/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/051028.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, October 28, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 213


ABBOTT DIABETES: FDA Issues Glucose Meter Defect Warning
ADMIRAL MORTGAGE: Faces Predatory Lending Lawsuit in MD Court
AUSTRALIA: Rejects Compensation Proposal For Sex Abuse Victims
BIOMEDICAL TISSUE: FDA Probes Tissue For Failing Requirements
CANADA: Arguments Begin in Alberta Child Abuse Victims Lawsuit

CCC INFORMATION: Final Fairness Hearing Set December 2005 in IL
CCC INFORMATION: Plaintiffs Appeal GA Consumer Suits Dismissal
DOMINO'S PIZZA: Faces Two Employee Wage, Hour Suits in CA Court
E.ON AG: German Consumers' Group Prepares Suit Over Price Hikes
EBAY INC.: Plaintiffs File Third Amended Improper Billing Suit

EBAY INC.: Enters Mediation in CA Suit V. Online "Shill Bidding"
EBAY INC.: Enters Mediation for NY Consumer Protection Lawsuit
EBAY INC.: Forges Settlement Re Epinions/Dealtime Merger Suit
ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS: Investors File Canadian Securities Suit
GREAT DANE: Recalls 650 2005-06 Trailers Due to Crash Hazard   

HEART DEVICES: Feds Subpoena Firms For Heart Device Documents
HINO MOTOR: Recalls 577 Various 2006 Trucks Due to Crash Hazard   
KALEX ENTERPRISE: Recalls 800 Light Kits Due to Crash Hazard   
LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES: Retirees File Health Care Benefits Suit
MEDICAL DEVICES: American Conference Institute Bares Research

MCKESSON HBOC INC.: Suit Settlement Hearing Set January 27, 2006
NEW YORK: NYPD Official Denies Claims in Race Profiling Lawsuit
OHIO: Suit Filed V. City of Middletown Over "Illegal" Recordings
PAYPAL INC.: Reaches Settlement For Unfair Trade Practices Suit
PDI INC.: Plaintiffs Files Third Consolidated, Amended NJ Suit

PIXAR: Shareholders Initiate Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.D. CA
T. MARZETTI: Recalls Mustard Dressings For Undeclared Anchovies
UNITED STATES: Commerce Study Says, Big Holders Overcompensated
UNITED STATES: Sen. Hatch To Speak At Fairness Act Conference
UNITED STATES: Groups Concerned About VX Chemical Disposal in IN

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: Pay Raise Ruling Favors Plaintiffs  
VIRBAC CORPORATION: Final TX Fairness Hearing Set December 2005
WORLDCOM, INC.: Institutional Investors to Unveil Settlement

                       Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: White House Counsel Supports Asbestos Fund
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Commended for Pushing Hardie Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Suit Driven by Future Cancer Fears
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PPG Industries Posts Record Sales in 3Q05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Columbus McKinnon Posts Liability Estimates

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ALL Tags $136M Loss to Reserves Re-estimate
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Businessman Fined for Unlawful Disposal
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: HSE Holds Marks & Spencer Asbestos Inquest
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allianz to Fund Subsidiary's A&E Reserves
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: New NSW Govt. Plan to Force Hardie to Yield

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GHR Withdraws Counseling Services From CGM
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Medical Screenings Gave Fake Results, Study
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Leap Reports No Reinstated Cases Since 1996
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BKHM Provides for Environmental Liabilities
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Huntsman LLC Named as "Premises Defendant"

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Widow Loses AUD165,000 in CSR Appeal
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Korean Govt. to Strictly Regulate Asbestos  
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fireman's Fund Rated "A" for Reserves Gains
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ladish Co. Named in MI, IL Injury Lawsuits
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PTP Predecessor Continues to Face Claims

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US Court Junks Appeal ff. OC Consolidation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CSR Questions Accuracy of Compensation Case
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ontario Law Revisions to Commence Nov. 1st
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Co. Reports US$40 Mil Profit in 3Q05
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Saint-Gobain Posts 99,000 Asbestos Claims  

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USG Corp Notes 75% Profit Surge in 3Q-2005
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WVU Agrees to Test Program as Part of Deal
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japan Govt. to Pay for 9.5T Asbestos Deaths
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alfa Laval Defends 153 Lawsuits in 2005-3Q
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USG Liabilities Hearing Set June 30, 2006

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Co Discloses 88,925 Claims in 3Q-2005
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ENSCO Int'l. Defends Multiparty Suits in MS
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MetLife Reports on Asbestos Liabilities
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AIG Affiliates Continue to Receive Claims
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OR Court Upholds Junking of Marineau Suit

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OH Court Scraps Suit V. Insurance Companies
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PA Superior Court Dismisses Smokers' Suit
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OR Appeals Court Overturns Suit V. Hamilton
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL Court Remands Suit V. Union Carbide Corp
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Upholds Dismissal of Lindstrom Suit

                New Securities Fraud Cases
ARBINET-THEXCHANGE: Labaton Sucharow Files Securities Suit in NJ
DANA CORPORATION: Lockridge Grindal Lodges Securities Suit in OH
REFCO INC.: Glancy Binkow Files Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
REFCO INC.: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
TAG-IT PCAFIC: Wolf Popper Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA


ABBOTT DIABETES: FDA Issues Glucose Meter Defect Warning
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is notifying health
care providers and patients of a problem with blood glucose
meters made by Abbott Diabetes Care, Alameda, Calif. The meters
can unintentionally be switched from one unit of measurement to
another, resulting in an inaccurate blood glucose interpretation
by the user. Users in the United States should make sure that
their meter reading is displayed as mg/dL because an inaccurate
reading can lead to taking the wrong dose of insulin or dietary
changes, resulting in higher levels of sugar in the blood or
hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia can be a serious and even life-
threatening condition and several cases of hyperglycemia have
been reported to FDA.

The meters are designed to report blood glucose levels in two
different measurements - the U.S. standard, milligrams per
deciliter or mg/dL, and the foreign standard, millimoles per
liter or mmol/L-and can be accidentally switched from one
measurement to the other. The switch may occur when a user is
setting the time and date for the meter. There also have been
reports of the measurement being switched after a meter was
dropped or after replacement of the battery. Abbott has not
confirmed these additional causes of failure.

Abbott is not instructing users to return their blood glucose
meters. The firm issued a press release on October 14, 2005, and
has undertaken a worldwide correction and notification to all
healthcare professionals and users, when known, about the
measurement switching problem. All Abbott glucose meters
currently being shipped for distribution are locked with the
correct unit of measurement.

For information on how to change the meter reading back to
mg/dl, users should refer to their Owner's Manual or contact
Abbott Diabetes Care at 1-800-553-4105 (open 24 hrs. per day) or
AbbottDiabetesCare.com. Consumers who think they may have been
using the wrong read-out on their meters for a long period of
time and are now worried about their health should contact their

The affected glucose meters made by Abbott that are sold in the
United States are FreeStyle, FreeStyle Flash, FreeStyle Tracker,
Precision Xtra, MediSense, Sof-Tact, Precision Sof-Tact,
MediSense, Optium, and private label brands ReliOn Ultima, Rite
Aid, and Kroger blood glucose meters. Precision Sof-Tact meters,
which were inadvertently omitted from Abbott's press release,
also are subject to this action. These products are distributed
primarily through retail and mail order pharmacies and
physicians' offices.  Affected glucose meters sold outside of
the United States are Xceed, Liberty, Boots, Xtra Classic, Easy,
and SofTrac.

Physicians and consumers who have experienced a problem with any
of the affected glucose meters should report to FDA's MedWatch
program at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/or 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-
800-332-1088), and to Abbott Diabetes Care.

ADMIRAL MORTGAGE: Faces Predatory Lending Lawsuit in MD Court
Admiral Mortgage Inc. faces a class action, accusing the
Baltimore, Maryland-based firm of charging excessive fees on its
secondary mortgage loans and other predatory lending practices,
The Daily Record reports.

Attorney John A. Pica Jr., who is representing the plaintiffs in
the case, told The Daily Record that the class of those who were
illegally charged by Admiral could include over 500 people. He
added that his firm, the Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos, would
file several similar complaints in the upcoming weeks citing
that there is a "considerable amount of predatory lending
occurring in this state."  The lawsuit includes two sets of
plaintiffs: Essex residents Rodney G. Coster and Teresa L.
Coster, and Amanda Connor and Kevin F. Ashe of Rosedale.

The Costers claim that they secured a $74,200 second mortgage on
December 13. They allege Admiral charged an origination fee of
$5,936, or 8 percent of the principal loan amount. Additionally,
the Costers allege that they were charged more than $1,400 in
credit report, processing, document preparation and underwriting
fees.  Ms. Connor and Mr. Ashe took out a secondary mortgage
loan for $29,000 on December 17, according to the pleadings.
They claim that they paid a $2,340 origination fee, also 8
percent of the principal amount, and then another $1,395 in
underwriting, processing and document preparation fees.  

According to Mr. Pica, the additional charges imposed on the
Costers', Ms. Connors and Mr. Ashe violate Maryland's Secondary
Mortgage Loan Law.  The legislation allegedly permits companies
like Admiral to charge an origination fee "not to exceed 10
percent of the net proceeds for making a loan."  The suit
asserts that once such a fee is assessed, a lender cannot
collect any other charges. It also asserts that the only
exception is money paid "to a public official or governmental
agency for recording or satisfying instruments securing loans."  

Admiral and other companies often get away with overcharging
consumers, because many people are not aware of the law, Mr.
Pica told the Daily Record.  The suit also alleges that in both
instances cited all the charges were "pro-rated over the term of
the loan so that every monthly mortgage payment included and
continues to include, a portion of the illegal and excessive
fees disguised as principal and interest payments, thereby
wrongly increasing the monthly payment."

Mr. Pica told The Daily Record that additional charges have a
significant impact on those who become indebted to mortgage
firms. He comments that lenders "pepper borrowers to the point
where they have to have a considerable amount of money to close
a loan."  The suit also contained general accusations that
Admiral charged excessive origination fees, improperly collected
money from borrowers to pay broker's fees and did not obtain a
proper license to make secondary mortgage loans.

The suit alleges that due to the Secondary Mortgage Loan Law
violations, Admiral "can collect only the principal amount of
the loans and must forfeit and reimburse to the Plaintiffs and
Class Members any and all interest, costs, or other charges paid
over the term of the loans." It added that the company should
pay "three times the amount of all excessive or illegal
interest, fees, charges and costs collected."  The suit states
the Company violated the Consumer Protection Act.

AUSTRALIA: Rejects Compensation Proposal For Sex Abuse Victims
The Australian government rejected a proposal for a panel of
lawyers to decide compensation payments for 60 state wards who
were sexually abused - forcing them to launch their own
lawsuits, theadvertiser.news.com.au reports.

Last week, District Court Judge Boylan ruled that the cases for
the abuse victims should not be linked as a class action.  As a
result, the proposal was formulated to prevent lengthy
litigation.  The proposal a panel of senior barristers assessing
individual claims based on victim statements and supporting
medical evidence.  The proposal has been used successfully in
Ireland and Canada in cases involving multiple victims.

However, the proposal has been dismissed by Attorney-General
Michael Atkinson who says "such an approach ignores the issue of
liability" and could result in "compensation being paid for
unsubstantiated claims or claims based on false allegations as
to the fact of or nature of any abuse," The Advertiser stated.  
Following the decision the issue of liability will now need to
be determined in each case. This will involve numerous
conferences, discovery orders and a trial lasting up to a week.

Duncan Basheer Hannon lawyer Peter Humphries told the Advertiser
the court decision and the rejection of the panel proposal meant
each victim was now faced with the prospect of launching their
own action against the State Government.  "It makes for an
extremely complicated process when it could have been much
simpler," he said. "It creates a large amount of work which is
largely unnecessary".

Mr. Humphries told the Advertiser he was disappointed with the
State Government's attitude to the claims, given the public
statements it made in relation to the Anglican Church over its
handling of abuse cases.  "They are appearing to behave in a way
in which they have been critical of the Anglican Church for
doing," he said.

He also believed the prospect of individual cases for each
victim would "cause them some angst" and prolong their suffering
resulting from their abuse while wards of the state.  "The
psychological impost of this on them is considerable," he said.
"People get terribly stressed about having to issue proceedings
in their own names in public. They get the strength to do this
in numbers".

BIOMEDICAL TISSUE: FDA Probes Tissue For Failing Requirements
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is notifying the public
of its investigation of human tissue recovered by Biomedical
Tissue Services, Ltd. (BTS) of Ft. Lee, NJ, and sent to tissue
processors. Some of this tissue may have been implanted into
patients from early 2004 to September 2005. The tissue was
recovered by BTS from human donors who may not have met FDA
donor eligibility requirements and who may not have been
properly screened for certain infectious diseases. At this time,
the implicated tissues from BTS include human bone, skin, and
tendons. These products represent only a small percentage of the
overall U.S. tissue supply.

While no adverse reactions related to these tissues have been
reported to FDA at this time, because of the potential lack of
proper screening of the tissue donors, some recipients of the
tissues may be at increased risk of infections that could
potentially be transmitted through tissues. FDA and the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe the risks from
these tissues are low because the tissues were routinely
processed using methods that help to reduce the risk of
infectious disease; however, the actual infectious risk is

FDA's requirements to determine donor eligibility include
important steps to ensure that donors do not harbor infections
that could be transmitted to recipients. These steps include
reviewing the donor's medical history and other factors,
physically assessing the donor, and testing for relevant
communicable diseases that may place the donor at an increased
risk of infections that could then unintentionally be
transmitted to recipients through the tissues.

The following tissue processors received tissue from BTS:

     (1) LifeCell Corporation of Branchburg, NJ

     (2) Lost Mountain Tissue Bank of Kennesaw, GA

     (3) Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas in Austin, TX

     (4) Tutogen Medical, Inc., of Alachua, FL

     (5) Regeneration Technologies, Inc., of Alachua, FL

These firms already have voluntarily recalled all unused tissue
remaining in inventory and are working cooperatively with FDA to
ensure that the implanting physicians whose patients may have
received the products are properly notified. Physicians who
implanted tissue from BTS should have been contacted at this
time by the receiving health care facility.

FDA and CDC recommend that implanting physicians inform their
patients that they may have received tissue from a donor for
whom an adequate donor eligibility determination was not
performed. While the overall infectious risk is likely low, FDA
and CDC recommend that physicians offer to provide patients
access to appropriate infectious disease testing. The relevant
communicable diseases for which a tissue donor is required to be
tested are HIV-1 and 2 (the viruses that cause AIDS), hepatitis
B virus, hepatitis C virus, and syphilis. Physicians who still
have concerns or questions about the source of the tissue should
contact the health care facility where the procedure was
performed. FDA will continue its investigation into this matter
and will issue further public health updates, as needed.

Patients and physicians should report any infectious disease
possibly related to a tissue transplant to the processing firms,
who then should notify FDA. Patients and physicians who wish to
notify FDA directly of such infectious disease should report via
FDA's MedWatch reporting program at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Additional information is available on FDA's web site at
http://www.fda.gov/cber/recalls.htmand by calling  

CANADA: Arguments Begin in Alberta Child Abuse Victims Lawsuit
The Alberta, Canada court has begun hearing a class action filed
by victims of child abuse against the Alberta government,
alleging the government failed to protect them against abuse and
denied them legal services so they could sue those responsible,
Macleans.ca reports.

More than 140 people who were once under the supervision of
Alberta's child welfare department are involved in the suit.  
The lead plaintiff, a Calgary woman now in her 30s, says she
hopes the action will help others avoid the kind of childhood
she had.  The woman says she was physically and sexually abused
by her stepfather from the age of seven, and that social workers
knew of the abuse but failed to remove her from the home,
Macleans.ca reports.

Their lawyers are arguing that since their cases are similar,
they should be heard as a group under a new Alberta law that
allows class actions lawsuits.  Arguments in the case are
expected to take three days.

CCC INFORMATION: Final Fairness Hearing Set December 2005 in IL
Final fairness hearing for the settlement of several class
actions filed against CCC Information Services, Inc. is set for
December 20,2005 in the Circuit Court of Madison County,
Illinois.  The suits are styled:

         SERVICES INC., Case No. 01 L 113 (filed January 29,

         INFORMATION SERVICES INC., Case No. 03 L 1267 (filed
         September 18, 2003)

         INC., Case No. 03 L 1266 (filed September 18, 2003)

In connection with the settlement, the Company was added as a
party to the following additional cases, which assert claims and
seek relief substantially similar to the above cases, namely:

         INFORMATION SERVICES INC., Case No. 01 L 157;

         Case No. 01 L 99;

         L 149,

         AND CCC INFORMATION SERVICES INC., Case No. 01 L 153;

         CCC INFORMATION SERVICES INC., Case No. 01 L 158;

         INFORMATION SERVICES INC., Case No. 02 L 628;

         L 1135; and

         CCC INFORMATION SERVICES INC., Case No. 02 L 717

The proposed settlement class consists of all customers of the
settling carriers who had a total loss claim from January 28,
1989 to July 18, 2005, for which the Company provided a
valuation to the carrier. This settlement includes no admission
of liability or wrongdoing by the Company or its customers. Upon
final approval of the settlement, the above-described cases will
be dismissed and the Company will receive releases with respect
to the matters raised in the lawsuits.  The Company, in turn,
has agreed to pay for all costs of settlement administration and
certain other costs associated with the settlement. The Company
estimates that these costs will total approximately $8.0
million.  The Company also has agreed to engage the services of
an independent third party as a Court-appointed monitor to
periodically review its Valuescope's methodology for five years
following settlement and to oversee the performance of various
product validation studies. Other settlement costs, including
the payment of claims made by class members, will be paid by the
insurance companies that are participating in the settlement.

On July 18, 2005, the Court granted preliminary approval to the
settlement, and a final approval hearing is scheduled for
December 20, 2005.  In the third quarter of 2004, the Company
increased its reserve for this potential litigation settlement
by $1.9 million to $6.2 million, which is net of an expected
insurance reimbursement of $1.8 million. The settlement
administrator has undertaken certain settlement administration
activities and has sent notices to the class.  The Company has
paid approximately $2.7 million related to this work, which has
been charged against the settlement reserve. Additionally, the
Company has reached an agreement in principle to contribute
approximately $2.9 million to the settlement of an additional
case that has previously been disclosed, styled "PAK et al. v.
CV98-04873 (Second Judicial District of the State of Nevada in
and for Washoe County). As a result, the current recorded
reserve has been increased by $2.9 million in the third quarter
of 2005 to account for this anticipated settlement.

CCC INFORMATION: Plaintiffs Appeal GA Consumer Suits Dismissal
Plaintiffs filed a writ of certiorari with the Georgia Supreme
Court over the Georgia Appeals Court's affirmation of the
dismissal of the charges in three class actions filed against
CCC Information Services, Inc., namely:

         00VS006525 (filed June 16, 2000);

         SERVICES INC., Case No. 00VS006315 (filed June 16,

         INFORMATION SERVICES INC., Case No. 00VS007964 (filed
         August 2, 2000)

The Plaintiffs in these three cases, initially filed in the
Superior Court in Fulton County, Georgia, seeks to represent a
nationwide class of insureds against the Company and the named
insurance company defendant and alleges that CCC's Valuescope
valuation service provides values that do not comply with
applicable state regulations governing total loss claims
settlements.  Plaintiffs assert various common law and statutory
claims against the Company and the insurance company defendants,
including claims under the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute.  Plaintiffs seek
unspecified compensatory, treble and punitive damages,
attorneys' fees and expenses.  Each Plaintiff's claims were
dismissed with prejudice by the trial court.  Plaintiffs
appealed the rulings in February 2004.  On July 15, 2005, the
Court of Appeals affirmed those dismissals and no further
appeals have been filed to date. On August 23, 2005, Plaintiffs
filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Georgia Supreme

In April 2005, the court sustained portions of the demurrer, but
granted the plaintiffs leave to amend their complaint. The
plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint, dropping the last
original plaintiff and again adding new plaintiffs.  The Company
filed a motion to strike and a demurrer regarding the
plaintiffs' second amended complaint. In July 2005, the court
again sustained a portion of the demurrer and again granted the
plaintiffs leave to amend their complaint, and the plaintiffs
filed a third amended complaint. We have filed an answer to the
plaintiffs' third amended complaint, and are currently in the
initial phase of discovery.

DOMINO'S PIZZA: Faces Two Employee Wage, Hour Suits in CA Court
Domino's Pizza, Inc. faces several lawsuits related to
employment practices and wage and hour claims filed in the
Orange County, California Superior Court by certain of the
Company's former employees.

On June 10, 2003, a class action complaint was filed alleging
that the Company failed to provide meal and rest breaks to its
employees.  This case is in the discovery stage and no
determination with respect to class certification has been made.

On August 19, 2004, a former general manager filed a lawsuit,
alleging that the Company misclassified the position of general
manager as an exempt employee.  This case involves the issue of
whether employees and former employees in the general manager
position who worked in the Company's 60 California stores during
specified time periods were misclassified as exempt and deprived
of overtime pay. This case is in the earliest stages of
discovery, and the status of the class action certification is
yet to be determined.

E.ON AG: German Consumers' Group Prepares Suit Over Price Hikes
E.ON AG's Thueringer Energie faces a class action filed over
recent gas price hikes, The AFX News reports.

A gas consumers' group in the German state of Thuringia filed
the suit.  The group's legal advisor, Ralf Reichertz, told The
AFX News that it wants to force the utility to open its books
and reveal how it calculated the price increases. Mr. Reichertz
explained that the since the group cannot sue the utility on its
own, it will simply coordinate the class action.

EBAY INC.: Plaintiffs File Third Amended Improper Billing Suit
Plaintiffs filed a third amended class action against eBay, Inc.
in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of
Santa Clara, alleging that the Company engaged in improper
billing practices as the result of problems with the rollout of
a new billing software system in the second and third quarters
of 2004.  The lawsuit sought damages and injunctive relief.

An amended complaint was filed in January 2005, dropping one
plaintiff, changing the capacity of the other plaintiff to that
of representative plaintiff, and adding seven additional eBay
users as plaintiffs.  The amended complaint expanded its claim
to include numerous alleged improper billing practices from
September 2003 until the present. In February 2005, eBay filed a
motion to strike and a demurrer seeking to dismiss the

The suit is styled "Cerreta v. Ebay, Inc., case no. 1-04-CV-
022708," filed in the Santa Clara County Superior Court in
California.  Representing the plaintiffs is Jeffrey L. Fazio,
Fazio & Micheletti LLP, 1900 South Norfolk Street, Suite 350,
San Mateo, CA 94403.  Representing the Company are Grant P.
Fondo, Michael G. Rhodes, Melina K. Patterson, and Arron P.
Arnzen of Cooley Godward LLP , Five Palo Alto Square, 3000 El
Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306-2155.

EBAY INC.: Enters Mediation in CA Suit V. Online "Shill Bidding"
eBay, Inc. enters mediation for the class action filed in the
Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa Clara
alleging that certain bidding features of our site constitute
"shill bidding" for the purpose of artificially inflating bids
placed by buyers on the site.  The suit is designated as Case
No. 1-05-CV-035930.

The complaint alleges violations of California's Auction Act,
California's Consumer Remedies Act, and unfair competition.
The complaint seeks injunctive relief, damages, and a
constructive trust.

In April 2005, the Company filed a demurrer seeking to dismiss
the complaint.  The Company later agreed to stay the demurrer
and participate in a mediation with the plaintiffs, which is
scheduled to take place in October 2005.

EBAY INC.: Enters Mediation for NY Consumer Protection Lawsuit
eBay, Inc. enters mediation for the consumer class action filed
against it in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York.  The suit also names PayPal, Inc. and an
eBay seller as defendants.

In March 2005, eBay, PayPal, and an eBay seller were sued in
Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Kings
in a purported class action alleging that certain disclosures
regarding PayPal's Buyer Protection Policy, users' chargeback
rights, and the effects of users' choice of funding mechanism
are deceptive and/or misleading.  The complaint alleges
misrepresentation on the part of eBay and PayPal, breach of
contract and deceptive trade practices by PayPal, and that
PayPal and eBay have jointly violated the civil Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute (18 U.S.C.
Section 1961(4)).  The complaint seeks injunctive relief,
compensatory damages, and punitive damages.

The parties agreed to stay further proceedings pending a
mediation hearing, which took place in July 2005. The parties
are continuing mediation discussions, though the stay of
proceedings has expired.

The suit is styled "Steele et al v. Paypal, Inc. et al., case
no. 1:05-cv-01720-ILG-VVP," filed in the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of New York, under Judge I. Leo
Glasser.  Representing the plaintiffs is Marina Trubitsky,
Marina Trubitsky & Associates, PLLC, 11 Broadway, Ste. 861, New
York, NY 10004 Phone: 212-732-7707 E-mail:
dtcassociates@yahoo.com.  Representing the Company are Benjamin
Chapman, Angela Dunning, Laura C. Pierri; Lori R.E. Ploeger and
Michael G. Rhodes of Cooley Godward LLP, 4401 Eastgate Mall San
Diego, CA 92121-1909 Phone: 858-550-6000, and Amy W. Schulman of
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP, 1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020-1104 Phone: (212) 835-6108 Fax: 212-835-6001
E-mail: amy.schulman@piperrudnick.com.

EBAY INC.: Forges Settlement Re Epinions/Dealtime Merger Suit
Ebay, Inc. reached a tentative agreement with parties in the
lawsuit filed against certain of Epinions' former officers and
directors and preferred shareholders in the Superior Court of
the State of California, San Francisco County, by 51 of
Epinions' former shareholders.  

The suit is related to the April 2003 merger of Epinions and
DealTime, Ltd, and also names as defendant the company that
resulted from the merger, Shopping.com Ltd.  Shopping.com Ltd.
was later acquired by eBay, Inc. on August 30, 2005.

The lawsuit contended that the defendants were responsible for
breaches of fiduciary duty and material misstatements and
omissions, that defendants undervalued the DealTime stock that
Epinions' shareholders received in connection with the merger,
and that plaintiffs' common stock of Epinions was wrongfully
cancelled without compensation.  

Defendants disputed the contentions of the case and denied any
allegations of wrongdoing. In September 2005, the parties
tentatively reached agreement as to the monetary terms for
settlement of the dispute. The settlement remains subject to the
final written approval of the parties. The tentative settlement
amount has been accounted for as an assumed liability in
connection with our acquisition of Shopping.com.

ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS: Investors File Canadian Securities Suit
Environmental Solutions Worldwide, Inc. faces a statement of
claim filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Canada,
purporting to be a class action.  The suit alos names as
defendants a current director and others.

The suit alleges that the Company and other parties released and
disseminated false and misleading statements about its business
from on or about March 1999 through March 2000. The complaint
seeks damages of $100,000,000 and punitive damage of
$20,000,000.  The Company has not yet been served with the
statement of claim and believes the claims to be without merit,
the Company said in a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange

GREAT DANE: Recalls 650 2005-06 Trailers Due to Crash Hazard   
Great Dane Limited Partnership in cooperation with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects
Investigation (ODI) is voluntarily recalling about 650 units of
2005-06 GREAT DANE / TRAILERS due to crash hazard.

According to the ODI, on certain van and refrigeration semi-
trailers equipped with Tuthill suspensions, Model 20/22AR and
RS3162, the beam/axle pivot connection joint is misaligned
causing excessive play with the trailer allowing the trailer to
wonder. If the trailer wonders a vehicle crash could occur
without notice.

As a remedy, Great Dane is working with Tuthill to notify the
owners of the affected vehicles and provide free remedy.  For
more details, contact Great Dane, Phone: 912-644-2100, Tuthill,
Phone: 800-753-0025 and NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline:
1-888-327-4236 or (TTY) 1-800-424-9153, Web site:

HEART DEVICES: Feds Subpoena Firms For Heart Device Documents
The United States Attorney's Office in Boston subpoenaed
documents from at least three companies that manufacture
pacemakers and defibrillators, the Associated Press reports.

Three companies - St. Jude Medical Inc., Medtronic Inc. and
Guidant Corporation - received subpoenas.  St. Jude, based in
Little Canada, said the subpoena it received sought "documents
on general industry practices" related to pacemakers,
defibrillators and related products since January 2000,
according to a news release.  Fridley-based Medtronic said its
subpoena also sought documents relating to such devices, as well
as the company's training and compliance materials relating to
"the fraud and abuse and anti-kickback statutes," AP reports.  

Indianapolis-based Guidant said prosecutors in Boston sought
documents concerning pacemakers, ICDs, leads and related
products. Guidant also said it received a subpoena from the U.S.
Attorney's Office in Minneapolis, requesting documents relating
to specific defibrillators: the Ventak Prizm R 2 and Contak
Renewal R 1 and 2 devices. In June, Guidant recalled several
models - including Ventak Prizm and Contak Renewal models -
because of potential flaws, numbering about 50,000 total, AP

All three companies said they intend to cooperate with the
requests, AP reports.  Pacemakers use a mild electrical current
to speed a slow heartbeat, while defibrillators jolt hearts that
have life-threatening irregular beats.  The companies did not
state what prompted the subpoena, but heart devices have come
under increasing scrutiny in recent months.  Since June, Guidant
has recalled or issued warnings about 88,000 heart
defibrillators and almost 200,000 pacemakers because of reported
malfunctions. Patients and shareholders have sued, and the Food
and Drug Administration is reportedly conducting a criminal

Piper Jaffray analyst Thomas Gunderson told AP it wasn't clear
whether the subpoenas were prompted by the Guidant inquiries,
but added: "Guidant's kind of the elephant in the room, aren't

HINO MOTOR: Recalls 577 Various 2006 Trucks Due to Crash Hazard   
Hino Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. in cooperation with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects
Investigation (ODI) is voluntarily recalling about 577 units of
2006 HINO / NA6J, 2006 HINO / NB6J, 2006 HINO / NC6J, 2006 HINO
/ ND8J, 2006 HINO / NE8J, 2006 HINO / NJ8J and 2006 HINO / NV8J
trucks due to crash hazard.

According to the ODI, on certain trucks, the bolts that hold the
battery box and bracket in place may not have been properly
torqued at the time of assembly. The battery box could become
loose and possibly fall resulting in a crash without warning.

As a remedy, dealers will inspect and required all bolts. The
recall is expected to begin on October 27, 2005.  For more
details, contact Hino, Phone: 248-648-6430 and NHTSA Auto Safety
Hotline: 1-888-327-4236 or (TTY) 1-800-424-9153, Web site:

KALEX ENTERPRISE: Recalls 800 Light Kits Due to Crash Hazard   
Kalex Enterprise Corporation in cooperation with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects
Investigation (ODI) is voluntarily recalling about 800 units of
BRIGHTSTAR / 35W conversion light kits due to crash hazard.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 05E069000.

According to the ODI, on certain aftermarket Kelax HID
Conversion light kits, Model No. 35W, the bulbs are to bright,
which fails to comply with the photometric requirements of
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, "Lamps,
reflective Devices and Associated Equipment." The headlights are
to bright, which may distract oncoming traffic, possibly
resulting in a crash.

As a remedy, Kalex will notify its customers and will refund the
customers for the purchase price. The recall is expected to
begin on October 31, 2005.

For more details, contact Kalex, Phone: 650-669-2811 and NHTSA
Auto Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236 or (TTY) 1-800-424-9153, Web
site: http://www.safecar.gov.

LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES: Retirees File Health Care Benefits Suit
Three members of the Lucent Retirees Organization filed a class
action lawsuit against Lucent Technologies and related
defendants. The suit charges that the company failed to maintain
health care benefits for retired employees as required by
Section 420 of the Internal Revenue Code and by Lucent's medical
plan and pension plan.

The suit alleges that Lucent violated the strict requirements of
federal statutes to maintain health care benefits for retired
employees for a five-year period following its action in
September 1999 to transfer substantial "surplus" cash assets
from the Lucent Retirement Income Plan to a retiree health care
account within that pension plan.

"The LRO is supporting the plaintiffs to the fullest extent of
our resources, to help bring about refunds and recoveries of
monies that Lucent retirees were forced to pay in recent years
as a direct result of Lucent's violations of federal law," said
Ken Raschke, LRO President.

The action, which was filed in the United States District Court
in Camden, N.J., also names as defendants the Lucent Employee
Benefits Committee and the Lucent Medical Expense Plan for
Retired Employees. The three representative plaintiffs in the
case are Lucent retirees who are LRO members. They are Peter and
Geraldine Raetsch of Reading, Pa. and Curtis Shiflett of
Macungie, Pa.

The suit challenges Lucent's reductions and terminations of
retiree medical and prescription drug benefits, as well as
increased co-pays, increased contribution requirements and more
during the years 2000 through the present. It seeks a court
order that Lucent shall, among other things, ".ensure the timely
payment, reimbursement and/or refund to each plaintiff and Class
member of all financial burdens that were illegally imposed by

Raschke said the LRO will work with Alan Sandals, principal
attorney of Sandals & Associates, P.C., Philadelphia, who
represents the LRO members and the class of retirees. Sandals
also is serving as counsel to the LRO and as co-counsel in a
separate lawsuit against Lucent and AT&T that seeks restoration
of the death benefits terminated by Lucent in February 2003.

MEDICAL DEVICES: American Conference Institute Bares Research
The American Conference Institute, organizers of the 10th Annual
Drug and Medical Device Litigation conference taking place
December 12-14, 2005 in New York, announced the results of their
exclusively commissioned research into the most pressing issues
currently faced by the pharmaceutical and medical device

Program Director Seth Eichenholtz remarked, "This research is
the culmination of many weeks of contacts and detailed
discussion with 124 senior individuals at law firms,
pharmaceutical manufacturers, and medical device companies at
the 'sharp end' of drug and medical device litigation."

Mr. Eichenholtz continued, "Many organizations are becoming
increasingly concerned not just at the recent wave of lawsuits
and enforcement actions, but also the longer term ramifications
on the industry and the public. Our research has pinpointed the
areas of primary focus."

Four key areas of concern were raised:

     (1) Turmoil at the FDA - Uncertainty over FDA enforcement
         initiatives, responses to FDA personnel shakeups, and
         likely ramifications of the Drug Safety Oversight Board
         on the industry and the public

     (2) COX-2 litigation - Questions over possible outcomes and
         accurate analysis of the first Vioxx verdict, product
         recall tactics, coordination of multidistrict
         litigation strategies, and navigating the Class Action
         Fairness Act

     (3) Trial Techniques - Unique obstacles to jury
         communication and the challenges posed by the need to
         enhance expression of scientific data, effective
         examination of expert witnesses, and de-bunking of junk

     (4) Crisis management - developing public relations best
         practices for various crises, and understanding the
         costs of a failure to address PR concerns

The Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference in December,
sponsored by the American Conference Institute, will focus on
providing solutions to leading companies and their outside
counsel facing these challenges. Full information on the forum
can be found at the Website: http://www.drugandmed.com.

For more details, contact Matt Godson of The American Conference
Institute by Phone: 212-352-3220 ext. 264 or by e-mail:

MCKESSON HBOC INC.: Suit Settlement Hearing Set January 27, 2006
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, San Jose Division will hold a fairness hearing for
the proposed settlement in the matter In re McKesson HBOC, Inc.
Securities Litigation, Master File No. 99-CV-20743 RMV (PVT),
which was filed on behalf of all persons or entities who
purchased or otherwise acquired publicly traded securities of
HBOC during the period from January 20, 1997 through and
including January 12, 1999; purchased or otherwise acquired call
options or sold put options of HBOC during the period from
January 20, 1997 through and including April 27, 1999; purchased
or otherwise acquired publicly traded securities or call
options, or who sold put options, of McKesson Corporation or of
McKesson HBOC, Inc. during the period from October 18, 1998
through and including April 27, 1999; or held McKesson common
stock on November 27, 1998 and still held those shares on
January 12, 1999, and were injured thereby.

The hearing will be held on January 27, 2006 at 9:00 a.m.,
before the Honorable Ronald M. Whyte in the United States
Courthouse, Courtroom 6, 4th Floor, 280 South First Street, San
Jose, California 95113; for the purpose of determining:

     (1) whether the proposed settlement of the claims in the
         Litigation against McKesson, HBOC and Defendants'
         Released Persons for the sum of $960 million in cash,
         plus interest earned from 15 days after District Court
         Approval, should be approved as fair, reasonable and
         adequate to the Settlement Class, and whether an order
         should be entered dismissing on the merits and with
         prejudice the claims that are, or ever have been,
         asserted in the Litigation by Lead Plaintiff and the
         Settlement Class against McKesson, HBOC and Defendants'
         Released Persons who are, or have been, named as
         defendants in the Litigation;

     (2) whether the Plan of Allocation is fair and equitable
         and therefore should be approved; and

     (3) whether the application of Lead Counsel for the payment
         of attorneys' fees, reimbursement of expenses and
         interest thereon should be approved.

For more details, contact In re McKesson HBOC Securities
Litigation, c/o Analytics Incorporated, Claims Administrator,
P.O. Box 2005, Chanhassen, MN 55317-2005; Alan Schulman or David
High Bluff Drive, Suite 150, San Diego, CA 92130, Phone:
(858) 793-0070, Fax: (858) 793-0323; and Leonard Barrack or M.
Richard Komins of BARRACK, RODOS & BACINE, 3300 Two Commerce
Square, 2001 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone:
(215) 963-0600, Fax: (215) 963-0838.

NEW YORK: NYPD Official Denies Claims in Race Profiling Lawsuit
The longest continually litigated civil rights case over alleged
racial profiling involving black students and residents in
Oneonta made it to New York's Court of Claims recently, 13 years
after a State Police official shut down the upstate town in
search of a black man accused of burglary, The Albany Times
Union reports.

The official, former Senior Investigator H. Karl Chandler denies
any wrongdoing, a stand echoed by his lawyer, Assistant Attorney
General Michael Rizzo. At the trial, Mr. Rizzo declared, "No one
in this case was questioned on the basis of race. Rather, they
were questioned on the wholly legitimate basis of the victim's

More than 60 complainants in the class action lawsuit Brown vs.
State of New York in the Court of Claims alleges that they were
illegally detained over four days in September 1992 because they
were black. Every African-American person in Oneonta was rounded
up and examined for arm injuries, after an elderly white woman
claimed a young black man with a wound assaulted her in her

Attorneys for Ricky Brown, a SUNY Oneonta student in 1992,
attacked quickly at the recent hearing. "Are you a racist?"
attorney Joe Stinson asked Mr. Chandler, the Albany Times-Union
reports.  "No, I am not," Mr. Chandler shot back. "Do you
fabricate evidence?" Mr. Stinson pressed. "No, I do not,"
answers Mr. Chandler. "Well, weren't members of Troop C
convicted and sent to prison?" "Yes, sir." "Any of them on this
investigation?" "Yes."

After those series of questions Mr. Stinson proceeded to unveil
the 1997 "Roth Report," the result of a 10-year evidence-
tampering probe of Troop C that sent several of Mr. Chandler's
officers to state prison. Included in the reports, which came
out a month after Mr. Chandler resigned, was the finding:
"Although no concrete conclusion can be drawn (from Mr.
Chandler's involvement in other proven cases), questions raised
would have warranted the State Police removing (him) if he
hadn't retired."

"Where are you going with this?" Supreme Court Justice Thomas
McNamara snapped at Mr. Stinson during the hearing, the Times-
Union reports. To which Mr. Stinson answers, "I believe his
report was manufactured after the investigation to make it look
like he had a legitimate basis to search. It is consistent with
his pattern and practice."

The case started when a 77-year-old woman said she was attacked
in her home near the State University of New York campus in
Oneonta in September 1992. The woman identified her assailant as
a black male who may have cut himself, an earlier Class Action
Reporter (October 25, 2005) story reports.

At the request of state police, Oneonta State school
administrators produced a list of black, male students. Police
then systematically questioned nearly 100 students and examined
their hands and arms for wounds. Authorities also made so-called
"street sweeps" in the city, stopping another 200 black men and
at least one woman. No arrest was ever made though, an earlier
Class Action Reporter (October 25, 2005) story reports.

The Oneonta State official who turned over the list of names was
temporarily demoted. Former Gov. Mario Cuomo, the state police
and Oneonta State officials have all apologized for the
searches, an earlier Class Action Reporter (October 25, 2005)
story reports.

However, after the searches, a group of students, townspeople
and others sued in federal court in 1993 claiming local police,
state police, the city, state and college unconstitutionally
targeted them. In 1995, a federal judge dismissed their claim.
Later, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York agreed
in part, ruling that the searches did not violate the
Constitution's "equal protection" guarantee. The appeals court
though did not address the plaintiffs' claim that police
violated their Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable
searches or stops. In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to
hear the case. In the meantime, the case slowly progressed
through state courts, an earlier Class Action Reporter (October
25, 2005) story reports.  

The state Court of Claims initially said it did not have the
authority to consider claims for monetary damages against the
state based on alleged constitutional violations. But, in 1996,
the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled that New
Yorkers could seek monetary damages if state government violated
their constitutional rights. That ruling upheld the students'
claim of alleged state constitutional violations of being
discriminated against because of their race and against illegal
searches by police. In addition, the court also found that the
students might have a valid claim against the state for failure
to properly train its personnel. Thus, the Court of Claims was
ordered to reconsider the students' case on those points, an
earlier Class Action Reporter (October 25, 2005) story reports.

OHIO: Suit Filed V. City of Middletown Over "Illegal" Recordings
A federal lawsuit was launched against the city of Middletown,
Ohio alleging that for years police violated the constitutional
right to attorney-client privilege by tape recording phone
conversations between lawyers and inmates at the jail, The
Middletown Journal.  The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court
in Cincinnati, seeks a money judgment of at least $200 a day for
each day of violation or $10,000, whichever is higher.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff class would include
"persons who participated in wire or oral communications to,
from or within the Middletown police department and jail
facilities between January 1, 2000 and September 30, 2005 whose
communications were intercepted, recorded and or used by
defendants in violation of the law." That class could range in
the hundreds or thousands, depending on the judge's ruling, the
suit states.

The firms of Strauss & Troy and Cohen, Todd, Kite & Stanford,
both of Cincinnati, are listed on the suit as trial attorneys
for the plaintiffs, whose identities though were sealed for fear
of retribution, according to the lawsuit.

Attorney Michael R. Schmidt of Cohen, Todd, Kite & Stanford told
The Middletown Journal that lawsuit alleges wrongdoing in the
recording of conversations between attorneys and clients only,
not the practice of recording other conversations generated by
jail visits.

The lawsuit names the city, the police department, Police Chief
Mike Bruck, Maj. Greg Schwarber, services division commander and
Sgt. John Terrill, jail services commander as defendants. The
plaintiffs are known only as "Jane Doe," a Cincinnati attorney
and "John Doe," a prisoner at the city jail involved in an
ongoing criminal proceeding.

In the suit, Jane Doe stated that the city and police employees
have engaged and continue to engage in an extended and intensive
campaign of illegal electronic surveillance, wiretapping and
bugging; interfering with the rights of individuals using the
telephones at the City of Middletown facilities; violating
attorney client privileges, the right to privacy and violating
civil and protected constitutional rights.

The telephones in question are three units mounted on the wall
in a small visitation room where inmates use them to converse
with visitors while peering through a small window.

In her affidavit, Jane Doe states that she attempted to visit
her client at the Middletown jail on September 29 and was
"forced by employees at the jail to meet with my client in a
general visiting room that contained a series of chairs and
telephones for use by visitors to speak with detainees or
prisoners ... the only means of verbal communication between me
and my client was the telephone system."

She further states, "I asked jail employees if I could meet with
my client in a private room. I was told that I had to use the
general visiting room and its telephone system to speak to my
client. I also asked whether my conversation with my client
through the phone system in general visiting room would be
monitored or recorded. A communications employee and a jail
employee stated they did not know if the conversations were
being monitored or recorded. After speaking with my client, I
was informed by the jail employee that conversations through the
visiting room phone system were recorded, but not monitored."

Then on September 30, according to Jane Doe, she tried to speak
with her client in a private, unrecorded setting, but was denied
and was told by jail employees that she had to use the general
visiting room and its phone system. She also states in her
affidavit, "Only after federal agents and attorneys arrived to
interview my client was I provided an opportunity to communicate
with my client in a private unrecorded setting."

In addition, Jane Doe said that she has been told that a jail
employee was playing and rewinding the tape from her September
29 conversation and that other attorneys have been compelled to
use the general visiting room phone system to communicate with
their clients.

A temporary restraining order has also been filed as a part of
the lawsuit to halt further recording on the visiting room
phones pending to outcome of the lawsuit. Though has yet be set
for a hearing on that motion, it may be a mute point because the
city has voluntarily stopped recording, city officials tell The
Middletown Journal.

Mr. Bruck told The Middletown Journal that all conversations
were recorded on the visiting room phone until recently though
he declined to say when the practice exactly stopped. City Law
Director Les Landen confirmed it was in response to the lawsuit.

Both Mr. Bruck and another of the former police chiefs told The
Middletown Journal that the fact that the conversations were
recorded were posted on a sign outside the visiting room. Mr
Landen explains, "Monitoring of prisoners conversations is
fairly common in jails. It is an investigative tool and a safety
issue." Mr. Bruck and the other chief also pointed out that
recording is helpful if visitors discuss illegal activities with
prisoners, such as escape plans or smuggling in contraband to
the facility. They stressed though that the recordings are not
regularly monitored.

The suit is styled, "Doe et al v. Middletown City Of et al, Case
No. 1:05-cv-00672-MHW," filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Ohio, under Judge Michael H.
Watson. Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Joseph J. Braun, John
Michael Levy and Richard Stuart Wayne of Strauss & Troy, The
Federal Reserve Building, 150 E. Fourth St., 4th Floor,
Cincinnati, OH 45202-4018, Phone: 513-621-2120, E-mail:
jjbraun@strausstroy.com, jmlevy@strausstroy.com and
rswayne@strausstroy.com; and Joseph M. Hutson, Donald John
Rafferty and Michael Richard Schmidt of Cohen Todd Kite &
Stanford, LLC, 250 East Fifth St., Suite 1200, Cincinnati, OH
45202, Phone: 513-333-5217 and 513-421-4020, Fax: 513-241-4495
and 513-421-4020, E-mail: jhutson@ctks.com, drafferty@ctks.com
and mschmidt@ctks.com.

PAYPAL INC.: Reaches Settlement For Unfair Trade Practices Suit
PayPal, Inc. reached a settlement for the consolidated class
action filed against it in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California, alleging that its
restriction of customer accounts and failure to promptly
unrestrict legitimate accounts violates California state
consumer protection laws and is an unfair business practice and
a breach of PayPal's User Agreement.

One action was initially filed in California state court,
designated as case no CV-808441.  A similar action was also
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California in June 2002 (No.C-02-2777).  In March 2002, PayPal
was sued in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California (No.C-02-1227) in a purported class action alleging
that its restrictions of customer accounts and failure to
promptly unrestrict legitimate accounts violates federal and
state consumer protection and unfair business practice laws.  
The two federal court actions were consolidated into a single
case, and the state court action was stayed pending developments
in the federal case.

In June 2004, the parties announced that they had reached a
proposed settlement. The settlement received approval from the
federal court on November 2, 2004, and the state court action
was dismissed with prejudice in March 2005. In the settlement,
the Company does not acknowledge that any of the allegations in
the case are true.  Under the terms of the settlement, certain
Company account holders will be eligible to receive payment from
a settlement fund of $9.25 million, less administrative costs
and the amount awarded to plaintiffs' counsel by the court.  
That sum is being distributed to class members who have
submitted timely claims in accordance with the settlement's plan
of allocation, part of which still must be approved by the
court.  The parties expect that the remaining part of the plan
of allocation will be submitted to the court in the fourth
quarter of 2005.  

The consolidated suit is styled "IN Re PayPal Litigation, case
no. 5:02-cv-01227-JF," filed in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of California, under Judge Jeremy

Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Patricia I. Avery, Wolf Popper LLP, 845 Third Avenue,
         New York, NY 10022, Phone: 212-759-4600, Fax: 212-486-
         2093, E-mail: pavery@wolfpopper.com

     (2) A.J. De Bartolomeo, Eric H. Gibbs, Daniel C. Girard,
         Rosemary M. Rivas, Ann Saponara of Girard Gibbs & De
         Bartolomeo, 601 California Street, Suite 1400, San
         Francisco, CA 4108, Phone: 415-981-4800, Fax: 415 981-
         4846, E-mail: ajd@girardgibbs.com,
         girardgibbs@girardgibbs.com, rmr@girardgibbs.com  

     (3) James A.N. Smith, The Davis Law Firm, 625 Market St
         12FL, San Francisco, Ca 94105-3314, Phone: (415)-278-
         1400, E-mail: jsmith@sfdavislaw.com

Representing the Company are David J. Brown, Mikayla Shawn
Connell, David S. Harris, Stephanie Jane Johnson, Molly Moriarty
Lane, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, One Market, Spear Street
Tower, San Francisco, CA 94105, Phone: 415-442-1222, Fax:
415-442-1010, E-mail: djbrown@morganlewis.com,
msconnell@morganlewis.com, dsharris@morganlewis.com,
sjjohnson@morganlewis.com, mlane@morganlewis.com

PDI INC.: Plaintiffs Files Third Consolidated, Amended NJ Suit
PDI, Inc. (Nasdaq: PDII), a diversified sales and marketing
services provider to the biopharmaceutical and medical devices
and diagnostics industries, provided the following update with
respect to the securities action entitled In re PDI Securities

As disclosed on August 22, 2005, the United States District
Court for the District of New Jersey dismissed the Second
Consolidated and Amended Class Action Complaint in In re PDI
Securities Litigation (Civil Action No.: 02-cv-0211-JLL) without
prejudice to plaintiffs. On October 22, 2005, the plaintiffs
filed a Third Consolidated and Amended Class Action Complaint.

The Company believes that the allegations in this purported
securities class action are without merit and intends to file a
motion to dismiss the action.

The suit is styled, "KESSEL v. PDI SECURITIES, et al, Case No.
2:02-cv-00211-JLL-RJH," filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New Jersey, under Judge Jose
L. Linares, with referral to Judge Ronald Hedges. Representing
the Plaintiff/s are Allyn Zissel Lite and Joseph DePalma of
12TH Floor, Newark, NJ 07102-5003, Phone: (973) 623-3000, E-
mail: alite@ldgrlaw.com and jdepalma@ldgrlaw.com. Representing
the Defendant is Alan S. Naar of GREENBAUM, ROWE, SMITH & DAVIS,
Metro Corporate Campus one, P.O. Box 5600, Woodbridge, NJ 07095-
0988, Phone: (732) 549-5600, E-mail: anaar@greenbaumlaw.com.

PIXAR: Shareholders Initiate Securities Fraud Lawsuit in N.D. CA
Pixar and certain of its executive officers face several
securities class action filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California, on behalf of
purchasers of the Company's securities from January 18,2005 to
June 30,2005.

The complaints allege defendants Pixar and certain of its
executive officers violated sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period.

Specifically, the complaints allege that Pixar creates,
develops, and produces animated films and related products.
During the Class Period, the Company had a co-production
agreement with The Walt Disney Company ("Disney") for the
development and production of animated feature-length theatrical
motion pictures. Defendants claimed that one such film, The
Incredibles, was a "Box-Office smash hit" and would also be
successful in the home video market.

According to the complaints, defendants stated, among other
things, that during the Class Period, sales of The Incredibles
home videos, including DVDs and VHS, would enable the Company to
produce earnings of at least $0.15 per share by the second
fiscal quarter of 2005. Unbeknownst to investors, however,
defendants' statements were materially false and misleading
because defendants knew, or recklessly disregarded, that recent
trends in the home video market indicated a slow down in the
sales of new home video releases and therefore, increased
returns of unsold copies from retailers that would negatively
impact the Company's earnings. In fact, according to an article
published in The Wall Street Journal, a new DVD release would
realize approximately 50-70% of its total sales in its first
week, compared to 33% and a steady increase in sales thereafter
five years ago. Defendants' response to the change in sales
trends of home videos was to flood the market with units of The
Incredibles home video, far in excess of what retailers could
sell, prior to and during the first weeks of release to maximize
sales. Defendants knew or recklessly disregarded, however, that
this strategy would result in a disproportionate number of early
sales followed by a disproportionate number of product returns,
but failed to make the necessary adjustments to account
therefor. As a result of defendants' wrongful and illegal
scheme, the price of Pixar securities became artificially
inflated during the Class Period and enabled Company insiders,
including defendants Bax and Catmull, to sell hundreds of
thousands of shares of their personally held Pixar stock for
over $27.1 million in proceeds.

The complaints further allege that on or around June 30, 2005,
the last day of the Class Period, the Company issued a press
release lowering its second quarter 2005 earnings guidance to
$0.10 per diluted share from $0.15, the difference of
approximately $6 million in net income, as a result of
disappointing sales of The Incredibles home video units and an
increase in the Company's reserves for returns. As a result of
this news, the price of Pixar common stock fell more than $9.00
per share to $43.00 from the prior day's close of almost $52.00
per share, representing a one-day decline of over 17% on very
heavy trading volume. On August 26, 2005, defendants announced
that the SEC had commenced an investigation of Pixar in
connection with reported sales of The Incredibles DVD and that
the SEC had "requested information leading up to the filmmaker's
report earlier this month of lower second-quarter earnings." As
a result of this news, Pixar shares fell an additional $1.01 per
share to close at below $42.00.

The first identified complaint in the litigation is styled
"Carolyn Mataraza, et al. v. Pixar, et al., case no. 05-CV-
4290," filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California under Judge Jeffrey S. White.  
The plaintiff firms in this litigation are:

     (1) 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

     (2) Law Offices of Charles J. Piven, P.A., World Trade
         Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Suite 2525, Baltimore,
         MD, 21202, Phone: 410.332.0030, E-mail:

     (3) Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP (New York), One
         Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th Floor, New York, NY, 10119,
         Phone: 212.594.5300, Fax: 212.868.1229, E-mail:

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

T. MARZETTI: Recalls Mustard Dressings For Undeclared Anchovies
T. Marzetti Company, Columbus, Ohio is recalling its 1.5-ounce
packets of Marzetti Fat Free Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing
because the product contains undeclared anchovies. People who
have allergies to anchovies run the risk of serious allergic
reaction if they consume this product.

The packets come in a 60 count corrugated case marked with the
item # 70200 81958, and with a date code of Best By 03 02 06 X1.
The 1.5 ounce packets are marked with "Marzetti Fat Free Dijon
Honey Mustard Dressing" on the front film, the back film is
labeled with item # 70200 81996, and has the date code of BB
030206 embossed on the side of the packet.

The recalled packets of Marzetti Fat Free Dijon Honey Mustard
Dressing were distributed nationwide Alabama, California,
Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, North
Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas,
Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin).

No illnesses have been reported in connection with this problem.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that incorrect
film on the back panel of the packaging was used that did not
reveal the presence of anchovies.

Consumers who have purchased 1.5-ounce packets of Marzetti Fat
Free Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing are urged to return them to
the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with
questions may contact the company's consumer response department
at 614-846-2232.

UNITED STATES: Commerce Study Says, Big Holders Overcompensated
A new study for the United States Chamber of Commerce contends
that settlements of shareholder lawsuits brought in the wake of
fraud overcompensate institutional investors, The New York Times

The study, entitled, "The Economic Reality of Securities Class
Action," which was done by a finance professor and Navigant
Consulting, is a result of an analysis of settlements of 482
shareholder class action lawsuits from 1995 to 2005. It asserts
that "it is not far-fetched that a large institutional investor
could actually benefit from trading in multiple allegedly
inflated securities and then, in turn, stand to receive
additional funds to cover trading losses on just one of those
securities" from a shareholder settlement.

According to the study, the reason for this phenomenon is
investment diversification where large investors can offset
losses on stocks that fell as a result of fraud with gains on
shares of other companies that might have inflated prices as a
result of a fraud that has not yet been disclosed.  The study
found that institutional investors tended to break even across
their portfolios, on investments in stocks subject to claims of
fraud. However, the study finds that smaller investors, who are
usually less diversified, do not have that advantage.  Lawyers
who file shareholder lawsuits and executives at some of the
pension funds that have hired them hotly disputed the recent

Cynthia L. Richson, corporate governance officer at the Ohio
Public Employees Retirement System told The New York Times, "Our
losses are very real."

Lisa Rikard, president of the chamber's Institute for Legal
Reform, would not speculate about the policy implications of the
study beyond saying that shareholder litigation "is not working
the way it's supposed to work."

In addition, Ms. Rikard told The New York Times in a recent
interview that the environment has changed, with more government
officials focused on corporate fraud than in the past - though
she added that she was not saying that shareholder litigation
should be outlawed in favor of enforcement by government
regulators. She explains to The New York Times, "I'm not saying
that, I would never say that." She goes on to say, "You always
want to have, in this instance, a litigation remedy."

Ms. Rikard pointed out in her interview with The New York Times
that the study did not seek to offer solutions but to stimulate
discussion, saying, "We haven't delved into how to fix it. Our
purpose in doing this was to take a fresh look at the securities
class action system" after the passage in 1995 of the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act, a legislation that changed the
rules for shareholder litigation.

The study at least asks the question whether the current system
of compensating shareholders in the event of fraud works, said
Robert J. Giuffra Jr., a lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell who spoke
at a conference held by the chamber in Washington. Accorindg to
Mr. Giuffra, "It demonstrates that there are issues that need to
be looked at as to who the winners and losers are."

However, William S. Lerach, a plaintiffs' lawyer, told The New
York Times that one clear implication of the study is that
investors who gain from selling shares at a fraud-inflated price
should be required to compensate those who lost money - a
logistically complicated exercise and one that is not clearly
fair to fortunate investors who did not intend to do anything
wrong. He pointed out, "There are always going to be people in
the market who are selling while there are other people buying
who will be innocent beneficiaries," adding that, "Nobody needed
an academic study to do that."

There is a valid question to be raised about how shareholders
injured by fraud should be compensated. The object of a
shareholder suit is to make the company where fraud took place
compensate those who held the stock and lost money when the
fraud was revealed. That, of course, is a detriment to current
holders of shares that were bought before the fraud was
revealed. Anjan V. Thakor, a finance professor at Washington
University in St. Louis who helped conduct the research told The
New York Times, "There's an asymmetry built into the system,
where we compensate people for alleged trading losses, but
trading gains you get to keep."

What Mr. Thakor called an asymmetry, though, is a function of
how securities lawsuits work and has nothing to do with
institutional investors, according to Christopher M. Patti,
university counsel to the regents of the University of
California. He told the New York Times that if shareholders who
lost money because of fraud were compensated in some other way,
"the result of that kind of logic would be that a public company
can never be responsible for its actions."

UNITED STATES: Sen. Hatch To Speak At Fairness Act Conference
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah will be a keynote speaker as
leading plaintiff and insurance lawyers gather to examine the
impact of the recently passed "Class Action Fairness Act of
2005." He will answer questions such has "How has the litigation
landscape changed?" "Will the law achieve the goals its
proponents hoped for?" "Will there be a seismic shift as new
tactics are tested, new approaches identified?"

A "who's who" of the class action world will be in attendance at
the American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice
Section program, "The Future of Class Action Litigation in
America," Nov. 9-11 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington D.C.
Hatch will speak Thursday morning, Nov. 10 at 8:30 a.m.

Dean Edward F. Sherman, Moise F. Steeg Jr., Professor of
Negotiations at Tulane University Law School and chair of the
ABA Task Force on Federal Class Action Legislation, will give
the daily program overview on Thursday; and Professor Martin H.
Redish, professor of law and public policy at Northwestern
University School of Law, will provide Friday's overview.

Nationally recognized experts and practitioners will address
trends and hot topics in the following sessions:

     (1) An Overview of the "Class Action Reform Act of 2005."  
         U.S. District Court Judge Jed Saul Rakoff of the
         Southern District of New York will participate in this
         discussion with Marci A. Eisenstein, Chicago.

     (2) State v. Federal Jurisdiction: Multi-State Class
         Actions, State Class Actions, Representative Claims and
         Aggregation.  Panelists include Professor Samuel
         Issacharoff, Columbia University School of Law; Russ M.
         Herman, New Orleans; John H. Beisner, Washington, D.C.;
         and Edith M. Kallas, New York

     (3) Notice Issues, Opt Ins & Outs, Class Management.  
         Speakers will be Dawn Barrios, New Orleans; Joseph B.G.
         Fay, Philadelphia; Professor Laura J. Hines, University
         of Kansas School of Law; and Katherine M. Kinsella,
         president, Kinsella Communications, Ltd.

     (4) Post-Bazzle Class-Wide Arbitrations and Use of
         Arbitration.  Associate General Counsel Neal S.
         Berinhout of Cingular Wireless will join retired U.S.
         District Court Judge Fern M. Smith of San Francisco,
         Professor David Schawarts of the University of
         Wisconsin Law School and F. Paul Bland Jr. of Trial
         Lawyers for Public Justice.

     (5) Class Actions Without Borders: Foreign Plaintiffs in
         U.S. Courts and U.S. Defendants in Foreign Courts.   
         Canadians J. J. Camp Q.C. of Vancouver and Professor
         Garry D. Watson of Osgoode Hall Law School at York
         University will join Charles F. Rysavy of Newark, N.J.,
         for a discussion of the challenges facing cross-border

     (6) Recent Developments from the Judiciary/Case Law Update.  
         Federal judges D. Brock Hornby of the U.S. District
         Court for the District of Maine and Lee H. Rosenthal of
         the Southern District of Texas are featured in this

     (7) Settlements, Class Actions, Fees and Ethics.  Speakers
         for this segment include Professor Howard M. Erichson
         of Seton Hall University; Joe R. Whatley Jr. of
         Birmingham, Ala.; G. Edward Pickle Jr., senior
         government affairs counsel at Shell Oil Company; and
         Richard H. Redfern, president, Rust Consulting, Inc.

     (8) Preclusion, Due Process and Adequacy of Representation.   
         Discussing constitutional issues will be Professor
         Tobias B. Wolff, University of California Davis Law
         School; William H. Narwold, Hartford, Conn.; Steven R.
         Brock, Uniondale, N.Y.; and Professor Richard A.
         Nagareda, Vanderbilt University School of Law.

     (9) Bankruptcy and Class Actions; Settlement Funds and
         Related Issues.  Bankruptcy is often a result of class
         actions.  Addressing this very current and important
         issue will be Michael S. Etkin, Roseland, N.J.; Allan
         Kanner, New Orleans; and Peter A. Antonucci, New York.

    (10) Class Actions and MDLs - Hot Topics in Class Actions.  
         Plaintiff and defense lawyers will join a federal judge
         and consultant in this roundtable discussion that will
         focus on multi-district litigation.  Participants
         include Craig C. Corbitt, San Francisco; Karen Barth
         Menzies, Los Angeles; Richard J. Arsenault, Alexandria,
         La.; David B. Tulchin, New York; U.S. District Judge
         Eldon Fallon, Eastern District of Louisiana; and Todd
         D. Menenberg, managing director, Navigant Consulting,

A full brochure for the meeting, including a list of speakers,
can be found at http://www.abanet.org/tips.  

The ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section is the only
national professional group to bring together plaintiffs'
lawyers, defense lawyers and insurance and corporate counsel for
the exchange of information and ideas. The section has more than
36,000 members and 34 general committees that focus on
substantive and procedural matters in areas including aviation
and space law, fidelity and surety law, medical malpractice,
transportation law and others.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is
the largest voluntary professional membership organization in
the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the
ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes
programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits
law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to
build public understanding around the world of the importance of
the rule of law in a democratic society.

Editors Note: Reporters are invited to cover sessions at the
TIPS class action meeting free of charge. Media credentials can
be obtained by contacting Deborah Weixl, ABA Division for Media
Relations and Communication Services, at 312/988-6126 or e-mail

UNITED STATES: Groups Concerned About VX Chemical Disposal in IN
Several environmental and watchdog groups charged the United
States Army with distorting facts about the disposal of VX, a
Cold War-era chemical weapon, stockpiled in western Indiana, The
Associated Press reports.

Army contractors are working to eliminate VX by converting it
into a caustic substance called hydrolysate at the Newport
Chemical Depot.  The Army wants to transport that waste - which
has been compared to liquid drain cleaner - to a DuPont plant in
New Jersey for treatment and disposal in the Delaware River.

In a joint letter, the activists asked the Army to destroy the
waste at the Newport depot because it would be safer, cheaper
and faster.  On September 27, the army sent their reply, which
the activists said was filled with "distortions" and

Craig Williams, director of the Chemical Weapons Working Group
in Berea, Kentucky, told The Associated Press his group and
activists from Indiana, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio and
Pennsylvania are upset with the Army's reply to their proposal.  
He said the Army has exaggerated technical problems involving
the process the activists suggest be used to treat the
hydrolysate at Newport, about 30 miles north of Terre Haute,

The director of the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, Michael
Parker, told AP the on-site process the groups endorse poses
"very significant engineering challenges."  Mr. Parker said
DuPont has successfully demonstrated technology to treat the
waste, citing the previous destruction of waste from mustard
agent.  Mr. Williams refuted the claim, saying it was misleading
because mustard hydrolysate is chemically different from VX

Army spokesman Jeff Lindblad said DuPont intends to use the same
treatment process. "The pretreatment would be the only thing
that would be different," Mr. Lindblad said, The AP reports.

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: Pay Raise Ruling Favors Plaintiffs  
Ruling that the University of Washington had a duty to provide
its faculty with a merit-based pay raise of 2 percent in the
2002-03 academic year, a King County Superior Court sided with
plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit, The Associated Press

According to lawyers who represented UW professors in the case,
the decision could end up costing the university up to $12
million. Attorneys Stephen Strong told The Associated Press that
he is awaiting data from the university's payroll department to
determine who will receive compensation.

In a previous decision King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu
made a lawsuit against the university a class action, which made
thousands of faculty members eligible for millions of dollars in
combined unpaid salary raises, an earlier Class Action Reporter
(April 18, 2005) story reports.

According to court documents, Duane Storti, an associate
professor in mechanical engineering, initiated the lawsuit last
year, which argued that the UW violated University policy by not
giving faculty a pay raise for the '02-03 school year. The suit
does not specify damages, but Mr. Storti's attorneys claim that
each year, the faculty is denied a combined $4.2 million. It
alleges that all professors who complete meritorious reviews are
entitled to a 2 percent pay raise, an earlier Class Action
Reporter (April 18, 2005) story reports.

In 2000, 2001 and 2003, faculty received a 2 percent merit pay
raise. But in 2002, the UW did not give the merit-based raises.
UW officials though contend that the University is not legally
required to grant the merit-based raises, an earlier Class
Action Reporter (April 18, 2005) story reports.

In a May 17, 2002 letter, then-Provost Lee Huntsman indicated
"the need to minimize unit budget cuts, the fact that there is
no legal mechanism for giving an increase to classified staff,
and the need to strengthen our case in the next legislative
session," went into the decision not to fund the 2 percent
salary increase, according to court documents, an earlier Class
Action Reporter (April 18, 2005) story reports.

VIRBAC CORPORATION: Final TX Fairness Hearing Set December 2005
Final fairness hearing for the settlement for the consolidated
securities class action filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division
against Virbac Corporation and certain of its officers and
directors is set for December 1,2005.

On December 15, 2003, Martine Williams, a Company stockholder,
filed a putative securities class action lawsuit against the
Company and:

     (1) Virbac S.A. (VBSA),

     (2) Thomas L. Bell (the Company's former President, Chief
         Executive Officer and member of the Company's Board of

     (3) Joseph A. Rougraff (the Company's former Vice
         President, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary), and

     (4) Pascal Boissy (the Chairman of the Board of Directors)

The complaint asserted claims against the Company and the
individual defendants based on securities fraud under Section
10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and
Rule 10b-5 of the Exchange Act and claims against VBSA and the
individual defendants based on "control person" liability under
Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.  

On May 19, 2004, the "Williams v. Virbac et al." lawsuit was
consolidated with a separate lawsuit filed by John Otley, which
contained virtually identical allegations to those claimed by
Martine Williams, and the court appointed lead counsel for the
plaintiffs.  On September 10, 2004, plaintiffs filed a
consolidated amended class action complaint, asserting claims
against the Company and the individual defendants based on
securities fraud under Section 10(b) under the Exchange Act and
Rule 10b-5, and asserting claims against VBSA and the individual
defendants for violation of Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act as
alleged "control persons" of the Company.

Plaintiffs generally allege in the Amended Complaint that the
defendants caused the Company to recognize and record revenue
that it had not earned; that the Company thereupon issued
financial statements, press releases and other public statements
that were false and materially misleading; that these false and
misleading statements operated as a "fraud on the market,"
inflating the price of the Company's publicly traded stock; and
that when accurate information about the Company's actual
revenue and earnings emerged, the price of the Company's Common
Stock sharply declined, allegedly damaging plaintiffs.  
Plaintiffs seek to recover monetary compensation for all damages
sustained as a result of the defendants' alleged wrongdoing, in
an amount to be determined at trial (including pre-judgment and
post-judgment interest thereon), costs and expenses incurred in
connection with the lawsuit (including attorneys' fees and
expert witnesses' fees), and such other and further relief as
the court may deem just and proper.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint on
December 10, 2004, as did defendants Bell and Rougraff.  
Defendants VBSA and Boissy filed a joint motion to dismiss on
December 14, 2004.  On February 11, 2005, plaintiffs filed a
consolidated opposition against all defendants' motions to
dismiss. On March 11, 2005, the Company, Mr. Bell, and Mr.
Rougraff each filed separate replies to plaintiffs' consolidated
opposition.  Defendants VBSA and Boissy filed a joint reply on
March 11, 2005.

In May 2005, the parties agreed to submit to mediation in an
effort to resolve the action. On May 23, 2005, the Court stayed
the action to allow the parties to mediate. On June 27, 2005,
the parties engaged in a mediation session and reached a
settlement in principle. The Court extended the stay to allow
the parties to finalize the settlement documents and submit them
to the Court for approval. The

On September 16, 2005, the parties filed an agreed motion
requesting the Court to, among other things, certify the
Securities Class Action for settlement purposes and to
preliminarily approve the settlement.  On October 4, 2005, the
Court issued an Order (the "Preliminary Approval Order")
certifying the Class (as defined below) for settlement purposes
and granting preliminary approval of the settlement as set forth
in the Settlement Agreement and the proposed plan of allocation.

Under the terms of the settlement preliminarily approved by the
Court, persons who purchased or otherwise acquired Virbac common
stock from May 3, 2001 to November 12, 2003, inclusive (the
"Class"), may be eligible to participate in the settlement. The
terms of the settlement and the proposed plan of allocation will
be described in a notice (the "Notice") that will be sent to all
members of the Class in accordance with the procedures set forth
in the Preliminary Approval Order.  The Notice will also
describe the steps that members of the Class must take to pursue
any potential recovery under the settlement, to object to the
fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the settlement, and/or
to opt out of the settlement. The Court has scheduled a hearing
(the "Settlement Fairness Hearing") for Thursday, December 1,
2005, at 10:00 a.m. in the United States District Court. At the
Settlement Fairness Hearing, the Court will consider various
matters, including whether to grant final approval of the
settlement, whether judgment should be entered dismissing the
Securities Class Action with prejudice, and class counsel's
applications for attorneys' fees and the reimbursement of

The suit is styled "Williams v. Virbac Corporation et al., case
no. 4:03-cv-01461," filed in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Texas, under Judge Terry R. Means.  
Representing the plaintiffs are Theodore Carl Anderson, III of
Kilgore & Kilgore, 3109 Carlisle, Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75204,
Phone: 214/969-9099, Fax: 214/292-8758, E-mail:
tca@kilgorelaw.com; and Roger F. Claxton, Claxton & Hill, 3131
McKinney Ave., Suite 700 LB 103, Dallas, TX 75204-2471, Phone:
214/969-9029, Fax: 214/953-0583, E-mail:
claxtonhill@airmail.net.  Representing the Company are Robert L.
Carter, Jacquelyn F. Kidder, Lawrence R. Samuels of McGuireWoods
- Chicago, 77 W Wacker Dr, Suite 4100, Chicago, IL 60601, Phone:
312/558-1000; and Charles W. Schwartz, Skadden Arps Slate
Meagher & Flom - Houston, 1600 Smith Suite 4400, Houston, TX
77002, Phone: 713/655-5160, Fax: 888/329-2286, E-mail:

WORLDCOM, INC.: Institutional Investors to Unveil Settlement
A group of institutional investors is set to unveil a legal
settlement stemming from their losses in collapsed
telecommunications company, WorldCom, Inc. soon, according to an
individual familiar with the negotiations, Reuters reports.

Though no further details were immediately available about the
new settlement's size or which institutional investors are
involved what is clear is that the said agreement would be
separate from a $6.1 billion class action settlement between
investors and a group of investment banks, including Citigroup
and JP Morgan Chase & Co, former WorldCom directors and other
defendants. Some WorldCom investors opted out of that
settlement, which recently won court approval, to pursue their
own lawsuits.

In a related matter, the prominent plaintiffs law firm Lerach
Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP, stated in a news
advisory that it would announce a settlement in litigation
"filed around a major corporate collapse." The advisory did not
specify what company was involved in the case, but Lerach
Coughlin does represent some big investors, including the
California Public Employees' Retirement System or Calpers, one
the largest U.S. pension funds that decided to forgo the wider
WorldCom class action case and pursue their own claims against
banks that underwrote WorldCom bonds and other defendants.

The Lerach Coughlin advisory stated that the soon to be unveiled
settlement will be worth "hundreds of millions" and will provide
"a historic recovery" for investors.

WorldCom, which now operates as MCI Inc., filed for bankruptcy
in 2002 after an $11 billion accounting fraud, causing billions
of dollars in losses to the company's stock and bondholders. As
of the moments the Company is in the midst of deal to be bought
by Verizon Communications for $8.6 billion.

                       Asbestos Alert

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: White House Counsel Supports Asbestos Fund
Harriet Miers, White House Counsel and US Supreme Court nominee,
argued for an asbestos compensation fund favored by leaders of
the Senate Judiciary Committee that will soon hold her
confirmation meeting, Reuters reports.

The White House gave transcripts of her speeches to the Senate
Judiciary Committee. Chairman Senator Arlen Specter, a
Pennsylvania Republican, declared that the panel would start the
hearings on Ms. Miers' nomination on November 7.

Ms. Miers tackled the asbestos issue several times in remarks to
legal groups last April, as Senator Specter and the Committee's
top ranking Democrat, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont,
struggled to build the consensus needed for Judiciary Committee

According to Ms. Miers, the Bush administration believed there
were three essentials for asbestos reform.

First, payments should be directed to those who are truly ill
from asbestos. Second, deserving claimants should have their
cases expedited, not subject to delays as often happened in the
current system. Lastly, there needed to be "certainty" in the
system of dealing with asbestos claims, which would help save
jobs and protect businesses that had nothing to do with creating
the asbestos problem.

Senators Specter and Leahy, have co-sponsored legislation to
take asbestos suits out of the courts and pay the claims from a
US$140 billion privately-financed fund.

The Senate Judiciary Committee backed their proposal 13-5 in
May, but amid doubts about how much support it has in either
party, it has not been brought to the Senate floor. Some
opponents say that, if the bill does pass Congress, it will be
challenged in court as an unconstitutional taking of property
from the companies financing the fund.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Commended for Pushing Hardie Claims
Asbestos advocate Bernie Banton received the Australian Lawyers
Alliance Civil Justice Award for his role in preserving
individual rights and human dignity in his fight to claim
compensation from building products manufacturer, James Hardie
Industries NV, The Australian reports.

Lawyers Alliance President Richard Faulks said Mr. Banton
personifies the importance of individual rights in the face of
powerful corporations.

"He risked his own health during those negotiations in a bid to
fight for justice for all asbestos sufferers and their
families," Mr. Faulks said.

Mr. Banton, who suffers from asbestosis, said James Hardie was
indulging in "corporate immorality" by failing to issue the
payouts 10 months after a compensation deal was finalized.

In December 2004, James Hardie agreed in principle to a AUD4.5
billion compensation deal for victims of asbestos related
diseases following incessant negotiations. In the draft, the
Company said it would allocate part of its cash flow each year
for the next 40 years to pay victims of the asbestos products it
used to manufacture.

The Company says it cannot comment on which parts of the deal
are taking the longest to debate for confidentiality reasons,
but company chairman Meredith Hellicar has admitted it has taken
an "appalling" length of time so far.

A spokesman for James Hardie said he could not say when the deal
would be finalized. He said, "The deal has taken much longer
than all parties would have wanted. We have made significant
progress and both NSW Government and James Hardie are working
towards the same goal and are hopeful of signing a principle

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Suit Driven by Future Cancer Fears
Citing fears of possible cancer or asbestosis in the future,
four former employees of Illinois Central Railroad filed a
Federal Employers' Liability Act suit in the US District Court
of the Southern District of Illinois against the railroad
Company, The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

Plaintiffs Stephen Baker, Stephen Witt, G.B. Shirley and Charles
Kileen claim they were required to work with and around
asbestos-containing products in ICR's railroad shops and
facilities in Illinois, Tennessee and Mississippi.

District Court Judge Hon. Michael Reagan presides over the case.
William Gavin of the Gavin Law Firm in Belleville represents the

The Plaintiffs claim they were heedless of the dangers of the
asbestos that they were required to work with and were also
unaware of their latent abnormal medical conditions.

According to the complaint, the railroad failed to: provide
plaintiffs with a reasonably safe place to work; furnish
plaintiffs with safe and suitable tools and equipment, including
protective inhalation devices; warn plaintiffs of the true
nature and hazardous effects of the asbestos; operate the
locomotive repair facility in a safe and reasonable manner; and
provide instructions or a method for the safe use of asbestos.

The Plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages, costs and all other
relief permitted by law.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PPG Industries Posts Record Sales in 3Q05
Chemicals conglomerate PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) reports record
sales for the 2005-3rd quarter.

Sales for the 2005-3rd quarter were a record US$2.55 billion,
which compares with 2004-3rd quarter 2004 net income of US$194
million, or US$1.12 a share, including an after-tax charge of
US$4 million, or US$0.03 a share, to reflect the net increase in
the current value of the company's obligation under its asbestos
settlement agreement. Sales for the period were US$2.41 billion.

The Pittsburgh, PA-based Company reported its 2005-3rd quarter
net income of US$157 million, or US$0.92 a share, including
after-tax charges of US$25 million, or US$0.15 a share, for net
legal and insurance settlements; US$11 million, or US$0.06 a
share, for direct costs related to the impact of hurricanes
Katrina and Rita; and US$3 million, or US$0.02 a share, to
reflect the net increase in the current value of the Company's
obligation under its asbestos settlement agreement reported in
May 2002.

For the first nine months of 2005, PPG recorded net income of
US$483 million, or US$2.81 a share, which includes after-tax
charges of US$116 million, or US$0.67 a share, for net legal and
insurance settlements; US$11 million, or US$0.06 a share, for
direct costs related to the impact of hurricanes Katrina and
Rita; US$12 million, or US$0.07 a share, for debt refinancing;
and US$10 million, or US$0.06 a share, to reflect the net
increase in the value of the Company's obligation under the
asbestos settlement agreement.

Charles E. Bunch, the Company's chairman and CEO, said, "We
delivered record third-quarter sales, and our operating
performance was outstanding, despite a variety of significant
economic headwinds. This is the 10th consecutive quarter we've
generated year-over-year record sales. In fact, all six of our
coatings businesses and our chemicals segment set third-quarter
sales records."

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Columbus McKinnon Posts Liability Estimates
Heavy equipment manufacturer Columbus McKinnon Corp (NASDAQ:
CMCO) reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission that its
asbestos-related aggregate liability through March 31, 2030 and
March 31, 2081 ranged between US$4.2 million to US$16.7 million.

The Company's estimation of its asbestos-related aggregate
liability that is probable and estimable, in accordance with
GAAP, is through March 31, 2030 and ranges from US$4.2 million
to US$5.5 million as of March 31, 2005.

The range of probable and estimable liability reflects
uncertainty in the number of future claims that will be filed
and the cost to resolve those claims, which may be influenced by
a number of factors.

Based on the underlying actuarial information, the Company has
reflected US$4.8 million as a liability in the consolidated
financial statements in accordance with GAAP. The recorded
liability does not consider the impact of any potential
favorable federal legislation such as the "FAIR Act". Of this
amount, the Company expects to incur asbestos liability payments
of about US$0.2 million over the next 12 months.

Because payment of the liability is likely to extend over many
years, the Company believes that the potential additional costs
for claims will not have a material after-tax effect on our
financial condition or liquidity, although the net after-tax
effect of any future liabilities recorded could be material to
earnings in a future period.

The Amherst, NY-based Columbus McKinnon Corp, through its two
main business units, makes equipment for handling, lifting, and
positioning materials. The Company's top products are sold
mainly to construction, general manufacturing, and
transportation markets, which include hoists, chains, cranes,
forged products, and industrial components.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ALL Tags $136M Loss to Reserves Re-estimate
In a report submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission,
Allstate Corp disclosed that a US$136 million underwriting loss
in the 2005-3rd quarter was primarily related to a US$139
million asbestos reserves re-estimate.

The underwriting loss in the 2004-3rd quarter and 2004's first
nine months was primarily related to re-estimates of asbestos
reserves and a related increase in the allowance for future
uncollectible reinsurance recoverables.

Reserve additions for asbestos in 2005-3rd quarter, totaling
US$139 million, were primarily for products-related coverage.
They were essentially a result of a continuing level of
increased claim activity being reported by excess insurance
policyholders with existing active claims, excess policyholders
with new claims, and re-estimates of liabilities for increased
assumed reinsurance cessions, as ceding companies (other
insurance carriers) also experienced increased claim activity.

Increased claim activity over prior estimates has also resulted
in an increased estimate for future claims reported. These
trends are consistent with the trends of other carriers in the
industry, which we believe are related to increased publicity
and awareness of coverage, ongoing litigation, potential
congressional activity, and bankruptcy actions.

However, the Company somewhat encouraged that the pace of
industry asbestos claim activity seems to be slowing, perhaps
reflecting various recent state legislative actions and
increased legal scrutiny of the legitimacy of claims.

Incurred but not reported claims (IBNR) now represents 67% of
the Company's total net asbestos reserves, 4 points higher than
at December 31, 2004. IBNR provides for estimated probable
future unfavorable reserve development of known claims and
future reporting of additional unknown claims from current and
new policyholders and ceding companies.

The Company's exposure to non-products-related losses represents
about 5% of total asbestos case reserves. To further limit its
asbestos exposure, the Company has significant reinsurance,
primarily to reduce its exposure to loss in its direct excess
insurance business. The Company's reinsurance recoverables are
estimated to be about 38% of its gross estimated loss reserves.

Northbrook, IL-based Allstate Corp (NSYE: ALL) is the second-
largest US personal lines insurer, behind rival State Farm. The
Company sells auto, homeowners, and other property & casualty
and life insurance products in Canada and the US.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Businessman Fined for Unlawful Disposal
The Barry Magistrates' Court convicted Colin Stevens, a
businessman from the town of Penarth in UK, for setting a fire
to bonded asbestos in a manner likely to cause environmental
pollution or harm to human health at the Spider Camp, his
business premises near Atlantic Trading Estate in Sully, the
Penarth Times reports.

Instead of sending Mr. Stevens to prison, the Court fined him a
total of GBP24,000 and ordered to pay GBP5,550 in prosecution
costs to Environment Agency Wales, which brought the case to

On October 1, 2003, the South Wales Police, South Wales Fire and
Rescue Service and environmental health officers from Vale of
Glamorgan Council were called to a significant fire at a
building at Hayes Road in Atlantic Trading Estate.

Mr. Stevens was present at the site and admitted responsibility
for starting the fire.

The fire brigade concluded that the building was constructed of
asbestos roofing and wall cladding sheets. The fire was
producing significant smoke and it was considered that there was
a risk of asbestos fibers getting into the atmosphere.

District Judge Richard Williams, upon sentencing, said that Mr.
Stevens had "embarked on an exercise to conveniently dispose of
the structure to secure financial gain. There had been no risk
assessment undertaken and his actions were wholly unreasonable
and dangerous." Judge Williams added that the defendant's
actions were "grossly negligent" and that he had considered a
custodial sentence.

On his conviction, Mr. Stevens told the Penarth Times he would
be lodging an appeal to the High Court against the decision. He
also said he believed the fine amount was "excessive."

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: HSE Holds Marks & Spencer Asbestos Inquest
The Health and Safety Executive launches an investigation in the
revamp of the Marks and Spencer store in the UK town of Hanley
after former site workers raised concerns that customers could
have been exposed to asbestos fibers from its ceiling tiles.

Construction worker Dean Brooks has contacted the HSE, after
becoming concerned by the way HBG, the general contractor,
handled the material during the ongoing refurbishment at the
Upper Market Square store.

Released by HBG after working for eight weeks on the revamp, Mr.
Brooks said he was worried that shoppers at the store, which has
remained open throughout the work, could possibly be exposed to
asbestos fibers from tiles pulled from the ceiling, despite
specialist removal firm Clarence being called in to work on the

Two other former employees of HBG have also raised concerns
about the handling of asbestos on the Hanley revamp. Ash Morris,
25, worked as a laborer on the project for two and a half
months, but says he stopped after becoming concerned. Another
laborer, 22, who worked at HBG for a week, said he also had
concerns about the Hanley store.

An HBG spokesman said, "These allegations over safety procedures
are totally unfounded. The specialist licensed asbestos removal
contractor employed to undertake this particular part of the
works, has adhered meticulously to every health and safety
regulation required for such activities."

It is believed that more than half a million non-domestic
premises currently have some form of asbestos in them. In the
UK, at least 3,500 people die each year from mesothelioma and
asbestos-related lung cancer as a result of past exposure to the

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Allianz to Fund Subsidiary's A&E Reserves
Munich, Germany-based Allianz AG (NYSE: AZ), one of the world's
biggest insurers, will transfer US$882 million in reserves to
subsidiary Fireman's Fund Insurance Co to help cover its
exposure to asbestos and environmental claims.

Allianz disclosed the information at Novato, CA-based Fireman's
Fund as part of a prospectus document related to the previously
announced buyout of minority shareholders in Italian subsidiary
Riunione Adriatica di Sicurt. S.p.A.

The document states that, as a result of an external study of
Fireman's Funds liabilities as of December 31, 2004, the insurer
will cede US$826 million of the US$882 million to Allianz,
utilizing US$639 million for asbestos and US$187 million for
environmental exposures.

Allianz is making its reserves available under its reinsurance
contract with Fireman's Fund, in addition to US$750 million that
Allianz funneled into Fireman's Fund's A&E reserves during the
third quarter of 2002, an Allianz spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman added that due to its present reserves for
Fireman's Fund A&E exposures; the move is not expected to
adversely impact Allianz's 2005 earnings.

Fireman's Fund, which Allianz bought in 1991, was hit by the
need for substantial reserve strengthening for asbestos-related
and environmental risks in previous years. From 2000 to 2002,
Allianz boosted the reserves of Fireman's Fund by US$1 billion.
Since 1995, a total of about US$1.8 billion has gone into the

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: New NSW Govt. Plan to Force Hardie to Yield
In conjunction with the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the
NSW Government draws an alternative plan in case the
negotiations with building products manufacturer James Hardie
Industries NV regarding the finalization of the proposed AUD1.7
billion asbestos compensation deal starts failing, The
Australian reports.

The plan entails the Government introducing legislation to
declare Hardie's Dutch parent and Australian subsidiaries liable
for compensating the thousands of people who will die or be
crippled by the asbestos products Hardie made until 1987.

The ACTU and the Government also plan to conduct a campaign of
product boycotts, and to encourage unions in the US, where
Hardie receives the vast majority of its profits, to join the

In an interview for The Australian, Premier Morris Iemma said
that while he believed a negotiated settlement was possible, he
was "ready to pursue an alternative option if agreement is not
reached shortly."

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: GHR Withdraws Counseling Services From CGM
Congoleum Corp (AMEX:CGM) announced that the Washington, DC-
based law firm of Gilbert Heintz & Randolph would be withdrawing
as coverage counsel by mutual agreement following an appeals
court ruling, Business Wire reports.

In the October 21, 2005 Class Action Reporter edition, the US
Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia ruled
that GHR had a conflict of interest when it advised Congoleum on
resolving its asbestos claims.

Congoleum will be retaining the firm of Covington & Burling to
represent it on the insurance coverage litigation and insurance
settlement matters previously handled by GHR. The New Jersey
firm of Dughi & Hewit will continue to serve as co-counsel in
Congoleum's coverage litigation.

Roger S. Marcus, Chairman of the Board, commented, "We were
disappointed in the appeals court decision, because we believe
Gilbert Heintz has done an outstanding job on our behalf and we
have enjoyed working with them. However, we are fortunate to
have retained another firm with significant capability and
expertise, and have the utmost confidence they will do a fine
job working with the Dughi & Hewit firm in dealing with our
complex coverage litigation."

Congoleum has asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to postpone its
deadline for submission of a revised plan until December 5,
2005. The Company expects to request a lengthier adjournment in
its coverage case to facilitate the counsel transition.

Mercerville, NJ-based Congoleum Corp is a leading manufacturer
of resilient flooring, serving both residential and commercial
markets. The Company is a 55% owned subsidiary of American
Biltrite Inc (AMEX: ABL).

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Medical Screenings Gave Fake Results, Study
A September 2005 report issued by the AEI-Brookings Joint Center
for Regulatory Studies asserts that attorney-funded mass medical
screenings are producing a high rate of false-positive asbestos
disease diagnoses, The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

Respiratory Therapy Services (RTS), a Mobile, Alabama-based mass
medical screening company, was among several firms singled out
by the report entitled "Regulating Attorney-Funded Mass Medical
Screenings: A Public Health Imperative?"

The Johns Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust, in
September 2005, announced it would no longer accept documents
prepared by RTS, as the firm is not an "acceptable" medical

Johns Manville has paid out US$3.3 billion for 655,096 asbestos
claims since 1988.

According to the report, Charles Foster, the owner of RTS, left
high school in the 10th grade and worked as a department store
clerk, a pipe fitter, and a tire store manager before entering
the medical screening business. It states that his preparation
for a medical screening business came from "being in the public,
PR, no kind of schooling," the report quoted Mr. Foster.

According to asbestos plaintiffs whose lawsuits were filed in
Madison County in September 2005, RTS conducted a mass screening
at a Chicago union hall in late September through early October
of 2003.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Leap Reports No Reinstated Cases Since 1996
Leap Technology Inc. faced litigation relating to the offshore
supply business conducted prior to August 14, 1996 by certain
Company subsidiaries, which are now inactive. The cases were
filed against such subsidiaries and other ship-owning companies
based on the alleged exposure of 64 former seamen to maritime
asbestos and other toxic substances while working on vessels
operated by such companies as part of an industry wide series of
similar claims.

On May 1, 1996, the claims against the Company's subsidiaries
and the other defendants were administratively dismissed subject
to reinstatement against one or more specific defendants upon a
specific showing that a plaintiff suffers from an asbestos-
related disease and that he was exposed to asbestos containing
products on the vessels operated by such defendant(s).

Since such date, none of the cases against the Company's
subsidiaries have been reinstated. At the present time, the
Company does not believe such cases are likely to have a
material adverse impact upon the Company.

Fort Lauderdale, FL-based Leap Technology, Inc. was formerly
focused on the acquisition of, and strategic investments in,
companies providing services in health care and life sciences.
The Company, formerly known as Seal Holdings Corp, was organized
in 1997 and changed its name to Leap Technology Inc. in 2000.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: BKHM Provides for Environmental Liabilities
Following a change in UK legislation, semiconductors
manufacturer Bookham Inc (NASDAQ: BKHM) has provided for
potential environmental liabilities at sites where the Company
could be required to remove asbestos from its facilities.

As of July 5, 2005, the San Jose, CA-based Company has an
undiscounted provision relating to potential costs of future
remediation works of US$1,004,000. The Company expects to
utilize this provision between 2005 and 2007.

Following a review of potential soil contamination liabilities,
environmental liabilities were reduced by US$1,171,000 during
the six months ended July 3, 2004 because of a reduction in the
total estimated cost of remediation.

Bookham integrates the light processing functions of optical
networking components onto silicon chips, which it then puts
into communications products such as transceivers, transponders,
transmitters, receivers, and multiplexers. The Company's major
customers include communications equipment makers Nortel and

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Huntsman LLC Named as "Premises Defendant"
Huntsman LLC, along with its subsidiaries, has been named as a
"premises defendant" in a number of asbestos exposure cases,
which is typically a claim by a non-employee of asbestos
exposure while at a facility.

These cases typically involve multiple plaintiffs bringing
actions against multiple defendants, and the complaints do not
indicate which plaintiffs are making claims against which
defendants, where or how the alleged injuries occurred, or what
injuries each plaintiff claims.

Where the alleged exposure occurred prior to the Company's
ownership or operation of the relevant "premises," the prior
owners and operators generally have contractually agreed to
retain liability for, and to indemnify it against, asbestos
exposure claims. This indemnification is not subject to any time
or dollar amount limitations. Upon service of a complaint in one
of these cases, the Company tenders it to the prior owner or
operator. The prior owner or operator accepts responsibility for
the conduct of the defense of the cases and payment of any
amounts due to the claimants.

In the Company's ten-year experience with tendering these cases,
it has not paid with respect to any tendered asbestos cases. The
Company believes that the prior owners or operators have the
intention and ability to continue to honor their indemnities.

For the six-month period ending June 30, 2005, the Company
records the cases that it has tendered to the prior owners or
operators, all of which have been accepted. The prior owners
received 84 cases and resolved 21 cases.  However, 461
unresolved cases still remain at the end of the period. The
Company claims that it has not made any payments with respect to
these cases.

As of June 30, 2005, the Salt Lake City, UT-based Company had an
accrued liability of US$12.5 million relating to these cases and
a corresponding receivable of US$12.5 million relating to its
indemnity protection with respect to these cases.

There are some cases, with the Company as a "premises
defendant," not subject to indemnification by prior owners or
operators. For the six-month period ending June 30, 2005, the
Company received 38 cases. It resolved only one case and left 66
cases unresolved. Huntsman paid gross settlement costs for
asbestos cases that are not subject to indemnification of about
US$5,000 during the period.

As of June 30, 2005, the Company had accrued reserves of US$1.2
million relating to these cases. It cannot assure that its
liability will not exceed its accruals or that its liability
associated with these cases would not be material to its
financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Aussie Widow Loses AUD165,000 in CSR Appeal
Widow Beverley May Thompson lost more than AUD165,000
compensation when the High Court of Australia ruled that CSR Ltd
and its subsidiary Midalco won an appeal against the estate of
her dead husband, asbestos victim John Thompson, The Age

The High Court states that any person who suffers personal
injury cannot claim special damages to cover the care of a
disabled family member.

Mr. Thompson developed malignant mesothelioma, which doctors
diagnosed in 2002, as a result of asbestos exposure while
working in a CSR-owned factory in Adelaide between 1960 and
1963. He died on November 2003 at the age of 61. CSR and Midalco
admitted liability for negligently exposing him to asbestos.

In April 2003, the Dust Diseases Tribunal of NSW ordered both
Companies to pay AUD465,899.49 in damages to Mr. Thompson. The
NSW Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against that judgment.

The Companies then appealed to the High Court over AUD165,480
awarded in the damages, described as "Sullivan v. Gordon
damages," for Mr. Thompson's loss of capacity to care for Mrs.
Thompson, who suffered from osteoarthritis.

The AUD165,480 figure was calculated on the basis of services
needed for another 20 years, that Mr. Thompson would have spent
one and a half hours a day performing them and the cost was
AUD25 per hour.

The High Court unanimously allowed the appeal and held that
Sullivan v. Gordon damages should be overruled. It held the
Sullivan v. Gordon losses should be covered by general damages
rather than as special damages.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Korean Govt. to Strictly Regulate Asbestos  
By 2006, the Korean Government seeks to strictly regulate
asbestos as a hazardous substance to ease public health concerns
over the carcinogenic construction material, Korea.net reports.

The Ministry of Environment said that it is studying ways of
restricting asbestos after consultations with allied Government
agencies and gathering opinions from firms that use asbestos,
including construction firms and automakers.

The decision to restrict the use of the material instead of
issuing an outright ban was made in consideration of its
widespread use as acoustic or thermal insulation, fireproofing,
and other uses in construction.

A ministry official said that asbestos has been regulated under
the industrial safety and health act but a large quantity of the
substance is still in use, putting public health and the
environment at serious risk.

Many Korean workers were exposed to asbestos during the
industrialization period in the 1970s and 1980s and it takes
some 20 to 30 years for them to develop cancer symptoms.

In 2004, the Government imported around 14,000 tons of asbestos
with 3,200 more tons imported by August 2005. The total import
amount over the past four decades surpassed 2 million tons.

The Government banned five of the six types of asbestos, three
in 2000 and two in 2003. The sixth type, dubbed white asbestos,
is still used as the Government claims that it is less harmful
and has many advantages as a construction material. Sources said
that not many materials can replace white asbestos, adding that
similar materials such as glass fiber are too expensive and
could not compare with white asbestos in terms of durability and
fire resistance.

Europe has banned, for decades now, the use of asbestos in
industries. Japan and Australia banned the substance only last
year. Many other countries also prohibited its use or
importation as a number of health studies have found that
asbestos causes severe health problems, such as cancer, when

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Fireman's Fund Rated "A" for Reserves Gains
Standard & Poor's Ratings services currently rates Allianz AG
subsidiary Fireman's Fund Insurance Co "A" with a stable
outlook, in light of the insurer receiving US$882 million from
its parent company, the Insurance Journal reports.

S & P issued a statement on Fireman's Fund announcement that it
is increasing its asbestos reserves and reserves for
uncollectible asbestos-related reinsurance by US$882 million.

In a report, S & P noted that it had "acknowledged the
likelihood for asbestos reserve strengthening in 2005 and the
probability that the cost would be largely covered by

S & P said, "The US$882 million is within the range previously
expected by Standard & Poor's, and it is largely covered by
reinsurance with parent Allianz AG. For year-end 2005, Fireman's
Fund is expected to maintain a strong Standard & Poor's capital
adequacy ratio of 135% to 150%."

Established in 1863, the Novato, CA-based Fireman's Fund
Insurance Co sells specialized personal (focusing on wealthy
individuals) and business insurance throughout the US. The
insurer became a subsidiary of German insurance mammoth Allianz
AG in 1991.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ladish Co. Named in MI, IL Injury Lawsuits
Ladish Co. Inc. (NASDAQ: LDSH) has been named as a defendant in
a number of asbestos cases in Mississippi and three asbestos
cases in Illinois although the Company believes that there are
no material legal proceedings pending or threatened against it
or any of its properties, according to a report filed to the
Securities and Exchange Commission.

As of the date of this filing, the Company has been dismissed
from many of the cases in Mississippi and two of the cases in
Illinois. From time to time the Company is involved in legal
proceedings relating to claims arising out of its operations in
the normal course of business.

The Cudahy, WI-based Company has never manufactured or processed
asbestos. Its only exposure to asbestos involves products the
Company purchased from third parties. The Company has notified
its insurance carriers of these claims and is vigorously
defending these actions.

Today, Ladish Co. Inc. designs and manufactures high-strength
forged and cast metal components for aerospace and industrial
markets. Rolls-Royce, United Technologies, and General Electric
together account for about 55% of the Company's sales.
Investment firm Grace Brothers owns about 30% of the Company.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PTP Predecessor Continues to Face Claims
Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ltd (NYSE: PTP) reports that its
Predecessor, The St. Paul Companies Inc, continues to have
exposure, through its reinsurance of primary insurance contracts
written many years ago, to claims alleging injury or damage from
environmental pollution or seeking payment for the cost to clean
up polluted sites.

The Predecessor has received asbestos injury claims tendered
under general casualty policies that it reinsures.

Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ltd, based in Pembroke, Bermuda,
provides property & marine, casualty, and finite risk
reinsurance through subsidiaries Platinum Underwriters
Reinsurance, Platinum Re UK, and Platinum Underwriters Bermuda.
The Company makes more than three-quarters of its revenue in the
US. Its Predecessor, St. Paul Companies Inc. still owns about
30% of the Company.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: US Court Junks Appeal ff. OC Consolidation
On September 28, 2005, the US Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit denied rehearing petitions filed by the Legal
Representative for the class of future asbestos personal injury
claims and certain designated members of the Official Committee
of Unsecured Creditors, following the Court's reversal of the
Memorandum and Order Concerning Substantive Consolidation
previously issued by the US District Court for the District of
Delaware in Owens Corning's Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceedings.

The reversal of the Delaware District Court's Substantive
Consolidation Order, unless reversed by the United States
Supreme Court (if an appeal from the Third Circuit's decision is
filed), is expected to result in significant modifications of
the Company's current Plan of Reorganization and may impact the
relative amounts ultimately payable to its various creditor
classes, including the extent to which post-petition interest
and certain other post-petition fees may be payable on Owens
Corning's primary pre-petition bank credit facility.

On August 15, 2005, the Court reversed the Substantive
Consolidation Order in which the District Court granted the
motion of Owens Corning and certain of its subsidiaries for
substantive consolidation.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: CSR Questions Accuracy of Compensation Case
CSR Ltd (Pink Sheets: CSRLF) challenges the High Court of
Australia's decision in letting mine worker Arthur Della
Maddalena win in a landmark asbestos compensation case due
entirely to psychiatric claims.

In the October 15, 2004 Class Action Reporter edition, the Court
has ruled that Mr. Maddalena, a worker at the asbestos mine in
Western Australia, is entitled to compensation from CSR, which
owns Mildalco, formerly known as Australian Blue Asbestos. In a
unanimous decision, the Court ruled that Mr. Maddalena, now 61,
had suffered psychiatric injury caused by exposure to asbestos,
despite the fact that he does not suffer from mesothelioma.

Mr. Maddalena was one of 42 Italian immigrants who worked at
Wittenoom in the early 1960s and only three of those men are
still alive. He watched about 40 of his workmates and brother
die from mesothelioma and feared he will have the same torturous
death. He told the court his brother's long, painful death had
been terrifying.

Tim Hammond, Mr. Maddalena's lawyer, said his quality of life
had been severely impeded because of his psychiatric condition.
He suffers from anxiety, depression, panic attacks and
sleeplessness caused by the chronic fear that has ruined his

Asbestos Diseases Society President Robert Vojakovic said, "I
think this is the first case in history where psychiatric injury
has been recognized because he's disabled, both physically and
mentally, as a result of exposure to asbestos at Wittenoom when
he worked for CSR."

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ontario Law Revisions to Commence Nov. 1st
On November 1, 2005, Canada's Ontario Province will enforce new
regulations for handling asbestos that will entail greater
worker safety, replacing previous requirements dating back some
20 years.

Labor Minister Steve Peters said, "As part of the government's
ongoing commitment to create safer and healthier workplaces, we
have expanded protections based on the latest scientific and
technical knowledge about asbestos. The next step will be
introducing improved worker training."

Regulation 278 will apply to most buildings containing asbestos
and include new provisions for appropriate asbestos removal and
containment. It will also set new training requirements for
workers exposed to asbestos and establish stricter requirements
for employers in monitoring the use of asbestos.

The changes will strengthen worker safety by: ensuring the most-
up-to-date safe work methods and procedures are used, which
include updated respiratory protection and modernized work
procedures; providing certified training standards in the future
for those involved in more complicated asbestos removal
projects; providing a clearer definition for "asbestos-
containing material"; and reflecting industry safe practices and
removing unnecessary administrative procedures for owners,
employers and contractors.

The new regulation is part of the Ontario Government's ongoing
improvements to workplace health and safety, which include:
hiring 200 new health and safety inspectors, targeting
workplaces with poor health and safety performance records and
high costs to the WSIB, and putting in place a new annual
process to update occupational exposure limits for the over 700
hazardous substances covered by Ontario regulation.

Previously, employers had to act only when asbestos was friable,
a term used to describe asbestos that is crumbling or could be
crumbled. The new standards require all asbestos to be
identified and managed within a workplace.

By November 1, 2007, the Government will implement another
requirement that stipulates existing asbestos must be re-
inspected at frequent intervals and that records must be updated
at least once every 12-month period.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Co. Reports US$40 Mil Profit in 3Q05
Diversified manufacturer Crane Co. (NYSE: CR) reports a 2005-3rd
quarter profit of US$40 million, or US$0.66 per share, compared
to a 2004-3rd quarter net loss of US$205.2 million, or a loss of
US$3.48 per share, when it took a US$238.4 million net charge on
asbestos and environmental matters, Reuters reports.

During the 2005-3rd quarter and before asbestos-related
payments, the Company generated cash flow from operating
activities of US$72.5 million compared with US$40.8 million
generated in the third quarter of 2004. Asbestos-related fees
and costs, net of insurance recoveries, decreased to US$5.3
million in the 2005-3rd quarter from US$6.7 million in the 2004-
3rd quarter.

Capital expenditures were US$6.3 million in the 2005-3rd
quarter, compared with US$4.7 million in the prior year period.
Free cash flow (after asbestos payments and capital
expenditures) was US$60.9 million in the 2005-3rd quarter
compared with US$29.3 million in the 2004-3rd quarter.

Management is maintaining its guidance on cash provided from
operations before net asbestos payments and capital expenditures
of US$175 million with capital expenditures of about US$25
million. Net asbestos payments (including insurance
reimbursements but excluding a one-time refund of US$10 million)
are projected at US$40million to US$50 million. Cash from
operating activities including net asbestos-related payments is
expected to be US$135 million to US$145 million.

According to Reuters, analysts on average had expected profits
of US$0.59 per share. Sales rose 9.4% to US$522.2 million.

Crane raised the lower end of its full 2005 earnings per share
forecast to US$2.20, from US$2.15, and left the high end of the
range at US$2.25. Analysts expect full-year profits of a US$2.18

The Stamford, CT-based Company makes a variety of industrial
products, including fluid handling equipment, aerospace
components, engineered materials, merchandising systems, and
controls. Crane Co. serves the power generation, general
aviation, commercial construction, food and beverage, and
chemical industries, among others.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Saint-Gobain Posts 99,000 Asbestos Claims  
Europe's biggest distributor of building materials Compagnie de
Saint-Gobain (Euronet Paris: SGO) states that, as of September
30, 2005, it faces 99,000 pending asbestos claims, less than the
106,000 claims at December 31, 2004, Bloomberg reports.

The average cost of asbestos claims settled over the past 12
months held steady at about US$2,500. Full-year provisions are
unlikely to exceed last year's, said CFO Benoit Bazin.
Liabilities from US lawsuits related to asbestos, a mineral
linked to respiratory diseases, weigh on the Company's share
prices and earnings.

Saint-Gobain cut its earnings forecast as higher oil prices
raised the Company's energy and transport costs and crimped
demand from its customers. The price of crude oil prices reached
a record in August and is up 47% this year.

The reduction in the earnings forecast comes as CEO Jean-Louis
Beffa seeks to spur earnings through acquisitions. He's in the
middle of a hostile GBP3.68 billion (US$6.6 billion) bid for the
UK's BPB PLC aimed at creating the world's biggest maker of
building interiors, such as walls and ceilings.

An increase in full-year operating profit will fall short of the
4.9% achieved in the first half, CEO Jean-Louis Beffa said. In
January the Company said it was aiming for a 6% increase. The
Company expects EUR200 million in energy costs in 2005, EUR50
million more than it had budgeted for, he said.

Saint-Gobain shares have gained 3.2% this year, fifth from
bottom in the 18-member Bloomberg Europe Building Materials
Index, valuing the company at EUR15.8 billion.

La D,fense, France-based Compagnie de Saint-Gobain controls more
than 1,000 companies with operations in three sectors. Its
Housing Products businesses make and distribute building
materials and pipes. The Group's Glass Products operations make
containers, flat glass, and insulation and reinforcements. Its
High-Performance Materials unit includes ceramics, plastics, and
abrasives businesses.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USG Corp Notes 75% Profit Surge in 3Q-2005
Building materials manufacturer USG Corp (NYSE: USG) announced
that the Company's 2005-3rd quarter earnings surged 75% on
stronger results in its domestic wallboard, ceilings and
distribution businesses, the Associated Press reports.

The Company filed for bankruptcy in 2001 to protect itself from
asbestos claims. The Company said a Court has set a June 30,
2006 cutoff date for fact discovery related to estimates of the
Company's asbestos liabilities.

The Chicago, IL-based Company recorded US$2 million expenses
related to reorganization against US$4 million in 2004. Interest
expense was US$1 million in 2005-3rd quarter against US$2
million in 2004.

USG's net income expanded to US$158 million, or US$3.57 per
share, from US$90 million, or US$2.10 per share, in the 2004-3rd
quarter. Sales grew to US$1.34 billion from US$1.18 billion in
the 2004-3rd quarter.

USG's North American gypsum business saw sales jump US$134
million to US$842 million in the 2005-3rd quarter. Its worldwide
ceilings segment posted sales of US$181 million, up from US$168
million in 2004. The building products distribution unit
reported sales rose 16% to US$544 million.

The Company's shares added US$2.64 on the news, or 4.5%, to
US$61.80 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The
stock, which has traded in a 52-week range of US$21.19 and
US$71.25, has climbed roughly 50% since the start of 2005.

"For the balance of the year, we are optimistic that conditions
will remain positive for housing, our largest market; however,
the operating environment still poses challenges, including
persistent energy and raw material cost pressures," said
Chairman, President and CEO William C. Foote.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: WVU Agrees to Test Program as Part of Deal
Under a tentative settlement of a protracted class action
asbestos lawsuit against, West Virginia University agreed to
test about 5,600 current and former employees for asbestos-
related diseases, The Associated Press reports.

Few details of the deal though have been disclosed while lawyers
complete the settlement document. Kanawha County Circuit Judge
Tod Kaufman previously ordered the parties to provide the
document by October 3 or appear at a October 20 hearing in
Charleston to explain the deal.

During that hearing, the lawyers said that they still had not
completed the written settlement document, thus the judge
scheduled another hearing for November 1.

Until the 1970s, asbestos was universally prized for its
resistance to fire and heat. Since then, the medical community
has warned that asbestos fibers, when inhaled, can cause such
illnesses as lung cancer. It also causes an irreversible
scarring of the lungs and other lung ailments.

The WVU workers alleged in their five-year-old that asbestos in
campus buildings put them at an increased risk of getting
cancer. Citing a 1999 state Supreme Court ruling that allowed
workers and consumers to recover costs of such testing for
exposure to toxic substances, they demanded that a medical
monitoring program be put in place to help them seek early
treatment of any asbestos-related illnesses.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Japan Govt. to Pay for 9.5T Asbestos Deaths
Japan's Environment Ministry announced that family members of up
to 9,500 people who have died of mesothelioma will be eligible
for payouts under a proposed special measures law designed to
compensate victims of asbestos-related diseases, The Asahi
Shimbun reports.

The Ministry said those victims, who were not covered by
workers' accident insurance, are among an estimated 9,993 who
have died of mesothelioma since 1970. According to sources, the
Government is considering payouts of JPY2.4 million for families
whose kin died of mesothelioma.

Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare data showed that 7,013
people died of mesothelioma between 1995 and 2004.

Environment Ministry officials estimated the number of deaths at
a maximum 2,195 between 1970 and 1994, on the premise that one
individual would develop mesothelioma for every 170 tons of
asbestos Japan imported during that period. It means the total
number of victims of mesothelioma is between 8,826 and 9,993,
including those who died this year.

The Government intends to provide JPY2.4 million for each
victim, based on estimated average monthly medical spending of
JPY100,000 and an average two-year treatment period. The lump-
sum payment planned under the new law is designed to cover
medical costs and other expenses after a patient develops

About 500 mesothelioma patients have been covered by workers'
accident insurance, including those currently being treated.
They will be ineligible for the compensation payments, as will
the families of those covered by the insurance. The Environment
Ministry is also planning to pay compensation for people killed
by lung cancer caused by asbestos.

In an official estimate, Environment Ministry officials said
6,000 people would die of mesothelioma in Japan by 2010, which
would reach 15,000 by the same year if deaths from asbestos-
related lung cancers were to be included.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alfa Laval Defends 153 Lawsuits in 2005-3Q
Alfa Laval AB (Stockholm: ALFA) states that as of September 30,
2005, its US subsidiary Alfa Laval Inc was named as a co-
defendant in a total of 153 asbestos-related lawsuits with about
2,900 plaintiffs, according to a Securities and Exchange
Commission report.

During the 2005-3rd quarter, Alfa Laval Inc was named as co-
defendant in an additional 30 lawsuits with a total of 53
plaintiffs. During the same period, lawsuits involving about
4,100 plaintiffs have been resolved.

Alfa Laval strongly believes the claims against the Company are
without merit and intends to vigorously contest each lawsuit.

Based in Lund, Sweden, Alfa Laval is organized around its three
main product lines: separation (centrifuges), fluid handling
(pumps and valves), and heat transfer (heat exchangers). The
Company counts BASF, Bayer, Heineken, and Tetra Laval as
customers. Gustav de Laval, who invented the centrifugal
separator, founded the Company in 1883.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: USG Liabilities Hearing Set June 30, 2006
On October 6, 2005, United States District Court Judge Joy
Flowers Conti, who is hearing USG Corp's and principal domestic
subsidiaries' injury estimation matters in their bankruptcy
cases, set a discovery cutoff date of June 30, 2006 for fact
discovery related to the estimation of asbestos liabilities.

A period for discovery of expert witnesses and an estimation
hearing will follow the June 30, 2006 cutoff date.  The Court is
yet to set a date for the estimation hearing.

USG Corp and its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for
reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy
Code on June 25, 2001. This action was taken to resolve asbestos
claims in a fair and equitable manner, protect the long-term
value of the businesses and maintain their market leadership

Chicago, IL-based USG Corp (NYSE: USG) is a Fortune 500 Company
with subsidiaries that are market leaders in their key product
groups: gypsum wallboard, joint compound and related gypsum
products; cement board; gypsum fiber panels; ceiling panels and
grid; and building products distribution.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Crane Co Discloses 88,925 Claims in 3Q-2005
Crane Co (NYSE: CR) divulged in a Securities and Exchange
Commission report that the Company has 88,925 pending asbestos
claims as of the three months ended September 30, 2005 as
compared to 78,632 claims for the same period in 2004.

Of these claims, about 25,000 were pending in New York, about
33,000 claims were pending in Mississippi, and about 4,000
claims were pending in Ohio, jurisdictions in which recent
legislation or judicial orders restrict the types of claims that
can proceed to trial on the merits.

Pre-tax cash payments related to asbestos settlement and defense
costs (net of payments received from insurers), and certain
related fees and expenses, are estimated to be in the range of
US$40 million to US$50 million during 2005. This estimate
excludes the US$9.9 million refund associated with the
termination of the Master Settlement Agreement in January 24,

A significant portion of the Company's settlement and defense
costs have been paid by its primary insurers and one umbrella
insurer up to the agreed available limits of the applicable
policies. The Company has substantial excess coverage policies
that are also expected to respond to asbestos claims as
settlements and other payments exhaust the underlying policies.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ENSCO Int'l. Defends Multiparty Suits in MS
In August 2004, ENSCO International (NYSE: ESV) and certain
subsidiaries were named as defendants in three multi-party
lawsuits filed in Mississippi State courts involving numerous
other companies as co-defendants, based on a Securities and
Exchange Commission report.

The lawsuits seek an unspecified amount of monetary damages on
behalf of about 120 named individuals alleging personal injury
or death, including claims under the Jones Act, purportedly
resulting from exposure to asbestos on drilling rigs and
associated facilities during the period 1965 through 1986. The
lawsuits are in preliminary stages and the Company has not been
able to determine the number of plaintiffs that were employed by
the Company or its subsidiaries or otherwise associated with its
drilling operations during the relevant period.

The Company has filed responsive pleadings preserving all
defenses and challenges to jurisdiction or venue, and intends to
vigorously defend against the litigation. The Company cannot
reasonably estimate a range of potential liability exposure, if

Dallas, TX-based ENSCO International is a leading offshore
drilling contractor. The Company owns a fleet of about 50
offshore rigs, including jack-ups, platform rigs, and one semi-
submersible (capable of drilling in up to 8,000 feet of water).

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: MetLife Reports on Asbestos Liabilities
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co defends in thousands of lawsuits
seeking compensatory and punitive damages for personal injuries
allegedly caused by exposure to asbestos or asbestos-containing
products, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission

The New York, NY-based insurance Company has never engaged in
the business of manufacturing, producing, distributing or
selling asbestos or asbestos-containing products nor has it
issued liability or workers' compensation insurance to companies
in the business of manufacturing, producing, distributing or
selling asbestos or asbestos-containing products.

These lawsuits principally have been based upon allegations
relating to certain research, publication and other activities
of one or more of the Company's employees during the period from
the 1920's through about the 1950's and have alleged that
Metropolitan Life learned or should have learned of certain
health risks posed by asbestos and, among other things,
improperly publicized or failed to disclose those health risks.

As of December 31, 2004, Metropolitan Life faced about 108,000
asbestos personal injury claims as compared to 111,700 in 2003.  
For the 2004-year end, the Company noted 23,500 new claims as
against 58,650 in 2003. The Company settled in December 31, 2004
the amount of US$85.5 million for asbestos claims.

Metropolitan Life increased its recorded liability for asbestos-
related claims by US$402 million from about US$820 million to
US$1,225 million at December 31, 2002. This total recorded
asbestos-related liability (after the self-insured retention)
was within the coverage of the excess insurance policies
discussed below. Metropolitan Life regularly reevaluates its
exposure from asbestos litigation and has updated its liability
analysis for asbestos-related claims through December 31, 2004.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: AIG Affiliates Continue to Receive Claims
Members of the American Insurance Group Inc (NYSE: AIG),
National Union Fire Insurance Co of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and
American Home Assurance Co, continue to receive indemnity claims
asserting injuries from toxic waste, hazardous substances,
asbestos and other environmental pollutants and alleged damages
to cover the clean-up costs of hazardous waste dump sites
(environmental claims).

National Union reports on its asbestos related loss and loss
adjustment expenses, case and IBNR {Incurred But Not Reported}.
As of December 31, 2004, the Company noted its reinsurance gross
at US$826,718. Its reinsurance net for the same period was

American Home reports on its asbestos related loss and loss
adjustment expenses, case and IBNR (Incurred But Not Reported).
As of December 31, 2004, the Company noted its reinsurance gross
at US$783,206. Its reinsurance net for the same period was

National Union, American Home, and other industry members have
and will continue to litigate the broadening judicial
interpretation of policy coverage and the liability issues. If
the courts continue in the future to expand the intent of the
policies and the scope of the coverage, as they have in the
past, additional liabilities would emerge for amounts in excess
of reserves held.

The New York, NY-based AIG affiliates try to estimate the full
impact of the asbestos and environmental exposure by
establishing full case basis reserves on all known losses and
establishes bulk reserves for incurred but not reported losses
(IBNR) and loss adjustment expenses based on management's
judgment after reviewing all the available loss, exposure, and
other information.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OR Court Upholds Junking of Marineau Suit
The Court of Appeals of Oregon on September 28, 2005 affirmed
the Circuit Court's decision to dismiss the suit brought by
Paula Marineau, the personal representative of the estate of
Nichlaus H. Marineau, against manufacturers of asbestos-
containing products.

After the trial court dismissed Ms. Marineau's action for
wrongful death, her lawyer Meagan A. Flynn filed an appeal
against defendants, A.P. Green Refractories, Patterson Dental
Supply, Dental Resources, Dental Resources Services, and J.B.
Dental Supply Co., Inc. and Whip Mix Corporation, a Kentucky
corporation, the respondent.

Judge John A. Wittmayer of Multnomah County Court dismissed the
suit for Ms. Marineau's failure to produce the asbestos product
identification report within the time set by the court. The
order allowed her to file the complaint without the causation
information however, it required that she later furnish a report
that has the name of the product that caused the exposure, the
date(s) and duration of exposure, and the sites where those
instances occurred.

The Court of Appeals agreed with the Circuit Court and upheld
the ruling. It concluded that the trial court did not blunder
when it dismissed the suit for several reasons, including the
failure to file a written motion to amend her pleading.   

Todd S. Baran argued the cause and filed the brief for Whip Mix

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OH Court Scraps Suit V. Insurance Companies
The Eighth District Court of Appeals of Ohio on Oct. 13, 2005
affirmed the decision to dismiss the asbestos-related personal
injury and wrongful death suit styled, Donald Bope, et al. v.
A.W. Chesterton Company, et al. with Case No. 85215.

The lawsuit stems from claims that, from the 1930s through the
1950s, the defendant companies assisted asbestos product
manufacturers by tampering with and failing to disclose
scientific research indicating that asbestos was a carcinogen.

On May 24, 2002, various appellants filed asbestos product
liability claims asserting theories of negligence, fraudulent
concealment and conspiracy. In January 2003, the cases were
consolidated into an appeal. On August 4, 2004, the court
granted the companies' motion to dismiss for failure to state a

In the court opinion, Judge Anthony O. Calabrese, Jr. stated
that the claims failed to establish a connection between the
appellants and the companies. He concluded that no facts were
shown to support the claims and that the trial court did not
slip up when it junked the suit.

John I. Kittel, Bryan M. Frink, Mazur & Kittel, Farmington
Hills, MI, represented the plaintiffs.

Mark R. Chilson, Young & Alexander Co., LPA, Dayton, Stephen A.
Fennell, William T. Hassler, Jeffrey E. McFadden, Steptoe &
Johnson, LLP, Washington, D.C., stood for Metropolitan Life
Insurance Company.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PA Superior Court Dismisses Smokers' Suit
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania on Oct. 11, 2005 affirmed the
dismissal of the suit filed by Frederick and Lynn Summers
against Certainteed Corp. and Union Carbide Corp. and the suit
brought by Richard Nybeck against Union Carbide Corp.

Frederick Summers' wife, Lynn Summers, also sued for loss of
consortium claim.

Mr. Summers and Mr. Nybeck appealed Hon. Norman Ackerman's
decision in favor of the asbestos defendants in their claims for
asbestos-related injuries. The judge concluded that because both
of them had significant lung diseases from smoking and other
causes, it was impossible to find that asbestos exposure caused
any functional impairment or disability.

The plaintiff's expert witness, Jonathan L. Gelfand, M.D., noted
that Mr. Summers has "asbestos pleural disease" which is
synonymous with "pleural thickening" and normally causes no
symptoms. Mr. Summers also has significant obstructive disease
from his long history of cigarette smoking. Judge Ackerman found
that because pleural thickening is asymptomatic and due to Mr.
Summers' litany of other problems, it was impossible to say that
any symptoms were attributable to asbestos.

Dr. Gelfand reported that Mr. Nybeck has some x-ray findings of
mild fibrosis in the lung as well as pleural thickening but the
only functional impairment is shortness of breath, which, on its
own, is not a compensable injury due to the fact that it is not
disabling and is associated with so many other non-asbestos
related ailments. The court noted that Dr. Gelfand's report does
not say that there are any symptoms from asbestos exposure to
distinguish them from the major breathing problems that result
from Mr. Nybeck's severe obstructive disease.

The Court agreed with Judge Ackerman and ruled that the judge
did not abuse his discretion by dismissing the suit. The Court
further agreed with Judge Ackerman's statements that Dr.
Gelfand's reports describe other medical conditions that have
been associated with breathlessness.

Other judges of the court had dissenting opinions and since the
court was evenly divided, the Order of the Court of Common Pleas
was affirmed.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: OR Appeals Court Overturns Suit V. Hamilton
The Court of Appeals of Oregon on September 28, 2005 reversed a
Circuit Court ruling that had dismissed the case brought by a
retired drywaller against Hamilton Materials Inc.

William Abendroth attested that he suffers from an asbestos-
related disease caused by exposure to asbestos products during
his career as a drywaller in the 1960s and 1970s. He brought
this action against numerous suppliers and manufacturers of
asbestos-containing products, including Hamilton Materials, the
only defendant that is a party to this appeal.  Hamilton moved
for summary judgment, and Judge John A. Wittmayer of Multnomah
County granted the motion.

The defendant admitted that during the time period specified by
Mr. Abendroth, many of its taping compounds contained asbestos.
It also acknowledged that a number of its other products
contained asbestos. The Court of Appeals recognized Mr.
Abendroth's claim that he was exposed to asbestos when he used
the company's taping compound. The Court considered the summary
judgment previously handed down as inappropriate and
accordingly, remanded the case.

R. Daniel Lindahl, Portland, argued the cause for respondent.  
With him on the brief were Jeanne F. Loftis, Portland, and
Bullivant Houser Bailey, PC.

Based in Orange, CA, Hamilton Materials Inc. is a manufacturer
of a wide range of finishing products and texture materials.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: FL Court Remands Suit V. Union Carbide Corp
The District Court of Appeal of Florida on Sept. 21, 2005
reversed and remanded the asbestos exposure case filed by Roy J.
Fox against Houston, TX-based chemical maker Union Carbide Corp.

Union Carbide had filed a motion to dismiss on grounds of forum
non conveniens, which the Circuit Court, Fifteenth Judicial
Circuit, Palm Beach County, Timothy P. McCarthy, J., granted,
and dismissed the case without prejudice. However, the District
Court of Appeal ruled that the Circuit Court erred and held that
the company's motion to dismiss was untimely because it was
filed more than 60 days after the complaint was served.

On August 8, 2003, Mr. Fox filed suit against 53 corporations,
including Union Carbide, based on an asbestos-related illness.
However, the trial court docket reveals that the complaint was
not served on the defendants until November 5, November 6,
November 10, and December 15, and does not indicate which
defendants were served on which date.

Union Carbide argued that Alabama was the proper forum for the
case, because Mr. Fox, a resident of Alabama, sustained injuries
in Alabama and never lived nor worked in Palm Beach County. The
company also indicated that its principal place of business is
not in Florida, that it does not have a registered agent or
representative in Palm Beach County, and that it is amenable to
service of process in Alabama.  

Mr. Fox indicated that he might have been exposed to asbestos at
various locations scattered across Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
Regarding Union Carbide, he asserted that he was possibly
exposed to asbestos in Calidria-containing products, Bakelite,
joint compounds, and cements at the U.S. Naval Air Station in
Pensacola, Pittsburgh Des Moines Steel in Birmingham, and the
U.S. Army Base in Fort Benning.  Mr. Fox also stated that
although he did not currently reside in the state, he resided in
and was exposed to asbestos in Florida. He confirmed that some
fact and expert witnesses resided there and asserted that it is
also in Florida where he was diagnosed and received medical

David A. Jagolinzer and James L. Ferraro of Ferraro &
Associates, P.A., Miami, represented Mr. Fox.

Nathan M. Thompson and Evelyn M. Fletcher of Hawkins & Parnell,
LLP, Atlanta, GA, stood for Union Carbide.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Upholds Dismissal of Lindstrom Suit
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Sept. 28,
2005 affirmed the dismissal of the case brought by a merchant
seaman against manufacturers of asbestos-containing products, A-
C Product Liability Trust, A.W. Chesterton, Coffin Turbo Pump,
Inc., Ingersoll-Rand Company, Walworth Company, the Anchor
Packing Company, Coltec Industries, Garlock Sealing
Technologies, LLC, Goulds Pumps, Inc., Henry Vogt Machine Co.,
and John Crane, Inc.

Mr. Lindstrom worked in the engine department as a licensed
engineer aboard numerous vessels from 1963 until 1994. In his
work, he was allegedly exposed to many pieces of equipment that
contained asbestos. Mr. Lindstrom was diagnosed with malignant
mesothelioma of the peritoneum in October 1999 and died of this
disease on June 15, 2003.

Mr. Lindstrom brought action against these companies under the
Jones Act, the General Admiralty and Maritime law, and
traditional product liability law. The United States District
Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Dan A. Polster, J.,
granted summary judgment in favor of some defendants and
following bench trial, entered judgment in favor of remaining

Willard E. Bartel and David C. Peebles, who were appointed as
administrators of the estate of Rolf L. Lindstrom after his
death, appealed the decision.

Circuit Judge Julia Smith Gibbons of the Court of Appeals ruled
that the plaintiff failed to establish that the products were a
substantial factor in his injury and thus the companies could
not be held liable.

                New Securities Fraud Cases
ARBINET-THEXCHANGE: Labaton Sucharow Files Securities Suit in NJ
The Labaton Sucharow & Rudoff, LLP, initiated a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey, on behalf of all securities purchasers
of Arbinet-thexchange ("Arbinet" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:ARBX)
who bought pursuant and or traceable to the Company's Initial
Public Offering ("IPO") on or about December 16, 2004 and
between December 16, 2004 and June 21, 2005 inclusive (the
"Class Period"). The lawsuit was filed against Arbinet, J. Curt
Hockemeier and John J. Roberts ("Defendants"). The deadline to
move for Lead Plaintiff is October 31, 2005.

The complaint alleges that Defendants violated the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and the Securities Act of 1933.
Specifically, the Complaint alleges that the Company failed to
disclose and misrepresented that:

     (1) It was experiencing a shorter than average call
         duration and a mix shift to wireless calls from wired
         calls, which led to a decrease in the average number of
         minutes the Company transacted on the exchange;

     (2) Due to credit problems, the Company was forced to
         suspend trading of two of its largest customers;

     (3) The Company's international offerings were not
         adequately differentiated from its customers,
         jeopardizing its ability to grow overseas.

On June 21, 2005, Arbinet lowered its guidance for both the
second quarter and the remainder of 2005. In reaction to this
news, shares of Arbinet fell $4.00 per share, or nearly 35%, on
June 22, 2005, to close at $7.50 per share.

For more details, contact Christopher Keller, Esq. of Labaton
Sucharow & Rudoff, LLP, Phone: (800) 321-0476.

DANA CORPORATION: Lockridge Grindal Lodges Securities Suit in OH
The law firm of Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. initiated a
class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Ohio on behalf of purchasers of the
securities of Dana Corporation ("Dana" or the "Company")
(NYSE:DCN) between March 23, 2005 and September 14, 2005,
inclusive (the "Class Period") seeking to pursue remedies under
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The Complaint alleges that Dana made false or misleading public
statements regarding the Company's historical financial
performance and conditions. On September 15, 2005, Dana issued a
press release announcing that it would likely restate second
quarter 2005 financial results and that it had lowered its 2005
earnings guidance, to $0.60 to $0.70 per share from $1.30 to
$1.45. In reaction to this announcement, the price of Dana stock
fell from $12.78 per share on September 14, 2005 to $9.86 per
share on September 15, 2005, a one-day drop of 22.8% on heavy
trading volume.

For more details, contact Gregg M. Fishbein, Esq. of Lockridge
Grindal Nauen, P.L.L.P., 100 Washington Avenue South, Suite
2200, Minneapolis, MN 55401, Phone: (612) 339-6900, E-mail:
gmfishbein@locklaw.com, Web site: http://www.locklaw.com.

REFCO INC.: Glancy Binkow Files Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
The law firm of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg, LLP, initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of a class (the "Class")
consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise
acquired securities of Refco, Inc. ("Refco" or the
"Company")(NYSE:RFX) between August 11, 2005 and October 18,
2005, inclusive (the "Class Period") including those who
purchased the common stock of Refco pursuant and/or traceable to
the Company's initial public offering on August 11, 2005.

The Complaint charges certain of the Company's officers and
directors with violations of federal securities laws. Refco
provides execution and clearing services for exchange-traded
derivatives and brokerage services in the fixed income and
foreign exchange markets in the United States, Bermuda and the
United Kingdom. On August 11, 2005, Refco and Refco insiders
completed an initial public offering of Refco common stock,
selling 26.5 million shares at $22 per share for proceeds of
$583 million. Two months later, on October 10, 2005, before the
market opened defendants revealed that the Company had been
carrying an undisclosed $430 million receivable from its Chief
Executive Officer, Defendant Phillip R. Bennett, and that
Bennett was taking a leave of absence and Company financial
statements issued since 2002 could no longer be relied upon.
This announcement shocked the market, driving down the price of
Refco shares from $28.56 per share to $15.60 per share on heavy
trading volume.

Three days later, on October 13, 2005, the Company issued a
press release announcing, among other things, a fifteen-day
moratorium on all activities, including customer withdrawals, of
Refco Capital Markets, Ltd. As a result of this news, Refco
stock declined an additional $2.95 per share on extremely heavy
volume. On October 17, 2005, Refco announced that the Company
and certain of its subsidiaries have filed for protection under
Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Plaintiff seeks
to recover damages on behalf of Class members and is represented
by Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP, a law firm with significant
experience in prosecuting class actions, and substantial
expertise in actions involving corporate fraud.

For more details, contact Michael Goldberg, Esq. and Lionel Z.
Glancy, Esq. of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP, 1801 Avenue of the
Stars, Suite 311, Los Angeles, CA 90067, Phone: (310) 201-9150
or (888) 773-9224, E-mail: info@glancylaw.com.  

REFCO INC.: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP ("Lerach Coughlin") initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York on behalf of all those who purchased the common stock of
Refco, Inc. ("Refco" or the "Company") (NYSE:RFX) from August
11, 2005 to October 7, 2005, including those who purchased the
common stock of Refco pursuant and/or traceable to the Company's
initial public offering ("IPO") on or about August 11, 2005,
seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities Act of 1933 (the
"Securities Act") and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the
"Exchange Act").

The complaint charges Refco and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Act and the Exchange
Act. Refco provides execution and clearing services for exchange
traded derivatives; and brokerage services in the fixed income
and foreign exchange markets in the United States, Bermuda, and
the United Kingdom.

Refco went public via an initial public offering in August 2005.
A mere three months later, on October 10, 2005, Refco announced
that Phillip R. Bennett, its Chief Executive Officer ("CEO") and
Chairman and controlling shareholder, was being placed on a
leave of absence and that the Company had discovered,
purportedly through an internal review, a receivable of $430
million owed by Bennett to the Company. The Company also
announced that based on the undisclosed related party
transaction, its prior financial statements should not be relied

According to the complaint, on or about August 10, 2005, Refco
filed with the SEC a Form S-1/A Registration Statement (the
"Registration Statement"), for the IPO. On or about August 11,
2005, the Prospectus (the "Prospectus") with respect to the IPO,
which forms part of the Registration Statement, became effective
and 26.5 million of Refco's common stock were sold to the
public, thereby raising approximately $583 million. According to
the complaint, the Prospectus issued in connection with the IPO
was materially false and misleading for several reasons. As
detailed in the complaint, Refco has now admitted that those
financial statements should no longer be relied upon and will
likely be restated. This amounts to an admission that those
financial statements were materially false and misleading when
issued. In a section entitled "Certain Relationships And Related
Transactions", the Prospectus purported to detail all of the
related party transactions concerning its business. The
Prospectus, however, failed to disclose the related-party loan
of $430 million to an entity controlled by Bennett.

In response to these announcements, the price of Refco common
stock declined precipitously falling from $28.56 per share to
$15.60 per share on extremely heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact Samuel H. Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld
of Lerach Coughlin, Phone: 800-449-4900 or 619-231-1058, E-mail:
wsl@lerachlaw.com, Web site:

TAG-IT PCAFIC: Wolf Popper Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
The law firm of Wolf Popper, LLP, initiated a securities fraud
lawsuit against Tag-It Pacific, Inc. ("Tag-It") (Amex: TAG) and
certain of its officers and directors, on behalf of all persons
who purchased Tag-It securities on the open market during the
period November 14, 2003 through August 12, 2005. The action was
filed in the United States District Court, Central District of
California, Civil Action No: 05-7352.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
caused Tag-It to issue numerous press releases and file
quarterly and annual reports with the SEC, materially misstating
its financial condition, accounts receivable and inventory, and
falsely stating that the Company, notwithstanding the loss of
its largest customers, was expanding its customer base,
continuing sales growth, and improving gross margins.
Unbeknownst to investors, as a result of the loss of its largest
customers in 2003, millions of dollars in inventory became
obsolete and millions of dollars in accounts receivable became

On August 15, 2005, Tag-It stunned the market when it revealed
its true financial condition, informing investors that the
Company was going to report a "significant operating loss" due
to an increase in reserves for accounts receivable and
inventory. On this news, Tag-It's share price plummeted 41.38%
to $1.36 from the prior days closing of $2.32. On August 22,
2005, the Company further disclosed that it was required to
increase its reserve for doubtful accounts by $6.4 million and
increase its reserve for inventory obsolescence by $1.55

For more details, contact James Kelly-Kowlowitz, Esq. or Emily
DeMuro, Investor Relations of Wolf Popper, LLP, 845 Third Ave.,
New York, NY 10022, Phone: 212-759-4600, 877-370-7703 or
1-212-451-9610, Fax: 212-486-2093 or 877-370-7704, E-mail:
Jkelly@wolfpopper.com or edemuro@wolfpopper.com, Web site:


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