/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/050701.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, July 1, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 129


ACCREDO HEALTH: TN Court Yet To Rule on Stock Suit Dismissal
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL: AL Court Allows Caremark Suit To Proceed
BASF AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT: DC Appeals Court Rules on Empagran Case
BOSTON SCIENTIFIC: NC Firm Seeks Plaintiffs For Suit Over Recall
CALIFORNIA: Plaintiffs Reach $62M Settlement For CAL-SHAKE Suit

CALIFORNIA: Court Orders Review of Refiners' Antitrust Lawsuit
CSK AUTO: Recalls 2.2T Aqua Water Scooters Due to Injury Hazard
DAIMLERCHRYSLER SERVICES: Settles Race Bias Lawsuits in IL, NJ
EI DUPONT: Report Says PFOA Risk Greater than Earlier Reported
FAIRMONT HOTELS: Former Employees to Receive $525T Settlement

GOOGLE INC.: Click Defense Lodges Suit in CA Over "Click Fraud"
GUIDANT CORPORATION: Canadian Suit Launched Over Defibrillators
LG ELECTRONICS: Recalls 20T Refrigerators Due to Fire Hazard
LOUISIANA-PACIFIC: CA Judge Orders Homeowners' Suit to Proceed
MATTEL INC.: CA Mother Lodges Fraud Suit Over Talking Cell Phone

MILBERG WEISS: Fees Paid To California Investor Not "Kickbacks"
MISSOURI: Medicaid Recipients File Lawsuit To Oppose Budget Cuts
PENNSYLVANIA: Working on Disabled Kids' Education Settlement
PETCO ANIMAL: Investors File Securities Fraud Suits in S.D. CA
PFIZER INC.: NY Resident Files Suit Due To Viagra Side Effects

POTTERY BARN: Recalls 5.8T Cameron Toy Chests For Injury Hazard
RCN CORPORATION: Plaintiffs File Consolidated ERISA Suit in NJ
RIGHTSTAR HAWAII: Suit Files Over Withdrawn Trust Fund Accounts
RUBIO'S FRESH: Gallo & Associates Files Seafood Fraud Suit in CA
RUBIO'S FRESH: Calls on Gallo & Associates To Withdraw CA Suit

SECURITY CAPITAL: Plaintiffs Seek Documents Related To DE Suit
SOUTH CAROLINA: Barefoot Resort Residents File Lawsuit V. Owners
TWINLAB CORPORATION: Suit Settlement Hearing Set July 20, 2005
VIRGIN ATLANTIC: Faces Potential Suit Over Non-Vegetarian Meals

                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hanson Harbors Doubt on Asbestos Trust Fund
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Two Men Sentenced in NY Asbestos Scandal
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Engineer Sues General Electric in CA Court
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Man's Death Blamed on Asbestos Contact
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Site Plan Protest Goes to Court

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACE Ltd. Faces New Legal Hurdles on Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ADFA Warns Rural Renovators of Health Risks
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Factory Electrician Dies from Work Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sen. Specter Seeks Senate Bill Vote in July
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: The Commons to Debate T&N Site Development

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Environment Agency Approves Dumping Plan
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Find Prompts Actions at HI School
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Health Concerns Defer Bldg Demolition in AU
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Natural Asbestos Sets Hurdles for FAIR Act
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Memos Prove WR Grace Knew Risks for Decades

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DaimlerChrysler Corp. Faces 29,000 Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ameron Corp's Injury Claims Down to 10,378
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACC Awaits Appeal Before Seeking Repayments
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Approves Sealed Air Settlement Pact
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Victims' Coalition to Oppose Asbestos Bill

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: State of Montana Asks Court to Lift Stay
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Co-Author of Bill Seeks Financing Details  
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Two-ton Asbestos Waste Dumped on UK Road
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Natural Asbestos Linked to Cancer, Study
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Praxair Explosions Leave Asbestos Behind

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PA Court Junks Motion to Withdraw Objection
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CA Court Grants Motion to Remand V. UTC
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Workers Face Fines for Protesting V. Hardie
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MARF Urges Senator to Boost Research Funds
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NJ to Enforce Stiffer Penalty for Polluters

ASBESTOS ALERT: Contractor Sues Enviro-Test for Faulty Results
ASBESTOS ALERT: AG Sues IL Food Company for Pollution Breaches
ASBESTOS ALERT: Florida Agents Arrested Man for Asbestos Fraud
ASBESTOS ALERT: AG Charges 3 Men for Clean Air Act Violations
ASBESTOS ALERT: NY Court Junks Appeal by Azor Drywall, Merchants

ASBESTOS ALERT: Appeals Court Denies Arcon's Petition for Review
ASBESTOS ALERT: WA Asbestos Contractor Cited for 18 Violations
ASBESTOS ALERT: Pacifica Agrees to Settle with CA County D.A.
ASBESTOS ALERT: NY Removal Firm Owner Dies Day After Indictment
ASBESTOS ALERT: Kubota Workers Die of Asbestos-related Diseases

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

CARRIER ACCESS: Lerach Coughlin Files Securities Lawsuit in CO
CORN PRODUCTS: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in IL
CORN PRODUCTS: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in IL
POSSIS MEDICAL: Glancy Binkow Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in MN
POSSIS MEDICAL: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in MN


ACCREDO HEALTH: TN Court Yet To Rule on Stock Suit Dismissal
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Tennessee has yet to rule on Accredo Health, Inc.'s motion
seeking the dismissal of the consolidated amended class action
filed against it, David D. Stevens and Joel R. Kimbrough.

The lawsuit alleges violations of Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10(b)(5) promulgated
thereunder, and Section20 of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  The putative class representatives seek to represent a
class of individuals and entities that purchased Company stock
during the period June 16, 2002 through April 7, 2003 and who
supposedly suffered damages from the alleged violations of the
securities laws.

The suit is styled "Ferrari, et al v. Accredo Health, Inc., et
al, case no. 2:03-cv-02216-BBD," filed in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, under
Judge Bernice B. Donald.  Representing the plaintiffs are Tor
& ROBBINS, LLP, 401 B St. Ste. 1700, San Diego, CA 92101, Phone:
619-231-1058.  Representing the Company are Douglas F. Halijan
and Jef Feibelman, BURCH PORTER & JOHNSON, 130 N. Court Avenue,
Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-524-5000, Fax: 524-5024; and John
H. Goselin, Oni A. Holley, and Peter Q. Bassett, ALSTON & BIRD,
One Atlantic Center, 1201 West Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309-
3424, Phone: 404-881-7000.

AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL: AL Court Allows Caremark Suit To Proceed
Alabama Superior Court allowed one of the two class actions
filed against American International Group, Inc. and certain of
its subsidiaries, related to the 1999 Caremark Rx settlement, to

Two putative class actions were initially filed, arising out of
the 1999 settlement of class and derivative litigation involving
Caremark Rx, Inc.  An excess policy issued by a Company
subsidiary with respect to the 1999 litigation was expressly
stated to be without limit of liability.  

In the current actions, plaintiffs allege that the judge
approving the 1999 settlement was misled as to the extent of
available insurance coverage and would not have approved the
settlement had he known of the existence and/or unlimited nature
of the excess policy.  They further allege that the Company, its
subsidiaries, and Caremark are liable for fraud and suppression
for misrepresenting and/or concealing the nature and extent of
coverage.  In their complaint, plaintiffs request compensatory
damages for the 1999 class in the amount of $3.2 billion, plus
punitive damages.

The Company and its subsidiaries deny the allegations of fraud
and suppression and have asserted, "inter alia," that
information concerning the excess policy was publicly disclosed
months prior to the approval of the settlement.  The Company and
its subsidiaries further assert that the current claims are
barred by the statute of limitations and that plaintiffs'
assertions that the statute was tolled cannot stand against the
public disclosure of the excess coverage.  Plaintiffs, in turn,
have asserted that the disclosure was insufficient to inform
them of the nature of the coverage and did not start the running
of the statute of limitations.

On January 28, 2005, the Alabama trial court determined that one
of the current actions may proceed as a class action on behalf
of the 1999 classes that were allegedly defrauded by the
settlement.  The Company, its subsidiaries, and Caremark are
seeking appellate relief from the Alabama Supreme Court.  

BASF AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT: DC Appeals Court Rules on Empagran Case
BASF Aktiengesellschaft reports that the Court of Appeals for
the D.C. Circuit reached a decision in the Empagran case.

According to BASF, the court ruled that U.S.-based courts lack
jurisdiction to consider antitrust complaints of non-U.S.
plaintiffs when there are no alleged domestic effects that
proximately caused foreign injury. The decision in the Empagran
case was reached on June 28, 2005 and held that plaintiffs could
not base their antitrust claims in the United States on conduct
that allegedly caused harm outside the United States.  The
ruling, which follows the United States Supreme Courts June 14,
2004 decision, affirms the district courts original dismissal of
the action.

BASF Aktiengsellschaft was named as one of the defendants in the
Empagran litigation, a federal class action filed in the U.S:
District Court for the District of Colombia purportedly on
behalf of all persons who purchased vitamins from the defendants
outside the United States over a period of years.

The Empagran complaint alleged that the plaintiffs were
overcharged on their vitamins purchased as the result of a
worldwide conspiracy among the defendants to fix vitamin prices.
Several U.S. courts, including the Supreme Court, for a number
of years, had reviewed the case.

BOSTON SCIENTIFIC: NC Firm Seeks Plaintiffs For Suit Over Recall
After formal warning from the FDA, and a major product recall by
Boston Scientific Corporation, the North Carolina-based law firm
of Greg Jones & Associates, in association with
http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com,is launching a campaign to  
gather plaintiffs for a potential class action lawsuit.

Boston Scientific Corporation has voluntarily recalled over
2,000 of their drug-infusion devices due to reports of drug
leakage and device breakage. These medical devices are
surgically implanted under the skin and deliver drugs, such as
chemotherapy, through a catheter that is attached to a vein.

After careful investigation, both the FDA and Boston Scientific
Corporation recognize major problems with manufacturing and
quality control regulations. Boston Scientific is preparing for
multi-million dollar fines as it recommends that patients visit
their doctor to have these implants surgically removed. Last
year, Boston Scientific announced three product recalls for
similar manufacturing problems with their popular cardiac

Boston Scientific Corporation, based in Natick, Massachusetts,
is a worldwide medical device giant with 16,000 employees and
$5.6 billion in annual revenues. This medical product developer
and manufacturer also creates devices such as balloon catheters,
stents, sheaths, implantable ports, and medical imaging tools.

Greg Jones & Associates is urging patients that have experienced
problems or device malfunctions with Boston Scientific's valved
and nonvalved ports, such as the Vaxcel Low Profile Infusion
Port, to file a formal complaint.

For more details about this product recall and potential class
action lawsuit, call 604-608-3435 or visit their Web site:

CALIFORNIA: Plaintiffs Reach $62M Settlement For CAL-SHAKE Suit
A highly anticipated class action lawsuit against the
manufacturer of faulty CAL-SHAKE roofing material concluded an
important phase, with the jury finding in favor of the class,
The BuildingOnline reports.

According to a communication from law firm involved in the class
action: "CAL-SHAKE was manufactured, distributed, advertised and
sold between 1981 and 1995. A company called Shake Company of
California, between 1981 and 1985, originally manufactured CAL-
SHAKE. For purposes of this class action, this product is
referred to as "Old Cal Shake." In l986, several Principals of
the Company left, and sold their interests; whereupon the name
of the company was changed to Cal-Shake, Inc., and for purposes
of this class action, this product is referred to as "New Cal

The Class reached a settlement with New Cal Shake (roofs
installed between 1986 and 1995) for $62 million. The Court must
still approve this settlement, and we have filed for preliminary
approval of the New Cal-Shake settlement, and the hearing date
for this is July 11, 2005. Final approval will be after formal
notice of the settlement is sent to all class members, which
will probably be in October or November 2005.

The Class proceeded to a jury trial against Old Cal-Shake (roofs
installed between 1981 and 1985) on May 9, 2005, and the jury
found in favor of the class, and determined that Old Cal Shake
was negligent. There is an additional phase to determine a
damages award against Old Cal Shake, which will be conducted in
the forum of a bench trial before Judge Flinn, and this hearing
will be on August 1, 2005, at 1:15 p.m.

For more details, visit

CALIFORNIA: Court Orders Review of Refiners' Antitrust Lawsuit
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered a lower
court to review a San Diego class action lawsuit against all of
the state's petroleum refiners, which accuses them with
violating antitrust laws, The North County Times reports.  The
appeals court reversed a summary dismissal of the case nearly
two years ago by U.S. District Court Judge Barry Moskowitz,
which thus remanded the case for a new hearing.

According to San Diego attorney Timothy Cohelan, the suit is
arguing that the practice of sharing motor fuels among refiners
to make up for production shortfalls is a violation of the 1890
Sherman Antitrust Act because it discourages price competition
as a means of distributing market shares among supposedly
unrelated companies.

Mr. Cohelan, who filed the case in 1998 on behalf of San Diego
Chevron dealer William O. Gilley and all brand-affiliated
gasoline dealers in the state, told the North County Times,
"When branded refiners have these agreements, what we
essentially have is a trust, an organized cartel, and a
marketplace that is anticompetitive." Though Mr. Gilley has
since passed away, Mr. Cohelan was quick to point out that his
estate remains the lead plaintiff.

The agreements attacked by the suit are arrangements between
refiners to make motor fuels available to one another to cover
shortfalls. Mr. Cohelan told the North County Times that the
prices at which the products are traded allow the companies to
buy gasoline, for example, from a competitor and sell it at the
same price they would charge for gasoline produced by their own
refinery, but without losing profit. He also said, "When you
look at the output and price behavior, we can show the court
that the result has been a restraint of trade."

In a normal competitive marketplace, reduced output from one
competitor's factory becomes an opportunity for another
competitor to increase factory production and sell to a greater
number of consumers, thus increasing both market share and
profit at the first competitor's expense.

However, Mr. Cohelan argues that the agreements between refiners
prevent that kind of competition saying, "The challenge in this
case is that it doesn't allege there has been a conspiracy. But
it alleges that these contract agreements have allowed the
competitive environment in California to deteriorate."

Previously, the lawsuit was dismissed on a motion by the
defendants for summary judgment, a decision by a judge that the
conditions to move the case forward have not been met, so it is
thrown out.  The recent decision by the three-judge panel of the
appeals court, following oral arguments in March, sent the case
back to the district court, where the plaintiffs will try again
to convince Judge Moskowitz that they have enough evidence to
prove their case and the defendants will try again to convince
him otherwise.

CSK AUTO: Recalls 2.2T Aqua Water Scooters Due to Injury Hazard
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC), CSK Auto Inc., of Phoenix, Arizona is voluntarily
recalling about 2,200 units of Aqua Water Scooters.

Hydrogen gas can build up in the battery compartment and cause
the battery cover and the battery package to forcefully expel
from the product, posing a risk of injury to the user or
bystanders. CSK has received nine reports of the battery cover
and/or the battery package being expelled from the water
scooter, including three reports of facial injuries such as
lacerations and bruising.

The Aqua Water Scooter is a hand-held, battery-powered product
used to propel swimmers through the water. The product has
either a yellow or red plastic enclosure, a black plastic handle
and propeller and a shark face on the front.

Manufactured in China, the scooters were sold at all Checker
Auto Parts and Kragen Auto Parts stores in California, Arizona,
Nevada and Minnesota, and on the firm's Web site from April 2005
to June 2005 for about $99.

As a remedy, consumers should stop using the recalled water
scooter immediately and return it to the store where purchased
for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact CSK Auto
at (800) 842-3070 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. MT Monday through
Friday, or visit the CSK Web site: http://www.cskauto.com.

DAIMLERCHRYSLER SERVICES: Settles Race Bias Lawsuits in IL, NJ
DaimlerChrysler's North American financing arm tentatively
settled class action lawsuits brought by minority customers in
Illinois and New Jersey, The Associated Press reports. Court
documents revealed that those customers alleged that there was
racial bias in the automaker's lending policies.

Under the settlement terms, Daimler-Chrysler Services North
America will agree to spend $1.7 million in the Chicago case and
$1.8 million in New Jersey. That money would be used to provide
Daimler-Chrysler employees with anti-discrimination training and
sponsor consumer financial literacy programs in minority

As previously reported in the February 5, 2003 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, a group of customers filed a class action
against DaimlerChrysler's financing subsidiary accusing it of
denying credit to customers in the Chicago area, based on race,
and repossessing vehicles of customers living in predominantly
black neighborhoods without justification or proper

The suit claims that the Chrysler financing subsidiary's
management systematically and intentionally denied low-interest
vehicle financing to creditworthy blacks in two Chicago
neighborhoods, based on the neighborhood in which they lived and
the dealership they selected to purchase the car. The suit also
contends that the practice still continues in the Chicago area
and Chrysler's Illinois sales zone.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois on behalf of six black purchasers of Chrysler vehicles,
the suit seeks to represent all people of color in Chrysler's
Illinois sales zone who have been denied financing from Chrysler
despite their creditworthiness. The suit names DaimlerChrysler
Services North America, LLC, d/b/a Chrysler Financial Company,
LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary and captive financing arm of
DaimlerChrysler, as the defendant.

The suit describes meetings between Chrysler and its dealerships
in which Chrysler executives disclosed - using racist slurs and
derogatory comments - that Chrysler did not want to finance car
purchases by blacks, claiming they are inherently higher credit

According to the suit, Chrysler uses an automated computer
program called the ACE (Automated Credit Evaluation) System,
which is designed to give colorblind, objective credit
evaluations to customers applying for financing from Chrysler.  
However, the complaint argues that Chrysler modified the ACE
System software with a "disabling switch" that rerouted all
applications from particular dealerships for subjective review
by an employee at Chrysler Regional Headquarters. The suit cites
two dealerships in which virtually every credit application
submitted by a black customer was denied financing regardless of
credit scores.

The suit claims Chrysler denied financing to creditworthy black
applicants at two Chicago-area dealerships since at least April
2001. In September of 2002, Chrysler began denying all credit
applications from the Marquette dealership, and continues to
deny financing to the dealership, the complaint states.

Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, one of the law
firms representing the plaintiffs, believes that other
dealerships around the country suffer from redlining by
Chrysler. "These extreme comments and policies existed at
Chrysler for too long to simply be an anomaly," he said.

The suit also states Chrysler leadership was well aware of the
attitudes and behaviors of its regional operations. According to
the suit, during a meeting in June 2002, Chrysler Financial Vice
President Brad Norman participated in a meeting in which the
Chicago zone manager stated, "Well guys, what did we decide to
do with Gerry's nigger deals?" At no time did the executive from
Chrysler's corporate headquarters in Detroit challenge the
racist remark, the suit contends.

The complaint also charges that when 70 Marquette dealership
customers obtained financing, Chrysler renounced the executed
financing agreements as 'nigger deals,' and unlawfully
repossessed all or some of the 70 vehicles. According to the
complaint, many of the vehicles were repossessed from owners who
never missed a payment or were only marginally late with a

The class action had sought damages related to civil rights
violations and the paying of higher interest rates by
plaintiffs, as well as punitive damages to deter the company
from discriminatory conduct.

For more details, contact Steve Berman, Phone: (206) 623-7292,
E-mail: steve@hagens-berman.com or Mark Firmani, Phone:
(206) 443-9357, E-mail: mark@firmani.com, Web site:

EI DUPONT: Report Says PFOA Risk Greater than Earlier Reported
An independent review board revealed that a controversial
chemical used by DuPont to make the nonstick substance Teflon
poses a greater cancer risk than indicated in an earlier draft
assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the
Associated Press reports.

Last year, the EPA charged the chemical company with failing to
report information about the potential environmental and human
health risks of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).  The Company has
set aside $15 million to settle the allegations, but an
agreement has not been reached.  Earlier this year, the EPA
released a draft risk assessment of PFOA and its salts, saying
it found "suggestive evidence" of potential human
carcinogenicity, based on animal studies.

In a draft report released on June 27,2005 (Monday), majority of
the members of an EPA scientific advisory board that reviewed
the agency's report concluded that PFOA, also known as C-8, is
"likely" to be carcinogenic to humans, and that the EPA should
conduct cancer risk assessments for a variety of tumors found in
mice and rats.  EPA officials and scientific advisory board
members are due to discuss the latest report in a public
teleconference on July 6.  

Environmentalists hailed the report, saying it is an important
step in holding government regulators and the Delaware-based
chemical giant accountable, the Associated Press reports.  The
findings will increase pressure on the EPA to conduct human
health risk assessments for liver, breast, pancreatic and
testicular cancer, as well as PFOA's potentially toxic effects
on the immune system, Richard Wiles, senior vice president for
the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy and research
organization, told AP.

"This is contrary to the recommendation of the EPA staff and is
a very important conclusion," Mr. Wiles told AP, adding that it
would be very unlikely for the board to make any significant
changes before issuing its final report for review by the EPA.  
"This makes it hard for the EPA not to move forward

In February, DuPont settled for $107 million a class action
filed by West Virginia and Ohio residents who claimed that PFOA
from the Company's Washington Works plant in Parkersburg, West
Virginia, contaminated their water supply.  The Company denied
the allegations and settled to avoid time and cost of

Enesta Jones, a spokeswoman for the EPA's Office of Prevention,
Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, said agency officials had not
reviewed the advisory board's report and do not comment on board
recommendations until they are final.  "We're still working with
industry and other people to gather data that will help us
better understand PFOA," she told AP.

DuPont officials would not comment on the report but said in a
prepared statement that human health and toxicology studies
suggest that PFOA exposure does not cause cancer in humans and
does not pose a health risk to the general public, AP reports.  
"To date, no human health effects are known to be caused by PFOA
even in workers who have significantly higher exposure levels
than the general population," the company said.

The Company also told AP that data from its employee health
studies and those conducted by 3M, which stopped manufacturing
PFOA in 2000, "deserve greater consideration in the EPA's final
risk assessment rather than relying solely on animal testing

DuPont's studies, which are still ongoing, have found elevated
levels of total cholesterol and fats called triglycerides among
workers exposed to PFOA, but no indication that PFOA was the
cause of increased serum cholesterol and triglycerides.

FAIRMONT HOTELS: Former Employees to Receive $525T Settlement
Twelve former employees of the Plaza Hotel in New York are set
to share the $525,000 settlement of a class action lawsuit filed
on their behalf against Fairmont Hotels and Resorts by the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission for violating their civil
rights, The Economic Times, India reports.

The men, some of them of South Asian descent and all Muslims,
worked as waiters, bus boys or bell men. They complained to the
EEOC in April 2002 that they had been subjected to a "hostile
work environment and to severe and pervasive harassment."

EEOC senior trial attorney Sunu Chandy told the Economic Times
by telephone from her New York office, "The harassment started
in the weeks following 9/11. The harassers used such terms as
Bin Laden and Taliban," to the men.

After investigating the complaints, the EEOC filed a lawsuit in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
against the hotel in September 2003, alleging that the men were
called "offensive and derogatory names related to the 9/11
terrorist attacks based on their Muslim religion and/or their
Arab and South Asian national origins." In its complaint, the
EEOC cited that under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it
is illegal to discriminate against an employee on grounds of
race, religion, sex, color, age or national origin.

Eventually, the hotel reached an out-of-court settlement with
the plaintiffs. Under that settlement, Fairmont Hotel, which was
overseeing the human resources department of Plaza Hotel, was
required to also educate its entire staff at all the 14 hotels
it manages or owns nationwide about its discrimination and
harassment policy this was in addition to the money that was
handed out.

The settlement specifically stipulated that the summary of the
policy, which should include "a clear explanation of prohibited
conduct," and an "assurance that employees who complain of
discrimination will not be retaliated against," should be
translated into languages other than English by the hotel's
human resources office upon request of employees.

In a press release put out by the EEOC, Ms. Chandy said her
agency "takes very seriously allegations of harassment based on
religion and/or national origin." She added, "We are proud of
these brave employees who stepped forward to the EEOC to report
the harassment. We are likewise pleased that the Faimont Hotel
management entities have agreed to implement improved procedures
to train their managers. . ."

Even with the settlement though at least one of the plaintiffs,
Tulun Ahmed, decided not to settle, according to the EEOC. Ms
Chandy stated that the agency has given him the so-called "right
to sue" notice.

As previously reported in the October 3, 2003 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, EEOC initiated the lawsuit in the United
States District Court in Manhattan, accusing the hotel
discriminated against employees of Arab descent after the
September 11 terrorist attacks.

The suit, filed originally on behalf of 10 employees at the
Plaza's Oak Room restaurant, alleged that the managers called
them terrorists and accused them of destroying the World Trade
Center.  Managers allegedly wrote "Osama" and "Taliban" on the
plaintiffs' key tags and called them "dumb Muslim" and "al-
Qaeda." Most of the plaintiffs were employed in the Plaza for as
long as 18 years, but only one presently works there.

GOOGLE INC.: Click Defense Lodges Suit in CA Over "Click Fraud"
Click Defense, Inc., a seller of online marketing tools launched
a lawsuit seeking class action status in U.S. District Court in
San Jose, California against Google, Inc., accusing the Web
search giant of failing to protect users of its advertising
program from "click fraud," costing them approximately $5
million, The Reuters News Agency reports.

According to individuals familiar with the matter, "click fraud"
is not "fraud" as defined under the law. Rather, it is an
industry term used to describe the deliberate clicking on Web
search ads by users with no plans to do business with the
advertiser. Rival companies might employ people or machines to
do this because the advertiser has to pay the Web search
provider for each click. Click fraud can run up thousands of
dollars in advertiser costs or benefit a Web site operator that
gets a cut of advertising revenue from Internet search

Users of Google's popular Web search advertising program pay a
set amount, which varies from pennies to well over $1, for each
click, though in rare instances, the payment is as much as $95.
Google, which had first-quarter net revenue of $1.3 billion,
makes virtually all of its money from search ads.

The company, whose stock earlier this week briefly topped $300
after debuting at $85 in August, previously said that click
fraud is not material to its results and that it has technology
and teams working to prevent it.

Though Google and its top rival, Yahoo, Inc., which is not named
in the suit, have declined to say what percentage of clicks
would fall under click fraud, a figure most cited by independent
firms that track the practice is around 20 per cent.

In an e-mail to the Reuters, Scott Boyenger, chief executive of
Colorado-based Click Defense, said that his company's tracking
system has detected click fraud rates of as high as 38 per cent.
The company sells software to prevent click fraud.

Click Defense, which advertises on Google.com, is among a new
crop of companies that aim to help identify and stop click
fraud. Its rivals include Alchemist Media and ClickDetective.

GUIDANT CORPORATION: Canadian Suit Launched Over Defibrillators
A Canadian national class action was launched on behalf of
patients who have received defective defibrillators manufactured
by Guidant Corporation.

The suit alleges that despite its knowledge that the device was
defective, Guidant continued to market the defibrillators
without disclosing the problem to medical professionals and
patients. The defibrillator has been linked to a number of
short-circuiting incidences, which have, in at least one case,
resulted in the death of a patient in the United States.
The Guidant defibrillator is a device used to control irregular
heartbeats, rapid heartbeats and slow heartbeats. When the
device detects an irregular rhythm it sends an electrical shock
to the heart to restore normal heart rhythm. When the
defibrillator short circuits, it is no longer able to detect the
irregular heart rhythm.

In May 2005, Guidant communicated to physicians about a failure
in its defibrillators, but, it is alleged, that they had reason
to know of the defect in its implantable defibrillators since
1994. Guidant maintains that under most circumstances their
product works properly and does not recommend replacement
surgery, however, in the United States replacement or explant
surgeries are being performed.

Adrien Lefrancois, 37, of Thunder Bay Ontario and the
representative Plaintiff who received a Guidant Defibrillator in
2002, stated: "I am angry. Guidant knew about the problem, but
they just didn't say anything. They lied to me about the
reliability of this device. They should be more concerned about
patients than their stockholders." He added: "I now have a lot
of anxiety. I wake up at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning worrying
about whether the device is working or not."

Joel Rochon, class counsel stated: "The apparent concealment of
important safety information regarding the device is very
concerning to patients and is unacceptable."

LG ELECTRONICS: Recalls 20T Refrigerators Due to Fire Hazard
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC), LG Electronics Inc., of Lincolnshire, Illinois and
Sears, Roebuck and Co., of Hoffman Estates, Illinois is
voluntarily recalling about 20,000 units LG and Kenmore Eliter
TrioT Three-Door Refrigerators.

A faulty component in the condenser fan motor can short circuit.
This could cause the condenser fan motor to overheat, posing a
potential fire hazard to consumers. LG Electronics has received
82 reports of incidents involving a condenser fan motor failure
due to a failed capacitor arcing and smoking. There has been
smoke damage in a few incidents. There have been no injuries.

The recalled refrigerators are three-door, 21 to 25 cubic foot
units with a bottom freezer. The refrigerators come in titanium,
stainless steel, bisque, white or black. Brand names are
identified on the door at the top right of the units and the
interior data plate. The units have the following model and
serial numbers located on the data plate inside the fresh food
section of the refrigerator door:

Manufactured in South Korea, the refrigerators were sold at all
Sears stores nationwide sold the Kenmore brand exclusively and
other major retailers nationwide sold the LG brand refrigerators
from May 2004 through May 2005 for between $1,400 and $2,400.

As a remedy, Consumers should contact Sears or LG to arrange for
a free in-home repair.

Consumer Contact: Call LG toll-free at (888) 294-5782 or Sears
at (800) 659-7026 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. CT Monday through
Saturday. Consumers also can log on to http://us.lge.comor  
http://www.sears.comfor further information on those models  
included in the repair program and to arrange for an in-home

LOUISIANA-PACIFIC: CA Judge Orders Homeowners' Suit to Proceed
A California judge ordered that a class action lawsuit against
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation ("L-P") (NYSE:LPX) alleging that
its Nature Guard shingles are defective and that it defrauded
homeowners would proceed to trial as a class action. Judge
William A. Mayhew of Stanislaus Superior Court in Ceres denied
L-P's motion to decertify the class. Ceres resident Virginia
Davis on behalf of approximately 5,300 homeowners brought the
case in January 2001. Plaintiffs seek as damages the cost of
replacing all of the roofs, estimated to be approximately $100
million, plus punitive damages. Trial is set to commence
December 6, 2005.

Plaintiffs allege that the Nature Guard shingles -- a cement and
wood fiber shingle which L-P manufactured and sold as a
replacement for cedar shingles between 1995 and 1998 -- are
inherently defective, are prematurely failing, and do not live
up to the promises L-P made to homeowners in brochures and its
25 year warranty. L-P has denied the allegations. The case was
originally certified as a class action in November 2002, and the
Court has rejected several prior attempts by L-P to have the
case thrown out of Court.

"We are pleased by the Court's ruling, and look forward to
putting our case in front of a jury and finally getting some
relief for these homeowners," said Jonathan D. Selbin, a partner
with Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, a national
plaintiffs' law-firm and co-lead counsel for plaintiffs.

"Mrs. Davis and the thousands of homeowners like her whose roofs
are failing are just seeking to hold L-P to the promises it made
to them and to get their roofs fixed," said Clint Walker of
Damrell, Nelson, Schrimp, Pallios, Pacher & Silva, also co-lead
counsel for plaintiffs.

The suit is styled, Nature Guard Cement Roofing Shingles Case
No. JCCP 4215, which is related to all actions in Virginia L.
Davis v. Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, Case No. 275768, pending
in the Superior Court of the States of California, County of
Stanislaus, before the Honorable William A. Mayhew. The
Plaintiffs were represented by Jonathan D. Selbin of Lieff,
Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP; Clinton P. Walker of
Damrell, Nelson, Schrimp, Pallios, Pacher & Silva; Beth E.
Terrell, Esq. of Tousley Brain Stephens; Robert Retana of
Cotchett, Pitre, Simon & McCarthy LLP; and David M. Birka-White
of Birka-White Law Offices. The Defendant was represented by
Krystal N. Bowen, Esq. of Bingham McCuthchen, LLP and Lowell
Carruth, Esq. of McCormick Barstow Sheppard Wayte & Carruth,

For more details, contact Jonathan D. Selbin of Lieff, Cabraser,
Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Phone: 212-355-9500 OR Clinton P.
Walker of Damrell, Nelson, Schrimp, Pallios, Pacher & Silva,
Phone: 209-526-3500 OR Beth E. Terrell, Esq. of Tousley Brain
Stephens, Phone: 206-682-5600 OR Robert Retana of Cotchett,
Pitre, Simon & McCarthy LLP, Phone: 650-697-6000 OR David M.
Birka-White of Birka-White Law Offices, Phone: 415-616-9999, Web
sites: http://www.lieffcabraser.com/natureguardsuit.htmor  

MATTEL INC.: CA Mother Lodges Fraud Suit Over Talking Cell Phone
A Pasadena mom initiated a lawsuit in Los Angeles County
Superior Court against Mattel Inc. and subsidiary Fisher-Price,
which sells toys based on Sesame Street characters, accusing
them of rigging the Elmo's World Talking Cell Phone so it is
audible only when shoppers try it in the store, The Los Angeles
Times reports.

The suit charges the companies with "unfair, fraudulent,
unlawful and otherwise wrongful acts . [that] have a direct
effect on consumers." It seeks class action status, asking
Fisher-Price to offer refunds to purchasers and seeking
unspecified damages - and a louder voice for Elmo.

According to the suit, which was filed on behalf of Elisabeth
Marchetti, who bought the toy for her 18-month-old daughter,
Ava, in February, Elmo is easily heard when the phone is in the
box. However, the suit contends, that when the toy is out of the
box, Elmo speaks barely above a whisper, making children and
parents as unhappy as Oscar the Grouch. Opening the box removes
a plastic strip from the phone, resetting the volume, suit suit

Marchetti's attorney, J. Elias Sanchez of Los Angeles, told the
Los Angeles Times that he wondered whether her complaint was
frivolous after she asked him to represent her. However, after
buying one of the toys for himself and taking it out of the box,
he told the newspaper, "I could barely hear it. It's basically
not what you bargained for." Mr. Sanchez also said that Fisher-
Price only recently added a notice to buyers that the toy became
quieter after it was removed from the box.

The lawsuit is not the first time Elmo's World Talking Cell
Phone has drawn complaints. Comments posted at Amazon.com, which
serves as the online retailer for Fisher-Price, include several
from parents irritated by the volume problem. One even offered a
tip for altering the toy to turn up the sound.

Fisher-Price spokeswoman Laurie Oravec told the Los Angeles
Times that she was unaware of complaints about the toy and
declined to discuss the lawsuit in detail. She did note though,
"We're very careful with the sound level in all our toys so
they're not too loud for a child."

MILBERG WEISS: Fees Paid To California Investor Not "Kickbacks"
Controversial class action firm Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman
said that the charges against wealthy California investor
Seymour Lazar of taking kickbacks to file shareholder suits show
that federal prosecutors really wanted to go after the firm and
its principals, the investor's lawyer said on Monday, Reuters

On June 23, 2005, a federal grand jury handed down a 66-page
indictment against former California entertainment lawyer Lazar,
alleging he took about $2.4 million in illegal kickbacks to act
as a plaintiff in dozens of corporate class action lawsuits
launched by Milberg Weiss, an earlier Class Action Reporter
story (June 29,2005) states.  

The 66-page indictment came as prosecutors try to make a case
that Milberg Weiss improperly paid plaintiffs to file suits
against publicly traded companies.  Although the indictment
against former California lawyer only names "a New York law firm
with principal offices in New York and California" as the source
of the kickbacks he is alleged to have taken, the cases that
were listed in the indictment were filed by Milberg Weiss.

In a statement dated June 27,2005, the firm said that the fees
it had paid were part of a "common and accepted practice in
class-action cases."  The firm, which dominated U.S. securities
law in recent years, said the payments it made had been
disclosed in tax forms and that firm lawyers had testified
before the U.S. Congress over such fees, Reuters reports.  The
firm also acknowledged that it is the firm described in the
indictment and challenged the charges as "baseless."  

"It is clear to me they are attempting to put pressure on Mr.
Lazar that goes beyond the charges," Mr. Lazar's attorney,
Thomas Bienert told Reuters, adding that the case was "clearly
about" Milberg Weiss.  "It is kind of transparent that they want
to go after the main players at the firm."

Although it is not illegal for the lead plaintiff in a class
action to receive bonuses, the indictment, which stems from a
three-year probe, says Mr. Lazar and the firm broke the law by
failing to disclose the arrangement to the judge and other
plaintiffs.  Mr. Lazar's attorney denied his client had taken
kickbacks, and described the payments to the third-party firms
as legal referral fees.

Mr. Bienert told Reuters the government brought the charges to
intimidate 78-year-old Lazar into testifying against Milberg
Weiss by forcing him to appear in court in handcuffs and leg
irons, then trying to have him jailed as a flight risk.  Mr.
Lazar was freed on $1.5 million bond. His trial on charges of
conspiracy, money laundering, obstruction of justice and mail
fraud, is set for August.  

The firm has won more than $30 billion for shareholders and
clients -- and billions in fees for itself -- through prolific
and aggressive litigation against major corporations, including
Enron, Halliburton Co. and Global Crossing.  Last year, Milberg
Weiss split into two firms, with William Lerach heading the
firm's former West Coast operations and his former partner
Melvyn Weiss taking over the New York offices, Reuters reports.

John Keker, a criminal defense lawyer who represents Mr. Lerach,
told Reuters he did not expect his client to be indicted. He
would not comment on whether Lerach had been told he was a
target of the investigation.  A spokesman for Milberg Weiss also
had no comment on whether the firm or Weiss had been notified
that they are targets of the investigation, Reuters reports.

Ira Spiro, a plaintiffs securities lawyer and former member of
the California bar association's ethics committee, said it was
unlikely courts would invalidate tainted cases if Lazar is
convicted or Milberg Weiss is indicted.  "It's bad for the
public in general because class action are really important,"
Mr. Spiro told Reuters. "There are lots of laws being broken
every day by big companies."

MISSOURI: Medicaid Recipients File Lawsuit To Oppose Budget Cuts
Medicaid recipients filed a class action against the state of
Missouri's Department of Social Services, to oppose the budget
cuts due to be implemented on July 1,2005 that would eliminate
health care coverage for thousands of low-income patients,
DailyAdvance.com reports.

The proposed reduction in Medicaid was a key component of
Republican Gov. Matt Blunt's effort to balance the budget
without tax increases.  The Republican-led state Legislature
passed the initiative, despite the objections of many Democrats
and despite repeated protests by Medicaid recipients and
activists.  Under the changes, more than 90,000 of Missouri's 1
million Medicaid recipients are expected to be dropped from the
list of people who will receive Medicaid, while thousands of
adults remaining are to receive fewer benefits while paying more
out-of-pocket through premiums, co-payments and personal medical
expenses.  The first round of cuts affecting an estimated 24,000
low-income parents is to take place Friday, DailyAdvance.com

The Welfare Law Center in New York and the National Health Law
Program in Washington, D.C. filed the suit on behalf of three
St. Louis mothers.  The suit alleges that the Department of
Social Services violated constitutional due process rights by
not providing parents adequate notice of the cuts, and that
department errors in calculating eligibility will mean the
erroneous terminations of thousands of people.  The suit seeks
class-action status and an injunction preventing anyone from
losing Medicaid benefits.

Department spokeswoman Deborah Scott declined to comment about
the lawsuit, saying agency attorneys had not yet reviewed it,
the DailyAdvance.com reports.

PENNSYLVANIA: Working on Disabled Kids' Education Settlement
Pennsylvania is moving closer to implement a statewide
monitoring system to ensure that its 250,000 children with
disabilities are learning in regular classrooms whenever it's
possible, the Bucks County Courier Times reports.

The monitoring system is part of the provisional settlement
agreement for a class action filed against the Pennsylvania
Department of Education (PDE).  Pennsylvania families filed the
suit in 1994, alleging the state broke federal law by not
allowing their children into regular classrooms.  The federal
Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) protects that
right.  The suit was given class certification in 1995.  

To settle the suit, the state agreed to set up a five-year
monitoring system to determine which school systems have
deficiencies and would work to improve those programs, while
helping with technical assistance and professional development.  
The settlement also would create a 15-member advisory panel, at
least nine of whom would be parents of children with
disabilities. The monitoring system would be three-tiered, with
levels for districts designated as being in different states of
need, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (June 29,2005)

Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Francis Barnes told United
States District Court judge Eduardo Robreno that PDE has the
resources for such a system.  PDE officials and parents on the
plaintiff's side also spoke in support of the agreement.  Judge
Eduardo Robreno has said he may decide on the settlement in the
coming months.

The provisional settlement's conditions require PDE to create an
index of the state's 501 school districts based on the amount of
time special education students spend with the rest of their
school's population, the Bucks County Courier Times reports.
Districts will be given scores. Those with special education
students spending more time in regular classrooms will score
high. Those that score lowest will be put on warning lists and
must receive training and assistance for teaching students with
disabilities in regular classrooms. The state could withhold
funding if the districts fail to comply.

While in support of the overall agreement, the Pennsylvania
School Boards Association is questioning the state's ability to
monitor all 501 school districts. PSBA attorney Allison Petersen
said if the agreement is approved, the organization is
contemplating filing a petition against the agreement in
Commonwealth Court.

"The agreement implies that PDE has the wherewithal to direct
all of those school districts. We're skeptical that they can do
that," she said, the Bucks County Courier Times reports.

The Intermediate Units of Berks and Chester counties have filed
objections to the provisional agreement. Andrew Faust, an
attorney for both units, said it's unfair of PDE to rank each
district based on the time special education students spend in
regular classrooms.  He told the Courier Times the Federal IDEA
law is too complex to use simple rankings. It'll make some
districts look bad even if they're doing their best to include
special education.

Kathleen Carney of Chester County said she's afraid special
education classes with intense individual instruction, such as a
speech class, will be shut down with too many special ed kids in
regular classrooms.  "The agreement will become the well of
unintended consequences," Ms. Carney told the Courier Times.

PDE Director of Special Education, Linda Rhen, said that
wouldn't happen. The state and its districts will continue to
find out what is most appropriate for each individual child.  
"This just makes sure that everyone knows the door is open (for
attending regular classes)," she told the Courier Times.

PETCO ANIMAL: Investors File Securities Fraud Suits in S.D. CA
Petco Animal Supplies, Inc. and certain of its officers face
several securities class actions filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of California.

On April 18, 2005, the Company and two of its officers, James M.
Myers, its Chief Executive Officer, and Rodney Carter, its Chief
Financial Officer, were named as defendants in a purported class
action, alleging violations of Sections 10 and 20 of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The named plaintiff, Plumbers
and Pipefitters Local 51 Pension Fund, purports to represent a
class of purchasers of our stock during the period November 18,
2004 to April 14, 2005, and alleges that during such period the
defendants misrepresented our financial position and that the
plaintiff and the purported class of purchasers during that
period were damaged by paying artificially and falsely inflated
prices for Company stock.  The complaint seeks unspecified
monetary damages.

On April 26, 2005, another class action was filed in the same
court with substantially similar allegations to those described
above.  The April 26 suit named Brian K. Devine, the Company's
Chairman, as an additional defendant.  The named plaintiffs in
the April 26 suit, Richard and Loretta Hochreiter, purport to
represent an identical class of investors as that identified in
the April 18 lawsuit.

On April 27, 2005, another class action was filed in the same
court with substantially similar allegations to those described
above, naming Roger Lieberman as its representative plaintiff.  
On May 5, 2005, an additional class action was filed, with
substantially similar allegations to those described above,
naming Mr. Myers, Mr. Carter and Mr. Devine as defendants.  The
May 5 complaint names Dikran Toroser as its representative

In addition, certain law firms have announced that they are
seeking plaintiffs in order to file a class action lawsuit
against the Company based on unasserted claims similar to those
described above, the Company revealed in a disclosure to the
Securities and Exchange Commission.

The first identified complaint in the litigation is styled
"Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51 Pension Fund, et al. v. PETCO
Animal Supplies, Inc., et al.," filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of California.  The
plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

     (1) Brodsky & Smith, LLC, 11 Bala Avenue, Suite 39, Bala
         Cynwyd, PA, 19004, Phone: 610.668.7987, Fax:
         610.660.0450, E-mail: esmith@Brodsky-Smith.com

     (2) Charles J. Piven, World Trade Center-Baltimore,401 East
         Pratt Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD, 21202, Phone:
         410.332.0030, E-mail: pivenlaw@erols.com  

     (3) Dyer & Shuman, LLP, 801 E. 17th Avenue, Denver, CO,
         80218-1417, Phone: 303.861.3003, Fax: 800.711.6483, E-
         mail: info@dyershuman.com

     (4) Federman & Sherwood, 120 North Robinson, Suite 2720,
         Oklahoma City, OK, 73102, Phone: 405-235-1560, E-mial:

     (5) Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP (LA), 1801 Ave. of the
         Stars, Suite 311, Los Angeles, CA, 90067, Phone: (310)
         201-915, Fax: (310) 201-916, E-mail: info@glancylaw.com

     (6) Law Offices of Brian M. Felgoise, P.C., Esquire at 261
         Old York Road, Suite 423, Jenkintown, PA, 19046, Phone:
         215.886.1900, E-mail: securitiesfraud@comcast.net

     (7) Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins (Los
         Angeles), 355 S. Grand Avenue, Suite 4170, Los Angeles,
         CA, 90071, Phone: 213.617.9007, Fax: 213.617.9185, E-
         mail: info@lerachlaw.com

     (8) Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins (San
         Diego), 401 B Street, Suite 1700, San Diego, CA, 92101,
         Phone: 619.231.1058, Fax: 619.231.7423, E-mail:

     (9) Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP, 355 South Grand
         Avenue, Suite 4170, Los Angeles, CA, 90071, Phone:
         213.617.9007, Fax: 213.617.9185, E-mail:

    (10) Pomerantz,Haudek, Block, Grossman & Gross, 100 Park
         Avenue, 26th Floor, New York, NY, 10017-5516, Phone:

    (11) Schatz & Nobel, P.C., 330 Main Street, Hartford, CT,
         06106, Phone: 800.797.5499, Fax: 860.493.6290, e-mail:

    (12) Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 3 Bala Plaza E, Bala Cynwyd,
         PA, 19004, Phone: 610.667.7706, Fax: 610.667.7056, E-
         mail: info@sbclasslaw.com

PFIZER INC.: NY Resident Files Suit Due To Viagra Side Effects
A Monroe County, New York man filed a lawsuit against Pfizer,
Inc. in New York Supreme Court, alleging that the impotence drug
Viagra made him go blind, the Democrat and Chronicle reports.

Alvin Wagner filed the suit on June 17, asserting that his
retinal damage and eventual blindness were caused by the Viagra
he took since 1999.  There were no other details contained in
the eight-page lawsuit about Mr. Wagner's age, health or eye

Wagner's attorney, David Benz, told the Democrat and Chronicle,
"It's too early in the process to give a comment."  Mr. Wagner
could not be reached for comment Friday.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration investigation of reports that 42 patients who
took Viagra and another erectile dysfunction drug, Cialis,
became blind.  There are more than 20 million people who take
the drug in the United States. It's unknown how many other men
are suing Viagra's maker, Pfizer Inc.

Texas resident James Thompson filed a similar suit in June,
accusing Pfizer of failing to warn users about possible side
effects that he believes may have caused his blindness, an
earlier Class Action Reporter story (June 10,2005) states.  Mr.
Thompson's suit, which was filed in a Houston federal court, is
among the first of what is expected to be a wave of lawsuits
against the Company.  

The lawsuits have been expected since last month's announcement
by Pfizer that a small number of men who have taken the drug
suffered "non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy," or
NAION, a condition also known as "stroke in the eye" that can
lead to blindness.  According to the suit, the condition results
when blood pressure drops, restricting the flow of oxygenated
blood to the optic nerve. The suit thus accuses Pfizer of
failing to warn him of the possible harm even though it was
aware of the danger.

The FDA is considering requiring Pfizer to add a note on the
warning label about the rare possibility of vision loss and
blindness.  The label already warns of the possibility of
blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light, or seeing a blue
tinge or having difficulty telling the difference between blue
and green.  

"We did a review of 103 clinical trails of Viagra involving
13,000 men and found no reports of this specific optic
neuropathy," Pfizer spokesman Daniel Watts told the Democrat and

The most common side effects listed are headache, flushing of
the face and an upset stomach.  Doctors are also supposed to
consider a patient's blood pressure and heart history when
prescribing Viagra because the pill can cause a temporary
lowering of blood pressure.

POTTERY BARN: Recalls 5.8T Cameron Toy Chests For Injury Hazard
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC), Pottery Barn Kids of San Francisco, California is
voluntarily recalling about 5,800 units Cameron Toy Chests.

A problem with the lid support on the toy chest could cause the
lid not to stay open, posing the risk of an impact injury to a
child's head, fingers or hands. No injuries or incidents have
been reported.

This recall includes the Cameron toy chest in model numbers
4825378 (Honey), 6252852 (Espresso) and 4825386 (White). The
product name and model number is located on a label affixed to
the back of the toy chest. Inside the lid of the toy chest is a
blackboard and an extra storage shelf. The toy chests are made
of American hardwood frame with veneer panels and measure 40 x
18 x 20" high.

Manufactured in China, the chests were sold at all Pottery Barn
Kids' Web site, catalog and retail stores nationwide from
December 2003 through April 2005 for $349.

As a remedy, consumers should immediately stop young children
from using these toy chests and contact Pottery Barn Kids to
determine if their toy chest lid support needs replacement.
Pottery Barn Kids will provide consumers with a free lid support
replacement kit.

Consumer Contact: Contact Pottery Barn Kids at (800) 699-0449
between 7 a.m. and 12 midnight daily or visit the firm's Web
site: http://www.potterybarnkids.com.

RCN CORPORATION: Plaintiffs File Consolidated ERISA Suit in NJ
Plaintiffs filed a consolidated class action against RCN
Corporation and certain of its current and former directors,
officers, employee administrators and managers in the United
States District Court for the District of New Jersey, alleging
violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
(ERISA).  The suit is styled "In re: RCN Corporation ERISA
Litigation, case no. 04-CV-5068-SRC."  The suit also names as
defendant Company, FSB, as defendants.

The suit seeks recovery of unspecified money damages for the
benefit of a purported class of participants and beneficiaries
of the RCN Savings And Stock Ownership Plan (the "Savings Plan")
as a result of the defendants' breaches of their fiduciary
duties under ERISA.  No motion for class certification has been
filed by plaintiffs.

The ERISA Litigation is subject to certain limitations ordered
by the Bankruptcy Court.  Previously, on September 22, 2004,
former employee Deborah K. Craig, on behalf of the Savings Plan
and its participants and beneficiaries, filed a Motion For Leave
To File Proof Of Claim (the "Late Claim Motion"), seeking to
assert a claim (the "Craig Proof of Claim") against the Company,
after the claims bar date of August 11, 2004, for alleged
violations of ERISA to recover alleged losses similar to those
alleged in the Class Action Complaint.  

On October 5, 2004, Ms. Craig filed a purported class action
complaint against certain fiduciaries of the Savings Plan within
the meaning of ERISA in a lawsuit captioned "Craig v.
Filipowicz, et al., Case No. 04-cv-07875 (JSR) (S.D.N.Y.),"
which was subsequently transferred to the District of New
Jersey, with a new Case No. 04-cv-05940 (SRC) (D.N.J.) (the "NJ
Action"). On November 3, 2004, the Bankruptcy Court issued an
order denying the Late Claim Motion in its entirety (the "Late
Claim Order"), which Ms. Craig appealed to the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York.

On December 20, 2004, Ms. Craig sought from the Bankruptcy Court
limited relief (the "Injunction Relief Motion"), for the benefit
of herself and all other similarly situated beneficiaries of the
Savings Plan, from the injunction issued by the Bankruptcy
Court's order confirming the Plan for the purpose of naming the
Company as a nominal defendant in the NJ Action.  On February
16, 2005, Ms. Craig filed a motion on the NJ Action docket to
have the NJ Action consolidated with certain other related
actions, with a proposed caption "In re RCN Corporation ERISA
Litigation, Master File No. 04-cv-5068 (SRC)."

On March 18, 2005, the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York issued an order affirming the Late
Claim Order.  On April 1, 2005, the Bankruptcy Court entered an
order (the "Injunction Relief Order") granting the Injunction
Relief Motion to the extent that Ms. Craig and all other
similarly situated parties are permitted to name the Company as
a nominal defendant in the pending Consolidated Action and) the
Plaintiffs may enforce any judgment obtained against the Company
solely against any applicable insurance companies and only up to
limits of any applicable insurance coverage, to the extent such
coverage is available.  The Injunction Relief Order does not
prevent the Plaintiffs from pursuing litigation claims against
others, including current or former directors, officers,
employees, partners, members, or managers (collectively, the
"Third Parties") of the Company or any other reorganized debtor
and collecting in full any judgment Plaintiffs may obtain
against such Third Parties.  

As an express condition to the entry of the Injunctive Relief
Order, Ms. Craig waived any right of further appeal the denial
of the Late Claim Order.  Subsequently, Plaintiffs filed the
Class Action Complaint in the ERISA Litigation to pursue their
remedies against the Company, subject to the limitations imposed
by the Bankruptcy Court, and additional Third Parties.

The suit is styled "IN RE RCN Corporation ERISA Litigation,
Master File No. 3:04-cv-05068-SRC-TJB," filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
under Judge Stanley R. Chesler.  Representing the Company is
Edward Cerasia II, PROSKAUER ROSE LLP, One Newark Center 18th
Floor, Newark, NJ 07102-5211, Phone: (973) 274-3200, E-mail:
ecerasia@proskauer.com.  Representing the plaintiffs are Lisa J.
Rodriguez, TRUJILLO RODRIGUEZ & RICHARDS, LLP, 8 Kings Highway
West, Haddonfield, NJ 08033, Phone: (856) 795-9002, E-mail:
lisa@trrlaw.com; and Ronnen Sarraf, SARRAF GENTILE, LLP, 111
John Street 8th Floor, New York, NY 10038, Phone:
(212) 443-1312.

RIGHTSTAR HAWAII: Suit Files Over Withdrawn Trust Fund Accounts
A class action lawsuit was launched against RightStar Hawaii
Management Inc., its officers and former trustees, alleging that
Hawaii's largest funeral services business violated state law
and their trust duties by withdrawing over $9 million from
customer trust fund accounts since 2002, TheHawaiiChannel.com

State Rep. Scott Saiki, D-22nd (McCully, Pawa'a), is one of the
attorneys who filed the class action lawsuit. Two former
RightStar customers are named as plaintiffs in the suit, but Rep
Saiki stated that an estimated 1,057 RightStar customers could
have been adversely affected by the companies' business

One of the plaintiffs in the suit is Yahnina Hackney, the
stepdaughter of Norma Courtney, who, according to the suit, had
earlier bought a funeral services plan in advance from
Rightstar, paying every month until she suffered several strokes
in 2001. When Mrs. Courtney died in 2004, RightStar kept the
$1,800 she had already paid, which forced Ms. Hackney to use
state welfare funds to have her stepmother cremated.

RightStar owns and operates Valley of the Temples on Oahu, Kona
and Homelani Memorial on the Big Island and Maui Memorial. Among
its trustees is former Gov. John Waihee.

Previously, the state had also filed suit against RightStar,
saying millions of dollars in trust funds are not accounted for.

RUBIO'S FRESH: Gallo & Associates Files Seafood Fraud Suit in CA
Fans of Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grillr (Nasdaq: RUBO - News), the
self-described "Home of the Original Fish Taco," may want to
reconsider their diets once they find out what one customer
discovered after a recent meal at the Manhattan Beach,
California Rubio's: There is nothing Americans traditionally
call lobster in Rubio's "lobster burrito," according to the law
offices of Gallo & Associates.

Seafood fraud normally is reserved for fish markets and high-end
restaurants, where shark and ray meat are sometimes sold as
scallops or formed-and-colored fish is sold as crab. A new class
action, filed in California Superior Court in Los Angeles by
sometime consumer-attorney Ray E. Gallo, alleges that Rubio's
"lobster burrito" is really a "langostino burrito." And a
langostino, a small crayfish-or-shrimp-like creature caught
mainly off the coast of Chile, just isn't what most Americans
think they're getting when they're promised "lobster." Indeed,
these langostinos are commonly called Red or Yellow Prawns.

"This case isn't just about bogus menu language that calls a
product something it's not," said Ray Gallo, lead attorney for
the plaintiffs. "This is an insult to one of America's favorite
delicacies. Just the idea of a lobster gets seafood lovers
salivating. It's the highest-priced delicacy on many five-star
menus. For the fast-food consumer dining at Rubio's, a meal of
lobster would be a real treat -- if Rubio's actually delivered
what its burrito's name leads consumers to expect."

Mr. Gallo noted that, according to various sources, the meat in
a Rubio's "lobster burrito" is apparently the tiny Chilean
langostino, not the much bigger, tastier species of sea life
that consumers think of as "lobster." The Chilean langostino, in
important ways like taste and consistency is, many feel, more
like a shrimp than a lobster. Why does Rubios call its
langostino burrito a "Lobster Burrito?" Mr. Gallo says, "Rubio's
sells a lot of them at $6 each. Which sounds better to you,
langostino or lobster?"

Rubio's has made some attempt to avoid liability already. After
being notified by Gallo that the lawsuit was coming, Rubio's
changed its burrito's name to the "langostino lobster burrito."
Does this solve the problem? Mr. Gallo says no: "To my
knowledge, there is no such thing as a 'langostino lobster.'
Have you ever heard of that? Maybe Rubio's has bred a new
species to stuff into its burritos. But I doubt it. The bottom
line in my opinion is this: Unless Rubio's is putting both
langostino and lobster in its burrito now, the 'langostino
lobster burrito' is misleadingly labeled, too."

Mr. Gallo admits he likes Rubio's food, though: "It's
unfortunate that Rubio's, which I otherwise feel is a quality
fast-food restaurant, succumbed to mislabeling its burritos.
I've tried the burrito and it tastes good. Rubio's should just
call it what it is. In the meantime, I think Rubio's owes all
its 'lobster burrito' customers at least an apology and a

For more details, contact Ray E. Gallo of Gallo & Associates,
5757 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA, 90045, Phone:
310-338-1114, Fax: 310-338-1199, E-Mail: info@gallo-law.com, Web
site: http://www.gallo-law.com/corporate/overview/overview.html.

RUBIO'S FRESH: Calls on Gallo & Associates To Withdraw CA Suit
In response to a Gallo & Associates press release announcing the
alleged filing of a class action lawsuit against San Diego-based
Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grillr (Nasdaq: RUBO - News), which
accused the company of inappropriately naming some of its
lobster menu items, Rubio's is calling for the Los Angeles-based
law firm to withdraw its complaint and issue a public

The alleged lawsuit, spearheaded by Ray E. Gallo, falsely claims
Rubio's has mislabeled its "Langostino Lobster Burrito."

Despite Mr. Gallo's claims, in a letter written earlier this
year by Spring Randolph, a consumer safety officer in the Food
and Drug Administration's Office of Seafood, Rubio's was advised

"The Seafood List (FDA's Guide to Acceptable Market Names for
Seafood Sold in Interstate Commerce) lists 'langostino' as the
acceptable market name for the following species: Cervimunida
johni and Pleuroncodes monodon. We would not object to the use
of 'langostino lobster' for these species."

According to Sheri Miksa, president and CEO of Rubio's
Restaurants, Inc., the two species that the FDA sanctioned as
langostino lobsters are the products used by Rubio's.

"Allegations that we would purposely mislead our guests are
false," Miksa said. "Rather, in our continuing effort to feature
Baja-inspired flavor innovations for our guests, we use the name
'langostino lobster' to educate our loyal fans. The term
'langostino lobster' is not only approved by the highest
authority on consumer food matters, but is also an accurate

While unable to confirm the filing by Gallo as outlined in his
June 29, 2005 press release, Rubio's Restaurants, Inc. has taken
all appropriate actions to advise Mr. Gallo and his clients of
this FDA-approved verbiage.

SECURITY CAPITAL: Plaintiffs Seek Documents Related To DE Suit
Plaintiffs have submitted their initial request for the
production of documents related to the consolidated class action
filed against Security Capital Corporation in the Court of
Chancery of the State of Delaware, in and for New Castle County.

The suit was filed in connection with an offer made by Brian
Fitzgerald, the Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors,
President and Chief Executive Officer, and, through Capital
Partners, the controlling person of the Company's majority
stockholder, CP Acquisition, L.P. No. 1 (CPI), to acquire by
merger all of the outstanding Class A Common Stock and Common
Stock of Security Capital, other than shares held by Mr.
Fitzgerald, Capital Partners, CPI and certain other persons, at
a price of $9.00 per share.  

Three complaints were initially filed, also naming as defendants
each then-member of its Board of Directors and CPI.  Each of the
complaints allege that the defendants breached their fiduciary
duties to the putative class and that the then-proposed Initial
Capital Partners Offer was unfair, inadequate and not the result
of arm's-length negotiations.  Each complaint sought an
injunction against the proposed merger or, if the merger was
consummated, the rescission of the merger, as well as money
damages, attorneys' fees, expenses and other relief.  The Court
issued an order of consolidation, consolidating the three
complaints into one class action.  

Mr. Fitzgerald and Capital Partners have increased their offer
to $10.60 per share, and offers to acquire the entire Company
for $11.00 and $13.00 per share have been submitted by others.  
In addition, on June 7, 2005, the Company announced that it had
retained UBS Securities LLC to conduct a formal sale process for
the Company, and that Mr. Fitzgerald and Capital Partners have
declared their full support for that sale process and committed
to sell the shares they control if appropriate value is achieved
in the transaction.  

SOUTH CAROLINA: Barefoot Resort Residents File Lawsuit V. Owners
The Barefoot Camping Resort in South Carolina faces several
individual damage suits from 240 of its residents, saying that
the campground managers encouraged owners to upgrade property
but failed to tell residents that the owners intended to sell
the land, the Myrtle Beach Online reports.

The residents alleged that the resort's management promised them
that the property would remain a campground for at least 25
years.  However, an attorney for the campground's owners told
residents on April 21 that they have to leave within six months
because the owners plan to sell the property.  Barefoot is an
oceanfront campground that leases permanent sites for one year
to residents.  The rising price of coastal land, especially
oceanfront, is enticing many landowners of golf courses and now
campgrounds to sell to developers.

"They should have notified these people (of the intent to sell),
they shouldn't have hid it from them," Bill Hanna, attorney for
Barefoot residents told Myrtle Beach Online.  He added that
there is evidence that the owners knew in October that they were
not going to continue running a campground.

Earlier, the residents filed a class action against the
property's owners.  Attorneys for the landowners countered the
charges, saying that the residents have no entitlement to the
59-acre tract and therefore should post a $59 million bond or
remove the claim against the land.  The pending suit says that
Barefoot residents claim an interest in the property.

"Each tenant had a one-year written lease agreement. That's all
and nothing more," Henrietta Golding, attorney for LLL
Partnership, the landowner, and Barefoot RV Resort Inc, told
Myrtle Beach Online. "Under state law, you can't claim what
someone told you if you can read the document."  She said $59
million is the estimated value of the property.  She said she
has not seen the individual lawsuits yet but plans to file
counter claims against each one.

"They filed the individual lawsuits because they know they are
on weak ground with the class action," she told Myrtle Beach

Lawyers for the residents say they filed the individual lawsuits
because each resident has a different amount of damages based on
home value.  A few Barefoot residents last week were offered
full price for their manufactured homes by Tom Rice, an attorney
for the landowner, Terry Fletcher, co-chairman of the Barefoot
Residents Association and lead name on the class action lawsuit,
told Myrtle Beach Online.  Previously, residents were offered a
portion of their purchase price if they purchased the homes
after 2001.

TWINLAB CORPORATION: Suit Settlement Hearing Set July 20, 2005
The law firms of Weiss & Lurie and Stull, Stull & Brody, Co-Lead
Counsel for the Class Settlement ("Class Counsel"), and
Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP and Wechsler Harwood LLP,
Co-Lead Counsel for the Derivative Settlement ("Derivative
Counsel"), are posting a Summary Notice to inform all persons
who purchased or otherwise acquired shares of the common stock
of TL Administration Corporation (f/k/a Twinlab Corporation)
("Twinlab"), and/or call options to purchase such shares, during
the period between April 27, 1999 and November 15, 2000,
inclusive (the "Settlement Class") and all persons who owned or
controlled the common stock of Twinlab on September 4, 2004 (the
"Twinlab Shareholder(s)") of the proposed simultaneous
settlements, as set forth in the respective Stipulations of
Settlement dated June 20, 2005 of: In re Twinlab Corporation
Securities Litigation, 00-CV-6975 (DRH), an action filed on
behalf of the Settlement Class (the "Class Action"), and Emmick
v. Blechman, et al., 01-CV-4320 (DRH), an action brought
derivatively on behalf of Nominal Defendant Twinlab (the
"Derivative Action"). (The term "Holdings" rather than "Twinlab"
is used in the related Derivative settlement papers to mean TL
Administration Corporation (f/k/a Twinlab Corporation.)

A Fairness Hearing will take place on Wednesday, July 20, 2005
at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 930 of the United States Courthouse
for the Eastern District of New York, 100 Federal Plaza, Central
Islip, NY 11722, for the purposes of considering:

     (1) whether the terms and conditions of the Class
         Settlement are fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the
         best interests of the Class, and should be approved by
         the Court;

     (2) whether the Court should finally certify the Settlement
         Class conditionally certified for settlement purposes;

     (3) whether the terms and conditions of the Derivative
         Settlement are fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the
         best interests of Twinlab and Twinlab Shareholders, and
         should be approved by the Court; and

     (4) whether the Court should award attorneys' fees and
         costs to Class Counsel and Derivative Counsel.

The proposed Class Settlement is for $3,000,000. The proposed
Derivative Settlement is for $1,250,000, of which $1,000,000
shall fund the Class Settlement. If approved, the Class and
Derivative Settlements will completely resolve all claims of the
Settlement Class and the Twinlab Shareholders arising out of or
in connection with the Class and Derivative Actions against the
respective Defendants in each Action, as more fully set forth in
the respective Stipulations of Settlement and in the Notice of
Proposed Settlements and Fairness Hearing and the Proof of Claim
and Release (together, the "Notice").

For more details, contact the Claims Administrator, Twinlab
Corporation Securities Litigation, c/o Berdon Claims
Administration LLC, P.O. Box 9014, Jericho, NY, 11753-8914,
Phone: (800) 766-3330, Fax: (516) 931-0810, Web site:

VIRGIN ATLANTIC: Faces Potential Suit Over Non-Vegetarian Meals
Virgin Atlantic might face a potential class action for
allegedly serving non-vegetarian stuff on board to its
passengers who ordered vegetarian meals, the HindustanTimes.com

Mumbai-based chartered accountant and columnist Vipul Shah
threatened to file a class action against the airline, after he
was served chicken and fish on a flight to London from
Washington, D.C. on April 26,2005.  Mr. Shah, a strict
vegetarian, earlier confirmed with the airline's ground staff as
well as its contact center customer service team, which assured
him that a "Hindu Asian vegetarian meal with no eggs has been
ordered for you," HindustanTimes.com reports.  Instead, Mr. Shah
was served chicken and fish in his 'Hindu Meal', which the
airline's website described as a "spicy vegetarian meal".

"So, after their mail response, website, and ground staff there
was no doubt in my mind," he told Hindustantimes.com.  Incensed
over the alleged callous attitude of the airliner towards his
complaint, he added, "They (the airline staff) didn't think the
issue was important. Probably for them it was a trivial thing
and they couldn't understand how much difference it could make
to those who often don't eat in restaurants where non-vegetarian
dishes are cooked."

The Company has apologized for the "oversight."  In a written
reply to Mr. Shah, the airlines regretted the incident and said,
"We would like to thank you for directing us to the section
where we have displayed the incorrect information about the
meals available . In the airline industry, Hindu Meal refers to
a Hindu Non-Vegetarian Meal.  However, due to an oversight on
our part, this meal option has been described as a vegetarian
meal on our website."

When contacted by HindustanTimes.com, a Virgin Atlantic
spokesperson confirmed that the matter had been brought to its
attention and that their web-site had already been updated to
reflect the correct information.

However, Mr. Shah said, "Since in Virgin Atlantic's own
admission anyone who ordered Hindu Meal had always been served
non-veg meal and Virgin Atlantic has accepted that its website
had described it as vegetarian meal, 10,000s of passengers over
the years when they ordered Hindu Meal thinking it's vegetarian
would have got non-vegetarian stuff. This is similar to the
classic Mc Donald's Frenchfries case."

Though Virgin Atlantic said that it was an isolated incident, he
told Hindustantimes.com  "it is definitely class action matter .
This case is similar to McDonald's Frenchfries case as here also
the airlines, knowing all along that the meal was non-veg,
served its vegetarian passengers."  

"I am talking to attorneys in USA since largest number of Virgin
Atlantic flyers are to and from USA destinations and they are
bound to be most affected," he said.  

The airlines, as a "goodwill gesture" offered Mr. Shah
additional miles, which would take his account balance up to
25,000 miles.  "The 25,000 miles offered to my credit are of
zero value as it can't get me any ticket from India to any
Virgin destination," he told Hindustantimes.com.

                         Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hanson Harbors Doubt on Asbestos Trust Fund
As Hanson estimates an evenly split chance of the asbestos trust
proposal to succeed, the Company confirmed it still expected
asbestos claims against it to cost US$60 million a year for the
next eight years, according to spokesman Nick Swift.

Building materials group Hanson, headed by chief executive Alan
Murray, said it supported federal reform but "believes the
likelihood of success remains uncertain given the complexities
involved and the political nature of the process through the
Senate and the House of Representatives."

In a trading update on the first half of this year, Hanson
stated that it expects asbestos claims against it to total about
139,250 at the June 30 half-year stage compared with 135,750 at
the end of December 2004.

Hanson expects about 7,500 new asbestos claimants to file in the
first half of 2005. Resolutions for the same period are
estimated to be around 4,000, over 90% of which the Company
expects to be dismissed.

First half gross costs are expected to be between US$20 million
and US$25 million compared to US$32 million in the first half
and US$27 million in the second half of 2004. The net cost after
insurance is assumed to be about 70% of the gross cost for the
period. Determination of the amount of available insurance cover
continues to be the subject of litigation and negotiation.

The provision for the gross cost of asbestos over the next eight
years continues to assume an average annual gross cost of US$60
million, equivalent to GBP20 million post-tax. The closing gross
cost provision at June 30, 2005 is expected to be about US$485
million before insurance, tax and discounting.

Operating profits for the first half are expected to be 20%
ahead of the first half of last year, when it made GBP165.6

In the meantime, Hanson stated that its subsidiaries will
continue to litigate and negotiate for additional insurance
cover and will look to settle only those cases with proven
disease and product identification.

Overall, Hanson expects further progress in the second half of
2005, albeit against a strong second half in 2004. Underlying
volume patterns for the remainder of 2005 are expected to follow
similar trends to those experienced in the first half of this
year, with the possible exception of further weakening in

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Two Men Sentenced in NY Asbestos Scandal
U.S. District Judge Howard Munson in Syracuse sentenced Thomas
Reed Sr. to five years in prison and Michael Shanahan to two
years after they pleaded guilty to illegal asbestos removal
activities for their role in a seven-year illegal asbestos-
removal scheme across New York State.

Mr. Reed, aged 50, pleaded guilty in 2002 to 14 felonies,
including violations of the Clean Air Act and the Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. He was general manager
of AAR Contractor Inc., of Latham, whose owners were convicted
last year in the biggest asbestos-removal scam case in the
nation's history.

Mr. Shanahan, a field supervisor for AAR, pleaded guilty to
Clean Air Act violations.

Both men had cooperated with federal prosecutors during last
year's trial of the owners, Alexander and Raul Salvagno, who
were sentenced to 25 and 19 years in prison. The judge ordered
Mr. Reed Sr., along with the Salvagnos, to repay US$23 million
to the victims of the asbestos-removal scheme.

Mr. Reed admitted AAR secretly owned a supposedly independent
laboratory to falsely monitor the work on the removal projects.
He also testified that he used a ploy to placate customers who
questioned whether AAR was removing asbestos the way it was
supposed to. He would hold a meeting in front of the customer
and "fire" the supervisor on the job. In reality, the supervisor
was playing along and simply left that job for another AAR
contract, he testified.

Mr. Reed provided "absolutely extraordinary" assistance to the
government in its case against the Salvagnos, said Assistant
U.S. Attorney Craig Benedict. As a result, he received less
prison time.

Among the 1,555 projects across the state where Mr. Reed
deliberately left asbestos was his son's school in Galway,
Saratoga County, Thomas Reed Jr., aged 18, said at his father's

Judge Munson also ordered Mr. Reed Sr. to pay his son
US$159,000, the amount that he should have paid through child
support. He admitted he used a financial services company that
Alex Salvagno helped him establish to underreport his income so
he would pay less in child support to his son.  

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Engineer Sues General Electric in CA Court
Paul Zygielbaum, a former engineer at the Electric Power
Research Institute engineer, and his wife, Michelle, are suing
General Electric Co., alleging that it is among a group of
companies responsible for exposing him to asbestos that gave him

Simona Farrise, of Oakland, CA, representing Mr. Zygielbaum,
told jurors in the Alameda County Superior Court that in 1977,
while her client was working on an Oregon power plant, a GE
turbine with asbestos insulation in its housing was dismantled
for repair. She said that this incident caused her client to
inhale asbestos, which along with added doses during his
lifetime, resulted in a terminal cancer diagnosed in 2004. Mr.
Zygielbaum, aged 54, underwent radical surgery to extend his
life, but he expects that the illness would kill him.

GE attorney Dwight Tarwater countered there was no asbestos in
the turbine's insulation and GE is being falsely accused. He
aims to prove to jurors that the only asbestos in the GE turbine
at the Oregon power plant was safely contained in internal
gaskets or expansion seals. He asserted that the power plant
owners and Mr. Zygielbaum's employer are responsible for the
health of safety of their employees and that GE merely supplied

Ms. Farrise stated that evidence would show GE used asbestos-
tainted insulation in that turbine and in thousands of others it
has sold. She said the company continued using asbestos, without
telling customers despite knowing the risks of asbestos exposure
since 1930.

One of the largest and most diversified industrial corporations
in the world, General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) is now supporting
legislation to create a US$140 billion fund to settle asbestos
claims. The Fairfield, CT-based Company is engaged in
developing, manufacturing and marketing a variety of products
for the generation, transmission, distribution, control and
utilization of electricity.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Man's Death Blamed on Asbestos Contact
Bernard Roy Julian, a Falmouth, UK dockhand, died on February 5
due to prolonged exposure to asbestos. An inquest noted that he
worked for 40 years as a joiner in the town's docks.
An autopsy by the Royal Cornwall Hospital's medical director
Robert Pitcher determined the cause of death as pulmonary
fibrosis, a thickening of the lung tissue, due to asbestos

Mr. Julian, aged 77, considered healthy throughout his career,
deteriorated soon after he retired. He received treatment from
Dr. Ian Coutts, of the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske.

Paul Kneebone, training and personnel officer for the Docks'
current owners A and P, confirmed that Mr. Julian had worked
with asbestos alongside wood, Perspex, glass and other

The victim's widow, Mary Julian, testified that her husband
would work on all parts of the ships that required woodwork. A
lot of his work involved insulating the panels on a ship. She
added that her husband and his colleagues received regular
physical checks but in her view, these amounted to little more
than a few exercises.

Coroner Dr. Emma Carlyon concluded that Mr. Julian died from the
industrial disease of pulmonary fibrosis due to asbestos

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Site Plan Protest Goes to Court
In a bid to overturn the granting of planning permission for the
Crumlin facility, campaigners headed to the High Court in
Belfast and were granted permission to seek a judicial review
over the decision to build an asbestos facility in their

The group, Crumlin Against Asbestos, mounted a long-running
campaign to stop the planned asbestos storage facility at
Crosshill quarry in Crumlin. Spokesman Michael Keating said they
were satisfied with the start of legal proceedings. He added
that they remain confident that their concerns would now be
given the attention they deserve.

So far, the Planning Service has received more than 1,500
letters of objection to the site.

Belfast firm Eastwood Ltd. was granted permission for the
operation in February by the then Department of Environment
Minister, Angela Smith. The Company's proposal specified that
double-bagged asbestos would be transported to Crosshill where
it will be stored in steel containers before it is moved on for
final disposal in England.

A spokesman for Eastwood Ltd said the company is still hoping
for a successful outcome. "We will co-operate fully in the
judicial review process and are confident that the outcome will
be to reinforce the robust nature of our proposal and of the
planning application process," he said.

Both parties now await a court date.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACE Ltd. Faces New Legal Hurdles on Claims
London insurers are aiming to prevent ACE Ltd. units from
consolidating arbitration proceedings on dozens of asbestos
claim-exposed reinsurance contracts, Business Insurance reports.

London reinsurer plaintiffs include Lloyd's underwriters and
London-based Excess Insurance Co. Ltd., a Hartford Financial
Services Group Inc. unit that is in runoff.

Court filings disclosed that ACE units last month filed 17
separate arbitration demands against Lloyd's of London
underwriters and other London-market reinsurers, charging the
reinsurers with a "pattern and practice of delay, obstruction
and failure and refusal to timely pay" asbestos claims. Many of
the reinsurance contracts involve excess liability coverage
written for public utility companies and oil and gas producers
and distributors.

Running off business originally written by CIGNA Corp. and Aetna
Property & Casualty operations that it acquired, ACE seeks
"recovery of all outstanding amounts as well as future billings"
on asbestos losses. The ACE arbitration demands cover roughly 50
reinsurance contracts in force between the 1950s and 1980s and
list roughly 100 policyholders with asbestos claims that ACE
contends should be covered under the contracts, according to
Jack B. Gordon, a lawyer with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver &
Jacobson in Washington, representing the reinsurers.

Many of the claims are on losses for which ACE has not yet
billed or given notice to the London reinsurers, Mr. Gordon
said. London reinsurers have also demanded that ACE's asbestos
claims be supported by adequate evidence, he said.

ACE has sought to consolidate arbitrations of about 50 contracts
into 17 proceedings, while the reinsurers argue that the
contracts themselves contain no provisions for consolidated
proceedings and that they should be arbitrated separately.

London reinsurers last week filed nine separate complaints
against ACE units in federal courts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey
and California. The suits seek court orders that ACE
subsidiaries may not consolidate the arbitrations and must
address disputes under each treaty separately.

ACE units named in the suits include ACE Property & Casualty
Insurance Co., Century Indemnity Co. and Westchester Fire
Insurance Co.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ADFA Warns Rural Renovators of Health Risks
The Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia is warning
renovators of rural homes that they could be exposed to high
levels of carcinogenic asbestos. The group has learned that
beach shacks in small coastal towns and old farmhouses were
built with the dangerous material, particularly from the 1940s
to the early 1970s.

Amid concerns that homeowners were at risk of asbestos-related
diseases, the foundation established a new scheme last week to
identify homes containing asbestos.

As previously reported on the June 24, 2005 edition of the Class
Action Reporter, the foundation said that the certificates would
be similar to pest or building certificates, where inspectors
identify materials containing asbestos so homebuyers can make
informed decisions about their properties. ADFA came up with the
plan after the New South Wales government reversed a policy on
the implementation of asbestos safety certificates.

Foundation president Barry Robson said, "So far we've put it out
there to see if there's any interest. If there's enough interest
in us doing it then we'll talk to our lawyers and other people
we've got to talk to and the Asbestos Removal Association to
make sure we get proper bona fide people to come and do the

Mr. Robson said the scheme would only continue if there is
enough support from the community.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Factory Electrician Dies from Work Exposure
Years after his exposure to asbestos while working as a factory
electrician, a Workington pensioner succumbed to asbestos-
related cancer at the age of 83.

An inquest heard that Derrick Fisher, of Wastwater Avenue, died
from pneumonia on February 17, 2005, but that a major factor in
his death was mesothelioma.

Mr. Fisher worked all his life as an electrician, retiring from
the Siddick company then known as Ectona Fibres, now Voridian,
at the age of 62.

His son, Michael Fisher, added that his father used to work for
a large electrical contracting company in the Manchester area
and that work had involved close contact with asbestos-lagged
pipes during rewiring work. Later, during World War Two, he
worked at the Workington factory of Distington Engineering
Company, which was then producing munitions. The pipework there
was also lagged with asbestos before the dangers were
appreciated, said his son.

Mr. Fisher was treated for a cancer of the mouth when he was 79
and received a diagnosis of asbestosis at the age of 80.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Sen. Specter Seeks Senate Bill Vote in July
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa.,
said he expects the Senate to take up asbestos victim
compensation legislation in early July. He commented that the
proposal has "momentum in hand" and that "it would be very much
in the national interest. to move ahead."

However, the exact schedule would still be up to Senate Majority
Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

The legislation seeks to create a US$140 billion industry-funded
trust from which to pay claims to workers with asbestos-related

In May, the Judiciary Committee approved the trust fund bill by
a vote of 13-5. However, four of the Republicans who voted for
the bill warned they would oppose the legislation in its current
form if it came to a vote on the Senate floor. Sen. Specter said
he thought their concerns "are either resolved, or resolvable."

At the moment, Sen. Specter said there is still controversy over
how manufacturers will share the responsibility of paying US$90
billion into the trust fund. He conceded that there is a similar
dispute among insurers about their US$46 billion share of the

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: The Commons to Debate T&N Site Development
Brought up by new Rochdale MP Paul Rowen, the long-standing
issue with regards to the development of the former Turner &
Newell Asbestos Textile Factory site will be raised in the

The Communication Workers Union heralded news of the adjournment
debate, which will focus on the question of "Controls on the
safe removal of asbestos dumped on landfill and derelict
industrial sites." The Trade Union, which represents Postal and
Telecommunications workers, has extensively supported the
campaign to halt the development of the site, which processed
asbestos for over 100 years during which time hundreds of tons
of asbestos dust was dumped on the site.

As previously reported in the May 27, 2005 edition of the Class
Action Reporter, the group Save Spodden Valley publicized
reports that the site is heavily contaminated and that there has
been exposed asbestos on the site since at least September 2004.

CWU National Health and Safety Officer Dave Joyce said that the
union is sharing its concerns with politicians because it is
aware of the health threats the contamination poses to its
members who would be required to work on the housing development
if it pushes through. He cited that its members could be exposed
to asbestos since they would be involved in installing and
maintaining telecommunications equipment and in installing
delivery boxes. He added that postmen and women would also be
routinely expected to undertake daily deliveries and collections
in the area.

"A number of older CWU members, former BT and Royal Mail
engineers in particular have died from mesothelioma, asbestosis
and lung cancer caused by past asbestos exposure due to contact
with asbestos containing materials in building fabric, ducting
and insulation for example so the news of the Spodden Valley
development plan was bad news for us because as a Union we are
very conscious of the threat to health and life posed by
Asbestos and its terrible legacy," said Mr. Joyce.

The Communication Workers Union is the biggest union for the
communications industry in the UK with 250,000 members.
According to its website, http://www.cwu.org,the union aims to  
ensure not only the provision of efficient, integrated and
affordable communication services for the UK - but also safe,
secure and well rewarded employment for all CWU members.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Environment Agency Approves Dumping Plan
Amid mounting opposition, the Environment Agency gave its seal
of approval to a proposal to dump 30,000 tons of asbestos at the
site of a former power station. Drakelow residents, who
organized an 85-signature petition, protested on health grounds
and over concerns over the future of the site once it had
asbestos buried underneath it.

In April, Derbyshire County Council gave permission to
engineering firm Roger Bullivant to bury the cancer-causing
waste in an underground chamber at Drakelow Power Station, in
Walton Road.

As previously reported in the April 15, 2005 edition of the
Class Action Reporter, Roger Bullivant has been gradually
demolishing the former power station. It intends to store
asbestos waste from the cooling towers under the old turbine
hall 500 meters away. The firm plans to use an existing concrete
vault to dump the asbestos, 5,000 tons of which is the fibrous
type. Firmly responding to the plan's critics, developers
reasoned it will be far less risky than transporting the
dangerous material across the country by road.

Before planning permission was given to bury the asbestos on
site, the material was being transferred via lorry along
ordinary roads to the nearest approved asbestos landfill site in

Backers of the proposal included South Derbyshire's MP Mark
Todd, who said he did not see how the proposal could be objected
to on planning terms. County council planners, who have imposed
a range of safety and environmental conditions, also insisted
that it is the best option.

Derbyshire county council's director of environmental services,
David Harvey, assured councilors at a meeting of the regulatory
planning and control committee. He told them he "was satisfied
that the disposal of the waste could be undertaken in the manner
proposed without causing significant harm to the environment."

The decision is in line with a plan to turn some of the 600-acre
site into a more environmentally friendly gas-fired power
station. Landowner Eons UK has not yet submitted an application.
It is anticipated the rest of the site will be used for
industrial purposes.  

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Find Prompts Actions at HI School
In keeping on top of an asbestos problem in Hawaii's aging
public schools, authorities relocated summer classes at Haleiwa
Elementary School where asbestos was found as a coating on the
underside of the sinks. The classes would only resume at the old
sites when all 12 sinks are removed, according to state
education officials.

Custodians noticed a substance falling from under the sinks on
June 16 and sent it for asbestos testing, which later confirmed
it was asbestos, said Department of Education spokeswoman Sandy
Goya. Fortunately, she said that no classes were held in the
room where the coating flake fell off.

Since it was found under the sinks in an enclosed area, the
likelihood of a health risk at the school is lower than if the
asbestos were found in a ceiling, where it can drift down into
the air, said Gilbert Chun, the department's Operations and
Maintenance administrator.

Haleiwa principal Diane Matsukawa addressed a letter to faculty
and staff, saying that the coating had not been completely
removed in the far corners of the sinks during classroom

School officials said the incident was a reminder of the
potential health hazard at nearly all of Hawaii's schools,
public or private. Most were built before 1989, when the EPA
banned most products containing asbestos. Asbestos was used in
many building materials in past decades, and becomes a problem
only when aging or poorly maintained structures, such as many of
Hawaii's schools, begin to deteriorate. That can release
asbestos into the air, where it can be inhaled, potentially
causing lung cancer and other deadly conditions.

Each school is required to maintain an asbestos management plan
and to inspect facilities every three years while conducting
surveillance checks of known or suspected asbestos-containing
building material every six months. Department officials
announced this month that ceilings in four schools would be
replaced after safety inspections of hundreds of plaster
ceilings throughout the state found asbestos.

The department has no plans to initiate statewide inspections of
school sinks in response to the Haleiwa finding, said Glenn
Tatsuno, administrator of the department's Safety and Security
Services Section. Rather, school sinks would be added to the
list of possible asbestos-containing materials that school
custodians check every six months. Twice-yearly inspections of
suspect materials are required under federal law.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Health Concerns Defer Bldg Demolition in AU
The local council moved for a one-month delay to the demolition
of the former Supertex factory in Chantry St. to allow further
investigation into the amount of asbestos on the site and its
safe removal.

At the latest council meeting, Councilors Margaret O'Neill and
Susan Harris moved that a development application for the former
textile factory's demolition be deferred on grounds that it
might have a potential impact on the health of surrounding

The proposed demolition also sparked calls from Councilor Ken
Sullivan for a uniform council policy on safeguards when
demolishing other buildings throughout Goulburn containing the

The motion drew support from other councilors despite assurances
from planning and community services director Chris Berry that
an independent audit of asbestos content had been carried out.
He said that the council should instead focus on the bigger
issue of vandalism.

Mr. Berry said WorkCover, the controlling body for the safe
removal, handling and disposal of asbestos, would be competently
supervising the demolition of Supertex. He said that with
Workcover, there would be strict monitoring of the project. This
did not satisfy Councilor Sullivan who said WorkCover's
resources were very limited. However his concern was not so much
for controls on Supertex's demolition as the broader issue of
asbestos removal.

Mr. Berry assured councilors that the developer could not start
work until a report validating removal of all on-site
contaminants had been approved. This report must be prepared in
accordance with a State planning policy governing land
remediation and in accordance with EPA guidelines.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Natural Asbestos Sets Hurdles for FAIR Act
The discovery of naturally occurring asbestos across the country
is complicating a plan for a US$140 billion trust fund for the
victims of industrial asbestos-related disease, The Denver Post
reports. Lawmakers from states with natural asbestos have
lobbied to add their constituents to the fund.

As reported in the May 6, 2005 edition of the Class Action
Reporter, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a leading Democrat on the
Senate Judiciary Committee, managed to push an amendment to make
compensation available for people sickened by outside the
workplace and set aside US$40 million for federal agencies to
study the problem of naturally occurring asbestos in the final
rewrite of the asbestos bill.

In that same edition, it was also reported that Sen. Baucus
successfully advocated for special provisions for Libby victims
to be added to the draft. In addition to ensuring at least
US$400,000 for asbestos victims in Libby, the measure exempts
them from strict qualifying criteria. It also extends
compensation to family members and Libby residents, not just
former mine workers.

Natural asbestos can be found in Arizona, Colorado, California,
Virginia and in at least 12 other states. While there's evidence
that the natural fibers can be as deadly as their commercial
counterpart, scientists cannot say whether exposure to even a
small amount is safe. Housing and road projects that stir up
natural asbestos can send the fibrous material into the air,
where it can be inhaled, potentially leading to scarred lungs or

Some federal officials don't want to take chances in the wake of
the problems in Libby, Montana, where natural asbestos in a
vermiculite mine has killed more than 200 people and sickened
about 1,200.

"This is going to be more and more commonplace. We can't pretend
it's not there," said Aubrey Miller, a doctor with the
Environmental Protection Agency in Denver. She added that there
is a need to identify, locate, understand and develop public
policy around the issue.

U.S. Geological Survey researchers in Denver are mapping natural
asbestos deposits state by state. A Western map may be finished
next year.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Memos Prove WR Grace Knew Risks for Decades
Internal reports show that despite W.R. Grace & Co.'s awareness
of the dangers of its ore, it allowed unsafe working conditions
to continue at the Hamilton facility until shortly before it
closed in the 1990s. Darrell Scott, of Spokane, WA, the attorney
who filed a class-action lawsuit against the chemical maker for
property owners who bought its attic insulation, said that the
Company recognized the liability all along.

As revealed in the June 3, 2005 edition of the Class Action
Reporter, New Jersey attorney general filed a civil complaint
against former insulation manufacturer W.R. Grace & Co. for
falsifying documents to environmental authorities about
asbestos-contaminated soil. The lawsuit seeks US$150,000 in
damages each from W.R. Grace and two former executives. In
addition, the law could allow for damages of US$450,000 per day
for each day the defendants did not correct their statements.

A 1971 memo, in which company managers discussed their response
to pollution citations at several processing plants, showed that
they were reluctant to install emissions controls at the plants
and determined to do so only if inspected and cited by health
and safety regulators. In 1987, one of the company's own
inspectors remarked in an audit of the plant that housekeeping
needed to be "significantly improved" to "help prevent safety

As late as 1992, state DEP regulators inspecting the facility
found a "brownish-gold particulate matter" strewn over cars and
on the plant's grounds but the DEP never analyzed the ore.
Neither did federal Occupational Safety and Health
Administration inspectors, according to that agency's records,
though plants in other regions of the country that processed ore
from Grace's Libby mine were cited for violations of asbestos

While businesses such as W.R. Grace that know they are handling
asbestos are required by OSHA to keep within the agency's
exposure thresholds, they are not required to inform the agency
about them. Federal regulations established in the early 1970s
"put the responsibility on the employer to know what OSHA
required and to comply," agency officials said.

Tests by company inspectors often showed fiber levels, monitored
by personal devices worn by employees as they walked about the
plant, to be within safety thresholds in most instances.
However, air tests in some sections of the plant showed higher
dust and fiber levels. Inspectors found dust levels exceeding
government thresholds at the plant on some visits and
insufficient safety materials on hand to protect workers. Former
workers, who describe working in clouds of dust at times, say
that they occasionally spent hours cleaning before outsiders
visited the plant.

Despite this, W.R. Grace publicly dismissed allegations of
health problems with tremolite. In 1972, the superintendent of
the Hamilton plant wrote the DEP a letter stating, "W.R. Grace
does not use asbestos in the producing of any product."

Dr. James Lockey, a researcher at the University of Cincinnati
Medical Center, in 1980 published a report concluding that
tremolite had caused lung diseases in workers of O.M. Scott, a
lawn care company that processed the Libby vermiculite.

When W.R. Grace shut its plant in the mid-1990s, the company
described the amount of asbestos processed at the facility in
its environmental assessment report to state regulators as
insignificant. Steve Picco, an attorney for Environmental
Resources Management, the consultant that prepared the 1995
report, defended its role in the assessment and testified before
state legislators last month that the firm relied entirely on
Grace's information in preparing the report.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: DaimlerChrysler Corp. Faces 29,000 Claims
DaimlerChrysler AG revealed that its US division, Auburn Hills,
MI-based DaimlerChrysler Corporation experienced a growing
number of lawsuits, which seek compensatory and punitive damages
for illnesses alleged to have resulted from direct and indirect
exposure to asbestos used in some vehicle components,
principally brake pads. The number of claims in these lawsuits
increased from about 14,000 at the end of 2001 to about 29,000
at the end of 2004.

In the majority of these cases, plaintiffs do not specify their
alleged illness and provide little detail about their alleged
exposure to components in DaimlerChrysler's vehicles. Some
plaintiffs do not exhibit current illness, but seek recovery
based on potential future illness. Typically, these suits name
many other corporate defendants and may also include claims of
exposure to a variety of non-automotive asbestos products. A
single lawsuit may include claims by multiple plaintiffs
alleging illness in the form of asbestosis, mesothelioma or
other cancer or illness.

DaimlerChrysler believes that many of these lawsuits involve
unsubstantiated illnesses or assert only tenuous connections
with components in its vehicles, and that there is credible
scientific evidence to support the dismissal of many of these
claims. Although the Company's expenditures to date in
connection with such claims have not been material to its
financial condition, it is possible that the number of these
lawsuits will continue to grow, especially those alleging life-
threatening illness, and that the company could incur
significant costs in the future in resolving these lawsuits.

Formed by the US$37 billion acquisition of Chrysler by Germany's
Daimler-Benz in 1998, DaimlerChrysler has a global workforce and
a global shareholder base. With 384,723 employees, the Company
achieved revenues of EUR142.1 billion (US$192.3 billion) in

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ameron Corp's Injury Claims Down to 10,378
Ameron International Corp. (NYSE: AMN) revealed in the filing it
submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission that as of
May 29, 2005, it was a defendant in asbestos-related cases
involving 10,378 claimants, compared to 14,873 claimants as of
February 27, 2005.

For the quarter ended May 29, 2005, there were no new claimants,
dismissals or settlements involving 4,495 claimants and no
judgments. The Company did not incur net costs and expenses
during the same quarter in connection with asbestos-related

The Pasadena, CA-based pipe manufacturer attested that it is one
of numerous defendants in various asbestos-related personal
injury lawsuits. These cases generally seek unspecified damages
for asbestos-related diseases based on alleged exposure to
products previously manufactured by the Company and others, and
at this time it is not aware of the extent of injuries allegedly
suffered by the individuals or the facts supporting the claim
that injuries were caused by its products.

Based upon the information available to it at this time, the
Company is not in a position to evaluate its potential exposure,
if any, as a result of such claims. Hence, no amounts have been
accrued for loss contingencies related to these lawsuits. The
Company continues to fight all such lawsuits.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ACC Awaits Appeal Before Seeking Repayments
The Accident Compensation Corporation is deferring moves to seek
the return of asbestos-related lump sum compensation payments
until after the appeal process on the landmark Lehmann case
ends. Following a decision by Justice Goddard in the High Court
earlier this month, ACC had filed 19 district court appeals
against payments to asbestos sufferers.

ACC said Justice Goddard's decision confirmed its view that
claimants who were last exposed to asbestos in employment before
April 1, 2002 were not entitled to lump sum compensation, but
rather their correct entitlement was an independence allowance.

As disclosed in the June 10, 2005 edition of the Class Action
Reporter, the High Court's reversal of the Lehmann ruling
brought forth the question of whether the other 26 asbestos
victims and their families in New Zealand would have to pay back
the $100,000 lump sum compensation payment they each received.

Last August, ACC was ordered to pay $100,000 to the estate of
Auckland fitter and welder Ross Lehmann, who died in November
2003 at the age of 79 from asbestos-related lung cancer. In its
appeal to the High Court, ACC said the law did not allow it to
make payouts to people exposed to asbestos before April 2002.

Justice Goddard upheld that view, saying under the current law
claimants such as Mr. Lehmann were entitled only to an
independence allowance of $67 a week for their lifetime, not
lump sum payments. However, because the Lehmann estate was
seeking leave to appeal the High Court's decision to the Court
of Appeal, the ACC board had decided that the question of debt
recovery should be deferred until after the appeal process

In a statement, ACC stated that it has written to these
claimants and advised them of the High Court's decision in
estate of Lehmann. It advised these claimants that if the High
Court's decision is upheld, the payment made in excess of the
independence allowance entitlement would be an overpayment.

The Accident Compensation Corporation administers New Zealand's
accident compensation scheme, which provides personal injury
cover for all New Zealand citizens, residents and temporary
visitors to New Zealand. In return people do not have the right
to sue for personal injury, other than for exemplary damages.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Approves Sealed Air Settlement Pact
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware has approved the
definitive settlement agreement that Sealed Air Corporation
(NYSE: SEE) signed as of November 10, 2003 with the Committees
appointed to represent asbestos claimants in the W.R. Grace &
Co. bankruptcy case.

The Company expects that the agreement will become effective
upon W.R. Grace's emergence from bankruptcy with a plan of
reorganization that is consistent with the terms of the
agreement, which includes the establishment of one or more
trusts under Section 524(g) of the Bankruptcy Code. The
agreement provides that Sealed Air will pay US$512.5 million in
cash, plus accrued interest and also 9 million shares of its
common stock to be issued.

The settlement provides protection against all current and
future asbestos-related claims and fraudulent transfer claims
made against the Company and its affiliates in connection with
the 1998 transaction in which Sealed Air acquired the Cryovac
packaging business. Although W.R. Grace filed a proposed plan of
reorganization with the Bankruptcy Court in January 2005, Sealed
Air cannot predict when a final plan of reorganization will
become effective.

Headquartered in Saddle Brook, NJ, Sealed Air is a leading
global manufacturer of a wide range of food and protective
packaging materials and systems.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Victims' Coalition to Oppose Asbestos Bill
Legislation seeking to create a US$140 billion national trust
fund now faces a unified opposition in the formation of an
alliance comprised of consumer groups, victims organizations and
specialists working to ensure that the "voice of asbestos
victims is fairly represented."

The group, named the Asbestos Victims Coalition, intends to
raise awareness about the inequities in the asbestos trust fund
legislation proposed by Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and
Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The priority theme will be to illustrate
how the proposed bill will adversely affect victims.

The Coalition, with broad based support from across the globe,

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
Asbestos Victims Organization
Ban Asbestos and Eliminate Mesothelioma
Committee to Protect Victims of Mesothelioma
David Egilman MD, MPH, Brown University
Environmental Working Group
International Ban Asbestos Secretariat
Mesothelioma Support Organization
New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH)
Palmer Electric Company
Public Citizen
Society for The Advancement of Occupational and Environmental
Health (SAOEH)
Terry Trent Biologist/Asbestos Activist
U.S. Action
White Lung Asbestos Information Center
White Lung Association
9/11 Environmental Action
Asbestos Diseases Advisory Services of Australia
Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia

Linda Reinstein, Co-founder and Executive Director, ADAO, said,
"We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to unite the
key stakeholders through such a varied and committed group of
organizations and individuals represented by the Asbestos
Victims Coalition and look forward to the substantial progress
we can make together."

"The asbestos debate has unfortunately become one about
corporate bailouts instead of asbestos realities," stated
Douglas Larkin, Co-founder and Communications Director. Mr.
Larkin expressed his dismay at the recent Senate floor debate,
which focused on bankruptcy concerns as a result of litigation.
He believes the bigger issue is whether asbestos victims and
their families will get the support they need in a realistic

ADAO invites and encourages other interested parties to come
forward to join the opposition by visiting:
05.doc. This growing list of coalition members is available
online and updated daily to accommodate additional

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: State of Montana Asks Court to Lift Stay
The State of Montana asks the Court to lift the automatic stay
imposed under Section 362(d) of the Bankruptcy Code so that the
state may name the Debtors as third-party defendants in 83
asbestos cases currently pending against the State of Montana in
Lincoln County, Cascade County and Lewis and Clark County.

The various State Court Actions relate to claims arising from
the mining and processing of asbestos-containing vermiculite
within the State of Montana.  Many of the plaintiffs in the
State Court Actions allege periods of employment with the
Debtors, ranging from 1947 through 1993, as well as the
employees' family members.

Pursuant to an agreement between W.R. Grace & Co. and Zonolite
Company, dated January 17, 1963, Grace acquired substantially
all of the properties and assets of Zonolite, including mining
properties in Montana, and assumed all of Zonolite's debts and

Francis A. Monaco, Jr., Esq., at Monzack and Monaco, P.A., in
Wilmington, Delaware, asserts that Grace is liable for the
conduct of its predecessor and subsidiary companies, including
W.R. Grace & Co.-Conn. and Zonolite, with respect to the claims
set forth in the State Court Actions.

The State of Montana denies any responsibility for the events
giving rise to the various Plaintiffs' claims for relief, or for
injuries and damages they allegedly sustained.  If, however,
liability is imposed on the State of Montana as a result of the
matters alleged in the various State Court Actions, that
liability could only be remote and derivative from, or
concurrent with, Grace's acts and liabilities because it had a
duty to:

   (a) Furnish a place of employment that was safe for
employees, including the Plaintiffs in the State Court Actions;

   (b) Furnish and require the employee's use of safety devices        
and safeguards, like respiratory protective devices; and

   (c) Adopt and use certain methods, processes, practices,
means, and operations as reasonably adequate to render the        
place of employment safe, and to do every other thing        
reasonably necessary to protect the life and safety of        

As previously reported, the State of Montana alleged that Grace
negligently and intentionally breached those duties, which
breach was the proximate cause of the alleged injuries and
damages of the Plaintiffs in the State Court Actions.

Mr. Monaco tells the Court that Grace actively concealed from
the Plaintiffs and the State of Montana the harm and injury
caused by dust containing asbestos, which could cause fatal
diseases, including, asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.  
Moreover, Mr. Monaco contends that Grace knew that the safety
devices and safeguards, like the respiratory protective devices
and ventilation systems in the workplace, were not used or
maintained in a manner sufficient to prevent injury from
asbestos dust.

"Grace controlled the methods, processes, practices, means, and
operations in the place of employment, but intentionally created
harm to Plaintiffs and other employees by failing to take
reasonably adequate measures to render the place of employment
safe, and to do every other thing reasonably necessary to
protect the life and safety of employees," Mr. Monaco says.

Mr. Monaco further contends that Grace had knowledge of facts
and intentionally disregarded those that created a high
probability of harm to the Plaintiffs and deliberately proceeded
to act with either conscious disregard or indifference to the
high probability of injury to the Plaintiffs.

In connection with this, a criminal indictment was issued on
February 7, 2005, against Grace and seven current and former
Grace executives in the United States District Court for the
District of Montana.  The Indictment raises counts against Grace
and its employees for conspiracy, Clear Air Act violations, wire
fraud, and obstruction of justice.

The State of Montana proposed a Third-Party Complaint in an
action currently pending in Montana's First Judicial District
Court in Lewis and Clark County, captioned as "Herbert R. Orr
and Sandra G. Orr v. State of Montana, Cause No. BDV-2001-423."  
It is anticipated that the Third-Party Complaint would be
utilized in all of the State Court Actions.

To the extent a judgment is entered against the State of Montana
in any of the pending State Court Actions, the State of Montana
seeks indemnification from Grace for any sum that may be
adjudged by the Plaintiffs.  Moreover, to the extent that it is
found liable for the damages alleged in the State Court Actions,
the State of Montana seeks contribution from Grace, and
apportioning the liability of the State and Grace on the basis
of their comparative fault.

Mr. Monaco tells Judge Fitzgerald that any inconvenience to the
Debtors by the pending State Court Actions is outweighed
considerably by the hardship to the State of Montana resulting
from its inability to seek contribution and indemnity from the
Debtors' State Court Actions.  In fact, Mr. Monaco notes,
lifting the stay will facilitate the Debtors' reorganization by
reducing the State of Montana's unliquidated claims to finality.

Mr. Monaco believes that the Debtors are covered by liability
insurance for this matter.  However, even if the Debtors are not
covered by insurance, as a personal injury action, their case
must be liquidated in the State Court Action.  The critical time
devoted to reorganization process and fixing certain business
problems is past in the Debtors' bankruptcy case in that it is
over four years old.

(W.R. Grace Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 88, Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215-945-7000)

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Co-Author of Bill Seeks Financing Details  
Hoping to win more support for the legislation creating a US$140
billion asbestos compensation fund, Senate Judiciary Chairman
Arlen Specter is attempting to get U.S. companies to inform him
of how much each would contribute to finance the project.

Sen. Specter, a co-author of the bill, said that to get a Senate
floor vote on the bill next month, the allocation is one of the
issues that need to be resolved.

After separate meetings on Capitol Hill with several insurance
company CEO's and billionaire investor Warren Buffett, Sen.
Specter blasted some U.S. insurers for backing away from an
industry pledge to put up US$46 billion for the fund.

Mr. Buffett's General Re was one of 17 insurance company
signatories to a letter to senators this week that denied the
industry ever agreed to pay the said amount into the proposed
fund. The letter said the signatories had paid nearly two-thirds
of asbestos claims and represented a "vast majority" of insurers
with a stake in the outcome of the legislation.

Sen. Specter said insurers were trying to move away from the
US$46 billion figure because they had agreed to it some time ago
with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and then had to pay out
billions in asbestos claims in the meantime. However, he said he
would continue to try to make the bill more acceptable to

Under the bill, asbestos manufacturers and other companies that
acquired liabilities through mergers, would have to pay US$90
billion over 30 years according to a complicated formula that
considers past expenditures on asbestos litigation.

Lawmakers say companies can look at the formula and figure their
contributions. But companies have been reluctant to discuss what
they would expect to pay ahead of the bill's passage, saying
this would make them targets of more lawsuits. Insurers don't
have a formula in the bill for their US$46 billion share in

In May, the Judiciary Committee approved the bill intending to
put a stop to mounting asbestos lawsuits and pay claims from an
industry-financed fund in a 13-5 vote. However, some critics
said they plan to withdraw support of the bill on the Senate
floor without knowing details of the financing.

Using the same procedure used to handle delicate issues of
national security, Sen. Specter said he asked companies to give
the information confidentially to a small group of senators. So
far, the companies have not yet produced the information he

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Two-ton Asbestos Waste Dumped on UK Road
Despite repeated attempts to have the Environment Agency get rid
of the material, a two-ton pile of cancer-causing asbestos still
lies in a Burnley street, causing alarm to nearby residents, The
Burnley Express reports.  

Barry Wilson, owner of Wilson's Timber Co. Ltd., which is
situated a few feet away from the asbestos, discovered the mound
of hazardous waste in Pump Street, behind Trafalgar St. He
immediately contacted the police, who said they would take a
look. The next day, he called the council's Streetscene and was
told someone would come and deal with the problem. However, the
council indicated that it would take a couple of days to
organize since asbestos removal was a difficult job. Since no
one actually came to answer the pleas, he contacted Environment
Agency, who similarly promised to resolve the problem.

Mr. Wilson said that he has seen children playing with the toxic
material, which can cause serious harm to people if particles
become airborne. He added that since the weather has been dry
lately, asbestos fibers are visibly being blown every which way.

A spokesman from the Environment Agency in the North West said
they have been to the site and recovered documentation and are
actively following up inquiries.

A spokesman expressed his gratitude in behalf of the council for
calling their attention to the dumping incident. He confirmed
that they alerted the Environment Agency to the presence of
asbestos and the health risks it poses. He urges anybody who
knows anything about the incident to call the council at 01282

Asbestos, routinely used as insulation for buildings from the
1950s to the 1980s, was banned after its effects were
discovered. It has been linked to lung cancer and cancer of the
lining of the lung in people exposed to it through their
occupation, such as electricians, plumbers, and rail workers.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Natural Asbestos Linked to Cancer, Study
Californians who live near rocks containing asbestos are more
likely than others in the state to contract a rare cancer,
according to a new study by researchers from Harvard and the
University of California at Davis.

As reported in the Sacramento Bee, researchers examined almost
3,000 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in the state between 1988
and 1997. They compared them with 3,000 cases of pancreatic
cancer matched for age, sex and other characteristics.

The survey found that the mesothelioma victims were more likely
to live near ultramafic rock, a type of rock that is likely to
contain asbestos. The same association was not shown with
pancreatic cancer. Cancer risk appeared to drop by 6.3 percent
for every 10 kilometers of distance from rocks where asbestos
occurs naturally.

Federal officials hope the study will help them understand the
possible relationship between the rocks and asbestos-related
diseases. The study focused on mesothelioma, a rare and lethal
cancer that affects the cells of the chest wall.

It is unclear from the report whether residents of foothills
communities, such as El Dorado Hills, breathe in enough of the
asbestos to become ill.

However, asbestos researchers not involved in the study caution
that while the report may be revealing, it is likely the
environment is responsible for just a small percentage of
mesothelioma cases in North America.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Praxair Explosions Leave Asbestos Behind
State officials are closely monitoring the asbestos cleanup
effort, brought on by an explosion at the Praxair plant last
week in St. Louis. They are concerned that if the job is done
too slowly, the asbestos fibers could become airborne,
endangering the health of everyone around the area.

Company officials said that pieces of asbestos mixed with other
debris were left on the ground in and around the Praxair
facility after gas containers, which used asbestos as filler,
exploded. They said that the incident damaged the facility near
Chouteau and Jefferson avenues and shut down nearby Highway 40
for hours. The explosion also propelled containers of acetylene,
a flammable gas, into the yards of residents of Lafayette
Square, a neighborhood of historic homes.

Wayne J. Yakich, president of Praxair Distribution Inc., said an
unknown number of the tanks had asbestos inside. He said that
gas suppliers stopped using asbestos as stabilizers in tanks
years ago, but many older containers still are in use.

Tests done after the fire found asbestos levels high enough to
require hiring outside help to clean it up. Mr. Yakich voiced
however that asbestos is not a threat to residents. He said that
the asbestos has been wet down, diminishing the possibility of
asbestos becoming airborne. He said that the Company has hired a
crew to conduct the cleanup, which is being monitored by state
environment officials.

Scott Berger, director of the Center for Chemical Process
Safety, played down the risks of asbestos to those who might
have been near the explosions. He stated that only those people
who inhaled asbestos at their workplace for long periods of time
would be likely to have the illnesses associated with the toxic

The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that if a
person breathed one fiber of asbestos per cubic foot of air for
his entire lifetime, his risk of developing cancer would
increase by no more than a 1 in 100,000 chance.

John Whitaker, who is coordinating the Praxair cleanup for the
state Department of Natural Resources, said that although most
of the asbestos is contained on the plant site, "chunks" of the
material reached the surrounding neighborhood. The state is
working with Praxair to clean up the material quickly before the
asbestos pieces become smaller and get into the air.

Meanwhile, investigators reported no significant progress.
Charles Coyle, fire marshal and deputy chief, refused to
speculate on the cause of the fire until his investigation is

Headquartered in Danbury, CT, Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) is
working to serve St. Louis customers from a facility in Cahokia.
The Company produces and sells atmospheric gases as well process
and specialty gases for the chemicals, food and beverage,
semiconductor, and health care industries.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PA Court Junks Motion to Withdraw Objection
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
on May 2, 2005 denied the motion of two of Chapter 11 debtor's
insurers to withdraw the reference of an objection it made
nearly a year ago to the allowance of certain "maritime asbestos

District Judge Lancaster presided over the case in re American
Capital Equipment, LLC and Skinner Engine Company, Debtors, in
Civ.A. No. 05-048, Bankruptcy No. 01-23987. The District Court
held that permissive withdrawal of the reference of insurers'
objection to the allowance of claims, a core bankruptcy
proceeding, was not warranted.

On April 16, 2001, debtor Skinner sought protection under
Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. In the context of that
bankruptcy case, two of debtor's Insurers objected to the
allowance of certain claims, namely the Maritime Asbestos
Claims.  The Insurers filed their objection to those claims with
the bankruptcy court on April 28, 2004.  They filed the instant
motion to withdraw reference of that objection on January 14,

The Insurers claim that the Court should withdraw reference of
the objection, nearly a year after it was filed, because the
issues raised in the objection are non-core and because the
withdrawal would promote judicial efficiency and uniformity.  
The Maritime Asbestos Claimants contend that the Insurers'
motion should be denied because they have no standing to make
the objection or to seek withdrawal of the reference, and the
motion is untimely. The Claimants also contend that the
Insurers' motion is nothing more than an attempt to clog this
court's docket and to make an end run around the bankruptcy plan
confirmation process.

Although the Court agrees with the Claimants on those points, it
need not reach such considerations in ruling on the Insurers'
motion. Under the most basic standards defining bankruptcy court
jurisdiction, there is no reason to withdraw reference of an
objection to the allowance of claims.  
In their objection filed with the bankruptcy court, the Insurers
"object[ed] to the allowance of...proofs of claim" filed by
three groups of Maritime Asbestos Claimants. In support of their
objection the Insurers argued that:
(1) The claims were improper class proofs of claim;

(2) The claims were not sufficiently documented and were not

(3) The claims were not legally compensable; and

(4) The claims must be barred or reduced pursuant to a number of
legal defenses traditionally applicable to such tort claims.

The bankruptcy court has not made a ruling on the objection, not
due to any delinquency, but because it is addressing the
fundamental question of the Insurers' standing in the bankruptcy
case, as well as other issues.  

The Court held that contrary to the Insurers' submissions to
this court, the Insurers' objection to the Maritime Asbestos
Claims is nothing more than what it purports to be--an objection
to the allowance of several proofs of claim in the bankruptcy
proceeding. It is clear that ruling on the allowance of claims
is a core bankruptcy court proceeding. This factor weighs in
favor of retaining the bankruptcy court's jurisdiction over the
objection. It held that in this case, none of the permissive
factors justify withdrawal of the reference of the Insurers'
objection to the allowance of the Maritime Asbestos Claims.

Sally E. Edison, Lead Attorney, McGuire Woods LLP, Pittsburgh,
PA, represented the debtor.

Joseph M. Fornari Jr., moved on Behalf of the United States
Trustee, Pittsburgh, PA.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CA Court Grants Motion to Remand V. UTC
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
on June 22, 2005 granted plaintiffs' motion to remand while
denying their request for payment of fees and costs in the
asbestos-related case against United Technologies Corporation.

Judge Maxine M. Chesney, who presided over Case No. C 05-1534
MMC, also vacated the hearing scheduled for June 24, 2005.                 

Defendant United Technologies Corporation has filed opposition
to the motion of plaintiffs Everett Van Patten and Virginia Van
Patten to remand the action to state court, and to request for
an award of fees and costs.

The Court ruled that UTC has failed to establish that the
district court has removal jurisdiction. Specifically, it said
that UTC has failed to demonstrate that, when it used asbestos
in the engines it supplied to the United States, it did so
because the United States required UTC to incorporate asbestos
in such engines. Rather, the declarations offered by UTC show
only that the Company submitted to the United States drawings of
the engines UTC proposed to manufacture and that UTC indicated
therein where "asbestos was going to be used."

The Court added that to the extent UTC alternatively bases
removal on the federal enclave doctrine, such removal is
defective because no defendant joined in the notice of removal.

The Court ordered that the case be remanded to the Superior
Court of California in and for the County of San Francisco.
Given the issues raised, the Court is not persuaded that an
award of fees and costs is appropriate in this case and denies
the request accordingly.

Headquartered in Hartford, CT, United Technologies Corporation
(NYSE: UTX) makes buildings systems and aerospace products,
through such well-known names as Carrier, Otis, Pratt & Whitney,
and Sikorsky.                                     

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Workers Face Fines for Protesting V. Hardie
The federal government is threatening to fine workers who
rallied last year in support of a campaign for asbestos victims,
reports The Herald Sun.

About 120 employees at packaging giant Visy received a letter on
April 6, 2005 from a government department telling them they
face a maximum $6,600 penalty for breaching orders not to join
the anti-James Hardie rally last year. The letter asked workers
to state their working hours on September 15, when thousands
marched on the Stock Exchange calling for compensation for
asbestos victims. It specified that each worker is believed to
have breached a section 127 order not to take industrial action.

The rally was part of a campaign that eventually led to a US$1.5
billion settlement for asbestos victims.

The letter comes as tens of thousands of Victorians prepared to
rally against the Federal Government's changes to industrial
law. Many are expected to defy Australian Industrial Relations
Commission orders not to attend, leaving them open to the threat
of similar fines. Australia Post and some small manufacturers
have been granted "section 127" orders, making strike action by
their workers unlawful.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said the Government
was threatening workers who walked off the job to rally against
James Hardie, the building products company at the center of the
asbestos scandal.

"They are going to try and penalize individual workers for a
community activity that supported workers who are dying from
mesothelioma," state secretary Dave Oliver said. He added that
workers who participated exercised their right to free speech
and would continue to do so.

A Visy spokesman said the firm had written to the department
objecting to the letter.

Unions have promised not to disrupt essential services.  

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MARF Urges Senator to Boost Research Funds
The mesothelioma research community expressed disappointment in
Senator Arlen Specter's reluctance to provide additional funding
for mesothelioma research at the National Institutes of Health.

In a press release, Dr. Harvey Pass, the chairman of the
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation's Science Advisory
Board, stated that mesothelioma patients and those exposed to
asbestos depend on research funds to provide for better
treatments and survival. He added that patients with
mesothelioma, a deadly cancer, have a life expectancy of between
6 and 18 months.

As Senator Specter, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
finalized the provisions in the proposal for the Fairness in
Asbestos Injury Act last month, he included an amendment
establishing a mesothelioma research and treatment program. The
amendment called for Congress to appropriate US$12 million
annually to NIH to fund this program. In a public/private
partnership, the amendment also called for a contribution from
industry through the settlement trust fund in the amount of
US$17 million annually.

However, Senator Specter has indicated that he will not include
additional funding for FY 2006 as outlined in the Asbestos
Injury Act. As head of the appropriations subcommittee that
funds biomedical research at NIH, he is in the unique position
to make this funding a reality. When the Senate returns from
Fourth of July recess, it is expected to take up the Labor,
Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill.

Currently, NIH funds only US$2.8 million in mesothelioma
research annually, which is less than 1/10 of 1% of its annual
budget. Mesothelioma claims more than 4,000 lives a year. About
30% of victims are U.S. veterans exposed to asbestos while in
service to this country.

Dr. Pass urged Senator Specter to consider all options to
increase research funding for mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation is the national
nonprofit organization whose mission is to eradicate
mesothelioma as a life-ending disease. For more information, see
http://www.marf.orgor contact MARF Executive Director,  
Christopher E. Hahn, 805-560-8942, c-hahn@marf.org.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: NJ to Enforce Stiffer Penalty for Polluters
As a result of a testimony at an assembly hearing about failure
at the state and federal level to regulate W.R. Grace & Co.'s
actions, two lawmakers are seeking to impose stiffer penalties
on New Jersey companies that pollute and try to conceal the

Assembly members Linda Greenstein, D-Plainsboro, and John
McKeon, D-West Orange, introduced six bills designed to fill
gaps in environmental regulation. The bills would increase
penalties for providing false information to the state
Department of Environmental Protection, eliminate the statute of
limitations for certain environmental crimes, require the DEP to
notify a municipality if there is contamination within its
borders and require anyone involved in a cleanup to notify the
township administration where it is taking place.

DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell, who instigated the bills with
his testimony, said that these bills are focused on the right
areas and that he is looking forward in working with the
Legislature to see these brought into law.

W.R. Grace operated the plant on Industrial Drive in Hamilton
for more than 40 years, producing insulation and fireproofing
products made from asbestos-laced vermiculite ore dug from a
mine in Libby, Mont. Grace closed down the factory in 1994 and
submitted a report to the DEP claiming that little or no
asbestos was left on the grounds. The DEP accepted the report's
findings, ordered no independent testing and the matter was

However, in 1999, a series of media reports detailed asbestos-
related health problems in hundreds of Libby residents as a
result of living near the vermiculite mine. In 2001, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency began studying 28 plants
nationwide that processed vermiculite and found thousands of
tons of asbestos-contaminated soil surrounding the Hamilton
plant. The EPA then ordered the removal of some 15,000 tons of
dirt from the site.

Ms. Greenstein and Mr. McKeon convened an Assembly committee
hearing last month to investigate contamination of the plant,
calling local, state and federal officials to testify, as well
as representatives from W.R. Grace and family members of men who
worked at the Hamilton plant during its heyday. Hamilton Mayor
Glen Gilmore also testified at the hearing about the need for
greater communication and for increased accountability for
corporations like Grace.

Mr. Greenstein said he hopes to eliminate the possibility of a
similar occurrence from happening again in Hamilton, where
township officials weren't notified of the massive cleanup
taking place and state regulators allowed Grace to walk away
from the factory without testing for asbestos.

W.R. Grace is under a federal indictment for allegedly
concealing knowledge of the contamination in its ore and is
facing a US$1.6 billion civil suit in New Jersey for allegedly
presenting false information to regulators.

ASBESTOS ALERT: Contractor Sues Enviro-Test for Faulty Results
An independent Winnipeg, Manitoba contractor, identified only as
Mr. Robson by CBS News, sued a local laboratory over test
results on some old roofing materials, which he suspected
contained the hazardous material asbestos.  

Mr. Robson found a yellow substance under the roof shingles on a
renovation job for his friend in Point Douglas. As a precaution,
he sent a sample to Enviro-Test Laboratories.

The lab results came back claiming that the sample was clean
prompting Mr. Robson to resume work on the roof. According to
the lawsuit, he stopped working on the site only four days later
when the lab called saying that its results were mistaken and
the substance actually contained asbestos.  

Sam Wilder, Mr. Robson's lawyer, seeks cash damages for the
company's failure to do its job properly. He stressed the
importance of accuracy especially if the substance tested is
asbestos and added that his client and family will live for
years with the possibility that they were harmed by the asbestos

Charles Scherbo, lawyer for ETL, refused to comment. Enviro-Test
has not yet filed a statement of defense and the allegations in
the statement of claim are not yet proven in court.

Company Profile:
Enviro-Test Laboratories
9936-67th Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6E OP5
Phone: (780) 413-5227
Fax: (780) 437-2311
Toll-Free: 1-800-668-9878
Emergency: (780) 988-4072

Enviro-Test Laboratories is a Canadian company incorporated in
1982 with laboratories across the country. It claims to provide
accurate and precise analytical data combined with communication
and understanding with the client.

ASBESTOS ALERT: AG Sues IL Food Company for Pollution Breaches
The Illinois attorney general's office filed a lawsuit in Cook
County Circuit Court against American Kitchens Delights and its
president, Shahnawaz Hasan, for numerous violations of state
environmental and air pollution laws at a closed mall site.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan said that the Company allegedly
left asbestos inside and in the surroundings of the closed Dixie
Square Mall, a place made famous in the 1981 "Blues Brothers"
film. She insisted that the presence of asbestos-laden debris at
the old mall's Montgomery Ward building at 154th Street and
Dixie Highway created a health threat to work crews renovating
the site and to nearby residents.

The Company plans to construct a warehouse on the grounds of the
closed mall. A US$15 million senior citizen housing center named
after US Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. will be constructed on
a portion of the closed mall lot. The remainder of the land is
at the center of a real estate deal where new commercial
businesses would be built.

Company Profile:
American Kitchen Delights, Inc.
15320 S. Cooper Street
Harvey, IL 60426-2922
Phone: (708) 210-3200
Fax: (708) 210-3233

American Kitchen Delights, Inc. sells and distributes
institutional packed baked, fried or cooked foods.

ASBESTOS ALERT: Florida Agents Arrested Man for Asbestos Fraud
State and federal agents arrested a man who passed himself off
as an asbestos expert to obtain work in Florida, The St.
Petersburg Times reports.

Terrance Michael Alonzo, aged 49, of Pinellas Park, was arrested
on charges of identity theft and organized scheme to defraud.
While not having the proper license required by the state, he
collected about US$20,000 for the job.

Terry Rhodes, a special agent with the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement, found that the work was conducted throughout
Florida, including at several buildings in St. Petersburg, from
2000 to 2003.

Mr. Alonzo left the state in 2003 but has since returned.

Mr. Alonzo was held last week in Pinellas County jail on
US$5,000 bail.

ASBESTOS ALERT: AG Charges 3 Men for Clean Air Act Violations
The Office of the Attorney General filed criminal complaints
against three persons charged with violating the Massachusetts
Clean Air Act for the illegal removal of asbestos.

Attorney General Tom Reilly, who accomplished the feat together
with Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert
Golledge, obtained indictments in cases involving a residential
landlord, a licensed asbestos abatement contractor and a
commercial landlord.

Donald Heeley, Robert Schultz and Timothy McElroy of the
Department of Environmental Protection and Environmental Police
Officers investigated these cases for the Environmental Strike
Force, which is an interagency enforcement team. Overseen by
Attorney General Tom Reilly and Environmental Affairs Secretary
Ellen Roy Herzfelder, the team was formed to identify,
investigate and prosecute environmental crimes.  

A default warrant was issued for Jocelyn Toussaint, aged 48, of
Worcester, after he failed to appear for his arraignment in
Worcester District Court. Mr. Toussaint allegedly illegally
removed asbestos from a rental property in Worcester owned by
his wife. After residents of the property complained about the
condition of asbestos pipe insulation in the basement, he
removed the asbestos without following any containment
procedures. The Worcester Police along with the Department of
Environmental Protection conducted some tests, which revealed
that asbestos was present in the dust released.

A Worcester County grand jury on June 13 indicted Glenn Seaver,
aged 29, of Leicester, on charges stemming from the uncontained
removal of asbestos-riddled material. Mr. Seaver is the owner
and operator of Central Mass Environmental, a licensed asbestos
abatement company.

In June 2003, Mr. Seaver conducted the removal of asbestos pipe
insulation at the El Dorado condominiums in Worcester. Residents
subsequently complained about pieces of asbestos that had been
left in the basement and laundry room. The DEP determined that
the materials left in the basement contained asbestos.  

The incident triggered an investigation by the Environmental
Strike Force of his other asbestos removal practices. On January
15, 2004, DEP investigators showed up unannounced to a home in
Westboro where Mr. Seaver had been hired to conduct asbestos
removal. The investigators noted a number of violations,
including large amounts of asbestos insulation that had not been
properly contained.  

Applications for criminal complaints have also been filed
against David Rothstein, aged 70, of Sheffield, both for alleged
violations of the Massachusetts Clean Air Act and the Labor and
Industries Act. A Show Cause hearing has been scheduled in Great
Barrington District Court for July 6. The charges result from an
alleged removal of asbestos from the Stagecoach Hill Inn in
Sheffield. On November 13, 2002, Mr. Rothstein directed an
employee to remove asbestos pipe insulation from the basement of
the Inn while it was operating. A tenant of the Inn contacted
the DEP when he observed the employee ripping down asbestos
without taking any protective measures.

The Strike Force said that the insulation removed from the
basement of the Inn contained asbestos. Mr. Rothstein informed
them that he was never made aware that he was dealing with an
asbestos material. The employee was not provided with the
protective equipment required for abatement workers to protect
them from exposure to fibers.   

The DEP promulgated a set of strict regulations in the removal
of asbestos to prevent the release of asbestos fibers into the
air. Asbestos contractors are required to provide protective
equipment to employees involved in asbestos removal. Under state
law, homeowners who remove asbestos on their own are required to
follow the same DEP standards followed by licensed asbestos
abatement contractors.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Shea and Assistant Attorney
General Douglas Rice of AG Reilly's Criminal Bureau are
prosecuting the cases.

ASBESTOS ALERT: NY Court Junks Appeal by Azor Drywall, Merchants
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York on June
23, 2005 dismissed an appeal raised by Azor Drywall Co. and
Merchants Mutual Insurance Co., which sought to overturn a
decision of the Workers' Compensation Board granting
compensation benefits to Sheila Cammarata, the widow of a former

Azor employed Jack Cammarata, a drywall finisher, from 1964 to
1967. The Company ceased operations in the 1970s and was
dissolved in 1982. After he died in 1996 from mesothelioma, Mrs.
Cammarata applied for workers' compensation benefits citing his
death was due to asbestos exposure at work.

Filed on May 14, 2003, the appeal stated that the respondent's
husband, Mr. Cammarata, sustained an occupational disease and
that Merchants Mutual Insurance Co. is the liable workers'
compensation carrier.

The appellate court, presided by Justice Anthony J. Carpinello,
initially found no error in the Board's determination that
occupational exposure to asbestos caused the death of Mr.
Cammarata, who routinely handled asbestos-laden drywall products
in the preparation of finishing compounds. While pathology
reports noted the absence of asbestos fibers in his lungs, the
Board was entitled to rely upon the medical opinion of
claimant's expert that his disease was caused by his workplace
exposure to asbestos.

It is stated in the Workers' Compensation Law that if a claim
arises from an occupational disease such as mesothelioma,
liability falls to the last employer who caused him to become
afflicted with the disease.

Evidence showed that Merchants is the liable carrier. The Board
revealed employer cards showing that Merchants was Azor's
carrier in 1965. In the absence of any evidence that Merchants
canceled its coverage or refused to renew it, the Board properly
determined that Merchants' coverage continued through 1967. The
Court held that the remaining arguments of Azor and Merchants
are either academic or lacking in merit.

The Court rejected Azor's and Merchants' argument that the
compulsory scheme in Workers' Compensation Law did not exist
until 1971 and that it cannot be applied retroactively. The
Court denies this contention since the appellants didn't
properly present the case in their application for Board review
or before the Workers' Compensation Law Judge.

Robert S. Stockton, of Stockton, Barker & Mead L.L.P., from
Albany represented the appellants,

John A. Collins, of Lipsitz, Green, Fahringer, Roll, Salisbury &
Cambria L.L.P., from Buffalo, represented Sheila Cammarata.

Estelle Kraushar, of Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General, from
Albany, stood for the Workers' Compensation Board.

Company Profile:
Merchants Mutual Insurance Co.
250 Main Street
Buffalo NY 14240-0903
Phone: (716) 849-3333

The Merchants Insurance Group, consisting of the Merchants
Mutual Insurance Company and the Merchants Insurance Company of
New Hampshire, Inc., has over US$175 million written premiums
annually and US$349 million of combined assets. Merchants Mutual
Insurance Co. markets tailored property and casualty insurance
products that provide financial protection to businesses and
individuals throughout the northeastern, mid-atlantic and
midwestern United States.

ASBESTOS ALERT: Appeals Court Denies Arcon's Petition for Review
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on June 23,
2005 denied the petition for review raised by Arcon Incorporated
of an order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review
Commission affirming the findings of an administrative law judge
who imposed sanctions for violations of asbestos cleanup

Chief Judge William W. Wilkins presided over the petition for
review tagged as Case No. 04-2073, in which Arcon disputed
whether the commission properly assessed penalties for violating
safety standards when removing asbestos from the vessel.

David Harlen Sump, Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, P.L.C., Norfolk,
Virginia, and Stuart P. Sperling, Crenshaw, Ware & Martin,
P.L.C., Norfolk, Virginia, represented the petitioner, Arcon

John Robert Shortall, Office of the Solicitor, United States
Department of Labor, Washington, D.C., and Howard M. Radzely,
Solicitor of Labor, Joseph M. Woodward, Associate Solicitor for
Occupational Safety and Health, Charles F. James, for Appellate
Litigation, United States Department of Labor, Washington, D.C.,
stood for the respondents.

In February 1999, Arcon, an asbestos removal contractor based in
Norfolk, Virginia, contracted to remove about 1,500 feet of
bulkhead panels from the M/V CAPE LOBOS, berthed in Wilmington,
North Carolina. Arcon's work plan for the job described the
removal of the panels as "Class II Asbestos Work," meaning that
it involved activities such as "the removal of asbestos-
containing wallboard, floor tile and sheeting, roofing and
siding shingles, and construction mastics."

On March 8, 1999, Arcon's crew, composed of supervisor David
Poole, Joe Boone, and Daryl Jefferson, arrived at the site,
which they observed to have a great deal of dust. The next day,
Warren Plautz, a field technician for Phoenix Envirocorp, which
had been retained to conduct monitoring at the site, took air

Mr. Plautz's pre-work sample indicated a fiber count of
.065/cubic centimeter--over the permissible exposure limit of
.01. His "excursion sample," was taken from inside the work area
on the boat deck and indicated a fiber count of 3.49/cubic
centimeter, which was above the permissible excursion limit of
1.0. These high fiber counts were evidently the result of the
friability of the wallboard and Mr. Poole's use of a
reciprocating saw to remove wallboard from around a pipe.
Mr. Plautz informed Mr. Poole of the high fiber counts, and then
he informed the general manager of Phoenix Envirocorp, Thomas
Green, who advised Arcon's safety manager, C.J. Morey, to shut
down the project. When Arcon's president, Arthur Hawthorne,
asked Mr. Poole about the situation, he stated that the sample
results were high because of the way he removed the panels and
possibly because a piece of the material fell on the air
monitoring equipment. After this conversation, it was Ms.
Morey's understanding that the boat deck would be cleaned up and
clearance samples would be obtained before the work continued.

That night, Mr. Poole traveled to Norfolk to obtain a negative
air machine, additional plastic sheeting, and an airless water
sprayer. The following morning, March 10, the crew proceeded
with work on the poop deck without first obtaining clearance
samples from the boat deck. Mr. Green nevertheless reported to
Ms. Morey that he was concerned that Mr. Poole had not finished
cleaning the boat deck.

At the beginning of the day on March 11, Mr. Poole asked Gregory
Baccari, the official responsible for approving the work area,
to approve the containment area on the upper deck. Mr. Baccari
refused, pointing out that the plastic sheeting that had been
used to contain the area had tears, holes, and gaps, and that no
sheeting had been placed on the ceiling, which was open as the
result of the previous removal of ceiling tiles. Mr. Baccari
left the area, but when he later returned he found that the crew
had proceeded with the work without correcting the problems.

In response to an anonymous complaint about Arcon's work
practices, Allen Mosby, a compliance officer with the North
Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, noted the
dust, debris, and holes in the plastic sheeting. He also
observed that the Arcon crew failed to wet down the panels prior
to wrapping them in the plastic sheeting. Mr. Mosby ordered the
site shut down that afternoon. He also notified the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration of possible regulatory

OSHA compliance officer Andrea Reid investigated the site and
issued two citations containing a total of 12 items. She imposed
a total fine for the violations of US$108,500.

Arcon sought review by an administrative law judge, who vacated
three of the violations, reduced four of the willful violations
to serious violations, and reduced the fine to US$40,450. Arcon
sought additional review from the Review Commission, which
vacated another three items and reduced the fine to US$36,200.
Agreeing with the Review Commission's rejection of the claims,
the Appeals Court held that the failure to use established
methods comprises a violation. The Court also ruled that there
is no evidence that supports Arcon's assertion that it would
have performed clearance monitoring if Mr. Mosby had not shut
down the job. On Arcon's contention that the amount of the
penalty imposed on it was an abuse of discretion, the Appeals
Court ruled that there is no basis on which to reduce the
penalties imposed.

Company Profile:
Arcon Inc.
2506 Colley Ave  
Norfolk, VA 23517
Phone: (757) 623-3661  

ASBESTOS ALERT: WA Asbestos Contractor Cited for 18 Violations
The State Department of Labor & Industries cited Eastwood
Enterprises, Inc. for 18 violations alleging that its workers
were exposed to health hazards in an asbestos-removal project at
Henry Foss High School in Tacoma, WA.

L & I said that the Company allegedly falsified records for four
workers, who did not undergo medical testing to ensure their
fitness for the work and were not properly trained. L & I
officials also said that the company did not provide proper
respirators and decontamination areas where workers could change
clothes. In addition, the company failed to monitor air quality.

Eastwood Enterprises, imposed with a fine of US$106,400, has
challenged the citations. State Board of Industrial Insurance
Appeals is expected to review the matter.

Eastwood has a record of several similar worker-safety
violations over the past several years, said Elaine Fischer, an
L & I spokeswoman.

Paul Reeves, Senior Vice President for Eastwood, blamed the
Tacoma School District and its environmental consultant. The
subcontractor found more asbestos in the school than the
district and its consultant predicted, he said.

Tacoma School District spokeswoman Patti Holmgren assured that
there was absolutely no contact with kids or staff and that
Eastwood served only as a subcontractor on the remodeling

Company Profile:
Eastwood Enterprises, Inc.
5105 Solberg Drive SW
Lakewood, WA 98499
Phone: (253) 531-3202

ASBESTOS ALERT: Pacifica Agrees to Settle with CA County D.A.
In an out-of-court settlement, the owners of the Padre Hotel
reached an agreement with the Kern County District Attorney's
Office over a lawsuit accusing the company of improper removal
and disposal of asbestos and of exposure to workers.

During renovations of the hotel in 2004, air district
investigators twice put Pacifica on notice that it incurred
violations when it removed asbestos from the structure's
interior without proper safety precautions. However, the project
continued and the District Attorney's Office had to file a suit
to stop it.

To determine if the company exposed workers to asbestos,
Pacifica hired experts, who later concluded there was no public
health threat from the project.

The DA's Office determined the danger of the asbestos found in
studies conducted by experts for both parties. Deputy District
Attorney Michael Yraceburn said that the settlement is in the
best interest of the public, especially when it comes to public
safety issues.

As part of the agreement, Pacifica Enterprises LLC, owners of
the Padre since 2002, will pay a US$460,000 fine, including
US$150,000 in penalties and US$86,000 in legal fees. Pacifica is
also credited for spending US$224,000 to analyze public health
concerns associated with its asbestos removal activities.

In a statement, Pacifica continues to deny all liability for the
claims alleged in the litigation and believes it has always
acted in good faith in addressing a problem not of its making.

Paul Holling, director for asset management of Pacifica, said
the settlement clears the way for the renovations to resume.
Pacifica officials are meeting with city officials in a few
weeks to work out a strategy for the building to be reopened.

Pacifica Enterprises LLC, which repositions older apartment
buildings in Bakersfield and San Diego County, purchased the
Padre Hotel hoping to lift it out of its current "public
eyesore" status. Its renovation serves as a model for developers
considering repositioning historic buildings in San Diego.

Company Profile:
Pacifica Enterprises LLC
1775 Hancock Street #100
San Diego, CA 92110
Phone: (619) 296-9000

ASBESTOS ALERT: NY Removal Firm Owner Dies Day After Indictment
A day after U.S. authorities filed felony charges against New
York Environmental Recovery Services Inc. for asbestos fraud,
its owner Charles "Rod" Timms, aged 62, died of natural causes,
The Times Union reports.

A criminal investigation led by special agents from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, clamped down on asbestos
removal projects he handled in Corinth and at a former
Woolworth's retain store in downtown Glens Falls that took place
between 1998 and 2002.

According to the complaint, Mr. Timms, of Washington County,
failed to keep proper records or safely remove all asbestos from
the buildings. He also lied about taking the hazardous materials
to a Pennsylvania disposal site, and had stored nearly 2,000
unlabeled bags of asbestos and hundreds of feet of contaminated
pipes inside tractor-trailers at his company's property on
Liberty Street in Fort Edward.

In December 2002, special agents discovered the illegally stored
asbestos materials when they raided Mr. Timms' business. In
addition, they found company records that indicated he had not
lawfully disposed of asbestos since January 1997.

The former Woolworth's, which was converted into the Charles R.
Wood Theater, was inspected two years ago, and authorities said
they found unsafe levels of asbestos on floors throughout the
facility while it was being renovated.

Investigators described Mr. Timms as an expert in removing
asbestos and the laws that govern the hazardous material.
Michael Dwyer, an EPA agent, wrote in an affidavit that Mr.
Timms directed the illegal removal and disposal of friable
asbestos material from the International Paper facility in

Three former employees of the asbestos removal company
reportedly admitted to taking part in the scam. However, the
workers all told investigators they had been "directed" by Mr.
Timms, according to the complaint.

ASBESTOS ALERT: Kubota Workers Die of Asbestos-related Diseases
Major machinery maker Kubota Corp. admitted its responsibility
in a rising death toll from 1978 to 2004 due to asbestos-related
diseases arising from exposure at its asbestos factories. The
Company used asbestos from 1954 through 1975 at the company's
former Kanzaki plant in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture in western
Japan to make reinforced water pipes.

The Company said the first asbestos-related death of a company
worker occurred in fiscal 1978. Since then a total of 75
employees have died. On top of that four workers from a
subcontracting firm within the Kanzaki factory were also
reported dead as of last fiscal year, bringing the overall death
toll to 79. Of these, 51 people died over the 10 years ending in
fiscal 2004. Eighteen people are still receiving treatment.

The number of deaths has continued to rise rapidly in recent
years, and fears have been raised that other victims could
appear since the incubation period from asbestos-related cancer
is thought to be between about 20 and 50 years.

Five residents living in the area near the factory came down
with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, and two of them died.
Their illnesses were uncovered in a survey by a private Osaka-
based labor safety group.

The cause of death of 43 of the 79 people was mesothelioma that
developed in their chests and abdominal area. Sixteen people
died from lung cancer. With the exception of one person, all
Kubota employees who died had worked at the Kanzaki factory.
Since 1954 the factory used a total of 240,000 tons of asbestos
in production.

Kubota decided to release information on asbestos in response to
the government's ban in principle on the use of the fibrous
mineral in October last year. The situation relating to the
deaths of workers was first exposed following the firm's
response to questions from the Mainichi.

The company said it will pay consolation money to three
residents near its former asbestos plant in Amagasaki, Hyogo
Prefecture, as they have been treated for mesothelioma. It did
not disclose the amount of money it would pay.

Company officials said they took the deaths seriously and wanted
to sincerely respond to claims from residents.

Company Profile:
Kubota Corporation
2-47, Shikitsuhigashi 1-chome,
Osaka, 556-8601, Japan
Phone: +81-6-6648-2111
Fax: +81-6-6648-3862

Fiscal Year-End    : March
2005 Sales (mil.)   : GBP4,881.9
1-Year Sales Growth   : 4.5%
2005 Net Income (mil.)   : GBP585.4
1-Year Net Income Growth  : 896.4%
2004 Employees    : 22,198
1-Year Employee Growth   : (2.8%)

Established in 1890, Kubota Corporation (NYSE: KUB) is Japan's
top maker of tractors and farm equipment. A diversified
enterprise, Kubota makes industrial castings, PVC pipes,
building materials, waste-recycling plants, and agricultural and
industrial engines. It has subsidiaries and affiliates that
manufacture or market products that are sold in more than 130

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

CARRIER ACCESS: Lerach Coughlin Files Securities Lawsuit in CO
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP ("Lerach Coughlin") initiated a class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Colorado on behalf of
purchasers of Carrier Access Corporation ("Carrier Access")
(NASDAQ:CACSE) publicly traded securities during the period
between October 21, 2003 and May 20, 2005 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Carrier Access and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Carrier Access designs, manufactures and sells converged
access equipment to wireline and wireless carriers.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
made materially false and misleading statements regarding the
Company's financial results and its business prospects. As a
result of these false statements, the Company's shares traded at
inflated levels during the Class Period, allowing the defendants
to use the Company's shares as currency in its acquisition of
Paragon Networks and to sell 6 million shares to the public in a
secondary offering, raising proceeds of $78 million.

However, according to the complaint, by July 20, 2004, due to
the defendants' concerns about the government's stance towards
accounting fraud, the Company announced a reduction in the
Company's projections, sending its shares down 37%, a loss of
$4.73 to $8.06. On May 5, 2005, the Company issued a press
release in which it announced it had received a Nasdaq Staff
Determination letter which indicated that "although the company
filed its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2004,
the filing did not include management's assessment of its
internal controls over financial reporting and the associated
auditor attestation report . . . ." As a result, the Company's
stock was subject to delisting on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Then
on May 20, 2005, the Company issued a press release stating that
it was in the process of performing a detailed review of all
significant customer relationships and as part of those reviews
was evaluating the propriety of the timing of revenue and cost
recognition and other revenue recognition issues. The release
stated: "At this point in time, the Company has determined that
certain revenues and direct costs have been recorded in
incorrect periods. The amounts that have been quantified to date
are significant and, as a result, previously issued financial
statements for the year ended December 31, 2004, and certain
interim periods in each of the years ended December 31, 2004,
and 2003, will be restated." On this news the Company's stock
fell to $4.60 per share.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins of
Lerach Coughlin by Phone: 800-449-4900 or 619-231-1058 by E-
mail: wsl@lerachlaw.com or visit their Web site:

CORN PRODUCTS: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in IL
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP initiated a
class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities
of Corn Products International, Inc. (NYSE: CPO) ("Corn
Products" or the Company) between January 25, 2005 and April 4,
2005 inclusive (the "Class Period") seeking to pursue remedies
under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The action is pending in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois (Eastern Division) against
defendants Corn Products, Samuel Scott (CEO) and Cheryl Beebe

The complaint alleges that Corn Products manufactures starches
and liquid sweeteners, including glucose corn syrups, high
maltose corn syrups and industrial and food-grade starches. Its
basic raw material is corn and, throughout the Class Period,
defendants maintained that they had properly hedged the
Company's exposure to corn price fluctuations. The truth emerged
on April 4, 2005 after the market closed, when it became clear
that the Company had not, as it had claimed, properly hedged its
corn position. On that date, defendants announced that first-
quarter 2005 estimated earnings per share would be down 35-40%
year-over-year due to higher net corn costs, higher energy and
freight costs, and undisclosed "manufacturing expense problems"
(later revealed to have arisen from "freakish" manufacturing
problems at several plants in the U.S. and Canada). On this
news, Corn Product shares, which had closed at $25.86 on April
4, 2005, fell $5.75, or 22%, to a low of $20.11 before closing
out the day at $20.98.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman, Peter E. Seidman
or Andrei V. Rado of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP by
Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl., New York, NY 10119-0165
By Phone: (800) 320-5081 by E-mail: sfeerick@milbergweiss.com or
visit their Web site: http://www.milbergweiss.com.

CORN PRODUCTS: Stull Stull Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in IL
The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois on behalf of all persons who purchased the
securities of Corn Products International Inc. ("CornProducts"
or the "Company") (NYSE:CPO) between January 25, 2005, and April
4, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges that Corn Products, Samuel Scott and
Cheryl Beebe with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. More specifically, the Complaint alleges that the Company
failed to disclose and misrepresented the following material
adverse facts, which were known to defendants or recklessly
disregarded by them:

     (1) that the Company was experiencing manufacturing
         problems at some of its facilities, which resulted in
         increased manufacturing expenses;

     (2) that the Company's net corn costs were significantly
         higher due to the Company's speculative hedging of
         Canadian corn;

     (3) that US sweetener price increase, contrary to the
         Company's representations, failed to offset higher
         energy costs; and

     (4) that as a result of the foregoing, defendants lacked
         any reasonable basis for their positive statements
         concerning the Company and its earnings and prospects.

On April 5, 2005, Corn Products said that it expected first-
quarter diluted earnings per share to decline 35 percent to 40
percent from the first quarter of 2040. News of this shocked the
market. Shares of Corn Products fell $4.88 per share or 18.87
percent, on April 5, 2005, to close at $20.98 per share.

For more details, contact Tzivia Brody, Esq. of Stull, Stull &
Brody by Phone: 1-800-337-4983 by Fax: 212/490-2022 by E-mail:
SSBNY@aol.com or visit their Web site: http://www.ssbny.com.

POSSIS MEDICAL: Glancy Binkow Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in MN
The law firm of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP initiated a Class
Action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Minnesota on behalf of a class (the "Class")
consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise
acquired securities of Possis Medical, Inc. ("Possis" or the
"Company") (NYSE:POSS), between September 24, 2002 and August
24, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges Possis and certain of the Company's
executive officers with violations of federal securities laws.
Plaintiff claims defendants' omissions and material
misrepresentations during the Class Period artificially inflated
Possis' stock price, inflicting damages on investors. Possis
develops, manufactures, and markets medical devices, including
the AngioJet System - a non-surgical, minimally invasive
catheter system designed to rapidly remove blood clots using a
stream of water. The Complaint alleges that during the Class
Period defendants failed to disclose and/or misrepresented
material adverse facts, including that:

     (1) the AngioJet System, the Company's key product, was not
         more effective than existing alternatives, including
         competing drug therapies, nor did AngioJet reduce
         significant procedural complications or significantly
         increase positive benefits such as improved blood flow
         or other similar effects;

     (2) the AngioJet could not be expanded as a "technology
         platform" because AngioJet was not in the first
         instance effective for routine use in a broad range of
         heart attack patients to reduce the size of a patient's
         damaged tissue area; and

     (3) as a result of the foregoing problems, Possis could not
         maintain its projected revenue growth or achieve
         sustained revenue growth targets as high as 35%.

The Complaint further alleges that defendants were motivated to
and did conceal the true safety and efficacy of AngioJet, and
defendants' ability to expand and develop Possis' AngioJet
technology, because it enabled defendants to artificially
inflate the price of Possis shares and then allowed defendants
and other Company insiders to sell more than 361,730 shares of
their privately held Possis stock to the unsuspecting public for
proceeds in excess of $7.07 million while in possession of
material adverse, non-public information about the Company.

On August 24, 2004, it was disclosed that AngioJet failed to
demonstrate clinical superiority in the majority of heart attack
patients, causing Possis' share price to plummet more than 38%.
As a result, the Company lost almost 40% of its market
capitalization after Possis shares traded down more than $11.75
per share, to $19.00 per share, as defendants lowered the
Company's 2005 earnings and revenue guidance.

For more details, contact Lionel Z. Glancy or Michael Goldberg
of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP, Phone: (310) 201-9150 or
(888) 773-9224, E-mail: info@glancylaw.com, Web site:

POSSIS MEDICAL: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in MN
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP initiated a
class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities
of Possis Medical, Inc. ("Possis" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:
POSS) between September 24, 2002 and August 24, 2004, inclusive
(the "Class Period"), seeking to pursue remedies under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The action, numbered 05cv1084, is pending before the Hon. James
M. Rosenbaum in the United States District Court for the
District of Minnesota against defendants Possis, Robert G.
Dutcher (CEO and President) and Eapen Chacko (CFO).

The complaint alleges that Possis's primary product was the
AngioJet System, a non-surgical, minimally invasive catheter
system designed to rapidly remove blood clots using a stream of
water. The complaint further alleges that, unbeknownst to
investors, and contrary to defendants' representations:

     (1) the AngioJet System was not more effective than
         existing alternatives, including competing drug
         therapies, such as the leading product Urokinase, nor
         did AngioJet reduce significant procedural
         complications or significantly increase positive    
         benefits such as improved blood flow or other similar

     (2) AngioJet could not be expanded as a "technology
         platform" because AngioJet was not in the first
         instance effective for routine use in a broad range of
         heart attack patients to reduce the size of infracts;

     (3) as a result of the foregoing problems, Possis could not
         maintain its projected revenue growth or achieve
         sustained revenue growth targets as high as 35%.

The truth emerged on August 24, 2004. On that date, shares of
Possis fell precipitously and the Company lost almost 40% of its
market capitalization after it was disclosed that AngioJet
failed to demonstrate clinical superiority in the majority of
heart attach patients. Shares of Possis traded down more than
$11.75 per share, or 38%, to $19.00 per share, as defendants
lowered 2005 earnings and revenue guidance.

The complaint further alleges that defendants were motivated to
and did conceal the true safety and efficacy of AngioJet, and
defendants' ability to expand and develop Prossis's AngioJet
technology, because it enabled defendants to artificially
inflate the price of Possis shares and then allowed defendants
and other Company insiders to sell more than 361,730 shares of
their privately held Possis stock to the unsuspecting public for
proceeds in excess of $7.07 million while in possession of
material adverse, non-public information about the Company.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman, Peter E. Seidman
or Andrei V. Rado, Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl., New
York, NY, 10119-0165, Phone: (800) 320-5081, E-mail:
sfeerick@milbergweiss.com, Web site:


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

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


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Glenn Ruel Senorin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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