CAR_Public/090306.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, March 6, 2009, Vol. 11, No. 46

                           Headlines

ADZILLA INC: Faces Calif. Suit For Tracking Users' Web Activity
ALABAMA: State Officials Sued Over Severe Overcrowding at Prison
ECLIPSE AVIATION: Faces Employees' Suit in Del. Over Lay-Offs
EXTENDICARE HEALTH: Minn. Court Dismisses Consumer Fraud Lawsuit
NCR Corp: Settles Workers' Lawsuits Over "Off-The-Clock" Work

PPG INDUSTRIES: Ruling Allows Pa. Age Bias Case to Move Forward
REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Awaits Ruling on Bid to Amend "Cleary" Action
REYNOLDS AMERICAN: ETS Suit Still Stayed Pending "Scott" Appeal
REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Faces Ga. Smokers' Suit Over RICO Violations
REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Motions in Suit Over ERISA Violations Pending

REYNOLDS AMERICAN: "Parsons" Personal Injury Suit Remains Stayed
REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Reports No Activity to "Jones" Suit in Mo.
REYNOLDS AMERICAN: "Smith" Suit Over Price Fixing in Discovery
REYNOLDS AMERICAN: "Stewart" Lawsuit Over Cigarette Ad Pending
REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Suit Over FLSA Violations Still in Discovery

REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Unit Awaits Ruling on Bid in "Romero" Suit
STERLING FINANCIAL: Reaches $10.25M Settlement in Pa. Litigation
UBS FINANCIAL: Court Grants Motion in HealthSouth-Related Case
UNITED STATES: Faces Mass. Suit Over Temporary Protective Status
WEST VIRGINIA: DHHR, Official Faces Lawsuit Over Medicaid Plan


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

BARCLAYS BANK: Coughlin Stoia Files N.Y. Securities Fraud Suit
GENERAL ELECTRIC: Harwood Feffer Files Securities Fraud Lawsuit
INTREPID POTASH: Bronstein Gewirtz Announces Stock Suit Filing
OPPENHEIMER CHAMPION: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Fraud Suit
OPPENHEIMER CHAMPION: Labaton Sucharow Files N.Y. Stock Lawsuit

TRIAD GUARANTY: Dyer & Berens Files N.C. Securities Fraud Suit


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Spencer's Petition Denied in Case v. Bragg
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.S. Steel Facing 450 Lawsuits at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AK Steel Facing 437 Injury Suits at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 26,235 Claims Ongoing v. Harsco at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Cites $6.6M Claims Provision

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Records $355.78Mil Liability
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Cites 130,760 Claims in U.S.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Sees $24.8M Insurance Asset
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler's U.K. Units Face 357 Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Corning Facing 10T Cases with 41,500 Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Claims v. Lincoln Drop to 21,020 at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Board Ruling Reversed in Seminerio's Claim
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Viad Summary Judgment Bid Denied on Jan. 13
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal-Mogul Cites No Liability at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cooper Cites 23,688 Abex Claims at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cooper Records $815.1M Liability at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cooper Cites $192.3M Receivable at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Navigators Has $16.68M Reserves at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CNA Records 1,302 Policyholders at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MeadWestvaco Facing 591 Lawsuits at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Old Orchard Facing 8,000 Actions from Vapor
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Claims v. CBS Decrease to 68,520 at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fluor Corp. Still Facing Exposure Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: A. O. Smith Facing 6,990 Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Injury Lawsuits Still Ongoing v. Flowserve

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RLI Corp. Pays $31M for A&E Through Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ITT Corp. Facing 103,006 Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exposure Lawsuits Still Ongoing v. Eastman
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Skilled Healthcare Records $5Mil Liability
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sunoco, Inc. Subject to Exposure Lawsuits

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FirstEnergy Still Facing Exposure Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OfficeMax Inc. Still Facing Injury Actions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CMS Energy Cites $36M Dec. 31 ARO Liability
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chicago Bridge Has 1,400 Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Anadarko Continues to Face Injury Lawsuits

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Trial in Claim v. Pride Slated for Oct. '09
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exposure Cases Still Ongoing v. CenterPoint
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeal Court Upholds Ruling in Bakkie Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Regal Beloit Subject to Exposure Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Leslie Facing 968 Active Claims at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Leslie Records $19.2M Liability at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Spence & Hoke Still Facing Exposure Actions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Leslie Spends $8.31MM for Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Phelps Dodge Still Facing Exposure Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cliffs Natural Units Facing Injury Lawsuits

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exposure Suits Still Ongoing v. Olin, Units
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Southern Company Cites $9.5M ARO at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cleco Records $200T for Cleanup at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Huntsman Still Party to "Premises" Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PSE&G Cites $8MM Abatement Asset at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Transocean Still Has Suits in Miss. Courts
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Transocean Unit Has 1,008 Suits at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 222 Lawsuits Ongoing v. Midwest Generation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mine Safety Faces Product Liability Actions
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mine Safety Involved in Century Litigation

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IDEX, 5 Units Facing Lawsuits in 33 States
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 17,854 Claims Ongoing v. Albany at Feb. 6
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 8,607 Claims Ongoing v. Brandon at Feb. 6
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Albany Still Facing Suits From Mount Vernon
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Corp. Case Dismissed on Feb. 26

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 16 Claims Filed Feb. 16-20 in Madison Court
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Coordinator Questioned in Grace Lawsuit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 800 New Cases Expected in Australia in 2009
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Closing Submissions Held on March 1
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Enterprise Owner Charged for False Records

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Council Fined GBP17,600 for Safety Breaches
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lawyers Seek Transfer of MDL Cases to State
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hairston's Suit Filed v. 38 Firms in Texas


                           *********

ADZILLA INC: Faces Calif. Suit For Tracking Users' Web Activity
---------------------------------------------------------------
Adzilla, Inc [New Media], Conducive Corp., Continental Visinet
Broadband, Inc., and Core Communications, Inc. are facing a
purported class-action lawsuit in California for allegedly
violating the privacy of Web users by tracking their online
activity.

The suit captioned, "Simon v. Adzilla, Inc [New Media] et al.,
Case No. 3:2009-cv-00879," was filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California on Feb. 27, 2009 by
Susan Simon.

Ms. Simon alleges that Adzilla, her Internet service provider
Continental Visinet Broadband, and other companies acted
together to violate a host of laws, including the federal
wiretap law.  She is seeking class-action status for the case.

According to Ms. Simon, she first noticed Adzilla in June 2007,
when she realized that her Internet service provider was
assigning her different IP addresses from those it used
previously.  Ms. Simon investigated and determined that the new
addresses belonged to Adzilla, which was now tracking her
online.  "An outside entity, one with which plaintiff was
entirely unfamiliar, was accessing and searching plaintiff's web
log activities," she alleged in her lawsuit.

The lawsuit does not allege that Adzilla served her any ads,
only that it tracked her.  Ms. Simon said in her complaint that
she was never notified about the tracking and didn't consent to
it.

The suit is "Simon v. Adzilla, Inc [New Media] et al., Case No.
3:2009-cv-00879," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California, Judge Maxine M. Chesney,
presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Alan Himmelfarb, Esq. (Consumerlaw1@earthlink.net)
          Kamberedelson, LLC
          2757 Leonis Boulevard
          Vernon, CA 90058
          Phone: 323-585-8696
          Fax: 323-585-8696

               - and -

          Joseph H. Malley, Esq. (malleylaw@gmail.com)
          Law Office of Joseph H. Malley, PC
          1045 North Zang Boulevard
          Dallas, TX 75208
          Phone: 214-943-6100


ALABAMA: State Officials Sued Over Severe Overcrowding at Prison
----------------------------------------------------------------
     MONTGOMERY, AL, February 26, 2009 -- SCHR Press Release --
Attorneys from the Southern Center for Human Rights filed a
federal class action lawsuit on behalf of people incarcerated at
Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Alabama.

The case, "Hicks v. Hetzel," names Warden Gary Hetzel, Alabama
Department of Corrections (ADOC) Commissioner Richard Allen, and
Governor Bob Riley as Defendants.  The case was filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.  The
Plaintiffs have asked the ADOC to reduce the population at
Donaldson to the number the facility was designed to hold.

     William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility ("Donaldson")
opened in 1982 as the West Jefferson Correctional Facility, with
a capacity of 700 medium and minimum security prisoners.  The
prison was subsequently expanded, giving it a designed capacity
of 968 men.  The number of men confined at Donaldson has more
than doubled over the years.  As of December 2008, Donaldson was
at 173.7% capacity, holding 1,681 men.

     Because of overcrowding, three men are crammed into cells
that were designed for two.  These cells measure approximately 8
x 12 feet.  Men do not have enough room to sit upright on their
beds or to dress.  When it rains, water pours through the
ceiling.  The smell of feces often permeates the cells, and
overflowing toilets back up into adjoining cells.  In the summer
months, the heat becomes unbearable.  Without room for movement,
men must often remain in their locked cells, lying on sweat-
dampened mattresses.

      Prisoners are packed so tightly into cellblocks that the
tension and volatility results in weekly stabbings, fights, and
assaults.  Prisoners report that stabbings and beatings have
left them with slit throats, punctured livers, pierced lungs,
partial blindness, paralysis, and other injuries, as well as
psychological trauma.  The potential for violence is exacerbated
by the absence of appropriate security measures, the ready
availability of weapons, the flourishing drug trade in which
some officers are involved, the absence of industry, the dearth
of activities, and the dilapidated condition of prison
buildings.

     In the last two months, there have been a number of
critical incidents at Donaldson.  For example, on February 18, a
prisoner committed suicide by hanging; on February 2, a prisoner
was stabbed; on January 28, a prisoner was hospitalized after
being beaten by a group of other prisoners; on December 24, a
prisoner was stabbed twelve times, suffering two punctured
lungs; on December 23, an officer slammed a prisoner's head into
the wall after the prisoner objected to the officer using the
word "n-----;" in a separate incident on the same day, an
officer punched a handcuffed prisoner in the face, bloodying his
nose; and on December 12, a handcuffed prisoner was beaten
unconscious by an officer with a history of using excessive
force and participating in illegal activities.

     This level of violence is not unusual for Donaldson.  The
following is a snapshot of some of the incidents that have been
reported to the Southern Center for Human Rights over the last
three years:

    * On September 7, 2008, a prisoner was stabbed 11 times.

    * On June 6, 2008, an officer hit Ricardo Swift's arm
      repeatedly with a baton, causing his arm to fracture and
      requiring him to undergo surgery.

    * On April 16, 2008, Alphonso Lark was stabbed and cut in
      the face with a box cutter.

    * On February 15, 2008, a prisoner was stabbed, requiring
      him to undergo a surgical procedure to drain fluid from
      his brain.

    * In August 2007, a prisoner was stabbed 5-6 times and
      suffered two collapsed lungs.

    * In June 2007, David Carter was knifed in the chest with
      the blade barely missing his heart.

    * In May 2007, Dana Davis was nearly killed when another
      prisoner cut his throat and stabbed him over ten times
      with a foot-long knife.  His lung collapsed.  He was
      airlifted to UAB hospital.

    * In January 2007, a prisoner was stabbed.  The knife
      punctured his liver and he suffered a collapsed lung
      during emergency surgery.

    * In November 2006, a prisoner was stabbed by another
      prisoner.  He is now paralyzed and confined to a
      wheelchair.

    * In November 2006, Leo Beverly was stabbed and suffered a
      punctured lung.

    * In August 2006, a prisoner was stabbed in the neck.  He is
      now partially paralyzed.

    * In January 2006, Arthur Lee Scruggs was dragged into a
      cell, beaten, mutilated, and stabbed over 20 times,
      causing his death.

    * Plaintiffs contend that reducing the prison population
      statewide is key to creating a safe and humane environment
      for both prisoners and officers at Donaldson and at other
      state prisons.

     "Without an immediate reduction in the population at
Donaldson, the health and wellbeing of both prisoners and
officers will remain in jeopardy," said Melanie Velez, one of
the attorneys for the Plaintiffs.

     Conditions at Donaldson are such that even those men who
seek to follow the rules and stay out of trouble are pulled into
the fray.  Plaintiff John Hicks, for example, was sitting in a
prison day room when a prisoner he did not know assaulted him
with a broom handle, blinding him in one eye.  Plaintiff Charles
Malec was asleep in his bunk when a prisoner slashed his face
with a razor from his temple to his neck.  At the time, there
was no officer present in the dorm.

     "There are many men at Donaldson who want to change their
lives for the better," said Sarah Geraghty, an attorney for the
Plaintiffs.  "But the goals of redemption and rehabilitation
suffer when prisoners must remain in a constant state of
vigilance to protect their physical safety."

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

              http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?3a18

For additional information, contact:

          Sarah Geraghty, Esq. (sgeraghty@schr.org)
          Melanie Velez, Esq. (mvelez@schr.org)
          Phone: 404/688-1202 (office) or (404) 909-7079


ECLIPSE AVIATION: Faces Employees' Suit in Del. Over Lay-Offs
-------------------------------------------------------------
Eclipse Aviation Corp. is facing a purported class-action filed
by two former employees who are claiming that they were laid off
without the notice required by law, KRQE reports.

The suit was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District
of Delaware on March 2, 2009 by Annette Varela and John J.
Dimura, who had both requested that the court certify the
lawsuit as class-action for other laid-off employees.

KRQE reported that Ms. Varela worked at the company's
Albuquerque headquarters, and Mr. Dimura worked at an Albany,
N.Y., service facility.  Both were laid off when the company
stopped operations in February 2009.

Both claim the company terminated their employment without a 60
days' written notice required under the federal Worker
Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.  Mr. Dimura
also claims the company violated a similar New York state law
that requires 90 days' notice.

The plaintiffs claimed the company could have reasonably
foreseen the layoffs and closings, but did not provide the
warning.  They are asking for back pay and benefits that would
have been covered during the 60-days' notice, plus attorneys'
fees, reports KRQE.

Eclipse Aviation filed for Chapter 11 in November 2008 and
announced it was going to be purchased by a European-based
company, but financing for the purchase fell through.  Chapter
11 allows a company to hold it creditors at bay while it works
out a reorganization plan to continue in business, according to
the KRQE report.


EXTENDICARE HEALTH: Minn. Court Dismisses Consumer Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
     Last update: 9:20 p.m. EST March 4, 2009 -- MARKHAM,
ONTARIO, March 4, 2009 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- Extendicare
Real Estate Investment Trust ("Extendicare REIT") (CA:EXE.UN)
announced that a federal district court judge ruled that a class
action lawsuit, brought against Extendicare Health Services,
Inc. and Extendicare Homes, Inc. (collectively "Extendicare"),
two wholly owned U.S. based subsidiaries of Extendicare REIT,
was improper and ordered the case dismissed in its entirety.

     The court stated that the lawyer-driven complaint "failed
to identify any solid ground on which the Plaintiff could stand
in this litigation."

     The lawsuit was originally filed on October 28, 2008 in the
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.  The
suit asserted claims under several Minnesota consumer protection
statutes and was premised upon an allegation that Extendicare
had misrepresented the quality of its services to the residents
of its Minnesota skilled nursing facilities. The plaintiff
brought the action on behalf of all current and former residents
for the period 2002 through 2008.

     The Honorable Donovan W. Frank rejected all of the class
action claims, and held that that the plaintiff's allegations
"are so general and unspecific they cannot serve as the basis
for a claim."  Judge Frank further prohibited the plaintiff's
attorneys from attempting to re-file the lawsuit with amended
allegations because, given the weakness of the claim, it "would
not likely be fruitful."

     Extendicare viewed this lawsuit as little more than an
attempt by plaintiffs' lawyers to pressure Extendicare into
settlement and generate attorneys' fees, and argued this to the
court.  Judge Frank's ruling appears to vindicate Extendicare's
position.

     Extendicare remains committed to continuing to provide
quality care to its residents.

Extendicare REIT – http://www.extendicare.com/-- is a leading
North American provider of long-term and short-term senior care
services through its network of owned and operated health care
facilities.  It employs 39,100 qualified and experienced staff
dedicated to helping people live better through a commitment to
quality service that includes post-acute care, rehabilitative
therapy and home health care services.  Its 266 senior care
facilities in North America have capacity for approximately
30,000 residents.


NCR Corp: Settles Workers' Lawsuits Over "Off-The-Clock" Work
-------------------------------------------------------------
NCR Corp. settled two class-action lawsuits that were filed by
California and Illinois employees who allege that NCR owed
employees for "off-the-clock" work they were not paid for, as
well for working through unpaid meal and rest breaks in
violation of law, Jacob Dirr of The Dayton Business Journal
reports.

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission, the lawsuits were filed in March and October last
year and were settled late February 2009, which resulted in at
least $12 million in company costs.

The lawsuits pertained to "customer engineers," who provide
installation and repairs on equipment NCR sells, such as
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

Court documents obtained by the Dayton Business Journal states
that NCR automatically deducted pay for lunch breaks, even
though the engineers — who do not report to a centralized office
— often work through lunch because of job demands.

Also, according to the documents, NCR maintained a policy and
practice of paying employees without regard to the number of
hours actually worked and required them to work off-the-clock
without pay.

California NCR employees filed the March lawsuit and employees
at Chicago-based NCR subsidiary First Level Technology LLC filed
in October.  In all, about 26 employees joined in the two
lawsuits.


PPG INDUSTRIES: Ruling Allows Pa. Age Bias Case to Move Forward
---------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Arthur J. Schwab of the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Pennsylvania has ruled that PPG Industries
Inc. erred by forcing fired workers to sign waivers barring them
from suing the company for age discrimination, of Jason Cato of
the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

In an order signed on Feb. 26, 2009, Judge Schwab adopted the
recommendations of a special master handling a 2007 civil
lawsuit in which five former employees accused PPG of firing
them for being too old and costly, according to the Pittsburgh
Tribune-Review.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Judge Schwab's
decision paves the way for him to certify the suit as a class-
action case that could be joined by other fired PPG employees
and allow the case to go to trial.

Joyce Gannon of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette previously reported
that five former employees of PPG Industries Inc. filed a class-
action complaint alleging the company pressured them and other
workers to retire or resign because of their age (Class Action
Reporter, May 29, 2007).

The same five plaintiffs who are in their 50s and early 60s also
charged the company of age discrimination last year with the
federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh,
Penn. alleges:

     * PPG didn't give them salary, bonuses, vacation time, and
       insurance as well as pension benefits because they were
       forced to leave before their retirement age;

     * during the past 10 years the company has put in place
       aggressive workforce reductions that targeted older
       employees who had higher salaries and were close to
       retirement;

     * senior management of PPG instilled a corporate-wide
       mentality that the older employees were 'not pulling
       their weight';

     * older employees often were dismissed without notice and
       without explanation;

     * in some cases, PPG fabricated poor performance reviews of
       older employees they wanted to terminate; and

     * the pattern of discrimination began when Raymond LeBoeuf
       assumed the positions as chairman and chief executive
       officer and retired in 2005.

The plaintiffs in the case -- with their ages at the time of its
filing in May 2007 -- are: Linda K. Austin, 56, of Richland;
Arthur C. Rupert, 58, of Cheswick; Larry L. Campbell, 61, of
Raleigh, N.C.; Wade C. Bittner, 52, of Union Grove, N.C.; and
Kenneth J. Hunt, 58, of Irmo, S.C., according to the Pittsburgh
Tribune-Review report.

Their lawsuit accuses PPG of violating the federal Age
Discrimination in Employment Act by firing hundreds of
employees, beginning in the late 1990s, based on their age to
save money.

When fired, the employees claim, they were forced to sign
waivers stating they would not sue the company for any reason,
including age discrimination.  If they did, PPG threatened to
recoup any severance and sue for legal fees.

Downtown lawyer Kevin P. Lucas, Esq., the special master
appointed in the case, determined those waivers were not legal
to which Judge Schwab agreed, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-
Review.

Bruce C. Fox, Esq. of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP,
which is presenting the plaintiffs, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-
Review that with the ruling as many as 200 additional former PPG
employees could join the lawsuit.

For more details, contact:

          Bruce C. Fox, Esq.
          Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP
          One Mellon Center, Suite 5240, 500 Grant Street
          Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219
          Phone: 412-288-2462
          Cell Phone: 412-352-6216
          Fax: 412-566-1508
          Web Site: http://www.obermayer.com


REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Awaits Ruling on Bid to Amend "Cleary" Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
A ruling is pending on the plaintiff's motion to amend the
complaint in a class-action lawsuit styled, "Cleary v. Philip
Morris, Inc.," which names Reynolds American, Inc.'s subsidiary,
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., as a defendant.

In the case filed in June 1998, and pending in Circuit Court,
Cook County, Illinois, the plaintiffs filed their motion for
class certification on Dec. 21, 2001, in an action brought
against major U.S. cigarette manufacturers, including RJR
Tobacco and Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.

The case is brought on behalf of persons who have allegedly been
injured by:

   (1) the defendants' purported conspiracy pursuant to which
       defendants concealed material facts regarding the
       addictive nature of nicotine,

   (2) the defendants' alleged acts of targeting its advertising
       and marketing to minors, and

   (3) the defendants' claimed breach of the public right to
       defendants' compliance with the laws prohibiting the
       distribution of cigarettes to minors.

The plaintiffs request that the defendants be required to
disgorge all profits unjustly received through its sale of
cigarettes to plaintiffs and the class, which in no event will
be greater than $75,000 per each class member, inclusive of
punitive damages, interest and costs.

On March 27, 2006, the court dismissed count V, public nuisance,
and count VI, unjust enrichment.

On July 11, 2006, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class
certification.

This case has been virtually dormant; however, class counsel has
indicated the intent to file an amended complaint and renew
activity in the case.  As a result, the court has vacated all
scheduling orders pending further action by the plaintiffs and a
ruling on their motion to amend, according to the company's Feb.
23, 2009 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Reynolds American, Inc. -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


REYNOLDS AMERICAN: ETS Suit Still Stayed Pending "Scott" Appeal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The class-action suit styled, "Young v. American Tobacco Co.,
Inc.," which names Reynolds American, Inc.'s subsidiary, R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Company, as a defendant, remains stayed pending
the outcome of the appeal in the case tagged "Scott v. American
Tobacco Co., Inc."

The ETS class-action lawsuit was filed against U.S. Cigarette
manufacturers, including RJR Tobacco and Brown & Williamson
Holdings, Inc., and parent companies of U.S. Cigarette
manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc.

The "Young" case filed in November 1997, in Circuit Court,
Orleans Parish, Louisiana, is an ETS class action on behalf of
all residents of Louisiana who, though not themselves cigarette
smokers, have been exposed to secondhand smoke from cigarettes
which were manufactured by the defendants, and who allegedly
suffered injury as a result of that exposure.

The plaintiffs seek to recover an unspecified amount of
compensatory and punitive damages.

On Oct. 13, 2004, the trial court stayed this case pending the
outcome of the appeal in Scott v. American Tobacco Co., Inc.,
according to the company's Feb. 23, 2009 Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Reynolds American, Inc. -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Faces Ga. Smokers' Suit Over RICO Violations
---------------------------------------------------------------
Reynolds American, Inc. faces a purported class-action suit
filed on behalf of Georgia smokers under the Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The suit styled, "Peoples v. Reynolds American, Inc.," was filed
on Nov. 17, 2008 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia, on behalf of Georgia smokers claiming that
the company, Altria and Lorillard, and/or their affiliates
wrongfully influenced the federal government's National Cancer
Institute not to recommend CT scans as a routine lung cancer
screening test for smokers.

The plaintiffs claim that the NCI's failure to endorse the test
leads insurers to deny reimbursement and persuades doctors not
to order the tests as a result.

The plaintiffs seek a variety of damages, including alleged
contemplated damages under RICO, punitive damages, attorney's
fees, interest and costs.

The defendants have moved to dismiss the case based on the
plaintiffs failure to state a claim meeting the basic
prerequisites of RICO, according to the company's Feb. 23, 2009
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Reynolds American, Inc. -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Motions in Suit Over ERISA Violations Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
Various motions are pending in the class-action suit alleging
that the Reynolds American, Inc. entities, which are named as
defendants, violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
of 1974 (ERISA).

On May 13, 2002, in "Tatum v. The R.J.R. Pension Investment
Committee of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Capital
Investment Plan," an employee of RJR Tobacco filed a class-
action suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District
of North Carolina, alleging ERISA violations by the defendants,
RJR, RJR Tobacco, the RJR Employee Benefits Committee and the
RJR Pension Investment Committee.

The actions about which the plaintiff complains stem from a
decision made in 1999 by RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp., renamed
Nabisco Group Holdings Corp. (NGH), to spin off RJR, thereby
separating NGH's tobacco business and food business.

As part of the spin-off, the 401(k) plan for the previously
related entities had to be divided into two separate plans for
the now separate tobacco and food businesses.

The plaintiff contends that the defendants violated ERISA by not
overriding an amendment to RJR's 401(k) plan requiring that,
prior to Feb. 1, 2000, the stock funds of the companies involved
in the food business, NGH and Nabisco Holdings Corp., be
eliminated as investment options from RJR's 401(k) plan.

In his complaint, the plaintiff requests, among other things,
that the court require the defendants to pay as damages to the
RJR 401(k) plan an amount equal to the subsequent appreciation
that was purportedly lost as a result of the liquidation of the
NGH and Nabisco funds.

The district court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss on
Dec. 10, 2003.  On Dec. 14, 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Fourth Circuit reversed and remanded the case for further
proceedings.  On Jan. 20, 2005, the defendants filed a second
motion to dismiss on other grounds.  On March 7, 2007, the court
granted the plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint and
denied all pending motions as moot.  On April 6, 2007, the
defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint.  On May 31,
2007, the court granted the motion in part and denied it in
part, dismissing all claims against the RJR Employee Benefits
Committee and the RJR Pension Investment Committee.  The
remaining defendants, RJR and RJR Tobacco, filed their answer
and affirmative defenses on June 14, 2007.

On June 28, 2007, the plaintiff filed a motion to amend the
complaint to add as parties defendant the six members of the RJR
Pension Investment Committee and the RJR Employee Benefits
Committee.  On March 13, 2008, the court denied this motion.

On Nov. 19, 2007, the plaintiff filed a motion for class
certification, which the court granted on Sept. 29, 2008.

Court ordered mediation occurred on July 10, 2008, but no
resolution of the case was reached.

On May 29, 2008, the defendants filed a motion for judgment on
the pleadings, which asked the court to dismiss the claims
asserted by class members who voluntarily transferred their
401(k) investments from the NGH and Nabisco funds before Jan.
31, 2000.  That motion remains outstanding.

On Sept. 18, 2008, each of the plaintiffs and the defendants
filed motions for summary judgment.  A decision is pending.

On Jan. 9, 2009, the defendants filed a motion to decertify the
class, which also remains pending, according to the company's
Feb. 23, 2009 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Reynolds American, Inc. -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


REYNOLDS AMERICAN: "Parsons" Personal Injury Suit Remains Stayed
----------------------------------------------------------------
The personal injury class-action suit styled, "Parsons v. A C &
S, Inc.," which names several Reynolds American, Inc. entities
as defendants, remains stayed by the bankruptcy proceedings of
various defendants.

In the case filed in February 1998, in Circuit Court, Ohio
County, West Virginia, the plaintiff sued asbestos
manufacturers, U.S. cigarette manufacturers, including R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Company and Brown & Williamson Holdings, Inc.,
and parent companies of U.S. cigarette manufacturers, including
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc., seeking to recover $1
million in compensatory and punitive damages individually and an
unspecified amount for the class in both compensatory and
punitive damages.

The class is brought on behalf of persons who allegedly have
personal injury claims arising from their exposure to respirable
asbestos fibers and cigarette smoke.

The plaintiffs allege that Mrs. Parsons' use of tobacco products
and exposure to asbestos products caused her to develop lung
cancer and to become addicted to tobacco.

The case has been stayed pending a final resolution of the
plaintiffs' motion to refer tobacco litigation to the judicial
panel on multi-district litigation filed in In Re: Tobacco
Litigation in the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

On Dec. 26, 2000, three defendants, Nitral Liquidators, Inc.,
Desseaux Corporation of North American and Armstrong World
Industries, filed bankruptcy petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the District of Delaware, In re Armstrong World
Industries, Inc.

Under section 362(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, the Parsons case is
automatically stayed with respect to all defendants, according
to the company's Feb. 23, 2009 Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
Dec. 31, 2008.

Reynolds American, Inc. -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Reports No Activity to "Jones" Suit in Mo.
--------------------------------------------------------------
The class-action lawsuit captioned, "Jones v. American Tobacco
Co., Inc.," which names several Reynolds American, Inc. entities
as defendants, is proceeding in the Circuit Court, Jackson
County, Missouri.

The case was originally filed in December 1998, in Circuit
Court, Jackson County, Missouri, the defendants removed the case
to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri
on Feb. 16, 1999.

The action was brought against the major U.S. Cigarette
manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Brown
& Williamson Holdings, Inc., and parent companies of U.S.
cigarette manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco
Holdings, Inc., on behalf of tobacco product users and
purchasers on behalf of all similarly situated Missouri
consumers.

The plaintiffs allege that their use of the defendants' tobacco
products has caused them to become addicted to nicotine.

The plaintiffs seek to recover an unspecified amount of
compensatory and punitive damages.

The case was remanded to the Circuit Court on Feb. 17, 1999.

There has been limited activity in this case, according to the
company's Feb. 23, 2009 Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
Dec. 31, 2008.

Reynolds American, Inc. -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


REYNOLDS AMERICAN: "Smith" Suit Over Price Fixing in Discovery
--------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is ongoing in the class-action case styled, "Smith v.
Philip Morris Cos., Inc.," according to Reynolds American,
Inc.'s Feb. 23, 2009 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2008.

The case was filed in February 2000, in the District Court,
Seward County, Kansas, against the major U.S. Cigarette
manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Brown
& Williamson Holdings, Inc., and parent companies of U.S.
cigarette manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco
Holdings, Inc.

The court granted class certification on Nov. 15, 2001, in the
action seeking to recover an unspecified amount in actual and
punitive damages.

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants participated in a
conspiracy to fix or maintain the price of cigarettes sold in
the United States.

The parties are currently engaged in discovery.

Reynolds American, Inc. -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


REYNOLDS AMERICAN: "Stewart" Lawsuit Over Cigarette Ad Pending
--------------------------------------------------------------
The class-action case styled, "Stewart v. RJR Tobacco," which
names Reynolds American, Inc.'s subsidiary, R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Co., as a defendant, is still in a preliminary phase.

In December 2007, nine states (California, Connecticut,
Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and
Washington) sued RJR Tobacco claiming that an advertisement
published in a magazine the prior month violated the Master
Settlement Agreement's ban on the use of cartoons.  The states
asserted that the magazine's content adjacent to a Camel
gatefold advertisement included cartoon images prohibited by the
MSA and that certain images used in the Camel ad itself were
prohibited cartoons.

In Stewart v. RJR Tobacco, a class-action filed in California
state court against the magazine's publisher, Wenner Media, and
RJR Tobacco claiming the mention of bands in the magazine-
created content violated their right of publicity.  The
plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages.

The case is still in a preliminary phase, according to the
company's Feb. 23, 2009 Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
Dec. 31, 2008.

Reynolds American, Inc. -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Suit Over FLSA Violations Still in Discovery
---------------------------------------------------------------
A collective action complaint against Reynolds American, Inc.
subsidiary, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., alleging violations of
the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is still in the discovery
phase.

On March 19, 2007, in "Marshall v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,"
the plaintiff filed a collective action complaint against RJR
Tobacco in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of
Missouri.

The allegations include failure to keep accurate records of all
hours worked by RJR Tobacco's employees and failure to pay wages
and overtime compensation to non-exempt retail representatives.

The total number of current or former retail representatives
participating is 469, including those who have opted in the
Marshall case and subsequent lawsuits filed in New York and
California.

Two new cases alleging violations of the FLSA and other state
law wage and hour claims were filed in February 2008:

   -- Radcliffe v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., filed on Feb. 14,
      2008, in federal court in California, was served on May 9,
      2008; and

   -- Dinino v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., filed on Feb. 29,
      2008, in federal court in New York, served on April 18,
      2008.

The Dinino and Radcliffe matters have been transferred to the
Missouri court in conjunction with the already pending Marshall
case due to the similarity of issues to be resolved.  The
plaintiffs in the Dinino and Radcliffe matters failed to move
for class certification on the state law claims.

On Dec. 22, 2008, RJR Tobacco's motion for partial summary
judgment was granted.  The court ruled that the plaintiffs'
commutes from their homes to their first assignment of the day,
and their commutes from their last assignments of the day to
their homes, are non-compensable.

On Feb. 5, 2009, the court denied the plaintiffs' motion for
reconsideration on this issue or, in the alternative,
plaintiffs' request for certification for interlocutory appeal.

The case is still in the discovery phase.  Mediation was held on
Feb. 3, 2009, but the parties were unable to reach a resolution,
according to the company's Feb. 23, 2009 Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Reynolds American, Inc. -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


REYNOLDS AMERICAN: Unit Awaits Ruling on Bid in "Romero" Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Reynolds American, Inc.'s subsidiary, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,
awaits a ruling on its petition of writ of certiorari in the
class-action suit styled, "Romero v. Philip Morris Cos., Inc."

The case was filed in April 2000 in District Court, Rio Arriba
County, New Mexico, against major U.S. cigarette manufacturers,
including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Brown & Williamson
Holdings, Inc., and parent companies of U.S. Cigarette
manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc.

The court granted class certification on May 14, 2003, in the
action, which seeks to recover an amount not to exceed $74,000
per class member in actual and punitive damages, exclusive of
interest and costs.

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants conspired to fix,
raise, advance and/or stabilize prices for cigarettes in the
State of New Mexico from at least as early as Jan. 1, 1998,
through the present.

On June 30, 2006, the court granted the defendants' motion for
summary judgment.

On Nov. 18, 2008, the New Mexico Court of Appeals reversed the
grant of summary judgment in favor of RJR Tobacco, B&W and
Philip Morris.

On Jan. 7, 2009, RJR Tobacco filed a petition of writ of
certiorari with the Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico.
RJR Tobacco awaits a ruling on that petition, according to the
company's Feb. 23, 2009 Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
Dec. 31, 2008.

Reynolds American, Inc. -- http://www.reynoldsamerican.com/--
is a holding company.  It has two business segments: RJR Tobacco
and Conwood.  RAI's wholly owned subsidiaries include R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; Lane,
Limited; R.J. Reynolds Global Products, Inc.; and Conwood Co.,
LLC, Conwood Sales Co., LLC; Scott Tobacco LLC; and Rosswil LLC,
which are collectively referred to as the Conwood companies.
The RJR Tobacco segment consists of the primary operations of
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.  The Conwood segment consists of the
Conwood companies and Lane.  RAI's wholly owned operating
subsidiaries Santa Fe and GPI, among others, are included in All
Other.


STERLING FINANCIAL: Reaches $10.25M Settlement in Pa. Litigation
----------------------------------------------------------------
A $10.25 million settlement was reached in a consolidated class-
action lawsuit over the collapse of Sterling Financial Corp. in
a fraud scandal two years ago, Patrick Burns of the
Intelligencer Journal reports.

The settlement will go to investors who bought stock during a
three-year period that ended in May 2007, when a massive fraud
was uncovered at a Sterling subsidiary and shares plunged 40
percent, according to the Intelligencer Journal report.

The Intelligencer Journal reported that the settlement, which
was filed on March 2, 2009, will be reviewed at a hearing before
Judge Lawrence F. Stengel.  It covers shareholders who bought
Sterling stock between April 27, 2004, and May 24, 2007.

                         Case Background

In 2007, the company's stock price collapsed after the company
reported it had uncovered major fraud at Equipment Finance, LLC,
a commercial finance subsidiary of Sterling Financial, which has
since agreed to be acquired by The PNC Financial Services Group,
Inc.

This event triggered the filing of several class-action
complaints in May, June and July 2007 in the U.S. District
Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and for the
Southern District of New York related to Equipment Finance
(Class Action Reporter, July 3, 2008).

In October 2007, the lawsuits filed in New York were transferred
to the Pennsylvania Court for coordinated pretrial proceedings.

In February 2008, the plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended
complaint on behalf of those who purchased Sterling common stock
during the period from April 27, 2004, through May 24, 2007.
This complaint names Sterling, Bank of Lancaster County, N.A. (a
predecessor to a bank subsidiary of Sterling), Equipment
Finance, and members of their management as defendants.

The plaintiffs allege violations of the federal securities laws,
including allegations that Sterling's public statements and
filings fraudulently omitted information and included fraudulent
misrepresentations about the improprieties at Equipment Finance
as well as about their impact on Sterling's earnings and related
matters.

The plaintiffs assert that the price for Sterling stock was
fraudulently inflated during the class period due to the alleged
omissions and misrepresentations, and seek unspecified damages,
interest, attorneys' fees and costs.

As a result of PNC Financial Services Group's acquisition of
Sterling, PNC may be responsible for indemnifying individual
defendants in connection with this lawsuit.

Upon consolidation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania, the lawsuits soon fell under the
caption, "In Re: Sterling Financial Corporation Securities
Litigation, Case No. 2:2007-md-01879."

The suit is "In Re: Sterling Financial Corporation Securities
Litigation, Case No. 2:2007-md-01879," filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Judge
Lawrence F. Stengel, presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

          Mario Alba, Jr.
          Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman LLP
          200 Broadhollow Rd.
          Suite 406
          Melville, NY 11747
          Phone: 631-367-7100

Representing the defendants is:

          Eric C. Bosset, Esq. (ebosset@cov.com)
          Covington & Burling LLP
          1201 Pennsylvania Ave NW
          Washington, DC 20004-2401


UBS FINANCIAL: Court Grants Motion in HealthSouth-Related Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Karon O. Bowdre of the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Alabama granted a motion by UBS Financial
Services, Inc. in a purported securities fraud class-action
lawsuit against HealthSouth Corp. executives and advisers
responsible for the company's $2.2 billion accounting fraud, Ben
Hallman of Am Law Litigation Daily.

In a ruling issued in Feb. 26, 2009, granted a motion for
summary judgment filed by UBS Financial, HealthSouth's primary
outside financial adviser, in the matter, "In re HealthSouth
Corp. Securities Litigation, Master File No. CV-03-BE-1500-S."

The purported securities fraud class-action lawsuit was led by
the Retirement Systems of Alabama, the pension fund for state
employees, according to the Am Law Litigation Daily report.

A copy of the court ruling is available free of charge at:

              http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?3a17


UNITED STATES: Faces Mass. Suit Over Temporary Protective Status
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, former president
George W. Bush, Secretary Michael Chertoff, Gov. Janet
Napolitano, and Secretary Tom Ridge are facing a purported
class-action lawsuit in Massachusetts that is aiming to compel
the U.S. government to grant Temporary Protective Status (TPS)
to parents who were airlifted by the U.S. military along with
their American-born children during the height of the Liberian
civil war, Gardea V. Woodson of The Liberian Journal reports.

The suit captioned, "Krua v. United States Department of
Homeland Security et al., Case No. 1:2009-cv-10081," was filed
on Jan. 16, 2009 in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts System by Torli H. Krua, the executive director of
the Boston-based Universal Human Rights International (UHRI).

According to Mr. Krua, the lawsuit is intended to also remedy
the deteriorating conditions and extreme personal difficulties
that have complicated the lives of many young American citizens
of African descent airlifted to safety by the U.S. military from
"Liberia's bloodbath and the claws of the war lords."  He said
the goal is to ensure that "equal protection under the law" is
applied evenly to all.

In a release issued recently, Mr. Krua also said Sierra Leoneans
who were previously granted TPS because of their American
children are similarly experiencing tough times in the bitter
winter season of America, reports The Liberian Journal.

Mr. Kruah states, "The class-action lawsuit does not apply to
those who are already on TPS but rather those who were denied
TPS/DED status over the years."

The release disclosed that the suit was filed on the day Barack
Obama took the Oath of Office as America's 44th President.

"They have experienced no change," the release said, making
reference to President Obama's campaign slogan of changing the
way Washington DC does things, adding "In this harsh 2009 winter
weather, these American citizens who were airlifted from the
heat of a civil war in Africa, languish in cold basements across
America."

Mr. Krua alleged that although these people are in America, they
are being threatened by inadequate access to the basic human
needs of food, clothing and shelter pointing out that in
violation of basic American values, these young Americans were
torn apart and inadequately separated from their siblings and
families during the airlift six years ago, according to The
Liberian Journal report.

A full text of the lawsuit is available free of charge at:

              http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?3a19


WEST VIRGINIA: DHHR, Official Faces Lawsuit Over Medicaid Plan
--------------------------------------------------------------
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and
its head, Secretary Martha Walker, are facing a purported class-
action lawsuit regarding the West Virginia Medicaid Basic Health
Plan, Tony Rutherford of Huntingtonnews.net reports.

The suit captioned, "D.W. et al. v. Walker, Case No. 2:09-cv-
00060," was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of West Virginia on Jan. 21, 2009.

It cites two children -- who are listed as plaintiffs in the
litigation -- as examples of the deficiencies of the program.
To protect privacy, the individuals are referred to by their
initials, according to the Huntingtonnews.net report.

D.W. after diagnosis with a hearing impairment has been deprived
treatment by a hearing specialist.  The West Virginia Medicaid
Basic Health Plan does not cover those costs.  D.W. has been
removed from public schools and still has not received hearing
and counseling services as prescribed.

T.G. has allergies and asthma.  He developed a sinus infection.
The Basic plan will pay for only four prescriptions per month
per child. T.G. was prescribed a steroid, antibiotic and
inhaler, along with his continuing medications.  The plan would
not pay for the inhaler which cost about $180.

The lawsuit alleges that new conditions placed on the child's
Medicaid program deprive them of essential services and thus
violated a federal statute.  The plaintiffs seek to have the
court invalidate the program through a declaratory judgment for
violation of Title XIX of the Social Security Act, reports
Huntingtonnews.net.

The suit is "D.W. et al. v. Walker, Case No. 2:09-cv-00060,"
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
West Virginia, Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Daniel F. Hedges, Esq. (dan@msjlaw.org)
          MOUNTAIN STATE JUSTICE, INC.
          Suite 200
          1031 Quarrier Street
          Charleston, WV 25301
          Phone: 304/344-3144
          Fax: 304/344-3145

               - and -

          M. Jane Perkins, Esq. (perkins@healthlaw.org)
          NATIONAL HEALTH LAW PROGRAM
          211 North Columbia Street
          Chapel Hill, NC 27514
          Phone: 919/968-6308
          Fax: 919/968-8855

Representing the defendants is:

          Charlene A. Vaughan, Esq. (Charlene.A.Vaughan@wv.gov)
          OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
          State Capitol Complex
          Building 3, Room 210
          Charleston, WV 25305
          Phone: 304/558-2131
          Fax: 304/558-0947


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

BARCLAYS BANK: Coughlin Stoia Files N.Y. Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
     Wed, 04 March 2009 21:16:14 GMT -- SAN DIEGO -- (Business
Wire) Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP ("Coughlin
Stoia") (http://www.csgrr.com/cases/barclayspreferred/)
announced that a class action has been commenced in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of all persons who acquired the American Depositary
Shares, Series 2 ("Preferred Stock") (NYSE:BCS-P) of Barclays
Bank Plc ("Barclays Bank") pursuant and/or traceable to a false
and misleading registration statement and prospectus issued in
connection with the Company's April 2006 offering of the
Company's Preferred Stock representing 6.625% Dollar-Denominated
Non-Cumulative Callable Preference Shares, Series 2 (the
"Offering").

     The complaint charges Barclays Bank, its senior insiders,
Barclays Plc ("Barclays") and the underwriters of the Offering
with violations of the Securities Act of 1933.

     Barclays Bank is a major global financial services provider
engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards,
investment banking, wealth management and investment management
services.

     The complaint alleges that defendants consummated the
Offering pursuant to a false and misleading Registration
Statement and Prospectus (collectively, the "Registration
Statement"), selling 30 million shares at $25 per share
(including the over-allotment), for proceeds of over $750
million.

     Then, in August 2008, Barclays announced huge multi-billion
dollar impairment charges associated with its exposure to
mortgage-related securities.  Notwithstanding these huge write-
downs, Barclays' securities, including the Preferred Stock, did
not decline appreciably due to Barclays' assurances it did not
require additional capital after raising £4.5 billion in a share
sale in July.  However, in mid-November 2008, Barclays was
forced to acknowledge that it would indeed need to raise
additional capital, and the price of the Preferred Stock fell to
as low as $8.30 per share.

According to the complaint, the Registration Statement for the
Offering was false and misleading because it omitted the
following true facts:

       -- Barclays' portfolio of mortgage-related securities was
          impaired to a much larger extent than had been
          disclosed;

       -- defendants failed to properly record losses for
          impaired assets;

       -- Barclays' internal controls were inadequate to prevent
          the Company from improperly reporting its mortgage-
          related investments; and

       -- Barclays was not as well capitalized as represented
          and would have to continually raise additional
          capital, which would dilute current holders and those
          investors purchasing Preferred Stock in the Offering.

     Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all persons
who acquired the Preferred Stock of Barclays Bank pursuant
and/or traceable to the Registration Statement issued in
connection with the Company's April 2006 Offering (the "Class").

For more details, contact:

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


GENERAL ELECTRIC: Harwood Feffer Files Securities Fraud Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
     NEW YORK, March 4, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The law firm of
Harwood Feffer LLP announces that it filed a class action
lawsuit on March 3, 2009 on behalf of purchasers of the common
stock of General Electric Company (the "Company") (NYSE:GE)
during the period January 23, 2009 through February 27, 2009,
inclusive (the "Class Period").  The action is pending in United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

     The complaint alleges that on January 23, 2009, the
Company's Chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, stated unequivocally
that GE would maintain its quarterly $.31 per share dividend,
having sufficient cash on hand and cash flow to achieve that
goal.  Then on February 27, 2009, GE suddenly announced it was
cutting the dividend to $.10 per share.  On the first trading
day after the dividend reduction announcement, GE shares fell
from $8.51 per share the previous trading day to close at $7.60
per share.  The shares have continued to plummet, currently
trading at $6.30 per share, an almost 30% plunge.  During the
Class Period, Mr. Immelt sold over 52,000 shares of GE stock at
$11.10 per share and other officers of the Company sold over
380,000 shares at that same price.  Mr. Immelt then repurchased
50,000 shares after the announcement at between $7.51 and $8.30
per share.  As a result, Mr. Immelt and the other officers
violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 by issuing false and misleading statements or knowingly
or recklessly failing to know of those statements, sold GE
shares at inflated prices based on those statements.

For more information, contact:

          Robert I. Harwood, Esq. (rharwood@hfesq.com)
          Samuel K. Rosen, Esq. (srosen@hfesq.com)
          Daniella Quitt, Esq. (dquitt@hfesq.com)
          Harwood Feffer LLP
          488 Madison Avenue
          New York, New York 10022
          Phone: 877-935-7400
          Website: http://www.hfesq.com


INTREPID POTASH: Bronstein Gewirtz Announces Stock Suit Filing
--------------------------------------------------------------
     NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 03/04/09 -- Bronstein,
Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC announces that a class action lawsuit
has been filed in the United States District Court for the
District of Colorado on behalf of those who purchased or
otherwise acquired the securities of Intrepid Potash, Inc.
(NYSE: IPI) ("Intrepid" or the "Company") pursuant and/or
traceable to the Company's Initial Public Offering (the "IPO")
on April 21, 2008 (the "Class").

     The complaint charges Intrepid and certain of its current
and former executive officers with violations of federal
securities laws.  The complaint alleges that the Prospectus and
Registration Statement contained false and misleading statements
and in addition failed to disclose that the Company's President
and Chief Operating Officer ("COO") had not received a B.A. from
the University of Colorado or a M.S. degree from Loyola
Marymount University.

     On February 11, 2009, the Fraud Discovery Institute
revealed that the Company's President and COO misrepresented his
academic credentials in the Registration Statement issued in
connection with the Company's IPO.  In response to the news,
shares of common stock declined $1.52 per share to close at
$22.00 per share on that day, which represented a cumulative
loss of approximately 31% of the value of the Company's shares
at the time of its IPO.

     No Class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact:

          Peretz Bronstein, Esq.
          Eitan Kimelman (eitan@bgandg.com)
          Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC
          Phone: 212-697-6484
          Web site: http://www.bgandg.com/


OPPENHEIMER CHAMPION: Cohen Milstein Files Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
     March 4, 2009 3:44 PM EST -- WASHINGTON -- (BUSINESS WIRE)
--  The law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC ("Cohen
Milstein") has filed a lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of all
persons or entities who purchased shares of Oppenheimer Champion
Income Fund ("Champion Fund" or the "Fund") (NASDAQ:OPCHX;
NASDAQ:OCHBX; NASDAQ:OCHCX; NASDAQ:OCHNX; NASDAQ: OCHYX), which
were offered by OppenheimerFunds, Inc. ("OppenheimerFunds"), in
connection with the Fund's January 26, 2007 and January 25, 2008
offerings (the "Offerings").

     The complaint charges the Champion Fund, OppenheimerFunds
and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the
Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act") and the Investment
Company Act of 1940 (the "Investment Act").  The Champion Fund
is an open-ended fixed income mutual fund launched and managed
by OppenheimerFunds.

     In particular, the complaint alleges that due to
defendants' false and misleading statements, investors purchased
shares in the Fund.  Unknown to investors, the Champion Fund
began to alter its investment style in late 2006 and began to
significantly increase its risk in the hopes of seeking higher
returns, including by dramatically increasing its use of
derivative instruments, purchasing highly unstable mortgage-
related and corporate bonds and significantly increasing its
leverage exposure.  According to the complaint, defendants
concealed that the Champion Fund had increased its risk exposure
in the hopes of higher returns such that investors remained
unaware of the heightened risk of investing in the Fund.

     It is also alleged that, beginning in July 2008, the
Champion Fund's shares declined in tandem with other high-yield
fund shares as the credit crunch exposed the poor underlying
fundamentals of the financial sector's mortgage risk management
and problems with structured finance vehicles.  As a result of
these concerns, the Fund's shares began to slide.  Then,
beginning in mid-September 2008 with the collapse of Lehman
Brothers Holdings Inc. and American International Group, Inc.
and continuing through December 2008, the Fund began to
acknowledge the serious deterioration in its portfolio.  The
complaint alleges that as a result of these disclosures, the
price of the Fund's shares collapsed.

     According to the complaint, the true facts which were
omitted from the Registration Statements and Prospectuses for
the Offerings were as follows:

       -- the Fund was no longer adhering to its objective to
          not take on any undue risk, but in an effort to
          achieve greater yields was pursuing riskier
          instruments;

       -- the Fund's internal controls were inadequate to
          prevent defendants from taking on excessive risk;

       -- the extent of the Fund's liquidity risk due to the
          illiquid nature of a large portion of the Fund's
          portfolios was omitted;

       -- the extent of the Fund's risk exposure to derivatives
          and other high risk instruments was concealed; and

       -- the extent of the Fund's leverage exposure was
          misstated.

For more details, contact:

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


OPPENHEIMER CHAMPION: Labaton Sucharow Files N.Y. Stock Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
     NEW YORK, March 4, 2009 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) --
Labaton Sucharow filed a class action lawsuit on March 4, 2009
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York, on behalf of all purchasers or holders of the
Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund ("Champion Fund") (OPCHX,
OCHBX, OCHCX, OCHNX, OCHYX) between August 7, 2006 and December
9, 2008, inclusive (the "Class Period"). The lawsuit was filed
against OppenheimerFunds, Inc., Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund
("Champion Fund"), OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc. and
certain officers and trustees ("Defendants").

     This action seeks to pursue remedies under the Securities
Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act"), the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"), and the Investment Company Act of
1940 ("Investment Company Act").

     The Complaint alleges as follows: due to defendants'
positive, but false, statements, investors purchased and/or
continued to hold shares in Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund.
The Champion Fund was a typical high-yield bond fund until late
2006 when it altered its investment style and began to
significantly increase its risk in the hopes of seeking higher
returns, including by dramatically increasing its use of
derivative instruments, purchasing highly unstable mortgage-
related and corporate bonds, and significantly increasing its
leverage exposure.  Defendants concealed that the Champion Fund
had increased its exposure with these excessively risky bets in
the hopes of higher returns, such that investors remained
unaware of these additional risk exposures.

     According to the Complaint, the true facts which were
omitted from the Registration Statements/Prospectuses were known
by the defendants but concealed from the investing public during
the Class Period.  The Champion Fund was no longer adhering to
its objective to not take on any undue risk, but in an effort to
achieve greater yields was pursuing riskier instruments and the
Champion Fund's internal controls were inadequate to prevent
defendants from taking on excessive risk.  The Champion Fund's
liquidity risk was concealed, its risk exposure to derivatives
and other high risk instruments was concealed, and its leverage
exposure was misstated.

For more details, contact:

          Alan I. Ellman, Esq. (aellman@labaton.com)
          Labaton Sucharow LLP
          Phone: 212-907-0887
          Fax: 212-883-7087
          Web site: http://www.labaton.com


TRIAD GUARANTY: Dyer & Berens Files N.C. Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
     March 04, 2009: 02:16 PM ET -- Marketwire -- Dyer & Berens
LLP announced that it has filed a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Middle District of North
Carolina on behalf of certain investors of Triad Guaranty Inc.
("Triad" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: TGIC) who purchased or
otherwise acquired the Company's common stock between October
26, 2006 and November 10, 2008, inclusive (the "Class Period").
The complaint charges Triad and certain of its senior officers
with violations of the federal securities laws.

     The complaint alleges that, during the Class Period,
defendants made false and misleading statements to the market
about the Company's business and financial condition.

     For example, defendants failed to disclose that:

       -- the Company was not adequately accounting for its loss
          reserves in violation of Generally Accepted Accounting
          Principles, causing its financial results to be
          materially misstated;

       -- the Company failed to engage in proper underwriting
          practices for its book of business related to
          insurance written in 2006 and 2007, including the
          insurance related to its Alt-A and pay-option
          adjustable rate mortgage products;

       -- the Company had far greater exposure to anticipated
          losses and defaults related to its book of business
          related to insurance written in 2006 and 2007,
          including its Alt-A and pay-option ARM portfolios,
          than it had previously disclosed;

       -- the Company lacked effective internal controls to
          detect fraud and misrepresentations in the
          underwriting process; and

       -- the Company failed to disclose the true risks
          associated with its ability to continue to write new
          business and, given rating downgrades and capital
          limitations, the Company would be forced to liquidate
          its Canadian subsidiary and stop writing new insurance
          policies and transition the business to run-off.

     As a result of defendants' false statements, Triad stock
traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period
reaching as high as $58.45 per share in January 2007.

     Beginning in late August 2007 and continuing throughout
2008, Triad began to acknowledge serious issues surrounding its
exposure to anticipated losses and defaults related to its book
of business for its Alt-A and pay-option ARM products written in
2006 and 2007 due to a failure to engage in proper underwriting
practices, resulting in a decline in Triad's stock price.  On
November 10, 2008, Triad issued its financial results for the
third quarter of 2008, reporting a net loss for the quarter
ended September 30, 2008 of $160.1 million.  On this news,
Triad's stock price dropped to close at $0.70 per share on
November 11, 2008.

     Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of Triad
investors.

For more details, contact:

          Jeffrey A. Berens, Esq. (jeff@dyerberens.com)
          682 Grant Street
          Denver, CO 80203
          Dyer & Berens LLP
          Phone: (888) 300-3362 or (303) 861-1764
          Web site: http://www.DyerBerens.com


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Spencer's Petition Denied in Case v. Bragg
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, denied Fernando
Spencer's petition, in a case involving asbestos filed against
Warden M. Thomas Bragg.

The case is styled Fernando Spencer, Petitioner-Appellant v.
Warden M. Thomas Bragg, Respondent-Appellee.

Judges Patrick E. Higginbotham, James L. Dennis, and Edward
Charles Prado entered judgment in Case No. 07-51452 on Feb. 18,
2009.

Mr. Spencer, federal prisoner #10714-180, appealed the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of Texas' dismissal of
his petition without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction.

The district court held that Mr. Spencer's claims, which related
to his alleged exposure to asbestos, lack of proper medical
treatment, retaliation, and the loss of legal notes, related to
the conditions of his confinement.

Because success on these claims would not result in Mr.
Spencer's accelerated release from prison, the district court
held that they were not cognizable.

Mr. Spencer argued that his application was proper because he
was challenging the execution of his sentence and he sought
accelerated release from prison. He contended that the loss of
his legal notes negatively impacted his proceeding, which he
asserted could have resulted in his release from prison.
Therefore, he argued that accelerated release was appropriate
relief in this proceeding.

Accordingly, the Appeals Court affirmed the district court's
judgment dismissing the s 2241 petition without prejudice for
lack of jurisdiction. Mr. Spencer's motion for release pending
appeal was denied.

Fernando Spencer of Anthony, N.M., pro se.

Eduardo R. Castillo, Esq., U.S. Attorney's Office, Western
District of Texas in El Paso, Tex., represented Mr. Bragg.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.S. Steel Facing 450 Lawsuits at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
United States Steel Corporation, as of Dec. 31, 2008, faced 450
active asbestos-related cases involving about 3,050 plaintiffs
(claims), according to the Company's annual report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 24, 2009.

As of Sept. 30, 2008, the Company was a defendant in about 415
active cases involving about 3,020 plaintiffs. (Class Action
Reporter, Nov. 7, 2008)

At Dec. 31, 2007, the Company faced 325 active cases involving
about 3,000 plaintiffs.

During 2008, settlements and dismissals resulted in the
disposition of about 400 claims and the Company paid about US$13
million in settlements. New filings added about 450 claims.

During 2007, settlements and dismissals resulted in the
disposition of about 1,230 claims and the Company paid about
US$9 million in settlements. New filings added about 530 claims.

Almost 2,600, or about 85 percent, of the 3,050 claims at Dec.
31, 2008 are pending in jurisdictions, which permit filings with
massive numbers of plaintiffs. Of these claims, about 1,550 are
pending in Mississippi and about 1,050 are pending in Texas.

These asbestos cases allege various respiratory and other
diseases based on alleged exposure to asbestos. The Company is
currently a defendant in cases in which a total of about 190
plaintiffs allege that they are suffering from mesothelioma.

In every asbestos case in which the Company is named as a party,
the complaints are filed against numerous named defendants and
generally do not contain allegations regarding specific monetary
damages sought.

Historically, about 89 percent of the cases against the Company
did not specify any damage amount or stated that the damages
sought exceeded the amount required to establish jurisdiction of
the court in which the case was filed. Jurisdictional amounts
generally range from US$25,000 to US$75,000.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, United States Steel Corporation is
an integrated steel producer with major production operations in
North America and Europe. The Company has annual raw steel
production capability of 31.7 million net tons (24.3 million
tons in North America and 7.4 million tons in Europe).


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AK Steel Facing 437 Injury Suits at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
AK Steel Holding Corporation says that, as of Dec. 31, 2008, its
subsidiary AK Steel Corporation faced 437 pending asbestos-
related lawsuits, according to the Company's annual report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 24, 2009.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, about 426 asbestos-related lawsuits were
pending against AK Steel. (Class Action Reporter, March 7, 2008)

Since 1990, the Company (or its predecessor, Armco Inc.) has
been named as a defendant in numerous lawsuits alleging personal
injury as a result of exposure to asbestos. Most of these
lawsuits have been filed on behalf of people who claim to have
been exposed to asbestos while visiting the premises of a
current or former AK Steel facility.

About 40 percent of these premises suits arise out of claims of
exposure at a facility in Houston that has been closed since
1984.

About 137 of the 437 cases pending at Dec. 31, 2008 in which AK
Steel is a defendant include specific dollar claims for damages
in the filed complaints. Those 137 cases involve a total of
2,534 plaintiffs and 17,488 defendants. In these cases, the
complaint typically includes a monetary claim for compensatory
damages and a separate monetary claim in an equal amount for
punitive damages, and does not attempt to allocate the total
monetary claim among the various defendants.

About 121 of the 137 cases involve claims of US200,000 or less,
eight involve claims of between US$200,000 and US$5 million,
five involve claims of between US$5 million and US$$15 million,
and three involve claims of US$20 million. In each case, the
amount described is per plaintiff against all of the defendants,
collectively.

During 2008, the Company recorded 41 new claims filed and 39
claims disposed of. The total amount paid in settlements was
US$700,000. During 2007, the Company recorded 71 new claims
filed and 138 claims disposed of. Total amount paid in
settlements was US$400,000.

Since the onset of asbestos claims against AK Steel in 1990,
five asbestos claims against it have proceeded to trial in four
separate cases. All five concluded with a verdict in favor of AK
Steel.

Headquartered in West Chester, Ohio, AK Steel Holding
Corporation's operations consist of seven steelmaking and
finishing plants that produce flat-rolled carbon steels,
including premium quality coated, cold-rolled and hot-rolled
products, and specialty stainless and electrical steels that are
sold in slab, hot band, and sheet and strip form.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 26,235 Claims Ongoing v. Harsco at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Harsco Corporation, as of Dec. 31, 2008, had 26,235 pending
asbestos personal injury claims filed against it, according to
the Company's annual report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission on Feb. 24, 2009.

As of Sept. 30, 2008, the Company had 26,236 pending asbestos-
related personal injury claims. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 21,
2008)

The Company has been named as one of many defendants (about 90
or more in most cases) in legal actions alleging personal injury
from exposure to airborne asbestos over the past several
decades. In their suits, the plaintiffs have named as defendants
many manufacturers, distributors and installers of numerous
types of equipment or products that allegedly contained
asbestos.

The Company has never been a producer, manufacturer or processor
of asbestos fibers. Any component within a Company product which
may have contained asbestos would have been purchased from a
supplier.

Most of the asbestos complaints pending against the Company have
been filed in New York. Almost all of the New York complaints
contain a standard claim for damages of US$20 million or US$25
million against about 90 defendants, regardless of the
individual plaintiff's alleged medical condition, and without
specifically identifying any Company product as the source of
plaintiff's asbestos exposure.

Of the pending cases as of Dec. 31, 2008, about 25,728 were
pending in the New York Supreme Court for New York County in New
York State. The other claims, totaling 507, are filed in various
counties in a number of state courts, and in certain Federal
District Courts (including New York), and those complaints
generally assert lesser amounts of damages than the New York
State court cases or do not state any amount claimed.

As of Dec. 31, 2008, the Company has obtained dismissal by
stipulation or summary judgment prior to trial in 17,892 cases.

As of Dec. 31, 2008, the Company has been listed as a defendant
in 443 Active or In Extremis asbestos cases in New York County.

Headquartered in Camp Hill, Pa., Harsco Corporation provides
industrial services and engineered products. The Company's
operations fall into two reportable segments: Harsco
Infrastructure (formerly Access Services) and Harsco Metals
(formerly Mill Services), plus an "all other" category labeled
Harsco Minerals & Rail.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Cites $6.6M Claims Provision
----------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler AG's net asbestos-related provision was
US$6,607,000 during the fiscal year ended Dec. 26, 2008,
according to the Company's annual report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 24, 2009.

Net asbestos-related gain was US$6,145,000 during the fiscal
year ended Dec. 28, 2007.

Foster Wheeler Ltd.'s net asbestos-related provision was
US$1,725,000 during the fiscal quarter ended Sept. 26, 2008.
(Class Action Reporter, Nov. 21, 2008)

During the fiscal quarter ended Sept. 28, 2007, net asbestos-
related gain was US$8,633,000. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 21,
2008)

With its operational headquarters in Clinton, N.J., Foster
Wheeler AG is an engineering and construction contractor and
power equipment supplier delivering technically advanced,
reliable facilities and equipment. The Company employs over
14,000 professionals with expertise dedicated to serving clients
through one of its two primary business groups.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Records $355.78Mil Liability
----------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler AG's long-term asbestos-related liability was
US$355,779,000 as of Dec. 26, 2008, compared with US$376,803,000
as of Dec. 28, 2007, according to the Company's annual report
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 24,
2009.

Foster Wheeler Ltd.'s long-term asbestos-related liability was
US$334,142,000 as of Sept. 26, 2008. (Class Action Reporter,
Nov. 21, 2008)

The Company's long-term asbestos-related insurance recovery
receivable was US$281,540,000 as of Dec. 26, 2008, compared with
US$324,588,000 as of Dec. 28, 2007.

The Company's long-term asbestos-related insurance recovery
receivable was US$287,695,000 as of Sept. 26, 2008. (Class
Action Reporter, Nov. 21, 2008)

Some of the Company's U.S. and U.K. subsidiaries are defendants
in numerous asbestos-related lawsuits and out-of-court informal
claims pending in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Plaintiffs claim damages for personal injury alleged to have
arisen from exposure to or use of asbestos in connection with
work allegedly performed by the subsidiaries during the 1970s
and earlier.

With its operational headquarters in Clinton, N.J., Foster
Wheeler AG is an engineering and construction contractor and
power equipment supplier delivering technically advanced,
reliable facilities and equipment. The Company employs over
14,000 professionals with expertise dedicated to serving clients
through one of its two primary business groups.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Cites 130,760 Claims in U.S.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler AG's subsidiaries in the United States faced
130,760 open asbestos claims during the fiscal year ended Dec.
26, 2008, compared with 131,340 claims during the fiscal year
ended Dec. 28, 2007, according to the Company's annual report
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 24,
2009.

Foster Wheeler Ltd.'s subsidiaries in the U.S. faced 130,370
open asbestos-related claims during the fiscal quarter and nine
months ended Sept. 26, 2008, compared with 132,810 claims during
the fiscal quarter and nine months ended Sept. 28, 2007. (Class
Action Reporter, Nov. 21, 2008)

During the year ended Dec. 26, 2008, the Company recorded 4,950
claims filed, 5,530 claims resolved, 84,830 claims not valued in
the liability, and 45,930 open claims valued in the liability.

During the year ended Dec. 28, 2007, the Company recorded 5,140
claims filed, 9,690 claims resolved, 66,040 claims not valued in
the liability, and 65,300 open claims valued in the liability.

Of about 130,760 open claims at Dec. 26, 2008, the Company's
subsidiaries are respondents in about 30,400 open claims wherein
the Company has administrative agreements and are named
defendants in lawsuits involving about 100,360 plaintiffs.

About 62 percent of the suits do not specify the monetary
damages sought or merely recite that the amount of monetary
damages sought meets or exceeds the required jurisdictional
minimum in the jurisdiction in which suit is filed. About 11
percent request damages ranging from US$1,000 to US$50,000;
about 20 percent request damages ranging from US$51,000 to US$1
million; about six percent request damages ranging from
US$1,001,000 to US$10 million; and the remaining one percent
request damages ranging from US$10,001,000 to, in a very small
number of cases, US$50 million.

Total U.S. asbestos-related assets were US$284.8 million as of
Dec. 26, 2008, compared with US$326.2 million as of Dec. 28,
2007. Total U.S. asbestos-related liabilities were US$385.3
million as of Dec. 26, 2008, compared with US$403.3 million as
of Dec. 28, 2007.

The amount paid for asbestos litigation, defense and case
resolution was US$70.6 million in fiscal year 2008, US$86.7
million in fiscal year 2007, and US$83.3 million in fiscal year
2006. In fiscal year 2008, proceeds from settlements with the
Company's insurers exceeded payments made by US$16.8 million.
Through Dec. 26, 2008, total cumulative indemnity costs paid
were about US$658 million and total cumulative defense costs
paid were about US$286.3 million.

As of Dec. 26, 2008, total asbestos-related liabilities were
comprised of an estimated liability of US$158 million relating
to open (outstanding) claims being valued and an estimated
liability of US$227.3 million relating to future unasserted
claims through fiscal year-end 2023.

The overall historic average combined indemnity and defense cost
per resolved claim through Dec. 26, 2008 has been about
US$2,700.

With its operational headquarters in Clinton, N.J., Foster
Wheeler AG is an engineering and construction contractor and
power equipment supplier delivering technically advanced,
reliable facilities and equipment. The Company employs over
14,000 professionals with expertise dedicated to serving clients
through one of its two primary business groups.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler Sees $24.8M Insurance Asset
----------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler AG, as of Dec. 26, 2008, estimated the value of
its unsettled asbestos insurance asset related to ongoing
litigation in New York state court with its subsidiaries'
insurers at US$24.8 million.

Foster Wheeler Ltd., as of Sept. 26, 2008, estimated the value
of its unsettled asbestos insurance asset related to ongoing
litigation in New York state court with its units' insurers at
US$23.3 million. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 21, 2008)

The litigation relates to the amounts of insurance coverage
available for asbestos-related claims and the proper allocation
of the coverage among the subsidiaries' various insurers and its
subsidiaries as self-insurers.

Over the last several years, certain of the Company's
subsidiaries have entered into settlement agreements calling for
insurers to make lump-sum payments, as well as payments over
time, for use by the Company's subsidiaries to fund asbestos-
related indemnity and defense costs and, in certain cases, for
reimbursement for portions of out-of-pocket costs previously
incurred.

In fiscal year 2008, the subsidiaries reached agreements to
settle their disputed asbestos-related insurance coverage with
three additional insurers. As a result of these settlements, the
Company recorded a gain of US$36.1 million in fiscal year 2008.

In fiscal year 2006, the Company was successful in its appeal of
a New York state trial court decision that previously had held
that New York, rather than New Jersey, law applies in the above
coverage litigation with the subsidiaries' insurers, and as a
result, the Company increased its insurance asset and recorded a
gain of US$19.5 million.

On Feb. 13, 2007, the subsidiaries' insurers were granted
permission by the appellate court to appeal the decision to the
New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. On Oct.
11, 2007, the New York Court of Appeals upheld the appellate
court decision in the Company's favor.

The Company had net cash inflows of US$16.8 million as a result
of insurance settlement proceeds in excess of the asbestos
liability indemnity payments and defense costs during fiscal
year 2008.

The Company expects to fund a total of US$26.5 million of the
asbestos liability indemnity and defense costs from its cash
flows in fiscal year 2009, net of the cash expected to be
received from existing insurance settlements.

With its operational headquarters in Clinton, N.J., Foster
Wheeler AG is an engineering and construction contractor and
power equipment supplier delivering technically advanced,
reliable facilities and equipment. The Company employs over
14,000 professionals with expertise dedicated to serving clients
through one of its two primary business groups.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Foster Wheeler's U.K. Units Face 357 Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler AG's subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, as of
Dec. 26, 2008, faced 357 claims alleging personal injury arising
from exposure to asbestos, according to the Company's annual
report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb.
24, 2009.

To date, 904 claims have been brought against the Company's U.K.
subsidiaries.

Certain of Foster Wheeler Ltd.'s subsidiaries in the U.K. faced
347 open asbestos-related claims as of Sept. 26, 2008. (Class
Action Reporter, Nov. 21, 2008)

As of Dec. 26, 2008, the Company recorded total liabilities of
US$37.8 million comprised of an estimated liability relating to
open (outstanding) claims of US$8.4 million and an estimated
liability relating to future unasserted claims through year 2023
of US$29.4 million.

Of the total, US$2.8 million was recorded in accrued expenses
and US$35 million was recorded in asbestos-related liability on
the consolidated balance sheet. An asset in an equal amount was
recorded for the expected U.K. asbestos-related insurance
recoveries, of which US$2.8 million was recorded in accounts and
notes receivable-other and US$35 million was recorded as
asbestos-related insurance recovery receivable on the
consolidated balance sheet.

The liability estimates are based on a U.K. House of Lords
judgment that pleural plaque claims do not amount to a
compensable injury and accordingly, the Company has reduced its
liability assessment.

If this ruling is reversed by legislation, the total asbestos
liability and related asset recorded in the U.K. would be about
US$51.5 million.

With its operational headquarters in Clinton, N.J., Foster
Wheeler AG is an engineering and construction contractor and
power equipment supplier delivering technically advanced,
reliable facilities and equipment. The Company employs over
14,000 professionals with expertise dedicated to serving clients
through one of its two primary business groups.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Corning Facing 10T Cases with 41,500 Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Corning Incorporated faces about 10,300 other cases (about
41,500 claims) alleging injuries from asbestos and similar
amounts of monetary damages per case, according to the Company's
annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on Feb. 24, 2009.

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

On April 16, 2000, PCC filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in
the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania. At the time PCC filed for bankruptcy protection,
there were about 12,400 claims pending against the Company in
state court lawsuits alleging various theories of liability
based on exposure to PCC's asbestos products and typically
requesting monetary damages in excess of one million dollars per
claim.

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

The 2003 Plan would have required the Company to relinquish its
equity interest in PCC, contribute its equity interest in
Pittsburgh Corning Europe N.V. (PCE), a Belgian corporation,
contribute 25 million shares of Corning common stock, and pay a
total of US$140 million in six annual installments (present
value US$131 million at March 2003), beginning one year after
the plan's effective date, with 5.5 percent interest from June
2004. In addition, the 2003 Plan provided that the Company would
assign certain insurance policy proceeds from its primary
insurance and a portion of its excess insurance.

On Dec. 21, 2006, the Bankruptcy Court issued an order denying
confirmation of the 2003 Plan. Several parties, including the
Company, filed motions for reconsideration. These motions were
argued on March 5, 2007, and the Bankruptcy Court reserved
decision.

On Jan. 10, 2008, some of the parties in the proceeding advised
the Bankruptcy Court that they had made substantial progress on
an amended plan of reorganization (Amended PCC Plan) that
resolved issues raised by the Court in denying the confirmation
of the 2003 Plan and that would therefore make it unnecessary
for the Bankruptcy Court to decide the motion for
reconsideration.

On March 27, 2008 and May 22, 2008, the parties further informed
the Bankruptcy Court on the progress toward the Amended PCC
Plan. The parties filed a partial tentative plan on Aug. 8,
2008. The parties continued to inform the Bankruptcy Court of
the status of their discussions on the Amended PCC Plan. The
complete proposed Amended PCC Plan and its ancillary documents
were filed with the Bankruptcy Court on Jan. 29, 2009.

The proposed Amended Plan would require the Company to make one
payment of US$100 million one year from the date the Amended PCC
Plan becomes effective and certain conditions are met and five
additional payments of US$50 million each on subsequent
anniversaries of the first payment, subject to credits
applicable under certain circumstances to the Company's final
US$50 million payment.

The Amended PCC Plan does not include non-PCC asbestos claims
that may be or have been raised against the Company, which has
recorded an additional US$150 million for those claims in its
estimated asbestos litigation liability.

The Company's non-current liabilities for asbestos litigation
were US$662 million as of Dec. 31, 2008, compared with US$169
million as of Dec. 31, 2007.

Headquartered in Corning, N.Y., Corning Incorporated has five
business segments: Display Technologies, Telecommunications,
Environmental Technologies, Specialty Materials and Life
Sciences. The Company manufactures and processes products at
more than 51 plants in 15 countries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Claims v. Lincoln Drop to 21,020 at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc., at Dec. 31, 2008, was a co-
defendant in cases alleging asbestos induced illness involving
claims by 21,020 plaintiffs, which is a net decrease of 6,095
claims from those previously reported, according to the
Company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 24, 2009.

At Sept. 30, 2008, the Company was a co-defendant in cases
alleging asbestos induced illness involving claims by 27,115
plaintiffs, which is a net decrease of 819 claims from those
previously reported. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 7, 2008)

In each instance, the Company is one of a large number of
defendants. The asbestos claimants seek compensatory and
punitive damages, in most cases for unspecified sums.

Since Jan. 1, 1995, the Company has been a co-defendant in other
similar cases that have been resolved as follows: 34,460 of
those claims were dismissed, 11 were tried to defense verdicts,
four were tried to plaintiff verdicts, one was resolved by
agreement for an immaterial amount, and 553 were decided in
favor of the Company following summary judgment motions.

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Lincoln Electric Holdings,
Inc. manufactures and resells welding and cutting products. The
Company's welding product offering also includes regulators and
torches used in oxy-fuel welding and cutting.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Board Ruling Reversed in Seminerio's Claim
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, New
York, reversed the Workers' Compensation Board's ruling, stating
that an employer's workers' compensation carrier was not
entitled to reimbursement from the Special Disability Fund, in
an asbestos claim filed by Lucille Seminerio for her deceased
husband.

The case is styled In the Matter of the Claim of Lucille
Seminerio, Claimant v. Glen Partitions, Inc., et al., Appellants
and Special Disability Fund, Respondent. Workers' Compensation
Board, Respondent.

Judges Anthony V. Cardona, Karen F. Peters, Robert S. Rose, John
A. Lahtinen, and Anthony T. Kane entered judgment in the case on
Feb. 26, 2009.

Mr. Seminerio's disability due to occupational disease was
established in August 1988 for asbestos-related pleural disease
and in June 1996 for asbestosis.

The employer's workers' compensation carrier duly filed a notice
of claim seeking reimbursement from the Special Disability Fund
for Mr. Seminerio's disability benefits.

In 1997, a Workers' Compensation Law Judge (WCLJ) found that the
establishment of occupational disease for the dust disease of
asbestosis rendered the Special Disability Fund subject to
liability to the carrier for reimbursement under Workers'
Compensation Law.

Mr. Seminerio later developed lung cancer and died in September
2003. On Feb. 5, 2004, Mrs. Seminerio filed a claim for death
benefits. In August 2006, Mr. Seminerio's death was determined
to be causally related to his established occupational disease
of asbestosis and the WCLJ awarded Mrs. Seminerio death benefits
and funeral expenses.

The carrier appealed. The Board affirmed, finding that the
carrier was not entitled to reimbursement for the payment of
death benefits because it failed to comply with Workers'
Compensation Law by filing a separate notice of claim. This
appeal followed.

The June 29, 2007 Workers' Compensation Board ruling was
reversed and the matter remitted to the Workers' Compensation
Board for further proceedings not inconsistent with the Supreme
Court's decision.

Gregory J. Allen, State Insurance Fund in New York, in which
Charlotte Flynn, Esq., represented the appellants.

Steven M. Licht, Special Funds Conservation Committee in Albany,
N.Y., in which Jill Waldman, Esq., represented Special
Disability Fund.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Viad Summary Judgment Bid Denied on Jan. 13
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of
Fairfield, denied Viad Corporation's motion for summary judgment
in an asbestos-related lawsuit filed by David H. Fortier.

The case is styled David H. Fortier et al. v. A.O. Smith Corp.
et al.

Judge Trial Referee David W. Skolnick entered judgment in Case
No. FBTCV065005849S on Jan. 13, 2009.

Mr. Fortier claimed to be suffering from mesothelioma as a
result of his exposure to asbestos, while in the U.S. Navy from
June 1968 through September 1972. His time in the Navy was
confined to the U.S.S. Fulton through the end of 1968, and the
aircraft carrier U.S.S. Forrestal from March 1969 through his
date of discharge in 1972.

Mr. Fortier contended that, through a series of corporate
mergers and product line acquisitions, Viad had legal liability
for his illness, as a successor in interest to the Griscom-
Russell Company whose products were present on board the
Enterprise and to which he was exposed during his term of
service.

The case was removed to the Superior Court by Viad.

Viad's motion for summary judgment as against Mr. Fortier was
denied.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal-Mogul Cites No Liability at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Federal-Mogul Corporation, as of both Dec. 31, 2008 and Dec. 31,
2007, had not recorded an asbestos-related liability, according
to the Company's annual report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission on Feb. 24, 2009.

All asbestos-related personal injury claims against the Company
will be addressed by the U.S. Asbestos Trust or the U.K.
Asbestos Trust in accordance with the terms of the Company's
confirmed Plan of Reorganization and the Company Voluntary
Arrangements (CVAs), and those claims will be treated and paid
in accordance with the terms of the Plan, the CVAs, and their
related documents.

All asbestos property damage claims against the Company have
been compromised and resolved through the Plan and the CVAs.

During the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, the Company recorded US$225
million as payment from the U.S. Asbestos Trust. During the year
ended Dec. 31, 2007, the Company recorded US$140 million as
payment to the U.S. Asbestos Trust.

Headquartered in Southfield, Mich., Federal-Mogul Corporation
supplies technology and innovation in vehicle and industrial
products. The Company serves original equipment manufacturers
(OEM) of automotive, light commercial, heavy-duty, industrial,
agricultural, aerospace, marine, rail, and off-road vehicles, as
well as the worldwide aftermarket.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cooper Cites 23,688 Abex Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cooper Industries, Ltd., at Dec. 31, 2008, recorded 23,688
pending asbestos-related claims that are part of its obligation
to Pneumo-Abex Corporation (Pneumo), according to the Company's
annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on Feb. 24, 2009.

At Sept. 30, 2008, the Company recorded 25,125 pending asbestos-
related claims that are part of its obligation to Pneumo Abex
Corporation. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 21, 2008)

In October 1998, the Company sold its Automotive Products
business to Federal-Mogul Corporation. These discontinued
businesses (including the Abex Friction product line obtained
from Pneumo in 1994) were operated through subsidiary companies,
and the stock of those subsidiaries was sold to Federal-Mogul
under a Purchase and Sale Agreement dated Aug. 17, 1998 (1998
Agreement).

In conjunction with the sale, Federal-Mogul indemnified the
Company for certain liabilities of these subsidiary companies,
including liabilities related to the Abex Friction product line
and any potential liability that the Company may have to Pneumo
under a 1994 Mutual Guaranty Agreement between the Company and
Pneumo.

On Oct. 1, 2001, Federal-Mogul and several of its affiliates
filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. The Bankruptcy Court for
the District of Delaware confirmed Federal-Mogul's plan of
reorganization and Federal-Mogul emerged from bankruptcy in
December 2007.

As part of Federal-Mogul's Plan of Reorganization, the Company
and Federal-Mogul reached a settlement agreement that was
subject to approval by the Bankruptcy Court resolving Federal-
Mogul's indemnification obligations to the Company. On Sept. 30,
2008, the Bankruptcy Court issued its final ruling denying the
Company's participation in the proposed Federal-Mogul 524(g)
trust resulting in implementation of the previously approved
Plan B Settlement.

As part of its obligation to Pneumo for any asbestos-related
claims arising from the Abex Friction product line (Abex
Claims), Cooper has rights, confirmed by Pneumo, to significant
insurance for such claims.

From Aug. 28, 1998 through Dec. 31, 2008, a total of 146,175
Abex Claims were filed, of which 122,487 claims have been
resolved.

During the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, 2,641 claims were filed and
8,403 claims were resolved. Since Aug. 28, 1998, the average
indemnity payment for resolved Abex Claims was US$2,072 before
insurance. A total of US$147.7 million was spent on defense
costs for the period Aug. 28, 1998 through Dec. 31, 2008.

As a result of the Sept. 30, 2008 Bankruptcy Court ruling, the
Company adjusted its accounting in the third quarter of 2008 to
reflect the separate assets and liabilities related to the on-
going activities to resolve the potential asbestos related
claims through the tort system. The Company recorded income from
discontinued operations of US$16.6 million, net of a US$9.4
million income tax expense, in the third quarter of 2008 to
reflect a Plan B Settlement.

Headquartered in Houston, Cooper Industries, Ltd.'s electrical
products segment makes circuit protection equipment, lighting
fixtures, wiring devices, and other power management and
distribution equipment for residential, commercial, and
industrial use. The Company's other main business segment makes
power tools for the industrial market and hand tools for the do-
it-yourself and commercial markets.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cooper Records $815.1M Liability at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cooper Industries, Ltd., as of Dec. 31, 2008, estimates that the
liability for pending and future asbestos-related indemnity and
defense costs for the next 45 years will be US$815.1 million,
according to the Company's annual report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 24, 2009.

The amount included for unpaid indemnity and defense costs is
not significant at Dec. 31, 2008. The estimated liability is
before any tax benefit and is not discounted as the timing of
the actual payments is not reasonably predictable. However, a
discounted value would likely be about 60 percent or less of the
US$815.1 million liability recorded.

While it said it believes that its estimated liability for
pending and future indemnity and defense costs represents the
best estimate of its future obligation, the Company utilized
scenarios that it believed were reasonably possible that
indicate a broader range of potential estimates from US$735
million to US$950 million (undiscounted).

As of Sept. 30, 2008, the Company estimated that the asbestos-
related liability for pending and future indemnity and defense
costs for the next 45 years will be US$816.8 million. (Class
Action Reporter, Nov. 21, 2008)

Headquartered in Houston, Cooper Industries, Ltd.'s electrical
products segment makes circuit protection equipment, lighting
fixtures, wiring devices, and other power management and
distribution equipment for residential, commercial, and
industrial use. The Company's other main business segment makes
power tools for the industrial market and hand tools for the do-
it-yourself and commercial markets.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cooper Cites $192.3M Receivable at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cooper Industries, Ltd.'s asbestos-related receivable for
recoveries of costs from insurers, as of Dec. 31, 2008, amounted
to US$192.3 million, of which US$74.6 million relate to costs
previously paid or insurance settlements, according to the
Company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 24, 2009.

The Company's receivable for recoveries of costs from insurers
was US$192.3 million, as of Sept. 30, 2008, of which US$72.7
million related to costs previously paid or insurance
settlements. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 21, 2008)

As of Dec. 31, 2008, the Company, through Pneumo-Abex LLC, has
access to Abex insurance policies with remaining limits on
policies with solvent insurers in excess of US$750 million.
Insurance recoveries reflected as receivables in the balance
sheet include recoveries where insurance-in-place agreements,
settlements or policy recoveries are probable.

The Company's arrangements with the insurance carriers defer
certain amounts of insurance and settlement proceeds that the
Company is entitled to receive beyond 12 months.

About 90 percent of the US$192.3 million receivable from
insurance companies at Dec. 31, 2008 is due from domestic
insurers whose AM Best rating is Excellent (A-) or better.

Headquartered in Houston, Cooper Industries, Ltd.'s electrical
products segment makes circuit protection equipment, lighting
fixtures, wiring devices, and other power management and
distribution equipment for residential, commercial, and
industrial use. The Company's other main business segment makes
power tools for the industrial market and hand tools for the do-
it-yourself and commercial markets.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Navigators Has $16.68M Reserves at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Navigators Group, Inc.'s net asbestos-related reserves
totaled US$16,683,000 during the year ended Dec. 31, 2008,
compared with US$16,717,000 during the year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

The Company's net loss and loss adjustment expense reserves for
its asbestos exposures were US$16,661,000 for the nine months
ended Sept. 30, 2008. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 7, 2008)

The Company's gross asbestos-related reserves were US$21,774,000
during the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, compared with US$23,194,000
during the year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

The Company's exposure to asbestos liability stems from marine
liability insurance written on an occurrence basis during the
mid-1980s.

The reserves for asbestos exposures at Dec. 31, 2008 are for:

     -- One large settled claim for excess insurance policy
        limits exposed to a class action suit against an
        insured involved in the manufacturing or distribution
        of asbestos products being paid over several years (two
        other large settled claims were fully paid in 2007);

     -- Other insureds not directly involved in the
        manufacturing or distribution of asbestos products, but
        that have more than incidental asbestos exposure for
        their purchase or use of products that contained
        asbestos; and

     -- Attritional asbestos claims that could be expected to
        occur over time.

Substantially all of the Company's asbestos liability reserves
are included in its marine loss reserves.

The ceded asbestos paid and unpaid recoverables were US$8.9
million at Dec. 31, 2008, compared with US$10.5 million at Dec.
31, 2007.

During 2007, the Company increased its provision for
uncollectible reinsurance for asbestos losses by US$1.6 million,
which was recorded in incurred losses. Also in 2007, the Company
settled demands for arbitration with two asbestos reinsurers.

Also included in reinsurance recoverable for paid and unpaid
losses is about US$8.9 million due from reinsurers in connection
with the Company's asbestos exposures of which US$4.8 million is
due from Equitas (a separate United Kingdom authorized
reinsurance company established to reinsure outstanding
liabilities of all Lloyd's members for all risks written in the
1992 or prior years of account).

The remaining reinsurance recoverable amounts for asbestos
losses are due from various domestic and international
reinsurers with no one balance greater than US$600,000 due from
a single reinsurer.

Headquartered in New York, The Navigators Group, Inc. is an
international insurance holding company focusing on specialty
products within the overall property/casualty insurance market.
The Company's underwriting segments consist of insurance company
operations and operations at Lloyd's of London. The Company's
largest product line and most long-standing area of
specialization is ocean marine insurance.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CNA Records 1,302 Policyholders at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
CNA Financial Corporation recorded 1,302 policyholders with
active asbestos accounts at Dec. 31, 2008, compared with 1,289
policyholders at Dec. 31, 2007, according to the Company's
annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on Feb. 24, 2009.

At Dec. 31, 2008, the Company recorded 57 policyholders with
settlement agreements and 1,245 other policyholders with active
accounts.

At Dec. 31, 2007, the Company recorded 68 policyholders with
settlement agreements and 1,238 other policyholders with active
accounts.

Headquartered in Chicago, CNA Financial Corporation's core
property and casualty insurance operations are reported in two
business segments: Standard Lines and Specialty Lines. The
Company's insurance products include commercial property and
casualty coverages. Non-core insurance products include life and
accident and health insurance; retirement products and
annuities; and property and casualty reinsurance.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MeadWestvaco Facing 591 Lawsuits at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
MeadWestvaco Corporation, as of Dec. 31, 2008, faced 591
asbestos-related lawsuits, according to the Company's annual
report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb.
24, 2009.

As of Sept. 30, 2008, the Company faced about 480 asbestos-
related lawsuits. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 7, 2008)

The Company has been named a defendant in asbestos-related
personal injury litigation. These suits also name many other
corporate defendants. All of the claims against the Company
resolved to date have been concluded before trial, either
through dismissal or through settlement with payments to the
plaintiff that are not material to the Company.

At Dec. 31, 2008, the Company had recorded litigation
liabilities of US$21 million, a significant portion of which
relates to asbestos.

Headquartered in Glen Allen, Va., MeadWestvaco Corporation is a
global packaging company that provides packaging solutions to
the healthcare, personal and beauty care, food, beverage,
tobacco, media and entertainment, and home and garden
industries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Old Orchard Facing 8,000 Actions from Vapor
----------------------------------------------------------------
Brunswick Corporation's subsidiary, Old Orchard Industrial
Corp., faces more than 8,000 asbestos lawsuits involving claims
of asbestos exposure from products manufactured by Vapor
Corporation (Vapor), a former subsidiary that the Company
divested in 1990.

Virtually all of the asbestos suits involve numerous other
defendants.

The claims generally allege that Vapor sold products that
contained components like gaskets, which included asbestos, and
seek monetary damages. Neither the Company nor Vapor is alleged
to have manufactured asbestos.

Several thousand claims have been dismissed with no payment and
no claim has gone to jury verdict, according to the Company's
annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on Feb. 24, 2009.

In a few cases, claims have been filed against other Brunswick
entities, with most of these suits being either dismissed or
settled for nominal amounts.

Headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., Brunswick Corporation
manufactures and markets recreation products including boats,
marine engines, fitness equipment and bowling and billiards
equipment.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Claims v. CBS Decrease to 68,520 at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
CBS Corporation had about 68,520 asbestos claims as of Dec. 31,
2008, compared with 72,120 claims as of Dec. 31, 2007 and 73,310
claims as of Dec. 31, 2006, according to the Company's quarterly
report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb.
25, 2009.

The Company had 69,280 pending asbestos claims as of Sept. 30,
2008. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 7, 2008)

The Company is a defendant in lawsuits claiming various personal
injuries related to asbestos and other materials, which
allegedly occurred principally as a result of exposure caused by
various products manufactured by Westinghouse, a predecessor,
generally prior to the early 1970s. Westinghouse was neither a
producer nor a manufacturer of asbestos.

The Company is typically named as one of a large number of
defendants in both state and federal cases. In most of the
asbestos lawsuits, the plaintiffs have not identified which of
the Company's products is the basis of a claim.

Claims against the Company in which a product has been
identified principally relate to exposures allegedly caused by
asbestos-containing insulating material in turbines sold for
power-generation, industrial and marine use, or by asbestos
containing grades of decorative micarta, a laminate used in
commercial ships.

During 2008, the Company received about 6,030 new claims and
closed or moved to an inactive docket about 9,630 claims.

The Company's total costs for settlement and defense of asbestos
claims after insurance recoveries and net of tax benefits were
about US$15 million in 2008 and US$17.5 million in 2007.

Filings include claims for individuals suffering from
mesothelioma, lung cancer, other cancers, and conditions that
are substantially less serious, including claims brought on
behalf of individuals who are asymptomatic as to an allegedly
asbestos-related disease.

Claims identified as cancer remain a relatively small percentage
of asbestos claims pending at Dec. 31, 2008.

Headquartered in New York, CBS Corporation is a television
broadcasting and production company. The Company also operates
about 40 TV stations around the United States owns 50 percent of
The CW Network.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fluor Corp. Still Facing Exposure Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fluor Corporation continues to be a defendant in various
lawsuits wherein plaintiffs allege exposure to asbestos fibers
and dust due to work that the Company may have performed at
various locations.

The Company has substantial third party insurance coverage to
cover a significant portion of existing and any potential cost,
settlements or judgments, according to the Company's annual
report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb.
25, 2009.

Headquartered in Irving, Tex., Fluor Corporation is a holding
company that owns the stock of a number of subsidiaries. Acting
through these subsidiaries, the Company provides engineering,
procurement, construction and maintenance as well as project
management services on a global basis.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: A. O. Smith Facing 6,990 Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
A. O. Smith Corporation and its subsidiaries, as of Dec. 31,
2008, faced active asbestos-related lawsuits involving 6,990
claims, according to the Company's annual report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 25, 2009.

The Company or its subsidiaries have been named as a co-
defendant in lawsuits alleging personal injury as a result of
exposure to asbestos integrated into certain of the Company's or
its subsidiaries' products or premises. The Company and its
subsidiaries have never manufactured asbestos.

The Company and its subsidiaries have made no payment in most of
the cases closed to date. The rest of the resolved cases have
settled for amounts that are not material to the Company.

Most of the costs of defense and settlements have been paid in
part by insurance, and the Company said it believes it has
adequate insurance coverage to cover its exposure.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, A. O. Smith Corporation manufactures
water heating equipment and electric motors, serving
residential, commercial and industrial end markets principally
in the United States with a growing international presence. The
Company is comprised of two reporting segments: Water Products
and Electrical Products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Injury Lawsuits Still Ongoing v. Flowserve
----------------------------------------------------------------
Flowserve Corporation is still a defendant in pending lawsuits
(which include, in many cases, multiple claimants) that seek to
recover damages for personal injury allegedly caused by exposure
to asbestos-containing products manufactured and distributed by
the Company in the past.

Asbestos-containing materials incorporated into any of the
Company's products were encapsulated and used as components of
process equipment, according to the Company's annual report
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 25,
2009.

The Company said it believes that a high percentage of the
claims are covered by applicable insurance or indemnities from
other companies.

Headquartered in Irving, Tex., Flowserve Corporation is a
manufacturer and aftermarket service provider of comprehensive
flow control systems. The Company develops and manufactures
precision-engineered flow control equipment like pumps, valves
and seals.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: RLI Corp. Pays $31M for A&E Through Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
RLI Corp. made net asbestos- and environmental-related net loss
and loss adjustment expense (LAE) payments of US$31,067,000 from
inception-to-date at Dec. 31, 2008 (US$25,453,000 from
inception-to-date at Dec. 31, 2007).

The Company's net unpaid losses and LAE were US$45,176,000
during the end of Dec. 31, 2008, compared with US$38,693,000
during the year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

The Company is subject to environmental site cleanup, asbestos
removal, and mass tort claims and exposures through its
commercial umbrella, general liability, and discontinued assumed
casualty reinsurance lines of business.

The Company's A&E and mass tort exposure is limited, relative to
other insurers, as a result of entering the affected liability
lines after the insurance industry had already recognized
environmental and asbestos exposure as a problem and adopted
appropriate coverage exclusions.

During 2008, payment activity was more than the Company
experienced in 2007, which was not surprising given the
increased amount of case reserve activity during 2007. However,
the Company did not observe a corresponding decrease in case
reserves, as gross case reserves decreased by US$4.8 million
while net case reserves increased by about US$500,000. Much of
the reported adverse development can be tied to a small number
of claims.

Two related asbestos claims from the Company's assumed
reinsurance book accounted for US$2.7 million in gross emergence
and US$2.1 million in net emergence with large payments being
made.

During 2007, while payment activity was less than it experienced
in 2006, the Company experienced an unusual amount of case
reserve activity. About two-thirds of the increase in net
reserves was from case reserve adjustments.

An insurance company the Company reinsured in the early 1980s
and that went into liquidation in 1986 reported a number of
claims in 2007. The largest of these involves asbestos. Because
of this situation, the Company posted total net case reserves of
US$2.9 million. Also, a US$2.2 million reserve adjustment was
made on a 1983 asbestos related claim because the coverage
layers below the Company's excess policy had been exhausted.


COMPANY PROFILE:
RLI Corp.
9025 North Lindbergh Drive
Peoria, Ill. 61615
United States
Tel. No.: (309) 692-1000

Description:
RLI Corp. underwrites selected property and casualty insurance
through major subsidiaries collectively known as RLI Insurance
Group. The Company conducts operations through three insurance
companies: RLI Insurance Company, Mt. Hawley Insurance Company,
and RLI Indemnity Company.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ITT Corp. Facing 103,006 Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
ITT Corporation faced 103,006 open asbestos-related claims as of
Dec. 31, 2008, compared with 102,568 claims as of Dec. 31, 2007,
according to the Company's annual report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 25, 2009.

As of Dec. 31, 2008, about 6,332 new claims were filed and 5,894
claims were closed. As of Dec. 31, 2007, about 4,147 claims were
filed and 12,181 claims were closed.

As of Sept. 30, 2008, the Company faced about 104,000 open
claims. (Class Action Reporter, Oct. 31, 2008)

The Company, including its subsidiary Goulds Pumps, Inc., has
been joined as a defendant with other companies in product
liability lawsuits alleging injury due to asbestos. These claims
allege that the Company's products sold prior to 1985 contained
a part manufactured by a third party, e.g., a gasket, which
contained asbestos.

In certain other cases, it is alleged that former ITT companies
were distributors for other manufacturers' products that may
have contained asbestos.

The Company's estimated accrued costs, net of expected insurance
recoveries, for the resolution of all of these pending claims
were US$27.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2008 and US$24.8 as of Dec.
31, 2007.

Headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., ITT Corporation, with 2008
sales and revenues of US$11.7 billion, provides high-technology
engineering and manufacturing engaged directly and through its
subsidiaries. The Company designs, manufactures, and sells
engineered products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exposure Lawsuits Still Ongoing v. Eastman
----------------------------------------------------------------
Eastman Chemical Company and its operations are still parties
to, or targets of, lawsuits, claims, investigations and
proceedings related to exposure to asbestos.

No further asbestos-related matters were disclosed in the
Company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 25, 2009.

Headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn., Eastman Chemical Company
manufactures and sells chemicals, plastics, and fibers. The
Company has 11 manufacturing sites in seven countries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Skilled Healthcare Records $5Mil Liability
----------------------------------------------------------------
Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc. recorded a US$5 million
liability, which related to estimated costs to remove asbestos
that is contained within its facilities, according to the
Company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 29, 2009.

Of the US$5 million liability, US$1.6 million was recorded as a
cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle, net of
tax benefit.

The removal of asbestos-containing materials includes primarily
floor and ceiling tiles from the Company's pre-1980 constructed
facilities.

If it was to experience a 10 percent increase in its estimated
future cost of remediation, the Company's recorded liability of
US$5.4 million would increase by US$500,000.

The Company's long-term asbestos abatement liability was
US$5,343,000 as of June 30, 2008, compared with US$5,252,000 as
of Dec. 31, 2007. (Class Action Reporter, Aug. 15, 2008)

Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, Calif., Skilled Healthcare
Group, Inc. provides integrated long-term healthcare services
through its skilled nursing companies and rehabilitation therapy
business. As of Dec. 31, 2008, the Company owned or leased 75
skilled nursing facilities and 21 assisted living facilities,
together comprising about 10,500 licensed beds.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sunoco, Inc. Subject to Exposure Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sunoco, Inc. is still subject to legal and administrative
proceedings over allegations of exposures of third parties to
toxic substances like asbestos and benzene.

No further asbestos-related matters were disclosed in the
Company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 29, 2009.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Sunoco, Inc. is a petroleum
refiner and marketer and chemicals manufacturer with interests
in logistics and cokemaking.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FirstEnergy Still Facing Exposure Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
FirstEnergy Corp. is still a defendant in pending asbestos
litigation involving multiple plaintiffs and multiple
defendants, according to the Company's annual report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 25, 2009.

In addition, asbestos and other regulated substances are, and
may continue to be, present at the Company's facilities where
suitable alternative materials are not available.

The Company said it believes that any remaining asbestos at its
facilities is contained.

Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, FirstEnergy Corp.'s utilities
provide electricity to 4.5 million customers in Ohio,
Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The Company's domestic power
plants have a total generating capacity of more than 14,120 MW,
most generated by coal-fired plants.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OfficeMax Inc. Still Facing Injury Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------
Over the past several years and continuing in 2009, OfficeMax
Incorporated continues to face cases where the plaintiffs allege
asbestos-related injuries from exposure to asbestos products or
exposure to asbestos while working at job sites.

The claims vary widely and often are not specific about the
plaintiffs' contacts with the Company. None of the claimants
seeks damages from the Company individually.

Many of the cases filed against the Company have been
voluntarily dismissed, although it has settled some cases. The
settlements it has paid have been covered mostly by insurance.

To date, no asbestos case against the Company has gone to trial,
according to the Company's annual report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 25, 2009.

Headquartered in Naperville, Ill., OfficeMax Incorporated
provides office supplies and paper, print and document services,
technology products and solutions and furniture to large, medium
and small businesses, government offices, and consumers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CMS Energy Cites $36M Dec. 31 ARO Liability
----------------------------------------------------------------
CMS Energy Corporation's asset retirement obligation for
asbestos abatement was US$36 million at Dec. 31, 2008 and Dec.
31, 2007, compared with US$35 million at Dec. 31, 2006.

No other asbestos-related matters were disclosed in the
Company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 25, 2009.


COMPANY PROFILE:
CMS Energy Corporation
One Energy Plaza
Jackson, Mich., 49201
United States
(517) 788-0550

Description:
CMS Energy Corporation's utility, Consumers Energy Company, has
a generating capacity of 9,300 MW (primarily fossil-fueled) and
distributes electricity and natural gas to about 3.5 million
customers in Michigan. The Company sells wholesale electricity,
natural gas, and other commodities.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chicago Bridge Has 1,400 Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V., at Dec. 31, 2008, was a
defendant in 1,400 asbestos-related claims, according to the
Company's 2008 annual report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

At Sept. 30, 2008, the Company faced about 1,400 pending
asbestos-related claims. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 7, 2008)

The Company is a defendant in lawsuits wherein plaintiffs allege
exposure to asbestos due to work it may have performed at
various locations. The Company has never been a manufacturer,
distributor or supplier of asbestos products.

Through Dec. 31, 2008, the Company has been named a defendant in
lawsuits alleging exposure to asbestos involving about 4,700
plaintiffs, and of those claims, about 3,300 have been closed
through dismissals or settlements.

Through Dec. 31, 2008, the claims alleging exposure to asbestos
that have been resolved have been dismissed or settled for an
average settlement amount per claim of about US$1,000.

At Dec. 31, 2008, the Company had accrued US$2.4 million for
liability and related expenses.

Headquartered in The Hague, The Netherlands, Chicago Bridge &
Iron Company N.V. is an engineering, procurement and
construction (EPC) company. The Company has about 19,000
employees in more than 80 locations.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Anadarko Continues to Face Injury Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation continues to face personal injury
claims, including claims by employees of third-party contractors
alleging exposure to asbestos, silica and benzene while working
at refineries (previously owned by predecessors of acquired
companies) located in Texas, California and Oklahoma.

No other asbestos-related matters were disclosed in the
Company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 25, 2009.

Headquartered in The Woodlands, Tex., Anadarko Petroleum
Corporation is an independent oil and gas exploration and
production company, with 2.28 billion barrels of oil equivalent
(BOE) of proved reserves as of Dec. 31, 2008. The Company's
three operating segments are: Oil and gas exploration and
production, Midstream, and Marketing.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Trial in Claim v. Pride Slated for Oct. '09
----------------------------------------------------------------
An October 2009 trial is set for one of the claimants in
asbestos-related litigation ongoing against Pride International,
Inc.

Since 2004, certain of the Company's subsidiaries have been
named, along with numerous other defendants, in several
complaints that have been filed in the Circuit Courts of the
State of Mississippi by several hundred individuals that allege
that they were employed by some of the named defendants between
about 1965 and 1986.

The complaints allege that certain drilling contractors used
products containing asbestos in their operations and seek an
award of unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Nine individuals of the many plaintiffs in these suits have been
identified as allegedly having worked for the Company.

Headquartered in Houston, Pride International, Inc. is an
offshore drilling contractor operating, as of Feb. 2, 2009, a
fleet of 44 rigs, consisting of two deepwater drillships, 12
semisubmersible rigs, 27 jackups and three managed deepwater
drilling rigs. Operations are conducted in crude oil and natural
gas basins, including South America, the Gulf of Mexico, West
Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exposure Cases Still Ongoing v. CenterPoint
----------------------------------------------------------------
CenterPoint Energy, Inc. or its subsidiaries continue to be
defendants in suits filed by a number of individuals who claim
injury due to exposure to asbestos.

Some of the claimants have worked at locations owned by the
Company, but most existing claims relate to facilities
previously owned by the Company's subsidiaries.

In 2004, the Company sold its generating business, to which most
of these claims relate, to Texas Genco LLC, which is now known
as NRG Texas LP. Under the terms of the arrangements regarding
separation of the generating business from the Company and its
sale to NRG Texas LP, ultimate financial responsibility for
uninsured losses from claims relating to the generating business
has been assumed by NRG Texas LP.

However, the Company has agreed to continue to defend those
claims to the extent they are covered by insurance maintained by
the Company, subject to reimbursement of the costs of such
defense from the purchaser.

Headquartered in Houston, CenterPoint Energy, Inc.'s utilities
distribute natural gas to more than three million customers in
six states and electricity to 1.9 million customers on the Texas
Gulf Coast. The Company also operates 69,000 miles of gas
pipeline, and it has gas gathering and storage operations.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeal Court Upholds Ruling in Bakkie Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeal, First District, Division 2, California,
upheld a ruling of the San Francisco County Superior Court, in
an asbestos-related lawsuit initially filed by David Bakkie
against Union Carbide Corporation and other defendants.

The case is styled Terry Bakkie, Plaintiff and Respondent v.
Union Carbide Corporation, Defendant and Appellant.

Judges James R. Lambden, Paul R. Haerle, and James A. Richman
entered judgment in Case No. A121627 on Feb. 27, 2009.

This was the second appeal in this case. In the first, the
Appeal Court considered and rejected various objections to a
jury verdict awarding Mr. Bakkie, a dying mesothelioma sufferer,
US$3,223,450 for medical and economic damages and US$1.2 million
in non-economic damages for the one-year period between Mr.
Bakkie's diagnosis and the verdict.

The claim of error that the Appeal Court upheld was the
contention of Union Carbide that the US$14.1 million of future
non-economic damages for the period of Mr. Bakkie's remaining
life expectancy was excessive and the consequence of improper
argument by Mr. Bakkie's trial counsel. The Appeal Court ordered
a new trial solely on this item of damages unless Mr. Bakkie
accepted a reduction to US$3.1 million.

Mr. Bakkie died during the pendency of the first appeal. His son
Terry took his place as his father's successor-in-interest, and
is the sole respondent to this appeal.

Terry Bakkie accepted the reduction and submitted a proposed
judgment for a net total of US$4,451,814.75. Over repeated
objection by Union Carbide that this amount was inflated by
about US$650,000 because it was based upon an incorrect
calculation of settlements received by Terry Bakkie from other
defendants, the trial court filed Terry Bakkie's proposed
judgment. Union Carbide appealed.

The Appeal Court concluded that Union Carbide's objection was
well taken. The Appeal Court therefore modified the judgment by
reducing the amount of net economic damages from US$2,779,601.22
to US$2,130,652.06, and affirmed.

Lloyd F. LeRoy, Esq., and Gilbert Purcell, Esq., of Brayton
Purcell, LLP in Novato, Calif., represented Terry Bakkie.

James Stengel, Esq., of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in New
York, and George Alan Yuhas, Esq., of Orrick, Herrington &
Sutcliffe in San Francisco, represented Union Carbide
Corporation.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Regal Beloit Subject to Exposure Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Regal Beloit Corporation is still party to litigation, including
product warranty and liability claims, contract disputes and
environmental, asbestos, employment and other litigation
matters.

The Company's products are used in various industrial,
commercial and residential applications that subject it to
claims that the use of its products is alleged to have resulted
in injury or other damage.

No other asbestos-related matters were disclosed in the
Company's annual report for the year ended Dec. 27, 2008.

Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., Regal Beloit Corporation
manufactures commercial, industrial, and heating, ventilation,
and air conditioning (HVAC) electric motors, electric generators
and controls, and mechanical motion control products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Leslie Facing 968 Active Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
CIRCOR International, Inc.'s subsidiary, Leslie Controls, Inc.,
as of the end of fiscal 2008, faced 968 active, unresolved
asbestos-related claims filed in California, Texas, New York,
Massachusetts, West Virginia, Rhode Island and 24 other states.

About 502 of these claims involve claimants allegedly suffering
from (or the estates of decedents who allegedly died from)
mesothelioma.

As of the end of the third quarter of 2008, Leslie faced 972
active, unresolved asbestos-related claims in California, Texas,
New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and 25 other states.
(Class Action Reporter, Nov. 14, 2008)

Acquired by the Company in 1989, Leslie has been and continues
to be named as a defendant in product liability actions brought
on behalf of individuals who seek compensation for their alleged
exposure to airborne asbestos fibers. In some instances, the
Company also has been named individually and as alleged
successor in interest in these cases.

In addition to these claims, Leslie remains a named defendant in
about 4,700 unresolved asbestos-related claims filed in
Mississippi.

On Oct. 12, 2007, a Los Angeles state court jury rendered a
verdict that, if allowed to stand, would result in a liability
to Leslie of about US$2.5 million. Although Leslie accrued a
liability in the third quarter of fiscal 2007 for this verdict,
both Leslie and the other defendant against whom the judgment
was rendered have appealed this verdict.

The Company said it believes there are strong grounds for either
significantly reducing the amount of the award or for requiring
a new trial. In addition, Leslie has accrued an incremental
US$1.3 million liability related to an earlier verdict for which
an appeal is pending and there is US$500,000 in accrued interest
for both adverse verdicts.

During 2008, there were 688 asbestos claims filed and 427 claims
resolved with respect to Leslie. For the year ended Dec. 31,
2008, Leslie's gross asbestos indemnity and defense costs
totaled US$18 million of which US$9.7 million was paid by
insurance. This compares to US$26 million gross asbestos
indemnity and defense costs paid in 2007 of which US$18.4
million was paid by insurance.

During the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, Leslie noted 482 cases
filed, 267 cases resolved and dismissed, and 707 open cases (of
which 338 were open mesothelioma cases).

Headquartered in Burlington, Mass., CIRCOR International, Inc.
designs, manufactures, and distributes valves and related fluid-
control products and certain services to various end-markets for
use in applications to optimize the efficiency and ensure the
safety of fluid-control systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Leslie Records $19.2M Liability at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
CIRCOR International, Inc.'s subsidiary, Leslie Controls, Inc.,
recorded total asbestos liabilities of US$19.2 million, compared
with US$16.8 million as of Dec. 31, 2007.

The US$19.2 million liability as of Dec. 31, 2008 is comprised
of US$12.3 million for existing claims, US$4.3 million related
to adverse verdicts and US$2.6 million for incurred but unpaid
legal costs.

Leslie's asbestos-related liabilities were US$19.8 million as of
Sept. 28, 2008. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 14, 2008)

Asbestos related insurance receivable amounts totaled US$10.8
million (US$6.1 million short-term and US$4.7 million long-term)
as of Dec. 31, 2008, compared with US$11.9 million as of Dec.
31, 2007.

The US$10.8 million receivable as of Dec. 31, 2008 is comprised
of US$6.3 million for existing claims, US$2.7 million related to
adverse verdicts and US$1.8 million for incurred but unpaid
legal costs.

Net asbestos liability was US$8.48 million as of Dec. 31, 2008,
compared with US$4.86 million as of Dec. 31, 2007.

As of Dec. 31, 2008, the Company said it believes that the
aggregate amount of indemnity (on a cash basis) remaining on
Leslie's primary layer of insurance was about US$8.5 million.
After giving effect to an accrual for adverse verdicts currently
on appeal, the remaining amount of Leslie's primary layer of
insurance is US$6.3 million.

Headquartered in Burlington, Mass., CIRCOR International, Inc.
designs, manufactures, and distributes valves and related fluid-
control products and certain services to various end-markets for
use in applications to optimize the efficiency and ensure the
safety of fluid-control systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Spence & Hoke Still Facing Exposure Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------
Two of CIRCOR International, Inc.'s subsidiaries: Spence
Engineering Company, Inc. and Hoke, Inc., continue to face
asbestos-related claims.

The Company acquired Spence's stock in 1984 and Hoke's stock in
1998.

Headquartered in Burlington, Mass., CIRCOR International, Inc.
designs, manufactures, and distributes valves and related fluid-
control products and certain services to various end-markets for
use in applications to optimize the efficiency and ensure the
safety of fluid-control systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Leslie Spends $8.31MM for Claims at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
CIRCOR International, Inc.'s subsidiary, Leslie Controls, Inc.,
recorded net pre-tax asbestos expense of US$8,311,000 as of Dec.
31, 2008, compared with US$7,534,000 as of Dec. 31, 2007.

Asbestos charges are associated with Leslie subsidiary in the
Instrumentation and Thermal Fluid Controls segment. The increase
in 2008 from 2007 was the result of lower insurance recoveries
and higher gross defense expenses offset by lower indemnity and
adverse verdict costs.

The Company's current asbestos liability was US$9,310,000 as of
Dec. 31, 2008, compared with US$9,697,000 as of Dec. 31, 2007.
Long-term asbestos liability was US$9,935,000 as of Dec. 31,
2008, compared with US$7,062,000 as of Dec. 31, 2007.

Headquartered in Burlington, Mass., CIRCOR International, Inc.
designs, manufactures, and distributes valves and related fluid-
control products and certain services to various end-markets for
use in applications to optimize the efficiency and ensure the
safety of fluid-control systems.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Phelps Dodge Still Facing Exposure Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc.'s subsidiary Phelps Dodge
Corporation and other units, since 1990, face product liability
or premises lawsuits claiming injury from exposure to asbestos.

The asbestos was contained in electrical wire products produced
or marketed many years ago, or from asbestos at certain Phelps
Dodge properties, according to the Company's annual report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 26, 2009.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc.
mines copper, gold, and molybdenum. Assets include the Grasberg
minerals district in Indonesia, mining operations in North and
South America, and the Tenke Fungurume development project in
the Democratic Republic of Congo.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cliffs Natural Units Facing Injury Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.'s entities continue to contest
asbestos-related claims filed against them.

Those entities, The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company and/or The
Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company, have been named defendants
in 484 actions brought from 1986 to date.

These cases were brought by former seamen in which the
plaintiffs claim damages under federal law for illnesses
allegedly suffered as the result of exposure to airborne
asbestos fibers while serving as crew members aboard the vessels
previously owned or managed by Company entities until the mid-
1980s.

All of these actions have been consolidated into multidistrict
proceedings in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, whose
docket now includes a total of over 30,000 maritime cases filed
by seamen against ship-owners and other defendants.

All of these cases have been dismissed without prejudice, but
can be reinstated upon application by plaintiffs' counsel.

The claims against the Company's entities are insured in amounts
that vary by policy year. However, the manner in which these
retentions will be applied remains uncertain.

The Company's entities continue to contest these claims and have
made no settlements on them.

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.
(f/k/a Cleveland-Cliffs Inc) is an international mining and
natural resources company. The Company produces iron ore pellets
in North America, supplies direct-shipping lump and fines iron
ore out of Australia, and produces metallurgical coal.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Exposure Suits Still Ongoing v. Olin, Units
----------------------------------------------------------------
Olin Corporation and its subsidiaries continue to face legal
actions (including proceedings based on alleged exposures to
asbestos) incidental to its past and current business
activities.

No other asbestos-related matters were disclosed in the
Company's annual report for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008.

Headquartered in Clayton, Mo., Olin Corporation has two
segments: Chlor Alkali Products and Winchester. Chlor Alkali
Products makes and sells chlorine and caustic soda, sodium
hydrosulfite, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen, bleach products and
potassium hydroxide. Winchester makes sporting ammunition,
reloading components, small caliber military ammunition and
components, and industrial cartridges.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Southern Company Cites $9.5M ARO at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Southern Company has US$9.5 million asset retirement
obligations related to asbestos removal, according to the
Company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Feb. 26, 2009.

Headquartered in Atlanta, The Southern Company distributes
electricity. The Company operates regulated utilities Alabama
Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power, which
combined have a generating capacity of almost 43,000 MW and
serve about 4.4 million electricity customers in the
southeastern United States.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cleco Records $200T for Cleanup at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cleco Power LLC's liability for removal of asbestos is estimated
at US$200,000 at Dec. 31, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2007, according to
Cleco Corporation's 2008 annual report filed with the Securities
and Exchange Commission.

Cleco Power is a Company subsidiary.

Headquartered in Pineville, La., Cleco Corporation is a public
utility holding company which holds investments in several
subsidiaries, including Cleco Power and Midstream, which are its
operating business segments.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Huntsman Still Party to "Premises" Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Huntsman Corporation continues to be named as a "premises
defendant" in asbestos exposure cases, typically claims by non-
employees of exposure to asbestos while at a facility.

Where a claimant's alleged exposure occurred before the
Company's ownership of the relevant "premises," the prior owners
generally have contractually agreed to retain liability for, and
to indemnify the Company against, asbestos exposure claims. Upon
service of a complaint in one of these cases, the Company
tenders it to the prior owner.

During the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, the Company tendered 21
such cases, resolved 73 cases, and had 1,140 unresolved cases at
the end of the year. During the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, the
Company tendered 21 such cases, resolved 196 cases, and had
1,192 unresolved cases at the end of the year.

The Company has never made any payments with respect to these
cases. As of Dec. 31, 2008, it had an accrued liability of US$16
million relating to these cases and a corresponding receivable
of US$16 million relating to its indemnity protection with
respect to these cases.

Certain cases in which the Company is a "premises defendant" are
not subject to indemnification by prior owners or operators.
During the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, the Company record eight
such cases filed, four cases resolved, and 43 unresolved cases
at the end of the year.

During the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, the Company recorded 52
cases filed, 55 cases resolved, and 39 cases unresolved at the
end of the year.

The Company paid gross settlement costs for asbestos exposure
cases that are not subject to indemnification of nil during the
year ended Dec. 31, 2008, US$3 million during the year ended
Dec. 31, 2007, and nil during the year ended Dec. 31, 2006.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Huntsman Corporation is a
chemical manufacturer comprised of four segments: Polyurethanes,
Materials and Effects, Performance Products and Pigments.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PSE&G Cites $8MM Abatement Asset at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Public Service Electric and Gas Company recorded US$8 million
regulatory asset for asbestos abatement as of Dec. 31, 2008,
compared with US$9 million as of Dec. 31, 2007.

Headquartered in Newark, N.J., Public Service Electric and Gas
Company is a regulated public utility providing transmission and
distribution of electric energy and natural gas in New Jersey.
The Company is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group
Incorporated.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Transocean Still Has Suits in Miss. Courts
----------------------------------------------------------------
Several subsidiaries of Transocean Ltd. continue to face
asbestos lawsuits filed in the Circuit Courts of the State of
Mississippi.

In 2004, several of the Company's subsidiaries were named in 21
complaints involving about 750 plaintiffs that alleged personal
injury arising out of asbestos exposure in the course of their
employment by some of these defendants between 1965 and 1986.

The complaints also named as defendants certain subsidiaries of
TODCO and certain subsidiaries of Sedco, Inc. to whom the
Company may owe indemnity. Further, the complaints named other
unaffiliated defendant companies, including companies that
allegedly manufactured drilling related products containing
asbestos.

The complaints alleged that the defendants used asbestos-
containing products in connection with drilling operations and
included allegations of negligence, strict liability, and claims
allowed under the Jones Act and general maritime law. The
plaintiffs generally sought awards of unspecified compensatory
and punitive damages.

The Special Master who was appointed to oversee these cases
required that each plaintiff file a separate amended complaint
for each such individual plaintiff and then he dismissed the
original 21 complaints.

The Company said it believes that it may have a direct or
indirect interest in 44 of the resulting complaints.

Headquartered in Vernier, Switzerland, Transocean Ltd. provides
offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells. As of
Feb. 3, 2009, the Company owned, had partial ownership interests
in or operated 136 mobile offshore drilling units.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Transocean Unit Has 1,008 Suits at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
An unnamed subsidiary of Transocean Ltd., as of Dec. 31, 2008,
was a defendant in 1,008 asbestos-related lawsuits, according to
the Company's 2008 annual report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

As of Sept. 30, 2008, the subsidiary faced about 1,031 asbestos-
related lawsuits. (Class Action Reporter, Nov. 21, 2008)

The subsidiary is involved in lawsuits arising out of its
involvement in the design, construction and refurbishment of
major industrial complexes.

The operating assets of the subsidiary were sold and its
operations discontinued in 1989, and the subsidiary has no
remaining assets other than the insurance policies involved in
its litigation, funding from settlements with the primary
insurers and funds received from the cancellation of certain
insurance policies.

The subsidiary has been named as a defendant, along with
numerous other companies, in lawsuits alleging personal injury
as a result of exposure to asbestos. Some of these lawsuits
include multiple plaintiffs and the Company estimates that there
are about 2,973 plaintiffs in these lawsuits.

For many of these lawsuits, the Company has not been provided
with sufficient information from the plaintiffs to determine
whether all or some of the plaintiffs have claims against the
subsidiary, the basis of any such claims, or the nature of their
alleged injuries.

The first of the asbestos-related lawsuits was filed against
this subsidiary in 1990. Through Dec. 31, 2008, the amounts
expended to resolve claims (including both attorneys' fees and
expenses, and settlement costs) have not been material, and all
deductibles with respect to the primary insurance have been
satisfied.

The subsidiary continues to be named as a defendant in
additional lawsuits. The subsidiary has in excess of US$1
billion in insurance limits.

Headquartered in Vernier, Switzerland, Transocean Ltd. provides
offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells. As of
Feb. 3, 2009, the Company owned, had partial ownership interests
in or operated 136 mobile offshore drilling units.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 222 Lawsuits Ongoing v. Midwest Generation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Midwest Generation LLC, at Dec. 31, 2008, had 222 asbestos-
related cases for which it was potentially liable and that had
not been settled and dismissed, according to the Company's
annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on March 2, 2009.

The Company had recorded a US$52 million liability at Dec. 31,
2008 related to this matter.

At Sept. 30, 2008, the Company recorded 208 asbestos cases for
which it was potentially liable and that had not been settled
and dismissed. It had recorded a US$53 million liability at
Sept. 30, 2008 related to this matter. (Class Action Reporter,
Nov. 28, 2008)

The Company entered into a supplemental agreement with
Commonwealth Edison Company and Exelon Generation Company LLC on
Feb. 20, 2003, to resolve a dispute regarding interpretation of
its reimbursement obligation for asbestos claims under the
environmental indemnities set forth in the Asset Sale Agreement.

Under this supplemental agreement, the Company agreed to
reimburse Commonwealth Edison and Exelon Generation for 50
percent of specific asbestos claims pending as of February 2003
and related expenses less recovery of insurance costs, and
agreed to a sharing arrangement for liabilities and expenses
associated with future asbestos-related claims as specified in
the agreement.

Commonwealth Edison and the Company apportion responsibility for
future asbestos-related claims based upon the number of exposure
sites that are Commonwealth Edison locations or Company
locations. The obligations under this agreement are not subject
to a maximum liability.

The supplemental agreement had an initial five-year term with an
automatic renewal provision for subsequent one-year terms
(subject to the right of either party to terminate); under the
automatic renewal provision, it has been extended until February
2010.

The Company recorded an undiscounted liability for its indemnity
for future asbestos claims through 2045. During the fourth
quarter of 2007, the liability was reduced by US$9 million based
on updated estimated losses.

Headquartered in Chicago, Midwest Generation, LLC sells
wholesale electricity to markets in the Midwest. The Company has
a generating capacity of more than 5,470 MW from its six coal-
fired power plants in Illinois. It also oversees the operation
of the Fisk and Waukegan on-site generating plants which have
305 MW of capacity.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mine Safety Faces Product Liability Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------
Various lawsuits and claims, primarily product liability claims
(including asbestos-related) are pending against Mine Safety
Appliances Company.

The Company is named as a defendant in 2,600 lawsuits, primarily
involving respiratory protection products allegedly manufactured
and sold by the Company. Collectively, these suits represent a
total of about 12,600 plaintiffs.

About 90 percent of these lawsuits involve plaintiffs alleging
they suffer from silicosis, with the remainder alleging they
suffer from other or combined injuries, including asbestosis.

These lawsuits typically allege that these conditions resulted
in part from respirators that were negligently designed or
manufactured by the Company.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Mine Safety Appliances Company
develops, manufactures, and supplies products for health and
safety protection. Products include self-contained breathing
apparatus, gas masks, gas detection instruments, head
protection, respirators, thermal imaging cameras, fall
protection, and ballistic helmets and body armor.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Mine Safety Involved in Century Litigation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mine Safety Appliances Company is involved in coverage
litigation, including asbestos-related, with Century Indemnity
Company.

The Company has sued Century in the Court of Common Pleas of
Allegheny County, Pa., alleging that Century breached five
insurance policies by failing to pay amounts owing to the
Company. The Pennsylvania court has denied a motion by Century
to stay or dismiss the Pennsylvania lawsuit in favor of a New
Jersey action.

The court also denied certain preliminary motions filed by both
parties to narrow the issues in dispute. The Company filed a
motion to compel discovery, which was granted by the court in
October 2008, and Century has begun to comply with that order.

It is expected that additional motions will be filed during
discovery.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Mine Safety Appliances Company
develops, manufactures, and supplies products for health and
safety protection. Products include self-contained breathing
apparatus, gas masks, gas detection instruments, head
protection, respirators, thermal imaging cameras, fall
protection, and ballistic helmets and body armor.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: IDEX, 5 Units Facing Lawsuits in 33 States
----------------------------------------------------------------
IDEX Corporation and five of its subsidiaries face lawsuits
claiming various asbestos-related personal injuries, allegedly
as a result of exposure to products made with components that
contained asbestos, according to the Company's 2008 annual
report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on
March 2, 2009.

Claims have been filed in Alabama, Arizona, California,
Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota,
Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New
Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode
Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West
Virginia, and Wyoming.

Asbestos components were acquired from third party suppliers,
and were not manufactured by any of the subsidiaries. To date,
most of the Company's settlements and legal costs, except for
costs of coordination, administration, insurance investigation
and a portion of defense costs, have been covered in full by
insurance subject to applicable deductibles.

Most of the claims resolved to date have been dismissed without
payment. The balance has been settled for various insignificant
amounts.

One case has been tried, resulting in a verdict for the
Company's business unit.

Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., IDEX Corporation is an
applied solutions company specializing in fluid and metering
technologies, health and science technologies, dispensing
equipment and fire, safety and other diversified products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 17,854 Claims Ongoing v. Albany at Feb. 6
----------------------------------------------------------------
Albany International Corp. was defending against 17,854
asbestos-related claims as of Feb. 6, 2009, compared with 18,385
claims as of Oct. 27, 2008, and 18,462 claims as of July 25,
2008.

The Company is a defendant in suits brought in various courts in
the United States by plaintiffs who allege that they have
suffered personal injury as a result of exposure to asbestos-
containing products previously manufactured by the Company. The
Company produced asbestos-containing paper machine clothing
synthetic dryer fabrics marketed during the period from 1967 to
1976 and used in certain paper mills.

As of Feb. 6, 2009, about 12,428 of the claims pending against
the Company were pending in Mississippi. Of these, about 11,870
are in federal court, at the multidistrict litigation panel,
either through removal or original jurisdiction. In addition to
the 11,870 Mississippi claims pending against the Company at the
MDL, there are about 888 claims pending against the Company at
the MDL removed from various U.S. District Courts in other
states.

On May 31, 2007, the MDL issued an administrative order that
required each MDL plaintiff to provide detailed information
regarding the alleged asbestos-related medical diagnoses. The
order does not require exposure information with this initial
filing. The deadline for submission of such filings was Dec. 1,
2007. On Dec. 23, 2008, the MDL issued another administrative
order providing a mechanism whereby defendants could seek
dismissals against plaintiffs who failed to comply with the
prior administrative order. The deadline for those motions was
Jan. 31, 2009 with hearings to be scheduled thereafter.

As of Feb. 6, 2009, the remaining 5,426 claims pending against
the Company were pending in states other than Mississippi.

The Company's insurer, Liberty Mutual, has defended each case
and funded settlements under a standard reservation of rights.
As of Feb. 6, 2009, the Company had resolved, by means of
settlement or dismissal, 22,593 claims. The total cost of
resolving all claims was US$6,758,000. Of this amount,
US$6,713,000, or 99 percent, was paid by the Company's insurance
carrier.

The Company has about US$130 million in confirmed insurance
coverage that should be available with respect to current and
future asbestos claims, as well as additional insurance coverage
that it should be able to access.

Headquartered in Albany, N.Y., Albany International Corp. makes
paper machine clothing. The Company produces about 45 percent of
the monofilament yarn used in its paper machine clothing and
relies on independent suppliers for the remainder. It markets
these products to paper mills through a direct sales staff.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 8,607 Claims Ongoing v. Brandon at Feb. 6
----------------------------------------------------------------
Brandon Drying Fabrics, Inc., an Albany International Corp.
affiliate, was defending against 8,607 asbestos-related claims
as of Feb. 6, 2009, compared with 8,664 claims as of Oct. 27,
2008, and 8,672 claims as of July 25, 2008.

Brandon, a subsidiary of Geschmay Corp., which is a subsidiary
of the Company, is also a separate defendant in many of the
asbestos cases in which the Company is named as a defendant.

The Company acquired Geschmay, formerly known as Wangner Systems
Corporation, in 1999. Brandon is a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Geschmay.

In 1978, Brandon acquired certain assets from Abney Mills, a
South Carolina textile manufacturer. Among the assets acquired
by Brandon from Abney were assets of Abney's wholly owned
subsidiary, Brandon Sales, Inc., which had sold dryer fabrics
containing asbestos made by its parent, Abney. It is believed
that Abney ceased production of asbestos-containing fabrics
before the 1978 transaction.

As of Feb. 6, 2009, Brandon has resolved, by means of settlement
or dismissal, 8,969 claims for a total of US$152,499. Brandon's
insurance carriers initially agreed to pay 88.2 percent of the
total indemnification and defense costs related to these
proceedings, subject to the standard reservation of rights. The
remaining 11.8 percent of the costs had been borne directly by
Brandon.

During 2004, Brandon's insurance carriers agreed to cover 100
percent of indemnification and defense costs, subject to policy
limits and the standard reservation of rights, and to reimburse
Brandon for all indemnity and defense costs paid directly by
Brandon related to these proceedings.

As of Feb. 6, 2009, 6,821 (or about 79 percent) of the claims
pending against Brandon were pending in Mississippi.

Headquartered in Albany, N.Y., Albany International Corp. makes
paper machine clothing. The Company produces about 45 percent of
the monofilament yarn used in its paper machine clothing and
relies on independent suppliers for the remainder. It markets
these products to paper mills through a direct sales staff.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Albany Still Facing Suits From Mount Vernon
----------------------------------------------------------------
Albany International Corp. continues to be both a direct
defendant and as the "successor in interest" to Mount Vernon
Mills in asbestos-related cases.

The Company acquired certain assets from Mount Vernon in 1993.

Certain plaintiffs allege injury caused by asbestos-containing
products alleged to have been sold by Mount Vernon many years
before the acquisition. Mount Vernon is contractually obligated
to indemnify the Company against any liability arising out of
such products.

The Company denies any liability for products sold by Mount
Vernon before the acquisition of the Mount Vernon assets. Under
its contractual indemnification obligations, Mount Vernon has
assumed the defense of these claims.

On this basis, the Company has successfully moved for dismissal
in a number of actions.

Headquartered in Albany, N.Y., Albany International Corp. makes
paper machine clothing. The Company produces about 45 percent of
the monofilament yarn used in its paper machine clothing and
relies on independent suppliers for the remainder. It markets
these products to paper mills through a direct sales staff.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Corp. Case Dismissed on Feb. 26
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, on
Feb. 26, 2009, entered an order dismissing Congoleum
Corporation's bankruptcy case, according to a Company report, on
Form 8-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on
March 4, 2009.

On Feb. 26, 2009, the Bankruptcy Court rendered an opinion on
the motion of First State Insurance Company and Twin City Fire
Insurance Company for summary judgment denying confirmation of
the amended joint plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the
Bankruptcy Code of the Company, the Official Asbestos Claimants'
Committee (ACC) and the Official Committee of Bondholders for
Congoleum (Bondholders' Committee), et al.

On Feb. 27, 2009, the Company and the Bondholders' Committee
appealed the Order of Dismissal to the U.S. District Court for
the District of New Jersey.

On March 3, 2009, an order was entered by the Bankruptcy Court
granting a stay of the Bankruptcy Court's Order of Dismissal
until 20 days after a final non-appealable decision affirming
the Order of Dismissal.

Headquartered in Mercerville, N.J., Congoleum Corporation makes
flooring products for residential and commercial use, including
resilient sheet flooring (linoleum or vinyl flooring), do-it-
yourself vinyl tile, and commercial flooring.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 16 Claims Filed Feb. 16-20 in Madison Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
During the week of Feb. 16, 2009 through Feb. 20 2009, about 16
new asbestos-related lawsuits were filed in Madison County
Circuit Court, Ill., The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

These claims are:

-- (Case No. 09-L-0125) Larry and Sharon Garvin of Texas
   claim Mr. Garvin developed mesothelioma after his work
   as a laborer and a trainman during various times. Randy
   L. Gori, Esq., and Barry Julian, Esq., of Gori, Julian
   and Associates in Alton, Ill., represent the Garvins.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0133) David W. Gauthier of Colorado, at
   various times, a laborer, an operator, and foreman,
   claims lung cancer. Elizabeth V. Heller, Esq., and
   Robert Rowald, Esq., of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli
   and Rowland in Edwardsville, Ill., represent Mr.
   Gauthier.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0124) Michael D. and Paulette Guye of
   Arizona claim Mr. Guye developed mesothelioma after his
   work as a parts delivery person, as a laborer and
   joiner, as a radiological technician, and as a
   purchasing agent. The suit says Mr. Guye was also
   exposed to asbestos fibers through his father's work as
   a laborer and joiner. Elizabeth V. Heller, Esq., and
   Robert Rowland, Esq., of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli
   and Rowland in Edwardsville, Ill., represent the Guyes.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0151) Eileen Harry of Virginia claims
   her deceased husband, Mark Harry, developed
   mesothelioma after his work as an engineer and a
   laborer at various locations throughout Illinois,
   California and Washington. John A. Barnerd, Esq., and
   Amy E. Garrett, Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton,
   Ill., represent Mrs. Harry.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0145) Christine Hartsock of North
   Carolina claims her deceased husband, Randall Hartsock,
   developed mesothelioma after his work as a clerk and
   carpet and flooring installer at various locations
   throughout Illinois, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
   Christopher R. Guinn, Esq., Christopher J. Levy, Esq.,
   Perry J. Browder, Esq., and John A. Barnerd, Esq., of
   SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represent Mrs.
   Hartsock.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0135) Bobby Joe Holder of Illinois, a
   caster, brass worker, furnace chipper and mold
   repairman at locations throughout Illinois, claims
   asbestosis. John A. Barnerd, Esq., and W. Brent Copple,
   Esq., of SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represent
   Mr. Holder.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0150) Joyce Hunter of Indiana claims
   lung cancer on behalf of her deceased husband, Paul
   Hunter, who was a steel mill laborer. G. Michael
   Stewart, Esq., and Jill Price, Esq., of SimmonsCooper
   in East Alton, Ill., represent Mrs. Hunter.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0144) James Jump of Indiana, a cement
   mason and laborer in Illinois, Alabama and Louisiana,
   claims mesothelioma. Christoher R. Guinn, Esq.,
   Christopher J. Levy, Esq., Perry J. Browder, Esq., and
   John A. Barnerd, Esq., of East Alton, Ill., represent
   Mr. Jump.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0149) Victor F. Nelson of Illinois, a
   worker for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and for
   Construction Supply Retail, claims mesothelioma. Andrew
   O'Brien, Esq., Christopher Thoron, Esq., Christina J.
   Nielson, Esq., Bartholomew J. Baumstark, Esq., and
   Gerald J. FitzGerald, Esq., of the O'Brien Law Firm in
   St. Louis represent Mr. Nelson.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0148) Wanda and Larry Paul of Ohio
   claims Mrs. Paul developed mesothelioma after her work
   as a laborer. Randy L. Gori, Esq., and Barry Julian,
   Esq., of Gori, Julian and Associates in Alton, Ill.,
   represent the Pauls.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0134) George O. Pursley of Ohio, who
   served in the U.S. Navy, worked as a laborer at a
   lumber yard, at the U.S. postal service and as a
   barber, claims mesothelioma. Elizabeth V. Heller, Esq.,
   and Robert Rowland, Esq., of Goldenberg, Heller,
   Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville, Ill., represent
   Mr. Pursley.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0152) Lynne Quintana of Colorado claims
   mesothelioma on behalf of her deceased husband, Jose
   Quintana, who worked as a laborer and pipefitter
   throughout Illinois, Colorado, Oklahoma and Montana.
   John A. Barnerd, Esq., and Amy E. Garrett, Esq., of
   SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represent Mrs.
   Quintana.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0147) James F. Ross of Texas, a worker
   at Scott Air Force Base, a clutch replacer on several
   family cars, a building remodeler, a gas station owner
   and a brake and maintenance man, claims lung cancer.
   James F. Kelly, Esq., and Jeffery A.J. Miller, Esq., of
   Brent Coon and Associates represent Mr. Ross.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0137) Michael L. Stephens of Kentucky
   claims the deceased John M. Stephens developed
   mesothelioma after his work in the U.S. Navy. Richard
   L. Saville Jr., Esq., Ethan A. Flint, Esq., and David
   J. Page, Esq., of Alton, Ill., represent Michael L.
   Stephens.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0129) Patty L. Stuck of Missouri, a
   former cook, an assistant and clerk typist a wireman, a
   cake supply seller, an ammo packer and a helper and
   sweeper, claims mesothelioma. She also was exposed to
   asbestos fibers through her deceased husband, Thomas
   Stuck, who worked as a machinist and as a shade tree
   mechanic. Randy L. Gori, Esq., of Gori, Julian and
   Associates in Alton, Ill., represents Mrs. Stuck. W.
   Mark Lanier, Esq., Patrick N. Haines, Esq., R. Craig
   Bullock, Esq., and J. Kyle Beale, Esq., of The Lanier
   Law Firm in Houston will serve of counsel.

-- (Case No. 09-L-0139) Angela Thomas of Illinois claims
   her deceased mother, Francis Bates, developed
   mesothelioma after her work as a cashier, as a harness
   wirer, as an order selector, as a cab driver, as a
   welder, as a shade tree mechanic and as a carpenter and
   drywaller. Randy L. Gori, Esq., of Gori, Julian and
   Associates in Alton, Ill., represents Mrs. Thomas. W.
   Mark Lanier, Esq., Patrick N. Haines, Esq., and R.
   Craig Bullock, Esq., of The Lanier Law Firm in Houston
   will be serving of counsel.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Coordinator Questioned in Grace Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers for W. R. Grace & Co., on March 3, 2009, continued the
interrogation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Paul
Peronard in the asbestos case filed against Grace in court in
Missoula, Mont., The Seattle Times reports.

The suit alleged that the Company and five of its former
officials knowingly tried to conceal asbestos hazards in the
northwestern town of Libby, Mont.

Mr. Peronard became the EPA's on-scene coordinator nearly 10
years ago in Libby. Grace used to operate a Libby vermiculite
mine laced with asbestos that became dispersed in the community.

Mr. Peronard testified earlier that misinformation from a Grace
spokesman derailed EPA efforts to gauge the scope of asbestos
contamination in Libby and to develop a cleanup plan targeting
the town's most contaminated areas, the Missoulian reported.

Mr. Peronard added Grace evaded EPA requests for information by
not supplying corporate documents that explained how the company
provided asbestos-tainted mine waste for use on school running
tracks in Libby.

Defense lawyers said that based on EPA instructions, Grace was
not required to provide those documents.

Grace and the five officials are accused of conspiring to
violate federal air-quality requirements and obstruct justice.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 800 New Cases Expected in Australia in 2009
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to a Herald Sun article, about 800 new asbestos-
related disease cases are estimated to be recorded in Australia
in 2009, up from 600 in 2005 and 400 in 1995.

However, Professor Bruce Robinson from the National Centre for
Asbestos Related Diseases warns the situation will rise for
another five to 10 years.

The number of mesothelioma patients has doubled at some
Victorian hospitals in the past two years, while asbestos-
related claims make up almost a quarter of all common law cases
heard in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court is operating under orders to fast-track
asbestos litigation so victims can have justice before they die,
nine months from diagnosis for most mesothelioma patients.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre oncologist Dr. Ben Solomon said
the hospital had four mesothelioma patients two years ago but
now treats more than 10, partly because of improved treatment
through the drug Alimta. But for most sufferers there remains no
effective medication.

Maurice Blackburn lawyer Jane McDermott said the firm's asbestos
claims had doubled in two years. She said, "Australia imported
and used the most asbestos in the 1970s, so with the 40-year
lead time this peak of 2020 is alarming."

Peter Gordon, whose firm Slater and Gordon handles 80 percent of
asbestos cases, warns of a new wave of victims with office
workers, DIY enthusiasts and people who walked past the Hardie
factory when they were children diagnosed 40 years after limited
exposure.

Mr. Gordon said, "Without any doubt it's Australia's worst
industrial disaster in terms of people killed. It has no rival."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hardie Closing Submissions Held on March 1
----------------------------------------------------------------
Closing submissions in the Australian Securities and Investments
Commission lawsuit against 10 former James Hardie Industries
N.V. directors were held on March 1, 2009 in the New South Wales
Supreme Court, the Brisbane Times reports.

The law firm of Allens Arthur Robinson and Hardie's public
relations department were the focus of the hearing. The high
standing of Allens was emphasized, while James Hardie's former
head of public relations, Greg Baxter, was named as "the real
culprit" responsible for a February 2001 media release about a
new asbestos compensation trust.

The defendants also said the ASIC had failed to prove its
threshold claim that the board saw and approved the release.

The commission alleges Hardie issued two misleading documents
with the intention of thwarting government intervention on
behalf of sufferers of asbestos diseases. The release, which it
says contained unjustified "unequivocal assurances" that the
trust was adequately funded; and a July 2001 information
memorandum about Hardie's shift to the Netherlands.

Tom Bathurst, QC, for former directors Michael Brown, Michael
Gillfillan, Meredith Hellicar and Martin Koffel, said the
memorandum was prepared by the late Peter Cameron.

A draft August 2001 letter to the court about the Netherlands
move was "a very clear indication" of Allens' advice, Mr.
Bathurst said.

Bret Walker, SC, for former general counsel Peter Shafron, said
Mr. Baxter, who was called as an ASIC witness, had tried to
disown "his personal responsibility" to the board for media
releases.

Mr. Walker said the "social" need to explore the events of the
case had been addressed by the 2004 Special Commission of
Inquiry headed by David Jackson, QC.

Peter Wood, for former director Dan O'Brien, said there was
intensive work on the media release in the 24 hours after the
board meeting by Allens partner David Robb, Mr. Baxter and other
Hardie line managers.

ASIC's barrister, Tony Bannon, SC, said the defendants who chose
to give evidence offered "testimony punctuated by discreditable
attempts to deny the inevitable consequences of the documentary
trail."

The defendants included the former chief financial officer
Phillip Morley and former directors Mr. Brown, Mr. Gillfillan,
Ms. Hellicar, Mr. Koffel, and Peter Willcox.

Those who chose not to appear were the former chief executive
Peter Macdonald, Mr. Shafron, Mr. O'Brien and former director
Greg Terry.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Enterprise Owner Charged for False Records
----------------------------------------------------------------
Janet M. Otten, owner of Enterprise Construction Co. Inc.,
admitted to falsifying signatures on asbestos inspection reports
that were submitted to the St. Louis County Department of
Health, infoZine reports.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources filed the case
against the 45-year-old Ms. Otten of Webster Groves, Mo.

Ms. Otten was operating without the proper certification as well
as forging the name of a Missouri-certified inspector to bypass
statutory requirements for asbestos work.

Ms. Otten pleaded guilty in St. Louis County Circuit Court to
four counts of forging environmental reports.

DNR staff compiled the documentation submitted by Ms. Otten and
presented the evidence to the St. Louis County Prosecuting
Attorney for action. Asbestos inspections must be done by
inspectors certified by the DNR.

Ms. Otten forged the signature of a certified inspector on at
least four reports. Asbestos inspections must be done before
demolition of buildings subject to state and federal asbestos
regulations takes place.

Ms. Otten was placed on five years probation and ordered to have
no further involvement in any asbestos-related businesses.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Council Fined GBP17,600 for Safety Breaches
----------------------------------------------------------------
The City of Edinburgh Council was fined GBP17,600 for allowing
workers to be exposed to asbestos at Castlebrae High in
Edinburgh, NEWS.scotsman.com reports.

Council staff failed to properly check for asbestos at the
school. Instead, builders they hired for the job pointed it out
to them. After initially asking a licensed contractor for a
quote, the local authority opted for a cheaper, unqualified firm
to carry out the work.

That company – Dalkeith Demolition Ltd (DDL) – went on to send
untrained workers to remove the asbestos and leave fragments of
the material lying on grass outside the school.

New procedures have also been introduced in a bid to prevent a
repeat of the costly mistakes which, on Feb. 26, 2009, landed
both the council and a contractor in court.

Both admitted a series of failures under the Health and Safety
at Work Act and Control of Asbestos Regulations at Edinburgh
Sheriff Court, with DDL picking up an GBP11,333 fine.

Investigations are now under way within the city council to
establish how the mistake happened in the first place. So far,
no one has been disciplined over the incident, but it is
understood this could form part of the investigation process.

Councilor Gordon Mackenzie, the city's finance leader, said, "I
am disappointed that the proper procedures were not followed.
The council takes health and safety issues very seriously and we
have now strengthened our procedures."

Work was being carried out to build a new corridor in the
science department of the school when asbestos was discovered.
Work was immediately stopped and the council hired DDL to remove
the material after selecting the company from an old database,
which showed the license it had held until 2003.

DDL sent workers along the following day without proper
protective clothing or training, and they removed the asbestos
while other people were nearby and left bits of it on lying on
the grass outside the school.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found the council
had failed to keep a clear record of the type of asbestos and
its whereabouts in the school, leading to a number of workmen
potentially being exposed to it.

In 2002, the council was fined GBP7500 in 2002 after asbestos
was found in Parsons Green Primary in Duddingston, Scotland.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lawyers Seek Transfer of MDL Cases to State
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Motley Rice of Mount Pleasant, S.C., urged
federal Judge Eduardo Robreno to remand tens of thousands of
asbestos-related lawsuits from Multidistrict Litigation courts
to state courts where they started, The Madison St. Clair Record
reports.

Judge Robreno presides over about 58,000 asbestos suits from all
around the nation by special assignment of the U.S. Judicial
Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. The average suit names 56
defendants, so the suits contain more than three million
distinct claims.

Judge Robreno ordered solid information behind all three million
claims, but so far asbestos lawyers have provided no basis for
about half the claims.

Motley Rice wants him to reconsider the order and rule that
defendants should not have removed the suits from state and
federal courts for multi district litigation, or MDL.

On Dec. 1, 2008, John Herrick, Esq., of Motley Rice, wrote,
"When a plaintiff is dying of mesothelioma, lung cancer or even
asbestosis, the delay attendant to the MDL process creates a
particularly strong incentive for defendants to use removal as a
weapon.

"Since removal and transfer to the MDL will almost always mean
that the plaintiff will die before his trial date, defendants
have a powerful reason to pursue them, or at the very least to
extort a dismissal."

Mr. Herrick recommended granting all pending motions to remand
cases to state courts. He recommended grouping cases from mass
screening sessions for prompt settlement conferences.

In response, Marcy Croft, Esq., of Jackson, Miss. called Mr.
Herrick's motion "a thinly veiled ploy to force defendants to
consider for settlement thousands of meritless, and likely
fraudulent, non-malignant, screened claims."

In 2008, Ms. Croft moved to dismiss cases that lacked specific
claims, but Judge Robreno ruled that he would not sign a blanket
order. He invited defendants to tell him exactly which cases he
should dismiss, and he set 12 hearings from April 2009 through
June 2009 to hear their motions.

Magistrates under Judge Robreno's direction have set 10
conferences in April 2009 to assess qualifications of plaintiff
experts.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hairston's Suit Filed v. 38 Firms in Texas
----------------------------------------------------------------
Raymond Hairston Jr., on Feb. 20, 2009, filed an asbestos-
related lawsuit against 38 defendant corporations in Orange
County District Court, Tex., The Southeast Texas Record reports.

Lou Thompson Black, Esq., represents Mr. Hairston.

According to the plaintiff's original petition, companies like
Viacom Inc., General Electric Company, and Zurn Industries knew
that the asbestos products they manufactured would hit the
market without inspection for defects.

The suit says the defendants have been in possession of medical
and scientific data exposing the health risks of asbestos for
decades, but conspired among themselves to suppress the
information.

Mr. Hairston is suing for physical pain and suffering in the
past and future, mental anguish in the past and future, lost
wages, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement in the past and
future, physical impairment in the past and future, and past and
future medical expenses, including home care costs. He also
seeks punitive and exemplary damages.

Case No. A090093 has been assigned to Judge Pat Clark of the
60th Judicial District.


                            *********

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

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

                            *********

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Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Copyright 2009.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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