CAR_Public/081205.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, December 5, 2008, Vol. 10, No. 242

                            Headlines


A. H. BELO: Plaintiffs Appealing Denial of Class Certification
ABRAXIS BIOSCIENCE: Merger Suit v. Individual Defendants Ongoing
ADVANCED ENVIRONMENTAL: Reaches Deal in Decking Products Lawsuit
BENDIGO BANK: Slater Gordon to File Suit v. Sandhurst Trustees
COMPENSATION RISK: To Challenge WRWCTNY Members' Litigation

COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL: Grais & Ellsworth LLP Files Suit in N.Y.
FIRESIDE BANK: Still Faces Suits Over Post-Repossession Notices
GOODYEAR TIRE: Ohio Court Gives Final Approval of USW Settlement
JDS UNIPHASE: Confidential Settlement Reached in Calif. Lawsuit
JDS UNIPHASE: Tentative Settlement Reached in Calif. ERISA Suit

LENDER PROCESSING: Attorney Fee-Splitting Lawsuit Still Pending
LENDER PROCESSING: Unit Faces 12 Suits Over Illegal Price Fixing
ORION ENERGY: Replies to Bid to Junk Consolidated Suit Due Dec.
RENT-A-CENTER: Calif. Court Grants Final OK to $11M Settlement
SCANA ENERGY: Ga. Court Dismisses Natural Gas Overcharging Suit

SOUTH CAROLINA: Dec. 15, 2008 Hearing Set for Rights-of-Way Suit
UNITRIN INC: Still Faces La., Tex. Hurricane-Related Lawsuits
XL CAPITAL: Plaintiffs Appeal Nixing of Conn. Securities Lawsuit
XL CAPITAL: Still Faces Lawsuits Over Municipal Derivatives
XL CAPITAL: Tentative April 2009 Hearing Set For MDL-1663 Appeal


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

ARACRUZ CELULOSE: Brower Piven Announces Securities Suit Filing
ARACRUZ CELULOSE: Izard Nobel Announces Securities Suit Filing
JA SOLAR: Coughlin Stoia Files Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.Y.
JA SOLAR: Izard Nobel Announces Securities Fraud Suit Filing
KV PHARMACEUTICAL: Brian M. Felgoise Announces Stock Suit Filing

OMRIX BIOPHARMACEUTICALS: Brian Felgoise Announces Suit Filing
SOUTHWEST WATER: Spector Roseman Announces Stock Lawsuit Filing


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 9,372 Claims Pending v. Ampco at Sept. 30
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ampco Reserves $107M for Claims at Sept. 30
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: General Motors Corp. Liability Totals $660M
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Liggett Facing Two Third-Party Payor Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tecumseh Products Subject to Exposure Cases

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Injury Suits Still Ongoing v. Houston Wire
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ballantyne Still Has Stehman Case in Calif.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Entrx Reserves $25.25M for Liability Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Entrx Facing 248 Pending Cases at Sept. 30
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Metalclad Still Facing ACE Insurance Action

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Entrx Still Has $375,000 Settlement Accrual
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dalmine S.p.A. Facing 61 Claims at Sept. 30
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sealed Air Still Involved in Grace's Action
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Stay in Grace Canada Extended to April 2009
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sealed Air Has $186.1M Interest at Sept. 30

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Actions in Miss. Ongoing v. Parker Drilling
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Constellation Energy Group Faces 515 Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CBL Records $2.6Mil for Cleanup at Sept. 30
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio EPA Calls for Testing in Karate Studio
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lawsuits v. CSX, Norfolk Filed on Oct. 29

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Madison County Sees 13 New Lawsuits Filed
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Carpenter's Death Linked to Hazard Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tilehurst Pensioner Death Linked to Hazard
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Brumby Issues Apology to Victims in Morwell
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: State Assets to Pay $48T for Safety Breach

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tasmania's Big Penguin Passes Asbestos Test
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Health Damage Relief Law Passed on Dec. 1
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mines in Zimbabwe Facing Closure Due to Ban
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Board to Develop AUD700T Screening Service
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hemel Hempstead Court Checked for Asbestos

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Doncaster Tradesman's Death Due to Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. Actor Death Linked to Hazard Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Unions Say Toll Likely to Rise in Australia
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: TriMas Facing 721 Pending Cases at Sept. 30
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Argo A&E Reserves Total $149.8M at Sept. 30

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Everest Has $854MM A&E Reserves at Sept. 30
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Colonial Comm'l. Hilco Unit Faces 42 Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Colonial Comm'l.'s RAL Unit Facing 1 Action
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MYR Group Inc. Subject to Asbestos Actions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Shell Chemicals Indemnifies Kraton Polymers

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FutureFuel Chem. Subject to Asbestos Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Baymeadows Still Incurs $105T for Cleanup
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Nevamar Still Facing 299 Claims at Sept. 30
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IntriCon Still Facing 122 Suits at Sept. 30
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Brookfield Records $7Mil Income at Sept. 30

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BMCA Cites 1,900 Injury Claims at Sept. 28
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CenterPoint Resources Facing Injury Actions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: United America Unit Still Has Coverage Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ArvinMeritor Cites $54M Sept. 30 Liability
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Claims v. Maremont Drop to 35T at Sept. 30

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ArvinMeritor Cites $16M Rockwell Receivable
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Rockwell Still Facing Pending Injury Cases
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mallinckrodt Cites 10,586 Cases at Sept. 26
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: American Fin'l. Cites $405.9MM A&E Reserves
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AIG Reserves $3.4Bil for Claims at Sept. 30

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cabot Has 55T Pending AO Claims at Sept. 30
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sears Holdings Subject to Exposure Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W.R. Grace Reaches $140M Settlement in Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Gardiner's Kin Seeks Change in Asbestos Law
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RPM Loses Court Battle Over Asbestos Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Arguments in Rando Lawsuit Heard on Dec. 1
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BRB Residuary Worker Gets GBP156T in Payout
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Found in M/V New Jersey Engine Room


                           *********


A. H. BELO: Plaintiffs Appealing Denial of Class Certification
--------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiffs in a consolidated shareholder suit filed against
A. H. Belo Corporation, Robert W. Decherd, and Barry T. Peckham,
a former executive officer of The Dallas Morning News, in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas are
appealing denial of class certification.

On Aug. 23, Aug. 26, and Oct. 5, 2004, three related lawsuits,
now consolidated, were filed by purported shareholders of Belo,
arising out of the circulation overstatement at The Dallas
Morning News. James M. Moroney III, an executive officer of The
Dallas Morning News, was added later as a defendant.

The plaintiffs seek to represent a purported class of
shareholders who purchased Belo common stock between May 12,
2003 and Aug. 6, 2004, and allege violations of Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

On April 2, 2008, the court denied plaintiffs' motion for class
certification and on April 16, 2008, plaintiffs petitioned the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for permission to
appeal that denial.

On June 17, 2008, permission was granted and plaintiffs are
appealing denial of class certification.

No amount of damages has been specified, according to the
company's Nov. 14, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept.
30, 2008.

A. H. Belo Corporation -- http://www.ahbelo.com/-- owns three
primary daily newspapers: The Dallas Morning News, The
Providence Journal and The Press-Enterprise.  They produce
local, state, national and international news.  In addition to
these three daily newspapers, the Company publishes various
products in the same or nearby markets, where these daily
newspapers are published. Each of A. H. Belo's daily newspapers
and publications operates its own related Website.  It also
operates direct mail and commercial printing businesses.  The
Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Belo. Corp. (Belo).


ABRAXIS BIOSCIENCE: Merger Suit v. Individual Defendants Ongoing
----------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit that was originally filed against Abraxis BioScience,
Inc. -- formerly American Pharmaceutical Partners Inc. -- in
connection with the company's merger with American BioScience,
Inc., continues to proceed as a putative class action solely
against the individual defendants.

In December 2005, several stockholder derivative, and class-
action lawsuits were filed against the company, its directors
and ABI in the Delaware Court of Chancery relating to the
merger.  The company is a nominal defendant in the stockholder
derivative actions.

The lawsuits allege that the company's directors breached their
fiduciary duties to stockholders by causing the company to enter
into the merger agreement and for not providing full and fair
disclosure to stockholders regarding the recently completed
merger, which allegedly caused the value of the shares held by
the company's public stockholders to be significantly
diminished.

They seek, among other things, an unspecified amount of damages
and the recession of the merger.

On April 18, 2006, Abraxis BioScience completed the merger with
American BioScience, pursuant to the terms of an Agreement and
Plan of Merger dated Nov. 27, 2005.

The company has moved to dismiss the derivative claims filed on
its behalf, and certain of the director-defendants have moved to
dismiss some of the claims alleged against them.

In May 2007, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the derivative
and unjust enrichment claims.

The action is proceeding as a putative class action solely
against the individual defendants, according to the company's
Nov. 14, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

Abraxis BioScience, Inc. -- http://www.abraxisbio.com/--
formerly American Pharmaceutical Partners, Inc. is a
biopharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and
markets injectable pharmaceutical products.  It manufactures
products in each of the three basic forms, in which injectable
products are sold: liquid, powder and lyophilized, or freeze
dried.  The Company has two business segments: Abraxis
BioScience, representing the combined operations of Abraxis
Oncology and Abraxis Research, and Abraxis Pharmaceutical
Products, representing the hospital-based operations.


ADVANCED ENVIRONMENTAL: Reaches Deal in Decking Products Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
     SPRINGDALE, Ark., Dec. 3, 2008 -- As previously reported by
Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies, Inc. ("AERT"), a
leading plastics recycler and manufacturer of Green composite
building products, AERT has entered into a settlement agreement
that was preliminarily approved by the U.S. District Court for
the Western District of Washington on September 16, 2008, in a
class action suit filed earlier this year.  The Court has set a
hearing for final approval on January 8, 2009.

     In this suit, several customers of AERT's ChoiceDek decking
product alleged class action claims in federal court complaining
that they were having difficulty keeping their decking free from
mold and mildew surface stains.  These customers bought their
ChoiceDek products before AERT began adding zinc borate, a mold
inhibitor, in October 2006.  AERT has investigated these claims
and entered into the settlement agreement in order to resolve
this litigation.

     As part of the settlement, the Defendants will modify
ChoiceDek marketing materials to further help customers to
understand the need to periodically clean their decking in order
to avoid the build up of surface debris which can support mold
and mildew.  Updated cleaning information will be available on
the ChoiceDek website.  Additionally, to assist customers with
caring for their decks, a new instructional cleaning video will
be provided to customers upon request.

     The settlement also offers a formal claim resolution
process for those customers who may be having difficulty with
significant mold or mildew spotting on their decking.  The claim
resolution process allows eligible customers to have their decks
inspected, cleaned, and treated with a mold inhibitor and
provides other additional relief under certain circumstances,
such as additional cleanings, refunds, replacement material,
coupons for discounted cleanings, and/or credit vouchers for use
at Lowe's Home Improvement stores.

     The claim resolution process is described in the settlement
agreement and class notice, which have been submitted to the
court for approval.

     More information along with the claim submission deadline
is available at www.AERT.com/class_action_settlement.asp or call
1-877-220-6624.

     "AERT is committed to customer service and to addressing
the issues and concerns of our customers. We at AERT have always
prided ourselves in offering first rate customer service,"
stated Joe G. Brooks, chief executive officer of AERT.  "Our
intent is to positively resolve our customers' concerns.  This
process has enabled AERT to improve and expand its customer
support program.  In the meantime, AERT continues to improve and
develop its existing product line and offer optimal performance
on new products," Brooks concluded.

     "We commend AERT for standing behind its product and taking
care of its customers in this way. From the beginning of this
process, it was clear to us that customer satisfaction was of
utmost importance to AERT, and this settlement evidences that
fact.  This settlement is an outstanding result for all
ChoiceDek owners who bought earlier versions of ChoiceDek and
may have experienced mold and mildew problems. They will have
those issues addressed by AERT in a timely and fair way," said
Jonathan Selbin of Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP,
one of co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs and class.

Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies, Inc. (AERT) --
http://www.aertinc.com/-- develops, manufactures and markets
composite building materials that are used in place of
traditional wood or plastic products for exterior applications
in building and remodeling homes and for certain other
industrial or commercial building purposes.  The Company's
products are sold by national companies, such as the
Weyerhaeuser Co., Lowe's Cos., Inc., and Therma-Tru Corp.  Its
composite building materials are marketed as a substitute for
wood and plastic filler materials for standard door components,
windowsills, brick mould, fascia board, decking and heavy
industrial flooring under the trade names LifeCycle,
MoistureShield, MoistureShield CornerLoc, Weyerhaeuser ChoiceDek
Premium, ChoiceDek Premium Colors, MoistureShield outdoor
decking and Basics outdoor decking.  AERT has manufacturing
facilities in Springdale, Lowell, and Tontitown, Arkansas;
Junction, Texas and Alexandria, Louisiana.


BENDIGO BANK: Slater Gordon to File Suit v. Sandhurst Trustees
--------------------------------------------------------------
     MELBOURNE, Dec. 4, 2008 -- Hundreds of victims of failed
Australian property developer Fincorp are hoping to recoup tens
of millions of dollars in lost investments in a class-action
suit against an arm of the Bendigo Bank.  Up to 8,000 investors
lost more than A$200 million (US$129.65 million) in the collapse
of Fincorp in 2007.

     Fincorp issued fixed interest debentures that were marketed
to retirees and other retail investors.

     Law firm Slater & Gordon (ASX:SGH) is launching the class-
action suit against Bendigo Bank subsidiary Sandhurst Trustees
on behalf of all people who invested in secured and unsecured
debentures after December 7, 2004, until Fincorp's collapse in
March 2007.


COMPENSATION RISK: To Challenge WRWCTNY Members' Litigation
-----------------------------------------------------------
     HAMILTON, Bermuda, Dec. 03, 2008 -- Compensation Risk
Managers LLC will contest a lawsuit filed by 10 former members
of the Wholesale Retail Workers' Compensation Trust of New York
(WRWCTNY) seeking damages for alleged breach of contract and
breach of fiduciary duties.

     The lawsuit, filed in the New York State Supreme Court, 8th
District, seeks class-action status.  According to a U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission filing by the workers'
compensation insurer's parent company, CRM Holdings, the lawsuit
alleges that CRM breached its contract with WRWCTNY, breached
its duty of good faith and fair dealing, breached its fiduciary
duties, acted negligently, engaged in deceptive business
practices, and was unjustly enriched.

     The plaintiffs are seeking damages arising from the
plaintiffs' joint and several liability for the deficit of
WRWCTNY -- estimated by the New York State Workers' Compensation
Board at $19 million -- and from any unpaid claims of the
plaintiffs' injured employees in an amount presently
undetermined.

     In a statement, CRM Holdings said the company acted
properly and that the lawsuit is unwarranted. The company said
it has not reviewed the methodology used by the workers'
compensation board, which regulates workers' comp insurance in
the state.

     "The agreements made with each of the self-insurance groups
it managed in the State of New York clearly set out CRM's
obligations under these agreements, and in each and every case,
CRM has fulfilled those duties," CRM Holdings said in its
statement.

     In July, a New York Supreme Court justice found that
employers using self-insured trusts to fund their workers'
compensation coverage won't have to pay millions of dollars to
help cover the losses of insolvent trusts.  The ruling also
allowed the workers' compensation board to pursue healthy trusts
when it has established the failed trusts are proven to have no
other resources.  A group of 13 trusts had sued to stop
increases of more than 8,000% in the quarterly assessments they
pay to the board caused by the default several trusts
administered by CRM Holdings (BestWire, July 14, 2008).

     In 2007, the top five writers of workers' comp insurance in
New York, according to A.M. Best Co. state/line product
information, were: the State Insurance Fund of New York, with a
40% market share; American International Group Inc., with 17.7%;
Liberty Mutual Insurance Cos., with 9.4%; Zurich Financial
Services North America Group, with 4.3%; and Hartford Insurance
Group, with 4.3%.


COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL: Grais & Ellsworth LLP Files Suit in N.Y.
---------------------------------------------------------------
     NEW YORK, Dec. 03, 2008 -- Grais & Ellsworth LLP has filed
a class action against Countrywide Financial Corporation on
behalf of thousands of investors in 374 securitization trusts to
which Countrywide sold subprime and Alt-A mortgage loans.

     As reported earlier, Countrywide has reached an agreement
with the Attorneys General of 15 states to settle charges of
predatory lending by reducing payments on up to 400,000 mortgage
loans by a total of up to $8.4 billion.

     The complaint in the class action demands a judgment
declaring that Countrywide is required to purchase, at full par
value, any loan that it modifies.

     The lead plaintiff is Greenwich Financial Services
Distressed Mortgage Fund 3, LLC, an investment vehicle managed
by William A. Frey of Greenwich Financial Services, L.L.C. of
Greenwich, Connecticut.  Mr. Frey is a leading investor in
mortgage-backed securities and has established the new fund to
enforce the contractual rights of investors in mortgage ABS.

For more details, contact:

          Grais & Ellsworth LLP
          70 East 55th Street
          New York, New York 10022
          Phone: 212 755 0100
          Fax: 212 755 0052
          e-mail: firm@graisellsworth.com
          Web site: http://www.graisellsworth.com/


FIRESIDE BANK: Still Faces Suits Over Post-Repossession Notices
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fireside Bank -- an operating segment of Unitrin, Inc. --
continues to face two class-action suits in California state
courts over allegations that its post-repossession notices to
defaulting borrowers failed to comply with certain aspects of
California law.

The plaintiffs seek:

        -- compensatory damages, including a refund of
           deficiency balances collected from customers who
           received the allegedly defective notices;

        -- punitive damages; and

        -- equitable relief.

A statewide class has been certified in one of these matters.
Fireside Bank has successfully moved to have these two cases
treated on a coordinated basis going forward.

Unitrin, Inc. reported no development in the matter in its Nov.
3, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

Unitrin, Inc. -- http://www.unitrin.com/-- through its
subsidiaries, is engaged in providing property and casualty
insurance, life and health insurance, and consumer finance
services.  The company conducts its operations through six
operating segments: Kemper Auto and Home, Unitrin Specialty,
Unitrin Direct, Unitrin Business Insurance, Life and Health
Insurance and Consumer Finance.  Unitrin's property and casualty
insurance business operations are conducted through Kemper Auto
and Home, Unitrin Specialty, Unitrin Direct and Unitrin Business
Insurance.


GOODYEAR TIRE: Ohio Court Gives Final Approval of USW Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
granted final approval to the proposed settlement in the matter
"Redington, et al. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Case No.
5:07-cv-01999-JRA."

On July 3, 2007, the United Steelworkers and several retirees
filed a required class action suit against Goodyear regarding
the establishment of a Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary
Association, which is intended to provide healthcare benefits
for current and future USW retirees.

The parties recently agreed to settle the matter.  Under that
agreement, they agreed to create a VEBA trust fund.  As part of
the settlement, the court will certify the class of retirees
covered under the proposed VEBA.

Essentially, Goodyear has agreed to pay as much as $1 billion to
the fund, which then will have sole responsibility for union
retirees' health care costs.  The independent health care trust
stands to benefit the union's 30,000 retirees.

On Dec. 14, 2007, the District Court preliminarily approved the
settlement agreement among the parties.  A final approval of the
settlement has yet to be entered.

On Aug. 22, 2008, the District Court approved the settlement
agreement that had been filed by the parties to that required
class action lawsuit.

Following the approval of the settlement agreement, we made a
one-time cash contribution of $980 million to the VEBA on August
27, 2008 and we expect to make a one-time cash contribution of
$27 million to a VEBA for USW retirees of our former Engineered
Products business (EPD VEBA) in the fourth quarter of 2008.

As a result of this action, the company were required to
remeasure the benefit obligation of the affected plans.  The
discount rate used to measure the benefit obligations of the
company's U.S. other post-retirement health care plans for USW
retirees was 6.75% at Aug. 27, 2008, compared to 6.00% at
December 31, 2007.

The $980 million cash contribution to the VEBA was considered
plan assets from Aug. 27, 2008 until the appeals process was
exhausted.

The suit is "Redington, et al. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber
Company, Case No. 5:07-cv-01999-JRA," filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Judge John R. Adams,
presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

           Jeremiah A. Collins, Esq. (jcollins@bredhoff.com)
           Bredhoff & Kaiser
           Ste. 1000, 805 Fifteenth Street, NW
           Washington, DC 20005
           Phone: 202-842-2600
           Fax: 202-842-1888

           Jori B. Naegele, Esq.
           Gary, Naegele & Theado
           446 Broadway
           Lorain, OH 44052-1797
           Phone: 440-244-4809
           Fax: 440-244-3462
           e-mail: envirolit@aol.com

                - and -

           Joseph M. Sellers, Esq. (jsellers@cmht.com)
           Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll
           500 West Tower, 1100 New York Avenue, NW
           Washington, DC 20005-3964
           Phone: 202-408-4600
           Fax: 202-408-4699

Representing the defendants is:

           Johanna Fabrizio Parker, Esq. (jfparker@jonesday.com)
           Jones Day
           901 Lakeside Avenue
           Cleveland, OH 44114
           Phone: 216-586-7263
           Fax: 216-579-0212


JDS UNIPHASE: Confidential Settlement Reached in Calif. Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The parties in the matter "Central States Southeast and
Southwest Areas Pension Fund v. JDS Uniphase Corp., No. 07-
0584," have reached a confidential settlement for the case,
which is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California against JDS Uniphase Corp.

The suit, "Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension
Fund v. JDS Uniphase Corp., No. 07-0584," was filed on Jan. 29,
2007.  It is based on allegations similar to those made in "In
re JDS Uniphase Corporation Securities Litigation" and asserts
claims under Sections 10(b), 14(a), and 20(a) of the U.S.
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and
15 of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933.

The Central State complaint, which was filed against the company
and certain of its officials, seeks unspecified damages on
behalf of a pension fund that purportedly purchased company
securities between Oct. 28, 1999, and July 26, 2001, and elected
to opt-out of participation in "In re JDS Uniphase Corporation
Securities Litigation."

On Feb. 14, 2007, the Central States action was deemed related
to "In re JDS Uniphase Corporation Securities Litigation," and
was assigned Judge Claudia Wilken.

A case management conference in the Central States action is
scheduled for May 13, 2008, and trial is set to begin on Nov. 9,
2009.

Pursuant to the court's order, the parties participated in
mediation on Aug. 7, 2008, and reached an agreement in principle
to resolve all claims on confidential terms, according to the
company's Nov. 3, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended  Sept. 27, 2008.

The suit is "Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas
Pension Fund v. JDS Uniphase Corporation et al., Case No. 4:07-
cv-00584-CW," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California, Judge Claudia Wilken presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

         William S. Lerach, Esq.
         Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP
         655 West Broadway, Suite 1900
         San Diego, CA 92101
         Phone:  619-231-1058
         Fax: 619-231-7423
         e-mail: e_file_sf@lerachlaw.com

Representing the defendants is:

         Jordan Eth, Esq. (jeth@mofo.com)
         Morrison & Foerster
         425 Market Street
         San Francisco, CA 94105-2482
         Phone: 415-268-7000
         Fax: 415-268-7522


JDS UNIPHASE: Tentative Settlement Reached in Calif. ERISA Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A tentative settlement was reached in the matter "In re JDS
Uniphase Corp. ERISA Litigation, Case No. C-03-4743 WWS (MEJ),"
which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California against JDS Uniphase Corp.

The consolidated class-action lawsuit which was filed against
JDS Uniphase Corp. is alleging violations of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act.  It was filed against the
company, certain of its former and current officers and
directors, and certain other current and former company
employees.  It was brought on behalf of a purported class of
participants in the 401(k) Plans of the company and Optical
Coating Laboratory, Inc., and the Plans.

On Oct. 31, 2005, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint that
alleges that defendants violated the ERISA by breaching their
fiduciary duties to the Plans and the Plans' participants.  The
amended complaint also alleges a purported class period from
Feb. 4, 2000, to the present and seeks an unspecified amount of
damages, restitution, a constructive trust, and other equitable
remedies.

Certain individual defendants' motion to dismiss portions of the
amended complaint was granted with prejudice on June 15, 2006.

The plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on June 30,
2006.  The defendants answered the complaint on July 6, 2006,
and JDSU asserted counterclaims for breach of contract.  The
court dismissed those counterclaims on Sept. 11, 2006.

On Dec. 15, 2006, the defendants moved for summary judgment on
the ground that the named plaintiffs lacked standing.  On the
same day, the plaintiffs moved for class certification.

On April 24, 2007, the court denied the defendants' motion for
summary judgment as to plaintiff Douglas Pettit, deferred ruling
on the motion for summary judgment as to plaintiff Eric Carey,
and deferred ruling on the plaintiffs' motion for class
certification.

Both sides have taken discovery.  Following the verdict for
defendants in "In re JDS Uniphase Corporation Securities
Litigation," the court in the ERISA action vacated all existing
deadlines, set a schedule for briefing a summary judgment motion
based on collateral estoppel issues, and stayed discovery
pending resolution of that motion.

By Order dated April 17, 2008, the Court modified the briefing
schedule for JDSU's summary judgment motion and ordered the
parties to engage in mediation. Defendants moved for summary
judgment on collateral estoppel issues on May 2, 2008.

The parties participated in mediation on Oct. 10, 2008, and
reached an agreement in principle to resolve all claims,
according to the company's Nov. 3, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended Sept. 27, 2008.

The suit is "Pettit v. JDS Uniphase Corp., et al., Case No.
3:03-cv-04743-WWS," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California, Judge William W. Schwarzer,
presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

         Alan R. Plutzik, Esq. (aplutzik@bramsonplutzik.com)
         Bramson Plutzik Mahler & Birhaeuser, LLP
         2125 Oak Grove Road, Suite 120
         Walnut Creek, CA 94598
         Phone: 925-945-0200
         Fax: 925-945-8792

              - and -

         Joseph H. Meltzer, Esq. (jmeltzer@sbclasslaw.com)
         Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP
         280 King of Prussia Road
         Radnor, PA 19087
         Phone: 610-667-7706
         Fax: 610-667-7056

Representing the defendants are:

         Paul Flum, Esq. (paulflum@mofo.com)
         Terri Garland, Esq. (tgarland@mofo.com)
         Morrison & Foerster
         425 Market Street
         San Francisco, CA 94105
         Phone: 415-268-7000
         Fax: 415-268-7522


LENDER PROCESSING: Attorney Fee-Splitting Lawsuit Still Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
A purported class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of Texas over allegations that Lender
Processing Services, Inc., engaged in unlawful attorney fee-
splitting practices in its default management business.

Initially, a putative class-action lawsuit was filed on Jan. 16,
2008, as an adversary proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
for the Southern District of Texas.

The complaint alleges that Lender Processing Services, Inc.,
engaged in unlawful attorney fee-splitting practices in its
default management business.  It seeks declaratory and equitable
relief reversing all attorneys' fees charged to debtors in
bankruptcy court and disgorging any such fees we collected.

Lender Processing filed a motion to dismiss the case, and the
Bankruptcy Court dismissed three of the six counts contained in
the complaint.  The company also filed a Motion to Withdraw the
Reference and remove the case to federal district court as the
appropriate forum for the resolution of the allegations
contained in the complaint.

The Bankruptcy Court recommended removal to the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of Texas, and the U.S. District
Court accepted that recommendation in April 2008.

The company did not report further developments on the matter in
its Nov. 14, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

Lender Processing Services, Inc. -- http://www.lpsvcs.com/-- is
a provider of integrated technology and outsourced services to
the mortgage lending industry, with capabilities in mortgage
processing and default management services in the U.S.  The
company's technology solutions include its mortgage processing
system.   Its outsourced services include default management
services, which are used by mortgage lenders and servicers, and
its loan facilitation services, which support most aspects of
the closing of mortgage loan transactions to national lenders
and loan servicers.  LPS conducts its operations through two
segments: technology, data and analytics, and loan transaction
services.


LENDER PROCESSING: Unit Faces 12 Suits Over Illegal Price Fixing
----------------------------------------------------------------
One of Lender Processing Services, Inc.'s subsidiaries, National
Title Insurance of New York, Inc., continues to be named in 12
putative class action lawsuits, according to the company's Nov.
14, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

The cases are styled as:

   -- "Barton v. National Title Insurance of New York, Inc. et
      al.," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
      District of California on March 10, 2008;

   -- "Gentilcore v. National Title Insurance of New York, Inc.
      et al.," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
      District of California on March 11, 2008;

   -- "Martinez v. National Title Insurance of New York, Inc. et
      al.," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
      District of California on March 18, 2008;

   -- "Swick v. National Title Insurance of New York, Inc. et
      al.," filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
      New Jersey on March 19, 2008;

   -- "Davis v. National Title Insurance of New York, Inc. et
      al.," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central
      District of California, Western Division, on March 20,
      2008;

   -- "Pepe v. National Title Insurance of New York, Inc. et
      al.," filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
      New Jersey on March 21, 2008;

   -- "Kornbluth v. National Title Insurance of New York, Inc.
      et al.," filed in the U.S. District Court for the District
      of New Jersey on March 24, 2008;

   -- "Lamb v. National Title Insurance of New York, Inc. et
      al.," filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
      New Jersey on March 24, 2008;

   -- "Blackwell v. National Title Insurance of New York, Inc.
      et al.," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
      District of California on April 11, 2008;

   -- "Magana v. National Title Insurance of New York, Inc. et
      al.," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central
      District of California on June 4, 2008;

   -- "Moynahan v. National Title Insurance of New York, Inc. et
      al.," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central
      District of California on June 10, 2008; and

   -- "Romero v. National Title Insurance of New York, Inc. et
      al.," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
      District of California on July 14, 2008.

The complaints in these lawsuits are substantially similar and
allege that the title insurance underwriters named as
defendants, including National Title Insurance of New York,
Inc., engaged in illegal price fixing as well as market
allocation and division that resulted in higher title insurance
prices for consumers.

The complaints seek treble damages in an amount to be proved at
trial and an injunction against the defendants from engaging in
any anti-competitive practices under the Sherman Antitrust Act
and various state statutes.

A motion was filed before the Multidistrict Litigation Panel to
consolidate and/or coordinate these actions in the U.S. District
Court in the Southern District of New York.  However, that
motion was denied.  The cases are generally being consolidated
before one district court judge in each state and scheduled for
the filing of consolidated complaints and motion practice.

Lender Processing Services, Inc. -- http://www.lpsvcs.com/-- is
a provider of integrated technology and outsourced services to
the mortgage lending industry, with capabilities in mortgage
processing and default management services in the U.S.  The
company's technology solutions include its mortgage processing
system.   Its outsourced services include default management
services, which are used by mortgage lenders and servicers, and
its loan facilitation services, which support most aspects of
the closing of mortgage loan transactions to national lenders
and loan servicers.  LPS conducts its operations through two
segments: technology, data and analytics, and loan transaction
services.


ORION ENERGY: Replies to Bid to Junk Consolidated Suit Due Dec.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Response and reply briefs to Orion Energy Systems, Inc.'s motion
to dismiss the consolidated amended complaint in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York are
scheduled to be filed by the end of December 2008.

In February and March 2008, three class-action suits were filed
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
against the Company, several of its officers, all members of the
board of directors, and certain underwriters relating to its
December 2007 Initial Public Offering.

The plaintiffs claim to represent those persons who purchased
shares of the Company's common stock from Dec. 18, 2007 through
Feb. 6, 2008.

The plaintiffs allege, among other things, that the defendants
made misstatements and failed to disclose material information
in the Company's registration statement and prospectus.

The claims allege various claims under the U.S. Securities Act
of 1933, as amended.

The complaints seek, among other relief, class certification,
unspecified damages, fees, and such other relief as the court
may deem just and proper.

On Aug. 1, 2008, the court-appointed lead plaintiff filed a
consolidated amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York.

On Sept. 15, 2008, the Company and the other defendants filed a
brief in support of the Company's motion to dismiss the
consolidated complaint, according to the company's Nov. 14, 2008
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

Orion Energy Systems, Inc. -- http://www.oriones.com- designs,
manufactures, markets and implements energy management systems
consisting primarily of energy efficient lighting systems,
controls and related services.  The Company's energy management
systems deliver energy savings and efficiency gains to its
commercial and industrial customers without compromising their
quantity or quality of light.  Orion has sold and installed its
HIF fixtures in over 3,655 facilities across North America,
representing over 587 million square feet of commercial and
industrial building space, including for 91 Fortune 500
companies, such as Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., General Electric
Co., Kraft Foods Inc., Newell Rubbermaid Inc., OfficeMax, Inc.,
and SYSCO Corp.


RENT-A-CENTER: Calif. Court Grants Final OK to $11M Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Los Angeles County Superior Court gave final approval to the
$11-million settlement reached in two labor violations lawsuits
against Rent-A-Center, Inc., that were granted class-action
status.

One of the suits, "Eric Shafer, et al. v. Rent-A-Center, Inc.,"
is a state-wide class action suit originally filed on May 20,
2002, before the Superior Court of California for Los Angeles
County.

The other case, "Victor E. Johnson, et al. v. Rent-A-Center,
Inc.," was filed on Feb. 24, 2004, before the Orange County
Superior Court.

The plaintiffs in these actions allege that the company
improperly classified its California store managers as exempt
from overtime under California wage and hour law and failed to
pay them overtime.

In addition, they allege that the company failed to provide its
California store managers with meal and rest periods, failed to
pay store managers overtime due when their employment ended, and
engaged in unfair business practices.

The plaintiffs seek to recover back overtime wages and
accompanying waiting time penalties, civil penalties under
California Labor Code Section 2699, certain injunctive relief
and attorneys fees.

On July 15, 2005, the plaintiffs filed their motions for class
certification.  The company opposed this.  The hearing on the
plaintiffs' class certification requests was held on May 12,
2006.

On June 23, 2006, the court granted class certification as to
the plaintiffs' claims for back overtime wages and accompanying
waiting time penalties, and as to their unfair business
practices claim.

The court denied class certification as to the plaintiffs' meal
and rest period claims and as to their claim for civil penalties
under California Labor Code Section 2699.

The plaintiffs assert that the class includes all store managers
employed by the company in California since September 1998,
which they estimate to be 700 to 1,000 members.

Equivalent hourly rates for annual salaries paid to the class
members ranged from approximately $16.83 to $31.25 per hour
based on a 40-hour workweek.

The plaintiffs assert that store managers were required to work
approximately 10-20 hours of overtime per week.  Overtime wages
would be calculated at 1.5 times the hourly rate.

In addition, California law provides for a waiting time penalty
in the amount of 30 days' compensation when all compensation due
to an employee is not paid upon separation.  The court's class
certification ruling is procedural only and does not address the
merits of the plaintiffs' claims.

The company believes that class certification was improper and
that its store managers are properly classified as exempt from
overtime.

On Feb. 4, 2008, the company reached a prospective settlement
with the plaintiffs to resolve the "Eric Shafer et al. v. Rent-
A-Center, Inc.," and "Victor E. Johnson et al. v. Rent-A-Center,
Inc.," coordinated matters.

Under the terms contemplated, the company anticipates that it
will pay an aggregate of $11 million in cash, including
settlement costs and plaintiff's attorneys' fees, to be
distributed to an agreed-upon class of employees from May 1998
through March 31, 2008.

The settlement has now received final approval from the court,
according to the company's Nov. 3, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended Sept. 30, 2008.

Rent-A-Center, Inc. -- http://www.rentacenter.com/-- is a rent-
to-own operator.  As of Dec. 31, 2007, the company operated
3,081 company-owned stores nationwide and in Canada and Puerto
Rico, including 24 stores under the name Get It Now and eight
stores located in Canada under the name Rent-A-Centre.  The
company's subsidiary, ColorTyme, is a national franchisor of
rent-to-own stores.  The company's stores generally offer
durable products, such as major consumer electronics,
appliances, computers and furniture, and accessories under
flexible rental purchase agreements that generally allow the
customer to obtain ownership of the merchandise at the
conclusion of an agreed upon rental period.  Get It Now stores
offer merchandise on an installment sales basis.


SCANA ENERGY: Ga. Court Dismisses Natural Gas Overcharging Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiffs in a class-action complaint filed on Feb. 26,
2008, against SCANA Energy Marketing, Inc., over allegations
that the company overcharged for natural gas and customer
service in Georgia since March 2007, are appealing the dismissal
of the case by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of Georgia, according to South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.'s
Nov. 3, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

The plaintiffs brought the action on behalf of all individuals
or entities who, during the period from march 2007 to the
present, were Georgia residents and Legacy SCANA Customers who
were charged by SCANA a price for natural gas and customer
service charges that exceeded SCANA's published price effective
at the beginning of their monthly billing cycles (Class Action
Reporter, March 3, 2008).

The plaintiffs want the court to rule on:

     (a) whether SCANA unlawfully charged Legacy SCANA Customers
         prices for natural gas and customer service charges
         that exceeded SCANA's published price in effect at the
         beginning of such consumers' billing cycles in
         violation of OCGA Section 46-4-160(h) and Commission
         Rule 515-7-6-02(a)(5);

     (b) whether SCANA modified the methodology used to compute
         the price Legacy SCANA Customers paid for a natural gas
         that resulted in excessive payments by Legacy SCANA
         Customers;

     (c) whether SCANA failed to provide at least 25 days notice
         to Legacy SCANA Customers prior to the implementation
         of the new methodology in violation of Commission Rule
         515-7-6-01(a)(9);

     (d) whether the activities of SCANA served or could serve
         to mislead, deceive, or work a fraud upon plaintiffs
         and the class members in violation of OCGA Section 46-
         4-153(e);

     (e) whether SCANA violated plaintiffs and class members
         rights pursuant to the Consumers' Bill of Rights set
         forth in OCGA Section 46-4-151(b)(9)(A)-(I); and

     (f) whether plaintiffs and members of the class are
         entitled to an award of damages against SCANA, and, if
         so, in what amount.

The plaintiffs ask the court to enter an order:

     -- determining that the action is a proper class action and
        certifying an appropriate plaintiff class pursuant to
        Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure;

     -- awarding all actual damages, exemplary damages, treble
        damages, interest, attorneys' fees, and costs against
        SCANA in an amount to be determined at trial; and

     -- granting such other relief as the court deems just and
        proper.

On June 13, 2008, the court dismissed the suit with prejudice.
The plaintiffs subsequently filed a motion for reconsideration,
which the court denied.

On Aug. 28, 2008, the Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal.

The suit is "David K. Weiskircher et al. v. SCANA Energy
Marketing, Inc., Case No. 1:08-CV-0640," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Jason R. Doss, Esq.
          Samuel T. Brannan, Esq.
          Page Perry, LLC
          1040 Crown Pointe Parkway, Suite 1050
          Atlanta, GA 30338
          Phone : 770-673-0047
          Fax: 770-673-0120


SOUTH CAROLINA: Dec. 15, 2008 Hearing Set for Rights-of-Way Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Dec. 15, 2008 hearing is set for a rights-of-way lawsuit filed
in the Circuit Court of Common Pleas for the Ninth Judicial
Circuit against South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (SCE&G), SCANA
Corp., and SCANA Communications, Inc. (SCI).

In May 2004, SCANA and SCE&G were served with a purported class-
action suit filed by Douglas E. Gressette, individually and on
behalf of other persons similarly situated against the
companies.  The case was filed in South Carolina's Circuit Court
of Common Pleas for the Ninth Judicial Circuit.

The plaintiff alleges that SCANA and SCE&G made improper use of
certain easements and rights-of-way by allowing fiber optic
communication lines and wireless communication equipment to
transmit communications other than SCANA's and SCE&G's
electricity-related internal communications.

The plaintiff asserted causes of action for unjust enrichment,
trespass, injunction and declaratory judgment.   The plaintiff
did not assert a specific dollar amount for the claims.

SCANA and SCE&G believe their actions are consistent with
governing law and the applicable documents granting easements
and rights-of-way.

The Circuit Court granted SCANA's and SCE&G's motions to dismiss
and issued an order nixing the case in June 2005.

The plaintiff appealed to the South Carolina Supreme Court.  The
Supreme Court overruled the Circuit Court in October 2006 and
returned the case for further consideration.

In July 2007, the Circuit Court issued a ruling that limits the
plaintiff's purported class to owners of easements situated in
Charleston County, South Carolina.

The plaintiff appealed this ruling to the South Carolina Court
of Appeals.  The court has dismissed the appeal, determining
that the Circuit Court ruling is not immediately appealable.

On Feb. 27, 2008, the Circuit Court issued an order to
conditionally certify the class, which remains limited to
easements in Charleston County.

In July 2008, the plaintiff's motion to add SCANA
Communications, Inc. (SCI) to the lawsuit as an additional
defendant was granted.  The parties have filed motions for
partial summary judgment; additionally the plaintiff has moved
to expand the class.  The motions are set to be heard on Dec.
15, 2008, according to South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.'s Nov.
3, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. -- http://www.sceg.com/--
generates and sells electricity to retail and wholesale
customers, and purchases, sells and transports natural gas to
retail customers.


UNITRIN INC: Still Faces La., Tex. Hurricane-Related Lawsuits
-------------------------------------------------------------
Unitrin, Inc., continues to face putative class action lawsuits
in Louisiana and Texas arising out of Hurricanes Katrina and
Rita.

During the course of 2007, Unitrin and certain of its
subsidiaries, like many property and casualty insurers, were
forced to defend a growing number of individual lawsuits, mass
actions, and statewide putative class actions in Louisiana and
Texas arising out of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

In these matters, the plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive
damages, and equitable relief.

Unitrin, Inc. reported no development in the matter in its Nov.
3, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

Unitrin, Inc. -- http://www.unitrin.com/-- through its
subsidiaries, is engaged in providing property and casualty
insurance, life and health insurance, and consumer finance
services.  The company conducts its operations through six
operating segments: Kemper Auto and Home, Unitrin Specialty,
Unitrin Direct, Unitrin Business Insurance, Life and Health
Insurance and Consumer Finance.  Unitrin's property and casualty
insurance business operations are conducted through Kemper Auto
and Home, Unitrin Specialty, Unitrin Direct and Unitrin Business
Insurance.


XL CAPITAL: Plaintiffs Appeal Nixing of Conn. Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiffs in a securities fraud class-action lawsuit filed
in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
against XL Capital, Ltd. are appealing the dismissal of their
second amended complaint.

On June 21, 2004, a consolidated and amended class action
complaint was served on the company and certain of its present
and former directors and officers as defendants in a putative
class action, "Malin et al. v. XL Capital Ltd. et al.," filed in
the U.S. District Court for District of Connecticut.

The Malin Action purports to be on behalf of purchasers of the
company's common stock between Nov. 1, 2001, and Oct. 16, 2003,
and alleges claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S.
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.

An amended complaint alleged that the defendants violated the
securities laws by, among other things, failing to disclose in
various public and shareholder and investor reports and other
communications the alleged inadequacy of the company's loss
reserves for its NAC Re subsidiary (now known as XL Reinsurance
America, Inc.), and that, as a consequence, the company's
earnings and assets were materially overstated.

On Aug. 26, 2005, the Court dismissed the Amended Complaint
owing to the plaintiffs' failure to adequately support the
alleged "loss causation," but provided leave for the plaintiffs
to file a further amended complaint.

The plaintiffs thereafter filed a second amended complaint,
which is similar to the Amended Complaint in its substantive
allegations.

On Dec. 31, 2005, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the
second amended complaint.  The plaintiffs opposed the motion,
and in addition, asked the court to strike certain documents and
exhibits that the XL defendants had proffered in support of the
dismissal motion.

By Order dated Dec.15, 2006, the court granted in part and
denied in part the plaintiffs' motion to strike and allowed
limited discovery through March 2, 2007.

The Judge denied the defendants' dismissal motion without
prejudice to its renewal at the conclusion of such discovery.

On March 22, 2007, the defendants filed their renewed motion to
dismiss the Second Amended Complaint.  By order dated July 21,
2007, the court granted the defendants' renewed motion and
dismissed the Second Amended Complaint.

On Aug. 30, 2007, the plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal.
Briefing on the Appeal is concluded and the parties await
scheduling of argument.

The company reported no development in the matter in its Nov. 3,
2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended  Sept. 30, 2008.

The suit is "Malin et al. v. XL Capital Ltd. et al., Case no.
3:03-cv-02001-PCD," filed with the U.S. District Court for the
District of Connecticut, Judge Peter C. Dorsey presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

         Ramzi Abadou, Esq. (ramzia@mwbhl.com)
         Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman
         401 B Street, Suite 1700
         San Diego, CA 92101
         Phone: 619-231-1058
         Fax: 619-231-7423

         George Edward Barrett, Esq.
         (gbarrett@barrettjohnston.com)
         Barrett, Johnston & Parsley
         217 Second Avenue
         Nashville, TN 37201
         Phone: 615-244-2202

              - and -

         Patrick A. Klingman, Esq. (pklingman@sfmslaw.com)
         Sheperd Finkelman Miller & Shah
         65 Main St.
         Chester, CT 06412
         Phone: 860-526-1100
         Fax: 860-526-1120

Representing the defendant is:

         Leonard A. Spivak, Esq. (lspivak@cahill.com)
         Cahill, Gordon & Reindel
         80 Pine St.
         New York, NY 10005
         Phone: 212-701-3000
         Fax: 212-269-5420


XL CAPITAL: Still Faces Lawsuits Over Municipal Derivatives
-----------------------------------------------------------
XL Capital, Ltd., and certain of its subsidiaries are still
facing several purported class action suits over Municipal
Guaranteed Investment Contracts and similar derivative products.

Commencing in March 2008, the Company and two of its
subsidiaries were named, along with approximately 20 other
providers and insurers of municipal Guaranteed Investment
Contracts and similar derivative products in the U.S.
(collectively Municipal Derivatives) as well as fourteen brokers
of such products, in several purported federal antitrust class
actions.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that
these be consolidated for pretrial purposes and assigned them to
the Southern District of New York.

The consolidated amended complaint filed in August 2008 alleges
that there was a conspiracy among the defendants during the
period from January 1, 1992 to the present to rig bids and
otherwise unlawfully decrease the yield for Municipal Derivative
products.

The purported class of plaintiffs consists of purchasers of
Municipal Derivatives. On October 21, 2008 most of the
defendants filed motions to dismiss the consolidated amended
complaint.

In addition, the same two subsidiaries of the Company have been
named in a number of similar actions filed by various
municipalities in California state courts.  The Defendants have
removed those cases to federal court.  The Plaintiffs have filed
motions to remand.

XL Capital, Ltd. -- http://www.xlcapital.com/-- is a provider
of  insurance and reinsurance coverage to industrial, commercial
and professional service firms, insurance companies and other
enterprises on a worldwide basis.


XL CAPITAL: Tentative April 2009 Hearing Set For MDL-1663 Appeal
----------------------------------------------------------------
A tentative April 2009 hearing is set for plaintiff's appeals in
the matter "In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, MDL
No. 1663, Civil Action No. 04-5184 (FSH)," which names XL
Capital, Ltd. as a defendant.

In August 2005, the plaintiffs in a proposed class action multi-
district lawsuit, "In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust
Litigation, MDL No. 1663, Civil Action No. 04-5184 (FSH)," filed
a consolidated amended complaint, which named as new defendants
in the pending action approximately 30 entities, including:

     -- Greenwich Insurance Co.,
     -- Indian Harbor Insurance Co., and
     -- XL Capital Ltd.

In the MDL, the Class Action plaintiffs asserted various claims
purportedly on behalf of a class of commercial insureds against
approximately 113 insurance companies and insurance brokers
through which the named plaintiffs allegedly purchased
insurance.

The Amended Complaint alleged that the defendant insurance
companies and insurance brokers conspired to manipulate bidding
practices for insurance policies in certain insurance lines and
failed to disclose certain commission arrangements.

The named plaintiffs asserted statutory claims under the Sherman
Act, various state antitrust laws and the Racketeer Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations Act, as well as common law claims
alleging breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting a breach
of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment.

Discovery in the MDL commenced in the latter part of 2005.

The defendants filed motions to dismiss the Amended Complaint in
late November 2005.  By Opinion and Order dated Oct. 3, 2006,
the Court ruled on the defendants' dismiss motion, holding that
the plaintiffs' RICO and antitrust claims were deficient and
directing plaintiffs to file a supplemental RICO case statement
and a supplemental statement of particularity as to their
Sherman Act claims.

The plaintiffs filed their supplemental pleadings on Oct. 25,
2006, and on Nov. 30, 2006, the defendants filed motions to
dismiss the plaintiffs' supplemental pleadings.  The Court
dismissed the plaintiffs' Sherman Act and RICO claims without
prejudice to their filing final amended pleadings.

Then, by order dated April 11, 2007, the Court stayed all
proceedings in the MDL, including discovery, pending the
disposition of the defendants' motions to dismiss plaintiffs'
Second Amended Complaint, which was filed on May 22, 2007, and
contained allegations as to XL that were materially similar to
those set forth in plaintiffs' October 2006 pleadings, but also
purported to add as new defendants three other XL entities.

On June 2007, XL (along with other defendants) filed motions to
dismiss the Sherman Act and RICO claims alleged in the Second
Amended Complaint and to strike the newly-named parties.

By an Opinion and Order dated Aug. 31, 2007, the Court dismissed
the Class Action plaintiffs' Sherman Act claims with prejudice
and, by Opinion and Order dated Sept. 28, 2007, the Court
dismissed the Class Action plaintiffs' RICO claims with
prejudice.

In its Sept. 28, 2007, Opinion and Order, the Court declined to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the Class Action
plaintiffs' state law claims.

On Oct. 10, 2007, the Class Action plaintiffs filed a Notice of
Appeal, stating their intention to appeal to the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit from the District Court's:

       -- Oct. 3, 2006 Opinion and Order;
       -- April 5, 2007 Opinions and Order;
       -- Aug. 31, 2007 Opinion and Order; and
       -- Sept. 28, 2007 Opinion and Order.

All appellate briefs have now been filed.  Oral argument in the
appeal has been scheduled tentatively for April 2009, according
to the company's Nov. 3, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended  Sept.
30, 2008.

XL Capital, Ltd. -- http://www.xlcapital.com-- is a provider of
insurance and reinsurance coverage to industrial, commercial and
professional service firms, insurance companies and other
enterprises on a worldwide basis.







    






                   New Securities Fraud Cases


ARACRUZ CELULOSE: Brower Piven Announces Securities Suit Filing
---------------------------------------------------------------
     Brower Piven, A Professional Corporation announces that a
class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of
all investors who purchased Aracruz Celulose S.A. ("Aracruz" or
the "Company")  American Depository Receipts (ADRs) and/or
common stock between April 7, 2008 and October 2, 2008,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

     The Complaint accuses the defendants of violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by virtue of the Company's
failure to disclose during the Class Period that it had entered
into hedging contracts as protection against foreign interest
rate volatility that violated Company policy in that they were
far larger than necessary to hedge normal business operations.
According to the complaint, on October 3, 2008, after credit
rating agencies downgraded Aracruz, the value of Aracruz's stock
declined significantly.

For more details, contact:

          Charles J. Piven, Esq. (hoffman@browerpiven.com)
          Brower Piven
          The World Trade Center-Baltimore
          401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525
          Baltimore, Maryland 21202
          Phone: 410/332-0030
          Web site: http://www.browerpiven.com


ARACRUZ CELULOSE: Izard Nobel Announces Securities Suit Filing
--------------------------------------------------------------
     HARTFORD, CT, Dec. 3, 2008 -- The law firm of Izard Nobel
LLP, which has significant experience representing investors in
prosecuting claims of securities fraud, announces that a lawsuit
seeking class action status has been filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of
those who purchased the American Depository Receipts("ADRs") of
Aracruz Celulose S.A. ("Aracruz" or the "Company") (NYSE:
ARA)between April 7, 2008 through October 2, 2008, inclusive
(the "Class Period").

     The Complaint charges that Aracruz, a major Brazilian
manufacturer of forest products, which they market to
manufacturers of consumer paper products around the world, and
certain of its officers and directors violated federal
securities laws.

     Specifically, Aracruz entered into undisclosed currency
derivative contracts to purportedly hedge against the Company's
U.S. dollar exposure.  Aracruz characterized the use of these
contracts as protection against foreign interest rate volatility
andassured investors that this type of trading did not represent
"a risk from an economic and financial standpoint."

     However, these contracts violated Company policy in that
they were far larger than necessary to hedge normal business
operations.

     As a result of Aracruz's clandestine and speculative
currency wagers, credit rating agencies downgraded Aracruz and
theCompany's CFO resigned. On October 3, 2008, the Company's
ADRs closed at$23.40, down $7.84 per share, a decline of 25%.

For more details, contact:

          Nancy A. Kulesa, Esq.
          Wayne T. Boulton, Esq.
          Izard Nobel LLP
          Phone: (800) 797-5499
          e-mail: firm@izardnobel.com
          Web site: http://www.izardnobel.com


JA SOLAR: Coughlin Stoia Files Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.Y.
---------------------------------------------------------------
     NEW YORK, Dec. 03, 2008 -- Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman &
Robbins LLP  today announced that a class action has been
commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of purchasers of the American
Depository Shares ("ADS") of JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. ("JA
Solar" or the "Company") during the period between August 12,
2008 and November 12, 2008 (the "Class Period").

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

     JA Solar describes itself as a leading China-based
manufacturer of high-performance solar cells.  JA Solar is
principally involved in the development, manufacture and sale of
high quality solar photovoltaic products to global markets.

     The complaint alleges that, during the Class Period,
defendants made materially false and misleading statements about
the Company's financial condition and operating results.

     Specifically, defendants failed to disclose that JA Solar
purchased from a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers Inc. ("Lehman
Brothers") a three month, $100 million note (the "Lehman note")
on or about July 9, 2008.

     At the time of this purchase, Lehman Brothers, which
guaranteed the Lehman note, was under severe financial distress.
According to the complaint, defendants failed to disclose:

       -- that JA Solar had made a material, highly speculative
          investment in a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers, an
          entity that was then undergoing a credit crisis and
          under significant financial distress;

       -- that the value of JA Solar's investment in the Lehman
          note had diminished considerably; and

       -- that, as a result of the foregoing, defendants'
          positive statements concerning JA Solar's financial
          performance, outlook and earnings guidance were
          materially false and misleading and without reasonable
          basis.

     Ultimately, at the end of the Class Period, JA Solar wrote
off its $100 million investment in the Lehman note.  After JA
Solar fully disclosed and recorded an impairment in the value of
its investment in the Lehman note, on November 12, 2008, JA
Solar's stock closed at $2.38 per share, a price that
represented a decline of more than 87% from the high during the
three month Class Period.

     The plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all
purchasers of JA Solar publicly traded securities the Class
Period (the "Class").

For more details, contact:

          Darren Robbins, Esq. (djr@csgrr.com)
          Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP
          Phone: 800-449-4900 or 619-231-1058
          Web site: http://www.csgrr.com/cases/jasolar/


JA SOLAR: Izard Nobel Announces Securities Fraud Suit Filing
------------------------------------------------------------
     HARTFORD, CT, Dec. 3, 2008 -- The law firm of Izard Nobel
LLP, which has significant experience representing investors in
prosecuting claims of securities fraud, announces that a lawsuit
seeking class action status has been filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf
of those who purchased the American Depository Shares("ADS") of
JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. ("JA Solar" or the "Company")
(NASDAQ: JASO) between August 12, 2008 and November 12, 2008,
inclusive(the "Class Period").

     The Complaint charges that JA Solar and certain of its
officers and directors violated federal securities laws.
Specifically, defendants failed to disclose:

     -- that JA Solar purchased from a subsidiary of Lehman
        Brothers Inc. ("Lehman Brothers") a three month, $100
        million note (the"Lehman note") on or about July 9, 2008
        and at the time of this purchase,Lehman Brothers, which
        guaranteed the Lehman note, was under severe financial
        distress;

     -- that the value of JA Solar's investment in the Lehman
        note had diminished considerably; and

     -- that, as a result of the foregoing, defendants' positive
        statements concerning JA Solar's financial performance,
        outlook and earnings guidance were materially false
        and misleading.

     After JA Solar fully disclosed and recorded an impairment
in the value of its investment in the Lehman note, on November
12, 2008, JA Solar fell to$2.38 per share, a decline of over 87%
from the Class Period high.

For more details, contact:

          Nancy A. Kulesa, Esq.
          Wayne T. Boulton, Esq.
          Izard Nobel LLP
          Phone: (800) 797-5499
          e-mail: firm@izardnobel.com
          Web site: http://www.izardnobel.com


KV PHARMACEUTICAL: Brian M. Felgoise Announces Stock Suit Filing
----------------------------------------------------------------
     PHILADELPHIA, PA, Dec. 03, 2008 -- Law Offices of Brian M.
Felgoise, P.C. announces that a class action has been commenced
on behalf of shareholders who acquired KV Pharmaceutical Company
("KV" or the "Company") Class A Common Stock (NYSE: KV-A), Class
B Common Stock (NYSE: KV-B) and 7% cumulative convertible
Preferred Stock (Symbol: KVPHP or CUSIP: 482740305) securities
between February 15, 2008 and November 12, 2008 (the "Class
Period").

     The case is pending in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Missouri, against the company and
certain key officers and directors.

     The action charges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing a series of materially false and
misleading statements to the market throughout the Class Period
which statements had the effect of artificially inflating the
market price of the Company's securities.

     No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more information, contact:

          Brian M. Felgoise, Esq. (FelgoiseLaw@verizon.net)
          Law Offices of Brian M. Felgoise, P.C.
          261 Old York Road, Suite 423
          Jenkintown, PA 19046
          Phone: 215-886-1900


OMRIX BIOPHARMACEUTICALS: Brian Felgoise Announces Suit Filing
--------------------------------------------------------------
     PHILADELPHIA, PA, Dec. 3, 2008 -- The Law Offices of Brian
M. Felgoise, P.C. announces that a class action has been
commenced on behalf of shareholders of Omrix Biopharmaceuticals,
Inc. (NASDAQ: OMRI) in connection with the offer by Johnson &
Johnson to acquire all of the outstanding shares of OMRI.

     The case is pending in The Supreme Court of the State of
New York, County of New York against certain officers and
directors. The goal of the lawsuit is to seek the highest
possible offer for the public shares.

For more information, contact:

          Brian M. Felgoise, Esq. (FelgoiseLaw@verizon.net)
          Law Offices of Brian M. Felgoise, P.C.
          261 Old York Road, Suite 423
          Jenkintown, PA 19046
          Phone: 215-886-1900


SOUTHWEST WATER: Spector Roseman Announces Stock Lawsuit Filing
---------------------------------------------------------------
     PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 3, 2008 -- The law firm of Spector
Roseman Kodroff & Willis, P.C. announces that a securities class
action lawsuit was commenced in the United States District Court
for the Central District of California, on behalf of purchasers
of the securities of SouthWest Water Company ("SouthWest Water"
or the "Company") between May 10, 2005 through November 7, 2008,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

     SouthWest Water provides operations, maintenance and
management services, including water production, treatment and
distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, customer
service, and utility infrastructure construction management.

     The Company owns regulated public utilities and also serves
cities, utility districts and private companies under contract.

     The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period,
defendants knew or recklessly disregarded that their public
statements were materially false and misleading or failed to
disclose the following:

       -- that the Company was improperly applying a rate of
          depreciation for certain acquired assets by failing to
          consider the length of time the assets were in service
          prior to being acquired;

       -- that the Company was improperly capitalizing and
          depreciating costs associated with installing water
          and sewer taps in Texas and Mississippi while
          recognizing the related tap fee revenue when received,
          instead of expensing the costs as incurred and
          recognizing the related revenue in the period the tap
          was actually installed;

       -- that depreciation expense related to assets acquired
          since 2000 had been understated on the Company's
          consolidated financial statements, expenses related to
          the installation of water and sewer taps in Texas and
          Mississippi had been understated, and certain assets
          and related depreciation were overstated; and

       -- that, as a result of the foregoing, the Company
          misstated its financial results during the Class
          Period and its financial results were not prepared in
          accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting
          Principles.

     On November 10, 2008, SouthWest Water shocked investors
when it announced that the Company would be delaying the filing
of its Form 10-Q for the third quarter ended September 30, 2008.

     The Company revealed that the Board's audit committee had
concluded that the consolidated financial statements for the
years ended December 31, 2005, 2006 and 2007, as well as for the
quarters ended March 31, 2008 and June 30, 2008, should no
longer be relied upon and would be restated to correct a number
of errors related to:

     -- the establishment of the rate of depreciation of assets
        acquired by acquisition; and

     -- the accounting for revenues and related costs associated
        with the installation of water and sewer taps.

     The Company further disclosed that it would correct the
errors in its consolidated financial statements.  On this news,
shares of SouthWest Water declined $2.97 per share, more than 36
percent, to close on November 10, 2008, at $5.25 per share, on
unusually heavy volume.

For more information, contact:

          Robert M. Roseman, Esq.
          Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C.
          1818 Market Street, Suite 2500
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Phone: 888-844-5862
          e-mail: classaction@srkw-law.com
          Web site: http://www.srkw-law.com


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 9,372 Claims Pending v. Ampco at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation, for the nine months ended Sept.
30, 2008, faced about 9,372 open asbestos-related claims,
according to the Company's latest quarterly report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Company, for the six months ended June 30, 2008, faced about
9,373 open asbestos-related claims. (Class Action Reporter, Aug.
15, 2008)

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008, the Company recorded
about 728 claims settled or dismissed and the gross settlement
and defense costs were US$12,659,000.

The Company and its subsidiaries are involved in various claims
and lawsuits incidental to their businesses. In addition, claims
have been asserted alleging personal injury from exposure to
asbestos-containing components historically used in some
products of certain of the Company's operating subsidiaries and
of an inactive subsidiary and another former division of the
Company.

Those subsidiaries, and in some cases the Company, are
defendants (among a number of defendants, typically over 50) in
cases filed in various state and federal courts.

In 2006, for the first time, a claim for Asbestos Liability
against one of the Company's subsidiaries was tried to a jury.
The trial resulted in a defense verdict. The plaintiff has
appealed that verdict.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation
manufactures various metal products. Its forged and cast steel
rolls unit makes hardened-steel rolls for the steel and aluminum
industries. The air and liquid processing segment includes
Buffalo Pumps, Aerofin, and Buffalo Air Handling.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ampco Reserves $107M for Claims at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation, at Sept. 30, 2008, reserved
US$107,978,000 for asbestos liability claims, according to the
Company's latest quarterly report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

The Company recorded reserves at Dec. 31, 2006 for the total
costs, including defense costs, for Asbestos Liability claims
pending or projected to be asserted through 2013 of
US$140,015,000, of which about 60 percent was attributable to
settlement and defense costs for unasserted claims projected to
be filed through 2013.

The Company and certain of its subsidiaries have an arrangement
(Coverage Arrangement) with insurers responsible for historical
primary and some umbrella insurance coverage for Asbestos
Liability (Paying Insurers).

The claims against an inactive subsidiary of the Company, about
300 as of Sept. 30, 2008, are not included within the Coverage
Arrangement.

Insurance coverage for those claims was the subject of a
declaratory judgment action against the subsidiary, the Company
and two other primary insurers filed by the subsidiary's primary
insurer, Utica Mutual Insurance Company, on June 19, 2008 in
Utica, N.Y. On July 30, 2008, the action was removed to the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of New York.

By agreement dated Oct. 17, 2008, Utica Mutual agreed to dismiss
without prejudice its claims against all parties. The parties
intend to enter negotiations to resolve the disputes underlying
the declaratory judgment action. The one claim filed against the
former division also is not included within the Coverage
Arrangement.

In the fourth quarter of 2007, one Paying Insurer responsible
for two years of primary coverage informed the Company that its
policies had exhausted. In the first quarter of 2008, another
Paying Insurer responsible for about two and a half years of
primary coverage informed the Company that two of its policies
exhausted.

In addition, the Paying Insurer responsible for some umbrella
insurance coverage also informed the Company that about one half
of its umbrella insurance coverage had exhausted at the end of
2007. As a result, the Company will bear a portion of the
defense and indemnity costs for Asbestos Liability.

The Coverage Arrangement includes an acknowledgement that Howden
Buffalo, Inc. is entitled to coverage under policies covering
Asbestos Liability for claims arising out of the historical
products manufactured or distributed by Buffalo Forge, a former
subsidiary of the Company (Products).

The Company recorded a receivable as at Dec. 31, 2006 of
US$114,548,000 (US$85,971,000 as of Sept. 30, 2008) for
insurance recoveries attributable to the claims for which the
Company's Asbestos Liability reserve has been established,
including the portion of incurred defense costs covered by the
Coverage Arrangement, and the probable payments and
reimbursements relating to the estimated indemnity and defense
costs for pending and unasserted future Asbestos Liability
claims.

The US$25,467,000 difference between insurance recoveries and
projected costs, which was recorded in 2006 is not due to
exhaustion of the total product liability insurance for Asbestos
Liability.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation
manufactures various metal products. Its forged and cast steel
rolls unit makes hardened-steel rolls for the steel and aluminum
industries. The air and liquid processing segment includes
Buffalo Pumps, Aerofin, and Buffalo Air Handling.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: General Motors Corp. Liability Totals $660M
----------------------------------------------------------------
General Motors Corporation's asbestos-related liability was
US$660 million at Sept. 30, 2008, US$637 million at Dec. 31,
2007, and US$531 million at Sept. 30, 2007.

The reserve balance between Sept. 30, 2007 and Dec. 31, 2007
increased primarily as a result of a US$349 million increase in
the reserve for probable pending and future asbestos claims,
which was partially offset by a reduction in the reserve for
existing claims of US$251 million resulting from fewer claims
and lower expenses than previously estimated.

Like most automobile manufacturers, the Company has been subject
to asbestos-related claims in recent years.

While the Company has resolved many of the asbestos-related
cases over the years and continues to do so for strategic
litigation reasons such as avoiding defense costs and possible
exposure to excessive verdicts, the Company said it believes
that a small proportion of the claimants has or will develop any
asbestos-related physical impairment.

Detroit-based General Motors Corporation produces and markets
cars and trucks. The Company operates in two businesses
consisting of Automotive and Financing and Insurance Operations.
The Company develops, manufactures and markets vehicles
worldwide through its four automotive segments, which consist of
GM North America, GM Europe, GM Latin America/Africa/Mid-East
and GM Asia Pacific.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Liggett Facing Two Third-Party Payor Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Vector Group Ltd.'s subsidiary, Liggett Group LLC, as of Sept.
30, 2008, faced two Third-Party Payor Actions, according to the
Company's latest quarterly report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

Other cigarette manufacturers are also named. The Third-Party
Payor Actions typically have been commenced by insurance
companies, union health and welfare trust funds, asbestos
manufacturers and others.

In Third-Party Payor Actions, plaintiffs seek damages for:
funding of corrective public education campaigns relating to
issues of smoking and health; funding for clinical smoking
cessation programs; disgorgement of profits from sales of
cigarettes; restitution; treble damages; and attorneys' fees.

Although no specific amounts are provided, it is understood that
requested damages against cigarette manufacturers in these cases
might be in the billions of dollars.

Several federal circuit courts of appeals and state appellate
courts have ruled that Third-Party Payors did not have standing
to bring lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers, relying
primarily on grounds that plaintiffs' claims were too remote.

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to consider plaintiffs'
appeals from the cases decided by five federal circuit courts of
appeals.

Miami-based Vector Group Ltd.'s Liggett Group makes discount
cigarettes under brands like Liggett Select, Grand Prix,
Pyramid, and Eve, and several generic lines of cigarettes for
other companies. The Company also manufactures the QUEST brand,
a line of genetically engineered low-nicotine and nicotine-free
cigarette products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tecumseh Products Subject to Exposure Cases
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tecumseh Products Company continues to be subject to pending or
threatened legal actions involving a variety of matters,
including class actions and asbestos-related claims.

No other asbestos-related matters were disclosed in the
Company's latest quarterly report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Tecumseh Products Company makes
compressors and pumps. Its compressors are used in refrigerators
and freezers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and vending
machines. The Company also makes centrifugal pumps for use in
the agricultural, marine, and transportation industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Injury Suits Still Ongoing v. Houston Wire
----------------------------------------------------------------
Houston Wire & Cable Company, along with many other defendants,
has been named in a number of asbestos-related lawsuits in the
state courts of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

The suits allege that certain wire and cable, which may have
contained asbestos, caused injury to the plaintiffs who were
exposed to this wire and cable. These lawsuits are individual
personal injury suits that seek unspecified amounts of money
damages as the sole remedy.

It is not clear whether the alleged injuries occurred as a
result of the wire and cable in question or whether the Company,
in fact, distributed the wire and cable alleged to have caused
any injuries.

In addition, the Company did not manufacture any of the wire and
cable at issue, and it would rely on any warranties from the
manufacturers of such cable if it were determined that any of
the wire or cable that the Company distributed contained
asbestos which caused injury to any of these plaintiffs.

In connection with ALLTEL's sale of the Company in 1997, ALLTEL
provided indemnities with respect to costs and damages
associated with these claims that the Company said it believes
it could enforce if its insurance coverage proves inadequate.

In addition, the Company maintains general liability insurance
that has applied to these claims. To date, all costs associated
with these claims have been covered by the applicable insurance
policies and all defense of these claims has been handled by the
applicable insurance companies.

Houston-based Houston Wire & Cable Company, through its wholly
owned subsidiaries, HWC Wire & Cable Company, Advantage Wire &
Cable and Cable Management Services Inc., distributes specialty
electrical wire and cable to the U.S. electrical distribution
market through 11 locations in 10 states throughout the United
States.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ballantyne Still Has Stehman Case in Calif.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ballantyne of Omaha, Inc. continues to be a defendant in an
asbestos case entitled Larry C. Stehman and Leila Stehman v.
Asbestos Corporation, Limited and Ballantyne of Omaha, Inc.
individually and as successor in interest to Strong
International, Strong Electric Corporation and Century Projector
Corporation, et al.

The case was filed on Dec. 8, 2006 in the Superior Court of the
State of California, County of San Francisco.

The plaintiffs have made no monetary demand upon the Company.

Omaha, Nebr.-based Ballantyne of Omaha, Inc. and its wholly
owned subsidiaries Strong Westrex, Inc., Strong Technical
Services, Inc., and Strong Digital Systems, Inc., design,
develop, manufacture, service and distribute theatre and
lighting systems. The Company's products are distributed to
movie exhibition companies, sports arenas, auditoriums,
amusement parks and special venues.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Entrx Reserves $25.25M for Liability Cases
----------------------------------------------------------------
Entrx Corporation's long-term reserve for asbestos liability
claims was US$25,250,000 as of Sept. 30, 2008, compared with
US$29 million as of Dec. 31, 2007.

The Company's non-current reserve for asbestos liability claims
was US$26.5 million as of June 30, 2008. (Class Action Reporter,
Sept. 5, 2008)

The Company's current reserve for asbestos liability claims was
US$5.5 million as of Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$7 million
as of Dec. 31, 2007.

The Company's current reserve for asbestos liability claims was
US$6 million as of June 30, 2008. (Class Action Reporter, Sept.
5, 2008)

Minneapolis-based Entrx Corporation provides insulation
installation and removal services, including asbestos abatement
services, primarily on the West Coast. The Company also enters
into contracts to repair and maintain existing insulation
systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Entrx Facing 248 Pending Cases at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
Entrx Corporation, at Sept. 30, 2008, faces 248 pending
asbestos-related cases, according to the Company's latest
quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission.

The Company faced 241 pending asbestos-related cases at June 30,
2008. (Class Action Reporter, Sept. 5, 2008)

The number of asbestos-related cases which have been initiated
naming the Company (primarily its subsidiary, Metalclad
Insulation Corporation) as a defendant decreased from 232 in
2006 to 163 in 2007.

There were 134 new claims made in the first nine months of 2008,
compared with 126 in the first nine months of 2007.

The average indemnity paid on resolved claims in the second
quarter of 2008 was US$1,304 and US$9,500 in the third quarter
of 2008, with an average per settled claim indemnity of
US$48,000 for the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, 2008.

The Company intends to continue to use US$19,131 historical
average indemnity payment in estimating the Company's aggregate
asbestos-related personal injury liability until it is able to
take into consideration the results of resolved cases during the
remainder of 2008.

In addition, direct defense costs per resolved claim have been
US$13,500 per claim.

The Company has projected the cases pending and projected to be
commenced in the future at Dec. 31, 2008, would be 897 cases.

Although defense costs are included in the Company's insurance
coverage, the Company expended US$15,000 during the three months
ended Sept. 30, 2008 and US$118,000 during the nine months ended
Sept. 30, 2008 to administer the asbestos claims and defend an
ACE Lawsuit.

The Company has determined that the minimum probable insurance
coverage available to satisfy asbestos-related injury claims
significantly exceeds the Company's estimated future liability
for such claims of US$30,750,000 as of Sept. 30, 2008 and
US$36,000,000 as of Dec. 31, 2007.

The Company has included US$30,750,000 as of Sept. 30, 2008
(US$36,000,000 as of Dec. 31, 2007) of such insurance coverage
receivable as an asset on its balance sheets.

Minneapolis-based Entrx Corporation provides insulation
installation and removal services, including asbestos abatement
services, primarily on the West Coast. The Company also enters
into contracts to repair and maintain existing insulation
systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Metalclad Still Facing ACE Insurance Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Entrx Corporation's subsidiary, Metalclad Insulation
Corporation, continues to face an asbestos-related insurance
action filed by ACE Property & Casualty Company, Central
National Insurance Company of Omaha, and Industrial Underwriters
Insurance Company.

On Feb. 23, 2005 ACE, Central National, and Industrial
Underwriters, which are all related entities, filed a
declaratory relief lawsuit (the ACE Lawsuit) against Metalclad
and a number of Metalclad's other liability insurers, in the
Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los
Angeles.

ACE, Central National and Industrial issued umbrella and excess
policies to Metalclad, which has sought and obtained from the
plaintiffs both defense and indemnity under these policies for
the asbestos lawsuits brought against Metalclad during the last
four to five years.

The ACE Lawsuit seeks declarations regarding various coverage
issues, but is centrally focused on issues involving whether
historical and currently pending asbestos lawsuits brought
against Metalclad are subject to either an "aggregate" limits of
liability or separate "per occurrence" limits of liability.

The ACE Lawsuit also seeks to determine the effect of the
settlement agreement between the Company and Allstate Insurance
Company on the insurance obligations of various other insurers
of Metalclad, and the effect of the "asbestos exclusion" in the
Allstate policy.

The ACE Lawsuit does not seek any monetary recovery from
Metalclad. The ACE Lawsuit is principally about coverage
responsibility among the several insurers, as well as total
coverage.

Allstate, in a cross-complaint filed against Metalclad in
October 2005, asked the court to determine the Company's
obligation to assume and pay for the defense of Allstate in the
ACE Lawsuit under the Company's indemnification obligations in
the settlement agreement.

Minneapolis-based Entrx Corporation provides insulation
installation and removal services, including asbestos abatement
services, primarily on the West Coast. The Company also enters
into contracts to repair and maintain existing insulation
systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Entrx Still Has $375,000 Settlement Accrual
----------------------------------------------------------------
Entrx Corporation, at Sept. 30, 2008, still has an accrual of
US$375,000 as a potential loss in connection with an asbestos
matter involving Allstate Insurance Company.

In June 2004, the Company and Metalclad Insulation Corporation,
its wholly owned subsidiary, entered into a Settlement Agreement
and Full Policy Release (Agreement) releasing Allstate Insurance
Company from its policy obligations for a broad range of claims
arising from injury or damage which may have occurred during the
period March 15, 1980 to March 15, 1981, under an umbrella
liability policy (Policy). The Policy provided limits of US$5
million in the aggregate and per occurrence.

Allstate claimed that liability under the Policy had not
attached, and that regardless of that fact, an exclusion in the
Policy barred coverage for virtually all claims of bodily injury
from exposure to asbestos, which is of primary concern to
Metalclad, which took the position that such asbestos coverage
existed.

The parties to the Agreement reached a compromise, whereby
Metalclad received US$2,500,000 in cash, and Metalclad and the
Company agreed to indemnify and hold harmless the insurer from
all claims which could be alleged against the insurer respecting
the policy, limited to US$2,500,000 in amount.

The Company said it believes at this time the reasonable
estimate of the loss will not be less than US$375,000 or more
than US$2,500,000 (the US$2,500,000 represents the maximum loss
the Company would have based on the indemnification provision in
the Agreement).

The US$375,000 estimated loss contingency represents 15 percent
of the US$2,500,000 the Company received and is based upon its
attorney's informal and general inquiries to an insurance
company of the cost for the Company to purchase an insurance
policy to cover the indemnification provision the Company
entered into.

Allstate, in a cross-complaint filed against Metalclad in
October 2005, asked the court to determine the Company's
obligation to assume and pay for the defense of Allstate in an
ACE Lawsuit under the Company's indemnification obligations in
the Settlement Agreement.

If Allstate is required to provide indemnity for the Company's
asbestos-related lawsuits, it is likely that the Company would
have to indemnify Allstate for asbestos-related claims that it
defends up to US$2,500,000 in the aggregate.

Minneapolis-based Entrx Corporation provides insulation
installation and removal services, including asbestos abatement
services, primarily on the West Coast. The Company also enters
into contracts to repair and maintain existing insulation
systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Dalmine S.p.A. Facing 61 Claims at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
Total asbestos claims pending against Tenaris, S.A.'s
subsidiary, Dalmine S.p.A., were 61 claims (of which one is
covered by insurance), as of Sept. 30, 2008, according to a
Company report, on Form 6-K, filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission on Nov. 10, 2008.

Dalmine S.p.A. is currently subject to 14 civil proceedings for
work-related injuries arising from the use of asbestos in its
manufacturing processes during the period from 1960 to 1980. In
addition, another 46 asbestos related out-of-court claims and 1
civil party claim have been forwarded to Dalmine.

During the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, 2008, six new
claims were filed, four claims were adjudicated, out of which
two were paid. No claim was dismissed and no claim was settled.

Aggregate settlement costs to date for the Company are EUR6.1
million (US$8.7 million). Dalmine estimates that its potential
liability in connection with the claims not yet settled is about
EUR21.3 million (US$30.4 million).

Luxembourg-based Tenaris, S.A. was incorporated on Dec. 17, 2001
as a holding company in steel pipe manufacturing and
distributing operations. The Company holds, either directly or
indirectly, controlling interests in various subsidiaries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sealed Air Still Involved in Grace's Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sealed Air Corporation continues to be involved in the
bankruptcy case of W. R. Grace & Co.

On Nov. 27, 2002, the Company reached an agreement in principle
with the committees appointed to represent asbestos claimants in
the bankruptcy case of Grace to resolve all current and future
asbestos-related claims made against the Company and its
affiliates in connection with the Cryovac transaction.

On Dec. 3, 2002, the Company's Board of Directors approved the
agreement in principle. The Company received notice that both of
the committees had approved the agreement in principle as of
Dec. 5, 2002. The parties subsequently signed a definitive
Settlement agreement as of Nov. 10, 2003 consistent with the
terms of the agreement in principle. The Company recorded a
charge of US$850.1 million as a result of the Settlement in its
consolidated statement of operations for the year ended Dec. 31,
2002.

On June 27, 2005, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of
Delaware, where the Grace Bankruptcy case is pending, signed an
order approving the definitive Settlement agreement.

In January 2005, Grace filed a proposed plan of reorganization
(the "Grace Plan") with the Bankruptcy Court. There were a
number of objections filed. The Official Committee of Asbestos
Personal Injury Claimants (ACC) and the Asbestos PI Future
Claimants' Representative (FCR) filed their proposed plan of
reorganization (Claimants' Plan) with the Bankruptcy Court in
November 2007.

On April 7, 2008, Grace issued a press release announcing that
Grace, the ACC, the FCR, and the Official Committee of Equity
Security Holders (Equity Committee) had reached an agreement in
principle to settle all present and future asbestos-related
personal injury claims against Grace (PI Settlement) and
disclosed a term sheet outlining certain terms of the PI
Settlement and for a contemplated plan of reorganization that
would incorporate the PI Settlement (PI Settlement Plan).

On Sept. 19, 2008, Grace, the ACC, the FCR, and the Equity
Committee filed, as co-proponents, the PI Settlement Plan and
several exhibits and associated documents, including a
disclosure statement (PI Settlement Disclosure Statement), with
the Bankruptcy Court. The PI Settlement Plan supersedes the
Grace Plan and the Claimants' Plan.

The committee representing general unsecured creditors and the
Official Committee of Asbestos Property Damage Claimants are not
co-proponents of the PI Settlement Plan. As filed, the PI
Settlement Plan would provide for the establishment of two
asbestos trusts under Section 524(g) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code
to which present and future asbestos-related claims would be
channeled.

The PI Settlement Plan also contemplates that the terms of the
Settlement will be incorporated into the PI Settlement Plan and
that the Company will pay the amount contemplated by the
Settlement. The Company is reviewing the PI Settlement Plan on
an ongoing basis to verify that it complies with the Settlement.

A hearing on the PI Settlement Disclosure Statement began on
Oct. 27, 2008 and additional hearing dates have been scheduled
for Nov. 13 and 14, 2008. Furthermore, the PI Settlement Plan is
subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions, including
the availability of exit financing and the approval of both the
Bankruptcy Court and U.S. District Court for the District of
Delaware.

While a confirmation hearing on the PI Settlement Plan is
currently scheduled to begin on March 9, 2009, the Company does
not know whether or when a final plan of reorganization will
become effective or whether the final plan will be consistent
with the terms of the Settlement agreement.

Elmwood Park, N.J.-based Sealed Air Corporation manufactures
packaging and performance-based materials and equipment systems
that serve an array of food, industrial, medical, and consumer
applications. Operating in 51 countries, the Company's
international reach generated revenue of US$4.7 billion in 2007.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Stay in Grace Canada Extended to April 2009
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sealed Air Corporation says that a stay in a case involving
Grace Canada, Inc. has been extended until April 1, 2009 by the
Superior Court of Justice, Commercial List, Toronto.

On March 31, 1998, the Company completed a multi-step
transaction that brought the Cryovac packaging business and the
former Sealed Air Corporation's business under the common
ownership of the Company.

In April 2001, Grace Canada had obtained an order of the
Canadian Court, recognizing the Chapter 11 actions in the United
States of America involving Grace Canada, Inc.'s U.S. parent
corporation and other affiliates of Grace Canada, Inc., and
enjoining all new actions and staying all current proceedings
against Grace Canada, Inc. related to asbestos under the
Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. That order has been
renewed repeatedly.

In November 2005, upon motion by Grace Canada, Inc., the
Canadian Court ordered an extension of the injunction and stay
to actions involving asbestos against the Company and its
Canadian affiliate and the Attorney General of Canada, which had
the effect of staying all of the Canadian actions referred to
above.

A global settlement of these Canadian actions, save and except
for claims against the Canadian government, has been finalized
and will be funded entirely by Grace (Canadian Settlement). The
Canadian Court issued an Order on Oct. 17, 2008 approving of the
Canadian Settlement, and released its detailed reasons for that
order on Oct. 23, 2008.

The Company does not have any positive obligations under the
Canadian Settlement, but is a beneficiary of the release of
claims. The release in favor of the Grace parties (including the
Company) will become operative upon the effective date of a plan
of reorganization in Grace's U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy
proceeding.

As filed, the PI Settlement Plan contemplates that the claims
released under the Canadian Settlement will be subject to
injunctions under Section 524(g) of the Bankruptcy Code.

However, there can be no assurance that the PI Settlement Plan
(or any other plan of reorganization) will be confirmed by the
Bankruptcy Court, approved by the District Court, or will become
effective.

Elmwood Park, N.J.-based Sealed Air Corporation manufactures
packaging and performance-based materials and equipment systems
that serve an array of food, industrial, medical, and consumer
applications. Operating in 51 countries, the Company's
international reach generated revenue of US$4.7 billion in 2007.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sealed Air Has $186.1M Interest at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sealed Air Corporation an asbestos-related interest of US$186.1
million at Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$158.4 million at
Dec. 31, 2007, according to the Company's latest quarterly
report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Company recorded US$176.9 million as asbestos-related
interest at June 30, 2008. (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 29,
2008)

The Company recorded a charge of US$850.1 million in the fourth
quarter of 2002, of which US$512.5 million represents a cash
payment that the Company is required to make (subject to the
satisfaction of the terms and conditions of the Settlement) upon
the effectiveness of a plan of reorganization in the bankruptcy
of W. R. Grace & Co. The Company did not use cash in any period
with respect to this liability.

While a confirmation hearing on the PI Settlement Plan is
currently scheduled to begin on March 9, 2009, the Company does
not know whether or when a final plan of reorganization will
become effective or whether the final plan will be consistent
with the terms of the Settlement agreement.

The Company currently expects to fund this payment by using a
combination of accumulated cash and future cash flows from
operations and funds available under its credit facility or its
accounts receivable securitization program as well as funds
expected to be available from additional external funding
sources.

The cash payment of US$512.5 million accrues interest at a 5.5
percent annual rate, which is compounded annually, from Dec. 21,
2002 to the date of payment.

Elmwood Park, N.J.-based Sealed Air Corporation manufactures
packaging and performance-based materials and equipment systems
that serve an array of food, industrial, medical, and consumer
applications. Operating in 51 countries, the Company's
international reach generated revenue of US$4.7 billion in 2007.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Actions in Miss. Ongoing v. Parker Drilling
----------------------------------------------------------------
Parker Drilling Company and certain of its subsidiaries still
are defendants in asbestos-related lawsuits filed in the Circuit
Courts of the State of Mississippi.

In August 2004, the Company was notified that certain of its
subsidiaries have been named, along with other defendants, in
several complaints that have been filed in the Circuit Courts of
the State of Mississippi by several hundred persons that allege
that they were employed by some of the named defendants between
1965 and 1986.

The complaints name as defendants numerous other companies that
are not affiliated with the Company, including companies that
allegedly manufactured drilling-related products containing
asbestos that are the subject of the complaints.

The complaints allege that the Company's subsidiaries and other
drilling contractors used asbestos-containing products in
offshore drilling operations, land-based drilling operations and
in drilling structures, drilling rigs, vessels and other
equipment and assert claims based on negligence and strict
liability and claims under the Jones Act and that the plaintiffs
are entitled to monetary damages.

Based on the report of the special master, these complaints have
been severed and venue of the claims transferred to the county
in which the plaintiff resides or the county in which the cause
of action allegedly accrued.

Subsequent to the filing of amended complaints, Parker Drilling
has joined with other co-defendants in filing motions to compel
discovery to determine what plaintiffs have an employment
relationship with which defendant, including whether or not any
plaintiffs have an employment relationship with subsidiaries of
the Company.

Out of 668 amended single-plaintiff complaints filed to date, 16
plaintiffs have identified the Company or one of its affiliates
as a defendant. Discovery is proceeding in groups of 60 and none
of the plaintiff complaints naming the Company are included in
the first 60 (Group I).

The initial discovery of Group I resulted in certain dismissals
with prejudice, two dismissals without prejudice and two
withdraws from Group I, leaving only 40 plaintiffs remaining in
Group I. Selection of Discovery Group II was completed on April
21, 2008. Out of the 60 plaintiffs selected, the Company was
named in one suit.

No amounts were accrued at Sept. 30, 2008.

Houston-based Parker Drilling Company owns 28 land rigs and 18
U.S.-based barge drilling and workover rigs. The Company drills
worldwide and has worked in 54 countries. Subsidiary Quail Tools
provides rental tools for oil and gas drilling and workover
activities, with operations in the Gulf Coast, the Rocky
Mountains, and West Texas regions.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Constellation Energy Group Faces 515 Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Constellation Energy Group, Inc. says that about 515
individuals, who were never its employees or its subsidiary
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company's, have pending claims each
seeking several million dollars in compensatory and punitive
damages.

About 536 individuals, who were never its employees or BGE's,
had pending asbestos claims, each seeking several million
dollars in compensatory and punitive damages. (Class Action
Reporter, Sept. 5, 2008)

Since 1993, BGE and certain Company subsidiaries have been
involved in several actions concerning asbestos. The actions are
based upon the theory of "premises liability," alleging that BGE
and the Company knew of and exposed individuals to an asbestos
hazard.

In addition to BGE and the Company, numerous other parties are
defendants in these cases. Cross-claims and third-party claims
brought by other defendants may also be filed against BGE and
the Company in these actions.

To date, most asbestos claims against the Company have been
dismissed or resolved without any payment and a small minority
has been resolved for amounts that were not material to the
Company's financial results.

The remaining claims are currently pending in state courts in
Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Baltimore-based Constellation Energy Group, Inc. Baltimore Gas
and Electric subsidiary distributes electricity and natural gas
in central Maryland. The Company also operates independent power
plants with more than 8,700 MW of generating capacity through
its Constellation Generation unit, and it competes in retail
energy supply through Constellation NewEnergy.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CBL Records $2.6Mil for Cleanup at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. has recorded in its financial
statements a liability of US$2.6 million related to potential
future asbestos abatement activities at its Properties,
according to the Company's latest quarterly report, for the
period ended Sept. 30, 2008, filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

Chattanooga, Tenn.-based CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. is a
real estate investment trust that owns, develops, acquires,
leases, manages, and operates regional shopping malls, open-air
centers, community shopping centers and office properties. The
Company's shopping center properties are located in 27 domestic
states and in Brazil.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio EPA Calls for Testing in Karate Studio
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is ordering test
samples to be taken from the remains of the Clarence West Karate
Studio in Jefferson County, Ohio, wtov9.com reports.

EPA officials say that material was being removed before it was
verified if any asbestos was in the building. Samples will be
taken from a contractor to determine if asbestos is in the
building. In the meantime, the fire department has been
instructed to keep the charred remains damp.

The Nov. 25, 2008 fire killed owner Clarence West and destroyed
his building, including apartments above the Main Street martial
arts studio.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lawsuits v. CSX, Norfolk Filed on Oct. 29
----------------------------------------------------------------
Pittsburgh attorney Robert Daley, Esq., on Oct. 29, 2008, filed
900 wrongful death asbestos-related lawsuits against CSX
Corporation and Norfolk Southern Railway Company in Kanawha
Circuit Court, W.Va., The West Virginia Record reports.

In the 900 lawsuits, the first 760 were filed against CSX. The
other 240 are against Norfolk Southern.

Six wrongful death suits were filed against CSX. The suits were
filed on behalf of people or their estates that worked or were
affiliated with the two railroad companies.

According to the receipt on the front of the first set of suits,
it cost US$110,200 to file 760 suits.

According to the suits, the plaintiffs were exposed to and
caused to inhale asbestos fibers, fibrosis-inducing materials
and carcinogenic materials.

In the lawsuits, Mr. Daley claims the defendants failed to
protect its employees from the dangers of asbestos and asbestos-
containing products.

Many of the 900 plaintiffs have developed asbestosis, asbestos-
related pleural disease, cancer, and increased risk of cancer,
serious and severe respiratory diseases, including mesothelioma,
bronchogenic carcinoma, or other cancerous conditions, according
to the suits.

These 900 new cases actually are re-filings of most of those
1,000 cases dismissed during the summer of 2008 by the state
Supreme Court. It is likely Mr. Daley re-filed these to avoid
possible statute of limitations issues.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Madison County Sees 13 New Lawsuits Filed
----------------------------------------------------------------
During the week of Nov. 17, 2008 through Nov. 21, 2008, a total
of 13 new asbestos-related lawsuits were filed in Madison County
Circuit Court, Ill., The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

The following claims were filed:

     -- Ralph Lamar and Shirley Baird of Utah claim
        mesothelioma. Mr. Baird was a carpenter and millwright
        at various locations throughout Utah, Arizona and Idaho
        from 1949 until this year. They are represented by
        Randy L. Gori, Esq., and Barry Julian, Esq., of Gori,
        Julian and Associates. Case number: 08-L-1109.

     -- Jeanie Berggren of Washington on behalf of her father,
        Oliver Larson, claims mesothelioma. Mr. Larson was an
        ammunition handler, research developer, mail carrier
        and security guard from 1939 until 1974. Mrs. Berggren
        is represented by Robert Phillips, Esq., and Perry J.
        Browder, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill.
        Case number: 08-L-1104.

     -- Patricia Blake of Maryland, an assembly line worker,
        cashier, elevator operator, clerical worker, substitute
        teacher, truant officer and in-home nurse from 1964
        until 1992, claims mesothelioma. She is represented by
        Robert Phillips, Esq., and Perry J. Browder, Esq., of
        SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill. Case number:
        08-L1108.

     -- Arnold Egan, Jr., of Florida of behalf of his father,
        Arnold Egan, claims mesothelioma. The elder Mr. Egan
        was a tool and dye maker, line supervisor,
   manufacturing engineer and engineering systems manager
   at various locations throughout Illinois and
   Massachusetts, from 1947 until 1987. The younger Mr.
   Egan is represented by G. Michael Stewart, Esq., and
   Jill Price, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill.
   Case number: 08-L-1111.

     -- Edward Galanif of Maine, a welder from 1946 until 1988,
        claims lung cancer. He is represented by Robert
        Phillips, Esq., and Perry J. Browder, Esq., of
        SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Illl. Case number:
        08-L-1106.

     -- Kenneth Garrard of Illinois, a farmer, laborer, waste
        water treatment, coaker and maintenance man from 1954
        until 1994, claims mesothelioma. He is represented by
        John A. Barnerd, Esq., and W. Brent Copple, Esq., of
        SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill. Case number:
        08-L-1102.

     -- Jackie Knapp of Washington on behalf of her recently
        deceased husband, Virgil Knapp, claims lung cancer.
        Mr. Knapp was a laborer, miner, fork lift driver, saw
        mill worker and flower salesman from 1964 until 1993.
        She is represented by Robert Phillips, Esq., and Perry
        J. Browder, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill.
        Case number: 08-L-1105.

     -- Sandra Lederer of South Carolina, a secretary who also
        worked on major home renovation in 1971, claims
        mesothelioma. She is represented by Randy L. Gori,
        Esq., and Barry Julian, Esq., of Gori, Julian and
        Associate in Alton, Ill. Case number: 08-L-1110.

     -- Patricia Michor, a shade-tree mechanic from the late
        1960s to the early 1970s, claims mesothelioma. She is
        represented by Randy L. Gori, Esq., of Gori, Julian and
        Associates and by W. Mark Lanier, Esq., Patrick N.
        Haines, Esq, C. Taylor Campbell, Esq., and W. Casey
        Harris, Esq., of The Lanier Law Firm in Houston. Case
        number: 08-L-1094.

     -- Lawrence Ross of Illinois, a gas station attendant, a
        machinist and a boiler operator and control room
        operator from 1946 until 1986, claims mesothelioma. He
        is represented by Timothy F. Thompson, Jr., Esq., of
        SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill. Case number:
        08-L-1103.

     -- Lawrence Watts, a print press operator from 1969 until
        1989, claims mesothelioma. He is represented by Robert
        Phillips, Esq., and Perry J. Browder, Esq., of
        SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill. Case number:
        08-L-1107.

     -- Robert Wilson, a mechanics helper, engineman and
        mechanic from 1947 until 1991, claims mesothelioma. He
        is represented by Randy L. Gori, Esq., of Gori, Julian
        and Associates and by W. Mark Lanier, Esq., Patrick N.
        Haines, Esq., C. Taylor Campbell, Esq., W. Casey
        Harris, Esq., and J.D. McMullen, Esq., of The Lanier
        Law Firm in Houston. Case number: 08-L-1100.

     -- Barney Woods of Arizona, a welder, mechanic, laborer
        and boilermaker from the 1950s through 1999, claims
        mesothelioma. He is represented by Shane F. Hampton,
        Esq., and Paul M. Dix, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East
        Alton, Ill. Case number: 08-L-1099.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Carpenter's Death Linked to Hazard Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest at Cork City Coroner's Court, in Cork, Ireland, on
Nov. 27, 2008, linked the death of 67-year-old carpenter John
O'Donovan to exposure to asbestos, The Irish Times reports.

After the inquest, Mr. O'Donovan's son, Michael John O'Donovan,
urged builders to be checked early by their doctors if they
experience breathing problems or sudden tiredness.

In August 2007, the elder Mr. O'Donovan died of mesothelioma at
Marymount Hospice. His wife, Mary O'Donovan, told the inquest
her husband had worked as a carpenter for more than 40 years.

As an apprentice in Clonakilty, the elder Mr. O'Donovan had
installed an asbestos roof. After he retired in May 2007, he
started complaining of pain in his arms and was diagnosed with
mesothelioma.

Coroner Dr. Myra Cullinane recorded a verdict of death due to an
occupational disease.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tilehurst Pensioner Death Linked to Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest at Reading Civic Offices in Reading, England, on Nov.
25, 2008, heard that the death of 76-year-old pensioner Raymond
Start was linked to exposure to asbestos, the Reading Evening
Post reports.

Mr. Start, of Tilehurst, Reading, England, died at Royal
Berkshire Hospital in May 2008, seven months after being
diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Mr. Start had worked as a railway engineer for 20 years after
leaving school at the age of 14, working for a piano restoring
company. After leaving the railways in 1967, he then worked as a
builder until he retired in 1997 aged 65.

During the inquest, Mr. Start's son, Keith, said 15 men had
started working on the railways at the same time as Mr. Start
and all had died in the past eight years from similar illnesses.

Recording a verdict of death by industrial disease, Berkshire
coroner Peter Bedford said such illnesses were becoming all too
familiar in inquests.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Brumby Issues Apology to Victims in Morwell
----------------------------------------------------------------
John Brumby, the Premier of Victoria, Australia, on Nov. 28,
2008, apologized to asbestos victims and their families in
Morwell, Australia, ABC News reports.

Mr. Brumby has apologized at a ceremony at the Centenary Rose
Garden, also attended by power company executives and union
representatives.

Vicky Hamilton, the secretary of the Gippsland Asbestos Related
Diseases Support Group, said, "It's a really significant thing,
it acknowledges the sacrifices and the contribution that the
power workers and their families made to the Latrobe Valley and
I think that that is a worthwhile thing, they are all heroes as
far as I'm concerned and I think it's time they were
acknowledged for the great contribution they did make."

Thousands of State Electricity Commission power workers were
exposed to asbestos in Latrobe Valley between the 1920s and
1980s, many of them developing mesothelioma.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: State Assets to Pay $48T for Safety Breach
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a
US$48,100 penalty to Brooklyn, N.Y.-based developer, State
Assets LLC, for 18 alleged breaches of health and safety
standards at a building site in New Haven, Conn., the Associated
Press reports.

OSHA issued the fines following an inspection that began June
11, 2008 in response to employee complaints.

State Assets has 15 business days to meet with OSHA or contest
the allegations.

On Dec. 1, 2008, OSHA officials said that the inspection found
that State Assets did not monitor the work site to determine how
much asbestos workers were exposed to, did not establish
asbestos removal areas and did not provide employees with
required respirators, eye protection and protective clothing.

Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area direct in Bridgeport, Conn., said,
"Employees who were removing asbestos-containing materials at
this site lacked basic safeguards that must be in place before
performing such work. In addition, they were exposed to serious
and potentially fatal fire, electrocution and chemical hazards."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Tasmania's Big Penguin Passes Asbestos Test
----------------------------------------------------------------
Even though it contains asbestos, Big Penguin, in Penguin,
Tasmania, Australia, has passed an asbestos check, ABC News
reports.

Tests on the Big Penguin were ordered in November 2008 after
concerns were raised by the former asbestos worker who sculpted
the three meter statue with his bare hands.

The results have confirmed asbestos was used to make the
penguin, but it is safely encased in a layer of paint and
fiberglass.

Central Coast Mayor Mike Downie says that is a relief to the
thousands of locals and tourists who have cuddled up to the
statue for a photograph.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Health Damage Relief Law Passed on Dec. 1
----------------------------------------------------------------
Following a series of asbestos-related diseases coming to light,
Japan's Revised Act on Asbestos Health Damage Relief came into
force on Dec. 1, 2008, The Mainichi Daily News reports.

The law expands the range of help available for those bereaved
families whose rights to workers' compensation have lapsed under
the statute of limitations. The law also provides for paying
JPY3 million compensation for those with mesothelioma and lung
cancer.

Usually, workers' compensation claims can only be made up to
five years after death. However, in the case of asbestos-related
illnesses, there are many cases where the disease is incorrectly
diagnosed. As such, the law previously allowed the families of
those who died before March 26, 2001 (five years before the law
came into force) to seek compensation.

Due to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare's practice of
refusing to announce cases of workers' compensation awarded for
asbestos-related illnesses until well after the fact, there have
been a string of instances where bereaved families have not been
able to make the connection to asbestos before the statute of
limitations has expired.

For those who died before March 2006, the new law extends that
period until the next revision in November 2011.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mines in Zimbabwe Facing Closure Due to Ban
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos mines in Zimbabwe face closure as South Africa, which
imported asbestos products, has reportedly banned the use of
asbestos materials, The Sunday Mail reports.

Zimbabwe has been generating US$60 million annually from the
sale of asbestos products to the South African market alone and
the ban is likely to cause a huge dent on the economy.

The future of about 10,000 asbestos mineworkers and 70,000
people who directly benefit from the sector hangs by a thread.

South Africa has been the major importer of finished asbestos
products such as irrigation and water reticulation pipes, brake
pads and gaskets, roofing sheets among others.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Board to Develop AUD700T Screening Service
----------------------------------------------------------------
The New South Wales Workers' Compensation Dust Diseases Board
reviews proposals to develop an AUD700,000 mobile respiratory
screening service that will help in the early detection of lung
diseases (including asbestos-related) at NSW work sites, The Age
reports.

The new "bus" service, which will travel to work sites across
NSW, is expected to offer an improved standard of testing and
act as a one-stop compensation screening service.

NSW Finance Minister Joe Tripodi said the enhanced service would
mean improved screening services, particularly in regional and
remote areas.

The new Lung Bus is expected start operating in the second half
of 2009.

At a National Asbestos Awareness Day event in Sydney, Mr.
Tripodi said, "Early detection and referral for respiratory
abnormalities can save lives and, where evidence of an
occupational dust disease is found, the worker can apply for
compensation from the Dust Diseases Board."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hemel Hempstead Court Checked for Asbestos
----------------------------------------------------------------
Officials of the Health and Safety Executive have investigated
an asbestos scare at Hemel Hempstead Magistrates Court in
Hertfordshire, England, The Gazette reports.

HSE officials have confirmed they were called in after reports
of "asbestos containing materials" were found at the building
off Marlowes.

HSE spokesman Catherine Kimberley said, "HSE were approached by
representatives of (Hemel Hempstead Magistrates Court] following
concerns raised regarding the presence of asbestos containing
materials in the boiler house as noticed by workers during the
boiler replacement program."

Ms. Kimberley said the HSE had let licensed workers remove the
asbestos without the usual 14 days' notice in order so a new
boiler could be installed quickly to keep the court running.
Staff at the court told The HeraldExpress asbestos was found
covering pipes in a ground-floor boiler room in August 2008.

The staff said they had approached the HSE and union PCS over
the issue. A spokesman for PCS said, "We were consulted as a
matter of course. We're not aware that there's been any exposure
to asbestos, and we are satisfied that the court has acted
properly."

A spokesman for Her Majesty's Court Service said, "Further to
works carried out at Hemel Hempstead Magistrates Court, HMCS has
carried out further testing within the area. The results have
confirmed that there is no asbestos present."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Doncaster Tradesman's Death Due to Asbestos
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest heard that the death of Douglas Marsden, a painter
and decorator from Balby, Doncaster, England, was linked to
exposure to asbestos, The Star reports.

Mr. Marsden died in August 2008 from mesothelioma and the
inquest recorded his death as being due to industrial disease.
His family is appealing for his former colleagues to come
forward to help them put together a picture of how staff may
have been exposed to the potentially deadly substance.

Mr. Marsden was aged 80 when he died, and his family believes he
may have been exposed to asbestos while he worked as a decorator
for Alfred Bagnall and Sons Limited in the late 1960s.

Before he died, Mr. Marsden has said he remembered brushing
asbestos guttering with a wire brush before painting it, as well
as working in various industrial premises where asbestos
materials may have been present. He worked on various painting
and decorating jobs for Bagnall's in and around South and West
Yorkshire.

Mr. Marsden's wife, Norma Marsden, has taken legal advice and is
trying to trace any of his former work colleagues who may be
able to share information about the particular sites where her
husband worked.

Health and safety officials believe 190 people from the borough
died from asbestos-related diseases between 1981 and 2005, and
are warning tradesmen that asbestos and its dangers are
relevant.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. Actor Death Linked to Hazard Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest heard that the death of Tipton, England-born actor
David Nicholls was linked to exposure to asbestos while working
at an engineering firm in his teens, the Birmingham Mail
reports.

Mr. Nicholls appeared in films like Gladiator and Gangs of New
York, as well as parts in TV soaps like Emmerdale and Coronation
Street.

The coroner ruled that Mr. Nicholls' death was caused by
mesothelioma, a direct result of exposure to asbestos in his
younger years.

Mr. Nicholls' family said the verdict ended months of waiting to
discover what caused his death in June 2008. His family's
solicitor, Ian Bailey, of law firm Irwin Mitchell, said, "The
family now intend to pursue legal action against the insurance
company appointed by his employer at the time he was exposed to
this deadly substance."

Mr. Nicholls lived in Leeds and leaves behind his long-term
partner Julie Connor and three sons, Jai, James and Sam.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Unions Say Toll Likely to Rise in Australia
----------------------------------------------------------------
Unions say that the death toll from asbestos diseases is yet to
rise in South Australia, with new cases still appearing, The
Independent Weekly reports.

On Nov. 28, 2008, the state government launched South
Australia's first asbestos safety action plan.

SA Unions secretary Janet Giles said, "Our industrial history,
extensive use of asbestos in housing and the shameful exposure
to this lethal product in the railway yards means our state has
the world's worst rate of mesothelioma and it's growing. Not
only is the mortality rate rising, but the number of new victims
is increasing. We're heading for a huge peak in deaths."

Ms. Giles said since January 2008, the Asbestos Diseases Society
had lost 45 members, 15 of them since October 2008.

Ms. Giles said unions welcomed the action plan which included
new training and guidance for high-risk groups and would provide
information on asbestos handling to homebuyers.

The plan also included expanded community education through the
Asbestos Victims Association, the Asbestos Diseases Society,
unions and community health centers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: TriMas Facing 721 Pending Cases at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
TriMas Corporation, as of Sept. 30, 2008, faced about 721
pending cases involving an aggregate of about 7,497 claimants,
according to the Company's latest quarterly report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As of March 31, 2008, the Company faced 1,725 pending cases
involving an aggregate of about 9,394 claimants. (Class Action
Reporter, May 16, 2008)

These cases allege personal injury from exposure to asbestos
containing materials formerly used in gaskets (both encapsulated
and otherwise) manufactured or distributed by certain of the
Company's subsidiaries for use primarily in the petrochemical
refining and exploration industries.

During the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008, the Company noted
603 claims filed, 2,591 claims dismissed, and 59 claims settled.
The average settlement amount per claim was US$2,172 and total
defense costs were US$2,899,000.

During the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007, the Company noted
619 claims filed, 1,484 claims dismissed, and 142 claims
settled. The average settlement amount per claim was US$9,243
and total defense costs were US$4,982,000.

In addition, the Company acquired various companies to
distribute its products that had distributed gaskets of other
manufacturers prior to acquisition.

Of the 7,497 claims pending at Sept. 30, 2008, 192 set forth
specific amounts of damages (other than those stating the
statutory minimum or maximum). Of the 192 claims, 154 claims
sought between US$1 million and US$5 million in total damages
(which includes compensatory and punitive damages), 36 sought
between US$5 million and US$10 million in total damages (which
includes compensatory and punitive damages) and two sought over
US$10 million (which includes compensatory and punitive
damages).

Solely with respect to compensatory damages, 159 of the 192
claims sought between US$50,000 and US$600,000, 31 sought
between US$1 million and US$5 million and two sought over US$5
million.

Solely with respect to punitive damages, 155 of the 192 claims
sought between US$0 and US$2.5 million, 36 sought between US$2.5
and US$5 million and one sought over US$5 million. In addition,
relatively few of the claims have reached the discovery stage
and even fewer claims have gone past the discovery stage.

Total settlement costs (exclusive of defense costs) for all such
cases, some of which were filed over 20 years ago, have been
about US$5.2 million.

To date, about 50 percent of the Company's costs related to
settlement and defense of asbestos litigation have been covered
by its primary insurance.

Effective Feb. 14, 2006, the Company entered into a coverage-in-
place agreement with its first level excess carriers regarding
the coverage to be provided to the Company for asbestos-related
claims when the primary insurance is exhausted.

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based TriMas Corporation manufactures
products for commercial, industrial and consumer markets. The
Company is engaged in five business segments with diverse
products and market channels: Packaging Systems, Energy
Products, Industrial Specialties, RV & Trailer Products and
Recreational Accessories.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Argo A&E Reserves Total $149.8M at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd.'s gross asbestos- and
environmental-related loss reserves were US$149.8 million as of
Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$169.5 million as of Sept. 30,
2007.

The Company's gross A&E-related loss reserves totaled US$149.5
million as of June 30, 2008, compared with US$148.1 million as
of June 30, 2007. (Class Action Reporter, Sept. 5, 2008)

The Company's net A&E-related loss reserves were US$131.1
million as of Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$158.6 million as
of Sept. 30, 2007.

The Company's net A&E reserves totaled US$134.4 million as of
June 30, 2008, compared with US$139.7 million as of June 30,
2007. (Class Action Reporter, Sept. 5, 2008)

Unfavorable development on prior accident year reserves for the
three months ended Sept. 30, 2008 consisted of US$9.1 million in
reserve strengthening for the Company's A&E lines.

Pembroke, Bermuda-based Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd.
provides specialty property/casualty insurance and reinsurance
products in the United States and Europe. The Company operates
seven subsidiaries: excess and surplus, industry-specific
insurance, and international catastrophe reinsurance through its
Peleus Re subsidiary.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Everest Has $854MM A&E Reserves at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
Everest Re Group, Ltd.'s gross reserves for asbestos and
environmental exposures were US$854.2 million during the three
and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$652.2
million during the three and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007.

The Company's gross reserves for A&E claims were US$871 million
for the three and six months ended June 30, 2008, compared with
US$637.9 million for the three and six months ended June 30,
2007. (Class Action Reporter, Sept. 5, 2008)

The Company's net reserves for A&E reserves were US$808.2
million during the three and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008,
compared with US$558.1 million during the three and nine months
ended Sept. 30, 2007.

The Company's net reserves for A&E claims were US$820.5 million
for the three and six months ended June 30, 2008, compared with
US$529 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2007.
(Class Action Reporter, Sept. 5, 2008)

At Sept. 30, 2008, the gross reserves for A&E losses were
comprised of US$149.3 million representing case reserves
reported by ceding companies, US$146.1 million representing
additional case reserves established by the Company on assumed
reinsurance claims, US$171.9 million representing case reserves
established by the Company on direct excess insurance claims,
including Mt. McKinley Insurance Company, and US$386.8 million
representing incurred but not reported reserves.

With respect to asbestos only, at Sept. 30, 2008, the Company
had gross asbestos loss reserves of US$800.7 million, or 93.7
percent, of total A&E reserves, of which US$554.5 million was
for assumed business and US$246.2 million was for direct
business.

The increase in end of period A&E reserves at Sept. 30, 2008
compared to Sept. 30, 2007 was primarily the result of the
Company's reserve study in the fourth quarter of 2007, after
which the Company increased its gross reinsurance asbestos
reserves by US$250 million and increased its gross direct
asbestos reserves by US$75 million.

The Company's net three year asbestos survival ratio was 3 years
for direct business and 12.8 years for reinsurance business at
Sept. 30, 2008.

Hamilton, Bermuda-based Everest Re Group, Ltd. is the holding
company for Everest Reinsurance Company (Everest Re), an
underwriter of property & casualty reinsurance and insurance.
The Company offers specialized underwriting in several areas,
including property & casualty, marine, aviation, and surety,
medical malpractice, directors and officers liability, and
professional errors and omissions liability.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Colonial Comm'l. Hilco Unit Faces 42 Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Colonial Commercial Corp.'s Hilco, Inc. subsidiary, subsequent
to Sept. 30, 2008, faced asbestos-related lawsuits involving 42
plaintiffs.
   
As of Sept. 30, 2008, there existed 73 plaintiffs in these
lawsuits relating to alleged sales of asbestos products, or
products containing asbestos, by Hilco. Subsequent to Sept. 30,
2008, 31 plaintiffs have had their actions dismissed.

Universal Supply Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the
Company, is a New York corporation. On June 25, 1999, Universal
acquired substantially all of the assets of Universal Supply
Group, Inc., a New Jersey corporation, including its name, under
to the terms of a purchase agreement.

Subsequent to the sale, Universal Supply Group, Inc. (the
selling corporation) formerly known as Universal Engineering
Co., Inc., changed its name to Hilco, Inc.

The Company understands that Hilco and many other companies have
been sued in the Superior Court of New Jersey (Middlesex County)
by plaintiffs filing lawsuits alleging injury due to asbestos.

Of the existing plaintiffs as of Sept. 30, 2008, 15 filed
actions in 2007, seven filed actions in 2006, seven filed
actions in 2005, 28 filed actions in 2004, 15 filed actions in
2003, and one filed actions in 2002.

There are 137 other plaintiffs that have had their actions
dismissed and 13 other plaintiffs that have settled as of Sept.
30, 2008 for a total of US$3,358,500. There has been no judgment
against Hilco.

Universal was named by 36 plaintiffs. Of these, 11 filed actions
in 2007, six filed actions in 2006, 11 filed actions in 2005,
five filed actions in 2001, one filed an action in 2000, and two
filed actions in 1999. Thirteen plaintiffs naming Universal have
had their actions dismissed and, of the total US$3,358,500 of
settled actions, two plaintiffs naming Universal have settled
for US$26,500. No money was paid by Universal in connection with
any settlement.

Following these dismissed and settled actions there exists 21
plaintiffs that name Universal, as of Sept. 30, 2008.

Hawthorne, N.J.-based Colonial Commercial Corp., through
subsidiaries Universal Supply Group, RAL Supply Group, and
American/Universal Supply, supplies HVAC products, climate-
control systems, and plumbing fixtures to some 6,000 customers
(mostly builders and HVAC contractors) in New York and New
Jersey. The Company provides control system design, custom
fabrication, technical support, training, and consultation
services for engineers and installers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Colonial Comm'l.'s RAL Unit Facing 1 Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Colonial Commercial Corp.'s subsidiary, The RAL Supply Group,
Inc., as of Sept. 30, 2008, faced one plaintiff in a lawsuit
relating to alleged sales of asbestos products, or products
containing asbestos.

RAL and other companies have been sued in the Supreme Court of
New York (Orange County) by the plaintiff filing a lawsuit on or
about July 30, 2008 alleging injury due to asbestos.

The lawsuit alleges injury due to asbestos during the 1970s,
before RAL Predecessor's acquisition of assets from the RSG
Predecessor and RAL's acquisition of assets from the RAL
Predecessor.

Hawthorne, N.J.-based Colonial Commercial Corp., through
subsidiaries Universal Supply Group, RAL Supply Group, and
American/Universal Supply, supplies HVAC products, climate-
control systems, and plumbing fixtures to some 6,000 customers
(mostly builders and HVAC contractors) in New York and New
Jersey. The Company provides control system design, custom
fabrication, technical support, training, and consultation
services for engineers and installers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MYR Group Inc. Subject to Asbestos Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------
MYR Group Inc. continues to be subject to civil claims,
litigation and arbitration (including asbestos-related), and
regulatory investigations, arising in the ordinary course of its
present business and its divested businesses.

Some of these claims and litigations include claims related to
the Company's current services and operations, and asbestos-
related claims concerning historic operations of a predecessor
affiliate.

The Company said it believes that it has strong defenses to
these claims as well as adequate insurance coverage in the event
any asbestos-related claim is not resolved in its favor.

Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based MYR Group Inc. performs construction
services in two business segments: Transmission and Distribution
(T&D), and Commercial and Industrial (C&I). The Company's
services include design, engineering, procurement, construction,
upgrade, maintenance and repair services with a particular focus
on construction, maintenance and repair throughout the
continental United States.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Shell Chemicals Indemnifies Kraton Polymers
----------------------------------------------------------------
Shell Chemicals still indemnifies Kraton Polymers LLC on
workplace asbestos exposure claims at the Company's Belpre,
Ohio, facility, according to the Company's latest quarterly
report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Under the sale agreements between the Company and Shell
Chemicals relating to the separation from Shell Chemicals in
2001, Shell Chemicals has agreed to indemnify the Company for
certain liabilities and obligations to third parties or claims
against the Company by a third party relating to matters arising
prior to the closing of the acquisition by Ripplewood Chemical.

Shell Chemicals has been named in several lawsuits relating to
the elastomers business that the Company has acquired. In
particular, claims have been filed against Shell Chemicals
alleging workplace asbestos exposure at the Belpre, Ohio,
facility.

The Company is indemnified by Shell Chemicals with respect to
these claims. In addition, the Company and Shell Chemicals have
entered into a consent order relating to certain environmental
remediation at the Belpre facility.

Houston-based Kraton Polymers LLC produces styrenic block
copolymers ("SBCs"), specialty chemical products whose chemistry
the Company pioneered over 40 years ago. The Company operates in
the United States, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Brazil and
Japan.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FutureFuel Chem. Subject to Asbestos Cases
----------------------------------------------------------------
FutureFuel Corp.'s subsidiary, FutureFuel Chemical Company, and
its operations may be parties to, or targets of, lawsuits,
claims, investigations and proceedings, including asbestos.

FutureFuel Chemical may also be party to actions on product
liability, personal injury, patent and intellectual property,
commercial, contract, environmental, antitrust, health and
safety, and employment matters.

No other asbestos-related matters were disclosed in the
Company's latest quarterly report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

St. Louis-based FutureFuel Corp. develops, manufactures, and
markets products for two business units: Biofuels and Specialty
Chemicals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Baymeadows Still Incurs $105T for Cleanup
----------------------------------------------------------------
Shelter Properties IV's investment property, Baymeadows
Apartments in Jacksonville, Fla., incurred about US$105,000 of
asbestos abatement during the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008,
according to the Company's latest quarterly report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In October 2007, Baymeadows Apartments experienced damages from
a severe storm.

During the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008, the Partnership
incurred about US$282,000 in damages and clean up expenses of
about US$176,000. All of the asbestos related work was complete
as of Sept. 30, 2008.

During the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008, the Partnership
received insurance proceeds of about US$272,000 and wrote off
undepreciated damaged assets of about US$35,000, resulting in a
casualty gain of about US$237,000.

In addition, during the three and nine months ended Sept. 30,
2008, the Partnership received about US$32,000 to cover lost
rents, of which about US$22,000 is included in rental income for
the three and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008.

Greenville, S.C.-based Shelter Properties IV's investment
property consists of one apartment complex, Baymeadows
Apartments in Jacksonville, Fla.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Nevamar Still Facing 299 Claims at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
Panolam Industries International, Inc.'s wholly owned
subsidiary, Nevamar Company LLC, as of Sept. 30, 2008, faced 299
workers' compensation claims alleging injury due to exposure to
asbestos and unidentified chemicals of which about 195 claimants
are current Nevamar employees.

About eight of the 299 claimants were hired by Nevamar after
July 1, 2002.

During 2006, Nevamar was named a defendant in numerous workers
compensation claims filed on behalf of current and former
employees at the Hampton, S.C., facility alleging injury in the
course of employment due to alleged exposure to asbestos and
unidentified chemicals.

Under the ownership of Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the
Hampton, S.C., facility manufactured asbestos-based products
until 1975.

In 2004 and 2005, Nevamar, Westinghouse and International Paper
settled 10 workers' compensation claims related to alleged
asbestos exposure. Under a 2005 agreement with International
Paper, Nevamar's liability for workers compensation claims
related to alleged exposure to asbestos brought by employees
hired before July 1, 2002, is capped at 15 percent of any
damages it shares with International Paper until Nevamar has
paid an aggregate of US$700,000, at which point the Company has
no responsibility for any additional shared damages.

Employees hired by Nevamar after July 1, 2002 and who file
claims related to alleged exposure to asbestos are not covered
by this indemnity agreement.

Shelton, Conn.-based Panolam Industries International, Inc.
designs, manufactures and distributes decorative overlay
products, primarily thermally fused melamine panels and high-
pressure laminate sheets, throughout Canada and the United
States. The Company wholly owns the following companies: Panolam
Industries, Ltd.; Panolam Industries, Inc.; Pioneer Plastics
Corporation; Nevamar Holding Corp.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IntriCon Still Facing 122 Suits at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
IntriCon Corporation is still a defendant in 122 asbestos-
related lawsuits as of Sept. 30, 2008, (122 lawsuits as of Dec.
31, 2007).

The Company faced about 122 asbestos lawsuits as of June 30,
2008. (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 22, 2008)

The suits allege that plaintiffs have or may have contracted
asbestos-related diseases as a result of exposure to asbestos
products or equipment containing asbestos sold by one or more
named defendants.

Due to the noninformative nature of the complaints, the Company
does not know whether any of the complaints state valid claims
against the Company.

Certain insurance carriers have informed the Company that the
primary policies for the period Aug. 1, 1970-1973, have been
exhausted and that the carriers will no longer provide a defense
under those policies.

The Company has requested that the carriers substantiate this
situation. The Company said it believes it has additional
policies available for other years, which have been ignored by
the carriers.

Arden Hills, Minn.-based IntriCon Corporation designs, develops,
engineers, and manufactures body-worn devices. The Company
serves the body-worn device market by designing, developing,
engineering and manufacturing micro-miniature components,
systems and molded plastic parts primarily for the hearing
instrument, electronics, professional communications, computer
and medical device industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Brookfield Records $7Mil Income at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
Brookfield Properties Corporation says that the 2008 year-to-
date interest and other income results include US$7 million of
income related to an asbestos settlement in its favor associated
with its One Liberty Plaza property which was received in the
second quarter.

Interest and other income include interest charged on real
estate mortgages and residential receivables, interest received
on cash balances, and transactional gains.

Interest and other income was US$14 million during the three
months ended Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$40 million during
the three months ended Sept. 30, 2007.

Interest and other income was US$13 million during the nine
months ended Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$32 million during
the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007.

Toronto, Canada-based Brookfield Properties Corporation owns
more than 100 commercial properties throughout the U.S. and
Canada, primarily in the metropolitan areas of Boston, Houston,
Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, Calgary, and Toronto. Its
portfolio totals some 75 million sq. ft. and includes most of
Manhattan's World Financial Center.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BMCA Cites 1,900 Injury Claims at Sept. 28
----------------------------------------------------------------
Building Materials Corporation of America, as of Sept. 28, 2008,
faced about 1,900 alleged asbestos-related bodily injury claims
relating to the inhalation of asbestos fiber, according to the
Company's quarterly report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission on Nov. 12, 2008.

In connection with its formation, the Company contractually
assumed and agreed to pay the first US$204.4 million of
liabilities for asbestos-related bodily injury claims relating
to the inhalation of asbestos fiber of its indirect parent, G-I
Holdings. As of March 30, 1997, the Company paid all of its
assumed liabilities for Asbestos Claims.

In January 2001, G-I Holdings filed a voluntary petition for
reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code due
to Asbestos Claims.

On Feb. 2, 2001, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of
New Jersey issued a temporary restraining order enjoining any
existing or future claimant from bringing or prosecuting an
Asbestos Claim against the Company. By oral opinion on June 22,
2001, and written order entered Feb. 22, 2002, the Bankruptcy
Court converted the temporary restraints into a preliminary
injunction, prohibiting the bringing or prosecution of any such
Asbestos Claims against the Company.

On Feb. 7, 2001, G-I Holdings filed an action in the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey seeking a
declaratory judgment that BMCA has no successor liability for
Asbestos Claims against G-I Holdings and that it is not the
alter ego of G-I Holdings (BMCA Action).

One of the parties to this matter, the Official Committee of
Asbestos Claimants (creditors' committee), subsequently filed a
counterclaim against the Company seeking a declaration that BMCA
has successor liability for Asbestos Claims against G-I Holdings
and that it is the alter ego of G-I Holdings.

On May 13, 2003, the U.S. District Court for the District of New
Jersey overseeing the G-I Holdings' Bankruptcy Court withdrew
the reference of the BMCA Action from the Bankruptcy Court. By
order dated May 30, 2008, the District Court dismissed the BMCA
Action without ruling on the merits of BMCA's position that it
has no successor liability for Asbestos Claims.

On or about Feb. 8, 2001, the creditors' committee filed a
complaint in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey
against G-I Holdings and the Company. The complaint requests
substantive consolidation of BMCA with G-I Holdings or an order
directing G-I Holdings to cause BMCA to file for bankruptcy
protection. On March 21, 2001, the Bankruptcy Court denied
plaintiffs' application for interim relief.

In November 2002, the creditors' committee, joined in by the
legal representative of future demand holders, filed a motion
for appointment of a trustee in the G-I Holdings' bankruptcy. In
December 2002, the Bankruptcy Court denied the motion. The
creditors' committee appealed the ruling to the U.S. District
Court, which denied the appeal on June 27, 2003. The creditors'
committee appealed the denial to the Third Circuit Court of
Appeals, which denied the appeal on Sept. 24, 2004.

The creditors' committee filed a petition with the Third Circuit
Court of Appeals for a rehearing of its denial of the creditors'
committee's appeal, which was denied by the Court of Appeals on
Oct. 26, 2004.

On July 7, 2004, the Bankruptcy Court entered an order
authorizing the creditors' committee to commence an adversary
proceeding against the Company and others challenging, as a
fraudulent conveyance, certain transactions entered into in
connection with the Company's formation in 1994, in which G-I
Holdings caused to be transferred to the Company all of its
roofing business and assets and in which the Company assumed
certain liabilities relating to those assets, including a
specified amount of asbestos liabilities (1994 transaction).

On July 20, 2004, the creditors' committee appealed certain
aspects of the Bankruptcy Court's order (and a June 8, 2004
decision upon which the order was based). G-I Holdings, the
holders of the Company's bank and bond debt and BMCA cross-
appealed. The District Court entered an order on June 21, 2006
affirming in part and vacating in part the Bankruptcy Court's
July 7, 2004 order.

The Company has been advised by G-I Holdings that on Aug. 12,
2008, G-I Holdings reached an agreement with the creditors'
committee and the legal representative of present and future
holders of asbestos-related claims to jointly file a plan of
reorganization with the Bankruptcy Court that will provide for
settlement of Asbestos Claims and all related litigation.

A Joint Plan of Reorganization of G-I Holdings, Inc. was filed
with the Bankruptcy Court on Aug. 21, 2008, and a First Amended
Joint Plan of Reorganization of G-I Holdings, Inc. was filed
with the Bankruptcy Court on Oct. 30, 2008.

Wayne, N.J.-based Building Materials Corporation of America
(d/b/a GAF Materials) makes shingles and roofing systems,
flashing, vents, decorative stone for fireplaces, and wrought
iron balusters.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CenterPoint Resources Facing Injury Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------
CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp. or its predecessor companies
continue to face lawsuits filed by certain individuals who claim
injury due to exposure to asbestos during work at formerly owned
facilities.

Some facilities formerly owned by the Company's predecessors
have contained asbestos insulation and other asbestos-containing
materials.

The Company anticipates that additional claims like those
received may be asserted in the future, according to the
Company's latest quarterly report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

Houston-based CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp. owns and
operates natural gas distribution systems in six states. The
Company is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of CenterPoint
Energy, Inc., a public utility holding company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: United America Unit Still Has Coverage Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
One of United America Indemnity, Ltd.'s insurance companies
still faces a lawsuit seeking coverage from it and other
unrelated insurance companies that involves such issues with
regard to about 4,500 asbestos-related bodily injury claims and
others that continue to be filed.

George Town, Cayman Islands-based United America Indemnity, Ltd.
provides specialty and surplus property/casualty insurance,
including insurance for social service agencies and vacant
properties. The Company operates through agents and program
managers throughout the U.S. It also has operations in Bermuda
through its Wind River Reinsurance unit, which offers treaty
(group risk) and facultative (individual risk) reinsurance.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ArvinMeritor Cites $54M Sept. 30 Liability
----------------------------------------------------------------
ArvinMeritor, Inc.'s long-term asbestos-related liabilities were
US$54 million as of Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$44 million
as of Sept. 30, 2007, according to the Company's annual report
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Nov. 21,
2008.

The Company's long-term asbestos-related liabilities were US$39
million as of June 30, 2008. (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 15,
2008)

The Company's current asbestos-related liabilities were US$15
million as of Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$11 million as of
Sept. 30, 2007.

The Company's long-term asbestos-related recoveries were US$44
million as of Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$32 million as of
Sept. 30, 2007.

The Company's current asbestos-related recoveries were US$8
million as of Sept. 30, 2008, the same as for the year ended
Sept. 30, 2007

Troy, Mich.-based ArvinMeritor, Inc. supplies integrated
systems, modules, and components serving commercial truck, light
vehicle, trailer and specialty original equipment manufacturers,
and certain aftermarkets.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Claims v. Maremont Drop to 35T at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos-related claims against ArvinMeritor, Inc.'s subsidiary,
Maremont Corporation, dropped to about 35,000 at Sept. 30, 2008,
from 37,000 claims at Sept. 30, 2007.

Maremont faced about 37,000 pending asbestos-related claims at
June 30, 2008. (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 15, 2008)

Maremont manufactured friction products containing asbestos from
1953 through 1977, when it sold its friction product business.
Arvin Industries, Inc., a predecessor of the Company, acquired
Maremont in 1986. Maremont and many other companies are
defendants in suits brought by individuals claiming personal
injuries as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing
products.

Although Maremont has been named in these cases, in the cases
where actual injury has been alleged, very few claimants have
established that a Maremont product caused their injuries.

Maremont's total asbestos-related reserves were US$53 million at
Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$43 million at Sept. 30, 2007.
Asbestos-related insurance recoveries were US$36 million at
Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$28 million at Sept. 30, 2007.

Prior to February 2001, Maremont participated in the Center for
Claims Resolution and shared with other CCR members in the
payment of defense and indemnity costs for asbestos-related
claims. The CCR handled the resolution and processing of
asbestos claims on behalf of its members until February 2001,
when it was reorganized and discontinued negotiating shared
settlements.

Upon dissolution of the CCR in February 2001, Maremont began
handling asbestos-related claims through its own defense counsel
and has taken a more aggressive defensive approach that involves
examining the merits of each asbestos-related claim.

Maremont's obligation for asbestos personal injury claims over
the next 10 years was estimated to be from US$51 million to
US$59 million. Maremont determined that as of Sept. 30, 2008 the
most likely and probable liability for pending and future claims
over the next ten years is US$51 million.

Troy, Mich.-based ArvinMeritor, Inc. supplies integrated
systems, modules, and components serving commercial truck, light
vehicle, trailer and specialty original equipment manufacturers,
and certain aftermarkets.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ArvinMeritor Cites $16M Rockwell Receivable
----------------------------------------------------------------
ArvinMeritor, Inc., at Sept. 30, 2008, recorded an insurance
receivable related to Rockwell Automation, Inc. legacy asbestos-
related liabilities of US$16 million, according to the Company's
annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on Nov. 21, 2008.

The Company has also been named as a defendant in lawsuits
alleging personal injury as a result of exposure to asbestos
used in certain components of Rockwell products many years ago.
Liability for these claims was transferred to the Company at the
time of the spin-off of the automotive business to Meritor
Automotive, Inc. from Rockwell in 1997.

Currently there are thousands of claimants in lawsuits that name
the Company, together with many other companies, as defendants.

The Company has recorded US$16 million liability for defense and
indemnity costs associated with these claims at Sept. 30, 2008,
compared with US$12 million at Sept. 30, 2007.

The Company had recorded a US$12 million liability for defense
and indemnity costs associated with Rockwell asbestos claims at
June 30, 2008 and Sept. 30, 2007. (Class Action Reporter, Aug.
15, 2008)

Troy, Mich.-based ArvinMeritor, Inc. supplies integrated
systems, modules, and components serving commercial truck, light
vehicle, trailer and specialty original equipment manufacturers,
and certain aftermarkets.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Rockwell Still Facing Pending Injury Cases
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rockwell Automation, Inc. and its subsidiaries still face
lawsuits alleging personal injury as a result of exposure to
asbestos that was used in certain components of the Company's
products many years ago.

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

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

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

The Company has maintained insurance coverage that it believes
covers indemnity and defense costs, over and above self-insured
retentions, for claims arising from the Company's former Allen-
Bradley subsidiary.

Following litigation against Nationwide Indemnity Company and
Kemper Insurance, the insurance carriers that provided liability
insurance coverage to Allen-Bradley, the Company entered into
separate agreements on April 1, 2008 with both insurance
carriers to further resolve responsibility for ongoing and
future coverage of Allen-Bradley asbestos claims.

In exchange for a lump sum payment, Kemper bought out its
remaining liability and has been released from further insurance
obligations to Allen-Bradley. Nationwide will receive and
administer the Kemper buyout funds and has entered into a cost
share agreement to pay the substantial majority of future
defense and indemnity costs for Allen-Bradley asbestos claims
once the Kemper buyout funds are depleted.

The Company said it believes that these arrangements will
continue to provide coverage for Allen-Bradley asbestos claims
throughout the remaining life of the asbestos liability.

Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation, Inc. provides industrial
automation power, control and information solutions. Products
and services are designed to meet customers' needs to reduce
total cost of ownership, maximize asset utilization, improve
time to market and reduce manufacturing business risk.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mallinckrodt Cites 10,586 Cases at Sept. 26
----------------------------------------------------------------
Covidien Ltd.'s subsidiary, Mallinckrodt Inc., as of Sept. 26,
2008, faced 10,586 asbestos liability cases, according to the
Company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Nov. 21, 2008.

Asbestos related cases against Mallinckrodt rose to about 10,739
as of June 27, 2008 from 10,607 cases as of March 28, 2008.
(Class Action Reporter, Aug. 15, 2008)

Mallinckrodt is named as a defendant in personal injury lawsuits
based on alleged exposure to asbestos-containing materials. Most
of the cases involve product liability claims, based principally
on allegations of past distribution of products incorporating
asbestos.

A limited number of the cases allege premises liability, based
on claims that individuals were exposed to asbestos while on
Mallinckrodt's property. Each case typically names dozens of
corporate defendants in addition to Mallinckrodt.

The complaints generally seek monetary damages for personal
injury or bodily injury resulting from alleged exposure to
products containing asbestos.

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

The Company has not suffered an adverse verdict in a trial court
proceeding related to asbestos claims.

Hamilton, Bermuda-based Covidien Ltd. develops, manufactures,
and sells healthcare products for use in clinical and home
settings.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: American Fin'l. Cites $405.9MM A&E Reserves
----------------------------------------------------------------
American Financial Group, Inc.'s property and casualty group's
asbestos and environmental reserves were US$405.9 million, net
of reinsurance recoverables, according to the Company's latest
quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission.

The Company's property and casualty group's A&E reserves, at
June 30, 2008, were US$412.3 million, net of reinsurance
recoverables. (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 15, 2008)

During the second quarter of 2008, the Company completed its
comprehensive internal review of A&E exposures relating to the
run-off operations of its property and casualty group and
exposures related to former railroad and manufacturing
operations and sites.

As a result of the internal review, the Company recorded a US$12
million charge (net of reinsurance recoverables) to increase the
property and casualty group's A&E reserves in the second quarter
of 2008.

At Sept. 30, 2008, the Company's three year survival ratio was
9.6 times paid losses for the asbestos reserves and 8.9 times
paid losses for the total A&E reserves. These ratios compare
favorably with A.M. Best's most recent report (published in
2007) on A&E survival ratios which were 8.6 for asbestos and 7.9
for total industry A&E reserves.

Nine month pretax operating earnings decreased US$235.3 million
in 2008 compared to 2007, reflecting a reduction of US$72.2
million in A&E charges.

Cincinnati-based American Financial Group, Inc. offers
commercial property/casualty insurance focused on specialties
like workers' compensation, professional liability, ocean and
inland marine, and multiperil crop insurance. The Company also
provides surety coverage for contractors and risk management
services.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AIG Reserves $3.4Bil for Claims at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
American International Group, Inc.'s gross asbestos reserve for
losses and loss expenses amounted to US$3.4 billion during the
nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$3.927 during
the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007.

The Company's gross asbestos reserve for losses and loss
expenses was US$3.541 billion for the six months ended June 30,
2008, compared with US$4.079 billion for the six months ended
June 30, 2007. (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 22, 2008)

The Company's net asbestos reserve for losses and loss expenses
amounted to US$1.244 billion during the nine months ended Sept.
30, 2008, compared with US$1.533 billion during the nine months
ended Sept. 30, 2007.

The Company's gross reserve for losses and loss expenses for
incurred but not reported asbestos claims amounted to US$2.211
billion during the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008, compared
with US$2.801 billion during the nine months ended Sept. 30,
2007.

The Company's gross reserve for losses and loss expenses for
IBNR asbestos claims was US$2.520 billion for the six months
ended June 30, 2008, compared with US$3.068 billion for the six
months ended June 30, 2007. (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 22,
2008)

The Company's net reserve for losses and loss expenses for IBNR
asbestos claims amounted to US$989 million during the nine
months ended Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$1.261 billion
during the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007.

During the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008, the Company
recorded 514 claims opened during year, 130 claims settled
during year, 823 claims dismissed or otherwise resolved, and
6,124 claims at the end of period.

During the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007, the Company
recorded 321 claims opened during year, 113 claims settled
during year, 745 claims dismissed or otherwise resolved, and
6,341 claims at the end of period.

The Company's asbestos survival ratios were 5.3 years (gross)
and 4.1 years (net) at Sept. 30, 2008, compared with 7.7 years
(gross) and 6.4 years (net) at Sept. 30, 2007.

Asbestos settlements were US$37 million during the nine months
ended Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$50 million during the
nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007.

New York-based American International Group, Inc. provides
property/casualty, life, and specialty insurance to commercial,
institutional, and individual customers. Internationally, the
Company provides reinsurance, life insurance and retirement
services, asset management, and financial services in more than
130 countries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cabot Has 55T Pending AO Claims at Sept. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cabot Corporation says that, as of Sept. 30, 2008, there were
about 55,000 claimants in pending cases, including asbestos-
related, asserting claims against American Optical Corporation
in connection with respiratory products.

As of June 30, 2008, there were about 54,000 claimants in
pending cases (including asbestos-related) asserting claims
against AO in connection with respiratory products. (Class
Action Reporter, Aug. 29, 2008)

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

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

Generally, these respirator liabilities involve claims for
personal injury, including asbestosis, silicosis and coal
worker's pneumoconiosis, allegedly resulting from the use of
respirators that are claimed to have been negligently designed
or labeled.

In addition, other parties, including AO, AO's insurers, and
another former owner and its insurers (Payor Group), are
responsible for significant portions of the costs of these
liabilities, leaving the Company's subsidiary with a portion of
the liability in some of the pending cases.

The subsidiary transferred the business to Aearo Corporation in
July 1995. The Company agreed to have the subsidiary retain
certain liabilities allocable to respirators used prior to the
1995 transaction so long as Aearo paid, and continues to pay,
the Company an annual fee of US$400,000. The Company has no
liability in connection with any products manufactured by Aearo
after 1995.

The Company has contributed to the Payor Group's defense and
settlement costs with respect to a percentage of pending claims
depending on several factors, including the period of alleged
product use. The Company has a reserve for these matters of
US$14 million on a net present value basis (US$24 million on an
undiscounted basis) at Sept. 30, 2008.

The US$14 million liability for respirator claims is recognized
on a discounted basis using a discount rate of six percent,
which represents management's best estimate of the risk free
rate to the cash flow payments of the liability that are
projected through 2053. The total expected aggregate
undiscounted amount of future payments is US$24 million.

The Company estimates payments of about US$1 million in fiscal
2009, US$1 million in fiscal 2010, US$2 million in fiscal 2011,
US$1 million in fiscal 2012, and US$1 million in fiscal 2013,
and a total of US$18 million in fiscal 2014 through 2053.

Cash payments were US$2 million during fiscal 2008, US$1 million
during fiscal 2007, and US$1 million during fiscal 2006, related
to this liability.

Boston-based Cabot Corporation is a global specialty chemicals
and performance materials company. Its principal products are
rubber and specialty grade carbon blacks, inkjet colorants,
fumed metal oxides, aerogels, tantalum and related products, and
cesium formate drilling fluids. Cabot and its affiliates have
manufacturing facilities and operations in the United States and
about 20 other countries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sears Holdings Subject to Exposure Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sears Holding Corporation is still subject to various legal and
governmental proceedings, including asbestos exposure
allegations.

No other asbestos-related matters were disclosed in the
Company's quarterly report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission on Dec. 2, 2008.

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings Corporation is a
broadline retailer with about 2,300 full-line and 1,200
specialty retail stores in the United States, operating through
Kmart and Sears, and about 380 full-line and specialty retail
stores in Canada operating through Sears Canada Inc., a 72
percent-owned subsidiary.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: W.R. Grace Reaches $140M Settlement in Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to The Associated Press, W. R. Grace & Co. agreed to
pay up to US$140 million to settle a class-action lawsuit from
its Zonolite Attic Insulation that contained asbestos, The Daily
Green reported on Dec. 3, 2008.

ZAI is a loose-fill vermiculite product that can contain
naturally occurring asbestos. Zonolite has been installed in
millions of homes, and hundreds of thousands of lawsuits filed
against it pushed Grace into bankruptcy protection in 2001.

Much of the Zonolite came from a notorious vermiculite mine in
Libby, Mont., where thousands have been sickened and more than
200 died as a result of contamination.

A Superfund site under cleanup, Libby is the subject of a recent
award-winning documentary, which called it the place where "the
American Dream went horribly wrong."

Grace will pay US30 million cash into a trust fund, an
additional US$30 million cash after three years, and make up to
10 additional annual payments of US$8 million if certain
conditions are met.

Grace expects this latest settlement to close the chapter on its
liability for asbestos, and hopes to be able to emerge from
bankruptcy and move forward.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Gardiner's Kin Seeks Change in Asbestos Law
----------------------------------------------------------------
The family of 76-year-old Maureen Gardiner, who died of
mesothelioma, calls for a change in the law that would classify
her death as "industrial" rather than "accidental," Mesothelioma
reports.

Mrs. Gardiner died after having been diagnosed with
mesothelioma, which was brought on by being exposed to asbestos
while washing her husband's work clothes during his working
career in the 1950s and 1960s.

Mrs. Gardiner was diagnosed in October 2006 and died on Dec. 25,
2007.

The coroner who confirmed that the lung cancer was responsible
for her death said the law interprets it as accidental rather
than industrial because she did not come in contact with it as a
result of a job.

Workers who develop mesothelioma as a result of being exposed
while performing their work are usually entitled to
compensation. However, because of the way the law interprets her
situation, Mrs. Gardiner's family is not able to pursue this
route.

Experts say the number of deaths from asbestos-related diseases
are on the rise as more people who were exposed to the mineral
decades ago are beginning to feel the effects.

The death rate in the United Kingdom is expected to peak around
the year 2020.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RPM Loses Court Battle Over Asbestos Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cleveland, Ohio, Federal District Court Judge Ann Aldrich, on
Dec. 2, 2008, ruled in favor of five insurance companies who
claimed that their coverage of RPM International Inc. for losses
dealing with asbestos lawsuits had been exhausted, Crain's
Cleveland Business reports.

RPM will appeal the case to the Sixth District Court of Appeals
in Cincinnati in 2009, RPM Chief Financial Officer Kelly
Tompkins said. He added, "I know when I've lost round one, but
the last time I checked you get three strikes."

Mr. Tompkins said it will likely take 60 to 90 days for RPM to
file its appeal.

The Company has already paid out about US$800 million in
asbestos claims during the last 25 years and has set aside
US$559 million for future claims, Mr. Tompkins said.

Mr. Tompkins said, "Between the charges to equity and the cash
that we've paid out since asbestos really hit us in the early
'80s, it's cost this company more than US$800 million. Our claim
is not for US$800 million, but we're talking about a few hundred
million."

At issue is whether all of RPM's asbestos losses and liabilities
are product-related, or whether some of those costs are
contract-related and stem from RPM buying some of its existing
subsidiaries under contracts that make the company liable for
their pre-existing asbestos liabilities.

The insurers claim all of the losses are product-related,
meaning they fall under a portion of RPM's liability coverage
with payout limits, Mr. Tompkins said.

RPM contends some of the losses are contract-related and not
subject to those same coverage limits.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Arguments in Rando Lawsuit Heard on Dec. 1
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Louisiana Supreme Court, on Dec. 1, 2008, heard technical
and complex arguments in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed by
Ray Rando, a retired pipe fitter and welder suffering from
mesothelioma, The Advocate reports.

At issue is a US$3.2 million damages award by a state court in
Baton Rouge to Mr. Rando, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in
September 2005.

Two months later, Mr. Rando filed suit against his former
employers and others linked to his case in the 19th Judicial
District Court of Baton Rouge. After a trial, (ad hoc) State
Judge Robert J. Burns ordered eight companies to equally share
the cost of damages to Mr. Rando. Six of the eight settled out
of court.

The remaining two defendants - Parsons Infrastructure &
Technology Group Inc. and Jacobs Construction - appealed.

However, the 1st Court of Appeal upheld the judgment favoring
the sickened retired worker. Parsons and Jacobs, for whom Mr.
Rando worked in the early 1970s, then appealed to the state
Supreme Court.

Mr. Rando began working on a construction project involving
asbestos-involved installation work for a Shell chemical plant
at Norco in 1972. The 1st Circuit ruled that Jacobs was
primarily responsible for protecting Mr. Rando and other workers
from asbestos, not Shell.

The two contractors also argued that their former employee's
suit is banned by exclusivity provisions for occupational
diseases under the Louisiana Workmen's Compensation Act of 1952,
which was in effect at the time Mr. Rando was their employee.

The contractors also maintain that they did not violate any
standards or practices that were in effect for Baton Rouge area
contractors before federal guidelines were established in 1971.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BRB Residuary Worker Gets GBP156T in Payout
----------------------------------------------------------------
Maurice Gardner, a mesothelioma sufferer who used to work at BRB
Residuary Ltd as a fitter, was awarded an asbestos-related
compensation of GBP156,000 by his former employers, The Northern
Echo reports.

The 75-year-old Mr. Gardner was employed at the BRB Residuary
Ltd workshops on North Road, Darlington, England, as an
apprentice fitter from 1948 to 1953. He then spent three years
fulfilling his national service, before returning to work as a
fitter until 1963.

Mr. Gardner was exposed to asbestos fibers throughout his
employment and was eventually diagnosed with mesothelioma on
Jan. 21, 2008. He instructed industrial disease specialists at
Irwin Mitchell to represent him in a legal claim against his
former employers, who admitted liability for his condition and
agreed to the out-of-court settlement.

Mr. Gardner's solicitor Neil Wilkinson, of Irwin Mitchell, said,
"The levels of asbestos to which Mr. Gardner was exposed to were
comparatively high. He was working daily with asbestos lagging
around engine boilers - he had to brush away asbestos dust, and
was present when holes were drilled in the asbestos sheeting to
attach other parts."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Found in M/V New Jersey Engine Room
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos was found in the engine room of the M/V New Jersey (a
Cape May-Lewes Ferry vessel) on Nov. 26, 2008, causing the M/V
New Jersey and M/V Cape Henlopen to be temporarily removed from
service, the Cape May County Herald reports.

According to a Delaware River and Bay Authority memo, provided
by spokesperson James Salmon, samples were taken of a small
amount of debris found around exhaust lagging in the engine room
aboard the M/V New Jersey to determine if it could be a
hazardous material.

The memo said, "Test results received this morning confirm that
some of the debris contains asbestos. As a precaution yesterday,
we removed the vessel from service, and encapsulated the
affected areas."

Similar areas in the engine room of the M/V Cape Henlopen were
encapsulated. Afterwards, air-sampling devices were placed in
the engine rooms of both vessels to test the air quality of
these spaces. The memo stated, "Test results show that the air
quality is good and safe for operation."

Mr. Salmon told the Herald a firm was contracted to encapsulate
the areas in question on both ferries. He said the asbestos
substance was never in any passenger area, only the engine rooms
of the vessels.

As of press time, both vessels have returned to service.

Mr. Salmon said the asbestos substance was discovered on the
floor of the engine room by an engineer the M/V New Jersey. He
added the next time the vessels are taken into dry dock it will
be determined the cost of removing the material. Asbestos was
addressed on the other Cape May-Lewes Ferry vessels when they
were in dry dock for major renovations.


                            *********

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

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

                            *********

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Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Copyright 2008.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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