CAR_Public/090123.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, January 23, 2009, Vol. 11, No. 16
  
                           Headlines

ADVANCED MICRO: Consolidated GPU Antitrust Suits in Discovery
ADVANCED MICRO: Discovery Ongoing in Consolidated Consumer Suit
AUDIOVOX CORP: Lawsuits Over Cell Phone Radiation Still Pending
COMMERCIAL METALS: Standard Iron Works' Antitrust Suit Pending
HEALTHWAYS INC: Consolidated Amended Securities Lawsuit Pending

HEALTHWAYS INC: Motion to Dismiss ERISA Violations Suit Pending
JABIL CIRCUIT: Seeks Dismissal of Consolidated Securities Suit
MEDICAL OPTICS: Levi & Korsinsky Files Suit Over Sale to Abbott
NORTHFIELD LABS: Consolidated Securities Lawsuit Pending in Ill.
OIL COMPANIES: Fla. Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Ethanol Suit

SCHOLASTIC CORP: Seeks Dismissal of N.Y. Amended Securities Suit
TEXAS INDUSTRIES: Chromium Emission Complaints Remain Stayed
TEXAS INDUSTRIES: Riverside Unit Faces "Shellman" Complaint
VOYAGER LEARNING: Awaits Final Approval of Securities Suit Deal
WACHOVIA CORP: Keller Rohrback Appointed as Interim Lead Counsel

WALGREEN CO: Faces Plumbers and Steamfitters' Suit in Illinois

* Milberg LLP Lead Counsel in More Securities Cases, Reports Say


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

ARGUS INT'L: Wolf Haldenstein Files N.Y. Securities Fraud Suit
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: Stull Stull Files N.Y. Stock Lawsuit
BANK OF AMERICA: Chitwood Harley Files Ga. Securities Fraud Suit
BANK OF AMERICA: Wolf Popper Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
JP MORGAN: Coughlin Stoia Announces N.Y. Securities Suit Filing

KV PHARMACEUTICAL: Labaton Sucharow Files Mo. Securities Lawsuit
ROYAL BANK: Girard Gibbs Announces N.Y. Securities Fraud Lawsuit
SOUTHWEST WATER: Murray Frank Files Calif. Securities Fraud Suit


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Stolen Redcar Vacuum Cleaners Create Worry
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ship Docked in Darwin Raises Health Risks
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: High Asbestos Death Rate Noted in Plymouth
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Suit on London Architect's Death Launched
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Abilene Library's Cleanup Could Cost $5,510

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cleanup at Conroe Motel, Tex. to Cost $75T
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Weymouth Needs $6Mil for Cleanup at School
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA to Reassess Libby Emergency Declaration
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ADAO to Give Awards this March 27 in Calif.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Nova Scotia Gov't. May Seek to Recover Cash

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Petition for Review Denied in Tucker Action
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reconsideration Motion in Conrail Case OK'd
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PPG Ind. Cites $592MM Settlement at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Found in Mudgee, Australia, Schools
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Westminster Court Rules on Engineer's Death

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Cleanup Delays Gould Hall Renovation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Found in Cheshire Prison's Housing
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Halts Demolition at N.Y. University
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Okays Cleanup at Ohio Brownfield Land
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Found in Former Parsons Paper Mill

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Va. Firm Says Bill Will Curb Victims Rights
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. Public Buildings' Safety Not Monitored
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Noah Webster, EPA Resolve AHERA Violations
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Camden Awarded $200T EPA Grant for Training
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chattanooga to Get $200,000 Training Grant

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Conn., Mass. to Share $600,000 for Training
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Totton Resident's Death Linked to Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Delays Miss. Courthouse Renovation
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Macaruso Sentenced for Extorting Employees
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: St. Mary's Worker's Death Linked to Hazard

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Southsea Engineer's Death Linked to Hazard
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Research Center Opened in Honor of Banton
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Canada Continues to Export Asbestos to Asia
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Found at Old Storage Site in Colo.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Consolidated Action Heard on Jan. 20 in Md.

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Favors New Haven in Stamford's Action
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 3 Suits Filed Dec. 29 - Jan. 2 in Illinois
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 4 Suits Filed on Jan. 5 – Jan. 9 in Madison
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Davis Indicted for Cleanup Breaches in N.H.
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Topics Included in CLE Conferences

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Flooding Exposes Hazard at Moler Elementary
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Meeting on Isebrook's Hazard Set on Jan. 21
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hampshire Worker's Death Linked to Exposure
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Catawba County to Help in School Demolition
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeal Court OKs Ruling v. 2 Elk Officials

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Demolition of Columbus Hotel Costs $175,280
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scientific Studies Stressed in Grace Trial
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Council to Meet Jan. 22 over Health Risk
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Headley Case v. 58 Companies Filed in Texas
ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alarm Sounded at Hamilton, Ohio Building

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Grants Century's Motion to Seal Award
ASBESTOS ALERT: Scriven Penalized for Exposing Workers to Hazard


                           *********

ADVANCED MICRO: Consolidated GPU Antitrust Suits in Discovery
-------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery is ongoing in the consolidated purported antitrust
class-action suit over Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.'s pricing of
graphics processing units (GPU) and cards.

The company, its recent acquisition -- ATI Technologies, Inc. --
and Nvidia Corp., were named as defendants in such suits, which
were filed in the Northern District of California, the Central
District of California, the District of Massachusetts, the
Western District of Wisconsin, the District of South Carolina,
the District of Kansas, and the District of Vermont.

According to the complaints, the plaintiffs filed each of the
actions after reading press reports that the company and Nvidia
had received subpoenas from the U.S. Department of Justice
Antitrust Division in connection with the DOJ's investigation
into potential antitrust violations related to GPUs and cards.
All of the actions appear to allege that the defendants
conspired to fix, raise, maintain, or stabilize the prices of
GPUs and cards in violation of federal antitrust law and state
antitrust law.

Furthermore, each of the complaints is styled as a putative
class action and alleges a class of plaintiffs (either indirect
or direct purchasers) who purportedly suffered injury as a
result of the defendants' alleged conduct.  The majority of the
complaints propose a class period from November or December 2002
to the present.

The court held a hearing last year on the defendants' motions to
dismiss the cases.  On Sept. 27, 2007, the court issued an order
granting in part and denying in part the defendants' dismissal
motions.

Pursuant to the court's order, the plaintiffs filed motions to
amend their complaints on Oct. 11, 2007.  Then on April 24,
2008, the plaintiffs filed motions for class certification.

The court held a hearing on plaintiffs' motions for class
certification on July 1 and 2, 2008.  On July 18, the court
denied the indirect purchasers' motion for class certification
in its entirety and granted class certification only to a
limited class of individuals and entities who purchased graphics
processing card products online from the defendants' Web sites
in the U.S. during the period from Dec. 4, 2002 to Nov. 7, 2007.

Currently, over fifty related antitrust actions have been filed
against the company, ATI and Nvidia, all of which were
consolidated and transferred to the Northern District of
California in the action In re Graphics Processing Units
Antitrust Litigation.

On Sept. 16, 2008, the company and certain subsidiaries executed
a settlement agreement relating to the claims of the certified
class of direct purchaser plaintiffs previously approved by the
District Court for the Northern District of California.  The
settlement agreement calls for the Company to make a payment of
$850,000 into a fund for the benefit of the certified class in
exchange for a dismissal of all claims related to the lawsuit.

The Company is not obligated under the settlement agreement to
pay attorneys' fees, costs, or make any other payments in
connection with the settlement.  The settlement agreement is
subject to court approval and, if approved, would dispose of all
claims raised by the certified class.  

On Oct. 2, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the
Ninth Circuit issued an order staying the direct purchaser
plaintiffs' petition for permission to appeal the District
Court's order regarding class certification.

On Sept. 9, 2008, the company and NVIDIA also reached a
settlement agreement with the remaining individual indirect
purchaser plaintiffs in the lawsuit that provides for a payment
of $112,500 in exchange for a dismissal of all claims and
appeals related to the lawsuit raised by the individual indirect
purchaser plaintiffs.  This settlement is not subject to the
approval of the District Court.  Pursuant to the settlement, the
individual indirect purchaser plaintiffs have dismissed their
claims and withdrawn their petition for permission to appeal the
District Court's order denying their motion for class
certification.

The discovery process in ongoing. The court has scheduled a jury
trial to begin on Jan. 12, 2009, according to the company's Form
8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
dated Jan. 9, 2009.

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. -- http://www.amd.com/-- is a  
global semiconductor company with facilities worldwide.  It
provides processing solutions for the computing, graphics and
consumer electronics markets. During the year ended Dec. 31,
2006, the company offered primarily x86 microprocessors, for the
commercial and consumer markets, which are used for control and
computing tasks, and embedded microprocessors for commercial,
commercial client and consumer markets.  On Oct. 25, 2006, the
company acquired ATI Technologies Inc.  As a result of the
acquisition, the company began to supply three-dimensional
graphics, video and multimedia products, and chipsets for
personal computers, including desktop and notebook PCs,
professional workstations and servers, and products for consumer
electronic devices, such as mobile phones, digital television
and game consoles.


ADVANCED MICRO: Discovery Ongoing in Consolidated Consumer Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The discovery process is ongoing in the consolidated consumer
class action against Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.'s subsidiary,
ATI Technologies, Inc., according to the company's Form 8-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dated
Jan. 9, 2009.

In February and March 2006, two consumer class actions were
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California against ATI and three of its subsidiaries.

The complaints allege that ATI had misrepresented its graphics
cards as being "HDCP ready" when they were not, and on that
basis alleged violations of state consumer protection statutes,
breach of express and implied warranty, negligent
misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.

On April 18, 2006, the Court entered an order consolidating the
two actions.

On June 19, 2006, plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint,
alleging violations of California's consumer protection laws,
breach of express warranty, and unjust enrichment.

On June 21, 2006, a third consumer class action that was filed
in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
in May 2006, alleging claims that are substantially the same was
transferred to the Northern District of California.
On July 31, 2006, that case was also consolidated into the
consolidated action pending in the Northern District of
California.

ATI filed an answer to the consolidated complaint on Aug. 7,
2006.

On Sept. 28, 2007, the Court entered an order denying
Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification without prejudice,
granting plaintiffs additional time to conduct class discovery
and granting plaintiffs certain fees and costs.

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. -- http://www.amd.com/-- is a  
global semiconductor company with facilities worldwide.  It
provides processing solutions for the computing, graphics and
consumer electronics markets. During the year ended Dec. 31,
2006, the company offered primarily x86 microprocessors, for the
commercial and consumer markets, which are used for control and
computing tasks, and embedded microprocessors for commercial,
commercial client and consumer markets.  On Oct. 25, 2006, the
company acquired ATI Technologies Inc.  As a result of the
acquisition, the company began to supply three-dimensional
graphics, video and multimedia products, and chipsets for
personal computers, including desktop and notebook PCs,
professional workstations and servers, and products for consumer
electronic devices, such as mobile phones, digital television
and game consoles.


AUDIOVOX CORP: Lawsuits Over Cell Phone Radiation Still Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
Certain consolidated class actions transferred to a Multi-
District Litigation Panel of the U.S. District Court of the
District of Maryland against Audiovox Corp. and other suppliers,
manufacturers and distributors of hand-held wireless telephones
are still pending.  

The suits are generally alleging damages relating to exposure to
radio frequency radiation from hand-held wireless telephones.  

The company reported no development in the matter in its Jan. 9,
2009 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 30, 2008.

Audiovox Corp. -- http://www.audiovox.com/-- is an  
international distributor and value added service provider in
the accessory, mobile and consumer electronics industries.


COMMERCIAL METALS: Standard Iron Works' Antitrust Suit Pending
--------------------------------------------------------------
Commercial Metals Co. continues to face a purported antitrust
class-action lawsuit brought by Standard Iron Works of Scranton,
Pennsylvania, according to the company's Jan. 5, 2009 Form 10-
K/A Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2008.

On Sept. 18, 2008, subsequent to the end of its 2008 fiscal
year, the company was served with the plaintiffs' antitrust
lawsuit alleging violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Act,
brought against nine steel manufacturing companies, including
Commercial Metals Co.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, alleges that the defendants conspired to
fix, raise, maintain and stabilize the price at which steel
products were sold in the United States by artificially
restricting the supply of such steel products.

The lawsuit, which purports to be brought on behalf of a class
consisting of all purchasers of steel products directly from the
defendants between Jan. 1, 2005 and the present, seeks treble
damages and costs, including reasonable attorney fees and pre-
and post-judgment interest.

Since the filing of this lawsuit, additional plaintiffs have
filed class-action lawsuits naming the same defendants and
containing allegations substantially identical to those of the
Standard Iron Works complaint.

Commercial Metals Co. -- http://www.cmc.com/-- engages in the  
manufacture, recycle, marketing, and distribution of steel and
metal products. The Company is based in Irving, Tex.


HEALTHWAYS INC: Consolidated Amended Securities Lawsuit Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
Healthways, Inc., continues to face a consolidated amended
complaint filed on behalf of a class of investors who purchased
company stock between July 5, 2007 and Aug. 25, 2008.

Beginning on June 5, 2008, the Company and certain of its
present and former officers and/or directors were named as
defendants in two putative securities class actions filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

On Aug. 8, 2008, the court ordered the consolidation of the two
related cases, appointed lead plaintiff and lead plaintiff's
counsel, and granted lead plaintiff leave to file a consolidated
amended complaint.

The amended complaint, filed on Sept. 22, 2008, alleges that the
Company and the individual defendants violated Sections 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and that the individual
defendants violated Section 20(a) of the Act as "control
persons" of Healthways.

The amended complaint further alleges that certain of the
individual defendants also violated Section 20A of the Act based
on their stock sales.

The plaintiff purports to bring these claims for unspecified
monetary damages on behalf of a class of investors who purchased
Healthways stock between July 5, 2007 and Aug. 25, 2008.

In support of these claims, plaintiff alleges generally that,
during the proposed class period, the Company made misleading
statements and omitted material information regarding:

   -- the purported loss or restructuring of certain contracts
      with customers,

   -- the Company's participation in the Medicare Health Support
      pilot program for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid   
      Services, and

   -- the Company's guidance for fiscal year 2008. Defendants'
      motion to dismiss the amended complaint is due to be filed  
      on Nov. 6, 2008.

Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint on
Nov. 12, 2008.  Discovery has not yet commenced in the
consolidated case, and no trial date has been set, according to
the company's Jan. 9, 2009 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Nov.
30, 2008.  

Healthways, Inc. -- http://www.healthways.com/-- provides  
specialized, Health and Care Support solutions to help people
maintain or improve their health, and as a result, reduce
overall healthcare costs.  The company delivers its programs to
customers, which include health plans, governments, employers,
and hospitals, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia,
Puerto Rico, and Guam.  It's programs focus on prevention,
education, physical fitness, health coaching, behavior change
and evidence-based medicine to drive adherence to proven
standards of care, medications and physicians' plans of care.


HEALTHWAYS INC: Motion to Dismiss ERISA Violations Suit Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
Healthways, Inc. and the other defendants' motion to dismiss a
purported class-action lawsuit alleging violations of the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) remains pending.

On July 31, 2008, the purported class-action suit was filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
against Healthways and certain of its directors and officers
alleging breaches of fiduciary duties to participants in the
Company's 401(k) plan.

The central allegation is that Company stock was an imprudent
investment option for the 401(k) plan.  The named defendants
are: the Company, Board of Directors, certain officers, and
members of the Investment Committee charged with administering
the 401(k) plan.

The complaint was amended on Sept. 29, 2008.  The amended
complaint alleges that the defendants violated ERISA by failing
to remove the Company stock fund from the 401(k) plan when it
allegedly became an imprudent investment, by failing to disclose
adequately the risks and results of the Medicare Health Support
(MHS) pilot program to 401(k) plan participants, and by failing
to seek independent advice as to whether to continue to permit
the plan to hold Company stock.  It further alleges that the
Company and its directors should have been more closely
monitoring the Investment Committee and other plan fiduciaries.

The amended complaint seeks damages in an undisclosed amount and
other equitable relief.

Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on Oct. 29, 2008.  

Discovery in this case has not yet commenced and a trial date of
April 27, 2010 has been set, according to the company's Jan. 9,
2009 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 30, 2008.

Healthways, Inc. -- http://www.healthways.com/-- provides  
specialized, Health and Care Support solutions to help people
maintain or improve their health, and as a result, reduce
overall healthcare costs.  The company delivers its programs to
customers, which include health plans, governments, employers,
and hospitals, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia,
Puerto Rico, and Guam.  It's programs focus on prevention,
education, physical fitness, health coaching, behavior change
and evidence-based medicine to drive adherence to proven
standards of care, medications and physicians' plans of care.


JABIL CIRCUIT: Seeks Dismissal of Consolidated Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jabil Circuit, Inc. seeks to dismiss the second amended
complaint in the consolidated securities fraud lawsuit pending
in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

On Sept. 18, 2006, a putative shareholder class-action complaint
was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of
Florida, captioned, "Edward J. Goodman Life Income Trust v.
Jabil Circuit, Inc., et al., No. 8:06-cv-01716" against the
company and various of its present and former officers and
directors.

The suit was brought on behalf of a proposed class of plaintiffs
comprised of persons who purchased shares of the company between
Sept. 19, 2001, and June 21, 2006.

It asserted claims under Section 10(b) of the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder,
as well as under Section 20(a) of that Act.

Specifically, the complaint alleged that the defendants had
engaged in a scheme to fraudulently backdate the grant dates of
options for various senior officers and directors, causing the
company's financial statements to understate management
compensation and overstate net earnings, thereby inflating the
company's stock price.

In addition, the suit alleged that the company's proxy
statements falsely stated that the company had adhered to its
option grant policy of granting options at the closing price of
its shares on the trading date immediately prior to the date of
the grant.

A second putative class action suit, containing virtually
identical legal claims and allegations of fact, captioned,
"Steven M. Noe v. Jabil Circuit, Inc., et al., No., 8:06-cv-
01883," was filed on Oct. 12, 2006.

The two actions were consolidated into a single proceeding and
on Jan. 18, 2007, the Court appointed The Laborers Pension Trust
Fund for Northern California and Pension Trust Fund for
Operating Engineers as lead plaintiffs in the action.

On March 5, 2007, the lead plaintiffs filed a consolidated class
action complaint.  The Consolidated Class Action Complaint is
purported to be brought on behalf of all persons who purchased
the company's publicly traded securities between Sept. 19, 2001,
and Dec. 21, 2006, and names the company and certain of its
current and former officers, including:

     -- Forbes I.J. Alexander,
     -- Scott D. Brown,
     -- Wesley B. Edwards,
     -- Chris A. Lewis,
     -- Mark T. Mondello,
     -- Robert L. Paver, and
     -- Ronald J. Rapp,

as well as certain of the company's directors:

     -- Mel S. Lavitt,
     -- William D. Morean,
     -- Frank A. Newman,
     -- Laurence S. Grafstein,
     -- Steven A. Raymund,
     -- Lawrence J. Murphy,
     -- Kathleen A. Walters, and
     -- Thomas A. Sansone.

The Consolidated Class Action Complaint alleged violations of
Sections 10(b), 20(a), and 14(a) of the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Act and the rules promulgated thereunder.  It contained
allegations of fact and legal claims similar to the original
putative class action and, in addition, alleged that the
defendants failed to timely disclose the facts and circumstances
that led the company, on June 12, 2006, to announce that it was
lowering its prior guidance for net earnings for the third
quarter of fiscal year 2006.

On April 30, 2007, the plaintiffs filed a first amended
consolidated class action complaint asserting claims
substantially similar to the Consolidated Class Action Complaint
it replaced but adding allegations relating to the restatement
of earnings previously announced in connection with the
correction of errors in the calculation of compensation expense
for certain stock option grants.

At the company's request, the Court, on April 9, 2008, dismissed
the First Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint without
prejudice, but with leave to amend the complaint by May 12,
2008.

On May 12, 2008, the plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Class
Action Complaint.  The Second Amended Class Action Complaint
asserts substantially the same causes of action against the same
defendants, predicated largely on the same allegations of fact
as in the First Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint
except insofar as plaintiffs added KPMG LLP, the company's
independent registered public accounting firm, as a defendant
and added additional allegations with respect to:

       -- pre-class period option grants,

       -- the professional background of certain defendants,

       -- option grants to non-executive employees,

       -- the restatement of the Company's financial results for
          certain periods between 1996 and 2005, and

       -- trading by the named plaintiffs and certain of the
          defendants during the class period.

The Second Amended Class Action Complaint also includes an
additional claim for insider trading against certain defendants
pursuant to Rules 10b-5 and 10b5-1 promulgated pursuant to the
Exchange Act.

The company filed a motion to dismiss this amended complaint and
is awaiting the Court's ruling on the motion, according to its
Jan. 9, 2009 Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 30, 2008.   

The suit is "Edward J. Goodman Life Income Trust v. Jabil
Circuit, Inc. et al., Case No. 8:06-cv-01716-SDM-EAJ," filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida under
Judge Steven D. Merryday.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

         William E. Hoese (whoese@kohnswift.com)
         Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C.
         1101 Market St., Suite 2400
         Philadelphia, PA 19107-3389
         Phone: 215-238-1700

Representing the defendants is:

         Michael L. Chapman, Esq. (michael.chapman@hklaw.com)
         Holland & Knight, LLP
         100 N. Tampa St., Ste. 4100, PO Box 1288
         Tampa, FL 33601-1288
         Phone: 813-227-8500
         Fax: 813-229-0134


MEDICAL OPTICS: Levi & Korsinsky Files Suit Over Sale to Abbott
---------------------------------------------------------------
     NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Levi &
Korsinsky, LLP announces that it has filed a class action
lawsuit alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations
of state law by the board of directors of Advanced Medical
Optics, Inc. ("Advanced Medical" or the "Company") (NYSE:EYE)
arising out of their attempt to sell the Company to Abbott
Laboratories ("Abbott").

     Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of Advanced
Medical will receive $22.00 cash for every share they hold of
Advanced Medical, or $1.36 billion.  

     The transaction appears to be unfair and undervalues the
Company's shares given that Advanced Medical's shares traded as
high as $23.31 per share as recently as September 2, 2008.

     Moreover, the present purported premium offer represents
only a 2.5 multiplier from last year's sales, which is in line
with multipliers on similar deals and therefore does not appear
to represent any significant premium payable to Advanced Medical
shareholders.

For more details, contact:

          Eduard Korsinsky, Esq.
          Levi & Korsinsky, LLP
          Phone: (212) 363-7500
          Fax: (212) 363-7171
          39 Broadway, Suite 1601
          New York, NY 10006
          Web site: http://www.zlk.com/bbulk.html


NORTHFIELD LABS: Consolidated Securities Lawsuit Pending in Ill.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The consolidated securities fraud class action filed against
Northfield Laboratories, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois is at an early stage.

Between March 17, 2006 and May 15, 2006, ten separate complaints
were filed, each purporting to be on behalf of a class of
company's stockholders, against Northfield and Dr. Steven A.
Gould, its chief executive officer, and Richard DeWoskin, its
former chief executive officer.

Those putative class-action suits have been consolidated in a
case pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois.

The consolidated amended class action complaint was filed on
Sept. 8, 2006, and alleges, among other things, that during the
period March 19, 2001 through March 20, 2006, the named
defendants made or caused to be made a series of materially
false or misleading statements and omissions about Northfield's
elective surgery clinical trial and business prospects in
violation of Section 10(b) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act
of 1934, as amended, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and
Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.

Plaintiffs allege that those allegedly false and misleading
statements and omissions caused the purported class to purchase
shares of the company's common stock at artificially inflated
prices.

As relief, the complaint seeks, among other things, a
declaration that the action be certified as a proper class
action, unspecified compensatory damages (including interest)
and payment of costs and expenses (including fees for legal
counsel and experts).

The putative class action is at an early stage and it is not
possible at this time to predict the outcome of any of the
matters or their potential effect, if any, on Northfield or the
clinical development or future commercialization of PolyHeme.

The Company and the individual defendants filed a motion to
dismiss the complaint, and on Sept. 25, 2007, the court granted
that motion, finding that the plaintiffs failed to state a
claim.

The court dismissed the complaint without prejudice and the
plaintiffs have until Nov. 20, 2007 to file an amended
complaint.

On Jan. 22, 2008, the company and the individual defendants
filed a motion to dismiss, and the briefing of that motion was
completed on June 26, 2008.  On Sept. 23, 2008, the Court denied
the motion to dismiss, and on Dec. 5, 2008, the company and the
individual defendants answered the Consolidated Second Amended
Class Action Complaint.  

Plaintiffs have advised that they intend to file a motion
seeking certification of a class.

The case has proceeded into discovery and briefing of class
certification issues, according to the company's Jan 9, 2009
Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 30, 2008.

The suit is "Topaz Realty Corp., et al. v. Northfield
Laboratories, Inc., et al., Case No. 06-CV-1493," filed in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under
Judge George M. Marovich.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

         Patrick Vincent Dahlstrom, Esq.
         Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP
         One North LaSalle Street, Suite 2225
         Chicago, IL 60602-3908
         Phone: (312) 377-1181
         E-mail: pdahlstrom@pomlaw.com

              - and -

         Anthony F. Fata, Esq.
         Cafferty Faucher LLP
         30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 3200
         Chicago, IL 60602
         E-mail: afata@caffertyfaucher.com

Representing the defendants is:

         Ronald L. Marmer, Esq.
         Jenner & Block LLP
         330 North Wabash
         Chicago, IL 60611
         Phone: (312) 222-9350
         E-mail: rmarmer@jenner.com


OIL COMPANIES: Fla. Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Ethanol Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
     FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Exxon,
Chevron, Conoco Phillips, BP and Shell, all defendants in a
proposed Florida class action lawsuit, were dealt a huge blow
yesterday when a Federal Court in the Southern District of
Florida issued an order denying their joint motion to dismiss a
lawsuit filed by three Florida residents, Erick Kelesceny, John
Egizi and Todd Jessup.  The Plaintiffs allege that the world's
largest oil companies failed to warn them, as well as all
Florida boat owners, that the gasoline they purchase at the
pump, which is blended with ethanol, may destroy fiberglass
tanks and tends to absorb water and phase separate, which could
cause damage to all boats, regardless of whether they have a
fiberglass tank.

     The lawsuit was filed by consumer protection lawyers,
Jeffrey Ostrow, David Ferguson and Jonathan Streisfeld of The
Kopelowitz Ostrow Firm, P.A. (TKO), a litigation firm in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida. The oil companies argued that the proposed
class action lawsuit is preempted by federal and Florida law.  
By denying the motion to dismiss, the Court has allowed the
Plaintiffs to proceed with their lawsuit.

     The basis for the Court's ruling is that federal law
encourages, but does not require, the use of renewable fuels
such as ethanol, while Florida does not require it be used by
boat owners.  If successful, the oil companies will be forced to
place a warning label on all pumps at all gas stations in
Florida, notifying the boating public that usage of gasoline
blended with ethanol may be hazardous to their boats.

     Further, the Plaintiffs seek compensation for all Florida
boat owners who have been damaged as a result of the oil
companies' failure to warn of the destructive tendencies of fuel
blended with ethanol when used in boats.  Boat owners have been
forced to spend thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to
repair their boats.

     "Denial of the motion is a significant step toward
redressing the wrong perpetrated on Florida's boating
population," said TKO Managing Partner, Jeffrey Ostrow.  
"Florida is the boating capital of the world and it is
reprehensible for oil companies to enjoy significant profits
while knowingly paralyzing Florida's boaters.  We hope to have
the opportunity to represent all aggrieved boaters throughout
Florida."

     Denial of the motion is particularly notable in light of
the fact that a similar lawsuit in California was previously
dismissed at the same stage.

For more details, contact:

          Jeff Ostrow
          The Kopelowitz Ostrow Firm
          Phone: (954) 612-4100
          Website: http://www.tkolaw.com/


SCHOLASTIC CORP: Seeks Dismissal of N.Y. Amended Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Scholastic Corp. seeks to dismiss the second amended complaint
in a consolidated securities fraud class-action lawsuit pending
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York, according to the company's Jan. 9, 2009 Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended Nov. 30, 2008.  

Initially, the Alaska Laborers Employers Retirement Fund filed a
lawsuit on Aug. 20, 2007, before the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York against the company; Richard
Robinson, the Corporation's Chairman, President and Chief
Executive Officer; and Mary Winston, the former Chief Financial
Officer of the Corporation.  The suit sought class action
status.

A second complaint was filed on Sept. 21, 2007, by Paul Baicu
against the same parties.

Each complaint claims in substance that the corporation made
false and misleading statements concerning its operations and
financial results during the period from March 18, 2005, through
March 23, 2006.

Both cases are styled as class actions on behalf of a class of
persons who purchased the corporation's securities during such
time and asserts claims pursuant to Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Exchange Act.  They also seek unspecified compensatory
damages, costs and attorneys fees.

On Nov. 8, 2007, the suits were consolidated, under the caption,
"In re Scholastic Corporation Securities Litigation, Case No.
1:2007-cv-07402."

A final, consolidated complaint was filed on Jan. 11, 2008,
seeking unspecified compensatory damages, costs and attorney
fees.   

The company filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on Feb. 27,
2008, which motion was argued on June 25, 2008, and is awaiting
a decision by the court.

On Sept. 26, 2008, the plaintiff sought leave of the Court to
file a second amended class action complaint, in order to add
allegations relating to the company's restatement announced in
its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on July 30, 2008.  The
Court then dismissed the company's pending motion to dismiss as
moot.

On Oct. 20, 2008, the plaintiff filed the second amended
complaint, and on Oct. 31, 2008, the company filed a motion to
dismiss the second amended complaint, which remains pending.

The second amended class action complaint continues to allege
securities fraud relating to statements made by the company
concerning its operations and financial results between March
2005 and March 2006 and seeks unspecified compensatory damages.

The suit is "In re Scholastic Corporation Securities Litigation,
Case No. 1:2007-cv-07402," filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York, Judge George B. Daniels,
presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

          Mario Alba, Jr., Esq. (malba@csgrr.com)
          Coughlin, Stoia, Geller, Rudman & Robbins, LLP
          58 South Service Road, Suite 200
          Melville, NY 11747
          Phone: 631-367-7100
          Fax: 631-367-1173

Representing the defendants is:

          Michael Joseph Chepiga, Esq. (mchepiga@stblaw.com)
          Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
          425 Lexington Avenue
          New York, NY 10017
          Phone: 212-455-2598
          Fax: 212-455-2502


TEXAS INDUSTRIES: Chromium Emission Complaints Remain Stayed
------------------------------------------------------------
Three purported class-action complaints over hexavalent chromium
emissions against Texas Industries, Inc.'s subsidiary, Riverside
Cement Co., remain stayed, according to the company's Jan. 9,
2009 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 30, 2008.

The company has been served with three additional lawsuits filed
in Riverside County Superior Court of the State of California in
mid July 2008.

Each purports to be a class action complaint for medical
monitoring for a putative class defined as students who attended
or presently attend a specified school in the vicinity of the
company's Crestmore plant and who were allegedly exposed to
chrome 6 emissions from the plant.

The putative class in each of these cases is a subset of the
putative class in the case styled, "Virginia Shellman, et al. v.
Riverside Cement Holdings Company, et al.," and the allegations
and request for relief are nearly identical to those in the
Shellman case.  As a consequence, the court has stayed these
three lawsuits until the Shellman lawsuit is finally determined.

Texas Industries, Inc. -- http://www.txi.com-- is a supplier of  
heavy construction materials in the United States through its
three business segments: cement, aggregates and consumer
products.  The company's cement segment produces gray portland
cement and specialty cements.  Its cement production and
distribution facilities are concentrated primarily in Texas and
California.  The company's aggregates segment produces natural
aggregates, including sand, gravel and crushed limestone, and
specialty lightweight aggregates.  Its consumer products segment
produces primarily ready-mix concrete and, to a lesser extent,
packaged products.  The company is a supplier of natural
aggregates and ready-mix concrete in Texas and northern
Louisiana, and to a lesser extent, in Oklahoma and Arkansas.


TEXAS INDUSTRIES: Riverside Unit Faces "Shellman" Complaint
-----------------------------------------------------------
Texas Industries, Inc.'s subsidiary, Riverside Cement Co., is
facing a purported class action complaint styled, "Virginia
Shellman, et al. v. Riverside Cement Holdings Company, et al."

In late April 2008, the "Shellman" lawsuit was filed in
Riverside County Superior Court of the State of California.

The lawsuit purports to be a class action complaint for medical
monitoring for a putative class defined as individuals who were
allegedly exposed to chrome 6 emissions from the company's
Crestmore cement plant.

The complaint alleges an increased risk of future illness due to
the exposure to chrome 6 and other toxic chemicals.

The suit requests, among other things, punitive and exemplary
damages and establishment and funding of a medical testing and
monitoring program for the class until their exposure to chrome
6 is no longer a threat to their health, according to the
company's Jan 9, 2009 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Nov. 30, 2008.

Texas Industries, Inc. -- http://www.txi.com-- is a supplier of  
heavy construction materials in the United States through its
three business segments: cement, aggregates and consumer
products.  The company's cement segment produces gray portland
cement and specialty cements.  Its cement production and
distribution facilities are concentrated primarily in Texas and
California.  The company's aggregates segment produces natural
aggregates, including sand, gravel and crushed limestone, and
specialty lightweight aggregates.  Its consumer products segment
produces primarily ready-mix concrete and, to a lesser extent,
packaged products.  The company is a supplier of natural
aggregates and ready-mix concrete in Texas and northern
Louisiana, and to a lesser extent, in Oklahoma and Arkansas.


VOYAGER LEARNING: Awaits Final Approval of Securities Suit Deal
---------------------------------------------------------------
The settlement in the matter, "In Re: ProQuest Company
Securities Litigation, Case No. 2:06-cv-10619-AC-MKM," which was
filed against Voyager Learning Co., formerly known as ProQuest
Co., remains subject to final approval by the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Between February and April 2006, four putative securities class-
action complaints, now consolidated and designated as "In re
ProQuest Company Securities Litigation," were filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the
company and certain of its former and then-current officers and
directors (Class Action Reporter, Oct. 15, 2008).

Each of these substantially similar lawsuits alleged that the
defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the U.S.
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as well as the
associated Rule 10b-5, in connection with the company's proposed
restatement.

On May 2, 2006, the court consolidated the four cases and
appointed lead plaintiffs and lead plaintiffs' counsel.  By
stipulation of the parties, the consolidated lawsuit was stayed
pending restatement of the company's financial statements.

The lead plaintiffs subsequently asked the Court to lift the
stay of proceedings to enable them to file a consolidated
complaint, which they did on July 17, 2006.  

The defendants then filed motions for sanctions under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 11 and to dismiss the Consolidated
Complaint.

Rather than respond to these motions, the lead plaintiffs moved
to reinstate the stay of proceedings, which was granted.

On Dec. 4, 2006, the Court again lifted the stay of proceedings
and ordered the lead plaintiffs to either respond to the
previously filed motions to dismiss and for sanctions, or to
file an Amended Consolidated Complaint.

On Jan. 24, 2007, the lead plaintiffs filed their Amended
Consolidated Complaint, which the defendants moved to dismiss on
March 15, 2007.

On July 22, 2008, Voyager Learning Co. reached an agreement in
principle to settle the consolidated shareholder securities
class-action lawsuit.

The settlement will be funded largely by insurance.  Under the
terms of the agreement, the company would pay approximately $5
million in fees and settlement amounts to settle the class
action with remaining amounts to be paid by the insurers.  

A Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement was signed by the
parties and the Court granted preliminary approval of such
agreement.  The company paid $4.0 million into an escrow account
on Jan. 9, 2009.  The final settlement is subject to final Court
approval and the participation of a sufficient percentage of the
putative class, according to the company's Jan. 9, 2009 Form 10-
Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.

The suit is "In Re: ProQuest Company Securities Litigation, Case
No. 2:06-cv-10619-AC-MKM," filed in the U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of Michigan, Judge Avern Cohn, presiding.

Representing the plaintiffs are:

          Frederic S. Fox, Esq. (ffox@kaplanfox.com)
          Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP
          850 Third Avenue, 14th Floor
          NY, NY 10022  
          Phone: 800-290-1952 or 212-687-1980
          Fax: 212-687-7714
          Web site: http://www.kaplanfox.com/

               - and -

          Michael K. Yarnoff, Esq.
          Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer & Check, LLP
          280 King of Prussia Road
          Radnor, PA 19087
          Phone: (610) 667.7706
          Fax: (610) 667.7056
          Web site: http://www.sbtklaw.com/

Representing the defendants are:

          Michael J. Faris, Esq. (michael.faris@lw.com)
          Latham & Watkins
          233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 5800
          Chicago, IL 60606-6401
          Phone: 312-876-7700
          Fax: 312-993-9767

               - and -

          George B. Donnini, Esq. (donnini@butzel.com)
          Butzel Long
          150 W. Jefferson, Suite 100
          Detroit, MI 48226-4430
          Phone: 313-225-7000
          Fax: 313-225-7080


WACHOVIA CORP: Keller Rohrback Appointed as Interim Lead Counsel
----------------------------------------------------------------
     SEATTLE, Jan. 20, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Keller Rohrback
L.L.P. (www.erisafraud.com) announces that the Honorable Naomi
Reice Buchwald has appointed Keller Rohrback as Interim Lead
Counsel for the proposed Class in "In Re Wachovia Corporation
ERISA Litigation."

     The ERISA case, which was previously consolidated by Judge
Buchwald, is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York.  The Complaint was filed on behalf of a
Class of all persons who were participants in or beneficiaries
of the Wachovia Savings Plan (the "Plan") between January 23,
2007 and the present (the "Class Period") and whose accounts
included investments in Wachovia Corp. ("Wachovia") (NYSE:WFC)
common stock.

     The Complaint alleges that Wachovia and the various
defendants breached their fiduciary duties owed to Plan
participants and beneficiaries by:

       -- failing to prudently and loyally manage the Plan's
          investment in Wachovia stock;

       -- failing to properly monitor the performance of their
          fiduciary appointees and remove and replace those
          whose performance was inadequate;

       -- failing to disclose necessary information to co-
          fiduciaries;

       -- failing to provide complete and accurate information
          to the Class regarding the soundness of Wachovia stock
          and the prudence of investing and holding retirement
          contributions in Wachovia equity;

       -- failing to prevent breaches by other fiduciaries of
          their duties of prudent and loyal management, complete
          and accurate communications, and adequate monitoring;
          and

       -- knowingly participating in breaches.

For more details, contact:

          Jennifer Tuato'o, Paralegal
          Keller Rohrback L.L.P.
          Phone: (800) 776-6044
          e-mail: investor@kellerrohrback.com
          Web site: http://www.erisafraud.com


WALGREEN CO: Faces Plumbers and Steamfitters' Suit in Illinois
--------------------------------------------------------------
Walgreen Co. and its Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating
Officer defends against the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local No.
7 Pension Fund's putative class-action suit, according to the
company's Jan. 6, 2009 Form 10-Q Filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for quarter ended Nov. 30, 2008.

On April 16, 2008, the Pension Fund filed a putative class-
action suit against the company and two of its officers in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The suit was filed on behalf of purchasers of company common
stock during the period between June 25, 2007, and Nov. 29,
2007.

The complaint, which was amended on Oct. 16, 2008, charges the
company and its former Chief Executive Officer and Chief
Operating Officer with violations of Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, claiming that the company
misled investors by failing to disclose declining rates of
growth in generic drug sales and a contract dispute with a
pharmacy benefits manager that allegedly had a negative impact
on earnings.

Based in Deerfield, Ill., Walgreen Co. is principally a retail
drugstore chain that sells prescription and non-prescription
drugs and general merchandise.


* Milberg LLP Lead Counsel in More Securities Cases, Reports Say
----------------------------------------------------------------
     NEW YORK, NY, Jan 21, 2009 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) --
Milberg LLP was lead or co-lead counsel more often than any
other law firm in the 100 securities class actions filed since
1996 that yielded the largest settlements, according to a report
issued by a leading financial industry analyst recently.

     The "Top 100 Settlements Report" was released on December
31, 2008, by RiskMetrics Group's Securities Class Action
Services division.

     Among recent settlements was the $3.2 billion recovery
obtained by Milberg as co-lead counsel in the case against Tyco
International, Ltd., in 2007.

     Sanford Dumain, a member of Milberg's Executive Committee,
stated, "This report is a testament to the ability of Milberg's
attorneys, investigators, forensic accountants and other
professionals to obtain excellent results for our institutional
and individual investor clients and class members."

For more details, contact

          Milberg LLP
          One California Plaza
          300 South Grand Avenue, Suite 3900
          Los Angeles, California 90071
          Phone: (800) 320-5081
          e-mail: contactus@milberg.com
          Web site: http://www.milberg.com/


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

ARGUS INT'L: Wolf Haldenstein Files N.Y. Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
     NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On January 20, 2009, Wolf
Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP filed a class-action suit
in the United States District Court, Southern District of New
York, on behalf of all persons who purchased the Variable
Universal Life Insurance ("VUL") Policies issued by Tremont
International Insurance Limited or Argus International Bermuda
Limited [AGH BH] (collectively, the "Insurer") from January 1,
2003 through the present (the "Class Period"), against Argus
International Life Bermuda Limited, Argus Group Holdings
Limited, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., Oppenheimer
Acquisition Corporation, Rye Investment Management, Rye Select
Broad Market Fund L.P., Rye Select Broad Market Insurance
Portfolio, LDC, Tremont [Bermuda] Limited, Tremont Capital
Management Inc., Tremont Group Holdings, Inc., Tremont
International Insurance Limited, and Tremont Partners Inc., and
arising out of the $50 billion dollar Ponzi scheme orchestrated
by Bernard Madoff ("Madoff").

     The complaint asserts that, during the Class Period, the
Insurer, originally an entity owned by Tremont Capital
Management Inc., breached its fiduciary duties to Plaintiff and
the Class by offering Tremont-related funds as viable investment
options for the variable investment account component of the VUL
policies.  

     Despite the fact that the income streams from the variable
investment accounts are often used by VUL policyholders to pay
premiums under the policy, the Insurer offered Tremont-related
funds without investigating the suitability of such investments
for policyholders and concealed that the Tremont-related funds
in fact were heavily invested in Madoff.

     The Complaint further alleges that the Defendants failed to
perform the necessary due diligence that they were being
compensated to perform as investment managers and fiduciaries.
Defendants allowed billions of dollars of their clients' money
to be invested with Madoff and his related entities without
performing adequate due diligence despite the abnormally high
and stable positive investment results reportedly obtained by
Madoff regardless of market conditions; the inconsistencies
between Madoff's publicly available financial information and
the purported amounts that Madoff managed for clients; and the
fact that Madoff's firm was audited by a small, obscure
accounting firm with no experience auditing entities of that
apparent size and complexity.  These red flags should have
alerted Defendants that Madoff's returns were suspiciously
aggressive despite the performance of the overall market.

     Defendants either knew or should have known that the
Tremont-related fund assets were employed as part of a massive
Ponzi scheme and took no steps in a good faith effort to prevent
or remedy that situation, proximately causing billions of
dollars of losses.

     By acting with gross negligence, recklessness and/or in
breach of fiduciary duties owed to Plaintiff and other Class
members, Defendants caused and/or permitted Plaintiff and other
class members to choose improper and inappropriate investments
that have decimated the variable investment account component of
their VULs, and, most egregiously, placed these VUL policies at
risk of lapsing.

     Plaintiff seeks to recover damages caused to the Class by
Defendants' breaches of fiduciary duties and to protect the
VULs, and the associated death benefits, from premature lapsing.

     The case name is styled, "Chateau Fiduciare S.A. as Trustee
of the Map Trust v. Argus International Life Bermuda Ltd., et
al."

For more details, contact:

          Gregory M. Nespole, Esq.
          Gustavo Bruckner, Esq.
          Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP
          Phgone: 800-575-0735
          e-mail: classmember@whafh.com
          Web site: http://www.whafh.com


AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: Stull Stull Files N.Y. Stock Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
     NEW YORK, NY - The law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody
announces that it filed a class action lawsuit on December 29,
2008 on behalf of purchasers of the American Depositary Receipts
of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited ("ANZ" or the
"Company") (PINKSHEETS: ANZBY) during the period March 2, 2007
through July 27, 2008 (the "Class Period"). The action is
pending in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, Case No. 08-CV-11278.

     The complaint alleges that the Company and its top
executives violated the federal securities laws. The complaint
charges that ANZ failed to adequately disclose the range of
risks arising from its loans to Opes Prime Group Limited, an
Australian stock brokerage firm that lent money to customers on
margin.  ANZ had lent hundreds of millions of dollars to this
failed brokerage house, but without adequate disclosure of the
risks the loans posed to ANZ.  The day before the Company
announced its losses stemming from exposure to Opes Prime, its
stock (ADRs) closed at a high of $17.24. The following day,
after ANZ's announcement, ANZ's stock price dropped to $14.57.
ANZ's stock is currently trading at $9.90.

For more details, contact:

          Tzivia Brody, Esq.
          Stull, Stull & Brody
          6 East 45th Street
          New York, NY 10017
          Phone: 1-800-337-4983
          Fax: 212/490-2022
          e-mail: SSBNY@aol.com


BANK OF AMERICA: Chitwood Harley Files Ga. Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
     ATLANTA, Jan 21, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Chitwood Harley
Harnes LLP ("Chitwood") announces that it has filed a class
action lawsuit against Bank of America Corporation ("Bank of
America") and various individuals on behalf of all persons who
held securities of Bank of America as of October 10, 2008
entitled to vote (the "Class") at the special meeting of
stockholders called to approve Bank of America's Merger with
Merrill Lynch & Co. ("the Merger").

     The case, filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Georgia, alleges that Bank of America and
its Board of Directors violated the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  The case has been assigned Civil Action No. 09 Civ. 0159.

     Bank of America is a financial holding company that
provides banking, investing, asset management and other
financial and risk-management products and services to
individual consumers and businesses.

     The complaint alleges that Defendants solicited proxies
from Class members by means of a Proxy Statement which contained
false and misleading statements concerning the Merger and its
benefits to shareholders, as well as failing to state material
facts which were necessary to make the statements in the Proxy
not false and misleading.  As a result of the misrepresentations
or omissions of material facts from the Proxy, the Class members
were denied the opportunity to make an informed decision in
voting on the Merger.

     Following the close of the Merger on January 1, 2009, Bank
of America disclosed for the first time in a press release on
January 16, 2008, the true extent of Merrill Lynch's dire
financial condition and Bank of America's appeal to the federal
government for assistance to assist in absorbing losses
attributable to Merrill Lynch's investments.

     The press release unexpectedly announced that Bank of
America suffered a fourth-quarter loss of $1.79 billion, that it
had accepted an additional $20 billion in aid from the federal
government, and that the federal government had guaranteed in
excess of $100 billion in loan losses to help Bank of America
absorb toxic loan-backed security assets it acquired in its
merger with Merrill Lynch.  

     Following that announcement, Bank of America's stock fell
from approximately $9 to approximately $5 per share, a very
substantial drop.

     No class has been certified yet in this action.

For more information, contact:

         Katie King, Esq. (kking@chitwoodlaw.com)
         Ze'eva Banks, Esq. (zbanks@chitwoodlaw.com)
         Chitwood Harley Harnes LLP
         11 Grace Avenue, Suite 306
         Great Neck, NY 11021
         Phone: 1-888-873-3999
                404-873-3900
         Web site: http://www.chitwoodlaw.com/


BANK OF AMERICA: Wolf Popper Files Securities Fraud Suit in N.Y.
----------------------------------------------------------------
     NEW YORK, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Wolf Popper LLP has filed
a class action lawsuit against Bank of America Corp. ("Bank of
America") (NYSE: BAC) , Kenneth Lewis and John Thain, among
others, in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, on behalf of all persons who owned shares
of Bank of America on October 10, 2008, who were entitled to
vote to approve the adoption of a merger agreement between Bank
of America and Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. ("Merrill Lynch")
pursuant to a Proxy Statement dated October 31, 2008 (the "Proxy
Statement") (the "Class").  

     This action alleges claims for violations of Section 14(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The case has been
assigned Civil Action No. 09 Civ. 580.

     The facts underlying this action concern the Merger of Bank
of America and Merrill Lynch, which closed on January 1, 2009.  

     The complaint alleges that on January 16, 2009, Bank of
America disclosed Merrill Lynch's preliminary 2008 fourth
quarter loss of $15.3 billion.  Merrill Lynch's fourth quarter
2008 "principal transactions" revenue was negative $13.1
billion, reflecting a net loss owing to write-downs, mark-to-
market valuation declines and other losses on assets held in its
trading portfolio.  It is alleged that as a result of this
massive loss Bank of America was compelled to seek additional
funding and asset guarantees from the United States Treasury
Department.  Following these disclosures, Bank of America shares
declined by 31% between January 14, 2009 and January 16, 2009.

     The complaint charges that the Proxy Statement contained
material misrepresentations and failed to disclose facts
necessary to make the disclosures true.

     Specifically, defendants' misrepresentations and omissions
include the failure to update, amend or correct the Proxy
Statement to reflect, among other things, the risk or existence
of Merrill Lynch's fourth quarter losses, prior to the December
5, 2008 vote by Bank of America shareholders to approve the
Merger.

For more information, contact:

           James A. Harrod, Esq. - 212.451.9642
           (jharrod@wolfpopper.com)
           Anthony Green, Esq. - 212.451.9621
           (agreen@wolfpopper.com)
           Wolf Popper LLP
           845 Third Avenue
           New York, NY 10022
           Phone: 877-370-7703 (toll free)
           Fax: 212-486-2093
                877-370-7704 (toll free)
           e-mail: irrep@wolfpopper.com
           Web site: http://www.wolfpopper.com/


JP MORGAN: Coughlin Stoia Announces N.Y. Securities Suit Filing
---------------------------------------------------------------
     NEW YORK, Jan 21, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Coughlin Stoia
Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP ("Coughlin Stoia") today announced
that a class action lawsuit is pending in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of New York on behalf of
purchasers of Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates and Asset-
acked Pass-Through Certificates ("Certificates") of J.P. Morgan
Acceptance Corporation I ("JP Morgan Acceptance" or the
"Depositor") pursuant and/or traceable to false and misleading
Registration Statements and Prospectus Supplements issued
between January 2006 and March 2007 by JP Morgan Acceptance
(collectively, the "Registration Statements"). The class
includes purchasers of Certificates in the following trusts:

       -- J.P. Morgan Alternative Loan Trust 2006-A1          
       -- J.P. Morgan Alternative Loan Trust 2006-A7
       -- J.P. Morgan Alternative Loan Trust 2006-A2
       -- J.P. Morgan Alternative Loan Trust 2006-S1
       -- J.P. Morgan Alternative Loan Trust 2006-A3
       -- J.P. Morgan Alternative Loan Trust 2006-S2
       -- J.P. Morgan Alternative Loan Trust 2006-A4
       -- J.P. Morgan Alternative Loan Trust 2006-S3
       -- J.P. Morgan Alternative Loan Trust 2006-A5
       -- J.P. Morgan Alternative Loan Trust 2006-S4
       -- J.P. Morgan Alternative Loan Trust 2006-A6
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-A3
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-A4
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-A5
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-A6
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-A7
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-ACC1
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-CH2
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-HE2
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-HE3
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-NC1
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-RM1
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-S2
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-WF1
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-WMC2
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-WMC3
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-WMC4
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2007-A1
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2007-A2
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2007-CH1
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2007-CH2            
       -- J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2007-S1

     The complaint charges JP Morgan Acceptance, certain of its
officers and directors and the issuers and underwriters of the
Certificates with violations of the Securities Act of 1933.

     JP Morgan Acceptance was formed in 1988 for the purpose of
acquiring, owning and selling interests in those assets.  JP
Morgan Acceptance is a subsidiary of J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.
("JP Morgan") and is engaged in mortgage lending and other real
estate finance-related businesses, including mortgage banking,
mortgage warehouse lending, and insurance underwriting.

     The complaint alleges that on July 29, 2005 and February 8,
2006, JP Morgan Acceptance and the Defendant Issuers caused
Registration Statements to be filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission ("SEC") in connection with the issuance of
billions of dollars of Certificates.  

     The Certificates were issued pursuant to Prospectus
Supplements, each of which was incorporated into the
Registration Statements.  The Certificates included several
classes or tranches, which had various priorities of payment,
exposure to default, interest payment provisions and/or levels
of seniority.  The Certificates were supported by large pools of
mortgage loans.  The Registration Statements represented that
the mortgage pools would primarily consist of loan groups
generally secured by first liens on residential properties,
including conventional, adjustable rate and negative
amortization mortgage loans.

     The complaint alleges that the Registration Statements
omitted and/or misrepresented the fact that the sellers of the
underlying mortgages to JP Morgan Acceptance were issuing many
of the mortgage loans to borrowers who:

       -- did not meet the prudent or maximum debt-to-income
          ratio purportedly required by the lender;

       -- did not provide adequate documentation to support the
          income and assets required for the lenders to approve
          and fund the mortgage loans pursuant to the lenders'
          own guidelines;

       -- were steered to stated income/asset and low
          documentation mortgage loans by lenders, lenders'
          correspondents or lenders' agents, such as mortgage
          brokers, because the borrowers could not qualify for
          mortgage loans that required full documentation; and

       -- did not have the income required by the lenders' own
          guidelines to afford the required mortgage payments
          which resulted in a mismatch between the amount loaned
          to the borrower and the capacity of the borrower.

     According to the complaint, by the summer of 2007, the
amount of uncollectible mortgage loans securing the Certificates
began to be revealed to the public.  To avoid scrutiny for their
own involvement in the sale of the Certificates, the Rating
Agencies began to put negative watch labels on many Certificate
classes, ultimately downgrading many.  The delinquency and
foreclosure rates of the mortgage loans securing the
Certificates has grown both faster and in greater quantity than
what would be expected for mortgage loans of the types described
in the Prospectus Supplements.

     As an additional result, the Certificates are no longer
marketable at prices anywhere near the price paid by plaintiffs
and the Class and the holders of the Certificates are exposed to
much more risk with respect to both the timing and absolute cash
flow to be received than the Registration Statements/Prospectus
Supplements represented.

     Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all
purchasers of Certificates pursuant and/or traceable to the
Registration Statements (the "Class").


For more details, contact:

          David A. Rosenfeld, Esq. (djr@csgrr.com)
          Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP
          Phone: 800-449-4900 or 619-231-1058
          Web site: http://www.csgrr.com/cases/jpmorgan/


KV PHARMACEUTICAL: Labaton Sucharow Files Mo. Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
     NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Labaton
Sucharow LLP filed a class action lawsuit on January 21, 2009 in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri, on behalf of purchasers of the securities of KV
Pharmaceutical Company ("KV" or the "Company") (NYSE:KV-A)
(NYSE:KV-B) between May 31, 2007 and November 12, 2008,
inclusive (the "Class Period").  

     The complaint names KV, Marc S. Hermelin, Ronald J.
Kanterman, and Richard H. Chibnall as defendants (collectively,
"Defendants").  The complaint alleges that during the Class
Period, Defendants violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
by issuing various materially false and misleading statements
about KV's compliance with federal regulations pertaining to the
manufacture and marketing of certain generic drugs, as well as
KV's financial well-being, business operations and prospects,
which had the effect of artificially inflating the market price
of the Company's securities.

     The complaint alleges, inter alia, that the Defendants made
materially false and misleading statements because they failed
to disclose and/or misrepresented the following adverse facts,
among others:

       -- that KV's manufacturing facilities were in disarray,
          resulting in the manufacture of unsafe drug products
          that would have to be recalled due to the fact that
          they may contain oversized tablets;

       -- that KV's management engaged in misconduct by failing
          to recall the Company's unsafe drug products;

       -- that KV's manufacturing facilities failed to comply
          with federal regulations including FDA requirements
          and guidelines, generally referred to as current "Good
          Manufacturing Practices";

       -- that manufacturing disruptions and inefficiencies were
          resulting in a material backlog of unshipped customer
          orders thus further eroding the Company's revenues and
          earnings;

       -- that the Company failed to write-off at least $24
          million in inventories of discontinued products,
          seized by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District
          of Missouri due to defendants' violation of FDA
          enforcement notices;

       -- that KV's post-January 2008 sales of generics were
          being negatively impacted by material price erosion
          following the expiration of the Company's exclusive
          sales period for the drug metoprolol succinate;

       -- that KV's financial statements failed to comply with
          GAAP; and

       -- that, based on the foregoing, Defendants' statements
          concerning the Company's current and future financial
          prospects were lacking in a reasonable basis when made
          and therefore materially false and misleading when
          made.

     On November 13, 2008, KV announced that it would be unable
to file its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2008
due to a continuing investigation by the Company's Audit
Committee into allegations of management misconduct concerning
recalls of the Company's drug products.  On this news, the price
of KV common stock fell from $14.26 per share to $5.90 per
share, a drop of nearly 59%, on extremely heavy volume.

For more information, contact:

          Alan I. Ellman, Esq. (aellman@labaton.com)
          Labaton Sucharow LLP
          140 Broadway
          New York, NY  10005
          Phone: 800-321-0476
                 212-907-0700


ROYAL BANK: Girard Gibbs Announces N.Y. Securities Fraud Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
     SAN FRANCISCO -- (Business Wire) The law firm of Girard
Gibbs LLP (http://www.girardgibbs.com/rbs.asp)announces that a  
class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of purchasers of
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc ("RBS") (NYSE:RBS) American
Depositary Shares ("ADSs") pursuant to a false and misleading
registration statement and prospectus issued in connection with
its initial public offering of 38 million Non-cumulative Dollar
Preference Shares, Series S.

     The class action is pending in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York.  It charges RBS and
certain of its officers and directors with violations of the
Securities Act of 1933.  RBS is a holding company of The Royal
Bank of Scotland plc and National Westminster Bank plc, which
are United Kingdom-based clearing banks.

     The complaint alleges that defendants consummated RBS's
Offering pursuant to the false and misleading Registration
Statement, selling 38 million Non-cumulative Dollar Preference
Shares, Series S ("Series S ADSs") at $25 per share, for
proceeds of approximately $950 million. RBS ultimately announced
multi-billion pound impairment charges associated with its
exposure to debt securities, including mortgage-related
securities tied to the U.S. real estate markets, causing the
price of RBS's Series S ADSs issued in the Offering to decline.
The ADSs now trade at approximately $10 per share.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers
of RBS Series S ADSs pursuant and/or traceable to the
Registration Statement for the Offering.

For more information, contact:

          Jonathan K. Levine, Esq.
          Aaron M. Sheanin, Esq.
          Girard Gibbs LLP
          601 California Street, Suite 1400
          San Francisco, CA 94108
          Phone: 415-981-4800


SOUTHWEST WATER: Murray Frank Files Calif. Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
     Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP has filed a class action, in the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California, on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased
or otherwise acquired the securities of SouthWest Water Company
("SouthWest Water" or the "Company") (NasdaqGS:SWWC) between May
10, 2005 and November 9, 2008, inclusive (the "Class Period").

     The Complaint charges SouthWest Water and certain of its
executive officers with violations of federal securities laws.
Specifically, the Complaint alleges that defendants' public
statements were false and misleading or failed to disclose or
indicate that the Company's financial results were not prepared
in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

     On November 10, 2008, SouthWest Water shocked investors
when it announced that the Company's audit committee had
concluded that the consolidated financial statements for the
years ended December 31, 2005, 2006 and 2007, and for each of
the quarters therein, as well as for the quarters ended March
31, 2008 and June 30, 2008, should no longer be relied upon and
would be restated to correct a number of errors related to:

       -- the establishment of the rate of depreciation of
          assets acquired by acquisition; and

       -- the accounting for revenues and related costs
          associated with the installation of water and sewer
          taps.

     On this news, shares of SouthWest Water declined $2.97 per
share, more than 36%, to close on November 10, 2008, at $5.25
per share, on unusually heavy volume.

For more information, contact:

          Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP
          275 Madison Ave., Suite 801
          New York, NY 10016-1101
          Phone: 212-682-1818
                 800-497-8076
          e-mail: newcase@murrayfrank.com
          Web site: http://www.murrayfrank.com/


                        Asbestos Alerts

ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Stolen Redcar Vacuum Cleaners Create Worry
----------------------------------------------------------------
Black and yellow vacuum cleaners stolen from a steel container
at Redcar and Cleveland College have asbestos, The Northern Echo
reports.

On Jan. 14, 2009, the container was broken into. Among the items
taken from the Corporation Road site in Redcar, England, were
the vacuum cleaners.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said, "Police are concerned for
the safety of any person being offered these for sale and then
opening them."

The spokesman called on anyone with any information about the
whereabouts of the vacuum cleaners to contact police
immediately.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Ship Docked in Darwin Raises Health Risks
----------------------------------------------------------------
The seismic exploration ship Ocean Endeavor is docked in Darwin,
Northern Territory, Australia, for asbestos assessment in the
near future, ABC Darwin reports.

The ship was docked at the Fort Hill Wharf due to the presence
of asbestos. About 19 crew of the ship disembarked at the wharf
on Jan. 16, 2009.

Off-shore marine services say a survey of the ship in December
2008 found some levels of asbestos on board.

Although a management plan was put in place to prevent any
exposure, the crew raised concerns and the ship has been brought
in.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: High Asbestos Death Rate Noted in Plymouth
----------------------------------------------------------------
Recent statistics from the Health and Safety Executive show that
373 men in Plymouth, England, died from mesothelioma between
1981 and 2005, Legal & Medical reports.

This figure makes Plymouth the United Kingdom's third largest
cluster for these particular cancers, behind Leeds and
Warrington.

The City's high asbestos death rate has been linked to the use
of asbestos in the dockyard.

Andrew Stinchcombe, Industrial Disease Team Leader at Bond
Pearce Solicitors, said, "The amount of people who have died
from mesothelioma in the Plymouth area in the last few decades
is a national scandal.

"For many years these men were exposed to asbestos dust, usually
at Devonport Dockyard, and would constantly be working with the
dust and breathing it in on a daily basis.

"Unfortunately therefore it is not at all surprising that
Plymouth is the U.K.'s third worse hotspot for asbestos related
deaths. In addition to the figures quoted by the HSE for
mesothelioma, it should also not be forgotten that other
asbestos related conditions can also result in fatalities."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Suit on London Architect's Death Launched
----------------------------------------------------------------
Irene Cass, the widow of West Hampstead, London-based architect
Roger Cass, who died of mesothelioma, launched a lawsuit in a
bid for asbestos compensation, Ham & High 24 reports.

Mr. Cass died in March 2006 at the age of 77.

The 80-year-old Mrs. Cass seeks witnesses who could come forward
to help her with her claim against Mr. Cass' former employer,
London County Council, later known as the Greater London
Council.

One building in which it is thought Mr. Cass was exposed to
asbestos is the Elgin Estate in Maida Vale. Mrs. Cass wants to
hear from anyone who worked with her late husband on the estate.

Mr. Cass was thought to have been exposed to asbestos dust and
fibers while working as an architect in the housing division and
then later for the technical information group with LCC from
1955 to 1986.

During his employment, Mr. Cass was required to go into
buildings, which were in the process of demolition or structural
alteration. At the Elgin Estate, he was involved in overseeing
the removal of defective cladding which contained asbestos.

Tariq Khan, from lawyers Irwin Mitchell, who is representing
Mrs. Cass, said, "We would like to hear from anyone who worked
at the Elgin Estate for LCC and remembers working in areas which
were contaminated with asbestos."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Abilene Library's Cleanup Could Cost $5,510
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos removal and disposal costs of the Abilene Public
Library in Abilene, Kans., could be limited to US$5,510, The
Abilene Reflector-Chronicle reports.

City manager Allen Dinkel said Wichita, Kans.-based ACM Removal
LLC received the bid for the removal of asbestos. According to
its bid sheet, ACM's bid was for removal and disposal of carpet,
floor tile and black mastic as outlined by a report.

Mr. Dinkel said there were four identified and quantified areas
where asbestos was found.

The library renovation was expected to cost about US$1.8 million
and should be completed before the end of 2009.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Cleanup at Conroe Motel, Tex. to Cost $75T
----------------------------------------------------------------
Officials of the Conroe Industrial Development Corporation
approved a US$75,520 bid for asbestos abatement at the Conroe
Motel, located at 517 W. Davis St., Conroe, Tex., The Courier
reports.

AAR Inc. was awarded the contract for US$75,520, but CIDC
officers approved a maximum of US$100,000 in case additional
abatement is needed.

The City purchased the Conroe Motel in June 2008 for US$1.9
million.

Downtown Director Larry Calhoun said that with the approval,
asbestos removal could begin within a couple of weeks and be
completed three weeks after that.

Depending on when the City's Public Works Department can
schedule demolition of the motel, located at the intersection of
Frazier and Davis streets, Mr. Calhoun said he anticipates the
site could be cleared by late February 2009 or early March 2009.

City Purchasing Director Wallace Dodd said that original
estimates for the abatement had been thought to be around
US$120,000.

No plans have yet been made for the approximately 1.5-acre
Conroe Motel site. In December 2008, officials with PKF
Consulting, hired in June 2008 to do a study on the best sites
in Conroe for a full-service hotel, told the CIDC that there is
not enough demand for one at the Conroe Motel site.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Weymouth Needs $6Mil for Cleanup at School
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Town of Weymouth, Mass., needs US$6 million to remove
asbestos from the Chapman Middle School, in which the substance
was discovered in 2007, The Patriot Ledger reports.

The district did a short-term cleanup so the school could be
deemed safe, but it is required by the state to do a full
removal job.

The town seeks to pay for removal of asbestos, new
communications equipment, and repairs of town-owned property
with stimulus money the state may receive from President Barack
Obama's administration.

Mayor Sue Kay's office has submitted a lengthy list of projects
on which construction could start in the next nine months. The
list was sent to the state, which could be responsible for
distributing the federal money to cities and towns.

Weymouth listed a total of US$73.7 million worth of projects in
its request to the state.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA to Reassess Libby Emergency Declaration
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may reconsider an
emergency declaration in Libby, Mont., as the change in White
House administrations could mean more money for asbestos cleanup
and health care in the town, The Missoulian reports.

On Jan. 15, 2009, Lisa Jackson - nominee to head EPA under an
Obama presidency - told congressional lawmakers she would, if
confirmed, visit Libby to meet with both EPA staffers and
locals.

Ms. Jackson also agreed to reconsider EPA's 2002 decision not to
declare a public health emergency in the town, and to report
back within 90 days to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who has
previously said the EPA's refusal to make the declaration may
have been political, with pressure from the Bush White House.

As early as 1999, investigative news reports linked widespread
death and illness with a defunct Libby vermiculite mine,
operated by W. R. Grace & Co. In digging up the vermiculite,
miners also unearthed asbestos fibers.

The town was named a national Superfund site in 2002, and the
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reports that
residents there suffer asbestos-related health problems at a
rate of 40 to 60 times the national average. ATSDR also
concludes that Libby residents contract rare asbestos-related
cancer at a rate 100 times the national average.

Since news of the contamination was made public, nearly a decade
and millions of taxpayer dollars have passed in Libby, with no
clear understanding of how safe, or hazardous, the town remains.

In 2002, Sen. Baucus said, then-EPA boss Christine Todd Whitman
was strongly considering a public health emergency declaration
for the town, which would have made Libby a top financial
priority for both cleanup and health care.

All three Lincoln County commissioners have testified that Ms.
Whitman told them with certainty the declaration would be made,
but that once she returned to Washington the matter was dropped.

On Jan. 15, 2009, Sen. Baucus asked Ms. Jackson to review
whether Libby should have qualified for an emergency health
declaration, and said she agreed to report back to him within 90
days of her anticipated confirmation.

Sen. Baucus is a senior member and former chairman of the
Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, which has
jurisdiction over EPA.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: ADAO to Give Awards this March 27 in Calif.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), on Jan. 8,
2009, announced several award winners for their outstanding work
and dedication to asbestos awareness related activities,
according to an ADAO press release.

The winners will receive their awards on the Fifth Annual
Asbestos Awareness Day Conference scheduled for March 27, 2009
to March 29, 2009 at the Manhattan Beach Marriott in California.

The award honorees are as follows:

     -- U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer will be presented with the
        Tribute of Hope Award for her steadfast commitment and
        determination to ban asbestos.

     -- Margaret Seminario, AFL/CIO will receive the Tribute of
        Unity Award for the union's global work to unite,
        educate and empower asbestos victims, and workers.

     -- Dr. Stephen Levin, will be recognized with the Dr.
        Irving Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of
        his dedicated research into the social and medical
        impact asbestos has had on humankind.

     -- Pralhad Malvadkar and Raghunath Manwar will be
        presented with the Tribute of Inspiration Award for
        being a bridge of hope and strength to victims of
        asbestos exposure in India and worldwide.

ADAO Co-Founder & Executive Director Linda Reinstein said, "ADAO
is honored to award these inspiring individuals with the top
honors that they deserve at the fifth annual Asbestos Awareness
Day conference so that we may achieve our ultimate goal of
banning asbestos globally.

"Asbestos Awareness Day is an opportunity to spread awareness
about the dangers of asbestos, recognize accomplishments and
honor loved ones. We're so pleased to be holding the conference
once again for the fifth year in a row."

Founded by asbestos victims and their families, Asbestos Disease
Awareness Organization seeks to give asbestos victims and
concerned citizens a united voice to help ensure that their
rights are fairly represented and protected, while raising
awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and often
asbestos related diseases.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Nova Scotia Gov't. May Seek to Recover Cash
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers are determining whether the province of Nova Scotia,
Canada, can recover any of the money it spent since finding
asbestos in Zonolite Attic Insulation in several of its housing
units, The Chronicle Herald reports.

Linda Laffin, spokeswoman for the Department of Community
Services, said, "We don't know yet if we qualify, but we're
looking into it. The Department owns the public housing units in
Whitney Pier and Ashby Terraces, Sydney, where asbestos was
detected three years ago.

Ms. Laffin confirmed that the insulation used in those homes was
Zonolite vermiculite, the same kind of insulation that is the
subject of a bankruptcy settlement notice published in The
Chronicle Herald advising homeowners to file property-related
claims against W. R. Grace & Co. by this Aug. 31, 2009.

In the 1960s, Grace bought the mine in Libby, Mont., in which
the mine was the main source of the world's vermiculite. The
company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001.

Ms. Laffin said the Department is now compiling the costs
associated with dealing with the insulation, as well as
subsequent testing, remediation and ongoing expenses, including
maintenance and inspection costs.

Vermiculite insulation was "very popular" in Nova Scotia, says
Melanie Mathews of All-Tech Environmental Services, which tests
for asbestos and makes suggestions on how to deal with it.

In 2006, Community Services and the Cape Breton Housing
Authority came under fire when it was revealed that residents
had not been told that asbestos had been found in one of its
public housing units.

Subsequent testing determined vermiculite insulation was in 103
units in Cape Breton, plus a "few" other properties across the
province, including one in Antigonish County and a couple in the
Annapolis Valley, Ms. Laffin said.

Eventually, 10,000 properties were tested and Community Services
implemented an asbestos management policy province-wide.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Petition for Review Denied in Tucker Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, denied Samuel B.
Tucker, Jr.'s petition for review in asbestos-related actions
filed against several defendants.

Mr. Tucker appealed from the June 22, 2007 final decision of the
Benefits Review Board ("BRB"), over an award of workers
compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers'
Compensation Act.

The case is styled Samuel B. Tucker, Jr., Petitioner v. Thames
Valley Steel, Hartford Insurance Company, Director of Office of
Workers' Compensation Programs, Respondents.

Circuit Judges Jose A. Cabranes, Reena Raggi, and Debra Ann
Livingston entered judgment in Case No. 07-3575-AG on Dec. 24,
2008.

In 1993, Mr. Tucker filed a claim for compensation under the Act
for occupational diseases alleged to have been caused by
exposure to hazardous substances in the course of work for
Electric Boat Corporation in Connecticut.

In 2000, Mr. Tucker filed additional claims naming Thames Valley
Steel and others as alternatively liable employers. Hartford
Insurance Company, which is TVS' insurance carrier, was also
named as a respondent by Mr. Tucker.

The claims came before the District Director of the Department
of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs in Boston,
in an attempt to bring the parties to a resolution, but the
parties could not come to a full agreement. The District
Director then referred the matter to the Office of
Administrative Law Judges.

Administrative Law Judge Daniel F. Sutton issued a "Decision and
Order Awarding Benefits and Denying Special Fund Relief" in
September 2003. In the decision, the ALJ found that Mr. Tucker
had established that he suffers from "asbestos-related
interstitial lung disease which is causally related to his
employment at TVS."

Following the ALJ's decision, Mr. Tucker filed a motion
asserting that the ALJ erred in his computation of Mr. Tucker's
weekly compensation rate. TVS and HIC in turn filed a motion for
reconsideration on several of the ALJ's determinations.

In a Nov. 5, 2003 Order, the ALJ granted the motion of TVS and
HIC for reconsideration on whether Mr. Tucker's claim against
them was timely filed, and upon reconsideration the ALJ
concluded that it was timely. The ALJ then denied TVS and HIC's
motion for reconsideration with respect to its other claims, and
also denied Mr. Tucker's motion for reconsideration.

On Nov. 13, 2003, TVS and HIC appealed the ALJ's decision to the
Benefits Review Board. The BRB acknowledged this appeal on Dec.
12, 2003. At roughly the same time, TVS and HIC filed a motion
for reconsideration with the ALJ, which was denied on Dec. 17,
2003. On Dec. 23, 2003, TVS and HIC filed another appeal to the
BRB.

On Feb. 23, 2004, the BRB dismissed their original appeal as
premature. In December 2004, the BRB issued a decision reversing
the ALJ's decision that Mr. Tucker was an involuntary retiree.

The ALJ's decision was issued April 13, 2006, and Mr. Tucker
filed a motion for reconsideration soon after. He requested
reconsideration of the ALJ's new commencement date for benefits,
which the ALJ declined to revisit.

Mr. Tucker appealed the ALJ's decision of April 13, 2006 to the
BRB, arguing that the Dec. 23, 2003 appeal of TVS and HIC to the
BRB had sought review of the ALJ's decision on the second motion
for reconsideration, and, accordingly, that the BRB should not
have considered all of the ALJ's previous decisions in the case.
In a June 22, 2007 Decision and Order, the BRB affirmed the
ALJ's April 13, 2006 Decision and Order. Mr. Tucker then filed a
timely notice of appeal to this Court.

The Appeals Court had considered all of Mr. Tucker's arguments
on appeal and found them to be without merit. Accordingly, the
petition of review was denied.

Joshua T. Gillelan II, Esq., Longshore Claimants' National Law
Center, Washington, D.C., represented Mr. Tucker.

David A. Kelly, Esq., of Monstream & May LLP in Glastonbury,
Conn., represented the Respondents.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Reconsideration Motion in Conrail Case OK'd
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, granted
Consolidated Rail Corporation's motions for reconsideration in
asbestos lawsuits involving various defendants.

The first case is styled Consolidated Rail Corporation,
Plaintiff v. Gerard A. Ritter and Susan R. Norek ex rel. Gerard
H. Ritter, deceased, Defendants.

The second case is styled Consolidated Rail Corporation,
Plaintiff v. John M. Gribbin, Defendant.

District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina entered judgment in Civil
Action Nos. 07-1370 (RMU) and 07-1371(RMU) on Jan. 7, 2009.

Conrail sought declaratory relief proscribing successor
liability for personal injury claims stemming from conduct prior
to its formation.

The defendants, who currently have personal injury claims
pending in Pennsylvania state court, were former employees of
Erie Lackawanna, a railroad company whose assets were
transferred to Conrail under the Regional Rail Reorganization
Act of 1973.

On March 27, 2008, the court granted the defendants' motions to
dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, prompting Conrail to file
motions for reconsideration. The defendants argued that the
court properly dismissed the suit.

Charles Henry Carpenter, Esq., of Pepper Hamilton LLP in
Washington, D.C., Laurence Z. Shiekman, Esq., of Pepper,
Hamilton & Scheetz in Philadelphia, represented Consolidated
Rail Corporation.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: PPG Ind. Cites $592MM Settlement at Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
PPG Industries, Inc.'s asbestos settlement (under current
liabilities) was US$592 million as of Dec. 31, 2008, compared
with US$593 million as of Dec. 31, 2007, according to a Company
report, on Form 8-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on Jan. 16, 2009.

The Company's asbestos settlement (under current liabilities)
was US$615 million as of Sept. 30, 2008, compared with US$600
million as of Sept. 30, 2007. (Class Action Reporter, Oct. 24,
2008)

Fourth quarter 2008 net income includes aftertax earnings of
US$3 million, or US$0.02 per share, to reflect the net decrease
in the current value of the Company's obligation under its
proposed asbestos settlement agreement reported in May 2002,
which is pending court proceedings. Fourth quarter 2007 net
income included an aftertax loss of US$1 million, or US$0.01 per
share, for the proposed settlement.

Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries, Inc. supplies paints, coatings,
chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and
fiber glass. The Company has more than 150 manufacturing
facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60
countries.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Found in Mudgee, Australia, Schools
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos was found in a number of schools in Mudgee, New South
Wales, Australia, causing these schools to be placed on the
Department of Education and Training's asbestos register, the
Mudgee Guardian reports.

The department audited schools in the state in 2008 and compiled
a register identifying the location of known or presumed
asbestos-containing materials on the sites.

The report states 248 areas in and around Mudgee High School,
Mudgee Public School and Cudgegong Valley Public School are
suspected of having asbestos or are known to have the substance
in standard construction material.

Of those areas, chrysotile or white asbestos was confirmed in
nine areas at Mudgee High School and seven areas at Cudgegong
Valley Public School.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said each school
was given a register so they know where the asbestos is. The
spokesperson said, "The register will ensure if work needs to be
done on the school, the contractors know where the material is
and can take the necessary precautions."

Department of Education and Training director general Michael
Coutts-Trotter said in a press release, "Some of our schools,
like many buildings throughout the country, were constructed
decades ago using asbestos-containing materials in the roof,
floors and walls or with asbestos in insulation and ceilings."

A review of asbestos found in schools will be undertaken in
September 2009.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Westminster Court Rules on Engineer's Death
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Westminster Coroner's court, on Jan. 15, 2009, ruled that
the death of Battersea, England, heating engineer, David Timms,
was linked to exposure to asbestos, the Surrey Comet reports.

The 69-year-old Mr. Timms died from mesothelioma in St. George's
Hospital on Nov. 21, 2008.

A friend said Mr. Timms lived alone in Ingrave Street and loved
football and steam engines.

Coroner Dr. Paul Knapman said, "He died from mesothelioma. The
question is, of course, did he have it as a result of exposure
to asbestos? On balance, I think he did."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Cleanup Delays Gould Hall Renovation
----------------------------------------------------------------
A University of Oklahoma official confirmed that the renovation
of Gould Hall in the University located in Norman, Okla., has
been slightly delayed to ensure the safe removal of asbestos
from the building, The Norman Transcript reports.

David Nordyke, assistant direct and senior project manager at OU
Architectural and Engineering Services, said, "We anticipated
the abatement of existing asbestos in Gould Hall during the
planning for the project. The required abatement has taken a
little longer than originally anticipated and has slightly
delayed the project."

To remove asbestos from Gould Hall, work crews create a
containment area around the areas that contain asbestos by
creating walls of wooden framing and polyethylene plastic, Mr.
Nordyke said.

During the renovation of Gould Hall, the College of Architecture
has moved to the 500 block of West Main Street.

Mr. Nordyke said that upon completion of the renovation, Gould
Hall will contain about 108,000 gross square feet of space.
Included in that space will be a presentation gallery, design
studios and classrooms for use by each of the five divisions of
the college, jury areas for the presentation and discussion of
student design projects, a faculty center which will include
offices for the college's faculty members along with conference
rooms and support staff areas, an administrative suite, a new
library, information technology classroom areas and IT support
space, as well as other support space for use by the college.

The College of Architecture is set to move back into its former
home in spring 2011.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Found in Cheshire Prison's Housing
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos was discovered in 10 prison housing units at Manson
Youth Institute in Cheshire, Conn., The Record-Journa reports.

According to Department of Correction spokesman Brian Garnett,
no inmates or staff were exposed to the asbestos and the
contaminated areas have been closed off.

According to Corrections Officer Moises Padilla, the insulation
is in the basements and custodial closets and was found while
the air conditioning system was being upgraded.

The asbestos will have to be removed and it is unclear if the
inmate populations of the housing units will have to be moved
when this takes place.

Neither Mr. Garnett nor Mr. Padilla had an estimate of the cost
of the removal.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hazard Halts Demolition at N.Y. University
----------------------------------------------------------------
The presence of asbestos halted demolition work at the State
University of New York at Plattsburgh, The Press-Republican
reports.

In November 2008, workers found hidden non-friable asbestos in
the Maintenance and Storage Building on campus, which was being
torn down to make way for more parking.

SUNY Director of Media Relations David M. Henahan said, "The
location of the asbestos between the outer edge of the interior
floors and the face of the exterior wall on a multi-storied
building presents challenges."

As a result, SUNY's Construction Fund and the contractor had to
develop a plan to address the issue. They are negotiating costs
and a schedule for safely removing the materials containing
asbestos.

Mr. Henahan said, "We anticipate demolition of the remaining
structure to take eight weeks."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: EPA Okays Cleanup at Ohio Brownfield Land
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency gave its approval to
Springfield, Ohio's cleanup of brownfield land in the downtown
area, the Springfield News-Sun reports.

The contamination on the 1.4-acre site included asbestos, lead
and benzo(a)pyrene.

The EPA issued a covenant not to sue for the former Haucke
complex, 301 to 339 E. Main St. and 14 to 16 S. Plum St.

Under the covenant announced on Jan. 9, 2009, the state agrees
the site does not need further environmental cleaning and that
it would not sue in the future.

The city of Springfield is happy to receive the agreement, said
Shannon Meadows, community development director. She said, "It's
another step in the direction of the redevelopment of downtown.
Yet another piece of property that may have sat idle for years
due to past unregulated contamination is now available for
redevelopment."

The city received a more than US$900,000 Clean Ohio grant in
2005 to remediate the site, but the total project only cost
about US$400,000, Ms. Meadows said. The remainder of the money
will go back into the Clean Ohio program.

Before the Haucke plumbing business, the site had been used as a
coal yard, tin shop, livery, filling station, auto repair shop
and a bottling company. The buildings came down in 2008.

According to an Ohio EPA news release, about 575 cubic yards of
contaminated soil was removed and properly disposed of.

Originally, the property was envisioned as a medical office
building in the Clean Ohio grant application. Ms. Meadows said,
a user has not been identified, but she expects it will be some
sort of office or medical-related space.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Found in Former Parsons Paper Mill
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos was found at the burned down site of the Parsons Paper
Company, Inc. mill at Holyoke, Mass., The Republican Newsroom
reports.

The mill's owners hope this summer they will be able to finish
demolishing the building that was destroyed in a fire on June 9,
2008.

Company consultant Frank H. Romanelli said that before the fire,
drums of chemicals had been removed but there is hazardous
waste, mostly asbestos, in the building which is complicating
the process.

The mill's owner, National Vulcanized Fiber Co., has spent more
than US$150,000 to fence the site, hire a 24-hour security
guard, pay environmental engineers to write a demolition plan,
move underground oil tanks, and repair leaking canal gates.

For years, City officials warned the Company about the 313,000-
square-foot building on Sargeant Street that needed to be
secured. It brought the Company, which is in bankruptcy, to
court several times to force it to pay back taxes and improve
safety.

The property is between Holyoke's upper and lower canals, and
the Company will also need approvals from the Conservation
Commission and the state Department of Environmental Protection.

"We will have to fully evaluate the impact of the project on the
canal system," said Alice M. Seller, city conservation director.

Paul J. Healy, city building inspector, said that because of the
hazardous waste and other issues, City and Company officials
have been going back and forth on how exactly the cleanup should
be done.

Mr. Healy said that the Company will first need permits from the
Department of Environmental Protection and then the city and the
Conservation Commission before the remaining half of the mill is
razed and all rubble is removed.

The Department of Environmental Protection is mostly overseeing
permits for the removal of asbestos from the portion of the
building that is still standing and the rubble, where the bricks
are likely mingled with asbestos, said Elizabeth M. Stinehart,
department spokeswoman.

The company is requesting permission to bury the bricks that
came from burned portion deep in the ground and cover them with
clean gravel and then a layer of topsoil, Mr. Romanelli said.
City officials have objected to the plan. The request is being
reviewed by the state, he added.

Mr. Romanelli said he is hoping to win needed permits within 60
days and go out to bid to find contractors.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Va. Firm Says Bill Will Curb Victims Rights
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Newport News, Va.-based law firm of Patten, Wornom, Hatten &
Diamondstein says a bill filed in the General Assembly could
curb rights of local residents to sue for asbestos-related
exposure, the Daily Press reports.

Bobby Hatten, Esq., one of the firm's partners, said, "This is a
very, very dangerous bill. It is an absolutely evil bill."

The legislation would sharply limit the dollar amount that
parent companies have to dish out in asbestos claims against
entities or divisions that the parent company purchased before
1972.

The purchasing company's asbestos-related liability would be
limited to the dollar value of the purchased entity's assets at
the time of the sale, adjusted for inflation. Claims against
those companies that have not gone to trial by July 1, 2009
would be thrown out.

Mr. Hatten said the legislation is designed with one company in
mind: Philadelphia-based Crown Cork & Seal Company Inc.

Mr. Hatten contends that though Crown Cork is not typically sued
in Newport News courts, he says that if the bill passes, the
floodgates would open and other companies, including those that
are sued in Newport News, would line up for similar exemptions.

Nearly identical to a bill that died in committee a year ago,
the legislation was filed by Del. Terry G. Kilgore, R-Gate City.

Kilgore's bill has been referred to the House Committee on
Commerce and Labor, but no further action has been taken so far.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: U.K. Public Buildings' Safety Not Monitored
----------------------------------------------------------------
Information given to Paul Rowen MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow
Minister for Work and Pensions, under the Freedom of Information
Act, show a shortage of staff employed by Councils to monitor
the safety of asbestos in Public Buildings, Rochdale Online
reports.

The figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show
that:

     -- The majority of Councils do not employ any individuals
        to monitor the safety of asbestos in public buildings
        full time.

     -- Despite the introduction of the Control of Asbestos
        Regulations two years ago in 2006 many Councils have
        not surveyed all of their properties to check for
        asbestos. Such properties are used by the public on a
        daily basis and include schools, leisure centers and
        council housing.

Mr. Rowen commented: "Council's have had two years to conduct
surveys and ensure that local people are protected from the
potentially fatal effects of asbestos exposure.

"However, I am pleased to note that Rochdale Council is taking
its responsibilities seriously, having surveyed all buildings
and regularly re-inspecting materials; supported by an
excellent, fully qualified staff. Other councils should follow
this example."

Jason Addy, coordinator, Save Spodden Valley campaign said, "We
welcome our MP Paul Rowen's work to investigate this important
matter. Lack of enforcement and regulation of existing laws to
protect people from the deadly effects of asbestos is an issue
that the Save Spodden Valley campaign has been raising for some
time. Paul has spoken about this in Parliament and we welcome
future progress."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Noah Webster, EPA Resolve AHERA Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has settled with the
Noah Webster Basic School, located in Mesa, Ariz., for alleged
violations of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act,
according to an EPA press release dated Jan. 20, 2009.

In April 2007, EPA inspectors discovered the school had not been
inspected to determine if asbestos-containing materials were
present in the school's buildings and had not created an
asbestos management plan.

The school has since completed inspections performed by
accredited inspectors. No asbestos was found at the school, and
necessary actions have since been taken to comply with the law
by developing an asbestos management plan. The school was
assessed a US$2,400 fine for the violations which was off-set by
the expense of coming into compliance.

Katherine Taylor, associate director for the Communities and
Ecosystems Division in EPA's Pacific Southwest region, said,
"Asbestos can potentially endanger the health of students,
teachers, and maintenance workers at schools. We are pleased
that Noah Webster has now conducted inspections and has put an
asbestos management plan into place."

Federal law requires schools to conduct an initial inspection
using accredited inspectors to determine if asbestos-containing
building material is present and develop a management plan to
address the asbestos materials found in the school buildings.

Schools that do not contain asbestos-containing material must
still develop a management plan which would identify the
designated person and include the architect's statement or
building inspection and the annual notification to parents,
teachers, and employees regarding the availability of the plan.

The EPA's rules also require the school to appoint a designated
person who is trained to oversee asbestos activities and ensure
compliance with federal regulations. Finally, schools must
conduct periodic surveillance and re-inspections, properly train
the maintenance and custodial staff, and maintain records in the
management plan.

Local education agencies must keep an updated copy of the
management plan in its administrative office and at the school
which must be made available for inspection by parents,
teachers, and the general public.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Camden Awarded $200T EPA Grant for Training
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a
US$200,000 grant to the City of Camden, Ark., to provide
training for residents who have been impacted by redevelopment
and environmental remediation of brownfields properties,
according to an EPA press release dated Jan. 15, 2009.

Giving priority to the underemployed and unemployed, Camden
plans to recruit 30 students from Camden and surrounding
counties, place at least 19 graduates in environmental
technician jobs, and track students for one year.

EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene, said, "EPA is
committed to providing educational and career opportunities to
students who possess a desire to learn more about science,
policy, and the environment. As a result of our commitment, the
City of Camden will produce future environmental leaders who
will have the knowledge and training to keep Camden
environmentally safe and healthy for upcoming generations."

Working in conjunction with Southern Arkansas University Tech
and the Arkansas Workforce Center, Camden will conduct three,
344-hour training cycles which includes coursework in
groundwater remediation, disposal of remediated waste, and
asbestos supervision.

Upon completion of the training, 12 certifications will be
offered and students will be placed in environmental jobs.

EPA's Brownfields Program empowers states, communities and other
stakeholders in economic development to work together to
prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse
brownfields, which are real properties, developments, or
expansions that may be contaminated by hazardous substances and
pollutants.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Chattanooga to Get $200,000 Training Grant
----------------------------------------------------------------
The City of Chattanooga, Tenn. is among 13 communities
nationally that are receiving EPA brownfields job training
grants geared toward cleaning up contaminated properties and
turning them into productive community assets, according to a
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency press release dated Jan.
20, 2009.

The grant will teach environmental assessment and cleanup job
skills to individuals living in areas near brownfields sites.

The City of Chattanooga was selected to receive a US$200,000 job
training grant. Chattanooga plans to train 30 students, place 18
or more graduates in environmental technician jobs, and track
students for one year.

The training program will consist of two training cycles,
including a brownfields redevelopment overview; courses on
environmental assessment, sampling, and analysis; safety and
health training; lead and asbestos abatement; and heavy
equipment operator training.

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than US$25 million in
brownfields job training funds. The program is designed to
ensure that the economic benefits derived from brownfields
redevelopment remain in the affected communities. Grant
recipients include non-profit organizations, workforce
investment boards, and state and local governments.

Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment or reuse
may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a
hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.

EPA's brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America's
estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since
the beginning of the program, EPA has awarded more than 1,400
assessment grants totaling about US$337 million, 240 revolving
loan fund grants totaling more than US$233 million, and 530
cleanup grants totaling about US$99 million.

EPA's brownfields assistance has attracted more than US$12.7
billion in private investment and helped create more than 53,000
jobs.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Conn., Mass. to Share $600,000 for Training
----------------------------------------------------------------
Two communities in Connecticut and one in Massachusetts will
share US$600,000 in EPA Brownfields job training grants geared
toward cleaning up contaminated properties and turning them into
productive community assets, according to a U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency press release dated Jan. 15, 2009.

The three New England recipients that will be awarded US$200,000
EPA Brownfields job training grants are New Bedford, Mass.;
Workplace Inc. of Southwest Connecticut (located in Bridgeport,
Conn.); and the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board,
located in Waterbury, Conn.

The EPA grants will help teach environmental assessment and
cleanup job skills to individuals living in areas near
brownfields sites.

Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England
office, said, "EPA's Brownfields Program has been a powerful
economic engine helping revitalize and restore neighborhoods
across New England and nationwide. These grants take that
success a step further, by training community members with
lasting skills to convert contaminated areas back into
productive uses in their communities."

The Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board (NRWIB) in
Waterbury plans to train 60 students and has a goal of placing
50 graduates in environmental jobs. The training program will
include environmental, health, safety and industrial training;
lead and asbestos abatement training; and remediation
technologies training.

The NRWIB will work with the Waterbury Development Corporation,
trade unions, environmental organizations and private sector
remediation specialists to place graduates in environmental
jobs.

The Workplace Inc. (Southwestern Connecticut's Regional
Workforce Investment Board), is a nonprofit organization that
provides employment and training services for a 20-town region
in Fairfield County. Recent assessments have identified 26
brownfield sites within the target area.

The Workplace plans to train 60 students from five towns,
including Norwalk, Ansonia, Derby, Seymour and Shelton, with a
goal of placing 48 in environmental jobs. The training program
will include lead and asbestos abatement, 40-hour "Hazardous
Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard" (HAZWOPER),
and environmental technician.

Trainees who go beyond the basic course requirements may become
certified in a number of other environmental areas with a
potential for earning up to 13 college credits. Students will be
recruited primarily from among the residents of the five towns
targeted by this program.

The Workplace, Inc. will institute an environmental jobs
hotline, establish a job club, and work with members of the
advisory board who are in the environmental sector to place
program graduates.

The City of New Bedford, Mass., has clusters of underused or
abandoned textile mills, electronic manufacturing facilities and
other industrial sites, many of which are located adjacent to
densely populated, low-income neighborhoods. Brownfield cleanups
are underway or planned for several mill, electronics, and tool
sites.

Students will be recruited from among the city's unemployed and
underemployed residents in brownfields-impacted neighborhoods.

New Bedford plans to train a total of 60 students in two tracks,
and place at least 33 graduates in environmental jobs. The
environmental competency track includes 344 hours of coursework
and certifications in HAZWOPER; asbestos, lead, and mold
abatement; hazardous substance transportation; vapor intrusion;
and alternative technologies.

The higher-education track consists of 465 hours of training in
site evaluation and GIS, incident management, hazardous waste
management, and general chemistry. Trainees who complete the
higher-education track will receive up to 25 college credit
hours. The primary trainer will be Bristol Community College.
New Bedford will work with the Greater New Bedford Career Center
to place graduates in environmental jobs.

The three New England projects competed successfully in a
national grant process. They were among 13 communities in 12
states selected to share US$2.6 million in job training grants.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Totton Resident's Death Linked to Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Southampton Coroner's Court inquest heard that the death of
73-year-old Sylvia Coster, of Totton and Elling, England, was
linked to exposure to asbestos, the Southern Daily Echo reports.

Mrs. Coster had eight times the normal amount of asbestos
particles in her lungs when she died.

The court heard how Mrs. Coster's husband Dennis had brought
home his overalls for washing when he worked at Pirelli Cables
Ltd in Eastleigh during the 1960s.

In a letter referred to by coroner Keith Wiseman, Mrs. Coster
said she had come into contact with asbestos as she would shake
the particles off Mr. Coster's clothes. She also said that her
husband came into so much contact with asbestos that it would
gather in the turn-ups of his trousers.

Mr. Coster, who was at the inquest, told the court that she had
also been exposed to the deadly substance when her father worked
at Southampton's old power station.

Mr. Coster said, "Everyone would go into the canteen at
lunchtime with asbestos on their clothes, but at the end of the
week they would clear away the tables and sweep the floor and
hold dances every Friday and Saturday night that we would both
go to."

Pathologist Dr. Patrick Gallagher, who carried out a post-
mortem, said there was no doubt asbestos had caused
mesothelioma.

Coroner Keith Wiseman recorded a verdict of death by industrial
disease and said that although a wife's death from washing her
husband's work clothes seemed unusual it was not unknown.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Delays Miss. Courthouse Renovation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asbestos cleanup delayed the renovation of the Lafayette County
Courthouse in Oxford, Miss., clarionledger.com reports.

Panola Construction Co.'s bid to renovate the courthouse was to
begin right after the Double Decker Festival in late April 2007.
Officials hoped to have the building ready before the 2008
festival.

However, the US$3.1 million project has taken nearly twice as
long as planned. Work was delayed for the removal of asbestos.

There were previously undiscovered weaknesses in the building's
foundation. Now, furniture and equipment sit on the first floor
awaiting placement on upper floors when the main elevator is
certified, which was delayed for weeks by holdups in getting
phone and data lines installed.

Board of Supervisors President Lloyd Oliphant says it is likely
the contractor will want another extension, which he will ask
the board to deny.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Macaruso Sentenced for Extorting Employees
----------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Macaruso, a Johnston, R.I. asbestos abatement
contractor, was sentenced to two years in federal prison for
extorting kickbacks from his employees and failing to report
about US$280,000 on his income tax returns, the Associated Press
reports.

The 50-year-old Mr. Macaruso was sentenced on Jan. 20, 2009 in
U.S. District Court after pleading guilty in July 2008. He will
also have to pay taxes he owes and more than US$167,000 in
restitution and fees.

Prosecutors said Mr. Macaruso's two companies performed asbestos
abatement for several public agencies, including housing
authorities in Providence, Cranston and North Providence.

Mr. Macaruso claimed he paid the prevailing wage. However, he
cashed employees' paychecks himself and gave them significantly
less cash than they were owed.

Mr. Macaruso is to report to prison on Feb. 16, 2009.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: St. Mary's Worker's Death Linked to Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest heard that the death of St. Mary's Hospital worker,
Geoffrey Goble, was linked to exposure to asbestos, Safety Med!a
reports.

Mr. Goble worked at St. Mary's Hospital in Portsmouth, England,
for 22 years and frequently in the presence of asbestos while
carrying out his role as a building craftsman.

Mr. Goble died at Jubilee House in Cosham, having been
previously diagnosed with mesothelioma. He released a statement
before his death claiming that he received no health and safety
equipment to protect him from dust and debris containing
asbestos.

Mr. Goble's widow, 69-year-old Janet, said, "When he came home
sometimes he was covered in white dust. The children used to run
up to him when he came home from work."

A verdict of death as result of an industrial disease was
recorded by the coroner.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Southsea Engineer's Death Linked to Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest heard that the death of Southsea, England, ship
engineer, Francis Adams, was linked to exposure to asbestos, The
News reports.

Mr. Adams died at the age of 85 at Queen Alexandra Hospital,
Cosham, England, after developing malignant mesothelioma.

The inquest heard how Mr. Adams had been exposed to high amounts
of asbestos while working as a ship engineer stripping and
lagging ship piping at the dockyard in Chatham, Kent, during the
1940s. He was further exposed to asbestos while working at
London's dockyards during the 1950s.

The family relocated to Portsmouth in the 1970s, where he worked
as the manager at Eastney Pumping Station. In November 2007, Mr.
Adams fell ill with a chesty cough and was later diagnosed as
having a tumor on his left lung.

On Jan. 14, 2008, Mr. Adams was rushed to QA hospital where he
died later that day. The cause of death was primarily identified
as due to a malignant mesothelioma likely to be related to an
industrial disease.

Recording a verdict of death by industrial disease, assistant
deputy coroner for Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Carolyn
Russell said, "It is clear that Mr. Adams suffered from
mesothelioma, a condition likely to be caused by exposure to
asbestos. It is very cruel that while he was trying to earn a
living, he was exposed to asbestos and died in that way."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Research Center Opened in Honor of Banton
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kevin Michael Rudd, Australia's Prime Minister, pledged AUD5
million to the Bernie Banton Centre, an asbestos diseases and
research institute named in honor of the late asbestos diseases
campaigner Bernie Banton, The Australian reports.

The center is located at Sydney's Concord Hospital.

The center in Sydney's west aims to study pathways to diseases
and relate them to prognosis and treatment, concentrate on
prevention and ensure victims receive optimum treatment.

Mr. Banton died in 2007 from mesothelioma. He was instrumental
in winning an AUD4 billion compensation package for Australian
asbestos disease sufferers from his former employer, James
Hardie Industries N.V.

Mr. Rudd said few Australians were aware of how the incidences
of mesothelioma were rising. He said, "Next year, around 750
Australians will be diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases.
These are bad figures."

Mr. Rudd said by 2020, it was estimated that Australia would
have 13,000 cases of mesothelioma.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Canada Continues to Export Asbestos to Asia
----------------------------------------------------------------
Canada has yet to stop the export of asbestos to several
developing countries, including India, Pakistan, and Vietnam,
Asbestos.com reports.

The people living in those countries will be fighting the same
asbestos war that Australia, the United States, and the United
Kingdom have been fighting for quite some time. Over the last
several decades, money has been spent removing asbestos-
containing materials from homes, schools and commercial
buildings to eliminate asbestos exposure.

In October 2008, Canada actually had the opportunity to vote and
add asbestos to the United Nations Watch List at the Rotterdam
Convention, but elected not to do so.

Barry Castleman, the United States consultant at the Rotterdam
Convention, says, "It's indefensible, what Canada has done.
Selling asbestos is one thing, but the idea of not being willing
to obtain prior informed consent before you export it is
another."

Many representatives that were present at the convention,
including Mr. Castleman, believe not adding asbestos to the
Watch List because a few countries chose not to has damaged the
reputation of the Rotterdam Convention and has placed thousands
of people importing asbestos at risk.

To date, about 2,000 to 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are still
being diagnosed each year in the United States.

If India, Pakistan, and Vietnam continue to receive asbestos
from Canada, they too will face the same challenges associated
with asbestos exposure and asbestos-related disease.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Found at Old Storage Site in Colo.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Pueblo County, Colo., site, in which stood the old cold
storage building, is contaminated with asbestos, KOAA reports.

Taxpayers' money was spent in Pueblo to make room for a new
county judicial building. Pueblo County Commissioners have spent
US$6.6 million to clean up what was left of the old cold storage
building on 6th St. and Elizabeth. The building was destroyed by
a fire in October 2007.

The total price tag for the new judicial building could exceed
US$40 million.

The county says owner Omar Maaliki would not clean up the site,
which has asbestos. Anthony Nunez, Pueblo County Commissioner,
said, "We were in hopes that it would not take as much money to
clean it up, but when you get into environmental and stuff,
which is what has happened with the asbestos, it was a lot more
than we anticipated."

Commissioner Nunez says they plan to cover the remaining rubble
with concrete and turn it into a parking lot. Meanwhile, a
county finance director says he thinks the county was over
billed US$3 million and is contesting the bill.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Consolidated Action Heard on Jan. 20 in Md.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys for several insurers and about 10,000 potential
asbestos plaintiffs were in Baltimore City Circuit Court on Jan.
20, 2009 for a hearing that will determine if their claims would
be tried as a class action, The Daily Record reports.

The lawsuit involves several insurance companies and a Maryland
asbestos insulation contractor.

The defendants' attorneys favor a more individualized approach
that would scrutinize the medical damages of each plaintiff and
his or her motivation for agreeing to a US$12.3 million
settlement 15 years ago.

Plaintiffs' attorneys argued that the class approach is most
practical, but that speed of adjudication has also become a
prime consideration.

"The sooner there's a trial date, the sooner there's going to be
serious discussions between these lawyers," said Arnold M.
Weiner, who since 2008 has represented most of the potential
class members.

After hearing from seven lawyers, Baltimore City Circuit Judge
W. Michel Pierson, who presided over the first part of the
hearing on Nov. 12, 2008, said he will try to oblige.

Filed in May 2005, the case alleges that insurers for asbestos
installer MCIC Inc. fraudulently represented the amount of
insurance the company had in settlement negotiations in 1994.

Lawyers for Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co. and Liberty
Mutual Insurance Co. have objected to the lawyers who
represented the plaintiffs in the settlement negotiations
representing them again.

The Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos P.C., which represented most
of the plaintiffs in the early 1990s and initially tried to sue
as the plaintiff in the fraud case, has withdrawn as plaintiffs'
counsel. The Law Offices of Arnold M. Weiner stepped in as
Angelos' selected successor.

The cases underlying the fraud case date back to the mid-1980s,
when the workers, many of them veterans of Bethlehem Steel
Corp.'s Sparrows Point Plant, sued MCIC and other asbestos-
related companies. The insurers had written policies for MCIC
(formerly the McCormick Asbestos Co.) from the early 1940s to
the early 1980s.

In 1990, the cases of 8,555 plaintiffs (about 8,000 represented
by the Angelos firm) were consolidated for a trial on liability.
Nine of the defendants settled with the plaintiffs, and at trial
in summer 1992, the remaining six, including MCIC, were found
liable.

While an appeal was pending, the plaintiffs' attorneys met with
MCIC's attorney in the chambers of then-Administrative Judge
Joseph H.H. Kaplan. They learned that MCIC's insurance coverage
totaled about US$12 million.

The plaintiffs' attorneys settled the case against MCIC in 1994.
According to a second amended complaint filed by the Angelos
firm in June 2006, the plaintiffs learned in 2002 that MCIC had
more coverage than it or its insurance companies had let on. In
2004, MCIC's lawyer disclosed the additional coverage, the suit
states.

The plaintiffs now allege negligent and fraudulent
misrepresentation and fraud by concealment. They seek punitive
damages in addition to a payout that factors in the additional
coverage then available to MCIC, which is now out of business.

William J. Bowman, who is representing Hartford, argued the
plaintiffs should not be able to proceed as a class because the
mindsets of putative class members were not the same when they
took the settlements and because they have not laid out a
coherent subclass structure.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Favors New Haven in Stamford's Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of Connecticut granted several of The City of
New Haven, Conn.'s Motions to Strike, in a lawsuit involving
asbestos removal filed by Stamford Wrecking Company.

The case is styled Stamford Wrecking Company v. City of New
Haven et al.

Judge Richard E. Arnold entered judgment in Case No.
CV085013102S on Dec. 8, 2008.

The City of New Haven moved to strike the Second, Third, Fourth,
Eleventh and Seventeenth Counts of Stamford's Revised Complaint
dated June 11, 2008. The City claimed that the allegations
contained were legally insufficient to support the causes of
action set forth in these counts.

The named defendants in this action are the City of New Haven,
Payne Environmental LLC, Neil Payne, Dunn Environmental
Inspections, LLC, and Richard Dunn.

At oral argument on Aug. 25, 2008, the parties informed the
court that the Second Count could be stricken by agreement. The
Third Count alleged a breach of the covenant of good faith and
fair dealing (common law). The Fourth Count alleged negligent
misrepresentation. The Eleventh Count alleges negligent
supervision. The Seventeenth Count alleged civil conspiracy.

The claim arose from an agreement between these parties
involving asbestos removal and the demolition of a building.
Stamford alleged it entered into a contract with the City to
perform asbestos abatement and the demolition of the former
Macy's building at 20 Church Street, New Haven, Conn.

Stamford claimed that after it commenced asbestos removal, it
discovered unanticipated problems relating to the asbestos
removal using conventional and standard remediation techniques.
Stamford alleged that the City had prior notice that
conventional and standard remediation techniques would be
insufficient to complete the safe removal of the asbestos at the
project.

Stamford alleged it requested monetary compensation for
additional extra work and delays associated with removing the
asbestos at the project, and that the City had improperly
rejected its request.

The City moved to strike the Third Count arguing that the facts
alleged by Stamford, even if proven, do not rise to the level of
the dishonest purpose or sinister motive required to state a
claim for a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and
fair dealing.

Regarding the Fourth, Eleventh and Seventeenth Counts alleging
negligent misrepresentation, negligent supervision and civil
conspiracy, the City argued that these are essentially breach of
contract claims couched as tort claims.

The City's Motion to Strike the Second, Third, Fourth, Eleventh
and Seventeenth Counts of Stamford's Revised Complaint dated
June 11, 2008, was granted as to each count.

The granting of the motion to strike the Second Count is by the
agreement of the parties, and, therefore, no analysis of the
Second Count was included in this Memorandum of Decision.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 3 Suits Filed Dec. 29 - Jan. 2 in Illinois
----------------------------------------------------------------
During the week of Dec. 29, 2008 through Jan. 2, 2009, three new
asbestos-related lawsuits were filed in Madison County Circuit
Court, The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

These claims are:

     -- In Case No. 08-L-1226, Verlie Hubbard of Tennessee, a
        laborer from the early 1960s until 1970 and who also
        performed home remodeling work on her home in the late
        1960s and on her uncle's home in the early 1970s,
        claims mesothelioma. Randy L. Gori, Esq., and Barry
        Julian, Esq., of Gori, Julian and Associates in Alton,
        Ill., represent Ms. Hubbard.

     -- In Case No. 08-L-1225, Lauren Huey of Alabama claims
        mesothelioma on behalf of her deceased mother, Jackie
        L. Huey. According to the suit, Mrs. Huey worked as a
        painter and performed residential work. Randy L. Gori,
        Esq., and Barry Julian, Esq., of Gori, Julian and
        Associates in Alton, Ill., represent Ms. Huey.

     -- In Case No. 08-L-1223, William Pratt of Iowa, a
        machinist, laborer, carpenter and table maker from 1945
        until 1978, claims mesothelioma. Michael R. Bilbrey,
        Esq., and Timothy P. Hulla, Esq., of the Law Offices of
        Michael R. Bilbrey in Edwardsville, Ill., represent Mr.
        Pratt.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: 4 Suits Filed on Jan. 5 – Jan. 9 in Madison
----------------------------------------------------------------
During the week of Jan. 5, 2009 through Jan. 9, 2009, four new
asbestos-related lawsuits were filed in Madison County Circuit
Court, Ill., The Madison St. Clair Record reports.

These suits are:

     -- In Case No. 09-L-0002, Clyde and Deborah Coleman of
        Illinois claim asbestosis. According to the suit, Mr.
        Coleman worked from 1956 until 1999 as an ironworker at
        various locations throughout Illinois and Missouri.
        Christopher R. Guinn, Esq., Christopher J. Levy, Esq.,
        John A. Barnerd, Esq., and Perry J. Browder, Esq., of
        SimmonsCooper in East Alton, Ill., represent the
        Colemans.

     -- In Case No. 09-L-0013, Joseph and Frances D'Ambrisi of
        New Jersey claim mesothelioma. According to the suit,
        Mr. D'Ambrisi worked from 1951 until 1990 as an
        engineer at Mobil Oil Company in New Jersey, New York,
        California and Illinois. Randy L. Gori, Esq., of Gori,
        Julian and Associates in Alton, Ill., represents the
        D'Ambrisis. W. Mark Lanier, Esq., Patrick N. Haines,
        Esq., R. Craig Bullock, Esq., J. Kyle Beale, Esq., and
        Sara A. Morton, Esq., of Houston served of counsel.

     -- In Case No. 09-L-0012, Fred J. and Doris Fox of
        Missouri claim lung cancer. According to the complaint,
        Mr. Fox worked as a steelworker at Granite City Steel
        from 1953 until 1986. Elizabeth V. Heller, Esq., and
        Robert Rowland, Esq., of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli
         and Rowland in Edwardsville, Ill., represent the Foxes.

     -- In Case No. 09-L-0008, Naomi Ruth and John W. Keeling
        claim mesothelioma. According to the complaint, Mrs.
        Keeling worked as a custodian, in school security and
        as a maintenance worker from 1976 until 1982. She also
        performed home remodeling work in Kentucky. Randy L.
        Gori, Esq., of Gori, Julian and Associates in Alton,
        Ill., represent the Keelings. W. Mark Lanier, Esq.,
        Patrick N. Haines, Esq., R. Craig Bullock, Esq., J.
        Kyle Beale, Esq., and Sara A. Morton, Esq., of The
        Lanier Law Firm in Houston served of counsel.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Davis Indicted for Cleanup Breaches in N.H.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Cheshire County Grand Jury, on Jan. 20, 2009, returned six
indictments to 57-year-old Paul Davis of Winchester, N.H., for
violations of New Hampshire's Asbestos Control and Management
laws, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release
dated Jan. 21, 2009.

New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte and Special
Agent-in-Charge Michael Hubbard of the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency's Criminal Investigation Division made the
announcement of the indictments on Jan. 21, 2009.

The indictments relate to the State's allegations that Mr. Davis
illegally performed an asbestos abatement project at 127 School
Street in Keene, N.H.

Each indictment charges Mr. Davis with a Class B felony. The
indictments are the result of a cooperative investigation
involving the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office, the EPA's
Criminal Investigation Division, the Keene Police Department and
the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

Ms. Ayotte said, "The improper removal of asbestos creates a
significant health risk to the people who live or work in the
immediate area of the removal. Strict enforcement of the laws
regulating the safe handling of asbestos is necessary to protect
the residents of our state."

Mr. Davis' arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 28, 2009 at the
Cheshire County Superior Court.

The Environmental Protection Bureau of the New Hampshire
Attorney General's Office and the EPA's Criminal Investigation
Division continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding
this incident.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Asbestos Topics Included in CLE Conferences
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mealey's Conferences (n/k/a HB Litigation Conferences) released
its upcoming schedule of CLE (Continuing Legal Education)
accredited teleconferences for tort litigators, plus a
professional development opportunity for women in the legal
profession, according to an HB Litigation Conferences press
release dated Jan. 20, 2009.

Upcoming teleconferences include:

     -- Jan. 22, 2009 - Asbestos Gaskets: Exposure and the
        State of the Art.

     -- Feb. 5, 2009 - Duragesic/Fentanyl Patch.

     -- Feb. 5, 2009 - Nanotechnology: Is it the Next Plastics
        or the Next Asbestos?

     -- Feb. 23, 2009 - Hot Topics in Pharma Litigation:
        Byetta, Digitek, Yasmin, NuvaRing & More.

     -- Feb. 24, 2009 - Defense Perspectives on Attorney
        General Pharmaceutical Claims.

     -- Feb. 24, 2009 - Construction Defect Litigation: Delay,
        Disruption, Collection Claims in Foreclosure & Contract
        Disputes.

     -- Feb. 26, 2009 - International Asbestos Litigation.

     -- Feb. 12, 2009 - Effective Negotiating Skills for Women
        Lawyers (CLE depends on state bar rules).

Not only can attorneys use these programs to educate practice
teams, but can benefit from 2-for-1 pricing (promo code
MASSTORTS141 required).

Interested attorneys are encouraged to visit
http://www.LitigationConferences.comfor more info, plus free  
articles and audio/video clips from the company's archives
covering insurance, reinsurance, toxic torts, construction
litigation and complex commercial and financial litigation.

Recent audio posts include one of plaintiff attorney Mark Lanier
speaking on asbestos in 2008.

Tel: 484-324-2755 x200.
Email:
Kathleen.McFadden@litigationconferences.com or
Lynnsey.PerrinHee@litigationconferences.com.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Flooding Exposes Hazard at Moler Elementary
----------------------------------------------------------------
Flooding at Moler Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio, uprooted
asbestos-containing floor tiles, 10TV.com reports.

10TV's Maureen Kocot reported that a pipe burst a few days ago
at the school and three-fourths of the classrooms were flooded.

Jada Oliver, a parent, received a letter from the district on
Tuesday afternoon. She decided to keep her five-year-old,
Ala'yah, home from school on Jan. 21, 2009.

Columbus City Schools confirmed to 10TV News that the uprooted
tiles contain asbestos. Mrs. Oliver said she wished that the
school mentioned asbestos in the letter she received.

Mrs. Oliver said, "They're not telling us anything. I just
wanted to know - not only for my child - but for the other
children that are there, also."

The school district and the Ohio Department of Health told Ms.
Kocot that the tainted tiles do not appear to pose any health
risk to students. As a precautionary measure, the district hired
a licensed contractor to remove the tiles.

Air quality tests revealed no detectable quantity of asbestos in
the building, the district added.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Meeting on Isebrook's Hazard Set on Jan. 21
----------------------------------------------------------------
Northamptonshire Primary Care Trust has scheduled Jan. 21, 2009
to discuss findings of an independent report into an asbestos-
related incident, which closed part of the Isebrook Community
Hospital in June 2008, the Evening Telegraph reports.

The incident that occurred at the hospital in Wellingborough,
Northamptonshire, England, cost the region GBP250,000. About
3,000 patients were affected by the disruption.

Four departments at the hospital were shut and hundreds of
appointments were transferred to Kettering General Hospital
after asbestos was disturbed by builders working on the site.

The workmen disturbed the asbestos by drilling through tiles
while fitting a new burglar alarm following a series of break-
ins.

The independent report showed the trust did not manage and
supervise contractors sufficiently.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Hampshire Worker's Death Linked to Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
An inquest heard that the death of 77-year-old Royal Navy
dockyard worker Francis Poole was linked to exposure to
asbestos, The News reports.

Mr. Poole, of Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, worked as
an electrician for the Royal Navy for 10 years and was exposed
to asbestos while working on ships and in the engine rooms.

Mr. Poole complained of breathing difficulties and he was
diagnosed with the lung cancer mesothelioma.

Carolyn Russell, assistant deputy coroner for Portsmouth and
South East Hampshire, said, "It's a very cruel way to lose
someone." She recorded the death as a result of an industrial
disease.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Catawba County to Help in School Demolition
----------------------------------------------------------------
Catawba County, N.C., commissioners will help Catawba County
schools with the old St. Stephens Elementary School's
demolition, which includes the clearing of asbestos debris from
the property, the Hickory Daily Record reports.

The board approved the appropriation and transfer of US$95,000
toward the project and the waiving of the county's landfill
tipping fee for the disposal of debris from the demolition.

County Manager Tom Lundy told the board that D.H. Griffin
Companies submitted a bid of US$88,000 for the demolition of the
vacant building. The appropriation and transfer includes the
cost for the US$2 per ton state tax on debris taken to a
landfill and the cost of asbestos removal from the old building.

The school system was notified in November 2008 of the building
being in violation of several Hickory safety codes and therefore
a public safety hazard. The city gave the system 90 days to
bring the building up to code, work that would cost between
US$15,000 and US$20,000.

The building has been marked for vandalisms, break-ins, and
thefts since it closed in 2005. School officials decided
renovating the building would not be economically effective. The
alternate plan is the demolition and clearing of the property
for an estimated US$88,000.

Commissioners also waived the county tipping fee for the 3,500
tons of debris predicted to result from the demolition. However,
the county does not have the authority to waive the state's
mandated US$2 per ton tax implemented this year. That tax will
put an additional US$7,000 on the project.

The money transferred, about US$34,000, is left over from
projects at Maiden High School and Balls Creek Elementary
School.

An additional US$61,000 will be appropriated from the Schools
Capital Projects fund balance.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Appeal Court OKs Ruling v. 2 Elk Officials
----------------------------------------------------------------
The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, on Jan. 21, 2009,
affirmed the asbestos-related sentences and convictions of Elk
City, Okla., Manager Guy Hylton and supervisor Chuck Little, the
Associated Press reports.

Mr. Hylton and Mr. Little were sentenced for using state inmates
to work on a railroad deport that was filled with asbestos.

In 2008, a federal judge sentenced Mr. Hylton to six months in
prison and Mr. Little to eight months in prison for negligent
endangerment. Mr. Little also was sentenced to a second eight-
month term, to run concurrently, for lying to investigators.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Demolition of Columbus Hotel Costs $175,280
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to numbers provided by the Prince George, British
Columbia, Canada, city hall on Jan. 15, 2009, the cost for
tearing down the Columbus Hotel amounted to more than CAD175,280
due to the extra cost of removing asbestos, the Prince George
Citizen reports.

Supply and services manager Scott Bone said that those
interested in the project were told to bid on the cost of
demolishing the structure and removing of the non-asbestos
materials only, because the amount of asbestos in the building
was not known.

The work was awarded to Western Thermal Contractors for
CAD46,800 while the two other qualifying bids for the work were
CAD75,690 and CAD275,176.

Once the site was rendered safe enough, an independent firm was
engaged to perform appropriate testing to determine the quantity
and location of asbestos, Mr. Bone said, adding that WorkSafe
personnel provided guidance on the safe extraction and transport
of the materials.

By the time all the work was completed, WTC was paid an extra
CAD84,250 for the containment, removal, hauling, and fees for
the building materials containing asbestos.

Over the six weeks it took to demolish the building, 149 tons of
non-asbestos materials and 192 tons of asbestos contaminated
refuse were removed.

In addition to the payment to the contractor, the city incurred
CAD44,155 for security, fencing, consulting services, and staff
time.

The city has since passed the bill onto the Columbus' previous
owner, the city took over ownership of the building in October
2008 due to nonpayment of property taxes, and it is expected the
previous owner will pass it on to his insurance company to
cover.

All but the front facade of the building was destroyed in an
Aug. 19, 2008 fire that erupted in a second floor dryer.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Scientific Studies Stressed in Grace Trial
----------------------------------------------------------------
Christopher Weis, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
toxicologist, on Jan. 21, 2009, in the U.S. Government's
asbestos case against W. R. Grace & Co., testified that
researchers relied on science when determining the scope of
Libby's asbestos contamination, the Billings Gazette reports.

The research included decades-old "historical studies" overseen
by Grace itself.

The evidentiary hearing opened with Mr. Weis. Grace is accused
of violating the Clean Air Act by releasing asbestos-
contaminated vermiculite from a mine in Libby, Mont.

One study identified Libby residents who had been exposed to
higher concentrations of asbestos-laced vermiculite mined by
Grace and detected an increase in lung abnormalities

Ms. Weis said those individuals "had played on rope swings and
dropped into piles of vermiculite, played on the high school
track that was contaminated with ore and mine. Others had worked
at the mine and were exposed. Those who delivered materials to
the mine, like those who filled the vending machines, were
exposed."

An indictment unsealed in February 2005 alleges that Grace and
six former executives knowingly endangered the lives of mine
workers and other residents of Libby, where asbestos-related
disease has killed an estimated 300 to 400 people.

U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy has set the case for trial
Feb. 19, 2009, and the evidentiary hearing scheduled to last
three days could be the final hurdle before jury selection.

However, as government prosecutors fight to preserve their case
and bring it to trial intact, dozens of defense lawyers from
across the country are poised to erode the case by excluding the
presentation of "unqualified" evidence to the jury.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: UK Council to Meet Jan. 22 over Health Risk
----------------------------------------------------------------
A private meeting by the Council of Harrow, England, concerning
issues over an asbestos investigation is scheduled for Jan. 22,
2009, the Harrow Times reports.

Harrow Council has hit back at claims it should have published
the results of an asbestos investigation.

Kier Group plc, the company hired to bring council housing up to
government standards, was forced to admit it did not dispose of
"low risk" asbestos properly in July 2008.

Councilor Paul Osborn, responsible for communication, said, "The
conclusion is that there was a 'negligible' risk to residents,
Kier and Harrow employees. That conclusion was made public at
the time."


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Headley Case v. 58 Companies Filed in Texas
----------------------------------------------------------------
Joseph A. Headley and Lisa R. Headley, on Jan. 13, 2009, filed
an asbestos-related lawsuit against 58 defendant corporations in
Jefferson County District Court, Tex., The Southeast Texas
Record reports.

Named as defendants in the suit are manufacturers of asbestos-
containing products: Ametek Inc., Bondex, CertainTeed
Corporation, Champlain Enterprises Inc., Cooper Industries Ltd.,
Copes-Vulcan Inc., Crosby Valve Inc., Crown Cork & Seal Company
Inc., Durabla Canada Ltd, Foseco plc, Garlock, Georgia-Pacific
LLC, Guard-Line Inc., Henry Vost Machine, Industrial Holdings
Corp., Insulation Co., Kaiser Gypsum, KCG Inc., Murcowall
Products, Oglebay Norton Company, Owens-Illinois Inc., Parsons
E&C, Rapid American, RPM Inc., Sepco Corp., TWC Valve, Uniroyal,
and Union Carbide Corporation, which is also named as a supplier
of raw asbestos.

Premises owners named as defendants are Chevron Phillips
Chemical Company LLC, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Exxon
Mobil, and Texaco.

Able Supply Llc, Bechtel Group Inc., Daniel International, Fluor
Corporation, and HP Zachary are named as contractors using or
supplying asbestos-containing materials.

Seventeen companies were named in the suit for manufacturing
machinery that requires the use of asbestos-containing products.
They include: Allis-Chalmers Energy Inc., Aqua Chem Inc., Crane
Co., Elliot Turbo Machinery, FMC Corp., Foster Wheeler Ltd.,
General Electric Company, Goulds Pumps Incorporated, IMO
Industries Inc., Ingersoll-Rand Company Limited, Oakfabco,
Peerless, Trane Inc., Viacom Inc., Warren Pumps Llc, Weil-
McLain, and Zurn.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. is also named as a defendant for
acting as an alleged conspirator with the companies to keep the
hazards of asbestos exposure from the public.

The suit says the companies negligently failed to provide Mr.
Headley with information as to what would be safe apparel and
safe equipment. He was unaware of the hazards and defects in the
asbestos-containing products.

The Headleys claim that while working around the products, Mr.
Headley alleges he used them in the manner intended. Because of
his reliance on the companies, Mr. Headley claims he has
sustained damages including injury, illness and disability.

Mrs. Headley has suffered the loss of Mr. Headley's services,
consortium, financial support and the care and comfort of his
society because of his sickness.

In the nine-count lawsuit, the Headleys seek unspecified
punitive and exemplary damages, plus costs, pre- and post-
judgment interest and for other relief the Court deems
appropriate.

Lou Thompson Black, Esq., and Hilary G. Reagin, Esq., of Brent,
Coon and Associates in Houston, represent the Headleys.

Case No. D183-018 has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd
District Court.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Alarm Sounded at Hamilton, Ohio Building
----------------------------------------------------------------
Concerns on the presence of asbestos are abound at the 108-year-
old Partners in Prime building at Hamilton, Ohio, The Western
Star reports.

Flood damage from a busted pipe has shut down the senior
citizens center indefinitely.

On Jan. 19, 2009, the folks at Partners in Prime were waiting on
representatives from their insurance company and the Butler
County Health Department to inspect the damages. The results
from those inspections will determine if — and how soon — the
center can reopen, said Shelley Ratliff, chief operating
officer.

On Jan. 16, 2009, a water pipe busted in the third floor attic
and water came rushing down the walls and damaged flooring,
equipment, books and other items used at the activities center.

Carpeting has been ripped up, ceiling tiles have been removed
and air circulators are running to dry out the three-story
building. Anyone walking around inside the building should wear
a breathing mask because of asbestos concerns.

Services, such as Meals on Wheels and providing transportation
to seniors who live in Butler County, will continue
uninterrupted, Ms. Ratliff said, adding that they will be using
other sites of Partners in Prime in Fairfield and West Chester
Township.


ASBESTOS LITIGATION: Court Grants Century's Motion to Seal Award
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania granted Century
Indemnity Company's motion to seal an arbitration award in a
case involving asbestos filed against Certain Underwriters at
Lloyd's, London (Defendant).

The case is styled Century Indemnity Company, Plaintiff v.
Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, Defendant.

District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno entered judgment in Civil
Action No. 08-219 on Jan. 12, 2009.

Century and Defendant entered into a reinsurance treaty whereby
Defendant agreed to indemnify Century over a specified portion
of Century's obligations under insurance policies it issued in
exchange for a portion of the premium paid to Century for the
underlying insurance policies.

The dispute arose under Century's Contingency First Excess of
Loss Cover (Treaty 6), in which Defendant participated as
Century's reinsurer for the period April 1, 1969 to Dec. 31,
1971.

Specifically, Century advised Defendant in 2003 and 2005 that it
anticipated billing Defendant under Treaty 6 for its share of
amounts Century paid for asbestos-related product liability
claims. Defendant refused to pay and initiated a single
arbitration against Century on Oct. 26, 2007, under the
arbitration clause in Treaty 6.

The parties entered into a confidentiality agreement on May 1,
2008 (Confidentiality Agreement).

After discovery and briefing, the arbitration panel (Panel) held
a four-day evidentiary hearing on Nov. 17, 2008 through Nov. 20,
2008. The Panel issued a final award on Nov. 28, 2008 (Award).

The arbitration clause in Treaty 6 provided that the decision of
the Panel shall be final and binding upon all parties. Century
has moved to confirm the arbitration award. Century argued that
the Award should remain under seal while the instant case is
being adjudicated. Defendant did not contest this motion.

Century's motion to seal the arbitration award was granted.

Christine Gellert Russell, Esq., of Pepper Hamilton LLP in
Philadelphia, represented Century Indemnity Company.


ASBESTOS ALERT: Scriven Penalized for Exposing Workers to Hazard
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The West Bromwich Magistrates, on Jan. 19, 2009, fined Scriven
Electrical Contractors Ltd. GBP3,000 and ordered the Company to
pay GBP2,757 in costs for for breaching Regulation 10(1)(a) of
the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, according to a Health
and Safety Executive press release dated Jan. 19, 2009.

HSE warns that firms exposing workers to asbestos would be
penalized. It added that electrical contracting companies and
other building and refurbishment trades must provide suitable
asbestos awareness training to employees or face prosecution.

This move follows the HSE prosecution of Scriven Electrical of
Cornwallis Road, West Bromwich, England, for failing to ensure
that adequate information, instruction and training was given to
its employees.

The court heard that an electrician employed by Scriven
installed three heat detectors and associated cabling in a
commercial sized kitchen and boiler room of premises in Barclay
Road, Smethwick. Although the ceiling tiles contained five to 50
percent brown asbestos, no asbestos awareness training was given
by his employer prior to commencement of the work, despite a
legal requirement.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector John Healy said, "Scriven
should have known of the dangers and the legal requirement to
give sufficient training to protect employees from exposure to
asbestos because 98 percent of their work involves the risk of
encountering asbestos.

"Those responsible for employees ordinarily have a legal duty to
protect their health and safety but, in the case of asbestos
those involved in building or refurbishment must know that any
disturbance of such a dangerous material should only be
completed by trained workers."

Electricians, plasterers, plumbers and carpenters are all at
risk of exposure to asbestos in buildings erected or refurbished
before the year 2000 and across the whole of the West Midlands
Region one person dies a painful death every three days from
mesothelioma and these deaths are almost exclusively people who
have previously been exposed to asbestos.

Today asbestos presents a real and relevant risk to plumbers,
joiners, electricians and many other maintenance workers as it
may be present in any building constructed or refurbished before
the year 2000. It is estimated that around 500,000 non-domestic
buildings could contain asbestos.


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Copyright 2009.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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