CAR_Public/030321.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
                 Friday, March 21, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 56

                            Headlines                            


ACCELR8 TECHNOLOGY: CO Court Preliminarily Approves Lawsuit Settlement
ALLERGAN INC.: Dismissed As Defendant in RICO Violations Lawsuit in MA
ANADARKO PETROLEUM: New Petition Filed Over Certification in Texas Suit
ARIAD PHARMACEUTICALS: NY Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement
BEHR PROCESS: WA State Judge Approves Settlement For Wood Sealant Suit

CALIFORNIA PIZZA: Workers File Suit Over Meal Breaks, Wages in CA Court
CH ROBINSON: Denies Allegations in Female Employees Overtime Wage Suit
CH ROBINSON: Denies Allegations in FLSA Violations Lawsuit in MN Court
CORVAS INTERNATIONAL: Faces AVF Lawsuit Opposing Dendreon Merger in DE
FIREPOND INC.: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit

FREEMARKETS INC.: PA Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
FREEMARKETS INC.: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
KAPLAN INC.: Lecturers Commence Overtime Wage, Business Practices Suit
LONE STAR: CalPERS Launches Second Amended Securities Suit In CA Court
MERRILL LYNCH: NY Court Refuses to Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuits

MERRILL LYNCH: To Ask NY Court To Dismiss 170 Securities Fraud Lawsuits
MERRILL LYNCH: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Enron Securities Fraud Suits
MERRILL LYNCH: To Ask NY Court To Dismiss IPO Fee Antitrust Lawsuits
MERRILL LYNCH: To Ask Court For Dismissal From Global Securities Suit
NAVISITE INC.: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit

OPTICAL CABLE: Securities Settlement Deemed Final After No Appeal Filed
PRG SCHULTZ: GA Court Grants Certification To Securities Fraud Lawsuit
REHABCARE GROUP: Asks MO Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
STERLING TRUST: CA Court Denies Motion To Compel Arbitration in Lawsuit
STRATOS LIGHTWAVE: Faces CA Stockholder Suit Over Tsunami Acquisition

VALICERT INC.: NY Court Dismisses In Part Consolidated Securities Suit

                           Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Outlook Brightens for Bill on Asbestos Litigation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lawyer's Fee in ABB Ltd. Litigation Under Scrutiny
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Argonaut Group Inc. Posts Wide Loss, Reorganizes
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AWI Notes $2.5B Asbestos Charge, Proposes Payout
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Corporation To Resolve Asbestos Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal Mogul Plant Gets `All-Clear' on Asbestos
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Gencor Settles Asbestos Claims, Completes Spin-off
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Gencor Settles Asbestos Claims, Completes Spin-off
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NY Court Rules in Genlyte's Favor in Asbestos Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton Files Affidavit on Asbestos Settlement

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hartford May Face Asbestos, Acquisition Cost Hit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WR Grace Reports $973.2 Million Asbestos Liability
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wolseley Plays Down Concerns Over Asbestos Suits
ASBESTOS ALERT: Ethyl Corp. Bills Albemarle for Asbestos Liability
ASBESTOS ALERT: Florida-Based Jim Walter Homes Updates Corporate Image

ASBESTOS ALERT: Moen Battles 110 Asbestos-Related Personal Injury Suits

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

BAYER AG: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in S.D. NY
BLOCKBUSTER INC.: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. TX
SOLECTRON CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Launches Securities Suit in CA
VAXGEN INC.: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
WORLDCOM INC.: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY

                           *********


ACCELR8 TECHNOLOGY: CO Court Preliminarily Approves Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Colorado granted
preliminary approval to a settlement proposed by Accelr8 Technology
Corporation to settle a consolidated securities class action against
the Company and:

     (1) Thomas V. Geimer,

     (2) Harry J. Fleury, and

     (3) James Godkin

The consolidated suit alleges violations of Section 10(b) of the
Exchange, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, relating to the Company's
accounting and public disclosure from October 1997 to November 1999.  
The defendants have answered the suit, in which they denied liability
and raised affirmative defenses.  In January 2001, the court granted
the plaintiff's motion for class certification.

The parties to the consolidated suit then reached an agreement in
principle to settle the suit against all parties.  Under the
contemplated settlement, the Company will contribute to a Settlement
Fund $450,000 and 375,000 chares of common stock in the Company.  The
Settlement Fund will be distributed in a manner over which the Company
has no control.  

On February 28, 2003, the court issued a Preliminary Order Approving
Settlement and Attached Documents, and scheduled a settlement fairness
hearing for May 20, 2003.  Under the terms of the agreement, on March
4, 2003 the Company deposited $450,000 into an escrow account pending
final approval of the settlement.

In the event that final approval of the settlement is not given, the
escrowed funds will be returned, less expenses incurred for the cost of
notification to class members.  Although management believes that it is
probable that the settlement agreement will receive final court
approval, there can be no assurance that court approval will occur.  In
the event that the settlement is not completed, the litigation will
continue.  While management believes it has substantial defenses to the
suit, there is no assurance that the resolution of the suit will not
have a material adverse effect on the Company.


ALLERGAN INC.: Dismissed As Defendant in RICO Violations Lawsuit in MA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
finally dismissed a consolidated class action filed against Allergan,
Inc. and other pharmaceutical companies alleging violations of the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

The first suit was filed in Massachusetts federal court December 2001,
entitled "Citizens for Consumer Justice, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories,
Inc., Allergan, Inc., et al."  The lawsuit contended that the Company
and 22 other pharmaceutical companies violated RICO by:

     (1) promulgating average wholesale prices that bear no relation to
         actual wholesale prices,

     (2) abusing Congressional authority to formulate and publish
         legitimate and accurate average wholesale prices,

     (3) creating artificial and inflated average wholesale prices for
         publication in resources used by carriers and clinicians to
         determine Medicare reimbursement allowances and

     (4) encouraging clinicians to administer drugs with the highest
         average wholesale prices

In April 2002, a class action entitled "Teamsters Health Welfare Fund
of Philadelphia and Vicinity v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., Allergan,
Inc., et al." was filed in the United States District Court for the
District of Pennsylvania.  The lawsuit contended that ten
pharmaceutical companies, including the Company, violated RICO by:

     (i) implementing fraudulent marketing and sales schemes to
         substantially increase and/or maintain the sales of their
         pharmaceutical products, which are administered directly by
         doctors and other medical providers, and

    (ii) deliberately overstating the products' average wholesale
         prices

The case was subsequently consolidated with the first suit.  A
stipulation of voluntary dismissal without prejudice as to the Company
was filed on October 28, 2002 and the court issued an order of
dismissal soon after.


ANADARKO PETROLEUM: New Petition Filed Over Certification in Texas Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the class action against Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
filed a new petition in the 21st Judicial District Court of Washington
County, Texas on behalf of Anadarko Holding's gas royalty owners in
Texas.

The suit was granted class action certification in December 1999 in
connection with a gas royalty underpayment case against the Company.  
This certification did not constitute a review by the court of the
merits of the claims being asserted.  The royalty owners' pleadings did
not specify the damages being claimed, although most recently a demand
for damages in the amount of $100 million was asserted.  

The Company appealed the class certification order.  A favorable
decision from the Houston Court of Appeals decertified the class.  The
royalty owners did not appeal this matter to the Texas Supreme Court
and the decision from the Houston Court of Appeals became final in the
second quarter of 2002.

The royalty owners recently filed a new petition alleging that the
class may properly be brought so long as "sub-class" groups are broken
out.  


ARIAD PHARMACEUTICALS: NY Court Approves Securities Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
granted final approval to a settlement proposed by Ariad
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to settle a class action commenced in
June 1995.  The suit names as defendants the Company and:

     (1) the underwriter of its initial public offering and a market
         maker in the Company's stock, D. Blech & Co.,

     (2) the managing director and sole shareholder of D. Blech & Co.
         and one of our former directors, David Blech;

     (3) certain other of its directors, and

     (4) the qualified independent underwriter for the initial public
         offering, Shoenberg Hieber, Inc. (SHI).

Counsel for the plaintiff class, counsel for the named director
defendants of the Company (excluding David Blech), or the Company
Defendants, and the Company, and counsel for SHI have executed a
stipulation of settlement in the action.  The final order and judgment
orders that a payment of $620,000 (of which the Company's contribution
was not material and no liability was recorded on the 2002 balance
sheet) be distributed to the plaintiffs from a legal escrow account. It
also states that this action and a related action entitled In re: Blech
Securities Litigation, 94 Civ. 7696 (RWS) are dismissed with prejudice,
and that non-settling parties are barred from pursuing contribution-
type claims against the Company defendants.


BEHR PROCESS: WA State Judge Approves Settlement For Wood Sealant Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Superior Court judge in Grays Harbor County, Washington, approved a
$55 million settlement in a class action, filed against Behr Process
Corporation, located in Santa Ana, California, the Associated Press
Newswires reports.

The plaintiffs alleged that the wood sealants, manufactured by the
company, allowed the entry of water, resulting in mildew damage to
their decks and homes.  The settlement covers customers in Western
Washington who bought Super Liquid Rawhide or Natural Seal Plus wood
sealants after May 1992.  As many as 5,000 customers in 19 counties may
be eligible, said Michael Withey, the attorney representing the
plaintiffs.

The attorney for Behr Process did not immediately return recent calls
for comment, AP Newswires reports.


CALIFORNIA PIZZA: Workers File Suit Over Meal Breaks, Wages in CA Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. faces a class action filed by one of its
former servers in Orange County Superior Court in California, alleging
that the Company failed to give its food servers, bussers, runners and
bartenders rest and meal breaks as required by California law.  

Under the California Labor Code, an employer must pay each employee one
additional hour of pay at the employee's regular rate of compensation
for each work day that the required meal or rest period is not
provided.  The plaintiff also alleges that additional penalties are
owed as a consequence of the Company's resulting failure to pay all
wages due at the time of termination of employment and under theories
characterizing these alleged breaches as unfair business practices.  

If the plaintiff is able to achieve class certification and prevails
on the merits of the case, the Company could potentially be liable for
significant amounts.  The Company is still investigating the claims and
have not yet responded to the complaint.  No discovery has taken place
and no date has been set for a hearing on class certification or for
trial.  The Company believes that all of its employees were provided
with the opportunity to take all required meal and rest breaks.


CH ROBINSON: Denies Allegations in Female Employees Overtime Wage Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
CH Robinson Worldwide, Inc. faces a class action filed in the United
States District Court for the District of Minnesota by a number of the
Company's present and former female employees.  The lawsuit alleges a
hostile working environment, unequal pay, promotions and opportunities
for women and failure to pay overtime.  The plaintiffs seek unspecified
monetary and non-monetary damages and class action certification.

The Company denies all allegations and is vigorously defending the
suit.  Currently, the amount of any possible loss to the Company cannot
be estimated; however, an unfavorable result could have a material
adverse effect.


CH ROBINSON: Denies Allegations in FLSA Violations Lawsuit in MN Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
CH Robinson Worldwide, Inc. faces a class action filed in the United
States District Court for the District of Minnesota by a number of its
former employees, alleging systematic failure by the Company to pay for
overtime hours worked by its male employees under the federal Fair
Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The suit seeks payment of the overtime
wages earned, as well as double damages and other relief, on behalf of
the plaintiffs and potential collective members who join in the
lawsuit.

The Company denies all allegations and are vigorously defending the
suit.  Currently, the amount of any possible loss to the Company cannot
be estimated; however, an unfavorable result could have a material
adverse effect.


CORVAS INTERNATIONAL: Faces AVF Lawsuit Opposing Dendreon Merger in DE
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Corvas International, Inc. and its directors face a class action filed
in March 2003 by the Asset Value Fund Limited Partnership (AVF) in
Delaware State Court alleging that the Company's Board of Directors
violated their fiduciary duties to shareholders when they approved the
proposed merger of the Company and Dendreon Corporation.  Specifically,
the complaint alleges that:

     (1) the directors failed to consider all available information
         when deciding to pursue the merger;

     (2) the directors failed to negotiate a mechanism to protect
         shareholders from the effects of a decline in Dendreon's stock
         price before the merger; and

     (3) a minority of the directors were furthering their own
         interests in approving the merger instead of the interests of
         shareholders.

AVF seeks to enjoin the Company from proceeding with the merger, and
also seeks compensatory damages and reimbursement of the costs of
bringing suit.  Neither the Company nor any of its directors has yet
been served with the complaint.

FIREPOND INC.: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
refused to dismiss the consolidated securities class action filed on
behalf of an alleged class of persons who purchased shares of Firepond,
Inc.'s common stock between the date of its initial public offering and
December 6, 2000.  The complaints name as defendants the Company,
certain of its directors and officers, FleetBoston Robertson Stephens,
and other parties as underwriters of the Company's initial public
offering.

The suit alleges, among other things, that the Company's prospectus,
incorporated in the Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, was materially false and misleading
because it failed to disclose that the investment banks which
underwrote the Company's initial public offering of securities received
undisclosed and excessive brokerage commissions, and required investors
to agree to buy shares of the Company's securities after the initial
public offering was completed, at predetermined prices, as a
precondition to obtaining initial public offering allocations.  The
plaintiffs further allege that these actions artificially inflated the
price of the Company's common stock after the initial public
offering.

The action against the Company is being coordinated with over three
hundred other nearly identical actions filed against other companies.  
A motion to dismiss addressing issues common to the companies and
individuals who have been sued in these actions was filed in July 2002.  
In October 2002, the court dismissed the individual defendants from the
case without prejudice based upon stipulations of dismissal filed by
the plaintiffs and the individual defendants.

After a hearing on the motion to dismiss, the court, on February 19,
2003, denied dismissal of the claims against the companies and
individuals, including the Company Defendants.  While the Company
believes the claims against it are without merit, the litigation is in
the preliminary stage and the Company cannot predict the outcome with
certainty.  The Company may incur substantial legal fees and expenses,
and the litigation may divert the attention of some of the Company's
key management.  The Company's defense of this litigation, regardless
of its outcome, may be costly and time-consuming.  Should the outcome
of the litigation be adverse to the Company, it could be required to
pay significant monetary damages to the plaintiff, which could harm the
business.


FREEMARKETS INC.: PA Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania refused to
dismiss the consolidated securities class action filed against
FreeMarkets, Inc. and two executive officers.

The suit stems from the Company's announcement on April 23, 2001 that,
as a result of discussions with the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC), it was considering amending its 2000 financial statements for
the purpose of reclassifying fees the Company earned under a service
contract with Visteon.

In October 2001, the Company filed a motion to dismiss all of the cases
in their entirety.  On January 17, 2003, the court denied the motion to
dismiss.  On March 3, 2003, the Company filed an answer to the
complaint in which all of the claims asserted by the plaintiffs were
contested.  The case is currently in the class certification phase.

In addition, on September 24, 2001, an individual claiming to be a
FreeMarkets stockholder filed a stockholder's derivative action,
nominally on behalf of the Company, against all of the Company's
directors and certain of our executive officers.  The Company is also
named as a nominal defendant.  The suit is based on the same facts
alleged in the foregoing securities fraud class actions and was stayed
pending a ruling on our motion to dismiss those class actions.  The
parties have agreed to a continuance of the stay until April 15, 2003.

The Company believes that the plaintiffs' allegations are without
merit.


FREEMARKETS INC.: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
refused to dismiss the consolidated securities class action filed
against FreeMarkets, Inc., certain of its officers and the underwriters
of its initial public offering (IPO).  

The suit alleges violations of the securities laws in connection with
the Company's December 1999 IPO.  The suit further alleges that the
prospectus used in the Company's IPO contained material misstatements
or omissions regarding the underwriters' allocation practices and
compensation in connection with the IPO, and also alleges that the
underwriters manipulated the aftermarket for the Company's stock.  
Damages in an unspecified amount are sought, together with interest,
costs and attorney's fees.

In addition, the suit has been consolidated for pretrial purposes with
approximately 1,000 other lawsuits filed against other issuers, their
officers, and underwriters of their initial public offerings.  

All defendants filed a motion to dismiss the consolidated suit.  By
stipulation and order dated October 9, 2002, the individual defendants
were dismissed without prejudice from the consolidated suit.  On
February 19, 2003, the court denied the Company's motion to dismiss.

The Company believes that the claims asserted against it are without
merit.


KAPLAN INC.: Lecturers Commence Overtime Wage, Business Practices Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaplan, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Washington Post Company,
faces a class action filed in the Superior Court of the State of
California, County of Alameda, brought by individuals who were
engaged as Kaplan lecturers, teachers and tutors in California
since December 20, 1998.

The suit alleges breaches of implied contracts as well as violations of
the California wage and hour laws and the California Business and
Professions Code prohibitions against unfair competition by means of
unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business practices or acts.  The case
arose out of claims that the Company failed to pay its instructors for
time spent preparing for lectures, classes and tutoring sessions, time
spent after class answering students' questions, and time spent
traveling to and from different teaching locations.  The suit seeks
unspecified damages (which may in certain instances include penalties).

While it is not possible to predict the outcome of this lawsuit, in the
opinion of management its ultimate disposition should not have a
material adverse effect on the financial position, liquidity or results
of operations of the Company.


LONE STAR: CalPERS Launches Second Amended Securities Suit In CA Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) filed an
amended class action in California State Court against Lone Star
Steakhouse & Saloon, Inc.

Initially, CalPERS filed a shareholder derivative action in October
2001 against certain of the Company's present and former directors
alleging breach of fiduciary duties by certain present and former
directors and that certain of such defendants were unjustly enriched
through related party transactions and by the re-pricing of stock
options previously issued.  The lawsuit also seeks to prevent
enforcement of certain change of control agreements granted to
executive officers of the Company, seeks declaratory and injunctive
relief and seeks damages to be paid to the Company.  The Company is a
nominal defendant.

The Company has indemnified present and former directors with respect
to the shareholders derivative action filed by CalPERS by contractual
agreement, as well as by the Articles of Incorporation of the Company
as provided in accordance with the Delaware General Corporation Law.

On January 9, 2002, CalPERS filed an amended complaint and added a
class action claim to attempt to certify a class action based on their
allegation that a provision in the change of control agreements
violates Delaware law.  A motion to dismiss was filed by all defendants
on February 8, 2002, asking to dismiss all claims of CalPERS.  
Discovery was stayed pending a court decision on the motion to dismiss.

The Vice Chancellor issued his decision on December 18, 2002 dismissing
numerous counts and also substantially reduced the scope of two other
claims, both involving the re-pricing of stock options.  Two of the
counts sustained by the court involve challenges to change of control
agreements which have now expired.  On January 17, 2003, the Vice
Chancellor agreed to permit the plaintiff to proceed with its discovery
to obtain certain documents from certain third parties and the named
defendants, and ordered the plaintiff to timely file its motion to
amend its complaint.

On March 6, 2003, CalPERS filed a second amended complaint, which
contains several new allegations pertaining to various events
subsequent to the date the original complaint was filed.  The
plaintiffs did not make any new claims or add any new parties.

The Company is involved from time to time in litigation arising in the
ordinary course of business as well as the matter set forth above.  The
Company believes the outcome of such matters will not have a material
adverse effect on its consolidated financial position or results of
operations.


MERRILL LYNCH: NY Court Refuses to Dismiss Securities Fraud Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
refused to dismiss Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. and other underwriting
firms as defendants in hundreds of consolidated securities class
actions, involving the allocations of stocks in hundreds of initial
public offerings.  The suits named over a thousand defendants.

The consolidated complaints allege that investment firms, including the
Company, violated securities laws by allegedly requiring or inducing
customers who were allocated IPO securities to pay back some of their
profits in the form of higher commissions and/or to buy the IPO
securities in the aftermarket.

The complaints also allege that research issued by the financial
services firms, including the Company, improperly increased the prices
of the IPO securities in the aftermarket.  The complaints seek
unspecified damages and other relief.

Approximately 108 of the more than 300 amended consolidated complaints
name the Company as one of the defendants, which is based on its
involvement as one of the underwriters for the issuers named in each of
those complaints.  A similar action is pending which alleges violations
of the antitrust laws.

The underwriter defendants, including the Company, filed motions to
dismiss.  In February 2003, the motion to dismiss the consolidated
securities suits was denied.  The motion to dismiss the antitrust
action is pending.


MERRILL LYNCH: To Ask NY Court To Dismiss 170 Securities Fraud Lawsuits
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. intends to file a motion to dismiss
approximately 170 class actions filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York since April 2002.  The
suits also name various Merrill Lynch-related entities, including:

     (1) ML & Co.,

     (2) Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated,

     (3) Merrill Lynch Canada Inc.,

     (4) FAM Distributors, Inc.,

     (5) Fund Asset Management, L.P.,

     (6) Merrill Lynch B2B Internet HOLDRS Trust,

     (7) Merrill Lynch Internet Infrastructure HOLDRS Trust,

     (8) Merrill Lynch Internet Architecture HOLDRS Trust,

     (9) Merrill Lynch Internet Strategies Fund Inc.,

    (10) Merrill Lynch Global Technology Fund, Inc. and

    (11) Merrill Lynch Focus Twenty Fund Inc.,

The suits challenge the independence and objectivity of Merrill Lynch's
research recommendations and related disclosures.  The complaints seek
unspecified damages and other relief.  Many of these class actions make
virtually identical allegations, and the Company expects that they will
eventually be consolidated into approximately 30 separate actions.


MERRILL LYNCH: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Enron Securities Fraud Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
denied the motions to dismiss filed by defendants, including Merrill
Lynch & Co., Inc., in two class actions related to the collapse of
Enron Corporation, which filed for protection under US bankruptcy laws
in December 2001.  The cases are pending in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Texas, and each case names more than
seventy defendants.

One of the cases is brought on behalf of investors who purchased Enron
debt or equity securities on or after October 1, 1998.  The other is
brought on behalf of 24,000 Enron employees who were participants in
the Enron Corporation Savings Plan, the Enron Corporation Employee
Stock Ownership Plan or the Cash Balance Plan, or who received :phantom
stock" as compensation.  The Company underwrote securities for Enron,
served as private placement agent for an Enron-related partnership
known as LJM2, issued research related to Enron and engaged in other
transactions involving Enron.

Plaintiffs allege that as a result of these and other activities
related to Enron, the Company engaged in securities fraud and
violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(RICO).

Merrill Lynch, along with other defendants, has filed motions to
dismiss these actions.  However, the court denied most of the
motions to dismiss, including the motion filed by Merrill Lynch,
in the investor action.  The motion to dismiss the employee
action is pending.


MERRILL LYNCH: To Ask NY Court To Dismiss IPO Fee Antitrust Lawsuits
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. intends to file a new motion to dismiss the
securities class actions pending in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York, against it and approximately
two-dozen underwriter defendants.  The suit alleges that underwriters
conspired to fix the "fee" paid to purchase initial public offering
securities at 7% in violation of antitrust laws.

In February 2001, the court dismissed the action brought by the
investor plaintiffs, but not the action brought by issuer plaintiffs.  
In December 2002, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the
dismissal of the action brought by the investor plaintiffs and remanded
for further proceedings.  The firm plans to file a new motion to
dismiss the action.  An earlier investigation by the Department of
Justice into related practices was closed without action.


MERRILL LYNCH: To Ask Court For Dismissal From Global Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. intends to ask the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York to dismiss it as a
defendant in the purported class action captioned "In re Global
Crossing, Ltd. Securities Litigation."

The complaint alleges that the defendants, including Merrill Lynch,
violated the federal securities laws in connection with the purchase
and sale of securities of Global Crossing between February 1, 1999 and
January 28, 2002.

Global Crossing is in bankruptcy.  The Company intends to file a motion
to dismiss or an answer denying the allegations in the complaint.


NAVISITE INC.: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District Court of New
York refused to dismiss the consolidated securities class action
pending against Navisite, Inc. and:

     (1) Joel B. Rosen,

     (2) Kenneth W. Hale,

     (3) BancBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc.

The complaint charges defendants with violations of Sections 11,
12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  
The defendants allegedly issued a registration statement and prospectus
that contained material misrepresentations and/or omissions in
connection with the Company's initial public offering of 5,500,000
shares of common stock at $14.00 per share, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story states.

The complaint further alleges that the prospectus was false and
misleading because it failed to disclose, among other things, that:

      (i) the underwriter had solicited and received excessive and
          undisclosed commissions from certain investors in exchange
          for which they allocated to those investors material portions
          of the restricted number of shares issued in connection with
          the IPO; and

     (ii) the underwriter had entered into agreements with customers
          whereby they agreed to allocate Company shares to those
          customers in the IPO in exchange for which the customers
          agreed to purchase additional shares in the aftermarket at
          pre-determined prices.


OPTICAL CABLE: Securities Settlement Deemed Final After No Appeal Filed
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The settlement proposed by Optical Cable Corporation to settle the
consolidated securities class action pending against it is deemed final
after no oppositions to it were filed in the United States District
Court for the Western District of Virginia.  The suit also names as
defendants:

     (1) former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Robert
         Kopstein,

     (2) Luke J. Huybrechts,

     (3) Kenneth W. Harber, and

     (4) various John Does

The plaintiffs purported to represent purchasers of our common stock
during the period ranging from June 14, 2000, through September 26,
2001 (the class period), and alleged that the defendants violated
Sections 10(b) and 20 of the federal Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in
making certain alleged misrepresentations and/or omitting to disclose
material facts.  The plaintiffs in the consolidated suit sought
compensatory damages in an unspecified amount, as well as reasonable
costs and expenses incurred in the cause of action, including
attorneys' fees and expert fees.

In June 2002, the Company issued a press release announcing it reached
a tentative agreement to resolve the suit.  The settlement provided for
a cash payment of $700,000 and the issuance of warrants to purchase
250,000 shares (adjusted for the 1-for-8 reverse stock split approved
on July 30, 2002) of the Company's common stock at an exercise price
per share of $4.88 (adjusted for the 1-for-8 reverse stock split).

In July 2002, the court entered an order of preliminary approval of the
proposed settlement.  On September 23, 2002, the court entered an order
and final Judgment, approving the settlement and dismissing the
consolidated suit with prejudice.  The order and final judgment
was subject to appeal for 30 days after being entered.  Since no appeal
was filed, the settlement became final and binding.


PRG SCHULTZ: GA Court Grants Certification To Securities Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
granted class certification to a consolidated securities suit filed
against PRG Schultz International, Inc. and certain of its present and
former officers, namely:

     (1) John M. Cook,

     (2) Scott L. Colabuono, former Chief Financial Officer, and

     (3) Michael A. Lustig, former Chief Operating Officer

The suit alleges the defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder by allegedly disseminating false and misleading information
about a change in the Company's method of recognizing revenue and in
connection with revenue reported for a division.  Plaintiffs purport to
bring this action on behalf of a class of persons who purchased the
Company's stock between July 19, 1999 and July 26, 2000.  Plaintiffs
seek an unspecified amount of compensatory damages, payment of
litigation fees and expenses, and equitable and/or injunctive relief.

On January 24, 2001, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint
for failure to state a claim under the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act, 15 U.S.C. 167 78u-4, et seq.  The court denied the motion
on June 5, 2001.  Defendants served their answer to the suit in June
2001.

Discovery is currently ongoing.  The Company believes the alleged
claims in this lawsuit are without merit, but is unable to predict the
outcome of this litigation.  If the outcome of this litigation is
adverse to the Company, it could have a material adverse effect on the
Company's business, financial condition, and results of operations.


REHABCARE GROUP: Asks MO Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Rehabcare Group, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Missouri to dismiss a class action, alleging
violations of the federal securities laws.  The suit also names as
defendants certain of the Company's current and former officers, and
was filed on behalf of persons that purchased shares of the Company's
common stock between August 10, 2000 and January 21, 2002.  

The amended suit focuses primarily on alleged weaknesses in the
software system selected by the Company's StarMed Staffing Group and
the purported negative effects of such systems on the healthcare
staffing services business operations.  The Company's director and
officer liability insurance carrier has preliminarily accepted coverage
of the action, including the payment of defense costs after the
satisfaction of the Company's deductible.

No discovery has been commenced in the case pending the court's ruling
on the motion to dismiss.

Additionally, each of the Company's directors was named as a defendant
and the Company was named as the nominal defendant in a derivative suit
filed in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri.  The
complaint, which is based upon substantially the same facts as are
alleged in the federal securities class action, was filed on behalf of
the derivative plaintiff by a law firm that had earlier filed suit
against the Company in the federal case.  The Company filed a motion to
dismiss based primarily on the derivative plaintiff's failure to make a
pre-suit demand on the board.  Alternatively, the Company filed a
motion to stay the derivative suit until the final resolution of the
federal securities law class action.

The federal court hearing the securities law class action recently
stayed discovery in the derivative proceeding until discovery commences
in the class action.


STERLING TRUST: CA Court Denies Motion To Compel Arbitration in Lawsuit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of the State of California denied Sterling Trust
Company's motion to compel arbitration in the class action filed
against it, seeking unspecified damages and alleging:

     (1) negligent  misrepresentation,

     (2) breach of fiduciary duty and

     (3) breach of written contract on the part of the Company

The Company believes it has meritorious defenses to these allegations.


STRATOS LIGHTWAVE: Faces CA Stockholder Suit Over Tsunami Acquisition
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Statos Lightwave, Inc. faces a class action filed by Catherine Lego, as
representative of the former stockholders of Tsunami Optics, Inc. filed
a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District
of California, relating to the Company's acquisition of Tsunami Optics,
Inc. in February 2002.

The complaint alleges, among other things, that the Company breached
the acquisition agreement by failing and refusing to allow Tsunami to
operate as a separate subsidiary in the ordinary course and by firing
the Tsunami executives necessary to operate the business in the
ordinary course, making it impossible for Tsunami to achieve the
potential earn-out payment of up to $18 million provided for in the
acquisition agreement.  The complaint also alleges failure of
consideration in connection with the acquisition agreement, and breach
of covenants of good faith and fair dealing.  

Plaintiff is seeking a declaratory judgment that the Company has
materially breached the agreement and $18 million in damages or, in the
alternative, rescission of the acquisition agreement.  The Company has
filed various affirmative defenses to this lawsuit.

In addition, the Company has filed a cross complaint against James P.
Campbell and Catherine Lego, individually.  In its cross-complaint, the
Company seeks declaratory judgment that it has the right to make
changes in Tsunami's business under the agreement for the Tsunami
acquisition.  The cross-complaint also includes claims against Ms. Lego
and Mr. Campbell for fraud and breach of contract for
misrepresentations made by them to the Company in connection with the
Tsunami acquisition and a claim for breach of fiduciary duty against
Campbell.  The cross-complaint seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

The Company believes that this lawsuit is without merit.


VALICERT INC.: NY Court Dismisses In Part Consolidated Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
dismissed in part the consolidated securities class action filed on
behalf of purchasers of Valicert, Inc.'s common stock from July 27,
2000 through December 6, 2000.  The complaint names as defendants the
Company, its former chief executive officer, its chief financial
officer, and an investment banking firm that served as underwriter for
its initial public offering in July 2000.

The amended complaint alleges violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the
Securities Act, and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act, on
the grounds that the prospectus incorporated in the registration
statement for the offering failed to disclose, among other things,
that:

     (1) the underwriter had solicited and received excessive and
         undisclosed commissions from certain investors in exchange for
         which the underwriter allocated to those investors material
         portions of the shares of the Company stock sold in the
         initial public offering; and

     (2) the underwriter had entered into agreements with customers
         whereby the underwriter agreed to allocate shares of the
         Company's stock sold in the initial public offering to those
         customers in exchange for which the customers agreed to
         purchase additional shares of Company stock in the aftermarket
         at pre-determined prices.

The amended complaint also alleges that false analyst repots were
issued.  No specific damages are claimed.  

The Company is aware that similar allegations have been made in other
lawsuits filed in the same court challenging over 300 other initial
public offerings and secondary offerings conducted in 1999 and 2000.  
Those cases have been consolidated for pretrial purposes before the
Honorable Judge Shira A. Scheindlin.

On July 15, 2002, the Company and its affiliated individual defendants
(as well as all other issuer defendants) filed a motion to dismiss the
complaint.  The court denied the motions to dismiss claims under the
Securities Act in all but 10 of the cases, including the Company's
case.  The court granted the motion to dismiss the claims under the
Exchange Act against the Company and the individual defendants.

Management believes that the allegations against the Company and its
officers are without merit.  If the outcome of the litigation is
adverse to the Company and if, in addition, the Company is required to
pay significant monetary damages in excess of available insurance, its
business would be significantly harmed.


                             Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Outlook Brightens for Bill on Asbestos Litigation
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The chances for asbestos litigation reform in Congress appear brighter
than ever this year because of expanding agreement in favor of a
federal solution, growing bipartisanship on the issue in the Senate and
a split in the plaintiffs' bar.

"I think there's definitely movement, but whether it will be enough to
produce a sufficient consensus to get legislation passed is still a big
question," said Jonathan Hiatt, general counsel to the AFL-CIO.  "So
many people are working so hard right now.  We're cautiously
optimistic."

Business, labor and the bar all now acknowledge that there is an
asbestos crisis, one that has clogged the courts, delayed compensation
to seriously sick claimants and bankrupted companies, said Jan
Amundson, junior vice president and general counsel to the National
Association of Manufacturers.  "Where the parties may not share the
same ground is in how far you can go in getting a political fix --
what's feasible and what's not," she explained.

Amundson's organization is the chief force behind the Asbestos
Alliance, which includes the US Chamber of Commerce and the American
Insurance Association.  The Alliance and the AFL-CIO are among four
large groups working to find that politically feasible solution.  The
others are the plaintiffs' bar and the Asbestos Study Group.

The groups also share a new sense of urgency created by Senate
Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.  During a hearing on
March 5 on asbestos reform, Sen. Hatch gave them two weeks to show
progress. Otherwise he will move on his own, he said.  

"We're going to take him at his words and work as hard as we can," said
Joel Johnson of Washington's Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, counsel
to the Asbestos Study Group, which includes such companies as Dow
Chemical Co., General Electric Co. and Viacom Inc.  "I think the
political environment is cause for more than cautious optimism . It's
not unusual for people to have different views of legislative solutions
moving into the process.  The real test is whether people of good
intentions and goodwill can come together and forge a consensus to take
advantage of that political environment."

For tort reform proponents, the Senate traditionally has been less
hospitable than the House.  The Republican-controlled House generally
takes the lead in moving class action, medical malpractice and other
tort-related proposals.  Even with Republicans now controlling the
Senate, the parties are narrowly divided, and tort reformers expect
uphill battles on all fronts.

But the odds in favor of asbestos legislation in the Senate grew
considerably this year when nationally recognized asbestos litigator
Fred Baron of Dallas' Baron & Budd indicated that federal legislation
would be appropriate and the American Bar Association (ABA) came out in
favor of so-called medical-criteria legislation, said tort expert
Victor Schwartz of Kansas City, Mo.'s Shook, Hardy & Bacon.  That
approach would limit payments to people who are actually ill from
specific asbestos-related diseases.  Baron does not support the ABA
approach, which is backed by a contingent of trial lawyers who
primarily represent claimants suffering from asbestos-related cancers.

The US Supreme Court last week in an asbestos-related decision again
called on Congress to address concerns with the litigation.  

"The plaintiffs' bar is divided on some of the approaches," said Mr.
Schwartz, noting that bar's historical opposition to liability reforms.  
"The fact of the split augurs well for something to happen.

"You also have Sen. Dodd calling for an asbestos summit to try to
figure out what to do," he said, referring to Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-
Conn. "He's a Democrat in the Democratic leadership . Sen. Leahy has at
least indicated something ought to be done, whereas on other issues,
like medical malpractice, he says no.  You have at least a flickering
light of bipartisanship, which is essential for anything to pass."  

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is the ranking Democrat on the Senate
Judiciary Committee.

On the negative side, Mr. Schwartz and others said, there is a logjam
in the Senate because of the possible war with Iraq and the current
battle over the judicial nomination of Miguel Estrada.  More important,
they add, the business community is divided over the most effective
solution to the asbestos morass.  

The Asbestos Alliance, for example, for two years has been pushing the
so-called medical-criteria approach. However, the Asbestos Study Group
is urging the creation of a trust fund outside of the tort system.

"If the business community is divided, two things can happen," said Mr.
Schwartz.  "One side won't block the other's initiative, but if one
side thinks the other's approach is going to make things worse, they
could oppose the bill, and then you lose Republican votes and the bill
dies.  That is the absolute riddle of the sphinx."

The prospects in Congress are probably better for some sort of asbestos
reform than for any other type of tort reform this year, said one key
Senate staffer.  "The split in the trial bar presents an enormous
opportunity to get this through," he said.  "The only thing now is to
get people up here to stop meandering in circles looking for the
perfect bill that everybody would like and find the best one out there
and get it passed."

From the Asbestos Alliance's perspective, the best bill right now is S.
413, the Asbestos Claims Criteria and Compensation Act, sponsored by
Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla.  Under the Nickles bill and the ABA's
approach, standard medical criteria would be used to distinguish
between claimants who are sick and those who have been exposed to
asbestos but do not have any functional impairment.

The alliance and the ABA note a recent Rand Corporation report stating
that the vast majority of the substantial increase in asbestos filings
since the mid-1990s is attributable to claims that don't involve
functional, objectively measurable impairment from asbestos-related
disease.

"The ABA is concerned that funds are being dissipated by payments to
those who are not now sick and may never be sick with asbestos-related
diseases, and the costs associated with administering those claims,"
ABA President-elect Dennis Archer said at the March 5 judiciary
hearing.  Mr. Archer and others say the not-yet-sick often file claims
to meet state statutes of limitations or because they fear that
defendant companies may go bankrupt and they will be left
uncompensated.

The Nickles bill and the approaches pushed by the ABA and the alliance
also would toll all applicable statutes of limitations.  This approach,
said Mr. Amundson, "represents the intersection of what you want --
which is like a line that goes up -- and what you can get -- which is a
line that comes down.  Our proposal does not mean someone loses the
right to sue, but the right is deferred until you meet the medical
standard."

While not agreeing with every aspect of the Nickles bill, the alliance
supports it generally, as do a group of about 20 plaintiffs' firms that
primarily represent claimants impaired by asbestos-related diseases.

Labor, other trial lawyers and the Asbestos Study Group don't support
the Nickles bill.  "What the so-called medical-criteria approach does
is it shuts off the right of people with less than the most serious
disease to file claims," said the AFL-CIO's Hiatt.  "While they call
them the non-sick, that's a simplistic way of looking at it. People who
don't have cancer but who do have diminished lung capacity, to the
point they can't climb stairs, would definitely be cut off . To make
matters worse, even those who can file claims under this approach are
basically being left to the existing tort system, with the companies
and insurance carriers likely to fight much harder against individual
claims because they no longer have the incentives of mass settlements."

Some opposed to the medical-criteria approach believe it would shift
the costs in the system.  They believe that trial lawyers like Baron,
whose asbestos clients are largely unimpaired claimants, would raise
the demand level for their cancer cases when they realize they can't
get money for their non-cancer cases.

Labor and the Asbestos Study Group have been discussing a trust fund
proposal that would take asbestos claims out of the tort system,
effectively ending asbestos litigation.  A payment schedule would be
based on medical criteria.  A trust fund solution, they argue, would
provide certainty to both victims and companies.  There would be a
limited, last-resort access to the courts.

In the 1980s, there were about 40 asbestos defendants.  Today, there
are an estimated 8,000.  A trust fund would operate on a no-fault basis
and would be funded by contributions from those 8,000 defendants.  
Skeptics ask about how contributions are apportioned among the 8,000
defendants when exposure varies and about which insurance carriers are
constantly fighting.

"It would be terrific if a fund worked," said Mr. Amundson.  "It takes
everything out of court.  As elegant as a fund is, it usually breaks
down when you see how it's going to be funded."

Trust fund supporters contend the federal government should contribute
because it promoted the use of asbestos, particularly in the defense
industries.  "I think there's a political calculus here that is
relevant over and above the substantive equation -- what kind of
solution can get more than 60 votes in the Senate?" said Mr. Johnson of
the Asbestos Study Group.

"The most viable solution is probably one where you're removing this
asbestos crisis from the more politically contentious debates over
reform of the tort system and legal reform issues.  It's a different
kind of solution that might attract supporters who might not otherwise
be attracted to a tort-style scheme," he explained.

The Association of Trial Lawyers of America believes many things can be
done to streamline asbestos litigation and deliver benefits better,
said Mr. Baron, but it is not behind the Nickles approach.  Another
idea, still sketchy but gathering some support, he said, is a new
statute permitting companies to pay some of their liabilities similar
to what happens in Chapter 11 bankruptcies.  It would require strict
court supervision, he said.

"I think that's actually the best idea," said Mr. Baron.  "I also think
that neither end of the spectrum is going to carry the day -- not the
medical-criteria people nor the people who say there isn't a problem .
There is a real belief on the part of all parties that something needs
to be done."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Lawyer's Fee in ABB Ltd. Litigation Under Scrutiny
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Joseph F. Rice, a leading class action lawyer, has agreed to accept a
$20,000,000 fee from the parent of a company that he is suing in
addition to the fees that he will collect from his clients for settling
their claims against that very company.  Legal ethicists said the
payment raised serious ethical concerns because he was in effect being
paid by both sides in the dispute, and several class action lawyers
criticized the payment.

Mr. Rice said he did not believe that the fee indicated a conflict of
interest, and a lawyer for ABB, the Swiss company that will pay the
fee, said it was justified and fair.  The fee is part of a proposed
settlement for the bankruptcy of Combustion Engineering, a United
States company owned by ABB that faces 220,000 claims from people who
say they were injured by asbestos in its boilers.  Mr. Rice is being
paid for helping to broker a settlement with other lawyers handling
asbestos claims against the company.

Under the settlement, people who develop asbestos-related disease
because of their exposure to the boilers will receive a fixed payout
from a trust being created by the companies.  They will not be allowed
to sue ABB or Combustion Engineering.

If the trust is overwhelmed with claims, as expected, people badly
injured by asbestos - representing a small fraction of the claimants -
may receive less money than if they could pursue their cases in court,
lawyers for those plaintiffs say.  However, the trust will pay lightly
injured plaintiffs quickly, producing a windfall for a handful of
lawyers who represent thousands of those claimants.  Some lawyers who
represent seriously injured plaintiffs are protesting the creation of
the trust, and similar structures that other companies, including
Honeywell and Halliburton, are trying to create.

The disclosure of Mr. Rice's fee in a letter discussing the bankruptcy
has further provoked those lawyers, as well as legal ethicists, who say
Rice should not be paid by the company he is suing.  The fee creates a
conflict of interest for Rice and his firm, said Susan P. Koniak, a
Boston University law professor and expert on legal ethics.

"They're representing people who were ostensibly allegedly injured by
products produced by these companies," she said.  "And they're taking
money from the other side to get a deal through that the other side
wants too? What does one need to say?"

George Kuhlman, ethics counsel for the American Bar Association, said
the group did not have absolute rules that bar lawyers from being paid
by both sides in a case.  "We have very complex rules on lawyers and
conflicts of interest," Mr. Kuhlman said.  "There are things that you
are supposed to avoid, but it does not boil down to that you are
supposed to avoid a fee from someone you are otherwise suing."

He said he would have to do much more research to determine whether
this case passed muster.

Mr. Rice, whose South Carolina firm, Ness Motley, rose to prominence
because of his work suing tobacco companies, said the arrangement had
been favorable for his clients.  He does not see a conflict because his
$20,000,000 fee, a portion of which he said he had already received,
was coming from ABB, which owns all of Combustion Engineering, rather
than Combustion Engineering itself.

"I'm not taking the fee from anybody that I'm suing," he said in a
phone interview yesterday.  "I did a business transaction."  In
addition, Mr. Rice said he and his firm did not advise any client on
whether to vote in favor of the agreement, which was approved by
outside experts including lawyers representing future claimants against
Combustion Engineering.

"The agreement was good for both sides," Mr. Rice said.  ABB "had its
independent problems that needed to get solved, and in solving their
problems my asbestos clients came out ahead of the game."

Claimants typically pay a contingency fee to lawyers like Mr. Rice, a
fee that generally ranges from 25 to 40 percent of the total.  In
addition, he has consulting arrangements with other law firms under
which he receives a portion of the fees that they bill their clients in
exchange for his work on their cases.

David Bernick, outside counsel for ABB, said he considered Mr. Rice's
fee for brokering the settlement reasonable.  Mr. Rice worked hard to
negotiate the deal, which was completed in a matter of months last
fall, with ABB and Combustion Engineering on the verge of bankruptcy.  
He played a crucial role in explaining the agreement to other
plaintiffs' lawyers and winning them over, Mr. Bernick said.  "Why
shouldn't he get paid for brokering a deal?" he continued.

John Brett, general counsel for ABB in the United States, said ABB
believed that most lawyers approved of the settlement, including the
fee.  For the deal to be passed, more than 75 percent of all claimants
must vote in favor of it, and the bankruptcy judge overseeing the case
must approve the agreement.  "We believe that we have more than
adequate votes for its approval," Mr. Brett said.

The case was filed in bankruptcy court in Delaware but will be heard by
Judith Fitzgerald, a federal bankruptcy judge in Pittsburgh.  
Combustion Engineering was forced into bankruptcy because of claims
from people who say they were injured by asbestos-lined boilers made
before 1972.  Most of those people are not seriously hurt, and many
have no injuries at all, aside from plaque in their lungs that does not
affect their ability to breathe.

However, both ABB and plaintiffs' lawyers agree that the combined cost
of the claims is more than Combustion Engineering can afford to pay,
making bankruptcy the only alternative.  To keep the bankruptcy
relatively short and inexpensive, ABB began negotiating with
plaintiffs' lawyers about the structure of a trust that would be
created from the filing, as well as the amount of money ABB would put
into the trust.

Under the deal, ABB agreed to contribute all of Combustion
Engineering's assets, valued at about $800,000,000, to the trust, which
will be used to pay current and future claims of asbestos-related
injury.  ABB will also contribute $250,000,000 in cash and $50,000,000
in shares to the trust, and it may contribute $100,000,000 more in the
future.

Honeywell International and Halliburton are trying similar legal
tactics to relieve themselves of asbestos liability by putting
subsidiaries into bankruptcy, and lawyers for both plaintiffs and
defendants say the process will probably become more common as big
companies seek a way to put asbestos lawsuits behind them.  Halliburton
said it would not pay a success fee like Mr. Rice's as part of its
settlement, and Honeywell declined to comment.

The $20,000,000 fee for Mr. Rice is equal to almost 7 percent of the
cash and stock that ABB is initially contributing to the settlement,
and nearly 2 percent of the overall value of the trust.  That amount is
too much, said Bill Connelly, a partner at Richardson, Patrick, a
Charleston, S.C., firm formed by lawyers who left Rice's firm last
year.  "David Bernick at a meeting in Houston before 40 or 50 lawyers
said that before he even started negotiating, he offered $20,000,000 if
Rice could put this package together," Connelly said.

Lawyers who generally represent lightly injured claimants say that Mr.
Rice should not be paid by ABB.  "It makes Joe Rice look bad," said
Fred Baron, a Dallas lawyer whose firm represents about 8,000 people
who have sued Combustion Engineering and other companies because of
asbestos exposure.

Mr. Baron said the fee was particularly inappropriate because the total
cost of settling all ABB claims at full face value would far outstrip
the $1,100,000,000 to $1,300,000,000 that will be available for
payment.  As a result, many claimants will be paid a fraction of the
face value of their claims.  "Virtually everybody I've talked to has
said that it would be unseemly for the $20,000,000 to be paid if 100
cents on the dollar are not being paid," Mr. Baron said.

He said he was not opposed in principle to allowing lawyers to be paid
directly by companies they were suing.  Some other class-action lawyers
defended Mr. Rice's fee.  "You're being paid a facilitating fee," said
Perry Weitz, whose firm represents 35,000 asbestos claimants, including
20,000 that have sued Combustion Engineering.  "The court's got to
approve it."

Mr. Weitz said he planned to ask for similar fees in future bankruptcy
settlements.  "I would have no reservations," he said.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Argonaut Group Inc. Posts Wide Loss, Reorganizes
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Argonaut Group Inc. (NASDAQ:AGII) posted a widened fourth-quarter net
loss, citing reserve strengthening, as the company made plans to
reorganize.  The net loss widened to $105,300,000, or $4.88 a share,
compared with a net loss of $600,000, or 3 cents a share, in the fourth
quarter of 2001, impacted by a $52,800,000 strengthening of asbestos
reserves in run-off lines and the establishment of a partial valuation
allowance of $71,900,000 against Argonaut's deferred tax asset, the
company said.

In the first half of 2003, Argonaut plans to reorganize operations to
concentrate on casualty and risk-management solutions for upper-middle-
market accounts, historically its core business, the company said.  
With the elimination of non-strategic businesses, Argonaut is to reduce
its work force by 15% over the next two quarters and expects to incur a
reorganization charge of about $3,000,000 in the first quarter, the
insurer said.

The reorganization also is expected to reduce operating expenses in the
second half of 2003 and in future years, the company said.  In its
refocused configuration, Argonaut Insurance Co. is expected to produce
less than 20% of the group's gross written premium.

"The solid underlying performance of our core business was adversely
affected by the strengthening of our asbestos reserves and deferred tax
asset allowance," Mark E. Watson III, president and chief executive
officer, said in a statement.  "Our E&S and specialty commercial lines
continue to perform well.  The public entity unit is emerging from a
start-up mode, and the focus of Argonaut Insurance Co. on its insurance
and risk-management services should help return that unit to
profitability."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AWI Notes $2.5B Asbestos Charge, Proposes Payout
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (OTC: ACKHQ) recorded, during the
fourth quarter of 2002, a non-cash charge of $2,500,000,000 to increase
the Company's estimated asbestos-related liability.  This charge was
the result of progress in the Chapter 11 proceedings, including the
filing of a Plan of Reorganization and proposed Disclosure Statement
with the US Bankruptcy Court during the fourth quarter of 2002.

Armstrong, in the latest of five months' worth of court papers
unveiling the company's strategy for getting out of bankruptcy,
proposed procedures for paying those claims.  In the complex 19-page
document, Armstrong proposed creating an eight-level scale of payments,
with the amount varying by the severity of the disease a person is
suffering.

The mildest disease on the scale, described as "other asbestos
disease," would be valued at $400.  The most severe, a usually fatal
kind of lung cancer named mesothelioma, would be valued at $110,000.  
These values, said Armstrong, were set in line with past settlements.

Claimants with that mildest disease would get paid the full value, the
$400, but claimants with the seven more severe levels of disease
apparently would not.  For those other seven levels, the values would
be multiplied by something called a "payment percentage."  The claimant
would get the result of that math.

Unless the payment percentage is 100 percent -- and the document
implies that's unlikely -- the claimants would get something less than
the listed monetary value.  How much less is not known.  The Armstrong
filing shows the payment percentage as a blank -- to be filled in later
by a trust to be created to pay all the current and future asbestos
claims against Armstrong.

The payment percentage would be set by the trustees who'll run the
trust, with input from an advisory committee and a person designated to
represent future claimants, according to the document.  The percentage
would be reviewed at least every three years, taking into account the
volume and type of claims, the value of the trust's assets and
liabilities, and the trust's administrative and legal expenses.

Perhaps the biggest variable in all that, said Armstrong, is the amount
of insurance money that the company will recover from carriers who are
disputing Armstrong's coverage or whose solvency is in doubt.  The
insurance proceeds potentially could bring "substantial additional
funds" to the trust, said Armstrong.

Should that happen, the trust would first use the extra money to
maintain the existing payment percentage.  Then, if it's prudent, the
trust would use the extra money to boost the payment percentage.  If
the percentage goes up, the trust would send a supplemental payment to
claimants who it paid earlier at the older, lower rate to make up the
difference.  Armstrong emphasized that these variables that would
affect the fund's finances are full of "inherent uncertainty."  
Consequently, the payment percentage -- and ultimately, what the
claimants would receive -- is full of "inherent uncertainty" too, said
Armstrong.

Armstrong was pushed into bankruptcy in December 2000 by a deluge of
asbestos personal-injury claims that were costing the company millions
of dollars a month to settle.  The bankruptcy filing put an automatic,
but temporary, freeze on those settlement payments.  Over the past five
months, Armstrong has gradually unfurled its strategy for resolving
those hundreds of thousands of claims and getting out of bankruptcy.

The unveiling of the plan began in November, when Armstrong said it
wanted to reorganize by canceling its current stock and dissolving its
current corporate structure.  In its place would be a new corporation
with a new stock, about two-thirds of it held by a newly formed trust
that would pay all current and future asbestos personal-injury claims,
a quantity somewhere in six figures.  The trust would permanently
relieve Lancaster-based Armstrong of the burden of paying asbestos
claims, allowing it to focus on its core business of making floors,
ceilings and cabinets.  The trust would start with $2,100,000,000 in
assets -- new Armstrong stock, new Armstrong notes and cash from
Armstrong -- plus whatever money Armstrong can recover from its
insurance coverage.

However, the November filing did not detail how the trust would
operate.  Later, Armstrong said that intricate information would be
filed by February 28, then by March 11.  Finally, it was submitted
March 14.  

The procedures document showed that the trust would handle claims on a
first-filed, first-paid basis.  Claimants would need to provide:

     (1) a doctor's diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness;

     (2) evidence of exposure to an Armstrong asbestos product prior to
         1983; and

     (3) evidence that at least 10 years elapsed between the exposure
         and the diagnosis

Depending on the level of disease, the claimants would face additional
requirements of proof of illness, such as medical test results, and
proof of the duration and kind of exposure.  However, the trust also
would provide higher payments, beyond the so-called "scheduled values,"
to claimants who could document special circumstances.  If a claimant
would dispute what level of payment he's to receive, the dispute would
go first to arbitration, then to court if necessary.  The claimant also
could choose to have his claim reviewed in a special way.

Armstrong said the disease levels, medical and exposure criteria, and
payment values would be stable for the first six months after it
emerges from bankruptcy, expected this summer.  Thereafter, the trust
could make changes.

Among the other documents filed, Armstrong also submitted to the court
an amended version of its disclosure statement -- a mandatory document
that's intended to supplement the information in the reorganization
plan.  By law, the statement must provide enough detail about the plan
for a "reasonable" creditor and claimant to make an informed judgment
when voting on it.

Armstrong filed its 94-page original statement in December.  In
response to objections and comments from various players in the case,
Armstrong filed the amended version, with many revisions and additions.
It's 130 pages, plus exhibits.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Corporation To Resolve Asbestos Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Congoleum Corporation (CGM) plans to seek bondholder approval of
certain amendments to the indenture governing its senior notes to help
resolve its asbestos liabilities.  In a press release, the maker of
flooring products said the amendments to the 8.625% notes due 2008 are
intended to give it more flexibility to proceed with certain steps and
transactions in connection with its asbestos settlement negotiations.

Upon successful completion of these negotiations, Congoleum plans to
file a prepackaged plan of reorganization under Chapter 11, which would
incorporate the asbestos settlement and leave its bondholders, trade
creditors and other non-asbestos related claim creditors unimpaired.

Adoption of the proposed amendments to the indenture requires
bondholder consent representing a majority of the total principal
amount of the outstanding notes as of the record date.  Congoleum said
a majority of the holders have agreed to the proposed amendments.

Congoleum is 55%-owned by American Biltrite Inc. (ABL), a maker of
plastic and fiber products.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Federal Mogul Plant Gets `All-Clear' on Asbestos
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Workers at a Bridgwater factory have been reassured they are not in
danger from high levels of asbestos.  A major error in data led bosses
of Federal Mogul to believe levels of asbestos found at the Colley Lane
plant were 100 times greater than they actually were.  

Checks were made with the laboratory and none of the samples came
anywhere near to the level at which action must be taken to deal with
potential problems.  The highest reading recorded was one fiftieth of
the amount needed to trigger action.  Letters have been sent to workers
informing them of the error made.  

To comply with legislation a survey of the factory was carried out and
when the misleading results were returned from a laboratory bosses took
immediate action.  The heat treatment furnace area was sealed off, the
Health and Safety Executive called in and the 300-strong workforce was
informed.

A registered asbestos removal company was called in to clear the heat
treatment furnace area and doctors from Somerset Occupational Health
Service spoke to workers.  The fear was that exposure to asbestos could
cause illness up to 15 years later.  Health and Safety experts said the
figures should be rechecked and this was done.

A spokesman for Federal Mogul said, "We have now been informed that the
laboratory that analyzed the asbestos samples from our Bridgwater site
made a major miscalculation.  Its calculations of the amount of
asbestos in the air at the Bridgwater site were out by a factor of 100.  
This means the levels of asbestos in the air were reported to be 100
times higher than was actually the case.  None of the samples came
anywhere near the level at which action must be taken to address
potential problems from asbestos.  We are concerned that our employees
have been unnecessarily alarmed as a result of this error."

Bosses have now arranged for another air quality survey to be carried
out by a different company and a different laboratory.  Workers will be
informed of the results of the survey.  

A Transport and General Workers' Union spokesman said, "I was satisfied
the precautions they were taking were appropriate to keep asbestos away
from workers."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Gencor Settles Asbestos Claims, Completes Spin-off
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Gencor Ltd. settled claims by ex-employees of asbestos associates,
paving the way for the group to wind up by distributing its
$1,720,000,000 stake in Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.  Gencor and its
associates agreed to pay about ZAR490,000,000 ($60,700,000) to settle
the complaints, without admitting liability, said Richard Spoor, a
lawyer representing the claimants.  The settlement had been held up by
disagreement on how to split up the money between the former employees.

"The agreement is dependent on the distribution of Impala shares going
ahead," Mr. Spoor said.

The settlement will enable Gencor to close down four decades after it
was founded on assets divested by Anglo American Plc to appease
Afrikaner politicians who threatened to nationalize South Africa's
mining industry.  A preference among some of the top investment fund
managers for companies that focus on individual businesses led Gencor
to break off its divisions, spawning Billiton Plc, now part of BHP
Billiton, Gold Fields Ltd. and Sappi Ltd., the world's biggest maker of
glossy magazine paper.

The distribution to shareholders of Gencor's 46 percent stake in Impala
Platinum, which was held up by court processes related to the asbestos
claims, will make the shares in the world's second-biggest platinum
company easier to trade, analysts have said.  It could also make the
company a takeover target.  Former employees of Gencor's asbestos
associates last year took the company to court to block the Impala
distribution, which would have been the biggest transaction in South
Africa last year.

Gencor never had a majority stake in any asbestos mines, instead
holding about 40 percent of asbestos producer Griqualand Exploration &
Finance Co. until 1988 and an interest in Msauli Asbestos Ltd.,
companies which helped make South Africa the world's third-biggest
asbestos miner in the 1970s.  Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause
respiratory disease, asbestosis, lung cancer and Mesothelioma, a
cancer.  

Former employees of Cape Plc, who also worked for companies associated
with Gencor, will receive as much as ZAR42,000,000, Mr. Spoor said.  
Lawyers representing former employees Cape Plc joined the case against
Gencor after Cape failed to meet the terms of an agreed settlement
because it ran out of money.  

The money will not bring her dead husband back, but at least it might
help her family survive, Annamarie Renoster said after Gencor said it
would compensate victims of asbestos-related diseases.  Ms. Renoster's
husband James, a carpenter, died in June 2001.  Although he never
worked in an asbestos mine, he contracted asbestosis through
environmental exposure while growing up at Pomfret near Kuruman in the
Northern Cape, where his father Johannes Renoster worked on a mine.  
The elder Renoster died in 1980, also from asbestosis.

Since her husband first fell ill in 1999, life became an uphill battle,
said Ms. Renoster, the mother of four daughters.  They have been living
off the salary of her eldest daughter Ingrid, 24, who works as a
secretary.

Another of the Renoster daughters, Yolandi, is currently in London.  
Ingrid's boyfriend helped pay for the ticket.  Yolandi wrote to her
mother to say she was homesick but would stay on as a waiter and send
money back home because, "I am here with a purpose, I promised dad that
I would look after mom."

Yolandi had to leave school while in the 10th grade, to look after her
two younger brothers when her father fell ill.  Ms. Renoster spent
months at her husband's bedside in various hospitals.

Another Kuruman woman, Victoria Kabari, 23, said the compensation would
hopefully enable her to resume studying.  Ms. Kabari, the eldest of
five children, gave up her studies at the Kimberley College when her
father, Herman, fell ill in 2001 and could no longer pay for her
tuition.  He died this past January.  Ms. Kabari's mother, Florence,  
hopes to finish the roof of their house with the compensation payments.
Herman built the house himself, but could not complete it after he fell
ill.  Since her father stopped working, Ms. Kabari said the family's
only income has been her grandmother's monthly pension.

"Now and then she gives us food and money," Ms. Kabari said. She also
hoped to change her major from marketing management to law. "I want to
become a lawyer, because of what happened to my father."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Gencor Settles Asbestos Claims, Completes Spin-off
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Gencor Ltd. settled claims by ex-employees of asbestos associates,
paving the way for the group to wind up by distributing its
$1,720,000,000 stake in Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.

Gencor and its associates agreed to pay about ZAR490,000,000
($60,700,000) to settle the complaints, without admitting liability,
said Richard Spoor, a lawyer representing the claimants. The settlement
had been held up by disagreement on how to split up the money between
the former employees.

``The agreement is dependent on the distribution of Impala shares going
ahead,'' Spoor said.

The settlement will enable Gencor to close down four decades after it
was founded on assets divested by Anglo American Plc to appease
Afrikaner politicians who threatened to nationalize South Africa's
mining industry.

A preference among some of the top investment fund managers for
companies that focus on individual businesses led Gencor to break off
its divisions, spawning Billiton Plc, now part of BHP Billiton, Gold
Fields Ltd. and Sappi Ltd., the world's biggest maker of glossy
magazine paper.

The distribution to shareholders of Gencor's 46 percent stake in Impala
Platinum, which was held up by court processes related to the asbestos
claims, will make the shares in the world's second-biggest platinum
company easier to trade, analysts have said. It could also make the
company a takeover target.

Former employees of Gencor's asbestos associates last year took the
company to court to block the Impala distribution, which would have
been the biggest transaction in South Africa last year.

Gencor never had a majority stake in any asbestos mines, instead
holding about 40 percent of asbestos producer Griqualand Exploration &
Finance Co. until 1988 and an interest in Msauli Asbestos Ltd.,
companies which helped make South Africa the world's third-biggest
asbestos miner in the 1970s.

Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause respiratory disease, asbestosis,
and Mesothelioma, a cancer.

Former employees of Cape Plc, who also worked for companies associated
with Gencor, will receive as much as ZAR42,000,000, Spoor said.

Lawyers representing former employees Cape Plc joined the case against
Gencor after Cape failed to meet the terms of an agreed settlement
because it ran out of money.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NY Court Rules in Genlyte's Favor in Asbestos Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
issued summary judgment in favor of all defendants in the case of
"Lippe et al., Trustees for the Keene Creditors Trust vs. Bairnco
Corporation et al."  As a result, the case against all remaining
defendants, including The Genlyte Group Incorporated, was dismissed in
its entirety.

"This is a tremendous legal victory for Genlyte and its stockholders,"
said Larry Powers, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of
Genlyte.  "We believe the Federal Court has completely vindicated us by
this ruling in our favor.  The Court has agreed with what we have said
all along in this nearly 10-year-old matter, that there was no merit
whatsoever to the fraudulent conveyance claim against Genlyte when it
purchased certain of its lighting companies in 1984 from Keene."

The Federal Court pointed out on the second page of its 74-page Opinion
that the "Plaintiffs have been unable . to support their theory with
any concrete evidence.  To the contrary, on the record before the
Court, no reasonable jury could find that Keene and its officers,
directors, lawyers, and auditors engaged in any scheme to defraud.  
Although the asbestos cases were a real concern to Keene as early as
the 1970s, the evidence shows, as a matter of law, that there were no
fraudulent conveyances here.  Instead, a reasonable jury could only
find that the transactions were legitimate."

"This ruling was based on a mountain of evidence in our favor," said
Dan Fuller, Vice President and General Counsel of Genlyte.  "Any time a
Federal Court grants a summary judgment, it must first weigh every
issue of material fact in favor of the party trying to keep the case
alive.  Here, despite the thousands of pages of deposition testimony
before the court, and the millions of documents which have been
produced, the Court is basically saying the Creditor's Trust could not
provide any tangible proof to support its case."

The Genlyte Group Incorporated (NASDAQ: GLYT) holds a 68% interest in
Genlyte Thomas Group LLC, which is a leading manufacturer of lighting
fixtures and controls for the commercial, industrial and residential
markets.  Genlyte Thomas sells products under the major brand names of
Capri, Chloride Systems, Crescent, Day-Brite, Gardco, Hadco, Ledalite,
Lightolier, Lightolier Controls, Lumec, Stonco, Thomas and Wide-Lite in
the United States and Canlyte and Thomas in Canada.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Halliburton Files Affidavit on Asbestos Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) filed an affidavit with a bankruptcy court,
stating that 75 percent of the plaintiffs in the asbestos lawsuits have
agreed to an earlier $4,000,000,000 settlement.  The affidavit was
submitted to the court in an effort to extend the stay on the more than
200,000 pending asbestos claims against Halliburton unit DII Industries
LLC.  The Company believes the filing is consistent with the court
order of February 18.

The court order had extended its previously issued temporary
restraining order, staying the more than 200,000 pending asbestos
claims against Halliburton's subsidiary, DII Industries, LLC (DII),
until March 21.  The court order also stated that oral arguments would
be held on March 21 on a motion to lift the stay, unless DII filed an
affidavit by March 14 stating that executed agreements had been signed
by an estimated 75% of DII's asbestos plaintiffs.

The affidavit filed by DII stated that DII and KBR have definitive
written agreements, or written "highly confident" representations that
such definitive agreements are forthcoming, from attorneys representing
an estimated 75% of claimants.  These estimates are based on certain
assumptions and exclude the impact of certain claims in the Harbison-
Walker bankruptcy, for which the Company indicated it had certain
defenses or did not have reliable information.

Halliburton, founded in 1919, is one of the world's largest providers
of products and services to the petroleum and energy industries.  The
company serves its customers with a broad range of products and
services through its Energy Services Group and Engineering and
Construction Group business segments.  

For more information, visit the firm's Website:
http://www.halliburton.com.  


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hartford May Face Asbestos, Acquisition Cost Hit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Morgan Stanley life insurance analyst Nigel Dally reduced his 2003 and
2004 earnings estimate for Hartford Financial Services Group (HIG),
citing the difficult operating environment and potential charges for
asbestos and other issues.  In a research note, Mr. Dally cut his 2003
expectation to $4.38 a share from $4.70 and his 2004 view to $4.82 a
share from $5.30 a share.  He also reduced his stock price target to
$54 a share from $62 a share.

"Times are tough, and Hartford is feeling the brunt of the challenging
operating environment," Mr. Dally said.  "Equity markets continue to
collapse, rating agencies have turned negative on the industry and
asbestos-related litigation continues to run rampant."

Mr. Dally said he expects the insurer to take a $300,000,000 pretax
non-cash write-down related to deferred acquisition costs, which are
associated with the sale of life insurance policies and must be
amortized over the length of those policies.  He also expects the
insurer to add about $600,000,000 pretax to its asbestos reserves after
the completion of its asbestos review.

Hartford, like many insurers, will have to establish reserves for
guaranteed minimum death benefits beginning in 2004.  Mr. Dally said
that will likely cost the insurer $155,000,000, or 61 cents a share, in
below the line charges.  As a result of these issues, Hartford will
have to raise between $425,000,000 to $725,000,000 of additional equity
capital, Mr. Dally said.  It's likely Hartford will raise about
$600,000,000 in capital, he said.

"That being said, we remain unwavering in our view that the company
remains one of the best-run insurers in the U.S. with a solid
fundamental and strategic position in the market," Mr. Dally said.  The
issues are "adequately" reflected in Hartford's stock price.  He
maintained an overweight rating on the stock.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WR Grace Reports $973.2 Million Asbestos Liability
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
W.R. Grace & Co.'s (NYSE: GRA) total asbestos-related liability as of
the end of 2002 was $973,200,000, the company estimates, down from
$996,300,000 at the end of 2001.  The lower amount is mainly due to
administrative costs for claims management that the company paid after
it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2001, according
to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In its annual report, W.R. Grace said it has accrued the $973,200,000
and expects that amount will cover all the present and future asbestos-
related bodily injury claims the company expects to be filed against
it, as well as all pending property damage claims for which it has
enough information to make an estimate.

Prior to filing for bankruptcy protection, W.R. Grace settled or paid
judgments totaling about $646,000,000 on more than 163,000 asbestos-
related injury claims.  Under settlements with insurers, W.R. Grace
expects to receive $282,600,000 in payments from them related to its
asbestos liability.  In 2000 the company received payments of
$85,600,000 from insurers, in 2001 it received $78,800,000, and in
2002, $10,800,000.  Prior to 2000, the company received payments from
insurers totaling $968,500,000.

As reported, Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE:SEE) and Fresenius Medical
Care AG (NYSE:FMS) have agreed to settlements in a fraudulent
conveyance case brought by asbestos claimant committees in W.R. Grace's
bankruptcy case.  Under the pacts, which are subject to bankruptcy
court approval, when W.R. Grace's plan of reorganization is confirmed,
Fresenius Medical would pay $115,000,000 to the bankruptcy estate of
W.R. Grace, while Sealed Air would pay $512,500,000 and deliver
9,000,000 shares of its common stock.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Wolseley Plays Down Concerns Over Asbestos Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolseley PLC, the building products and plumbing supplies group, has
again moved to de-emphasize concerns over its exposure to asbestos
litigation in the US.  The group said there has been no profit and loss
account charge in relation to asbestos claims and no such charge is
expected to arise in the future.

"The asbestos claims we're talking about are still in the hundreds
rather than thousands," finance director Steve Webster declared.  "The
estimated liability is immaterial and we don't expect any P&L effect
going forward.  We're in a unique position in the industry because we
have full insurance cover and the experience we've had in the first
half is bang in line with expectations."

The group reported a 2.7 pct increase in pretax profit before goodwill
amortization to GBP201,100,000, against GBP195,900,000 the previous
year, at the lower end of market forecasts which ranged from
GBP200,000,000 - 210,000,000.  It is confident that the US housing
market will not weaken and sees the current rate of 1,600,000 new
housing starts a year being at least maintained.

"The demand for housing in the States should be substantial for the
next twenty years," chief executive Charles Banks said.  "Between
immigration, people living longer, more single parent families, and
more second home families, we think that the band will be more in the
1,700,000."

The group derives around a third of its sales from the US housing
market.  Finance director Steve Webster confirmed the company is
pursuing a number of acquisition opportunities and has a target spend
of GBP200,000,000 per annum but he added it will "continue to be
selective" when appraising opportunities.

ASBESTOS ALERT: Ethyl Corp. Bills Albemarle for Asbestos Liability
------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethyl Corporation (EY) said it has sent an invoice to Albemarle
Corporation (ALB) for $3,700,000 related to asbestos liability
obligations.  According to its annual report filed with the Securities
and Exchange Commission, Albemarle disputes this payment and its
obligations for asbestos liabilities.  

Ethyl said it already has established a receivable from Albemarle for
that amount.  The Company said Albemarle is responsible for the payment
as well as certain current and future liability claims under an
indemnification agreement between the parties dated as of February 28,
1994.  Under the terms of the agreement, Albemarle is responsible for
tax, environmental and certain other exposures related to its
operations before Feb. 28, 1994, which was the date Ethyl completed the
spinoff of Albemarle.

Albemarle manufactures Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl, a
fuel additive, for the company under a long-term, exclusive supply
arrangement that expires in 2014, according to the filing.  Ethyl said
it has never manufactured, sold or distributed products that contain
asbestos.


COMPANY PROFILE

Ethyl Corporation (NYSE: EY)
330 S. 4th St.
Richmond, VA 23218-2189    
Phone: 804-788-5000
Fax: 804-788-5788
Toll Free: 800-625-5191
http://www.ethyl.com

Employees   : 1,100
Revenues    : $656,400,000
Net Income  :   $9,900,000
Assets      : $656,300,000
Liabilities : $503,100,000
(As of December 31, 2002)

Description: Ethyl Corporation's petroleum additives are used in
gasoline, heating oil, and other fuels to improve refining and
performance, and as a lubricant in motor oil, fluids, and grease. Its
other product, antiknock additive tetraethyl lead (TEL), is rapidly
losing ground in markets where unleaded gas has taken over due to
automakers' compliance with the Clean Air Act. Equilon, Exxon Mobil,
and Pennzoil-Quaker State had been Ethyl's biggest customers, but Ethyl
lost them when it tried to raise prices. Chairman Bruce Gottwald and
his family own about 25% of Ethyl.


Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB)
330 S. Fourth St., PO Box 1335
Richmond, VA 23219   
Phone: 804-788-6000
Fax: 804-788-6020
Toll Free: 800-535-3030
http://www.albemarle.com

Employees   : 3,000
Revenue     :  $980,200,000
Net Income  :   $74,700,000
Assets      :$1,193,000,000
Liabilities :  $623,100,000
(As of December 31, 2002)

Description: Albemarle is a spin-off from Ethyl Corp. (which also spun
off Tredegar), the company produces polymer additives and fine
chemicals used by a variety of industries. Its polymer additives --
such as catalysts, flame retardants, and curatives -- add desired
properties to various plastics. Albemarle's fine chemicals include
bromine-based chemicals, agricultural chemicals, and the popular pain
reliever ibuprofen. BP Chemicals produces aluminum alkyls, a type of
co-catalyst, for the company. Customers include chemical, plastics,
pharmaceutical, cleaning products, and paper companies. The Gottwald
family, which also owns large stakes in Tredegar and Ethyl, owns about
22% of Albemarle.

ASBESTOS ALERT: Florida-Based Jim Walter Homes Updates Corporate Image
----------------------------------------------------------------------
For more than 50 years, Tampa-based Jim Walter Homes built hundreds of
thousands of affordable houses -- but only for people who already owned
some land.  In the 1980s, Jim Walter Corporation - known by then as
Walter Industries - was one of the nation's giant conglomerates.  In
1989, under attack from asbestos litigation, the company filed for
bankruptcy court protection.  Still, it reorganized and managed to
emerge from bankruptcy in 1995.

Part of the home-building unit's new strategy is to offer higher-priced
houses to broaden its appeal among prospective homebuyers.  Its average
price last year was only $63,000.  Though many of the homes to be
offered will probably still be priced below $70,000, some spec and
subdivision homes will cost $90,000 to $120,000 -- high for Jim Walter,
but still below the prices of most large subdivision builders, who tend
to charge $150,000 or more.

Walter Industries has acquired three other home-building companies in
recent years: Dream Homes and Neatherlin Homes, both Texas on-your-lot
builders, and Crestline Homes, a North Carolina modular-home
manufacturer.  The parent company is also evaluating its land holdings
in 15 states for potential subdivision development.  Roberts estimates
that more than 5,000 acres are suitable for this.


COMPANY PROFILE

Walter Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WLT)
4211 W. Boy Scout Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33607-2551    
Phone: 813-871-4811
Fax: 813-871-4399
http://www.walterind.com
  
Employees  : 6,535
Revenue    : $1,943,200,000
Net Income :   $(52,500,000)
Assets     : $3,317,900,000*
Liabilities: $2,877,200,000*
(*As of December 31, 2001)
(As of December 31, 2002 preliminary)

Description: Walter Industries, which has announced that it intends to
streamline its mix of businesses, operates five different segments. The
biggest contributor to Walter Industries' sales is its industrial
products unit, which includes U.S. Pipe (which makes iron pressure
pipe), Sloss Industries (which sells foundry and furnace coke), and JW
Aluminum. Its AIMCOR unit markets coke and ferrosilicon. The company's
homebuilding unit includes Jim Walter Homes (single family homes in 18
states), Crestline Homes (modular homes), and Walter Mortgage (home
financing). A KKR affiliate owns 31% of the company.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Moen Battles 110 Asbestos-Related Personal Injury Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A subsidiary of Fortune Brands, Inc., Moen Incorporated, has been named
as a defendant in around 110 cases claiming personal injury from
asbestos.  All of these suits name multiple defendants and, in most
cases, in excess of 75 defendants are named in addition to Moen.

None of these cases identify any Moen products or premises as the cause
of the alleged injury to any of the plaintiffs identified. It is not
possible to predict the outcome of the pending litigation, and, as with
any litigation, it is possible that some of these actions could be
decided unfavorably.

Management believes it has meritorious defenses to these actions and
that these actions will not have a material adverse effect upon the
results of operations, cash flows or financial condition of the
Company.

COMPANY PROFILE

25300 Al Moen Dr.
North Olmsted, OH 44070    
Phone: 440-962-2000
Fax: 440-962-2761
Toll Free: 800-289-6636
http://www.moen.com

Employees  : 3,600 (est. as of December 31, 2001)
Revenue    : $5,677,700,000*
Net Income :   $525,600,000*
Assets     : $5,822,200,000*
Liabilities: $3,509,000,000*
(*As of December 31, 2002 of Fortune Brands, Inc)
  
Description: Inventor Al Moen created the single-handle mixing faucet
in 1937. A Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO) company, Moen is North America's
#1 faucet maker. The company also pours out sinks, bath accessories,
and more than 10,000 plumbing repair products. The faucet and sink
segment makes a wide variety of kitchen and bathroom faucets, sinks,
and tub/shower products along with Asceri Accents' interchangeable bath
faucet and accessory pieces. Through its Creative Specialties
International division, Moen produces bath accessories (towel bars,
hooks, grab bars, and toothbrush and soap holders) under the Moen,
Decorum, Donner, and Home Care names. Founder Al Moen died in 2001.


                     New Securities Fraud Cases


BAYER AG: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud Lawsuit in S.D. NY
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Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action on behalf of purchasers of the American Depositary Receipts
(ADRS) of Bayer AG BAY between March 2, 1998 and February 21, 2003,
inclusive, and who suffered damages thereby.  (Prior to January 23,
2002, Bayer AG traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol BAYZY.)  The
action is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York against the Company and:

     (1) David Ebsworth,

     (2) Manfred Schneider and

     (3) Werner Wenning

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market between March 2, 1998 and February 21, 2003.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that during the class period,
defendants made false and misleading statements about the successful
introduction and strong sales of the Company's new cholesterol fighting
product, Baycol, and represented that the Company enjoyed and would
continue to enjoy strong revenue, earnings and earnings per share
growth as a result of the addition of Baycol to the Company's product
line.

The complaint further alleges that defendants also misrepresented that
Baycol was safe for use by patients attempting to treat high
cholesterol and did not present a significant risk of adverse side
effects.  In fact, Baycol was not safe but rather, dangerous to the
public requiring the drug to be withdrawn.  Baycol caused fatal
Rhabdomyolysis in patients who used Baycol in combination with
gemfibrozil, another lipid lowering drug, the complaint alleges.

The complaint further alleges that senior executives at Bayer were
aware that Baycol had serious problems and presented health risks to
patients long before the Company pulled the drug from the market in
August 2001, and that defendants overstated Bayer's assets and
understated its liabilities (totaling in excess of $257 million)
associated with the Company overcharging Medicaid, the United States
government's health plan for the poor.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman by Mail: One Pennsylvania
Plaza, 49th fl., New York, NY, 10119-0165 by Phone: 800/320-5081 by E-
mail: bayer@milbergNY.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.milberg.com   


BLOCKBUSTER INC.: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in N.D. TX
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Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action
on behalf of all persons who acquired securities of Blockbuster, Inc.
(NYSE: BBI) between April 24, 2002 and December 17, 2002, inclusive,  
(the "Class Period"). A copy of the Complaint is available from the in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas,
Dallas Division against the Company, John Antioco, and Nigel Travis.

The suit charges that Defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the
market during the class period, regarding the Company's financial
performance and future prospects, thereby artificially inflating the
price of Blockbuster securities.  The suit alleges defendants
misrepresented and/or omitted that:

     (1) Blockbuster's business was being negatively impacted by
         declining DVD sale prices;

     (2) Blockbuster was unable to effectively compete with other
         retailers of DVDs as many of those retailers offered DVDs as
         loss leaders -- selling the DVDs below or at cost in order to
         entice shoppers into the store;

     (3) as a result, growth at stores that were open for more than one
         year was slowing to such an extent that the same-store growth
         rates that defendants had promised investors would not be
         realized; and

     (4) Blockbuster was experiencing problems with certain of the
         movie studios with whom it had profit-sharing arrangements.

On December 18, 2002, the Company shocked the market when it announced
that it would not meet its previous earnings guidance for the fourth
quarter of 2002 and fiscal year 2002.  Further, Blockbuster reported
that fourth quarter same store revenue would be in the mid-single digit
range as opposed to the low to mid-teen range previously shared with
investors.

In response to this announcement, the price of Blockbuster common stock
dropped from $19.40 per share to $13.64 per share.  Prior to the
disclosure of this adverse information, certain defendants sold their
personally-held Blockbuster common stock to the unsuspecting public
reaping proceeds of more than $25 million.

For more details, contact Ms. Linda Flood, Director of Shareholder
Relations, by Mail: 10 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016, by
Phone: (800) 217-1522 or (212) 779-1414 by E-mail: BBI@bernlieb.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.bernlieb.com.


SOLECTRON CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Launches Securities Suit in CA
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Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, on behalf of all persons who purchased the securities of
Solectron Corporation (SLR) between September 17, 2001 and September
26, 2002, inclusive, against the Company and certain officers and
directors of the Company.

The complaint alleges that defendants issued numerous statements
reporting artificially inflated financial results.  The complaint
further alleges that these statements were materially false and
misleading because they failed to disclose and/or misrepresented
several adverse facts, such as that the Company possessed tens of
millions of dollars of obsolete and unsaleable inventory in its
Technology Solutions division which would need to be written down.  
Solectron's reported financial results were thereby artificially
inflated at all times during the class period.  

As a result of the Company's failure to writedown its inventory in a
timely manner, the financial statements published by Solectron during
the class period were not prepared in accordance with Generally
Accepted Accounting Principles and were materially false and
misleading.  If the Company had properly accounted for its inventory,
it would have missed its guidance severely.

On September 26, 2002, following the close of the market, Solectron
issued a press release announcing its financial results for the fourth
quarter of 2002 and fiscal year 2002.  The Company further reported a
booking of a pre-tax charge of $97 million to reserve for inventory
revaluation and write-off.  Solectron ascribed most of the charge to
"inventory risk assumed by Solectron's product-oriented Technology
Solutions business unit ..."

Shares of Solectron common stock dropped from their previous close,
following that announcement, as well as other disclosures.

For more details, contact Fred Taylor Isquith, Michael Miske, George
Peters or Derek Behnke by Mail: 270 Madison Avenue, New York, New York
10016, by Phone: (800) 575-0735 by E-mail: classmember@whafh.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.whafh.com. All e-mail  
correspondence should make reference to Solectron.


VAXGEN INC.: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
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The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted, exchanged or
otherwise acquired the common stock of VaxGen, Inc. (NASDAQ: VXGN)
between August 6, 2002, and February 26, 2003, inclusive, in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California against
the Company and certain of its officers and directors.

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

For more details, contact Charles J. Piven by Mail: The World Trade
Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore,
Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410-986-0036 by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com
or visit the firm's Website: http://www.pivenlaw.com


WORLDCOM INC.: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
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Cauley Geller Bowman Coates & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf of a class of all persons or entities who purchased
12% GOALs(+) (Nasdaq: GPLD) and 18.25% GOALs(+) (Nasdaq: NYWA) Equity
Linked Notes linked to the common stock of WorldCom, Inc. between May
17, 2001 and June 25, 2002, inclusive.  The complaint names as
defendants:

     (1) Bernard J. Ebbers,

     (2) Scott D. Sullivan,

     (3) David F. Myers,

     (4) Buford Yates, Jr.,

     (5) James C. Allen,

     (6) Judith Areen,

     (7) Max E. Bobbitt,

     (8) Francesco Galesi,

     (9) Stiles A. Kellett, Jr.,

    (10) John W. Sidgmore, and

    (11) UBS AG, who offered GOALs to the public.  

The individual defendants were all officers and/or directors of
WorldCom, Inc. during the class period.  Specifically, the complaint
alleges that the individual defendants issued a series of materially
false and misleading statements regarding WorldCom.  

Specifically, the suit alleges that throughout the class period
WorldCom's revenue, earnings, income and assets were materially
overstated and its financial statements issued during the class period
violated Generally Accepted Auditing Principles (GAAP).  As a result of
the Individual Defendants' violations of the federal securities laws,
WorldCom has declared bankruptcy and its shares are virtually
worthless.  

The suit alleges that the purchase price of the GOALs was materially
inflated because their value was directly tied to the market value of
WorldCom common stock, which was materially inflated as a result of the
fraud.  In addition, because UBS incorporated WorldCom financial data
by reference into the offering documents, they are strictly liable for
the false and misleading information contained therein.
    
For more details, contact Samuel H. Rudman, David A. Rosenfeld, Jackie
Addison, Heather Gann or Sue Null by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock,
AR 72221-5438 by Phone: 1-888-551-9944 by E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com


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

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