CAR_Public/080215.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Friday, February 15, 2008, Vol. 10, No. 33
  
                            Headlines

99c ONLY: Calif. Court Approves $3.2M Settlement in Labor Cases
AK STEEL: Judge to Decide Fate of $663M Agreement by Month's End
AMERICAN ITALIAN: $25M Securities Suit Deal Gets Final Approval
AT&T: Sued For Denying Managers Overtime Pay and Meal Breaks
BELLA POULTRY: Employees Sue Firm Over Lack of Overtime Pay

BROOKS AUTOMATION: Massachusetts Suit Seeks Class Certification
CAREER EDUCATION: Students Sue Over Medical Assistant Program
COVIDIEN LTD: Plaintiffs to Appeal Dismissal of Calif. Lawsuit
COVIDIEN LTD: Court Dismisses Claims v. Firm in Antitrust Suit
COVIDIEN LTD: No Trial Date Set for "Sharps Containers" Lawsuit

CREDIT SUISSE: Faces Suit Over Mortgage Pass-Through Certs
CRUISE SHIPS: Faces Suit Over Collusion to Fix Fuel Surcharges  
DOLLAR FINANCIAL: Continues to Face Elderly Abuse Suit in Calif.
DOLLAR FINANCIAL: Expects Mid-2008 Ruling on Appeal in "Bufil"
DOMEGA INT'L: Recalls Dried Plums for Undeclared Sulfites

DUSKIN CO: Japan Court Orders Execs to Pay JPY5.3BB in Damages
FOREST LABORATORIES: To Participate in Mediation with Plaintiffs
HAWAII: Court Says Enrollment System for Homeless Must Be Fixed
KIDDIE KOLLEGE: High Mercury Levels Suit Granted Certification
LOWE'S HOME: Workers File Lawsuit Over Denied Overtime Pay

MERCEDES-BENZ: Faces Calif. Litigation Over "Tele Aid" System
OKLAHOMA: Human Services Dept. Faces Lawsuit for Child Neglect
ONION CROCK: Recalls Soups Due to Undeclared Wheat and Soy
RELATED GROUP: Faces Suit Over Unpaid Condo Deposit Refunds
SIEGFRIED & PARZIFAL: Recalls Hoodies for Strangulation Hazard

SOFT AIR: Recalls RC Helicopters Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
* White House Asks Supreme Court to Dismiss Apartheid Suits


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

MUNICIPAL MORTGAGE: Berger & Montague Files MD Securities Suit
SIRF TECHNOLOGY: Abraham Fruchter Files CA Securities Fraud Suit
SUNOPTA INC: Kaplan Fox Files Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.Y.


                         Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Todd Shipyards Faces 498 Claims at Dec. 30
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Injury Cases Ongoing v. Rockwell Automation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exide Unit Still to Pay $300,000 for Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inquest Rules on Death from Exposure at ICI
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japanese Gov't. Expands Tests for Buildings

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ARCA Bares New Asbestos-Handling Methods
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RailCorp Hurstville Station Set for Cleanup
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tampering of Study Claimed by Indian Groups
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ironville Residents Complain v. Contractors
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: United Technologies Has 3,100 Suits at Dec.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Injury Cases Pending v. Scotts Miracle-Gro
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Generation Reserves $50M at Dec. for Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Briggs & Stratton Faces Liability Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: STERIS Could Face Product Exposure Actions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Columbus McKinnon Still Has $8.4M Liability

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ashland Inc. Records 120T Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ashland Has $478M in Insurance Receivables
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Magnetek Still Has Suits From Old Ventures
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Supreme Court Affirms Ruling in Sales Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japan Schools Ordered to Test for All Types

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Phil. Gov't. Seeks Ban on Asbestos Products
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MP Reed Blasts Denial of Payout to Victims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Commissioner Closes Maylands Hangars
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wis. County Aims to Make Amends for Release
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Weyerhaeuser Co. Lobbies for Legal Reforms

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: American Fin'l. Cites $30.8M Charge in 2007
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Liberty Mutual Notes Increase in A&E Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: La. Parish Imposes Waiver for Demolitions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Transkei Cradle for Disease, Professor Says
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mueller Subsidiaries Face Asbestos Actions

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 10,442 Cases Pending v. Mallinckrodt Inc.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cabot Records 55,000 AO Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Suits v. BJ Services Pending in Mississippi
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ameron Int'l. Records 60 Claims at Nov. 30
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum's Plan Filed in Bankruptcy Court

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Argo Group Cites $17.6M Charge for A&E Loss
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Todd Shipyards Suit Filed on Jan. 2 in Tex.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Parties File Briefs on Admissibility
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Examiner Gives 1st Update on Tersigni Probe
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Shacklocks Sees Rise in Injury Claims in UK

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Seeks Approval to Extend $250M Loan
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Collinsville Grants $250T for Lodge Cleanup
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-T&N Worker's Kin Gets Payout for Injury
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cargill Inc. Workers File $3M Suit in Tenn.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Report Says Chillicothe Prison Had Asbestos

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Howard County OKs Hazard Removal from Jail



                           *********


99c ONLY: Calif. Court Approves $3.2M Settlement in Labor Cases
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Ventura County Superior Court gave preliminary approval to
the proposed $3.2 million settlement of two labor-related class
actions filed against 99c Only Stores.

The two suits are:

      -- "Vargas v. 99c Only Stores," filed in the Ventura
         County Superior Court in California, and

      -- "Washington v. 99c Only Stores,” which was filed in the  
         Los Angeles County Superior Court in California.

                       Vargas Litigation

On June 19, 2006, plaintiff Joanna Vargas filed a putative class
action lawsuit against the Company seeking to represent its
California retail non-exempt employees.  The Vargas lawsuit
alleges that 99c Only failed to provide or pay for meal or rest
breaks and associated claims, non-payment of wages, and non-
payment of overtime wages.  

The Vargas lawsuit sought compensatory, special and punitive
damages in unspecified amounts, penalties, attorneys fees and
injunctive relief.  

                     Washington Litigation

On Oct. 31, 2006, plaintiff Chantelle Washington filed a
putative class action lawsuit against the Company seeking to
represent its California retail non-exempt cashier employees
with respect to similar claims, alleging the failure to provide
or pay for meal or rest breaks and associated claims.  

The Washington lawsuit seeks compensatory damages and penalties
in unspecified amounts, as well as equitable relief, attorney
fees and interest.  

The Vargas and Washington actions have now been coordinated in
Ventura County Superior Court.

In November 2007, the Company and both Plaintiffs entered into a
settlement agreement providing for a maximum settlement payment
of $3.2 million (including attorneys' fees).  

On Nov. 30, 2007, the court granted preliminary approval for the
settlement and authorized the parties to provide a notice to
class members about the settlement, according to 99 Cents Only
Stores' Feb. 11, 2008 form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended Dec. 31,
2007.

99 Cents Only Stores -- http://www.99only.com/-- is a deep-
discount retailer of consumable general merchandise.


AK STEEL: Judge to Decide Fate of $663M Agreement by Month's End
----------------------------------------------------------------
Magistrate Judge Timothy Black of the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of Ohio is set to decide by the end of
February the fate of a proposed $663 million settlement of the
class action, "Bailey et al. v. AK Steel Corp., Case No. 1:06-
cv-00468-MRB," Mike Boyer of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

On Feb. 12, 2008, Judge Black opened a two-day hearing into the
fairness of the settlement, which would settle the 20-month-old
class action filed by AK retirees who challenged the steel
maker's decision to make them pay more for their health
benefits.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that in the course of the packed
hearing, Judge Black closely questioned attorneys for the
retirees who challenged the proposed settlement.  Specifically,
Judge Black asked Glenn Whitaker, Esq., who is representing the
objectors to the settlement, what would happen if he rejects the
proposed settlement.

Mr. Whitaker told the judge that AK Steel would sweeten it,
since it would relieve the company of the uncertainty of paying
for the retirees' future health care, a cost estimated at more
than $1 billion.

When asked if the case should proceed to trial, Mr. Whitaker
answered, "I believe (the plaintiffs) will win," Cincinnati
Enquirer relates.

                        Case Background

On June 1, 2006, AK Steel notified approximately 4,600 of its
current retirees (or their surviving spouses) who formerly were
hourly and salaried members of the Armco Employees Independent
Federation that AK Steel was terminating their existing
healthcare insurance benefits plan and implementing a new plan
more consistent with current steel industry practices (Class
Action Reporter, Jan. 25, 2008).  

However, this new plan would require the retirees to contribute
to the cost of their healthcare benefits, effective Oct. 1,
2006.

On July 18, 2006, a group of nine former hourly and salaried
members of the AEIF filed a purported class action with the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, alleging that
AK Steel did not have a right to make changes to their
healthcare benefits.

The named plaintiffs in the action seek injunctive relief
(including an order retroactively rescinding the changes) and
unspecified monetary relief for themselves and the other members
of the putative class.

On Aug. 4, 2006, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary
injunction seeking to prevent AK Steel from implementing the
previously announced changes to healthcare benefits with respect
to the AEIF-represented hourly employees.  AK Steel opposed that
motion, but on Sept. 22, 2006, the trial court issued an order
granting the motion.  Almost immediately, AK Steel filed a
notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth
Circuit seeking a reversal of the decision to grant the
preliminary injunction.

                           Settlement

However, while the appeal was pending, AK Steel announced on
Oct. 8, 2007, that it had reached a tentative settlement of the
claims of the retirees.

Accordingly, on Oct. 18, 2007, the pending appeal from the
preliminary injunction was dismissed at the request of the
parties.

Under the terms of the settlement, AK Steel will transfer to a
Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association trust all post
employment benefit obligations owed to the plaintiffs under the
Company's applicable health and welfare plans.

The VEBA will be utilized to fund the future OPEB Obligations to
the Class Members.  AK Steel will initially fund the VEBA with a
contribution of $468 million in cash, with three subsequent
annual cash contributions of $65 million each, for a total of
$663 million.  The settlement will relieve AK Steel of any
further liability for any OPEB Obligations to the plaintiffs.

The suit is "Bailey et al. v. AK Steel Corp., Case No. 1:06-cv-
00468-MRB," filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Ohio, Judge Michael R. Barrett presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:
       
         David Marvin Cook, Esq.
         Stephen A. Simon, Esq.
         22 West Ninth Street
         Cincinnati, OH 45202
         Phone: 513-721-6500 and 513-721-7500
         e-mail: dcook@dmcllc.com
                 ssimon@dmcllc.com

Representing the company is:

         Gregory Parker Rogers, Esq.
         Taft, Stettinius & Hollister
         1800 First Star Tower
         425 Walnut Street
         Cincinnati, OH 45202
         Phone: 513-357-9349
         e-mail: Rogers@Taftlaw.com

Representing the objectors is:

         Glenn Virgil Whitaker, Esq.
         Vorys Sater Seymour & Pease
         Atrium Two, 221 E Fourth Street, Suite 2000
         Cincinnati, OH 45201-0236
         Phone: 513-723-4000
         e-mail: gvwhitaker@vssp.com


AMERICAN ITALIAN: $25M Securities Suit Deal Gets Final Approval
---------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Ortrie D. Smith of the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Missouri, on Feb. 12, granted final approval to the
$25 million settlement of the federal securities class action
"In re American Italian Pasta Co. Securities Litigation, Case
No. 4:05-cv-00725-ODS."

Shareholders have filed lawsuits against American Italian since
August 2005 when the firm started reviewing its accounting
practices.
   
The suits accuse the company of improper inventory,
underreporting marketing allowances paid to distributors and
improperly capitalizing costs that should have been listed as
expenses.

American Italian then said it is withdrawing financial results
for the last three years because they contained errors in
accounting for product promotion and overhead costs.

Seven suits were consolidated in December 2005 (Class Action
Reporter, Dec. 21, 2005).  In March, Judge Ortrie Smith granted
certification to the lawsuit designating three Iron Workers'
Union locals as lead plaintiffs (Class Action Reporter, March
28, 2007).  The ironworkers' locals had used Kent T. Perry
& Co. LC of Overland Park for local counsel.  Judge Smith
accepted Perry & Co.'s motion to make the New York law firm of
Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross lead counsel.

On Oct. 2007, American Italian Pasta Company (Pink Sheets: AITP)
entered into a Stipulation of Settlement with lead plaintiffs in
the securities class action (Class Action Reporter, Oct. 30,
2007).

The settlement resolves federal securities law claims asserted
in the consolidated class action pending in federal court in
Kansas City, styled, "In re American Italian Pasta Company
Securities Litigation (Case No. 05-CV-0725-W-ODS)."  The federal
securities law claims will be settled for approximately $25
million, comprised of $11 million in cash, all of which will be
contributed by the Company's insurers, and $14 million in the
Company's common shares.

The Stipulation applies to a class consisting of all persons who
purchased the Company's common shares on or after Jan. 23,
2002, and who continued to hold such shares on Aug. 9, 2005, and
all persons who purchased the Company's common shares on or
after Aug. 10, 2005, who continued to hold such shares as of
Aug. 17, 2005. Under the settlement, the Company's common
shares will be part of both the proposed fee award to
plaintiff's counsel and consideration to be distributed to the
class.

The Company's settlement includes $14 million in common shares,
with the number of shares distributed in accordance with the
Stipulation.  If the share price, at the time the Court
authorizes distribution is less than $9.60 but equal to or
greater than $6.50, the Company will be required to issue the
number of shares to maintain the $14 million value as adjusted
for plaintiff counsel's fee award.

The settlement does not resolve derivative claims asserted in
separate lawsuits against the Company and certain of its former
and current officers and directors, which claims remain pending.
The court's final approval confirms the settlement of the class
action lawsuit for $25 million, comprised of $11 million in
cash, all of which will be contributed by the Company's
insurers, and $14 million in the Company's common shares to be
distributed pursuant to the court's approval and the settlement
agreement of the parties.  While the court's final approval
order remains subject to appeal, the settlement was approved
without objections and no class member opted out of the
settlement.

The suit is "In re American Italian Pasta Co. Securities
Litigation, Case No. 4:05-cv-00725-ODS," filed with the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of Missouri, under Judge
Ortrie D. Smith.  

Plaintiffs' lead counsel:

          Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP
          100 Park Avenue
          New York, New York 10017-5516
          Phone: 212-661-1100
          Fax: 212-661-8665
          Web site: http://www.pomlaw.com


AT&T: Sued For Denying Managers Overtime Pay and Meal Breaks
------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles, California, on
Feb. 13, 2008, charging AT&T with violating California labor
laws by denying employees earned overtime pay and meal breaks.
The lawsuit seeks payment of unpaid overtime compensation,
reimbursement of business expenses, and an hour of wages for
every meal break denied for over one hundred employees who have
worked during the past four years in California providing
customer service and selling products and services to AT&T
business clients.

The lawsuit, filed by plaintiffs Joseph Mahoney and Tonya
Pillow, asserts that AT&T violated California law by denying
account managers and service managers, and others similarly
situated, overtime pay.  Account managers and service managers
regularly worked more than eight hours per day and forty hours
per week without receiving overtime pay.  Account managers also
worked more than five hours without receiving an uninterrupted
meal break as required under California law.  In addition,
Plaintiffs allege that service managers incurred necessary
business expenses associated with maintaining their home offices
that AT&T failed to reimburse.

"AT&T pressured its account managers and other customer service
managers to work overtime by overloading them with accounts to
provide customer service and pressuring them to sell added
products and services," explained Plaintiff's attorney Kimberly
Snyder, Esq.  "AT&T has no excuse for not compensating its
account and service managers for the overtime they worked and
the meal breaks they missed," added her co-counsel Joseph
Jaramillo, Esq.

Plaintiff is represented by Grace, Hollis, Lowe, Hanson &
Schaeffer LLP, which is based in San Diego, and Goldstein,
Demchak, Baller, Borgen & Dardarian of Oakland, California.

The case is "Joseph Mahoney v. AT&T, Inc., et al., Case No. BC
385361," filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Kimberly Snyder, Esq.
          Grace Hollis Lowe Hanson & Schaeffer, LLP
          3555 Fifth Avenue
          San Diego, CA 92103
          Phone: (619) 692-0800
          Fax: (619) 692-0822
          Web site: http://www.gracehollis.com/
          e-mail: ksnyder@gracehollis.com

               - and -

          Joseph Jaramillo, Esq.
          Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen & Dardarian
          300 Lakeside Drive, Suite 1000
          Oakland, CA  94612
          Phone: (510) 763-9800
          Fax: (510) 835-1417
          Web site: http://www.gdblegal.com/
          e-mail: jjaramillo@gdblegal.com


BELLA POULTRY: Employees Sue Firm Over Lack of Overtime Pay
-----------------------------------------------------------
Current and former employees at foie gras and poultry plants
around Sullivan County have joined a class-action lawsuit
alleging that they were not paid the minimum wage and were not
properly compensated for overtime, Michal Lumsden writes for
Times Herald-Record.

According to Times Herald, more than 200 employees who worked at
Stanton Corner Road's La Belle Farm Inc., or Bella Poultry Inc.
-- or at any of the owners' five subsidiaries -- as duck
feeders, chicken catchers, slaughterers and butchers since March
2000 had until January 2008 to opt in or out of the court-
approved class.  However, because only 28 have joined and 27
have specifically opted out, the plaintiffs' lawyer, Dan Werner,
Esq., of Workers' Rights Law Center in Kingston, suspects that
the defendants have pressured current employees to not
participate.

Mr. Werner filed the suit in March 2006 with the U.S. District
Court in White Plains.  The complaint seeks lost wages as well
as twice the employees' unpaid minimum and overtime wages.  In
addition, the lawsuit alleges that in violation of the Migrant
and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the defendant
owner-operators Nelson Saravia, Hector Abel Saravia and Cheuk
Lee did not keep detailed payroll records, among other things.

While many of the plaintiffs are immigrants, Mr. Werner would
not comment on their legal status, Times Herald relates.  State
and federal wage and overtime laws protect documented and
undocumented workers alike, the report notes.  Yet, regardless
of immigration status, agricultural workers are exempt from
overtime protections.

To this, Mr. Werner argues that the jobs the plaintiffs
performed were more industrial in nature than agricultural.

The plaintiffs are represented by:

          Dan Werner, Esq.
          Workers' Rights Law Center Of New York, Inc.
          101 Hurley Ave., Suite 5
          Kingston, New York 12401
          Phone: (845) 331-6615
          Fax: (845) 331-6617
          e-mail: dwerner@wnylc.com

The defendants are represented by:

          Monte B. Lake, Esq.
          Siff, Cerda and Lake LLP
          1020 16th Street, NW
          Suite 200
          Washington, DC 20036
          Phone: (202) 457-7770
          Fax: (202) 457-7776
          e-mail: mbl@scllaw.com


BROOKS AUTOMATION: Massachusetts Suit Seeks Class Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiffs in the litigation captioned "James R. Shaw v.
Brooks Automation, Inc. et al.," which is currently pending with
the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, filed
a motion that seeks class-action status for the matter.

The original complaint alleges that defendants Brooks
Automation, Inc., and certain of its officers and directors
violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S. Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933 by publicly issuing a series of false and
misleading statements regarding the Company's business and
financial results, thus causing Brooks' shares to trade at
artificially inflated prices (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 14,
2007.

Recently, the court granted in part and denied in part the
defendants' motions to dismiss, and allowed the lead plaintiff's
motion to add a named plaintiff.

In particular, the Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 claims against
individual defendants, Joseph Martin, and Ellen Richstone were
dismissed, and the Section 11 claims against Mr. Martin,  
defendants Robert Woodbury, and Edward Grady were dismissed.  
Also, the Section 11 claims against PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
were dismissed, and therefore dismissed entirely.

The motions were denied as to the remaining claims in the
consolidated amended complaint.

On Jan. 22, 2008, the plaintiffs in the action filed a motion
for class certification, according to Brooks Automation, Inc.'s
Feb. 11, 2008 form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended Dec. 31,
2007.

The suit is "James R. Shaw v. Brooks Automation, Inc. et al.,"
filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, Judge Rya W. Zobel presiding.

Representing the plaintiff is:

         Peter A. Pease, Esq.
         Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo
         One Liberty Square, 8th Floor
         Boston, MA 02109
         Phone: 617/542-8300
         Fax: 617/542-1194
         e-mail: ppease@bermanesq.com

              - and -

         Daniel P. Chiplock, Esq.
         Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
         780 Third Avenue, 48th Floor
         New York, NY 10017
         Phone: 212-355-9500
         Fax: 212-355-9592
         e-mail: dchiplock@lchb.com

Representing the defendants is:

         Randall W. Bodner, Esq.
         Ropes & Gray LLP
         One International Place
         Boston, MA 02110
         Phone: 617-951-7000 x7776
         Fax: 617-951-7050
         e-mail: rbodner@ropesgray.com

              - and -

         Joseph P. Messina, Esq.
         Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, PC
         One Financial Center
         Boston, MA 02111
         Phone: 617-542-6000
         Fax: 617-542-2241
         e-mail: jpmessina@mintz.com


CAREER EDUCATION: Students Sue Over Medical Assistant Program
-------------------------------------------------------------
Sanford Brown College and Career Education Corp. are facing a
class-action complaint filed on Feb. 11, 2008, with the Madison
County Circuit Court, alleging that the defendants fraudulently
induced the plaintiffs and the class to join a medical assistant
program through a number of deceptive acts, Steve Gonzalez of
the St. Clair Record reports.

The named plaintiffs are:

     -- Jenna Lilley,
     -- Jessica Lilley,
     -- Candace Lindsay and
     -- Ashley Cunningham.

The plaintiffs claim that they were aware they needed to take
prerequisite courses in order to attend an accredited
institution and inquired with Sanford Brown to see if the
medical assistant program would fulfill the prerequisite
requirements for a nursing program.

"None of the four putative class representatives had any
interest in taking the medical assistant program to become a
medical assistant," the complaint states.  "They saw the medical
assistant program as a stepping-stone to becoming a registered
nurse."

The admissions representatives at Sanford Brown allegedly claim
that:

     -- The tuition to attend Sanford Brown and obtain a medical
        assistant certificate was fixed, however students were
        forced to pay twice for classes they failed;

     -- The instructors had real-world experience and were
        otherwise well-qualified, however the majority of the
        instructors were themselves graduates of Sanford Brown,
        with little or no real-world experience.

     -- The students would be provided with the most up-to-date
        training aids and equipment but much of the perishable
        equipment provided was past its expiration date;

     -- The students would be placed in an actual doctor's
        office, however Sanford Brown was unable to place
        students in externships; and the students that were
        placed were assigned as a secretary or receptionist, not
        a medical assistant; and

     -- That there was a high demand for medical assistants,
        however the field is well staffed and doctors do not
        hire students from Sanford Brown because they are not
        properly trained.

According to the complaint, Sanford Brown violated the Illinois
Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act by engaging
in conduct that creates a likelihood of confusion or
misunderstanding.

The plaintiffs, who are area nursing students, claim they
suffered actual damages by Sanford Brown's deceptive practices
by the payment of fraudulently obtained tuition, by the payment
for textbooks which were of no use, being overcharged for
equipment and medical aides, being forced to purchase items from
the school and exhausting federal aide available to them making
it impossible to pursue a legitimate degree.

"Plaintiffs and class members would not have sustained the
damages but for the defendants deceptive practices in
fraudulently inducing them to enroll in the medical assistant
program," the complaint further states.

According to the complaint, all persons who attended Sanford
Brown in Collinsville and enrolled in the medical assistant
program are eligible to join the class.

The plaintiffs and class are seeking a judgment for:

     -- Compensatory, consequential, and incidental damages;

     -- General damages, including emotional distress in amount
        to be proved at trial;

     -- Disgorgement and restitution of all monies converted,
        taken or appropriated by Sanford Brown; and

     -- Prejudgment interest, attorney fees and costs of the
        suit.

The plaintiffs are represented by:

          John Carey, Esq.
          David Bauman, Esq.
          Corey Sullivan, Esq.
          Carey & Danis, L.L.C.
          8235 Forsyth Blvd. Suite 1100
          St. Louis, MO 63105
          Toll Free: (800) 721-2519
          Phone: (314) 725-7700 (voice)
          Fax: (314) 721-0905
          e-mail: jcarey@careydanis.com
                  dbauman@careydanis.com
                  csullivan@careydanis.com


COVIDIEN LTD: Plaintiffs to Appeal Dismissal of Calif. Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the consolidated class action "In re: Pulse
Oximetry Antitrust litigation," which is pending with the U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California, are
seeking to appeal an earlier order dismissing the suit, which
names Covidien, Ltd., as defendant, according to the company's
Feb. 11, 2008 form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Dec. 28, 2007.

Beginning on Aug. 29, 2005, 12 consumer class actions have been
filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California.

In all of the complaints, the putative class representatives, on
behalf of themselves and others, seek to recover overcharges
they allegedly paid for pulse oximetry products as a result of
anticompetitive conduct by the Company in violation of the
federal antitrust laws.

The 12 complaints were subsequently consolidated into a single
proceeding styled, "In re: Pulse Oximetry Antitrust litigation."

By stipulation among the parties, five putative class
representatives dismissed their claims against the Company,
leaving seven remaining putative class representatives as
plaintiffs in the consolidated proceeding.

On Dec. 21, 2007, the district court denied the plaintiffs'
motion for class certification.  Thus, the plaintiffs are
appealing the ruling.

Covidien Ltd. -- http://www.covidien.com-- is engaged in the  
development, manufacture and sale of healthcare products for use
in clinical and home settings.  The Company operates its
business through five segments: Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical
Products, Imaging Solutions, Medical Supplies and Retail
Products.  


COVIDIEN LTD: Court Dismisses Claims v. Firm in Antitrust Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
issued a Memorandum and Order dismissing all claims against
Covidien, Ltd., in the purported class action, "Southeast
Missouri Hospital v. C. R. Bard, Inc., et al., Case No. 1:07-cv-
00031."

On Feb. 21, 2007, Southeast Missouri Hospital filed a putative
class action complaint on behalf of itself and all others
similarly situated against the company and another manufacturer
(Class Action Reporter, Aug. 1, 2007).

The plaintiff alleges that the company and the other defendant
conspired to exclude competitors from the market and to maintain
the company's market share by engaging in conduct in violation
of state and federal antitrust laws.  The plaintiff seeks
injunctive relief and money damages.

The suit was brought on behalf of all persons or entities,
including hospitals and other healthcare providers in the U.S.
who directly purchased Urological Catheters produced, promoted,
sold, marketed and distributed by one or more of the defendants,
from Jan. 1, 2002, through the present.

Named plaintiff Southeast Missouri Hospital says the companies
use exclusionary compliance discounts, sole-source exclusive
dealing contracts and bundled discounts and rebates to restrict
and eliminate competition and charge inflated prices.

As a result of defendants' unlawful conduct, plaintiff and the
class allegedly paid prices for Urological Catheters that were
artificially inflated, and were foreclosed from the opportunity
to purchase more effective and innovatively advanced Urological
Catheters.

The plaintiff wants the court to rule on:

     (a) Whether the defendants engaged in a contract,
         combination or conspiracy among themselves to fix,
         raise, maintain or stabilize the prices of, or allocate
         the market for Urological Catheters;

     (b) Whether the defendants and their co-conspirators were
         participants in the contracts, combinations or
         conspiracies alleged herein;

     (c) Whether the defendants and their co-conspirators
         engaged in conduct that violated Sections 1 and 2 of
         the Sherman Act and Section 4 of the Clayton Act;

     (d) Whether the defendants and their co-conspirators
         engaged in unlawful, unfair or deceptive contracts,
         combinations or conspiracies among themselves, express
         or implied, to fix, raise, maintain, or stabilize
         prices of Urological Catheters sold in and/or
         distributed in the U.S.;

     (f) Whether the anticompetitive conduct of the defendants
         caused prices of Urological Catheters to be
         artificially inflated to non-competitive levels;

     (g) Whether the defendants unjustly enriched themselves as
         a result of their inequitable conduct at the expense of
         the Class members;

     (h) Whether plaintiff and the class are entitled to
         injunctive relief;

     (i) Whether plaintiff and other class members were injured
         by the conduct of defendants and, if so, the
         appropriate class-wide measure of damages

     (j) What is the scope of the relative market for Urological
         Catheters; and

     (k) Whether defendants have market power in the Urological
         Catheter.

The plaintiff, on behalf of itself and the class, requests that:

     (1) the action may be maintained as a class action
         pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil
         Procedure, that plaintiff's counsel be appointed class
         counsel, and that reasonable notice of this action be
         given to the class;

     (2) the acts alleged in the suit be adjudged and decreed to
         be unlawful restraints of trade in violation of
         Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act and Section 3 of
         the Clayton Act;

     (3) the class recover treble the damages determined to
         have been sustained by them, and that joint and several
         judgments be entered against defendants in favor of the
         class;

     (4) defendants be enjoined from entering into the
         unlawful agreements discussed above;

     (5) the class be granted the costs and expenses of
         suit, including reasonable attorneys' fees as provided
         by law; and

     (6) the class be granted such other and further relief
         as may be determined to be just, equitable and proper
         by the court.

On Jan. 22, 2008, the district court issued a Memorandum and
Order dismissing all claims against the Company, according to
the company's Feb. 11, 2008 form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended Dec. 28, 2007.

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

              http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?1a58

The suit is "Southeast Missouri Hospital v. C.R. Bard, Inc. et
al., Case No. 1:07-cv-00031-TCM," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Judge Thomas C.
Mummert, III presiding.

Representing plaintiffs is:

         J. Michael Ponder, Esq.
         Cook and Barkett
         715 N. Clark Street, P.O. Box 1180
         Cape Girardeau, MO 63702-1180
         Phone: 573-335-6651
         Fax: 573-335-6182
         e-mail: mike@semotriallawyers.com


COVIDIEN LTD: No Trial Date Set for "Sharps Containers" Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
No trial date was set for the class action, "Natchitoches Parish
Hospital Service District v. Tyco International, Ltd., et al.,"
which names Covidien, Ltd., as a defendant.

The class action was filed against the Company on Sept. 15,
2005, with the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts.

In the complaint, the putative class representative, on behalf
of itself and others, seeks to recover overcharges it alleges
that it and others paid for sharps containers as a result of
anticompetitive conduct by the Company in violation of federal
antitrust laws.

The parties are in the discovery stage.  The district court held
hearings on the plaintiff's motion for class certification on
April 13, 2007, and on Sept. 18, 2007.  

No trial date has been scheduled, according to the company's
Feb. 11, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended Dec. 28,
2007.

The suit is "Natchitoches Parish Hospital Service District v.
Tyco International, Ltd. et al., Case No. 1:05-cv-12024-PBS,"
filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, Judge Patti B. Saris presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Daniel Berger, Esq.
          Berger & Montague, P.C.
          1622 Locust Street
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Phone: 215-875-3026
          Fax: 215-875-4604
          e-mail: danberger@bm.net

               - and -

          Brett Cebulash, Esq.
          Garwin Gerstein & Fisher LLP
          1501 Broadway, Suite 1416
          New York, NY 10036
          Phone: 212-398-0055
          Fax: 212-764-6620
          e-mail: bcebulash@garwingerstein.com

Representing the defendants are:

          Margaret Branick-Abilla, Esq.
          Cooley Godward LLP
          3000 El Camino Real, Five Palo Alto Square
          Palo Alto, CA 94306-2155
          Phone: 650-843-5067
          Fax: 650-857-0663
          e-mail: mbranickabilla@cooley.com

               - and -

          Christopher D. Dusseault, Esq.
          Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
          333 South Grand Avenue
          Los Angeles, CA 90071-3197
          Phone: 213-229-7855
          Fax: 213-229-7520
          e-mail: CDusseault@gibsondunn.com


CREDIT SUISSE: Faces Suit Over Mortgage Pass-Through Certs
----------------------------------------------------------
Credit Suisse Group said that it has received subpoenas and
requests for information about subprime mortgages from
regulators, the Associated Press reports.

The company explained that it is facing a purported class-action
lawsuit related to its role in underwriting mortgage pass-
through certificates for a unit of Countrywide Financial Corp.,
considered to be the largest mortgage lender and home loan
servicer in the U.S.

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission, Credit Suisse is cooperating with the subpoenas and
requests for information.  Regulators asked for information
about Credit Suisse's "origination, purchase, securitization and
servicing of subprime and non-subprime residential mortgages and
related issues," AP cites the filing.

The report relates that Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bear Stearns
Cos. and Morgan Stanley also previously have received requests
for information related to subprime mortgages.


CRUISE SHIPS: Faces Suit Over Collusion to Fix Fuel Surcharges  
--------------------------------------------------------------
Coral Gables attorney Harley Tropin, Esq., filed a complaint
seeking class action status against several Miami-based cruise
giants alleging the cruise companies colluded to fix
unreasonably high fuel surcharges, bizjournals.com reports.

The named defendants in the complaint includes:

     -- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.,
     -- Carnival Corp. and
     -- Norwegian Cruise Line.

The suit is filed on behalf of New York resident Jason Ablelove,
who was affected by the fuel price hike and on behalf of anyone
who purchased tickets after Jan. 1 from one of several cruise
companies named in the complaint paid an unreasonably high fuel
surcharge illegally set by the companies.

The suit claims that the string of nearly identical fuel hikes,
within a short period of time, is proof that the cruise lines
are engaging in price fixing.  "Defendants agreed to act in
concert with one another by imposing these fuel surcharges based
on purported increased fuel costs," it says.  "In doing so,
defendants sought to opportunistically leverage their cartel
power to charge their customers higher fuel surcharges."

According to the report, the suit comes one week after the
Florida attorney general's office said it was investigating
whether Royal Caribbean and Carnival Corp. properly disclosed
fuel surcharges.

The plaintiffs are represented by:

          Harley Tropin, Esq.
          Kozyak, Tropin, Throckmorton
          2525 Ponce De Leon 9Th Floor
          Miami, FL 33134
          USA
          Web site: http://www.kttlaw.com
          Phone: (305) 372-1800
          Fax: (305) 372-3508
          e-mail: hst@kttlaw.com


DOLLAR FINANCIAL: Continues to Face Elderly Abuse Suit in Calif.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dollar Financial Corp., and its We the People Forms and Services
Centers USA business face a class-action complaint filed on
Sept. 19, 2007, with the Superior Court of the State of
California in and for the County of Alameda accusing it of
financial elder abuse, fraud, and unauthorized practice of law.

Named plaintiff Jacqueline Fitzgibbons brings the action on
behalf of all persons over the age of 65 at the time of
purchase, who paid for and received any document preparation
service involving living trusts, wills, probate matters,
quitclaim deeds and advance health care directives and powers of
attorney from a franchise office of WTP-USA (Class Action
Reporter, Sept. 26, 2007).

Ms. Fitzgibbons wants the court to rule on:

     (a) whether the WTP defendants were engaged in the
         unauthorized and illegal practice of law without a
         license within the state of California;

     (b) whether the WTP defendants fraudulently induced
         plaintiffs to pay money to an illegal and wrongful
         business that was in violation of state law;

     (c) whether the WTP defendants were engaged in an illegal
         running and capping business for the attorney
         defendants, prohibited by Business and Professions Code
         Sections 11651 and 1652;

     (d) whether the attorney defendants, were in violation of
         Rule of Professional Conduct 1-300 stating that a
         member shall not aid any person or entity in the
         unauthorized practice of law, which constitutes an
         unfair and wrongful Business Practice under Civil Code
         Sections 17200 and 17500;

     (e) whether the attorney defendants, were in violation of
         Rule of Professional Conduct 1-310 prohibiting the
         forming of a partnership with a person who is not a
         lawyer when the activities of the partnership consist
         of the practice of law, which constitutes an unfair and
         wrongful business practice under Civil Code Sections
         17200 and 17500;

     (f) whether the attorney defendants were in violation of
         Rule of Professional Conduct 1-320 stating that
         "neither a member nor a law firm shall directly or
         indirectly share legal fees with a person who is not a
         lawyer", which constitutes an unfair and wrongful
         business practice under Civil Code sections 172500 and
         17500; and

     (g) whether the WTP defendants and the attorney deefndants
         were in a conspiracy to commit the illegal and wrongful
         acts alleged by creating a franchise system based on
         the unauthorized and illegal practice of law, and/or
         partnerships with attorneys.

The action is brought as a representative action under
California Business & Professions Code Sections 17200, et. seq.
and California Business & Professions Code Sections 17500, et
seq. and a class action pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure
section 382.

The lawsuit seeks to redress the defendants' unlawful and
deceptive business practices in the preparation of living trust
documents and provision of other services related to the
preparation of these documents.  Specifically, it seeks to
redress defendants' pattern and practice of practicing law
without a license and assisting the unauthorized practice of the
law.  This action seeks recovery of the remedies permitted by
California law under the causes of action alleged.

The plaintiff wants judgment against defendants, and each of
them:

     -- for a court order certifying that the action may be
        maintained as a class action;

     -- for a court order requiring that defendants immediately
        cease acts that constitute unlawful, unfair or
        fraudulent business practices as alleged, and to enjoin
        defendants from continuing to engage in any such acts or
        practices in the future;

     -- disgorge and restitute any and all monies, including any
        profits obtained as a result of deceptive, unlawful and
        misleading acts and practices, including their
        misrepresentations, misleading statements and acts of
        concealment;

     -- compensate plaintiffs individually, and the general
        public, for any actual damages, with interest, incurred
        as a result of said unlawful, fraudulent, deceptive and
        unfair business practices;

     -- for general damages according to law and proof;

     -- for special damages according to law and proof;

     -- for costs of suit;

     -- for attorneys' fees pursuant to California Welfare
        Institutions Code Section 15657.5;

     -- for attorneys fees pursuant to California Code of Civil
        Procedure section 1029.8;

     -- for defendants to return to plaintiffs all funds
        acquired by means of any act or practice declared by the
        court to be unlawful or fraudulent, or to constitute
        unfair business practices;

     -- for statutory damages;

     -- for treble damages pursuant to California Civil Code
        Section 3345;

     -- for treble damages pursuant to California Code Civil
        Procedure Section 1029.8;

     -- punitive damages;

     -- for pre-judgment interest according to law; and

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

The company reported no development in the matter in its
Feb. 11, 2008 form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended Dec. 31,
2007.

The suit is "Jacqueline Fitzgibbons et al. v. Dollar Financial
Corp., et al., Case No. RG07347097," filed in the Superior Court
of the State of California, in and for the County of Alameda.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Robert S. Arns, Esq.
          Morgan C. Smith, Esq.
          Jonathat E. Davis, Esq.
          The Arns Law Firm
          515 Folsom Street, 3rd Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94105
          Phone: (415) 495-7800
          Fax: (415) 495-7888
          e-mail: rsa@arnslaw.com
                  mcs@arnslaw.com
                  jed@arnslaw.com

               - and -

          Kathryn A. Stebner, Esq.
          Stebner and Associates
          870 market Street, Suite 1212
          San Francisco, CA 94102
          Phone: (415) 362-9800
          Fax: (415) 362-9801
          e-mail: info@stebnerassociates.com


DOLLAR FINANCIAL: Expects Mid-2008 Ruling on Appeal in "Bufil"
--------------------------------------------------------------
Dollar Financial Corp. expects a decision by 2008 on an appeal
in a labor-related class action in California, which is alleging
that the company failed to provide non-management employees with
meal and rest breaks required under state law.

Caren Bufil filed the suit on Sept. 11, 2006, seeking class
certification of the action against the company for failure to
provide meal and rest periods, failure to provide accurate wage
statements and unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business
practices under California law.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount of damages and other
relief.

The company filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings,
arguing that the Bufil case is duplicative of a similar case and
should be dismissed.  The plaintiff, meanwhile, filed her motion
for class certification.  The company's motion was granted, and
Ms. Bufil's motion was denied.

Ms. Bufil has appealed both rulings and her appellate brief will
be filed shortly.

The Company expected briefing to be completed by the end of
October 2007 with a decision on the issues in early 2008,
however, Ms. Bufil obtained a continuance, and is now expected
to file her opening brief in the next two weeks.

A decision on the merits should be reached by mid-2008,
according to Dollar Financial Corp.'s Feb. 11, 2008 form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Dollar Financial Corp. -- http://www.dfg.com-- Dollar Financial  
Corp. is an international financial services company serving
under-banked consumers.


DOMEGA INT'L: Recalls Dried Plums for Undeclared Sulfites
---------------------------------------------------------
Domega International Ltd., Inc., of 98 Bay 35th Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11214 is recalling KORICA Brand Dried Plum, because
it contains undeclared sulfites. People who have severe
sensitivity to sulfites run the risk of serious or life-
threatening reactions if they consume this product.

The recalled KORICA BRAND DRIED PLUM is sold in 6 oz. un-coded
plastic jars and is a product of China. The product was sold in
New York State.

The recall was initiated after routine sampling by New York
State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food inspectors and
subsequent analysis by Food Laboratory personnel revealed the
presence of sulfites in KORICA BRAND DRIED PLUM which did not
declare sulfites on the labels. The consumption of 10 milligrams
of sulfites per serving has been reported to illicit severe
reactions in some asthmatics. Anaphylactic shock could occur in
certain sulfite sensitive individuals upon ingesting 10
milligrams or more of sulfites.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this
product. Consumers who have purchased KORICA BRAND DRIED PLUM
should return them to the place of purchase. Consumers with
questions may contact the company at 1-646-938-7345.


DUSKIN CO: Japan Court Orders Execs to Pay JPY5.3BB in Damages
--------------------------------------------------------------
Japan's Supreme Court finalized a lower court ruling that
ordered 13 former executives of Duskin Co., a major doughnut
shop franchise, to pay damages totaling JPY5.34 million to the
company over the use of an unauthorized food additive, Jiji
Press reports.

The top court turned down appeals filed separately by former
Duskin executives and a Duskin shareholder against the Osaka
High Court ruling, the report relates.  The Duskin shareholder
was demanding that the Duskin executives pay a total of about
JPY10.6 billion in damages to the company in the class action
lawsuit.

The 13 executives include former Duskin Chairman Koji Chiba,
Senior Managing Director Shuichi Shibahara and former Director
Seisuke Sugano.

Jiji Press recalls that the Osaka High Court ruled in January
2007 that the Duskin executives damaged public trust in the
company by concealing the fact that the company's Chinese-made
meat dumplings contained the unauthorized antioxidant and
failing to recall them and report to the authorities.

Duskin sold 3 million meat dumplings containing the unauthorized
antioxidant at its "Mister Donut" shops from Dec. 2-20, 2000.
Duskin concealed the wrongdoing until May 2002, the report
recounts.


FOREST LABORATORIES: To Participate in Mediation with Plaintiffs
----------------------------------------------------------------
Forest Laboratories, Inc., expects to participate in a court-
ordered mediation with plaintiffs' representatives in February
2008 in connection to the consolidated securities fraud class
action filed against the company and certain of its officers,
according to the company's Feb. 11, 2008 form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Initially, several lawsuits were filed with the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of a
purported class of all purchasers of the company's securities
between Aug. 15, 2002, and Aug. 31, 2004, or Sept. 1, 2004.  

These actions, the first of which was filed on March 11, 2005,
were consolidated under the caption, "In re Forest Laboratories,
Inc. Securities Litigation, 05-CV-2827-RMB."  

The consolidated complaints, which assert substantially similar
claims, allege that the defendants made materially false and
misleading statements and omitted to disclose material facts
with respect to the company's business, prospects and
operations, including the company's drugs for the treatment of
depression and Alzheimer's disease, in violation of Section
19(b) and 20(a) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and
Rule 10b-5.  

The complaint seeks unspecified damages and attorneys fees.  The
company and the officer defendants have filed a motion to
dismiss.

Both fact and expert witness discovery have been completed in
this action.

Thus, the company may join in a Court-ordered mediation with
plaintiffs’ representatives in February 2008.  In addition, the
company anticipates that the court will shortly establish a
schedule for summary judgment motions and for trial.

The suit is "In re Forest Laboratories, Inc. Securities
Litigation, Case No. 1:05-cv-02827-RMB," filed with the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge
Richard M. Berman presiding.

Representing plaintiffs are:

          Matthew Montgomery, Esq.
          Coughlin Stoia, Geller, Rudman & Robbins, LLP
          655 West Broadway, Suite 1900
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Phone: (619)-231-1058
          Fax: (619)-231-7423
          e-mail: mattm@csgrr.com

          Jonathan Watson Cuneo, Esq.
          Cuneo Gilbert & Laduca. LLP
          507 C Street, Ne
          Washington, DC 20002
          Phone: 202-789-3960
          Fax: 202-789 1813 (fax)
          e-mail: jonc@cuneolaw.com

               - and -

          William H. Narwold, Esq.
          Motley Rice LLC
          One Corporate Center
          20 Church Street, 17th Floor
          Hartford, CT 06103
          Phone: 860-882-1676
          Fax: 860-882-1682 (fax)
          e-mail: bnarwold@motleyrice.com

Representing the defendants is:

          Gary W. Kubek, Esq.
          Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP
          919 Third Avenue
          New York, NY 10022
          Phone: 212 909-6000
          Fax: 212 909-6836
          e-mail: gwkubek@debevoise.com


HAWAII: Court Says Enrollment System for Homeless Must Be Fixed
---------------------------------------------------------------
As reported in the Class Action Reporter on Nov. 9, 2007,
Lawyers for Equal Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union
of Hawaii filed –- to advance a class action -- a motion for
preliminary injunction with the federal court seeking an order
that would immediately halt Hawaii state officials from
enforcing laws and policies that would block the access of
homeless children to public education in violation of federal
law.

According to the CAR, a legal complaint was filed October 2,
2007, on behalf of several homeless parents and their children,
charging the State with a systemic failure to provide homeless
children with equal access to a free and appropriate public
education in violation of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance
Act of 1987 and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States
Constitution.

The federal McKinney-Vento Act gives Hawaii about $200,000 a
year in federal grants for homeless programs.  The act requires
schools to offer adequate transportation for homeless students,
and allows children whose families are displaced by homelessness
to enroll in the campus they were attending before, even if they
move outside the district.

In an update, the Honolulu Star Bulletin writes that U.S.
District Judge Helen Gillmor, in an oral ruling on Feb. 11,
sided with the three homeless families who sued the state.

Honolulu Star says that, according to LEJ attorney William
Durham, Esq., Judge Gillmor is expected to issue a written order
instructing the Education Department to fix an enrollment system
that would benefit homeless schoolchildren statewide.

The decision, KGMB9 relates, affects the estimated 18,000
homeless kids in the state.  However, this year only 300 of them
are getting help in schools.

KGMB9 notes that the plaintiffs' attorney had also articulated
the schools' need to provide transportation for the homeless
kids.  The state gets hundreds of thousands of dollars in
federal money every year to do so but the attorney had claimed
that it is not being used properly.

Thus, Judge Gillmor indicated that the school's transportation
system is not working and wants more court hearings to decide
how to fix it, KGMB9 says.  No dates have been set yet.

Honolulu Star points out that Hawaii public schools welcome
Judge Gillmor's order to improve how they enroll, track and
transport homeless children.

Assistant Superintendent for the Department of Education Daniel
Hamada acknowledged flaws in identifying homeless students, who
numbered 900 by the end of the last school year, according to
state data.  Mr. Hamada told Honolulu Star that staff members
contact parents who lack a home address or list a homeless or
transitional shelter when registering to check if they need
help.  But that process, he noted, misses parents who are
reluctant to admit they are homeless and use the address of a
friend or relative where they might be staying.

In her decision, Judge Gillmor also granted class-action status
to the lawsuit, Honolulu Star adds.

The plaintiffs are represented by:

          Willian H. Durham, Esq.
          Gavin K. Thornton, Esq.
          Lawyers for Equal Justice
          P.O. Box 37952
          Honolulu, Hawaii 96837
          Phone: (808) 779-1744
          Fax: (808) 522-5909
          e-mail: whd.lej@gmail.com
                  gavin.thornton@gmail.com

               - and -

          Lois K. Perrin, Esq.
          Laurie A. Temple, Esq.
          ACLU of Hawaii Foundation
          P.O. Box 3410
          Honolulu, Hawaii 96801
          Phone: (808) 522-5905
          Fax: (808) 522-5909
          e-mail: lperrin@acluhawaii.org
                  lt@acluhawaii.org


KIDDIE KOLLEGE: High Mercury Levels Suit Granted Certification
--------------------------------------------------------------
New Jersey Superior Court Judge James Rafferty granted class-
action status a lawsuit in filed on behalf of children who
attended Kiddie Kollege, reports say.

Kiddie Kollege voluntarily shut down its facilities in July 2006
after testing found abnormal mercury levels inside the building,
which used to be a thermometer factory (Class Action Reporter,
Nov. 15, 2006).  Testing found elevated mercury levels in 20
students and three employees.

Prolonged exposure to mercury vapor can cause neurological and  
kidney damage.  

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 55 children who were exposed to
high levels of mercury at the now-closed Kiddie Kollege, seeks
medical monitoring to determine whether they need treatment, The
Philadelphia Inquirer said.
      
The suit alleges that the building's former owners failed to  
reveal the building was contaminated with mercury.  It seeks  
punitive and compensatory damages, including all past and future  
medical expenses.

The complaint also seeks ongoing medical monitoring for all  
children who attended the day-care center.  It also seeks  
certification as a class action, which if approved by a judge,  
would allow additional plaintiffs to join.

Named defendants in the suit are:

     -- Jim Sullivan Inc.,  
     -- Navillus Group LLC,  
     -- Jim Sullivan Real Estate Services Inc.,  
     -- James Sullivan III,  
     -- James Sullivan IV,  
     -- Accutherm Inc.,  
     -- Philip J. Giuliano,  
     -- Kiddie Kollege Day Care and Preschool Inc.,  
     -- Stephen and Becky Baughman, and  
     -- Julie and Matthew Lawlor.  

Specifically, the suit seeks to have the defendants:

       -- immediately remediate the site in accordance with
          state Department of Environmental Protection
          guidelines;  

       -- institute a program for monitoring and any other  
          "special maintenance" the court deems appropriate to  
          reduce the plaintiff's health risks;  

       -- pay compensatory damages for medical expenses for all  
          injuries the contamination caused;  

       -- pay attorneys' fees and costs; and  

       -- pay any further damages allowed by law.  

Recently, Judge Rafferty has ruled that the families of children
who attended the mercury-tainted day-care center in Franklin
Township may pursue their claims in a class-action lawsuit.

The Philadelphia Inquirer said another class-action lawsuit
seeks medical monitoring for Kiddie Kollege employees as well as
families of children in the day-care center.

The suits, which are being combined, asked the judge to order
medical-monitoring costs to be paid by:

     -- Philip Giuliani, who owned Accutherm Inc.;

     -- real estate broker Jim Sullivan Inc., which acquired the
        property in a tax foreclosure;

     -- Franklin Township;

     -- Gloucester County;

     -- the state Department of Environmental Protection; and

     -- others.

Joel Korin, who represents Jim Sullivan Inc., said, "We don't
think there's any need for additional monitoring."

For more details, contact:

          Joseph A. Osefchen, Esq.
          Philip Stephen Fuoco, Esq.
          Law Firm of Philip Stephen Fuoco
          24 Wilkins Place
          Haddonfield, NJ 08033-2406
          Phone: (856) 354-1100
          email: josefchen@msn.com
                 pfuoco@msn.com

               - and -

          Joel B. Korin, Esq.
          Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP
          Plaza 1000, Suite 500, Main Street
          Voorhees, NJ 08043


LOWE'S HOME: Workers File Lawsuit Over Denied Overtime Pay
----------------------------------------------------------
Lowe's Home Centers, Inc. is facing a lawsuit seeking class
certification filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Texas seeking damages for unpaid regular and
overtime wages, liquidated damages, attorney's fees, litigation
expenses, and post-judgment interest, Michelle Massey of the
Southeast Texas Record reports.

Named plaintiff Lowe's employee, Tammy Sue Rogers, that while
employed as a warehouse worker at the Lowe's Regional
Distribution Center in Mount Vernon, she was not compensated for
performing "integral and essential" work-related tasks that
included checking in her handheld computer, signing in,
completing a safety checklist and other similar paperwork,
checking out her other equipment, and driving to her work area.

Ms. Rogers contends that Lowe's violated Fair Labor Standards
Act by requiring her to do these activities prior to her
starting her scheduled shift and after the end of her shift.

"Defendant has willfully engaged in a pattern, practice, and
policy of unlawful conduct by failing to pay the lawful and
required regular and/or overtime rate for hours worked beyond 40
hours per week to employees in the United States in violation of
FLSA statutes," the complaint argues.

The plaintiff's original complaint seeks inclusion of other
potential unnamed plaintiffs who have also been denied overtime
pay because of "defendant's failure to properly count hours."

The suit seeks class certification to include all current and
former Texas Lowe's employees employed from Dec. 23, 2002, to
present.

Lowe's denies the plaintiffs' allegations and states it is in
full compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Representing Ms. Rogers is:

          William S. Hommel Jr., Esq.
          William S. Hommel, Jr., P.C.
          1402 Rice Road, Suite 200
          Tyler, TX 75703
          Phone: (903) 596-7100
          Fax: (903) 596-7464
          Web site: http://www.hommelfirm.comor  
                    http://www.hommellawfirm.com
          e-mail: bhommel@hommelfirm.com


MERCEDES-BENZ: Faces Calif. Litigation Over "Tele Aid" System
-------------------------------------------------------------
Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, faces a purported class action in
California accusing it of selling new vehicles equipped with
safety devices that it knew would be obsolete as of the first of
the year, E.B. McCoy of Legal News Line reports.

The suit, captioned, "Levin v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, case no.  
1:08-cv-00175-OWW-SMS," was filed with the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of California on Feb. 1, 2008.

Represented by the Law Firm of Parish and Small, the plaintiff,
Sandra Levin, claims that Mercedes-Benz failed to tell buyers
that the Tele Aid system would cease to function on the analogue
network as of Jan. 1, 2008.

Ms. Levin accuses the luxury car manufacturer of breaching
various warranties, unfair competition, and of withholding from
consumers that Tele Aid systems would not work at the start of
the year.

The suit states that Mercedes-Benz marketed "Tele Aid Systems"
safety feature as an "Investment in a Peace of Mind."  Tele Aid
works on analogue cellular technology and links the vehicle and
driver to Mercedes representatives in case of an emergency.  In
essence, the system allows the operator to access emergency
services, and roadside assistance, and track the vehicle in case
of theft.  The "peace of mind" was a guarantee to luxury car
buyers that personalized help would be available 24 hours a day,
seven days a week, the suit states.

Mercedes-Benz also allegedly failed to tell buyers that it would
not repair or replace the defective Tele Aid Systems under
warranty and buyers would have to pay to repair or replace their
vehicles' Tele Aid System at a cost of $1,400, according to the
complaint.

The suit is "Levin v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, Case No.  1:08-cv-
00175-OWW-SMS," filed with the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of California, Judge Oliver W. Wanger
presiding.

Representing the plaintiff is:

          William H. Parish, Esq.
          Parish & Small
          1919 Grand Canal Blvd., Suite A-1
          Stockton, CA 95207
          Phone: 209-952-1992
          Fax: 209-952-0250
          e-mail: whparish@parishsmall.com


OKLAHOMA: Human Services Dept. Faces Lawsuit for Child Neglect
--------------------------------------------------------------
Children's Rights, a New York-based child advocacy organization,
joined several prominent Oklahoma law firms and an international
firm in filing a class action against Oklahoma's Department of
Human Services, the Daily Oklahoman reports.

The suit accuses DHS of repeatedly subjecting children in state
custody to extreme abuse and neglect. It asks the judge to
impose far-reaching reforms on the state system.

"Oklahoma has long maintained one of the most dangerous and
badly mismanaged child welfare systems in the nation, and
thousands of children have suffered under nightmarish conditions
for years as a result," said Marcia Robinson Lowry, executive
director of Children's Rights.

"It is disgraceful that we have to seek a federal court order to
force the state to begin fixing problems that it should have
addressed many years ago. But it is clear that this is the only
way to protect Oklahoma's abused and neglected children -- and
that is what this lawsuit is about."

Children's Rights is asking the judge to declare the lawsuit a
class action so the attorneys can represent all of the more than
10,000 children in state care.

To contact Ms. Lowry:

          Marcia Robinson Lowry
          Children's Rights
          330 Seventh Avenue
          New York, NY 10001


ONION CROCK: Recalls Soups Due to Undeclared Wheat and Soy
----------------------------------------------------------
Onion Crock of Michigan is recalling its Old Fashion Potato and
Minestrone soups to make people aware that while the product is
Good and Wholesome, these soups may contain wheat or soy as
ingredients not identified on the label.

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

The recalled soups were distributed to restaurants, retail
stores, and fund raising companies in mid- and western Michigan.

Old Fashion Potato may be packed in one pound frozen pouches
(upc # 643640010772) or in four or eight pound pouches (upc
codes # 643640001053) with any Best if used by dates of 7/21/09
or earlier.  

Minestrone packaged in one pound frozen pouches (upc #
64364001111) or in four or eight pound pouches (upc codes #
643640001138) or with any Best if Used by dates of 7/08/09 or
earlier.

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

Concerned consumers who have purchased Old Fashion Potato or
Minestrone soups can bring the soups back to where they were
purchased for a full refund if they have any concern with wheat
or soy allergens.  

For concerns or questions, please contact Onion Crock of
Michigan at 616-458-2922.


RELATED GROUP: Faces Suit Over Unpaid Condo Deposit Refunds
-----------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit against the Related Group asserts that the condo
developer is improperly holding back a portion of deposits owed
to buyers who have walked away from their contracts for units at
50 Biscayne tower, the Daily Business Review reports.

Plaintiff Mitchell Becker pointed to a clause in his purchase
contract and said that Related Group owes him nearly $25,000
after he failed to close on a 50 Biscayne condo.  Three years
ago, Mr. Becker put down $101,180 to reserve unit 4911, which
was selling for $505,900 in the downtown Miami project.  
Mr. Becker, however, failed to show for the closing.

According to his lawyer Jared Beck, Esq., of Beck & Lee,
Mr. Becker knew that defaulting on the contract would cost him
nearly $76,000.  However, based on a clause in the purchase
agreement, Mr. Becker expected to get back about $25,300 -- the
remaining deposit.  Mr. Beck contends that the contract
guarantees buyers that they will get back any deposits in excess
of 15% of the purchase price.  Mr. Becker put down 20%.

Mr. Becker and Mr. Beck spent about three months trying get the
partial deposit back from Related Group.  On Jan. 31, 2008,
Mr. Becker filed the suit with the Miami-Dade Circuit Court
against the legal entity behind the condo project, TRG Columbus
Development, whose principal is the Related Group headed by
Jorge Perez.

Mr. Beck is urging condo buyers to take a closer look at their
contracts to see if they too may be owed money.  He hopes to get
the lawsuit certified as a class action.  He estimates that up
to 250 buyers at the 528-unit project could get money back if
they defaulted on their contracts since closings at 50 Biscayne
began four months ago.

A Related Group spokeswoman told Business Review that the
developer offered Mr. Becker "a full and complete refund of all
deposit amounts required by the contract."  Mr. Beck, however,
said that is not true.

The report relates that aside from Mr. Beck, Robert Cooper,
Esq., also filed a suit with the Miami-Dade Circuit Court on
behalf clients seeking the refund of deposits for 17 condos at
50 Biscayne.  This week, Mr. Cooper plans to add 11 more
plaintiffs to the complaint filed in November 2007.

Mr. Cooper asserts that his clients are entitled to 100% of
their deposits because Related Group made significant changes to
the design of the building, including eliminating a fitness
room.  Under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act,
developers have to notify buyers of significant changes, such as
altering the size of a gym, a unit or the pool, the report
notes.  Buyers must be given the option of canceling contracts.
However, Mr. Cooper said Related Group never gave his clients
that option.

Mr. Cooper's clients also claim representatives of the developer
promised them a return on their investment in violation of New
York law, Business Review writes.  Most of his clients are
originally from the former Soviet Union and live in New York.
Their complaint says Related Group violated federal law by not
legally recording a condominium declaration before putting units
up for sale and violated Florida law by spending deposits on
salaries and commissions.

The lawyers for the plaintiffs are:

          Jared Beck, Esq.
          Beck & Lee Business Trial Lawyers
          Courthouse Plaza Building
          28 West Flagler Street Suite 555
          Miami, Florida 33130
          Phone: (305) 789-0072
          e-mail: jared@beckandlee.com

               - and -

         Robert H. Cooper, Esq.
         Robert H Cooper PA
         2999 NE 191 Street Suite 704
         Aventura, Fl. 33180
         Phone: (305) 792-4343
         Fax: (305) 792-0200
         e-mail: Robert@rcooperpa.com


SIEGFRIED & PARZIFAL: Recalls Hoodies for Strangulation Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
Siegfried & Parzifal Inc., of City of Industry, Calif., in
cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is
recalling about 5,000 Karl Kani Boys' Fleece Hoody Sweatshirts.

The company said the garments have a drawstring through the hood
which poses a strangulation hazard to children. In February
1996, CPSC issued guidelines to help prevent children from
strangling or getting entangled on the neck and waist by
drawstrings in upper garments, such as jackets and sweatshirts.  
No injuries have been reported.

Karl Kani boys full-zip fleece hoody sweatshirts with model
numbers MB7808, MB7809, MB7810, MB7812. The model numbers were
printed on the original hang tag. The words “Kani Polo” are
printed on the sweatshirt neck tag. The sweatshirts were sold in
various colors including, blue, gray, black, red and brown in
boy's sizes small (8-10) and medium (12-14).

These recalled boys' hoodies were manufactured in China and were
being sold A&E Store, DD Discount, Forman Mills, The Marmaxx
Groups, and Suit Mart stores nationwide from July 2007 through
October 2007 for about $50.

Pictures of the recalled boys' hoodies are found at:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08192a.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08192b.jpg

Consumers are advised to immediately remove the drawstring from
the sweatshirts to eliminate the hazard and or contact Siegfried
& Parzifal for a refund.

For additional information, contact Siegfried & Parzifal Inc.
toll-free at (866) 268-2868 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday
through Friday.


SOFT AIR: Recalls RC Helicopters Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
-------------------------------------------------------------
Soft Air USA Inc., of Grapevine, Texas, in cooperation with the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling about
30,000 remote-controlled helicopter toys.

The company said the rechargeable battery contained inside the
helicopter can catch fire during charging, igniting the
helicopter and nearby combustible materials. This poses a burn
or fire hazard to consumers.

Soft Air USA has received six reports of helicopters igniting,
including one minor injury.

This recall involves the remote-controlled helicopter toy
"Fun2Fly Microcopter" with item number 91001.  The helicopter
comes with a transmitter that controls and recharges the
helicopter.  The helicopter is made of foam and plastic and
measures about 6 inches by 2 inches.  The transmitter measures
about 4 1/2 inches by 5 inches.  "Fun2Fly" and "Microcopter" are
printed on the packaging. The item number is printed above the
UPC label.

These recalled helicopter toys were manufactured in China and
were being sold sporting goods stores and other retailers
nationwide from May 2007 through December 2007 for about $30.

Pictures of the recalled helicopter toys are found at:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08190a.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08190b.jpg
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08190c.jpg

Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the recalled toy
helicopter and return it to the retailer where it was purchased
for a full refund.

For additional information, call Soft Air USA collect at (817)
210-4181 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday,
or e-mail: Bhook@softairusa.com


* White House Asks Supreme Court to Dismiss Apartheid Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
A series of lawsuits against companies that did business with
the former apartheid regime of South Africa should be dismissed,
the Bush administration told the Supreme Court Tuesday,
according to CNN.com.

The suits argue that more than four dozen U.S. and foreign
companies should be ordered to pay as much as $400 billion to
South African blacks and others who suffered under South
Africa's official policy of oppressive separation of the races
between 1948 and 1994, the report relates.

CNN recounts that in October 2007, a federal court allowed a
group of some 10 class-action lawsuits to proceed.  The private
suits were filed under the Alien Tort Statute, which allows
foreigners access to American courts when they allege U.S. laws
or treaties were violated.  The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act
-- passed in 1986 over President Ronald Reagan's veto -- banned
U.S. companies from establishing new trade and business with
South Africa.  Other nations had similar laws.

The Bush administration contends that the appeals court was
wrong to allow the "unprecedented and sprawling" suits to move
forward.  The governments of Britain, Germany, Switzerland, and
post-apartheid South Africa filed supporting memos, CNN notes.

Lungisile Ntsebeza, who is among the key plaintiffs, asserted in
his lawsuit that companies that continued to do business in
South Africa provided "resources, such as technology, money and
oil to the South African government," which in turn used it "to
further its policies of oppression and persecution of the
African majority."  The lawsuit, CNN points out, is part of a
years-long global effort to hold a range of parties accountable
for decades of human rights violations in South Africa.

According to CNN, South Africa's current black-majority
government opposes the lawsuit, saying it would hurt its ongoing
efforts to foster reconciliation and improve the economic
security of all its citizens.

The Bush administration, in its brief, said, "Litigation such as
this would also interfere with the ability of the U.S.
government to employ the full range of foreign policy options
when interacting with regimes the United States would like to
influence . . .  Such policies would be greatly undermined if
the corporations that invest or operate in a foreign country are
subjected to lawsuits under the ATS."

The Justice Department had argued that the Alien Tort Statute
allows lawsuits only against the South African government, not
companies that allegedly "aided and abetted" repressive polices.

CNN says that the Supreme Court is expected to decide in coming
weeks whether to accept the case for review.  If it does, oral
arguments would be held in the fall.


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

MUNICIPAL MORTGAGE: Berger & Montague Files MD Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Berger & Montague, P.C. has filed a class action
in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
on behalf of all purchasers of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC
(NYSE: MMA) common stock between May 3, 2004 and January 29,
2008.

MuniMae is a financial services company that arranges debt and
equity financing for developers and owners of real estate and
clean energy projects, as well as investment management services
for institutional investors.

The complaint alleges that MuniMae and some of its senior
officers and directors violated the federal securities laws by
making a series of false and misleading statements about
MuniMae's revenue, earnings and financial condition.  Among
other things, MuniMae overstated its financial results as a
result of its failure to:

     (a) consolidate on the company's balance sheet hundreds of
         "variable interest entities," as required by applicable
         accounting rules; and

     (b) timely write-down the fair value of impaired assets.

The complaint also alleges that MuniMae falsely reported strong
performance and earnings growth when, to the contrary, the
company was performing poorly and would be required to cut its
dividend.

The truth began to emerge after the stock market closed on
January 28, 2008, when MuniMae issued a press release announcing
that the company was cutting its quarterly dividend by 37%, from
$0.5250 to $0.33 per share.  MuniMae also revealed that it would
not complete its previously announced restatement of financial
results by the March 3, 2008, deadline imposed by New York Stock
Exchange, and that its stock would be delisted by the Exchange.

On this news, the price of MuniMae stock dropped from $17.20 per
share to close at $9.19 per share on January 29, 2008,
representing a 47% single-day decline.

Then, on January 29, 2008, MuniMae provided additional details
regarding its restatement, including the fact that the company
was required to consolidate on its balance sheet approximately
200 "variable interest entities" in which it holds minority
interests, and it would be writing-down the fair value of
certain assets "held-for-sale" including loans, bonds,
derivatives, guarantee obligations, and mortgage servicing
rights.  On this news, the price of MuniMae stock dropped an
additional 22%, to close at $7.13 per share on January 30, 2008.

Interested parties may move the court no later than March 31,
2008 for lead plaintiff appointment.

For more information, contact:

          Sherrie R. Savett, Esq.
          Barbara A. Podell, Esq.
          Eric Lechtzin, Esq.
          Kimberly A. Walker, Investor Relations Manager
          Berger & Montague, P.C.
          1622 Locust Street
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Phone: 1-888-891-2289
                 215-875-3000
          e-mail: ssavett@bm.net
                  bpodell@bm.net
                  elechtzin@bm.net


SIRF TECHNOLOGY: Abraham Fruchter Files CA Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Abraham, Fruchter & Twersky, LLP filed a class action lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of SiRF
Technology Holdings, Inc. during the period between October 30,
2007 through February 4, 2008.

The Complaint alleges that the Company and certain of its
officers and directors violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of false and misleading
statements concerning the Company's financial condition and
future prospects.

The Complaint alleges that the defendants' false and misleading
statements regarding demand for its products and its acquisition
of Centrality Communications, Inc. ("Centrality") in August 6,
2007 caused SiRF stock to trade at artificially inflated levels
throughout the Class Period.

The Complaint further alleges that, as a direct result of
defendants' delayed public revelations in a February 4, 2008
press release concerning the truth about demand for SiRF's
products and its actual business prospects, SiRF's stock price
tumbled by more than 50% on February 5, 2008.

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

Interested parties may move the court no later than April 8,
2008 for lead plaintiff appointment.

For more information, contact:

          Jeffrey S. Abraham, Esq.
          Arthur J. Chen, Esq.
          Abraham, Fruchter & Twersky, LLP
          One Penn Plaza, Suite 2805
          New York, New York 10119
          Phone: (212) 279-5050
          e-mail: info@aftlaw.com
                  abraham@aftlaw.com
                  achen@aftlaw.com


SUNOPTA INC: Kaplan Fox Files Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.Y.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP has filed a class action suit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York against SunOpta Inc. (NASDAQ: STKL) (TSX: SOY) and certain
of its executives that alleges violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 on behalf of purchasers of SunOpta
securities during the period May 8, 2007 through January 25,
2008.

Previously filed complaints commenced the class period on
August 8, 2007.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period,
defendants failed to disclose material adverse facts about the
Company's financial well-being, business relationships, and
prospects. Specifically, it is alleged that defendants failed to
disclose the following:

     (1) that defendants materially artificially inflated the
         Company's financial results, which resulted in an
         overstatement of the Company's profitability;

     (2) that the Company's financial statements were not
         prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted
         Accounting Principles ("GAAP");

     (3) that the Company lacked adequate internal and financial
         controls;

     (4) that, as a result of the foregoing, the Company's
         financial statements were materially false and
         misleading at all relevant times; and

     (5) that, as a result of the foregoing, the Company's
         statements about its future business prospects were
         lacking in any reasonable basis when made.

It is further alleged that on January 24, 2008, after the market
closed, the Company shocked investors when it reported its
anticipated financial results for 2007, disclosing for the first
time that it expected to incur material write-downs and
provisions in the range of $12 million to $14 million, which the
Company attributed to write-downs of inventory within the
SunOpta Fruit Group's berry operations, as well as difficulties
in collecting for services and equipment provided to a customer
of the SunOpta BioProcess Group. It is further alleged that the
Company disclosed that it would likely restate financial results
from previous quarters in 2007.

On January 25, 2008, the Company's shares declined $3.51 per
share, or approximately 37%, on heavier than usual trading
volume, to close at $6.05 per share.

Interested parties may move the court no later than March 28,
2008 for lead plaintiff appointment.

For more information, contact:

          Frederic S. Fox, Esq.
          Joel B. Strauss, Esq.
          Donald R. Hall, Esq.
          Jeffrey P. Campisi, Esq.
          Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP
          850 Third Avenue, 14th Floor
          New York, New York 10022
          Phone: (800) 290-1952 or (212) 687-1980
          Fax: (212) 687-7714
          e-mail: ffox@kaplanfox.com
                  jstrauss@kaplanfox.com
                  dhall@kaplanfox.com
                  jcampisi@kaplanfox.com

               - and -

          Laurence D. King
          Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP
          350 Sansome Street, Suite 400
          San Francisco, California 94104
          Phone: (415) 772-4700
          Fax: (415) 772-4707
          e-mail: lking@kaplanfox.com


                         Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Todd Shipyards Faces 498 Claims at Dec. 30
---------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Shipyards Corp., as of Dec. 30, 2007, is defending against
about 498 asbestos-related claims, of which about 16 are
"malignant" asbestos claims and about 482 are "non-malignant"
claims, according to the Company's quarterly report filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 6, 2008.

The Company faced about 507 asbestos-related claims, of which
about 16 were "malignant" and about 491 were "non-malignant."
(Class Action Reporter, Nov. 30, 2007)

As reported in its Form 10-K for fiscal year 2007, the Company
is named as a defendant in civil actions by parties alleging
damages from past exposure to toxic substances, generally
asbestos, at closed former facilities.

The cases generally include as defendants other ship builders
and repairers, ship owners, asbestos manufacturers, distributors
and installers, and equipment manufacturers and arise from
injuries or illnesses allegedly caused by exposure to asbestos
or other toxic substances.

Based on current fact patterns, certain diseases including
mesothelioma, lung cancer and fully developed asbestosis are
categorized by the Company as "malignant" claims. All others of
a less medically serious nature are categorized as "non-
malignant."

As of Dec. 30, 2007, the Company has recorded a bodily injury
liability reserve of US$5.5 million and a bodily injury
insurance receivable of US$4 million.

This compares with a previously recorded bodily injury reserve
of US$5.8 million and insurance receivable of US$4.3 million at
April 1, 2007.

Seattle-based Todd Shipyards Corporation, through subsidiary
Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation, repairs, maintains,
overhauls, and builds government-owned and commercial vessels.
Services range from minor repairs to major overhauls in dry dock
at the company's Seattle-area shipyard. The U.S. government,
primarily through the Navy and the Coast Guard, accounts for
more than 70 percent of the Company's shipyard sales.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Injury Cases Ongoing v. Rockwell Automation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rockwell Automation, Inc. and its subsidiaries continue to face
lawsuits alleging personal injury as a result of exposure to
asbestos that was used in certain components of Company products
years ago, according to the Company's quarterly report filed
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 6,
2008.

There are thousands of claimants in lawsuits that name the
Company as defendants, together with hundreds of other
companies. In some cases, the claims involve products from
divested businesses, and the Company is indemnified for most of
the costs.

However, the Company has agreed to defend and indemnify asbestos
claims associated with products manufactured or sold by the
Company's Dodge mechanical and Reliance Electric motors and
motor repair services businesses prior to their divestiture by
the Company that occurred on Jan. 31, 2007.

The Company is responsible for half of the costs and liabilities
associated with asbestos cases against Rockwell International
Corporation's divested measurement and flow control business.
Historically, the Company has been been dismissed from most of
these claims with no payment to claimants.

The Company has maintained insurance coverage that it said it
believes covers indemnity and defense costs, over and above
self-insured retentions, for most of these claims.

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

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

If either carrier becomes insolvent or the policy limits of
either carrier are exhausted, the Company's share of future
defense and indemnity costs may increase. However, coverage
under excess policies may be available to pay some or all of
these costs.

Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation, Inc. is an industrial
automation company. The Company's control systems unit makes
industrial automation products like motor starters and
contactors, relays, timers, signaling devices, and variable
speed drives. The Company also offers factory management
software applications.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exide Unit Still to Pay $300,000 for Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Exide Technologies' principal French subsidiary, Compagnie
Europenne D Accumulateurs (d/b/a CEAC), in 2007 has been
adjudged to indemnify a French governmental agency for about
US$300,000 for asbestos claims.

No payment has yet been made to the agency, according to the
Company's quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission on Feb. 6, 2008.

From 1957 to 1982, CEAC operated a plant using crocidolite
asbestos fibers in the formation of battery cases, which, once
formed, encapsulated the fibers. About 1,500 employees worked in
the plant over the period.

Since 1982, the agency, which is responsible for worker illness
claims, received 64 employee claims alleging asbestos-related
illnesses. For some of those claims, CEAC is obligated to and
has indemnified the agency in accordance with French law for
about US$400,000 in calendar 2004.

In addition, CEAC has been adjudged liable to indemnify the
agency for about US$100,000 during the same period for the
dependents of four such claimants. The Company has not been
required to indemnify or make any payments subsequent to
calendar year 2004.

Alpharetta, Ga.-based Exide Technologies produces and recycles
lead-acid batteries. The Company's four business segments,
Transportation Americas, Transportation Europe and Rest of World
(ROW), Industrial Energy Americas, and Industrial Energy Europe
and ROW, provide stored electrical energy products and services
for transportation and industrial applications.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inquest Rules on Death from Exposure at ICI
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest heard that the death of Keith Price was linked to
asbestos exposure at ICI Fibres Ltd. more than 30 years ago,
Stroud News & Journal reports.

The 61-year-old Mr. Price, of Stroud, Gloucestershire, England,
died of mesothelioma at Cheltenham General Hospital on Sept. 14,
2007.

In a statement before his death, Mr. Price described how he
worked at ICI as a factory service fitter between November 1969
and June 1974 on a six ton eight acre site built to manufacture
aircraft during the war.

In the statement, Mr. Price said that through his work with the
large boilers lagged with asbestos, he came into daily contact
with the substance.

Dust and fibers would stick to the workers overalls and
sometimes he would have to clear asbestos lying on the floor.

Mr. Price said overalls and face masks were always available but
only used for "really dirty work." He added, "I was never warned
of any dangers of asbestos nor provided with any training."

The inquest heard how Mr. Price was first admitted to hospital
in April 2006 complaining of chest pain and when he had an
operation in Bristol in February 2007, mesothelioma was
confirmed. He underwent radiotherapy treatment but suffered
anemia and required transfusions throughout.

A scan in July 2007 revealed the disease was progressive and
steroids were started as well as chemotherapy in August 2007.

Dr. Keith McCarthy, who carried out a post mortem, said tests
showed Mr. Price had 152,173 asbestos mineral fibers per gramme
of dry lung tissue - with 33,816 coated - evidence of exposure.

Dr. McCarthy said the final event which caused Mr. Price's death
was a blood clot in the lungs but it was the malignant
mesothelioma that killed him.

Gloucestershire coroner Alan Crickmore recorded a verdict of
industrial disease.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japanese Gov't. Expands Tests for Buildings
----------------------------------------------------------------
Japan's Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry urges construction
and inspection companies to expand the list of types of asbestos
they test for before dismantling or repairing buildings, The
Yomiuri Shimbun reports.

The Ministry orders the inclusion of tremolite, anthophylite,
and actinolite, that until recently were long believed never to
have been used in this country.

The Ministry action followed the recent discovery at day-care
centers and many other public facilities of three types of
asbestos that had been believed never to have been used in the
nation.

However, most entities for checking building safety had not
tested for the three types of asbestos because the testing
methods handed down by the ministry could not detect them.

Under the government's definition, of the six types of asbestos,
tremolite and crocidolite are the most potent carcinogens. The
other four types also have strong cancer-causing effects.

Production and use of all six types were prohibited in Japan in
2006. In Japan, large quantities of chrysotile, amosite and
crocidolite asbestos have traditionally been used.

However, since late 2007, public and private buildings in 11
locations nationwide also were found to have the other three
types of asbestos that previously had been believed never to
have been used.

However, the Ministry's instructions issued in 1996 and 2005
included methods to detect only the three types used most
frequently in the country: chrysotile, amosite and crocidolite.

In 2006, the Japan Industrial Standards office specified a
method capable of detecting all six types of asbestos. The JIS
method placed an emphasis on detecting the chrysotile, amosite
and crocidolite asbestos varieties.

As a result, most building inspection firms had not been
incorporating an asbestos testing regimen capable of detecting
all six types.

The Ministry's latest instruction, dated Feb. 6, 2007, demands
tests be made to detect all six types of asbestos and that
buildings should be reexamined if they underwent testing to
detect only some of the six.

If a building is found to contain 0.1 percent of any one of the
six asbestos types according to government construction
materials standards, measures must be taken to prevent the
airborne dispersement of asbestos during demolition.

Japan has imported about 10 million tons asbestos overall, with
about 90 percent believed to have been used in construction
materials. However, the exact amounts of imports or usage of
tremolite, anthophylite and actinolite asbestos remain unknown.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ARCA Bares New Asbestos-Handling Methods
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Asbestos Removal Contractors Association (ARCA) publishes
new regulations for containing asbestos, according to a Contract
Journal report dated Feb. 8, 2008.

The new guidelines, Encapsulation of Asbestos Containing
Materials (ACM), provide guidance on new working methods to form
part of an overall asbestos management plan.

The guidance note deals with asbestos licensing requirements for
encapsulation work, when encapsulation is appropriate, methods
of encapsulating ACM, typical methods of application of liquid
encapsulants and insurance requirements.

ARCA decided to issue the guidance after revised regulations
were issued by the Health & Safety Executive over the control of
asbestos in 2006.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RailCorp Hurstville Station Set for Cleanup
----------------------------------------------------------------
Parts of RailCorp's railway station concourse in Hurstville, New
South Wales, Australia, are set to be closed off until April
2008 so asbestos can be removed as part of a multi-million
dollar upgrade, St. George & Sutherland Shire Leader reports.

Work was scheduled for Feb. 14, 2008.

The asbestos was used in cement render on structural beams in
the ceiling void and only becomes dangerous once airborne.

RailCorp is set to erect an enclosed hoarding in the affected
area of the station concourse to form an airtight containment
area and work will be carried out at night-time only by licensed
asbestos removal contractors following strict WorkCover
requirements.

Hurstville station, which is being upgraded under the Easy
Access program, is one of the top five railway stations for
passenger traffic outside the city circle, with 26,000
passengers a day.

A RailCorp spokeswoman said all relevant codes and guidelines
would be followed while the work was being carried out. Air
monitors have been installed at the station to continually
monitor the air quality during the asbestos removal.

The spokeswoman said, "We have been monitoring air in the public
and staff areas since refurbishment of the center started and
will continue to do so until a clearance certificate is issued
for the center."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tampering of Study Claimed by Indian Groups
----------------------------------------------------------------
Environmental groups allege that India's Ministry of Chemicals
and Fertilizers chemicals and fertilizers is attempting to
tamper with a study on the safety of white asbestos, The
Telegraph reports.

White asbestos is a material widely used in India but banned by
40 countries because of health hazards.

Using documents retrieved under the Right to Information Act,
the Ban Asbestos Network of India and other groups have claimed
that the Ministry is trying to influence the study to maintain
its position that asbestos should continue to be used in India.

Over 90 percent of asbestos is used in asbestos-cement pipes,
flat sheets and corrugated roofing sheets. The rest goes into
brake linings, pads and industrial gloves. India has about 30
companies producing asbestos materials.

Madhumita Dutta, an environmental activist based in Chennai who
has filed the application under RTI seeking study documents,
said, "The ministry of chemicals and fertilizers is colluding
with the asbestos industry to influence the findings of safety
studies."

The Ministry had asked the National Institute of Occupational
Health (NIOH), Ahmedabad, to conduct a study on the health
hazards of asbestos by examining workers in the asbestos
industry.

However, the results are being vetted by the Ministry as well as
industry representatives before they are either peer-reviewed by
independent scientists or made public, Mr. Dutta said.

In an asbestos company in Calcutta, the NIOH reported 32 percent
lung abnormalities among a set of workers. However, the
institute was asked to justify the abnormalities and indicate
whether they are because of asbestos or from other factors.

At a meeting on April 14, 2007, a review committee set up by the
Ministry had decided the report "will be finalized after due
discussions with the asbestos industry."

India uses tens of thousands of tons of asbestos annually, most
of it imported from Canada or Russia. Medical studies suggest
that many years of exposure to asbestos dust can cause life-
threatening lung disease. Public health organizations have long
been urging the government to ban asbestos.

However, industry organizations have been campaigning to
highlight the advantages of asbestos products and asserting that
well-managed use of asbestos does not pose health hazards.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ironville Residents Complain v. Contractors
----------------------------------------------------------------
Randolph Smith, a resident of Ironville, Derbyshire, England,
claims that he and his 15-year-old daughter have been exposed to
potentially life-threatening illnesses because of the way
contractors removed asbestos from his home, Derbyshire Times
reports.

The 50-year-old Mr. Smith says that workers should have sealed
off rooms while taking out textured ceilings from the kitchen
and hallway of his housing-association home in King William
Street. He said, "Instead, they have just ripped it down, bagged
it and carried it out."

However, the housing association claimed that the asbestos had
been removed in a correct manner, and that the dust was the
result of the kitchen refurbishment.

The work is part of a major refurbishment program being carried
out in Ironville by Amber Valley Housing.

Mr. Smith said that from experience in the building trade, he
was familiar with the correct procedure for removing asbestos.

Spokesman Martin Sherman said that while asbestos was being
removed, rooms were fully sealed off and the material removed
immediately in sealed bags. He said, "The dust at this property
will be the result of the kitchen refurbishment, not the removal
of the coatings."

Mr. Sherman added that material being removed from the Ironville
houses had recently been declassified by the Health and Safety
Executive.

Meanwhile, on the Lons Estate, at Ripley, where work is taking
place on over 80 houses, dozens of Amber Valley tenants have
been moved into alternative accommodation while asbestos-
affected textured ceilings and vinyl floor tiles are removed
from their homes.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: United Technologies Has 3,100 Suits at Dec.
----------------------------------------------------------------
United Technologies Corporation, at Dec. 31, 2007, was named in
about 3,100 asbestos-related lawsuits involving about 14,400
individual claimants, according to the Company's annual report
filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb.
7, 2008.

A substantial majority of the pending claims are in state courts
in Mississippi, Texas and New York.

The Company faced about 2,830 asbestos-related lawsuits
involving about 15,365 individual claimants. (Class Action
Reporter, Feb. 16, 2007)

As previously disclosed, like many other companies in recent
years, the Company or its subsidiaries have been named as a
defendant in lawsuits alleging personal injury as a result of
exposure to asbestos integrated into certain of its products or
premises.

While the Company has never manufactured asbestos and no longer
incorporates it in any currently-manufactured products, certain
of its historical products, like those of many other
manufacturers, have contained components incorporating asbestos.

The Company has made no payment in a substantial majority of the
cases closed to date. The remainder of the resolved cases have
settled for amounts that are not material to the Company, and
have been supported in part by insurance.

Hartford, Conn.-based United Technologies Corporation provides
high technology products and services to the building systems
and aerospace industries worldwide. For 2007, the Company's
commercial and industrial revenues were about 63 percent of its
consolidated revenues, and commercial aerospace and military
aerospace revenues were about 21 percent and 16 percent,
respectively, of its consolidated revenues.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Injury Cases Pending v. Scotts Miracle-Gro
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company still faces a number of cases
alleging injuries that the lawsuits claim resulted from exposure
to asbestos-containing products, based on the Company's historic
use of vermiculite in certain of its products, according to the
Company's quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission on Feb. 7, 2008.

The complaints in these cases are not specific about the
plaintiffs' contacts with the Company or its products. The
Company in each case is one of numerous defendants and none of
the claims seeks damages from the Company alone.

It is not currently possible to reasonably estimate a probable
loss, if any, associated with the cases and, accordingly, no
accrual or reserves have been recorded in the Company's
Condensed, Consolidated Financial Statements.

Based in Marysville, Ohio, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and
its subsidiaries are engaged in the manufacture, marketing and
sale of lawn and garden care products. The Company's major
customers include home improvement centers, mass merchandisers,
warehouse clubs, large hardware chains, independent hardware
stores, nurseries, garden centers, food and drug stores,
commercial nurseries and greenhouses, and specialty crop
growers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Generation Reserves $50M at Dec. for Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Exelon Corporation's subsidiary, Exelon Generation Company, LLC,
has reserved about US$50 million in total for asbestos-related
bodily injury claims at Dec. 31, 2007, compared with US$48
million at Dec. 31, 2006.

Generation had reserved about US$52 million in total for
asbestos-related bodily injury claims at Sept. 30, 2007. (Class
Action Reporter, Nov. 2, 2007)

In the 2005-2nd quarter, Generation performed analyses to
determine if, based on historical claims data and other
available information, a reasonable estimate of future losses
could be calculated associated with asbestos-related personal
injury actions in certain facilities that are currently owned by
Generation or were previously owned by other Company units,
Commonwealth Edison Company and PECO Energy Company.

Generation recorded an undiscounted US$43 million pre-tax charge
for its estimated portion of all estimated future asbestos-
related personal injury claims estimated to be presented through
2030.

Generation's management determined that it was not reasonable to
estimate future asbestos-related personal injury claims past
2030 based on three years of historical claims data and the
significant amount of judgment required to estimate this
liability.

The US$43 million pre-tax charge was recorded as part of
operating and maintenance expense in Generation's Consolidated
Statements of Operations in 2005 and reduced net income by US$27
million after tax.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, about US$13 million of the US$50 million
relates to 158 open claims presented to Generation, according to
the Company's annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission on Feb. 7, 2008.

The remaining US$37 million of the reserve is for estimated
future asbestos-related bodily injury claims anticipated to
arise through 2030 based on actuarial assumptions and analysis.

Chicago-based Exelon Corporation, a utility services holding
company, operates through its principal subsidiaries: Exelon
Generation Company, LLC; Commonwealth Edison Company; and PECO
Energy Company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Briggs & Stratton Faces Liability Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Briggs & Stratton Corporation is subject to various unresolved
legal actions, including asbestos-related product liability
actions, that arise in the normal course of its business,
according to the Company's quarterly report filed with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 7, 2008.

These actions typically relate to other product liability,
patent and trademark matters, and disputes with customers,
suppliers, distributors and dealers, competitors and employees.

Wauwatosa, Wis.-based Briggs & Stratton Corporation manufactures
air-cooled gas engines (ranging from 3-to-31 horsepower) for use
in lawn mowers and garden tillers. Through its chief subsidiary,
Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group, the Company also
manufactures portable generators, pressure washers, switches,
welders, and other related products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: STERIS Could Face Product Exposure Actions
---------------------------------------------------------------
From time to time, STERIS Corporation may be involved in a
number of legal proceedings and claims, including asbestos-
related, which it says arises from the ordinary course of its
business.

These legal proceedings and claims generally involve various
legal theories and allegations, including without limitation,
personal injury, product liability, product exposure (e.g.,
claimed exposure to chemicals, asbestos, contaminants), property
damage, economic loss, employment, and other claims for damage
and relief.

No other matters were disclosed in the Company's quarterly
report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on
Feb. 8, 2008.

Company Profile:

   STERIS Corporation
   5960 Heisley Rd.
   Mentor, OH 44060-1834
   United States
   Web site: http://www.steris.com/

   Fiscal Year-End:             March
   2007 Sales:                  US$1,197.4 million
   2007 Employees:              5,100

Description:

STERIS Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets infection
prevention, contamination control, microbial reduction, and
surgical and critical care support products and services for
healthcare, pharmaceutical, scientific, research, industrial,
and governmental customers throughout the world.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Columbus McKinnon Still Has $8.4M Liability
----------------------------------------------------------------
Columbus McKinnon Corp.'s estimation of its asbestos-related
aggregate liability that is probable and estimable is about
US$8.4 million, which has been reflected as a liability in the
consolidated financial statements as of Dec. 30, 2007, according
to the Company's quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission on Feb. 8, 2008.

The Company has estimated its asbestos-related aggregate  
liability through March 31, 2025 and March 31, 2037 to range
between US$5 million and US$15 million using actuarial
parameters of continued claims for a period of 18 to 30 years.

The Company's estimation of its asbestos-related aggregate
liability that is probable and estimable was about US$8.4
million, which had been reflected as a liability in the
consolidated financial statements as of Sept. 30, 2007. (Class
Action Reporter, Nov. 30, 2007)

Amherst, N.Y.-based Columbus McKinnon Corporation is a
manufacturer and marketer of hoists, cranes, chain, material
handling systems, lift tables and industrial components serving
commercial and industrial end-user markets.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ashland Inc. Records 120T Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ashland Inc. recorded 120,000 open asbestos claims for the three
months ended Dec. 31, 2007, compared with 151,000 claims for the
three months ended Dec. 31, 2006, according to the Company's
quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 8, 2008.

For the year ended Sept. 30, 2007, the Company recorded 134,000
asbestos claims.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2007, the Company noted 589
new claims filed, about 1,000 claims settled, and about 14,000
claims dismissed. For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2006, the
Company noted 1,077 new claims filed and about 12,000 claims
dismissed.

For the year ended Sept. 30, 2007, the Company noted about 4,000
new claims filed, about 2,000 claims settled, and about 30,000
claims dismissed.

The Company is subject to liabilities from claims alleging
personal injury caused by exposure to asbestos. Those claims
result primarily from indemnification obligations undertaken in
1990 in connection with the sale of Riley Stoker Corporation, a
former subsidiary.

Although Riley was neither a producer nor a manufacturer of
asbestos, its industrial boilers contained some asbestos-
containing components provided by other companies.

Because claims are frequently filed and settled in large groups,
the amount and timing of settlements and number of open claims
can fluctuate significantly from period to period. Since Oct. 1,
2004, Riley has been dismissed as a defendant in 88 percent of
the resolved claims.

Covington, Ky.-based Ashland Inc., a diversified, global
chemical company, provides quality products, services and
solutions to customers in more than 100 countries. The Company
operates through four divisions: Ashland Performance Materials,
Ashland Distribution, Valvoline, and Ashland Water Technologies.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ashland Has $478M in Insurance Receivables
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ashland Inc. recorded US$478 million, at Dec. 31, 2007, as its
receivable for recoveries of litigation defense and claim
settlement costs from insurers, according to the Company's
quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 8, 2008.

Of the US$478 million, US$78 million relates to costs previously
paid.

Receivables from insurers amounted to US$488 million at Sept.
30, 2007 and US$470 million at Dec. 31, 2006.

Total reserves for asbestos claims were US$596 million at Dec.
31, 2007, compared with US$610 million at Sept. 30, 2007, and
US$627 million at Dec. 31, 2006.

The Company has estimated the value of probable insurance
recoveries associated with its asbestos reserve based on
management's interpretations and estimates surrounding the
available or applicable insurance coverage, including an
assumption that all solvent insurance carriers remain solvent.  

About 67 percent of the estimated receivables from insurance
companies are expected to be due from domestic insurers, of
which 86 percent have a credit rating of A or higher by A. M.
Best, as of the latest annual assessment.

The remainder of the insurance receivable is due from London
insurance companies, which generally have lower credit quality
ratings, and from Underwriters at Lloyd's, which is reinsured by
Equitas (Limited). The Company discounts a substantial portion
of this piece of the receivable based upon the projected timing
of the receipt of cash from those insurers.

Covington, Ky.-based Ashland Inc., a diversified, global
chemical company, provides quality products, services and
solutions to customers in more than 100 countries. The Company
operates through four divisions: Ashland Performance Materials,
Ashland Distribution, Valvoline, and Ashland Water Technologies.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Magnetek Still Has Suits From Old Ventures
---------------------------------------------------------------
Magnetek, Inc. has been named, along with multiple other
defendants, in asbestos-related lawsuits associated with
business operations that are no longer owned by the Company.

During the Company's ownership, none of the businesses produced
or sold asbestos-containing products, according to the Company's
quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 8, 2008.

With respect to these claims, the Company is either
contractually indemnified against liability for asbestos-related
claims or believes that it has no liability for such claims. The
Company aggressively seeks dismissal from these proceedings, and
has also tendered the defense of these cases to the insurers of
the previously acquired businesses.

The Company has also filed late claims in the Federal-Mogul
Corporation's bankruptcy proceedings to recover attorney's fees
for defense of these claims. The Company and Federal-Mogul
entered into a settlement agreement under which the Company is
entitled to receive amounts from a settlement trust established
under Federal-Mogul's reorganization plan and funded by
insurance proceeds.

The Company is entitled to receive 15 percent of the first US$20
million and 10 percent of the next US$25 million of insurance
proceeds, up to a maximum of US$5.5 million, in exchange for
withdrawing its bankruptcy claims and objections to the
reorganization plan and execution of certain releases. Federal-
Mogul and the settlement trust have control over the collection
process.

The settlement was subject to final approval of Federal-Mogul's
Reorganization Plan, which was confirmed and approved by the
Bankruptcy Court on Dec. 27, 2007.

In January 2008, the Company received a payment of US$1.4
million from the settlement trust, which is included in prepaid
and other current assets at Dec. 30, 2007 and in income from
discontinued operations in the three- and six-month periods
ended Dec. 30, 2007. The amount represents primarily the
recovery of previously incurred legal fees for the defense of
these asbestos-related lawsuits.

As the Federal-Mogul settlement trust receives additional funds
based on any settlements with other insurers, the Company will
be entitled to receive a percentage of those funds based on the
terms described. Several insurance carriers filed a declaratory
judgment action relating to insurance coverage for such
previously acquired businesses, seeking a determination that no
coverage is available under the policies.

Federal-Mogul, the Company and other defendants filed responsive
pleadings and motions to dismiss the case, and the court
recently granted the motions to dismiss the declaratory judgment
action. Some of these insurers have appealed the dismissal.

Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Magnetek, Inc. makes digital power
and motion control systems used in material handling, people
moving, wireless communications and energy delivery. The Company
operates plants in Pittsburgh, Canonsburg, Pa., and Mississauga,
Ontario, Canada as well as Menomonee Falls.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Supreme Court Affirms Ruling in Sales Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Washington, En Banc, affirmed the Court of
Appeals' decision, which ruled in favor of Charles and Patricia
Sales, in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed against Weyerhaeuser
Company.

The case is styled Charles Sales and Patricia Sales, a married
couple, Respondents, v. Weyerhaeuser Company, a Washington
corporation, Petitioner.

Judges Owens, Gerry L. Alexander, Charles W. Johnson, Mary E.
Fairhurst, Barbara A. Madsen, James M. Johnson, Richard B.
Sanders, Tom Chambers, and Bobbe J. Bridge entered judgment of
Case No. 80472-9 on Feb. 7, 2008.

This was an appeal from Pierce County Superior Court.

Mr. Sales grew up in Mountain Pine, Ark., where his father
worked for years at a lumber mill owned by the Weyerhaeuser. He
alleged that he was exposed to the asbestos that his father
carried home on his clothes, which caused him to contract
mesothelioma.

Mr. Sales filed a personal injury action in May 2006, naming
Weyerhaeuser as the sole defendant. Weyerhaeuser filed a motion
to dismiss for forum non conveniens on grounds that Arkansas
provided a more convenient forum than Washington, because the
exposure to asbestos occurred in Arkansas and Mr. Sales received
all medical treatment there.

Mr. Sales responded that his witnesses would include many of
Weyerhaeuser's former corporate employees who were residents of
Washington.

Mr. Sales also raised concerns that if he refiled in Arkansas
state court, Weyerhaeuser would likely remove the case to
Arkansas federal district court, and that court would transfer
the case to Pennsylvania district court under the federal
multidistrict litigation (MDL) protocol for asbestos cases.

Mr. Sales claimed that delays inherent in the MDL court would
impede the progress of his case, which was especially important
in light of his terminal illness.

The trial court granted the motion to dismiss without prejudice.

Mr. Sales moved for reconsideration, arguing that the court
should have required Weyerhaeuser to stipulate not to remove the
case to federal court. The court denied the motion for
reconsideration without a written order.

Mr. Sales appealed the dismissal to the Court of Appeals. The
appeals court reversed, holding that the trial court abused its
discretion in failing to require Weyerhaeuser to stipulate to
proceed in Arkansas state court jurisdiction.

The Appeals Court ordered the trial court to condition its
dismissal on a stipulation that Weyerhaeuser would not remove
the case to federal court once filed in Arkansas state court.

The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals ruling and
remanded to the trial court for proper application of the
doctrine.

Matthew Phineas Bergman, David S. Frockt, Brian F. Ladenburg,
Bergman & Frockt PLLC, John Wentworth Phillips, John Matthew
Geyman, Phillips Law Group PLLC, Seattle, represented Charles
Sales and Patricia Sales.

Diane J. Kero, Gordon Thomas Honeywell, Seattle, Elizabeth Pike
Martin, Gordon Thomas Honeywell et al., Tacoma, Wash.,
represented Weyerhaeuser Company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japan Schools Ordered to Test for All Types
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to officials of Japan's Education, Science and
Technology Ministry are to ask prefectural boards of education
and private schools to check for the presence of tremolite
asbestos on their premises, The Yomiuri Shimbun reports.

Some boards of education and private schools that have not
previously checked for tremolite will be facing the third major
check of their facilities since 2005.

Previous inspections have not stipulated the need to check for
tremolite since it was thought the material had never been used
in Japan.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry sent letters on Feb. 6,
2008 to inspection companies and construction firms to test for
all six kinds of asbestos: chrysolite, amosite, crocidolite,
tremolite, anthophylite and actinolite.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Phil. Gov't. Seeks Ban on Asbestos Products
----------------------------------------------------------------
A bill, which is pending in the Philippine House of
Representatives, seeks a nationwide ban on the use of all
asbestos-containing products that pose danger to health,
GMANews.TV reports.

House Bill 3079 aims to eliminate the risk of exposing people to
asbestos-related respiratory illnesses like shortness of
breathing due to asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Authored by Reps. Narciso Santiago III (ARC) and Marcelino
Teodoro (Marikina, Lakas-CMD), the bill will prohibit the
"importation, manufacture, processing or commercial distribution
of asbestos-containing products."

Mr. Teodoro noted at least 40 countries have banned asbestos-
containing products. He said there is no known safe level of
exposure to asbestos and even low levels of exposure may cause
asbestos-containing diseases.

The bill points out that even the families of persons working or
exposed to asbestos-containing products can be at risk because
of the asbestos they bring home on their shoes, clothes, skin
and hair.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MP Reed Blasts Denial of Payout to Victims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Copeland MP Jamie Reed criticized the House of Lords for denying
victims in West Cumbria, England, compensation for asbestos-
related disease, Times & Star reports.

MPs from all parties have been lobbying ministers to overturn a
c2007 decision where insurance firms, facing a GBP1 billion
bill, won a Law Lords ruling that they were not liable because
pleural plaques - a scarring of the lungs - had no symptoms and
was not a disease.

The Government has so far refused to overturn the decision, but
MPs believe it could be forced into a change.

After a mass lobby in Parliament on Feb. 5, 2008, Mr. Reed said
MPs needed to step-up their campaign and get the decision
overturned.

Mr. Reed, Labor, is to meet colleagues and ministers to push the
case for legislation "addressing the failure of the House of
Lords."

At least 160 people in Cumbria have died from asbestos-related
disease since 2000.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Commissioner Closes Maylands Hangars
----------------------------------------------------------------
Karl O'Callaghan, Western Australia's Police Commissioner,
closed two hangars at the former Maylands police academy amid
fears lives have been put at risk by asbestos, The Sunday Times
reports.

The hangars house offices and store recovered property and court
exhibits.

A report obtained by The Sunday Times says staff have complained
of minor chest irritations, coughing and spitting out dust.

The WA Police Union demands an inquiry because action was only
recently taken despite a 2002 report and an inspection in 2007
pointing out the dangers of the white asbestos. An inspection by
police union safety officials found more problems with
disintegration of the asbestos.

The union wants health checks for staff who have worked in the
heritage-listed hangars. Members of the public also spend hours
in the hangars identifying stolen property.

WA Police Union president Mike Dean said it had been kept in the
dark about previous inspections. Mr. O'Callaghan said Mr. Dean
raised concerns about the asbestos on Feb. 8, 2008.

After advice, based in part on a report confirming the presence
of chrysotile asbestos, Mr. O'Callaghan ordered the closure of
the property receival exhibits storage hangars.

The hangar was checked by union field officer Dave Lampard. His
report pointed out "glaring problems" including unsealed
rainwater downpipes. The downpipes do not drain into a
containment sump, but on to a concrete channel or bitumen car
park.

Natural expansion and contraction of timber frames causes
sheeting to rub together and create wear and tear "that could
cause fibers to become exposed and drift down to where employees
work."

Filter systems may not have sufficiently fine filters to trap
fibers.

Police Minister John Kobelke said, "I am not aware of the state
of the asbestos at Maylands and I assume I will be appropriately
briefed by the Commissioner of Police in the near future."

A WorkSafe spokeswoman said no official complaint had been made
about the hangar.

White chrysotile asbestos, which the World Health Organization
has declared causes asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma,
was banned nationally in December 2003.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wis. County Aims to Make Amends for Release
----------------------------------------------------------------
Milwaukee County, Wis., seeks to shed its liability in an
environmental lawsuit over asbestos pollution by installing bike
racks on buses, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The idea would be to make amends for the release of asbestos
particles during the 2006 county courthouse annex demolition by
doing a "green" good deed. In this case, it would be encouraging
commuters to leave their cars at home in favor of biking and
riding the bus, which presumably would clear the air a bit of
exhaust fumes that contribute to greenhouse gases.

County Public Works Director George Torres said it would be
another version of environmental offsets, in which a bit of harm
is redressed elsewhere. He said the county otherwise faced
potential penalties of about US$30,000 on the asbestos case.

The county has pitched the bike rack plan to the state Justice
Department, which sued the county and several contractors over
the asbestos release. The substance was discovered during the
2006 annex demolition, including the downing of a skywalk that
formerly spanned N. 10th St.

On Feb. 5, 2008, the County Board on a 12-6 vote approved a plan
for adding bicycle racks to buses, which would cost some
US$650,000 to purchase plus another US$110,000 a year for
maintenance and loss of revenue from ads on the front of buses.

An earlier idea from the county for counting some training it
did on proper handling of asbestos toward a settlement on the
asbestos case was rejected by the state, said John Schapekahm,
an assistant county corporation counsel.

Three contractors involved in the annex project reached a
settlement with the state, agreeing to pay US$105,000 in
forfeitures and fees.

A fourth contractor on the demolition job, Professional Service
Industries, was also sued by the state and was not part of the
settlement. The county also has submitted for arbitration a
dispute with that firm over its role in the asbestos release,
Mr. Schapekahm said.

The unexpected asbestos cleanup added about US$1 million to the
annex demolition cost.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Weyerhaeuser Co. Lobbies for Legal Reforms
---------------------------------------------------------------
Weyerhaeuser Company, in 2007, spent almost US$1.9 million to
lobby the federal government over energy and patent issues,
including asbestos injury litigation reform, Associated Press
reports.

The Company spent US$1.1 million in the second half of the year,
according to a disclosure form posted online on Feb. 11, 2008 by
the Senate's public records office.

The Company lobbied on various issues, including patent reform,
renewable energy and energy efficiency, asbestos injury
litigation reform, security of chemical facilities, immigration
and lumber.

It spent US$800,000 in the first six months of the year to lobby
on largely the same issues.

Aside from Congress, the Company lobbied numerous agencies,
including the Environmental Protection Agency, White House
budget office, Energy Department and Transportation Department.

Lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could
influence members of the executive and legislative branches,
under a federal law enacted in 1995.

Federal Way, Wash.-based Weyerhaeuser Company is a U.S. forest
products company that operates along five business lines: Wood
Products; Containerboard, Packaging, and Recycling; and Pulp and
Paper.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: American Fin'l. Cites $30.8M Charge in 2007
----------------------------------------------------------------
American Financial Group, Inc., for 2007, recorded a pre-tax
asbestos charge of US$30.8 million (US$20 million after-tax) for
its property and casualty (P&C) insurance runoff operations,
according to a Company press release dated Feb. 11, 2008.

For 2007, the Company recorded a pre-tax asbestos charge of
US$19 million (US$12.4 million after-tax) for its former
railroad & manufacturing operations.

Net earnings for 2007 were impacted by fourth quarter net
realized losses on investments, primarily attributable to write-
downs in its equity portfolio, including US$41.8 million to
reduce the Company's equity investment in National City
Corporation to market value.

The 2007 full year net earnings also reflect the impact of
strengthening reserves for asbestos and other environmental
exposures during the second quarter.

Cincinnati-based American Financial Group, Inc. is an insurance
holding company with assets in excess of US$25 billion. Through
the operations of Great American Insurance Group, the Company is
engaged in property and casualty insurance, focusing on
specialized commercial products for businesses, and in the sale
of traditional fixed, indexed and variable annuities and a
variety of supplemental insurance products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Liberty Mutual Notes Increase in A&E Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Liberty Mutual Group saw an increase in asbestos-related and
environmental claims as well as tax expenses in 2007, partially
offset by a 27 percent increase in net realized investment
gains, Insurance Journal reports.

The group said its 2007 profit dipped nearly seven percent
compared with unusually strong 2006 results, as greater
insurance industry competition led to pressure to cut
policyholder rates.

The group reported full-year net income of US$1.52 billion in
2007, compared with US$1.63 billion in 2006. Revenue at the
insurer rose more than 10 percent to US$25.96 billion from
US$23.52 billion in 2006.

In the 2007-4th fourth quarter, net income was US$425 million,
down nearly seven percent from US$455 million in the same
quarter a year earlier. Revenue rose 15 percent to US$6.93
billion.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: La. Parish Imposes Waiver for Demolitions
--------------------------------------------------------------
The St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana, on Feb. 7, 2008, granted
conditional approval for the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency to incinerate several demolished homes with asbestos at
the parish landfill while monitoring the air to ensure there are
no toxic emissions, The Times-Picayune reports.

The approval, which came after EPA officials convinced council
members during three months of negotiations that the test poses
no health risks for residents, is contingent upon renewal of a
waiver exempting the parish from strict asbestos abatement
procedures for demolished homes.

The waiver is set to expire at the end of February 2008, and the
state Department of Environmental Quality has informed the
parish that it might not ask the EPA for an extension, Parish
President Craig Taffaro said.

Without the waiver, the parish would have to remove all asbestos
from the 5,000 remaining homes slated for demolition before they
could be torn down.

The waiver allows asbestos to be left in demolished homes as
long as the structures are wetted while being torn down and the
debris is sealed in plastic-lined trash bins.

Mr. Taffaro was authorized by the council to revoke a special
permit for the experimental asbestos burn if the waiver is not
extended.

Myron Knudson, a senior policy adviser for the EPA's regional
office in Dallas, said he will support an extension, which must
be requested by the state and approved by the EPA.

Mr. Knudson said the EPA proposed the asbestos burn after
Louisiana officials raised concerns about the sheer volume of
storm debris and the limited landfill space that can accept
asbestos-contaminated material.

The EPA plans to burn three asbestos-containing homes in a
special incinerator at the parish landfill on Paris Road in
Chalmette, La.

The so-called air curtain destructor is an open-topped firebox
with blowers that send a high-velocity air current across the
top to contain emissions and provide oxygen to fuel the fire.

Lab tests have shown that burning asbestos at high temperatures
transforms it into a harmless material, said Bob Olexsey, an EPA
program manager in Cincinnati.

Mr. Knudson said dozens of air monitors will be used during the
test to identify any harmful emissions. The test also will
include feeding storm debris containing asbestos into a grinder
to reduce the volume by about 50 percent to save landfill space.

Mr. Knudson said the tests, which are tentatively set for April
2008, would be halted if winds shifted toward inhabited areas,
including trailers housing parish contractors about 1,800 feet
from the test site.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Transkei Cradle for Disease, Professor Says
----------------------------------------------------------------
Banwari Meel, a professor of medicine at the Walter Sisulu
University, says the former apartheid homeland of Transkei,
South Africa is still the cradle for the spread of lung disease
among former workers in the gold, coal, diamond, and asbestos
mining sectors, according to Business Report.

In 2001, Mr. Meel conducted a study of 2,080 former mine workers
from 18 magisterial districts at the benefit examination center
at the Umtata General Hospital.

The findings of the study are still relevant, Mr. Meel says in
his paper, Patterns of Lung Disease in Former Mineworkers of the
Former Republic of Transkei.

The ex-miners were tested to determine the prevalence of lung
disease, links between disease and age, association between
diseases and duration of mining, and the relation of silicosis
to tuberculosis (TB).

Mr. Meel found that 80 percent of a sample of 271 men selected
at random from the 2,080 former mine workers in his study
suffered from lung disease. This is the highest rate ever
recorded. Participants ranged from 35 years of age to 66 years,
and their working durations ranged from one year to 31 years.

The disease pattern was dominated by pulmonary TB, present in
61.85 percent of the sample. Chest X-rays showed 1.5 percent had
asbestosis, seven percent had chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease, 5.5 percent had silicosis alone, 35.8 percent had
pulmonary TB and 25.8 percent had pulmonary TB with silicosis.

In 2006, the lung disease rate in AngloGold's South African
mines was 10 cases per 1,000 miners.

AngloGold was a gold mining company based in South Africa and
majority-owned by the Anglo American group. In 2004, it merged
with the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation to create the world's
second-largest gold producer, AngloGold Ashanti.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mueller Subsidiaries Face Asbestos Actions
---------------------------------------------------------------
Some of Mueller Water Products, Inc.'s subsidiaries have been
named as defendants in a small number of asbestos-related
lawsuits.

Management said it does not believe that these lawsuits, either
individually or in the aggregate, are material to the Company's
consolidated financial position or results of operations.

No other details were disclosed in the Company's quarterly
report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on
Feb. 11, 2008.

Atlanta-based Mueller Water Products, Inc. operates in three
business segments: Mueller Co., U.S. Pipe and Anvil. Mueller Co.
manufactures and sells fire hydrants and various valves used in
residential water and gas systems. U.S. Pipe manufactures and
sells ductile iron pressure pipe, restrained joint products,
fittings and other products. Anvil manufactures and sells pipe
fittings, couplings, pipe hangers, pipe nipples and related
products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 10,442 Cases Pending v. Mallinckrodt Inc.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Covidien Ltd.'s subsidiary, Mallinckrodt Inc., as of Dec. 28,
2007, had about 10,442 asbestos liability cases pending against
it, according to the Company's quarterly report filed with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 28, 2008.

As of Sept. 28, 2007, about 10,398 asbestos liability cases were
pending against Mallinckrodt. (Class Action Reporter, Dec. 21,
2007)

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

A majority of the cases involve product liability claims, based
principally on allegations of past distribution of products
incorporating asbestos. A limited number of the cases allege
premises liability, based on claims that individuals were
exposed to asbestos while on Mallinckrodt's property.

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

The Company's involvement in asbestos cases has been limited
because Mallinckrodt did not mine or produce asbestos.
Furthermore, in the Company's experience, a large percentage of
these claims were never substantiated and have been dismissed by
the courts. The Company has not suffered an adverse verdict in a
trial court proceeding related to asbestos claims.

Pembroke, Bermuda-based Covidien Ltd. supplies health care
providers from generic pharmaceuticals and disposable medical
products to diagnostic imaging contrast agents and surgical
devices. The Company has has operations in nearly 60 countries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cabot Records 55,000 AO Claims at Dec. 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cabot Corp. states that, as of Dec. 31, 2007, there were about
55,000 claimants in pending cases, including asbestos-related,
asserting claims against American Optical Corporation (AO) in
connection with respiratory products.

The Company has exposure in connection with a safety respiratory
products business that a subsidiary acquired from AO in an April
1990 asset purchase transaction. The subsidiary manufactured
respirators under the AO brand and disposed of that business in
July 1995.

In connection with its acquisition of the business, the
subsidiary agreed, in certain circumstances, to assume a portion
of AO's liabilities, including costs of legal fees together with
amounts paid in settlements and judgments, allocable to AO
respiratory products used prior to the 1990 purchase by the
Cabot subsidiary.

The Company's respirator liabilities involve claims for personal
injury, including asbestosis and silicosis and, more recently,
coal worker's pneumoconiosis, allegedly resulting from the use
of AO respirators that are alleged to have been negligently
designed or labeled.

In the fiscal year 2003-3rd quarter, the Company recorded a
reserve to cover its expected share of liability for existing
and future respirator liability claims.

The book value of the reserve is being accreted up to the
undiscounted liability through interest expense over the
expected cash flow period, and, at Dec. 31, 2007, is about US$18
million (or US$26 million on an undiscounted basis).

The Company has other lawsuits, claims and contingent
liabilities arising in the ordinary course of its business,
including a number of claims asserting premises liability for
asbestos exposure, and in respect of its divested businesses.

Boston-based Cabot Corporation produces carbon black, a
reinforcing and pigmenting agent used in tires, inks, cables,
and coatings. The Company also makes fumed metal oxides like
fumed silica and fumed alumina, which are used as anti-caking,
thickening, and reinforcing agents in adhesives and coatings.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Suits v. BJ Services Pending in Mississippi
----------------------------------------------------------------
BJ Services Company still faces asbestos-related lawsuits filed
in Mississippi courts, according to the Company's quarterly
report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on
Feb. 11, 2008.

In August 2004, certain predecessors of the Company, along with
numerous other defendants were named in four lawsuits filed in
the Circuit Courts of Jones and Smith Counties in Mississippi.
These four lawsuits included 118 individual plaintiffs alleging
that they suffer various illnesses from exposure to asbestos and
seeking damages.

The lawsuits assert claims of unseaworthiness, negligence, and
strict liability, all based upon the status of the Company's
predecessors as Jones Act employers.

The plaintiffs were required to complete data sheets specifying
the companies they were employed by and the asbestos-containing
products to which they were allegedly exposed. Through this
process, about 25 plaintiffs have identified the Company or its
predecessors as their employer.

Amended lawsuits were filed by four individuals against the
Company and the remainder of the original claims (114) were
dismissed.

Of these four lawsuits, three failed to name the Company as an
employer or manufacturer of asbestos containing products so the
Company was thereby dismissed. Subsequently an individual from
one of these lawsuits brought his own action against the
Company.

As a result, the Company is named as an employer in two of the
Mississippi lawsuits. It is possible that as many as 21 other
claimants who identified the Company or its predecessors as
their employer could sue the Company, but they have not done so
at this time.

Only minimal medical information regarding the alleged asbestos-
related disease suffered by the plaintiffs in the two lawsuits
has been provided. Accordingly, the Company is unable to
estimate its potential exposure to these lawsuits. The Company
and its predecessors in the past maintained insurance which may
be available to respond to these claims.

In addition to the Jones Act cases, the Company has been named
in a small number of additional asbestos cases. The allegations
in these cases vary, but generally include claims that the
Company provided some unspecified product or service which
contained or utilized asbestos or that an employee was exposed
to asbestos at one of its facilities or customer job site. Some
of the allegations involve claims that the Company is the
successor to the Byron Jackson Company.

To date, the Company has been successful in obtaining dismissals
of such cases without any payment in settlements or judgments,
although some remain pending at the present time.

Houston-based BJ Services Company engages in providing pressure
pumping services and other oilfield services to the oil and
natural gas industry worldwide. Services are provided through
four business segments: U.S./Mexico Pressure Pumping, Canada
Pressure Pumping, International Pressure Pumping and the
Oilfield Services Group.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ameron Int'l. Records 60 Claims at Nov. 30
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ameron International Corporation was a defendant in asbestos-
related cases involving 60 claimants as of Nov. 30, 2007,
compared with 145 claimants as of Nov. 30, 2006, according to
the Company's annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission on Feb. 11, 2008.

The Company was a defendant in asbestos-related cases involving
131 claimants as of Aug. 26, 2007, compared with 132 claimants
as of May 27, 2007. (Class Action Reporter, Sept. 28, 2007)

The Company is one of numerous defendants in various asbestos-
related personal injury lawsuits. These cases generally seek
unspecified damages for asbestos-related diseases based on the  
alleged exposure to products previously manufactured by the
Company and others.

At this time the Company is generally not aware of the extent of
injuries allegedly suffered by the individuals or the facts
supporting the claim that injuries were caused by the Company's
products.

For the year ended Nov. 30, 2007, there were new claims
involving 19 claimants, dismissals and/or settlements involving
104 claimants and no judgments.

Net costs and expenses incurred by the Company for the year
ended Nov. 30, 2007 in connection with asbestos-related claims
were about US$200,000.

Pasadena, Calif.-based Ameron International Corporation designs,
makes, and markets corrosion-resistant fiberglass-composite,
pipe and pipe fittings for industrial, chemical, petrochemical,
and petroleum customers. The Company also makes and sells
concrete pipe for water transmission and sewage and waste water
collection.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum's Plan Filed in Bankruptcy Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
American Biltrite Inc. states that, on Feb. 5, 2008, a joint
plan of reorganization (Joint Plan) for Congoleum Corporation, a
majority-owned subsidiary of the Company, was filed with the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey in the
Chapter 11 proceedings of Congoleum, according to a Company
report, on Form 8-K, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 11, 2008.

The Joint Plan was filed by the future claimants'
representative, Congoleum and Congoleum's debtor subsidiaries,
the official asbestos claimants' committee, and the official
committee of bondholders. A hearing to consider the adequacy of
the disclosure statement respecting the Joint Plan is scheduled
for Feb. 14, 2008.

Under the terms of the Joint Plan, new shares of reorganized
Congoleum will be issued to a trust for the benefit of asbestos
claimants and to Congoleum's bondholders when the Joint Plan
takes effect.

Existing Class A and Class B common shares of Congoleum would be
canceled and holders of those shares, including the Company,
would not receive anything on account of their canceled shares.
The Company currently includes Congoleum in its consolidated
financial results, but would cease doing so upon loss of its
controlling interest.

The Joint Plan also includes certain terms that would govern an
intercompany settlement and ongoing intercompany arrangements
among the Company and its subsidiaries and reorganized Congoleum
which would be effective when the Joint Plan takes effect and
would have a term of two years.

Those intercompany arrangements include the provision of
management services by the Company to reorganized Congoleum and
other business relationships substantially consistent with their
traditional relationships.

The Joint Plan provides that the final terms of the intercompany
arrangements among the Company and its subsidiaries and
reorganized Congoleum will be memorialized in a new agreement to
be entered into by reorganized Congoleum and the Company in form
and substance mutually agreeable to the future claimants'
representative, the official committee of bondholders, the
official asbestos claimants' committee and the Company.

On Dec. 31, 2003, Congoleum filed a voluntary petition with the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey (Case No.
03-51524) seeking relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy
Code as a means to resolve claims asserted against it related to
the use of asbestos in its products decades ago.

Wellesley Hills, Mass.-based American Biltrite Inc. produces
Congoleum-brand vinyl tile flooring and sheet-vinyl floors, and
it distributes fashion jewelry through its K&M Associates
supplier. The Company also makes industrial products such as
adhesive-coated, pressure-sensitive tapes used to protect
materials during handling and for varied applications. The
Company owns about 66 percent of Congoleum Corporation.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Argo Group Cites $17.6M Charge for A&E Loss
----------------------------------------------------------------
Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. recorded a US$17.6
million after tax charge associated with asbestos and
environmental loss development, according to a Company press
release dated Feb. 13, 2008.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, the Company's net income of
US$143.8 million or US$5.58 per diluted share includes an after-
tax favorable reserve development of US$20.6 million.

The US$20.6 million is net of the US$17.6 million after tax
charge associated A&E loss development.

Hamilton, Bermuda-based Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd.
is an underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance
products in the property and casualty market. The Company has
three primary segments: Excess and Surplus Lines, Select
Markets, and International Specialty.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Todd Shipyards Suit Filed on Jan. 2 in Tex.
----------------------------------------------------------------
An asbestos-related lawsuit on behalf of Felix B. Herrera was
filed against Todd Shipyards Corporation in the 212th District
Court in Galveston County, Tex., on Jan. 2, 2008, The Southeast
Texas Record reports.

Case # 08CV0001 is styled Felix Herrera vs. Todd Shipyards Corp.

Mr. Herrera was employed by Todd Shipyards as a laborer from
1948-1974 in Galveston County. He worked in areas contaminated
with respirable toxic asbestos fibers.

Mr. Herrera claims he was never warned about asbestos and was
never provided respirator protection. He died of lung cancer and
asbestosis in July 2006.

Plaintiffs plead and invoke Strict Liability-Product, Breach of
Warranty-Products, Breach of Warranty of Merchantability and
Gross Negligence.

Plaintiffs contend that defendants intentionally, knowingly and
recklessly caused serious bodily injury; intentional wrongful
conduct and/or malice; and that defendants deliberately engaged
in oppression, fraud, wantonness or malice based on lack of
reasonable care and unsuitable products.

Plaintiffs request punitive and exemplary damages.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Parties File Briefs on Admissibility
----------------------------------------------------------------
W.R. Grace & Co. and the Official Committee of Asbestos Personal
Injury Claimants filed separate and opposing briefs regarding
the admissibility of personal injury questionnaires and proofs
of claim as evidence at the estimation trial.

The Debtors' counsel, David M. Bernick, P.C., at Kirkland &
Ellis, LLP, in Chicago, maintains that the PI Questionnaires and
the proofs of claim should be admitted into evidence during the
estimation trial for three reasons:

(1) Claims estimation is a "contested matter" under Rule 9014 of
the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. As a contested
matter, the PI Claims estimation is not a separate proceeding,
but part of the Debtors' Chapter 11 cases.

(2) Every party who has filed a proof of claim against the
Debtors is a party to the Debtors' bankruptcy cases. Because the
PI Claimants have filed claims against the Debtors, they are
parties to the Debtors' bankruptcy cases. And because they are
parties to the Debtors' bankruptcy cases, the PI Claimants are
parties to the PI estimation.

(3) The PI Questionnaires were served on the claimants as
discovery in connection with the estimation proceedings. The
Questionnaires are a hybrid form of discovery: part fact
interrogatory, part contention interrogatory, part document
request, and part deposition by written question.

The PI Committee, on the other hand, insists that the Court
should not accept as evidence the PI Questionnaires and the
proof of claim responses.

The PI Committee's counsel, Elihu Inselbuch, at Caplin &
Drysdale, Chartered, in New York, asserts that the estimation
proceedings is a contested matter within the Debtors' Chapter 11
cases, which is being conducted solely for confirmation of a
plan of reorganization, involving only the parties who have
filed one of the two competing reorganization plans filed in the
Debtors' bankruptcy cases.

Because the Debtors' reorganization plan purports to "cap" their
total asbestos liability, an estimate of their aggregate
liability for pending and future asbestos claims may be relevant
to determine whether any non-consensual reorganization plan
meets the requirements of Sections 524(g)(4)(B)(ii) and 1129(b)
of the Bankruptcy Code, Mr. Inselbuch contends.

Mr. Inselbuch adds that the only parties to the estimation
proceeding are the Debtors, the PI Committee, the Future Claims
Representative and the other official committees, pursuant to
(i) the procedural route the Debtors have undertaken in seeking
an estimate of their aggregate asbestos liability rather than an
individual claims allowance process, and (ii) the terms of the
case management order, which govern the estimation hearing.

The sole purpose of the estimation proceeding is to determine
the Debtors' aggregate liability for pending and future asbestos
PI claims, and not to estimate those claims for purposes of
individual allowance or disallowance, Mr. Inselbuch maintains.

Mr. Inselbuch asserts that the mere filing of a proof of claim
of a creditor does not make that creditor a party to each and
every contested matter in the Debtors' bankruptcy case.

Judge Judith Fitzgerald will resume the estimation trial on
March 24, 2008. The trial is expected to conclude in May.

(W.R. Grace Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 151; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc. 215-945-7000 FAX 215-945-7001)


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Examiner Gives 1st Update on Tersigni Probe
----------------------------------------------------------------
W.R. Grace & Co. states that Hugh M. Ray, as examiner of the
Chapter 11 case of L. Tersigni Consulting CPA, P.C., told Judge
Alan Shiff of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of
Connecticut that he has reviewed reports prepared by each of the
law firm Heller Ehrman and the office of the U.S. Trustee for
Region 3.

According to the Examiner, Lawrence Zweifach, author of the
Heller Ehrman Report, conducted its independent investigation on
behalf of the Tersigni firm before Nov. 13, 2007, the date   
when the accounting firm filed for bankruptcy.

The Heller Ehrman Report analyzed billings in four of the 20
asbestos cases sampling over a one-year period. The Heller
Ehrman Report concludes a total of $546,106 was overbilled to
four asbestos cases during a one-year period.

The Examiner related that he conducted an initial interview with
Mr. Zweifach. According to the Examiner, Mr. Zweifach said he
met several obstacles that impeded his investigation, including:

(a) Loreto Tersigni's e-mails have been deleted;

(b) There are gaps in the Tersigni firm's books and records
    concerning employees' time entries;

(c) The physical drafts of the billing statements reviewed and
    edited by Dottie Collins, an employee of the Tersigni firm,
    appear to be missing, as are all of her time records;

(d) There are more significant information gaps as to the
    Debtors' older books and records; and

(e) Ms. Collins, who appears to be the only living witness to
    the overbilling practices and is the employee with the most
    direct knowledge of the Tersigni firm's books and records,
    did not cooperate with Mr. Zweifach.

The Examiner said he has obtained and reviewed the preliminary
investigation done by the office of the U.S. Trustee for Region
3 regarding the overbilling issues. The U.S. Trustee's
investigation concluded that at least $197,078 of overbilling by
the Tersigni firm occurred for the work of three Tersigni
employees in the asbestos cases of Armstrong, Owens-Corning,
Congoleum Corp., and G-I Holdings, Inc.

The Examiner told Judge Shiff that he will prepare a preliminary
report and recommendations by April 20, 2008.

(W.R. Grace Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 151; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc. 215-945-7000 FAX 215-945-7001)


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Shacklocks Sees Rise in Injury Claims in UK
----------------------------------------------------------------
Shacklocks, a law firm in Bakewell, Derbyshire, England, says it
is seeing a continued rise in compensation claims from people
suffering from asbestos-related diseases, Matlock Mercury
reports.

People exposed to the airborne fibers can often go on to suffer
from a number of respiratory diseases.

Debra Higgins, a solicitor at Shacklocks, said, "The length of
time between exposure to asbestos and the occurrence of a
disease like mesothelioma can be anything from 20 to 50 years.

"As people worked with asbestos throughout the 1950s, 60s and
70s we are expecting to see increasing numbers of victims for at
least the next 10 years."

Asbestos is still the single greatest cause of work-related
illness and death in the United Kingdom.

  
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Grace Seeks Approval to Extend $250M Loan
--------------------------------------------------------------
W.R. Grace & Co. seeks approval with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
in Wilmington, Del., to extend its US$250 million bankruptcy
loan for two years while it awaits a legal decision on how much
it owes for injuries and deaths linked to its asbestos products,
The Associated Press reports.

In papers filed on Feb. 11, 2008, the Company asked the Court to
sign off on an amendment to the loan agreement that gives it
access to the financing through April 1, 2010. The loan is
slated to expire on April 1, 2008.

Grace estimates that the changes to the loan, provided by a
group of banks led by Bank of America, will carry fees of about
US$2 million. However, the final amount will depend on market
conditions at the time of a final agreement.

A court hearing on the Company's request is scheduled for March
17, 2008.

Grace is seeking the loan extension amid a trial to determine
the amount of its asbestos liabilities, a number the Company
will use to formulate its bankruptcy-exit plan.

If U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith Fitzgerald estimates the
asbestos damages at about US$700 million, the Company will have
enough value to cover those claims while providing its
shareholders with a recovery.

If the estimate hits US$2 billion or more, Grace could become
the property of people sickened by its asbestos products.

The trial, which began in January 2008 is expected to last into
the spring.

The Company filed for Chapter 11 protection in April 2001 under
the weight of more than 100,000 asbestos-related lawsuits.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Collinsville Grants $250T for Lodge Cleanup
----------------------------------------------------------------
The City Council of Collinsville, Ill., on Feb. 11, 2008,
approved US$250,000 for the removal of asbestos material, which
was left from the January 2008 demolition of Beck's Lodge,
Belleville News-Democrat reports.

The bid was awarded to Petroff Trucking Co. in Collinsville to
complete the removal of an estimated 1,200 cubic yards of
material from the St. Louis Road site.

Mike Tognarelli, the city's director of streets, said that
Petroff quoted hourly rates and other costs far below those of
two other competing companies.

Mr. Tognarelli estimated Petroff's costs would total US$30,000.
Consultant fees, he said, could reach about US$19,000, plus
about US$25,000 for landfill use. The exact amount of the
material in question is unknown.

Members also accepted a proposal from Waste Management of
Illinois to aid in testing and hauling the material off at a
cost of US$26.65 a yard.

Removal could take up to two weeks, providing the landfill
accepts large quantities of material with no restrictions.

The city razed the vacant, 40-room motel on Jan. 14, 2008.

However, on Jan. 29, 2008, the Illinois Environmental Protection
Agency complained to the Illinois Attorney General's Office that
the city had not removed more than 10,000 square feet of
asbestos-containing material that had been sprayed on the
ceilings of the 45-year-old building.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-T&N Worker's Kin Gets Payout for Injury
---------------------------------------------------------------
The family of Martha Charlson, a former employee of Turner and
Newall, has won a five figure settlement from the Company after
she died from asbestos related cancer, Manchester Evening News
reports..

A Rochdale local, Mrs. Charlson helped promote the acceptable
image of T&N in its heyday, when her photo appeared in a booklet
detailing the firm's history.

Mrs. Charlson was pictured working at a spotless-looking
asbestos spinning machine on the factory floor at Turner
Brothers premises in Rochdale in 1957. However, the photo was
hardly a reflection of the real conditions she and hundreds of
fellow workers endured.

Mrs. Charlson, who died aged 64 in 2002, just months after
retiring from the Company, where she had been employed since the
age of 16, handled asbestos treated yarn.

All compensation claims against T&N, which provided employment
for thousands of families in the North West, were frozen in 2001
after the Company went into administration in the U.K.

Claims were suspended while administrators reached agreement
with T&N's insurers and parent company Federal-Mogul Corp.

The payouts now come from a trust set up by the administrators
after the High Court approved a deal which allowed claimants to
receive a share of their entitled awards.

Steven Dickens, from Thompsons Solicitors, who represented Mrs.
Charlson's family said, "We have been engaged in one of the
longest running and most difficult battles to obtain
compensation for people who are suffering or have died from
asbestos-related disease."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cargill Inc. Workers File $3M Suit in Tenn.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Several former and current Cargill Inc. employees filed a US$3
million federal lawsuit against the Company, claiming they have
been subjected to a hazardous work environment, racial
discrimination and retaliation, The Daily News reports.

Vincent Mickens, Francois Johnson, Cornell Trotter, Avery Doss,
Patricia Coburn, Terry Lewis, Keith Howard, Connie Seay and
Tomeka Winston filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Tennessee at the end of January 2008.

The suit also names as defendants local Cargill management team
members Martin Crowder, Tim Campbell, Joe Sparks and Amanda
Jordan.

Before filing the suit, all the plaintiffs filed complaints with
the local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The suit states, "Plaintiffs received individually a right-to-
sue letter from the EEOC dated Oct. 31, 2007, upon completion of
the EEOC investigation, which concluded violations of Title
VII."

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment
discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national
origin.

Faye Williams, EEOC investigating attorney, said the agency is
prohibited by a statue from title VII from releasing information
related to charges filed with the agency.

A federal lawsuit, which was later dismissed, also was filed
against Continental Grain Co. in June 1999. That lawsuit also
involved job discrimination accusations.

Cargill bought New York-based Continental Grain in July 1999, a
company that Mr. Johnson also worked for. Right before the sale
was completed, Continental had begun clearing out asbestos at
the facility at 1387 N. Second St. in Memphis, Tenn. But after
the company changed hands, the plaintiffs allege Cargill did not
complete the asbestos removal.

The lawsuit goes on to say that an area of the facility cleared
by General Construction Services in November 2000 was found to
be clear of asbestos by a Tennessee Occupational Safety & Health
Administration (TOSHA) investigator.

The suit states, "Some six years later, as exposure conditions
remained, in September 2006, a representative from the corporate
office visited what is referred to as the Memphis Elevator and
inquired about the status of certain tile in the elevator.
Unaware of the alleged removal by General Construction Services,
an asbestos sign was posted immediately after the representative
noticed the disturbed floor tile."

Around that time, as union stewards representing the other
employees, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Mickens began asking questions
about the presence of the asbestos and what it meant to the
employees working in the area - an area in which only black
employees work, they said.

Mr. Mickens and Mr. Johnson said that instead of having their
concerns addressed, they were told that for five years they'd
been receiving asbestos training, though management never
revealed how obtaining asbestos training would deter the effects
of being exposed to asbestos for six years. Though employees
were told they'd received asbestos training, they denied ever
having such training.

Mr. Mickens said, "In one of the union meetings that I had, it
was myself, Avery Doss, Martin Crowder (Cargill supervisor) and
Tim Campbell (Cargill operations manager). And they produced
this document, because they said you're trained on asbestos
every year, and I don't ever recall having asbestos training,
and I asked Avery and he said the same thing.

"And they popped out this one piece of paper and it showed all
of our signatures, but it had been altered as if they doctored
it and so that made us suspicious about signing it."

As a result of not signing the paper, Mr. Mickens and Mr.
Johnson were suspended, they both said. They both said that they
were the only ones who refused to sign the paper, which they
believe was a ruse to show they'd received asbestos training
when they hadn't.

At one point, the employees said they were even asked to sign
papers with no heading, no date or any identifying information.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Report Says Chillicothe Prison Had Asbestos
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Correctional Institution Inspection Committee report suggests
that the Chillicothe Correctional Institution was laden with
asbestos despite an official's claims otherwise, Central Ohio
reports.

A May 2007 survey obtained by The Columbus Dispatch shows prison
officials were worried that the tiled floors and pipe insulation
at the prison contained asbestos.

The CIIC report found small areas of the infirmary contained
asbestos. A pharmacist also worried the tile floor was flaking
with powdered asbestos.

A federal lawsuit accuses the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
and Correction of lying about efforts to remove that asbestos
and says officials showed a deliberate indifference to a known
health risk at the prison.

According to the federal lawsuit, filed on behalf of 33 inmates
and four former inmates, powdered asbestos was found on the
floors and the inmates were exposed to the material, which is a
health risk only if it is crumbling or airborne.

Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Lyons said the state has spent
US$375,920 since 2005 to remove or contain the asbestos at the
prison, which is about 45 miles south of Columbus. She also said
none of the 2,850 inmates or 587 employees were harmed.

In January 2007, CIIC made an on-site visit to the Chillicothe
facility to look into several allegations from a visitor of an
inmate, one of which included claims of buildings "filled with
asbestos" and asbestos around heating and water pipes.

During a discussion with prison officials, the inspection report
indicates, "It was reported (to inspectors) that there is no
asbestos in the housing areas. The asbestos abatement crew is
removing asbestos in the tunnels, but the areas are properly
contained for safety purposes."

The report also indicates the prison's health and safety
coordinator "stated the last asbestos in a CCI housing unit was
removed from (building) D1 two years ago."

The January 2007 CIIC report also indicates that during a tour
of the facilities at that time, an inmate pointed out a heating
pipe near a radiator that had a leak and had been uncovered.

In its findings in January 2007, CIIC said, "Dorms Dogwood 1, 2
and 3 do not appear to contain asbestos based on observation and
information received by staff. Staff indicated that the last
asbestos in a CCI housing unit was removed from Dorm Dogwood 1
two years ago. Staff stated that asbestos can only be found in
the institution's tunnels and that an asbestos abatement crew is
working to remove it."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Howard County OKs Hazard Removal from Jail
---------------------------------------------------------------
Commissioners of Howard County, Ark., on Feb. 11, 2008, gave the
go-ahead to have a trio of buildings located on the site of the
future jail facility abated for asbestos and demolished, moving
forward with the US$11.57 million project, Big Spring Herald
reports.

Commissioners approved a US$39,352 bid for asbestos abatement
from Asbestos Removal Inc. which, when combined with consulting
fees, will total about US$56,000 for the removal of the three
buildings located in the 3600 and 3700 blocks of Highway 80.

Commissioner Gary Simer expressed concern the expense might put
the county in a money crunch later.

Project architect Jeff Heffelfinger said, "I feel very
comfortable we can move ahead with the demolition of these
buildings without getting in a bind. I feel very comfortable
with the prices right now and the truth is I wouldn’t have
brought this to you like this if I were worried."

Mr. Heffelfinger said structural problems with one of the
buildings will actually help save the county money. He
Heffelfinger told the court he bid the work on two separate time
tables, eventually opting for the longer course of action.

The site was recently replotted by the court in preparation of
construction of a new 96-bed, US$11.57 million jail.

Construction could begin as soon as mid-March 2008.



                           *********


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