CAR_Public/030404.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
                Friday, April 4, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 67

                            Headlines                            

AES CORPORATION: Asks IN Court To Consolidate Suit with Similar VA Suit
AES CORPORATION: VA Court Approves Transfer of Securities Lawsuit To IN
AON CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Launch Securities Fraud Lawsuit in E.D. IL
ASHFORD.COM: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
CEC ENTERTAINMENT: Plaintiffs Drop Class Allegations in Overtime Suit

COLLINS & AIKMAN: Labels "Without Merit" Securities Lawsuit in E.D. MI
CONSUMER PORTFOLIO: Reaches Settlement in Suit Over Plaintiff Payments
CREDIT CARDS: NY Judge Rules Against Firms On Pre-trial Issues Of Fact
CYBERSOURCE CORPORATION: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Suit
DOLLAR TREE: Voluntarily Recalls 407,000 Plush Toys For Choking Hazard

E*TRADE GROUP: NASD Arbitration in Securities Suit Reset to May 2003
HEARTLAND EXPRESS: Trial in IO Owner-Operators Suit Set September 2003
IPALCO ENTERPRISES: IN Court Refuses To Dismiss ERISA Violations Suit
LANDAMERICA FINANCIAL: Court Grants Motion For Judgment of Suit Claims
MGM MIRAGE: NV Supreme Court Dismisses Part of Boardwalk Stock Lawsuit

MGM MIRAGE: Asks For Summary Disposition in MI Casino Operators Lawsuit
NEW CENTURY: Loan Officers Claim Entitlement To Overtime Pay in Lawsuit
OLD REPUBLIC: GA Court Refuses Certification To RESPA Violations Suit
SEROLOGICALS CORPORATION: GA Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Lawsuit
SILICON IMAGE: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit

SILICON IMAGE: Stockholders Commence Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. FL
ST. JOE: Named As Defendant In Meadow Village Homeowners Lawsuit in FL
TERAYON COMMUNICATIONS: Trial in Securities Suit Set For November 2003
TEXAS: House Bill 4 Passes, Reorders State's Litigation, Justice System
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Justice Dept Files New Documents On Corporate Lies

TRANSMETA CORPORATION: Court Grants Final Approval to Suit Settlement
TRANSNATION TITLE: Appeals Court Refuses To Hear Certification Appeal
VIA NET.WORKS: NY Court Dismisses in Part Consolidated Securities Suit
WASHTENAW MORTGAGE: AL Court Refuses Class Certification to RESPA Suit
WASHTENAW MORTGAGE: GA Court Lifts Stay on Lawsuit For RESPA Violations

                           Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Mass Litigation Begins in District Court
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OC to Face Key Test in Bankruptcy Proceedings
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Might Divide Insurers and Reinsurers
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos, Others Complicate Anti-Fraud Efforts
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reforms to Speed Up Asbestos Related Suits, Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB Wins Asbestos Related Settlement Hearing Delay
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Agrees to Settle Asbestos Related Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Corning Reaches $300M Asbestos Claims Settlement
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Equitas, Honeywell Settle Asbestos Related Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Gencor To Go Ahead With Impala Share Distribution

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Litigation Haunts Georgia Pacific Corp.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-Steelworker Gets $250M in Asbestos Injury Suit
ASBESTOS ALERT: Death of UK Castle Worker Linked to Asbestos Exposure
ASBESTOS ALERT: Noland Faces Various Asbestos-Related Suits

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Vianale & Vianale Lodges Securities Suit in FL
SKECHERS USA: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in C.D. CA


                            *********


AES CORPORATION: Asks IN Court To Consolidate Suit with Similar VA Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
AES Corporation asked the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Indiana to consolidate the class action filed against it
and certain of its officers and directors with a similar suit in
Virginia Federal Court.

The suit, filed on behalf of a class of all persons who exchanged their
shares of IPALCO common stock for shares of the Company's common stock
pursuant to the Registration Statement dated and filed with the SEC on
August 16, 2000, alleges violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of
the Securities Act of 1933 based on statements in or omissions from the
Registration Statement covering:

     (1) certain secured equity-linked loans by AES subsidiaries;

     (2) the supposedly volatile nature of the price of AES stock; and

     (3) AES's allegedly unhedged operations in the United Kingdom

This consolidation motion is pending.  On November 5, 2002, the court
appointed lead plaintiffs and lead and local counsel.  The Company and
the individual defendants believe that they have meritorious defenses
to the claims asserted against them.


AES CORPORATION: VA Court Approves Transfer of Securities Lawsuit To IN
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
agreed to transfer the securities class action filed against AES
Corporation to the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Indiana.  The suit also names as defendants:

     (1) Dennis W. Bakke,

     (2) Roger W. Sant and

     (3) Barry J. Sharp

The consolidated suit, filed on behalf of all persons who purchased the
Company's stock between April 26, 2001 and February 14, 2002, alleges
that certain statements concerning the Company's operations in the
United Kingdom violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

On December 4, 2002, defendants moved to transfer the seven actions to
the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.  

The Company and the individuals believe that they have meritorious
defenses to the claims asserted against them.


AON CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Launch Securities Fraud Lawsuit in E.D. IL
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities class actions filed against Aon
Corporation filed a consolidated amended suit in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division,
on behalf of purchasers of the Company's Common Stock between May 4,
1999 and August 6, 2002.  The suit also names as defendants Patrick G.
Ryan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Harvey N. Medvin,
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

The suit contains allegations of violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule10b-5 promulgated under
such Act relating to the Company's press release issued on August 7,
2002.  The plaintiff seeks, among other things, class action
certification, compensatory damages in an unspecified amount and an
award of costs and expenses, including counsel fees.


ASHFORD.COM: 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
against Ashford.com, Inc., several of the Company's officers and
directors, and various underwriters of the Company's initial public
offering.

The suit, filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock
during various periods beginning on September 22, 1999, the date of the
Company's initial public offering, allege that the Company's
prospectus, included in the Company's Registration Statement on Form S-
1 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, was materially
false and misleading because it failed to disclose, among other things,
certain fees and commissions collected by the underwriters or
arrangements designed to inflate the price of the common stock.

The plaintiffs further allege that because of these purchases, the
Company's post-initial public offering stock price was artificially
inflated.  As a result of the alleged omissions in the prospectus and
the purported inflation of the stock price, the plaintiffs claim
violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and
Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  

The consolidated cases against the Company have been consolidated with
similarly consolidated cases filed against 308 other issuer defendants
for the purposes of pretrial proceedings.  The claims against the
Company's officers and directors were dismissed in exchange for tolling
agreements which permit the re-filing of claims against officers and
directors at a later date.  A motion to dismiss filed on behalf of all
issuer defendants, including the Company, was denied in all aspects on
February 19, 2003.

The Company believes that it has defenses against these actions.  The
Company believes that the ultimate disposition of these matters will
not have a material effect on its business, financial condition or
results of operations, although it expects that it will continue to
incur costs related to defend this litigation.


CEC ENTERTAINMENT: Plaintiffs Drop Class Allegations in Overtime Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the suit filed against CEC Entertainment, Inc. dropped
the class action claims, when it filed an amended suit in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern
Division.  The amendment was made after parties reached a settlement in
the suit.

The suit was initially commenced in June 2002 in the Court of Common
Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  The suit alleges violations of the
Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The lawsuit, filed on behalf
of restaurant managers of the Company in Ohio, alleges violations of
state and federal wage and hour laws involving unpaid overtime wages
and seeks an unspecified amount in damages.  

On December 23, 2002, the parties agreed to settle this litigation for
a de minimus amount subject to the filing of an amended complaint and
approval by the court.  On January 20, 2003, plaintiff filed a second
amended complaint deleting the class action allegations and reducing
the claimants in the lawsuit to one restaurant manager.


COLLINS & AIKMAN: Labels "Without Merit" Securities Lawsuit in E.D. MI
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Collins & Aikman Corporation faces a class action filed in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, on behalf
of purchasers of the Company's common stock between August 7, 2001 and
August 2, 2002.  The suit also names as defendants Heartland Industrial
Partners LP and ten senior officers and/or directors of the Company.

The complaint alleges that the 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 pertaining to, among other things, the
anticipated benefits of the TAC-Trim acquisition.

The Company believes that the claims are without merit.  The Company
does not believe that the suit will have a material impact on the
Company's financial condition, results of operations or cash flow.


CONSUMER PORTFOLIO: Reaches Settlement in Suit Over Plaintiff Payments
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. agreed to settle a class action filed
against it in the California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, on
behalf of persons entitled to receive regular payments under out-of-
court settlements reached with third party defendants.

Stanwich Financial Services Corporation, an affiliate of the former
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company, is the entity that
is obligated to pay the Settlement Payments.  The Company has defaulted
on its payment obligations to the plaintiffs and in June 2001 filed for
reorganization under the Bankruptcy Code, in the Federal Bankruptcy
Court of Connecticut.  The Company is also a defendant in certain
cross-claims brought by other defendants in the case, which assert
claims of equitable and/or contractual indemnity against the Company.

In November 2001, one of the defendants in the Stanwich Case, Jonathan
Pardee, asserted claims for indemnity against the Company in a separate
action, which is now pending in Federal District Court in Rhode Island.  
The Company has filed counterclaims in the Rhode Island federal court
against Mr. Pardee.  The Company plans to defend this matter and pursue
its counterclaims vigorously.

The Company entered into a Term Sheet with Stanwich, the plaintiffs in
the Stanwich Case and others, which provides for the Company's release
upon its repayment of the amounts concededly owed to Stanwich, all of
which amounts have been recorded in the Company's financial statements
as indebtedness.

In February 2003, a court-sponsored mediation resulted in an agreement
in principle to settle the Stanwich Case (other than with respect to
defendant Pardee).  The Company believes that the plaintiff's
allegations and the cross-claims brought by other defendants referenced
above will be dismissed upon final execution of such settlement.


CREDIT CARDS: NY Judge Rules Against Firms On Pre-trial Issues Of Fact
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Federal Judge John Gleeson ruled in favor of the merchants, led by Wal-
Mart Stores Inc., on a number of issues of fact, in their antitrust
suit against Visa USA Inc. and MasterCard International Inc., during a
recent pretrial hearing in US District Court in Brooklyn, New York, the
Wall Street Journal reports.  The trial is scheduled to begin April
28.

The ruling resolved in the merchants' favor many of the issues of fact
that they would have had to prove before a jury.  The merchants are
seeking to recover "massive" damages resulting from alleged overcharges
imposed by the credit-card firms on debit-card transactions, wrote The
Wall Street Journal.  Visa and MasterCard are associations owned by the
banks that issue cards that are processed on the Visa and MasterCard
networks.

"The judge found in our favor on many of the elements of our case, so
it will be a shorter and less complicated trial," said Wal-Mart's
lawyer, Lloyd Constantine.  Judge Gleeson denied all 15 motions sought
by Visa and MasterCard, including a request that they be tried
separately.

David Balto, a former federal antitrust enforcer who is not involved in
the case, called the ruling "a stunning victory, in which the judge
effectively has decided more than two-thirds of the case, leaving Visa
and MasterCard relatively restricted on what defenses they can make."

In a 16-page order, Judge Gleeson found that "there is evidence, direct
and circumstantial, from which a jury could find a conspiracy."  
Several points won't even go before the jury, Judge Gleeson said,
finding that "no rational jury could conclude otherwise."

The most important finding may have been on the issue of market
definition, which is pivotal to any antitrust case, The Wall Street
Journal reports.  Judge Gleeson found that the credit- and debit-card
markets were separate markets.  The merchants allege that Visa and
MasterCard use their monopoly in credit cards to enter and dominate the
debit-card market, by forcing retailers to take their higher-priced
debit cards as a condition of accepting their credit cards.

Visa and MasterCard vigorously defend their "honor-all-cards" rule that
requires retailers to accept debit cards, saying it is pro-consumer.  
The judge ruled that it will be up to the jury to decide whether the
rule is anticompetitive or has harmed competition in the debit-card
market.

MasterCard General Counsel Noah Hanft said, "We are confident that once
the jury has evaluated all the evidence, it will uphold this pro-
competitive rule (honor-all-cards rule), and protect this critically
important consumer benefit."

Daniel Tarman, a vice president at Visa, said in a separate statement
that Visa is "confident that we will prevail at trial by clearly
showing that competition in the debit marketplace is thriving and
robust."  Mr. Tarman accused Wal-Mart of using its muscle as the
nation's largest retailer in this suit "to reach into every consumer's
wallet and dictate which cards they can and cannot use."

The lawsuit, filed six years ago, was cleared by the Supreme Court last
year to proceed as a class action, The Wall Street Journal reports.  
Thereby, nearly every retailer in the nation was added to this case as
a plaintiff.  Estimates of damages suffered by the retailers over the
past decade go as high as $15 billion, which would be tripled under
antitrust law if the merchants win their case.


CYBERSOURCE CORPORATION: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
refused to dismiss the consolidated securities class action filed
against Cybersource Corporation, its Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer, a former officer, and four brokerage firms that served as
underwriters in our initial public offering.

The suit was filed on behalf of persons who purchased the Company's
stock issued pursuant to or traceable to the initial public offering
during the period from June 23, 1999 through December 6, 2000.  The
action alleges that the Company's underwriters charged secret excessive
commissions to certain of their customers in return for allocations of
the Company's stock in the offering.

The two individual defendants are alleged to be liable because of their
involvement in preparing and signing the registration statement for the
offering, which allegedly failed to disclose the supposedly excessive
commissions.  On December 7, 2001, an amended complaint was filed in
one of the actions to expand the purported class to persons who
purchased Company stock issued pursuant to or traceable to the follow-
on public offering during the period from November 4, 1999 through
December 6, 2000.

The lawsuit filed against the Company is one of several hundred
lawsuits filed against other companies based on substantially similar
claims.  On April 19, 2002, a consolidated amended complaint was filed
to consolidate all of the complaints and claims into one case.  The
consolidated amended complaint alleges claims that are virtually
identical to the amended complaint filed on December 7, 2001 and the
original complaints.

In October 2002, the Company's officer and a former officer that were
named in the amended complaint were dismissed without prejudice.  In
July 2002, the Company, along with other issuer defendants in the case,
filed a motion to dismiss the consolidated amended complaint with
prejudice.

On February 19, 2003, the court issued a written decision denying the
motion to dismiss with respect to the Company.  The Company believes
that the allegations seem directed primarily at its underwriters and
have been informed that this action is one of numerous similar actions
filed against underwriters relating to other initial public offerings.  

While there can be no assurances as to the outcome of the lawsuit, the
Company does not presently believe that an adverse outcome in the
lawsuit would have a material effect on its financial condition,
results of operations or cash flows.


DOLLAR TREE: Voluntarily Recalls 407,000 Plush Toys For Choking Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. is cooperating with the US Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) by voluntarily recalling about 407,000 plush
bears and 221,000 snowman dolls.  Buttons on the jacket of these toys
can be pulled off, posing a choking hazard to young children.  The
Company has received no reports of injuries or incidents.  This recall
is being conducted to prevent the possibility of injuries.
        
The 10-inch plush bear is white and dressed in a hat and jacket in
one of the following colors: red, blue, hunter green, pink, purple,
light green, light blue and white.  The 10-inch snowman doll is dressed
in a hat and jacket that are blue and pink.  The snowman dolls also
have white scarves and a red ball nose.  Both the bears and the snowman
dolls have a label on their backs that reads, "DIST BY: DOLLAR TREE"
and "MADE IN CHINA."  The bears and snowman dolls were sold with ear
tags that read either, "Christmas House Plush Bear" or "Christmas House
Christmas Plush."
        
Dollar Tree, Only One Dollar, Only $1, Dollar Express, and Dollar
Bills stores nationwide sold these toys from June 2002 through March
2003 for about $1.
        
For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (800) 876-8077 or visit
the firm's Website: http://www.dollartree.com.


E*TRADE GROUP: NASD Arbitration in Securities Suit Reset to May 2003
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Arbitration in the class action filed against E*Trade Group, Inc. has
been rescheduled to May 12, 2003 before the National Association of
Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD)

The suit, filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Santa
Clara, alleges among other things, that the Company's advertising
regarding its commission rates and ability to execute transactions
through its online brokerage service was false and deceptive.  The
action seeks injunctive relief, and unspecified compensatory damages,
punitive damages, and attorney's fees.

In June 1999, the court entered an order denying plaintiffs' motion for
class certification.  In January 2000, the court ordered plaintiff to
submit all claims seeking monetary relief to arbitration and stayed all
other claims pending the outcome of arbitration.  

In July 2001, plaintiff filed an arbitration claim with the National
Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD), and in October 2001,
the Company submitted its answer.  Subsequently, an NASD arbitration
panel issued a ruling indicating that it would not assert jurisdiction
over plaintiff's representative claims and scheduled the hearing of
plaintiff's individual claims for arbitration for October 14, 2002.
Thereafter, the NASD cancelled the October 14, 2002 hearing of this
arbitration and rescheduled the arbitration.  At this time, the Company
is unable to predict the ultimate outcome of this matter.


HEARTLAND EXPRESS: Trial in IO Owner-Operators Suit Set September 2003
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the class action filed against Heartland Express, Inc. by the
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc. (OOIDA) is set for
September 2003 in the United State District Court for the Southern
District of Iowa.  

The lawsuit was granted class action status on January 23, 2003 on
behalf of the Company's owner-operators since October 1, 1997.  Among
other things, the lawsuit alleges that the Company failed to adequately
inform the owner-operators of certain deductions from their settlement
statements in violation of Department of Transportation regulations and
that the Company's standard contract with owner-operators violates
those regulations.  The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and an
injunction to prevent owner-operators from hauling for the Company
until alleged contractual deficiencies are corrected.  

Although there can be no assurance, the Company does not expect that an
adverse outcome would materially affect the Company's financial
position or results of operations.


IPALCO ENTERPRISES: IN Court Refuses To Dismiss ERISA Violations Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
refused to dismiss the class action filed against IPALCO Enterprises,
Inc. and certain of its former officers and directors.  The suit
asserts that former members of the pension committee for the thrift
plan breached their fiduciary duties to the plaintiffs under the
Employment Retirement Income Securities Act (ERISA) by investing assets
of the thrift plan in the common stock of IPALCO prior to the
acquisition of IPALCO by the Company.

Discovery continues in the lawsuit.  The Company believes it has
meritorious defenses to the claims asserted against it.


LANDAMERICA FINANCIAL: Court Grants Motion For Judgment of Suit Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Los Angeles, California granted Landamerica
Financial Group, Inc.'s motion for judgment in the pleadings for claims
in the class action filed against it and:

     (1) Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company,

     (2) Commonwealth Land Title Company,

     (3) Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation and

     (4) Lawyers Title Company

Plaintiffs purport to represent the general public and a class defined
as "(a)ll persons or entities who, from June 16, 1996 to the present,
incident to purchase, sale or refinancing of real property located in
California, deposited funds in escrow accounts controlled by the
Defendants and were not paid interest on their funds and/or were
charged fees for services not rendered by Defendants or excessive fees
for the services Defendants performed."

The plaintiffs allege in the third amended complaint that the
defendants unlawfully:

     (i) received interest, other credits or payments that served as
         the functional equivalent of interest, on customer escrow
         funds;

    (ii) charged and retained fees for preparing and recording
         reconveyances that they did not prepare or record, and charged
         and retained excessive fees for other escrow-related services;
         and

   (iii) swept or converted funds in escrow accounts based upon
         contrived charges prior to the time the funds escheated or
         should have escheated to the State of California pursuant to
         the Unclaimed Property Law

The Plaintiffs assert claims for relief against the defendants based
on:

     (a) violation of California's Unfair Business Practices Act,
         California Business and Professions Code 17200, et. seq.,

     (b) violation of California's Deceptive, False and Misleading
         Advertising Act, California Business and Professions Code
         17500, et. seq. and

     (c) unjust enrichment

The Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief, restitution of improperly
collected charges and interest and the imposition of an equitable
constructive trust over such amounts, damages according to proof,
punitive damages, costs and expenses, attorneys' fees, pre- and post-
judgment interest and such other and further relief as the court may
deem necessary and proper.

On February 4, 2003, the court granted the defendants' motion for
judgment on the pleadings relating to the claims brought on behalf of
the general public, thereby limiting the relief that the Plaintiffs may
recover to restitution and attorneys' fees on behalf of the putative
class.  The defendants intend to defend vigorously the suit, and at
this time no estimate of the amount or range of loss that could result
from an unfavorable outcome can be made.


MGM MIRAGE: NV Supreme Court Dismisses Part of Boardwalk Stock Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Nevada Supreme Court affirmed a lower court's dismissal of several
claims the class action filed against MGM Mirage and certain former
directors and principal stockholders of its subsidiary, which owns and
operates Boardwalk Hotel and Casino.  However, the Court also remanded
the remaining claims to federal court.

The suit, initially filed in the District Court for Clark County,
Nevada alleged that Mirage induced the other defendants to breach their
fiduciary duties to Boardwalk's minority stockholders by devising and
implementing a scheme by which Mirage acquired Boardwalk at
significantly less than the true value of its shares.  The complaint
sought an unspecified amount of compensatory damages from Mirage and
punitive damages from the other defendants, whom the Company is
required to defend and indemnify.

In June 2000, the court granted the Company's motion to dismiss the
complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted.  The plaintiff appealed the ruling to the Nevada Supreme
Court.  The parties then filed briefs with the Nevada Supreme Court,
and oral arguments were conducted in October 2001.

In February 2003, the Nevada Supreme Court overturned the district
court's order granting the Company's motion to dismiss the complaint
and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings on
the elements of the lawsuit involving wrongful conduct in approving the
merger and/or in the valuation of the merged corporation's shares.  The
Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the
plaintiff's claims for lost profits and mismanagement.

The Nevada Supreme Court's ruling relates only to the district court's
ruling on the Company's motion to dismiss and is not a determination of
the merits of the plaintiff's case.  If the case goes forward, the
plaintiff will be required to prove all of the elements of his case on
the merits, and we will continue to vigorously defend our position that
the plaintiff's claims are without merit.


MGM MIRAGE: Asks For Summary Disposition in MI Casino Operators Lawsuit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
MGM Mirage filed a motion for summary disposition in the class action
filed in the Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit, Michigan, against
it and other operators of casinos in Detroit, Michigan.

The suit claims the bonus wheel feature of the Wheel of Fortuner and I
Dream of Jeannier slot machines, which are manufactured, designed and
programmed by International Game Technology and/or Anchor Gaming, Inc.,
are deceptive and misleading.  Specifically, plaintiff alleges that the
bonus wheels on these games do not randomly land on a given dollar
amount but are programmed to provide a predetermined frequency of pay-
outs.  The complaint alleges violations of the Michigan Consumer
Protection Act, common law fraud and unjust enrichment and asks for
unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, disgorgement of profits,
injunctive and other equitable relief, and costs and attorney's fees.

The plaintiff seeks to certify a class of any individual in Michigan
who has played either of these games since June of 1999.  The machines
and their programs were approved for use by the Michigan Gaming Control
Board, the administrative agency responsible for policing the Detroit
casinos.

The Company, along with the other casino operators, filed a motion for
summary disposition arguing that the plaintiff's complaint fails to
state a claim as a matter of law.  Additionally, the Company, along
with the other casino operators, filed motions for summary disposition
arguing that the plaintiff's common law claims are pre-empted by the
Michigan Act, that the court has no jurisdiction to decide this matter
and that all the allegations in the complaint regarding the alleged
deceptive nature of the machines are directed to the manufacturers of
the machines and are not the casinos' responsibility.


NEW CENTURY: Loan Officers Claim Entitlement To Overtime Pay in Lawsuit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Two former telephone loan officers for New Century's Baton Rouge office
filed a lawsuit in Louisiana's state district court, alleging that the
company routinely required them to work more than 40 hours a week, and
additional hours on Saturday, without paying them overtime, the
Associated Press Newswires reports.  The two loan officers were paid a
base salary plus commissions on any loans they closed.

Loan officers at New Century had been classified by the company as
workers entitled to overtime pay under federal law.  Despite that,
alleges the lawsuit, supervisors insisted that time sheets be filled
out to reflect a 40-hour work week, no matter how much time was worked.

If the judge approves certification of the lawsuit as a collective
class action, other New Century loan officers nationwide would be
allowed to join the lawsuit, plaintiffs' attorney Christopher Coffin
said.

Last year, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled that more than 2,000
"loan originators" for Conseco Finance Corporation, who sell financing
by phone, were entitled to overtime pay.


OLD REPUBLIC: GA Court Refuses Certification To RESPA Violations Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia
refused to grant class certification to a lawsuit filed against Old
Republic International Corporation, alleging that the Company provided
pool insurance and other services to mortgage lenders at preferential,
below market prices in return for mortgage insurance business, and that
such practices violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
(RESPA).

The court ruled in favor of a summary judgment motion filed by the
Company and dismissed the lawsuit.  The class plaintiffs appealed, and
the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit vacated the judgment
and remanded the case back to the district court.  The Company filed a
motion seeking a summary judgment on grounds asserted in its earlier
motion but not considered by the district court.

On February 5, 2003, the district court denied the plaintiffs' motions
to certify a class in both the lawsuit against the Company and a
similar lawsuit pending before the same court against another mortgage
guaranty insurer.  While the Court's decision is appealable, it is not
known whether the plaintiffs will seek an appeal, and accordingly, the
ultimate outcome of this litigation cannot be foreseen.  


SEROLOGICALS CORPORATION: GA Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia,
Atlanta Division dismissed with prejudice the securities class action
pending against Serologicals Corporation and certain of its current and
former executive officers and directors.

The suit alleges violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
including Sections 10(b) and 20(a) thereof and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  The suit was filed on behalf of all purchasers of the
Company's stock between April 27, 1999 and April 10, 2000.

In November 2000, the Company and the other defendants filed a motion
to dismiss the consolidated complaint, which the court granted in its
entirety with prejudice. The court also ruled that the plaintiffs would
not be allowed to amend the complaint.

In September 2001, the plaintiffs filed a motion to amend the judgment
and/or for relief arguing that they should have been allowed to amend
the complaint.  On January 17, 2002, the court reconsidered its
decision and granted plaintiffs leave to file an amended complaint.  
The plaintiffs filed a second amended consolidated complaint on
February 12, 2002.  The Company filed a motion to dismiss the second
amended consolidated complaint on March 11, 2002.  On February 26,
2003, the court granted the defendants' motion and dismissed the second
amended complaint with prejudice and without leave to re-plead.


SILICON IMAGE: 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
against Silicon Image, Inc., certain officers and directors, and the
Company's underwriters.

The lawsuit alleges that all defendants were part of a scheme to
manipulate the price of the Company's stock in the aftermarket
following its initial public offering in October 1999.  Response to the
complaint and discovery in this action on behalf of the Company and
individual defendants has been stayed by order of the court.  

The lawsuit is proceeding as part of a coordinated action of over 300
such cases brought by plaintiffs in the Southern District of New York.  
Pursuant to a tolling agreement, individual defendants have been
dropped from the suit for the time being.

In February 2003, the court denied underwriters' motion to dismiss and
ordered that the case may proceed against issuers including against
Silicon Image.  At this time, the Company cannot predict the outcome of
this lawsuit.


SILICON IMAGE: Stockholders Commence Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. FL
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Silicon Image, Inc. faces a securities class action filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.  The suit
also names as defendants certain officers and directors and the
Company's underwriters, on behalf of shareholders who purchased stock
from some or all of approximately 50 issuers whose public offerings
were underwritten by Credit Suisse First Boston.

The lawsuit alleges that the Company and certain officers were part of
a scheme by Credit Suisse First Boston to artificially inflate the
price of Company stock through the dissemination of allegedly false
analysts' reports.

The Company has not been served with a copy of the complaint, nor can
it predict the outcome of this lawsuit.


ST. JOE: Named As Defendant In Meadow Village Homeowners Lawsuit in FL
----------------------------------------------------------------------
St. Joe Corporation faces a class action filed in the Circuit Court of
the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Dade County, Florida.  The
suit also names as defendant Arvida/JMB Partners, LP and Walt Disney
World Company.

Plaintiffs have alleged that Walt Disney World Company is responsible
for liabilities that may arise in connection with approximately 80% of
the buildings at the Lakes of the Meadow Village Homes and that the
Company is potentially liable for the approximately 20% remaining
amount of the buildings.  In the three count amended complaint,
plaintiffs allege breach of building codes and breach of implied
warranties.

The suit seek unspecified damages, attorneys' fees and costs, recission
of specified releases, and all other relief that plaintiffs may be
entitled to at equity or at law on behalf of the 460building units they
allegedly represent for, among other things, alleged damages discovered
in the course of making Hurricane Andrew repairs.  In addition,
plaintiffs seek rescission and cancellation of various general releases
obtained by the Company allegedly in the course of the turnover of the
Community to the residents.  Plaintiffs have indicated that they
may seek to hold the Company responsible for the entire amount of
alleged damages owing as a result of the alleged deficiencies existing
throughout the entire development.

The Company has also answered the amended complaint and has filed a
cross-claim against Disney's affiliate, Walt Disney World Company, for
common law indemnity and contribution.  Discovery in this litigation is
proceeding with a discovery cut-off of August 15, 2003, and a trial
date to be set thereafter.


TERAYON COMMUNICATIONS: Trial in Securities Suit Set For November 2003
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the securities class action filed against Terayon
Communications Corporation and certain of its officers and directors is
set for November 2003 in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California.

The initial suit, filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
securities between February 2, 2000 and April 11, 2000, alleged that
the defendants had violated the federal securities laws by issuing
materially false and misleading statements and failing to disclose
material information regarding our technology.  

The court hearing the consolidated action has appointed lead plaintiffs
and lead plaintiffs' counsel pursuant to the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act.  In September 2000, the lead plaintiffs filed a
consolidated class action complaint containing factual allegations
nearly identical to those in the original lawsuits.

The consolidated complaint, however, alleged claims on behalf of a
class whose members purchased or otherwise acquired the Company's
securities between November 15, 1999 and April 11, 2000.  The
defendants then moved to dismiss the consolidated suit.  On March 14,
2001, after defendants' motion had been fully briefed and argued, the
court issued an order granting in part defendants' motion and giving
plaintiffs leave to file an amended complaint.

In April 2001, plaintiffs filed their first amended suit.  The
defendants again moved to dismiss this new complaint and oral argument
on the motion occurred in December 2001.  On March 29, 2002, the court
denied the defendants' motion to dismiss.  The parties are now in
the discovery process.  In addition, the court has certified the
plaintiffs' proposed class and scheduled trial to begin on November 4,
2003.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages, in addition to
other forms of relief.  The Company considers the lawsuit to be without
merit and intends to defend vigorously against these allegations.  
However, the litigation could prove to be costly and time consuming to
defend, and there can be no assurances about the eventual outcome.


TEXAS: House Bill 4 Passes, Reorders State's Litigation, Justice System
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The recently enacted House Bill 4 reorders the Texas justice system, on
that point both sides agree.  If it passes in the Senate without
substantial change and is signed into law, it would shift the legal
terrain for many Texans who face lawsuits and for those who file them,
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.  House Bill 4 affects medical-
malpractice cases, class-action litigation, settlement awards and
product-liability cases.

"This is going to fundamentally change how people look at litigation,"
said Kenneth Hoagland, a spokesman for Texans for Lawsuit Reform, which
supports the bill.

"I believe it is the most expansive tort-reform bill that I have seen
in 40 years of practice," said Texas Trial Lawyers Association
President George Chandler, who opposes it.

What prompted the heated and even bitter debate and why is House Bill 4
of such importance?  The highlights of the legislation are:

     (1) The bill generally requires plaintiffs to seek government and
         regulatory remedies before banding together for class-action
         lawsuits.  An example:  A hypothetical group of residents who
         want to file a class action against a neighborhood polluter
         must first seek redress from state environmental regulators;

     (2) The bill includes a requirement that injured people, in some
         cases, must use their legal winnings to pay the attorneys'
         fees of those who injure them.  Such an outcome could result
         when the plaintiff rejects a settlement offer from a
         defendant.  If the case goes to court and the jury awards
         damages smaller than the defendant's original offer, then the
         plaintiff could be required to pay some or all of the
         defendant's legal bills;

     (3) The bill would set limits on suits over alleged product
         defects when the product complies with government standards.  
         For example, a tire meets certain safety standards, but then
         explodes and injures a driver.  If the pre-existing safety
         standard covered the cause for the blowout, then the driver
         would find it much more difficult to sue.  If a product has
         met a government standard, you don't have a lawsuit unless you
         prove the standard is totally inadequate.

     (4) House Bill 4 would place a cap of $250,000 on non-economic
         damage awards in medical malpractice suits.  Voters would have
         to adopt a constitutional amendment for this provision to
         become effective;

     (5) Juries would be told whether a plaintiff was wearing a seat
         belt at the time of an accident for the purpose of assessing
         fault and determining the cause of damages.  Current law makes
         such information inadmissible;

The bill and the debate now head to the Texas Senate.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Justice Dept Files New Documents On Corporate Lies
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Department of Justice filed new documents recently in
a 1999 lawsuit against the five largest tobacco companies, seeking $289
billion for what the government has described as "corporate malfeasance
on a breathtaking scale, according to a report by The Fort Worth Star
Telegram.

The Justice Department is aiming to prove that the big tobacco
companies lied about tobacco's health risks, manipulated nicotine
levels and willfully continued aggressive marketing efforts toward
teen-agers.  The government is asking for imposition of a penalty
representing the tobacco industry's "ill-gotten gains" from some of the
profits obtained, since 1954, from smokers who began smoking before the
age of 18.

The Justice Department's case is not a class action on behalf of
smokers.  It merits close attention, because, if successful, the
elements of its cause of action might be used by plaintiffs' lawyers to
shape an effective class action.  The Justice Department, in essence,
accuses tobacco companies of conspiring to lie and seeks the dollars
earned from those lies.


TRANSMETA CORPORATION: Court Grants Final Approval to Suit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California granted final approval to a settlement of the consolidated
securities class action filed against Transmeta Corporation, its
directors, and certain of its officers.

The suit, filed on behalf of all persons, other than the individual
defendants and the other officers of the Company, who purchased or
acquired common stock of Transmeta during the period from November 7,
2000 to July 19, 2001, alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, and Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of
1933, as amended.

In March 2002, the court granted in part and denied in part defendants'
motions to dismiss the consolidated amended complaint.  In May 2002,
the court granted in part and denied in part defendants' motion
to dismiss the second amended complaint, and denied plaintiffs' motion
for leave to file a third amended complaint.

In June 2002, defendants answered the second amended complaint as to
the only surviving claim.  In July 2002, defendants filed a motion for
summary judgment relating to that claim.  Plaintiffs moved for class
certification, and the court was scheduled to hear defendants' motion
for summary judgment and plaintiffs' motion for class certification in
December 2002.

The Company believes that the allegations in the second amended
complaint and the antecedent complaints are without merit and have
defended the consolidated action vigorously.  Notwithstanding this
belief, and in order to avoid any additional waste of management time
and expense, the Company and the individual defendants entered into an
agreement with plaintiffs' counsel to settle this action for
approximately $5.5 million, all of which monies have been paid by the
defendants' directors and officers liability insurance.  In December
2002, the court granted preliminary approval to the proposed settlement
agreement.


TRANSNATION TITLE: Appeals Court Refuses To Hear Certification Appeal
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Transnation
Title Insurance Company's petition for an interlocutory appeal of the
class certification of the lawsuit filed against it in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern
Division.

The suit alleges that the Company's rate for an owner's title insurance
policy, charged in accordance with rates for new construction filed
with the Insurance Bureau of the State of Michigan, are less than the
rate paid by the lender for a simultaneously issued lender's title
insurance policy, and that the lower rate paid by the builder/developer
for the owner's policy involves an illegal kickback for a referral and
an illegal splitting of fees in violation of the Real Estate Settlement
Procedures Act (RESPA).  The suit seeks an unspecified amount of
damages equal to three times the amount of the charge for a
simultaneously issued lender's title insurance policy, plus costs,
interest and attorneys' fees.

On December 5, 2002, the court certified a class defined as all
individuals who, during the period commencing prior to one year of the
filing of the applicable suit and ending on October 30, 2002, purchased
a newly constructed one to four family dwelling or condominium and were
charged for a lender's title insurance policy allegedly in violation of
RESPA.

No trial date has been set.  At this early stage in the litigation, no
estimate can be made of the impact on the Company that could result
from an unfavorable outcome at trial.


VIA NET.WORKS: 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
against VIA NET.WORKS, Inc., certain of its officers and directors and
the underwriters who supported the Company's initial public offering.

The suit alleges that the prospectus the Company filed with the
Company's registration statement in connection with its IPO was
materially false and misleading because it failed to disclose, among
other things, that:

     (1) the named underwriters had solicited and received excessive
         and undisclosed commissions from certain investors in exchange
         for the right to purchase large blocks of VIA IPO shares; and

     (2) the named Underwriters had entered into agreements with
         certain of their customers to allocate VIA IPO shares in
         exchange for which the customers agreed to purchase additional
         VIA shares in the aftermarket at pre-determined prices,
         thereby artificially inflating the Company's stock price.

The complaint further alleges violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and
15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section10 (b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule10b-5 promulgated thereunder arising out
of the alleged failure to disclose and the alleged materially
misleading disclosures made with respect to the commissions and the
Tie-in Arrangements in the prospectus.  The plaintiffs in this action
seek monetary damages in an unspecified amount.  

Approximately 300 other issuers and their underwriters have had similar
suits filed against them, all of which are included in a single
coordinated proceeding in the Southern District of New York.

On July 1, 2002, the underwriter defendants in the consolidated actions
moved to dismiss all of the IPO Litigations, including the action
involving the Company.  On July 15, 2002 the Company, along with other
non-underwriter defendants in the coordinated cases also moved to
dismiss the litigation.  On February 19, 2003, the court ruled on the
motions.  The Court granted the Company's motion to dismiss the claims
against it under Rule 10b-5 for lack of the required specificity, yet
granted plaintiffs leave to re-plead their Rule 10b-5 claims.

Plaintiffs have informed Company counsel of their intent to re-plead
these claims against the Company.  The motions to dismiss the claims
under Section 11 of the Securities Act were denied as to virtually all
of the defendants in the consolidated cases, including the Company.  
The individual defendants in the IPO Litigation signed a tolling
agreement and were dismissed from the action without prejudice on
October 9, 2002.

The defense of this action may distract the Company's senior management
from the normal operation of business and may cause it to incur
substantial defense costs.  The Company continues to believe the court
will find no wrongdoing on the part of VIA or its officers.  However,
if the Company is determined to be liable or if the Company concludes
that a settlement is in its best interests, it may incur substantial
costs.


WASHTENAW MORTGAGE: AL Court Refuses Class Certification to RESPA Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
refused to reconsider its decision denying class certification to a
class action filed against Washtenaw Mortgage Company and Hilton
Mortgage Corporation.

The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Alabama, relates to the defendants' method of calculating
finance charges in lending disclosures required by the Federal Truth in
Lending Act (TILA).  The complaint was subsequently amended to remove
the TILA claim and add a claim under the Real Estate Settlement
Procedures Act (RESPA), a request for declaratory judgment, and a fraud
claim.

The amended complaint alleges that the yield spread premium payments
from the Company to mortgage brokers were either payments for the
referral of business, or duplicative payments.  The suit seeks
unspecified damages.

In July 1998, the court denied class certification.  However, at the
request of the plaintiff, the court permitted plaintiff to re-file the
motion for class certification.  In September 1999, the court issued a
stay of the proceedings until the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh
Circuit makes a decision on four similar cases before it.

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit granted class
certification for one of the cases.  However, since that time, HUD
issued a policy statement on October 18, 2001 related to this matter.  
As a result, the court issued another stay until the Eleventh Circuit
determines the effect of HUD's 2001 policy statement on the four cases
it has before it.

The Eleventh Circuit Court reversed its decision to grant class
certification on September 18, 2002 and subsequently denied class
certification on the other cases it was scheduled to hear.  On December
12, 2002, the federal court denied the plaintiffs motion for
reconsideration of class certification.  A trial has been set for June
2003 on plaintiff's individual claims.

The Company believes it has been in compliance with applicable federal
and state laws.  At this time, management cannot express an opinion on
the impact of these cases or the ultimate outcome of this matter.


WASHTENAW MORTGAGE: GA Court Lifts Stay on Lawsuit For RESPA Violations
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
lifted the stay on the class action filed against Washtenaw Mortgage
Company, alleging that the yield spread premium payments from the
Company to mortgage brokers were either payments for the referral of
business, or duplicative payments.  The suit seeks unspecified damages.

In June 1998, the Company filed its answer denying all liability,
asserting affirmative defenses, and further asserting that a class
should not be certified.  In May 2000, the court issued an order
granting the Company's motion to stay the case until the US Court of
Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit makes a decision on four similar
cases before it.  The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has
denied class certification on all the cases.

On February 11, 2003 the court issued an order lifting the stay.  The
Company believes it is and has been in compliance with applicable
federal and state laws.  At this time, management cannot express an
opinion on the impact of these cases or the ultimate outcome of this
matter.


                           Asbestos Alert


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Mass Litigation Begins in District Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jurors have had their work cut out for them keeping up with who's who
in a mass tort litigation trial which started March 31 in the 9th
District Court.  The trial involves five individuals and their
survivors who claim the five were injured or died from exposure to
asbestos as a result of the conduct of the 10 defendants in the case.

Plaintiffs include Milton Babineaux, Charles Fagg, Jimmy Ward and
Donald Coy, all deceased, and Roy Bartlett.  Each one has relatives who
also are listed as plaintiffs, adding 21 individuals to the plaintiff
list.  Defendants include:

     (1) AK Steel Corporation, Middletown, Ohio,

     (2) BP American Production Co., formerly Amoco Production Corp.,
         Chicago,

     (3) Crown Cork & Seal, Philadelphia,

     (4) Flintkote Co., San Franciso,

     (5) Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation, Clinton, NJ,

     (6) Garlock Inc., Palmyra NY,

     (7) Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia,

     (8) Guardline Inc., Atlanta, Texas,

     (9) Kelly-Moore Paint Co., San Carlos, California and

    (10) Owens-Illinois, Inc., Toledo, Ohio.

Donna Owen, briefing attorney for State District Judge Fred Edwards,
said he had given strict instructions to each attorney for plaintiffs
and defendants to make sure they identify themselves clearly each time
they make a motion or objection so jurors will have no question who
they represent.

Mr. Edwards said there are more than 600,000 asbestos cases pending
around the country.  Asbestos may have a latent period of 10-50 years
before an adverse effect shows up, he said.  He said he combined the
lawsuits to be tried simultaneously in order to expedite the trials.
The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OC to Face Key Test in Bankruptcy Proceedings
------------------------------------------------------------------
Owens Corning's debt-reorganization plan faces the start of a key test
when dissenting bank creditors present arguments that, if successful,
could force the company into a major revision of its roadmap for
emerging from bankruptcy.

US District Judge Alfred Wolin, who is helping with the Toledo firm's
21/2-year-old asbestos bankruptcy case, will listen to arguments at a
hearing starting April 8 in Newark, NJ, which will mark the start of a
critical new phase in OC's Chapter 11.

It is the official opening of the firm's reorganization plan
confirmation process, lawyers said.  The process is expected to go on
for several months, after which the judge either will approve the plan
or order the company back to the drawing board.  With approval, and if
Judge Wolin succeeds in forcing the feuding parties into a compromise,
lengthy appeals would be averted and the Toledo company could quickly
emerge from bankruptcy.

Toledo-based OC, which is known for its Pink Panther mascot, is a major
manufacturer of insulation, vinyl siding, roofing shingles, faux brick,
and fiber glass.  It had 2002 sales of $4,900,000,000, making it a
Fortune 500 firm.  The firm filed for Chapter 11 October 5, 2000, to
gain relief from hundreds of thousands of asbestos liability claims.

There is a wide chasm between asbestos claimants, who stand to gain the
most under the debt-reorganization plan, and other creditors.  Stephen
Case, a lawyer representing banks, bondholders, and others on OC's
unsecured creditors committee, is critical of the $16,000,000,000
valuation of pending and expected asbestos claims.

"It is preposterous," he said.  He argues that the figure should be
lower, but didn't say by how much.  Most of the money is for people
expected to get sick from exposure years ago to OC's asbestos
insulation.  The company stopped making the product in 1972.  Most
claims are from installers and others who spent years working around
asbestos insulation.

Andrew Kress, a New York attorney who represents asbestos claimants,
defended the $16,000,000,000 valuation.  "I don't think it's inflated,"
he said. "It could be higher.  The lion's share is in future claims."

Mr. Case said, "The main reason we oppose the plan is because it
doesn't pay us enough."

OC owes $1,500,000,000 to a consortium of international banks led by
Credit Suisse First Boston.  They argue they should get a larger
percentage recovery on their claims because loans were backed by OC
subsidiaries while other debt was not.  Other creditors contend that OC
and its subsidiaries should be considered as one entity and that the
banks are entitled to no more than other creditors.  Still, in an
effort to settle the matter, the two-month-old debt-repayment proposal
-- also known as a reorganization plan -- includes a $400 million
payment to the bank on top of their regular recovery.  The proposal
would give the banks 47 cents for each dollar they are owed, lawyers
said.

Lawyers were unsure, however, how much other creditors would recover.  
The debt repayment plan was filed jointly by the company and its
asbestos claimants, without the support of other creditors.  Under the
proposal, OC's asbestos liability would be canceled and a trust fund
would be set up to pay claims.  The trust would get a majority of newly
issued company stock and the right to pick seven of 12 members of a new
corporate board of directors.

Lawyers say that Judge Wolin, who will hear the case in his courtroom
in Newark rather than in Delaware where the bankruptcy was filed, has
indicated he will pursue an unconventional approach to encourage
settlement.  After allowing the banks to make their case, he is
expected to issue no formal ruling but has indicated he will let all
sides know how he intends to rule.

"We don't expect the judge to issue a separate order," said Stephen
Krull, OC legal chief.

It would be an effort to get the losing side to compromise and to avert
appeals, which would prolong the bankruptcy.  A formal ruling would
come when Judge Wolin made a decision on the plan of reorganization,
probably in early fall, lawyers said.  If the disagreement isn't
settled by then, the losing side would be free to appeal the judge's
decision.

"The judge's objective is to get a plan confirmed," said Mr. Case,
lawyer for unsecured creditors.  "The concern that some people have is
that, if he put out an appealable order . that will stop the train on
getting a plan confirmed until the appeal is decided.  He is trying to
arrange things so that, if there are appeals, there will be a completed
package and all the appeals will be heard at the same time."

The judge has set aside 14 days to hear testimony on whether OC and its
subsidiaries should be considered separately or as one entity.  "The
court's process of approval will follow an unusual course," conceded
OC's chief counsel, Mr. Krull.

Louis Solimini, a Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyer who is not involved in
the OC case, said "It sounds like he is trying to do things on parallel
tracks, rather than sequentially, to save time."

Fear that creditors might vote down the proposal would preclude such an
arrangement in a typical bankruptcy.  Often that would mean competing
plans could be filed, which would give the bankrupt company less direct
say in how it should emerge from bankruptcy.  This is not so in the OC
case. Under the special rules of asbestos bankruptcies, a debt-
reorganization plan needs only the support of asbestos claimants.  The
firm's asbestos claimants committee, which is a co-sponsor of the OC
proposal, includes lawyers representing most such claimants.  That
would seem to assure OC of winning the support of the needed 75 percent
of those claimants, lawyers said.  Mr. Krull, of OC, said the firm will
revise its repayment plan as the judge makes his wishes known during
the approval process.

If Judge Wolin approves the plan and disputes remain, creditors would
be free to seek a court order delaying its implementation.  They could
then file an appeal with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in
Philadelphia.  Such an appeal, lawyers say, could delay the Toledo
firm's emergence from bankruptcy by six months or more.

Even so, OC officials and company lawyers say the firm could exit
Chapter 11 by early next year.  "I'm cautiously optimistic that Owens
Corning will emerge from Chapter 11 in the first quarter of 2004," said
Norman Pernick, an OC lawyer in Delaware.

A number of secondary disputes could be delayed until then, Mr. Pernick
said.  They include OC's demand that big stockholders return dividends
paid during a period when OC may have been technically insolvent,
efforts to recoup asbestos claims settlement money received by lawyers
on behalf of clients in the months before Chapter 11, and attempts to
win back some of the money OC paid for asbestos-liability-laden
Fibreboard Corporation in 1997.

Unaffected by developments in bankruptcy court are lawsuits filed by
bond holders and shareholders in federal courts in Boston and Toledo,
naming retired Chief Executive Glen Hiner and a number of other
officers and directors -- but not the company -- as defendants.  The
lawsuits, whose primary target are OC's professional liability
insurers, allege that officials deceived plaintiffs about the company's
true financial health and other wrongdoing.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Might Divide Insurers and Reinsurers
------------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos exposure foreshadows a growing rift between insurers and the
reinsurance companies that back them, according to a new report by
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.  "Disputes between insurers and
reinsurers appear to be intensifying," commented Steve Dreyer, managing
director.  "The tone is getting ugly."

He argues that the reinsurance community as a whole has not stepped up
to shoulder the asbestos burden apparently expected of it, following
massive increases in the reserves put up by leading property/casualty
players for future payouts.

When, for instance, an insurer like ACE Ltd. announces a $2,200,000,000
addition to gross reserves for asbestos, as it did in January 2003, but
only a $500,000,000 boost to net reserves (after expected reinsurance
has kicked in), it signals an overweening dependence on reinsurance for
an exposure representing about 30% of ACE's capital base.

"Across the industry, the difference between net and gross numbers
raises all sorts of questions about who's ceding what to whom," said
John Iten, director.  "It's smoke and mirrors.  The liabilities are
disappearing into thin air, and nobody's capturing them."

Anticipated asbestos claims have prompted dizzying reserve increases at
a number of other US insurers in the past year or two, with Travelers
Property Casualty Corporation topping the list at $2,500,000,000
(fourth-quarter 2002), equivalent to almost all of its 2002 operating
earnings.  Several other prominent players have stepped up with reserve
additions of about $1,000,000,000, sometimes accompanied or even
anticipated by Standard & Poor's rating actions.

However, reinsurers have not matched these exposures with commensurate
increases in their own reserves, in part because of a natural lag in
the process, but also because insurers are often failing to inform them
about what level of reimbursement they are expected to come up with,
even though the primary companies have built that anticipated income
into their own numbers.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos, Others Complicate Anti-Fraud Efforts
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Proving insurance fraud in asbestos, mold and construction-defect
claims is difficult, according to a special investigation unit manager
for Liberty Regional Agency Markets, but insurers can use red flags as
a guide.

Insurers are facing major challenges when it comes to asbestos,
construction-defect and mold claims, said Wendy McBride, Western region
SIU manager for Liberty Regional Agency Markets, a member of Boston-
based Liberty Mutual Group.

She spoke to SIU managers, fraud investigators and attorneys at the
2003Insurance Fraud Management Conference in Baltimore.  The National
Insurance Crime Bureau and Insurance Services Office Inc are hosting
the conference.

Although asbestos claims stabilized when several companies went
bankrupt because of the serious health hazards associated with the
materials, the claims are proving to have a tail as long as 40 years,
Ms. McBride said.  With this "second wave" under way, insurers are
facing new issues, such as lawsuits that target defendants who own
companies that formerly produced products containing asbestos, she
said. Also, a majority of claimants aren't disabled but claim they will
be in the future because of exposure to asbestos.

Citing information from the Insurance Information Institute, Ms.
McBride said there were some 600,000 asbestos claimants in the United
States at the end of2000, and the number of asbestos-related claims
could grown 10 times within the next 10 years.  The direct cost of
asbestos litigation is estimated in the range of $325 million to $650
million, with indirect costs totaling $1.4 billion to $3 billion,
according to III, she said.  Losses could reach as much as $65 billion,
more than the combined total costs of the September 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks and Hurricane Andrew, Ms. McBride said.

Asbestos-related fraud usually is connected with property claims. In
those cases, policyholders inflate damage or file fraudulent claims,
alleging roofs and other construction materials contain asbestos.
Contractors also have claimed asbestos damage required more work than
necessary, such as complete rebuilding of a house or replacing an
entire roof, she said, but it's difficult to prove elements of
insurance fraud.

Asbestos, which was used by thousands of people, was common in pipe
coverings, insulation, packing materials, electrical wire, ceiling
tiles and roofing, among other products.  There's proof that asbestos
leads to scarring of the lungs, or asbestosis, and an inoperable cancer
called mesothelioma.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reforms to Speed Up Asbestos Related Suits, Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos victims and their families awaiting the outcome of
compensation claims will have their cases speeded up, following reforms
made by the Court of Session.  Under the changes a timetable will be
created to manage claims in court from start to finish which will then
be closely monitored.  Cases should now be concluded within 12 to 13
months.

Deputy Justice Minister Hugh Henry said that from April 1 all
compensation cases will be timetabled.  "I am particularly pleased that
where the person making the claim is seriously ill, the court will can
take this into account and ensure that these cases are given priority .
Considerable progress is being made to improve the procedures in our
courts for the dealing with all compensation claims, and in particular
those being brought by asbestos victims and their families, which will
speed up the disposal of these claims . This is a very good example of
our courts showing sensitivity to the needs of its users and working
with the Executive and the Parliament to implement change without
interfering with the independence of the courts and its power to
regulate its own procedures" he said.

"There has been understandable public interest in this matter and I'm
sure everyone will welcome these changes, and will want to ensure that
the new arrangements work to good effect helping to speed up and
improve access to justice for all parties involved in these issues," he
continued.

Related changes require parties to exchange information, including
their valuation of the claim, and to meet to encourage a quick
settlement of the claim.  In the event of no settlement being reached,
the case will proceed to a hearing on a date pre-determined by the
court at the outset of the proceedings case and included within the
managed timetable.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ABB Wins Asbestos Related Settlement Hearing Delay
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
ABB Ltd., Europe's largest electrical-engineering company, won a two-
week delay to a US court hearing on putting a unit into bankruptcy
protection to boost its chances of settling asbestos claims.  The
hearing will take place April 24 instead of April 7, spokesman Wolfram
Eberhardt said, allowing US Judge Judy Fitzgerald to consider
reorganizing an advisory committee of creditors suing ABB's Combustion
Engineering unit.  ABB, which has posted losses of $1.5 billion in two
years while boosting asbestos provisions, wants the committee changed
because a majority of members oppose a $1.2 billion settlement of
136,000 lawsuits.  ABB wants to add members who support the plan.

"We wanted to do everything possible to ensure a successful decision
for ABB," Mr. Eberhardt said.  "The current make-up of this committee
doesn't adequately represent the support for the settlement from an
overwhelming majority of plaintiffs."

The Swiss company has said that more than 90 percent of plaintiffs who
voted on the settlement in February supported its plan.  Analysts said
that it may take beyond April 24 for the judge to issue a decision on
the settlement.

The delay "could be taken as bad news by the market," said Mark
Diethelm, a Zuercher Kantonalbank analyst in Zurich who may cut his
"market perform" rating if an asbestos settlement is postponed again.  
"It remains uncertain if there will be a decision on April 24," he told
investors in a note.

Chief Executive Juergen Dormann must resolve asbestos claims, which
stem from boilers made by Combustion Engineering into the 1970s that
were lined with the cancer-causing insulation material, to help attract
buyers for businesses it is selling, analysts have said.

The delay won't affect planned divestments of the company's oil, gas
and petrochemicals or building-maintenance units, Mr. Eberhardt said.  
ABB wants to sell the divisions, along with investments from an equity-
ventures portfolio, to raise more than $2 billion this year to repay
debt.

"Negotiations over oil, gas and petrochemicals are at the due-diligence
stage," he added.  "The court delay of a few days won't have any great
impact."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Congoleum Agrees to Settle Asbestos Related Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Congoleum Corporation (AMEX: CGM), which makes vinyl floor tile and
plank flooring products, said it has agreed in principle with attorneys
representing more than 75 percent of the people with asbestos claims.  
The Mercerville, New Jersey-based company said it recorded a
$17,300,000 charge in its 2002 results for the resolution of asbestos
liabilities through a reorganization plan.

Congoleum said the agreement would be part of a possible Chapter 11
bankruptcy reorganization that would leave non-asbestos creditors
unaffected and would resolve all pending and future personal injury
asbestos claims against the company and its distributors.  Approval of
such a plan will require the supporting vote of at least 75 percent of
the asbestos claimants.

The company said its 2002 net loss was $29,800,000, including the
asbestos charge and $10,500,000 non-cash goodwill impairment charge, on
sales of $237,200,000. That compares with a 2001 net loss of $1,600,000
on sales of $218,800,000.  It posted a loss of $20,000,000, or $2.42 a
share, in the fourth quarter, compared with a profit in the year-ago
quarter of $712,000,000, or 9 cents a share.

Congoleum also said its 10-K annual report filing with the US
Securities and Exchange Commission would be delayed slightly due to the
time required to prepare disclosures related to the planned settlement.  
It expects to file its 10-K no later than April 15.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Corning Reaches $300M Asbestos-Claims Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Corning Inc., the world's biggest maker of optical fiber for
telecommunications networks, agreed to pay $300,000,000 to settle
12,400 asbestos lawsuits stemming from a pipe-making joint venture.  
The settlement will reduce first-quarter results by $200,000,000,
Corning said in a statement.  The suits, which date to the 1970s, were
filed by people who say they got sick because of asbestos products and
sought as much as $500,000,000 in damages.

The agreement clears Corning, which has had seven straight quarterly
net losses, from all asbestos liability.  Claimants sued its Pittsburgh
Corning Corporation joint venture with PPG Industries Inc., forcing the
venture to seek bankruptcy protection in 2000.  PPG, facing 100,000
claims, agreed in May to pay $2,700,000,000.

"It's good for them to get this resolved," said Dennis Gallagher, an
analyst at SoundView Technology Group who rates Corning shares
"neutral" and doesn't own them.  "This doesn't seem like something
that's going to debilitate them."

Pittsburgh Corning used asbestos for its pipe insulation.  The
plaintiffs claimed the asbestos in ceilings and offices where they
worked made them ill.  Asbestos, used until the 1970s to make building
materials and fire retardant, has been tied to a rare form of lung
cancer and certain respiratory ailments.  Dozens of companies have been
driven into bankruptcy by thousands of asbestos lawsuits, including
Owens Corning, W.R. Grace & Co. and Federal-Mogul Corporation.

Corning will fund the payment with $130,000,000 in cash, 25 million of
its shares and its 50 percent stakes in the US and European ventures,
spokesman Paul Rogoski said.  Corning's insurance carriers will
contribute additional funds to the settlement, he said.

The payment will likely go into a settlement fund as part of a
bankruptcy reorganization plan for the Pittsburgh Corning venture.  The
plan will be submitted to the federal bankruptcy court in Pittsburgh
for approval.  Corning said 75 percent of the asbestos claimants must
back the plan.

The process could take at least a year, the company said. Corning will
pay the cash and its share of Pittsburgh Corning Europe NV once the
reorganization plan is approved.  The cash will be paid over six years
beginning in June 2005.

Corning said in December it was considering a settlement.  "While we
believe we have strong legal defenses to any claims of direct liability
from asbestos products, it is important to bring this matter to closure
and eliminate uncertainty going forward," Chief Financial Officer James
Flaws said in a statement.

Corning took a $36,000,000 after-tax charge in the first quarter of
2000 after Pittsburgh Corning filed for bankruptcy protection.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Equitas, Honeywell Settle Asbestos Related Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Equitas Ltd. will pay $472,000,000 to Honeywell International to settle
the company's claims arising from asbestos-related liabilities at two
businesses, the British reinsurer and the US manufacturer said.  The
deal, called a policy buyback settlement, would cover asbestos claims
at North American Refractories Co., which Honeywell sold in 1986, and
the Bendix business, which Honeywell has agreed in principle to sell to
Federal-Mogul Corporation.

"Essentially what we're doing is we're paying all current and all
future claims," said Equitas spokesman Jon Nash.  "We've terminated our
relationship."

The cash payment would cover all of Honeywell's claims against Lloyd's
of London investors who had reinsured their liabilities with Equitas.  
Lloyd's is an insurance market comprised of corporate and individual
investors, or Names.  Hundreds of Lloyd's Names suffered devastating
losses due to claims stemming from asbestos-related illnesses in the
1970s and '80s.

Lloyd's lost $12,600,000,000 from 1988 to 1992, and many names faced
financial ruin because of their unlimited liability.  To limit its
exposure to these claims, Lloyd's set up London-based Equitas to
reinsure its insurance liabilities for 1992 and all previous years.

Glenn Brace, Equitas' claims director, said the settlement provides
finality for the reinsured Names who were at risk from claims by
Honeywell and its related businesses.  "For Honeywell, it provides
certainty as to the amount of claims that will eventually be covered by
Lloyd's of London Names," Mr. Brace added.

Honeywell's general counsel, Peter Kreindler, called the deal another
step in Honeywell's efforts to resolve issues related to the North
American Refractories and Bendix asbestos cases.  The settlement "is
consistent with the assumptions on which our existing reserves are
based," he said.

Honeywell, a high-tech manufacturer based in Morris Township, N.J., has
long been struggling with asbestos-related liabilities.  It took a one-
time, pretax charge of $1,550,000,000 in the fourth quarter for
asbestos claims not covered by insurance.

Federal-Mogul, an automotive components supplier, has agreed to acquire
most of Honeywell's Bendix friction materials business.  Bendix makes
brakes and brake linings that once included asbestos.  Honeywell owned
former North American Refractories from 1979 to 1986. The division,
known as NARCO, currently is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Gencor To Go Ahead With Impala Share Distribution
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Gencor Ltd., a South African investment holding company, said that
following the settlement of an asbestos-related claim against the
company last month, it will go ahead with distributing its shares in
Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.  Gencor currently holds 30.61 million
shares, or around 46%, in Impala, the world's second biggest platinum
producer.

The company said a shareholder meeting will take place April 25 to
consider the proposed unbundling.  In terms of the proposed
distribution, Gencor shareholders will receive 8.77986 Impala shares
for every 100 Gencor shares held, although the final distribution ratio
will be announced June 10 and could be reduced.

The proposed distribution is subject to certain conditions being met,
including the approval at an April 25 general meeting of the ordinary
resolutions necessary to implement the proposed unbundling, and the
approval of the relevant regulatory authorities, the company said.

The decision to go ahead with the distribution comes after claimants in
an asbestosis-related dispute agreed in March to accept the company's
settlement offer of ZAR460,000,000 ($1=ZAR7.8395).  Former employees of
Gencor brought court actions against the company, claiming they
suffered asbestosis-related diseases caused by working at mines
previously owned by the company.  Gencor said the settlement amount was
final and subject to no admission of guilt by the company.

Gencor divested its non-precious metal assets to Billiton PLC, now BHP
Billiton Ltd. (BHP), in July 1997, and unbundled its investments in
Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI), Gold Fields of South Africa Ltd. and Standard
Bank Investment Corp. Ltd. in April 2000 to become an investment
holding company with its main asset a strategic stake in Impala.  
Gencor announced to its shareholders its intention to distribute its
stake in Impala on June 24, but until the end of July any unbundling
was prevented by contractual warranties given to Billiton in July 1997.

With the warranties now expired, and the asbestos case finally settled,
Gencor will be dissolved and its shareholders compensated with Impala
shares.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Litigation Haunts Georgia Pacific Corp.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Georgia-Pacific is having a tough time persuading Wall Street and
investors that it has its asbestos problem in check, Chairman and Chief
Executive Pete Correll said.  Georgia-Pacific estimates its asbestos
exposure will cost the company $665,000,000, or $400,000,000 after
taxes, over the next 10 years, Mr. Correll told a Banc of America
Securities conference.

"Clearly the market thinks it's going to cost us a significant multiple
of that if you look at the discount on our stock," Mr. Correll said.  
Georgia-Pacific stock closed Tuesday at $13.95, up 5 cents.

Mr. Correll is making the rounds this week at investment banks to
deliver the message that Georgia-Pacific's asbestos exposure is
"unfortunate . but not life-threatening."  

"We believe we can manage our way through it," he told a Deutsche Bank
Securities conference Monday.

As of December 28, Georgia-Pacific had settled, dismissed or was in the
process of settling about 269,700 asbestos claims, according to its
annual report.  Last year nearly 42,000 claims were filed against
Georgia-Pacific, which faced 68,800 unresolved asbestos claims at year
end 2002.

The asbestos claims stem primarily from building products manufactured
by Bestwall Gypsum Co., which Georgia-Pacific acquired in 1965, and
from Georgia-Pacific's own gypsum business.  The company discontinued
the use of asbestos in the products in 1977.

Concerns that the company's asbestos liabilities are larger than they
are is the biggest misperception dogging the Atlanta-based forest
products company, Mr. Correll said.

"It's just all consuming," he said. "For many investors, it's the
binary issue. 'I will or will not invest in a company that has as
asbestos exposure.' "


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ex-Steelworker Gets $250M in Asbestos Injury Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Madison County jury handed down $250,000,000 to Roby Whittington who
claimed US Steel exposed him to asbestos that caused his lung cancer.   
Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron said he might issue an order later
regarding the punitive damages.

In addition to $50,000,000 in compensatory damages, the jury ordered US
Steel to pay the retired steelworker $200 million in punitive damages
for failing to warn him about the risk of asbestos.  Company attorney
Ed Matushek said the company would probably appeal.

Mr. Whittington, 70, suffers from mesothelioma, a lung cancer caused by
asbestos exposure, and claimed he contracted the disease while working
at US Steel's mill in Gary, Indiana, from 1950 to 1981.  His attorney,
Randall Bono argued that US Steel knew about the dangers of asbestos
years before Mr. Whittington worked there.

Mr. Bono said that because of his client's age and terminal illness, he
decided to settle the lawsuit now rather than wait for an appeals
process that could take years.  According to him, Mr. Whittington was
concerned about the company's ability to pay the follow the jury's
judgment.  He said the settlement amount, paid in full on Mar 31, was
"substantially more" than Mr. Whittington would have received before
the ruling.

"The jury wanted to send a message loud and clear that it is not OK to
poison your employees," Mr. Bono said.  "Rest assured that US Steel got
the message."

Jury foreman Keith Sugg, who works at a steel warehouse, said the jury
wanted to send a message about asbestos-related illnesses.  "They
better start fixing it now, or it's going to get worse," Mr. Sugg said.  
"The old boy's suffering.  He'll never get any better."  

US Steel spokesman Mike Dixon said the verdict was an "aberration" and
the company believed it would have won on appeal.  US Steel argued the
case should have been handled as a workers compensation claim in Mr.
Whittington's home state of Indiana rather than in the southern
Illinois court, which is known for its generous civil judgments.

"We were confident the verdict would have been overturned on appeal,
but we didn't want to let that lengthy process distract us from running
our business," Mr. Dixon said.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Death of UK Castle Worker Linked to Asbestos Exposure
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A painter and decorator died from asbestos poisoning after spending
years working in the bowels of Windsor Castle and the boiler rooms of
Eton College.  Brian Butler, of Lincoln Road, cleaned asbestos-
insulated pipes and walls in underground passageways of the castle and
swept dusty floors without a mask or warnings of the dangers he faced.

Mr. Butler's widow, Susan, has instructed lawyers to sue for
'substantial damages' with her 'first target' being Butler's previous
employers, Wells Builders Ltd, still operating in Alma Road, Windsor.

East Berkshire Coronor's Court heard how the 61-year-old grandfather-
of-five painted boiler houses at the prestigious college every winter
and annually worked in the castle in the 1950s and 60s for Wells
Builders.  He left this job more than 30 years ago, later becoming
self-employed, and led a healthy life up until April last year when he
visited his doctors with what he assumed was 'flu.

However, he was immediately rushed to Wexham Park Hospital where he was
told he had a potentially serious tumor. He was diagnosed with
mesothelioma, an asbestos-related disease, and, despite operations, Mr.
Butler died at home on Jan. 28.

Susan Butler told the court that her husband's doctor had described him
as a 'very strong man' and said he appeared to be in good health until
the tumor was discovered.  However, East Berks Coronor, Peter Bedford,
said, "A frightening element of this problem is that it only takes one
single fibre of asbestos to settle in the lung.  And then it can lay
dormant for many years.  Death can be very sudden."

Speaking through her lawyer after the inquest, Mrs. Butler, said, "He
was a lovely man who worked hard all through his life.  He had four
children and five grandchildren and the family was devastated at losing
him."

Mrs. Butler's lawyer, James Thompson, said, "I have been instructed to
investigate the possibility of making a claim for compensation.  The
first target will be his previous employer."

Mr. Thompson refused to speculate about the possibility to taking up
the claim with the Palace.  He added, "We think our first target will
probably be successful."


COMPANY PROFILE

Wells Builders Ltd
7, Alma Rd
Windsor Berkshire
SL4 3HU
Phone: 01753 863155


ASBESTOS ALERT: Noland Faces Various Asbestos-Related Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Noland Company is a defendant in personal injury claims based on
alleged past exposure to asbestos-containing products or materials
produced by others and allegedly distributed by the Company years ago.  
Since the early 1990s, the Company has been sued many times, along with
a large number of other companies, by one law firm in cases that allege
asbestos-related injuries to persons in the maritime industry.  In none
of these suits has a link to the Company been substantiated, and most
of them already have been dismissed.

The Company also has been named as one of the defendants in 15 other
asbestos-related suits in which a connection to the Company was
alleged.  One of these suits has been dismissed with prejudice, three
have been settled through the Company's insurance carrier and 11 are
still pending.  Management does not consider the foregoing suits,
individually or in the aggregate, to be material to the Company.

Noland has also been named as one of the defendants in around 400
asbestos-related suits filed by one law firm in the Circuit Court for
Newport News, Virginia or in the Circuit Court for Portsmouth,
Virginia.  At this early date it is not possible to evaluate the merits
of these new suits.  The Company is not aware of any relationship
between the Company and any of the plaintiffs, nor does it have any
information as to the extent of any injury that may have been suffered
by any of them.  All of these cases will be defended vigorously.


COMPANY PROFILE

Noland Company (NASDAQ: NOLD)
80 29th St.
Newport News, VA 23607    
Phone: 757-928-9000
Fax: 757-928-9170
http://www.noland.com

Employees   : 1,358
Revenue     : $488,700,000
Net Income  :   $9,600,000
Assets      : $243,600,000
Liabilities :  $90,600,000
(As of December 31, 2002)
    
Description: Noland's 100 branches in 13 southeastern states offer
plumbing, heating, electrical, industrial, air-conditioning, well-
drilling, and refrigeration supplies. Noland carries products, such as
cable, circuit breakers, lighting, plumbing fixtures, tools, and wires,
from more than 2,000 vendors. Its customers range from independent
contractors to large manufacturers to utility companies. Noland also
sells air-conditioning equipment to customers in several South American
countries. Chairman, president, and CEO Lloyd Noland and his family own
about 53% of the company.

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

HEALTHSOUTH CORPORATION: Vianale & Vianale Lodges Securities Suit in FL
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Vianale & Vianale LLP initiated a securities class action on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of HealthSouth Corporation (NYSE: HRC)
between February 25, 1998 and March 19, 2003, inclusive, in the United
States District Court in Florida.

The suit alleges that defendants violated the federal securities laws
by issuing false financial statements between February 25, 1998 and
March 19, 2003, thereby artificially inflating the price of HealthSouth
securities.  On March 18, 2003, the SEC sued HRC and former CEO Mr.
Scrushy alleging that after 1986, Mr. Scrushy and HRC artificially
inflated earnings to meet Wall Street's expections and maintain HRC's
market price.  FBI agents executed a search warrant at HRC's
headquarters, according to the Company's March 19, 2003 press release.

For more details, contact Kenneth or Julie Vianale by Mail:
5355 Town Center Road, Suite 801, Boca Raton, Florida 33486 by Phone:
561-391-4900 or by E-mail: info@vianalelaw.com


SKECHERS USA: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in C.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Central District of
California on behalf of purchasers of Skechers U.S.A. Inc. (NYSE:SKX)
publicly traded securities during the period between April 3, 2002 and
December 9, 2002.

The complaint charges Skechers U.S.A. and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Skechers U.S.A. designs and markets branded contemporary casual,
active, rugged, and lifestyle footwear for men, women and children.

On April 3, 2002, Skechers U.S.A. announced that its first quarter
results would exceed analyst estimates by 25%. These projections, sent
the Company's shares to above $22 per share.  The Company soon
completed a $90 million convertible note offering.  Within months, the
individual defendants sold more than 1.5 million shares of their
Skechers stock.  Then on Dec. 9, 2002, the defendants announced that
the Company would fall materially short of hitting its forecasted
projections. On this news, the Company's shares plunged to $7 from $12.

The true facts that were known by each of the defendants, but concealed
from the investing public during the Class Period, were as follows:

     (1) The Company's sales had been accelerated by assuming the role
         of distributor which would lend to a decline in later
         quarters;

     (2) Defendants had known during the Class Period that future sales
         would be disappointing due to the early lead time on orders
         from customers.  

As a result of the defendants' false statements, Skechers U.S.A.'s
stock traded at inflated prices during the class period, increasing to
as high as $23.84 on April 24, 2002, whereby the Company's top officers
and directors sold more than 1.5 million of their own shares of
Skechers stock.

For more details, contact William Lerach by Phone: 800/449-4900 by E-
mail: wsl@milberg.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.milberg.com


                              *********


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

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

Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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