/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/021220.mbx               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, December 20, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 252


ACCEPTANCE INSURANCE: Reinstatement of Securities Fraud Claims Sought
AMERICAN SEAFOODS: Crewmembers File Suit Over Unpaid Wages in WA Court
BERMAN & RABIN: Customer Files Lawsuit Over Debt Collection Practices
COMMUNITY BANCSHARES: Labels "Without Merit" Automobile Insurance Suit
CORAM HEALTHCARE: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Securities Fraud Suit

CYBERCARE INC.: FL Court Grants Approval to Securities Suit Settlement
EMEX CORPORATION: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
ERPENBECK CO.: Homeowners' Liens Stemming From Fraud Closer To Payoff
FLORIDA: Fort Lauderdale Residents Converge To Discuss Water Pollution
HMO LITIGATION: Cigna Used "Underhanded Maneuvers" To Escape Lawsuits

INDONESIA: Group Considers Boycott Unless State Revokes Fuel Price Rise
INSPIRE INSURANCE: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Securities Fraud Suit
INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Consolidated Securities Suit To Be Filed in S.D. NY
INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Shareholder Derivative Suits Lodged in NY, DE Courts
JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS: WI Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement

LEARN2 CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement in Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in CA
LEISURE HOMES: Jury Trial in Homeowner Lawsuit Set February 2003 in NV
MAINE: Woman Commences Suit Over Jail's Alleged Illegal Strip Searches
MASSACHUSETTS: Attorney General To Revisit Retailers Item Pricing Suits
MTI TECHNOLOGY: Trial in Securities Lawsuit Set August 2003 in C.D. CA

REAL ESTATE: CA Jury Issues Verdict in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawsuit
REDDI BRAKE: Negotiating Settlement For Securities Lawsuit in CA Court
SALOMON SMITH: To Settle Gender Discrimination Lawsuit For $3.2 Million
SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Denies Claims in CA Securities, Derivative Suits
WESTERN UNION: Three Wire-transfer Firms Settle Suit Over Hidden Fees

                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Supreme Court Won't Review Virginia Asbestos Trial
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton to Settle All Asbestos Related Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell Nears Deal to Resolve Asbestos Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens Corning Could Emerge from Bankruptcy Strong
ASBESTOS ALERT: AB Electrolux Faces Numerous Asbestos Related Lawsuits

ASBESTOS ALERT: Alfa Laval Faces Asbestos Suits
ASBESTOS ALERT: BOC Group Inc. Faces Various Asbestos Related Lawsuits
ASBESTOS ALERT: Chase Corporation Battles Various Asbestos Lawsuits
ASBESTOS ALERT: Lucent Technologies, Inc. Retains Asbestos Litigation
ASBESTOS ALERT: Manville Trust Settles $3 Billion in Asbestos Lawsuits

ASBESTOS ALERT: Scottish Power Faces Numerous Claims in Asbestos Scare
ASBESTOS ALERT: Sterling Settles Asbestos Litigation Under Bankruptcy

                    New Securities Fraud Cases

TENET HEALTHCARE: Berger & Montague Commences Securities Suit in CA


ACCEPTANCE INSURANCE: Reinstatement of Securities Fraud Claims Sought
Plaintiffs in the consolidated class action pending against Acceptance
Insurance Companies, Inc. asked the United States District Court for
the District of Nebraska to reinstate claims under Sections 11 and 15
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The suit alleges that the Company knowingly and intentionally
understated the Company's liabilities in order to maintain the market
price of the Company's common stock at artificially high levels and
made untrue statements of material fact, and sought compensatory
damages, interest, costs and attorney fees.   The suit further alleges
the Company intentionally understated liabilities in a registration
statement filed in conjunction with the Company's Redeemable Preferred

Plaintiffs sought to represent a class consisting of all persons who
purchased either Company common stock between March 10, 1998 and
November 16, 1999, or AICI Capital Trust Preferred Securities between
the July 29, 1997 public offering and November 25, 1999.

Plaintiffs additionally alleged violation of Section 11 of the
Securities Act of 1933 through misrepresentation or omission of a
material fact in the registration statement for the trust preferred
securities, and violation of Section 10b of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 of the US Securities and Exchange Commission
through failure to disclose material information between March 10, 1998
and November 16, 1999.  The Company, three of its former officers, the
Company's Directors and independent accountants and other individuals,
as well as the financial underwriters for the Company's preferred
securities, were defendants in the consolidated action.

In March 2001 the court entered an order dismissing all claims alleging
violations of Section 11 of the Securities Act, and dismissing the
Company's directors, financial underwriters, independent accountants
and others as defendants in this action.  The court also ruled that
certain of plaintiffs' allegations regarding the remaining defendants'
alleged failure to properly report contingent losses attributable to
Montrose did not state a claim under Section 10b and Rule 10b-5.

In two subsequent rulings, the Court and Magistrate Judge clarified the
March 2 ruling to specify which of plaintiffs' Montrose-related
allegations failed to state a Section 10b and Rule 10b-5 claim.  As a
result of these three rulings, the litigation has been reduced to a
claim the Company and three of its former officers, during the period
from August 14, 1997 to November 16, 1999, failed to disclose
adequately information about various aspects of the Company's
operations, including information relating to the Company's exposure
after January 1, 1997 to losses resulting from the Montrose decision.

On August 6, 2001 the Magistrate Judge granted plaintiffs' motion for
class certification.  Plaintiffs' fact discovery was concluded July 31,
2002 in accordance with a schedule established by the court.  On
September 16, 2002, however, plaintiffs sought the court's permission
to reinstate certain previously dismissed claims under Section 11 and
15 of the Securities Act.  The court has not ruled on this request and
has abrogated the previously established schedule pending resolution of
plaintiffs' motion.

The Company intends to continue vigorously contesting this action and
believes plaintiffs' allegations are without merit.  Nevertheless, the
ultimate outcome of this action cannot be predicted at this time and
the Company currently is unable to determine the potential effect of
this litigation on its financial position, results of operations or
cash flows.

AMERICAN SEAFOODS: Crewmembers File Suit Over Unpaid Wages in WA Court
American Seafoods Group, LLC faces an amended class action filed in the
United States District Court for the Western District of Washington by
a former vessel crewmember on behalf of himself and a class of over 500
seamen, alleging that the Company breached its contract with the
plaintiff by underestimating the value of the catch in computing the
plaintiff's wages.

The plaintiff demanded an accounting of his crew shares pursuant to
federal statutory law.  In addition, the plaintiff requested relief
under a Washington statute that would render the Company liable for
twice the amount of wages withheld, as well as judgment against the
Company for compensatory and exemplary damages, plus interest,
attorneys' fees and costs, among other things.  The plaintiff also
alleged that the Company fraudulently concealed the underestimation of
product values, thereby preventing the discovery of the plaintiff's
cause of action.

This litigation is in a preliminary stage and its ultimate outcome is
uncertain.  The Company denies the allegations.

BERMAN & RABIN: Customer Files Lawsuit Over Debt Collection Practices
Plaintiff Kathy Garrison, a Johnson County, Kansas, resident, has filed
a class action in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas against law firm
Berman & Rabin, the Kansas City Star reports.  Ms. Garrison is seeking
unspecified damages, alleging the firm served her with a summons
containing false and deceptive language about the collection of a debt.

The lawsuit contends that the summons the firm sent to Ms. Garrison
stated, among other things, "If you are not represented by an attorney,
the answer shall be signed by you under penalty of perjury."  That
statement, says plaintiff Kathy Garrison, is a violation of the Kansas
Code of Civil Procedure, which does not impose perjury penalties for
answers in civil lawsuits.  "Defendants engaged in unconscionable
acts and practices with the collection of a debt,"  Ms. Garrison

Ms. Garrison's lawyers at Hill Beam-Ward & Kruse will be seeking class
action certification for the lawsuit, on behalf of similarly situated
debtors.  Ms. Garrison estimates that the would-be class contains more
than 500 members throughout the state.

COMMUNITY BANCSHARES: Labels "Without Merit" Automobile Insurance Suit
Community Bancshares, Inc. faces a class action filed in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama by
plaintiffs William Alston, Murphy Howard, and Jason Tittle.  The suit
also names as defendants Community Bank, certain of their officers and

The suit alleges that certain of the defendants engaged in various
purported tortious practices related to consumer automobile financing.
The Company believes the lawsuit is without merit and intends to defend
it vigorously.  Because the case is in its very initial stages, it is
impossible now to predict the outcome of the suit and its effect on the
Company's financial condition and result of operations.

CORAM HEALTHCARE: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Securities Fraud Suit
Plaintiffs in the consolidated securities class action filed against
Coram Healthcare Corporation appealed the United States District Court
for the District of New Jersey's ruling dismissing the suit with

The suit was filed against the Company, certain of its current and
former offices and directors and the Company's principal lenders,
Cerberus Partners, LP, Foothill Capital Corporation and Goldman, Sachs
& Co., alleging that they implemented a scheme to perpetrate a fraud
upon the stock market regarding the Company's common stock.  The
plaintiffs' purported class action alleges that the defendants
artificially depressed the trading price of the company's publicly
traded shares and created the false impression that stockholders equity
was decreasing in value and was ultimately worthless.  The plaintiffs
further allege that members of the class sustained total investment
losses of $50 million or more.

In June 2001, a third amended class action was filed, eliminating
references to the corporate assets of the Company.  All defendants
moved to dismiss the third amended suit for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted and, in connection therewith, on May
6, 2002 the judge granted the defendants' motion to dismiss, with
prejudice and also denied plaintiffs' request for leave to re-plead.

The plaintiffs filed a timely appeal to the United States Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit and filed their brief in support of their
appeal with that court on July 24, 2002.  The defendants filed their
opposition brief on August 23, 2002 and the plaintiffs filed a reply
brief on September 20, 2002.  However, as of November 15, 2002, the
Third Circuit has not yet ruled thereon.

To date, the Company's directors and officers liability insurance
carrier has paid the costs of defense of the officers and directors who
are defendants in this matter.  Management cannot predict the outcome
of the pending appeal nor any subsequent proceeding should the
appellate court reverse the judge's ruling, and management cannot
predict the scope and nature of any indemnity obligation the insurance
carrier may have.

CYBERCARE INC.: FL Court Grants Approval to Securities Suit Settlement
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
granted approval to the settlement proposed by CyberCare, Inc. in the
securities class action pending against it and certain of its executive

The suit principally alleges that the Company and certain of its
officers and directors made misrepresentations or omissions regarding
the development and future sales forecasts of its Electronic HouseCallr
system products and revenues of its pharmacy division.  On April 19,
2002, counsel for the parties entered into a memorandum of
understanding addressing the terms of a settlement.  The settlement
involves the payment of $3.1 million, to be provided under an insurance
policy, and the issuance by the Company of 5,000,000 shares of stock
(subject to certain sale restrictions), without any admission of
liability by the Company.

As of September 30, 2002, the Company has accrued $800,000 for this
liability, which is included in litigation and legal settlement costs
contained in its statement of operations.

EMEX CORPORATION: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
denied Emex Corporation's motion for dismissal of the consolidated
securities class action filed against it and:

     (1) Walter W. Tyler,

     (2) Milton E. Stanson,

     (3) Vincent P. Iannazzo,

     (4) David H. Peipers,

     (5) Universal Equities Consolidated, LLC and

     (6) Thorn Tree Resources LLC

The suit alleges generally that the Company and the individual
defendants manipulated the market of the Company's stock by making
materially false statements in press releases during April and May of
2001 concerning project financing for the construction of a 2500 barrel
per day natural gas conversion plant for Blue Star.  More specifically,
the complaint alleged that the press release overstated the role of
Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation in the potential project
financing and was therefore false and misleading.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss all of the claims on behalf of
all the defendants on December 17, 2001.  On September 17, 2002, the
court denied the motion on all matters as they related to the Company
and the individual defendants.  However, the court dismissed the
controlling person claims against the entities of Stanson & Iannazzo,
Universal Equities Consolidated, LLC and Thorn Tree Resources LLC.  Mr.
Tyler, Mr. Peipers, Mr. Stanson and Mr. Iannazzo remain in the case
as individual defendants.  The Company and the remaining defendants
filed an answer on November 8, 2002.

ERPENBECK CO.: Homeowners' Liens Stemming From Fraud Closer To Payoff
Homeowners caught up in the Erpenbeck homebuilding scandal, are closer
to having the liens on their homes removed through an agreement more
than 20 lawyers reached in Boone Circuit Court, in Ohio, The Cincinnati
Enquirer reports.

The scandal arose out of the construction loans that were never paid
off by the Erpenbeck Co., which built the 211 homes and condominiums
throughout Greater Cincinnati.  Erpenbeck is under federal criminal
investigation for allegations of bank fraud.  Employees of the company
are accused of taking checks cut at closings and instead of paying off
the construction loans depositing nearly $17 million in company
accounts at the former Peoples Bank of Northern Kentucky.

Since news of the diverted checks was made public in April, Peoples
Bank has admitted responsibility for the cashed checks and fired its
former top two executives, the president and vice-president of the bank
over their dealings with Erpenbeck Co. president William Erpenbeck.
The Peoples' board voted in July to sell the bank to the Boone County-
based Bank of Kentucky, with more than 99 percent of the bank's
shareholders agreeing to the sale.  A small group of shareholders is
contesting the sale.

The agreement reached amongst the lawyers for all interested parties
was also signed by Boone Circuit Judge Jay Bamberger, and sets up the
basic criteria for paying off the liens on the 211 homes.  The money
will come from a $16.8 million escrow account established when a class
action, filed by the homeowners was settled in September.  The lawyers
signing the agreement represent homeowners as well as banks and title
companies that did business with the Erpenbeck Co.

Peoples funded a great part of the escrow account with proceeds that
included money generated by the sale of the bank.  Peoples' lawyer
Beverly Storm said recently that the liens will be paid from the escrow
accountant, but Peoples is also negotiating with a group of area banks,
including US Bank and Bank One, that are being asked to pay off a
portion of the liens.  Peoples has agreed to pay 70 percent of the
$16.8 million, and banks that made construction loans to Erpenbeck Co.
are being asked to pay the remaining 30 percent.

FLORIDA: Fort Lauderdale Residents Converge To Discuss Water Pollution
Although city officials say disinfecting is not necessary and that
monthly tests of the water show it is safe to drink, the residents talk
of cats, raccoons and other wild animals getting into water pipes
before they are put into the ground, The Miami Herald reports.

Talk of a drinking-water boycott, reimbursement from the city for
bottled water and possibly a class action for repayment of water bills
were matters brought before the residents during a nearly two-hour
discussion.  The residents were outraged that Fort Lauderdale does not
disinfect new water pipes and connections that are less than 50 feet
long.  A report in the November 22 issue of The Broward Times alleges
that Fort Lauderdale does not disinfect new drinking water pipes as
required by law.

Speaking about launching a class action, Sharon Bourassa, an attorney
with the Legal Aid Service of Broward County, said, "I see this as a
very costly suit."  Complaints about Fort Lauderdale's water have
prompted the Broward state attorney's office to open an inquiry.
Therefore, Assistant State Attorney John Countryman and Ron Ishoy, a
spokesman for the Broward state attorney's office both attended the

In addition to its city customers, Fort Lauderdale provides water to
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Port Everglades,
portions of unincorporated Broward and portions of Tamarac.

HMO LITIGATION: Cigna Used "Underhanded Maneuvers" To Escape Lawsuits
A federal judge in Miami has accused Cigna Corporation and its
Philadelphia lawyers of "underhanded maneuvers" in trying to escape one
class action by settling another at better terms, The Philadelphia
Inquirer reports.

Judge Federico Moreno says he and fellow federal Judge E. Patrick
Murphy were "snookered" by Cigna's attempt to choose the cheapest
settlement in order to block bigger payouts to doctors who say Cigna
underpaid them.  Although Cigna and its lawyers deny Judge Moreno's
contention, the judge nonetheless placed a hold on Cigna's settlement
plans, at least for now.

A lawsuit filed in Miami two years ago by the heads of the California,
Texas and Florida medical associations accused Cigna and other national
HMOs of conspiring to cut payments for medical care, among other
things.  That lawsuit is pending before Judge Moreno.

Another federal class action was settled before Judge Murphy in
Illinois last month, one day after it had been transferred from state
court and expanded to include many of the issues addressed in the Miami
complaint.  Cigna shares rose on its hopeful claim that the Illinois
settlement would limit its liability from other pending suits.

The Texas-based lawyers in the Illinois suit said Cigna would have to
pay $200 million.  Cigna says it will be out only around $60 million,
thanks to reinsurance, tax write-offs and the fact that Cigna does not
think it underpaid doctors as much as the Texas lawyers say it did.
However, in his order last week, Judge Moreno complained that Cigna
failed to tell Judge Murphy what impact the Illinois settlement could
have on the pending Miami case, alleging Cigna did this so Judge Murphy
would be more likely to approve the Illinois deal, thereby undercutting
the more expensive Miami settlement.

Cigna spokesman Wendell Potter said Judge Murphy "absolutely was aware"
of the Miami case, and even had declined, on an earlier occasion, to
combine the Cigna case with other federal litigation pending against

Doctors in the Miami case praised Judge Moreno's decision.  "Cigna's
actions show they have little intention of stopping their over-reaching
and unfair practices," said Jack Lewin, head of the California Medical
Association.  That is "how they have done business with us for years:
fast and loose," added Mr. Lewin.

INDONESIA: Group Considers Boycott Unless State Revokes Fuel Price Rise
The Indonesian Consumer Foundation (YLKI) strongly condemned a decision
by state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina to raise the price of
liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), decrying the burdens it would impose
upon the public, the Jakarta Post reports.

YLKI demanded that Pertamina revoke the latest price rise, stating that
if this demand is ignored, the consumer rights group will mobilize the
public to boycott Pertamina products.  "We are currently soliciting
support from the consumers," said Sudaryatmo, an executive at YLKI,
during a press conference.

Lies Sugeng, an activist who led a class action against Pertamina on a
previous LPG price increase, supported the YLKI plans, saying that her
group would help gather signatures from household consumers.
Consideration of a class action is being held in abeyance so as to give
a boycott, if launched, a chance to be effective.

If consumer support is deemed broad and significant, YLKI will launch a
campaign, asking the public to boycott Pertamina products.  "The move
is being sought to give Pertamina a lesson so that it will correct its
decision on the amount of the price increase and give a fair LPG price
to the people," Lies Sugeng said.  The mounting public concern became
evident after Pertamina unilaterally raised the price of LPG.

Pertamina claimed that it was forced to raise the price in a bid to
reduce losses, but YLKI said the argument was irresponsible.
"Pertamina is a state company, so it must prevent the public from
suffering from unreasonable burdens," Lies Sugeng said.

INSPIRE INSURANCE: Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Securities Fraud Suit
Plaintiffs appealed the dismissal of the securities class action
pending against Inspire Insurance, Inc. in the United States Fifth
Circuit Court of Appeals.

The suit was filed on behalf of all purchasers of the Company's common
stock during the period between January 28, 1998 and October 14, 1999
and names as defendants the Company, certain officers and directors of
the Company, and Millers Insurance.  The suit is pending in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth

The complaint alleges violations under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder
by making false and misleading statements and failing to disclose
material facts necessary in order to make the statements made, in light
of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading.

The Company, together with the other defendants, filed a motion to
dismiss.  In March 2001, the court granted the Company's motion to
dismiss.  As a result, an order was entered dismissing the case without
prejudice and giving the plaintiffs leave to amend their lawsuit.  In
June 2001, this suit was re-filed.  This matter was dismissed with
prejudice and without the right to re-plead in April 2002.  The
ultimate outcome of this matter cannot presently be determined.

INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Consolidated Securities Suit To Be Filed in S.D. NY
A consolidated complaint against The Interpublic Group of Companies,
Inc. is expected to be submitted to the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York on December 20,2002.

Thirteen federal securities purported class actions were filed against
the Company and certain of its present and former directors and
officers by a purported class of purchasers of Company stock shortly
after the Company's August 13, 2002 announcement regarding the
restatement of its previously reported earnings for the periods January
1, 1997 through March 31, 2002.  The purported classes consist of
Company shareholders who purchased stock in the period from October
1997 to August 2002.

These lawsuits allege that the Company and certain of its present and
former directors and officers made a series of false and misleading
statements to its shareholders between October 1997 and August 2002,
including the alleged failure to disclose the existence of additional
charges that would need to be expensed and the lack of adequate
internal financial controls, which allegedly resulted in an
overstatement of the Company's net income and financial results during
those periods.  The suits allege that such false and misleading
statements constitute violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  No amount of
damages is specified in the complaints.

These actions were consolidated and lead counsel was appointed for all
plaintiffs at a hearing on November 8, 2002.  A response to the
complaint is due on January 31, 2003.  The Company is involved in other
legal and administrative proceedings of various types, including the
above.  While any litigation contains an element of uncertainty, the
Company believes that the outcome of such proceedings or claims will
not have a material adverse effect on the financial condition of the

INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Shareholder Derivative Suits Lodged in NY, DE Courts
The Interpublic Group, Inc. faces two shareholder derivative lawsuits
filed in the New York Supreme Court, New York County and in the
Delaware Court of Chancery for New Castle County, filed on behalf of
the Company against the Board of Directors.

The suits uniformly allege a breach of fiduciary duties to Company
shareholders, but do not state a specific amount of damages.  The
plaintiff has until December 13, 2002 to file an amended complaint.
The Company will have 45 days to respond.

While any litigation contains an element of uncertainty, the Company
believes that the outcome of such proceedings or claims will not have a
material adverse effect on the financial condition of the Company.

JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS: WI Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement
The Milwaukee County Circuit Court granted final approval to a
settlement reached by Journal Communications, Inc. to settle a class
action filed by five former employees relating to the 1995 merger of
the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel.

This lawsuit was granted class action status to include other
unitholders who separated from the Company as part of the merger.  The
plaintiffs alleged that an internal memorandum created a contract
permitting members of the plaintiff class to offer to sell units at any
time over a period of up to ten years, depending on their retirement
status or years of unit ownership.

On May 7, 2002, the parties reached an out-of-court settlement.  On
July 1, 2002, the judge approved the settlement.  Under the settlement,
the Company agreed to pay the plaintiffs $8.9 million in cash in
settlement of all claims.  The Company also agreed to allow certain
members of the plaintiff class to retain certain rights for a period of
time as to units of beneficial interest in the Journal Employees' Stock
Trust.  Plaintiffs and their counsel value these rights at
approximately $0.6 million.

LEARN2 CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement in Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in CA
Learn2 Corporation reached a settlement with plaintiffs in the consumer
class action pending against it in Santa Clara County Court,
California, alleging that the Company breached its contract with the
plaintiff and other customers.

The suit was originally filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New
York, County of Kings, seeking unspecified damages and disgorgement of
monies received in connection with the sale of Internet postage
products.  By agreement of the parties, the plaintiff dismissed the New
York action and re-filed in Santa Clara County, California on or about
May 24, 2001.

On February 20, 2002, the court granted plaintiff's motion for class
certification.  The Company reached a settlement with the plaintiff and
is awaiting final court approval of the settlement.  If approved, this
settlement is not expected to have a material impact on the Company's
financial position or results of operations.

LEISURE HOMES: Jury Trial in Homeowner Lawsuit Set February 2003 in NV
Jury trial in the class action filed against Leisure Homes Corporation
(LHC) and certain other defendants is set to commence on February
19,2003 in Nevada District Court, County of Clark.

Robert and Jacqueline Henry, husband and wife, and Kenneth and Janet
Shosted, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated,
commenced the suit in February 2000, asking for class action relief
claiming that the Company and certain other defendants were guilty of
collecting certain betterment fees and not providing associated sewer
and water lines.  All claims arose out of the alleged failure to
provide water and sewer utilities to purchasers of land in the
subdivisions commonly known as Calvada Valley North and Calvada Meadows
located in Nye County, Nevada.  The complaint asserts six claims for
relief against defendants:

     (1) breach of deed restrictions,

     (2) two claims for breach of contract,

     (3) unjust enrichment,

     (4) consumer fraud in violation of NRS 41.600 and

     (5) violation of NRS 119.220

In September 2001, the court refused to certify a class for the claims
of breach of contract, unjust enrichment, consumer fraud in violation
of NRS 41.600 and violation of NRS 119.220.  Accordingly, the
defendants are no longer subject to class claims for monetary damages.
The defendants' only potential liability to the certified class is for
the construction of water and sewer facilities.  In July 2002, the
defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on which the court has
not yet ruled.

The Company does not believe that any likely outcome of this case will
have a materially adverse effect on the Company's financial condition
or results of operations.

MAINE: Woman Commences Suit Over Jail's Alleged Illegal Strip Searches
A Thomaston woman filed a lawsuit in United States District Court in
Maine, seeking damages for what she claims were illegal strip searches
of men and women held at the Knox County Jail, the Associated Press
Newswires reports.

Laurie Tardiff alleged that she was strip searched as part of a county
policy that mandates such treatment for everyone arrested and brought
to the jail without regard for the charges against them.  The lawsuit
against Sheriff Daniel Davey and two corrections officers, identified
only as Jane and John Doe, seeks class action status.  It asks the jury
to award compensatory and punitive damages to Ms. Tardiff and others in
the proposed class.

The lawsuit contends that Ms. Tardiff and other members of the class
she seeks to represent, were held at the jail while awaiting bail or
initial court appearance, or were arrested on misdemeanor or felony
charges that would not give rise to suspicion of hiding contraband,
drugs or weapons on their bodies.

Ms. Tardiff, according to the lawsuit, was arrested in 2001, at her
home in Rockland, Maine, on a charge of tampering with a witness.  The
misdemeanor charge subsequently was dismissed, said Sumner Lipman of
August, one of Ms. Tardiff's lawyers.  The lawsuit says Ms. Tardiff was
required to undergo a strip search procedure three times.

"In today's day and age, this certainly should not be going on," said
Mr. Lipman.  He said strip searches may be justified in some cases, but
not on a person who has been charged with a misdemeanor and is not
suspected of bringing in contraband to the jail.

MASSACHUSETTS: Attorney General To Revisit Retailers Item Pricing Suits
A wave of class actions against retailers for failing to price
individual items in their Massachusetts stores, has spawned a corporate
backlash and prompted Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly to launch
another review of the state's item-pricing regulation, his second in
less than two years, The Boston Globe reports.

Mr. Reilly reviewed the 30-year-old regulation last year and sided with
consumer advocates who said it was still needed.  Now that retailers
are clamoring for relief from class actions and challenging the
regulation in court, Mr. Reilly has decided to revisit the issue again.
A spokeswoman from the attorney general's office, Sarah Nathan, said
that Mr. Reilly's staff would be meeting over the next few weeks with
interested parties to decide the fate of item pricing.  "This office
will use such input to reach a decision that carefully weighs the
balance between new technology and the rights of the consumer to have
accurate pricing information," Ms. Nathan said.

Since Home Depot settled a class action last month for $3.8 million,
six retailers, including Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Circuit City,
Staples and Lowe's, have been sent demand letters under the state's
consumer protection law by a handful of attorneys representing various
plaintiffs.  Circuit City said it was complying with the item-pricing
regulation and asked a state court to block a looming court challenge.

Walgreens went further, asking a federal court to rule that the state's
item-pricing regulation violates the Constitution.  Walgreens also went
after the consumers whose names were listed in the demand letters it
received, serving notice of the lawsuit on them personally and asking
the court to force them to pay all costs and attorneys fees.

Over the last few weeks, the private litigation over item pricing has
intensified.  In one demand letter sent to Walgreens, Cambridge
attorney Terence L. Parker suggested damages could total as much $1.9

Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts,
noted that "Essentially, there is blood in the water, and sharks are
circling."  Mr. Hurst urged the attorney general to revamp the item-
pricing regulation to require that a retailer stamp prices on
individual items only when the store fails to comply with the state's
scanner accuracy law, which requires that a store's scanning machines
meet a 98 percent accuracy rate.

Walgreens, which had been suggesting a settlement figure of $350,000 in
response to the demand letters which arrived, went on the offensive and
filed suit in US District Court, alleging the state's item-pricing
regulation violates the Constitution because the penalties of $25 per
violation are excessive and the provisions disrupt a national
retailer's ability to price products smoothly across state lines.

MTI TECHNOLOGY: Trial in Securities Lawsuit Set August 2003 in C.D. CA
Trial in the consolidated securities class action filed against MTI
Technology Corporation and several of its officers is set to begin on
August 19,2003 in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California.

The suit alleges that the Company was aware of adverse information that
it failed to disclose primarily during fiscal year 2000 and, hence,
that it violated specified provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and the rules promulgated thereunder.  The suit alleges a class
period from July 22, 1999 to July 27, 2000 and alleges that the
defendants were aware of certain adverse information that they failed
to disclose during that period.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, which the district
court granted.  However, the plaintiffs filed a second amended suit,
and, on October 9, 2001, the district court denied the Company's motion
to dismiss that complaint, although on June 12, 2002, the court did
strike all but six allegations of the second amended suit.  The second
amended suit alleges a class period from July 22, 1999 to July 12,

Although the Company believes the alleged claims in this lawsuit are
without merit and is defending the lawsuit vigorously, due to the
inherent uncertainties of the litigation process and the judicial
system, the Company is unable to predict the outcome of this
litigation.  This litigation may result in substantial costs and
distract management's attention and resources.

REAL ESTATE: CA Jury Issues Verdict in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawsuit
A California jury returned a special verdict against National
Partnership Investments Corporation (NAPICO) and certain other
defendants in the class action pending against them and Real Estate
Associates Limited II.

A suit was commenced in August 1998 by two investors holding an
aggregate of eight units of limited partnership interests in the
Company, an affiliated partnership in which National Partnership
Investments Corporation (NAPICO) is the managing general partner and
two investors holding an aggregate of five units of limited partnership
interest in Real Estate Associates Limited VI (another affiliated
partnership in which NAPICO is the managing general partner).  The suit
filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of
California, names the Partnership, NAPICO and certain other affiliated
entities as defendants.

The complaint alleges that the defendants breached their fiduciary duty
to the limited partners of certain NAPICO managed partnerships and made
materially false and misleading statements in the consent solicitation
statements sent to the limited partners of such partnerships relating
to approval of the transfer of partnership interests in limited
partnerships, owning certain of the properties, to affiliates of Casden
Properties, Inc., organized by an affiliate of NAPICO.

On August 4, 1999, one investor holding one unit of limited partnership
interest in Housing Programs Limited (another affiliated partnership in
which NAPICO is the managing general partner) commenced a virtually
identical action in the same court, against the Partnership, NAPICO and
certain other affiliated entities.  The second action has been subsumed
in the first action, which has been certified as a class action.

On August 21, 2001, plaintiffs filed a supplemental complaint, which
added new claims, including a claim for a recission of the transfer of
partnership interests and an accounting.  The trial on these claims is
in progress.  As of November 15, 2002, the jury returned a special
verdict against NAPICO and certain other defendants for violations of
securities laws and breaches of fiduciary duty.  However, no verdicts
have been returned against any of the NAPICO managed partnerships and
no judgments have been entered in the case.

REDDI BRAKE: Negotiating Settlement For Securities Lawsuit in CA Court
Reddi Brake Supply Corporation is negotiating a settlement agreement
with plaintiffs in the securities class action filed in the Los Angeles
Superior Court on behalf of all persons or entities who bought common
stock of the defendant prior to March 23, 1996, and/or who bought or
sold any shares thereafter until August 13, 1996.

The suit asserts causes of action for breach of fiduciary duty by
officers and directors and conspiracy to manipulate the price of the
common stock of the defendant.   The Company defendants have denied the

In May 1999, the parties reached a tentative settlement agreement,
which was presented to the Court in June 1999 and in September 1999,
preliminary approval by the court as fair, reasonable and adequate to
members of the settlement class.  In December 2000, representatives of
the named class members announced their intention to renegotiate
certain provisions of the settlement.  In January 2001, defendants
served notice of their withdrawal from the settlement.

In June 2001, the court rejected the proposed settlement, found the
plaintiffs' counsel inadequate, decertified the settlement class, and
ordered the class action allegations stricken from the complaint.  On
August 6, 2002, the California Court of Appeals rejected the
plaintiffs' former counsel's appeal of the state court's June 2001
order.  The action currently is pending in the Superior Court and the
named plaintiffs' have stated their intention to amend the complaint to
re-assert class action allegations.  The parties have been negotiating
a settlement agreement, which remains unresolved at the report date.

SALOMON SMITH: To Settle Gender Discrimination Lawsuit For $3.2 Million
Salomon Smith Barney, a division of Citigroup, was ordered by an
arbitration panel to pay $3.2 million to female stockbroker, Tameron
Keyes, in a sex-discrimination case, Agence France-Presse reports.  The
arbitration payment is part of a settlement of a sex-discrimination
class action over the so-called "boom-boom room" scandal.

The lawsuit centered on claims of sexual harassment of female employees
in a basement area at a brokerage office in Garden City, New York,
referred to by some male brokers there as the "boom-boom room."  Ms.
Keyes was hired in 1991, as a broker in Shearson Lehman Brothers, which
was subsequently acquired by Salomon in 1993.   Ms. Keyes alleged that
male brokers in the Shearson office engaged in sexual insults, arranged
for female strippers in the branch office and engaged in simulated
telephone sex on the branch speakerphone, among other things.

Ms. Keyes, who now works for Salomon in California, was awarded $3.05
million for economic losses and punitive damages respectively, and a
further $150,000 for emotional distress.

SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Denies Claims in CA Securities, Derivative Suits
Syncor International, Inc. and certain of its officers and directors
face several securities class actions filed in the United States
District Court for the Central District of California, after the
Company announced that a committee of outside directors, together with
outside counsel, has been investigating the propriety of certain
payments made by the Company's international subsidiaries to customers
in several foreign countries.

The suits, filed on behalf of all purchasers of the Company's common
stock during various periods, beginning as early as March 30, 2000, and
ending as late as November 5, 2002, allege, among other things, that
the defendants violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and Section 20(a) of the
Exchange Act, by issuing a series of press releases and public filings
disclosing significant sales growth in the Company's international
business, but omitting mention of certain allegedly improper payments
to the Company's foreign customers, thereby artificially inflating
the price of the Company's common stock.

The suits are in their earliest stages and it is impossible to predict
the outcome of these proceedings or their impact on the Company at this
time.  However, management believes that the Company has meritorious
defenses to the claims asserted in the suits.

On November 14, 2002, two additional actions were filed by individual
shareholders of the Company in the Court of Chancery of the State of
Delaware against seven of the Company's nine directors.  The suits
allege that the director defendants breached their fiduciary duties to
the Company by failing to maintain adequate controls, practices and
procedures to ensure that the Company's employees and representatives
did not engage in improper and unlawful conduct.  Each complaint
asserts a single derivative claim, for and on behalf of the Company,
seeking to recover all of the costs and expenses that the Company
incurs as a result of the allegedly improper payments (including the
costs of the federal suits), and a single class action count seeking to
recover damages on behalf of all holders of Company shares in the
amount of any losses that they may sustain in the event that the
pending merger with Cardinal Health does not occur or the consideration
received therefrom by Company stockholders is reduced.

The Delaware suits are also in their earliest stages and it is
impossible to predict their outcome or their impact on the Company at
this time.  However, the Company understands that the individual
director defendants deny liability for the claims asserted in the
Delaware suits and believe they have meritorious defenses to the claims
in it.

WESTERN UNION: Three Wire-transfer Firms Settle Suit Over Hidden Fees
Millions of Mexican immigrants in the United States who sent money back
home soon will be able to receive modes discounts from three wire-
transfer companies that were accused of hiding fees for the
transactions, Dow Jones International News reports.

Claim forms are now being mailed out.  Those who sign the forms will
get a choice of two $4.25-coupons or one $6-coupon for each transaction
between the class period of 1993 and 1999.  Customers also can receive
another coupon for every 10 transactions conducted before that class
period.  The total value of the coupons is about $375 million.

Class actions against Western Union, its subsidiary Orlandi Valuta,
and MoneyGram alleged they had collected hidden charges for years from
customers sending money from the United States to Mexico.  The
companies also were accused of failing to clearly disclose the charges
in their advertising.  Many Hispanic immigrants wire funds to relatives
in Latin America each month.  Immigrants pay an average of about $16 to
send $300 to Mexico.  That includes an $11 fee plus $5.40 foreign
exchange charge.

While a coupon or two may seem inconsequential, most plaintiffs will
probably receive more than that, said Matt Piers, lead attorney if the
federal lawsuits.  Many people, Mr. Piers estimated, sent money an
average of 17 times a year.

"There are people who literally are going to get hundreds of these"
coupons, Mr. Piers said.  However, he added that it will be unlikely
that all $375 million's worth of coupons will be redeemed.  The
settlement also awards about $10 million in plaintiffs' attorneys
fees, to be split among a team of lawyers from eight firms.

In the last two decades, the amount Mexican immigrants send home has
increased, reaching about 9.2 billion last year, according to a report
by Manuel Orozco, Central America project director at the Inter-
American Dialogue, a policy research group in Washington.

                          Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Supreme Court Won't Review Virginia Asbestos Trial
The US Supreme Court let stand a Virginia court order that consolidated
about 1,300 asbestos product-liability claims into one trial.  One
defendant, the privately held firm Hopeman Brothers Inc., appealed,
arguing that a single mass trial would be unfair and would violate
constitutional due process rights.  The high court rejected the appeal
without comment.

In October, the Supreme Court rejected a similar appeal by companies
arguing that a massive West Virginia asbestos trial would violate
fundamental fairness.  The Virginia case involved about 1,300 cases
against more than 35 defendants initially, including manufacturers,
suppliers, distributors, independent contractors and insurance
carriers.  The claims alleged that workers, from security guards to
welders and insulators, were exposed to asbestos at Newport News
Shipyard and Drydock Co.  Among the remaining defendants are:

     (1) Amchem Products Inc.,

     (2) Dow Chemical Co.'s Union Carbide unit,

     (3) Combustion Engineering, a US unit of ABB Ltd.,

     (4) S.B. Decking Inc.,

     (5) Mallickrodt Inc.,

     (6) C.E. Thurston & Sons Inc. and

     (7) Hopeman Brothers, Inc.

A number of groups supported the appeal, including the Chamber of
Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Tort
Reform Association, and the Coalition for Asbestos Justice.  "Mass
aggregations of asbestos claims raise serious constitutional due
process problems," the groups said in a statement, warning that the
practice will only make the asbestos litigation crisis worse.  They
said mass consolidations force defendants to settle while inviting more

Asbestos was widely used for fireproofing and insulation until the
1970s, when scientists concluded that inhaled fibers could be linked to
cancer and other diseases.  An ever-increasing number of personal
injury lawsuits has cost more than $54 billion in settlements so far
and has driven around 60 US companies into bankruptcy.

In September, the Virginia Supreme Court allowed for one trial in
Newport News.  The US Supreme Court declined to review that order.
Hopeman's lawyers argued that Virginia had abandoned traditional
notions of trial procedure and attempted a "quick-fix" to deal with the
pending asbestos cases.  They said immediate Supreme Court review would
be appropriate and necessary, adding that mass consolidations of
liability claims exert strong pressure on defendants to settle.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton to Settle All Asbestos Related Claims
Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL) reached agreement in principle to settle
hundreds of thousands of personal injury asbestos claims by paying more
than $4 billion in cash and stock.  The settlement, one of the largest
involving asbestos, which causes cancer and other diseases, covers all
present and future asbestos claims, the Company said.

A deal had been expected after Houston-based Halliburton, one of the
world's largest providers of oil field services and once headed by Vice
President Dick Cheney, said earlier this month it was near an agreement
with plaintiffs' attorneys representing more than 300,000 claimants.
The settlement will involve a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection filing by two subsidiaries of Halliburton.

"If this transaction is completed, it will resolve a major issue that
has been clouding our future," said Dave Lesar, chairman and chief
executive officer of Halliburton.

The settlement was reached in a US bankruptcy court case in Pittsburgh
and is to be executed through a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy code
filing involving DII Industries, Kellogg Brown & Root, which are
subsidiaries of Halliburton, and some other operations.

However, parent company Halliburton Co., Halliburton Energy Services,
Inc. and most Halliburton subsidiaries will be excluded from the
bankruptcy filing.  No job cuts will result from the deal and all
salaries and benefits will remain the same, the company said.

Under the agreement, Halliburton said it will pay up to $2.775 billion
in cash and 59.5 million shares of Company stock, which has a current
market value of about $1.2 billion.  It will also pay notes in amounts
to be determined, but with a net present value expected to be less than
$100 million.  The settlement caused Moody's to put Company ratings
under review for possible downgrade.  Ratings under review include
Halliburton senior unsecured debentures, notes, and medium-term notes
rated Baa2.

The agreement remains subject to financing, board approval, and court
approval, as well as the approval of at least 75 percent of asbestos

To resolve its growing asbestos liability, Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL)
is considering a novel -- and drastic -- step that would put one of its
biggest subsidiaries into bankruptcy court, while allowing Halliburton
to hold onto its businesses.

A deal hasn't yet been struck, though one could be announced as early
as Friday. If Halliburton is successful, it could set a precedent for
many companies, including Honeywell International Inc. and Dow Chemical
Co. that are trying to contain their asbestos woes in subsidiaries.

Until recently, seeking refuge from claims in bankruptcy court was
considered an unsavory last resort. Bankruptcy carries a stigma and
companies are sharply devalued once they land under court supervision.
Worse, the roughly 60 companies that have sought Chapter 11 protection
from asbestos creditors over the past three decades typically were
required to contribute all or most of their assets to fund trusts for
asbestos victims. Wall Street Journal Staff Reporter Susan Warren
contributed to this report.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Honeywell Nears Deal to Resolve Asbestos Lawsuits
Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON) said it is close to finalizing
a deal to resolve "a significant portion" of its asbestos lawsuits.
Attorneys for Honeywell told federal bankruptcy judge Judith Fitzgerald
in Pittsburgh that it has reached agreement with plaintiff attorneys
representing about 190,000 of 200,000 claimants in lawsuits related to
its former North American Refractories unit, known as Narco.

Honeywell hopes to funnel all of its Narco-related asbestos litigation,
including all future claims, through a trust created as part of Narco's
bankruptcy proceedings.  The Company would fund the trust for an
undisclosed sum, and in turn would be absolved of all liability
pertaining to the claims.

Judge Fitzgerald told the company she wants to see details of the
agreements and procedures for the trust at the next hearing set for
January 17.  The Company said it expects to be able to meet that

"We've made substantial progress towards resolving all of our Narco-
related asbestos claims, which we would view as an enormous positive
for the company, bringing closure to a significant portion of the
company's asbestos liability," said Honeywell general counsel Peter

However, some from the plaintiff's bar raised doubts.  "They may not be
as close as they think they are," said Sandy Esserman, an attorney
representing the Texas asbestos plaintiffs firm Reaud, Morgan & Quinn.
At Mr. Esserman's request, Judge Fitzgerald scheduled arguments January
31 on whether she should lift the stay of Narco-related litigation
against the Company.

The Company still faces asbestos lawsuits related to its Bendix brakes
unit, but says those are covered by ample insurance.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Owens Corning Could Emerge from Bankruptcy Strong
Despite growing evidence of tension between Owens Corning and its
creditors, recent delays in the firm's huge asbestos bankruptcy case do
not diminish the company's odds of eventually emerging from Chapter 11
strong and healthy, experts said.

Investors and some outside legal observers expressed concern when the
Toledo manufacturer of fiberglass and building materials missed a goal
of submitting a repayment plan by late October and then sought a fifth
extension on the eve of a November 26 deadline set by US Bankruptcy
Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

The company's failure to submit a so-called reorganization plan more
than two years after seeking protection from creditors might be unusual
in a typical Chapter 11 case, but not in an asbestos bankruptcy,
experts said.  Such bankruptcies have their own set of laws and are
complicated by the nature of asbestos disease, in which symptoms may
not be apparent for several years after the patient is exposed to

To determine adequate funding of a trust fund to be set up to pay
current and future asbestos claims, lawyers and other experts must
estimate how many workers who were exposed to the Company's asbestos
insulation in the 1960s or early 1970s will become ill and how severe
their illnesses will be.

"Two years is really not that unusual, particularly in a case this
large," said Pittsburgh lawyer Daniel Austin, an expert on asbestos
bankruptcies who is not involved in the case.  However, the flurry of
activity in the suit in recent months has shone a light on management
miscalculations the weeks before and after the October 5, 2000,
bankruptcy filing and on the deep division between the company and its
creditors and among the creditors themselves.

They include:

     (1) executives recently conceded in a memo to employees that the
         firm is unlikely to emerge from bankruptcy until 2004 at the
         earliest, apparently aborting a pledge by retired company
         Chairman Glen Hiner to be "Clear and Free by 2003."  Even as
         the company made the earlier pledge, it noted that an average
         asbestos bankruptcy takes six years;

     (2) executives vastly underestimated how much the company owed.
         The original bankruptcy petition listed $5.7 billion in debts
         and $7 billion in assets. Asset estimates have stayed the
         same, but the company now places debt at $9.6 billion to $12.2
         billion. Creditors say OC owes even more. The big culprit:
         rising asbestos liability estimates;

     (3) Creditors have forced executives to seek to overturn a number
         of transactions as fraudulent conveyances, including the
         firm's purchase of asbestos-liability-laden Fibreboard Corp.
         and certain aspects of OC's asbestos claims settlement program
         under which Toledo's third largest corporation turned over
         more than $1 billion to plaintiff lawyers and their clients in
         the two years leading up to Chapter 11;

Fibreboard was acquired in 1997 as part of a bid to become a major
player in vinyl siding and achieve ex-Chairman Hiner's goals of $5
billion in annual sales.  At the time, OC executives said that a $1.9
billion fund set up with insurance proceeds to pay asbestos victims
would be more than enough to cover claims in perpetuity and asserted
that the acquisition wouldn't add to OC's already huge asbestos

However, less than two months ago, executives acknowledged that
settling current and expected asbestos claims filed against Fibreboard
could require an additional $975 million and possibly more.  Bankruptcy
Judge Judith Fitzgerald, who is hearing the OC case, has barred the
company and its creditors from trying to recoup settlement payments
made asbestos claimants. However, creditors have forced OC through
court action to demand the return of settlements paid to lawyers but
not distributed to clients.

The firm's banks and bondholders criticize the claims settlement
program because they argue that OC's asbestos liability outcome was
hopeless when the program began in 1998 so therefore the company was
already insolvent and shouldn't have been allowed to make such

The rising level of acrimony between the company and its creditors was
demonstrated in a recent bankruptcy court filing.  The Company
"announced to the world" that its claims settlement program "was the
magic cure for the asbestos-liability problems, but soon realized that,
in fact, it did not work" wrote lawyers for a creditors committee
representing banks, bondholders, and vendors.

"The debtors, planning for a Chapter 11 filing, continued in public
statements by the chairman and CEO and in Securities and Exchange
Commission filings to assure the public and its creditors that the
(program) was working, while the debtors borrowed money (and) funneled
tens and tens of millions of dollars to law firms."

Executives deny wrongdoing and in a memo to employees last month wrote
that court filings by the creditors "grossly distorted the company's
public disclosures and . simply reflected a fundamental
misunderstanding" of how the settlement program worked.

OC spokesman Stephen Krull said the company continues to make progress
on its repayment plan, which is a key initial step in emerging from
Chapter 11.  The company and creditor representatives met with court-
appointed mediator Francis McGovern, who is a law professor at Duke

Six more sessions are scheduled through December 20, when the parties
are scheduled to report on progress during a conference in Newark, NJ,
with US Judge Alfred Wolin.  He is overseeing parts of the bankruptcy
of OC and several other former asbestos producers.  Presiding Judge
Fitzgerald, who has ultimate control over the OC case, is scheduled to

"It was productive," the OC spokesman said of the initial session.
"There was a very frank and open exchange of views and opinions on the
issue."  The company hopes to submit a plan outline at the December 20

OC's deadline for filing a repayment plan is Jan. 10, and the company
will have until March 14 to solicit votes of creditors.  The plan must
win the support of 75 percent of current asbestos claimants or it won't
meet legal requirements to be properly submitted.  Such a plan,
however, still could face court challenges from other creditors.  That
would delay confirmation by the court and conclusion of the bankruptcy

If OC were to miss the deadline again and not obtain an extension from
the court, creditors would be free to submit repayment plans of their
own.  Those could contain provisions not wanted by OC executives,
possibly resulting in terms that would benefit those owed money but not
the continuing operations of the company.

Under any plan, a trust fund set up to pay asbestos claims is expected
to receive at least 51 percent of newly issued OC shares in compliance
with bankruptcy laws.  That would put the trust fund in control of the

The plan is to specify the amount of money the company will seek to
raise through bank borrowing, bond sales, and other avenues.  It is to
identify how much will be retained by OC to fund operations and how
much will be distributed to creditors.  It also is to specify what
percentages creditors will receive on debts they are owed, because full
repayments are unlikely.  Payments typically are partially in cash and
partially in stock or notes.

Existing OC shareholders are expected to receive little, if anything.
Current and future asbestos claimants, who some estimates suggest are
owed $15 billion, could receive as little as 30 cents on the dollar,
according to a non-company lawyer involved in the case who spoke on the
condition he would not be identified.

Another lawyer, Mr. Austin, of Pittsburgh, agreed that the huge
disparity between the company's assets and liabilities will force
asbestos victims to settle for less. "It means the asbestos claimants
are going to get a fraction of the value of their claims," he said.
"That is not at all unusual in these kinds of cases."

Creditors are divided over a number of issues that so far have
prevented OC from submitting an acceptable repayment plan, the company
spokesman said.  Among the most vocal creditors is a consortium of
international banks, led by Credit Suisse First Boston, which is owed
nearly $1.6 billion.  The banks argue they deserve a larger percentage
of the pie than other creditors because loans made to OC are backed by
company subsidiaries which have no asbestos exposure and which didn't
provide similar backing for bonds issued by the company.

Although a number of subsidiaries are mentioned, the main plum is Owens
Corning Fiberglas Technology, Inc. Set up by the company in 1991 as
part of a tax shelter that is commonly used by US corporations, OCF
Technology owns the bulk of the parent company's patents, trademarks,
and technology.  OC paid the subsidiary $150 million in royalties
annually in 1998 and 1999 for use of the technology and property, and
the arrangement continued after the Chapter 11 filing, according to
legal documents.

Under such arrangements, money usually is funneled back to the parent
company through various means.  OCF Technology listed assets of $814
million as of late 2000, according to court documents.  Other creditors
oppose the banks' claim. "It's a major issue between the creditor
constituencies and will be resolved or litigated," said Elihu
Inselbuch, a New York lawyer who represents asbestos claimants.

Still, Mike Kelley, a Cleveland lawyer who is a member of the asbestos
claimants committee, said he is optimistic most issues will be resolved
by June.  "This is a massive bankruptcy," he said. "It's very complex.
There are billions and billions of dollars at stake.  When you're
talking those kinds of dollars, it takes a long time."

Although former asbestos producer Armstrong World Industries went into
bankruptcy shortly after OC, it filed a repayment plan a month ago that
gave a trust fund about two-thirds controlling interest in the company.
The plan has not gone without criticism.

"If this is a model for all future settlements, the future looks dim
indeed for shareholders and debt holders of companies with unresolved
claims," Richard Lehman, of Forbes/Lehman Income Securities Investor,
said in a column in Forbes.Com.

ASBESTOS ALERT: AB Electrolux Faces Numerous Asbestos Related Lawsuits
AB Electrolux, the world's leading white goods maker, has been notified
of 194 asbestos class action lawsuits involving 14,300 people, Chief
Executive Hans Straberg said.  Mr. Straberg declined to say whether the
lawsuits included claims from at least 13,000 people in more than 25
class actions in the state of Mississippi, confirmed earlier by a US

The claims against Electrolux are targeted at White Consolidated
Industries (WCI), the maker of Frigidaire appliances, and at parent
company AB Electrolux.  Electrolux acquired WCI in 1985.

"Is the situation serious, yes. The company is facing a serious number
of lawsuits," Gretchen Gentry, a lawyer with the US law firm Daniels &
Gentry in Jackson, Mississippi, told Reuters by telephone on Tuesday.
She said 13,000-15,000 people have joined the asbestos class action
lawsuits against Electrolux in the state of Mississippi in the past six
months.  Other US lawyers have also recently talked about a similar
number of such cases involving Electrolux.

Asbestos personal injury claims in the United States have cost more
than $54 billion in settlements so far and driven more than 60 US
companies into bankruptcy.

Alwyn Luckey, whose Jackson-based law firm represents some 3,000 people
in five separate class actions against Electrolux, told Reuters he
believed Electrolux should have been notified of the pending asbestos


AB Electrolux (NASDAQ: ELUX)
St G”ransgatan 143
Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-738-6400
Fax: +46-8-656-4478

Employees                : 87,139
Revenue                  : $12,956,000,000
Net Income               : $369,000,000
Assets                   : $9,010,000,000
Liabilities              : $6,256,000,000

(As of December 31, 2001)

Description: AB Electrolux, the world's #1 producer of household
appliances, cranks out washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators,
and freezers under the Frigidaire, Electrolux, Zanussi, and AEG names.
Electrolux is also the world's #1 maker of vacuum cleaners, including
the Eureka (US) and Electrolux (outside North America) brands; it has
bought the right to use the Electrolux name in North America (from
long-unaffiliated vacuum maker Electrolux LLC) beginning in 2004.
Electrolux also makes food and beverage machines for the food service
industry, commercial laundry equipment, and lawn and garden equipment
(Husqvarna chainsaws,Weed Eater trimmers).

ASBESTOS ALERT: Alfa Laval Faces Asbestos Suits
In the asbestos lawsuits where Alfa Laval Inc. has been named as a
defendant, the plaintiffs have not identified any Alfa Laval products
that Alfa Laval believes could form the basis for liability, and in no
lawsuit has an Alfa Laval product been determined as the cause of any
asbestos injury.  Alfa Laval strongly believes the claims against the
company are without merit and intends to vigorously contest each

As was disclosed in the Q3 interim report, distributed October 31,
2002, a subsidiary in the US, Alfa Laval Inc., has recently been named
with increasing frequency as a co-defendant in lawsuits related to
injuries allegedly suffered from the use of asbestos.  These lawsuits
relate to claims alleging injuries from exposure to asbestos primarily
from the 1930's to the end of the 1970's.  Alfa Laval Inc. is only one
of hundreds of companies named as a defendant.  Historically, claims
against Alfa Laval Inc. have been dismissed due to lack of relevance or
have been settled for insignificant amounts, far below expected defense

Prior to early 2002, Alfa Laval was granted summary judgment in its
favor in nine asbestos lawsuits.  A further seven lawsuits where Alfa
Laval Inc. was named as a co-defendant have been dismissed.  Alfa Laval
also settled five asbestos lawsuits for insignificant amounts that were
substantially less than estimated defense costs, however without
accepting any liability.  As per January 2002, Alfa Laval Inc. was
involved in 9 asbestos-related lawsuits, filed between 1997 and 2001.

As per May 20, 2002, Alfa Laval was aware of the existence of 11
lawsuits in which Alfa Laval Inc. was named as a co-defendant.  These
11 lawsuits, which were not considered material, represented an
aggregate of 517 plaintiffs, of which 507 corresponded to one lawsuit
in which Alfa Laval was one of 384 defendants.  Each of the remaining
lawsuits had one plaintiff.  In all of the cases, Alfa Laval was only
named as one of numerous defendants.

As per September 30, 2002, Alfa Laval Inc. was named as a co-defendant
in a total of 25 asbestos lawsuits.  Since October 1, 2002, Alfa Laval
Inc. has been named as a co-defendant in an additional 43 lawsuits.
Notice regarding 30 of these additional 43 lawsuits was received during
the last few days.  As a result of these recent lawsuits, Alfa Laval
Inc. is now named as a co-defendant in a total of 68 asbestos lawsuits
representing approximately 7,500 plaintiffs.  These plaintiffs do not
identify any Alfa Laval products that the company believes could form
the basis for liability.

Historically, the asbestos lawsuits in which Alfa Laval Inc. has been
named as a defendant involved few plaintiffs, but with a large number
of co-defendants.  More recently, the company has been named in
asbestos lawsuits also with large numbers of plaintiffs, which has now
become a common approach in the US.  The total number of plaintiffs
underlying the lawsuits in which Alfa Laval Inc. has been named as a
co-defendant is approximately 7,500.  Alfa Laval Inc. is in all cases
one among a large number of defendants.  Over 6,550 plaintiffs are
parties to the two largest lawsuits in which Alfa Laval Inc. has been
included as a co-defendant.  Alfa Laval knew these two lawsuits during
the last three months, and more specifically the latest one became
known on November 1.  These two lawsuits named 380 and 266 defendants

Based on current information and Alfa Laval's understanding of the
situation of these lawsuits, Alfa Laval does not believe that these
lawsuits will have a material adverse effect on the company's financial
condition or results of operations.


Alfa Laval Inc. - Contherm Product Center
111 Parker St., PO Box 352
Newburyport, Massachusetts 01950
United States
Phone: 978-465-5777
Fax: 978-465-6006

Description: Alfa Laval supplies heat exchangers for every requirement
of the food processing industry. Today our company is represented in
130 countries and all of our products are found in many more.

ASBESTOS ALERT: BOC Group Inc. Faces Various Asbestos Related Lawsuits
Similar to many other companies, the BOC Group has been named, in the
ordinary course of its business, in civil proceedings involving claims
of toxic tort bodily injury related to asbestos and certain metals and
arising out of the use of certain of the company's welding products.

Since BOC acquired Airco in 1978, all proceedings that have been
concluded thus far have either been successfully defended or otherwise
resolved on terms favourable to the company.  To date, the costs of
defending or otherwise resolving these proceedings, have not been
material to the company's financial statements.

The Company believes that it has strong defenses to the claims asserted
in these proceedings and intends to vigorously defend such claims.
Based on the company's experience to date, together with the company's
current assessment of the merits of the claims being asserted, and
applicable insurance, the company believes that continued defense and
resolution of these proceedings will not have a material adverse effect
on its financial statements.


The BOC Group plc (NYSE: BOX)
Chertsey Road
Windlesham, Surrey GU20 6HJ, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-1276-477222
Fax: +44-1276-471333

Employees                 : 46,280
Revenue                   : $5,733,400,000
Net Income                : $318,100,000
Assets                    : $7,669,900,000
Liabilities               : $5,030,100,000

(As of September 30, 2002)

Description: The BOC Group is world's #2 producer of industrial and
specialty gases, behind France's L'Air Liquide. BOC's gas operations
include the manufacture and distribution of gases and the installation
of plants that produce oxygen, nitrogen, argon, and other gases used to
make iron, steel, aluminum, and other products. The company, through
BOC Edwards, also makes high-purity gases and related equipment for the
microchip industry. BOC's Gist unit distributes consumer goods such as
food and clothing for Marks and Spencer and John Lewis in the UK.
Another unit, Afrox, owns and manages 60 acute care hospitals and
clinics in South Africa.

ASBESTOS ALERT: Chase Corporation Battles Various Asbestos Lawsuits
In 2002, the Company was named as a defendant in two consolidated
personal injury lawsuits in Jefferson County and Jackson County,
Mississippi and in a single case in Brazoria County, Texas, all of
which allege asbestos exposure.

The two lawsuits in Mississippi name around 3,000 plaintiffs total and
each lawsuit names approximately 400 defendants.  It is not clear from
the complaints in any of these cases whether there is any basis for the
claims against the Company.  Nor is it clear at this time whether the
plaintiffs intend to pursue actively their claims against the Company.

No discovery from the Company has been sought yet.  The Company's
insurer has assumed defense of these claims subject to reservation of
its rights as to coverage for any underlying liability assessed.
Although the Company cannot predict the outcome of these claims,
management believes it will not have any material financial impact on
the Company.


Chase Corporation (AMEX: CCF)
26 Summer St.
Bridgewater, MA 02324
Phone: 508-279-1789
Fax: 508-697-6419

Employees                : 352
Revenue                  : $69,300,000
Net Income               : $4,500,000
Assets                   : $53,300,000
Liabilities              : $20,100,000

(As of December 31, 2001)

Description: The company makes tapes and protective coatings used by
the electronic, public utility, and oil industries. Products include
insulating and conducting materials for electrical and telephone wire,
electrical repair tapes, protective pipe coatings, thermoelectric
insulation for electrical equipment, and moisture protective coatings
for electronics. Chase also provides circuit board manufacturing
services. Cofounder and president emeritus Edward Chase owns about 37%
of the company. His son Peter, president, CEO, and COO, owns about 13%.

ASBESTOS ALERT: Lucent Technologies, Inc. Retains Asbestos Litigation
Lucent Technologies Inc. is a defendant in various lawsuits involving
exposure to asbestos.  These cases primarily involve exposure to
asbestos in premises owned or operated by the Company or the
predecessors of its business, such as AT&T or Western Electric, and, to
a lesser extent, exposure from handling products manufactured or sold
by the Company or its predecessors that contained asbestos.
Historically, the Company has not paid any material amounts related to
asbestos claims, and currently does not expect these cases to have a
significant impact on the Company in the future.

However, asbestos claims are on the rise generally in the US and an
increasing number of claims are being made against owners or operators
of premises where asbestos is or was located and companies that
manufactured or sold products containing asbestos.  Accordingly, the
Company cannot give assurance that asbestos related claims will not
have a material adverse impact on the Company in the future.


Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU)
600 Mountain Ave.
Murray Hill, NJ 07974
Phone: 908-582-8500
Fax: 908-508-2576
Toll Free: 888-458-2368

Employees                  : 47,000
Revenue                    : $12,321,000,000
Net Income                 : $(11,753,000,000)
Assets                     : $17,791,000,000
Liabilities                : $22,525,000,000

(As of September 30, 2002)

Description: Lucent Technologies, a global leader in telecom equipment,
provides products used to build communications network infrastructure.
Its core transmission and switching, wireless, and optical gear is used
worldwide. The company also makes software and provides a wide range of
services; many of its products are developed by its Bell Laboratories
research and development unit. The company, provides wireline and
wireless products to the largest telephone companies and other
communications service providers; former parent AT&T is a major

ASBESTOS ALERT: Manville Trust Settles $3 Billion in Asbestos Lawsuits
The Manville Trust, the first and largest asbestos trust, has paid over
$3 billion to nearly 500,000 claimants and other beneficiaries as of
November 30, 2002, making it the largest toxic tort or personal injury
trust of any kind, including Dalkon Shield, which distributed $2.9
billion to nearly 200,000 claimants, and Agent Orange, which
distributed almost $200 million to 105,000 claimants.

Claims Resolution Management Corporation (CRMC), the Trust's claims
processing facility, expects to receive about 57,000 claims for 2002,
totaling approximately $200 million.  About 80 percent of 2002's claims
have been processed with the interactive Web-based e-Claims (patent
pending) system, which has helped the Trust cut its processing costs by
50 percent.

"The $3 billion paid by a single trust signifies the magnitude of the
asbestos problem, which continues to grow," said David Austern, general
counsel of the Manville Trust and president of CRMC. "The amount of
money that will be necessary to resolve future claims -estimated at up
to 2.4 million - will dwarf what Manville has already distributed."

Asbestos lawsuits have cost 52,000 to 60,000 Americans their jobs and
U.S. businesses - 61 of which have filed for bankruptcy protection - as
much as $275 billion, according to December study commissioned by the
American Insurance Association.  In September the RAND Corporation
projected that asbestos litigation will affect 85 percent of the US

The Manville Trust has exceeded the $2.054 billion made available when
it was formed in 1988 to settle both present and future personal injury
claims caused by exposure to asbestos produced by the Johns-Manville
Corporation.  Approximately $1.6 billion remains in the Trust estate,
with roughly 50 percent in equity and 50 percent in fixed-income

The Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust was created as an
independent organization in 1988 to distribute funds to those exposed
to asbestos related products mined or manufactured by the Johns-
Manville Corporation and its affiliated entities as equitably as
possible, while balancing the rights of current claimants against those
of future, unknown claimants. The Trust's mission is to "enhance and
preserve the Trust estate" in order to "deliver fair, adequate and
equitable compensation to (claimants), whether known or unknown."


Johns Manville Corporation
717 17th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: 303-978-2000
Fax: 303-978-3547

Employees               : 10,000 (JM)
Revenue                 : $37,668,000,000
Net Income              : $795,000,000
Assets                  : $162,752,000,000
Liabilities             : $104,802,000,000

(As of December 31, 2001 of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.)

Description: Johns Manville (JM) produces commercial and industrial
roofing systems and formaldehyde-free fiberglass building insulation
for the commercial and residential building industries. JM is one of
the nation's top makers of residential building insulation. It also
produces specialty insulation for OEMs in the transportation,
acoustics, appliance, and HVAC industries. Other products include fire-
protection systems, air-filtration media for respirators and vacuum
bags, glass textile wallcoverings, and fibers and nonwoven mats used in
roofing and flooring. JM operates about 55 plants in China, Europe, and
North America. Warren Buffett's Bershire Hathaway owns JM.

ASBESTOS ALERT: Scottish Power Faces Numerous Claims in Asbestos Scare
Scottish Power has revealed it is contesting 53 legal cases brought
against the group by victims of asbestosis who are suing for damages.
Its US unit PacifiCorp also faces a smaller number of asbestos-related

The Glasgow-based electricity group moved swiftly this weekend to
stress that the claims are wholly covered by the company's insurance
policies.  A spokesman for Scottish Power said: "Financially, the
exposure to us is not material."

Nonetheless, the discovery of the asbestos exposure has alarmed some
City institutional investors and asset managers.  They are pushing the
group to provide greater disclosure on the extent of the asbestos
exposure and cover.

Global markets have been shaken by the surge in the number of claims
being made against companies for asbestos poisoning.  Companies as
diverse as ABB, Saint Gobain and Royal & Sun Alliance have had to raise

One big investor said, "It's a new risk that has hit us like a bolt of
lightning. It's understandable that shareholders would feel alarmed.
Scottish Power must do more to allay investor fears by providing more
detail on the risks."

Scottish Power only confessed to the fact that it is a defendant
against 53 litigants last week when pressed by an anxious shareholder
at a meeting to unveil the company's interim profits of GBP265 million
(E420 million).  The group is also rumored to be in talks with rival
Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) over a possible merger to create a
UKpound 12 billion (E19.2 billion) national champion.

Analysts suggest that a deal between the two companies is now more
likely after the sale of TXU Energi to Germany's Eon, and Seeboard to
Electricite de France in June.  Chief Executive Ian Russell said he
will consider merging with SSE if competition concerns could be
overcome and the deal created shareholder value.


Scottish Power plc (NYSE: SPI)
1 Atlantic Quay
Glasgow G2 8SP, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-141-248-8200
Fax: +44-141-248-8300

Employees                 : 16,162
Revenue                   : $8,999,500,000
Net Income                : $(1,406,900,000)
Assets                    : $23,254,300,000
Liabilities               : $16,510,700,000

(As of March 31, 2002)

Description: One of the largest multi-utilities in the country, the
company distributes electricity to 2.6 million customers in Scotland,
northwestern England, and Wales and generates 4,500 MW of capacity
through its Scottish Power UK and Manweb units. It also distributes
natural gas to 900,000 customers, and it markets and trades energy.
Across the Atlantic, Scottish Power owns PacifiCorp, which provides
power (8,300-MW of capacity) to 1.5 million customers in the western

ASBESTOS ALERT: Sterling Settles Asbestos Litigation Under Bankruptcy
On August 1, 1986, Sterling Chemicals acquired its petrochemicals
manufacturing facility in Texas City, Texas from Monsanto.  No pre-
closing tort liabilities were assumed by the Company in the asset
purchase agreement.  Parts of the Texas City facility date to the 1940s
and may have been insulated with asbestos-containing high temperature
insulation products in common use in the industry prior to the 1980s.

Sterling Chemicals is a defendant in asbestos personal injury lawsuits
allegedly arising out of its ownership of the Texas City facility, and
in most of those lawsuits Sterling was being defended by Monsanto
pursuant to certain indemnity language contained within the asset
purchase agreement.

Prior to the Proof of Claim bar date in the Chapter 11 Case, in excess
of 1300 alleged asbestos claimants filed Proofs of Claim against
Sterling Chemicals.  Sterling Chemicals has objected or will timely
object to these Proofs of Claim and is of the belief that few, if any,
of the claims have merit.  Based upon information currently available,
the work histories of 941 of the claimants fail to reveal that they
ever worked at the Texas City facility at any time.  265 claimants
claim to have worked at the Texas City facility, but not after the
Company's acquisition of the facility on August 1, 1986.  43 claimants
assert that they did work at the Texas City facility after August 1,
1986 and 71 claimants have submitted no information at all concerning
their purported exposures.

Sterling Chemicals, therefore, believes that it has certain procedural
and statutory defenses to the claims, as well as defenses available to
it under applicable state law, supporting its conclusion that few, if
any, of these claims have merit as to Sterling Chemicals.

Prior to September 13, 2002, the Debtors had resolved around 1200 of
the around 1300 asbestos Proofs of Claim for the sum of $55,400. The
order approving the settlement of these Proofs of Claims was signed by
the Bankruptcy Court on July 24, 2002.  Since the date of that order,
the Debtors have resolved all but one of the remaining asbestos Proofs
of Claim for the sum of $4,000.  In addition, they have also resolved
approximately 550 neighborhood chemical release Claims for the sum of

The settlements of the remaining asbestos Claims and the neighborhood
chemical release Claims have yet to be approved by the Bankruptcy
Court.  However, before entering into these settlements, the Debtors
consulted with the Creditors Committee and other key parties in
interest and are cautiously optimistic that these settlements will be
approved within the next 30 days.  Of the approximately 2,000 pre-
petition tort Proofs of Claim pending against the Debtors as of the Bar
Date, only approximately 25 Claims have yet to be resolved.

The Debtors are currently in negotiations to resolve these remaining
Claims and believe that these Claims could be resolved within the 45 to
60 days.  To the extent that a settlement is not reached with some or
all of the remaining claimants, the Debtors will proceed with their
pending objections to the Claims of these claimants and their pending
motions to withdraw the references as to these Claims.  In any event,
all of such Claims would be Tort Claims that would be treated in Class
9 of the Plan.

During its period of ownership of the Texas City facility, Sterling
Chemicals has had a program in place to ensure compliance with the
Occupational Safety and Health Act and other governmental regulations
governing asbestos to ensure that asbestos exposures are kept within
the applicable "Permissible Exposure Limits" imposed by OSHA
regulations.  During Sterling Chemicals' period of ownership, when
asbestos-containing insulation materials have been removed as part of
routine maintenance activities, steps have been taken to minimize
exposure to the extent practicable, and asbestos-free insulation has
been installed in place of any asbestos-containing insulation that has
been removed.

Sterling Chemicals has implemented a written asbestos management
program to manage encapsulated asbestos in place in its Texas City
facility.  Sterling Chemicals, as a founding member of the Contractor
Safety Council of Texas City, has also taken steps to ensure that
workers receive information concerning potential workplace hazards,
including asbestos, through classroom, video and computer-based

The possibility of future asbestos claims does exist by virtue of
continued presence of encapsulated asbestos materials at the Texas City
facility in undetermined amounts, but strict OSHA regulations limiting
asbestos exposure and Sterling Chemicals' asbestos management efforts
should mitigate any future asbestos liabilities.

The Debtors have made estimates of the reasonably possible range of
liability with regard to outstanding litigation for which they may
incur any liability.  These estimates are based on the Debtors'
judgment using currently available information, as well as consultation
with their insurance carriers and outside legal counsel.  A number of
the claims in these litigation matters are covered by insurance
policies or by third-party indemnification.

Therefore, the Debtors have also made estimates of their probable
recoveries under insurance policies or from third-party indemnitors
based on their judgment, their understanding of their insurance
policies and indemnification arrangements, discussions with their
insurers and indemnitors and consultation with outside legal counsel.

Based on the foregoing, the Debtors estimate that the aggregate
reasonably possible range of loss for all litigation combined is
between zero and $21 million.  Again, such liabilities if established
would constitute prepetition claims and would be treated under the

Litigation claims alleging personal injury, property damage or wrongful
death would be classified as Tort Claims and treated under Class 9 of
the Plan.  Other litigation claims would be classified as General
Unsecured Claims and treated under Class 7 of the Plan.  Depending on
their nature, certain other litigation claims, or portions thereof, may
constitute Non-Compensatory Damages Claims, which are treated in Class
11 of the Plan.


Sterling Chemicals Incorporated
1200 Smith St., Ste. 1900
Houston, TX 77002-4312
Phone: 713-650-3700
Fax: 713-654-9551

Employees                  : 871
Revenue                    : $628,700,000
Net Income                 : $(36,000,000)
Assets                     : $489,600,000
Liabilities                : $1,101,100,000

(As of September 30, 2002)

Description: Having declared bankruptcy, Sterling Chemicals (formerly
Sterling Chemicals Holdings) is plotting a course for fiscal solvency.
The company has filed a second plan of reorganization with the US
Bankruptcy court in an effort to exit chapter 11. According to the
plan, Sterling will focus on its core petrochemical business and sell
its wood pulp chemicals business (sodium chlorate/chlorite) to pay off
debt. It also will transfer its acrylic fibers business to local
management for a nominal fee. Sterling's petroleum-based offerings
include styrene, which is used to make Styrofoam, and acetic acid.
Sterling and its US subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy in 2001; its
foreign operations were not included in the filing.

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

TENET HEALTHCARE: Berger & Montague Commences Securities Suit in CA
Berger & Montague, PC initiated a securities class action against Tenet
Healthcare (NYSE: THC) and certain of its principal officers and
directors in the United States District Court for the Central District
of California on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased
Company securities between October 3, 2001 and November 11, 2002.

The suit alleges that, throughout the class period, defendants
represented that the Company's favorable financial results were
attributable to among other things, increased admissions, a shift to
higher acuity services, and improved operating processes, and that the
company was consistently achieving record results.  However, it is
alleged that the Company's profits and financial condition were
inflated by, among other things:

     (1) the Company's policy of charging what it ultimately conceded
         was "too aggressive" prices for its payor charges which
         enabled it to obtain Medicare "outlier payments" in amounts
         far exceeding that which was justified for several Tenet
         Hospitals; and

     (2) wrongfully inducing patients into undergoing unnecessary
         invasive coronary procedures at Tenet's key profit center at
         Redding Medical Center (RMC).

On October 28, 2002, disclosures of overcharging began to surface when
a UBS Warburg analyst challenged the Company's exposure to charges of
Medicare violations in connection with its outlier payments policy.
Thereafter, on October 30, 2002, the Company's RMC facility was raided
by the FBI, and on November 7, 2002, Tenet announced that two of its
top executives -- David L. Dennis (the chief financial officer and
chief corporate officer) and Thomas B. Mackey (the chief operating
officer) -- would leave the Company amidst revelations that a federal
investigation was being launched into allegations that Tenet obtained
unjustifiable Medicare reimbursements through over- aggressive pricing
policies.  Following these disclosures, Tenet's stock price fell 72%,
and lost approximately $16 billion in market value.

For more details, contact Sherrie R. Savett, Carole A. Broderick, Casey
M. Preston, Kimberly A. Walker by Mail: 1622 Locust Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103 by Phone: 888-891-2289 or 215-875-3000 by Fax:
215-875-5715 by E-mail: InvestorProtect@bm.net or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.bergermontague.com


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.  Enid Sterling, Aurora Fatima
Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2002.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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