CAR_Public/080222.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Friday, February 22, 2008, Vol. 10, No. 38
  
                            Headlines

ABBOTT LABORATORIES: Still Faces Fenofibrate Marketing Lawsuit
ABBOTT LABORATORIES: Still Faces ERISA Violations Suit in Ill.
ABBOTT LABORATORIES: Faces Calif. Suits Over Norvir Re-Pricing
ABBOTT LABORATORIES: Still Faces AWP-Related Litigation in Mass.
CELLCOM ISRAEL: Unlawful Tariffs Increase Lawsuit Dismissed

CENTERPOINT ENERGY: AR Court Orders Dismissal of "Johnson" Case
CIGNA CORP: Cash Balance Plan Not Discriminatory, Court Rules  
COMCAST CORP: Faces D.C. Lawsuit Over Peer-to-Peer Traffic
DOEREN MAYHEW: Faces Big Property Scam Allegations in Michigan
E*TRADE SECURITIES: Accused of Unfair Charges in Calif. Lawsuit

FORD MOTOR: City of Florence Joins Suit Over Ambulance Troubles
HANCOCK FABRICS: Reaches Settlement in Ill. FACTA Litigation
ISRAEL: Big Retailers Face Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Over Eggs
MERCK FROSST: Seeks Appellate Review of Vioxx Case Certification
PAINCARE HOLDINGS: Court Denies Dismissal Bid v. Securities Suit

PELLA CORP: Dismissal Request in ProLine Windows Suit Junked
QANTAS AIRWAYS: Large Travel Agents Opt Out of Price-Fixing Suit
ROO HD: Denies Wrongdoing to Wurld Media Workers in Buyout
ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Sup. Ct. Denies Certiorari in "Lopez" Case
ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Plaintiffs Appeal Arbitration Order in CA Suit

ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Motion to Transfer Copyright Suit Still Pending
SPRINT NEXTEL: Faces MI Suit Over 3rd-Party Text Messages Fees
U.S. FINANCIAL: Sued in CA Over Loans with Negative Amortization
U.S. SECRET SERVICE: Inspector Admits Destroying Original Proof
WASTE MANAGEMENT: Still Faces Stockholder Litigation in Illinois

WASTE MANAGEMENT: Faces Wage and Hour Lawsuits in California
WINN-DIXIE: Securities Suit vs. Individual Defendants Dismissed
WINN-DIXIE STORES: Settlement Reached in Fla. ERISA Litigation
WINN-DIXIE STORES: No Ruling Yet on Fla. Bias Case Removal Bid


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

CHARYS HOLDING: Vianale & Vianale Files GA Securities Fraud Suit
MUNICIPAL MORTGAGE: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Fraud Suit
OPNEXT INC: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.J.
SIRF TECHNOLOGY: Glancy Binkow Files Securities Fraud Suit in CA


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Zenith National Has 400 Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Central Hudson Has 1,183 Claims at Jan. 15
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Couple Files Suit v. 46 Defendants in W.Va.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Case v. DuPont, Chevron Filed in Tex. Court
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EnPro Ind. Expenses Drop to $68.4M at Dec.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EnPro Records $437.5M Liability at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Worker's Kin Sues Nippon Express, Nichias
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 117,400 Claims Pending v. Goodyear at 2007
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Coca-Cola Spends $3.5M for Cleanup in 2007
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BorgWarner Still Has 42T Claims at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CNA Action Still Pending v. BorgWarner Inc.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USG Links Drop in Expenses to 2007 Payments
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USG States No Further Obligations to Trust
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USG Pays $40M for Damage Settlements in '07
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Norfolk Southern Faces Occupational Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell Accrues $250M Liabilities at Dec.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell Int'l. Has $939M NARCO Receivable
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Travelers Suit v. Honeywell Ongoing in N.Y.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell Has 51,658 Bendix Claims at Dec.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NARCO, Bendix Had $1.65B Liabilities in '07

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 10,300 Injury Cases Pending v. Corning Inc.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 1,781 Claims Pending v. Burlington Northern
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: "Premises" Lawsuits Ongoing v. Alcoa, Units
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 3M Estimates $121M Liabilities at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: N.Y. Local Fined $8T for Abatement Breaches

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fitter's Kin Blames BAE for Wrongful Death
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Priory Could Pay Fines for Cleanup Breaches
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Delays New Orleans Parish Cleanup
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inquest Links Plumber's Death to Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scotland Gov't. to Launch GBP1.9M Inquiry

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Family Seeks Repairman's Former Colleagues
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: N.Y. Court Issues Split Ruling in Employers
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Housewife Files Action v. 10 Firms in Texas
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Overturns Travelers $500M Settlement
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Shipyard Worker Awarded $2.25M in N.Y. Case

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Perth Mechanic Gets AUD840T in Compensation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: HSE Fines ERL, Clarks for Safety Violations
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: HSE to Carry Out More Tests in U.K. Schools
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. School Worker's Death Linked to Hazard
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Barking and Dagenham Group Calls On Victims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wash. Firefighters May be Exposed to Hazard
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ky. Appeals Court Rules in Hammock's Favor
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeals Court Vacates Ruling in Fobbs Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wyo. Worker Sues 64 Companies in Ill. Court
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sentencing of N.Y. County Worker Postponed

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ford Mulls Appeal to Lo Presti Case Ruling
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UCATT Campaigns v. House of Lords Decision
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dock Worker Sues Law Brothers for GBP250T
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CLC Delays Call for Ban on Asbestos Mining
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 25T Claims Still Pending v. Fairmont Supply

ASBESTOS ALERT: Salton Defends v. 3 Suits over Applica Products



                           *********


ABBOTT LABORATORIES: Still Faces Fenofibrate Marketing Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Abbott Laboratories, Fournier Industrie et Sante, and
Laboratoires Fournier, S.A. remain defendants in several
lawsuits that were filed either with the U.S. District
Court for the District of Delaware or with the Central District
of California, alleging antitrust and unfair competition claims
in connection with the sale of fenofibrate formulations.

One of the purported class actions was filed by Paul T. Regan
with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California in July 2005.  

The other 14 purported class actions and five individual actions
are pending with the U.S. District Court for the District of
Delaware and were filed by:

                                                Filing Date
                                                -----------  
      Alberto Litter                            August 2005

      Allied Services Division Welfare
      Fund and Hector Valdes                    June 2005

      Cindy Cronin                              July 2005

      Diana Kim                                 June 2005

      Local 28 Sheet Metal Workers              July 2005

      Louisiana Wholesale Drug Co., Inc.        June 2005
   
      Meijer, Inc.                              June 2005  

      Painters District Council No.30
      Health and Welfare Fund                   June 2005

      Pennsylvania Employees
      Benefit Trust Fund                        June 2005

      Philadelphia Federation
      of Teachers Health and Welfare Fund       July 2005  

      Elaine M. Pullman                         June 2005

      Rochester Drug Co-Operative, Inc.         June 2005

      Charles M. Shain                          July 2005

      Vista Healthplan, Inc.                    June 2005

      CVS Pharmacy, Inc.                        August 2005  

      Impax Laboratories                        June 2005

      Pacificare Health Systems, Inc.           August 2005

      Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.            June 2005

      Walgreen Co.                              June 2005

The plaintiffs seek actual damages, treble damages and other
relief, according to the company's Feb. 19, 2008 form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Abbott Laboratories -- http://www.abbott.com/-- is engaged in  
the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a
diversified line of healthcare products.


ABBOTT LABORATORIES: Still Faces ERISA Violations Suit in Ill.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Abbott Laboratories continues to face a class action pending
with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois that was filed by employees who alleged that the spin-
off of Hospira, Inc., from the Company adversely affected their
employee benefits, according to the Company's Feb. 19, 2008 form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

The suit, "Myla Nauman, Jane Roller and Michael Loughery v.
Abbott Laboratories and Hospira, Inc.," generally alleges that
the Company's action is in violation of the Employee Retirement
Security Act of 1974

The plaintiffs are former Abbott employees who assert that their
transfer to Hospira, as part of the spin-off, adversely affected
their employee benefits in violation of the ERISA, and that in
their transfer, Abbott breached a fiduciary duty to them
involving employee benefits.

The plaintiffs seek reinstatement as Abbott employees, or
reinstatement as participants in Abbott's employee benefit
plans, or an award for the employee benefits they have allegedly
lost.

Abbott filed a response denying all substantive allegations.

The court had granted the plaintiffs' motion for class
certification of the breach of fiduciary claim.

The suit is "Myla Nauman, Jane Roller and Michael Loughery v.
Abbott Laboratories and Hospira, Inc., Case No. 1:04-cv-07199,"
filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois, Judge Robert W. Gettleman presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Steven M. Sprenger, Esq.
          Sprenger & Lang, PLLC
          1400 Eye Street, N.W., Suite 500
          Washington, DC 20005
          Phone: 202-265-8010
          e-mail: contact@sprengerlang.com
          Web site: http://www.sprengerlang.com/

               - and -

          Michael M. Mulder, Esq. (mmmulder@mmmglaw.com)
          Meites, Mulder, Mollica and Glink
          208 South LaSalle Street, Suite 1410
          Chicago, IL 60604
          Phone: 312-263-0272
          Fax: 312-263-2942

Representing the defendant is:

          James F. Hurst, Esq. (jhurst@winston.com)
          Winston & Strawn LLP
          35 West Wacker Drive, 41st Floor
          Chicago, IL 60601
          Phone: 312-558-5230


ABBOTT LABORATORIES: Faces Calif. Suits Over Norvir Re-Pricing
--------------------------------------------------------------
Abbott Laboratories faces several purported class actions that
are all pending with the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California, and which generally allege antitrust
violations in connection with the 2003 Norvir re-pricing,
according to the company's Feb. 19, 2008 form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended Dec. 31, 2007.

A consolidated class action on behalf of individual consumers,
John Doe 1 (filed in April 2004), and third party payors,
Service Employees International Union Health & Welfare Fund
(filed in October 2004), is pending with the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California.

Several additional cases, including three purported class
actions on behalf of direct purchasers, have been filed by:

       -- Rite Aid, Inc. (filed in December 2007),

       -- Louisiana Wholesale Drug Company, Inc. (filed in
          December 2007),
      
       -- GlaxoSmithKline (filed in November 2007),

       -- Meijer, Inc. (filed in November 2007),

       -- Rochester Drug Co-Operative, Inc. (filed in November
          2007), and

       -- Safeway, Inc. (filed in October 2007).

Those suits are also pending with the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of California.

The plaintiffs seek actual damages, treble and punitive damages,
injunctive, and other relief.

Abbott Laboratories -- http://www.abbott.com/-- is engaged in  
the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a
diversified line of healthcare products.


ABBOTT LABORATORIES: Still Faces AWP-Related Litigation in Mass.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Abbott Laboratories continues to face a purported class action
titled, "In re: Pharmaceutical Industry Average Wholesale Price
Litigation, MDL 1456," according to the company's Feb. 19, 2008
form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Initially, a number of cases, brought as purported class actions
or representative actions on behalf of individuals or entities,
that allege generally that Abbott and numerous other
pharmaceutical companies reported false pricing information in
connection with certain drugs that are reimbursable under
Medicare and Medicaid and by private payors are pending.

These cases, brought by private plaintiffs, the U.S. Department
of Justice, State Attorneys General, and other state government
entities, generally seek monetary damages and injunctive
relief and attorneys' fees.

Abbott has filed or intends to file a response in each case
denying all substantive allegations.

The federal court cases have been consolidated for pre-trial
purposes with the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts under the Multi-District Litigation Rules as "In
re: Pharmaceutical Industry Average Wholesale Price Litigation,
MDL 1456."

MDL 1456 includes:

      -- a purported class action case in which plaintiffs seek
         to certify a nationwide class of Medicare Part B
         consumers and two Massachusetts classes of third party
         payors and other consumers (filed in June 2003);

      -- seven state Attorneys General and two state county
         suits, including a consolidated New York counties/City
         of New York suit (filed in June 2005);

      -- a civil whistle-blower suit brought by the U.S.
         Department of Justice (filed in federal court in the
         Southern District of Florida in May 2006); and

      -- a civil whistle-blower suit brought by Ven-A-Care of
         the Florida Keys, Inc., unsealed against Abbott in          
         August 2007 and in which the U.S. declined to
         intervene.

The MDL Court is transferring the case brought by the Montana
Attorney General back to the Montana federal court for a ruling
on defendants' motion for summary judgment.

The consolidated suit is "In re Average Wholesale Price
Litigation, Case No. 1:01-cv-12257-PBS," filed with the U.S.
District Court in Massachusetts, Judge Patti B. Saris presiding.  

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Marjory P. Albee, Esq. (malbee@magergoldstein.com)
          Mager & Goldstein LLP
          1818 Market Street, Suite 3710
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Phone: 215-640-3280
          Fax: 215-640-3281

               - and -

          Steve W. Berman, Esq. (steve@hbsslaw.com)
          Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
          1301 5th Avenue, Suite 2900
          Seattle, WA 98101-1090
          Phone: 206-623-7292
          Fax: 206-623-0594

Representing the defendants:

          Toni-Ann Citera, Esq. (tcitera@jonesday.com)
          Jones Day
          222 East 41st Street
          New York, NY 10017-6702
          Phone: 212-782-3939
          Fax: 212-755-7306

               - and -

          Sheila L. Birnbaum, Esq. (sbirnbau@skadden.com)
          Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
          Four Times Square
          New York, NY 10036-6522
          Phone: 212-735-3000


CELLCOM ISRAEL: Unlawful Tariffs Increase Lawsuit Dismissed
-----------------------------------------------------------
A purported class action lawsuit filed with the District Court
of Tel-Aviv against Cellcom Israel Ltd. was dismissed with
prejudice on February 18, 2008.

Filed in April 2007, the plaintiffs -- claiming to be
subscribers of the defendants -- contend that the Company raised
its tariffs unlawfully and in violation of its license, in
pricing plans that include a commitment to purchase certain
services for a fixed period (Class Action Reporter, May 22,
2007).

Had the dismissed lawsuit been certified as a class action, the
amount claimed from the Company was estimated by the plaintiffs
to be approximately $219.48 million.

For more information, contact:

          Shiri Israeli
          Investor Relations Coordinator
          Phone: +972-52-998-9755
          e-mail: investors@cellcom.co.il

               - and -

          Ehud Helft (ehud@gkir.com)
          Ed Job (ed.job@ccgir.com)
          Investor Relations Contact
          CCGK Investor Relations
          Phone: +1-866-704-6710 (US)
                 +1-646-213-1914


CENTERPOINT ENERGY: AR Court Orders Dismissal of "Johnson" Case
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Arkansas Supreme Court ordered Judge James Hudson Jr. of
Miller County Circuit Court to dismiss the class action, "Weldon
Johnson and Guy Sparks, et al. v. Centerpoint Energy, Inc. et
al., No. 04-327-2," which alleges that Centerpoint, and several
other firms were involved in a fraudulent natural gas selling
scheme, Michelle Massey of The Southeast Texas Record reports.

The ruling, issued on Feb. 14, 2008, affirms and enforces an
earlier decision that ruled the state regulatory agencies
including the Arkansas Public Service Commission and the Texas
Railroad Commission has exclusive jurisdiction and sole
authority over gas rates, according to The Southeast Texas
Record.

It came after defendants petitioned the Arkansas Supreme Court,
seeking an extraordinary writ to stop the Miller County Circuit
Court from continuing with proceedings.  

The Southeast Texas Record reports, Centerpoint argued that the
circuit court exceeded its jurisdiction in failing to recognize
or obey the Arkansas Supreme Court's early opinion of June 7,
2007, in which the higher court ruled that the Arkansas Public
Service Commission has exclusive jurisdiction over the rate
issues alleged in the case.

After the first opinion was released, defendants filed a motion
to dismiss the case with the circuit court.  However, the
plaintiffs responded arguing that the Arkansas Supreme Court's
opinion did not dismiss any parties or any claims.  

They further held that the opinion did not change the essence of
the case, which the plaintiffs contend was about rates and not
about fraud.

Thus, Judge Hudson denied the motions to dismiss, but stayed all
Arkansas claims pending the public service commission's
decision.  

However, as reported by The Southeast Texas Record, the judge
"explicitly refused to dismiss" the Arkansas plaintiff, and
stated that venue was proper based the retention of the Arkansas
residents' claims.

In the recently issued opinion by the Arkansas Supreme Court,
the defendants were asking for the higher court to enforce its
early decision and order the lower court to dismiss the case,
The Southeast Texas Record reports.

                        Case Background

The suit was filed on Oct. 8, 2004.  Miller County, Ark.,
resident Weldon Johnson and Bowie County, Texas, resident Guy
Sparks (later replaced by Angela Engledowl) filed the original
complaint with the Miller County Circuit Court.

Named as defendants in the matter are (Class Action Reporter,
April 27, 2007):

     -- Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline L.P.;
     -- Kinder Morgan G.P., Inc.;
     -- KM Texas Pipeline, L.P.;
     -- Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline G.P., Inc.;
     -- Kinder Morgan Tejas Pipeline G.P., Inc.;
     -- Kinder Morgan Tejas Pipeline, L.P.;
     -- Gulf Energy Marketing, LLC;
     -- Tejas Gas, LLC;
     -- Midcon Corp.; and
     -- CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

It purports to bring a class action on behalf of those who
purchased natural gas from the defendants from Oct. 1, 1994 to
the date of class certification.

In general, the suit accuses defendants of fraudulently fixing
the price of natural gas, conspiring to artificially inflate the
cost of natural gas, and passing the cost to residential and
commercial customers as a regular "add on" to their base charges
(Class Action Reporter, June 27, 2006).  

The scheme allegedly allowed defendants to buy cheaper gas to
sell at greater profits to manufacturers, industrial users and
oil refineries.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Phillip N. Cockrell, Esq.
          (pcockrell@pattonroberts.com)
          Patton, Roberts, McWilliams & Capshaw Century Plaza
          Suite 400, 2900 St. Michael Drive
          P.O. Box 6128
          Texarkana, Texas 75505-6128
          Phone: 903-334-7000
          Fax: 903-334-7007
          Web Site: http://www.pattonroberts.com

Representing the defendant is:

          B. Daryl Bristow, Esq. (d.bristow@bakerbotts.com)
          Baker Botts L.L.P.
          One Shell Plaza, 910 Louisiana
          Houston, Texas 77002
          Phone: 713-229-1400
          Fax: 713-229-2800
          Web site: http://www.bakerbotts.com/


CIGNA CORP: Cash Balance Plan Not Discriminatory, Court Rules  
-------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. District Judge Mark R. Kravitz of the U.S. District Court
for the District of Connecticut ruled after conducting a seven-
day non-jury trial that CIGNA Corp.'s cash balance plan did not
run afoul of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's  
anti-backloading prohibition, Plan Adviser reports.

Plan Adviser recalls that CIGNA converted its traditional
defined benefit plan to a cash balance plan in 1998.  A group of
participants filed a lawsuit in 2001 contending that the cash
balance program was age discriminatory, violated ERISA's anti-
backloading rule, and resulted in the forfeiture of accrued
benefits.  The participants further alleged that CIGNA's notice
of the plan conversion did not comply with ERISA.

The district court certified the lawsuit as a class action
consisting of approximately 25,000 CIGNA employees and retirees
in December 2002.

What the plaintiffs saw as age discrimination, Judge Kravitz
stated in his order, was only the transition from a traditional
pension plan that was heavily age-favored to a cash balance plan
that was "still age-favored but less so."

In terms of an ERISA Section 204(b)(1)(H) violation, Judge
Kravitz agreed with CIGNA that in determining the "rate of
benefit accrual," courts should focus on what an employer puts
into a plan, rather than what an employee takes out of the plan
at retirement.  Judge Kravitz pointed out that while federal
courts have differed on the issue of how to define "rate of
benefit accrual," the large majority of courts that have found
that the phrase should be defined by looking at employer
"inputs" rather than employee "outputs."

Also, Judge Kravitz admitted, when there is wear away, even
though the employee continues to work for CIGNA and continues to
receive benefit credits, the employee's expected retirement
benefits have not grown beyond what the employee was entitled to
before the conversion.

According to Plan Adviser, the court next rejected the
participants' argument that the plan violated ERISA's anti-
backloading rule, which prohibits employers from pushing the
bulk of retirement benefits to their employees' pensions until
late in the employees' careers.

As for CIGNA's notice of the plan conversion, Judge Kravitz said
that it was improper, Business Insurance relates.  The
Philadelphia-based insurer did not give a key notice to
employees as required by ERISA, and its summary plan
descriptions and other materials were inadequate under the
federal statute and in some cases "downright misleading," the
judge ruled.

Judge Kravitz pointed out that ERISA emphasizes the importance
of disclosing details of a company's pension plan to enable
employees to prepare for retirement.  This, he said, is where
CIGNA failed to fulfill its obligations; the company did not
provide its employees with the information they needed to
understand the conversion from a traditional defined benefit
plan to a cash balance plan and its effect on their retirement
benefits.

CIGNA's statements, the ruling contained, misled plan
participants to believe that significant reductions in the rate
of future benefit accruals were not a component or a possible
result of the cash balance plan.

Business Insurance notes that Judge Kravitz ordered the parties
to file briefs by March 17, 2008, regarding potential damages.

The ruling in Amara v. Cigna Corp., D. Conn., No. 3:01CV2361
(MRK), 2/15/08  can be viewed at:

http://www.plansponsor.com/uploadfiles/cignacashbalruling.pdf

The plaintiffs are represented by:

     Stephen R. Bruce, Esq. (stephen.bruce@prodigy.net)
     Stephen R. Bruce Law Offices
     805 15th St. NW # 210
     Washington, DC 20005
     Phone: (202) 371-8013
     Fax: (202) 371-0121


COMCAST CORP: Faces D.C. Lawsuit Over Peer-to-Peer Traffic
----------------------------------------------------------
The law firm Gilbert Randolph LLP filed a class action with the
Superior Court for the District of Columbia against Comcast  
Corp.'s D.C. operations for false advertising related to the
speed of its Internet service, Erin Killian of the Washington
Business Journal reports.

According to Business Journal, at issue is whether an Internet
service provider has the right to manage the flow of Internet
traffic.  Peer-to-peer files often take up a lot of bandwidth
that can slow down networks during peak times.

Named plaintiff Sanford Sidner brings the lawsuit on behalf of
D.C. residents who have subscribed to Comcast's high-speed
Internet service during the past three years.

The complaint alleges that Comcast (Nasdaq:CMCSA) does not have
the "fastest Internet connection" as it advertises because it
"intentionally blocks or impedes its customer's access to peer-
to-peer file sharing."

It further alleges that Comcast sends forged "reset packets"
telling the transmitting computers attempting to share files to
stop sending data.

According to the report, Philadelphia-based Comcast denies
blocking or impeding its service.

"To be clear, Comcast does not, has not, and will not block any
Web sites or online applications, including peer-to-peer
services, and no one has demonstrated otherwise," Comcast
spokesman Charlie Douglas told Business Journal.  He said that a
minority of their customers use peer-to-peer.

"Sometimes we have to delay [the sharing] because of the volume
of it," Mr. Douglas said, so that the rest of the company's
customers aren't affected by the network being bogged down by
peer-to-peer.

According to Business Journal, Mr. Douglas would not comment
specifically on the D.C. Lawsuit.

To contact the law firm:

          Gilbert Randolph LLP
          1100 New York Avenue, NW
          Suite 700
          Washington, DC 20005
          Phone: (202) 772-2200
          Fax: (202) 772-3333
          Web site: http://www.gilbertrandolph.com


DOEREN MAYHEW: Faces Big Property Scam Allegations in Michigan
--------------------------------------------------------------
Doeren Mayhew and Co., P.C. -- doing business as Doren Mayhew --
is facing a class-action complaint filed on Feb. 12, 2008, with
the Circuit Court for the County of Oakland in the State of
Michigan alleging that the company defrauded 500 to 1,200
investors of $74 million to $450 million for ostensible property
investments from 1998 until 2007, CourtHouse News Service
reports.

According to the report, plaintiffs claim that Ed May took their
money by lying that several LLCs had contracts to install
telecommunications equipment into hotels and casinos, and that
Mr. May's partners or agents, defendants James O'Rilley and Tom
Fox, participated in the frauds by "plac(ing) their respective
wives in charge of bookkeeping of the LLCs formed by May."

The plaintiffs request that the court enter a monetary judgment
equal to the actual damages suffered by class members, together
with reasonable attorney fees, interest and costs.

The suit is "Kenneth Huff et al. v. Doeren Mayhew & Co., PC,
Case No. 08-089299-NM," filed with the Circuit Court for the
County of Oakland, State of Michigan.

Representing plaintiffs are:

          Sheldon L. Miller, Esq. (smiller@sheldonmiller.com)
          Law Office of Sheldon L. Miller, PC
          31731 Northwestern, Ste. 280W
          Farmington Hills, MI 48334
          Phone: (248) 538-3400

          Hans G. Poppe, Esq.
          The Poppe Law Firm
          6004 Brownsboro Park Blvd. Ste. E
          Louisville, KY 40207
          Phone: (502) 895-3400

               - and -

          William Shepherd, Esq.
          Shepherd Smith & Edwards, LLP
          1010 Lamar, Ste. 900
          Houston, TX 77002
          Phone: (713) 227-2400


E*TRADE SECURITIES: Accused of Unfair Charges in Calif. Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discount broker E*Trade Securities, LLC, is facing a class-
action complaint filed with the Superior Court of the State of
California, County of San Diego accusing it of unfair charges,
the CourtHouse News Service reports.

Named plaintiff Josh Mangini claims that E*Trade breaches
contracts by charging customers a quarterly "account services
fee" though their Brokerage Customer Agreements, which state
that no such fees will be charged in the first year.

Mr. Mangini brings this action to recover damages and other
relief available at law and in equity on behalf of all persons
or entities who were charged the full quarterly account services
fee when part or all of the quarter was within the account's
first year anniversary.

The plaintiff requests that the court grant the following
relief:

     -- certification of the proposed class and notice thereto
        to be paid by defendant;

     -- adjudge and decree that defendant has engaged in the
        conduct alleged;

     -- for compensatory and general damages according to proof
        on certain causes of action;

     -- for both pre- and post-judgment interest at the maximum
        allowable rate on any amounts awarded;

     -- costs of the proceedings;

     -- reasonable attorneys fees as allowed by statute; and

     -- any and all such other and further relief that this
        court may deem just and proper.

The suit is "Josh Mangini, et al., vs. E*Trade Securities, LLC,
Case No. 37-2008-00077999-CU-BC-CTL," filed with the Superior
Court of the State of California, County of San Diego.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Brian S. Kabateck, Esq. (bsk@kbklawyers.com)
          Richard L. Kellner, Esq. (rlk@kbklawyers.com)
          Alfredo Torrijos, Esq. (at@kbklawyers.com)
          Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP
          644 South Figueroa Street
          Los Angeles, CA 90017
          Phone: (213) 217-5000
          Fax: (213) 217-5010


FORD MOTOR: City of Florence Joins Suit Over Ambulance Troubles
---------------------------------------------------------------
Recurring engine problems in two ambulances led the city of
Florence and its fire department to join a class action lawsuit
against Ford Motor Co. on Feb. 12, 2008, Community Press
reports.  

According to Local12.com, a federal court in Texas is handling
the Ford Lawsuit and dozens, potentially hundreds, of fire
departments are signing on.

Local 12's Lauren Bercarich notes that constant engine trouble
means that the ambulances people rely on are too often out of
service.

Chief Marc Muench told Community Press that the city's two six-
liter diesel ambulances have been a constant headache since they
were purchased in 2005.  "They have been problematic to say the
least, especially in the configuration of these ambulances," Mr.
Muench said. "Thankfully, we've been fortunate to have a reserve
ambulance to cover ourselves."

Community Press relates that the Florence Fire Department
currently has four ambulances for its more than 5,000 annual
service runs, but only two are Ford's six-liter model, which
debuted in 2003.

Local 12 cites Mr. Muench as saying that all the problems with
the two Ford ambulances can be traced to their diesel engine.
The chief said that the vehicles have been off a combined 140
days in three years, which means 140 days in the shop, thanks to
a long list of repairs the department has documented.

Mr. Muench also told Local 12 that in times of crisis, they have
put an older engine to use, even borrowed an ambulance, and that
when the exhaust pipe pumped out smoke, they hobbled into the
hospital.

Mr. Muench said he just wants the problem to be fixed by Ford.  

Community Press says that, according to Dan Pederson, Esq., of
Page, Wolfberg, and Wirth LLC, in Pennsylvania, departments
across the country have been experiencing engine problems such
as blown gaskets, radiator hoses and sensors.  The firm, which
specializes in the ambulance industry, was hired by the law firm
Weller, Green, Toups and Terrell to seek out departments for the
class-action lawsuit filed in Texas.

Florence's two ambulance engines are under warranty until
January 2009 and the lawsuit will not cost the city of Florence,
the reports note.


HANCOCK FABRICS: Reaches Settlement in Ill. FACTA Litigation
------------------------------------------------------------
Hancock Fabrics, Inc., reached a tentative settlement in the
matter, "Kathy Aliano v. Hancock Fabrics, Inc., et al., Case No.
07-C-4109," which generally alleges violation of the Fair and
Accurate Credit Transactions Act.

On July 20, 2007, a putative class action was commenced against
the Company, and others including the Company's officers,
directors, employees, and agents with the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of Illinois.

The complaint alleges violation by the Company of the Fair and
Accurate Credit Transactions Act amendment to the Fair Credit
Reporting Act, which prohibits the printing of more than the
last five digits of a credit card number or the expiration date
on customer receipts.

It seeks:

       -- statutory damages;
       -- attorneys’ fees, litigation expenses, and costs; and
       -- other relief the court may deem proper.  

The Company has reached a settlement in the matter, according to
the company's Feb. 19, 2008 form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
Feb. 3, 2007.

The suit is "Kathy Aliano v. Hancock Fabrics, Inc., et al., Case
No. 07-C-4109," filed with the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois, Judge Joan H. Lefkow.

Representing the plaintiff is:

          Thomas A. Zimmerman, Jr., Esq. (tom@attorneyzim.com)
          Zimmerman Law Offices, P.C.
          100 West Monroe, Suite 1300
          Phone: Chicago, IL 60603
          Fax: (312) 440-0020


ISRAEL: Big Retailers Face Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Over Eggs
-----------------------------------------------------------
A motion to accept a class action suit for consumer fraud
relating to the sale of eggs branded "Super Fresh" has been
filed with the Central District District Court in Tel-Aviv,
against a series of retail chains and distributors, Nurit Roth
of the Haaretz Daily reports.

The defendants named in the suit are:

     -- Tnuva retail chains, Super-Sol, AM:PM and Mega, and
     -- egg distributors including Tnuva

Named plaintiff Eli Osteron claims that retail chains have
conspired to force Israeli consumers to buy eggs at exaggerated
prices, by causing normal, price-regulated eggs to disappear
from the shelves of stores all over the country and selling
these same eggs under a new name: "Super Fresh."

According to the motion, marketers and retail chains added on
about ILS1.1 billion between 2004 and 2007 as a result of
allegedly fraudulent sale of Super Fresh eggs.

Mr. Osteron asserts that he has often been unable to find
standard eggs on store shelves, and instead offered only the
choice of 'Super Fresh' eggs -- at the cost of about 70% more
than standard, price-regulated eggs.

According to Mr. Osteron, there is no difference between the
two, aside from their different packaging and the exaggerated
price of 'Super Fresh' eggs.  Mr. Osteron claims that even if
there were justification for the sale of 'Super Fresh' eggs,
there is no justification for allowing egg distributors to sell
these for an average price of 60% to 70% higher than standard
eggs.

According to the plaintiff, egg marketers' claim that "Super
Fresh" eggs are taken off store shelves eight days after they
are laid is unfounded, since retailers do not know when the eggs
were laid.

In addition, the plaintiff alleges that on various occasions he
has seen store shelves offering eggs that were laid more than
eight days prior.

In the report, Super-Sol says that it has not yet received the
statement of claim.


MERCK FROSST: Seeks Appellate Review of Vioxx Case Certification
----------------------------------------------------------------
Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. has learned that the Saskatchewan Court
of Queen's Bench has decided to certify class proceedings in a
lawsuit regarding VIOXX(R).  The Company intends to seek
appellate review of the decision because it believes that each
plaintiff's case should be tried separately.

"Our legal strategy remains the same," said Maurice Laprairie,
Esq., of MacPherson, Leslie & Tyerman LLP, Saskatchewan counsel
for Merck Frosst and Merck & Co., Inc.  "Although we argued
against the creation of a class, the Court's decision still
requires that each plaintiff must prove his or her claims on an
individual basis because each plaintiff's case is unique and
depends on an individual set of facts. Heart attacks, for
example, are unfortunately common in the population and caused
by many different risk factors."

"The Company intends to defend these cases vigorously over the
coming years, and we are confident that the courts will decide
these cases based on sound science," said Mary M. Thomson, Esq.,
of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, Canadian national counsel for
Merck Frosst and Merck & Co., Inc.  "We will continue to argue
that centralized judicial management of individual cases, not a
class action, is the preferable procedure for trying each case
in a fair and expeditious manner."

Merck acted responsibly -- from researching VIOXX prior to
approval in clinical trials involving almost 10,000 patients to
monitoring the medicine while it was on the market -- to
voluntarily withdrawing the medicine when we did.

Filed in early 2007, the suit alleges the painkiller Vioxx
caused serious, even fatal, side effects including heart
problems (Class Action Reporter, Jan. 29, 2007).

On Nov. 9, 2007, Merck & Co., Inc entered into a resolution
agreement concerning individual product liability claims against
the Company in the United States.  That agreement does not admit
fault or causation and does not apply to Canada.  VIOXX lawsuits
outside the United States are in various stages of the legal
process in different countries with different rules and judicial
processes.

Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. --  http://www.merckfrosst.com-- is a  
research-driven pharmaceutical company. Merck Frosst discovers,
develops and markets a broad range of innovative medicines to
improve human health. The Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic
Research, one of the largest biomedical research facilities in
Canada, has the mandate to discover new therapies for the
treatment of respiratory diseases, inflammatory diseases,
diabetes and osteoporosis.

Contact:

          Maurice Laprairie, Esq. (mlaprairie@mlt.com)
          MacPherson, Leslie & Tyerman LLP
          1500 Hill Centre I
          1874 Scarth Street
          Regina, SK S4P 4E9   
          Phone: (306) 347-8422
          Fax: (306) 352-5250
          Web site: http://www.mlt.com/

    
PAINCARE HOLDINGS: Court Denies Dismissal Bid v. Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
denied a motion to dismiss a consolidated securities class
action filed against Paincare Holdings, Inc.

On March 21, 2006, Roy Thomas Mould filed a complaint under
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of
1934 against the company, as well as the company's chief
executive officer and chief financial officer.  

The complaint is "Mould v. PainCare Holdings, Inc., et al., Case
No. 06-CV-00362-JA-DAB."  Mr. Mould alleges material
misrepresentations and omissions in connection with the
company's financial statements, which appear to relate
principally to the Paincare Holdings' previously announced
intention to restate certain past financial statements.

Ten additional complaints were filed shortly afterward before
the same court, which recite similar allegations.  

Subsequently, a lead counsel was selected, a consolidated
complaint was filed, the company moved to dismiss, and an oral
argument on the motion was held on Jan. 17, 2007, before the
Magistrate Judge.

In the consolidated complaint, the lead plaintiff seeks
unspecified damages and purports to represent a class of
shareholders who purchased the company's common stock from
March 24, 2003 and March 15, 2006.

On March 26, 2007, the Federal Magistrate recommended that the
District Court dismiss all outstanding claims with leave to
amend.

On April 25, 2007, the District Court signed an order adopting
the Magistrate’s report and dismissed the Securities Litigation,
with leave to amend.

An amended consolidated class action complaint was filed on
May 23, 2007.  By motion filed June 7, 2007, the Company again
moved to dismiss the action.

The defendants, the corporate issuer, and its two top
executives, moved to dismiss on the ground that, among other
things, the complaint failed to adequately allege scienter.

The court held a hearing regarding the Company's dismissal
motion.  At the conclusion of the hearing, the matter was taken
under submission by the court on Aug. 15, 2007.

In 2008, the motion to dismiss was denied.  In denying the
defendants' motion, the Court held that a plaintiff alleging
fraud in a Section 10(b) action must plead facts rendering an
inference of scienter at least as likely as any plausible
opposing inference, according to an article by Alan Friedman &
Jean Chung at http://www.mondaq.com/.

The suit is "Mould v. Paincare Holdings, Inc. et al., Case No.
6:06-cv-00362-JA-DAB," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Middle District of Florida under Judge John Antoon II with
referral to Judge David A. Baker.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

          Kenneth J. Vianale, Esq.
          Vianale & Vianale, LLP
          2499 Glades Road, Suite 112
          Boca Raton, FL 33431
          Phone: 561/392-4750, ext. 107
          Fax: 561/392-4775
          e-mail: e-file@vianalelaw.com

Representing the company is:

          Bruce J. Berman, Esq. (bberman@mwe.com)
          McDermott, Will & Emery
          201 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2200
          Miami, FL 33131-4336
          Phone: 305/358-3500
          Fax: 305/347-6500


PELLA CORP: Dismissal Request in ProLine Windows Suit Junked
------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
denied a motion to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit
against Pella Corporation that alleges Pella's ProLine series of
windows suffer from a design flaw that has resulted in
widespread failures.

The lawsuit, filed in August 18, 2006, also covers the "250
Series" and "450 Series" windows sold through major retailers
such as Lowe's.

Specifically, the suit alleges that Pella ProLine aluminum-clad
windows are prone to water penetration resulting in rotting of
the internal wood frame beneath the aluminum cladding.  Wood rot
requires replacement of the window sash and frame.  Because of
the aluminum cladding, such damage is not always visible to the
homeowner.

The suit is "Saltzman v. Pella Corporation et al., Case Number:
1:2006cv04481," filed with the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois, Honorable James B. Zagel,
presiding.

For more information, contact:

          Freed & Weiss
          111 West WAshington, Suite 1331
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Phone: (312) 220-0000
          e-mail: info@freedweiss.com


QANTAS AIRWAYS: Large Travel Agents Opt Out of Price-Fixing Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The class action against several major airlines over fuel
surcharges is likely to be scaled down after large travel agents
decided to opt out of the case, News.com.au relates.

As reported in the Class Action Reporter on Feb. 11, 2008, law
firm Slater & Gordon launched the action in December 2006
against six airlines on behalf of travel agents in an
attempt to recover commission on fuel surcharges.

The six airlines are:

          1. Qantas Airways
          2. Air New Zealand
          3. British Airways
          4. Cathay Pacific
          5. Singapore Airlines
          6. Malaysian Airlines

Slater & Gordon asserts that the six airlines have short-changed
travel agents by up to AU$80 million by failing to include fuel
surcharges when calculating agents' fees.  It also alleges that
the airlines breached the Trade Practices Act by forcing travel
agents to record fuel surcharges as a tax rather than part of
the fare.

According to News.com, the parties were in court on Feb. 20, to
finalize the version of an opt-out notice that is to be placed
in travel publications.  The notice informs agents about the
case and allows them to withdraw from it.

However, Justice Moore was told that in effect, "all national
chain managers and all state managers will be opting out of the
proceedings."

The Australian relates that a number of travel agents have
signed contracts with Qantas in which they have agreed to pull
out of or never be involved in future legal action relating to
the $80-million class action.

However, Qantas said that it would not discuss its commercial
contracts and denied that it had tried to force travel agents to
opt out of the case.

Travel agents opting out of the case means that hearings will be
shorter as a number of witnesses would no longer be required to
give evidence.

Qantas barrister James Lockhart said that the airline would be
"staggered" if all agencies opted out of the proceedings, and
substantial legal issues would still have to be decided.

Up to 1,400 agencies could be involved in the case.

Mr. Lockhart told News.com that Qantas had spent about
AU$134,000 preparing for an interlocutory hearing that did not
eventuate, and Slater and Gordon agreed to provide AU$100,000 in
seven days as security for legal costs.

The matter will return to court in May.

The plaintiffs are represented by:

          Steven Lewis, Esq.
          Slater & Gordon
          11th Floor, 51 Druitt Street
          Sydney NSW 2000
          Phone: 8267 0626
          Fax: 8267 0650
          Legal help line: 1800 555 777
          Web site: http://www.slatergordon.com.au/


ROO HD: Denies Wrongdoing to Wurld Media Workers in Buyout
----------------------------------------------------------
ROO HD Inc. was sued in November 2007 by former employees of
Wurld Media who claim that ROO HD's acquisition of Wurld Media
assets was structured in a way that would keep ROO HD from
paying their salaries and benefits.

In an update, Timesunion.com says that ROO HD, which is a
subsidiary of ROO Group Inc. of New York City, responded to the
class-action lawsuit in a court filing with the Supreme Court in
Saratoga County.  In its filing, ROO HD denied that the Wurld
Media deal was designed to avoid giving employees back pay and
retirement benefits.

Timesunion's Larry Rulison writes that ROO HD argued that the
class-action lawsuit is without merit.

ROO HD also stated that it deposited $456,087 into escrow to pay
former Wurld Media employees.

"Wurld retained sufficient assets to cover all outstanding
claims of all creditors," ROO's attorneys wrote in its Jan. 10,
2008 filing.  "Defendant is not responsible for any of Wurld's
outstanding debts or obligations to the plaintiffs."

The report recounts that ROO HD acquired Wurld Media assets in
July 2007 and then opened an office with about a dozen former
Wurld Media employees in Clifton Park.  Wurld Media, Timesunion
explains, was once a high-flying Saratoga Springs online music
and video sharing service and e-commerce business that fell on
hard times in 2006.  ROO, on the other hand, sells online video
software and content.

However, ROO HD abruptly shut the Clifton Park office in January
2008, two months after Wurld Media's co-founder Gregory Kerber
was indicted along with former Wurld Media financial officer
Richard Saxton on felony grand larceny and money laundering
charges, in addition to other financial crimes.

Wurld media's former employees claim in two different class-
action lawsuits that Wurld Media management failed to issue
paychecks starting in March 2006 and unlawfully deducted 401(k)
contributions from salaries without putting the money into the
company's retirement plan.

The first lawsuit, Timesunion recalls, was filed in late 2006
against Wurld Media with the federal court in Albany.  That case
has since gone to arbitration, Timesunion relates.

The class action against ROO HD is the second lawsuit, filed
with the state court in Saratoga County in November 2007.  


ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Sup. Ct. Denies Certiorari in "Lopez" Case
-----------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition requesting that it
grant certiorari jurisdiction over a purported class action
Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. and one of its cruise brands that
was dismissed.

The suit, "Lopez v. Royal Caribbean, Case No. 1:05-cv-21159-
MGC," was filed in April 2005 with the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of Florida.

It alleges that the company's Celebrity Cruises Lines improperly
requires its cabin stewards to share guest gratuities with
assistant cabin stewards.   

The suit seeks payment of damages including penalty wages under
46 U.S.C. Section 10113 of U.S. law and interest.

In March 2006, the Southern District of Florida dismissed the
suit and held that the case should be arbitrated pursuant to the
arbitration provision in Celebrity's collective bargaining
agreement.

In June 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
affirmed the District Court's order dismissing the suit, and
subsequently denied the plaintiff’s petition for re-hearing and
petition for re-hearing enbanc.

In January 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the plaintiff's
petition requesting that the Court grant certiorari jurisdiction
over the action, according to the company's Feb. 19, 2008 form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

The suit is "Lopez v. Royal Caribbean, Case No. 1:05-cv-21159-
MGC," filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Florida, Judge Marcia G. Cooke presiding.

Representing the plaintiff is:

          James Madison Walker, Esq. (jwalker@cruiselaw.com)
          Walker & O'Neill PA
          7301 SW 57th Court
          Plaza 57, Suite 430
          South Miami, FL 33143
          Phone: 305-995-5300
          Fax: 305-995-5310

Representing the defendant is:

          Keith Steven Brais, Esq. (gcraft@braislaw.com)
          McAlpin & Brais
          80 SW 8th Street, Suite 2805
          Miami, FL 33130
          Phone: 305-810-5400
          Fax: 305-810-5401


ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Plaintiffs Appeal Arbitration Order in CA Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiffs in the matter captioned "Michael Rogers et al v.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines et al., Case No. 2:06-cv-04574-SVW-
E," are appealing an arbitration order in their case to the U.S.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, according to the company's
Feb. 19, 2008 form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

In July 2006, a purported class action lawsuit was filed with
the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California,
alleging that the company failed to timely pay crew wages and
failed to pay proper crew overtime.

The suit seeks payment of damages, including penalty wages under
the U.S. Seaman's Wage Act and equitable relief damages under
the California Unfair Competition Law.

In December 2006, the District Court granted the company's
motion to dismiss the claim and held that it should be
arbitrated pursuant to the arbitration provision in Royal
Caribbean's collective bargaining agreement.

In January 2007, the plaintiffs appealed the order to the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The suit is "Michael Rogers et al v. Royal Caribbean Cruise
Lines et al., Case No. 2:06-cv-04574-SVW-E," filed with the  
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California,
Judge Stephen V. Wilson presiding.

Representing the plaintiff is:

          Joseph S. Farzam, Esq. (farzam@lawyer.com)
          Farzam and Associates
          1875 Century Park East, Suite 1345
          Los Angleles, CA 90067
          Phone: 310-226-6890

Representing the defendant is:

          Sanford L. Bohrer, Esq. (sandy.bohrer@hklaw.com)
          Holland & Knight
          701 Brickell Avenue, Suite 3000
          Miami, FL 33131
          Phone: 305-374-8500

    
ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Motion to Transfer Copyright Suit Still Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
A motion by Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. to transfer an
intellectual rights class action filed against it with the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York to the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Florida remains
pending.

The suit was filed on January 2006.  It alleges that the company
infringed rights in copyrighted works and other intellectual
property by presenting performances on company cruise ships
without securing the necessary licenses.   

The suit seeks payment of damages, disgorgement of profits and a
permanent injunction against future infringement.  

In April 2006, the company filed a motion to sever and transfer
the case to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of  
Florida.  The motion is pending, according to the company's
Feb. 19, 2008 form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

The suit is "Jacobs et al. v. Carnival Corp., et al., Case No.
1:06-cv-00606-DAB," filed with the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York, Judge Deborah A. Batts presiding.   

Representing the plaintiffs is:

         Howard J. Schwartz Porzio, Esq. (hjschwartz@pbnlaw.com)
         Bromberg & Newman, P.C.
         156 West 56th St.
         New York, NY 10019-3800
         Phone: (212) 265-6888

Representing the defendants is:
      
         Frank W. Ryan, Esq. (fryan@nixonpeabody.com)
         Nixon Peabody, LLP
         437 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022
         Phone: (212) 940-3129
         Fax: (866) 947-2289


SPRINT NEXTEL: Faces MI Suit Over 3rd-Party Text Messages Fees
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sprint Nextel Corp. is facing a class-action complaint filed
with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Michigan alleging that it cheats customers and breaches contract
by charging them for unwanted third-party text messages,
CourtHouse News Service reports.

Named plaintiff Mitchell Witkowski challenges the reasonableness
of defendants' rates that are charged for air time, but alleges
only a breach of contract.

The plaintiff brings the action pursuant to the provisions of
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 23, on behalf of all
individual persons or entities in Michigan and all other states
who were billed by defendants for third-party text message
charges, in breach of contract, at any time during the relevant
time period (which shall be the subject of discovery but at
least six years prior to the dates of filing).

The plaintiff wants the court to rule on:

     (a) whether defendants are wrongfully charging and
         collecting fees for text messages;

     (b) the amount of additional revenue and profit unjustly
         derived by defendants from the conduct complained of;

     (c) the appropriate nature of class-wide equitable relief;
         and

     (d) whether plaintiff and the class sustained damages and
         the appropriate measure thereof.

The plaintiff and the class request judgment in their favor in
an amount to be determined, plus costs, interest and attorneys'
fees, punitive and exemplary damages, and permanent and
injunctive relief.

The suit is "Mitchell Witkowski et al. v. Sprint Nextel Corp.,
Case No. 2:08-cv-10676," filed with the U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of Michigan, Judge John Feikens, presiding.

Representing plaintiffs are:

          Gerard V. Mantese, Esq. (gmantese@manteselaw.com)
          Mark C. Rossman, Esq. (mrossman@manteselaw.com)
          Mantese and Rossman PC
          1361 E. Big Beaver Road
          Troy, MI 48083
          Phone: (248) 457-9200


U.S. FINANCIAL: Sued in CA Over Loans with Negative Amortization
----------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Financial Mortgage Co. is facing a class-action complaint
filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
California alleging that U.S. Financial deceives the public by
concealing information in mortgage loans with negative
amortization, CourtHouse News Service reports.

Named plaintiff Ann s. Hill alleges:

     -- violations of the Truth in Lending Act, 15 USC Section
        1601, et seq.;

     -- violation of Bus. & Prof. Code Section 17200, et seq. --
        "Unlawful" Business Practices (TILA);

     -- fraudulent omissions;

     -- violation of Bus. & Prof. Code Section 17200, et seq. -
        "Unfair" and "Fraudulent" Business Practices;

     -- breach of contract;

     -- tortiuous breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair
        Dealing; and

     -- violation of Bus. & Prof. Code Section 17200, et seq. --
        "Unalawful" Business Practices (Fin. Code Section
        22302).

According to the complaint, the instant action arises out of
residential mortgage loan transactions in which Defendants
failed to disclose pertinent information in a clear and
conspicuous manner to Plaintiffs and the Class members, in
writing, as required by law.

This action also concerns the defendant's unlawful, fraudulent
and unfair business acts or practices.  The defendant engaged in
a campaign of deceptive conduct and concealment aimed at
maximizing the number of consumers who would accept this type of
loan in order to maximize profits, even as it knew the conduct
would cause many of its consumers to lose their homes through
foreclosure.

The plaintiff brings the action, pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure, Rules 23(a), and 23(b), on behalf of the
following classes:

   * The California Class: All individuals who, within the four
     year period preceding the filing of Plaintiff ’ Complaint
     through the date notice is mailed to the Class, received an
     Option ARM loan through Defendant on their primary
     residence located in the State of California.

   * The National Class: All individuals in the United States of
     America who, within the four year period preceding the
     filing of Plaintiff ’ complaint through the date notice is
     mailed to the Class, received an Option ARM loan through
     Defendant on their primary residence located in the United
     States of America.

The plaintiff wants the court to rule on:

     (1) whether the defendant's acts and practices violate the
         Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1601, et seq;

     (2) whether the defendant's conduct violated 12 C.F.R.
         Section 226.17;

     (3) Whether the defendant's conduct violated 12 C.F.R.  
         Section 226.19;

     (4) Whether the defendant engaged in unfair business
         practices aimed at deceiving Plaintiff and the Class
         members before and during the loan application process;

     (5) Whether the defendant, by and through their officers,
         employees, and agents failed to disclose that the
         interest rate actually charged on these loans was
         higher than the rate represented and promised to
         Plaintiff and the Class members;

     (6) Whether the defendant, by and through their officers,
         employees and agents concealed, omitted and
         otherwise failed to disclose information they were
         mandated to disclose under TILA;

     (7) Whether the defendant failed to disclose the true
         variable nature of interest rates on adjustable rate
         mortgage loans and adjustable rate home equity loans;

     (8) Whether the defendant failed to properly disclose the
         process by which negative amortization occurs,
         ultimately resulting in the recasting of the payment
         structure over the remaining lifetime of the loans;

     (9) Whether the defendant's failure to apply the
         plaintiff's and the Class members’ payments to
         principal as promised in the standardized form Note(s)
         constitutes a breach of contract, including a tortiuous
         breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing;

    (10) Whether the defendant's conduct in immediately raising
         the interest rate on consumers' loans so that no
         payments were applied to the principal balance
         constitutes a tortiuous breach of the covenant of good
         faith and fair dealing;

    (11) Whether the defendant's marketing plan and scheme
         misleadingly portrayed or implied that these loans were
         fixed rate loans, when Defendant knew that only the  
         periodic payments were fixed (for a time) but that
         interest rates were not, in fact, "fixed;"

    (12) Whether the terms and conditions of the defendant's
         Option ARM home loan are unconscionable;

    (13) Whether the plaintiff and the Class are entitled to
         damages;

    (14) Whether the plaintiff and the Class members are
         entitled to punitive damages; and

    (15) Whether the plaintiff and the Class members are
         entitled to rescission.

The plaintiff and all Class members pray for:

     -- an order certifying this case as a class action and
        appointing Plaintiff and their counsel to represent the
        Class;

     -- actual damages according to proof;

     -- compensatory damages as permitted by law;

     -- consequential damages as permitted by law;

     -- punitive damages as permitted by law;

     -- rescission;

     -- equitable relief, including restitution;

     -- restitutionary disgorgement of all profits Defendant
        obtained as a result of their unfair competition;

     -- interest as permitted by law;

     -- Declaratory Relief;

     -- a mandatory injunction requiring the defendant to
        permanently include in every Option ARM loan and
        disclosure statement:

        (i) clear and conspicuous disclosure of the actual
            interest rate on the Note(s) and disclosure
            statement(s) as required under 12 C.F.R. Section
            226.17 by;

       (ii) clear and conspicuous disclosure in the Note(s) and
            the disclosure statement(s) that payments on the
            variable interest rate loan during the initial
            period at the teaser rate will result in negative
            amortization and that the principal balance will
            increase as required under 12 C.F.R. Section 226.19;
            and

      (iii) clear and conspicuous disclosure that the initial
            interest rate provided is discounted and does not
            reflect the actual interest that Plaintiff and Class
            members would be paying on the Note(s);

     -- reasonable attorneys' fees and costs; and

     -- such other relief as is just and proper.

The suit is "Ann S. Hill et al. v. U.S. Financial Mortgage
Corporation," filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Michigan.

Representing plaintiffs are:

          David M. Arbogast, Esq.
          Spiro Moss Barness LLP
          11377 W. Olympic Boulevard, Fifth Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90064-1683
          Phone: (310) 235-2468
          Fax: (310) 235-2456
          e-mail: info@spiromoss.com

          Jonathan Shub, Esq. (jshub@seegerweiss.com)
          Seeger Weiss LLP
          1515 Market Street, Suite 1380
          Philadelphia, PA 19107
          Phone: (215) 564-2300
          Fax (215) 851-8029

          Paul R. Kiesel, Esq. (kiesel@kbla.com)
          Patrick Deblase, Esq. (deblase@kbla.com)
          Michael C. Eyerly, Esq. (eyerly@kbla.com)
          Kiesel Boucher Larson LLP
          8648 Wilshire Boulevard
          Beverly Hills, California 90210
          Phone: (310) 854-4444
          Fax: (310) 854-0812

          Jeffrey K. Berns, Esq.
          Law Offices of Jeffrey K. Berns
          19510 Ventura Blvd, Suite 200
          Tarzana, California 91356
          Phone: (818) 961-2000
          Fax: (818) 867-4820

               - and -

          Marcus J. Jackson, Esq.
          751 Center Dr., Suite 108-456
          San Marcos, CA 92069
          Phone: (760) 291-1755
          Fax: (760) 432-6109


U.S. SECRET SERVICE: Inspector Admits Destroying Original Proof
---------------------------------------------------------------
Senior U.S. Secret Service inspector Carrie Hunnicutt admitted
on Feb. 20, 2008, that she destroyed original evidence sought in
a long-standing lawsuit alleging that the service routinely
discriminates against African American agents, Austin American-
Statesman reports.

According to American-Statesman, the team of assistant U.S.
attorneys representing the Secret Service told U.S. Magistrate
Judge Deborah A. Robinson that they did not know that the
inspector got rid of the documents just two days before she was
scheduled to testify in the case.

Ms. Hunnicutt testified that she questioned more than 150 senior
service officials under an order from Judge Robinson about their
search for all paper documents related to the promotion of black
agents in a civil lawsuit filed in federal court eight years
ago.

The report recalls that nearly 60 African Americans allege in
sworn statements that they were leapfrogged by white agents who
scored lower on promotional exams and forced to endure the use
of the word "nigger" on the job.  They are seeking certification
for a class-action lawsuit, but so far have not made it past the
discovery stage.

Ms. Hunnicutt testified that she destroyed surveys from 50 high
ranking officials; a statistical report; fax sheets and
documents that showed who was contacted during the service's
search for paper documents in the case.  The senior inspector
said she placed the documents in a "burn bag" on Jan. 30, 2008.

American-Statesman relates that the Feb. 20 hearing was the 7th
hearing held by Judge Robinson to determine whether to sanction
the service again for failing to produce credible testimony and
evidence in the lawsuit.  Judge Robinson has already sanctioned
the service three times.

Judge Robinson told the lawyers that she was "shocked" that a
Secret Service agent would destroy documents.  The Secret
Service's own counsel has ordered the agency's employees to
retain all documents relevant to the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marina Utgoff Braswell told Judge
Robinson that she and the rest of the legal team did not learn
about the extent of the destruction until Ms. Hunnicutt
testified.

"We are all learning for the first time what happened here," Ms.
Braswell said.  Ms. Hunnicutt's supervisor told the government
lawyers that there were some "scraps of paper" that were
destroyed but he did not elude to the destruction of the
original surveys.

Ms. Braswell said that she will find out more information about
the destroyed documents in advance of the hearing because of a
court order forbidding Ms. Hunnicutt from talking to anyone
about the case.

The team of lawyers from Hogan & Hartson and Relman & Dane,
representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit pro bono, said that
the burning of the documents is an "outrageous act" and in
defiance of the service's own order to preserve all documents in
the case.

Under questioning by assistant U.S. attorney Michelle Johnson,
Ms. Hunnicutt said she destroyed the documents because she
wanted the most accurate ones to be sent to court.  Ms.
Hunnicutt said she noticed that some of the surveys, about 50,
were misnumbered in January, so she "transferred" the correct
information to the newly numbered surveys.

However, during the cross-examination, E. Desmond Hogan, Esq.,
who represents the plaintiffs, argued that by destroying the
original documents, the court would have no way to independently
verify her work as accurate.

The suit is "Moore, et al. v. U.S. Department of the Treasury
(U.S. Secret Service), Case No. 00-0953," filed with the U.S.
District Court for the District of Columbia, under Judge Richard
W. Roberts, with referral to U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A.
Robinson.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          E. Desmond Hogan, Esq. (edhogan@hhlaw.com)
          Hogan & Hartson LLP
          555 Thirteenth Street, NW
          Washington, DC 20004
          Phone: (202) 637-5493
          Fax: (202) 637-5910

               - and -

          Relman & Dane PLLC
          1225 Nineteenth Street, NW
          Washington, DC 20036-2456
          Phone: (202) 728-1888
          Web site: http://www.relmanlaw.com/


WASTE MANAGEMENT: Still Faces Stockholder Litigation in Illinois
----------------------------------------------------------------
Management Holdings, Inc., continues to face a stockholder class
action filed with an Illinois State Court, according to the
company's Feb. 19, 2008 form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
Dec. 31, 2007.

In December 1999, an individual brought an action against Waste
Management Inc., five former officers of WM Holdings, and WM
Holdings' former independent auditor, Arthur Andersen LLP, in
Illinois state court on behalf of a proposed class of
individuals who purchased WM Holdings common stock before
Nov. 3, 1994, and who held that stock through Feb. 24, 1998.

The action is for alleged acts of common law fraud, negligence
and breach of fiduciary duty.  

Waste Management, Inc. -- http://www.wm.com-- is a provider of  
integrated waste services in North America.  Through its
subsidiaries, the Company provides collection, transfer,
recycling, disposal and waste-to-energy services.


WASTE MANAGEMENT: Faces Wage and Hour Lawsuits in California
------------------------------------------------------------
Waste Management, Inc., faces two separate wage and hour
lawsuits pending in California, which are each seeking class-
action status, according to the company's Feb. 19, 2008 form 10-
K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Both actions make the same general allegations that the
defendants failed to comply with certain California wage and
hour laws, including allegedly failing to provide meal and rest
periods, and failing to properly pay hourly and overtime wages.

Waste Management, Inc. -- http://www.wm.com-- is a provider of  
integrated waste services in North America.  Through its
subsidiaries, the Company provides collection, transfer,
recycling, disposal and waste-to-energy services.


WINN-DIXIE: Securities Suit vs. Individual Defendants Dismissed
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
granted a motion that sought for the dismissal of a consolidated
securities class action filed against Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.

In February 2004, several putative class actions were filed with
the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
against Winn-Dixie and certain present and former executive
officers alleging claims under the federal securities laws.

By way of a court order, the securities laws claims were
consolidated and directed to proceed as a single consolidated
action.

As a result of Winn-Dixie's Chapter 11 filing, the automatic
stay prevented the plaintiffs in the class action from
proceeding against the Company.  Any claim against the Company
were subordinated under the Plan pursuant to the provisions of
11 U.S.C. Section 510(b) and were treated in the same manner as
the Company's existing shares, which were canceled without any
distribution, and such claims were discharged as against the
Company.  The discharge injunction imposed by Winn-Dixie's
Restructuring Plan will protect the Company from the assertion
of any claim in the future.

As to the individual co-defendants in the securities class-
action suit, on May 10, 2005, the District Court entered an
order staying the suit as to all parties and all issues in light
of the Company's Chapter 11 filing.

On April 5 and May 1, 2007, the District Court entered orders
lifting the stays in the suit.  Thus, in June 2007, the
plaintiffs in the securities class-action lawsuit filed an
amended and consolidated complaint against the individual
defendants, who, in turn, requested for it to be dismissed.  

On Dec. 4, 2007, the District Court granted the individual
defendants' motion to dismiss the securities litigation,
according to the Company's Feb. 19, 2008 form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended Jan. 9, 2008.

The suit is "In Re: Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. Securities
Litigation, Case No. 04-CV-00071," filed with the U.S. District
Court for the Middle District of Florida, Judge Virginia M.
Hernandez Covington presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Jack Reise, Esq. (jreise@csgrr.com)
          Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP
          Suite 500, 120 E. Palmetto Pk. Rd.
          Boca Raton, FL 33432
          Phone: 561-750-3000
          Fax: 561-750-3364

               - and -

          Martin D. Chitwood, Esq. (MChitwood@chitwoodlaw.com)
          Chitwood & Harley
          2300 Promenade Two, 1230 Peachtree Street, N.E.
          Atlanta, GA 30309-3574
          Phone: 404-873-3900
          Fax: 404-876-4476

Representing the defendants are:

          Jason R. Edgecombe, Esq. (jedgecombe@kslaw.com)
          King & Spalding, LLP
          1180 Peachtree St.
          Atlanta, GA 30309-3521
          Phone: 404-572-4600
          Fax: 404-572-5100

               - and -

          Robert Bruce George, Esq. (rgeorge@lgcglaw.com)
          Liles, Gavin, Costantino & George
          Suite 1500, 225 Water St.
          Jacksonville, FL 32202
          Phone: 904-634-1100
          Fax: 904-634-1234


WINN-DIXIE STORES: Settlement Reached in Fla. ERISA Litigation
--------------------------------------------------------------
A settlement was reached in a consolidated class action lawsuit
filed with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of
Florida against Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.

In March and April 2004, three other putative class action
lawsuits were filed with the District Court against the Company
and certain of its present and former executive officers and
employees, alleging claims under the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act of 1974, as amended, related to the Company's
Profit Sharing/401(k) Plan.

By way of a court order, the ERISA claims were consolidated and
were to proceed as a single and consolidated action.

However, as a result of Winn-Dixie's Chapter 11 filing, the
automatic stay prevented the plaintiffs in the class action suit
from proceeding against the Company.  Any such claims against
the Company were subordinated under the Reorganization Plan
pursuant to the provisions of 11 U.S.C. Section 510(b) and were
treated in the same manner as the Company's existing shares,
which were canceled without any distribution, and such claims
were discharged as against the Company.  The discharge
injunction imposed by the Plan will protect the Company from the
assertion of these claims in the future.

As to the individual co-defendants in the class-action suit, on
May 10, 2005, the District Court entered an order staying the
suit as to all parties and all issues in light of the Company's
Chapter 11 filing.

On April 5 and May 1, 2007, the District Court entered orders
lifting the stays in the suit.  Subsequently, the plaintiffs
filed an amended, and consolidated complaint against the
individual defendants, who asked for it to be dismissed.

On or about Nov. 6, 2007, the individual defendants and
applicable insurers reached agreements with the plaintiffs to
settle the litigation, according to the company's Feb. 19, 2008
form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Jan. 9, 2008.

The suit is "In re: Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. ERISA Litigation,
Case No. 3:04-cv-00194-HES-MCR," filed with the U.S. District
Court for the Middle District of Florida, Judge Virginia M.
Hernandez Covington presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Brian D. Brooks, Esq. (bbrooks@murrayfrank.com)
          Murray, Frank & Sailer, LLP
          Suite 801, 275 Madison Ave
          New York, NY 10016
          Phone: 212-682-1818
          Fax: 212-682-1982
          
               - and -

          William B. Federman, Esq. (wfederman@aol.com)
          Federman & Sherwood
          10205 N. Pennsylvania Ave.,
          Oklahoma City, OK 73120
          Phone: 405-235-1560
          Fax: 405-239-2112

Representing the defendants are:

          William A. Clineburg, Jr., Esq. (bclineburg@kslaw.com)
          King & Spalding, LLP
          1180 Peachtree St. NE
          Atlanta, GA 30309-3521
          Phone: 404-572-4600

               - and -

          Robert Bruce George, Esq. (rgeorge@lgcglaw.com)
          Liles, Gavin, Costantino & George
          Suite 1500, 225 Water St.
          Jacksonville, FL 32202
          Phone: 904-634-1100
          Fax: 904-634-1234


WINN-DIXIE STORES: No Ruling Yet on Fla. Bias Case Removal Bid
--------------------------------------------------------------
A decision has yet to be issued with regards to a motion that
seeks for the removal from a state court in Florida to the
bankruptcy court of a purported class action filed against Winn-
Dixie Stores, Inc.

In December 2007, 26 current and former employees filed a
putative class action lawsuit with the Circuit Court for Brevard
County, Florida, against Winn-Dixie.  The suit is alleging
company-wide systemic age discrimination under the Florida Civil
Rights Act with respect to the terms and conditions of their
employment and that of others who were similarly-situated.

The Company denies all allegations raised in the lawsuit and has
answered the complaint and filed motions asserting various
defenses to the claims.  It has also sought to remove the case
to the bankruptcy court on the ground that the action is, either
partially or in its entirety, barred by the Company's Plan of
Reorganization.  

To date, these motions remain pending with the state and
bankruptcy courts, according to the company's Feb. 19, 2008 form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended Jan. 9, 2008.

Winn-Dixie -- http://www.winn-dixie.com-- operates supermarkets  
throughout the Southeastern U.S. with stores in Florida,
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.  The company also
operates distribution centers in Jacksonville, Miami and
Orlando, FL; Montgomery, AL; and Hammond, LA. In addition, Winn-
Dixie's manufacturing plants produce or process a variety of
products including coffee, tea, spices, carbonated and non-
carbonated drinks, frozen pizza, ice cream, sherbet and milk.


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

CHARYS HOLDING: Vianale & Vianale Files GA Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Vianale & Vianale LLP filed a class action lawsuit on Feb. 20,
2008, on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Charys
Holding Company (PINKSHEETS: CHYS) between March 30, 2006, and
August 14, 2007.

The complaint charges that Charys' officers, Billy V. Ray, Jr.
and Raymond J. Smith violated the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.

Charys operates two segments: Remediation and Reconstruction and
Wireless Communications and Data Infrastructure.  Charys'
Remediation segment provides services to respond to catastrophic
losses, like hurricanes; its Wireless segment offers
telecommunication services to large service providers.

According to the complaint, defendants engaged in an elaborate
accounting fraud in connection with several companies Charys
acquired.

In the closing months of 2005, Charys acquired Viasys Network
Services, Inc. and Viasys Services, Inc., as well as Method IQ,
Inc.  The sellers of Viasys and MIQ were to receive "earn out"
payments if, after the acquisitions, Charys achieved certain
goals for revenue and earnings.

The complaint alleges that the pre-acquisition revenues of
Viasys and MIQ should have been properly recorded on the books
of those companies.  Instead, they were improperly deferred and
recorded on the books of Charys after it acquired those
companies.  In addition, the post-acquisition expenses of Viasys
and MIQ should have been recorded on the books of Charys, but
were instead improperly accrued and recorded on the books of
Viasys and MIQ.  As a result, Charys' revenue and gross profit
were overstated during the Class Period, and it expenses were
understated.

On June 8, 2006, Charys acquired Crochet & Borel Services, Inc.,
using artificially inflated stock as currency.  Defendants
engaged in the same accounting scheme: the reported C&B revenue
and income from operations were materially overstated because
Charys had fraudulently included pre-acquisition C&B revenues
and had omitted C&B post-acquisition expenses.  In addition,
during the Class Period, defendants knew or recklessly ignored
that C&B's goodwill was materially impaired by well over $100
million, but failed to disclose this fact.  Charys, however,
continued to request extensions of time from the SEC in which to
file its annual report on Form 10-KSB.

On August 14, 2007, the end of the Class Period, when no large
catastrophic-loss contracts for C&B were announced, the
investment community knew that a large write-down of C&B's
goodwill was imminent. The stock price dropped, and continued to
decline thereafter.  On November 5, 2007, Charys announced a
$202.5 million write-down of goodwill attributable to C&B.
Charys also finally filed its fiscal 2007 form 10-KSB on that
date, confirming that C&B had been an unprofitable business
whose goodwill should have been written down as of October 31,
2006.

On February 14, 2008, Charys filed for bankruptcy and announced
that defendant Billy V. Ray, Jr. had resigned.

Interested parties may move the court no later than April 21,
2008 for lead plaintiff appointment.

For more information, contact:

          Kenneth J. Vianale, Esq.
          Julie Prag Vianale, Esq.
          Vianale & Vianale LLP
          2499 Glades Road, Suite 112
          Boca Raton, FL 33431
          Phone: 888-657-9960 (Toll Free)
                 561-392-4750
          e-mail: info@vianalelaw.com


MUNICIPAL MORTGAGE: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. has
filed a lawsuit on behalf of its client and a proposed class of
persons who purchased and/or acquired the common stock of
Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC (OTC:MMAB.PK) between May 3,
2004 and January 29, 2008, inclusive, in the United States
District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division.

The complaint charges MuniMae and six of the Company's officers
and directors:

     -- Chief Executive Officer, Michael L. Falcone;

     -- Chairman and former CEO, Mark K. Joseph;

     -- former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial
        Officer, William S. Harrison;

     -- former CFO, Melanie M. Lundquist;

     -- Chief Operating Officer and interim-CFO, Charles M.
        Pinckney; and

     -- CFO, David Kay,

with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

According to the complaint, the defendants allegedly knowingly
or recklessly issued false and misleading statements that
materially misrepresented MuniMae's earnings and financial
results, causing the Company's stock price to be artificially
inflated throughout the class period.

According to the Complaint, on March 10, 2006, MuniMae issued a
press release disclosing that the Company would be restating
more than three years of earnings and that the Company would
delay the filing of its Form 10-K for fiscal 2005. According to
this press release, the restatement was needed to correct
accounting errors related to:

     1) recognition of syndication fees,
     2) application of equity method accounting,
     3) recognition of interest income, and
     4) amortization of mortgage servicing rights.

However, Defendants assured investors that the restatement would
"not impact cash available for distribution," and would actually
result in an increase in "previously reported net earnings" for
certain periods.

The complaint further alleges that, after obtaining numerous
extensions to complete its restatement of financial results from
the SEC and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on January 28, 2008,
MuniMae disclosed that it would not complete its restatement of
financial results by the March 3, 2008 deadline imposed by the
NYSE, and therefore, Defendants expected the Company's stock to
be delisted.  On this news, the price of MuniMae stock dropped
from $17.20 per share to close at $9.19 per share on January 29,
2007, representing a 47% single-day decline.

The following day, on January 29, 2008, MuniMae filed with the
SEC a report on Form 8-K that provided additional details
regarding the 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 the Company would be writing-down the fair value
of impaired 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:

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


OPNEXT INC: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.J.
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Rosen Law Firm has filed a class action with the United
States District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf
of all purchasers of Opnext, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPXT) stock from the
date of the Company's Initial Public Offering on February 14,
2007, through February 13, 2008.

The complaint charges that Opnext and certain of its present and
former officers, directors, and control persons violated
Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 by issuing a
materially inaccurate Registration Statement and Prospectus
(collectively the "Registration Statement") in connection with
the Company's IPO.

According to the Complaint, on or about February 14, 2007, the
Opnext commenced its IPO priced at $15.00 per share for over 16
million shares of stock.  The Complaint asserts that Opnext's
Registration Statement was materially false because:

     (i) the Company's reported net income for the quarter and
         six months ended December 31, 2007 was overstated; and

    (ii) the Company's reported net loss for the fiscal year
         ended March 31, 2006 was understated.

The Complaint further alleges that on February 13, 2008 the
Company announced, among other things, the Company's previously
issued financial statements could no longer be relied upon and
that it had to restate them.  As a result of these adverse
disclosures, Opnext's stock price dropped, damaging investors.

Interested parties may move the court no later than April 21,
2008.

For more information, contact:

          Laurence Rosen, Esq. (lrosen@rosenlegal.com)
          Phillip Kim, Esq. (pkim@rosenlegal.com)
          The Rosen Law Firm P.A.
          350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 5508
          New York, NY 10118
          Tel: (212) 686-1060
          Weekends Tel: (917) 797-4425
          Toll Free: 1-866-767-3653
          Fax: (212) 202-3827
          Web site: http://www.rosenlegal.com


SIRF TECHNOLOGY: Glancy Binkow Files Securities Fraud Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP has filed a Class Action lawsuit
with the United States District Court for the Northern District
of California on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or
entities who purchased or otherwise acquired the securities of
SiRF Technology Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:SIRF) between October 30,
2007, and February 4, 2008, inclusive.

The Complaint charges SiRF and certain of the Company's
executive officers with violations of federal securities laws.
Among other things, plaintiff claims that defendants' material
omissions and dissemination of materially false and misleading
statements concerning the Company's business and prospects
caused SiRF's stock price to become artificially inflated,
inflicting damages on investors.

SiRF, through its subsidiaries, engages in the development and
marketing of semiconductor and software products that are
designed to enable location-awareness utilizing global
positioning system and other location technologies worldwide.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period
defendants knew or recklessly disregarded that their public
statements concerning SiRF's business, financial position and
future prospects were materially false and misleading because
they failed to disclose the truth about demand for the Company's
products and the effect of the Company's acquisition of
Centrality Communications, Inc. on SiRF's business and financial
performance.  As a result of defendants' false statements and
failures to disclose, SiRF stock traded at artificially inflated
prices during the Class Period.

On February 4, 2008, SiRF shocked the market when it issued a
press release announcing disappointing and surprising financial
results for the Company's fourth quarter and fiscal year 2007.

This news caused shares of SiRF to plummet $8.91 per share -- a
54% drop from the previous day's closing price of $16.27 -- to
close on February 5, 2008, at $7.36 per share on extremely heavy
volume of more than 63 million shares traded.

The plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of Class
members.

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

For more information, contact:

          Michael Goldberg, Esq.
          Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP
          1801 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 311
          Los Angeles, California 90067
          Phone: (310) 201-9150
          Toll Free: (888) 773-9224
          e-mail: info@glancylaw.com
          Web site: http://www.glancylaw.com


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Zenith National Has 400 Claims at Dec. 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
Zenith National Insurance Corp., at Dec. 31, had about 400 open
asbestos-related workers' compensation claims, according to a
Company report, on Form 8-K, filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission on Feb. 13, 2008.

These claims have loss reserves of US$3.7 million compared with
the Company's total workers' compensation net loss reserves of
US$1.1 billion.

The Company has exposure to asbestos losses in its workers'
compensation segment. Historically, the Company has paid and
closed about 4,000 such asbestos-related workers' compensation
claims for a total of US$11.5 million.

The Company also has potential exposure to environmental and
asbestos losses and loss adjustment expenses beginning in 1985
through its reinsurance segment, but the business it reinsured
in this segment contains exclusion clauses for such losses.

At Dec. 31, 2006, the Company had about 500 open asbestos-
related workers' compensation claims. (Class Action Reporter,
Feb. 23, 2007)

Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Zenith National Insurance Corp. is
the holding company for Zenith Insurance and ZNAT Insurance,
which underwrite workers' compensation policies in more than 40
states.  About 1,400 independent agents and brokers sell the
firm's insurance products, mainly in California and Florida.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Central Hudson Has 1,183 Claims at Jan. 15
---------------------------------------------------------------
CH Energy Group, Inc.'s subsidiary, Central Hudson Gas &
Electric Corporation, as of Jan. 15, 2008, had about 1,183
asbestos cases remaining, out of the 3,310 cases filed against
Central Hudson.

Since 1987, Central Hudson, along with many other parties, has
been joined as a defendant or third-party defendant in 3,310
asbestos lawsuits commenced in New York State and federal
courts.  The plaintiffs in these lawsuits have each sought
millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages from
all defendants.

The cases were brought by or on behalf of individuals who have
allegedly suffered injury from exposure to asbestos, including
exposure which allegedly occurred at the Roseton Plant and the
Danskammer Plant.

Of the cases no longer pending against Central Hudson, 1,976
have been dismissed or discontinued without payment by Central
Hudson, and Central Hudson has settled 151 cases.

Central Hudson is presently unable to assess the validity of the
remaining asbestos lawsuits.  Accordingly, it cannot determine
the ultimate liability relating to these cases.

Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based CH Energy Group, Inc.'s utility
subsidiary Central Hudson Gas & Electric provides electricity to
367,000 customers in eight counties of New York's Mid-Hudson
River Valley, and delivers natural gas and electricity in a
2,600-square-mile service territory that extends from New York
City to Albany, N.Y.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Couple Files Suit v. 46 Defendants in W.Va.
----------------------------------------------------------------
James Paul Downs and Ruth M. Downs, a couple from Boone County,
W.Va., on Jan. 16, 2008, filed an asbestos-related lawsuit
against 46 companies in Kanawha Circuit Court, W.Va., The West
Virginia Record reports.

Defendants include Ashland Oil, Inc. and E.I. du Pont de Nemours
and Company, which are two that directly employed Mr. Downs.

Attorney Cindy Kilblinger represents the Downs couple.

According to the suit, Mr. Downs was exposed to asbestos and
other harmful dusts while working. He claims the companies in
the suit manufactured, supplied, sold, distributed, used or
installed the asbestos-contained products.

While handling the products, Mr. Downs claims he breathed
asbestos and other harmful dusts, which caused his lung cancer.

Mr. Downs claims that along with lung cancer, he suffered great
pain of body and mind, suffering, distress, fear, embarrassment,
inconvenience, economic loss, including medical and
pharmaceutical bills, and loss of quality of enjoyment of his
life.

Mrs. Downs claims she has suffered the loss of general services,
companionship and society of her husband.

In the 12-count suit, Mr. and Mrs. Downs seek compensatory and
punitive damages.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case No. 08-C-108 will be assigned to a
visiting judge.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Case v. DuPont, Chevron Filed in Tex. Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
The family of James P. Lee, a deceased refinery worker, on
Feb. 12, 2008, filed an asbestos-related lawsuit against E.I. du
Pont de Nemours and Company and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. in Jefferson
Country District Court, Tex., The Southeast Texas Record
reports.

The Lee family claims the chemical companies negligently exposed
Mr. Lee to asbestos during his career.  June Lee represents Mr.
Lee's estate.

According to the petition, Mr. Lee worked at DuPont's Beaumont
Works Facility.  During his employment, he used and was exposed
to toxic and carcinogenic dusts, including asbestos.

The suit said, "As a result of such exposure, James P. Lee,
developed asbestos related lung disease from which he died a
painful and terrible death on April 3, 2007."

The suit continues by alleging DuPont and Chevron negligently
failed to timely and adequately warn workers of the dangers of
asbestos dusts, and also failed to take the necessary
engineering, safety, industrial hygiene and medical precautions
to ensure that Mr. Lee was not exposed to toxic and carcinogenic
dusts.

Mr. Lee's family sues for punitive damages, plus his mental
anguish, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity and
disfigurement.

The Lee family is demanding a trial by jury and is represented
by Provost Umphrey attorney Darren Brown.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District, has been assigned to
Case No. A181-219.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EnPro Ind. Expenses Drop to $68.4M at Dec.
---------------------------------------------------------------
EnPro Industries, Inc.'s asbestos-related expenses declined to
US$68.4 million in 2007, compared with US$359.4 million in 2006,
according to a Company press release dated Feb. 14, 2008.

Expenses dropped when the Company adjusted the liability of its
subsidiaries from the low point in the range of possible
liabilities to a point within the range.

Expenses in 2007 consisted of US$25.8 million in cash,
principally for legal fees and expenses, and a non-cash charge
of US$42.6 million for periods added to the liability in order
to maintain management's 10-year estimate and for adjustments to
assumptions used to calculate the liability.

New asbestos claims against the Company's subsidiaries continue
to fall.  In 2007, 5,200 new claims were filed, a 30 percent
decrease compared with 2006, more than 60 percent below the
level of 2005 and almost 90 percent below the peak year of 2003,
when 44,700 new claims were filed.

Asbestos-related expenses were at US$30.9 million for the
quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007, compared with US$305.1 million for
the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006.

Payments for asbestos-related claims and expenses, net of
insurance recoveries, were at US$24.9 million for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2007, compared with US$38 million for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2006.

Charlotte, N.C.-based EnPro Industries, Inc. produces sealing
products, metal polymer and filament wound bearings, compressor
systems and components, diesel and dual-fuel engines and other
engineered products for use in critical applications by
industries worldwide.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EnPro Records $437.5M Liability at Dec. 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
EnPro Industries, Inc.'s long-term asbestos liability was at
US$437.5 million as of Dec. 31, 2007, compared with US$479.1
million as of Dec. 31, 2006, according to a Company press
release dated Feb. 14, 2008.

The Company's current asbestos liability was at US$86.9 million
as of Dec. 31, 2007, compared with US$88.8 million as of Dec.
31, 2006.

The Company's long-term asbestos insurance receivable was at
US$311.5 million as of Dec. 31, 2007, compared with
US$396.7 million as of Dec. 31, 2006.

The Company's current asbestos-insurance receivable was at
US$70 million, compared with US$71.3 million as of Dec. 31,
2006.

Charlotte, N.C.-based EnPro Industries, Inc. produces sealing
products, metal polymer and filament wound bearings, compressor
systems and components, diesel and dual-fuel engines and other
engineered products for use in critical applications by
industries worldwide.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Worker's Kin Sues Nippon Express, Nichias
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tadashi Yoshizaki's wife and two daughters, on Feb. 14, 2008,
filed an asbestos lawsuit against his former employer, Nippon
Express Co., and Nichias Corp., the company where he was
dispatched, The Yomiuri Shimbun reports.

Mr. Yoshizaki died from a type of lung cancer after retiring
from an asbestos-related job.  His family demands JPY47 million
in compensation.

According to the lawsuit filed with the Osaka District Court,
Mr. Yoshizaki, who died at 67 in 2005, worked at the Oji factory
of Nichias Corp., a building materials manufacturer, as an
employee of Tokyo-based transport firm Nippon Express for two
years and two months from July 1969.

Mr. Yoshizaki then worked at the factory's warehouse, shipping
asbestos.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 117,400 Claims Pending v. Goodyear at 2007
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company had about 117,400 pending
asbestos-related claims during the year ended Dec. 31, 2007,
compared with 124,000 during the year ended Dec. 31, 2006,
according to the Company's annual report filed with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 14, 2008.

At Sept. 30, 2007, the Company recorded about 117,200 asbestos
claims pending against it. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 9, 2007)

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, the Company noted 2,400 new
claims filed and 9,000 claims settled/dismissed during the year.
Asbestos-related payments were US$22 million.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, the Company noted 3,900 new
claims filed and 5,400 claims settled/dismissed during the year.
Asbestos-related payments were US$19 million.

The Company is a defendant in lawsuits alleging various
asbestos-related personal injuries purported to result from
alleged exposure to certain asbestos products manufactured by
the Company or present in certain of its facilities. Typically,
these suits have been brought against multiple defendants in
state and Federal courts.

To date, the Company has disposed of about 49,100 claims by
defending and obtaining the dismissal thereof or by entering
into a settlement. The sum of its accrued asbestos-related
liability and gross payments to date, including legal costs,
totaled about US$297 million through Dec. 31, 2007 and US$272
million through Dec. 31, 2006.

The Company had recorded gross liabilities for both asserted and
unasserted claims, inclusive of defense costs, totaling US$127
million at Dec. 31, 2007 and US$125 million at Dec. 31, 2006.

The portion of the liability associated with unasserted asbestos
claims and related defense costs was US$76 million at Dec. 31,
2007 and US$63 million at Dec. 31, 2006.

At Dec. 31, 2007, the Company's liability with respect to
asserted claims and related defense costs was US$51 million,
compared with US$62 million at Dec. 31, 2006.

At Dec. 31, 2007, the Company estimates that it is reasonably
possible that its gross liabilities could exceed its recorded
reserve by US$20 million to US$30 million, about 50 percent of
which would be recoverable by its accessible policy limits.

The Company said it believes that, at Dec. 31, 2007, it had at
least about US$180 million in aggregate limits of excess level
policies potentially applicable to indemnity payments for
asbestos products claims, in addition to limits of available
primary insurance policies.

Some of these excess policies provide for payment of defense
costs in addition to indemnity limits. A portion of the
availability of the excess level policies is included in the
US$71 million insurance receivable recorded at Dec. 31, 2007.

The Company also had about US$15 million in aggregate limits for
products claims, as well as coverage for premise claims on a per
occurrence basis and defense costs, available with its primary
insurance carriers through coverage-in-place agreements at Dec.
31, 2007.

Based in Akron, Ohio, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
manufactures tires. Together with its U.S. and international
subsidiaries and joint ventures, the Company develops,
manufacture, market and distribute tires for most applications.
The Company also manufactures and market rubber-related
chemicals for various applications. The Company, with about
72,000 associates worldwide, manufactures its products in 64
manufacturing facilities in 25 countries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Coca-Cola Spends $3.5M for Cleanup in 2007
---------------------------------------------------------------
Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. had capital expenditures of about
US$3.5 million in 2007 under an environmental cleanup plan,
which also provides for asbestos, according to the Company's
annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 14, 2008.

In 2006, the Company recorded capital expenditures of about
US$2.9 million for a remediation plan, including any necessary
remediation of asbestos-containing materials in Company sites.
(Class Action Reporter, Feb. 23, 2007)

The Company has adopted a plan for the testing, repair, and
removal, if necessary, of underground fuel storage tanks at its
bottlers in North America. This plan includes any necessary
remediation of tank sites and the abatement of any pollutants
discharged.

The plan extends to the upgrade of wastewater handling
facilities, and any necessary remediation of asbestos-containing
materials found in the Company's facilities.

The Company estimates that its capital expenditures will be
about US$4 million in 2008 and 2009 under this plan.

In the Company's opinion, any liabilities associated with the
items covered by such plan will not have a materially adverse
effect on its Consolidated Financial Statements.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. bottles and distributes
Coca-Cola products. The Company accounts for for 19 percent of
worldwide sales of Coca-Cola's beverages. The Company also
bottles and distributes other beverages, including Canada Dry,
Dr Pepper, Nestea, bottled waters, and juices. The Coca-Cola
Company owns about 35 percent of the Company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BorgWarner Still Has 42T Claims at Dec. 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
BorgWarner Inc., as of Dec. 31, 2007, recorded about 42,000
pending asbestos-related product liability claims, according to
the Company's annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission on Feb. 14, 2008.

Of these outstanding claims, about 32,000 are pending in just
three jurisdictions, where significant tort reform activities
are underway.

As of Sept. 30, 2007, the Company had about 42,000 pending
asbestos-related product liability claims, in which about 32,000
are pending in three jurisdictions, where significant tort
reform activities are underway. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 2,
2007)

The Company continues to be named as one of many defendants in
asbestos-related personal injury actions. Management believes
that the Company's involvement is limited because, in general,
these claims relate to a few types of automotive friction
products that were manufactured many years ago and contained
encapsulated asbestos.

In 2007, of about 4,400 claims resolved, 194 (4.4 percent)
resulted in any payment being made to a claimant by or on behalf
of the Company. In 2006, of about 27,000 claims resolved, 169
(0.6 percent) resulted in any payment being made to a claimant
by or on behalf of the Company.

Before June 2004, the settlement and defense costs associated
with all claims were covered by the Company's primary layer
insurance coverage, and these carriers administered, defended,
settled and paid all claims under a funding arrangement.

In June 2004, primary layer insurance carriers notified the
Company of the alleged exhaustion of their policy limits. This
led the Company to access the next available layer of insurance
coverage.

Since June 2004, secondary layer insurers have paid asbestos-
related litigation defense and settlement expenses under a
funding arrangement. To date, the Company has paid US$30.3
million in defense and indemnity in advance of insurers'
reimbursement and has received US$9.7 million in cash from
insurers. The outstanding balance of US$20.6 million is expected
to be fully recovered.

At Dec. 31, 2006, insurers owed US$11.7 million in association
with these claims.

At Dec. 31, 2007, the Company has an estimated liability of
US$39.6 million for future claims resolutions, with a related
asset of US$39.6 million to recognize the insurance proceeds
receivable by the Company for estimated losses related to claims
that have yet to be resolved.

At Dec. 31, 2006, the comparable value of the insurance
receivable and accrued liability was US$39.9 million.

Auburn Hills, Mich.-based BorgWarner Inc. supplies automotive
systems and components, primarily for powertrain applications.
These products are manufactured and sold worldwide, primarily to
original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") of light-vehicles
(passenger cars, sport-utility vehicles, vans and light-trucks).


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CNA Action Still Pending v. BorgWarner Inc.
----------------------------------------------------------------
BorgWarner Inc. continues to face an asbestos-related
declaratory judgment action in the Circuit Court of Cook County,
Ill., filed by Continental Casualty Company and related
companies (CNA) against the Company and certain of its other
historical general liability insurers.

In the suit filed in January 2004, CNA provided the Company with
both primary and additional layer insurance, and, in conjunction
with other insurers, is currently defending and indemnifying the
Company in its pending asbestos-related product liability
claims.

The lawsuit seeks to determine the extent of insurance coverage
available to the Company including whether the available limits
exhaust on a "per occurrence" or an "aggregate" basis, and to
determine how the applicable coverage responsibilities should be
apportioned.

On Aug. 15, 2005, the Court issued an interim order regarding
the apportionment matter. The interim order has the effect of
making insurers responsible for all defense and settlement costs
pro rata to time-on-the-risk, with the pro-ration method to hold
the insured harmless for periods of bankrupt or unavailable
coverage. Appeals of the interim order were denied.

However, the issue is reserved for appellate review at the end
of the action. In addition to the primary insurance available
for asbestos-related claims, the Company has substantial
additional layers of insurance available for potential future
asbestos-related product claims.

Auburn Hills, Mich.-based BorgWarner Inc. supplies automotive
systems and components, primarily for powertrain applications.
These products are manufactured and sold worldwide, primarily to
original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") of light-vehicles
(passenger cars, sport-utility vehicles, vans and light-trucks).


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USG Links Drop in Expenses to 2007 Payments
----------------------------------------------------------------
USG Corporation states that accrued expenses decreased to US$234
million as of Dec. 31, 2007 from US$358 million as of Dec. 31,
2006 largely due to payments made in 2007 for asbestos property
damage settlements and a lower level of accrued employee
incentive compensation in 2007.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, the Company has recorded valuation
allowances totaling US$63 million with respect to various U.S.
federal and state net operating loss and tax credit
carryforwards, the substantial majority of which arose from the
funding of the asbestos trust in 2006.

Chicago-based USG Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is a
manufacturer and distributor of building materials, producing a
wide range of products for use in new residential, new
nonresidential, and repair and remodel construction as well as
products used in certain industrial processes.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USG States No Further Obligations to Trust
---------------------------------------------------------------
USG Corporation states that it has no further payment
obligations to a trust created and funded under Section 524(g)
of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code for the payment of all of the
present and future asbestos personal injury liabilities of the
debtors.

The Company's plan of reorganization confirmed in 2006 resolved
the debtors' liability for all present and future asbestos
personal injury and related claims, according to the Company's
annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 15, 2008.

Under the plan, the Company created and funded the trust. In
2006, the Company made payments totaling US$3.95 billion to the
asbestos personal injury trust.

The asbestos personal injury trust is administered by
independent trustees appointed under the plan. The trust will
pay qualifying asbestos personal injury and related claims
against the debtors pursuant to trust distribution procedures
that are part of the confirmed plan.

A key component of the Company's plan of reorganization is the
channeling injunction which provides that all present and future
asbestos personal injury claims against the debtors must be
brought against the trust and no one may bring such a claim
against the debtors.

This channeling injunction applies to all present and future
asbestos personal injury claims for which any debtor is alleged
to be liable, including any asbestos personal injury claims
against U.S. Gypsum, L&W Supply or Beadex, as well as any
asbestos personal injury claims against the debtors relating to
A.P. Green Refractories Co., which was formerly one of the
Company's subsidiaries.

The Company's plan of reorganization and the channeling
injunction do not apply to any of its non-U.S. subsidiaries, any
companies it acquired during its reorganization proceedings, or
any companies that it acquired or may acquire after its
emergence from reorganization.

Chicago-based USG Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is a
manufacturer and distributor of building materials, producing a
wide range of products for use in new residential, new
nonresidential, and repair and remodel construction as well as
products used in certain industrial processes.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USG Pays $40M for Damage Settlements in '07
----------------------------------------------------------------
USG Corporation, in 2007, made total payments of about US$40
million for asbestos property damage settlements, according to
the Company's annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission on Feb. 15, 2008.

Asbestos property damage claims against the debtors were not
part of the asbestos trust or the channeling injunction. The
Company's plan of reorganization provided that all settled or
otherwise resolved asbestos property damage claims that were
timely filed in its reorganization proceedings would be paid in
full.

During the Company's reorganization proceedings, the court set a
deadline for filing asbestos property damage claims against the
debtors. In response to that deadline, about 1,400 asbestos
property damage claims were timely filed. More than 950 of those
claims were disallowed or withdrawn.

In 2006 and 2007, the Company reached agreements to settle all
of the open asbestos property damage claims filed in its
reorganization proceedings.

In 2006, the Company made total payments of about US$99 million
for certain of these settlements. Based on its evaluation of its
asbestos property damage settlements, the Company reversed US$44
million of its reserve for asbestos-related claims in 2006.

The current estimate of the cost of the one remaining asbestos
property damage settlement that has not yet been paid, and
associated legal fees, is about US$8 million and is included in
accrued expenses and other liabilities on the consolidated
balance sheet as of Dec. 31, 2007.

Chicago-based USG Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is a
manufacturer and distributor of building materials, producing a
wide range of products for use in new residential, new
nonresidential, and repair and remodel construction as well as
products used in certain industrial processes.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Norfolk Southern Faces Occupational Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Norfolk Southern Corporation said that its exposure to
occupational claims (including asbestosis and other respiratory
diseases, as well as repetitive motion) are often not caused by
a specific accident or event but rather as the result from a
claimed exposure over time.

Many such claims are being asserted by former or retired
employees, some of whom have not been employed in the rail
industry for decades, according to the Company's annual report
filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb.
15, 2008.

The actuarial firm provides an estimate of the occupational
claims liability based upon the Company's history of claim
filings, severity, payments and other pertinent facts. The
liability is dependent upon management's judgments made as to
the specific case reserves as well as judgments of the
consulting actuarial firm in the periodic studies.

The actuarial firm's estimate of ultimate loss includes a
provision for those claims that have been incurred but not
reported. This provision is derived by analyzing industry data
and projecting the Company's experience into the future as far
as can be reasonably determined.

Adjustments to the recorded liability are reflected in operating
expenses in the periods in which such adjustments become known.

Based in Norfolk, Va., Norfolk Southern Corporation controls a
major freight railroad, Norfolk Southern Railway Company.   
Norfolk Southern Railway Company is engaged in the rail
transportation of raw materials, intermediate products and
finished goods primarily in the Southeast, East and Midwest and,
via interchange with rail carriers, to and from the rest of the
United States.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell Accrues $250M Liabilities at Dec.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Honeywell International Inc.'s accrued asbestos-related
liabilities were US$250 million as of Dec. 31, 2007, compared
with US$557 million as of Dec. 31, 2006, according to the
Company's annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission on Feb. 15, 2008.

Like many other industrial companies, the Company is a defendant
in personal injury actions related to asbestos. The Company did
not mine or produce asbestos, nor did it make or sell insulation
products or other construction materials that have been
identified as the primary cause of asbestos related disease in
the vast majority of claimants.

Products containing asbestos previously manufactured by the
Company or by previously owned subsidiaries primarily fall into
two general categories: refractory products and friction
products.

Morris Township, N.J.-based Honeywell International Inc. is a
diversified technology and manufacturing company, serving
customers worldwide with aerospace products and services,
control, sensing and security technologies for buildings, homes
and industry, turbochargers, automotive products, specialty
chemicals, electronic and advanced materials, and process
technology for refining and petrochemicals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell Int'l. Has $939M NARCO Receivable
----------------------------------------------------------------
Honeywell International Inc.'s consolidated financial statements
reflect an insurance receivable corresponding to the settlement
liability of pending and future NARCO-related asbestos claims of
US$939 million as of Dec. 31, 2007, compared with US$955 million
as of Dec. 31, 2006.

The Company owned North American Refractories Company (NARCO)
from 1979 to 1986. NARCO produced refractory products (high
temperature bricks and cement) that were sold largely to the
steel industry in the East and Midwest. Less than two percent of
NARCO'S products contained asbestos.

When it sold the NARCO business in 1986, the Company agreed to
indemnify NARCO with respect to personal injury claims for
products that had been discontinued before the sale. NARCO
retained all liability for the other claims. On Jan. 4, 2002,
NARCO filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S
Bankruptcy Code.

As a result of the NARCO bankruptcy filing, all of the claims
pending against NARCO are automatically stayed pending the
reorganization of NARCO. In addition, the bankruptcy court
enjoined both the filing and prosecution of NARCO-related
asbestos claims against the Company. The stay has remained in
effect continuously since Jan. 4, 2002.

In November 2007, the Bankruptcy Court entered an amended order
confirming the NARCO Plan without modification and approving the
524(g) trust and channeling injunction in favor of NARCO and the
Company. In December 2007, certain insurers filed an appeal from
the Bankruptcy Court's amended confirmation order. This appeal
is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District
of Pennsylvania.

The Company's consolidated financial statements reflect an
estimated liability for settlement of pending and future NARCO-
related asbestos claims of US$1.1 billion as of Dec. 31, 2007
and US$1.3 billion as of Dec. 31, 2006.

The estimated liability for pending claims is based on terms and
conditions, including evidentiary requirements, in definitive
agreements with about 260,000 current claimants, and an estimate
of the unsettled claims pending as of the time NARCO filed for
bankruptcy protection.

Substantially all settlement payments with respect to current
claims have been made as of Dec. 31, 2007. About US$95 million
of payments due under these settlements is due only upon
establishment of the NARCO trust.

The US$939 million coverage reimburses Honeywell for portions of
the costs incurred to settle NARCO related claims and court
judgments as well as defense costs and is provided by a large
number of insurance policies written by dozens of insurance
companies in both the domestic insurance market and the London
excess market.

Morris Township, N.J.-based Honeywell International Inc. is a
diversified technology and manufacturing company, serving
customers worldwide with aerospace products and services,
control, sensing and security technologies for buildings, homes
and industry, turbochargers, automotive products, specialty
chemicals, electronic and advanced materials, and process
technology for refining and petrochemicals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Travelers Suit v. Honeywell Ongoing in N.Y.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Honeywell International Inc. continues to face an asbestos-
related insurance action filed by Travelers Casualty and
Insurance Company in the Supreme Court of New York, County of
New York.

In the 2006-2nd quarter, Travelers sued the Company and other
insurance carriers, disputing obligations for North American
Refractories Company (NARCO)-related asbestos claims under high
excess insurance coverage issued by Travelers and other
insurance carriers.

The Company owned NARCO from 1979 to 1986. NARCO produced
refractory products (high temperature bricks and cement) that
were sold largely to the steel industry in the East and Midwest.
Less than two percent of NARCO'S products contained asbestos.

About US$340 million of coverage under these policies is
included in the Company's NARCO-related insurance receivable at
Dec. 31, 2007.

The Company said it believes it is entitled to the coverage at
issue and has filed counterclaims in the Superior Court of New
Jersey seeking declaratory relief with respect to this coverage.

In the 2007-3rd quarter, the Company prevailed in the New York
action on a critical choice of law issue concerning the
appropriate method of allocating NARCO-related asbestos
liabilities to triggered policies.

The Court's ruling is subject to appeal.

Morris Township, N.J.-based Honeywell International Inc. is a
diversified technology and manufacturing company, serving
customers worldwide with aerospace products and services,
control, sensing and security technologies for buildings, homes
and industry, turbochargers, automotive products, specialty
chemicals, electronic and advanced materials, and process
technology for refining and petrochemicals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell Has 51,658 Bendix Claims at Dec.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Honeywell International Inc. recorded 51,658 asbestos-related
claims for its Bendix friction materials business for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2007, compared with 57,108 claims for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2006.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, the Company noted 2,771 Bendix
claims filed and 8,221 Bendix claims resolved. For the year
ended Dec. 31, 2006, the Company noted 4,391 Bendix claims filed
and 26,785 Bendix claims resolved.

The Company recorded 51,854 asbestos-related Bendix claims in
the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007. (Class Action Reporter,
Oct. 26, 2007)

Bendix manufactured automotive brake parts that contained
chrysotile asbestos in an encapsulated form.

From 1981 through Dec. 31, 2007, the Company has resolved about
113,000 Bendix related asbestos claims. Trials covering 126
plaintiffs resulted in 125 favorable verdicts and one mistrial.
Trials covering 10 individuals resulted in adverse verdicts.
However, two of these verdicts were reversed on appeal, five are
or shortly will be on appeal, and the remaining three claims
were settled.

About 45 percent of about 52,000 pending claims at Dec. 31, 2007
are on the inactive, deferred, or similar dockets established in
some jurisdictions for claimants who allege minimal or no
impairment. About 52,000 pending claims also include claims
filed in jurisdictions such as Texas, Virginia, and Mississippi
that historically allowed for consolidated filings.

In these jurisdictions, plaintiffs were permitted to file
complaints against a pre-determined master list of defendants,
regardless of whether they have claims against each individual
defendant.

During 2006, about 16,000 cases were dismissed. More than 85
percent of these dismissals occurred in Mississippi as a result
of judicial rulings relating to non-resident filings and venue.

The Company has about US$1.9 billion of insurance coverage
remaining with respect to pending and potential future Bendix
related asbestos claims, of which US$197 million (at Dec. 31,
2007) and US$302 million (at Dec. 31, 2006) are reflected as
receivables in its.

Morris Township, N.J.-based Honeywell International Inc. is a
diversified technology and manufacturing company, serving
customers worldwide with aerospace products and services,
control, sensing and security technologies for buildings, homes
and industry, turbochargers, automotive products, specialty
chemicals, electronic and advanced materials, and process
technology for refining and petrochemicals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NARCO, Bendix Had $1.65B Liabilities in '07
----------------------------------------------------------------
Honeywell International Inc., for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007,
recorded a total of US$1.655 billion in asbestos liabilities for
its Bendix friction materials business (US$517 million) and its
former subsidiary North American Refractories Company (NARCO)
(US$1.138 billion).

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, the Company recorded a total
of US$1.819 billion in asbestos liabilities for Bendix (US$528
million) and NARCO (US$1.291 billion).

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, the Company recorded a total
of US$1.136 billion in insurance recoveries for asbestos
liabilities, of which US$197 million were for Bendix and US$939
million were for NARCO.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, the Company recorded a total
of US$1.257 billion in insurance recoveries for asbestos
liabilities, of which US$302 million were for Bendix and US$955
million were for NARCO.

Morris Township, N.J.-based Honeywell International Inc. is a
diversified technology and manufacturing company, serving
customers worldwide with aerospace products and services,
control, sensing and security technologies for buildings, homes
and industry, turbochargers, automotive products, specialty
chemicals, electronic and advanced materials, and process
technology for refining and petrochemicals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 10,300 Injury Cases Pending v. Corning Inc.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Corning Incorporated is named in about 10,300 cases (about
41,700 claims) alleging injuries from asbestos, according to the
Company's annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission on Feb. 15, 2008.

Those 10,300 cases have been subject to a preliminary injunction
and prior to the injunction were covered by insurance without
material impact to the Company to date.

The Company faced about 10,400 cases (about 42,000 claims)
alleging injuries from asbestos. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 2,
2007)

The Company and PPG Industries, Inc. each own 50 percent of the
capital stock of Pittsburgh Corning Corporation (PCC). Over a
period of more than two decades, PCC and several other
defendants have been named in numerous lawsuits involving claims
alleging personal injury from exposure to asbestos.

On April 16, 2000, PCC filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in
the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania. As a result of PCC's bankruptcy filing, the
Company recorded an after-tax charge of US$36 million in 2001 to
fully impair its investment in PCC and discontinued recognition
of equity earnings.

At the time PCC filed for bankruptcy protection, there were
about 12,400 claims pending against the Company in state court
lawsuits alleging various theories of liability based on
exposure to PCC's asbestos products and typically requesting
monetary damages in excess of US$1 million per claim.

The Company has defended those claims on the basis of the
separate corporate status of PCC and the absence of any facts
supporting claims of direct liability arising from PCC's
asbestos products.

In the bankruptcy court in April 2000, PCC obtained a
preliminary injunction against the prosecution of asbestos
actions arising from PCC's products against its two shareholders
to afford the parties a period of time in which to negotiate a
plan of reorganization for PCC (the PCC Plan).

On May 14, 2002, PPG announced that it had agreed with certain
of its insurance carriers and representatives of current and
future asbestos claimants on the terms of a settlement
arrangement applicable to claims arising from PCC's products.

On March 28, 2003, the Company announced that it had reached
agreement with the representatives of asbestos claimants for the
settlement of all current and future asbestos claims against it
and PCC, which might arise from PCC products or operations.

The PCC Plan received a favorable vote from creditors in March
2004. Hearings to consider objections to the PCC Plan were held
in the Bankruptcy Court in May 2004. In February 2006, the
Bankruptcy Court requested that the PCC Plan proponents delete
references to Section 105(a) of the Bankruptcy Code and resubmit
the PCC Plan. The final round of oral argument was held on July
21, 2006.

On Dec. 21, 2006, the Bankruptcy Court issued an order denying
confirmation of the PCC Plan for reasons set out in a memorandum
opinion. Several parties, including the Company, filed motions
for reconsideration.

These motions were argued on March 5, 2007, and the Bankruptcy
Court reserved decision. On Jan. 10, 2008, some of the parties
in the proceeding advised the Bankruptcy Court that they had
made substantial progress on an Amended Plan of Reorganization
that would make it unnecessary for the Bankruptcy Court to
decide the motion for reconsideration.

If the Bankruptcy Court does not approve the PCC Plan in its
current form or parties to the proceedings agree to amend the
PCC Plan, changes to the PCC Plan are reasonably likely to occur
that could significantly reduce the value Corning would pay in
such a changed plan.

Two of the Company's primary insurers and several excess
insurers have commenced litigation for a declaration of the
rights and obligations of the parties under insurance policies,
including rights that may be affected by the settlement
arrangement.

Since March 31, 2003, the Company has recorded total net charges
of US$1 billion to reflect the agreed settlement contributions
and subsequent adjustments for the change in the settlement
value of the components.

The liability expected to be settled by contribution of the
Company's investment in PCE, assigned insurance proceeds, and
the 25 million shares of the Company's common stock, which
totals US$833 million at Dec. 31, 2007, is recorded in the other
accrued liabilities component in its consolidated balance
sheets.

The remaining portion of the settlement liability, which totals
US$169 million at Dec. 31, 2007, representing the net present
value of the cash payments, is recorded in the other liabilities
component in the Company's consolidated balance sheets.

Corning, N.Y.-based Corning Incorporated makes fiber-optic
cable, which it invented nearly four decades ago. Once known
mainly for its kitchenware and lab products, the Company now
provides optical fiber and cable products and communications
network equipment. Its display technologies unit produces glass
substrates for flat-panel displays.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 1,781 Claims Pending v. Burlington Northern
----------------------------------------------------------------
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation had 1,781 unresolved
asbestos claims filed against it at Dec. 31, 2007, compared with
1,975 claims at Dec. 31, 2006, according to the Company's annual
report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on
Feb. 15, 2008.

The Company recorded 1,903 asbestos claims filed against it and
its majority owned subsidiaries for the three and nine months
ended Sept. 30, 2007, compared with 2,138 claims for the three
and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2006. (Class Action Reporter,
Oct. 26, 2007)

At Dec. 31, 2007, the Company noted 376 claims filed and 570
claims settled, dismissed, or otherwise resolved. At Dec. 31,
2006, the Company noted 676 claims filed and 1,975 claims,
dismissed, or otherwise resolved.

The Company is party to a number of personal injury claims by
employees and non-employees who may have been exposed to
asbestos. The heaviest exposure for Company employees was due to
work conducted in and around the use of steam locomotive engines
that were phased out between the years of 1950 and 1967.

The Company's accrued obligations for both asserted and
unasserted asbestos matters was US$270 million at Dec. 31, 2007,
compared with US$306 million at Dec. 31, 2006.

Of the obligation at Dec. 31, 2007, US$226 million was related
to unasserted claims while US$44 million was related to asserted
claims. About US$17 million was included in current liabilities
at Dec. 31, 2007, compared with US$22 million at Dec. 31, 2006.

It is reasonably possible that future costs to settle asbestos
claims may range from about US$245 million to US$295 million.
However, the Company said it believes that the US$270 million
recorded at Dec. 31, 2007, is the best estimate of its future
obligation for the settlement of asbestos claims.

Fort Worth, Tex.-based Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation,
through its subsidiaries, is engaged primarily in the freight
rail transportation business. At Dec. 31, 2007, the Company and
its subsidiaries had about 40,000 employees. The rail operations
of BNSF Railway Company, the Company's principal operating
subsidiary, comprise one of the largest railroad systems in
North America.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: "Premises" Lawsuits Ongoing v. Alcoa, Units
----------------------------------------------------------------
Alcoa Inc. and its subsidiaries, as premises owners, continue to
face several hundred active lawsuits filed on behalf of persons
alleging injury as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos
at various company facilities.

In addition, an Alcoa subsidiary company has been named, along
with a large common group of industrial companies, in a pattern
complaint where the company's involvement is not evident. Since
1999, several thousand such complaints have been filed.

To date, the subsidiary has been dismissed from almost every
case that was actually placed in line for trial.

The Company, its subsidiaries and acquired companies, all have
had numerous insurance policies over the years that provide
coverage for asbestos based claims. Many of these policies
provide layers of coverage for varying periods of time and for
varying locations.

The Company said it believes that between its reserves and
insurance it is adequately covered for its known asbestos
exposure related liabilities. The costs of defense and
settlement have not been and are not expected to be material to
the financial condition of the Company.

Incorporated in Pennsylvania, Alcoa Inc., which is based in New
York, deals with the production and management of primary
aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina combined, through its
active and growing participation in all major aspects of the
industry: technology, mining, refining, smelting, fabricating,
and recycling. The Company operates in 44 countries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 3M Estimates $121M Liabilities at Dec. 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
3M Company's liabilities for respirator mask or asbestos matters
amounted to US$121 million at Dec. 31, 2007, compared with US$18
million at Dec. 31, 2006, according to the Company's annual
report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on
Feb. 15, 2008.

The Company's receivables for respirator mask or asbestos
matters amounted to US$332 million at Dec. 31, 2007, compared
with US$380 million at Dec. 31, 2006.

For more than 25 years, the Company has defended and resolved
the claims of hundreds of thousands of individual claimants
alleging injuries from occupational dust exposures.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, the Company is a named defendant, with
multiple co-defendants, in numerous lawsuits in various courts
that purport to represent about 8,750 individual claimants, a
decrease from about 17,700 individual claimants with actions
pending at Dec. 31, 2006.

Most of the lawsuits and claims resolved by and currently
pending against the Company allege use of some of the Company's
mask and respirator products and seek damages from the Company
and other defendants for alleged personal injury from workplace
exposures to asbestos, silica, coal or other occupational dusts
found in products manufactured by other defendants or generally
in the workplace.

In many of these lawsuits and claims, the Company is named as a
defendant with multiple co-defendants where no product the
Company manufactured is identified or where the Company is
ultimately determined not to have manufactured the products
identified by the plaintiffs.

The Company's vigorous defense of this litigation has resulted
in dismissals of many claims without any payment by the Company,
and jury verdicts for the Company in seven of the eight cases
tried to verdict (such trials occurred in 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004
and 2007), and an appellate reversal in 2005 of the one jury
verdict adverse to the Company.

Plaintiffs have asserted specific dollar claims for damages in
about 66 percent of the 3,979 lawsuits that were pending against
the Company at the end of 2007 in all jurisdictions.

St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M Company is a diversified technology
company with a global presence in the following businesses:
industrial and transportation; health care; display and
graphics; consumer and office; safety, security and protection
services; and electro and communications. At Dec. 31, 2007, the
Company employed 76,239 people, with 34,138 employed in the
United States and 42,101 employed internationally.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: N.Y. Local Fined $8T for Abatement Breaches
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Department of Environmental Quality, on Jan. 5, 2008, issued
a US$8,417 penalty to Wanda Fay Scheler for "allowing an
unlicensed person to perform an asbestos abatement project,"
Democrat-Herald reports.

A resident of Albany, N.Y., Ms. Scheler filed an appeal to the
file on Jan. 16, 2008. The DEQ's Courtney Brown said the appeal
was denied.

Ms. Scheler said that she plans to ask for another hearing. She
said the project was supposed to be painting only, but the
workers pulled "off a few shingles at the top of the house."

According to the DEQ, Ms. Scheler owns a rental property at 3755
Knox Butte Road. In August 2007, she reportedly hired two
workers for a renovation project and they removed about 293
square feet of siding that was put into trash bags and placed
into Dumpsters. They also removed an old stovepipe that included
insulation tape.

During an Aug. 16, 2007 inspection, DEQ staff saw "pieces of
siding waste scattered along the sides of the residence and saw
that the insulation tape on the old stove pipe was in very poor
condition."

Samples were taken to the DEQ's laboratory. The side waste was
found to contain 10 percent chrysotile asbestos and the
insulation tape contained 50 percent.

The DEQ inspectors noted the workers broke the siding when
removing it from the home and that creates the potential for
asbestos particles to be released into the air. The same was
noted for the insulation tape.

The DEQ also charged that the workers did not "properly label
and package the friable ACWM (asbestos containing waste
material) generated by the renovation project in leak-tight
containers."

The DEQ regulates handling and disposal of any materials that
contain more than one percent asbestos.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fitter's Kin Blames BAE for Wrongful Death
---------------------------------------------------------------
The family of Alan Crosthwaite, a Mellor, England local who
worked on the 'Dambusters' bouncing bomb, filed an asbestos
lawsuit against BAE Systems plc after he died due to long-term
exposure to asbestos, Stockport Express reports.

Mr. Crosthwaite's daughter, Jane Hammonds, is claiming damages
of more than GBP50,000 from Hawker Siddeley Aviation Ltd., BAE
Systems plc and BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd.

Mr. Crosthwaite was employed from the 1950s to 1984 as an
aircraft maintenance fitter. He worked on many aircraft,
including Lancasters and Nimrods, using asbestos tape daily and
being continually exposed to asbestos dust and fibers.

In 2003, Mr. Crosthwaite began to suffer from breathlessness,
weight loss and extreme fatigue and died in October 2004 from
mesothelioma at the age of 78.

Specialists discovered a shadow on Mr. Crosthwaite's lung and
biopsies revealed it was mesothelioma.

The claim is based on negligence and breach of duty and says Mr.
Crosthwaite was not warned about the dangers of exposure to
asbestos, was not given any training or provided with
respiratory protective equipment and there was no or no adequate
extraction equipment to ventilate the area.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Priory Could Pay Fines for Cleanup Breaches
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Priory Community School in Worle, North Somerset, England,
may be penalized over the removal of asbestos at the school,
Weston & Somerset Mercury reports.

Asbestos removal from the school cost GBP135,000 and there may
still be more to pay. The cost mounted up at the site off Queens
Way last summer 2007 after contractors disturbed asbestos.

Specialists had to be called in to get rid of asbestos, so North
Somerset Council has said it will allocate GBP100,000 from its
emergency capital works budget towards the removal.

The Health and Safety Executive was also called in 2007 to
inspect the school after the incident and its results have not
yet been given.

If a fine is handed out by the HSE, which is responsible for
health and safety in the workplace, the school will have to find
the funds to pay up.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Delays New Orleans Parish Cleanup
---------------------------------------------------------------
LegalView.com reported that because of the large number of
asbestos-contaminated buildings and debris still sitting in a
New Orleans, La. parish from Hurricane Katrina, a controlled
cleanup burn will occur, according to a LegalView press release
dated Feb. 18, 2008.

Three years after the hurricane hit New Orleans, officials are
unable to demolish several buildings for fear that asbestos dust
will contaminate surrounding areas.

Instead, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a
controlled burn of the wreckage in a specially designed
incinerator, which will occur while air quality is monitored.

Asbestos is a highly toxic mineral that was used in the
construction of homes, schools, universities, government
buildings and office buildings.

The mineral was used because of its resistance to heat and fire
damage as well as its strength. However, it was discovered that
the inhalation of asbestos fibers and dust was highly toxic to
individuals and can cause asbestosis and mesothelioma cancer.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Inquest Links Plumber's Death to Asbestos
--------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest at Eastbourne, East Sussex, England, linked the death
of plumber George Byworth to exposure to asbestos, Hastings &
St. Leonards Observer reports.

Mr. Byworth had been involved with removing asbestos on
commercial and industrial heating systems in his younger days
and told his wife, Linda Byworth, the air had been "thick with
asbestos dust."

Mrs. Byworth told the inquest the 62-year-old Mr. Byworth had
gone to his GP, Dr. Peter Williams at the Arlington Road Medical
practice, in November 2006 with a pain in his lower back.

Mr. Byworth had various tests and scans and was admitted to the
district general, Brighton and Guys Hospital and was diagnosed
with inoperable lung cancer in January 2007.

Mr. Byworth died on Feb. 22, 2008.

Pathologist Dr. Christopher Moffat said Mr. Byworth had a very
large tumor which had spread around the lung and caused it to
collapse. He also said fibers of asbestos were found in the
lungs and in his opinion, the cause of death was due to
mesothelioma.

Deputy coroner Joanna Pratt said she was satisfied Mr. Byworth's
cancer had been caused by exposure to asbestos. She recorded a
verdict of death by industrial disease.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scotland Gov't. to Launch GBP1.9M Inquiry
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Council of the City of Edinburgh, Scotland, will launch a
GBP1.9 million investigation into 1,090 Council-owned property
in a bid to identify asbestos levels, Edinburgh Evening News
reports.

On Feb. 16, 2008, the Council admitted its current records are
"inadequate," and do not meet health and safety regulations.

The project is designed to ensure materials that contain
asbestos are kept in a safe condition if they pose a minimum
risk, or removed if there is an "unacceptable risk" to human
health.

The Health and Safety Executive served the Council with an
improvement notice after identifying problems with the local
authority's processes for dealing with asbestos.

A central database will be set up to record all information
relating to asbestos at Council-owned premises like schools,
community centers, care homes, offices and "investment
properties" which are leased out.

At the same time, surveys will be done to assess the energy
performance of buildings, as well as compliance with disability
discrimination laws.

The money is set to be included in the council budget for 2008-
2009, due to be adopted on Feb. 21, 2008.

City finance leader Gordon MacKenzie said, "This is a very
serious issue, and it's vitally important that we carry out this
survey work. "Sadly, this has been starved of resources up to
now, but this is our first budget and we intend to make
provision."

To meet its obligations, the Council requires accurate
electronic floor plans showing a record of the location and
condition of asbestos-containing materials.

The GBP1.9 million will be spent on the project between 2008 and
2010, with annual maintenance costs of around GBP150,000 per
year thereafter.

Council officials have warned that failure to carry out the work
will be a breach of legal requirements and could result in
action being taken against the local authority.

Basic information is available for only around 50 percent of
Council properties, which will need to be updated, while the
remainder of the buildings will require a full survey.

City development director Andrew Holmes said, "Given the
requirements, there is an urgent need for a major one-off survey
of operational property to obtain current electronic plans and
survey information."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Family Seeks Repairman's Former Colleagues
---------------------------------------------------------------
The family of Geoff Edmonds, a repairman from Scarborough,
England who died from exposure to asbestos, has launched an
appeal to trace his former colleagues, Scarborough Evening News
reports.

The 79-year-old Mr. Edmonds, who worked for local engineering
company Brogden and Wilson for almost 30 years, died from the
asbestos cancer mesothelioma in 2007.

It is believed Mr. Edmonds was exposed to asbestos dust and
fibers while working for the heating and ventilation engineering
company, which closed about 15 years ago.

It is understood that neither Mr. Edmonds nor former workmates
were informed of the dangers associated with asbestos.

Lawyers acting for Mr. Edmonds' family now need to speak to his
former colleagues to find out more about his work at the firm to
support a claim for compensation by his widow.

Mr. Edmonds' son, Chris, said, "It's important that anyone who
worked with him or relations of those people contact our
solicitors to gain further information about the asbestos
exposure. We have information about where he worked and how he
was exposed to asbestos but we need witnesses to verify that."

Mr Edmonds, of Westway, was born in Scarborough and after
leaving school went to work for Brogden and Wilson in Sussex
Street in 1941.

At Brogden and Wilson, where Mr. Edmonds worked since 1941, he
repaired and maintained boilers, radiators and pipework and left
in 1969.

Mr. Edmonds then worked for a couple of smaller companies to do
the same work before moving into the steel industry and retired
aged 65 but later became ill.

Davey Hall, regional secretary for trade union Unite, which is
working with the solicitors, added, "As part of our successful
extended family service, we're pleased to be able to offer
support to Mrs Edmonds and her family and hope this appeal is
successful in tracing some of Mr Edmonds' former workmates."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: N.Y. Court Issues Split Ruling in Employers
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court, S.D. New York, issued split rulings in
proceedings involving asbestos, in which Employers' Surplus
Lines Insurance Company and Global Reinsurance Corporation—
United States Branch are named parties.

The case is styled Employers' Surplus Lines Insurance Company,
Petitioner, v. Global Reinsurance Corporation-United States
Branch (f/k/a Gerling Global Reinsurance Corporation--United
States Branch), Respondent.

Employers and Global entered into a Certificate of Facultative
Reinsurance effective from Jan. 7, 1969 through July 1, 1972 and
later extended to Jan. 1, 1973 (Certificate) whereby Global
agreed to indemnify Employers for 20 percent of Employers'
losses above US$5 million (up to Employers' US$20 million limit)
under a policy of insurance issued by Employers to The Coca-Cola
Company (including its subsidiary, Aqua Chem) (Coke).

By demand dated July 8, 2005 (Demand), Employers initiated
arbitration seeking to recover a 20 percent share of Employers'
loss payments above US$5 million.

By that time, Employers had paid US$6,324,711.68 to Coke for
certain asbestos claims. In its Demand, Employers alleged that
Global failed to pay Employers, as required by the Certificate,
20 percent of the excess over US$5 million of these asbestos
claim payments, or US$264,924.34.

Under related proceedings before the District Court, the parties
agreed to proceed before a sole arbitrator, Michael D. Young. In
its post-mediation order, the District Court maintained
jurisdiction over related arbitrations, including the
instant case.

During the three-day arbitration hearing from Nov. 6, 2006 to
Nov. 8, 2006, Mr. Young admitted 55 exhibits into evidence and
six witnesses (three each for Employers and Global), including
experts, testified and were cross-examined.

On Dec. 29, 2006, Mr. Young issued a Partial Final Award and
Statement of Reasons (Partial Final Award), in which he made two
separate liability findings based on his interpretation of the
Certificate.

On March 28, 2007, Employers petitioned the District Court to
confirm the Partial Final Award's first liability finding but to
vacate the second liability finding, which limited Employers'
recovery for defense costs paid by it to Coke.

Global opposed Employers' petition as premature and argued that
the Partial Final Award was not "final" under the Federal
Arbitration Act (FAA) because damages remained unresolved.

On June 27, 2007, the District Court conferred in chambers with
the parties and expressed its concern that the petitions were
premature. To avoid a decision on issues that the parties had
contracted to arbitrate, which would have interfered with the
arbitration, the Court declined to rule on either party's
petition.

Instead, by order dated July 11, 2007, the District Court
referred the parties to Mr. Young "for further proceedings." The
Court also ordered the parties to appear at a pretrial
conference on Oct. 25, 2007, should they be unable to reach a
resolution in arbitration.

On July 17, 2007, Mr. Young conducted a teleconference with the
parties to discuss the meaning of the remand. Employers asserted
that the District Court intended to instruct Mr. Young to
reconsider the Partial Final Award, while Global argued
the Court intended the Arbitrator only to determine damages.

On Oct. 1, 2007, Mr. Young requested in an email that the
parties "seek written instruction from Judge Baer as to his
intention regarding the purpose of the remand," and expressed
his concern that he lacked authority to reconsider the
Partial Final Award.

In a letter dated Oct. 3, 2007, Employers sought from the
District Court an order that would permit Mr. Young to
reconsider any aspect of the Partial Final Award. The Court
declined to issue Employers' proposed order and, instead, on
Oct. 10, 2007, endorsed Employers' letter with a direction to
the parties to "try to resolve the concern voiced" by Mr. Young.
On Oct. 11, 2007, Mr. Young heard oral argument.

On Nov. 9, 2007, Mr. Young issued a Final Award.

On Nov. 21, 2007, Employers petitioned the District Court to
confirm Mr. Young's Final Award, and on Dec. 6, 2007, Global
cross-petitioned to vacate the Final Award in its entirety.

The District Court heard oral argument on the motions on Jan. 8,
2008.

Employers' petition was granted and Global's cross-motion to
vacate was denied.

The arbitration award issued by Mr. Young on Nov. 9, 2007 was
confirmed and the Clerk will, upon Employers' request, prepare a
judgment.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Housewife Files Action v. 10 Firms in Texas
----------------------------------------------------------------
Frances Barras, a housewife from Nederland, Tex., on Feb. 11,
2007, filed an asbestos-related lawsuit against 10 industrial
companies in Jefferson County District Court, Tex., The
Southeast Texas Record reports.

From 1957 to 1985, Mrs. Barras washed the work clothes of her
husband, Louis Barras, a refinery worker at E.I. du Pont de
Nemours and Company's Beaumont, Tex., facility.

Mrs. Barras suffers from malignant mesothelioma and claims her
sickness stems from inhaling asbestos fibers from her husband's
tainted clothes.

In addition to DuPont, some of the defendants named in the suit
include Union Carbide Corporation, Anchor Packing Co., Guard-
Line, Inc., Ingersoll-Rand Company Limited and Owens-Illinois,
Inc.

According to the plaintiffs' petition, Mrs. Barras "inhaled
great quantities of asbestos fibers" in the household setting as
a result of Mr. Barras' employment with DuPont.

A few of Mrs. Barras' household duties at the family's Fourth
Street home included shaking out and laundering her husband's
work clothing, cleaning up the washer and dryer area, changing
out the washing machine lint filters and traveling in Mr.
Barras' work car, the suit said.

The suit claims DuPont should have foreseen that employees, such
as Mr. Barras, would be exposed to asbestos while performing
their work duties and transport the asbestos fibers on work
clothing, bodies and hair to their households.

In addition to other allegations, the plaintiffs claim DuPont is
negligent for the following regarding Mrs. Barras' exposure:

Failing to take reasonable precautions to prohibit the
transportation of asbestos fibers from its jobsite to the
household setting;
Failing to provide offsite laundry facilities for employees'
work clothes;
Failing to adequately warn of the dangerous characteristics and
serious health hazards associated with asbestos exposure; and
Failing to provide information regarding reasonably safe wearing
apparel and proper protective equipment.

The plaintiffs allege that each defendant aided, abetted,
encouraged or directed the negligent and intentional acts of
every other defendant.

The Barras family sues for US$15 million in compensatory damages
and US$15 million in punitive damages, plus past and future
mental anguish, medical expenses and loss of services.

Mr. Barras seeks damages for loss of his spouse's services,
consortium, financial support and the care and comfort of her
society in addition to damages for medical expenses, nursing
care and mental anguish.

The plaintiff's children Nita McCarty, Michael Barras, David
Barras, Susan Rose Barras and Joe Barras seek damages for loss
of parental consortium, including the positive benefits from
their mother's love, affection, protection, emotional support,
services and society.

Ben Dubose, attorney for the Baron & Budd law firm, represents
the Barras family.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th Judicial District, has been
assigned to Case No. D181-204.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Overturns Travelers $500M Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Travelers Companies, Inc., on Feb. 19, 2008, said that the
2nd U.S. Court of Appeals has overturned the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court's approval of a US$500 million asbestos-related insurance
settlement, Business Insurance reports.

The decision, made on Feb. 15, 2008, would reverse the US$500
million settlement in March 2006 of certain insurance claims
arising from a suit by Johns-Manville Corp.

The case has been remanded to the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York for reconsideration. In its
decision, the Appeals Court said the bankruptcy court that
approved the settlement had no legal jurisdiction to do so.

Travelers, Manville's longtime primary insurer, agreed in 2004
to settle three groups of "direct action" lawsuits filed against
it by claimants allegedly injured by products made by Manville.
The plaintiffs argued that Travelers violated state and common
law in handling the claims and did not disclose what it knew of
the asbestos hazards.

Travelers said that it would weigh the latest ruling to
determine whether to appeal further. If the 2nd Circuit's
decision becomes final, the settlements will be voided and
Travelers said it "intends to litigate the direct action cases
vigorously."

Another party involved in the case is Chubb Indemnity Insurance
Co., which like Travelers was named in a direct action suit.

Based in St. Paul, Minn., The Travelers Companies, Inc. provides
property casualty insurance.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Shipyard Worker Awarded $2.25M in N.Y. Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
A New York City jury awarded US$2.25 million in the case of 73-
year-old Leonard Shafer who had exposure to asbestos in his
workplace as a civilian employee at the New York Naval Shipyard
(Brooklyn Navy Yard) in the 1950s, according to a Levy, Phillips
& Konigsberg, L.L.C. (LPK) press release dated Feb. 19, 2008.

LPK helped prove Mr. Shafer developed pleural mesothelioma. He
never wore respiratory protection and was unaware of the dangers
of asbestos.

LPK lawyer Carmen St. George said, "Mr. Shafer endured pain and
suffering that spanned an eighteen month time period from the
time he was diagnosed until the time of the death. Many years
ago, nobody knew the affects of being exposed to asbestos in the
workplace and unfortunately today, we are being faced with the
dangers."

John Crane, Inc. was the company that manufactured and supplied
the asbestos-containing stuffing tube packing material to the
U.S. Navy for use on Navy ships.

In this asbestos exposure lawsuit, the jury determined that
exposure to the John Crane packing material caused Mr. Shafer's
mesothelioma, and that his illness was reasonably foreseeable to
the company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Perth Mechanic Gets AUD840T in Compensation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Antonino Lo Presti, a motor mechanic from Perth, Australia, has
been awarded in AUD840,000 in compensation for exposure to
asbestos in brake linings while working at two dealerships of
Ford Motor Company of Australia, News Limited reports.

The 58-year-old Mr. Lo Presti, who suffers from serious fibrosis
and requires constant oxygen assistance, has become the first
mechanic in Australia to win a successful negligence verdict
against a car company for exposure to asbestos.

Mr. Lo Presti's lawyer, Michael Magazanik, from Slater and
Gordon, said the Feb. 19, 2008 judgment in the Western
Australian Supreme Court could open the way for thousands of
other mechanics who suffer from asbestos related diseases.

Between 1970 and 1987, Mr. Lo Presti used compressed air to blow
out the brake drums and handle asbestos brake linings when
brakes were serviced or changed.

The Sicilian-born Mr. Lo Presti was diagnosed with asbestosis
and pleural disease in July 2001. However, Ford argued it was
not asbestosis but a pulmonary fibrosis of unknown cause.

Ford admitted it knew by 1970 that exposure to certain asbestos
fibers could cause asbestos related diseases but denied it knew
Mr. Lo Presti's type of work could increase the risk.

Mr. Lo Presti said while he worked for Ford he was not aware of
the asbestos in the brake linings or the danger it posed.

Justice Andrew Beech ruled Ford ought to have known that if no
protective measures were taken the asbestos fibers released from
the brake linings could cause life threatening injury. He said
Ford owed its mechanics a duty of care and should have warned
them of the dangers.

Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia president Robert
Cojakozic said the matter should have been resolved earlier.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: HSE Fines ERL, Clarks for Safety Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Health and Safety Executive has penalized two companies,
Environmental Reclamation Ltd. (ERL) and Clarks Construction
Ltd., for safety violations, according to an HSE press release
dated Feb. 19, 2008.

The HSE has again urged construction companies to take sensible,
effective precautions to protect employees and others affected
by work at height.

This follows a sentencing at Aylesbury Crown Court, at which ERL
of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, was fined a total of GBP30,000,
and ordered to pay GBP21,360.11 costs for breaching Section 2(1)
of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) and
regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

On Feb. 8, 2008, ERL had been found guilty after trial at
Aylesbury Crown Court following an incident that led to two of
its workers suffering serious personal injury. The company had
been contracted to demolish and clear farm buildings at Church
Farm, Church Lane, Oving, in Buckinghamshire.

On May 17, 2006, two men working on a derelict barn fell through
a fragile asbestos cement roof and suffered multiple fractures
and spinal injuries.

At a Feb. 19, 2008 hearing, Clarks, of Luton, Bedfordshire,
acting as the Principal Contractor on the same project, was
fined GBP7,500, and ordered to pay GBP9,388.64 in costs. Clarks
had earlier pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the HSWA
at Aylesbury Magistrates Court.

HSE Inspector Norman Macritchie, who investigated the incident
said, "Today's fines highlight the seriousness of this, entirely
preventable, incident. Here, two employees, who were permitted
to walk on the fragile roof of an unstable building, fell around
four meters onto a concrete floor. Both suffered serious
injuries and were evacuated to Stoke Mandeville Hospital by
helicopter ambulance. I wish them the best possible recovery."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: HSE to Carry Out More Tests in U.K. Schools
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Health and Safety Executive might carry out more asbestos
tests for asbestos after an ITV news investigation revealed some
local authorities had not carried out necessary checks, Building
reports.

The investigation said all schools were told to make checks for
asbestos within "weeks, not months" after it was found in system
built schools in 2006. However, some checks had not been carried
out a year later.

The investigation used the example of Hay Lane Special School in
Brent, where an ITV reporter and a team of specialists found
asbestos on site.

In a statement responding to the investigation, the HSE said an
inspector had made a site visit as soon as it was alerted to the
situation, and remedial work had been carried out by licensed
asbestos contractors.

The HSE said further tests had been carried out to check for
asbestos, discussions had taken place with Brent council about
other schools and HSE had taken "appropriate enforcement
action." The HSE also said it had been given information from
the ITV survey and would carry out further checks as
appropriate.

In autumn 2006, the HSE found asbestos fibers could be released
in schools built under the Consortium of Local Authorities
Special Program.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. School Worker's Death Linked to Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest at Bradford Coroners' Court heard that the death of
Marjorie Kitson, who worked as a "dinner lady" at the Woodbottom
Primary School in Baildon, England, was linked to asbestos,
Telegraph & Argus reports.

The 85-year-old Mrs. Kitson worked at the school where asbestos
was discovered in flooring tiles before it was demolished.

The inquest also heard how Mrs. Kitson may have come into
contact with asbestos as a munitions worker during the war at a
factory in the Wakefield Road area of Bradford.

Mrs. Kitson was diagnosed with cancer when she attended Bradford
Royal Infirmary suffering from breathing difficulties. She died
at the hospital a few weeks later and a post-mortem examination
discovered traces of asbestos.

Coroner Roger Whittaker recorded a verdict of death by
industrial disease and said, "Looking at her work history I take
the view that there is a causal relationship between her course
of work and the cause of her death."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Barking and Dagenham Group Calls On Victims
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Barking and Dagenham Asbestos Victims Support Group are
launching an appeal for former residents and workers to get in
contact with them so they can compile a record about those who
have been affected, according to the group's press release dated
Feb. 16, 2008.

The appeal is being launched at Barking Town Hall, in the London
Borough of Barking and Dagenham, on Feb. 27, 2008 at 2pm and is
hoping to attract those who have been affected by asbestos
related diseases.

Attending the event will be Dagenham MP John Cruddas, a
mesothelioma victim, a medical expert and someone who will be
giving advice about any entitlement victims may have to
benefits.

The Barking and Dagenham Asbestos Victims Support Group was set
up in order to offer free advice and support to asbestos
sufferers and their families.

The group now has drop-in sessions and free telephone advice for
anyone who has been affected by it and doesn't know what to do.
The group has professionals who work closely with the Benefits
Agency and can help victims with compensation claims, provide
contacts and fill in forms.

One of the reasons that the group was set up in this area is
because Barking and its surrounding towns have a bad history
when it comes to asbestos. As a result of this, the area has
seen a large number of people suffering from asbestos related
diseases like mesothelioma and asbestos cancer.

Because these illnesses can take decades to develop workers at
the support group want to hear from people regardless of whether
they know they are ill or not.

This part of London has an exceptionally high asbestos mortality
rate and statistics have revealed that people living in Barking
and Dagenham are more likely to be ill with a long-term disease
than anywhere else in London.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wash. Firefighters May be Exposed to Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
A firehouse in North Bend, Wash., with a staff including 15
firefighters and 10 paramedics, in mid-February 2008 was
evacuated and immediately shut down because air-quality testing
revealed high levels of asbestos, TransWorldNews reports.

The staff was relocated to auxiliary locations where they will
operate out of until a remedy to the contamination is
determined.

This incident follows closely on the heels of another in which a
Washington D.C. investigation found three firehouses with
dangerous asbestos levels in the D.C. metropolitan area in
October 2007.

Asbestos was used liberally in firehouse construction leading up
to the late 1970s, when it was banned in most capacities. Today
it is coming back to haunt these firehouses, as older fixtures
begin to decay and the asbestos fibers within them become a true
health concern for firefighters and paramedics.

Firehouses require a great deal of insulation, for which
asbestos materials were prominently used. Asbestos was included
in compounds including concrete, floor or ceiling tiles, and
coverings for piping or electrical fixtures. When intact and
stable, these materials are generally not a concern.

However, as the years go on, these materials begin to break down
to the point where asbestos could become a real concern.

Studies have indicated that nearly 80 percent of buildings built
before 1978 contain at least some asbestos-containing materials,
indicating the widespread nature of the problem.
Many of these buildings are historic firehouses and other
publicly funded municipal buildings. Costs of renovation and
asbestos-removal have been prohibitive in remedying these
issues.

Firefighters, paramedics, and all others in the vicinity of
these materials could potentially be at risk of asbestos
exposure.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ky. Appeals Court Rules in Hammock's Favor
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Kentucky affirmed the Warren Circuit
Court's ruling, which favored James Charles Hammock over his ex-
wife Debra Lynn Fitzgerald, in a marital settlement case
involving an asbestos-related exposure action.

The case is styled Debra Lynn Fitzgerald, Appellant v. James
Charles Hammock, Appellee.

Judges Lambert, Nickell, and Vanmeter entered judgment of Case
No. 2006-CA-002347-MR on Feb. 8, 2008.

Ms. Fitzgerald and Mr. Hammock married in September 1992 and
their son was born in June 1993. The Simpson Circuit Court
entered a decree of dissolution in September 1999.

In relevant part, the decree discussed a lawsuit Mr. Hammock
initiated in October 1997 against his employer because of his
alleged exposure to asbestos.

Ms. Fitzgerald asserted a marital interest in the proceeds, if
any, of Mr. Hammock's pending asbestos litigation against his
employer, the Medical Center.

In February 2006, Ms. Fitzgerald learned that the asbestos
matters had been "resolved to all parties' satisfaction." Thus,
she moved the Simpson Circuit Court to divide Mr. Hammock's
settlement between the parties as marital property.

The Domestic Relations Commissioner (DRC) recommended that Ms.
Fitzgerald's motion be denied since Mr. Hammock and the Medical
Center settled his claim when his only remaining cause of action
was for the tort of outrage and "pain and suffering" damages.

The circuit court approved the DRC's recommendations after
reviewing the complaint, summary judgment order, and
confidential settlement agreement in Mr. Hammock's claim, as
well as Ms. Fitzgerald's exceptions to the DRC's report and Mr.
Hammock's response thereto. This appeal followed.

Mr. Hammock sued his employer in October 1997 for alleged
exposure to asbestos. The circuit court subsequently granted a
summary judgment in favor of the employer on Mr. Hammock's
claims of negligence, negligence per se, and strict liability,
leaving Mr. Hammock's claim for outrage/intentional infliction
of emotional distress.

While it has not been discerned from the record when Mr. Hammock
began working for the Medical Center, he admitted in response to
Ms. Fitzgerald's motion to divide his settlement that he was
married to her "from Sept. 23, 1992 to Aug. 31, 1999 while he
was an employee at the Medical Center at Bowling Green."

Further, Mr. Hammock did not dispute Ms. Fitzgerald's assertion
on appeal that he was exposed to asbestos at work for at least
two years while the parties were married. Finally, Mr. Hammock
sued his employer in October 1997.

Thus, whether Mr. Hammock's injury occurred on the dates of his
exposure to the asbestos or the date when he became aware of the
exposure, the injury clearly occurred during the parties'
marriage. As such, whether his settlement is marital property
turns on the type of damages the settlement represented.

Ms. Fitzgerald appealed from an order denying her post-
dissolution motion to divide as marital property certain money
Mr. Hammock received in settlement of the asbestos lawsuit. The
Appeals court affirmed the ruling of the Circuit Court.

Nancy Oliver Roberts, Bowling Green, Ky., represented Debra Lynn
Fitzgerald.

John David Cole, Jr., Bowling Green, Ky., represented James
Charles Hammock.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeals Court Vacates Ruling in Fobbs Case
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims vacated a Board of
Veterans' Appeals ruling, dated June 23, 2006, which denied
entitlement to serviced connection for the cause of veteran
Charles C. Fobbs' death.

The case is styled Valerie M. Fobbs, Appellant, v. James B.
Peake, M.D., Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Appellee.

Judge Kramer entered judgment of Case No. 06-2931 on Feb. 6,
2008.

Mr. Fobbs served on active duty in the Merchant Marines from
April 1942 to August 1945. He died on Jan. 2, 1985. The death
certificate reflected that he died from pneumococcus meningitis
due to sepsis and a urinary tract infection.

In August 1998, Mrs. Fobbs' surviving spouse, Valerie M. Fobbs,
filed a claim for service connection for the cause of Mr. Fobbs'
death. She contended that the his cause of death was related to
exposure to asbestos while in service.

The Veterans Affairs regional office issued rating decisions in
November 2000, February 2002, and March 2003 denying Mrs. Fobbs'
claim. In May 2003, she filed an appeal as to the Board's denial
of her claim for service connection for the cause of Mr. Fobbs'
death.

Upon appeal, the Board requested a medical opinion regarding
Mrs. Fobbs' claim. The physician responded that Mr. Fobbs'
"asbestos exposure history, if any, had no bearing on his
death."

On June 23, 2006, the Board issued the decision here on appeal.
In that decision, the Board found:

There was no competent medical evidence of record that indicated
Mr. Fobbs' potential in-service exposure to asbestos form April
1942 to August 1945 led to the development of a lung disability
decades later. Moreover, an opinion from a VA physician in
September 2005 was that asbestos exposure had no bearing on Mr.
Fobbs' death. Accordingly, the competent evidence of record
fails to support Mrs. Fobbs' contentions that Mr. Fobbs' period
of active duty that ended in August 1945 resulted in a
disability that materially contributed to his death.

Mrs. Fobbs appealed.

The Appeals Court vacated the Board's June 23, 2006 decision and
the matter was remanded to the Board for readjudication.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wyo. Worker Sues 64 Companies in Ill. Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
The estate of Clive Yarber, a Wyoming resident, on Feb. 11,
2008, filed an asbestos-related lawsuit against 64 defendant
corporations in Madison County Circuit Court, Ill., The Madison
St. Clair Record reports.

According to the complaint, Mr. Yarber was diagnosed with
mesothelioma on March 1, 2007, and died a short time later. His
estate claims that during the course of his employment, and
during home and automotive repairs, he was exposed to and
inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed asbestos fibers
emanating from certain products he was working with and around.

From 1940 to 1959, Mr. Yarber worked as a pipefitter, welder,
and iron worker at various locations.

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

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

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

Mr. Yarber's estate also claims that they had sought, but had
been unable to obtain, full disclosure of relevant documents and
information from the defendants leading him to believe the
defendants destroyed documents related to asbestos.

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

The complaint states that as a result of the alleged negligence,
Mr. Yarber's estate claims he was exposed to fibers containing
asbestos. He developed a disease caused only by asbestos which
has disabled and disfigured him prior to his death.

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

Timothy Thompson and G. Michael Stewart, of SimmonsCooper in
East Alton, Ill., represent Mr. Yarber's estate.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Court Judge Daniel Stack.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sentencing of N.Y. County Worker Postponed
---------------------------------------------------------------
The sentencing of John M. Chick, a former employee of Cayuga
County, N.Y., employee John M. Chick, has been postponed because
the judge in the case, Frederick J. Scullin Jr., is ill, The
Post-Standard reports.

The sentencing was originally scheduled for Feb. 20, 2008 in the
U.S. District Court. The sentencing will take place at 11 a.m.
March 6, 2007 in Syracuse, N.Y.

Mr. Chick, the only person to be charged in the illegal removal
of a malfunctioning, asbestos-laden boiler in 2006 from the
county's Board of Elections building on Court Street, faces up
to five years in federal prison and a US$250,000 fine. The
boiler parts were dumped in the Auburn city landfill.

The 61-year-old Mr. Chick pleaded guilty in January 2007 to
conspiring to violate the federal Clean Air Act.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ford Mulls Appeal to Lo Presti Case Ruling
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ford Motor Company of Australia is considering whether to appeal
against a ruling in the Western Australia Supreme Court that
awarded AUD840,000 in damages to Antonino Lo Presti, a former
brake mechanic, ABC News reports.

Mr. Lo Presti, who serviced brakes for Ford for 17 years, was
diagnosed with asbestosis in 2001.

On Feb. 19, 2008, the Supreme Court found Ford had breached its
duty of care to Mr. Lo Presti by failing to warn him about the
dangers of asbestos in the brakes.

Mr. Lo Presti's lawyers say the case sets a precedent for other
mechanics to make claims.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UCATT Campaigns v. House of Lords Decision
---------------------------------------------------------------
On Feb. 20, 2008, the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and
Technicians (UCATT) launched its postcard campaign to overturn
the House of Lords decision to end compensation for people with
pleural plaques, Building reports.

UCATT gathered outside the Ministry of Justice with a giant
postcard, along with Labor MPs and people who have the scarring
of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos.

UCATT is issuing 100,000 postcards addressed to Justice Minister
Jack Straw in an attempt to overturn the ruling.

In October 2007, Law Lords ruled to end compensation for people
with pleural plaques.

UCATT said the ruling would save insurance companies over GBP1
billion in compensation payments.

The Scottish Executive has indicated it will overturn the ban.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dock Worker Sues Law Brothers for GBP250T
--------------------------------------------------------------
Arthur Charlton, who contracted mesothelioma after years of
shifting asbestos-filled sacks at the Manchester, U.K., docks,
sues his former employer Law Brothers Road Service Ltd.,
claiming up to GBP250,000 damages, Manchester Evening News
reports.

The 83-year-old Mr. Charlton says he was exposed to asbestos
dust and fibers when he worked for Law Brothers. He has accused
the London-based firm of negligence and says it failed to warn
him of the risks to his health from asbestos dust.

A writ has been issued at the High Court by Mr. Charlton's
solicitors. Law Brothers was dissolved in 2007 but the
dissolution has been declared null and void in the High Court.

A former Royal Air Force man, Mr. Charlton used to load sacks of
asbestos on to a lorry from ships at Manchester docks.

Mr. Charlton's writ says many of the sacks were damaged and he
inhaled large amounts of asbestos. He allegedly had to sweep up
the dust after he had loaded up.

Mr. Charlton developed chest pains in 2007 and was admitted to
Hope Hospital, Salford, before undergoing treatment at
Wythenshawe Hospital.

Mr. Charlton says the firm failed to instruct him in
precautions, failed to provide him with breathing apparatus,
failed to damp down asbestos and failed to give him a safe
system of work.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CLC Delays Call for Ban on Asbestos Mining
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Labour Congress' decision on whether to call for a
ban on asbestos mining has been put on hold after pressure from
its Quebec affiliate, the Quebec Federation of Labour, CBC News
reports.

For decades, the CLC has refused to criticize an industry that
is criticized internationally as a deadly threat to its workers
and the public at large.

In fall 2007, CLC president Ken Georgetti said he was
embarrassed by Canada's leading role in the global asbestos
trade and promised that at their next meeting, the labor body's
leaders would finally call for a ban on asbestos production in
Canada.

However, CBC News has learned that the executive committee
meeting came and went with only a promise to debate the issue
again soon.

Michel Arsenault, president of the Quebec Federation of Labour,
convinced his CLC colleagues not to call for a ban until after a
new Health Canada study on the risks of asbestos is completed
and made public.

In a CBC News interview, Mr. Arsenault insisted working in an
asbestos mine was safe, saying people in many countries had
developed a "psychosis" over the substance.

Roughly 700 people work in Quebec's asbestos industry. Canada is
the only developed nation still producing asbestos, which is
called a deadly threat by the International Labor Organization,
the World Health Organization, the International Association for
Cancer Research and many more health agencies.

Quebec, home to Canada's only two asbestos mines, has one of the
highest rates of mesothelioma in the world.

The Canadian government believes asbestos is safe if handled
properly and has spent nearly CDN20 million in the past two
decades to promote exports of the mineral, almost all of it
going to developing nations for use in construction material.

However, Mr. Georgetti argued any appeal by the CLC would not
immediately end the practice of asbestos mining in Canada. He
called for the federal government to take a lead role in closing
the mines, including providing financial support for the miners,
and their families and communities when the industry finally
ceases production.

Roughly 97 percent of Canada's production of asbestos is
exported, mostly to developing countries including India,
Indonesia and Pakistan.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 25T Claims Still Pending v. Fairmont Supply
----------------------------------------------------------------
A CONSOL Energy Inc. subsidiary, Fairmont Supply Company, which
distributes industrial supplies, still faces about 25,000
asbestos claims in state courts in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West
Virginia, Maryland, Mississippi and New Jersey, according to the
Company's annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission on Feb. 19, 2008.

Because a very small percentage of products manufactured by
third parties and supplied by Fairmont in the past may have
contained asbestos and many of the pending claims are part of
mass complaints filed by hundreds of plaintiffs against a
hundred or more defendants, it has been difficult for Fairmont
to determine how many of the cases actually involve valid claims
or plaintiffs who were actually exposed to asbestos-containing
products supplied by Fairmont.

While Fairmont may be entitled to indemnity or contribution in
certain jurisdictions from manufacturers of identified products,
the availability of such indemnity or contribution is unclear at
this time and, in recent years, some of the manufacturers named
as defendants in these actions have sought protection from these
claims under bankruptcy laws.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, payments by Fairmont with
respect to asbestos cases have not been material.

Pittsburgh-based CONSOL Energy Inc. is a multi-fuel energy
producer and energy services provider serving the electric power
generation industry in the United States. During the year ended
Dec. 31, 2007, the Company produced high-Btu bituminous coal
from 17 mining complexes in the U.S., including a fully
consolidated, 49 percent owned, variable interest entity, and a
49 percent equity affiliate.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Salton Defends v. 3 Suits over Applica Products
---------------------------------------------------------------
Salton, Inc. is a defendant in three asbestos lawsuits in which
the plaintiffs have alleged injury as the result of exposure to
asbestos in hair dryers distributed by affiliate Applica
Incorporated over 20 years ago.

Although Applica never manufactured those products, asbestos was
used in certain hair dryers sold by it before 1979. There are
numerous defendants named in these lawsuits, many of whom
actually manufactured asbestos containing products.

At this time, the Company said it does not believe it has
coverage under its insurance policies for the asbestos lawsuits,
according to its quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission on Feb. 14, 2008.


COMPANY PROFILE:

Salton, Inc.
1955 Field Ct.
Lake Forest, Ill. 60045
United States
www.saltoninc.com

Fiscal Year-End:             June
2007 Sales:                  US$523.3 million
2007 Employees:              897

Description:
The Company markets and distributes branded small household
appliances. It markets and distributes small kitchen and home
appliances, pet and pest products, and personal care products.
Customers include mass merchandisers, specialty retailers and
appliance distributors primarily in North America, South
America, Europe and Australia.



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