CAR_Public/081226.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Friday, December 26, 2008, Vol. 10, No. 255

                            Headlines

AMERICAN EQUITY: Annuities Lawsuits Still Pending in California
AMGEN INC: Calif. Court Dismisses Litigation Over Anemia Drugs
CADENCE DESIGN: Calif. Court OKs "Higazi" Settlement in July '08
CADENCE DESIGN: Faces Securities Fraud Suits by Stock Purchasers
CHOICE HOTELS: Lead Plaintiffs Dismiss Consolidated Md. Lawsuit

CORN PRODUCTS: Court Dismisses Complaint in Lawsuit $4.8B Offer
CORN PRODUCTS: Syrup Price-Fixing Suits Still Pending in Canada
DITECH NETWORKS: No Argument Date Yet for Appeal to Junked Suit
DOT HILL: Third Amended Complaint Filed in "Brody" Litigation
ESCALA GROUP: N.Y. Securities Suit Settlement Approved on Dec. 3

FIRST ACCEPTANCE: Working to Settle Ancillary Products Lawsuits
H&R BLOCK: Appeal to Junked Securities Fraud Suit Still Pending
H&R BLOCK: "Do Right's Plant Growers" Suit v. RSM Unit Ongoing
H&R BLOCK: Settlement of Electronic Filing Fees Lawsuit Approved
H&R BLOCK: Unit Still Faces Lawsuits Over Peace of Mind Program

INDEVUS PHARMA: Redux-related Product Liability Cases Pending
JUNIPER NETWORKS: Securities Fraud Suit Still Pending in Calif.
LORAL SPACE: Hearing Starts in Consolidated Shareholder Lawsuit
LORAL SPACE: N.Y. Court Sets January Hearing for "Beleson" Case
LORAL SPACE: N.Y. Court Stays Proceedings in Shareholder Lawsuit

MACY'S INC: Continues to Faces Ohio Litigation Over 401(k) Plan
MACY'S INC: Still Faces "Decristofaro" Merger Suit in Missouri
PETSMART INC: Calif. Judge Approves $1.45M Deal in "Sorenson"
PFF BANCORP: Calif. Court Approves Deal in FBOP Merger Lawsuit
PFF BANCORP: Calif. Court Mulls Consolidation of ERISA Lawsuits

LORAL SPACE: N.Y. Court Considers Approving "Christ" Settlement
LORAL SPACE: N.Y. Court Mulls Approving ERISA Suit Settlement
SEMPRA ENERGY: Faces Suits Over 2007 San Diego County Wildfires
TWEEN BRANDS: Seeks to Junk Amended Complaint in Securities Suit
WILLIAMS CONTROLS: Appeal to "Cuesta" Ruling Pending in Oklahoma


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Safeguard Granted Judgment in Romagna Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Favors Parker in Lawsuit v. Safeguard
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: La. Appeal Court Favors St. Bernard Parish
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Sets Aside, Remands Dunn Veteran Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Pa. Court Reverses Ruling to Favor Bednars

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 7 Lawsuits Filed in Madison From Dec. 8-12
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Beaulieu Teacher's Death Linked to Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sacramento Air Quality Agency Awarded $742T
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lambie's Widow Gets GBP253T in Compensation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alcan to Pay AUD90T for Importing Asbestos

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cleanup at Iowa School Estimated at $9,280
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Glasgow Hotel Closes 56 Contaminated Rooms
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Demolition Ongoing at Crouch Ground Site
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Completes Libby School Air Monitoring
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Issues Split Ruling in Granier Action

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Minn. University to Study Iron Range Region
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeal on Scottsdale Suit Upheld Last Oct.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ill. Court Flips Ruling to Favor Honeywell
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Kilpatrick, Kirkham Case Dismissal Reversed
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Split Ruling Issued in Benard Action in La.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Deere & Company Subject to Liability Suits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Liability Suits Still Ongoing v. Joy Global
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lang Suit Filed v. A.W. Chesterton in W.Va.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Stourbridge Local's Death Linked to Hazard
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Selfridges & Co. Charged for Safety Breach

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mersey Dockers Awarded GBP164,000 in Payout
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mo. Builder Charged for Mishandling, Fraud
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Firm, 3 Supervisors Charged Over N.Y. Blaze
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio State Univ. Conducts Health Research
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hamner Institutes Gets $2.1M Research Grant

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Forces Closure of Mortlake School
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Experts Expect More Suits in Madison County
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Removed from Ironton's Memorial Hall
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Found in St. Helena's High School
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Medical Officer Says No Danger at NZ Site

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: XL Capital Deal Entered With AXA on Dec. 16
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Esterline Subject to Exposure Liabilities
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Kingston Owner Charged for Disposal Breach
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bozeman Submits CMC Cleanup Proposal to DEQ
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cleanup at Ithaca Gun Site Still Continuing


                           *********


AMERICAN EQUITY: Annuities Lawsuits Still Pending in California
----------------------------------------------------------------
American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. is still facing
several purported class-action lawsuits in connection with
annuities that the company issued.

The company was named as a defendant in two such cases seeking
class-action status.  They are:

     1. "Stephens v. American Equity Investment Life Insurance
        Company, et. al.," filed before the San Luis Obispo
        Superior Court, San Francisco, California (complaint
        filed on Nov. 29, 2004) (SLO Case); and

     2. "In Re: American Equity Annuity Practices and Sales
        Litigation," filed in the U.S. District Court for
        the Central District of California (complaint filed on
        Sept. 7, 2005) (Los Angeles Case).

The plaintiff in the SLO Case seeks to represent a national
class of individuals who either purchased their annuity from the
company through a co-defendant marketing organization or who
purchased one of a defined set of particular annuities issued by
the company.

In Nov. 3, 2008, the court issued an order certifying the class,
and also ruled that the company may seek an immediate appeal of
this decision to the California Court of Appeals, according to
the company's Nov. 10, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept.
30, 2008.

Des Moines, Iowa-based American Equity Investment Life Holding
Co. -- http://www.american-equity.com/-- develops, markets,
issues and administers annuities and life insurance.


AMGEN INC: Calif. Court Dismisses Litigation Over Anemia Drugs
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
dismissed a lawsuit against Amgen, Inc., and two kidney dialysis
providers alleging illegal promotion of the anemia drugs, Epogen
and Aranesp, saying the case should have been made to regulators
rather than federal court, Reuters reports.

According to the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and
Flom, who represented Amgen, the proposed class-action lawsuit
involved claims by seven small health benefit plans that Amgen,
DaVita, Inc., and Fresenius Medical Care AG promoted the use of
Epogen and Aranesp in unapproved settings.

The court dismissed the claims and the litigation on the ground
that they constituted an improper attempt to privately enforce
the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act, reports Reuters.

It ruled that in order to pursue the complaint, the plaintiffs
needed to point to specific misrepresentations made by the
defendants.  The complaint was filed under the federal
racketeering statute and California's consumer fraud laws,
according to the Reuters report.


CADENCE DESIGN: Calif. Court OKs "Higazi" Settlement in July '08
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California,
on July 7, 2008, approved the settlement agreement in the
purported nationwide class action filed against Cadence Design
Systems, Inc., for failing to pay overtime wages in violation of
federal and state labor laws.

The company paid the settlement amount shortly thereafter,
according to its Dec. 11, 2008 Form 10-Q filed with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended  Sept.
27, 2008.

On May 30, 2007, Ahmed Higazi, a former Cadence employee, filed
a lawsuit against Cadence with the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California alleging that Cadence improperly
classified him as exempt from overtime pay.

The suit was filed by attorneys from Lieff Cabraser Heimann &
Bernstein, LLP, and Altshuler Berzon LLP on behalf of current
and former Cadence Systems Engineers.

Mr. Higazi, a 45-year-old Pleasanton resident, was a technical
support worker for Cadence in its San Jose headquarters for five
years.  He was responsible for installing, maintaining, and
supporting computer software and hardware for the company.

The complaint charges that Cadence unlawfully characterizes its
employees who install, maintain, and support computer software
and hardware as exempt from certain federal and California labor
law compensation requirements in order to deprive them of
overtime pay.

The proposed class consists of current and former Cadence
Systems Engineers, who were wrongly classified by the company as
exempt from the overtime provisions of wage and hour laws.

The suit alleges claims for unpaid overtime under the federal
Fair Labor Standards Act and California law, waiting time
penalties under the California Labor Code, failure to provide
proper earnings statements under California law, failure to
provide meal and rest breaks as required by California law,
unfair business practices under California Business &
Professions Code section 17200, and unpaid 401(k) contributions
in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
(ERISA).

Cadence filed an Answer denying the material allegations of the
complaint and raising a number of affirmative defenses.

The lawsuit is asking the federal court to issue an injunction
requiring Cadence to provide overtime pay to eligible employees
as well as compensation and damages to all current and former
employees who were denied overtime both in California and
elsewhere.

On June 20, 2007, the company answered the plaintiff's
complaint, denying its material allegations and raising a number
of affirmative defenses, and on Dec. 19, 2007, the company filed
an amended answer.

A period of discovery conducted by both sides then ensued,
followed, in January 2008, by a private mediation of the case.

At the mediation, the parties were successful in resolving their
respective differences, and have entered into a settlement
agreement without contesting the merits of the claims or
admitting liability.

The suit is "Higazi v. Cadence Design Systems, Inc., Case No.
5:07-cv-02813-JW," filed with the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California, Judge James Ware presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Kelly M. Dermody, Esq. (kdermody@lchb.com)
          Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
          275 Battery Street, 30th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94111-3339
          Phone: 1-800-541-7358
                 415-956-1000
          Fax: 415-956-1008
          Web site: http://www.lieffcabraser.com

               - and -

          Eve Hedy Cervantez, Esq.
          (ecervantez@altshulerberzon.com)
          Altshuler Berzon LLP
          177 Post Street, Suite 300
          San Francisco, CA 94108
          Phone: (415) 421-7151
          Fax: 415-362-8064

Representing the defendants is:

          Molly A. Harcos, Esq. (mollyharcos@paulhastings.com)
          Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP
          55 Second Street, Twenty-Fourth Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94105-3441
          Phone: (415) 856-7043
          Fax: (415) 856-7100


CADENCE DESIGN: Faces Securities Fraud Suits by Stock Purchasers
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cadence Design Systems, Inc. is facing three securities class-
action complaints alleging violations of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and any other securities lawsuits that may be filed,
according to its Dec. 11, 2008 Form 10-Q filed with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept.
27, 2008.

The three securities class-action complaints that allege
violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act, and
Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, on behalf of a purported
class of purchasers of the company's common stock.

The complaints are captioned:

   (1) "Hu v. Cadence Design Systems, Inc., Michael J. Fister,
       William Porter and Kevin S. Palatnik," filed on Oct. 29,
       2008;

   (2) "Vyas v. Cadence Design Systems, Inc., Michael J. Fister,
       and Kevin S. Palatnik," filed on Nov. 4, 2008; and

   (3) "Collins v. Cadence Design Systems, Inc., Michael J.
       Fister, John B. Shoven, Kevin S. Palatnik and William
       Porter," filed on Nov. 21, 2008.

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. -- http://www.cadence.com/--
develops electronic design automation (EDA) software and
hardware.  The Company licenses software, sells or leases
hardware technology, and provides design, methodology and
education services throughout the world to help manage and
accelerate electronics product development processes.  Its range
of products and services are used by the electronics companies
to design and develop complex integrated circuits (ICs) and
electronics systems.  The Company offers its customers three
license types for its software: perpetual, term and
subscription.


CHOICE HOTELS: Lead Plaintiffs Dismiss Consolidated Md. Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The lead plaintiffs in a consolidated securities fraud class-
action suit against Choice Hotels International, Inc.
voluntarily dismissed the case, which was pending in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Maryland, according to the
company's Nov. 10, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept.
30, 2008.

In April 2007, two securities fraud class-action complaints were
filed before the U.S. District Court for the District of
Colorado on behalf of persons who purchased the company's stock
between April 25, 2006, and July 26, 2006.

These substantially similar lawsuits assert claims pursuant to
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of
1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, against the
company, its current vice chairman and chief executive officer,
and its former executive vice president and chief financial
officer.

These claims are related to the company's July 25, 2006
announcement of the results of operations for the second quarter
of 2006.

On the Company's motion, the action was transferred from
Colorado to the U.S. District Court for the District of
Maryland.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
subsequently appointed Macomb County Employees' Retirement
System as Lead Plaintiff.

On Aug. 15, 2008, Lead Plaintiff, and its counsel, determined to
voluntarily dismiss its claims and the Court entered an Order
dismissing the consolidated action, according to the company's
Nov. 10, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

The first identified suit is "Genovese, et al. v. Choice Hotels
International, Inc., et al., Case No. 8:08-cv-00911-AW," filed
in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Judge
Alexander Williams, Jr., presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Gerald L Bader, Jr., Esq.
          Bader and Associates PC
          14426 E Evans Ave Ste 200
          Denver, CO 80014-1160
          Phone: 1-303-534-1700
          Fax: 1-303-534-1701

          Mario Alba, Jr., Esq. (malba@csgrr.com)
          Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman and Robbins LLP
          58 S Service Rd Ste 200
          Melville, NY 11747
          Phone: 1-631-367-7100
          Fax: 1-631-367-1173

               - and -

          Jeffrey Allen Berens, Esq.
          Dyer and Shuman LLP
          801 E 17th Ave
          Denver, CO 80218-1417
          Phone: 1-303-861-3003
          Fax: 1-303-830-6920

Representing the defendants is:

          James Christian Word, Esq. (christian.word@lw.com)
          Latham and Watkins LLP
          11955 Freedom Dr Ste 500
          Reston, VA 20190
          Phone: 1-703-456-5226
          Fax: 1-703-456-1001


CORN PRODUCTS: Court Dismisses Complaint in Lawsuit $4.8B Offer
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois dismissed the
consolidated complaint in the purported class-action lawsuit
against Corn Products International, Inc., over allegations that
the company is selling itself too cheaply to Bunge Ltd. -- for
$4.8 billion -- after nine consecutive quarters of record sales
and a growing demand for its products, for food and ethanol.

                        Simon Litigation

On June 23, 2008, a putative class-action suit entitled, "Simon
v. Almeida, et al., Case No. 08CH22717," was filed against Corn
Products and its directors in the Circuit Court of Cook County,
Illinois, County Department, Chancery Division.

The suit purports to be filed on behalf of all Corn Products
stockholders.  It alleges that Corn Products' directors violated
their fiduciary obligations to Corn Products stockholders in
approving the merger agreement.

Specifically, the complaint alleges, among other things, that
the directors failed to:

    -- undertake an adequate evaluation of Corn Products'
       worth as a potential merger candidate;

    -- take adequate steps to enhance Corn Products' value as
       a merger candidate;

    -- effectively expose Corn Products to the marketplace to
       create an open auction for Corn Products; and

    -- act independently to protect the interests of Corn
       Products stockholders.

The complaint seeks various forms of relief, including
injunctive relief that could, if granted, prevent the completion
of the merger.  No answer or responsive pleading has yet been
filed.

                       Fuller Litigation

On July 8, 2008, a second putative class-action suit, entitled
"Fuller v. Corn Products International, et al., Case No.
08CH24465," was filed against Corn Products and its directors
before the same court.

The complaint purports to be on behalf of all Corn Products
stockholders.  The complaint alleges that Corn Products'
directors violated their fiduciary obligations to Corn Products
stockholders in approving the merger agreement.

Specifically, the complaint alleges, among other things, that
the directors:

    -- failed to take steps to maximize the value of Corn
       Products to its stockholders and took steps to avoid
       competitive bidding, to cap the price of Corn
       Products' stock and to give the defendants an unfair
       advantage by failing to solicit other potential
       acquirors or alternative transactions;

    -- failed to properly value Corn Products;

    -- ignored or did not protect against conflicts of
       interest resulting from the directors' own
       interrelationship or connection with the merger; and

    -- failed to disclose all material information to Corn
       Products' stockholders.

In addition, the Fuller complaint alleges that the terms of the
merger agreement were designed to ensure that the sale of Corn
Products to Bunge is preferential to Bunge, and to subvert the
interests of plaintiff and other Corn Products stockholders.

In particular, the plaintiff alleges that the merger agreement
contains "unlawful provisions" including the termination fee
provisions, the no solicitation provisions, and the grant of
"matching rights" to Bunge to match any superior proposal
received by Corn Products.  The complaint seeks various forms of
relief, including injunctive relief that could, if granted,
prevent the completion of the merger.  No answer or responsive
pleading has yet been filed.

                        Smith Litigation

On July 9, 2008, a third putative class-action lawsuit, entitled
"Smith v. Corn Products International, et al., Case No.
08CH24565," was filed against Corn Products and its directors
before the same court.

The complaint purports to be on behalf of all Corn Products
stockholders.  The allegations and relief sought in this case
are substantially the same as that of the Fuller case, discussed
above.  No answer or responsive pleading has yet been filed.

                     Consolidated Litigation

On July 14, 2008, the plaintiffs in the Fuller and Smith cases
filed a motion to consolidate their cases with the Simon case.
On July 15, 2008, the plaintiffs in the Simon case also filed a
motion to consolidate the three cases.

On July 22, 2008, the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois,
County Department, Chancery Division consolidated the Fuller and
Smith cases with the Simon case.  The plaintiffs in the Simon
case also asked the court to appoint Wolf Haldenstein Adler
Freeman & Herz LLP as interim class counsel.


On August 25, 2008, the Court entered an order appointing
counsel for all three plaintiffs as co-lead counsel pursuant to
their agreement.

On September 14, 2008, the plaintiffs filed a consolidated
class-action complaint in Cook County, Illinois, "Simon v.
Almeida 08 CH 22717," consolidated with "08 CH 24465" and "08 CH
24565."

In addition to the claims in the original complaints, the
consolidated complaint included allegations relating to, inter
alia:

       -- the level of disclosure regarding the history of the
          transaction;

       -- the detail with which certain elements of the
          rationale for the transaction were disclosed; and

       -- whether the fairness opinions proffered by Lazard and
          JP Morgan continued to support the board of director's
          recommendation in favor of the merger.

On Sept. 12, 2008, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the
consolidated amended complaint for failure to state a claim.

On Oct. 17, 2008, the Circuit Court of Cook County issued an
order dismissing the consolidated amended complaint with
prejudice pursuant to defendants' motion. The plaintiffs have
until Nov. 17, 2008 to file a notice of appeal, according to the
company's Nov. 10, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept.
30, 2008.

Westchester, Illinois-based Corn Products International, Inc. --
http://www.cornproducts.com/-- together with its subsidiaries,
manufactures and sells a number of ingredients to a variety of
food and industrial customers.  It operates as a corn refiner
and a supplier of food ingredients and industrial products
derived from wet milling and processing of corn and other
starch-based materials, such as tapioca.  Its sweetener products
include high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), glucose corn syrups,
high-maltose corn syrups, caramel color, dextrose, polyols,
maltodextrins, and glucose and corn syrup solids.  Its starch-
based products include both industrial and food-grade starches.


CORN PRODUCTS: Syrup Price-Fixing Suits Still Pending in Canada
---------------------------------------------------------------
Corn Products International, Inc., continues to face two anti-
competition class-action lawsuits in Canada over an alleged
conspiracy to fix the price of high fructose corn syrup.

On April 4, 2006, the company was served with complaints in two
cases:

     1. "Sun-Rype Products, Ltd v. Archer Daniels Midland, et
        al., L051456," which is pending in the Supreme Court of
        British Columbia, Canada; and

     2. "Ali Holdco, Inc. v. Archer Daniels Midland, 06-CV-
        309948PD3," filed in the Ontario Superior Court of
        Justice, Canada.

Both suits purport to be class action anti-competition cases.

These lawsuits contain nearly identical allegations against a
number of industry participants including the company.  The
suits seek unspecified damages for an alleged conspiracy to fix
the price of high fructose corn syrup sold in Canada during the
period between 1988 and June 1995.  In the alternative, the
complaints seek recovery under restitutionary principles.

In May 2007, the court ruled on a joint defendants' motion to
dismiss the British Columbia lawsuit based on the statute of
limitations.  The court held that the plaintiffs' causes of
action other than the claims based on restitutionary principles
are time-barred.

Appeals and cross-appeals regarding the order were argued in
April 2008.  On July 10, 2008, the Court of Appeal for British
Columbia dismissed the defendants' appeal and allowed part of
the plaintiffs' cross-appeal.  The defendants have until Sept.
29, 2008, to file an application for leave to appeal to the
Supreme Court of Canada.

To date, there has been no activity in the Ontario lawsuit,
according to the company's Nov. 10, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended Sept. 30, 2008.

Westchester, Illinois-based Corn Products International, Inc. --
http://www.cornproducts.com/-- together with its subsidiaries,
manufactures and sells a number of ingredients to a variety of
food and industrial customers.  It operates as a corn refiner
and a supplier of food ingredients and industrial products
derived from wet milling and processing of corn and other
starch-based materials, such as tapioca.  Its sweetener products
include high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), glucose corn syrups,
high-maltose corn syrups, caramel color, dextrose, polyols,
maltodextrins, and glucose and corn syrup solids.  Its starch-
based products include both industrial and food-grade starches.


DITECH NETWORKS: No Argument Date Yet for Appeal to Junked Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
No date for oral argument has been set yet for the appeal by the
plaintiffs in the action entitled, "In re Ditech Communications
Corp. Securities Litigation, No. C 05-02406-JSW," according to
the company's Dec. 8, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Oct.
31, 2008.

Beginning on June 14, 2005, several purported class action
lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California, purportedly on behalf of a class of
investors who purchased Ditech's stock between Aug. 25, 2004 and
May 26, 2005.

The complaints allege claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against Ditech and its Chief
Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer in connection with
alleged misrepresentations concerning Voice Quality Assurance
(VQA) orders and the potential effect on Ditech of the merger
between Sprint and Nextel, seeking monetary damages.

All of the lawsuits were consolidated into a single action
entitled, "In re Ditech Communications Corp. Securities
Litigation, No. C 05-02406-JSW," and a consolidated amended
complaint was filed on Feb. 2, 2006.  The defendants moved to
dismiss the complaint, and by order dated Aug. 10, 2006, the
court granted the defendants' motion and dismissed the complaint
with leave to amend.

The plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Complaint on Sept. 11,
2006.  The defendants again moved to dismiss, and by order dated
March 22, 2007, the court dismissed the Second Amended Complaint
with leave to amend.

The plaintiffs filed their Third Amended Complaint on April 23,
2007.  On May 14, 2007, the defendants again moved to dismiss.
By order dated Oct. 11, 2007, the court dismissed the third
amended complaint with prejudice.

On Nov. 8, 2007, the plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the
Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  The appeal has been fully
briefed.

Ditech Networks, Inc. -- http://www.ditechnetworks.com-- is a
global telecommunications equipment supplier for voice networks.
The Company's solutions enable service providers to deliver
consistently clear, secure, end-to-end communications to their
customers worldwide.  Its voice quality products include echo
cancellers, which are used to effectively eliminate echo, a
problem in existing and emerging voice networks.  The Company
designs, develops and markets system-based voice quality
roducts for mobile networks throughout the world.  Its products
feature hardware systems coupled with an array of voice
optimization and measurement software to enhance the quality of
voice communications.  The Company designs, develops and markets
systems that ensure service providers can provide consistently
clear, secure, end-to-end, voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP)
communications to their customers throughout the world.


DOT HILL: Third Amended Complaint Filed in "Brody" Litigation
-------------------------------------------------------------
A Third Amended Consolidated Complaint was filed in the matter,
"Matt Brody, et al. v. Dot Hill Systems Corp., et al., Case No.
3:06-cv-00228-W-WMC," a purported class action suit filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California,
according to the company's Nov. 10, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended Sept. 30, 2008.

In late January and early February 2006, numerous complaints
purporting to be class actions were filed against the company.

The complaints allege violations of federal securities laws
related to alleged inflation in its stock price in connection
with various statements and alleged omissions to the public and
to the securities markets and declines in the company's stock
price in connection with the restatement of certain of its
quarterly financial statements for fiscal year 2004, and seeking
damages therefore.

The suits were later consolidated into a single action, and the
court appointed as lead plaintiff a group comprised of the
Detroit Police and Fire Retirement System and the General
Retirement System of the City of Detroit.

The consolidated complaint was filed on Aug. 25, 2006, and the
company filed a motion to dismiss the case on Oct. 5, 2006.  The
court granted the company's dismissal request on March 15, 2007.

The plaintiffs filed their Second Consolidated Complaint on
April 20, 2007.

The company filed a motion to dismiss the Second Amended
Consolidated Complaint on May 1, 2008, which the Court granted
on September 2, 2008.

The plaintiffs subsequently filed a Third Amended Consolidated
Complaint on Oct. 10, 2008.

The suit is "Matt Brody, et al. v. Dot Hill Systems Corp., et
al., Case No. 3:06-cv-00228-W-WMC," filed with the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of California, Judge Thomas J.
Whelan.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

         Eric J. Belfi, Esq.
         Murray Frank and Sailer
         275 Madison Avenue, Suite 801
         New York, NY 10016
         Phone: 212-682-1818

         Michael M. Goldberg, Esq.
         Glancy and Blinkow
         1801 Avenue of The Stars, Suite 311
         Los Angeles, CA 90067
         Phone: 310-201-9150
         Fax: 310-201-9160

              - and -

         Ira M. Press, Esq.
         Kirby McInerney and Squire
         830 Third Avenue, Tenth Floor
         New York, NY 10022
         Phone: 212-317-2300
         Fax: 212-371-6600

Representing the defendant is:

         Koji F. Fukumura, Esq. (kfukumura@cooley.com)
         Cooley Godward Kronish, 4401 Eastgate Mall
         San Diego, CA 92121-9109
         Phone: 858-550-6000
         Fax: 858-550-6420


ESCALA GROUP: N.Y. Securities Suit Settlement Approved on Dec. 3
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York,
on Dec. 3, 2008, entered the order and final judgment granting
approval of the settlement of the securities class action, "In
Re: Escala Group, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 06-CV-3518
(AKH)."

The complaint was filed in May 2006 on behalf of shareholders
and seeks damages for violations of federal securities laws on
behalf of all investors who acquired Escala securities from
Sept. 5, 2003 through and including May 8, 2006 (Class Action
Reporter, Jan. 22, 2007).

It claims that Escala and a number of individual defendants
violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S. Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, Sections 78j(b) and 78t of the Commerce
and Trade Code, and SEC Rule 10b-5, Section 240.10b-5 of Title
17 of the Code of Federal Regulations promulgated thereunder.

Escala is a New York City-based global collectibles merchant and
auction house network.  On Sept. 28, 2005, Escala announced that
it had changed its name from Greg Manning Auctions, Inc., to
Escala Group, Inc.  Prior to the name change, Escala traded on
the Nasdaq under the symbol GMAI.

According to the plaintiff's complaint, defendants made
materially false and misleading statements, and/or omitted
material facts necessary to make those statements not
misleading, concerning Escala's financial results throughout the
class period.

Among other things, defendants:

     -- claimed they were achieving record results, which were
        actually achieved in part as a result of questionable
        and potentially illegal activities of the company's
        majority shareholder, Afinsa Bienes Tangibles, S.A.
        of Spain;

     -- failed to maintain adequate internal systems,
        procedures, and controls such that the company's
        officers and directors were able to allow these
        questionable and potentially illegal activities to
        continue; and

     -- did not prepare Escala's financial statements in
        accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting
        Principles or SEC regulations.

On May 9, 2006, news emerged that Spanish officials had raided
the Madrid offices of Escala and its majority shareholder,
Afinsa, concerning what Spanish authorities described as a
glorified pyramid scheme.  Nine people have since been arrested
in Spain in relation to the scheme.

In reaction to this news, Escala's stock fell by approximately
85% on heavy trading over the next few days while news continued
to be released regarding the alleged pyramid scheme.

On July 10, 2006, competing motions for consolidation of related
cases and for the appointment of lead plaintiff and lead counsel
were filed with the court.

On Aug. 29, 2006, a hearing on these motions was held and on
Aug. 31, 2006 Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein signed an order
consolidating all related actions into one class action,
entitled "In re Escala Group, Inc. Securities Litigation, Master
File No. 06-cv-3518," and appointed lead plaintiff and lead
counsel.

On Oct. 13, 2006, lead plaintiff filed its consolidated amended
class action complaint.  On Dec. 18, 2006 defendant's filed
their motions to dismiss the amended complaint.

On Sept. 19, 2008, the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York granted preliminary approval to a
settlement reached in the matter.  The settlement is subject to
various conditions, including notice to the class and final
approval by the court.

The proposed settlement of the class-action lawsuit provides for
the company to contribute an aggregate of $6 million in cash and
4 million newly issued shares of its stock to a settlement fund
for the benefit of the class; provided that if the average
closing price per share on the scheduled date of distribution is
less than $2, the company will issue additional shares so that
the total value of the shares issued is $8 million.

In the event the average closing price per share on the
scheduled date of distribution is below $2 (and in certain other
circumstances), the company has the right to substitute cash for
stock.  A substantial portion of the cash contribution will be
funded by insurers (Class Action Report, Oct. 14, 2008).

According to the company's Form 8-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission dated Dec. 10, 2008, under
the approved settlement, all claims asserted in both litigations
against the Company and those officers and directors have been
dismissed with prejudice and without any admission of liability
or wrongdoing.  The order and final judgment will become non-
appealable if no notice of appeal is filed within 30 days
following the entry of the order.

The suit is "In Re: Escala Group, Inc. Securities Litigation,
No. 06-CV-3518 (AKH)," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein,
presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Jeffrey Philip Campisi, Esq. (jcampisi@kaplanfox.com)
          Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP
          850 Third Avenue
          14th Floor
          New York, NY 10022
          Phone: (212) 687-1980
          Fax: (212) 687-7714

               - and -

          Roy Laurence Jacobs, Esq. (rljacobs@pipeline.com)
          Paskowitz & Associates
          60 East 42nd Street
          46th Floor
          New York, NY 10165
          Phone: (212) 867-1156
          Fax: (212) 504-8343

Representing the defendants are:

          Arthur Harlod Aufses, III, Esq.
          (aaufses@kramerlevin.com)
          Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, LLP
          1177 Avenue of the Americas
          New York, NY 10036
          Phone: 212-715-9234
          Fax: 212-715-8000

               - and -

          Thomas Louis Kent, Esq. (thomaskent@paulhastings.com)
          Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP
          75 East 55th Street
          New York, NY 10022
          Phone: (212)-318-6060
          Fax: (212)-230-7899


FIRST ACCEPTANCE: Working to Settle Ancillary Products Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
First Acceptance Corp. is working to settle several lawsuits in
Alabama and Georgia concerning the company's sales practices
related to ancillary products currently or formerly sold by the
company in those states, according to the company's Nov. 10,
2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

The company is a party to litigation in Alabama and Georgia in
which allegations are made with respect to the company' sales
practices, primarily the sale of motor club memberships
currently or formerly sold in those states.

"Annette Rush v. Village Auto Insurance Company, Inc. (now known
as First Acceptance Insurance Company of Georgia, Inc.)" was
filed on October 26, 2005, as a putative class action in the
Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia.

"Margaret Franklin v. Vesta Insurance Corp., et al.," was filed
on July 14, 2006, as a putative class action in the Circuit
Court of Bullock County, Alabama.

"Keisha Milbry Monday, et al. v. First Acceptance Corp., et
al.," was filed on February 13, 2007, in the Circuit Court of
Bullock County, Alabama.

"Solomon and Catherine Warren, et al. v. First Acceptance Corp.,
et al.," was filed on November 9, 2007, in the Circuit Court of
Barbour County, Alabama.

The suits generally allege that the company implemented a
program to convince our consumers who purchased automobile
insurance policies to also purchase motor club memberships or
that we charged our consumers billing fees associated with the
company's products that were not properly disclosed, and seek
unspecified damages and attorneys' fees.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, to avoid the uncertainty, risks
and costs of further litigation, the company have entered into a
settlement agreement effective Sept. 10, 2008 with the
plaintiffs in the Georgia litigation.

Pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement, the
plaintiffs in the Georgia litigation were divided into two
classes:

       -- persons who were insured by the Company on Sept. 1,
          2008 who purchased an automobile club membership with
          their automobile insurance; and

       -- persons who were insured by the Company prior to
          Sept. 1, 2008 who purchased an automobile club
          membership with their automobile insurance.

Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, each class member who
was insured by the Company on Sept. 1, 2008 will receive a
premium credit equal to 100% of the amounts he or she paid for
automobile club memberships and deferred billing fees against
the premium for a new or renewal automobile insurance policy (as
applicable) for up to twelve months of liability or uninsured
motorist coverage issued by the Company prior to December 31,
2009, unless he or she elects, prior to December 31, 2008, to
receive instead of the premium credit a reimbursement
certificate that provides for cash reimbursement of up to a
maximum total payment of $50 for any rental or towing expenses
incurred by the class member on or before December 31, 2009 as a
result of the disablement of his or her vehicle because of an
accident.

Each class member who was insured by the Company prior to Sept.
1, 2008 will receive a reimbursement certificate that provides
for cash reimbursement of up to a maximum total payment of $50
for any rental or towing expenses incurred by the class member
on or before Dec. 31, 2009 as a result of the disablement of his
or her vehicle because of an accident, unless he or she elects,
prior to Dec. 31, 2008, to receive instead of the reimbursement
certificate, a premium credit equal to 100% of the amounts he or
she paid for automobile club memberships and deferred billing
fees against the premium for a new automobile insurance policy
for up to twelve months of liability or uninsured motorist
coverage issued by the Company prior to June 30, 2010.

Any premium credits issued to class members as described above
will be prorated over a twelve-month term not to extend beyond
June 30, 2011, and the class member will be entitled to the
prorated premium credit only so long as he or she keeps their
insurance premiums current during the twelve-month term.

No benefits will be available to class members until Jan. 1,
2009.   The company has also agreed to strengthen its
disclosures to customers of all relevant fees, charges and
coverages.

In addition, the company have agreed to pay $3.8 million in fees
and expenses for the attorneys for the Georgia plaintiffs and
pay all costs associated with the administration of the
settlement.

The settlement agreement is subject to approval by the court,
and we expect the court to hold a hearing to consider the
settlement in November 2008.

The company has also agreed upon preliminary settlement terms
with the plaintiffs in the Alabama litigation.  The preliminary
settlement terms provide for benefits to the Alabama plaintiffs
substantially similar to the benefits to be paid to the Georgia
plaintiffs, and a payment of $2.5 million in fees and expenses
for the attorneys for the Alabama plaintiffs.

The settlement of the Alabama litigation is subject to the
negotiation of a definitive settlement agreement and approval of
the settlement agreement by the applicable courts.

First Acceptance Corp. -- http://www.firstacceptancecorp.com/--
is a retailer, servicer and underwriter of non-standard personal
automobile insurance.  The Company writes non-standard personal
automobile insurance in 12 states and is licensed as an insurer
in 13 additional states.  Non-standard personal automobile
insurance is made available to individuals who are categorized
as non-standard because of their inability or unwillingness to
obtain standard insurance coverage.  As of Aug. 31, 2007, it
leased and operated 462 retail locations.  The Company owns
three insurance company subsidiaries: First Acceptance Insurance
Company, Inc. (FAIC), First Acceptance Insurance Company of
Georgia, Inc. (FAIC-GA) and First Acceptance Insurance Company
of Tennessee, Inc. (FAIC-TN).


H&R BLOCK: Appeal to Junked Securities Fraud Suit Still Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiffs' appeal from the dismissal of their case against
H&R Block Inc. entitled, "In re H&R Block Securities
Litigation," remains pending.

On April 6, 2007, a putative class action styled, "In re H&R
Block Securities Litigation," was filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Western District of Missouri against the company
and certain of its officers.

The complaint alleged, among other things, deceptive, material
and misleading financial statements, failure to prepare
financial statements in accordance with generally accepted
accounting principles and concealment of the potential for
lawsuits stemming from the allegedly fraudulent nature of the
company's operations.  It sought unspecified damages and
equitable relief.

On Oct. 5, 2007, the court dismissed the complaint and granted
the plaintiffs leave to re-file the portion of the complaint
pertaining to the Company's financial statements.

On Nov. 19, 2007, the plaintiffs re-filed the complaint,
alleging, among other things, deceptive, material and misleading
financial statements and failure to prepare financial statements
in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

At the defendant's behest, the court dismissed the re-filed
complaint on Feb. 19, 2008.  On March 11, 2008, the plaintiffs
appealed the dismissal.

The company reported no development in the matter in its Dec. 8,
2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Oct. 31, 2008.

The suit is "In Re H&R Block Securities Litigation, Case No. 06-
0236-CV-W-ODS," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Missouri.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Charles F. Speer, Esq. (cspeer@speerlawfirm.com)
          Speer Law Firm
          104 West 9th Street, Suite 305
          Kansas City, MO 64105
          Phone: 816-472-3560
          Fax: 816-421-2150

               - and -

          Jeffrey P. Campisi, Esq. (jcampisi@kaplanfox.com)
          Kaplan, Fox & Kilsheimer, LLP
          805 Third Avenue, 22nd Floor
          New York, NY 10022
          Phone: 212-687-1980
          Fax: 212-687-7714

Representing the defendants are:

          Sameer Advani, Esq. (sadvani@willkie.com)
          Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
          787 7thAvenue
          New York, NY 10019-6099
          Phone: 212-728-8000
          Fax: 212-728-8111

               - and -

          Jerome F. Birn, Jr., Esq. (jbirn@wsgr.com)
          Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C.
          650 Page Mill Road
          Palo Alto, CA 94304
          Phone: 650-320-4858
          Fax: 650-565-5100


H&R BLOCK: "Do Right's Plant Growers" Suit v. RSM Unit Ongoing
--------------------------------------------------------------
A purported class-action lawsuit regarding business valuation
services provided by RSM EquiCo, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary
of H&R Block, Inc., remains ongoing in the California Superior
Court, Orange County.

The suit is "Do Right's Plant Growers v. RSM EquiCo, Inc., RSM
McGladrey, Inc., H&R Block, Inc. and Does 1-100, inclusive, Case
No. 06 CC00137," filed on July 11, 2006.

The complaint contains allegations regarding business valuation
services provided by RSM EquiCo, Inc., including fraud,
negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, breach of
implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of
fiduciary duty and unfair competition and seeks unspecified
damages, restitution and equitable relief.

The company reported no development in the matter in its Dec. 8,
2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Oct. 31, 2008.

H&R Block, Inc. -- http://www.handrblock.com/-- is a financial
services company with subsidiaries providing tax, investment,
mortgage, and accounting and business consulting services and
products.


H&R BLOCK: Settlement of Electronic Filing Fees Lawsuit Approved
----------------------------------------------------------------
An agreement to settle the matter, "Erin M. McNulty and Brian J.
Erzar v. H&R Block, Inc., et al., Case No. 02-CIV-4654," was
approved by the Court of Common Please of Lackawanna County,
Pennsylvania, on Sept. 22, 2008, according to the company's
Dec. 8, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Oct. 31, 2008.

The suit, filed on Aug. 30, 2002, contains allegations that the
defendants deceptively portray electronic filing fees as a
necessary and required component of standard tax preparation
services and do not inform tax preparation clients that they
may:

       -- file tax returns free of charge by mailing the
          returns,

       -- electronically file tax returns from personal
          computers either free of charge are at significantly
          lower fees, and

       -- be eligible to electronically file tax returns free of
          charge via telephone.

The plaintiffs sought unspecified damages and disgorgement of
all electronic filing, tax preparation and related fees
collected during the applicable class period.

Class certification was granted in the case on Sept. 5, 2007.

In March 2008, the company reached a tentative agreement to
settle the suit for an amount not to exceed $2.5 million and
have accrued $1.7 million, representing the company's best
estimate of ultimate loss.

The settlement was preliminarily approved by the Court on June
27, 2008, with a final fairness hearing scheduled for September
2008 (Class Action Reporter, Oct. 14, 2008).

The impact of the settlement is included in the company's
consolidated results of operations for the six months ended Oct.
31, 2008.

H&R Block, Inc. -- http://www.handrblock.com/-- is a financial
services company with subsidiaries providing tax, investment,
mortgage, and accounting and business consulting services and
products.


H&R BLOCK: Unit Still Faces Lawsuits Over Peace of Mind Program
---------------------------------------------------------------
H&R Block Tax Services, Inc., a unit of H&R Block, Inc.,
continues to face purported class actions in Illinois and Texas
in relation to the its Peace of Mind (POM) Program, according to
the company's Dec. 8, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Oct.
31, 2008.

                      Illinois Litigation

One of the cases is the purported class action, "Lorie J.
Marshall, et al. v. H&R Block Tax Services, Inc., et al., Civil
Action 2003L000004," which was filed in the Circuit Court of
Madison County, Illinois.

The suit was filed on Jan. 18, 2002 and granted class-action
status on Aug. 27, 2003.  The plaintiffs' claims consist of five
counts relating to the POM Program under which the applicable
tax return preparation subsidiary assumes liability for
additional tax assessments attributable to tax return
preparation error.

The plaintiffs allege that the sale of POM guarantees
constitutes:

      -- statutory fraud by selling insurance without a license;

      -- an unfair trade practice, by omission and by "cramming"
         (i.e., charging customers for the guarantee even though
         they did not request it or want it); and

      -- a breach of fiduciary duty.

In August 2003, the court certified the plaintiff classes
consisting of all persons who from Jan. 1, 1997 to final
judgment:

      -- were charged a separate fee for POM by "H&R Block" or a
         defendant H&R Block class member;

      -- reside in certain class states and were charged a
         separate fee for POM by "H&R Block" or a defendant H&R
         Block class member not licensed to sell insurance; and

      -- had an unsolicited charge for POM posted to their bills
         by "H&R Block" or a defendant H&R Block class member.

Persons who received the POM guarantee through an H&R Block
Premium office and persons who reside in Alabama are excluded
from the plaintiff class.

The court also certified a defendant class consisting of any
entity with names that include "H&R Block" or "HRB," or are
otherwise affiliated or associated with H&R Block Tax Services,
Inc., and that sold or sells the POM product.

The trial court subsequently denied the defendants' motion to
certify class certification issues for interlocutory appeal.
Discovery is proceeding.  No trial date has been set (Class
Action Reporter, Oct. 14, 2008).

On Aug. 5, 2008, the court decertified the defendant class and
reduced the geographic scope of the plaintiff classes from 48
states to 13 states.

On Aug. 19, 2008, the company removed the case from state court
in Madison County, Illinois to the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Illinois.  The plaintiff's motion to remand
the case back to state court is pending.

                       Texas Litigation

There is one other putative class-action lawsuit pending against
the company in Texas that involves the POM guarantee.

This case involves the same plaintiffs' attorneys that are
involved in the Marshall litigation, and contains similar
allegations.  No class has been certified in this case.

H&R Block, Inc. -- http://www.handrblock.com/-- is a financial
services company with subsidiaries providing tax, investment,
mortgage, and accounting and business consulting services and
products.


INDEVUS PHARMA: Redux-related Product Liability Cases Pending
-------------------------------------------------------------
Indevus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reports in its Dec. 10, 2008 Form
10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2008, that there have been no
judgments against the company, nor has it paid any amounts in
settlement of any of the Redux-related product liability claims.

On Sept. 15, 1997, the company announced a market withdrawal of
its first prescription product, the weight loss medication Redux
(dexfenfluramine hydrochloride capsules) C-IV, which had been
launched by Wyeth (formerly American Home Products Corporation),
the company's licensee, in June 1996.

The withdrawal of Redux was based on a preliminary analysis by
the U.S. Foof and Drugs Administration of potential abnormal
echocardiogram findings associated with certain patients taking
Redux or the combination of fenfluramine with phentermine.

After the withdrawal of Redux, the company was named, together
with other pharmaceutical companies, as a defendant in several
thousand product liability legal actions, some of which
purported to be class actions, in federal and state courts
relating to the use of Redux and other weight loss drugs.

Indevus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. -- http://www.indevus.com-- is a
pharmaceutical company engaged in the acquisition, development
and commercialization of products to treat conditions in urology
and endocrinology.  The Company's products include SANCTURA and
SANCTURA XR for overactive bladder (OAB), which it co-promotes
with its partner Allergan, Inc. (Allergan), VANTAS for advanced
prostate cancer, SUPPRELIN LA for central precocious puberty
(CPP), and DELATESTRYL for the treatment of hypogonadism.
Indevus's core urology and endocrinology portfolio contains
multiple compounds in development in addition to its approved
products.  Its most advanced compounds are NEBIDO for male
hypogonadism, VALSTAR for bladder cancer, PRO 2000 for the
prevention of infection by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
and other sexually-transmitted diseases, the octreotide implant
for acromegaly and a biodegradable ureteral stent used in
association with the treatment of kidney stones.


JUNIPER NETWORKS: Securities Fraud Suit Still Pending in Calif.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Juniper Networks, Inc., continues to face a securities fraud
class-action lawsuit before the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California, according to the company's Nov.
10, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

Initially, on July 14, 2006, a purported class-action complaint,
captioned "Garber v. Juniper Networks, Inc., et al., No. C-06-
4327 MJJ," was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California against the company and certain of its
officers and directors.  The plaintiff filed a corrected
complaint on July 28, 2006.

The Garber lawsuit is brought on behalf of all purchasers of
Juniper Networks' common stock between Sept. 1, 2003, and May
22, 2006.

On Aug. 29, 2006, another purported class-action complaint,
captioned "Peters v. Juniper Networks, Inc., et al., No. C 06
5303 JW," was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California against the company and certain of its
officers and directors.

The "Peters" lawsuit is brought on behalf of all purchasers of
Juniper Networks' common stock between April 10, 2003, and Aug.
10, 2006.

Both purported class-action lawsuits allege that the company and
certain of its officers and directors violated federal
securities laws by manipulating stock option grant dates to
coincide with low stock prices and issuing false and misleading
statements including, among others, incorrect financial
statements due to the improper accounting of stock option
grants.

Both suits were later consolidated.  On Nov. 20, 2006, the court
appointed the New York City Pension Funds as lead plaintiff, who
filed a consolidated class action complaint in January 2007.

The consolidated complaint asserts claims on behalf of all
purchasers of, or those who otherwise acquired, Juniper
Networks' publicly traded securities from April 10, 2003,
through and including Aug. 20, 2006.  It alleges violations of
the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and the U.S. Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 by the company and certain of its current and former
officers and directors.

In February 2007, the parties agreed in a court-approved
stipulation that the plaintiffs may file an amended consolidated
complaint within 30 days after the company files its restated
financial statements with the U.S. Securities Exchange
Commission.

On June 7, 2007, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss
certain of the claims, and a hearing was held on Sept. 10, 2007.
In March 2008, the Court issued an order granting in part and
denying in part the defendants' dismissal motion.

Specifically, the Court dismissed with prejudice the plaintiffs'
section 10(b) claim to the extent it was based on challenged
statements made before July 14, 2001.  The order also dismissed,
with leave to amend, the plaintiffs' section 10(b) claim against
Pradeep Sindhu.  All of the plaintiffs' other claims were
upheld.


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

The suit is "In Re: Juniper Securities Litigation, Case No.
5:06-cv-04327-JW," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California, Judge James Ware presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

         Richard Bemporad, Esq. (rbemporad@ldbs.com)
         Lowey Dannenberg Bemporad Selinger & Cohen, P.C.
         White Plains Plaza
         1 North Broadway, 5th Floor
         White Plains, NY 10601-2310
         Phone: 914-997-0500

              - and -

         William M. Audet, Esq. (waudet@audetlaw.com)
         Audet & Partners
         221 Main Street, Suite 1460
         San Francisco, CA 94105
         Phone: 415-982-1776
         Fax: 415-576-1776

Representing the defendants is:

         Joni L. Ostler, Esq. (jostler@wsgr.com)
         Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
         650 Page Mill Road
         Palo Alto, CA 94304
         Phone: 650-493-9300
         Fax: 650-565-5100


LORAL SPACE: Hearing Starts in Consolidated Shareholder Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A hearing has begun on Dec. 22, 2008 in the matter, "In re:
Loral Space and Communications Inc. Consolidated Litigation,"
which was filed before the Court of Chancery of the State of
Delaware in and for New Castle County.

The plaintiffs in this action are certain stockholders of the
Company who alleged that they held over 25% of the outstanding
common stock of the Company (Blackrock Plaintiffs) and Highland
Crusader Offshore Partners, L.P. (Highland, and, together with
the Blackrock Plaintiffs, the Delaware Plaintiffs), the
purported owner of over 7% of Loral's outstanding common stock.

The Blackrock Plaintiffs have brought the case derivatively on
behalf of the Company and directly on behalf of the Blackrock
Plaintiffs individually.

The case has also been brought by Highland as a class action on
behalf of a class of Loral stockholders consisting of all
security holders of the Company (except the defendants and
persons or entities related to or affiliated with the
defendants) who, as alleged in the amended and consolidated
complaint, "are or will be threatened with injury arising from
Defendants' actions" as described in the amended and
consolidated complaint.

The litigation arose out of the Company's sale of $300 million
of preferred stock to the MHR Funds pursuant to the Securities
Purchase Agreement.

The Delaware Plaintiffs alleged, among other things, that the
sale was not fair to the Company and resulted from breach of
fiduciary duties by Loral's directors.

On Sept. 19, 2008, the Court of Chancery issued an opinion
finding that the sale of the preferred stock to the MHR Funds
did not meet the entire fairness standard under Delaware law.

In accordance with its opinion, on Nov. 10, 2008, the Court
entered an implementing order providing for reformation of the
Securities Purchase Agreement to cancel the preferred stock
purchased by MHR and issue 9,505,673 shares of non-voting common
stock in lieu thereof and further providing that all other terms
of the Securities Purchase Agreement have no further force or
effect.

Pursuant to the Court's order, within five days of the
effectiveness of the implementing order, Loral will file an
amended and restated certificate of incorporation providing that
its 40,000,000 authorized shares of common stock be divided into
two series, of which 30,494,327 shares are voting common stock
and 9,505,673 shares are non-voting common stock.

The amended and restated certificate of incorporation will
provide that the common stock and non-voting common stock will
be identical and treated equally in all respects, except for the
absence of voting rights (other than as provided in the amended
and restated certificate of incorporation or as provided by
law).

The Court also ordered that Loral's board of directors ratify
and recommend to stockholders that they ratify the amended and
restated certificate of incorporation, that Loral include a
proposal at its next scheduled annual meeting of stockholders to
consider and vote upon the amended and restated certificate of
incorporation and that the named and representative parties vote
all of their shares in favor of ratification of the amended and
restated certificate of incorporation.

Prior to the stockholder meeting, any transfer of Loral common
stock by a named or representative party to the litigation or
any subsequent transferee may only be made subject to the
transferee providing an irrevocable and unconditional proxy to
vote all such transferred common stock in favor of the
ratification of the amended and restated certificate of
incorporation.

Furthermore, the Court ordered that, upon request of the holders
of a majority of the then outstanding shares of non-voting
common stock, Loral shall apply for and use best efforts to
obtain the listing of the non-voting common stock on a national
securities exchange or automated quotation system as so
requested by such holders and register the non-voting common
stock under all applicable securities laws.

The Court also ordered that Loral and the MHR Funds enter into
an agreement to provide for registration rights for the new non-
voting common stock.

In the implementing order, the Court entered final judgment in
favor of directors Olmstead and Stenbit and resolving all claims
against the other directors on the basis set forth in its
opinion.

The Court stated in its opinion that, because the remedy being
entered is one that can be effected as between MHR and Loral, it
was not necessary to make findings about the extent to which the
other individual director defendants would be subject to
liability for breach of fiduciary duty, if at all.

In its implementing order, the Court set a briefing schedule
regarding applications to be made by attorneys for the Delaware
Plaintiffs requesting an award adjudging defendants, including
the Company, liable to pay the attorneys' fees and expenses
incurred by the Delaware Plaintiffs in prosecuting the
litigation, and has scheduled a hearing on this matter for Dec.
22, 2008, according to the company's Nov. 10, 2008 Form 10-Q
Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

Loral Space & Communications, Inc. -- http://www.loral.com/--
together with its subsidiaries is a satellite communications
company with activities in satellite manufacturing and
satellite-based communications services.


LORAL SPACE: N.Y. Court Sets January Hearing for "Beleson" Case
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
set a tentative January 2009 hearing for certain motions in the
purported class-action lawsuit, "Beleson, et al. v. Schwartz,
Case No. 1:03-cv-06051-JES," which was filed against Bernard L.
Schwartz, former chairman of the board and chief executive
officer of Loral Space & Communications Inc. (New Loral),
according to the company's Nov. 10, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended Sept. 30, 2008.

In August 2003, plaintiffs Robert Beleson and Harvey Matcovsky
filed a purported class action complaint against the company in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The lawsuit seeks, among other things, damages in an unspecified
amount and reimbursement of plaintiffs' reasonable costs and
expenses.

The suit alleges:

      -- that Mr. Schwartz violated Section 10(b) of the U.S.
         Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
         promulgated thereunder, by making material
         misstatements or failing to state material facts about
         the company's financial condition relating to the sale
         of assets to Intelsat and its Chapter 11 filing; and

      -- that Mr. Schwartz is secondarily liable for these
         alleged misstatements and omissions under Section 20(a)
         of the Exchange Act as an alleged "controlling person"
         of Loral Space & Communications Ltd. (Old Loral).

The class of plaintiffs on whose behalf the lawsuit has been
asserted consists of all buyers of Old Loral common stock during
the period from June 30, 2003 through July 15, 2003, excluding
the defendant and certain persons related to or affiliated with
him.

In November 2003, three other complaints against Mr. Schwartz
with substantially similar allegations were consolidated into
the Beleson case.

In February 2004, a motion to dismiss the complaint in its
entirety was denied by the court.  The defendant filed an answer
in March 2004.

In January 2006, the case was stayed, and after a status
conference in March 2007, the stay was lifted and discovery is
proceeding.

Discovery in this case has been completed.  The plaintiffs'
motion for class certification was granted on May 14, 2008.

Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment in July 2008,
plaintiffs filed a cross-motion for partial summary judgment in
September 2008, and oral argument is scheduled for January 2009.

Since this case was not brought against Old Loral, but only
against one of its officers, the company believes, although no
assurance can be given, that, to the extent that any award is
ultimately granted to the plaintiffs in this action, the
liability of New Loral, if any, with respect thereto is limited
solely to claims for indemnification against Old Loral by the
defendant.

The suit is "Beleson, et al. v. Schwartz, Case No. 1:03-cv-
06051-JES," filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York, Judge John E. Sprizzo, presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Jules Brody, Esq.
          Stull Stull & Brody
          6 East 45th Street, 5th Floor
          New York, NY 10017
          Phone: 212-687-7230
          Fax: 212-490-2022

          Joseph H. Weiss, Esq.
          Weiss & Yourman
          The French Building
          551 Fifth Avenue 1600
          New York, NY 10176
          Phone: 212-682-3025

Representing Mr. Schwartz are:

          Jeanne Marie Luboja, Esq.
          Francis James Menton, Jr., Esq.
          Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (NY)
          787 Seventh Avenue
          New York, NY 10019
          Phone: 212-728-8000
          Fax: 212-728-8111
          e-mail: maosdny@willkie.com


LORAL SPACE: N.Y. Court Stays Proceedings in Shareholder Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York,
issued an order that stayed a shareholder suit filed against
Loral Space & Communications, Inc.

On or about Nov. 3, 2006, plaintiff Maxine Babus, derivatively
on behalf of Loral Space, filed a shareholder derivative
complaint in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County
of New York, against all the members of the Loral board of
directors and against Loral as a nominal defendant.

On or about April 4, 2007, as contemplated by a memorandum of
understanding, the plaintiff filed an amended shareholder class
and derivative complaint against all members of the Loral board
of directors, MHR Fund Management LLC and certain funds and
other entities affiliated with MHR, and Loral as a nominal
defendant.

The amended complaint alleges, among other things, that, in
connection with the company's Securities Purchase Agreement
dated Oct. 17, 2006, as amended and restated on Feb. 27, 2007,
pursuant to which the company sold to the MHR Funds $300 million
in new convertible preferred stock, the directors and the MHR
Entities breached their fiduciary duties to the company,
including the fiduciary duties of care and loyalty, and that the
MHR Entities and Dr. Mark H. Rachesky have aided and abetted the
directors' breach of fiduciary duty.

It seeks, among other things, both as to the derivative claims
and the class action claims, preliminary and permanent
injunctive relief, an award of compensatory damages in an amount
to be determined, rescission of the Securities Purchase
Agreement and plaintiff's costs and disbursements, including
attorneys' and experts' fees and expenses.

The plaintiff, Mrs. Babus, died in November 2006, and, in August
2007, her son was substituted as plaintiff in place of his
deceased mother.

After discussions between them, the parties decided not to
proceed with the MoU entered into in March 2007.  Instead, the
parties have agreed, and the court in an order dated Dec. 5,
2007, ordered, that the Babus Lawsuit be stayed pending final
resolution of a similar shareholder litigation in Delaware.

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

Loral Space & Communications, Inc. -- http://www.loral.com/--
together with its subsidiaries is a satellite communications
company with activities in satellite manufacturing and
satellite-based communications services.


MACY'S INC: Continues to Faces Ohio Litigation Over 401(k) Plan
---------------------------------------------------------------
Macy's, Inc. is still facing a purported class-action suit filed
by Ebrahim Shanehchian, an alleged participant in the company's
Profit Sharing 401(k) Investment Plan, according to the
company's Dec. 8, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 1, 2008.

On Oct. 3, 2007, Mr. Shanehchian filed a purported class action
lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
Ohio on behalf of persons who participated in the 401(k) Plan
and The May Department Stores Company Profit Sharing Plan
between Feb. 27, 2005 and the present.

The complaint charges the Company, as well as certain current
and former members of its board of directors and certain current
and former members of management, with breach of fiduciary
duties owed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
(ERISA) to participants in the 401(k) Plan and the May Plan,
alleging that the defendants made false and misleading
statements regarding the Company's business, operations and
prospects in relation to the integration of the acquired May
operations, resulting in supposed "artificial inflation" of the
Company's stock price between Aug. 30, 2005 and May 15, 2007.

The plaintiff seeks an unspecified amount of compensatory
damages and costs.

Macy's, Inc., -- http://www.macysinc.com/-- formerly Federated
Department Stores, Inc., is a retail company operating retail
stores that sell a range of merchandise, including men's,
women's and children's apparel and accessories, cosmetics, home
furnishings and other consumer goods.  As of Feb. 2, 2008, the
Company operated 853 stores in 45 states, the District of
Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names, Macy's and
Bloomingdale's.  The Company, through its divisions, conducts
electronic commerce and direct-to-customer mail catalog
businesses under the names macys.com, bloomingdales.com and
Bloomingdale's By Mail.  In addition, Macy's, Inc. offers an
online bridal registry to customers.


MACY'S INC: Still Faces "Decristofaro" Merger Suit in Missouri
--------------------------------------------------------------
Macy's, Inc. continues to face a purported class-action lawsuit
filed by Edward Decristofaro, an alleged former stockholder of
The May Department Stores Company (May), according to the
company's Dec. 8, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 1, 2008.

On Aug. 30, 2005, the Company completed the acquisition of May.

On Jan. 11, 2006, Mr. Decristofaro filed a purported class-
action lawsuit in the Circuit Court of St. Louis, Missouri on
behalf of all former May stockholders against May and the former
members of the board of directors of May.

The complaint generally alleges that the directors of May
breached their fiduciary duties of loyalty, due care, good faith
and candor to May stockholders in connection with the Merger.

The plaintiffs seek rescission of the Merger or an unspecified
amount of rescissory damages and costs including attorneys' fees
and experts' fees.

In July 2007, the court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss
the case.

Macy's, Inc., -- http://www.macysinc.com/-- formerly Federated
Department Stores, Inc., is a retail company operating retail
stores that sell a range of merchandise, including men's,
women's and children's apparel and accessories, cosmetics, home
furnishings and other consumer goods.  As of Feb. 2, 2008, the
Company operated 853 stores in 45 states, the District of
Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names, Macy's and
Bloomingdale's.  The Company, through its divisions, conducts
electronic commerce and direct-to-customer mail catalog
businesses under the names macys.com, bloomingdales.com and
Bloomingdale's By Mail.  In addition, Macy's, Inc. offers an
online bridal registry to customers.


PETSMART INC: Calif. Judge Approves $1.45M Deal in "Sorenson"
-------------------------------------------------------------
Judge John A. Mendez of the he U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of California has approved the $1.45 million
settlement reached in the matter, "Sorenson v. PetSmart, Inc.,"
Denny Walsh of The Sacramento Bee reports.

The suit was originally filed on Oct. 3, 2006 in California
State Court by Tiffany Sorenson, a former dog groomer, who
alleges claims on behalf of other non-exempt hourly workers as
to whether the employees received their required meal and rest
breaks (Class Action Reporter, Dec. 11, 2008).

Ms. Sorenson, who performed dog grooming and customer service
duties, alleged too much work sometimes deprived her and other
employees of full 30-minute meal periods and 10-minute breaks.

The plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, penalties under the
California Labor Code, restitution, attorney fees, costs, and
prejudgment interest.

In November 2006, the company removed the lawsuit to the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of California.

The Sacramento Bee reported that more than 4,000 employees of
PetSmart stores in California who were not getting lunch periods
and rest breaks have settled a class-action lawsuit, with the
company agreeing to pay $1.45 million, including fees for the
employees' lawyers and other costs.

A total of 4,442 qualifying class members from the state's 115
stores will share $747,000 for breaks they didn't get between
Oct. 3, 2002 and Aug. 5.

Independent of the money to be divided among class members, Ms.
Sorenson will receive $15,000 for her work on the suit,
according to The Sacramento Bee.


PFF BANCORP: Calif. Court Approves Deal in FBOP Merger Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
A California court granted preliminary approval to a settlement
reached in a purported class-action lawsuit against PFF Bancorp,
Inc. over a merger agreement among the company, FBOP Corp., and
California Madison Holdings, Inc.

On June 13, 2008, the company entered into an Agreement and Plan
of Merger with FBOP Corp. and California Madison Holdings.
Under the terms of the Agreement, which was unanimously approved
by the company's board of directors, and upon the consummation
of the transaction contemplated by the Agreement, stockholders
will receive $1.35 in cash for each share of the company's
common stock.

On June 18, 2008, an alleged stockholder of PFF Bancorp filed a
purported class-action lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court
against the company, its board of directors (which includes one
of the company's officers), and FBOP.

Among other things, this action alleges that the individual
defendants breached their fiduciary duties and obligations to
our stockholders by agreeing to the proposed merger.  The suit
primarily seeks to enjoin the merger, as well as other ancillary
remedies.

While the Company believes that the action has no merit, on
Sept. 16, 2008, the parties entered into a Stipulation of
Settlement to resolve the case on a class-wide basis that is
subject to Court approval and is not expected to delay the
Merger.

At a hearing on Oct. 8, 2008, the Court granted preliminary
approval of the settlement.  The Court will hold a hearing for
final approval of the settlement on Dec. 15, 2008, according to
the company's Nov. 11, 2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept.
30, 2008.

PFF Bancorp, Inc. -- http://www.pffbancorp.com-- is a
diversified financial services company.  It conducts its
business principally through its wholly owned subsidiary, PFF
Bank & Trust.  The company's business also includes Glencrest
Investment Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisor.
Glencrest provides wealth management and advisory services to
high-net-worth individuals and businesses.  In addition, the
company's business includes Diversified Builder Services, Inc.,
a provider of financing and consulting services to home builders
and land developers.  In addition, it owns 100% of the common
stock of two unconsolidated special purpose business trusts PFF
Bancorp Capital Trust I, PFF Bancorp Capital Trust II and PFF
Bancorp Capital Trust III created for the purpose of issuing
capital securities.  Its market areas include eastern Los
Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and northern Orange counties.


PFF BANCORP: Calif. Court Mulls Consolidation of ERISA Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
has set a Jan. 26, 2009 hearing for a motions that sought for
the consolidation of two lawsuits against PFF Bancorp, Inc. over
allegations that it imprudently invested employees' money in its
own stock, costing them millions of dollars.

On Aug. 12, 2008, a purported class-action lawsuit was filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
against the Bancorp, the Bank, the Administrative Committee of
the PFF Bank & Trust Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), the
Employee Compensation and Benefits Committee, and current and
former directors, officers and employees of Bancorp and the
Bank.

The complaint asserts claims under the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), and seeks to
recover alleged losses incurred by certain employee stock plans
and stock plan participants and beneficiaries of these plans
arising out of their investment in Bancorp's stock.  The
complaint also seeks equitable relief under ERISA.

In addition, on Sept. 17, 2008, a related purported class action
complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central
District of California by another alleged participant in the
plans against the Bancorp, the Bank, the Administrative
Committee of the ESOP, the Employee Compensation and Benefits
Committee, and other current and former directors, officers and
employees of Bancorp and the Bank seeking similar relief.

The plaintiffs in these cases have filed a motion to consolidate
the two actions, and appoint co-lead plaintiffs to the proposed
consolidated action.

The Court has set a date for Jan. 26, 2009 to hear the motion
for consolidation, according to the company's Nov. 11, 2008 Form
10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

PFF Bancorp, Inc. -- http://www.pffbancorp.com-- is a
diversified financial services company.  It conducts its
business principally through its wholly owned subsidiary, PFF
Bank & Trust.  The company's business also includes Glencrest
Investment Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisor.
Glencrest provides wealth management and advisory services to
high-net-worth individuals and businesses.  In addition, the
company's business includes Diversified Builder Services, Inc.,
a provider of financing and consulting services to home builders
and land developers.  In addition, it owns 100% of the common
stock of two unconsolidated special purpose business trusts PFF
Bancorp Capital Trust I, PFF Bancorp Capital Trust II and PFF
Bancorp Capital Trust III created for the purpose of issuing
capital securities.  Its market areas include eastern Los
Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and northern Orange counties.




LORAL SPACE: N.Y. Court Considers Approving "Christ" Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
has yet to approve a proposed settlement reached in the
securities fraud class-action lawsuit against certain officers
of Loral Space & Communications Inc. (New Loral).

In November 2003, Tony Christ, individually and as custodian for
Brian and Katelyn Christ, Casey Crawford, Thomas Orndorff and
Marvin Rich, filed a purported class-action complaint against
Loral Space officers Bernard L. Schwartz and Richard J. Townsend
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York.

The complaint seeks, among other things, damages in an
unspecified amount and reimbursement of plaintiffs' reasonable
costs and expenses.  It alleges:

      -- that defendants violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange
         Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by making
         material misstatements or failing to state material
         facts about Loral Space & Communications Ltd.'s (Old
         Loral) financial condition relating to the restatement
         in 2003 of the financial statements for the second and
         third quarters of 2002 to correct accounting for
         certain general and administrative expenses and the
         alleged improper accounting for a satellite transaction
         with APT Satellite Co. Ltd.; and

      -- that each of the defendants is secondarily liable for
         these alleged misstatements and omissions under Section
         20(a) of the Exchange Act as an alleged "controlling
         person" of Old Loral.

The class of plaintiffs on whose behalf the lawsuit has been
asserted consists of all buyers of Old Loral common stock during
the period from July 31, 2002, through June 29, 2003, excluding
the defendants and certain persons related to or affiliated with
them.

In October 2004, a motion to dismiss the complaint in its
entirety was denied by the court.  The defendants filed an
answer to the complaint in December 2004.

Discovery in this case had been stayed, but the stay ended in
June 2008.

On Sept. 30, 2008, the parties entered into an agreement to
settle the case.  The settlement, which was preliminarily
approved by the Court on Oct. 8, 2008, is subject to final
approval by the Court after a hearing, scheduled for Dec. 18,
2008, to decide whether to approve the settlement as fair,
reasonable and adequate, according to the company's Nov. 10,
2008 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

Loral Space & Communications, Inc. -- http://www.loral.com/--
together with its subsidiaries is a satellite communications
company with activities in satellite manufacturing and
satellite-based communications services.


LORAL SPACE: N.Y. Court Mulls Approving ERISA Suit Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
has yet to grant final approval to the settlement of a purported
class-action lawsuit entitled "In re: Loral Space ERISA
Litigation," which was filed against Loral Space &
Communications, Inc., according to the company's Nov. 10, 2008
Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

In April 2004, two separate purported class-action lawsuits were
filed before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of New York by former employees of Loral Space & Communications
Ltd. (Old Loral) and participants in the Old Loral Savings Plan.
The two suits were consolidated into one action, captioned "In
re: Loral Space ERISA Litigation case."

In July 2004, the plaintiffs in the consolidated action filed an
amended consolidated complaint against the members of the Loral
Space & Communications Ltd. Savings Plan Administrative
Committee and certain existing and former members of the
company's board of directors, including Bernard L. Schwartz.

The amended complaint seeks, among other things, damages in the
amount of any losses suffered by the Savings Plan to be
allocated among the participants' individual accounts in
proportion to the accounts' losses, an order compelling
defendants to make good to the Savings Plan all losses to the
Savings Plan resulting from defendants' alleged breaches of
their fiduciary duties and reimbursement of costs and attorneys'
fees.

The amended complaint alleges that:

     -- the defendants violated Section 404 of the Employee
        Retirement Income Security Act, by breaching their
        fiduciary duties to prudently and loyally manage the
        assets of the Savings Plan by including Old Loral
        common stock as an investment alternative and by
        providing matching contributions under the Savings Plan
        in Old Loral stock,

     -- the director defendants violated Section 404 of ERISA
        by breaching their fiduciary duties to monitor the
        committee defendants and to provide them with accurate
        information,

     -- the defendants violated Sections 404 and 405 of ERISA by
        failing to provide complete and accurate information to
        Savings Plan participants and beneficiaries, and

     -- the defendants violated Sections 404 and 405 of ERISA by
        breaching their fiduciary duties to avoid conflicts of
        interest.

The class of plaintiffs on whose behalf the lawsuit has been
asserted consists of all participants in or beneficiaries of the
Savings Plan at any time between Nov. 4, 1999, and the present
and whose accounts included investments in Old Loral stock.

The plaintiffs have also filed a proof of claim against Old
Loral with respect to the case and have agreed that in no event
will their claim against Old Loral exceed $22 million.

In April 2008, the plaintiffs and the company agreed in
principle to a settlement of the suit.  The settlement is
subject to execution of a definitive settlement agreement and
approval by the court.

The settlement has been preliminarily approved by the Court and
is subject to final approval after a hearing, scheduled for Dec.
1, 2008, to decide whether to approve the settlement as fair,
reasonable and adequate.

Loral Space & Communications, Inc. -- http://www.loral.com/--
together with its subsidiaries is a satellite communications
company with activities in satellite manufacturing and
satellite-based communications services.


SEMPRA ENERGY: Faces Suits Over 2007 San Diego County Wildfires
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sempra Energy and its subsidiary, San Diego Gas & Electric Co.
SDG&E), are facing several purported class-action lawsuits over
power lines that allegedly triggered some wildfire in San Diego
County, according to the company's Nov. 10, 2008 Form 10-Q
Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

In October 2007, San Diego County experienced catastrophic
wildfires.  The causes of many of these fires remain under
investigation, including the possible role of SDG&E power lines
affected by unusually high winds.

In July 2008, the California Department of Forestry and Fire
Protection (Cal Fire) issued investigation reports stating that
the Witch and Rice fires were each a "power line-caused fire"
and that the Guejito fire occurred when a wire securing a large
communication company's fiber optic cable came into contact with
an energized power line "causing an arc and starting the fire."

The reports indicate that the Witch and Guejito fires merged and
eventually burned approximately 198,000 acres, resulted in two
fatalities, injured approximately 45 firefighters and destroyed
approximately 1,141 homes.

Cal Fire is still investigating the perimeters of these two
fires to determine the damages associated with each one.  Cal
Fire stated that the Rice fire burned approximately 9,500 acres
and damaged 206 homes and two commercial properties.

Numerous lawsuits, four of which seek to be designated as class
actions, have been filed against SDG&E in San Diego County
Superior Court, seeking unspecified amounts for damages relating
to the fires.  Several of the lawsuits also name Sempra Energy
as a defendant.

The lawsuits allege inverse condemnation, negligence and other
causes of action, and assert that SDG&E improperly designed and
maintained its power lines and failed to adequately clear
adjacent vegetation.

Sempra Energy -- http://www.sempra.com/-- is an energy services
holding company that, through its subsidiaries, develops energy
infrastructure, operate utilities, and provide related products
and services.  The company has five separately managed segments
comprising Southern California Gas Co., San Diego Gas & Electric
Co., Sempra Commodities, Sempra Generation and Sempra Pipelines
& Storage.  SoCalGas and SDG&E are collectively referred to as
the Sempra Utilities.


TWEEN BRANDS: Seeks to Junk Amended Complaint in Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The motion to dismiss the amended complaint in the consolidated
securities fraud class-action lawsuit against Tween Brands,
Inc., is pending with the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Ohio.

Since Aug. 24, 2007, three purported class-action complaints had
been filed by purported purchasers of the Company's common stock
against the Company and certain of its officers, asserting
claims under the federal securities laws.

To date, all of these actions have been filed with the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.  These cases
are:

      1. "June Gruhn v. Tween Brands, Inc., et al. (07 CV
         852),"

      2. "Allison Andrews v. Tween Brands, Inc., et al. (07 CV
         894)," and

      3. "John Sefler v. Tween Brands, Inc., et al (07 CV
         925)."

These actions purport to be brought on behalf of all purchasers
of the Company's common stock during various periods beginning
as early as Feb. 21, 2007, and ending on Aug. 21, 2007, and
allege, among other things, that the defendants violated Section
10(b) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder
and, in one action, Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act by making
false and misleading statements concerning the Company's
business and prospects during the class period.

These actions also allege that the Company's CEO sold stock
while in possession of adverse non-public information.

On Dec. 21, 2007, the Court appointed the Electrical Works
Pension Fund, Local 103, I.B.E.W., as lead plaintiff.

On March 20, 2008, the lead plaintiff filed a consolidated
complaint naming the Company and certain current and former
officers as defendants (Class Action Reporter, April 22, 2008).

On May 5, 2008, a Motion to Dismiss the consolidated complaint
was filed on behalf of all defendants.

On June 17, 2008, a Motion for Leave to File a First Amended
Consolidated Complaint was filed by the lead plaintiff.  On
Sept. 4, 2008, the Court granted the lead plaintiff's Motion for
Leave to File a First Amended Consolidated Complaint and on
Oct. 3, 2008, the lead plaintiff filed an Amended Consolidated
Complaint.

On Nov. 17, 2008, a Motion to Dismiss the Amended Consolidated
Complaint was filed on behalf of all defendants, according to
the company's Dec. 5, 2008 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 1,
2008.

The suit is "June Gruhn, et al. v. Tween Brands, Inc., et al.,
Case No. 07-CV-00852," filed with the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of Ohio, Judge Gregory L. Frost presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Richard Stuart Wayne, Esq. (rswayne@strausstroy.com)
          Strauss & Troy - 1
          The Federal Reserve Building
          150 E Fourth Street
          4th Floor
          Cincinnati, OH 45202-4018
          Phone: 513-621-2120

Representing the defendants are:

          James A. King, Esq. (jking@porterwright.com)
          Porter Wright Morris & Arthur - 2
          41 S High Street
          Suite 2800
          Columbus, OH 43215-6194
          Phone: 614-227-2000


WILLIAMS CONTROLS: Appeal to "Cuesta" Ruling Pending in Oklahoma
----------------------------------------------------------------
The appeal by the plaintiffs in the matter "Braulio Cuesta M.D.
v. Ford Motor Co., CJ-04-0511," from a decision reversing the
certification of a nationwide class in the product liability
case that names Williams Controls, Inc., as a defendant remains
pending before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

The company was named as co-defendant in the matter on Oct. 1,
2004.  The suit sought class-action status, and an unspecified
amount of damages on behalf of the class.

During the second quarter of fiscal 2007, the Oklahoma district
court granted the suit class-action status.

The company and Ford appealed the District Court's class
certification ruling to the Court of Civil Appeals of the State
of Oklahoma, and during the second quarter of fiscal 2008, the
Appeals Court, in a 3-to-0 decision, reversed the District
Court's ruling and decertified the nationwide class.

As permitted under Oklahoma law, the plaintiffs filed for a re-
hearing by the Appeals Court and during the third quarter of
fiscal 2008, this rehearing request was denied.

The plaintiffs have since appealed the Court of Civil Appeals'
decertification ruling to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, according
to the company's Dec. 11, 2008 Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
Sept. 30, 2008.

The suit is "Braulio Cuesta M.D. v. Ford Motor Co., CJ-04-0511,"
filed in the District Court for Bryan, Oklahoma.

For more details, contact:

         The Burrage Law Firm
         First United Center
         Suite 100, 115 N. Washington
         Durant, OK 74702-1727
         Phone: 580-920-0700
         e-mail: dburrage@burragelaw.com
         Web site: http://www.burragelaw.com/


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Safeguard Granted Judgment in Romagna Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of
Fairfield, granted Safeguard Scientifics, Inc.'s motion for
summary judgment in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed by Paul
Romagna.

The case is styled Janet Longo et al. (Paul Romagna) v. General
Electric Co. et al. (Safeguard Scientifics, Inc.).

State Trial Referee David W. Skolnick entered judgment in Case
No. CV044002257S on Nov. 10, 2008.

Mr. Romagna was a pipefitter, planner, facilities supervisor,
general foreman, and manufacturer's representative during his
years of employment at Electric Boat Corporation from 1965 to
2006, a total of 41 years.

Mr. Romagna worked on board submarines in areas including the
engine rooms and missile compartments and alongside other
pipefitters, electricians, machinists, cleaners, welders and
laggers on boats being constructed and undergoing overhaul.

The Court accepted that Mr. Romagna was exposed to asbestos
while working at Electric Boat and has been diagnosed with
asbestos-related lung disease, pleural plaques and a diminished
lung function.

However, a close review by the court of Mr. Romagna's memorandum
of law in opposition to Safeguard's instant motion revealed that
Mr. Romagna was able to identify two boats by name on which he
worked, the Ben Franklin and the Thomas Jefferson, and two other
boats identified by numbers only, 642 and 643 boats under "new
construction."

Mr. Romagna was not able to identify by name any equipment
aboard these boats, apart from commenting on a heat shield in
the engine room where he stated, "I would have to guess it was
asbestos."

No identification of the name or brand of the heat shield was
present in the transcript. Nor has the court seen any affidavit
by a fellow employee that placed Mr. Romagna on a boat or in a
work area near Safeguard's product containing asbestos.

Accordingly, in absence of evidence creating a material issue of
fact, Safeguard's motion for summary judgment was granted.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Favors Parker in Lawsuit v. Safeguard
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Connecticut denied Safeguard Scientifics,
Inc.'s motion for summary judgment in an asbestos-related
lawsuit filed by Joseph Parker.

The case is styled Janet Longo et al. (Joseph Parker) v. General
Electric Co. et al. (Safeguard Scientifics, Inc.)

State Trial Referee David W. Skolnick entered judgment in Case
No. BALFBTCV044002257S on Nov. 10, 2008.

Mr. Parker was a pipefitter and a pipefitter supervisor during
his years of employment at the Electric Boat Corporation from
1965 to 1968, 1969 to 1974 and 1974 to 2002, a total of 37
years.

As a pipefitter, Mr. Parker worked in all compartments of a boat
including the engine room and reactor rooms. The boat or
submarine that he identified as having worked on is the
Nautilus.

Calvin Hopkins worked at Electric Boat as an electrician from
1968 to 2000. He identified the Nautilus as one of the ships
that he worked on in his affidavit of Sept. 8, 2008. He said
that "BACO asbestos packing" is a product of Safeguard
Scientifics and that it was apparent that this product was on
the Nautilus while Mr. Parker worked on said submarine between
1969 and 2002. It was also admitted that this product contained
asbestos.

As a result of his exposure to asbestos, Mr. Parker developed
asbestos-related lung disease and loss of lung function, and x-
ray findings of pleural plaques were found within his lung
tissue.

One source of Mr. Parker's exposure could be traced to BACO
asbestos packing used aboard the Nautilus and other subs at
Electric Boat, while said subs were being built, reconditioned
or serviced.

The court found that material issues of fact existed as to
whether Safeguard's product containing asbestos was present in
the work environment of Mr. Parker.

Accordingly, Safeguard's motion for summary judgment as against
Mr. Parker was denied.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: La. Appeal Court Favors St. Bernard Parish
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, upheld a trial
court's ruling, which favored the St. Bernard Parish
Government's awarding of an asbestos removal contract to Cross
Environmental Services, Inc.

The case is styled Louisiana Service and Contracting Company,
Inc. v. St. Bernard Parish Government, Department of Public
Works and Chris Merkl, in his Capacity as Acting Director of the
St. Bernard Parish Department of Public Works.

Judges Roland L. Belsome, Joan Bernard Armstrong, and Patricia
Rivet Murray entered judgment in Case No. 2008-CA-0174 on Nov.
26, 2008.

This appeal arose from Louisiana Service and Contracting
Company, Inc.'s (LSCC) challenge of the awarding of a contract
for the removal and disposal of asbestos materials in St.
Bernard Parish to Cross Environmental Services, Inc.

Subsequent to the contract being awarded to Cross, LSCC filed
suit for injunctive relief, writ of mandamus and declaratory
judgment against St. Bernard Parish Government, Department of
Public Works and Chris Merkl as acting director of the St.
Bernard Parish Department of Public Works.

St. Bernard Parish agreed not to authorize Cross to proceed
under the contract until the trial court conducted a hearing and
ruled on the merits of the case. The trial court conducted a
hearing on Oct. 19, 2007, allowing all parties to present
testimony and documentary evidence.

After the hearing the trial court set a Nov. 9, 2007 deadline
for submitting additional evidence or briefs. On Nov. 28, 2007,
the trial court rendered judgment denying LSCC's request for
preliminary and permanent injunction, writ of mandamus and
declaratory judgment.

This devolutive appeal was taken from the judgment rendered on
Nov. 28, 2007, denying LSCC's request for preliminary and
permanent injunction, declaratory judgment, and writ of
mandamus. LSCC filed a post-judgment motion to supplement
and amend its petition on Dec. 11, 2007. The trial court denied
the motion on Dec. 19, 2007.

The denial of the motion to supplement was outside the scope of
the judgment being appealed and therefore, improperly before
this Court.

The Appeal Court upheld the trial court's determination that the
St. Bernard Parish Department of Public Works' contract, made
subject of this appeal, was a contract for services properly
awarded to Cross.

Paul J. Mirabile, Esq., Sarah A. Lowman, Esq., of Middleberg,
Riddle & Gianna in New Orleans, represented Louisiana Service
and Contracting Company, Inc.

David A. Paysse, Esq., of St. Bernard Parish Government in
Chalmette, La., represented St. Bernard Parish Government,
Department of Public Works and Chris Merkl.

Walter J. Leger, Jr., Esq., Walter J. Leger III, Esq., of Leger
& Shaw in New Orleans, represented Cross Environmental Services,
LLC.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Sets Aside, Remands Dunn Veteran Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims set aside and
remanded an Oct. 24, 2006 Board of Veterans' Appeals ruling,
which denied Arthur R. Dunn's claim for disability compensation
for bilateral hearing loss and allergies (that may be caused by
exposure to asbestos) because they were not service oriented.

The case is styled Arthur R. Dunn, Appellant v. James B. Peake,
M.D., Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Appellee.

Judge Bruce E. Kasold entered judgment in Case No. 07-0399 on
Dec. 11, 2008.

Mr. Dunn argued that the Board erred by providing an inadequate
statement of reasons or bases with regard to:

     -- Its reliance on a December 2003 VA medical examination
        report,

     -- His lay statements that he suffered from hearing loss
        and allergies since his time in service, and

     -- Its finding that the duty to assist had been satisfied
        even though he was not provided an examination with
        regard to his allergies or provided a new examination
        with regard to his hearing disability.

The record supported Mr. Dunn's argument that the Board did not
provide an adequate statement of reasons or bases for its
reliance on the December 2003 medical examination. As Mr. Dunn
noted, the medical examiner incorrectly stated that he had
served one month in combat when, in fact, he had served
extensively in combat.

Mr. Dunn's assertion that the Board provided an inadequate
statement of reasons or bases for its decision not to order a
medical examination for his allergies was supported by the
record.

Mr. Dunn stated that his allergies began during service and that
they could have been caused by exposure to asbestos and gun
smoke during combat.

Although the Board noted Mr. Dunn's statement regarding his
allergies, it failed to address its credibility, determining
instead that an examination was not needed in light of the lack
of objective medical evidence indicating that he had received
treatment for his allergies during or after service.

Accordingly, the Oct. 24, 2006, decision of the Board of
Veterans' Appeals that denied Mr. Dunn's claim for disability
compensation for bilateral hearing loss and allergies was set
aside and the matter was remanded for further adjudication.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Pa. Court Reverses Ruling to Favor Bednars
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania reversed a Court of Common
Pleas of Philadelphia County ruling, which favored Dana
Corporation in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed by Donna Bednar
on behalf of her late husband, James R. Bednar.

The matter was remanded for a new trial.

The case is styled Donna Bednar, Admx. of the Estate of James
Bednar, and Widow in her Own Right, Appellant v. Dana
Corporation, Appellee.

Judges John T. Bender, Christine Donohue, and Robert Freedberg
entered judgment in Case No. 3503 EDA 2005 on Dec. 16, 2008.

Mr. Bednar was diagnosed with mesothelioma. The Bednars sued a
number of parties, including Dana, alleging that Mr. Bednar's
exposure to asbestos caused his mesothelioma. During the
pendency of the action, Mr. Bednar died from the disease. The
Bednar case was consolidated for trial with two other
mesothelioma cases.

On June 2, 2005, counsel appeared for jury selection. The
administrative judge for asbestos litigation became involved in
a dispute on whether the trial jury would consist of 12 or eight
jurors. He determined that the trial jury would consist of eight
jurors.

At that point, the administrative judge stated that all parties
would be afforded three peremptory challenges each. A jury of
eight was selected with each side limited to three peremptory
strikes. The cases were set to commence trial June 6, 2005,
before the assigned trial judge.

At the time set for trial, Mrs. Bednar presented the trial judge
with a motion, objecting to the seating of the jury as comprised
and requesting continued jury selection by allowing each side to
exercise a fourth peremptory challenge against two of the eight
selected jurors, and then by selecting two replacement jurors
from a small supplemental panel of prospective jurors. This
manner of proceeding was met with no objection. The trial judge
granted the motion and called for a small supplemental panel of
prospective jurors.

After time spent on motions matters and in recess, the trial
judge, apparently concluding that he was constrained by the
prior ruling of the administrative judge, announced that he was
reversing himself as to the grant of a fourth peremptory
challenge for each side.

The trial judge determined that the jury of eight would be
seated as comprised. He permitted counsel to make a record as to
which of the eight jurors each side would have peremptorily
challenged if afforded a fourth peremptory challenge.

The case proceeded to trial in a reverse bifurcated fashion. In
the first phase the jury found in favor of Dana, concluding that
Mr. Bednar's mesothelioma was not caused by asbestos exposure.

Mrs. Bednar filed post-trial motions seeking a new trial on the
ground that the court erroneously afforded three peremptory
challenges. The post-trial motions were denied.

Mrs. Bednar filed notice of appeal Dec. 20, 2005, but judgment
was not entered in the trial court. As judgment was subsequently
entered Feb. 8, 2006, the Superior Court considered the initial
appeal filed after entry of judgment and properly before it
jurisdictionally.

Mrs. Bednar filed a statement in compliance with Pennsylvania
Rule of Appellate Procedure 1925, and the trial court issued an
opinion under Rule 1925.

The judgment was reversed, the case remanded for a new trial,
and jurisdiction was relinquished.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 7 Lawsuits Filed in Madison From Dec. 8-12
----------------------------------------------------------------
During the week of Dec. 8, 2008 through Dec. 12, 2008, seven new
asbestos-related lawsuits were filed in Madison County Circuit
Court, Ill., The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

These claims are:

     -- In Case No. 08-L-1149, K.P. and Yvonne Adams of
        Illinois claim lung cancer. Mr. Adams worked as a
        laborer from the 1960s until 2007. Randy L. Gori, Esq.,
        and Barry Julian, Esq., of Gori, Julian and Associates
        in Alton, Ill., represent Mr. Adams.

     -- In Case No. 08-L-1158, Glenn O. Creyts of Texas, a
        quality control worker, brick layer, press and machine
        operator, residential construction worker and shadetree
        mechanic from 1955 until 1976, claims mesothelioma.
        Randy L. Gori, Esq., of Gori, Julian and Associates in
        Alton, Ill., represents Mr. Creyts. W. Mark Lanier,
        Esq., Patrick N. Haines, Esq., R. Craig Bullock, Esq.,
        J. Kyle Beale, Esq., and Sara A. Morton, Esq., of The
        Lanier Law Firm in Houston served of counsel.

     -- In Case No. 08-L-1164, Billy Hicks of Pennsylvania
        claims mesothelioma on behalf of his recently deceased
        brother, Thomas Hicks, who worked from 1960 until 1992
        as a painter, laborer and flagman at various locations
        throughout Illinois and Missouri. Nicholas J.
        Angelides, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill.,
        represents Billy Hicks.

     -- In Case No. 08-L-1151, Nora Ruth McMillen of Colorado
        claims mesothelioma on behalf of her recently deceased
        husband, Edward L. McMillen. Mr. McMillen worked from
        1943 until 1987 as a filling station worker, a Sergeant
        for the U.S. Army, with the Navy-CB's rebuilding a base
        in the Aleutian Islands and as a steamfitter. Randy L.
        Gori, Esq., of Gori, Julian and Associates in Alton,
        represents Mrs. McMillen. W. Mark Lanier, Esq., Patrick
        N. Haines, Esq., Angela B. Greenberg, Esq., Sam T.
        Richard, Esq., Lincoln H. Goodwin, Esq., and Bridget
         Baragona, Esq., of The Lanier Law Firm in Houston
         served of counsel.

     -- In Case No. 08-L-1154, Peter Mitchell of South Carolina
        claims mesothelioma on behalf of his recently deceased
        father, Vincent Mitchell, who worked from 1941 until
        1978 as an officer and captain at various locations
        throughout the United States, including Illinois. John
        A. Barnerd, Esq., and Randy S. Cohn, Esq., of
        SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represent Peter
        Mitchell.

     -- In Case No. 08-L-1150, Carole Harrison Moss of
        Mississippi claims mesothelioma on behalf of her
        deceased father, James T. Harrison. Mr. Harrison worked
        as a shipping and receiving clerk, mechanic, carpenter
        and home builder, a dump truck operator, owned a local
        service station, worked at a foundry, worked making
        asbestos wallboard for Navy and commercial ships,
        worked building, repairing and tearing down houses and
        carpentry work and poured concrete carpentry and
        general handyman duties from 1946 until 1988. Randy L.
        Gori, Esq., of Gori, Julian and Associates in Alton,
        Ill., represents Mrs. Moss. W. Mark Lanier, Esq.,
        Patrick N. Haines, Esq., Angela B. Greenberg, Esq., Sam
        T. Richard, Esq., and Lincoln H. Goodwin, Esq., of The
        Lanier Law Firm in Houston serve of counsel.

     -- In Case No. 08-L-1165, Laszlo Szabo of Colorado, a
        welder at various locations from 1957 until 1989,
        claims mesothelioma. Nicholas J. Angelides, Esq., of
        SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represents Mr.
        Szabo.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Beaulieu Teacher's Death Linked to Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest heard that the death of 62-year-old former teacher
Nigel Sidley, of Beaulieu, Hampshire, England, was linked to
exposure to asbestos, the Southern Daily Echo reports.

The inquest was told how he came into contact with asbestos when
a garage was being built alongside the family home around 50
years earlier.

Mr. Sidley died of mesothelioma at Oakhaven Hospice in
Lymington, Hampshire, England.

Southampton coroner Keith Wiseman recorded a narrative verdict
and said that Mr. Sidley died of an asbestos-related
mesothelioma unrelated to employment.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sacramento Air Quality Agency Awarded $742T
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District was
awarded US$742,885 in civil penalties in an asbestos-related
enforcement action brought against Jerome Sprague, according to
an AQMD press release dated Dec. 17, 2008.

The penalty award followed a jury verdict holding that Mr.
Sprague willfully and intentionally violated the District's
asbestos removal regulations on two separate occasions, which
resulted in the emission of asbestos.

District enforcement staff documented violations, which involved
multi-day occurrences in the winter and summer of 2000. The
illegal removal of the regulated asbestos-containing material
occurred at a commercial building site located in Fair Oaks,
Calif., owned and operated by Mr. Sprague.

AQMD Executive Office Larry Greene said, "The District prefers
to settle actions through our Mutual Settlement Process and our
goal is always to reach a fair penalty that deters future
violations. When violators do not participate in the MSP
process, the District has no choice but to pursue legal action
awarding penalties, and we will do so whenever that course
becomes necessary."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lambie's Widow Gets GBP253T in Compensation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Jayne Beasley, the widow of painter and decorator John Lambie,
won GBP253,000 at the U.K. High Court in compensation for Mr.
Lambie's exposure to asbestos and subsequent death due to that
exposure, Spalding Today reports.

Mr. Lambie was 62 years old when he died of mesothelioma in
November 2006.

Mr. Justice Hamblen said Mr. Lambie's health began to decline in
2005 when he complained of a cough, fever and "general malaise."

Judge Hamblen awarded GBP72,000 damages for the extreme pain and
suffering Mr. Lambie endured in the final months of his life. He
also awarded GBP1,790 for funeral expenses, GBP3,000 for a
holiday that had to be canceled when he fell ill, GBP70,000 for
future loss of earnings, and GBP2,000 for the "intangible
benefits" Mrs. Beasley lost when her husband died.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alcan to Pay AUD90T for Importing Asbestos
----------------------------------------------------------------
Queensland, Australia-based Alcan Gove was penalized AUD90,000
for the illegal importation of asbestos from Vietnam to the
Company's mine site in the Northern Territory, ABC News reports.

Alcan Gove was subsequently charged with seven counts of
knowingly importing the asbestos which was identified in gaskets
inside industrial equipment.

The Company entered guilty pleas to all the charges in Brisbane
Magistrates Court and has been fined AUD70,000 plus AUD20,000 in
Customs costs.

Australian Customs officers acting on a tip-off began
investigating the Company in 2007.

Australian Customs investigations manager Richard Janeczko says
it is the responsibility of the importer to ensure they have the
appropriate permits to bring restricted substances into
Australia.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cleanup at Iowa School Estimated at $9,280
----------------------------------------------------------------
Des Moines, Iowa-based Pro Environmental Abatement, Inc. has
estimated a US$9,280 cost for the removal of exterior asbestos
at the New Market Community School in New Market, Iowa, the
Clarinda Herald-Journal reports.

Pro Environmental began the exterior asbestos removal on Dec.
10, 2008 and was scheduled to complete the project by Dec. 12,
2008.

The Clarinda Community School District Board of Directors, on
Dec. 8, 2008, accepted a quote for the removal of external
asbestos from the building and approved the bid for the
demolition of the designated portion of the school.

Clarinda Superintendent Paul Honnold said, "As soon as the
demolition is completed, we will start the necessary hearing to
offer the school grounds and buildings to the city of New
Market. We estimate that in April or May we will be able to get
things finalized so we can turn the buildings over as soon as
possible."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Glasgow Hotel Closes 56 Contaminated Rooms
----------------------------------------------------------------
The historic Quality Central Hotel, in Gordon Street, Glasgow,
Scotland, has closed 56 of its 222 rooms after asbestos was
discovered, the Evening Times reports.

A large part of the three-star, 222-room city centre hotel,
which has entertained top stars and underwent a GBP3million
refurbishment in 2006, is now out of bounds.

An initial probe at the building showed asbestos was present in
a pipe in a fire escape and council experts carried out a
further inspection.

The hotel has been issued with the prohibition notice following
a routine inspection by city council environmental health
officers.

The prohibition notice, which has closed a "substantial" part of
the hotel, was served under the Health and Safety at Work Act to
protect workers, guests and other visitors.

A hotel spokesman said, "We are working closely with the
relevant health and safety officials and in order to meet the
fire authority legislation in terms of traveling distance to a
fire exit we are taking the precautionary measure of shutting 56
rooms while the necessary repairs take place."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Demolition Ongoing at Crouch Ground Site
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos has been discovered in the football stand, which is
being demolished at the Crouch Recreation Ground in Seaford,
East Sussex, England, Eastbourne Today reports.

Seaford Town Council demolition contractors found the substance
as soon as work started. The site was immediately closed and
specialists were called in to work with the contractors so that
the correct procedures were followed.

The Health and Safety Executive has been informed and air tests
carried out. The asbestos is being removed from the structure as
it is revealed and bagged up for disposal at a registered site.

Councilor Tracy Willis, chair of the community service
committee, said users of the Crouch could be assured that there
was no danger to health and the situation is being dealt with in
a professional and safe manner.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Completes Libby School Air Monitoring
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had just finished
asbestos air monitoring in Libby, Mont., schools, The Western
News reported on Dec. 18, 2008.

Over two days, samples were taken at 10 locations: four from the
halls, four from classrooms and two from common areas like
libraries, lunchrooms and gymnasiums.

Testing sites included Libby Middle School, Plummer School,
Libby High School, Central School and Asa Wood Elementary.

Mike Cirian, EPA project manager for Libby, gave the school
monitoring update at a Community Advisory Group meeting.

The air monitors are placed at heights similar to the children's
size group at the schools, Mr. Cirian said.

Results from the monitors should be available in three to five
weeks.

In response to a question about whether or not the EPA has plans
for activity-based sampling under its definition, new Libby team
leader Victor Ketellapper said, "The indoor air monitoring is to
evaluate the data we gather this week and based on this data, we
may or may not do activity-based sampling in the schools."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Issues Split Ruling in Granier Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, issued
split rulings in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed by Byron
Granier and Josie Legendre Granier against Northrop Grumman Ship
Systems, Inc. and other defendants.

The case is styled Byron Granier, et al. v. Northrop Grumman
Ship Systems, Inc., et al.

District Judge Eldon E. Fallon entered judgment in Civil Action
No. 06-3738 on Dec. 12, 2008.

The Graniers filed suit in Civil District Court for the Parish
of Orleans, Louisiana on June 8, 2006 against various parties,
including Northrop Grumman f/k/a Avondale Industries, Inc. and
its executive officers Peter Territo and Albert Bossier, Jr.

The Graniers alleged that Mr. Granier was exposed to asbestos
and contracted mesothelioma and asbestos-related injuries while
he was employed at Avondale, a privately owned shipyard, between
1970 and 1975.

The Graniers petitioned for damages and asserted numerous
theories of liability under state law, including that the
Defendants (1) failed to provide a safe working environment and
therefore should be held strictly liable under a theory of
premises liability, (2) negligently failed to provide a safe
working environment, and (3) failed to warn Mr. Granier of the
dangers associated with exposure to asbestos.

On July 13, 2006, Avondale, Mr. Territo, and Mr. Bossier removed
the action to the District Court. On Dec. 26, 2006, the matter
was transferred to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and
consolidated with the MDL proceedings in that district. On Sept.
12, 2008, the MDL Panel remanded the case to this Court.

The Graniers moved to remand this action to state court. The
Defendants asked the Court to reconsider its earlier rulings in
light of two recent cases from the Middle District of Louisiana
refusing to remand similar cases. The Defendants also asked the
Court to include a statement and certify the case for
interlocutory appeal.

The District Court granted the Graniers' motion to remand and
denied Defendants' Motion to Include Statement. The case was
remanded to the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans,
State of Louisiana.

Gerolyn Petit Roussel, Esq., and Perry Joseph Roussel, Jr.,
Esq., of Roussel & Clement in Laplace, La., Angelique Renee
Duhon, Esq., of the Louisiana Department of Justice, in Baton
Rouge, La., represented the Graniers.

Gary Allen Lee, Esq., Anita Ann Cates, Esq., Richard Marshall
Perles, Esq., of Lee, Futrell & Perles, LLP, Gordon Peter
Wilson, Esq., of Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard in
New Orleans, La., Brian C. Bossier, Esq., Christopher Thomas
Grace, III, Esq., Edwin A. Ellinghausen, III, Esq., Richard L.
Olivier, Esq., of Blue Williams, LLP in Metairie, La.,
represented Defendants.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Minn. University to Study Iron Range Region
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to Dr. Jeffrey Mandel, an occupational therapist and
faculty member at the University of Minnesota's School of Public
Health, researchers are to present an updated mesothelioma study
in the Iron Range area, TransWorldNews reports.

In April 2008, Minnesota lawmakers approved the study, which is
expected to cost about US$5 million.

Random screenings of about 2,000 individuals will begin in the
spring of 2009 to further understand why the rates of
mesothelioma are so high in the Iron Range region.

The screenings are set to take place at the Virginia Regional
Medical Center during a period of six to nine months. The
individuals who will undergo the screening process are former
miners in the Iron Range region and their spouses.

The university is continuing their study of the connection
between taconite asbestos exposure and the eventual development
of mesothelioma.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, at least 17 former miners
have been diagnosed with asbestos cancer between 1988 and 1996,
and the former Department of Health Commissioner, Dianne
Mandernach, had been ostracized for failing to release
information about an additional 35 cases to the public.

The update was scheduled to be presented at the Mountain Iron
Community Center on Dec. 18, 2008.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeal on Scottsdale Suit Upheld Last Oct.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, upheld the
Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County's
decision, which favored Woolsulate Corporation in an asbestos-
related insurance lawsuit filed by Scottsdale Insurance Company.

The case is styled Scottsdale Insurance Company, Plaintiff-
Appellant v. Woolsulate Corporation, Defendant-Respondent.

Judges Susan L. Reisner, Paulette Sapp-Peterson, and Carmen H.
Alvarez entered judgment in Case No. A-4815-06T1 on Oct. 20,
2008.

Woolsulate is a commercial insulation contractor that previously
utilized asbestos in its work. In 1984-86, Woolsulate had
primary insurance coverage through the Chubb Group of Insurance
Companies and sought excess or umbrella liability coverage above
that primary coverage.

Woolsulate applied for and received an excess insurance policy
from Scottsdale Insurance Company, for a term of four months
from Jan. 1 1986 through May 1, 1986. In June 1986, about six
weeks after Scottsdale's policy expired, Woolsulate's agent
notified Scottsdale about personal injury claims involving
asbestos that had been filed against Woolsulate. Scottsdale
acknowledged that claims had been filed and opened a claim file.

In October 1990, Chubb informed Scottsdale that Chubb's primary
insurance coverage would soon be exhausted, implying that
Scottsdale's excess policy could be thereafter tapped for
Woolsulate's indemnity and defense.

In April 1998 and September 1998, Woolsulate informed Scottsdale
that its primary insurers had exhausted their policy limits, and
it demanded indemnification from and defense by Scottsdale
against numerous lawsuits involving asbestos. Scottsdale
responded in September 1998 with a letter, seeking information
while reserving its right to deny coverage.

On Dec. 13, 1999, Scottsdale began this litigation by filing its
complaint against Woolsulate, seeking rescission of its policy
of excess insurance, as well as a declaration that it had no
obligation to indemnify or defend Woolsulate.

On July 13, 2005, following a bench trial, Judge Schott placed
on the record an oral opinion explaining in detail her reasons
for rejecting the rescission claim.

Judge Schott concluded that Scottsdale had failed to carry what
it admitted was its burden of proof to establish its rescission
claim.

Allan Maitlin, Esq., argued the cause for Scottsdale Insurance
Company (Sachs, Maitlin, Fleming & Greene, attorneys; Mr.
Maitlin, on the brief).

Gregory J. Schwartz, Esq., argued the cause for Woolsulate
Corporation (Schwartz Kelly, L.L.C., attorneys; Mr. Schwartz, of
counsel and on the brief).


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ill. Court Flips Ruling to Favor Honeywell
----------------------------------------------------------------
Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, reversed the
Circuit Court of McLean County's decision, which had ruled
against Honeywell International Inc., in an asbestos-related
lawsuit filed by Merlon Dukes and Doris Dukes.

The case is styled Doris Dukes, Individually and as Special
Administratrix of the Estate of Merlon Dukes, Deceased,
Plaintiff-Appellee v. Pneumo Abex Corporation, Illinois Central
Railroad, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and Owens
Illinois, Defendants and Honeywell International, Inc.,
Defendant-Appellant.

Judges James A. Knecht, Thomas R. Appleton, and John W. Turner
entered judgment in Case No. 4-06-0235 on Oct. 29, 2008.

Mr. Dukes worked at the Union Asbestos & Rubber Company plant in
Bloomington, Ill., from 1954 to 1961. He was exposed to asbestos
while working at Unarco. He was diagnosed as having mesothelioma
in 2004, and he died on May 20, 2005.

This suit was brought originally by the Dukeses in June 2004,
and after Mr. Dukes' death, Mrs. Dukes was substituted plaintiff
as special administratrix of Mr. Dukes' estate.

In 1985, Allied Corporation purchased Bendix. Later, Allied
Corporation changed its name to Allied Signal, Inc., and in 1999
changed it to Honeywell International Inc.

Bendix never employed Mr. Dukes, and no evidence showed any
Bendix product was ever used in the Unarco plant where Mr. Dukes
worked.

During the time period Mr. Dukes worked at the Bloomington
Unarco plant, (1) asbestos fibers were released into the air at
the plant, (2) some of those fibers came from products
manufactured by J-M and Raybestos-Manhattan, and (3) Mr. Dukes
developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos
at the Unarco plant.

Honeywell moved for a directed verdict on a conspiracy charge.
The trial court denied the motion.

On Oct. 3, 2005, the jury found for Mrs. Dukes and assessed
damages of US$1 million for losses sustained by Mr. Dukes during
his lifetime, US$3,675,000 for the wrongful death of Mr. Dukes,
and US$500,000 for losses sustained by Mrs. Dukes.

On Oct. 19, 2005, Honeywell filed a motion for the return of
post-2002 lobbying documents it was required to produce to Mrs.
Dukes in discovery. On Nov. 1, 2005, Honeywell filed a post
trial motion for judgment NOV or, alternatively, a new trial.

The trial court denied all of those motions, and this appeal
followed.

The Appeals Court reversed the ruling and remanded the matter
for a new trial.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Kilpatrick, Kirkham Case Dismissal Reversed
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Utah reversed the dismissals of asbestos-
related lawsuits filed by Margaret Kilpatrick (on behalf of
James Kilpatrick) and Marvin Kirkham and Carolyn Kirkham.

The first case is styled Margaret Kilpatrick, individually, and
as personal representative on behalf of the legal heirs of James
Kilpatrick, Deceased, Plaintiff and Appellant v. Bullough
Abatement, Inc., et al., Defendants and Appellees.

The second case is styled Marvin Kirkham and Carolyn Kirkham,
Plaintiffs and Appellants v. Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC,
et al., Defendants and Appellees.

Judges Christine M. Durham, Matthew B. Durrant, Michael J.
Wilkins, and Gregory Orme entered judgment in Case Nos.
20060887, 20070156 on Dec. 12, 2008.

In 2001, the Third District Court created a "Master Case File"
for asbestos litigation, In re Asbestos Litigation, Third
District No. 010900863-AS. In May 2001, the district court
adopted the first version of the Case Management Order.

One of the discovery provisions in the CMO required an autopsy
upon the death of a plaintiff (the "autopsy requirement"). The
CMO was amended twice, most recently in September 2003. However,
the autopsy requirement remained unaltered.

Brayton Purcell participated in developing the CMO. The CMO
applied to all asbestos related cases filed by Brayton Purcell
in Salt Lake County. Mrs. Kilpatrick and Mrs. Kirkham are two of
several plaintiffs represented by Brayton Purcell in asbestos-
related law suits.

James and Margaret Kilpatrick filed a complaint in February 2001
for personal injury and loss of consortium due to Mr.
Kilpatrick's alleged exposure to asbestos.

Mr. Kilpatrick signed an authorization for his counsel to
procure a full and complete autopsy upon his death. Mrs.
Kilpatrick neither signed nor knew of the authorization. On July
5, 2003, Mr. Kilpatrick passed away and was cremated before an
autopsy was performed.

Mrs. Kilpatrick substituted herself as the named plaintiff and
amended the complaint to include claims for survival and
wrongful death. In 2005, Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway
Company filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint for
failure to comply with the CMO by providing Mr. Kilpatrick's
body for an autopsy.

The court dismissed Mrs. Kilpatrick's suit in 2006 in two
separate orders relating to two separate parties. First, in
March 2006, the court issued a memorandum decision concluding
that Mrs. Kilpatrick's failure to obtain an autopsy was
prejudicial to the defendants because it hindered their ability
to defend against the claim that Mr. Kilpatrick suffered from an
asbestos-related disease. The court dismissed BNSF.

In September 2006, the court filed a minute entry granting
Bullough Abatement, Inc.'s motion to dismiss. Bullough was the
last remaining defendant in Mrs. Kilpatrick's case. She filed a
notice of appeal in September 2006.

Marvin and Caroly Kirkham filed their complaint in December
2005, alleging injuries and loss of consortium due to Mr.
Kirkham's alleged exposure to asbestos. He was diagnosed with
mesothelioma in October 2005.

Mr. Kirkham's health declined precipitously, and he passed away
on May 13, 2006. In January 2006, both Mr. and Mrs. Kirkham had
signed an authorization for their counsel to procure an autopsy
following Mr. Kirkham's death.

Mrs. Kirkham stated in her affidavit that she was so distraught
following Mr. Kirkham's death that she forgot about the autopsy
requirement and failed to notify her attorneys of Mr. Kirkham's
death until after he was buried. As a result, no autopsy was
performed.

Following Mr. Kirkham's death, Mrs. Kirkham filed a motion to
substitute herself as the named plaintiff. Hamilton Materials,
Inc., joined by several other defendants, filed a motion to
dismiss for failure to comply with the autopsy requirement.

In a January 2007 minute entry, the court dismissed Mrs.
Kirkham's claims as a sanction for her failure to procure an
autopsy. Mrs. Kirkham filed her notice of appeal in February
2007.

These cases were consolidated for appeal.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court had jurisdiction over the
Kilpatrick case because the notice of appeal was timely and it
sufficiently conveyed an intent to appeal the dismissal of BNSF.

Robert G. Gilchrist, Esq., S. Brook Millard, Esq., Bronson D.
Bills, Esq., Alan R. Brayton, Esq., and Courtney G. Broaden,
Esq., Salt Lake City, represented Margaret Kilpatrick, Marvin
Kirkham, and Carolyn Kirkham.

Michael F. Skolnick, Esq., Shawn McGarry, Esq., and David
Bernstein, Esq., Salt Lake City, represented Bullough Abatement,
Inc.

Joseph J. Joyce, Esq., Salt Lake City, represented Garlock
Sealing Technologies, LLC.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Split Ruling Issued in Benard Action in La.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, issued split
rulings in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed by Willie Benard
and continued by his heirs, against defendants that include
Eagle Asbestos & Packing Company and OneBeacon America Insurance
Company.

The case is styled Willie Benard v. Eagle, Inc., et al.

Judges Max N. Tobias, Jr., Edwin A. Lombard, and Paul A. Bonin
entered judgment in Case No. 2008-CA-0262 on Dec. 3, 2008. Judge
Bonin dissented.

On Aug. 24, 2004, Mr. Benard filed a Petition for Damages in the
Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans against several
defendants, including Eagle, alleging that he developed
mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while employed
as a maintenance mechanic at the Celotex plant in Westwego, La.,
from 1968 to 1978.

Mr. Benard's petition further alleged that Eagle sold asbestos
products to Celotex during the time that he was employed there.

Eagle and its insurer, OneBeacon, along with co-defendants
McCarty and Reilly-Benton, moved for summary judgment. The trial
court denied the motions, and Eagle and OneBeacon filed an
application for supervisory writ with this Court seeking review
of the trial court's denial of their motions for summary
judgment.

On Dec. 25, 2005, a panel of this Court granted the application
for supervisory writ, reversed the portion of the trial court's
judgment that denied Eagle and OneBeacon's Motion for Summary
Judgment, and granted summary judgment in favor of Eagle and
OneBeacon, dismissing Mr. Benard's claims against Eagle and
OneBeacon, with prejudice. Afterward, Mr. Benard did not file an
application for rehearing with this Court nor an application for
writs to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

On Jan. 24, 2006, Mr. Benard's counsel filed a Motion for Status
Conference and Trial Date to reset the case for trial on the
merits against Eagle and OneBeacon as well as the Reilly-Benton
Company.

Subsequently, Eagle and OneBeacon (hereinafter sometimes
referred to as "Defendants") responded by filing Exceptions of
Res judicata and Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction, seeking to
have the trial court enforce this Court's ruling and declare
that all of Mr. Benard's claims against them were dismissed.
Defendants also filed a Motion for Sanctions.

After a hearing on May 18, 2006, the trial court sustained the
Defendants' Exceptions but denied the Motion for Sanctions. A
judgment was signed on May 22, 2006. It is from this judgment
that Plaintiffs, Mr. Benard's statutory heirs, now appealed.

Mr. Benard passed away on Sept. 26, 2006, and his statutory
heirs were substituted as named Plaintiffs.

Mickey P. Landry, Esq., Frank J. Swarr, Esq., and David R.
Cannella, Esq., of Landry & Swarr, L.L.C. in New Orleans, La.,
represented Willie Benard.

Samuel M. Rosamond III, Esq., Adam D. de Mahy, Esq., of Crawford
Lewis PLLC in New Orleans, La., represented Onebeacon Insurance
Company.

Susan B. Kohn, Esq., of Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn,
L.L.P. in New Orleans, La., represented Eagle, Inc.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Deere & Company Subject to Liability Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Deere & Company is still subject to various unresolved legal
actions that relate to product liability, including asbestos-
related liability.

No other asbestos-related matters were disclosed in the
Company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Dec. 18, 2008.

Moline, Ill.-based Deere & Company makes farm equipment and
produces industrial, forestry, and lawn care equipment. The
Company's other products include residential and commercial lawn
care products and equipment, and golf and turf care products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Liability Suits Still Ongoing v. Joy Global
----------------------------------------------------------------
Joy Global Inc. and its subsidiaries are still involved in legal
matters, the most prevalent of which relate to product liability
(including over 1,000 asbestos and silica-related cases),
employment, and commercial matters.

No other asbestos-related matters were disclosed in the
Company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Dec. 19, 2008.

Milwaukee-based Joy Global Inc. manufactures and services high
productivity mining equipment for the extraction of coal and
other minerals and ores. The Company's equipment is used in
major mining regions throughout the world to mine coal, copper,
iron ore, oil sands, and other minerals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lang Suit Filed v. A.W. Chesterton in W.Va.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Paul T. Lang Sr. and Nadine M. Lang, on Nov. 5, 2008, filed an
asbestos-related lawsuit against A.W. Chesterton Co. and other
defendants in Marshall County, W.Va., The West Virginia Record
reports.

Mr. Lang was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma on or about
Sept. 4, 2008.

The direct and proximate result of the negligence of the
defendants caused Mr. Long to develop serious, permanent and
disabling disease that has shortened his life expectancy.

Case No. 08-C-264 has been assigned to John T. Madden.
Prosecuting attorney in the case is Leslie Ann James.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Stourbridge Local's Death Linked to Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest held at Dudley Coroners Court in Dudley, England, on
Dec. 17, 2008, heard that the death of Stourbridge, England,
engineer, Geoffrey Godwin, was linked to exposure to asbestos,
Stourbridge NEWS reports.

Mr. Godwin's family has launched legal action against his former
employers. He died on May 14, 2008 after losing his battle with
mesothelioma.

Mr. Godwin's son, Andrew, told the inquest the family was trying
to claim compensation from two of the firms, including Oldbury-
based Wellman Industries.

The inquest heard how Mr. Godwin had come into frequent contact
with asbestos while working at several factories in the 1950s
and 1960s.

Recording a verdict of death by industrial disease, Black
Country Coroner Robin Balmain said, "It seems quite clear his
death was caused by the contact with asbestos, there is ample
evidence to prove that."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Selfridges & Co. Charged for Safety Breach
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to the Health and Safety Executive, Selfridges & Co.
was found guilty of safety violations in dealing with asbestos
at its flagship London store, which resulted in staff and
contractors being exposed to asbestos dust, The Independent
reports.

A confidential memo obtained by The Independent reveals the
HSE's concerns that Selfridges sent in workmen to rip up a
basement without a full survey, meaning that the men
subsequently tore out asbestos-lagged pipes, releasing clouds of
tiny fibers that can cause death decades later from incurable
tumors.

After the asbestos had been disturbed in May 2007, contractors
and staff were allowed to repeatedly walk through the area "to
see what had happened." The room was not properly sealed off.

The account in the memo, written by HSE official Lisa Chappell
in September 2007 and sent to Westminster Council, contrasts
sharply with Selfridges' version of events given to this
newspaper in October 2008, when the store blamed contractors for
failing to read an asbestos survey properly and insisted the
area had been immediately sealed.

Ms. Chappell added that the adjoining areas continued to be used
by staff even after the dangerous discovery. She also reports
being told by Selfridges' contractor Davis Langdon that the
store was "putting pressure on contractors to carry out the
surveys themselves," a policy that would leave "the issue of
management of asbestos and maintenance issues entirely out of
the equation."

Christine Watts, director of communications for Selfridges, on
Dec. 21, 2008, was unable to explain the differences between her
earlier account of the incident and the HSE email.

The email was released by Westminster City Council after a
freedom of information request by The Independent, but not
handed over by the HSE, which failed to release the document
despite an almost identical request.

The HSE also reported that its main file on Selfridges had been
lost. Official figures say 4,000 people a year die from
asbestos-related diseases, but some estimates put the true
figure as high as 10,000.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mersey Dockers Awarded GBP164,000 in Payout
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Justice Silber, in a landmark High Court ruling on Dec. 19,
2008, awarded a total of GBP164,000 in asbestos-related damages
to two Merseyside, England, claimants, the Liverpool Daily Post
reports.

Winifred Rice lost her husband Edward to mesothelioma in 2000
while 67-year-old Robert Thompson suffers from diffuse pleural
thickening after working in Liverpool's docks for 26 years.

Mr. Thompson and Mr. Rice worked in the National Dock Labour
Group, which organized workers into pens and contracted them out
to work on the ships.

After a hearing in May 2006, Lord Justice May ruled the Labour
Board had a duty of care to dock workers, and that to do nothing
was not an option. However, the Government continued to fight
the case and brought an appeal to the High Court in November
2008.

Commenting on the decision, Mrs. Rice said, "The last thing
Edward said before he died was that I had to go on with this
case. It is important someone takes responsibility for what
happened to him - the illness changed him from a healthy 15
stone man to a six-stone shadow of himself.

"All we wanted was for the Dock Board to hold their hands up and
admit they should have protected him." Mr. Rice's estate was
awarded GBP138,965.

Both claimants were represented by solicitors from John
Pickering and Partners' Liverpool office.

Partner Neil Fisher welcomed the judgment, saying, "Our clients
have had to wait many years for their compensation as the
Government fought the case every step of the way.

"This decision will help other dockers bring claims for
compensation without having to identify individual shipping
companies, many of whom no longer exist."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mo. Builder Charged for Mishandling, Fraud
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mambo Development's head, 46-year-old Matthew Burghoff, on Dec.
19, 2008, was sentenced to two years in federal prison for
asbestos-related environmental charges and bank fraud,
STLtoday.com reports.

On Oct. 1, 2008, Mr. Burghoff pleaded guilty to felony charges
of bank fraud and a violation of the Clean Air Act. Prosecutors
said he submitted false documents to at least two banks and put
money lent for projects into his own account.

Erika Anderson, Esq., Mr. Burghoff's attorney, said, "The last
few years, his projects ran into financial trouble and he made
some decisions that led him to break the law."

Federal inspectors found asbestos in trash bags during the
renovation of the Ford building, at 14th and Pine streets.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael W. Reap argued that Mr. Burghoff
showed a "substantial pattern" of criminality. "It's hard to
quantify what damage that asbestos has done," he said.

Mr. Burghoff, who also owns Matt Burghoff Valuation &
Consulting, an appraisal company, was ordered to repay more than
US$580,000 in restitution to Montgomery Bank of Sikeston, Mo.,
Great Southern Bank, of Creve Coeur, and Thomas Howard, a former
business partner.

"I am deeply sorry for the events that led to this day," Mr.
Burghoff told U.S. District Judge Donald J. Shohr at his
sentencing. "I've learned during this wretched experience and
I'm confident that it will not happen again."

After Mr. Burghoff was indicted in April 2008, Montgomery Bank
purchased the Ford Building for US$2.9 million and sold it to a
new developer, Peter D. George, of Blue Shutters Development.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Firm, 3 Supervisors Charged Over N.Y. Blaze
----------------------------------------------------------------
John Galt Corp. and three supervisors (Jeffrey Melofchik,
Mitchel Alvo, and Salvatore DePaola), on Dec. 22, 2008, were
indicted on manslaughter and related charges over the deaths of
two firefighters battling a 2007 fire at the Deutsche Bank
building in Manhattan, CNN reports.

The indictments against the John Galt, Mr. Melofchik, Mr. Alvo,
and Mr. DePaola also allege negligent homicide and reckless
endangerment.

The indictment is the result of an investigation into an Aug.
18, 2007 blaze that consumed nine floors of the Deutsche Bank
building.

The building had been scheduled for demolition after being
contaminated by debris, asbestos and other hazardous substances
after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade
Center buildings.

The two firefighters killed in the blaze, 53-year-old Robert
Beddia and 33-year-old Joseph Graffagnino, were caught in a
smoke-filled stairwell that prosecutors say was improperly
blocked off by barriers erected to seal off floors being
stripped of contaminants.

In addition to the deaths of Mr. Beddia and Mr. Graffagnino, 105
other firefighters were injured combating the blaze.

Prosecutors also reached an agreement with the city of New York
requiring the implementation of new fire safety measures.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said, "Our goal is
to put in place procedures which will prevent a disaster of the
magnitude of the Deutsche Bank fire and to make sure that
firefighters are never again exposed to the risks they faced in
that fire."

The agreement with the city of New York mandates the creation of
a new civilian inspection unit at the city's fire department,
the sole purpose of which will be to perform inspections at
construction sites throughout the city.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement, "The
regulatory measures we have put in place and the additional
reforms set out today are designed to prevent any firefighter
again confronting the conditions that firefighters faced at the
Deutsche Bank building that tragic day."

The father of one of the firefighters killed in the blaze,
Joseph Graffagnino Sr., said the indictments did not go far
enough. He said, "I don't understand if the [city] agency can't
be indicted, why can't individuals be indicted who we already
know should have been responsible for doing their jobs and did
not do their jobs."

The elder Mr. Graffagnino was referencing the lack of criminal
charges brought against employees of the city fire department,
the city's department of buildings and the building's landlord,
the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ohio State Univ. Conducts Health Research
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Ohio State University's scientists are currently analyzing
how asbestos fibers form cancer in human cells, Asbestos.com
reports.

The scientists hope their work will contribute to new drug
developments, treatments, and increase the amount of
mesothelioma survivors.

To conduct the study, researchers use atomic force microscopy to
observe how a single asbestos fiber binds with a receptor
protein on a cell's surface.

Eric Taylor, a doctoral candidate in earth sciences at Ohio
State said, "We're looking at what molecules are involved in a
chain of events when the fiber touches the cell. Does the
binding occur over minutes or hours and what processes are
triggered?"

As of now, the study has focused on blue asbestos (crocidolite).
However, the researchers hope to analyze all six forms of
asbestos fiber interaction with cell surfaces. Some forms of
asbestos fibers have been known to dissolve in the lungs when
inhaled, while others have a history of attaching to certain
cells and remaining in the body.

Steven Lower, an associate professor of earth sciences at Ohio
State University, believes the research will provide data on the
biological activity between asbestos fibers and cells, which
should help policymakers decide what forms of asbestos are most
toxic.

The original motivation for the research was to find a way to
intervene and prevent an asbestos-related disease after someone
had already been exposed to asbestos.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hamner Institutes Gets $2.1M Research Grant
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences has announced that it
has received a contract totaling US$2.1 million from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency to study vermiculite (or Libby
amphibole), according to a Hamner Institutes press release dated
Dec. 21, 2008.

A mine near Libby, Mont., was the world's leading source of
vermiculite for 70 years until its closure in 1990. Asbestos-
contaminated vermiculite was shipped from Libby to hundreds of
locations across the United States.

The Hamner study will shed light on the Libby vermiculite
phenomenon and provide data on the relative potency of inhaled
Libby amphibole fiber compared with amosite fiber. Research will
also provide data on the inhalability of Libby amphibole fiber
and its dosimetry.

The three-year study will include assembling an inhalation
exposure system for the exposure of fibers to laboratory
animals, conducting range-finding and definitive toxicity
studies in rats, and analyzing fiber content of rat tissues
following exposure.

The study will be led by four key personnel at The Hamner: Darol
E. Dodd, Ph.D., DABT; Owen R. Moss, Ph.D; Ed Bermudez, M.S.,
DABT; and Brian A. Wong, Ph.D.

Dr. William Greenlee, president and CEO at The Hamner Institutes
for Health Sciences, said, "We are extremely pleased to work
with the EPA on this important public health concern. The
research supported by this award will build on The Hamner's
reputation as a world-class nonprofit research institute
dedicated to supporting governmental regulatory decisions on
chemical health risks at environmentally-relevant exposure
levels."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Forces Closure of Mortlake School
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos-containing material, on Dec. 4, 2008, was discovered
during maintenance work in the kitchen of St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Primary School in Richmond, Mortlake, London, the
Richmond Twickenham Times reports.

The school was immediately closed that evening after an
inspection of the site by Richmond Council's health and safety
officers and independent asbestos surveyors.

A statement on the school's website read, "We would like to take
this opportunity to reassure parents that no children were
present on site at the time and no access has been allowed
since."

A council spokesman added the contamination was contained to the
kitchen and posed "no risk to the neighboring community."

At a Dec. 23, 2008 public meeting, parents were told by the
governing body and a panel of council and Diocesan officers of
contingency plans that would take effect from Jan. 5, 2009.

The council spokesman explained, "All pupils will be
accommodated at four neighboring schools to enable them to
continue their education until a time at which their school can
be safely reopened."

Pupils will be spread among East Sheen Primary, Sheen Mount
Primary, Barnes Primary and Holy Trinity C of E Primary.

Head teacher Helen Frostick said, "Our main priority remains the
safety and welfare of our children and staff."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Experts Expect More Suits in Madison County
----------------------------------------------------------------
Many legal experts say the real rise of asbestos cases in
Madison County, Ill., is just getting started, The Madison St.
Clair Record reports.

Some states have lightened their asbestos dockets through
legislative and legal reform, causing a direct effect on others
increasingly weighed down by an influx of new claims.

From 2004 to 2006, Madison County looked to be one of those
lightening the load. The number of new mesothelioma cases
dropped from a high of nearly 1,000 per year to a low of above
300.

However, the shift was just a pause before the new growth really
set in. As 2008 comes to an end, the number of new mesothelioma
cases could exceed 700 for the year.

The asbestos gold rush was so strong that Madison County had far
more case filings than nearby Cook County, said Ed Murnane,
president of the Illinois Civil Justice League.

The ICJL's research shows that in 2003 Madison County had 3.66
cases per thousand residents, while Cook County had just .027
cases per thousand residents.

During the week leading up to Thanksgiving, 13 new asbestos
cases were filed in Madison County, compared with the stats for
the year, was not a particularly heavy week.

Two of the 13 plaintiffs give a recorded address of Illinois.
All 13 are represented in some fashion by one or the two local
firms.

Mr. Murnane said Gori, Julian and Associates is a big part of
the reason the Madison County docket is again on the rise. He
said, "Randy Gori and Barry Julian have left their former firms
to join forces in a new firm, which incidentally has purchased
office space in the most prominent location across the street
from the Madison County Courthouse. This leads us to believe
asbestos litigation has literally returned front and center to
the Madison County courthouse."

Several states like Michigan, Texas and Wisconsin have enacted
tough laws against tactics like combining cases, proving the
case is in the proper forum and increasing the burden of proof
of the cause of disease.

Illinois in particular, and other states like Delaware and
California, do not have these laws, making the job of getting a
major settlement much easier.

One of the biggest so-called victories for tort reformers has
inadvertently helped increase the asbestos docket in Madison
County.

Asbestos settlements reached a peak near the end of the century,
forcing more than 70 major companies into bankruptcy.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Removed from Ironton's Memorial Hall
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to Ironton, Ohio mayor, Rich Blankenship, asbestos has
been removed from the Memorial Hall and work is continuing on
the building's stabilization, the Ironton Tribute.com reports.

Solid Rock Construction, which was hired by Ironton City Council
on an emergency basis to complete the US$185,000 stabilization,
is using a crane to stabilize the building and remove remaining
asbestos from the roof.

The stabilization, which is expected to be completed before
February 2009, is not a demolition. Restoration efforts are
still ongoing, including those by members of Ironton American
Legion Post 433.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Found in St. Helena's High School
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos was found in the burned-out St. Helena Parish Central
High School in Greensburg, La., The Advocate reports.

On Dec. 18, 2008, school officials learned that demolition of
the structure the new 10-classroom modular building will replace
will require specialized care because it is "full of asbestos."

Chandler Smith, school system auxiliary services manager, said
the modular building would go where the high school's greenhouse
is, near the cafeteria. The greenhouse was heavily damaged
during Hurricane Gustav and will be removed. The board agreed to
pay Satellite Shelters US$378,181 for the new modular building.

Mr. Smith said consultant CAM Environmental Services determined
the old building, which was built in the late 1940s or early
1950s, contains asbestos.

Officials said the known costs for the work ahead will clean out
funds available in this fiscal year's capital projects budget,
even with a US$220,000 emergency state grant the parish Police
Jury is seeking.

Fire destroyed the main classroom building at the parish's high
school on Nov. 3, 2008.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Medical Officer Says No Danger at NZ Site
----------------------------------------------------------------
Auckland Medical Officer of Health Dr. Denise Barnfather says
that people do not need to worry about asbestos health risks
from the fire that destroyed the abandoned Southdown meat works
complex in Auckland, New Zealand, on Dec. 20, 2008, NewstalkZB
reports.

Dr. Barnfather says they have conducted air quality monitoring
and done some swipe samples to see if there are any asbestos
fibers.

The fire destroyed the disused freezing works coolstore on Hugo
Johnston Drive in Penrose, South Auckland. Out of town crews
from Hamilton and Rotorua were called in to help deal with the
flames. At one point around 25 units were at the scene.

Rail lines in the area are now open again, although smoke and
steam are still a hazard.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: XL Capital Deal Entered With AXA on Dec. 16
----------------------------------------------------------------
Subsidiaries of XL Capital Ltd, on Dec. 16, 2008, entered into
an agreement, including asbestos matters, with AXA Insurance
Ltd, according to a Company report, on Form 8-K, filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 23, 2008.

The Agreement releases to the parties all funds from the four-
year term, collateralized escrow arrangement (Fund) that was put
in place in June 2006 as described in the Company's Form 8-K
filed on June 8, 2006 and releases both parties from all further
obligations thereunder.

The Fund was initially funded with US$185 million and structured
to protect the Company from potentially non-performing third-
party reinsurance related to the business of Winterthur
International purchased by the Company from Winterthur Swiss
Insurance Company in 2001 (Business).

Under the terms of the Fund, any sums remaining in the Fund at
the end of its term were to be shared between the Company and
AXA in agreed percentages. The Company has in the interim
successfully collected more than 95 percent of such third-party
reinsurance receivables on paid claims since the Fund was
created, enabling the Company to agree with AXA to terminate the
Fund early.

The Agreement provides that the Fund, currently containing about
US$172 million, will be terminated immediately, and the Company
will be paid a greater share of the remaining funds than was
originally agreed. In return, the Company will release AXA,
subject to certain exceptions, from the Sale and Purchase
Agreement (SPA), as amended, between the Company and AXA, and
will commute AXA's share of various reinsurance contracts where
AXA reinsured subsidiaries of the Company relating to certain
parts of the Business.

In addition, the Company and AXA have reached a definitive
claims handling agreement governing defined Excluded Business,
including asbestos claims and business written prior to 1986,
which remain the financial responsibility of AXA.

The Company expects to record a profit ranging from US$60
million to US$80 million in connection with the Agreement and
the adjustment of related provisions in the fourth quarter of
2008.

Hamilton, Bermuda-based XL Capital Ltd writes liability
insurance and reinsurance worldwide, specializing in low-
frequency, high-severity risks from riots to natural disasters.
The Company's coverage includes general and executive liability,
property, and political risk insurance.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Esterline Subject to Exposure Liabilities
----------------------------------------------------------------
Esterline Technologies Corporation continues to be subject to
potential liabilities relating to certain products it
manufactured containing asbestos, according to the Company's
annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on Dec. 24, 2008.

To date, the Company's insurance has covered claims against it
relating to those products. Commencing Nov. 1, 2003, insurance
coverage for asbestos claims has been unavailable. However, the
Company continues to have some insurance coverage for exposure
to asbestos contained in its products prior to that date.

The Company continues to manufacture for one customer a product
that contains asbestos.

The Company has an agreement with the customer for
indemnification for certain losses it may incur as a result of
asbestos claims relating to that product. However, the Company
cannot assure that this indemnification agreement will fully
protect it from losses arising from asbestos claims.

Bellevue, Wash.-based Esterline Technologies Corporation is a
manufacturing firm that serves aerospace and defense customers.
The Company designs, manufactures and markets engineered
products and systems for application within the industries it
serves.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Kingston Owner Charged for Disposal Breach
----------------------------------------------------------------
Richard Oliver, the 61-year-old owner of Kingston Properties
LLC, was indicted on charges that he removed, improperly
disposed of asbestos, and tried to bribe a witness, The Denver
Post reports.

Mr. Oliver, of Aurora, Colo., was indicted on four felony
charges. Kingston remodels homes and apartments.

According to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, Mr. Oliver
illegally removed and dumped asbestos from four properties on
Chester and Clinton streets from January 2008 to May 2008. The
indictment said that the asbestos was dumped in a conventional
trash receptacle and Mr. Oliver did not have proper permits.

The indictment added that Mr. Oliver put at least three
employees in harm's way by not telling them of the risks and not
providing the right protective gear.

Mr. Oliver allegedly told a contractor that he would "hire a
bunch of Mexicans" to do the removal for less money if the
contractor did not want the job, the indictment said.

Reached by phone at his office on Dec. 22, 2008, Mr. Oliver
said, "The allegations are false and baseless and were made by a
disgruntled employee. There was no exposure, nothing at all. All
the tests came back negative or trace."

Mr. Oliver said he worked at the properties as well so that if
there was asbestos there, he would have faced the most exposure.
He also denied saying he would hire Mexican workers to do the
removal and disposal for less money.

One employee said Mr. Oliver tried to bribe him before the
employee was to testify in front of a statewide grand jury in
November 2008.

The indictment said Mr. Oliver tried to pay the employee to put
the blame for the asbestos dumping on the contractor who filed
the complaint with the Colorado Department of Public Health and
Environment.

The case has been filed in Adams County District Court. If
convicted, Mr. Oliver could face up to 18 years in prison.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Bozeman Submits CMC Cleanup Proposal to DEQ
----------------------------------------------------------------
The City of Bozeman, Mont., submitted a cleanup proposal to the
Montana Department of Environmental Quality related to the
asbestos contamination at the CMC Asbestos Bozeman State
Superfund Site, Asbestos.com reports.

The DEQ is waiting to see the public's opinion about the current
plans and addendum to the 2002 Voluntary Cleanup Plan for the
site.

DEQ Project Officer Colleen Owen says, "We share the city's
enthusiasm to finalize clean up and the addendum moves the
process forward into home stretch."

The Superfund site, which has become a priority for the state of
Montana, contains large amounts of toxic asbestos ore. This site
is located near the Bozeman Public Library.

The addendum for the site pertains to properties not included in
the first Voluntary Cleanup Plan. These properties are located
west of the library and run along South Wallace Avenue. Some of
the areas of these sites are heavily contaminated with asbestos
ore where it was once stockpiled or used as fill material.

The new plan involves the excavation of asbestos-contaminated
soils near the library, proper asbestos disposal at the Bozeman
Landfill, patching and repaving sections along South Wallace
Avenue, and long term monitoring of all contaminated properties.

Moreover, institutional controls like a city resolution,
modification of the City Street Cut Permit Application, training
for city workers, and deed restrictions for properties
containing asbestos will be implemented under the new plan.

The complete cost of what is left of the cleanup effort is
estimated to be US$438,000. The DEQ is expected to reimburse the
city for a percentage of the cost under the Controlled
Allocation of Liability Act.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cleanup at Ithaca Gun Site Still Continuing
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos removal at the Ithaca Gun Factory in Ithaca, N.Y., is
ongoing and is about 80 percent done after six weeks of work,
The Ithaca Journal reports.

Target Group of Central New York is the sub-contractor hired to
remove the asbestos.

Nels Bohn, director of community development for the Ithaca
Urban Renewal Agency, said that the two major areas still full
of asbestos are the factory's windows and roof, but because
removing those would affect the structure's stability, that
asbestos removal may need to be done in conjunction with the
demolition.

The complication is that, although the site's developers have
obtained demolition permits from both the New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation and the City of Ithaca,
one of the devices they are using to screen material for lead
contamination is not functioning as expected.

Ken Lynch, regional director of the New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation, had estimated that asbestos removal
would only take two to three weeks, though Mr. Bohn said he
always expected it to take longer.

Both Mr. Lynch and Mr. Bohn estimated that actual building
demolition could begin by mid-January 2009.


                            *********

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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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Copyright 2008.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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