containing materials.

According to the suit, Mr. Cox worked around asbestos and
handled the dangerous mineral as part of his job. As a result,
he breathed asbestos and harmful dusts, and developed an
asbestos-related disease.

Mr. Cox claims the defendants knew of the dangers associated
with asbestos, but failed to warn their employees of those
dangers, while at the same time, did not provide proper safety
equipment.

In the 12-count suit, Mr. Cox seeks compensatory and punitive
damages for his injuries.

Attorney Cindy K. Kiblinger represents Mr. Cox.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case No. 07-C-2669 will be assigned to a
visiting judge.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FMC Worker Sues 30 Companies in W.Va. Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Ray Blake, on Dec. 13, 2007, filed an asbestos-related
lawsuit against 30 companies in Kanawha Circuit Court, W.Va.,
The West Virginia Record reports.

Mr. Blake claims he was exposed to asbestos and other harmful
dust while working for FMC Corp.

According to the suit, Mr. Blake worked with asbestos and
asbestos-containing products. He claims he breathed in the
asbestos and other harmful dusts created by the use of the harsh
mineral, and developed lung cancer.

Mr. Blake claims the defendants knew or should have known that
the use of their products and asbestos materials would cause
serious lung disease and cancer, and knowing the same, failed to
make reasonable precautions to warn Blake of the dangers he was
exposed to.

Mr. Blake claims he suffered damages of body and mind, distress,
embarrassment, inconvenience, loss of wages and earning
capacity, economic loss, medical bills, loss of quality and
enjoyment of life and a fear of cancer recurrence.

In the nine-count suit, Mr. Blake seeks to be fully compensated
for his injuries, and receive punitive damages.

Attorney Cindy J. Kiblinger represents Mr. Blake.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case No. 07-C-2667 will be assigned to a
visiting judge.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Breaches to Dutch Disposal Laws Reported
----------------------------------------------------------------
The ANP News Service, on Jan. 10, 2008, reports that regulations
on the safe disposal of asbestos during renovation work on
buildings were broken in over half of the 1,680 cases controlled
by inspectors in 2005 and 2006.

There are also strict rules on disposal. Asbestos can only be
dumped at 26 designated sites nationwide. However, 75 percent of
these dump sites also break regulations, according to the new
labor inspectorate report published on Jan. 11, 2008.

The inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to cancer and its use
in construction work has been banned in the Netherlands since
1993.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Pa. Court Vacates Order, Remands Gregg Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania vacated the order of the
Superior Court, and remanded for further proceedings an
asbestos-related matter involving John Andrew Gregg and V-J Auto
Parts Inc., a supplier of automotive parts.

John Andrew Gregg's Motion to Amend the Complaint is transferred
to the intermediate appellate court, to be addressed in
connection with the review on remand.

The case is styled John Andrew Gregg, Executor of the Estate of
John I. Gregg, Jr., Deceased, Appellee v. V-J Auto Parts Inc.,
Appellant.

Judges Cappy, Castille, Saylor, Eakin, Baer, Baldwin, and
Fitzgerald entered judgment of Case No. 38 EAP 2005 on Dec. 28,
2007. Judges Cappy, Baldwin, and Baer filed dissenting opinions.

This was an appeal from the Judgment of the Superior Court
entered on April 25, 2005, at No. 3528 EDA 2003, reversing and
remanding the order of the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia
County, Civil Division entered on Nov. 10, 2003 at No. 3888,
March Term 1999.

The question presented concerns the appropriate application of
the "frequency, regularity, proximity" criteria in asbestos
product liability litigation.

John I. Gregg, Jr. (Mr. Gregg) died in March 1998. A year later,
his son, John Andrew Gregg, filed a product liability complaint
naming more than 70 defendants and alleging civil liability on
their part for Mr. Gregg's death due to his exposure to
asbestos-containing products and resultant pleural mesothelioma.

John Andrew Gregg asserted that Mr. Gregg was exposed to
asbestos throughout a 40-year history of employment with
telecommunications companies as a cable splicer and line man,
over a four-year period in which he worked as a gas station
attendant, and during a three-year period while serving in the
U.S. Navy.

John Andrew Gregg included as defendants Allied-Signal Inc., a
successor corporation to Bendix Corp., which made brake products
in the relevant time frame, and V-J Auto.

Consequently, the action was settled and/or dismissed with
regard to all defendants other than V-J Auto, and the litigation
efforts focused on Mr. Gregg's personal automotive maintenance
activities.

After the deadline for discovery passed, V-J Auto moved for
summary judgment, asserting that John Andrew Gregg could not
prove that Mr. Gregg was exposed to an asbestos-containing
product purchased at V-J Auto's store.

In response, John Andrew Gregg argued that his deposition
testimony, and that of his sister and a neighbor of the Gregg
household in the 1960 to 1965 time frame, sufficiently
established Mr. Gregg's exposure to asbestos-containing brake
products sold by V-J Auto.

Upon receiving John Andrew Gregg's response and the supplemental
report, V-J Auto filed a motion to strike the supplemental
report and to preclude John Andrew Gregg from relying upon it at
trial.

The common pleas court granted summary judgment in V-J Auto's
favor, on the ground that John Andrew Gregg's product
identification testimony was inadequate.

John Andrew Gregg appealed to the Superior Court, and a three-
judge panel vacated the common pleas court's order and remanded
in an unpublished opinion.

On remand, the common pleas court denied the motion to strike
the supplemental expert report.

On remand, the common pleas court again found the record
insufficient. The court highlighted that John Andrew Gregg did
not remember specific parts purchased from V-J Auto's store;
John Andrew Gregg's sister had no knowledge concerning whether
products purchased from V-J Auto's store contained asbestos; and
the household neighbor assumed that brake products bough from V-
J Auto's store had asbestos and could recall two or three times
in which he saw Mr. Gregg installing brake products purchased
from V-J Auto.

In summary, the Supreme Court stated that it is appropriate for
courts to make a reasoned assessment concerning whether, in
light of the evidence concerning frequency, regularity, and
proximity of a plaintiff's/decedent's asserted exposure, a jury
would be entitled to make the necessary inference of a
sufficient causal connection between the defendant's product and
the asserted injury.

Therefore, the Supreme Court held that the common pleas court
did not err in its decision to make this assessment.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ingersoll-Rand Notes $449M Asbestos Charge
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ingersoll-Rand Company Ltd. announced that it has taken a non-
cash charge to earnings of discontinued operations of US$449
million (US$277 million after tax) relating to the Company's
liability for all pending and estimated future asbestos claims
through 2053, according to a Company report, on Form 8-K, filed
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 11,
2008.

This charge results from an increase in the Company's recorded
liability for asbestos claims by US$538 million, from US$217
million to US$755 million, offset by a corresponding US$89
million increase in its assets for probable asbestos-related
insurance recoveries, which now total US$250 million.

Before the 2007-4th quarter, the Company recorded a liability
for its actual and anticipated future asbestos settlement costs
projected seven years into the future. The Company did not
record a liability for future asbestos settlement costs beyond
the seven-year period covered by its reserve because such costs
previously were not reasonably estimable.

In the 2007-4th quarter, the Company again reviewed its history
and experience with asbestos-related litigation and determined
that it had now become possible to make a reasonable estimate of
its total liability for pending and unasserted potential future
asbestos-related claims. With the aid of an outside expert, the
Company has estimated its total liability for pending and
unasserted future asbestos-related claims through 2053 at US$755
million.

Hamilton, Bermuda-based Ingersoll-Rand Company Ltd. is a global
diversified industrial firm providing products, services and
solutions to transport and protect food and perishables, secure
homes and commercial properties, and enhance industrial
productivity and efficiency.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ingersoll-Rand Faces 100,623 Claims at Dec.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ingersoll-Rand Company Ltd. faced 100,623 open asbestos-related
claims as of Dec. 31, 2007, compared with 101,709 claims as of
Dec. 31, 2006, according to a Company report, on Form 8-K, filed
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 11,
2008.

In 2007, the Company noted 5,398 new claims filed, 5,005 claims
settled, and 1,479 claims dismissed. In 2006, the Company noted
6,457 new claims filed, 6,558 claims settled, and 1,158 claims
dismissed.

Certain wholly owned subsidiaries of the Company are named as
defendants in asbestos-related lawsuits in state and federal
courts. In virtually all of the suits, a large number of other
companies have also been named as defendants.

Most of those claims have been filed against Ingersoll-Rand Co.
(IR-New Jersey) and generally allege injury caused by exposure
to asbestos contained in certain of IR-New Jersey's products,
primarily pumps and compressors. Although IR-New Jersey was
neither a producer nor a manufacturer of asbestos, some of its
formerly manufactured products utilized asbestos-containing
components, like gaskets and packings purchased from third-party
suppliers.

From receipt of its first asbestos claims more than 25 years ago
to Dec. 31, 2007, the Company has resolved (by settlement or by
dismissal) about 208,000 claims. The total amount of all
settlements paid by the Company (excluding insurance recoveries)
and by its insurance carriers is about US$308 million, for an
average payment per resolved claim of US$1,480. The average
payment per claim resolved during the year ended Dec. 31, 2007
was US$7,491.

Over 90 percent of the open claims against the Company are non-
malignancy claims.

Malignancy claims accounted for: about 73 percent of the
Company’s total asbestos-related settlement payments during the
three-year period ended Dec. 31, 2004; about 87 percent during
the three-year period ended Dec. 31, 2007; and about 93 percent
in 2007.

Non-malignancy claims accounted for: about 27 percent of the
Company’s total asbestos-related settlement payments during the
three-year period ended Dec. 31, 2004; about 13 percent during
the three-year period ended Dec. 31, 2007; and about seven
percent in 2007.

For the three month period ended Dec. 31, 2007, total costs for
settlement and defense of asbestos claims after insurance
recoveries and net of tax were about US$10 million.

For the 12 month period ended Dec. 31, 2007, total costs for
settlement and defense of asbestos claims after insurance
recoveries and net of tax were about US$37 million.

Hamilton, Bermuda-based Ingersoll-Rand Company Ltd. is a global
diversified industrial firm providing products, services and
solutions to transport and protect food and perishables, secure
homes and commercial properties, and enhance industrial
productivity and efficiency.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mich. Worker Files FELA Lawsuit v. 15 Firms
----------------------------------------------------------------
Larry Crump, of Grand Rapids, Mich., on Jan. 7, 2008, filed an
asbestos-related Federal Employers' Liability Act complaint
against 15 defendants in Madison County Circuit Court, Ill., The
Madison St. Clair Record reports.

Mr. Crump alleges he was exposed to asbestos during his 29-year
career with CSX Transportation Inc.

Represented by Brent Coon & Associates, Mr. Crump claims he
would regularly and frequently service, replace and install
asbestos containing brakes on box cars on track 36 in Grand
Rapids from 1978 until 2007.

Mr. Crump was diagnosed of lung cancer on Oct. 8, 2007.

The complaint (Case No. 08 L 2) states, "Although he did not
work on engines, but (sic) he worked in close proximity around
other tradesmen who were regularly and frequently using,
handling, and/or distributing asbestos wrap which caused
respirable asbestos to become airborne which he breathed into
his lungs."

Mr. Crump also claims he worked at Magnus Steel in Clayton, Mo.,
during the 1960s pouring hot molten steel, working on charged
industrial machines and performed tear-out and replacement of
asbestos-containing mud and refractory cement on furnaces.

Mr. Crump also worked at Bodine Aluminum in St. Louis for a
nine-month stint in the early 1970s and as an assistant plumber
in St. Louis installing residential sinks and toilets.

Mr. Crump claims he was unaware of the dangers of the toxic
substances he was working with and around but claims CSX knew or
should have known that exposure to toxic substances were
dangerous and potentially deadly.

Mr. Crump claims CSX failed to provide him a safe place to work,
failed to limit his exposure to hazardous substances, failed to
warn him of the danger of his chronic exposure, failed to
provide appropriate safety garments and equipment to minimize
exposure and failed to adequately train and supervise him.

Mr. Crump also alleges the railroad failed to satisfy
contemporary industrial and relevant government safety
standards, failed to inspect their premises, failed to conduct
industrial hygiene monitoring, failed to install adequate
engineering controls and failed to implement medical monitoring
to determine exposure levels.

According to Mr. Crump, his lung cancer caused him and will
continue to cause physical pain and suffering and mental
anguish, loss of wages and benefits and loss of earning capacity
in the future, disfigurement and medical expenses.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Found in Imported Toys Sold Online
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chinese-manufactured toys, which contain asbestos, have been
sold to Australian children through online auction site eBay and
are illegally imported into the country, The Age reports.

The Age discovered more than 100 remote-control cars for sale on
eBay's Australian website that have asbestos in their brakes.

The 1:10 scale cars, available online from a seller called
Topwincn, advertise a "super-thick asbestos brake block" among
their features.

It is illegal to import asbestos into Australia. According to
Customs, people buying items from overseas over the Internet are
classed as importers and can face prosecution and fines of up to
AUD110,000.

The discovery of asbestos in the cars is the third scare
involving Chinese-made toys in the past five months.

In September 2007, toy maker Mattel was forced to recall 22
million products worldwide, including Barbie dolls and toy cars,
after it was discovered they contained lead paint.

In November 2007, it was found that Chinese-made Bindeez beads
contained a chemical that the human body metabolized into the
potentially fatal drug gamma hydroxybutyrate, or fantasy. Three
children in Australia were admitted to hospital before the
product was pulled.

According to eBay's records, several of the asbestos-affected
toy cars have been sold to Australians and imported into the
country. The online auction site identified five models that may
contain asbestos.

Models that may be affected are:

-- 4WD Speed Sonic 2005 RC Car Model 94102;
-- HSP Atomic Warhead Nitro Buggy Models 94105 and 94106;
-- 2007 Hi-Speed Nitro/Gas Tyrannosaurus Monster Truck Model
94108;
-- Gas Powered RC Car Model Frc-10;
-- Gas Powered 4WD RC Truck Model Frc-08.

Ninety-eight remote-control model trucks remained available for
sale for US$210 plus US$70 postage, before Customs told eBay
Australia of their presence and they were removed from sale.

Leigh Hubbard, executive officer of the Asbestos Diseases
Society of Victoria, said the health risks of having children
play with the toys were serious.

Mr. Hubbard said there was an ethical, if not a legal,
obligation on behalf of internet merchants to ensure dangerous
or illegal goods were not being offered for sale in Australia.
He said it was likely asbestos was coming into Australia in
other overseas-made products too.

eBay Australia spokesman Daniel Feiler said the items had been
removed from sale as soon as eBay was made aware that they might
contain asbestos.

Mr. Feiler said eBay had also contacted by phone all Australian
purchasers, encouraging them to contact state environmental
protection agencies.

A spokeswoman for Customs said officials had been targeting
asbestos imports, especially in mechanical parts such as brakes,
clutches and gaskets, since June 2007.

Customs screens 100 percent of international mail, and parcels
are X-rayed with the contents cross-checked against the
declaration paperwork. Goods considered a risk are opened and
examined.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bilaz Inc. Sentenced to 6 Months For Breach
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Department of Justice said that Branko Lazic, owner of
Bilaz Inc., on Jan. 11, 2008, was sentenced in the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania to six months home confinement for a
Clean Air Act violation for improper removal of asbestos,
according to a DOJ press release dated Jan. 11, 2008.

Mr. Lazic pleaded guilty in June 2007 to one CAA violation for
the improper removal of asbestos from the Mattison Elementary
School in Ambler, Pa., in June 2002.

Mr. Lazic's sentence includes six months home confinement as a
condition of three years probation. In addition, he must
complete 50 hours of community service and will be prohibited
from working in the asbestos abatement industry while on
probation.

Mr. Lazic and his company were hired to remove asbestos from
several areas in the elementary school, which was undergoing
renovation. Mr. Lazic admitted that he left the elementary
school during the asbestos removal process despite knowing that
it was likely the workers he employed would not properly remove
the asbestos.

After the removal work was completed in preparation for the new
school year, janitors and teachers removed a white dust residue
from the floors and furniture.

Mr. Lazic will further pay US$6,097 in restitution to RT
Environmental Inc., which was the lead contracting company that
had to pay for the subsequent cleanup. This is the amount that
was not reimbursed by insurance companies and other
subcontractors.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency Criminal Investigation Division and the Pennsylvania
Attorney General's Office.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio Worker Sues 88 Companies in Ill. Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
The estate of Monroe Freeman, of Wilmington, Ohio, on Jan. 4,
2008, filed an asbestos-related lawsuit against 88 defendant
corporations in Madison County Circuit Court, Ill., The Madison
St. Clair Record reports.

According to the complaint, Mr. Freeman worked as a bellhop from
1952 to 1954 at Driskill Hotel, from 1954 to 1957 as a laborer
at Joe Hoffman, from 1956 to 1962 as a laborer with various
unknown contractors, and from 1962 to 1983 as a custodian at the
University of Texas at Austin.

The estate claims that during the course of his employment, Mr.
Freeman was exposed to and inhaled, ingested or otherwise
absorbed large amounts of asbestos fibers emanating from
products he was working with or around that were manufactured,
sold, distributed or installed by the defendants.

The estate alleges the defendants included asbestos in their
products when they knew asbestos fibers would have a highly
deleterious effect on the health of people absorbing them,
included asbestos in their products when adequate substitutes
were available, failed to provide any warnings to people working
with or around asbestos and failed to conduct tests on asbestos-
containing products in order to determine the hazards to
workers.

The estate also claims the defendants intentionally or with a
reckless disregard for Mr. Freeman's safety:

-- Included asbestos in their products, when the defendants knew
or should have known that the asbestos fibers would have a
toxic, poisonous and highly deleterious effect upon his health;

-- Included asbestos in their products when adequate
substitutions were available;

-- Failed to provide adequate warning to people working with and
around the products of the dangers of inhaling, ingesting or
otherwise absorbed fibers in them;

-- Failed to provide adequate instruction concerning the safe
methods of working with and around asbestos products; and

-- Failed to conduct tests on the asbestos-containing products,
manufactured, sold or delivered by the defendants to determine
the hazards to which workers might be exposed.

The estate alleges Mr. Freeman was obligated to spend money on
medical expenses and experienced great physical pain and mental
anguish which prevented him from pursuing his normal course of
employment.

Mr. Freeman's estate seeks at least US$250,000 in damages for
negligence, willful and wanton acts, conspiracy, and negligent
spoliation of evidence among other allegations.

Randy Gori of Edwardsville, Ill., represents the estate.

Case No. 08 L 4 has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DOL Imposes $1,225 Fine to Sater Electric
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Department of Labor accused Daleville, Ind.-based Sater
Electric Inc., which is owned by Jack Sater, of eight serious
asbestos-related violations in Central High School's science
rooms, and proposed a US$1,225 fine, The Star Press reports.

Mr. Sater blew the whistle in 2007 on asbestos releases during
the renovation of Central High School. In January 2007, he
complained to the Indiana Department of Labor, the Delaware
County Health Department, the city building commissioner and
others.

However, Mr. Sater was shocked when he received a notification
of penalty from the DOL for allegedly violating the Indiana
Occupational Safety and Health Act.

One of the alleged violations consisted of "employees who were
installing HVAC ductwork repeatedly bumped and otherwise
disturbed spray-on fireproofing (containing asbestos) without
establishing a regulated area."

Other alleged violations included failure to use water to reduce
dust emissions when disturbing asbestos, lack of drop cloths,
and lack of respirators, safety glasses, protective clothing and
training for employees.

In an interview, Mr. Sater denied all of the charges, saying his
firm complied with an agreement with the school to halt work
when encountering asbestos and to not resume work until the
asbestos had been "rendered harmless" by the school's asbestos
contractor.

Mr. Sater is not an asbestos contractor. However, his employees
receive asbestos awareness training.

Jerry Friend, city building commissioner, expressed surprise
Thursday when told Sater was being fined.

Mr. Sater indicated on Jan. 10, 2008 that he planned to fight
the proposed fine, though DOL told him doing so would cost him a
lot of time and money.

While the school has been cleared of any violations, the
investigation of others is not over, said Sean Keefer, a deputy
commissioner at DOL.

Most people with asbestos-related diseases were exposed to
elevated concentrations on the job, according to the U.S. DOL.
Some developed disease from exposure to clothing and equipment
brought home from job sites.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Briggs, B&W Settles with School for GBP3.1M
----------------------------------------------------------------
Briggs & Forrester Electrical Ltd. and contractor B&W Asbestos
Removal Specialists Ltd. have reached a GBP3.1 million
settlement with the Southfield School for Girls and
Northamptonshire County Council, after asbestos waste was
inadequately dealt with during building work at the site, Thames
Laboratories reports.

No children were present as the work was being carried out
during the school holiday but visitors reported corridors coated
with asbestos dust, unsealed bags of asbestos waste and asbestos
tiles left propped up against walls.

Pupils, numbering to 1,000, were forced to work in makeshift
classrooms away from the school while a full decontamination was
carried out and pupils were unable to return to the site for
nearly a year.

The settlement comes after separate prosecutions by the Health
and Safety Executive resulted in combined fines of GBP100,000
plus costs.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mass. District Court Remands Hilbert Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court, D. Massachusetts, granted Plaintiffs'
Motion to Remand, in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed by
William H. Hilbert and other plaintiffs.

The case is styled William J. Hilbert, et al., Plaintiffs, v.
McDonnell Douglas Corp., et al., Defendants.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner entered judgment of Civil
Action No. 07CV11900-NG on Jan. 3, 2008.

William J. Hilbert was employed as an aircraft mechanic in the
U.S. Navy from 1955 to 1974, working closely with aircraft and
aircraft components, including brakes. During that time, he was
allegedly exposed to asbestos and inhaled it. He claim it caused
his mesothelioma.

Mr. Hilbert now sued manufacturers of aircraft components, as
well as contractors who were responsible for the aircraft's
assembly and upkeep. His wife, Pamela Hilbert, also sued,
alleging loss of consortium.

All of the defendants, 29 in Mr. Hilbert's original complaint,
were served with process on or about Jan. 5, 2007. On Feb. 2,
2007, Northrop Grumman Corp. filed a notice of removal. Although
the other defendants were aware of the action, they declined to
join Northrop Grumman in the removal. The plaintiffs moved to
remand to state court. The Court referred the case for pretrial
proceedings to Magistrate Judge Dein.

On March 2, 2007, Magistrate Dein held a hearing on the Motion
to Remand. She recommended to the Court that the Motion to
Remand be granted. On April 13, 2007, the Court adopted the
Report and Recommendation and granted the Motion.

The case proceeded in state court for several months. The
plaintiffs filed a motion for an expedited state trial date. At
the Nov. 1, 2007, hearing before the District Court, the
plaintiffs represented that a trial date had been set in state
court for May 2008.

As part of the state court discovery, Mr. Hilbert was deposed
over several days, Sept. 10, 2007 to Sept. 12, 2007. In advance
of the deposition, on Sept. 7, 2007, the plaintiffs provided a
list of aircraft Mr. Hilbert had serviced while a mechanic for
the Navy.

McDonnell Douglas filed a Notice of Tag-Along Action with the
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

The plaintiffs filed the instant Motion to Remand on Oct. 15,
2007. McDonnell Douglas, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon Aircraft
Co. opposed.

On Nov. 5, 2007, the Court declined supplemental jurisdiction
over those defendants who had not asserted federal defenses.

The defendants had not shown that contracts or regulations
provided reasonably precise specifications as to any warnings
regarding asbestos. For that reason, the defendants cannot show
a conflict between their federal contractual obligation and the
state-law duty to warn, and have not established a colorable
federal defense.

By the same reasoning, the defendants had failed to establish a
causal connection between acts done under a federal contract and
Mr. Hilbert's injury.

The District Court granted the Motion to Remand. However, the
plaintiffs' request for costs and fees was denied.

Erika A. Olson, Michael C. Shepard, Shepherd Law Group P.C.,
Boston, represented William J. Hilbert and other Plaintiffs.

James Pettis, Robert E. Boone III, Bryan Cave LLP, Santa Monica,
Calif., Katy Ellen Koski, Robert J. Muldoon Jr., Sherin & Lodgen
LLP, Marcy D. Smirnoff, Goodwin Procter LLP, Shepard M. Remis,
Sheryl A. Koval, Goodwin Procter LLP, Brian D. Gross, Cooley,
Manion & Jones PC, Michael R. Brown, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Boston,
L. Michael Brooks, Wells, Anderson & Race, Denver, Colo.,
represented McDonnel Douglas Corp. and other Defendants.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reconsideration Bid Denied for Smith Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court, D. Kansas, denied Byron Smith's motion
for reconsideration, in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed
against the United States of America and other defendants.

The case is styled Byron Smith, Plaintiff, v. United States of
America, et al., Defendants.

Judge Thomas Marten entered judgment of Case No. 06-3061-JTM on
Dec. 27, 2007.

Mr. Smith, a pro se federal prisoner, initially sued various
officials, alleging that:

(1) Defendants negligently permitted him to work in an area
where there was a known presence of asbestos, but failed or
refused to post warning signs to notify persons of the presence
of asbestos;

(2) Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights and were
deliberately indifferent to his safety by exposing him to a
large dosage of asbestos when he was on work detail; and

(3) Defendants negligently or with deliberate indifference
destroyed or lost his medical records.

The District Court later granted the defendants' motion to
dismiss. After judgment was entered, Mr. Smith filed his notice
of appeal to the 10th Circuit, before filing the reconsideration
motion.

Defendants' motion for extension of time to file a response was
denied as moot.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Zilco to Pay $36,562 for Disposal Breaches
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hillsboro, N.Y.-based Zilco Environmental LLC has been ordered
to pay US$36,562 by the Department of Environmental Quality over
an asbestos abatement project at Waverly Manor Retirement
Center, 2853 Old Salem Road, Albany, N.Y.

According to the DEQ, a US$15,000 penalty was imposed because
the Company openly accumulated asbestos-containing waste
material (sheet vinyl flooring) during the project, which ran
from October 2006 through January 2007.

The DEQ alleges that Zilco did not properly package and label
the materials in leak-tight containers and that early in the
project the company "allowed asbestos-containing waste material
to accumulate in the basement kitchen of the facility."

Zilco also "allowed four piles of asbestos-contaminated plastic
that had been used to create a containment enclosure during its
abatement project, as well as an asbestos-contaminated negative
air machine pre-filter, to remain openly accumulated in the
upstairs kitchen and basement of the facility."

Another US$1,100 penalty was imposed for failing to provide a
complete description of the amount of asbestos to be removed for
the project. The company reported it was abating 980 square feet
of materials when the actual amount was 1,433 square feet.

A US$19,412 penalty was assessed because the company started the
project without submitting a complete asbestos abatement
notification form. The DEQ alleges that Zilco "submitted false,
inaccurate, and incomplete information on the form."

Among the charges is that Zilco listed the facility as a
"residential property" and paid a US$35 notification fee when a
US$375 fee for a commercial project was actually required.

A US$1,050 penalty was levied because the company failed to
submit required air sampling results from testing at the project
site within 30 days of completing the project.

Statewide in December 2007, the DEQ issued 15 penalties totaling
US$391,920. For 2007, there were 199 penalties valued at
US$2,533,954, up from 184 penalties totaling US$1.57 million in
2006.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Welder Sues 60 A.O. Smith, 59 Firms in Tex.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Provost Umphrey attorney Bryan Blevins, on behalf of Barney
Tompkins, on Jan. 10, 2008, filed an asbestos-related lawsuit
against the A.O. Smith Corp. and 59 other companies in Jefferson
County District Court, Tex., The Southeast Texas Record reports.

While he was alive, Mr. Tompkins sued and received a claim for
his asbestos-related disease. Now deceased, Mr. Tompkins' family
seeks compensation for the "different malignant asbestos-related
injury."

In the suit, Mr. Blevins alleges that the A.O. Smith Corp. and
59 other companies knowingly and maliciously manufactured and
distributed asbestos-containing products throughout Jefferson
County.

Mr. Tompkins worked as a welder for various employers," which
caused him to suffer from…industrial dust diseases caused by
breathing the asbestos-containing products," the suit said.

The suit alleges the defendants in the suit were negligent for
failing to adequately test their asbestos-laced products before
flooding the market with dangerous goods and for failing to warn
the consumer of the dangers of asbestos exposure.

Some of the defendants listed in the suit include Lockheed
Martin Corp., Union Carbide Corp., and Zurn Industries Inc.

In addition, the petition faults Minnesota Mining and
Manufacturing Corp. (3M Corp.) and American Optical Corp. for
producing defective masks that failed to provide respiratory
protection.

Although Mr. Tompkins has already sued and received a claim, the
suit says, "Plaintiff now seeks damages against defendants not
released in the previous actions pursuant to Pustejovsky v.
Rapid-American Corp."

In the precedent-setting Pustejovsky opinion in 2000, the Texas
Supreme Court held that a victim of asbestos may later have a
second lawsuit for an asbestos-related cancer if he develops the
cancer at a future date.

The opinion overrules a long history of Texas cases holding that
a person may only bring one lawsuit for an asbestos-related
injury, even if he develops a second, catastrophic asbestos-
related cancer at a much later date.

The Tompkins family sues for exemplary damages, plus physical
pain and suffering in the past and future, mental anguish in the
past and future, lost wages, loss of earning capacity,
disfigurement in the past and future, physical impairment in the
past and future, and past and future medical expenses.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, has been assigned
to the Case No. E181-002.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Broome Suit v. Dow Chemical Pending in Tex.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas LLP, on Jan. 14, 2008, announced
that opening statements are scheduled for Jan. 15, 2008 in the
case of Nettie Broome, et al. vs. The Dow Chemical Co. (cause
no. 16383*BH01), according to a Williams Kherkher press release
dated Jan. 14, 2008.

The trial will be held in the 23rd District Court of Brazoria
County, Texas Judge Ben Hardin will preside.

Alton Wolf worked as an operator at Dow Chemical's Freeport
plant for 30 years. Because Dow uses asbestos in its regular
maintenance operations at the plant, Mr. Wolf was exposed.

Mr. Wolf eventually developed lung cancer from the asbestos and
died in 1999. He was 65 years old.

Troy Chandler, the Williams Kherkher attorney representing Mr.
Wolf's family, said, "Alton Wolf literally gave his life to Dow.
What's even more shameful, if that's possible, is that Dow
continues to use asbestos to this day -- even though the federal
government ruled it a silent killer over three decades ago, and
now there are much safer alternatives!"

Williams Kherkher will be asking the jury to compensate Mr.
Wolf's family for the financial and emotional loss from his
death.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Widow to Sue Insurers over Husband's Death
----------------------------------------------------------------
Linda Walker, the 53-year-old widow of Jim Kerr, may take legal
action against the insurers of her husband's former employer,
which is no longer in business, Daily Record reports.

Mr. Kerr fell in 2002 and died in November 2003 at the age of
53. A post mortem found he had died from a malignant tumor
caused by exposure to asbestos.

Ms. Walker said, "My lawyers found out Jim would have come into
contact with the asbestos back in the late 1960s."

At the time, Mr. Kerr worked for James Laidlaw and Sons, now
dissolved, of Rutherglen, Glasgow, Scotland.

At first, Ms. Walker was advised to sue Glasgow City Council,
who owned the flats where Mr. Kerr had worked. However, days
before the case was due to be heard, she was dealt another blow.

Ms. Walker said, "My lawyer told me the council were going to
fight the case all the way. She said the best chance we had was
to sue the building company directly. But because they folded
years ago we hit a dead end. I've been told we can only go ahead
if we find the insurers for James Laidlaw. It's like trying to
find a needle in a haystack."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Dust Detected in Seoul Subway
----------------------------------------------------------------
The health of Seoul, South Korea's commuters are threatened by
asbestos dust falling from the ceilings of subway stations, The
Chosun Ilbo reports.

The South Korean government has yet to start removing asbestos,
which is used as a soundproofing and insulation agent in subway
stations, due to a lack of funding.

Seoul's asbestos problem is most serious at Bangbae Station on
subway line No. 2. Asbestos dust can be seen falling from the
ceiling and scattered around the platform.

Most passengers do not realize that the yellow powder is
asbestos, and they walk through it oblivious to the danger. The
situation is similar at other stations on lines No. 2, 3 and 4.

According to a study by subway operator Seoul Metro,
construction materials containing asbestos were used or asbestos
dust falls from the ceiling to the platform or railways at 17
stations.

A recent health survey of subway workers conducted by the Labor
Ministry shows clearly the side effects asbestos. Thirty percent
or 909 out of 2,972 Seoul Metro employees were found to have
health problems believed to be caused by asbestos.

In July 2007, Seoul Metro said it would temporarily close down
Bangbae Station in January 2008 to remove the asbestos.

However, as of Jan. 13, 2008, the subway operator still had not
hired a removal company because it did not have funds budgeted
for the work.

A similar situation is found at Sinseoldong Station. Work to
remove asbestos from that station has been suspended, as it was
found that it would be very difficult for the removers to
complete the work safely.

On-site inspections are planned for the other 15 stations among
the 17 deemed to have serious asbestos problems.

Choi Sang-jun, a researcher at the Wonjin Institute for
Occupational and Environmental Health, said that even a tiny
amount of asbestos in the air can be fatal for children or
adolescents with weak immunity systems if they breathe heavily.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Okla. Mayor Sentenced for Exposure Breaches
----------------------------------------------------------------
Guy Hylton Jr., a former mayor of Elk City, Okla., was sentenced
to six months in prison after being convicted of negligently
exposing state prisoners to asbestos, United Press International
reports.

On Jan. 10, 2008, Mr. Hylton, who has served as Elk City manager
since his mayoral term ended in 1993, was sentenced by a federal
judge in Oklahoma City after his August 2007 conviction on a
misdemeanor count of negligent endangerment, The Oklahoman
reported on Jan. 11, 2008.

Charges were brought against Mr. Hylton, who was first elected
mayor in 1987, and work crew manager Chick Arthur Little after
prisoners were exposed to asbestos during a 2003 renovation
project at a city-owned railroad depot.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton praised Mr. Hylton's history of
public service but criticized the former official after
concluding that the evidence presented supported claims that Mr.
Hylton knew or should have known about the asbestos in the
building.

Mr. Hylton's lawyer, Mack Martin, said he planned to appeal the
conviction.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Spills on Highway in Queens, N.Y.
----------------------------------------------------------------
A container truck, on Jan. 13, 2008, overturned in Queens, N.Y.,
spilling bags of asbestos across the highway, then the driver,
Artur Gaska, climbed out of the rig and fled on foot, cops said,
Daily News reports.

The 39-year-old Mr. Gaska, of Albrightsville, Pa., returned to
the scene at 10:30 p.m. and was charged with leaving the scene
of an accident, cops said.

Witnesses and cops said the 18-wheeler flipped over onto the
driver's side as it was exiting the Long Island Expressway just
before 2 p.m.

Mr. Gaska cut the turn to the ramp onto the northbound Clearview
Expressway too tightly and tipped, spilling more than a dozen
bags onto the highway, cops and witnesses said.

Authorities said Mr. Gaska climbed out of the wreck and fled
before Emergency Service and haz-mat units arrived to clean up
the loose asbestos.

Workers with the Department of Environmental Protection, clad in
suits and gas masks, gathered debris on the roadway, which was
shut down for more than four hours.

One Fire Department official speculated the driver was
"illegally dumping."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japanese Subsidy System Utilized 122 Times
----------------------------------------------------------------
A survey by the Construction and Transport Ministry, on Jan. 15,
2007, showed that the Japanese subsidy system, in place to help
owners of private buildings pay for the removal or containment
of asbestos, has been used 122 times.

The Ministry survey stated that less than 40 percent of
prefectural governments have the subsidy system. According to
the survey, the number was even smaller in wards and
municipalities.

No preventive measures have been taken at more than 7,000 large-
scale facilities, prompting experts to warn firms not to
underestimate the danger of asbestos.

The production and use of asbestos is banned in the country as
it is believed to cause mesothelioma and lung cancer.

The subsidy system was established after it was found that
people living near construction material and machinery maker
Kubota Co.'s plant in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, were found to
have suffered asbestos-related illnesses in June 2005.

The system covers large-scale facilities, like office buildings,
department stores and hotels, as well as housing complexes.

As of September 2007, 18 prefectures, 13 government ordinance-
designated major cities, and 122 wards and municipalities
offered the subsidy system. Five prefectures, three government
ordinance-designated cities and 83 municipalities plan to
introduce the system.

As for the subsidy system method that is partially funded by the
central government, those who wish to use the system are unable
to apply if local governments in their jurisdiction do not have
the system.

In addition, many local governments set a ceiling on the amount
of subsidies they will provide: JPY5 million in Okayama
Prefecture, JPY750,000 in Kanagawa Prefecture and JPY300,000 in
Nagoya. It is said to cost about JPY10,000 to JPY80,000 per
square meter to remove asbestos.

The Tokyo metropolitan and Chiba prefectural governments have
said they have no plans to establish the system, saying that
buildings in the private sector must be improved at their
owners' discretion.

The Saitama prefectural government said it had no excess funds
that could be used for such subsidies due to its dire fiscal
situation.

Of 253,132 buildings with a floor space of 1,000 square meters
or larger that were constructed between 1956 and 1989, a period
when asbestos was widely used, asbestos was found to be exposed
in 14,774 buildings, or 5.8 percent, the survey also showed. Of
those, no measures to contain the asbestos were taken in 7,040
buildings.

Of the 14,774 buildings where asbestos was found to be exposed,
the largest number of 977 buildings are located in Osaka
Prefecture, followed by 517 in Aichi Prefecture, 402 in
Hokkaido, 386 in Hyogo Prefecture, 325 in Fukuoka Prefecture,
and 320 in Hiroshima Prefecture.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Carpenter Sues A.O. Smith, 68 Firms in Tex.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The family of carpenter Searr Delcambre, through Provost Umphrey
attorney Bryan Blevins, on Jan. 14, 2008, filed an asbestos-
related lawsuit against the A.O. Smith Corp. and 68 other
companies in Jefferson County District Court, Tex., The
Southeast Texas Record reports.

During his career as a carpenter, Mr. Delcambre presumably
worked around asbestos. When he developed an "asbestos-related
disease," he sued and received a claim.

Now deceased, Mr. Delcambre's family seeks compensation for the
"different malignant asbestos-related injury," which allegedly
prematurely ended his life.

According to the plaintiff's petition, the defendants knowingly
and maliciously manufactured and distributed asbestos-containing
products throughout Jefferson County.

Mr. Delcambre worked as a carpenter and general laborer for
various employers, "which caused him to suffer from…industrial
dust diseases caused by breathing the asbestos-containing
products," the suit said.

The suit alleges the defendants were negligent for failing to
adequately test their asbestos-laced products before flooding
the market with dangerous goods and for failing to warn the
consumer of the dangers of asbestos exposure.

Some of the defendants listed in the suit include Lockheed
Martin Corp., Union Carbide Corp., and Zurn Industries Inc.

In addition, the petition faults Minnesota Mining and
Manufacturing Corp. (3M Corp.) and American Optical Corp. for
producing defective masks that failed to provide respiratory
protection.

Although Mr. Delcambre has already sued and received a claim,
the suit says, "Plaintiff now seeks damages against defendants
not released in the previous actions pursuant to Pustejovsky v.
Rapid-American Corp."

In the precedent-setting Pustejovsky opinion in 2000, the Texas
Supreme Court held that a victim of asbestos may later have a
second lawsuit for an asbestos-related cancer if he develops the
cancer at a future date. The opinion overrules a long history of
Texas cases holding that a person may only bring one lawsuit for
an asbestos-related injury, even if he develops a second,
catastrophic asbestos-related cancer at a much later date.

Mr. Delcambre's family sues for exemplary damages, plus physical
pain and suffering in the past and future, mental anguish in the
past and future, lost wages, loss of earning capacity,
disfigurement in the past and future, physical impairment in the
past and future, and past and future medical expenses.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, has been assigned
to Case No. E181-015.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inquest Links Ex-Engineer's Death to Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest in Chester, Cheshire, England, heard that retired
engineer Michael Paul Marianus Farrugia died as a result of
asbestos exposure, The Standard reports.

Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg recorded that Mr. Farrugia
died from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure.

A Chester inquest was told the 69-year-old Mr. Farrugia died at
the Hospice of the Good Shepherd at Backford on June 19, 2007.

Mr. Farrugia, of Vicars Cross Road, Vicars Cross, was originally
from Malta and worked at the dock yards at Devonport, Plymouth,
in the 1950s where he came into contact with asbestos lagging.

Mr. Farrugia's daughter, Sarah Guest, of Bedford Way, Mold, said
her father had commented on the asbestos in the atmosphere
during his dock yard days and was licensed to remove asbestos.
He also worked at Brunell College of Technology, Brunell
University and the electrical authority at Capenhurst.

Mr. Rheinberg said, "While working at the dock yard at Devonport
he was exposed to asbestos and it appears to have been the only
significant exposure to asbestos during his working life."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Investigations in Queensland Sites Ongoing
----------------------------------------------------------------
THE Queensland Government is investigating two residential sites
at Mermaid Beach, Australia, and Miami, Australia, which were
given the all-clear by workplace inspectors, despite independent
tests concluding both had traces of asbestos, goldcoast.com.au
reports.

Independent tests of the Christine Avenue and Tamborine Street
sites, commissioned by the Opposition, showed dangerous levels
of asbestos.

The State Opposition has questioned the "declining safety
standards" of workplace inspections in Queensland and called on
Premier Anna Bligh's Government to tighten the rules.

Opposition health spokesman Dr. Bruce Flegg, on Jan. 15, 2008,  
said he was concerned about "declining safety standards" in the
building industry.

According to the test results, chrysotile, or white asbestos,
was found in unpainted gray compressed dimpled fiber cement
material at the Christine Avenue, Miami, location. At Tamborine
Street, Mermaid Beach, white asbestos was found in unpainted
gray compressed fiber cement material.

A Workplace Health and Safety spokesman, on Jna. 15, 2008, said
it had not received any complaints relating to any of the
matters raised by Dr. Flegg at Mermaid beach and Miami.

The spokesman said Workplace Health and Safety "takes this
matter very seriously."

Dr. Flegg said there had also been traces of asbestos found at
Brisbane's Kedron State High School and West End State School.

Workplace Health and Safety said Dr. Flegg's concerns had been
referred to Education Queensland.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Salem-Keizer School District Action Ongoing
----------------------------------------------------------------
The lawsuit of the Salem-Keizer district in Oregon states that
asbestos contamination during a kitchen remodel at Grant
Community School was more extensive than first reported,
Statesman Journal reports.

Salem-Keizer School District is suing Woodburn Construction Co.
for US$209,000, the amount it says it spent cleaning up asbestos
contamination at the northeast Salem school.

The district blames the Company for twice releasing asbestos
during the project, delaying the start of classes in September
2006.

District officials made information about the contamination
public on Sept. 1, 2006, when it became clear that school would
be delayed. At the time, they said contamination from both
releases was caused by drilling and was limited to the kitchen.

However, according to the suit filed in Marion County Circuit
Court, air sampling found asbestos dust not only in the kitchen,
but also in multi-purpose rooms, the lobby hall, the north-south
hall, Room 7, and classrooms 1, 4 and 5.

The lawsuit states that 13 Grant employees were exposed to
asbestos.

Two of those workers have filed workers' compensation claims in
connection with the exposure, said Pat Cody, the district's risk
management coordinator. Both claims were denied.

During the first incident, on June 19, 2006, one subcontractor
demolished an entire asbestos-containing wall and another
subcontractor cut into an asbestos-containing floor. Neither
took required precautions.

According to the suit, it took until Aug. 26, 2006 to clean up
the contamination. Then, on Aug. 29, 2006, a third subcontractor
drilled holes in the kitchen wall, causing a second asbestos
release.

Cleanup of the second release delayed the start of school nearly
a week.

Woodburn Construction filed the first court complaint in June
2007, saying it had not been paid in full for the remodeling
job, which also included kitchens at Hoover and Washington
elementary schools and Walker Middle School. It asked for at
least US$226,600 in pay and damages.

The school district filed a counterclaim in September 2007,
saying the company breached its contract by ignoring asbestos
reports and allowing unlicensed contractors to disturb and
remove asbestos.

The district is asking for US$157,000 in cleanup costs,
US$22,000 it paid other contractors to finish the project and
US$30,000 in penalties spelled out in the contract, plus
interest.

In December 2007, Woodburn Construction filed a lawsuit against
the four subcontractors that worked on the project. They are
John Blake Construction of Keizer, which in turn hired A-Plus
Drywall of Salem to demolish the wall; Penetrations Concrete
Cutting of Salem, which cut into the flooring; and Crawford
Roll-Lite Door Sales of Salem, which drilled into the wall.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality cited and fined
the school district, Woodburn Construction, A-Plus Drywall and
Penetrations for the first incident. The DEQ cited and fined
Woodburn Construction and Crawford Roll-Lite for the second
incident.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Europarl Seeks Better Protection of Workers
----------------------------------------------------------------
The European Parliament, on Jan. 15, 2008, called for better
protection of workers from occupational diseases, including
asbestos-related, and accidents, criticizing the European
Commission for inaction.

In a report, the European Parliament regretted that the European
Commission "is silent on targets for the reduction of
occupational diseases."

According to the International Labor Union, about 167,000 people
died from a work-related accident or disease in 2006 in the
European Union. Another 300,000 workers suffer permanent
disability every year, estimates the European Commission.

The European Parliament report, adopted with 598 votes in favor,
20 against and 23 abstentions in Strasbourg, France, also called
for better protection of health care workers from blood borne
diseases.

The report warned that health care workers are at risk of
contracting more than 20 life-threatening viruses such as
hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

The report asked the commission to come to proposals to amend
relevant legislation well before the end of the legislature in
mid-2009.

The report said new and emerging health risks must be identified
and asbestos must be phased out.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Okla. Worker Sentenced for Cleanup Breaches
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chick Arthur Little, an Elk City, Okla., a municipal employee
accused of forcing a crew of state inmates to work in a historic
railroad depot with asbestos insulation, on Jan. 10, 2008, was
sentenced to eight months in federal prison, The Associated
Press reports.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton sentenced the 56-year-old Mr.
Little to eight months in prison for negligent endangerment, a
misdemeanor, and for a felony count of lying to state officials,
said Judge Heaton's assistant, Lisa Mintor.

Ms. Mintor added that Mr. Little is scheduled to surrender to
federal authorities in February 2008.

A federal jury in August 2007 found Mr. Little and Elk City City
Manager Guy R. Hylton Jr., guilty of the lesser misdemeanor
charge of negligent endangerment. They both initially faced a
felony count of knowing endangerment, but were acquitted of the
more serious charge.

Mr. Little also was convicted of one felony count of making
false statements to officials with the Department of
Environmental Quality. He had faced up to five years in prison
and a fine of up to US$250,000.

Mr. Little and Mr. Hylton are still employed by the city,
according to Elk City Clerk Cheryl Sipes.

In a pre-sentencing report, prosecutors urged Judge Heaton to
sentence both men to the maximum prison time.

The inmates came from an eight-man project crew at the state-
operated Elk City Community Work Center. They were allegedly
ordered to remove debris during a renovation at the old Rock
Island Depot on Elk City in 2003.

Mack Martin, Hylton's attorney, has previously said the two city
officials did not know there was asbestos in the building and
never forced the inmates to work on it.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ga. Widower Sues 84 Companies in Ill. Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Jones, on behalf of his deceased wife Sherry Jones, on
Jan. 11, 2008, filed an asbestos-related lawsuit against 84
defendant corporations in Madison County Circuit Court, Ill.,
The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

Mr. Jones alleges that Mrs. Jones was exposed to airborne
asbestos fibers from her stepfather's clothing. Mr. Jones
alleges that Mrs. Jones was employed from 1974 to 2006 in
clerical positions and her stepfather was employed in
maintenance.

According to Mr. Jones, Mrs. Jones and her stepfather would on
many occasions work with and around asbestos and asbestos-
containing products.

Mr. Jones claims Mrs. Jones' stepfather would carry the asbestos
dust on his clothing home with him where it would again become
airborne.

Mr. Jones claims his wife was also exposed to asbestos during
non-occupational work projects including home and automotive
repairs, maintenance and remodeling.

According to Mr. Jones, Mrs. Jones was diagnosed with
mesothelioma on Feb. 8, 2006, and died 15 days later.

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

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

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

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

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

The complaint states that as a result of the alleged negligence,
Mr. Jones claims Mrs. Jones was exposed to fibers containing
asbestos and developed a disease caused only by asbestos which
disabled and disfigured her.

Mr. Jones claims that before Mrs. Jones' death, she suffered
great physical pain and mental anguish, which hindered and
prevented her from pursuing her normal course of employment,
causing her to lose large sums of money.

Mr. Jones seeks at least US$350,000 in damages for negligence,
willful and wanton acts, conspiracy, and negligent spoliation of
evidence among other allegations.

Perry Browder, John Barnerd, Trent Miracle and John Foley of
SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represent Mr. Jones.

Case No. 08 L 19 has been assigned to Circuit Court Judge Daniel
Stack.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Settles w/ Pima County over Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------
In two separate actions, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency settled with the Pima County Board of Supervisors and
Cesar Chavez Learning Community Inc. for alleged violations of
the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, according to an EPA
press release dated Jan. 16, 2008.

In May 2006, EPA inspectors discovered Pima Vocational High
School, Aztlan Academy, and Cesar Chavez Middle School had not
been inspected to determine if asbestos-containing materials
were present in the schools' buildings. Pima County runs the
Pima Vocational High School, while Cesar Chavez Learning
Community Inc. is the charter holder for the Aztlan Academy and
Cesar Chavez Middle School.

Neither the Pima County Board of Supervisors nor Cesar Chavez
Learning Community Inc. could produce asbestos management plans.

After the EPA contacted Pima County and Cesar Chavez,
inspections of their respective schools were conducted by
accredited inspectors. No asbestos was found at the schools and
Pima County and Cesar Chavez have since taken the necessary
actions to comply with the law by developing asbestos management
plans for their schools.

Nathan Lau, Associate Director for the Communities and
Ecosystems Division in EPA's Pacific Southwest region, said,
"Asbestos can potentially endanger the health of students,
teachers, and maintenance workers at schools. We are pleased
that these schools have now conducted inspections and put
asbestos management plans into place."

Federal law requires schools to conduct an initial inspection
using accredited inspectors to determine if asbestos-containing
building material is present and develop a management plan to
address the asbestos materials found in the school buildings.

Schools that do not contain asbestos-containing material must
still develop a management plan which would identify the
designated person and include the architect's statement or
building inspection and the annual notification to parents,
teachers, and employees regarding the availability of the plan.

The EPA's rules also require the school to appoint a designated
person who is trained to oversee asbestos activities and ensure
compliance with federal regulations. Finally, schools must
conduct periodic surveillance and re-inspections, properly train
the maintenance and custodial staff, and maintain records in the
management plan.

Local education agencies must keep an updated copy of the
management plan in its administrative office and at the school
which must be made available for inspection by parents,
teachers, and the general public.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cascino Vaughan Delivers List of Creditors
----------------------------------------------------------------
Owens Corning Inc. states that in accordance with Rule 2019 of
the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Allen D. Vaughan, of
Cascino Vaughan Law Offices Ltd., in Chicago, delivered to the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court a list of all Asbestos Creditors his firm
represents.

Each of the Asbestos Creditors has employed Cascino Vaughan
under an employment contract with the firm, according to Mr.
Vaughan.

Cascino Vaughan did not serve exhibits with its Rule 2019
statement, but filed the exhibits on compact disk which may be
released to any party who obtains leave from the Court under
Rule 2019 Order.

For service and notice purposes, any correspondence with respect
to each of the Asbestos Creditors listed should be sent to c/o
Cascino Vaughan Law Offices Ltd., at 220 S. Ashland Avenue, in
Chicago, Ill., 60607.

Cascino Vaughan assures the Court that it does not own any
claims against or interest in the Debtors.

(Owens Corning Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 166; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc. 215-945-7000 FAX 215-945-7001)


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cayuga County to Pay $5T for Removal Breach
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Cayuga County Legislature in Cayuga County N.Y. is soon
expected to pay its last fine of US$5,000, which is associated
with illegal asbestos removal, The Citizen reports.

On Jan. 15, 2008, the Ways and Means Committee unanimously
agreed to pay US$5,000 for state Department of Labor violations.
The full Legislature will vote on whether to accept the penalty
at a regular meeting on Jan. 22, 2008.

Committee Chairman Francis Mitchell, R-Genoa, said, "This is the
end of the administrative process."

The Department of Labor cited the county for four violations
linked to the illegal removal of asbestos at the Board of
Elections building in March 2006. The county erred when it did
not contract a licensed asbestos removal professional, conduct
air tests and properly clean the work area, according to the
citations.

Suspended county carpenter John Chick, who supervised the
project, pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Indoor Air Act in
2007. He awaits sentencing in federal court Feb. 20, 2008.

On December 2007, county legislators agreed to pay a US$10,000
fine issued by the state Department of Environmental
Conservation.

If they approve payment to the Department of Labor at the Jan.
22, 2008 regular meeting, it should signal the end of government
action.

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


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NGOs Sue City in Israel for Waste Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to a lawsuit filed on Jan. 16, 2008 in Haifa
Administrative Court by two environmental organizations, the
City of Nahariya, Israel, is seriously negligent in handling
asbestos hazards, Haaretz.com reports.

The Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam Teva V'Din) and
a local Nahariya non-profit group sued the city and the
Environmental Protection Ministry.

The suit claims the city has evaded its responsibilities by not
using the millions of shekels allocated by the state to clean up
the asbestos, and the ministry has not done enough to force the
city to deal with the problem.

The IUED says there are still exposed piles of asbestos waste in
several places around the city. For years, all attempts to force
the city and ministry to deal with the dangerous waste have
failed.

Three months ago, the city decided not to use an ILS3 million
budget provided by the state specifically for that purpose, said
the IUED, and the Environmental Protection Ministry has made due
with only letters of warning and censure, and nothing more
serious.

The plaintiffs are demanding a court order requiring the city to
collect and deal with the asbestos waste throughout the city, as
well as to prepare a detailed, multi-year plan for the cleanup.

The ministry said it would respond in court.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ASARCO LLC to Delay Plan Filing By 2 Months
----------------------------------------------------------------
ASARCO LLC states that it needs two more months to file its
reorganization plan, and says its parent company, a Grupo Mexico
SA unit, is behind the delay, Associated Press reports.

Asarco is asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Corpus Christi,
Tex., to extend the deadline for filing its reorganization plan
to April 11, 2008. The current deadline expires on Feb. 11,
2008.

In court papers filed  Jan. 15, 2008, the Company said it cannot
meet that deadline because it has to spend time defending a move
by its parent company to appoint an examiner to investigate
Asarco's reorganization.

Based in Tucson, Ariz., the Company has been in bankruptcy since
August 2005. The Company said it is making progress in the case,
working to resolve its environmental and asbestos-related
liabilities.

The Company has reached a number of environmental settlements
with various states and the federal government. The Company is
also in mediation to resolve its asbestos-related personal
injury claims.

The Company is also negotiating with investors who could fund
its bankruptcy exit.

According to court documents, the Company said 14 potential
investors have signed confidentiality agreements, and nine of
them have held "informal discussions" with the Company.

An extension of the deadline for filing the plan would allow the
Company to keep exclusive control over the bankruptcy case and
prevent other parties from filing rival reorganization plans
with the court.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inquest Links Decorator's Death to Asbestos
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest heard that the death of retired decorator John
Fordham was related to asbestos exposure, The Standard reports.

Mr. Fordham, of Kinnerly Road, Whitby, England, died at the
Countess of Chester Hospital on April 20, 2007.

Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg recorded that the 84-year
old Mr. Fordham died from mesothelioma caused by asbestos
exposure, with heart disease as a contributing factor.

Linda Anne Fordham, a retired clerical receptionist, told the
Chester hearing her husband worked as a decorator with his
cousin, John Davies. He worked in boiler rooms sanding down
pipes lagged with asbestos.

Mr. Rheinberg read out a statement by Brian Cookson, of Cypress
Avenue, Ellesmere Port, who worked with Mr Fordham. He said, "We
came into contact with asbestos on a regular basis. Most of the
buildings had boiler rooms lagged with asbestos."

Dr. Jacqueline Elder, a pathologist at the Countess of Chester
Hospital, carried out a post-mortem examination and recorded the
cause of death as mesothelioma.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Korean Group Urges Commuters' Health Study
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Korean Federation for Environmental Movement has urged the
South Korean government to study the relationship between
asbestos and regular metro use, The Korea Times reports.

The request came on Jan. 10, 2008 after a government report
showed workers at metro stations were being exposed to
substances associated with causing lung disease in their
construction work.

A spokesman for the movement said, "There are about four million
people using this public transportation and there are high
chances that the asbestos has affected commuters' health, too."
He called on the metro company to take responsibility for the
health of their workers as well as their customers.

According to the Ministry of Labor, 30 percent of 2,900 Seoul
Metro workers at stations on line one through four had lung
disease. The ministry said the rate is more than three times
that of ordinary people. Doctors assume the main cause to be
asbestos-related.

The report also said asbestos particles fell from the ceiling
due to poor management and are airborne and likely to be inhaled
by members of the public.

In 2007, Seoul Metro conducted inspections on 30 subway stations
to find 17 having asbestos on the ceilings and platforms.

In the United States and European countries, asbestos is banned
from use. In South Korea, the use will be banned from industrial
sites in 2009.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Posen Construction Ordered to Remove Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
Posen Construction Inc. has been ordered to prove it properly
disposed of asbestos pipe and did not make employees dump it in
a manmade lake, as employees have claimed, Naples Daily News
reports.

On Jan. 16, 2008, Posen told state and Lee County, Fla.,
officials that 880 feet of pipe was either disposed or grouted
in place as part of the Alico Road windening project. The
company will have to dig up 280 feet of the supposedly grouted
pipe to prove their claims to Department of Environmental
Protection inspectors.

The Company also faces violations and fines for not training
employees on handling the dangerous substance and not notifying
DEP of the work.

Employees have complained to county and state officials that
they were made to handle asbestos, smash it or cut it up, and
dump it near a new man-made lake south of Alico Road near U.S.
41.

Since it was first awarded the Bonita Springs Three Oaks Parkway
project in May 2006, Posen has worked on several road projects
in Lee County, including widening East Terry Street in Bonita
Springs.

As part of the Alico Road issue, Posen will have to clean up
asbestos fragments found near the lake, which the company says
was used as a staging area, DEP spokesman Eli Fleishauer said.

The federal Organizational Safety and Health Administration will
investigate the claims of not providing proper training for
employees.

OSHA compliance officer Armando Cavarcas was unable to confirm a
report had been made.

The Alico Road contract called for the disposal of 1,220 feet of
asbestos pipe, utility lines that had to be moved when the state
widened Alico Road. The company can show that it properly
disposed of 600 feet, and it claims to have grouted another 280
feet in place.

The contract called for digging near the previous sites to
install new lines.

At that time, Mr. Fleishauer said, DEP inspectors will check to
see if the remaining 280 feet of pipe is grouted in place.


                  New Securities Fraud Cases


AMBAC FINANCIAL: Coughlin Stoia Files N.Y. Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP announced that a
class action has been commenced in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of
purchasers of Ambac Financial Group, Inc. common stock during
the period between October 19, 2005 and November 26, 2007.

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

Ambac is a holding company whose subsidiaries provide financial
guarantee products and other financial services to clients in
both the public and private sectors around the world. The
Company and its subsidiaries operate in two segments: financial
guarantee and financial services.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the
Company's business and financial results related to its
insurance coverage on collateralized debt obligations ("CDO")
contracts. According to the complaint, the true facts, which
were known by the defendants but concealed from the investing
public during the Class Period, were as follows:

     (i) that the Company lacked requisite internal controls to
         ensure that the Company's underwriting standards and
         its internal rating system for its CDO contracts were
         adequate, and, as a result, the Company's projections
         and reported results issued during the Class Period
         were based upon defective assumptions and/or
         manipulated facts;

    (ii) that the Company's financial statements were materially
         misstated due to its failure to properly account for
         its mark-to-market losses;

   (iii) that, given the deterioration and the increased
         volatility in the mortgage market, the Company would be
         forced to tighten its underwriting standards related to
         its asset-backed securities, which would have a direct
         material negative impact on its premium production
         going forward;

    (iv) that the Company had far greater exposure to
         anticipated losses and defaults related to its CDO
         contracts containing subprime loans, including even
         highly rated CDOs, than it had previously disclosed;

     (v) that the Company had far greater exposure to a
         potential ratings downgrade from one of the credit
         ratings agencies than it had previously disclosed; and

    (vi) that defendants' Class Period statements about the
         Company's selective underwriting practices during the
         2005 through 2007 timeframe related to its CDOs backed
         by subprime assets were patently false; as the
         Company's underwriting standards were at best
         aggressive and at a minimum were completely inadequate.

As the truth began to be disclosed, shares of Ambac common stock
plummeted, causing substantial losses to investors.

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

For more information, contact:

          Samuel H. Rudman
          David A. Rosenfeld
          Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP
          Phone: 800-449-4900 or djr@csgrr.com


PZENA INVESTMENT: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Fraud Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. has
filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of its client and on
behalf of other similarly situated purchasers of Pzena
Investment Management, Inc. common stock pursuant and/or
traceable to the Company's October 24, 2007 Initial Public
Offering.

The complaint charges Pzena and Richard C. Pzena with violations
of the Securities Act of 1933.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that, in connection with the
IPO, defendants issued numerous materially false and misleading
statements which caused Pzena's securities to trade at
artificially inflated prices. As alleged in the complaint, the
Company's registration statement for the IPO failed to disclose
a pattern of net redemptions in the largest mutual fund advised
by Pzena, which existed at the time of the IPO. The subsequent
disclosure of these facts three weeks later resulted in the
price of the Company's common stock declining, causing Plaintiff
and the other members of the Class to suffer damages.

Interested parties may move the court no later than January 22,
2007 for lead plaintiff appointment.

For more information, contact:

          Steven J. Toll, Esq.
          Lauren DeStefano
          Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C.
          Phone: 888-240-0775 or 202-408-4600 or 888-240-0775 or
                 202-408-4600
          E-mail: stoll@cmht.com or ldestefano@cmht.com


RAIT FINANCIAL: Donal Lomax Files Securities Fraud Suit in Pa.
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm Donald Lomax, P.C. filed a class action against
RAIT Financial Trust claiming that the company failed to
disclose that a payment from American Home Mortgage or AHM may
be in jeopardy.

The lawsuit seeks remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania on behalf of shareholders who acquired
certain securities of the company during the period May 13, 2006
through July 31, 2007.

The class action suit alleges that the company failed to
disclose that AHM may not make a payment to the company, which
could lead to a net exposure of at least $95 million or $1.56
per share. The suit also accuses the company of not setting
aside an adequate reserve, in the event of AHM failing to make
the payment.

The company had announced on July 31, 2007 that it did not
receive payment from AHM of TruPs due on July 30, 2007,
following which RAIT's Series B Preferred shares and C Preferred
shares declined, and the price of RAS 6 7/8 Bonds dived sharply.

RAS closed on Wednesday at $8.06, up $0.23 or 2.94%.


SHORETEL INC: KGS Files First Securities Fraud Suit in Calif.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kahn Gauthier Swick, LLC has filed the first class action
against ShoreTel, Inc. in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California, on behalf of shareholders
who purchased the common stock of ShoreTel in connection with
the Company's IPO on or about July 3, 2007, or who purchased
shares thereafter in the open market.

ShoreTel, certain of its officers and directors, and the
Company's underwriters are charged with including, or allowing
the inclusion of, materially false and misleading statements in
the Registration Statement and Prospectus issued in connection
with the IPO, in violation of the Securities Act of 1933.

The Complaint alleges that following ShoreTel's July 3, 2007 IPO
-- which raised gross proceeds of at least $86.3075 million --
investors learned the truth about the Company on January 7, 2008
-- including that the problems which existed at the time of the
IPO would result in extremely disappointing results for the
third quarter of fiscal 2008 (the period ended December 31,
2007), including much lower than expected revenues and higher
than expected costs and expenses.

At that time, defendants first belatedly revealed that sales to
new customers were substantially lower than expected, and that
sales to existing customers was not sufficient to offset these
declines. In addition, by this time, it became obvious to
investors that the Company did not maintain adequate internal
controls, and that a proper due diligence investigation into the
Company, by the Underwriters, was not properly carried out prior
to the Offering.

On this news, on January 7, 2008, over 6.0 million shares of
ShoreTel traded -- over 20 times average daily trading volume --
and Company shares plummeted -- falling over 50% to close at
$6.02 per share.

Interested parties may move the court no later than March 17,
2008 for lead plaintiff appointment.

For more information, contact:

          Lewis Kahn
          Managing Partner
          Kahn Gauthier Swick, LLC
          Toll free: 1-866-467-1400, ext. 100
          Cell phone: 504-301-7900
          Email: lewis.kahn@kgscounsel.com
          Website: http://www.kgscounsel.com


VIRGIN MOBILE: Howard Smith Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Law Offices of Howard Smith has announced that a securities
class action has been filed on behalf of investors who purchased
the common stock of Virgin Mobile USA, pursuant or traceable to
the company's initial public offering on or about October 11,
2007, through November 15, 2007.

The class action was filed in the U.S. district court for the
Southern District of New York.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing material misrepresentations to the
market concerning Virgin Mobile's business, operations and
financial performance, thereby artificially inflating the price
of the company's stock.

For more information, contact:

          Law Offices of Howard G. Smith
          3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112
          Bensalem, PA 19020
          Telephone: (215) 638-4847
          Facsimile: (215) 638-4867
          Toll Free: 1-888-638-4847


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

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